I invite you to pray through the Bible this year with me. Cover to Cover. Chronologically. Read a couple of chapters each day --- 15 minutes --- and take those words and talk to your beautiful God about them.
Confessing our "serial" sin.
Laying those words in requests before HIM.
In a few sentences and then throughout your day---longing to learn to pray without ceasing.
Come back on MONDAY MORNINGS for COVER TO COVER sharing. You may just want to visit on Monday mornings if you are doing another "reading plan" or other bible studies. You are so welcome to stop by and join in anytime. Just e-mail me email@example.com to join us.
As you read your Bible this year, your Bible will read you.
This is a little different invitation than reading...it's an invite to pray the Word of God and let TRUTH sink and settle deep into our innermost beings. Psalm 51:6
There are beliefs I hold so deeply and some of them need to be saturated, annihilated, and melted by the Word of God. Prayer changes things---prayer changes me. Blogging has been a safe haven of community for me where acceptance reigns, not judgment. I know there are truths I've believed in my heart, images of God I have held that need to soften. The Word of God is like a fire. It is like a hammer that breaks the rocks to pieces. Jer. 23:29 The Word of God is like the melting snow that melts our hearts to pieces. Psalm 147:18. It is good that I have been afflicted that I may know His Word! Psalm 119:71.
1. Pray Eph. 1:18 - May God open the eyes of my heart that I might see my hope and inheritance.
2. Ask yourself this question when you open the Word of God...
What is God stirring in my heart as I read?
3. Click on "Engage the Journey 08" in my sidebar for a link to the chronological reading plan hosted by Kate. Sign up as a journeyman with Kate. You may want to comment during the week with chronological readers on Kate's blog she has set up specifically for this chronological plan. Kate will have a link back to us on MONDAY MORNINGS.
4. Journal through the week of reading as you hear your God's Voice and learn better to trust that small still Voice, the Spirit of God in you. Pray the exact words of truth back to HIM. Listen to what He is saying to you.
5. Come back on MONDAY MORNINGS and I will post what my beautiful God has said to me. Leave a comment of silence, a sentence, a segment...share with us what your God spoke to you. We will listen to our God as we listen to you.
E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a part in praying through the Bible chronologically. I'll commit to pray with you this year for your life and for your family. You can link to Kate to engage the chronolocial readings and you can buy a Chronological Bible on http://www.amazon.com/, if you desire. Your commitment will be whatever you can do. No pressure. No boxes to check off. Just your good God wooing you to Himself. I may have one person do this with me and that's okay. I am not about numbers anymore. I am all about doing what my God has told me to do---trusting enough, like you, to hear His Voice. I believe He is leading me to do this. And I know that He is wooing me in my wilderness to Himself. Hosea 2:14. I am so eager to hear what your beautiful God will say to you from His Love Letters as you listen to Him and He hears you. May you hear HIM in the midst of your whirlwind of life as He whispers to you. I Kings 19:11-13.
Monday, December 31, 2007
I invite you to pray through the Bible this year with me. Cover to Cover. Chronologically. Read a couple of chapters each day --- 15 minutes --- and take those words and talk to your beautiful God about them.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Annette and Jenny tagged me on a subject that is so very dear to my heart...words in a book.
List your top book in each category for this meme.
"With one day's reading, a man may have the key in his hands." - Ezra Pound
"In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." Mortimer Adler
"Some books leave us free and some books make us free." Ralph Waldo Emerson
THE BOOK MEME:
BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE:
Wounded Heart (Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse) by Dan Allender and
The Healing Path: How the Hurts in your Life Can Lead You to a More Abundant Life by
Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb and one more by Crabb - Soul Talk book and DVD series
The Patriarchs by Beth Moore
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
BOOK I'VE READ MORE THAN ONCE
Breaking Free by Beth Moore
My Utmost for His Highest by O.C.
BOOK I WANT ON A DESERTED ISLAND
Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible - AMG Publishers
A Year with C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from his Classic Works
BOOK THAT MADE ME LAUGH
God Uses Cracked Pots by Patsy Clairmont
BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
Surprised with Joy by C. S. Lewis
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers made me weep and wail…oh my goodness
BOOK I WISH HAD BEEN WRITTEN – God gives children to very young women who don’t know a lot about raising children, to women who haven't suffered much yet in their young lives, and it seems like you grow up together with your children. I really benefited from reading "How Children Raise Parents: The Art of Listening to Your Family." I wish more older and seasoned women would write to the younger ones about their experiences, their perspective, their stories. I would have bought it. Also, I want a book about God's word from every chapter in the Bible. Cover to Cover. This coming year, I am going to share and pray the verses that my beautiful God speaks to me as I listen and read the Bible through in one year. I'll post it on my blog every Monday morning. You can join me and read a book a week and see what God is saying to you.
