Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

For the past two weeks, I have been really ill with kidney failure. It all started with a broken toe. But, I am finally back on my feet today. It’s my first day up. And, I want to post what lingers with me as I reflect back on the daily readings of the Bible chronologically from the past two weeks. My beautiful God has listened to my cries 24/7. And now, the cry of my heart is to be back and to get to hear each of you walking with the God you so adore. I am not 100% yet so it may take me a few more days before I can get to reading blogs again. I'll be back soon.

Here’s what lingers with me from the week before. I actually had Joshua posted on this one too but I just lost it all so will have to do it again--- I may try later tonight. Lesson Learned---do it in Microsoft Word.

I have a new-found courage rising up in my heart and fresh hope in the midst of closed doors and many tears to my beautiful sometimes silent Savior. Let me say, I am so grateful for your prayers! I have changed the way I eat every day and this will be a challenge for me to give up lifelong habits. But I am committed to it.

Deut 12:24 – In the presence of our beautiful God, I rejoice in what I put my hand to, along with you, not doing what I see fit, but living in His presence at the place the LORD has chosen for me --- and for you. Deut 12:18. Then, HE gives rest from the enemies of our soul. “Do what is right in His eyes.” My world says different things to me. Different advice, depending on the person. Listen to HIM.

I experienced nine fainting spells that threw me for a loop these past two weeks and felt God was distant during those times. But I do know that He is present, not absent for me. And I found rest for my soul as I wrestled through this. And I am finding a rendezvous with rest I have never known before. And I can’t praise HIM enough. Can’t thank HIM enough. Not for deliverance from all my current problems but for making me dependent on HIM, my source of life. Deut. 13:3---Revere HIM. Hold fast to HIM. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His Treasured Possession. And that’s just unbelievable.

One verse that meant so much is Deut 15:16 and I thought about pierced ears and pierced hearts all week long. I don’t ever want to leave my beautiful God. My heart is pierced for life. A bondservant is what Paul called it. No matter what happens, He is my Master, I am His servant. He is my Father and I remain His daughter. We are Friends. I call HIM my Lover. Lover of my soul, Lover of my life, Lover of my all.

There were a few moments when I had no idea what was happening to me this week. I just knew something was really wrong with me. All I could do was pray and lay my head on the “empty chair." He was there. My prayer for you is Psalm 90 - Teach us to number our days aright. Have compassion on us, o God. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, and may the Favor of the Lord your God rest on you this moment. For Deut 32:47 says that His Words are not idle words for you, they are your very life. Take this to heart! May His Words fall like rain on your tender heart. Deut 32:2. “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in HIM all day long. You are the one the LORD loves and may you rest between His shoulders." Deut 33:12. May you find the favor of HIM Who dwelt in the burning bush. Deut 3316. There is no God like the one I see in you all and pray you find in the midst of what you are going through. He rides on the heavens to help you in your need. Deut 33:26-27…for underneath you are His everlasting arms.

I'll try again to tell you what lingered from Joshua...
I was so touched by the prostitute, Rahab. Joshua 1:6 She did what she could for her God. She took a risk even when a city didn't think the same way.

Joshua 23:2-4 resonated with me cause I am older than most all of you, I think. We have seen what the LORD has done for us. I never dreamed that HE could deliver me from the strangling fears of someone taking my life that I experienced in earlier years, but HE HAS. 22:16 "Don't break faith with HIM." For HE fights for us in the midst of whatever we are going through. And HE is setting me free even today. Because HE fights for you, one of you routs a thousand. 23:10. So be very careful to love HIM with all your heart.

I LOVED in 14:14 where Caleb followed the LORD wholeheartedly. Whole heart. Fully HIS. That's my prayer for us all this night and forever.

And I'll end with the "sun stood still" story. So touching to me. 10:9 Joshua took the enemy by surprise after marching all night from Gilgal. And what did his LORD do? He so confused the Amorites. I thought so many times during my fainting spells about the hailstones. God can do anything! Please help my unbelief!
He hurled heavy hailstones from the heavens.
He made the sun stand still in the sky.
Never a day like it before or since when the LORD listened to a man. He is listening to you tonight. Listening to your prayers. Listening to your words to your husband, your children, your world. Listening, hoping to hear you come to HIM for every day you much choose this day WHOM you will serve. 24:15. What do you want more than the Love of your Christ? What in life is more important to any of us than following HIM wholeheartedly?

