Sunday, May 11, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

We boiled 60 pounds of live crawfish for Mother's Day and slowly devoured the critters. Then we had foot races in the back field and I lost every one to the little bitty cousins. This competitive girl didn't care at all. Brookie called from Thailand; Barrett called from France; Blair called from D.C.; and my youngest boy was by my side. That's what mattered to me...to connect with my four on this day that I didn't think could happen as a child from where I came. So grateful to my beautiful God that someone calls me "Mommy."

It's Monday Morning and nine thoughts linger with me from our chronological readings this week. I know some of you have fallen behind and it's okay. Just pick up where you are and join us. Choose one of the nine paragraphs below and read just one, then leave a comment about which one God is speaking to you about. We'd love for you to invite us to your blog to hear what lingers in your heart as you have read His Word this week.

Pray for us as we wait on God for direction about a ministry position. Pray for my husband who has hurt his back. Pray for favor on my life as I enter classrooms this week of the economically deprived who have agendas and attitudes that the world owes them something. Pray that I desire to be a blessing to them more than just wanting them to cooperate with my classroom goals. May we all look at others as more important than ourselves and have no higher agenda but to love and trust a good God Who is so present no matter what!

Pick one:

1. WE CAN NEVER LOSE THE LOVE OF OUR LORD.
I’m bent over listening in on how God will answer David in 2Samuel 7. David wants to build a house for God. God says: I will give you rest, David. Your offspring will build a house for My Name and my love will never be taken away from you, David, like it was Saul. I am so moved that God never mentions David’s sin for HE looks at David as righteous just like HE does to us. And David responds with a quiet humble heart when he hears the news that he won’t build the house but his offspring will—he would have been jealous if he was at war with his flesh.

2. SATAN INVITES US TO DWELL IN THE PAST or LIVE IN THE FUTURE
Sounds like David has dealt with his guilt as we overhear his prayer as he sits before his Lord. Wonder what words God will hear from us today as we sit before HIM in this present moment? David says things like: v. 18 – Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far??? V. 19 - There is No One like you. v. 27 David found courage to offer this prayer….David knew where he came from and he had acknowledged what he did that was wrong. That is the past. David lives in the present. God says He will take care of the future, so let it go. Satan wants us to live in the past or the future but not in the present. David repented of his ways. He wasn’t just being responsible going back to work, more than that—he was a broken man realizing what he had done to make his life work like he wanted.

3. GOD MAKES ME SOMEBODY WITH STRENGTH
I think I will remember Psa 138:3 for a long time. “I called. God answered. And HE made me BOLD and STOUTHEARTED.” I’ve never seen that word before. It means “someone with strength” in the Hebrew. Psa 138:8 says God will fulfill His Purpose for me—not about my purposes to live this life but all about God’s purposes and the next life. We were made for another world. For God knows me Psalm 139:5. I am hemmed in "behind and before. That means in both time and direction. He's got me 139:13. I am fearfully made not pitifully put together. Psalm 139:16. All my days were ordained by my God, even today! Psalm 139:18 His thoughts toward me outnumber all the grains of sand everywhere Psalm 139:23. YOU search me God and test my anxious thoughts...that's your work to lead me. Psalm 139:23.

4. NO HIGHER AGENDA THAN TO LOVE AND SHOW KINDNESS AND ADVANCE HIS KINGDOM
Loved loved the story of Mephibosheth in II Sam 9:3 - David showed God’s kindness because of Jonathan. He “provided” for Mephibosheth it says in verse 10. The word provided in the Hebrew means “I Am” and oh my!!! I Am provides. God is so providing for me as He continues to say “HERE I AM” and in the midst of my husband not having a full-time job and limited finances, God is so showing up. I hope we all continue to show God’s kindness to those He sends our way thinking more about others than ourselves, advancing His Kingdom, not just living this life.