BOOK THAT YOU WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN - IDK
BOOK CURRENTLY READING
Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen
Better Than My Dreams: Finding What You Long For Where You Might
Not Think to Look by Paula Rinehart
BOOK I HAVE BEEN MEANING TO READ
George MacDonald---anything by him
Brennan Manning's "Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging"
C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" (again)
Dan Allender's "Breaking the Idols of your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations
of your Life
Tremper Longman III's "How to Read the Psalms" and "Making Sense of the Old
Testament - Three Crucial Questions
Tag 5 people...,
I TAG Lisa, Susan, Alana, Kim, Kristin, Misti...anyone who wants to jump in this book sharing!
OH! Were we supposed to list just one book each...lol...I am way too wordy...
Our good God says in Malachi 3:16 that those who feared the Lord talked with each other and a Book of Remembrance has been written in His Presence. The LORD listens and hears those who honor His name.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:23 AM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
C. S. Lewis said: “What saves a man is to take a step, then take another step.” Our God is so intervening in all of our steps and we are doing well. Bob continues in construction management and serves in leadership of small group ministry at the church where we attend. He is waiting on God’s direction concerning going back into full-time ministry. Barrett graduated this week from the University of Nebraska grad school with an MBA. He continues to pursue his professional triathlon goals and has signed with a team to train and compete in France. Brooke, an Aggie grad, is serving as a missionary with the International Mission Board in Chiang-Mai, Thailand and she’s home for a dozen days this Christmas. Blair graduated from OU this spring and did an internship in Washington DC with the Family Research Council and was commissioned as a Witherspoon fellow this week. She accepted her first “real” job in D.C. working as a legislative assistant for the humble Congressman from Oklahoma. Britt is a sophomore loving life from his church youth group to the basketball court to the swimming pool to the debate floor of Youth & Government and HOBY. This is Bev writing---the one sentence I would say about myself is this: I am alive in ways I have never been before and I’m so grateful to my beautiful God I so love Who is wooing me in my wilderness. Hosea 2:14. Our prayer is that we do not forfeit the grace of our good God in our lives by living for worthless things. Jonah 2:8 One thing I’ve asked and that we will seek, to behold the Beauty of our God. What else is worth living for? John 6:68.
Deut 7:6-8 says you are chosen out of all the people on the face of the earth to be His treasured possession not because you are so strong, so wise, so numerous, but because He loves you and His Mighty Hand is on your life to redeem you from whatever is more important than the Love of Christ. Little by Little. Deut. 7:22 May you find your Beautiful Savior, your Faithful Friend who rises to have compassion on us all. Isaiah 30:18. Have mercy on us all, our forgiving sovereign God. That we may exchange our lives in 2008 for those things that really matter to HIM. And we pray that Truth will sink and settle deep into our hearts. Psalm 51:10.
We would love to hear from you! Our doors are open wide if you are ever close to our Benbrook home. Drop us an e-mail (email@example.com) or visit my blog, but most of all, keep us in your prayers that we may live in the present not snared by the enemy of our world to dwell on the past (Isaiah 43:13) or live in the future. We count it such a privilege, such a blessing to be called your friend.
Happy New Year 2008
Hope laid up for you in Heaven,
Joy in your Jesus’ Presence, and a
Rendezvous with Rest like you have never known.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:57 PM
Monday, December 24, 2007
My girls are home!Brooke arrived tonight at 5pm from Thailand via a weekend stay in Seattle with her Grandpa whom she made very happy for Christmas. We videotaped the "airport scene" but I'll spare you the screams of sheer joy. Blair arrived a couple of hours later from Washington D.C., her new home---yes, she has a "real" job as of today. Barrett left Lincoln for good this weekend after 7 years of college/grad school---he graduated yesterday and he's home! We went straight to the relatives for a partay---here's a photo of my precious girls taken tonight by a teary-eyed tender grateful mom who has all of her children home.
Thinking this Christmas Eve about our real home---in heaven. Jesus is our home. He's everything to us! What will you give Him for Christmas? All He wants is you, your heart, your presence. He's knocking on your door right now. Rev. 3:8 says I've placed before you an open door this Christmas that no man can shut. I know you have little strength but you have not denied my Name. And He, our beautiful LORD, goes on to say in 3:20: Here I AM. I am standing at your door knocking. If you hear my Voice and open your door, I will come in and eat with you and you with ME. He's knocking. Drop what you are doing. Open your door wide!
Isn't He Wonderful?
Isn't He Beautiful?our Prince of Peace
humble Son of God
our Almighty God.
Isn't He Wonderful? Isn't He beautiful? We sang it in church this morning and I about jumped out of my skin with such praise to HIM. He is so good to me in the midst of my good times and my bad times this Christmas. He is so good to me for never giving up on me, ever. He is so good, maybe not "safe" as C. S. Lewis says, but He is Good! Isn't He?