With Loving Gratitude and Hailstone Prayers for you, Bev

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fragile Tents but Eternal Houses

Sunday Update:
I haven't been able to get up yet. Having a little bit of complications. But I am encouraged. I have such hope, such courage rising up in me that if I do face the fainting spells again, HE will be right there, never absent, maybe silent, always present. This a.m. I read in my quiet time Joshua 21:44 and believe it with all my heart. God is giving me rest on every side; my enemies are being defeated. Not one of all the LORD's good promises to me will fail. Every one will be fulfilled.
II Cor. 5:1 says that our bodies are tents which are pretty fragile---"if the earthly tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not built by human hands." No matter what happens to me, I have an eternal house. You can tell I've been thinking about my body not working. I am on the mend. I am believing God for health and life and forgiveness and mercy. The birds are singing outside my window. It's a good day, and there is singing in my heart, in my bed. I will be up soon. So grateful for your prayers! Much Love, Bev


TMI...This is probably too much info to put up in a blog but, hey, I'm desperate over here. It's 6pm and it's the first that I can get to the computer today. Last night was just terrifying for me. I had five fainting spells during the night. I can't even describe to you the horrible feeling that overcomes me when I have these unusual spells. I am startled and awakened and have repetitive fainting. It is so difficult to endure. Everything in me is trying to not faint. Doctors can't seem to find why that happens to me. It's rather infrequent, but to be real honest, it's just devastating to me. (It happened last week when I broke my toe.) Seems like my body is having a hard time processing the fluid loss of 15 pounds. I am still swollen and dehydrated, no matter what I pour into my body. I am just sobbing as I write this. I sound so pitiful, but my body is now not cooperating with the loss of so much fluid so quickly. Please continue to pray for my recovery from the kidney failure. I don't want to make a bigger deal out of this than it is, I'm just not doing well at all today on the recovery road.

Your comments mean a lot to me. It's in these very quiet pensive moments that you think real hard about life and how you are really doing. I fell all over my husband last night asking him to forgive me for everything I've ever done. He kindly chuckled back his love to me. I wonder what I'll do when I meet my Jesus face to face, if I will blubber all over HIM, saying I am so sorry for EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER DONE not thniking of YOU and how I missed things. Now, I lead a pretty good life over here. But, I also think of C. S. Lewis's quote that no man knows how bad he is until he has tried so very hard to be good. And you have Paul, telling us at the very END of his life, "I am the chiefest of all sinners."

Thank you for letting me blubber all over you with my ailment. Pray specifically that my kidneys would process correctly and for restful sleep, not dread. Hope I can visit your blog soon! I'm still too weak to get on the computer. Can't tell you how much I appreciate your prayers and support!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thursday Update: I lost 10 pounds overnight on the diuretics. Not the way to lose weight! The swelling has dramatically reduced. Several of you have asked what happened to cause my kidneys to fail---the doctor determined that my kidneys were shutting down due to taking too much ibuprofen and celebrex for pulled muscles while I was in California. The kidney problem caused even more severe lower back pain which made me take even more ibuprofen every 3 hours over a 5 day period. I was in bad shape. Gratefully, I have taken a turn for the better. I have been up a little bit today and am doing okay. Every comment I read, a tear falls. I'll be back soon and able to comment and visit your blog. Just too weak for that right now. You are a beautiful community of His Love to me. I can't tell you how much your prayers have meant to me. I am experiencing peace about "no job" in the midst of my crucial need for one and I know that's God! Phil. 3:3 - I have no confidence in my human effort to pull this off. God only gives grace and withholds no good thing. Psalm 84:11. And it's the beautiful God in you that stirs and shakes and soothes my soul. Thank you so much!! Holding fast to HIM with you! With tears of gratitude, Bev

Wednesday Update: I went throuugh a battery of tests yesterday, an EKG and blood work. The doctor suspected my swelling was due to either a problem with my heart or kidneys. My heart was fine; the problem is my kidneys. They found that my kidneys were shutting down. I have gained 15 pounds over the weekend. I could hardly believe the scales. Water retention. I am swollen all over my body. Still not able to get up but just a little at a time. Thank you so much for your prayers. Today, I am missing a mandatory job training with the school district for a teaching job and so that job opportunity will fall through. I am so upset about it. But, I have to say that there are no surprises to our God. Pray that I find another job real soon. My husband is between jobs right now, picking up odd jobs, and waiting to hear back on some potential offers. Thanks again so very much for your prayers, your support, your love. I am trying to walk by faith not by sight over here. That makes me think of Gal. 3:3 - do I think that I will achieve my goals by my efforts of trying. No, I began with the Spirit and continue to trust Him for the strength I don't have today. Strength in my inner man and outer man. It's not about my resolve but all about my surrender. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on WHAT IS UNSEEN. II Cor. 4:18

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Learning to Live in the Present Moment

TUESDAY UPDATE: I am up for just a moment to say that I made it back home to Fort Worth pretty well in a wheelchair all the way--I felt 90 years old. I just sobbed on the plane and people didn't quite know what to do with me. I still have severe back and now it is chest pains too and weakness all over, and swelling from my head to my feet, and can't even stand up alone real well at all. This is so scary to me as there is something really wrong with my body. I leave for the doctor in an hour. Will post back here when I can. I really can't go to anyone's blog or read anything, I'm just too weak. I wish I could, but I'll be back. Please pray for me that I recover quickly and they find out what this is. Thanks so much, Bev

