Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

Job 8-31

The chronological reading for the second week is JOB Chapters 8 through 31…As you read through those verses that literally jump off the pages, pray those truths back to our Good God who is present in all of our suffering. Job suffered in the same ways that we all suffer today: loss of family, loss of finances, loss of health

“Suffering calls our lives into question, not God’s. The tables are turned: God-Alive is present to us. God is speaking to us.” Eugene Peterson

Are we listening? “If it is true that God is speaking, than nothing matters more than listening.” Brennan Manning.

And praying what is true right back to HIM for WHOM we live and breathe and move. Acts 17:28
Return to your God. Wait for Him continually. Expect Him to do much. Hosea 12:6
That’s what twenty of us have been doing this week. Expecting their good God TO DO MUCH as they meet Him in the Book of Job and pray through the Bible.

The twenty are: Annette, Helen, Jen, Jenny Hope, Holly, Fran, ‘Nise, Patty, Deborah, Jean, Alana, Mary Lou, Lindsee, Denise, Angie, Sharon, Kim, Shonda, Bob & Bev (anyone can still join us, just e-mail me)

“Sufferers attract fixers the way roadkill attracts vultures.” wrote Eugene Peterson. People are lightning speed quick to jump in and tell us what we need to do to “fix” our lives…exactly what went wrong, and how to make life better. Sometimes they are way too quick to apply the bandaid of the Word of God to our wounds. Like Job’s friends, our friends sometimes give answers that hold truth but are void of a personal relationship with their good God. Or, sometimes, our friends give answers that reduce Mystery to explanation. “Intellect without Intimacy.”

Those of you who are in this chronological study, scroll down NOW to the COMMENTS section and share with all of us….
What lingers with you from Job 8-31?
What stirred in your heart as you read these passages?

Let’s take a look at Job 8 through 31 to hear Job’s well-intentioned friends meaningless talk…and to hear what Love’s Silent Voice is saying in the midst of suffering…
You may want to print the theme verses from each of the chapters we read. Let the Truth sink deep into our hearts by getting out of the way of controlling and directing our lives. Let the Author do that today.

Bildad speaks:
Job 8:4 – “When your children sinned against Him, He gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” Bildad’s conviction is not true that Job’s children perished because of their sin
Job 8: 5,6 – “If you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now He will rouse Himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.” Bildad’s belief that God brings blessings to the righteous and punishment to the wicked, this is simply not true.

Job replied:
Job 9: 2 “How can a mortal be righteous before God though one wishes to dispute with Him.” Man is not righteous by what he does. What is true is for Job and all of us is that God is the One Who makes us righteous.
Job 9:4 “His wisdom is profound, His power is vast, Who has resisted Him and come out unscathed?....He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Even in midst of loathing his life, Job concludes the truth that God’s wisdom is profound.
Job 9:15 - :”I can only plead with my Judge for mercy.” What is true is that Job recognizes his need for God’s mercy
Job 10:1 “I loathe my very life; therefore, I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” What is true is that Job had done nothing to warrant the affliction he was receiving.
Job 10:4 “Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees? Are your days like those of a mortal or are your years like those of a man” What is true is that Job insists he had nothing to do with bringing on the afflictions.
Job 10:12 “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. It is true that God is always present.
Job 10:14 –“If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.” What is true is that Job didn’t do anything worthy of affliction he was going through.

Zophar speaks:
Job 11:13 – “If you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, you will lift up your face without shame and you will stand firm and without fear, and you will surely forget your trouble, and life will be brighter.” What is true is Zophar’s statement that the only hope for Job is repentance and life may not get brighter.
Job 11:20 “Escape eludes the eyes of the wicked.” What is true is that the wicked cannot escape. They may escape from the consequences of sin but not sin itself.
Job 11:14-20 – “If you do these things, you will stand firm without fear…life will be brighter….you will be secure in hop and rest in safety. What is true is that Job’s friends think Job needs a change in heart.

Job replied:
Job 12:11 – “Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food.” What is true is happening in the fray of our heart. What stirs inside of me as I hear these words?
Job 12:4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends though I called upon God and he answered.”
Job 13:1 “My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it. What you know, I also know. I am not inferior to you. But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.” Would it be true to present your case before God? When asked about his cancer, Francis Schaeffer said that it was entirely unbecoming to demand anything in the face of Almighty God.
Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him.” Despite the fact that Job’s affliction is unexplainable, Job states that he will trust in God and that is always the truth no matter what the hand of the Almighty allows.
Job 14:19 “As water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man’s hope.” What is true is that Job’s accusers destroy his hope rather than offer hope.

