Friday, February 29, 2008

Synchronized with What?

LEAP DAY G I V E A W A Y. An Algebra honors class where I subbed mathematically picked the winner of the John Eldredge book called "Walking With God."
THE W I N N E R is Annie's Eyes...send me your address, precious friend!

Happy Leap Day, a day added to our calendar in order to keep the calendar year
syncronized with the seasonal year.

I've thought a lot about being "synchronized" myself lately. What I am synchronized with? Last summer, a friend told me that he thought I had synchronized with evil against myself. Beating up on myself for failure. Failure is our friend, an ally. I don't ever want to live synchronized with evil.

Bob ran a marathon, trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon He missed the qualifying time by 15 seconds....that's a blink! When I finally caught up with him, he said: "May we learn more from our failures than we can learn from any victory."

So, here we are synchronized once again on planet earth, thanks to Leap Day. What about my heart? Am I synchronized with truth, living in this present moment--- for it really is all I have, listening to Love's Voice gently prodding and parading in my heart. Psalm 51:6 - Let the truth sink and settle into your hearts.

I'm at a Paula Rinehart conference this good, so good! Tonight she said,
"There are parts of my heart
that have never heard the Gospel."
I am reading her new book Better Than My Dreams, Finding What You Long For Where You May Not Think to Look. Sometimes God offers a different sort of wonderful than the one we have in mind. You know, I thought things would end differently in the last chapters of my life. This wasn't what I thought would happen to leave the church we so loved and where we were loved. I wanted to die there. But that's me. What is God's will for my life? That's what I'm asking now.

THIS is wonderful where I am today in my walk with HIM. To be alive, so alive, in this precious present moment is such a gift from HIM. And, I couldn't be any more grateful to my beautiful God this Leap Day. I'm so in love with HIM! So in love! Just can't stop thinking about HIM! Need to go for I hear Him asking me a question...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Her Faith Still Speaks ...

February 26, 2008 ......... Hebrews 11:4

We mourn the death of my sweet lifelong friend, Cyd Mizell. Thank you for your prayers that have been a sweet aroma to our beautiful God Who now holds Cyd in His loving arms. It looks like she has arrived home! She is safe and secure! It's the day she lived for. Hebrews 11:4 says that Cyd's life still speaks, even though she is apparently dead. And it speaks loud. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews stirs my heart as I read it tonight thinking about Cyd. Verse 13 says "all these people were living by faith when they died." Cyd was. She was "longing for a better country" 11:15. She found it. A place prepared for Cyd. And I commend her for her faith, such beautiful childlike faith, as she gave her life away in Afghanistan. But, as verse 11:40 goes, "God had planned something better..." He has welcomed Cyd into His Presence forever. No plan of His can be thwarted by any enemy. Job 42:2.

I am going to send your comments to Cyd's father, George, who was my husband's pastor growing up. Would you be so kind to share a thought with George of what it means to hear about his daughter's story. My unending tears tonight are for Cyd's dad and their family who have lost their precious girl.

The following news update is on the website, the humanitarian aid foundation where Cyd worked.

UPDATE..."We are deeply grieved to report the apparent deaths of Muhammad Hadi and Cyd Mizell, Asian Rural Life Development Foundation workers who were kidnapped by gunmen Jan. 26 in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Although we have no confirmation of their deaths, we have received information over the past few days indicating that our two aid workers have been killed.

Hadi, a resident of Kandahar, had served as an ARLDF driver for two years. Known by colleagues as a “kind, loving man,” he was the father of five children, ages 6 to 15.
Mizell, 50, a native of Eureka, Calif., dedicated her life to serving the people of Afghanistan. Since 2005 she had lived in Kandahar, where she taught English to high school students and helped women learn income-producing skills such as sewing and embroidery. She also assisted in other ARLDF-related efforts in the area, which include food-for-work projects, irrigation, rehabilitation, health care and restoration projects. We are thankful for the efforts of local government and other authorities during this crisis. Our prayers are with the families of Hadi and Mizell."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday Mornings Cover to Cover

We are so delighted you have joined us. About two dozen of us read the Bible chronologically together. If you have not been able to keep up with the readings in Leviticus, join us this coming week as we delve into Numbers. I would love for you to leave any comment at all today. Share from Leviticus or from your own readings of the Word this week or whatever is on your heart. I will not be commenting back to you on this post as I am working at an academic competition this week with no computer access. See you at the end of the week to announce the winner of the Leap Day Giveaway. Keep on posting your quotes on Leap Day Giveaway for a chance to win.

Thanks for praying for our weekend in Austin. God was faithful! So good! I didn't even have to search for Chris Tomlin but enjoyed the worship where we were from the depths of my heart. Nothing like Sundays!

I took a course in speed reading eons ago. Every time I come to Leviticus in reading the Bible through in a year, I speed read Leviticus or skip it. But not this time! I was so captured by this book and it so totally surprised me. Be holy! For I AM the Lord your God. I am so excited to share with you that I got anything out of Leviticus. That was so encouraging to me---because I think the Holy Spirit is so showing up in my life to make me alive. I’m so grateful! This does not mean I'm spiritual and you're not if you sped read Lev. This so surprised me and has nothing to do with me.

These are just words but they flow from my heart’s desire. One thing that I ask. One thing. And now, like you, I must work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. Be holy, Leviticus says. So what does holiness look like for me and for you this day?

One thing it means is repentance. What lingers in my heart from Leviticus is "Have Mercy on me, O Holy God." Here's eleven thoughts that stirred and shook me from this book that lingers with me. Post a comment or two, even just a phrase, of what your reading of the Scriptures meant to you this week.

Leviticus 1:1 says the LORD called to Moses. Fifty times God speaks in this book to Moses face to face. Twenty of the 27 chapters start out with the phrase, “The Lord spoke to Moses... .” I think that gives much reason to really listen if we knew God was going to say something to our face. Just like to Moses, He is calling to us and speaking to us. Wonder what He is saying to you this morning? The Hebrew word for Leviticus means “and He called.”

In Leviticus 10:1-3, Aaron’s two sons did not follow God’s command and God consumed them in fire and said: “Among those who approach Me, I will show myself holy.” We can approach a holy God but it is always on his terms, not ours. Leviticus is "the calling of God's people to minister to God, to minister before God," "Therefore, since we have a great High Priest, let us hold firmly to our faith. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4: 14-16.

Leviticus 10:3 Aaron remained silent, even though both of his sons fell dead. Whoa. It is so hard to sit in silence in the midst of tragedy. Let the sun go down and sit in our circumstances and listen. In the abundance of words, sin is unavoidable.