I am here for just a few minutes to wish you a Happy Easter. Blogland has meant so very much to me. My beautiful God has really used you in my life as I am learning to better live in the present and see the Face and Hand of my God as I wrestle through deep issues in my life. In C.S. Lewis's "The Last Battle," one of the ending scenes is where a group of dwarves are huddled together tightly around Aslan, thinking they are in a pitch black stable with him. But the truth is that they are in a meadowside of endless green grassy countryside (just like the Napa countryside meadow where I stood this very day). They have no idea where they are. The dwarves are kneeling in a circle around the lion, burying their hands and faces in his mane as he stooped his great head to touch them with his tongue, Aslan offers them wine and they think it is ditch water. Aslan offers them great food and they think it is offal. This story so speaks to me this Easter as I open my eyes to really see all that my good and sovereign and beautiful God has done for me these past two years. All that He offers. My love has been lost sometimes in my fears but no more. "Perfect Love casts out fear." I John 4:18. My prayer for each of you this Easter as the stone has been rolled away and they have witnessed what He has done leaving his folded garments which symbolized to them---"it is done." The battle has been won that we enter even this day. Oh my goodness! My prayer is Eph 1:17-19, may He open the eyes of your heart to see things as He does---all that He is doing in your life.

I am at a destination wedding in California and trying to get back to Fort Worth. I was able to attend the wedding, set in a Napa Valley countryside meadow, much like in the story of The Last Battle. That's what made that story come alive for me. Please pray for me. As you know, I broke my toe last week and then pulled a muscle in my back as I was dodging a flying object in my kitchen. I have suffered greatly with my back on this trip. Now I have chest pains too. I have tried for the past four days to put up a post but couldn't do it nor could I make it to any blog.

It's my nephew's wedding---my sister's youngest boy--- and he is a doctor and so I have been taken care of well. But, I can barely walk. Literally. There is something that has gone very wrong with me. I really need your prayers that I am able to make it home tomorrow on an afternoon flight. My back pain has increased every day and it is some of the most uncomfortable feelings I have known. I need to end here as I got up for just a few minutes as I have wanted so much to wish each of you Happy Easter on Resurrection Sunday to those of you who have been so very kind to me, the hands and fingers of God in my life these past few months. Thank you for allowing the beautiful God in you to rise up to bless me and encourage me and stir me on. I have so much hope in my heart tonight even in the midst of all that is going on with Bob and me. And I know that is God! May we all have eyes to see tonight what He is offering to each of us this Resurrection Sunday.

If I am not able to post for the Monday Morning post which I don't think I will be able to do, you know why. Go ahead and post your comments on your blog. I'll get one up as soon as I can. I know what I want to say.

May God's perfect love cast out fear. May the love that we have for our husbands, our children, our ministries not be lost in fear, anxiety, or power struggles.

Learning to Live in the Present Moment with you and listen to Him and to what's happening in my inner world,
Much Love to each of you, Happy Easter! He is alive in you and me! So moved by that stone being rolled away! Bev

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

It's Monday Morning and you are always welcome to join in with us as we read through the Bible chronologically together. Check out the sidebar for daily readings. This past week we closed Numbers and started the Book of Deuteronomy. Leave a comment about what God spoke to you and what lingers as you read the Word this week from any place at all.

It's Palm Sunday, as I write, where Jesus rode in on a donkey and they praised HIM. Reminds me of Revelation 7 where it says one day a great multitude will be standing before the throne holding palm branches in their hands crying out praise to our God. And the angels, facedown before the throne, will worship HIM saying: "Praise and Glory and Wisdom and Thanks and Honor and Power and Strength be to our God forever and ever." I'll be there, will you? It's the moment when He Who sits on the Throne will say: Never again will you hunger. Never again will you thirst. For the Lamb at the center of your throne will be your Shepherd. And He will wipe away every tear from your eyes. All those present tears for how we have been missed and hurt in this life.

Numbers closes with a word for us today---what to do with the enemy of our soul: the flesh. These verses so remind me of an article I just read, "Entering the Battle That Has Already Been Won" by Lawrence Crabb. "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 circumstances." Am I asking God to eradicate my current circumstances or am I longing to experience that Deeper Presence of my Beautiful God right there in the midst of it all?