Brooke & Blair picked the winners...
The Winners of my Post Prizes drawn from those who commented on my BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes are:
DOOR #1 ... DRUM ROLL...patty - expensive chocolates from the Sweet Shop
DOOR #2 ... DRUM ROLL...connorcolesmom - rachael ray's cookbook 30 Minute Meals
DOOR #3 ... DRUM ROLL...
3 WINNERS behind this door:
sue@praise&coffee - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine
joyful days - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine
fran - ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTION to Domino Magazine.
Please e-mail me your address at your convenience, and I'll mail your door prize, your POST PRIZE, to you after the holidays (January 2nd). Thanks for stopping by my BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes. You've made blogging so much fun for me. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Bev
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 2:18 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I AM SPEECHLESS
Check back bloggers in January for an UPDATE
All went well until I arrived at one table where six-year-old Misha sat, holding his finished project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was startled to see, not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the little guy why. Crossing his arms in front of him, the novice began to tell his story relating the happenings accurately, until he came to the part where Mary laid baby Jesus in the manger. Then, Misha started to ad-lib. He made up the rest of the story: "And when Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked up at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told Him I have no mama and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then, Jesus told me I could stay with Him. But, I told him I couldn't, cause I have no gift to give him like everyone else did. I wanted to stay with Jesus so much! So, I thought about what I had, that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I could keep him warm---that would be a good gift. So, I asked Jesus, 'If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?' And Jesus told me, 'If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me.' So, I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and He told me I could stay with Him .... for always."
As little Misha finished his story, his eyes so brimmed full of tears that they splashed down his little cheeks on to the floor. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed. The little orphan had found Someone who would never abandon nor abuse him. Someone who would stay with him. for always.
A thousand thanks to those who were able to be a part of bringing God to 123 orphans in Chiang-Mai, Thailand. Matthew 18:5 says "Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." You have welcomed your beautiful God. Now, what will you give to HIM this Christmas?
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:54 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Brooke flipped over the handlebars of the motorbike and landed on concrete while trying to negotiate a turn where she had lost control of the bike. Instead of applying the brakes, she applied the gas propelling her onto her head. Uh oh! Must be in the genes. When my three children were newborn, one year old, and two years old, I applied the gas instead of the brakes while trying to exit the pediatrician's office parking lot. I took down the 6-foot concrete sign that had been a mainstay of their practice AND a beautiful magnolia tree like 100 years old, not really, but it was something sturdy like that. Hey, I had just delivered a baby and it was my first car trip out! I'm so grateful God protects us from ourselves, cause we all make mistakes. I am so glad that her accident (and mine too!) didn't cause any lasting damage. I'm sure some of you have applied your foot to the gas thinking it was the brake. Haven't you? Tell me I'm not alone! My sixteen-year-old just did it this week driving with me but caught it instantly. Okay, you're probably saying right now, "Watch out for the Brandons!"
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:41 AM
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Brooke had a motorbike accident in Thailand today. She was driving and lost control making a turn; she flipped over the handlebars sending her straight to the ER. Stitches in her chin and arm, and a messed up jaw. Pray that she is protected from any staph infection from her hospital visit. This mom didn't think it was a good idea for missionaries to ride motorcycles when she sent this pic last year in shorts and no shoes. Brooke will be home for Christmas. Lights are up. Trees decorated. Packages wrapped. BlueBell in freezer. Black Forest cake ordered. We haven't seen her in 19 MONTHS! Hurry Home Brookie!
Saw Point of Grace Winter Wonderland Concert Tour at church last night! Heather had her 3-week-old baby on stage. How We Live (Turn
Up The Music) so brought God to me. "Best concert I've ever been to." And Bob replied back to me, "Bev, the last concert you went to was Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones MANY years ago." He's right, POG is only concert I've ever been to as an adult---can you believe that? Things have changed...
Houston, I have another problem besides the digital camera. I received an LPL wristband in the mail and I don't know where to keep it for 8 more months. Should I send it to Fran or Kim??? You see, I have a college son who is committed to throwing away everything around here when he visits. This morning the 16-year-old younger son is yelling from upstairs---"Mom, did Barrett throw away my dress shoes!!!!!!!!!" If it's outdated, it's out the window.
Britt needed dress shoes this a.m. for YMCA Youth & Government District Conference at TCU today. I promised him I'd go buy him a cheap pair of Size 13 dress shoes as soon as Payless opened this a.m., and deliver them to the college doorsteps. Ooops, I FORGOT. He still looked great in his suit and socks. And, his Judicial Team qualified for state in socks---Woohoo!