Fifteen years ago, I reached a dead end in my life, full of despair. God spoke to me through Joel 2:13-14. “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity on you. Who knows He may turn and have pity on you and leave behind a blessing.” A priest in Old Testament days was not supposed to tear his garments, somewhat of staging a protest over what God was doing in his life and the life of others. God wants us to examine our hearts. Rend our hearts, back to HIM. Leviticus 10:6 – don’t tear your clothes, Aaron over what God has done in your life, taking your sons. Rend your heart, not your garments. Whatever God is doing with you today, rend rightly and return to HIM. Rend your heart. So what does that look like in you?

Leviticus 10:19 – “Is our God pleased with this offering?” What do we offer HIM this very day that pleases Him? What repentance does He require to make us holy as He is? Offer our suffering. Offer our joys. Offer ourselves. And just like Abraham and Isaac, where’s the wood? What sacrifice do we make to HIM today? Where’s the wood?

HOW DO WE APPROACH GOD 16: 3 "This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a sin offering and to make atonement for himself and his household. Same statement repeated again in Verse 11. Very detailed ceremonious offering. Verse 16, he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. Our High Priest is able to sympathize with our weaknesses for He was tempted in every way, just as we are today---yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. The priest is to make atonement for himself, his household, and the whole community. 16:17.

Is that how I live my life? 16:34 – and it is done as the LORD commands for us who now live in the new covenant. What does God command of me today? Is it of no discussion for me? He commands me to love my neighbors and to love my enemies and I have a few of both. So I will love them. Out of my love for my beautiful God. It cannot come from duty but out of a repentant heart, clean hands. So what does love look like today? It may be action; it may be silence; it may be moving toward my husband, my son; it may be humbling myself and stepping down before a friend putting their interests ahead of mine. IDK. I wonder what Love will look like. I wonder if we will be like 16:34 and do all that the LORD commands us in listening to Love's Voice and living life today?

Leviticus 18:3 Do not do as they do in Egypt or in Canaan or fill in the blank where you live. Don’t conform to this world. Befriend holiness not worldliness. Wonder what that would look like in the world in which we live? The way we walk. The way we talk. The ways we live. “Do not follow their practices.”

In Leviticus 20:6, the priests presented to God the offerings, the food of God. Today, we offer HIM our will, His will. “My food is to do the will of HIM Who sent me.” John 4:34.

Leviticus 23:3 talks of taking a Sabbath, a sacred place for us. God calls to all of us in Matthew 11:28 to those who are weary of rushing and pushing and doing more. “Come to Me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." The details of this book that they were to follow were mind boggling, overwhelming to me. How would they remember all these regulations? Set our face like a flint. Set our hearts to follow Christ. He gives rest in those places where we are not.


Verse 25:13 says to observe the year of Jubilee. Return to your place, your property. God had rescued them and they were free from slavery. Slaves were freed that year. Just as in our own lives, He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12,13. All things belong to God in the year of Jubilee, their land and their lives.
And our God is calling...somewhere I read...
Leviticus is the calling of God's people to minister to HIM, before HIM...
be holy as He is Holy

Friday, February 22, 2008


I am engrossed, enmeshed, entranced, enthralled, exhilarated, exasperated, entertained, and excitedly encouraged about what??? Devouring four books all at the same time. And, I am giving away a brand new copy of one of them. Here's my new four favorite friends:

C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity

William Young's T H E S H A C K

John Eldredge's Walking With God


I didn't plan on reading four books together, it just happened cause it's been a desperate alone week for me, no matter how many overtures for friendship I have offered. My beautiful God is calling me to learn to better walk alone right now from a heart at rest---at least that's what my friend said about where I am. I want to find rest no matter what the circumstance. Only God can give that.

As C. S. Lewis once said: "We read to know we are not alone." A friend said to me that their "take" on reading a book is that they carry on like they are actually talking with that author. Maybe that's why I keep grabbing for a book. But I want to ultimately grab for the Hand that is reaching out to me. Psalm 18. God's right hand taking hold of me. I don't want to depend on man or books for answers but listen to my Love's Voice. Books don't have the answers. Only God does. I don't want to borrow the wisdom of these books. I want to borrow the Wisdom of the one real Author!

And, I am learning to trust that I can hear His Voice and don't have to get "it" from an author. So, I just laid all the books down, and went for a long walk with my beautiful God to listen to His Voice amid all these words on a cool late February Texas evening with the table of His Presence in the sky, beneath my feet, in my heart. I lifted one gloved hand mirrored in the shadows in glorious praise to HIM---no one could see this race walker dressed in all black in the night. But HE saw me and heard the cries of my heart from this weary week. And He so showed up on Chapin Road.

These books really have touched deep parts of my soul, my story. And we all need to be reminded of the things of God, the ways of God, rather than always thinking we need to be taught new truth. For the Bible says encourage one another daily...we all live with ourselves and know the paths of our mind and feet. My jolted journey of this week has been jarring. But, let me share with you what I am reminded of as I encountered what was true in each of these books about living life.
Ron Hall & Denver Moore are on a book tour and stopped here in their hometown to speak about Same Kind of Different As Me. Our home fellowship from our church went together to hear the duo. I cried through every word Denver spoke. Denver said: ":we are really all homeless." How home is heaven. Denver and Ron are "locals" and the familiar setting in my hometown, a true storybook about a Dipsy Dumpster in downtown Fort Worth where Denver lives for many years. I know right where that dumpster sits! And about how a wealthy Texas upscale art dealer named Ron Hall steps down and befriends Denver ---and their lives are both changed forever.

John Eldredge also came through this week on a promotion for his new book, Walking With God, that comes out March 25, 2008. I went to the live taping of the promo this week on Life Today, James Robison's tv show that will air April 15th. Underneath our chairs (just like Oprah) was a copy of the book in an unedited proof---but it looks like a final copy. His publisher printed these paperback copies just for our audience. One-of-a-kind! I am giving away my husband's brand new copy to one person who leaves a comment on this post sharing one of your favorite quotes from one of your well-loved favorite authors, among many. You get one entry for every qyuote (up to 7) that you leave. I'll draw one random name on LEAP DAY, February 29th, at nightfall, from those who comment on this post with an author's quote. Eldredge said that the Bible is not a book of exceptions---it's the bible of Abraham, David, Gideon, and me. God offers us Himself. In our pain, we have a hard time if we end up demanding. Either we have God or we have understanding If we insist on understanding, we lose God. You'll just have to read the book when it comes out in March, unless you win.
Let me wrap up this post about words! I have to get back to T H E S H A C K. I'm at the part where they just found the ladybug pin and I am on pins and needles. This guy can write fiction. And every day I am so into Mere Christianity. I think I am going to have to do a post just on that book alone as there are a couple of thoughts that have been life changing to me! Well, at least we'll see how it affects the course of my life. I am blown away by that book!