Eliphaz speaks:
Job 15:5 – “Your sin, Job, prompts your mouth. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine.” What is true is that there is no vindication by God from accusations of Job’s friends.
Job 15:11,12 – “Are God’s consolations not enough for you…why has your heart carried you away so that you vent your rage against God?” What is true is that there is no correlation between amount of wrong we commit and amount of pain we experience
Job 15:25 “Because you shake your fist at God and vaunt yourself against the Almighty

Job replied:
Job 16:5 – “If you were in my place, my mouth would encourage you.” What is true is that Job believed he would not treat his friends like Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar did. Out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. You cannot offer what you don’t have.
Job 16:16,17 – “My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes, yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.” The truth is that Job did not follow his wife’s advice to curse God.
Job 17:4 – “God has closed their minds to understanding.” It is true that God is the One who opens our minds. Pray to Him today that your mind be opened.

Bildad speaks:
Job 18:3 – “Why are we considered stupid in your sight?”
Job 18:21 – “This is the place of one who knows not God.” It is true that Job’s internal conflict crescendos to its height in this chapter over the conclusion that Job’s sin has made him worthy of these afflictions.

Job replied:
Job 19:2 – “How long will you crush me with words?...God has wronged me…there is no justice…all acquaintances are estranged….my breath is offensive to my wife…have pity on me for the Hand of God has struck me.” What is true is that Job believes God has turned against him without cause.
Job 19:15 – “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, I will see God.” What is true is that Job’s Redeemer lives today for Job not for the day when he dies. What is true for Job is that God alone is his Redeemer who will defend him from the false accusations. Job still does not recognize that suffering in Christ followers comes from the hands of a loving God.

Zophar speaks:

Job 20:2 – “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer. I hear a rebuke that dishonors me.” What is true is that Job’s friends do not have intimacy with their God like Job does. They are arrogant and haughty.

Job replied:
Job 21:9 – “The home of the wicked is safe and free from fear and they go to the grave in peace saying to God ‘Leave us alone.’ “ The truth is what the wicked believe is false.

Eliphaz speaks:
Job 22:2 – “Can a man be of pleasure to God? What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?” What is true is that this friend believes all who suffer do so according to the measure of their sins.

Job replied:
Job 23:3,4 – “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling. I would state my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments.” It is true that Job demands an audience with the Almighty.
Job 23:10-12 – “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps. I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips. I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” It is the truth that even in Job’s immense doubt of God’s presence, Job confidently states that God is working in his life.
Job 24:23 – “God may let you rest in a feeling of security, but His eyes are on your ways.” The truth is there is no rest in places in our heart if our ways are not God’s ways.
Job 26:14 – “Who can understand the thunder of His power?”
Job 27:2 – “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty who has made me taste bitterness of soul…I will not speak wickedness.” What is true is that Job chooses to walk uprightly in character.
Job 28:20, 23, 28 – “Where does wisdom come from? God understands the way to it and He alone. The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” The truth is wisdom comes only from God not from right living.
Job 29:2-4 – “How I long for the months gone by , for the days when God watched over me when by His light I walked through darkness, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me.” The truth is that God is with you Job now. Will Job accept prosperity and not affliction from the same hand of a loving God?
Job 30:15 – “My life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me.” What is true is that your momentary light affliction is working a far greater weight of glory.
Job 31:4 – “Does God not see my ways and count my every step?” The truth is that the eyes of the Lord run back and forth throughout the earth this moment to show Himself strong to you. II Chron 16:9
Job 31:35 – “I sign my defense. Let the Almighty answer me.”

When we completely finish the reading of a book, then I will post a prayer to God of truths from that book. His word hammers and heals. May His Word burn in your hearts this week and soften the beliefs you hold too dear that need to change. Thank you so much for being a part of this in whatever way you can each week.

43 comments:

Ang baylis 1/14/2008  

I just have to start out by saying this is my first time reading the Bible from cover to cover. I have to admit it’s a little intimidating for me. I think Satan wants me to think I am too dumb to understand it and that it’s just too much of a commitment, I will get behind and not be able to catch up. Well, I am stubborn and I am not a quitter. So even though I may not “get it” all I am going to try. The thing that stirred up in me was how much I have been confused about how much it seems like non-Christians seem to prosper here on earth. (I am thinking about my ex-husband who seems to have it all here but doesn’t have God. It has bothered me but I know life is not fair. When I feel sorry for myself about my divorce from my wealthy ex-husband I can quickly be reminded that if it weren’t for my divorce, I wouldn’t have God. I was looking to my friends to explain why I had to go through it, but I had to go to God for the truth! My life doesn’t compare to Job. I lost the perfect family that I had always hoped for but I gained so much more. I am amazed that God brought me to Job right away. Also, in Job 30 Job feels like God doesn’t hear him. I think we’ve all felt like that at some time in our life. The truth is He is always here! I'm praying for all of you! Thanks, Bev for doing this for us!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Nise' 1/14/2008  

Reading the conversations Job is having with his friend this week continues to speak to me about how I interact/react with my friends. Am I listening to what they have to say. Am I quick to jump in with what I think is the answer. Is my advice what God would have me give? Do I hear what they are really saying? Do I want to give up on them when they don't "get it" like I think they should?

