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 to join us.

As you read your Bible this year, your Bible will read you.
This is a little different invitation than'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 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, 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


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

Breaking Free by Beth Moore
My Utmost for His Highest by O.C.

Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible - AMG Publishers
A Year with C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from his Classic Works

God Uses Cracked Pots by Patsy Clairmont

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.


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

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 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 ( 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!


Check back bloggers in January for an UPDATE
on the distribution of your gifts to these precious orphans.
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"

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 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 and type in her e-mail address: 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'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,
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

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


I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
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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