I'll end here with a quote I read in this C.S. Lewis masterpiece:

"Fallen man is simply not an IMPERFECT man who needs IMPROVEMENT...
He is a rebel who must lay down his arms, SURRENDERING, saying he is sorry, realizing he is on the wrong track, getting ready to start over, from the ground floor up.... . Repentance means unlearning all the self-conceit and self will we've trained ourselves in for years."

Wonder which book I'll finish first? IDK. But I do know this...God is offering HIMSELF and I want the quality of the life I will live forever to be so much more. So, I'll keep on reading and having private conversations with these authors whom I will never know. Bur first and foremost, I'm reading the Book of no exceptions by the best Author of All.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

There are twenty or so of us who are reading the Bible chronologically together. You can join us at any time. The reading plan is listed on my sidebar. We'll pray for you and walk with you. If you are here just for today, read Exodus 33: 11-23 and see how God favors you and is calling your name. He is saying to all of us on this Monday morning a phrase that makes courage rise up in our hearts. "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Wonder what it will take today to find His rest, His Presence in our lives?

As I read this week Exodus 28 through 40 and Leviticus 1-7, there is a phrase that kept coming back to my mind that has been meaningful to me in this reading. My husband and I have talked much this week about having a disturbed heart and what that means. Too many people live undisturbed by the happenings of their heart, by what transpires in their lives. How are we processing life today? The phrase that I recalled written by a psychologist in a magazine article put it this way:

"The more we are disturbed
by the presence and power of our flesh,
The more we become excited and empowered
by the deeper presence and greater power of the Spirit,

And that releases the Spirit's power to change
the way we relate,
the way we think,
and the way we feel
in the middle of any life circumstance."

Ten truths pressed in on me as I read my Bible and my Bible read me this week. Here they are:

BEAR the NAMES of MY FRIENDS on MY HEART….Exodus 28:29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord. The breastpiece worn over the heart protected the precious place of their heart and its desires. Whose name do I bear over my heart this morning?

GOD IS KNOCKING ON your DOOR TO SPEAK with YOU….Exodus 29:42 “For the generations to come, this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance…there I will meet you and speak to you.” Where is it that we go to find our God and meet with Him and speak with Him and He with us? Revelations 3:20 He is knocking on the door of our heart. Will we open that door this moment and let Him in?

OUR BEAUTIFUL GOD DWELLS AMONG US…..Exodus 29: 45, 46 “I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord, their God, who brought them out of Egypt, so that I might dwell among them.” I was reading C.S. Lewis today and he talked about “Am I living for the 72 plus years of this life or am I living for forever?” If I am living for “forever,” I look inside of my own heart and look to see what God expects of me this night. I remember what God has brought me out of. And I believe He dwells in me. He dwells among all of us and that is simply awestruck awesome. What can you tell us that your God has brought you out of so that He might dwell among you?

THE FINGERPRINTS of GOD are ON MY LIFE ...Exodus 31:18 God gave to Moses two tablets inscribed by the finger of God. It was the finger of God Who would trace out the course of our actions into ten commands. How do I obey my God? In the New Tesatment, all power has been given to us to fulfill what God has commanded. Ephesians 1:4 says He chose you, He adopted you, and He freely gave you the One he loves. You have redemption and forgiveness and incomparably great power it says in 1:19, working in you. Now it is the finger of God in you pointing to the world, working out His mighty strength in you and through you. What will I do with His Ten Commandments?

YOUR FORGIVING GOD LONGS to HAVE COMPASSION on YOU...Moses sought the favor of the Lord in 32:11, sought his God asking Him not to be upset against the people He brought out of Egypt with great power. And, in 32:14, the Lord relented and did not bring on His people the disaster He threatened. Scripture interprets Scripture. Isaiah 30:18 "The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion for the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him." Who are you waiting for today, God or man?

DEALING with THE FRIGHTFUL FRAY of OUR HEART…Do we daily take a look at what’s inside the fray of our own heart? Aaron didn’t. He blamed it on the people he led. Blameshifting. Verse 32:22 “Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So what did Aaron do to stand in the way of the people building idols? What do I do to stand in the way of my friends, my family when they want to stay in the paths of sin. Do I look the other way? But what would it look like to love those who stand in sin? First, I must always look at the log in my own eye. Only then can I move in to love them. So who does God bring to my mind or my path this day who is walking the way of sinners that I may move in to love and not judge them?

WHERE AM I in MY WALK with GOD---is HE my FRIEND?...Exodus 33:11 “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks with his friend.” John Eldredge writes about the stages we go through with our God. First, our lives are shaped by the Potter and we are the clay. We also move to feeling provided for, watched over by the Shepherd caring for His sheep. Then, Eldredge says, many get stuck in the Master and Servant stage where they are committed to obey orders and carry them out. But there’s more intimacy…Father and child--- and children get the run of the house. Then, there is this stage found in 33:11 Friends as we walk together with God in which he says we are companions in a shared mission. We know what is on his heart and He knows ours. There’s another stage to describe the intimacy, Lovers----Bridegroom and Bride. “Teach me your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with you.” Exodus 33:13. Is God my friend or my judge?

AM I AT REST in DEEP PLACES in MY HEART?....Exodus 33:14 says “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Whenever I see someone who is experiencing God’s Presence in their lives, I want to fall all over them. A couple of years ago, disaster struck and my God so showed up in my life. I can’t tell you how the calamity He brought so came with His Presence as I cried out for Him. It’s been two of the hardest best years of my life. I still long every day for His Presence and rest that only He can give. And every day, He is showing up in ways I could have never imagined. I have a taste and I want so much more. Apart from the Power of God, this could never happen. We can’t conjure up this one. What am I doing that can only be explained in terms of---God did it?

GOD KNOWS your NAME and ADDRESS…..Moses replied in 33:15 that if God’s Presence didn’t go with him, then don’t move them from that spot. How will Moses know that God is pleased with him? Yes, how will we know? To which God replied, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Fast forward to this very day…God knows you by name. He is pleased with your life---is He?--- and so He will do the very things you ask in line with His will, His purposes. What pleasures do I want more than the pleasures of my God?