Drive, Destroy, Demolish
“When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you.” Numbers 33:51,52. It’s some of the last words in the book of Numbers and it applies to where I live today. Whether it’s Canaan or Benbrook, we are to deal with the enemies of our soul that creep in to move HIM from first place in our lives.
Drive out what you have let inhabit you
Destroy your idols
Demolish your high places
Take possession of your land.
Co-Authors with a Mighty God
He is a gentleman. He invites us, no force there. We are not hostages, not slaves. We are His servants, His friends, His lovers, His daughters and sons. Verse 55 says if you do not drive them out and allow them to remain, they will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble right where you live. What script am I writing today? I hope I am asking the right questions in dealing with all those d’s. As I think about Easter coming up, I keep on asking to know Him better” Eph. 1:17 and I keep on asking to find Eph 1:19 “His incomparably great power for us” to drive out, destroy, demolish. This isn’t about my determination. Not about my resolve. It’s all about His Power in me. I have asked the wrong questions for way too many years.

Deuteronomy opens with Moses reviewing the history of their happenings in the desert. Moses speaks in Deut 1:3 on November 1st of the fortieth year. So, two more months to go, and their forty years of wanderings will be over. What will Moses say as he hears God and wraps up the desert walk? Here are about 10 things that Moses said that lingers with me as I listen to my God's voice speaking to me today right where I live.

My Father Carries Me Like A Son
Deuteronomy 1:30-31 The Lord is the One who went before them and fought for them. Before their very eyes. In Egypt. In the desert. But they sometimes didn’t want any part of the plan God had for them. But He carried them through the desert as a father carries his son, all the way. And that so speaks to me. May God carry us all in our wanderings. There have been things in my life I have not wanted to be a part of, but my God has carried me all the way to this very day. And He carries you today.
Is this my mantra? Deut 2:7 The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. Sometimes they haven’t wanted what they were given—like manna—but they have not lacked anything. That so speaks to me where I am today and my husband and I both long with all our hearts to trust Him for future direction for both of us with so little happening that we can see.

Moses Begged, Then Accepted God’s Will
Deut 3:23-26 At that time I pleaded with the LORD : "O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan." "That is enough," the LORD said. "Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 3:28 But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see." I am so touched by Moses' response to God Who did not give Moses what he longed for and asked Moses to honor a younger follower with his blessing. Oh my goodness. What humility in stepping down.

You Must Not Add or Subtract from God’s Word
Moses said: 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you. 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children.

Seek Him from the Place Where You Are. You Will Find Him
In 4:27, Moses said the Lord will scatter you. If from there you seek the Lord, you will find Him if you look with all your heart and all your soul. If you are in distress, return to the Lord and obey Him. For He is a merciful God and will not abandon you or forget you.
A Mighty Hand, an outstretched arm. You were shown these things so that you might know HIM. He makes you hear His Voice to discipline you. He has brought you to the place where you are by His Presence and His Power, driving out what is greater and stronger than you. Take it to heart. There is no Other for you.

Am I Inclined to Fear My God?
5:28-29. Moses gave the 10 Commandments and told them to go near and listen to what the Lord says. The LORD heard you when you spoke, and the LORD said back: Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!

Love the LORD Your God with all Your heart
Deut 6:6. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord. Do not test the Lord. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight.

I Am His Treasured Possession
Deut 6:20. In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of this?” Tell them how God brought you to this place with His mighty Hand. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

The LORD Loves You Because...
Deut 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery.

Little By Little is How My God Moves
Deut 7:21-24. Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.

Why Does God Test Me?
Do Not Forget the LORD
Deut 7:2-5 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Are You Satisfied and Proud?
8: 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Has God Given You Wealth? "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.

What is My Response to My Wandering Friends?
Then once again Moses fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD's sight and so provoking him to anger. Deut 9:18

Cling to Him
God defends the cause of the fatherless.
God defends the cause of the widow. God loves the alien.
Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him. He is your praise. He is your God. Duet 10:18-21.

Blessing or Curse
See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse---the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods. Deut 11:27

It is our choice. Co-authors with a Sovereign God who rode in on Palm Sunday on a donkey. What script will we co-author this day?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Carried by My Father

Yesterday morning in my Quiet Time I read Deuteronomy 1-3 in our chronological reading. Verse 1:3 says that it is the the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year. That means, two more months to go and their forty years of wanderings will be over. One verse sticks out to me as a summary of their wanderings: 1:30-31 The Lord is the One who went before them and fought for them just as He did in Egypt. Before their very eyes. In Egypt. In the desert. But they sometimes didn't want any part of the plan God had for them. But He carried them through the desert as a father carries his son, all the way. And that so speaks to me. May God carry us all in our wanderings. There have been things in my life I have not wanted to be a part of just like the Israelites---like growing up in a dysfunctional family. I just wanted things to be normal. What's normal today? But, all I can do is cry for the mercy of my God and repent and my God has carried me all the way to this very day. And He carries you today in your Egypt, your desert.
Sometimes the Israelites didn't want what they were given---manna---but they did not lack anything. Deut 2:7. You know, this is God's story. It's about my story being lifted into that higher story. It's not about me. That so speaks to me where I am today.

