Monday, December 31, 2007

Cover to Cover Chronologically .............Monday Mornings

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.

Adoring Him.
Confessing our "serial" sin.
Thanking HIM.
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 sixbrandons@sbcglobal.net 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.

GETTING STARTED:
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 sixbrandons@sbcglobal.net 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.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Book of Remembrance

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
Dan Allender
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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to You and Yours

Brit, Brooke, Bev, Bob, Blair, Barrett
Zechariah 2:10 says “I AM COMING and I will live among you, declares the Lord. You will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. Be STILL before the Lord, all humankind, because He has roused Himself from His Holy Dwelling.” And He became a child for us all that we might be set free. Free from ourselves. Free from this world. Invited to as intimate of a relationship as God has with His Son. John 17. Oh my! Anticipating a new year, we celebrate with you the birth of our beautiful Christ who is changing our world. The Word made flesh!

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 (sixbrandons@sbcglobal.net) 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
Filled with
Hope here
Hope laid up for you in Heaven,
Joy in your Jesus’ Presence, and a
Rendezvous with Rest like you have never known.
Glory to our beautiful God in the highest
Peace to you and your family
on whom His favor rests.
Luke 2:14.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Isn't He?

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
present Counselor
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

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Two Babies in a Manger

All 123 Orphans
at The House of Blessing
Tribal Children's Home
Have Been Sponsored!

I AM SPEECHLESS
TO THE BLOG WORLD
FOR YOUR RESPONSE TO MY SON'S REQUEST
TO BLESS 123 ORPHANS.
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.

Check back bloggers in January for an UPDATE
on the distribution of your gifts to these precious orphans.
TWO BABIES IN A MANGER
I'd like to share a true story with you about an orphan. About 100 boys and girls, who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program, were in the orphanage near the holiday season. They were about to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. The storyteller began with Mary and Joseph's arrival at Bethlehem. Finding no room at the inn, the couple were directed to a stable. There, the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger. Throughout the telling of the story, the children sat on their stools in amazement, trying to grasp every word. Each orphan was given three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins. Following the instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully layed strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from worn-out nightgowns, were used for baby blankets. The orphans were busy assembling their mangers as I walked among them to see if they needed any help.

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?

All He wants is all of you.
What is it that you want more than your beautiful God?
Keep Him warm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I'll Be Home for Christmas


I am crying just posting her picture! She's been gone for 19 months. Missionary in Thailand. Let me catch my breath...9 more days and she's HOME for Christmas. Hurry home, Brookie!
Brooke is okay from her accident. They had to stitch up her chin and her arm. She goes to a "jaw specialist" today---what is that? Brookie said that her "mothers" in Thailand have kept close watch on her ---all 50 of them. There's 84 volunteer teachers at Grace International, the school where she teaches---ISN'T THAT AMAZING!!! So, she's in good hands.

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!"
I asked Brooke if she had plastic surgery done on her face to which she went into a roaring fit of laughter for a few minutes. Evidently, they don't have plastic surgeons in the hospital where she was in Chiang-Mai. Brooke said that her roommate told her (Brooke was a little out of it during the stitches!) that the table they used to stitch her up was quite dirty. Oh my! Continue to pray for her healing.

This mom just wants to say thanks so much for praying for my girl who will touch on Texas turf in ten days. This mom is deeply touched by all of you---faithful bloggers---who have expressed such kindness to me and my family. This has been, by far, the most difficult year of my life. And, my beautiful God has shown up for me through you. I read I Samuel 3: 1-8 in my Quiet Time this morning. Samuel didn't recognize it was God calling out to him. Sometimes, I don't realize what my beautiful God is doing in my life. But, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. I am a little more free than I have ever been. I can't thank Him enough for doing this for me---the unexpected unannounced unbelievable...a new community of blogging friends who have stirred my soul deeply.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Please Lift Me from the Ash Heap and other Random Ramblings...

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!

Church productions in Fort Worth area are quite quintessential. The King riding in on various animals. On his blog today, Travis said they have elephants in the Christmas production he is doing tonight in Houston. Reminds me of the Easter pageant production Hattie did when King Jesus rode in on the spoofed horse who attacked us in the front row but the sturdy pews saved us. Now, if it had been those elephants---whoa!