GOD’S HAND COVERS my LIFE and IT’S DARK….Exodus 33:17 The Lord said, there is a place near me where you may stand. I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my Hand. Our beautiful LORD may have His Hand covering our lives, and it may be real dark from His Hand over us shutting out any light, and that makes me weep this morning for that’s where I am. And, one day, we will see His Glory again. In whatever ways He chooses. That’s up to Him. Can’t make it happen in relationships, can’t make it happen in life, but I can hide in the cleft of the Rock. For the mighty waters rise, but we are safe. He is my Hiding Place. Psalm 32: 6, 7 And one day His beauty will pour out of me. Will I let Him pour out on whomever He wants to bless, even my enemies?

It is such privilege, promise, and power to walk and wonder through the pages of the Word of God with you... and to be read by a holy God and found by HIM.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Lifting Up Our Eyes for Mercy on Us All

I lift up my eyes... where does our help come from?

Exactly three weeks ago today, my precious friend Cyd was kidnapped by gunpoint in Afghanistan. She is a humanitarian aid worker among the poorest of poor giving her life away. Lifting our eyes, holding hope that Cyd will be released by her abductors. Day #21.

My close friend, Rebekah, has a cousin who was kidnapped in Mexico and released for ransom this week after being held for six weeks, malnourished and blindfolded the entire time. Unbelievable story. With our eyes lifted, we are praising God for his safe harrowing release.
On July 16th, I lost my eyeglasses. This week, thanks to a secret agent in Houston, I was able to order prescription glasses again. I am so grateful to be able to see like this. So very grateful for literal eyes lifted
Basketball ended this week. The whole season came down to one play that could send us into the playoffs or send us home. Down by one point, two seconds left to play and our coach calls a time out. They set up a play to my son, Britt. Ball is thrown in to Britt, who forcefully drives to the goal and goes up for an uncontested routine lay-up. He is fouled in the back knocking him off balance a teeny bit but it's an effortless play. He's up in the air, the ball heads toward the hoop, rolls around the rim, and pops right back out. He has made that play a thousand times. We lost the game by one point. We lost the season by one play and we're home for another year. No, one play doesn't lose a game or even a season, but one play does win a game.

A seminar I went to asks you: What was "life" to you as a child? What was "death" to you as a child? What do we walk away thinking about the plays of life that mark us? A friend of mine says that children are great observers of life but lousy interpreters. So how will Britt process the whole season on his back? What did I do with it? How will we lift our eyes in this little loss that looms so big in the eyes of a child. My husband always says that we learn more about life from our failures than we could learn from any victory.

I worked full-time this past week substitute teaching. I don't have anything lined up yet for this coming week. My husband is in the process of looking for another job as well. His job building a Christian school has come to an end and there are no contracts on the table. Is this the time to go back into ministry or what does our God want us to do? It is the reality of where we are and whatever our beautiful God wants us to do, wherever He wants us to go...we will. What do we do? Our eyes are lifted to HIM.

The winner of the Love & Lagniappe post is . . .
This morning when I awakened, I lay in bed pondering the events of this week while reading a disturbingly good book called Mere Christianity and the #7 kept popping in my head. So, there. Whoever is #7, send me your address and I'll send you the beautiful prayer journal.
It's lovely Laura, a new friend to me.

Some things have shaken my soul a little this week and this morning as I awakened, God brought to my mind Psalm123:2
I lift my eyes to you.
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
so our eyes look to the Lord, our God,
till He shows us His Mercy.
till He shows us His Mercy on us all.
Have mercy on me, O God.
May He have mercy on you!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love & Lagniappe

Love. Happy Valentine's Day. Much love to you all who have touched my life through your words, His Words, though we've never met. May you long for and find, this Valentine's Day, the beautiful love of your Christ more than anything else...more than a good marriage, more than being a good mom, more than making an impact, more than an undisturbed life, and even more than life itself. For what could we possibly want more than the love of our beautiful Christ? For if we have _____________ (you fill in your blank), but do not have love, we are a noisy gong. Clanging cymbals says the love chapter, I Corinthians 13. And we have nothing. What do you want more than the Love of your Christ?
Lagniappe. Annette reminded me of this word from my childhood that strikes a chord with this New Orleans girl. It's something free for one of you, a little extra for stopping by. For those who comment on this post, I'll draw one name and send you a copy of Debbie Williams' Prayers of My Heart, A Personal Prayer Journal. I will draw one name on Saturday morning.

If I could give you anything this Valentine's Day, I would want to give you a little rest but only our sovereign God can do that. But, here goes, I do want to give you what is called a String of Pearls...

I hope for you that you find His Presence and He gives you rest. (1) For He longs to speak with you face-to-face this Valentine's Day as He would with a friend. (2) He knows you by name and you will find His favor this day, and we ask You, our beautiful God, to teach us your ways that we may find more favor. (3) For to Whom else shall we go; only You hold the words of Life. (4) Your words are not idle words, they are our very life. (5) I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the Goodness of our Lord in the land of the living. Wait! on the Lord. Take courage. Wait. (6) God acts in behalf of those who wait for Him; we wait for no man, only for you, our big God. (7) Look to the Lord; expect much from Him (8) He longs to have compassion on you this Valentine's Day. (9) In quietness and confidence, may your repentance and rest be fully in Him. (10) For He is singing over you with His extravagant Love, dancing over you. (11) He is reaching down to you on this Valentine's Day to take hold of you if you'll let go of what is in your hand. He's drawing you out of the deep water you are in. He's bringing you to a better place. He is rescuing you because He delights in you. (12) He's recapturing your heart for you've deserted Him for small stuff. (13) He is setting His love and affection on you and chooses you to be His valentine not because of your performance, but because the Lord loves you & keeps His word to you, to bring you out by His Right Hand and redeem you. (14) Cling not to worthless stuff and forfeit the grace that could be yours. (15) Pray to God while He may be found. When the mighty waters rise, they will not reach you. You, O God, are our hiding place. (16) And your Hiding Place is knocking at the door of your heart for your greatest opportunity to know Him is your set of circumstances, not mine. (17) Don't commit your life to a future moment, future happiness but, O God, who is listening, we offer willingly all these things we think in this present moment. (18) God, you are near to the brokenhearted (19) You say, "I will win you back" this moment, again. I have put in front of you an open door. (20) An open door that no man can shut. (21) Turn to Me this moment with all your heart and I will keep on giving you a heart to know Me. (22) Take courage because the Hand of your sovereign God is on you. (23) And His arm is not too short for you this Valentine's Day nor forever. (24) Glory to our Beautiful God in the highest and His valentine peace to you on whom His Favor rests. (25)

paraphrased from:
1 - Exodus 33:14
2 - Exodus 33:11 ]
3 - Exodus 33:12
4 - John 6:68
5 - Deut 32:47
6 - Psalm 27:13
7 - Isaiah 64:4
8 - Hosea 12:6
9 - Isaiah 30:18
10- Isaiah 30:15
11 - Zephaniah 3:17
12 - Psalm 18:16, 19
13 - Ezekier 14:5
14 - Deuteronomy 7:7,8
15 - Jonah 2:9
16 - Psalm 32:6-11
17 - Revelations 3:19
18 - I Chronicles 29:17
19 - Psalm 34:18
20 - Hosea 2:14, 15
21 - Revelations 3:7
22 - Jeremiah 24:7
23 - Ezra 7:28
24 - Numbers 11:23
25 - Luke 2:44

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

Did you come to read about the orphans and what God did? It's the next post, "Today Was the Big Day!"