What about what my friends are saying to me? Do I hear the truth or just what I want to hear.

The purposeful thinking about these questions this week and reflection upon the Word has benefited me in that I have stopped before I spoke too soon and said something I would regret later more than once this week.

Patty 1/14/2008  

Good Morning All!
What a way to start off the week! God has led me to write about 3 different sections from our reading this week. In Job 16:19-21 and actually something caught my eye as I was re-reading this part, look at verse 18, O earth, do not cover my blood and may my cry never be laid to rest. This cross references back to Genesis 4 :10 when God told Cain to listen, his brother's blood cried out to Him, Job knew and we can to, that when an injustice has been done to us God sees and hears it all. Moving on to verses 19-21, Job goes on to say (vs. 21) on behalf of a man he pleads with God, the pleading would be for a verdict of innocence on behalf of a friend or neighbor in a court setting before a judge or king. God anticipated the need of an advocate and He provided One in the person of Jesus Christ.(1 Tim 2;5, 1 John 2:1,2) Jesus is our Witness, Advocate, Intercessor and our Friend. Always making intercession for us!!
Job 19:23-29, At the point of Job's greatest despair, his faith appeared at it's highest as he confidentally affirmed that God was his Redeemer. This part reminded me of (1 Peter 1:6-7) In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials (vs.7) These have come so that your faith -of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. This was Job's faith being proved genuine as is ours through our trials and hardships in life. It is during these times we must forsake all and trust Him!
The great lesson of the book of Job:Trust sovereign God when you can't understand why things go badly in life.
Lastly, As I was thinking of Job and his friends and their conversations I thought of this scripture, James 5: 9-11, Don't grumble against each other , brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door. skipping down to verse 11, As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perservance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. May we rush to pray for each other in our difficult times and don't try and figure the why's of our friends suffering and on the other side, may we rush to pray to God, who has all the answers and who has the strength to give us in each season He appoints for us. I believe if we did this we would see more unity in the body of Christ.
Have a blessed and wonderful day!!
Love,
Patty

annie's eyes 1/14/2008  

I am so convinced this is where God wants me to be right now and as I read your comments, I thought how each one of us is gleaning so much and they are heart things, not head. I love that. Job kind of wears me out. I think about his friends (hmm-acquaintances?) and wonder if they mean well or just like to hear themselves speak of the things they know of God, without any thought to how it is affecting Job. These guys are hard on Job, and I look at my own counsel to my friends. I pray I put love first, speaking "the truth in love," not with the harshness and conviction but just as Jesus did, where you walk away and feel so much better and relieved not downcast and judged. I am struck by the beginning in Ch. 8 this week--two verses, "though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." He's still God, and Job though he is not being judged in his sin, seems self righteous about it--There is a defensiveness that comes from others' harsh judgment. Something rises in us to say, I didn't deserve that. Yet Job goes to God. He still knows everything the sun and the rain all come from Him.

And the other verse that absolutely reduces me to tears is Job's understanding at the end of Chapter 8, "For I know my Redeemer lives..and in my flesh I will see God." He desperately needs a comforter but even worse he needs a redeemer, and Job understands that God will take those awful things that have happened to him and REDEEM them to good. Here he is with pain and fleshly wounds that are eating his skin, and he knows in his restored flesh, he will see God. And I pray that we all know, even in our affliction, right where we are, we will see God, and believe Him for our Truth, and no one else.

So much more, but this is what lingers. This is what joys my heart this morning. Thanks for letting me come on this journey with each of you. You already have blessed me more than you know. Your comments last week were so rich and touched me. Blessings, Annette

helenw13 1/14/2008  

Good morning all...First I wanted to say thank you for all the prayers for my dad...I was so touched to get your emails and to know you were praying for my parents...they say thank you as well and may God bless you. He has some final tests today but should be released later in the day.

If you want to read my complete thoughts on this past week, you can click onto my blog...it seems too long to write all here.
Am I the only one that struggled a bit to get through these chapters...it was hard to hear the critical comments of Job's friends. Like nise', I have been thinking about my friendships as well and desiring to be an encouragement and not a wagging finger and also not to grow weary with long term hardship. Job called his friends "miserable comforters" (16:2) He also says that if he were in their place this would be his response..."But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief." (16:5)
What I was really touched by in reading this week was despite Job's suffering these are the words that he used to describe his God: "Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend." (16:19,20)
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." (19:25)
And he knew this reality: "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." (23:10)
In times of intense and long term suffering, it is important to remember who God is, so that we can focus on the never changing nature and character of God to stand up against what we see and hear all about us.