Something happened to me yesterday that disturbed my peace! Big time! Please pray for me. I let life steal my peace. I am really struggling. I went to my Sovereign Savior in immense need and He spoke to me through I Samuel 2: 4, 8-9. The bow of this warrior is broken, but those who stumble will be armed with Strength. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts. He lifts the needy from the ash heap. It's not by your own strength that one prevails. Not about my decision to work so hard at doing life right. This is all about Him. His Christmas Story. Holding fast and grateful tonight to my Beautiful LORD, my Sovereign Savior, my Forgiving King for lifting me from the ash heap, by faith.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:40 PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
December 5th - 22 orphans total sponsored and 101 to go
December 6th - 31 orphans total sponsored and 92 to go
December 7th - 39 orphans total sponsored and 84 to go
December 8th - 42 orphans total sponsored and 81 to go
December 9th - 49 orphans total sponsored and 74 to go
December 10th - 56 orphans total sponsored and 67 to go
December 11th - 62 orphans total sponsored and 61 to go
December 12th - 85 orphans total sponsored and 38 to go
December 13th - 93 orphans total sponsored and 30 to go
December 14th - 108 orphans total sponsored and 15 to go
December 15th - 123 orphans TOTAL SPONSORED....unbelievable!
We are so very grateful to those of you who have been touched by this orphan story and responded to Britt's request. We didn't think that the responses would predominantly come from blogging, but it has. Out of 123 responses, we have only personally met seven of those who have given. With the exception of one or two, my blogging friends have all come from the LPM blog. It is a community of people who care deeply about living in the present and advancing His Kingdom. A thousand thanks for $1,230 for 123 precious orphans. (Trying to post a story but I can't get through so maybe this comment will make it on tonight!) Britt is at Homecoming (yes, our school is a little late in the season. He will be so EXCITED to hear the news for it just happened a few minutes ago.
Hi, this is Britt writing to you. I am Bev's 16-year-old son. I have an idea. I am looking for 123 people to help me do a Christmas service project for an orphanage where my sister volunteers in Thailand. So, I'm asking my friends (I'm the tall one in the picture) and I'm asking my mom's friends if you would like to be a part. Here's what we are doing.
Again, what we really need from you is 4 p's:
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
HE LEADS US BESIDE.............................................................QUIET WATERS........... Psalm 23:2
And 32:17 "the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
"In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness
and trust is your Strength...
for the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion for the Lord is a God of Justice."
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:55 PM
Saturday, November 24, 2007
and with childlike humility, with childlike wonder, and a precious puzzled face, he shouted out and asked the question of the day…”Where is my Brookie?”
Brookie, this post is for you. We ALL missed you magnanimously this Thanksgiving.
As your mom, I couldn’t be any more proud and grateful to our good God for you and the choices you have made with your little life in Chiang-Mai to do Joshua 24:14 – “to serve the Lord your God with all your faithfulness.” And as verse 15 goes on to say---you have thrown away anything else beyond that River that keeps you from knowing your beautiful God. Your Mommy missed you more than any words I can find and I thought about you all day long.
I woke up early on Thanksgiving morning, and went for a run---yes, Coach Brooke, you heard me right. One change in my life this year is that I am taking so much better care of myself. Next, I read in my Bible, Joshua 24:23 – throw away anything that takes you away from your good God and yield your heart to the God of Israel….set up a large stone as a witness for that stone has heard all the words your Lord God has said to you. So, I set up a “stone” in my front courtyard as a remembrance of all my good God has done for me this year. It has been so much! I am not the person I was last year, last month , or even last week. He is changing me and I am so grateful to my forgiving merciful God.
We began our trek to McKinney. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Shelby's PGA Tour Club buffet and it was simply scrumptious from Texas tenderloin to the chef's creme brulee for our table of twenty. Here's Toni's three precious adorable ones---Carly, Carson, & Cameron--- who greeted us at the door...The view of the valley seemed unending. The wraparound balcony was occupied by only two brave visitors for it was very unaccustomed cold cold weather for us---Britt chased Carson around and around the freezing balcony as we enjoyed watching warmly the fleeting moments from inside of the restaurant, gazing through the wall of glass doors overlooking the terraced balcony. It's a knock-dead gorgeous place to be. Shelby treated us all so kindly. Here's Britt & his little buddy Carson after your awesome big little brother Britt wore him out on the balcony.
Happy Thanksgiving Brookie from Toni, my precious niece...you were dearly MISSED.......................................................................................................