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.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Pick Me"

UPDATE:
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.


My sister is a missionary in Chiang-Mai, Thailand. She teaches Special Ed at a missionary school there and she is involved in helping out at an orphanage called House of Blessing Tribal Children's Home. Most of the orphans are from the hill tribes of Thailand. About 20 are adopted each year. They are in a wonderful place at this orphanage that tells them about Jesus. Brooke is coming home for Christmas with an empty suitcase. I want to send back with her some fun stuff to the 123 orphans that she loves.

House of Blessing

Tribal Children's Home
I am looking for 123 people who would like to donate $10 per child. My sister and I will use your money to buy them a t-shirt, underwear, a toy, and a craft for them to do. All of the money you donate, will go directly to the orphan, not to anything else. We want you to pray for that orphan during the month of December. The orphans love real photos of real people. We want to send them a photo of you and your family if you give us permission to copy one off of your blog. And, if your kids want to color a picture for them and say "hello" that would be awesome. E-mail pictures by attachment to my mom's e-mail http://www.sixbrandons@sbcglobal.net/. My friend Levi and I are making crafts for each orphan.

Thank you for thinking about doing this. You can send the $10 per child to my sister by December 31st
Brooke Brandon
8112 Rush Street
Fort Worth, TX 76116

OR you can send us the money by PayPal (Beverly Brandon's PayPal Account. Just go to http://www.paypal.com/ and type in her e-mail address: sixbrandons@sbcglobal.net) and send the money online. Tell me the approximate age of the orphan you want to bless and pray for, and if you want a male or female. I'll try to match you up as close as possible and send you the NAME and PHOTO of the orphan so you can pray for them. Thank you so much.

I don't know if I can find 123 people to do this, but I am going to try. So, if you have a friend or two you think might want to be a part, send them to this post. Thank you so much! Britt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, this is the Mom writing now...it's Bev...

this morning I was going over Britt's memory verses with him. He is memorizing the 12th chapter of Romans for his Bible class and the verses he needed to know this morning were:

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12: 10,11. Well, here's a life lesson in doing just that. I love it that my children are so ready to help other people and that their teenage world is bigger than just themselves.

You may not be able to help out at this time but thanks for stopping by. You can whisper a prayer as you reflect on this. God is always listening to you.

We will keep this opportunity open the whole month of December. Most of these children have come from villages of no running water, no electricity---hill tribes. They are treated well here at the House of Blessing. If Britt raises more than $10 per child, then the rest of the money raised will go to meet the needs of this orphanage. Brooke travels back to Thailand January 6th. We'll post pictures of the giving of your gifts to these orphans.

So if you want to be a part,
LEAVE A COMMENT HERE ON THIS POST:
Tell Britt if you will send the money by mail or PayPal.
Do you want to bless and pray for a boy or girl. What age?
Visit back to THIS POST to see the name of your orphan.
We will e-mail you a photo of your orphan so you can pray for them.

Brooke's friend Heather is longing to adopt again and Brooke commented this week on Heather's blog that these orphans "can remember watching their friends' adoptions as they waited for parents to pick them. Many other sweet kids here just dream of being loved by a family." We know this is a very small way to express God's love. But, God is in this zeal to love, & you just never know what He might do! He takes care of His orphans.

Again, what we really need from you is 4 p's:

payment by mail or PayPal

pick age/sex of orphan

pray for that orphan during December

permission to copy a photo off of your blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

HE LEADS US BESIDE.............................................................QUIET WATERS........... Psalm 23:2

This summer, I went to a conference that is still changing my life...


I had breakfast with the speaker one morning and he told me to "go home and lead a quiet life." Live in such a way that you remain groaning in this world and longing for God to use you to advance His Kingdom. His thoughts to me on that cool Colorado summer morning still linger for it was my beautiful God speaking through Him into my life. I've thought long and hard this fall what that would mean for me, and how my good God would want me to respond to HIM.
I Thes. 4:11 - Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your hands...i t's the verse that usually comes to my mind. Then, I think of Isaiah 30:15-18, verses that have meant so much to me:

"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."