Mary Lou 1/14/2008  

Job has always been hard for me to read, but with the intense testing that my husband and I have been going thru the last two years especially, it's almost impossible for me to read Job. I have found myself saying way more than once "though He slay, yet will I hope in Him." I want to be one that will always trust Him no matter what is going on in my life. I also desire to not be like Job's friends and destroy others hope but that my words would always offer hope and point them to the One who is our source of hope. Job 23:10-12 spoke loudly to my heart.....that I will come forth as gold when He has tested me and that I would keep His ways. I have searched and asked Him to reveal to me the "source" or "reason" for our testing and He has been more or less silent and then I found some answers in Elisabeth Elliot's A Pathway Thru Suffering....ours is not a physical testing but financial....yet I feel most of those scriptures apply. He truly is a great God who hears and answers our prayers. Job is such a wonderful example of trusting and praising Him no matter the circumstances....I have a feeling that Job's worship got to be like mine has....much sweeter and so much closer....I have to sing and raise my hands in praise or I would burst at times. All of you are being a great encouragement to me with your insight and wisdom. May we lift each other up daily.

Fran 1/14/2008  

Hi sweet friends...
Something, well several things stuck out, but I want to comment on the old Fran. I heard myself in Zophar's comments to Job in Ch. 11.

I used to be the "know it all" and had a thought and opinion for everyone. I used to be the one with the answer for everything. And, I was usually not the one who was thinking about their unique situation or the depths of what was going on. I would just rattle off a very arrogant answer or thought.

So, it broke my heart to read about all of their responses to Job. But, we have probably all been there at some point.

This caused me to just give thanks for how far I've come. The old Fran was not a pretty one. "Thank you Jesus for showing me the truth and giving me the courage to change. Even when I didn't know what I needed to change."

Blessings everyone. I'm praying for all of us. Love to all~
Fran

Sharon 1/14/2008  

Phew! Really, this day has been wild.
But I am here!
Good afternoon thank you again for keeping us on tract and walking with us as we seek to know Him better.I WANT TO SEE HIS FACE!
Without a vision the people perish.

God has been dealing with me on listening and on being silent. Being silent so that I can listen for the sound of His voice amongst all the other voices.
Last week I thought about how often I had been Job's friends to other people.
And this week I began to wonder in my thought life how many times I have been Job's friends to my inner self(my soul man).
Kind of like a multiple personality person. So many voices. (One of my close friends tells me I think too much) Jumping from one answer to another trying to solve issues in my life. Many of the things I tell myself are probably truths--but are they God's truth for me at that time?
In these scriptures there was a whole lot of man's words flying around---many words and not much wisdom for the moment.
So this week was a reminder that I don't know it all. DUH! And I have been taught that lesson before. How soon I forget.
That I need to remain silent in my mind so that I can hear Him. That trying to figure it out can sometimes take you down a path where you eventually have to have a face to face sit down with God.
And that sit down taking place--for those reasons--would not be a good thing.
Although in Job's instance it was.
O.k--no deep words here. But God talked to me this week--what a sweet sound. I have seen some miraculous things transpire in the last 24 hours--this is a good path. I can't see the other side of the valley or the hill--but I am moving on!
Thank you for reading my ramble. :)

Alana 1/14/2008  

Wow, some really great insights, here! First, I need to confess that I am a couple of chapters behind, but I will catch up, I promise!

I don't have much to say, except that Job's "friends" are really annoying me!

What is even more annoying is that I'm pretty sure I've been a friend like that before. Even if I didn't say out loud some of those things, I might have thought them.

I like what Nise' had to say...

"Is my advice what God would have me give?"

An extremely important question that I often fail to ask before speaking.

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God 1/14/2008  

I was one of those that had the answer before you finished with what you had to say... not very good...

Now, I listen.. really listen.. not just to what is said, but how it is said... looking someone in the eyes... connecting...

it's not about me but about then...

how to be a friend.. how to be what God wants me to be...

How could anyone not love, passionately love the Word of God?

Love you Bev...

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Angie,
You are so precious Angie, so precious. I hear such a tender heart, such a humble heart, and I hear a God on the move in your life. And that’s so exciting. A God on the move. Ooohh! That gives me the chills. Hey, we’ll all deal with finishing what we started cause the enemy of our soul is going to be knocking on our doors! Hey, we all will deal with trying to understand the text. But it’s your God speaking just to you. His love letters to Angie. So, we wouldn’t know what He is saying to you. Only you do. He is opening your ears to hear as a disciple. Thanks for your honesty and humility but we are all with you longing to be faithful and hear the Voice of Love calling us, speaking to us. It’s going to be good… Wonder if you were always so sweet and tender (that sounds like Elvis!! oh dear, now I'm laughing at my own jokes!) better stop here! I like the God on the move part better.