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:14 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning of my birthday crying. I didn't even have a chance to think about anything---I was already crying in my sleep. It was an unwelcome birthday visitor, a depression was all over me and I hadn't even lifted my head off the pillow. The tears flowed. But they weren't bitter tears. They were sorrow-filled tears. So, I asked my good God---why today? What is happening to me? I went through a severe depression one year ago when my husband was terminated from our church, triggering the interruption of good friendships. But my God so invaded my life March 15, 2006 and I've never been the same. But horizontal on this birthday morning, I felt like I did one year ago, so hopeless. The thought of going through a birthday alone again was too much for me. I wanted to be a part of that community where we lived for 27 years with people we dearly loved. I longed for what my good God has not provided. So what do I do...it's 4:00 am and it's my birthday. I got up and went to my good God and just cried and cried and asked for mercy. The humdrum duties of the day soon began--- breakfast, carpooling, errands, and we tackled cleaning the study. The next thing I knew I was in the backyard going through the 15 garbage bags of STUFF my son had thrown away all week. He came out to check on me. "Mom, are you okay? You have to let this stuff go." Sobbing, I knew he was right. I tied up all the bags and a weight seemed to lift off of me. My beautiful God was calling me and I drove up to my Walden's Pond. You remember Thoreau's "Walden's Pond" where he said it is vain to sit down and write if you have not stood up to live. Thoreau was no believer and seemed to me to be searching for the Garden of Eden on earth. No Garden on this earth. But my beautiful God has stood me up to live. "Stand up and see what I will do in you and through you. Rev. 1. I am alive in ways I have never been before. As I sat near the edge of the pond reading the book of Joshua on this silent sunny afternoon, the words leaped off the page into my lonely weeping heart. "Joshua was advanced in his age...the Lord said to him: You are old but there are still very large areas of land to be taken over." Hey, I'm 19 X 3 = 57 today. And, oh yes! I want to finish this life well! I long with all my heart to possess what is mine as a "new" creature in Him and advance His Kingdom---so what does that look like? My God seemed to say to me that my birthday struggle with my flesh: Wanting to be wanted. Wanting things to be different. Wanting to make an impact. That's what He died for. My struggle with my old nature will always be there and I can't annihilate it---didn't Paul say at the end of his life in Timothy--"I am the chiefest of all sinners." I Timothy 1:16. When I feel attacked on all sides, feeling forgotten/misunderstood/overlooked/powerless, I cry out to you my LORD, HAVE MERCY! Say it with confidence that He is so close and I must draw near to my good God! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you! I spent a few hours at this piddly pond where my kingly King so showed up. And He began to invade my thoughts with those things that I am persuaded of...THOSE THINGS THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT I KNOW. I'll tell you sometime what they are...you hold them in your heart, too. Or, you wouldn't be where you are today. Like you, I am persuaded that our good glorious God's Love is enough. So what will I do with that? I listened to Love's Voice that birthday afternoon, my First Love's Voice--- Wooing me, Holding me, Breathing on me, Calming me. Nothing changed in circumstance. In fact, just hours later, a good friend would treat me like I was INVISIBLE. Then, I found myself sitting in a high school gym, watching my son's varsity basketball debacle, where we lost by 40 points and it could have been worse than 40. And, as I sat through four quarters, I realized Strength was rising in me. For what satisfies me? What brings me joy? Nothing I find in this garden. I have lost the love of some friends but I have been loved today with a Love that I will never lose. Never. Ever. Who can satisfy my sobbing soul? Only First Love. And as I walked out of the gym conversing with the opposing team moms, I realized it was my sovereign good merciful God who was holding my head up. He is the Lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3. My First Love lifting my head high in the midst of my hurts. My Prince of Peace inviting me to walk to Him on the scary waters. I must move my gaze from the waves to fixate on the Face of the One who is walking on water saying "Do not be afraid, I am with you."
PS - Nothing magical, nothing mystical about Walden's Pond pictured above. My Walden's Pond is a mudhole next to a baseball field. I just know there is an enemy that wars with my soul. And it such a Mystery to me how God works in these dark difficult days. I just want to STAY CLOSE to Him, just like you, always. Hold fast and stay close during these holidays when the enemy wants to jerk my peace, steal my peace, feed me lies about relationships. Life isn't about me but about being lifted up into a Bigger Story than me. There's more, so much more.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 9:03 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
Seven RaNdOm ThInGs about Me! What is a Meme---what does it stand for? Me? I was tagged by JennyHope, such a sweet girl!
I really loved the BEATLES!!! When I met John Lennon, I pulled his hair out of his head. I was 12. A lock of love. What was I thinking??
I was the first one in my family to ever go to college and I received my Masters Degree from Seminary. My parents and their parents on down never had the opportunity to finish high school much less grade school.
I had 3 kids in 3 years and was on a first name basis at Cook's Hospital Emergency Room...the most memorable one was when our 10-year-old daughter fell off her bike and sadly broke her arm in front of our house. My husband who is a very good athlete tried to ride the bike about two feet up our front lawn to get it out of the street, but the wicked bike threw him over the handlebars and he knocked out his front tooth, broke his collarbone and was knocked out "cold" with a concussion---a "Reader's Digest" story.
We went through seven years straight of infertility....oh my....then our young son made an entrance into our lives that shook our world with such sheer delight.