I was promised an opportunity for a full-time teaching job with benefits starting today and have been waiting for it to start since Christmas. It fell through yesterday. But, I am going in today anyway to be trained to teach next fall in the public school system. It's just---I need a job today. All of their positions have been filled and I was given wrong information. So, I'm back to square one with no job. Also, my husband is out of full-time work right now as he finished building a Christian school in Dallas and his construction company is waiting on another contract to firm up. It could take a few weeks or months. Pray that it is soon and also that we hear the direction God is leading us in. Bob is picking up individual small jobs doing painting. He's a faithful guy who is never idle but always busy in providing for his family. Meanwhile, life moves forward and responsibilities loom large.

We are waiting on our God to go back into the ministry, the Lord willing. We are in the very beginning stages of talking to a couple of churches. Trusting through life with you that we won't lack anything. And that I will let my God carry me. I so want that!

I am writing this post quickly as I walk out the door to ask you to pray for peace in our hearts in what our faithful and beautiful God is working in our lives, and that my husband and I both find full-time work real soon. Deeply appreciate your walking with us on this incredible journey of walking with a God who is real and present and powerful. Wonder what our beautiful God is up to? What I long for is not something bigger, but a better place in my heart with HIM.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

It's Monday afternoon. I slept all morning. My body was recovering from fainting four times yesterday. Song of Solomon 1:6 - sometimes I neglect myself for sake of the ministry and that's not right. So, my God has my attention. My doctor made a house call on Sunday, and confirmed my toe was really broken with a combination of low blood pressure and pain; the fainting was explainable. And it was those kind of faints where your whole body fights it. Glad to be up and feeling better today with just a little bitty broken toe that is directing all my moves.

So glad you've joined us as we read through Numbers in our chronological readings. Please leave a comment about one thing that your beautiful God has stirred in your heart this week as you have read His Word. We'd love to hear on Mondays what God is saying to you from any place or what lingers as you have read through the chronological readings and this week it was Numbers. See the sidebar listing for the readings if you would like to jump in and join us.

The story of Balaam’s Donkey in Number 22 and 23 means more to me than I could ever find English words to tell. I started calling him my "Beautiful God" from reading this story. When we were terminated from our church staff of 27 years due to lack of church growth, I hit a severe depression and the bottom of my life fell out. My identity was too wrapped up in being attached to a strong ministry, a strong pastor. God never intended for me to be attached to anyone but HIM. God orchestrated the termination not to bring us to a bigger ministry, as we still don't even have one, but to bring me to a better place with HIM. It was such a surprise to me that I responded like I did in losing my church family. We had a charmed life, or so I thought, for 27 years. Loved God. Loved ministry. But when we got the news, the verse in Numbers 22:22 happened. It was my beautiful LORD standing in the middle of my road to oppose me and get my attention. Even if verse 18 happened, that someone would give us a palace filled with silver and gold, we could do nothing great, nothing small to go beyond the command of our LORD. What was it that God commanded of us in our pain, in our loss. I questioned everything I had believed for 27 years and wrestled with my God to know how to find & honor HIM as my LORD, my Friend, my Lover.

I LOVE IT in the story when the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth to say: “What have I done to you, Balaam, to make you beat me three times? If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now. Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” Balaam replied TO A DONKEY, “No.” Oh my. This desperate guy is now having a conversation with a donkey! I kind of understand what it means to be that desperate.

And I LOVE THIS PART and LONG FOR THIS FOR EVERY ONE OF US…It is what I have prayed for you this week. Numbers 22:31 “Then, the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes!” Wow! And he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn, and fell FACEDOWN. How many times have we seen these people respond by falling FACEDOWN in Numbers? I am so touched by their humility. And I am moved by a God showing up and may He do that for you in whatever you face.

With a sword drawn, the angel said: “Why have you beaten your donkey three times? I’ve come to oppose you because your path is a RECKLESS ONE before Me.” How I love Balaam’s response: “I have sinned. I did not realize YOU were standing in my road.” The angel gave him permission to go on, but said to speak only what God would tell Balaam. And he did.

This was my story. It was my beautiful LORD standing in my road to oppose me. I was attached to things not in God’s plans like my success and approval and recognition. It was a deeper surrender to detach me from dependence on even good things where I found my source of joy other than my God.

In Numbers 23, Balaam tells of five oracles given to him by his mighty God. Balaam went to a barren height to meet his God. God met with him and said to Balaam: Speak what the LORD puts in your mouth. Balaam knew he must do whatever the Lord says. Not what man is telling me to do. Balaam didn’t resort to his old ways of living (sorcery) but turned to his desert (suffering), the new man with a new way of living attached to his God and nothing else. They are oracles of one who sees clearly, who hears the words of his God, who sees a vision, who falls FACEDOWN and whose eyes are opened. There are those who look secure, even in our day, with their nests set in a rock but one day they will come to ruin if their security is not in their God alone.