Welcome to Cover to Cover. The Book of Exodus describes the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt and their journey to Mount Sinai. Jacob's descendants will grow from a family of seventy, Gen. 46:27, into a nation of about two million, Exodus 12:37. Their deliverance from bondage symbolizes God's redemption of mankind.

You are so welcome to take a look with us at the pages of Exodus that 24 of us have read together this week. For those of you who have completed the chronological readings of Exodus, leave a long or short comment here and link us up to your blog concerning what stirred in your heart as you read these chapters of centuries ago that apply to 2008. And if you are stopping by my blog to say hello and leave a comment about something else, please do! I'd love to hear from you, especially those who are coming to hear about what God did for the orphans in Thailand through Brooke and Britt. Click on the next post "Today Was the Big Day" to see smiling faces of little ones who have never owned anything of their own---and now they do, thanks to you. Whatever reason you dropped by this morning, I am humbled and honored and hope you leave a thought or two.

In the Book of Exodus, God continues to spend centuries hammering into their heads that there is only one God and He desires right living. Ever since Genesis and an "apple," people are looking to be "like God" and actually live apart from God to make them happy. God designed us to run on Himself and apart from Him, there is no peace, no rest, no joy, no happiness. Look for themes of idolatry and coveting as you read. We read the Bible but it reads us, even this very day.

Dan Allender writes on his website:
We befriend the world whenever we demand that others be what only God has promised to be: faithful and sure. All human relationships, even our most intimate alliances, are temporary and incomplete. When we demand that another person provide safety, certainty, and fulfillment of our deepest desires, we turn from God to an idol for the fulfillment of our needs.
When we turn from God, we inevitably demand of others the very things we miss in our relationship with God. If we don’t know his deep care and protection, then we will insist another human being provide what we lack. That demand is the genesis of lust and murder.

Written centuries ago, written for our present hearts, James 4:1-5 talks about those present desires that battle within us, just like the Israelites. "You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?" Are we befriending our world or befriending brokenness of tearing down the idols we've built to make our lives work. Here are some of the truths God was hammering into their heads and hearts, and still hammering centuries later.

1:14 They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.

1:17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
Exodus 2: 6-10

2:8 Imagine being a slave, yet paid to nurse your own baby, then wean him, and bring him to Pharaoh’s daughter so he can become her son. Oooh! That was God's hand.

2:12 “Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Then Moses was afraid and thought, ‘what I did must have become known. Pharaoh heard and tried to kill Moses so he fled and was invited by his God at a well as he stood up for some women. And he received a wife out of the invitation. One of the first things Moses would do in response to God will be to hide his head out of regret. Moses will learn to live rightly with his regret.

GOD SHOWS UP THROUGH INVITATIONS - Invites Moses to have something to eat."
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become an alien in a foreign land."

3:7,8 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And verse 14, I AM has sent me to you.

1 Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'? Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied. The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." God gave Moses a sign. What signs do we have in our life today that God is with us?

4:10-12 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

In Chapter 13, it is God's mighty hand that is leading them out of slavery. 13:17 says God didn't lead them by the short way which was about a three-mile straight road, but He led them for forty years, lest they change their minds. He even went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud by day and by night.

14:10 The Israelites were TERRIFIED at Pharaoh and cried out, "Leave us alone, God." But in 14:13 Moses comes back to say: Stand firm, See deliverance. God fights for you. Be still. MOVE ON and divide the Red Sea.

In Chapter 16, God tells the Israelites you are not grumbling against Moses and Aaron, your leaders, but against Me, your God. I will rain down bread from heaven for you. Don't horde. Don't save life for yourself. In Chapter 17:7 is the real question: Is the Lord among us or not? They were testing God!

I can’t imagine being an Israelite and hearing that God wants me for His treasured possession. 19:4 He wants to bring me to Himself, just like He did for the Israelites. And He will drive out the enemies of my soul, 23:29, LITTLE BY LITTLE. It won't happen overnight but it will happen. For He says in the next verse that His Name is in us. How deeply encouraging is that to me in midst of some difficult times here. You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself…you will be my treasured possession if you obey me fully. Oooh, that so makes me want to obey and where do I start? Right in the present fray of my heart with what I am dealing with this present moment. Either I’m self absorbed or God absorbed. If it’s about self, repent. And the commandment I wanted to respond to was in Exodus 20:4– “you shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. That just about takes care of everything in my life, eveything I know about, everything, anything, even good things that take the place of our jealous God!

Exodus 23:20 - “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.” We spend our lives preparing for the places we want to be with our good families, good life. But what about my good friend who sits kidnapped in Afghanistan tonight or Joseph stuck in a dark dungeon for 13 years or the Israelites wandering for 40 or the disciple dying upside down or the blindman estranged from his family and community or fill in the blank. Smooth safe lives? May we all long and live in the places You have prepared for us, o God. God has spent so much time in Genesis and Exodus outlining for this selected group of Jews what is right living with no other gods. Exodus 23:20 has meant so much to me this past year for my God has orchestrated my circumstances to get me to a better place with Him but it’s not where or how I thought I would spend the ending years of my life. It wasn’t what I wanted. But, now, I give up such idols, and want to go with the places He has prepared.