If you asked my youngest son to tell a story on me, he would tell you about the time when I left him home alone and he was three. I orchestrated all 3 school children plus our carpool children into my huge van that morning, and was going to pick his sleeping body up last. I remembered half way to school that I forgot to pick him up (it's a 30-minute drive) so I announced GASPING to the carpool --- "You will all be TARDY" and I turned around SOOOOO F-A-S-T !!!!! When I arrived at home, he was GONE...scared me to pieces. A very kind grandfather next door was driving down our street, observed him standing at our huge picture window knocking on the glass calling for help, and stopped to rescue him. Three-year-old Britt told him where the key was hidden in our courtyard. Grandfather unlocked the front door and took Britt home with him. Talk about me being shaken to the core...
I have so many CARPOOL STORY DILEMMAS...like the night the fruit flies hatched in our huge van because a child left their uneaten banana under the seat. It was dark that morning and we didn't identify the hatched horde until I tried to clean my windows. The carpool rode to school with their heads hanging out the windows.
Okay, I TAG YOU for 7 random things.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:06 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
At 3:00 pm today, my firstborn Barrett hit the "SEND" button on his computer and submitted his final paper of his college career. Woohoo! He officially has his MBA in Business from the University of Nebraska as of today. It is amazing what he accomplished in the past six years in college while training three sports every day and a part-time job as a manager in a running store. He's a professional triathlete.
He is home for Thanksgiving early. The other day he asked me if he could help me go through our house and simplify things and help me get ready for Christmas (his sweet girlfriend is coming for Thanksgiving!!!)---actually, help me get a better handle on things. Whoa! I jumped on his gracious offer. I would be thrilled if you helped me, Barrett!
He decided to start with the kitchen. Go for it. I gave him permission to get rid of or throw anything away within reason. (So what would that mean in a 25-year-old mind? I may not have much left!!!) I am in shock that he wants to do this. This is the first time in his life that he is not in school, not working, and he is on a two-week training break. And he wants to spend it helping his Madre. That touches this mom's weary housekeeping soul. I've let things go for way too long without simplifying my life!
I left the door open for you to take a peek inside. Should have shown you the "before" picture. I never knew what was in the back on each shelf...
This sweet guy spent seven hours in the kitchen going through every single canned good, and every cooking utensil---checking dates and decency. When I got home, I was flabbergasted. Unbelievable. He even threw in some twinkling white lights decorating the countertop. Oh my---what happened to him at college? His sister was the one who kept everything completely organized when they were in high school. I would just close his door. And the first time I visited him in college---he stuffed EVERYTHING he owned in the college closet to clean up his room for my visit, a nice try - LOL. (My daughter opened the dorm closet while he wasn't looking and it ALL tumbled out, ceiling to floor!) We all washed 15 loads for him that trip (and every pair of blue jeans dyed light pink due to athletic issued "red" clothing---a disaster). And his sweet sister labeled everything in his dorm room and put it all away. He was very nice to us even though we dyed all his jeans :)
"Can I just look in the trash bags, Barrett?" To top it all off---he's teachable and patient with me. But he threw tons of stuff away including pots and baking dishes I have had my whole marriage. And the extension cord was on top of the loaded trash bag---it looked messed up in knots. But, I had been looking for one all day to plug in the Christmas tree I put up last night. I confiscated the cord. And I let the trash go out the door and the bag for Goodwill is gone.
Then, he drove over to Target and bought me a couple of new casserole dishes with a sealed cover (I didn't know they came with covers!) and a new frying pan that works and a new muffin pan. This is too good to be true! He has one more week here before he goes back to college to finish up and move his stuff home.
And he says---you have me all week, Madre!!! I will go through every room with you. It is a lot easier for me to get rid of stuff if I have someone staring at me saying that I don't need that out-of-date thing or the stuff I haven't used in a year or even that package of water balloons in the kitchen "party drawer"---BUT WAIT...maybe you guys will throw water balloons at each other at Thanksgiving---oh wait, what am I even thinking?
Pray for me this week that I can let go of things that have accumulated over the decades. This is so hard for me. I have been an attachaholic and God never intended for me to be attached to anything or anyone but Him. No more! You know the C. S. Lewis quote: "We are who we believe we are." Attaching to things and people is my old way of doing life and the new way is living with open hands to my sovereign God. Openhanded to getting rid of things that own me. Openhanded to my good God for friendships, especially the few that aren't interested in me and I so want their love and friendship. No tight fists. It may be a lonely road but I am finding such satisfaction in Him--- for who can satisfy my soul like Jesus? No One else. And I have been thinking a lot today about Deut. 4:37 --- apart from the Presence and Power of God, we can't get "out" of the messes we have created for ourselves. I don't even have the willpower to do this. But life isn't about how strong I am. II Cor. 12: 9,10. Why is it so hard for me to get rid of things, especially memorabilia and sentimental stuff? I think I'm afraid I'll make a mistake and lose something or I could find someone who needs it or make money off of it or I will need it someday, and so it accumulates. I wasn't made for this world and we can't take it with us anyway. Why am I saving this stuff? It is going out the door this week.