And 32:17 "the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

Beauty comes not from "outward adornment" but from within. I Peter 3:4-5 says when we put our "hope in God" it makes us beautiful. That inner self. The unfading beauty of a quiet spirit.
God changed me and is changing me through this guy's teachings as He brought God to me. Big ways. Small ways. It seems to me that God even led me to change the way I live in my house going through each room to get rid of stuff I have held on to. I am so grateful to my 25-year-old son who spent about 5 days of his first vacation ever as a college graduate going through rooms in our home, helping his mom to get free of stuff. Barrett gave away and threw away about 25 garbage bags from clothing to toys to pots & pans. Things I had held on to since we first married 28 years ago. Things I thought I could "use" some day. Things I thought I could sell or give away but had not done so yet. Barrett graduates this next week with an MBA, and he could have spent his Thanksgiving vacation taking a "break," but he did more for his mom than I could imagine.

Also, I am so grateful to my beautiful God for new friends who are willing to ask us HARD QUESTIONS about the ways we relate---about what is really going on in the core of our hearts. I don't want to miss my God. Don't want to live the rest of my life missing my husband---I want to live the rest of my life as sweethearts. Don't want to "miss" my friends---I want to receive love from them how they are giving it to me NOT how I expect them to give it to me. All we have is "this" moment. I long to hear my God knocking on my door and open it up for HIM. Long to keep my eyes off the waves and fixed on the One who walks on water. Long to be used by my beautiful God in whatever ways He wants to use me with one or one hundred. It's not about my ambitions; it's about my First Love.

You know, I may be wrong, but I realize that I don't even walk into a room the same way anymore...it seems to me that I am hopefully more aware of what is going on in the core of my heart. I went to Target tonight for toothpaste. I needed to use the restroom first. As I moved toward the Ladies Room, I was thinking about how much God has changed me this year that so much of the time now, I no longer "live for" what people think of me. I was absorbed in some good thoughts talking to my precious God. As I went into one of the stalls, my peripheral vision stopped me dead in my tracks. I panicked for I realized the people surrounding me were not women---THEY WERE MEN. Yikes! I was in the men's bathroom. I did the quickest about face without uttering a word. Okay, I will have to be a little more cognizant in the future in my quiet life of how I enter bathrooms.

Seriously, I wonder what it will look like for me to lead a quiet life? I so long to do the will of my beautiful God. I so long to love Him and be loved by Him in the deep places of my soul where He whispers and woos me. Our God is on the move. Joshua 3:10 - "This is how you will know the Living God is among you...your God will go ahead of you." A friend of my husband's says: "You cannot stay where you are and go with God." So very grateful today for God moving in my life, moving in your life, moving in the lives of those around us. I want to go with my good God. I don't want to stay where I am.
Lord, I lay my head on your lap to listen.
Let a woman learn
by listening quietly...
I Timothy 2:11

"I urge you that prayers be made for everyone that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." I Timothy 2:2

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving................................. Suk San Wan Khorp Khun Prajao!

Happy Thanksgiving to Brooke in Thailand from your awesome brother Barrett & Lauren who came from Nebraska...what a sweet girlfriend she is!

Suk San Wan Khorp Khun Prajao, Brookie.... from your Mom and Dad...my husband who is faithful and true and such a servant!
Happy Thanksgiving Brookie from your loyal loving sister Blair who flew in from Washington DC and her good friend Ryan who dropped by our house.

And where is our Brookie? It was a memorable moment for me this Thanksgiving Day. Pint-sized Carson suddenly realized our Brookie was missing. He came running down the stairs, threw his hands up in the air like this…

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.
Bev and Lauren @ Anthony's new home where we spent our Thanksgiving...
BIG NEWS! Anthony & Susanna are engaged to be married over Spring Break in Napa Valley, California. ..Barrett, Blair and I will get to go! Oh oh!!
Me and My faithful Sister, Syl. Happy Thanksgiving from Aunt Sylvia. She left today for six weeks in Germany with Teri & Allan---her daughter and son-in-law who are serving the U.S. at an Air Force base---it will be my first Christmas ever without her. We sure don't look alike. Look at how "big" my face looks compared to hers...LOL