So, how will we live today? Befriending our world, demanding husbands and family and friends to come through for us? Or, moving into our world, broken before a beautiful God leading us all the way, little by little, with nothing more important in our lives than Him. Is your Lord among your life today?
Is the Lord among us or not? Exodus 17:7

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Below is a post from my precious daughter, Brooke, and yes I just pulled it right off her sweet blog. Didn't want you to miss it! Brooke delivered the items you bought for the orphans in Thailand on this very morning. One line she wrote had me just sobbing---the line was this: "many of them don't own their own things." Can you imagine not having one single thing that belongs to you? Well, they do now. Look at this precious baby in the bucket with the very first thing he owns, a ball. Soccer balls, and shirts, and sandals, and...just read on and be blessed! And, even more than that, you brought them something more that they cannot touch but they can taste, a taste of a big God.

We cannot thank you enough to those of you who sent $10 to sponsor an orphan at the House of Blessing and pray for their precious God-given life. God is so very near to these little ones, His orphans. James 1:27.

Here is what Brooke posted on her blog. It's Would you go to Brooke's blog and leave her a comment as well as leave one here for Britt. I'm so grateful to her for pulling this off for Britt and his friends and all of us. Here's what Brooke wrote...

Today was the big day!!! It was like Christmas in February. Excitement filled the air as we rounded the corner, driving into the House of Blessing. 123 pairs of eyes grew bigger with each glance at the gifts we brought.

This children's home houses 123 kids who are well cared for and are taught many useful things for their future along with the precious gift of God's Word. Along with a trunk I brought back from America filled with goodies (candy, underwear, art supplies, friendship bracelets made by students in Texas, pictures of people who gave money, etc.) I went shopping with my roommate to get the remaining needed items. We laughed a lot as we lugged several overflowing shopping carts through our would-be "Wal-Mart" in Thailand.

We had a ton of fun counting out 123 pairs of sandals, 123 pieces of candy (several times), 123 notebooks, 123 pencils, 123 toothbrushes, 123 tubes of toothpaste, 123 bars of soap, 123 balloons, etc. You get the point. We also were able to buy a bucket full of art supplies and another bucket filled with sports balls.

I want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to those who gave money to help fund this project. These kids and their care-givers are so grateful for your kindness. I was able to share with them about the different families and kids who helped out. Many of them don't own their own things. They each received a gift bag with some personal goodies and picked out a pair of sandals. I shared with them that many people in America know them by name and have been praying for them. Before we passed out the goods, we all stopped as they prayed a blessing over each of the families and individuals who gave generously to them. They loved looking at the pictures of American kids and families and reading notes from some of you. I will be framing the pictures in one large frame in the next week and bringing it back to the home for them to keep.

With the remaining money given, I was able to help my house church here in Thailand purchase a new water filtering system and larger cooler/water dispenser for the home. This was a huge need they've had.

Thanks for being a blessing to these kids in Thailand! Continue to pray for them as they are encouraged to love and serve the Lord with their lives. You can also pray for the Lord to provide permanent families for them. I trust that He has an awesome plan for each one of them. He is a good Father who loves without condition.

Enjoy the pictures below of our House Church friends sorting the gifts into bags. And there is one of me explaining to the orphans where all this stuff came from. And, you'll see the orphans in line...ready to receive their gifts. Here we are hangin' out with these precious orphans:


And a huge THANK YOU to Brooke and her helpers for pulling this off for Britt on her end of things in Thailand. Brooke and Britt and I thank each of you for giving, praying, and holding the story of these orphans in your heart. Hope you hold that photo of the baby with his ball deep in your heart. And the photo of 123 orphans standing in line waiting to receive what you sent them to them. Well, it makes me want to give my stuff away. Makes me want to deal with my heart. He must increase and I must decrease. John 3:30.
123 sponsors times $10 each equals one thousand one hundred and twenty three thanks. Bev

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's FED EX and I'm Flabbergasted

I had another title up today, but I had to change it cause I feel so inadequate at times looking for words and ways to say my story. I can't explain my beautiful God and what He does for me. I mean, sometimes I can't even find words to craft what I feel in my heart over something so stunning He has done. And I so want to honor HIM not raise questions. Words can be perceived different than what I really mean. I don't mean to be disrespectful in any way saying a truck reminds me of a verse. But, if you see a FED EX truck today, know that it's a reminder to me about Genesis 41:32, when Joseph said that the dreams were given TWICE in two different ways because "the matter is firmly decided by God." But as one of the ancient writers once wrote: "All things lead to God." 41:32 was an intriguing thought and I wondered if not only dreams but also verses are given to us again and again so that we would know that it's our God showing up and that the truth for my circumstance is firmly decided by my good God not by what I think is jumping off the page. In the Bible there are 31,173 verses but I keep hearing the following same thoughts over and over. My beautiful God is
standing right here beside me even though I am struggling
surrounding me with His Love

And the verses I keep hearing again and again...
Surrounded by Love - Psalm 125:2
It's my Beautiful God Who is in my Path - Numb 22:34
God's knocking on the door of my heart - Rev 3:20
But, I can't do this cause all I have is 5 loaves & 2 fish - Matt 14:17
God's providing Water in my desert - Isa 43:20
Cease striving - Psalm 46:10
Rest, my beloved - Deut 33:12
Those seven verses just keep showing up everywhere I go over the past year.

I don't pretend to know that I have a word from God. Just because it jumped off the page, doesn't mean it's applicable to my circumstance. So, how do I know? My son is going through the Experiencing God bible study workbook by Henry Blackaby at his high school. Today, when I was teaching his class, I learned that Blackaby said: "If God has spoken to you, you must continue responding to that word until it comes to pass, even if it takes 25 years, like Abram."

You see, I've had a gorgeous generous act happen to me over the weekend. The Fed Ex man left an envelope at my door on Friday. The return address was a Houston bank. Oh NO! I must have screamed, cause my son instantly appeared by my side inquiring, "What is it mommy?" to which I replied: "We are being SUED." Again. It's happened before. I ripped open the unwanted outer envelope to find an inner letter-sized envelope with a yellow post-it note attached that read: "We hope this helps." How can being sued help anyone?? I ripped open that inner envelope and flabbergastedly (no such word) read "International Money Order" at the top. A money order made out to me for $1,000.00. I looked to see what else was in the envelope. Another money order for $1,000. And another money order for $1,000. And another for $1,000. And one more. Five money orders totaling $5,000. Anonymous. I fell to the floor of my study in a pool of instant tears and thanked a very present God in all of this. All of a sudden, I leaped up and ran back to ask my son if I was reading the decimals right...maybe it was $100.00?? No, I had the unfamiliar decimals right. God knew we needed $1,500 by Monday. My husband's current job as a construction supervisor has come to an end with no future contracts on the horizon and it could take weeks or months to sign another contract. I applied to about 25 jobs last week, but made a "typo" on my cell number and we disconnected our landline---so, I'm still unemployed, doing substitute teacher jobs. Pray that my husband and I both would find where God wants us to be.