Balak wanted Balaam to bless the secure ones but Balaam exposed them for they were attached to things God never intended. What is God detaching you from today that you have depended on for security, joy, peace, a safe haven other than abandonment on your beautiful God? Could it be a friendship, a job, ministry impact, success, recognition?

I should end this post RIGHT HERE but there is so much in the Book of Numbers, so if you want to read on, then read
the following questions raised from the chapters in Numbers we read in our chronological reading this week. Pick ONE number from questions below to read cause this post has become way too long. Then you leave a comment and tell us what one thing your God has stirred and spoken to your heart this week as you have listened to HIM from Numbers or anywhere.
1. Do I listen to rabble?
2. Do I live in the present?
3. Am I asking for favor?
4. Am I wailing from my bed or crying from my heart?
5. Do I aware how my sin affects others?
6. Do I hold a grasshopper mentality?
7. Am I unmoved by people and moved only by my God?
8. Do I follow wholeheartedly?
9. What if I hear thousands of grumbles?
10. When my God calls, do I come running?
11. Do I know that all this is God's idea?
12. Am I using spiritual language to grumble?
13. Do I fall FACEDOWN when there's no water?
14. Do I trust in HIM enough?

It was the rabble in Numbers 11:4 that started the complaining and the Israelites let themselves be influenced by it. Do I let the rabble of today influence my words? Jesus says to us today, "Let not your heart be troubled" by whatever is troubling you. "In My Father's House are many dwelling place prepared for you.""If it were not so, I would tell you." I John 14:1.

If you keep on remembering how you think your past looks better than where you are today, we won't really live in the present and whatever God has provided today. And sometimes what we had wasn't really as good as what we thought we had. In Numbers 11:15 they said, "remember the fish" for it looked better than the manna. The devil wants us to live in the past or in the future but not in this present moment.

Numbers 11:15 says "If I have found favor, don't let me face ruin." And, God answered Moses in a very practical way. You know, He's not my great vending machine but He does give good gifts to His children. Am I asking for God's intervention in my heart from ruin in my life not just from deliverance?

Numbers 11:18 Wailing "Why Did We Leave Egypt??" Be careful what you wail for, you might get it out of your nostrils. We should be crying from our hearts not wailing from our beds. Hosea 7:14 God says: I'll give you meat. Man says HOW? Not enough cattle; not enough fish in the sea. Numbers 11:23 - IS THE LORD'S ARM TOO SHORT. NOW, SEE WHAT I SAY WILL COME TRUE. I had to just sit before my LORD on this one. I watch for His Word to come true for me. His arm is not too short for anything in my life so what am I doing with that?

Miriam and Aaron talked about Moses. God heard. He hears every word, every thought of my heart. Do I seem to forget that? Miriam's sin held the camp up from moving for 7 days.

Numbers 13:30 Caleb said let's take possession of the land. We can do it! 10 leaders said "No, we seem like grasshoppers." 2 leaders said "Yes. Am I looking at my circumstances in life and saying the same thing---no way, this is impossible. It is Christ Who will be my strength, my confidence. Not about how strong I am or think I am. We can do what we face by His strength.


Numbers 14:1. That night all the people of the community complained and raised their voices and wept aloud. All of them. Does that mean 600,000? That’s a lot of feedback but Moses and Aaron were unmoved by the people when they talked about choosing another leader, and even wanting to stone Moses and Aaron. . Moses & Aaron’s response: fell facedown in the assembly in 14:10. Only moved by their God whose glory appeared to all. What courage rose up— if I had heard this kind of feedback about my leadership, would I have caved in OR faced down.

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants. Wow. I want THAT. Numbers 14:24

Numbers 14:29 Every one over twenty years old who has grumbled, that would be all, will not enter the land except Caleb and Joshua and 15:14 says they will be there for 40 years, one year for each of the 40 days they explored. May we all live today like Joshua and Caleb.

Numbers 16:12 - Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, "We will not come! Isn't it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert? And now you also want to lord it over us? They missed hearing God.

Numbers 16:28 Then Moses said, "This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt." It happened and they perished and were gone from the community.

“You have killed the LORD’s people" Numbers 16:41---they were mistaken. No such thing happened. How many events, circumstances in our lives have we bought into the untruth that it was about “the Lord,” about something spiritual. Yet, it really wasn't. The plague started and 14,700 died from it. Aaron was in the midst ministering and praying for release.

Numbers 20:2 Now there was no water for the community of 600,000 plus, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. "Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, this terrible place, that we and our livestock should die here? No grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. No water to drink." Moses and Aaron fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared. "Moses, Take the staff, and gather the assembly. SPEAK to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. Okay, I just got on my face not to make my life work but to honor HIM. How many times in Numbers does it say they fell facedown???