Carson gave me first lessons in Wii Sports, something NEW for me...and then karaoke.
Watched the Dallas Cowboys WIN and go 11-1...whoa! At one point, they showed Texas Stadium filled with falling snow flurries...we all scrambled SO F-A-S-T to the door to witness SNOW...so were we in the same town or not? It was on the warm side where we were. I think we were CLOSE to seeing snow.
Happy Thanksgiving Brookie from Toni, my precious niece...you were dearly MISSED.......................................................................................................
Happy Thanksgiving Blog Land...you have NO IDEA how much you have encouraged me this year as we are in such transition, waiting to go back into the ministry. You have been like little arching bridges over dangerous frigid waters to my waiting God. He is our bridge. He is our home. And, you have so brought God to me! No "quick fixes" on this blogland just friends fanning the flame of my flickering faith in my dark days.
I have pondered and wept and lingered so much this week on all the things that have come my way, come to my mind in blog land that I am thankful for. i wrote them down and maybe I'll post them another time.
Above all else I am grateful to my beautiful God for
His Merciful Eyes on me
His Tender Hands supporting me
His Swift Feet running to my rescue over and over
His Haunting Breath that appears Unexpected Unannounced
His Attentive Ears to any word I utter before Him
His Forgiving Character
His Protective Nature fighting for me
His Unequaled Beauty enthralled with even me
His Friendship that will never walk out on me
His Matchless Love I will never lose.
Thank you, my Glorious Awesome Merciful Loving Sovereign Beautiful God
for Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord, my God
is with you
He is mighty to save.
He takes great delight in you.
He will quiet you with His Love.
He will rejoice over you with singing."
Oh! HE is! HE is!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Listening to my First Love's Voice................ at Walden's Pond

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.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TAG - You're It

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.

I TAG:
1. Holly
2. Brookie
3. Patty
4. Connie
5. Kim
6. Fran
7. Sue

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Cupboards are Bare

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!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blog Thing GiveAway

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...

EMPTYING SPACES


TRADING SPACES...it's a great show but life is different than trading spaces...sometimes I get the feeling that I am supposed to go the THE TRADING POST and trade my sorrow in for joy. Trade my pain in. But this life isn't about trading. It's about emptying.

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
EMPTY SOUL
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?


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tell Me Your Sorrows

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.

And being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks. What put a stop to this was a sudden fright. Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch black and he could see nothing. And The Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale...
"Who are you?" the boy said, scarcely above a whisper.
"One who has waited long for you to speak," replied The Thing.

To which the boy replied: Man! "I am the unluckiest person in the whole world."
Once more he felt the warm breath of the Thing on his hand and face.

“There,” The Thing said, “that is not the breath of a ghost."
"TELL ME YOUR SORROWS,” - spoke Aslan. "I do not call you unfortunate," said the Large Voice.

And the boy retorted---"Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?"

"There was only one lion," spoke Aslan.

"How do you know?

"I was the lion."

This scene from the pen of C.S. Lewis lives in my memory and I wonder why?
Is it because...
my God has waited long for me to speak to Him first before I go to family, to friends for comfort and care...

Is it because...
I feel unfortunate at times with the amount of things I've had to go through. My list would be so long from childhood trauma to gang rape to multiple miscarriages to losing the church position we loved so much...

Is it because...
His warm breath on my hand and face shows up so unexpectedly for me...and this year it has been wholly holy haunting all the time.
This morning that Breath was all over me when I crossed the bridge on our way to school with my son sitting next to me. I grabbed his huge hand (he's 6'4") and I began to weep in repentance over this thing He had brought to my mind. He sweetly kissed me back wondering once again why his mom was crying...it's a frequent occurrence around me. He sees my God showing up for me so much. And my tears this morning were ones of such gratitude. No bitter tears running down my face. Sorrow-filled tears that my God is wiping away. Off to the gym to walk and it happened again on the treadmill of all places---the Warm Breath on my face, and I knew it was my good God coming to me.
There is only one lion in my life and He was there in all of my sorrows, in all of my joys. He was there when I was raped. He was there when I looked at death square in the eyes. I didn't think He was. But he was There.
And I know that Breath, that Hand on my face this morning. So, I'll keep on telling Him the sorrows in my heart. This may be a desert time for me as it says in Jeremiah 31:1---may I find His Favor in this desert for He comes to give me REST. I am finding a rest I have never had. And, verses 10-14 say: hear the Word for me today for it is my Good Shepherd WHO is watching over me, redeeming me from the hand of those who are stronger than I. Oh my, how true! I rejoice in my God for my Good Shepherd is turning my mourning into gladness. "I will give you comfort and joy instead of sorrow." (v. 13) Only my Good God can do that. Such craziness--- I have a little bit more joy this morning in the midst of my sorrows. Sorrow and joy mingle friendly in my heart. In fact, I'm even dancing in my heart! There is only One God, One Lion. And, yes, He is always on the move. May you sense His Breath, His Hand on you this very day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sitting at Sonic Surrounded by Sovereignty

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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

COMPUTER CRASHED

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.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?"


