Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 7:02 PM
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 6:53 PM
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:51 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:00 PM
Monday, April 9, 2007
The worship this weekend was out of this world for me and it's mind-boggling to think we will worship our awesome God for all Eternity. God spoke to me powerfully through Matt Chandler in Romans 8:33---who can bring a charge against me? Verse 34...My Christ is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for me right now and how I needed that last night when two horrifying dreams invaded my peaceful sleep and awakened me in tear-filled terror.
I heard Ephesians 1:19 so many times this Easter weekend that I was awestruck that I knew it had to be my God speaking to me. I went to six services---that sounds radical or something---but I couldn't get enough of Easter worship of our King of endless worth. I heard He was showing up. Remember, Mary showed up with her alabaster box when she heard He was at that place. I'd go to church today, Easter Monday, if I could find a worship service. Eph. 1:19 says it's all about His Resurrection power and it is that very same power I have been given to cling to Him and not worthless stuff (Jonah 2:8) and given that same kind of power to help me live driven by values and passion and love. He makes it happen or do we think that we began in the Spirit and can accomplish our goals by human efforts---Galatians 3:3?
We braved the snow this Easter weekend, wore our Easter winter clothes, froze while hiding eggs, dined with the relatives on Easter Creme Brulee with prime rib, loved every minute with the little cousins, and ate crawfish with the Easter Bunny. But the best part of everything was believing God that He is changing our lives by His Power and getting to worship our resurrected Lord. What a privilege this Easter weekend was to worship Him. Oh my! "Worthy Is The Lamb!"
Friday, April 6, 2007
Good Friday...my Easter weekend has started with a flame...
I went to Good Friday services this morning...there were seven stations set up to connect us with our glorious God. I was so glad I showed up at the service...but more than all, my God showed up for me. But it was Station #6 where things got a little out of control. I walked up to Station #6 thinking "I can't do anything right...I can't even worship right and I am not doing these stations like I should be doing them---kinda beating up on myself and it's Good Friday and this is about God, not about me." As I listened to Chris Tomlin's The Power of the Cross on my headset, I was so convictingly caught up in the moment. But then arrives a nano-second smell of fire and I opened my eyes and looked up. OH MY WORD!!!! When I pulled one of the wires connecting all eight headsets to the computer closer to me, I positioned the wire right over the flame of the candle. The wire burned up and the headset was buring in a flame about 12 inches high. I sucked all the air out of the Edna Gladney Adoption Center room as I opened my eyes and screamed out for help. My husband is not one to panic after living with me for 28 years (I HAVE BEEN FAR TOO DRAMATIC WITH LIFE) and he was at Station #5 and HE DIDN'T MOVE, not a blink not a wink, kind of looking at me a little bit wondering what the wife was doing---he brings me out to this nice building to worship and I'm over there sucking air and gasping for help setting stuff on fire. He said afterwards that his glasses were not "on" and he couldn't see---OKAY. SO, I grabbed something and started beating the fire out and it immediately went out, thankfully. All I could think at that point was how much is this going to cost us???? The headset was damaged beyond repair, melted into oblivion but was the computer okay?? Oh dear me. Isn't it amazing how we go to worship God and He speaks to us and shows up in the fire. Hey, I am not putting myself in the same sentence with a burning bush, believe me. I just hope Jeremiah 20:9 that somehow His Word would be a burning fire in our hearts every day. The last station, we were supposed to be creative and do something with worship---there were a bunch of crayons and quotes and crying and creative stuff and....I just wanted to get out unnoticed and pay for the damages. So I asked God to give me some words of what just transpired and this is what He spoke to me as I wrote the following letter to God and reflected on my seven stations on Good Friday morning...
Looking for answers in everyone's faces, no more! Looking for my God Who is showing up and rising up in the Faces of Others.
Learning to WAIT for my loving God for immersion of my life in Himself, not His blessings.
Loathing Evil raising its Head right now while I read "Everything begins with God...He's 10,000 times more worthy than Anyone or Anything."
Longing never to FORGET or FORFEIT the Grace of God by clinging to worthless stuff as He says in the prayer in Jonah 2:9.
Letting Go of trying to do the Right Things even this moment instead of just showing up for you my ever-present God.
Lavishing LOVE on my GOOD GOD while I sing "How Great Thou Art" knowing it was the first song I ever sang to You 28 years ago.
Living to matter to Someone, living wanting to be Special, living to be Recognized by anyone....I give all that stuff up this moment to willingly enter a Sweet Death, knowing you already died for all of this.
Laying down choosing to be safe rather than suffering; laying down choosing to hide in my heart rather than Enter this moment, Embrace my God, Enter Me. Losing my life. Come to Me you who are weary & burdened. Matthew 11:28.
Lifting up my Eyes to you my God...Psalm 123:1-3...just as the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their masters...our eyes look to you till you show us Mercy.