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

‘Nise
My mind didn’t go there so that’s why this is such a good thing for me to do. Cause my mind needs to go there. You know, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So I can’t speak truth or really encourage someone where I am NOT. And it makes me want to live differently and respond to my God so that I am “all in” in my marriage today and not just coasting. That I am moving in faith to my kids and not being irritated with them. I want my God to use me to draw out of my husband and children the men and women they are called to be. But first, I have to be filled. So, thanks ‘Nise for the exhortation to look into my heart to see what words I am giving/withholding from my friends.

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Oh Patty,
You touch deep parts in my soul when you speak of the truth of Job 16:18 that my God sees the injustice, hears it all, and would you pray for me in my immense need that I find a rest in some deeper parts than I know or it wouldn’t keep coming up. This so speaks life to me. This is a God stop! I feel so alive in your presence Patty. And thank you for Job 16:21 and the picture of my Jesus, my LORD, who pleads and intercedes for me. I don’t understand it all. I just know God is touching me so through your words. Thank you!

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Annette,
Amen and Amen and Amen!!!! And I don’t say that a whole lot! I just hear your humble huge heart for HIM. And both of those verses you shared so speak to the depths of my heart Annette. And to know that my Redeemer, your Redeemer, lives today to redeem my life from the mess I’m in, curved in on myself, self-obsessed. Job said he would see his Redeemer in the end but thank you God that we can find our Redeemer this moment. Oh I need Him this moment. And your life so challenges me to keep on finding Him! Can’t thank you enough!

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Fran
Thank you so very much for doing the armor series…you are like a preacher lady…you are a preacher lady! Wonder how you know the words to say to weary souls like me?? You say just what I need to hear Fran!!! Wonder how?

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Helen,
So glad to hear your dad is doing well. Wow, I missed 6:19 and I just loved it…really touches my heart and I think I’ll remember that verse for like a LONG TIME. Know what you mean about the words from the friends being so waggy and weary critical comments. I kept shaking my head that they lasted that many days together and Job never told them once to go home and they were MEN talking that long. And he never did what his wife told him to do either. The critical comments just have gone on and on and on. I’m with you. Whew! I’ll have to come read your blog when I can catch up a little better. Looking forward to it for you have such a beautiful desire to dig deep. A precious heart to learn! Are you sure we haven’t known each other for years??

Shonda 1/14/2008  

Bev,
It's so neat to see how you gleaned so many truths from this reading.

I confess, I'm still reading, but not from the online version, but from my study application Bible for the notes.

I think it amazing at Job's faith to stand up to the accusations, but as someone commented, perhaps self-righteous.

I realize that I tend to shy away from sharing my troubles as I've had too many fixers tell me what to do. When I didnt feel led by the Spirit to do what they said, I was then accused of not submitting to Godly council, being in rebellion. I've gone from the extreme of pouring out completely to holding in and not seeking council. Just too many accusations and not enough grace.

Like so many commented here, I too pray that if I share something with someone that it be laced with grace and the truth in love.

Thanks for inviting me on this journey.

Blessings in Christ--

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

HollyMark
We’ll have to call you HollyMark so we’ll know it’s you and not our Holly from Colorado who is probably actually HollyChris 
Holly, you Holly, we are so thrilled to find you. I am especially delighted because the last time you read your entire Bible was when you were…let’s see….18!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT! I think that is just awesome. It says so much for you and your heart. I’m so encouraged. I’m just overjoyed. I’m ….okay, back to earth. Thank you HollyMark for your heartfelt comments and your heart for your God. So glad to have you join us and I hope I have communicated that . Send me your e-mail. Mine is sixbrandonsatsbcglobaldotnet

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

MaryLou
There is something about being around people who have been tested, like yourself, that gives off such an aroma, such an attitude of courage that makes me want to endure my own present little trials. I love Elisabeth Elliot and her writings have been like oxygen for me. Praying for you 23:10 that you will come forth as gold. That is so encouraging that he knows the path you take in your financial pressures. We are so grateful that we ran into you or you into us. We collided. Isaiah 33:6 – it is so obvious that Jesus is the stability of your times, even your financial times.