So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" 20:11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." You have no inheritance in their land (18:29). You know, Moses didn't CHECK OUT cause this huge privilege was taken away from him by his very real God. What did he know that we do not know today? Was it the end of 18:29 -"I am your share and your inheritance." And that was enough for Moses, he didn't have to enter the land to be happy about his life. He had God and that was enough.
I love you all SO MUCH. Can't wait to go to your posts. Link us up if you wrote about Numbers! So excited to read what you wrote about these chapters in Numbers or any place else where God spoke to you.
Facedown with you, Bev


Where is my Brooke and Blair when I need them?????????????????
I miss you girls SO MUCH.
I don't think my boys have any more words left for this day and it's noon.

A friend of mine came in town to speak to a group and she decided to do a mini-conference for her close friends yesterday. It was such a joy and pain for as I was rushing to get ready yesterday morning, my barefoot self ran into an unnoticed box of packed books in our hallway and the toe went crack. I hobbled around all day yesterday. But, today, I can't put any weight on my foot. It's black and blue and swollen. And the story got more complicated when I woke up today.

This morning, we were to leave at 5:30am for USA Junior Nationals basketball tournament that Britt qualified for near Austin. But, when I got up this morning and put weight on my foot, I fainted four times. Out cold every time! Such a horrific feeling as my body was fighting not to faint. I have low blood pressure and this has happened before. It is one of the most awful feelings I have experienced. It did pass away mid-morning and I am doing okay. Britt didn't make his tournament.

Please pray that I would find a rest in my heart I know not, as I have lost a little control over what I can do. Pray that I have peace in not being able to get up and work. One thing God has been saying to me, and He did it again at the conference yesterday, is that I need to pray for transformation in my heart not just insight or deliverance in the midst of my circumstance. Life is not primarily about being delivered from pain, being delivered from what has happened to me. It's all about finding God in the midst of the moment. And I so pray He opens the eyes of my heart to really see things as they are.

That makes me think about Jonah trapped in the mouth of a whale and what did Jonah pray for? GET ME OUT OF, those were not Jonah's words! Read Jonah 2:8 and you'll see that He didn't pray to be spit out, spewed out, strewn out. He prayed that he wouldn't miss the grace of God in his life for worthless things.

Yesterday, my friend asked us, "Do you value eternal good over present pain?" We all work so hard in different areas in our lives. Do we work even harder on an eternal perspective? While, it's not about "doing," it is about laying up treasures in heaven.

I bought 3 books on Friday from Good thing.
I deeply appreciate your prayers for my peace in inconvenient pain. How can a little bitty toe be such an annoying pain? My doctor just said to come on over and let him take a look at be continued...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Walking On His Arm in the Snow

We were eating crawfish at Papadeaux's in Dallas when Britt called to say that school and his track meet were cancelled. What!!!??? It's noon in March! So unlikely. Wasn't it 80 degrees just yesterday? We assured him that we'd be right there. But the traffic-filled Dallas roads told us otherwise. So we called Britt back about the impasse to which he responds, "Can I go PLAY at Greg's?" Britt is 16. OF COURSE YOU CAN! I heard the snowballs started streaking through the school parking lot before the sophomores made it to their cars.

Later in the afternoon I was home alone and glanced out the picture window behind the chair where I sat.
leaped up,
lunged for the IPOD,
layered upon layers of layers,
leashed the dog and
tore out the door into the swirling snow.
Macy, our border collie, took me for a mile walk.
Going out was beyond words as Chris Tomlin stirred my soul. But the mile coming back was against the wind. Never knew that snow stings on the face. So worth every step of the way and my walk ended in frozen tears listening and lingering on a Linkin Park song in my frozen ears, "What I've Done." I had hoped to just slip out on His Arm for a snow stroll and listen. You see, God had been moving in my heart earlier in the afternoon, about whether my actions of late had been out of a motive of love or out of wanting people to change so badly. Was I being like Peter with a hard heart? And my God was saying, "Do you love Me? Do you love Me? Do you love Me?" So moved this wintry day by my self-obsession. Am I self-obsessed or God-obsessed. So grateful I can slip back on His Arm and say, "I'm so sorry, my beautiful God, for I have been more concerned about changing the ways my world treats me than about loving them with Your Love."
Psalm 44:3 His Arm brings victory, not my arm doing things to make peace, not my arm saying things to jerk people and make people see what they are doing wrong. And on His Arm I want to waltz into this March morning and try again to live a life of love. Impossible. I'll fail again. I was never made to love from my own strength. Love found me. Love lives in me and that's what changes my world. In the midst of questioning my God with those frozen tears, I found His Arm again and saw the Light of His Face in the snow for we are so loved. So loved. Maybe that sounds so mystical. But it is so real to me.

