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Truly Friends Forever

I have a great group of supporters (supporting Ann Downing Ministries in myriads of ways).I don’t think I’ve always appreciated what real “support” in this case means.But, perhaps I’m getting there! One very important part of that great group of close friends and loved ones is my friend, Dolly Simms.I’ve known her since she was in Jr. High when I was with the Speer Family.That acquaintance lasted on through the Downing years.Her family made sure they attended most every appearance the Downings made within a reasonable (and sometimes, not so reasonable) proximity of where they’ve always lived…in Lexington, KY. When Paul was in the hospital for two months in Lexington before passing away, Dolly became my best friend.She stayed at the hospital every night for those 56 nights as we slept on the floor of that waiting room outside the critical care unit. After Paul’s death, Dolly was a regular at my house and a regular on the road with me whenever she could. She became like family to me.I …
Recent posts

Kingdom Crossfire

It seems I’ve spent half my life caught in the crossfire between the principalities and powers of the air thinking I was fighting battles with flesh and blood. I gave my heart to Jesus at the tender age of nine. Na├»ve to what it meant for my earthly future, on the spiritual level a child can understand, I knew it was the right choice… the only choice for me.
I’ve had some amazing experiences in my life; God is responsible for these. Just this week, I’ve found He is at it again… bringing parts of my childhood and adolescent years around to meet up with my adult self and allowing me the great privilege of tracing His Hand from hell to high places… urging me toward completing the healing process in wounds almost three decades old.
As school starts back, may I remind you… parents and grandparents, classroom teachers and Sunday school teachers… coaches: The children in your care who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ are gigantic neon flashing targets for spiritual warfare. They…

Courageous Non-pursuit

I’ve always appreciated the story of the prodigal son, the wonderful story of promise that God never gives up on the wayward children.Recently, the scripture grabbed me from a different perspective.

Did you ever think about this…there is no account that says the father went out looking for his son who had made the decision to leave and go do his own thing?Surely the father was brokenhearted, most likely prayed every waking minute of every day for his boy whom he loved dearly, BUT, he stayed home.I believe God has shown me that the father in the story had faith that He (God) would return the son to his senses and restore him to the family.The earthly father didn’t have to go begging, making deals, blurring all kinds of boundaries by trying to do God’s work.He just knew the Heavenly Father would be pursuing and could be trusted to do a work that would be eternal.

So what’s the big deal, Ann?Well, for me (maybe for some of you, too), it means when things seemingly go awry, I’ve been ins…

Listen Up

This blog has devoted a lot of time to the topic of listening.  I am just reminded over and over and over again how important it is to learn the skill of active listening.  I've sure you've noticed, as I have, that it is in drastic decline.  When someone is talking to us, do we in some way let them know we’re hearing while giving them time to complete their thoughts.  I hear it all the time, "I have to jump in “while it’s on my mind."

I have to confess that I’m not the best listener in the world. I’m good for the first few minutes…wish I could say I’m able to listen actively, engaging in the communication in such a way that the other person knows they’re in a safe spot to be honest and transparent. I guess wishing isn’t enough, though, is it? I can wish all day, but until I take responsibility for my less than great listening skills, nothing changes. In other words, saying “well, that’s just the way I am” doesn’t really work, right?

We all deserve to be heard. Of cours…

Commitment to Thankfulness

About 20 years ago, Mark Lowry and I found ourselves on a flight from Texas to Nashville after a weekend of Gaither Homecoming concerts.  Somewhere way up there, Mark randomly said to me, "Ann, let's make a commitment to each other that we will write down five things we're thankful for each day."  We went on to talk about the importance of being specific, writing down more than just, "thankful for a beautiful day".  We agreed they should be things more like, "Lord, I'm so thankful for being able to get out in my yard on this beautiful day," or "Thank You, Father, for the rain that's sure to be a great blessing to those flowers I've just planted."  You get the idea.

Since that day in 1997, I've purposely written down 5 specific things I am thankful for.  I admit that sometimes they would probably sound lame to others if they read them, but to me, this has been a great faith builder... a great prompter to never forget those …

Christ-like Consistency

In thinking of the weather the last few days, I've been reminded that it's truly symbolic of how we can be in our walk with the Lord.  If we're not careful, we can be hot cold hot cold hot cold hot cold.  Not at all how we're supposed to be.  When we are saved, we take on the identity of Christ.  One thing Christ definitely is not is inconsistent.  So why are we?  Food for thought.

Face Forward... with Confidence

Have you ever found yourself about to come face to face with something (or let’s be honest… someone) you’ve been dreading? Is there a scripture that races through your mind in the moments immediately beforehand?
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be frozen with uncertainty and frankly, fear. I also know it can be extremely difficult to let that special, reassuring scripture apply to me…to the moment. In these moments, I have found it helps to personalize the scripture to the circumstance. In other words, when He says, “Fear not, for I am with thee”, I, in faith and by sheer determination, pray it as, “Fear not, Ann, for I am with you as you make plans for speaking with that pastor about something that could be controversial”. Maybe being specific isn’t all that important to you, but I have found this helps me go forward with confidence to handle whatever the not so enjoyable task may be.
Today, I felt you might be struggling with this…a way to face those giants of the day holding…