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Fran
I have a good friend who helps me walk through life’s hard knocks and he is always talking about the “old Bev” and the “new Bev.” I had to smile way down deep when I heard your comments about the old Fran. Wow, we don’t see the “old Fran” at all. In fact, I don’t know old Fran. And I just realized I am commenting to you AGAIN, hope you don't mind, I know new Fran and the Beauty of her Lord pours out in humility and teachability and such kind words on your lips for us all. Wow, isn’t it amazing how God shows up and redeems our words, our ways, our world. I’ll throw one out to you about me---the “old Bev” used to need people to come through for her or she would want to give up on them. If people didn’t treat me like I thought I needed to be recognized, valued, cared for----well, then, I’ll either keep demanding or go look somewhere else RATHER than having a vision to really love that person no matter how they respond to me. The old Bev needed to be special in people’s eyes; she needed to be recognized; she needed to be loved by them. I wanted something more than the Love of my beautiful Christ. So self obsessed. Curved in on Bev! Okay, I got off on that one….but, you struck a chord with me in how you put it. Just LOVE doing this with you.

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

I understand for as much as another person can what you are saying about sharing and the fixers come then being quiet and they come back with condemnation for little movement. Shonda, grace is being poured all over your life. You are dealing with your heart on a daily basis and of course the enemy of your soul wants to silence you. You have so much to say. I just love the ways you are responding to the beautiful God in you. Matt 11:28 come to me Shonda---and I will give you rest. He is doing that. Giving you rest in deep places in your soul. Linger. Stay there. You are hearing His Voice.

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Alana, I listen hard any time you speak, my dear. I love your words, your wit, your wisdom. How did you get to the place of being so real in your life? I wonder what you give to your friends? Authenticity. No pretense with Alana. I just love that about you, sweet thing!

jennyhope 1/14/2008  

time for a blog confession:
I have done all of beth moores studies and several of them multiple times and I was in Lifeway this weekend staring at the bookshelves praying that God would drop a new Beth Moore study on the shelf for me...I am getting to my point. Well, I love to read the word myself but over the last decade I have been addicted to these workbook studies. I love a lot of preacher teachers but there are not a whole lot of other studies that I have done that have impacted me in the way hers have. Long story short, I know the Lord wants me to be able to come to Him and listen to Him on my own through the word. Bible studies are important, getting wisdom is important...but listening for the voice of God on my own without me, beth, and the Trinity is equally as important.
I read this note concerning Jobs wife which has always stuck out to me (you have it in your bible but I am quoting from my Key Word study bible)
"Jobs wife had endured the earlier trials (e.g., the death of her children and the loss of her wealth and possessions) just as he had, but the sight of her husband's physical condition pushed her to despair. Job seemed surprised at her words and rebuked her, refusing to accuse God of wrongdoing. There is no support for the view of some that she left or died and Job's later children (Job 42:13-15) were born by another woman. She seems in all else a fitting wife for righteous Job, (emphasis on this part is mine) THOUGH PERHAPS SHE DEPENDED TOO MUCH ON THE STRENGTH OF HER HUSBAND'S FAITH RATHER THAN ON HER OWN."
I want to go after God to know Him myself not know Him through someone else alone...do you know what I mean?!? Again I love bible studies I just want to have balance with HAVING TO HAVE SOMEONE speak to me for God instead of listening for Him myself through the word.
My time is running short. Gotta get back to some reading!
-baby in the bunny blankets mom!! LOL!!

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Connie,
I left you a comment but it's flying around somewhere. Maybe it'll land...wonder what I said...

You blow me away...
sitting here with mouth open...
you do listen with your eyes, your ears, your heart---and I've never been in your presence...so how do I know that? So obvious. You lead many with your ears.

I have been thinking for one week about one phrase a friend spoke to me last week---he told me to live eye-to-eye with my family, my friends. An unusual comment, but here you make the same one. Live eye-to-eye. Not many really share what they are dealing with as they experience the people they walk beside. I love how real you are and that you do live eye-to-eye. It will be the first thing I notice about you when I meet you, I feel sure. Wonder how you got to that place? It's a good one Connie! A very good one.

How's your papa? Living eye-to-eye?

jennyhope 1/14/2008  

ps When I lost Shelby I can remember having to go at it alone with my Lord because people just couldnt understand. I was so blessed with an outpouring of love but I still had to seek Him and allow Him to heal me whether anyone else was with me or not. But you know what...I wouldnt have it any other way. He met me and continues to meet me. Sometimes if I get real honest I am thankful for how misunderstood I have been or how let down I have been. I truly have One who understands and never will let me down even when everyone else does. If it weren't for the trials I would not have depended on Him but on my own strength

Bev Brandon 1/14/2008  

Oh JennyHOPE...that is hope for me. I didn't read those margin notes about the wife but have been so CURIOS as to what was going on there. When you said that she might have depended on her husband's faith---ooohhh!----that's one thing God orchestrated our termination from our former church cause my identity was wrapped up in a strong pastor, a successful pastor, a strong husband, a successful husband. God brought me to the end of myself and end of that.

I love hearing about your love for the BM bible studies. You don't just do John 5:39,40 study the Scriptures diligently, NO, you do verse 40---you go to Him for life for He is the living Word. Come to Me, Jenny Hope! I just love what you are all about!