Yesterday was such a beautifully hard day. A victory. I couldn't be any more grateful to God to allow me to push through it and find some freedom! I have a long way to go. I've come a long way. I so want to live in the present moment and deal with what is really going on in my heart, this moment. No more hiding in my heart. And I know it may come up again this very day and I'll trust Him with it. I pray that you slip onto His Arm this Friday morning and let Him lead you. His Arm brings victory and the Light of His Face. For He loves you so! Psalm 44:3.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

This past week, we continued on a wilderness journey from Exodus to reading Numbers 1-8.

The intention of the Israelites was
to conquer Canaan immediately.

They had NO IDEA that they would spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness until all the men who rebelled against God had died. If they knew the straight road through the wilderness, it would have only taken them a few days to reach the promised land.

I am going to camp on one passage in the wilderness this week that has lingered with me. What lingers with you from your reading of the Word this week? Leave a comment here, long or short. Link us to your blog if you'd be willing to leave more there. We'd love to hear what touched you, what holds your heart?

The Lord continues to speak directly to Moses. God says to tell Aaron and his sons that this is how you are to bless the people wandering lost in the wilderness. Say to them:
Jehovah bless you and keep you
Jehovah make His Face shine upon you and
be gracious to you;
Jehovah turn His Face toward you and
give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Do you feel like you are wandering in your own wilderness today?
The verbs: bless, make, be, turn, give are written in the imperfect tense meaning that the action is in progress, a continuing action to this very day. For you.

The name Jehovah is used in the Hebrew language because it refers to God's Longing Love for us and His Provision in our wanderings. Your First Love.

There was a shorter route. And, the Travel Agent, Who was able to divide the Red Sea, surely could maneuver through a quicker, painless route to a promised land. But this Divine Agent leads His best friends right through the wilderness. No shortcuts. No detours on His itinerary. Just a loving good plan to humble us and do us some good. Deut. 8: 2,3.

John Piper said: "The good that God aimed to do through the wilderness testing was to make the people intensely, deeply and lastingly conscious of their total dependence on God for everything. God aimed to give them experiences in the wilderness which would make it impossible for a reasonable person to say, My power, my might or my hand has gotten me this wealth."

So whatever you wrestle with as you lay awake at night or ponder throughout your day, this blessing is for you from your God many years ago spoken to Aaron through Moses. Spoken for you this very day. Here are the cross-references for these verses. Scripture interprets Scripture.

May your beautiful JEHOVAH bless you today. May your present Father bless you in your city and in your country. Deut 28:3-6. May your Sovereign Father bless you all the days of your life and that means today through the day you see your children's children. May your Great Shepherd bless you and carry you forever. Psalm 28:9.

May your beautiful JEHOVAH keep you this day. May your Savior hide you in the Shadow of His Wings and keep you as the apple of His eyes. Psalm 17:8. For you, my good God, are my Hiding Place protecting me from trouble, surrounding me with songs of deliverance saying: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32: 7,8.

May JEHOVAH'S Face shine on you today for our times are in His Hands. Let your Face shine and save me from my plight because of your Unfailing Love. Psalm 31: 15,16. Revive us and make your Face shine in us and through us. Psalm 80:3. Redeem us from oppression. Make your Face shine and teach us your Word. Psalm 119:134,135.

May your beautiful JEHOVAH be gracious and turn to you. May His Whole Face turn toward you. For our Omniscient God knows we are lonely and afflicted. Be gracious. Psalm 25:16. Turn to us. Have mercy on us. Give us your strength in our wilderness. Psalm 86:16. May the Living Word be gracious to us through His Word as we deal with our deceitful ways. Psalm 119:29

May JEHOVAH make His Face shine on you today. For it is not by your sword that you will win this land, not your arm that will bring you victory. It is the Right Hand, your Father's arm, and the Light of His Face, for your Heavenly Father so loves you. Psalm 44:3.

May JEHOVAH give you peace this very moment. For He says, I will bring healing to you and let you enjoy abundant peace and security. I'll bring you back from being trapped. I'll rebuild you as you were before. I will cleanse you from your sin. Only One can do that. And, you will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor! And you do. You so honor HIM. Jeremiah 33:6. I do not give you peace as the world gives. John 14:27. Now, may the Lord of peace HIMSELF give you peace by all means, always. II Thes. 3:16

And God told Moses in Number 6:27 to tell Aaron to give this blessing and that Aaron would put God's name on the people he served. I pray for you today, that first you receive God's Name for you this day. It's a revelation for you. Then, you go and put His Name on those you serve.

And His Name is this...The Becoming One.
God becomes to you this day what you need.
Your JEHOVAH'S arm awaits you.
Walk out on His arm today.

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

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

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

My Family

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


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


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