Smiling, I think my Heavenly Father knew and sent me $1,500. And, I think Jesus, my beautiful Lord, wanted to send $1,500 too. And the Holy Spirit, my Wonderful Counselor, topped it off with another $1,500. And all Three added $500 so I could tithe it away---$5,000. OH! IDK. I'm being playful. I am so overwhelmed on the floor of my carpet over here. God prompted someone to do this unbelievable gesture of Love. Not only cause we needed money for Monday, but because He was surrounding me with His Love, He was standing in my path, knocking on my door, taking my 5 loaves and 2 fish, providing this thirsty mouth with some quenching water, so that I can cease striving once again, and rest as His beloved.

So, I went to my bank to cash the money orders and they said, No Way. They aren't signed. Anonymous. I called the Houston bank and they said that it could be done that way---the person can remain anonymous, no need for their signature. My bank firmly said no again, said it couldn't be cashed, to try another bank tomorrow, and gave specific advice how to do just that. Strange. I am on my way back to another bank in a few minutes. (Don't know how, but the deposit just worked out.)

Meanwhile, maybe you'll see a Fed Ex truck as you drive along today, and if you do, remember that when your God says something twice, maybe He's trying to let you know the matter is firmly decided. I may be wrong. I do know I'll never be struggle free in this life, but I want to wrestle well with my God over those disturbed places in my heart. I do know that this is a very lonely season in my life and this anonymous gift was such an encouragement to me that my beautiful God sees me and surrounds me. And I do know this, I am

Seen by my silent good God.
Surrounded by the Love of my beautiful Christ.
Staggered by His Presence in this, His movement for me, and so grateful to HIM.
Stunned by a secret agent in Houston who has a huge heart for their God & His Kingdom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my secret agent, a co-agent of their Christ!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

Welcome back to our Monday Morning post where 24 of us join together to comment today about what lingers in our hearts as we have read together the chronological Bible this week Genesis 40-50 and Exodus 1-7 and some readings in I Chronicles 1-7. We’d love for you to leave a comment here about what stirred in your heart this week as we read together the story of Joseph from a braggadocious dreamer to a beautiful trusting heart in a dungeon. Link us up to your own blog where we would LOVE for you to post in length what your God spoke to you from our readings. Feel free to comment on any of the selections. I am only going to comment on Genesis and wait until next week to start my Exodus comments. And if you are visiting and this is new to you, just leave whatever comment is on your heart.

An author who has touched me profoundly wrote:
The purpose of VULNERABILITY:is to “get insight into myself so that I can be a happier person.”
But the purpose of AUTHENTICITY is to “face where I am so that I can be lifted up into the larger story of God and serve his purposes more deeply, more fully in my life.” I Corinthians 8:1 says knowledge just puffs us up but Love is what changes us. Knowledge makes us feel important but love puts us in our rightful place. Our humble hearts help us more than our prideful minds. May we read His Word not just to seek insight to be a better person. May we read His Word and let Him change our interior world to be caught up in His Larger Story---His thoughts, His ways, His purposes. Pouring out His Beauty in a much larger story than just ourselves, our little world. There's something so much bigger than what is happening to me.

Fifteen Thoughts from The Life of Joseph.

Forgotten in an empty cistern.
Forgotten in an unjust dark dungeon.
13 years go by from cistern to dungeon---age 17 to age 30.
How did God help Joseph when he had no encouragement? There is something BEAUTIFUL in this suffering Joseph has embraced while in prison “for a long time” (40:4) Even the cupbearer who Joseph helped (40:23) forgot, NO—he didn’t give a rip about Joseph. Did Joseph think he would ever be vindicated? Where was his silent God?

I’m so grateful to my beautiful God for helping me forgive my own brother who violated me I was forced out of my childhood home again and again by violence. Genesis 40:15 - but my God has been my Shepherd all my life to this very day; and my Angel has delivered me from harm all my life. Jesus was my Door. The Message says in Jeremiah 17:16: "God, pick up the pieces. Put me back together again. You are my praise!Listen to how they talk about me: So where's this 'Word of God'? We'd like to see something happen!" I have not run away from being your shepherd to those people you have given me if it is one or one hundred, if it is a big name or no name.

Isaiah 64:4 God shows up in a dream: 41:16 “God will give Pharaoh the answer God desires—I CANNOT DO IT, replies Joseph. .” WOW. An absent God who didn’t use Joseph’s gift to get him out of jail. Joseph realized his powerlessness, Joseph testifies about Who is in control of his life in the dungeon for 13 years. Joseph entered his suffering just like Job did. So, how did Joseph go from a braggadocious dreamer to a contented captive waiting in the dark? Waiting for man or waiting on a God who was not moving fast?

Can you imagine after 13 years, you receive an opportunity to send a personal word to the Pharaoh? Verse 40:15 really got to me. Joseph could have made others look really bad for what they unjustly did to him, but all Joseph says is the truth with no defensiveness, no self protection… “I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” (40:15). One sentence. Case closed. Joseph silences me in my problems. If I had an audience with like a Pharaoh about how I’ve been served injustice, I would so build my case to prove what??? Joseph was dead to sin, at this point, and alive to his captive God. Even the chief baker was just looking for favorable words only (40:16). Will I only receive favorable words from my friends?


The thought in 41:32 was chilling to me. The reason that “dreams are given in two forms is that the matter is firmly decided by God.” Whoa.This is intriguing to me when I think of times, like this very day, when God has spoken the same thing twice, even thrice, to me.

From prison to the pinnacle of power. In 41:41, it says: “Make Way!” for Joseph. No one lifts hand or foot w/o word from Joseph This could easily be enjoyed WAY TOO MUCH by deprived Joseph BUT —NO, he wasn’t living for that world, he was living for another world. This guy, who had a very rocky braggy jealous-filled start has turned in to one awesome solid young man. He offers me such hope, such a taste of his God.

I was touched by the names Joseph gave his sons:”God made me forget troubles of my household”“God made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” 41:51. Again, it makes me think that Joseph entered his suffering and found His God there…

Amazing that it says in 42:3 they couldn’t recognize Joseph…you know, he had been through so much suffering that it must have changed his face. And we know it changed his heart.

How interesting Jacob said “everything is against me.” in 42:35. I mean, he still had 10 children and Job had none. He still had that hierarchy—I won’t give up Ben who is special to me and he says in v. 38 that Ben is the only one left—what about the other sons? Jacob responded to his sons based on their performance before God. Is that God’s love?