Your link is positioned in the sidebar exactly where my husband's fingers go---whatever---and if that baby in the blanket loses one more document for my husband...OH NO! It's a big computer joke over here, right now. "Get that baby in the bunny blanket off.." I mean, Morgan takes up the whole screen when she pops up. LOL.....PEBKAC

CrownLaidDown 1/14/2008  

This week's Word brought a few things to mind. First, I have constantly been thinking about
"rightness" before God. I am reading Job's words and thinking he is being righteous in his words about his situation. He knew deep down that what he had been doing is right. Even though what he looked like was a deceiver to the world, to his friends, he knew that he was upright. I am thankful for that. It helps to know that in my heart, I often know that the truth is that God loves me and He's taking care of me. To the world, I never would measure up. But that's ok! I just need to remember that it is God holding the plumb line.

Secondly, I read a lot of truth about God mixed in with the inaccurate opinions of Job's friends. Many times they were right-on to a point and even with that, they still came to the wrong conclusion. This told me that even godly wisdom through friends can hold a lot of truth and still be off-base. How important to remember that God knows the way that we take. He is interceeding on our behalf and when we come forth, we shall be shining gold! So we listen to others' through the filter of God's truth, which is not changing.

Finally, a little gem I found in study last week had to do with crowns. And I found that they could also be the representation worn on the head of a precious child of royalty, who on a larger scale is experiencing a hedge of protection (with thorns), also a crown on their heads. So Christ wore the hedge of thorns on his head to represent what he would be around us. Job says in chapter 19 that God has removed his crown. I think he meant, he felt God has removed any protection from him, around him and on him. It was very interesting!

I thank you for doing this Bob and Bev! Blessings on you friends, favored ones before God.
Holly

BethAnne 1/15/2008  

Our church is also reading the Bible chronologically. I have read cover to cover, but always from Gen to Revelation - never in this way. I am leading a Priscilla Shirer class "Discerning the Voice of God" right now at church and I find myself listening closer and anticipating His voice more than ever. I pray that we will all hear what He is saying through His Word this year.

connorcolesmom 1/15/2008  

I love readhing about Job and although I can not believe what he endured I totally understand why God has those events in the Bible. We often complain about our circumstances, situation and compare ourselves to others but here was Job who was one of the richest men around. God had greatly blessed Him and now God had allowed it all to be taken away yet Job continues to love the Lord. Yes JOb was getting frustrated and desperate for relief but he never sinned against the Lord. That is so refreshing to me. I know that I am going through stuff right now but man if Job can go through what he did and still praise the Lord then so can I!!!
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and know that whatever trial I am going through God has ordained and He will walk me through it.
I enjoyed reading the others comments (I only scrolled through a few) It is so interesting how everyone has such different comments based on what God revealed to them He is so GOOD!!
God bless you sweet Bev!!!
Kim

Bev Brandon 1/15/2008  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bev Brandon 1/15/2008  

Holly, I just LOVE IT when you say God is holding the plumb line. Just love it....I'll hang on to that one for a good while.

When you say "Godly wisdom can hold truth" it just makes me think that it was so easy for me to think for so many years that what other people believed was right---and I was wrong---and I had to believe what they believed rather than measure from the plumbline of Scripture...makes me think of the Bereans more noble than the Thessalonicans cause they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what they were saying was really true. I attached way too easily to people rather than God cause I wanted people so badly to come through for me. I thought they knew more than I, always. And I enjoyed how you said to
listen through filter of God's truth...I'm doing that so much more since we went through a crisis. And I see you doing it all the time, Holly. You stand your ground and I love it.

jennyhope 1/15/2008  

your comment is so sweet Bev. you are the most precious person ever.

Also, when I was in the ER today I was on the phone with my sister and she was telling me all of this stuff that is going on in her church. Her husband is the associate pastor and the people there are petitioning to have him and the head pastor let go. VERY WEIRD!! So anyway, there are so many factions and so much gossip. I know it breaks the heart of God and my advice to her is for them to try to find somewhere else and to shake the dust off their feet. She seriously told me that one person came to his office and said that they both preach the truth and they dont want to hear it they want their church like it was before. I told her that it sounds like those people need to join a country club. Anyway, please pray for them. They have twin 1 year olds and a 3 year old. I know God has something else for them...it just makes me sad for them and the whole church.

Bev Brandon 1/16/2008  

Bethanne, I am so coming to your blog to visit....that so intrigued me~! See you in a minute...you know, it used to be, the old Bev would have been head over heels to discern God's voice so I can find God and have a better life and raise godly kids and make an impact but no more...I want to discern his Voice now, the new Bev, cause I am so unbelievably in love with HIM and, sure, I want to find HIM and do hope my kids turn out right and my marriage is great BUT I want to talk with HIM and walk with HIM and have a relationship with HIM more than ever in this moment in my heart. He's my Lover. He's my Friend!