We made it through the kitchen today and my oven isn't used for storage anymore! It's empty and that's new! Tomorrow we tackle the boys' bedrooms and I am a little trepid that he'll want to get rid of his toys from childhood, his baseball card collection... wonder what treasures we will find there. There's his first wagon and his first TONKA truck and his first lock of hair and his first teeny rocking horse and his first peewee baseball uniform...uh oh...stay tuned.
This is such an answer to prayer for God to prompt my son to give me the first week off of his little life. It was an overwhelming task for me alone. I even have 3 empty kitchen drawers I can fill some day. I am ecstatic! The cupboards are bare and it is a very good thing!
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 6:19 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
In the summer of 2006, my sweet Brooke left for Thailand for two years. She had told me about the blogging world so I attempted to set one up by myself....oh dear. It took one year to get me up and running. Had to wait for the other two who were in college to come home and help. When Barrett finally connected with my computer, he turned to me and said, "Mom, did you know that you have set up seven blogs and have never posted on any of them? One year. Seven blogs. And I didn't have a clue how to post. Nor could I remember the passwords on seven blogs...LOL.
So, to try to enter blog giveaways WITH LINKS....oh my word....I will give this one a try cause I just LOVE MAKING BOOKS for my children...have been doing it all my married life with children. I wonder if I can use the computer to do this???
Here's the giveaway...Angela at mommy bytes is giving away six HP Photo Books. I think her address is http://www.mommybytes.com/ like maybe that is her URL address or her link or her something. It's Angela. I have lost my URL address line at the top of my computer screen or I would check it out for you.
It's definitely something that I can even blog! Well, thank you Angela, and we'll see if I actually entered anything...
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 4:47 PM
EMPTYING SPACES...the Holy Spirit is emptying spaces in my heart that I have filled with MYSELF. And HE is doing it for one REASON and that is to fill it with HIMSELF. And then I EMBRACE and EXPERIENCE my Good God whether it's on top of the mountains or in the valleys of the shadow of death.
God cannot walk by an
without FILLING IT
wrote St. John of The Cross
We are trying to downsize from things...trading spaces so to speak...and I was looking in the study today to see what piece of furniture I could get rid of next. I thought about the nightstand. And I turned to my husband and said...let me tell you why I have never got rid of that nightstand with the broken handle. My daddy slept every night next to that nightstand that held a loaded gun to protect us from my brother who struggled so much. We feared for our lives growing up. Someday I'll sell it for $10. But for now, it's a reminder that my good God, my beautiful God, my mighty God, my ever-present God, Who was there then, is here now, and is still emptying me of myself and that's good. I became a follower of Christ right after college graduation when I realized I was exchanging my life for this world. Matthew 16:25. Fear of man. Fear of evil. Yet, what does it profit me if I gain the WHOLE WORLD and lose my soul. It has been decades of emptying me of myself. Every day, my Faithful Friend is filling me with Himself and that just simply blows me away.
The nightstand is about all I have left of my physical belongings as a child. From nightstands to new dawns, my Beautiful God is detaching me from dependence on anything but Him and Him ALONE. I'll tell you tomorrow one thing He is detaching me from. He is so good to us. So very good. The God who created EVERYTHING, the Uncreated One, is filling our empty spaces with HIMSELF.
Emptying Spaces...I wonder what empty spaces in your life He is filling with HIMSELF?
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 2:00 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Something just happened to me that I could tell you if you were sitting across from me with your cup of coffee. I just can't share it on a blog. I feel so beaten down. So hurt over what has happened. It is very hard to swallow what has happened to me. So, I called no one. I spoke to no one. I went to my good God. He brought to my mind this scene in a story---a story that has come to my mind OFTEN over this past year. It is an excerpt from The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:27 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Last night we arrived at my son’s first high school basketball game in a distant country town and we were 3 hours early…woohoo!...unusual for me as I struggle being late so much of the time…and Sonic was one block away…even better…so I cruised into Sonic alone…but I wasn’t Alone…
And I sat there and realized that I layed down my Bible to get into my SUV and didn’t pick the Book back up…oh no…then I remembered that I had a journal with me where I had been jotting down verses God had been speaking to me…soooooo…
I sat still and said to my beautiful God….would you just speak to me…would you just tell me Your Thoughts, higher than my thoughts. I’m listening and looking over these verses…
For the next couple of hours I just sat and listened and tried to still my wearied heart, my lonely heart…and my beautiful God so showed up…He is always right here if we just return, just come. Draw near to our good God…as it says in Hebrews 10:19-22 “Enter the Most Holy Place and draw near with a sincere heart cleansed from a guilty conscience.” “The Nearness of my God is my good.’