Looking no more into the faces of my world for my worth, my dignity, and my identity. Looking into the Face of my God. The mirrors in which I daily look distort who I am. Lifting my eyes, I must look to Him Unseen (II Cor. 4:18) and let Hope hold my hand.
Can't wait to go to the next Easter service tonight! and tomorrow! and Sunday! I hope I won't be too disruptive! This is one awesome weekend to worship our Resurrected Savior!!! And we get to do this for the rest of our lives throughout Eternity!
Monday, April 2, 2007
well, it's another 4-H story...
Britt enters 2007 4-H non-livestock in culinary and in horticulture...
In culinary, Britt makes cookie recipe where you mix 7 ingredients (he's not a chef but he did win Grand Champion once before and we don't know how)...so Britt retrieves recipe when timer goes off...uh oh!...
liquid cookies...since there are no soup categories, I say to the cookie chef: "I am so sorry, but you are going to have to throw those cookies away and there goes your entry. The judges can't drink the cookies." We laughed and went to bed to awaken to congealed cookies in the a.m. and the dog didn't eat them this time. "Just turn it in, Britt. They don't quite look like cookies but you were faithful to enter a look-alike."
I drove him down to the cultural district's barnyards. We watched the peacock proud competitors gingerly handling their concoctions with care and hopes of winning! No culinary hope here. Now, horticulture---he might take that category. Britt carried his horticulture creations and instructed me to carry the culinary look-alike spongey cookies. He would feel no shame walking side by side next to some striking cakes. Uh oh! I couldn't find the cookies on the back seat of our van...they were GONE. Sprawled on the 4-H floor of my van but still completely covered in 4-H Saran wrap. I turned them in surreptitiously among the sheep and goats and plants. "What's that? refering to the culinary unrecognizable entry." I changed the subject...and someone else asked: "Why are you carrying in your horticulture today Britt---the contest was yesterday." Uh oh! I forgot to give him the non-livestock rules the school handed me last week that were buried in my stack of URGENT! important papers to read. Britt was sick the last 4-H meeting so I was responsible to get him the word. So Britt performs this 4-H horticulture project from August to March and I forget to give him the horticulture deadline and rules. All he has to turn in and compete is liquid cookies.
Okay, I am beating up on myself at this immediate point. Britt laughs it off. But mom is left with no laughter. So, I went for a walk with Jesus. Angry with myself. I turned a corner and there were 43 white bud trees lined up in a perfect row of whispering clouds calling to me. I ran the straight line under all 43 tree creations flanked by a sea of infant blue skies and held my hand high barely touching each tree, brushing up against what took my breath away, all the while beating myself up for forgetting. The feint flowers fell on my head, my arms, the calfs of my legs. A mist of white fish flakes falling floating freely. Caught up in a moment of reality. Why am I so concerned about accomplishment? What's my ruling passion here? A piece of God is falling on me and I'm praying but lost in achievement not in peace. A silent shift begins to occur. How does that happen?? You know something one second you didn't know the second before... I sat and sat and sobbed and sobbed over my pull to perform. Why don't I get it? I wrestled with where I was. Surrender, Bev...I feel so adolescent at times. (Wait...I'm beating myself up again right now.) I entered in with God what was really happening in my heart that moment. A piece of peace entered my soul. I tearlessly jogged back to the barnyards, a little more free than my opening run. I ran smack dab into the Junior Livestock Show Director who pulled me aside...your son was DQ'd from Horticulture but Brit won Grand Champion of the Cookie Division. You are kidding, right? The liquid cookies? The look-alikes? I replied to her that they couldn't have judged on "looks" this year. She commented back that they tasted the best, and didn't you think they tasted succulent, just scrumptious? "No, we never even tasted them, they looked so bad...Britt almost threw them away," I replied. And Mrs. Lee says to me---by the way---you have a tiny flower in your hair and she moves to remove it. "NO! Leave it there...it's my reminder that my God showed up for me and shifted me to a better place when I was beating myself up over the horticulture debaucle." I quickly looked for Britt to tell him the good news and watch his unbelieving face respond cause he knew the auction would yield him monetary results---he would auction the dropped liquid look-alikes off the next morning for $650.00. "Mom, you don't mean it...the liquid cookies won everything??? And, Mom, did you know that you have a flower in your hair...let me get it out for you." "No! Leave it there for awhile..it is my reminder that I walked away from beating myself up this morning before I learned of your unexpected achievement. But, it was not because of how strong I am"...not by our will but by His mercy, His kindness whether we win or not. Romans 2:4 - His Kindness leads us to repentance from the passions that rule my heart---something in me wants so badly to be recognized. And it always raises its Head. It's a deep accusation from the Accuser---a lie that I don't matter and need to fill my life with things that matter. Demands fill my space with right living/performance and God is setting me free from that. I found a petite piece of Peace at 4-H on this day. Hey Britt, you are going to have to make those $650 congealed champion cookies again so we can all taste them this time.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 9:35 PM