Chapter 43 - they need more food and Jacob says to go get more but they argue—Ben has to go with us. Jacob says you should have kept that info from the ruler. Still dealing with deception in his old age. Help me God not to keep dealing with same sins over and over expecting different results.

Makes me think of 42:21 where the brothers said they were guilty concerning Joseph in that they saw the anguish of his soul and did nothing about it—now the brothers are suffering and affliction has a way of inviting us all to acknowledge our faults which otherwise might remain hidden. So sad the brothers spent their life hiding their guilt.

I Chron 4:9 - Jabez' beautiful prayer “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. I know we cannot live pain free. They were living in a time of war and this so makes me think of my friend Cyd who was abducted in Afghanistan 10 DAYS AGO and may she be kept from harm! Free from pain! So hoping for her safe return!

Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. Don’t be distressed. Don’t be angry with yourselves. There was a larger story of God. “It was not you who sent me here, but God." 45:13 – the Glory of God was on Joseph and he wanted his dad to know the honor bestowed on him.

Gen. 46:28 . As soon as Joseph appeared before Israel, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time. I thought it was so interesting that when Joseph was released from prison, he made no attempt to go to his father. I can understand not going to his brothers. Wouldn’t he want his father to know he was alive and see him? It was only because the father and sons showed up. Joseph took care of the responsibilities in front of him. This challenges me in my current dilemma to live a quiet life and take care of my own responsibilities before my God and let God arrange restoration. Again, am I striving to make it happen? However 42:21 shows I must repent of what I am guilty of. Ball is always in my court.

When the brothers’ message came to Joseph, he wept in deep places and replied: 50:19 “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” How beautiful is that!

50:24 God will surely come to your aid. He certainly has for me to help me forgive my brother. I stood at my brother’s grave recently with 4 others as we buried him knowing that I had forgiven him again and again. I forgave him out loud that moment as he was lowered into the ground. I forgive him this moment and forever. I walked away free. I am free.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

FOUND by an Aggie on I-45

Several of you have asked about my Houston trip.

My beautiful God orchestrated for me to meet a beautiful, brilliant, brave Annette at Starbucks. It meant so much to me!! God found her in Houston and has used "Annie's Eyes"to touch my heart deeply. You took a risk Annette (you know, the ax murder thingy) and I can't thank you enough for offering me a tall drink of Living Water, a taste of HIM. You know, she really is tall though she looks short in her pictures. Then, I joined precious friends I met last summer at Dan Allender's weeklong life-changing seminar. We will probably remain lifelong friends. It's intriguing how God binds like hearts together as we've all been through similar experiences and so speak into each other's lives.

Driving back home, I noticed the gas gauge was on one-quarter of a tank full or empty, however you look at life. I planned to stop real soon. But, something wrong happened---the inaccurate gas gauge FELL to below empty without warning. The gauge has been dancing up and down lately. I began calling out to my good God in my foolishness to rescue me and protect me for I get so SCARED in situations like this that I will get beat up or raped, again.

In the near distance was Madisonville, about a one-mile stone's throw away. The TEXACO sign proudly pencilled up through a mile of trees. I careened over to the bumpy shoulder of the road. OUT OF GAS. Maybe the shoulder isn't the best place to land, so I aborted the idea and drove down the embankment into a ditch hoping to get enough traction to land on the frontage road. What did NOT go through my head was that it had been raining and the grassy green ditch was watersoaked. I SUNK deep into mud. Not only was I OUT OF GAS but now I needed A TOW TRUCK.


Peace flooded my I-45 soul and that was so from my God.
I threw on my tennis shoes, got out of my defunct Pathfinder and sunk into mud up to my ankles. Locked it up, and began my mile trek to the Texaco. A huge white Texas truck pulled off of I-45 and maneuvred the ditch with his 4-wheel drive. With Texas dirt spewing everywhere, he headed straight toward me. My first thought was from Annette's blog history---what if he is an ax murderer? I was already praying so I just stepped up the requests and strained without my glasses to see who was driving. Relief flooded my soul for he looked just like an Aggie.
The HUGE white TEXAS truck (don't ask me what kind, I only know colors) spitted mud at me as it stopped.

Texas truck guy: Do you need some help, ma'am?
Me: Are you an Aggie?
Texas truck guy: YES, MA'AM
Me: I knew it'
Texas truck guy: And you won't believe what I have for you. LOOK what I just bought. And he holds up a brand new package which I don't have a clue what it is.
Me: What is it?
Texas truck guy: A tow strap.
Me: WHAT?!!!???
Texas truck guy: I just bought a tow strap and I can get you out of that ditch.
Me: That's unbelievable. When did you buy that thing?
Texas truck guy: About 30 minutes ago, a thought ran through my mind that I didn't have a tow strap and I ought to get one on the way back to Texas A&M so I stopped and bought one.
Me: Son, that's God putting that thought in your brain for me. I think He just showed up.
Texas truck guy: Okay. I can get you out, ma'am and tow you to the station.

W A I T...Do I have to stay in this car for you to tow it? I mean, I don't want to be behind a big white TEXAS truck when I am not in control. It was a lesson in relinquishing control to be towed. Scary but smooth. You have NO CONTROL. It so made me think of my life---I think I am in control and I may be in the driver's seat, but it's God in control if we are living by faith not by sight.

So what's the moral of this story? IDK. You tell me. All weekend in Houston my God had been talking to me about Psalm 46:10 to cease striving and know that He is God and that He will show up in my life. I just spent a week reading in Genesis all about God showing up for people like Hagar in the desert---see right over there, it's water for you in the desert. Isaiah 48:21. All I need to do is ASK, SEEK, KNOCK. Matthew 7:7. Somehow, I want to FIND HIM and do everything I can to find HIM. But He finds us. How arrogant of me to think I can make it happen. I had even just posted about all the ways God shows up from my week's chronological reading, when we don't even expect it. And there He was, once again, on I-45 telling an Aggie to stop and buy a tow strap for me knowing I would need it in 30 minutes. My beautiful God showed up in Madisonville and reminded me once again that I can be still and know that He is God. He was in Houston. He's here in Madisonville. He's in my Pathfinder. He's in my heart.
And He keeps bringing that message back to me for it's firmly decided. He is with me. He is with you. Gen 41:32
Gig 'em Aggies!
And always on my mind is my friend Cyd...see post is Day #8 of being abducted by gunpoint in Afghanistan! I hope with every fiber of my being that she is released immediately!

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.


My Blog List

Search This Blog

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

Site Meter

Especially Designed for Bev by


  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by 2008