I read a quote by Spurgeon this morning about Deut 33 that said that when you think that underneath you are the Everlasting Arms, that the Hebrew word actually means God is above you, around you, and underneath you. Surrounded!
So I am sitting at Sonic surrounded by Sovereignty! Ohhh!
I don’t pretend to know my good sovereign God any better than you do but it seemed to me as I listened to Him that this is what I heard Him say to me…and I just loved every minute of it.
The first Sonic thought that came to me was that my awesome Holy God is changing me and it is so GOD. I am not the person I was last month much less last year. For just like a leper can’t heal himself, a leopard can’t change the spots on his coat, neither can we who are accustomed to doing evil, make a change. It seemed to me God was saying that He has given me unbelievable insight as our family has walked through the most difficult year of our lives. But, He whispered to me--- insight doesn’t change you…it’s God! It’s God who changes us and that can’t be explained in any other way. And I am so absolutely eternally unbelievable grateful to Him for changing me! I have thought so much this year about what causes really deep change…it’s happening to me and I am so so so grateful to my loving awesome holy beautiful God.
Then, it seemed to me at Sonic, maybe, that my glorious God was saying that He is putting in me a Strength that people cannot disrupt, nor destroy, nor dent…did you hear how I put “maybe.” I wouldn’t want you to think more highly of me than what is really there. But I am seeing that when people disrupt my peace or intimidate me, I am finding a Rest I have not known. My friend the other night hurt me so deeply and I shared with my friend how much that hurt but didn’t stop there…no one can disrupt us unless we let them. And I went on to find a REST in my sovereign God. Draw near to Him even when things are not going right…and a deep heart desire to have compassion on that person came… and love for them rose up in my heart as I repented of my old ways of making them feel bad about what they had done to me. Hosea 11:8 – “my heart is changed within me; my compassion is aroused and I will not carry out my fierce anger nor will I turn on them or devastate them.” Either we are advancing our own kingdom or advancing the Kingdom of our King.
And then the verse came to my mind---He is abundantly available in tight places as it says in one of the versions of Psalms 46:1 says ‘God is our Strength, a very present help in times of need.’ And, oh, how I need Him so in my desperation. And there is a shift occurring at Sonic, really in me, that instead of pitching my tent and camping out at how I feel, I am wondering how He feels about me…
I feel deserted…but He is delighting in me. Isaiah 62:4, 19
I am sought after by a Wise God…so put away the sin in my right hand Job 11:13---jealousy over what is happening for others, not for me. Too many thoughts like that have pranced in my mind this week. Isaiah 44:20 - "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"--- if I think that my good God is not making it happen for me or my children. What is life for me? Things working out. How curved in on my own thinking.
The Message in Ephesians 6 says that we are in a life & death fight to the finish. For keeps. And John 13:37 jumped out at me---God is bringing some blank spaces in my life...don't fill in the blanks. The verse says---"Why can't I?"...don't fill in the blank...
Open my eyes to receive - Acts 26:18
Hold my head up high, please, my sovereign good God Psalm 3:3
Still sitting at Sonic...but I'll have to tell you the Sonic conclusion tomorrow...I just came home from an hour morning walk on the Trinity River that made a surprising detour. I was listening to a podcast from John Piper on "The Glory of God" and was so absorbed in it that I walked and jogged 1 1/2 hours one way down the river and then I had to get back!!!!!!!! So my one hour walk/jog turned into a three-hour 10 mile walk. So, I am a little bit behind on today...but it was a great podcast! And I listened to all this new music I downloaded. I was the one on the Trinity Trail smiling, crying, and screaming on the inside with JOY to my Glorious God. He was all over that trail this morning!
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 2:57 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I received an e-mail from a guy whose name I did not recognize. He was writing to ask me if I would like to blog with him. I kind of thought that the name was somebody from our church. So, I clicked on his name on the e-mail to read his profile and UH OH! 843 posts FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY appeared on my blog---I guess it was a blog takeover. I'm not sure. It was called ONE WORLD and his blog was added to mine. It was full of pornography. Instantly weird pop-up's started flooding everywhere I went on my computer. It took a few hours to get his ONE WORLD blog off of my blog but the damage was done. By the end of that night, my computer crashed. My children tell me (!) not to open up any file from anyone that you don't know. And I usually don't....but this was innocent for I thought it was a church member blogging with me. Oh dear....we are looking for someone in our city to take a look at our computer to see if anything can be salvaged----years and years of word documents and files that can't be replaced. LESSON LEARNED: I won't open anything again from anyone I do not absolutely know.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 5:40 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:34 PM