See you soon Bethanne!

Bev Brandon 1/16/2008  

Why would you not want to hear the truth at church?? I don't get it. I'm so sorry for your sister, Jen. Here she is with these babies and wanting to be a part and it makes me incredibly sad for them and for that church. How God loves His church, His bride. I just don't understand how things like that happen. So sad.

and WHY WERE YOU IN THE ER??? OH DEAR, I HAVE TO GO READ YOUR BLOG BEFORE I CAN GO TO BED...

BeverlyDru 1/16/2008  

Bev, I am looking forward to reading more of our blog. I saw your post on http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com and I had to stop by. My baby is a high school senior and wants to earn a doctorate. I would like to know what you know about educating our progeny on scholarships. Good thing our Father owns the cattle on a hundred hills!

Bev Brandon 1/16/2008  

To the Other Bev,

I have not written anything on my blog here about scholarships and probably won't. If I do, it will be through another venue. Just wanted you to know so you wouldn't be looking for that topic on this blog. I've never even mentioned anything about it. Thanks for the comment. from the Other Bev

Bev Brandon 1/16/2008  

Jenny Hope, I just saw where you talked about Shelby and it always so grips my heart. I just love how you live openhanded to your good God. And, once again, I'm so sorry for that loss. So sorry, Jen. When my husband lost his job WHICH IN NO WAY IS COMPARABLE TO LOSING A CHILD one of the first things that my good friend said was: "One day, you are going to kiss the cheeks of that pastor who let him go." I thought many times about that comment and he was so right. The hands that cause us hurt or pain or loss, we can really be grateful for our God has orchestrated it...just like Job...
"have you considered my servant, Job????" --- it was God's initiative in asking the question and in removing the hedge from Job...Satan didn't ask HIM, God offered Job to Satan...and it is out of His loving Hand He allows 10 kids to die, He orchestrates my life, your life...I don't understand it all but I do know He has the Book of Job there that we may see suffering that calls our lives into question, not God's. And Job's suffering brings Him into the presence of God just like it did for you JennyHope!!! I wonder if you realize how much you bring God to me, His Presence, and I think it is in part because you have suffered and you're suffering well. I just think the world of you sweetheart!! And I believe that you'll keep on wrestling with Him in His Presence. Sorry this was so long, just rambling, just walked in from a basketball game in another city and teaching all day. Just had to "talk" to you vicariously through this comment. I guess since it's my blog, I can leave long comments. LOL. Not many people read them anyway. Not this long. Tell me you read it Jen!!! With love and prayers and hope and vision for your life! Bev

January 15, 2008 11:17 PM

Lisa 1/16/2008  

Sweet Bev...
Please go to my blog and see my response to your comment earlier.
I always love hearing from you!

Lisa :)

Toknowhim 1/16/2008  

Bev,

What a wonderful thing you are doing with the Bible reading... I love how you all are interacting with each other as you read through the Bible... Just wanted to stop by and say hi, and let you know I was thinking of you. Will say a prayer for you tonight... Blessings friend!!!

Bev Brandon 1/16/2008  

Lisa,
I just read your comment to me on your blog. Thank you Lisa from the bottom of my heart! We are human beings not human "doer's." Your true words sunk deep into a place in my heart. Psalm 51:6.

Toknowhim 1/17/2008  

Bev,

Thanks for stopping by my bloggy today and leaving your "sweet fragrance" behind...meaning your words always bless me!!! I don't think I prayed for you last night like I said I would..I think I kept falling in and out of sleep... I started praying for you many times, but never finished :) I did say a little prayer for you today, and I hope to lift prayers to God on your behalf many times to come in the future... Love ya,and it was great to talk to you too!!!

Laura 1/20/2008  

Bev! I was so happy to see that you visited me again! To answer your questions: I practice at a medical rehabilitation hospital, counseling patients and their families through difficult medical conditions, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, etc. As far as who has influenced my faith the most...hmm. That's a toughie. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness, and so have had to overcome some spiritual "baggage" in my walk with Christ. (still working on it). But, that faith gave me a very strong foundation in the Bible and in my dedication to God. So, I guess, in that regard, my mother influenced me greatly, as she and most of my family are still Jehovah's Witnesses. Recently, studying Beth Moore has freed me to express my incredible passion for the Lord, something I have always felt alone in. But I have to say that God pursued me and it was His voice that has made me who I am! Thank you for asking such thought provoking questions. It feels good to reflect on such important issues! Now you! Tell me about your faith role models!

Michelle Bentham 1/29/2008  

Hey Mrs. Bev... You've been tagged a BFF --- check more out more on my blog under Blog Friends Forever...

Blessings.

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

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