In Death, Heroes Inspire: In Memory of Nabeel Qureshi

“Heroes aren’t supposed to die!” My heart yells in the deep place where only God sees. Death from this life is certain… cancer doesn’t play favorites… and yet heroes are supposed to be victorious… right?

My little girl self still believe this. I can’t help but hope that light will always overcome darkness, that wrongs will always be righted, and the hero will defeat the evil. Perhaps because in my child-like faith, I know there is eternal victory, death has no power over me… and yet… the living still suffer the heartache of being here without those who have gone on ahead.

At just 34 years old, Nabeel Qureshi, had become one of my heroes because he wasn’t afraid of questions. Sounds simple, I know. But really and truly, he asked questions and sought the truth, even when all he had known and been brought up to believe was challenged. I admire his courage to face the possibility that what he thought he knew could be wrong. His passion to understand and pursuit of truth came at great personal cost. In heroic fashion he lovingly and kindly opened doors whenever he could in order to let the of truth light in so others could see for themselves.

My sister teaches the hero journey through story and film. Her method is brilliant and she probably doesn’t realize I’ve been listening to her, and I finally understand. Heroes sacrifice themselves to rescue the people they love. In death, heroes inspire us to live well. I don’t like it… but we need it.

I know that Nabeel is with Jesus. In his death, he inspires me and many others to not just live well, but to love greatly.

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My question to you: who are your heroes?

If you are having trouble naming any, perhaps its time you let someone like Nabeel inspire you to let some light in so that you can see things for yourself.

Be brave, dear ones. We need more heroes and you never whose hero you may become.

*If you would like to know more about Nabeel, read his story “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus“. He reads it himself in the audiobook.
For more information visit Ravi Zacharias Internation Ministry site or read the brief bio with a link to one of his final vlogs at Christianity Today.
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Annie Mae’s Current Reading List

My friends know that I love to read… the truth is I need to read… I crave the fresh perspective, challenge, and delight found in a good story. I recommend ALL of the books below. Please let me know if you have any questions! I’d be happy to elaborate on any and all of them!

November – January
LEngle BESBright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation, Madeline L’Engle

 

 

 

 

December – January
Light in My Darkness, Catherine Marshall

Marshall LIMD

 

 

January – February
The Mercy Watson Series, Kate

Mercy Watson

 

 

 

 

January
Epic, John Eldridge

Elderige E

 

 

 

 

 
(September)-February
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, Susan BranchBranch AFR

 

 

 

 

 

February-March

A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken

Vanauken ASM

 

 

 
April
Peter and the Star Catchers, Dave Berry & Ridley Pearson

Peter

 

 

 

 

 

 

April – May Currently Reading
Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. LewisReflections on the Psalms

The Mystery of God’s Will, Charles S. Swindoll

Swindoll MOGW

 

 

 

 

 

Next up-
Isle of Dreams, Susan Branch

Branch IOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s on YOUR Reading List?

Hope in the Waiting

In the darkness, I waited

Quiet. Calm. Still.

My heart was pounding in my chest.

Knowing it was coming.

Thinking and fearing it never would.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

This is the time in between time.

Everything is still.

I opened my eyes and there was a hint of change.

Another moment passed revealing a glimmer of hope.

Hope takes its time, like the light of dawn.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the darkness gives way to shadows.

Shadows reminds us of fear because they are unknown.

There is no certainty in the unknown.

Another breathe and the unknown is known.

The light of dawn has broken through.

Hope’s tendrils are reaching through landing upon my heart.

With the first light of the morning, streaming through the trees.

Hope streams in, unavoidable, undeniable, known.

In the light, I wait.

MayValley

 

 

Stop, look, listen… God has been very busy

When I was very little girl, with one blonde braid trying to hold back my messiness, I remember being taught the most important lesson in street safety.

Stop. Hold still (this is STILL a challenge for me), put down the phone, don’t move.

Look. Open your eyes and see ALL that’s going on around you. Focus.

Listen. ACTUALLY listen. Spring is coming and there is so much happening in our world around us and in the people around us.

3 easy steps… If only I would put them into practice more as an adult – I would have even more to be thankful for… Because God has been very busy. I see Him growing and providing, nourishing and admonishing, pruning and planting, all for His glory and our eternal Joy.

When you take the time to Stop, Look, and Listen – What do YOU see Him doing?

Also… it could save you from getting hit by a bus!

 

Goodbye 2015

>Deferred Hope = God at workIsn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…

– C.S. Lewis

This has been more true for me in 2015 than any other year.

It began with passion, adventure, hope of love, and the Proverbs to guide me.

Corporate America hired me! Learning skills and paying bills took a prominent role for the year. God’s faithful provision in those 40 hours a week made it challenging to be content and disciplined every day (I am still working on this… maybe I always will).

I found Love like I have never known because I became an Aunt. With prayer and joy, we welcomed my nephew, Seph. The delight of our family heart.

I wandered the Oxford streets and English country side. Explored Cambridge and the Cotswalds where my heart began to dream again.

Hope deferred makes the heartsick; my “Say Anything” man dismissed me in Willoughby-like manner ( except with much better morals), leaving my Jo March self feeling shockingly like Marianne Dashwood. Heartache moved in and tried to setup house.

Momentary light affliction breeds contempt or gratitude; In His mercy my response was a humbled thankful heart.

The Psalms, Madeleine L’Engle, Catherine Marshall, and Kate DiCamillo have been working together to mend my heart, bringing tears, light, and laughter on this leg of the journey.

Stories end, hearts change, and the Word of the Lord endures.

Goodbye 2015, “I would not wish you back again.” ~ Yet another Jane Austinism.

Today, January 1, 2016, my heart is strong because my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus.

Oxford Never Gets Old

Ancient spires holding centuries of wisdom and knowledge with dusty books and growing ideas…
IMG_1537Faith, science, and reason take walks together in the proudly manicured parks and quads – benefitting from the perspective of each other.

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It forever will be a place for dreams to come true. Where time stands still and magic is realized in stone, bronze, and ink.

We shall meet again… I can feel it! 
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And of course the little Hobbit size places just right for someone such as myself!

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P.s. It doesn’t GET old – it is always old… and always NEW at the same time!

An Aspiring Author – Me

Dear World,once pencil

I am currently in process of writing a kids chapter book!

This is the working title – which I’m sure will be changed depending upon the publisher –

“The Adventures of E…M…P…”

I hope to be published in 2016… ambitious, I know, especially considering I haven’t finished the rough draft yet. Somehow, I’m hoping that announcing to the grand internet void will hold me accountable. We shall see! I will be releasing updates and letting you know how the publishing journey goes!

Until I have a proper rough draft I can’t tell you anything about… the amazing adventures of a curious little girl into the wilds of the fracking country – North Dakota!

Sincerely,

Annie Mae
The Aspiring Author

Seattle Summer Date #6 = Get Lost in Literature

When was the last time you took your sweetheart to a book store?!

Grab a coffee, find 8 books from all different sections, and just sit together and read.

Occasionally show a picture, tell one of the interesting facts, or just enjoy the silent depth of love in the light of literature.

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One of my favorite book store games is to give  2 minutes to run around the store and find fun, weird, and obscure books.

Then you have to present them to each other as if you are presenting the secrets of the universe. Guaranteed laughter! (Stifle the noise… you ARE in a bookstore.)

Above photo is Seattle’s amazing Elliot Bay Bookstore. Go get lost together.