"What rules your heart more than the love of Christ?" asked my good friend. Oh my goodness, I thought, nothing I hope. "I think, Bev, there is something that you want more than love." It was a good conversation between good friends. A challenge for me to think about what I was really saying and thinking and doing and living.

What do I want more than love? I have all of Christ's love and I can never ever lose that Love. So what is that I was communicating that I wanted more than Love and my friend could see it. What something more than drawing near to my good God could I want? I asked my Lord to show me and He did. He really did! And it is His Kindness that leads us to repentance! Romans 2:4.
Throughout my life I have wanted to be special. Wanted to be recognized. Wanted to find my worth not in God alone but in what I accomplished. A powerful ministry, a great marriage, great children. Good goals but was that my ruling passion? I attached myself to strong, powerful people like my husband and other successful people. It took suffering to see that I was an idolater. Attachaholic! God never intended for me to be dependent on anyone but Him. God never intended that I find my worth in anything else but Him. He alone can fill this empty heart of mine. And, the things I tried to fill it with didn't satisfy, for it was a broken cistern, Jeremiah 2:13--- and broken jugs don't hold Living Water. Just like the woman at the well...she didn't know she was thirsty says John 4:10..."if you knew Who it was that asks you for a drink," Jesus said to the woman--- you would have been all over Me and I would have given you Living Water! "What do you want?" asks Jesus.
"We deceive ourselves to believe we are living the Christian life, but we are following a Christianized version of the 'old way' ". It was a quote I heard at a conference I went to this summer. "What is your ruling passion? Is it for impact, vision, church growth, my goals OR is it to bring pleasure to the Heart of your God and that Christ be formed in you?" C.S. Lewis calls it "making little Christ's."

These thoughts came from my QT this morning as I read Deuteronomy 29 - 32. Open my mind to understand, my eyes to see, my ears to hear. May I remember what you did for me in my desert when my clothes never wore out nor the sandals on my feet---for 40 years. Deut. 29:5. That's some shoes! Some God!

And if there is anything in me that wants something more than the love of Christ, free me of that my dear Heavenly Father that I may only attach myself to you and You Alone! And if there is a "lie I am holding in my right hand" --- Isaiah 44:20 --- you, mighty God, will show even that to me. Just like you did to the mother of the sons of Zebedee in Matthew 20:20-28..."What do you want dear mother?" asked Jesus. And she replied that she wanted a special place for her sons. Jesus didn't blast the woman---He simply said that if you want to be great in God's kingdom, be a servant. Don't think that success is being aligned only with those who are powerful, those who are a success. Even when you have done anything to the least---you have done it to Me. There are no big people and little people in this Christian world. We are servants of the Most High.

On my way to San Antonio for the State Cross Country Championships. It took me 11 hours to get here, a 5-hour ride---LOL...I stopped at Sonic, Starbucks, Seven-Eleven, Braum's, Tex-Mex, and the Outlet Mall! And I listened to 6 DVD's in the car that so touched my soul!!!!

Britt runs three miles on Saturday morning about 12:30pm...pray for him. He has been injured this whole season and has just recently recovered from a pelvic injury. He won't be running at 100%. He would have had a great shot at All State but I'm just happy for him that he is willing to try to do his best playing without a full deck. That builds character in our teens. Life isn't all about winning, anyway. And I am grateful for a sixteen year old little fella that doesn't want the applause of men more than the attention of His Christ. Have a great weekend! See you in San Antonio!

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home
"Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." Matthew 18:5 We have posted pictures of the orphans receiving their gifts from you. Scroll down to the post entitled "Today Was the Big Day." Many orphans didn't own anything of their own, but now do, because of you.

My Family

My Family
Britt, Blair, Bev, Bob, Brooke, Barrett

Contact

I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
sixbrandons@gmail.com
I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.

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