5. SILENCE IN THE FACE OF SIN DOES NOT SET ANYONE FREE
David’s son Amnon rapes his beautiful half-sister, Tamar. II Sam 13:14. Absalom asked what happened and gives his sister horrifying advice to keep quiet about the rape. In verse 21, it says King David heard about what had happened, and he was very angry. However, Absalom and David never spoke to Amnon or Tamar about it. They left Tamar alone to face the wrath of her rapist. That same thing happened to me---left alone in my own rape. That’s horrible parenting on David’s part. Absalom took matters into his own hands and successfully plotted to kill Amnon, then fled. David says he will protect strangers and “not a hair on their son’s head will be disturbed.” 2 Samuel 14:11. But David won’t do as much to protect and care for his own children as he promised to do for a stranger. 2 Sam 14:13. David never wanted his son Absalom in his presence. 2Sam. 14:24.

6. CAN WE TRUST GOD TO BE GOOD EVEN WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES DON'T GO OUR WAY?
II Samuel 24 - David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant." Psalm 20:7 - Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Isn’t this what life is all about…no matter what happens to us, do we trust God as a good God who has not turned his head. No surprise to God that we don’t have a job or that health issues have crept back in as my husband is now suffering or that finances are tight or that someone else gets to rule over the people—not us. We trust HIM. Isaiah 31:1 comes to mind: Woe to those who rely on Egypt. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.

7. SOMEONE IS THROWING STONES AT YOU IN YOUR VALLEY AND GOD IS THERE
You are the lifter of my head in our valleys. Psalm 3:3. God hears us when we call to HIM in our valleys. Psalm 4:3. Be silent. Psalm 4:4. There is a greater joy there than circumstances going our way. Psalm 4:7. This is a forgiven murderer, adulterer and parental failure who is writing these verses to his God. God restores our sinful souls - Psalm 23:3. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. Psalm 23:4. David was walking through a valley in 2 Samuel 16 when Shimei threw stones down at David, cursed at him, and showered him with dirt. David's response: “It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” God is in your valley with you.

8. WHAT ONE THING DO I ASK OF MY GOD?
FIRST THINGS FIRST...AND THERE IS ONLY ONE FIRST THING
In his “overwhelming guilt,” David chooses to trust and wait for his God. Psalm 37:3
My experience has been Psalm 27: 13,14 - I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the Goodness of my God in the land of the living. Praise God for deliverance from ourselves and from those who oppress us.“The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1. Don’t fear my dangerous brother, nor any perpetrator against me. In my life, that was really hard for me to do when I knew my life was in danger so David’s words are powerful to me. “The LORD is the Stronghold of my life.” “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek—to dwell in His House to gaze upon His Beauty. WAIT for the Lord and be strong. Take courage and wait for the LORD - v. 14…It is ours for the taking. I so want to take courage from my beautiful God!

9. TRUST GOD WHEN HE IS SILENT
FOR WHAT AM I REALLY LOOKING FOR?
My prayer for you this week is that your trusting heart will be strengthened if you do face a silent sovereign God this day! Why does it seem our God is hiding from us - Psalm 10:1. To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Psalm 28:1 Over and over David said God was silent - Psalm 42:3. Yet, David knew his God heard his cry for mercy…my heart trusts in YOU, and I AM helped! (28:7) I put my hope in God, not in answers…Psalm 39:7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for? Be not deaf to my weeping." When faced with silence, what am I really looking for? Is it solutions or streams?--- As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1,2. May all of our souls thirst for you, the living Word, the living God!

25 comments:

Ang baylis 5/12/2008  

Good Morning, my sweet sisters in Christ! I hope you all had a Happy Mother's Day! Bev, you are Blessed and I can hear it in your words. I'm so happy you heard from ALL four of your kids. This is HUGE! I know you don't take it for granted!

I am thinking about... and praying for each of you today! I'll be back to read your insights more carefully Bev, and I'll go to all of your sights as soon as I can. I'm off to clean some teeth today and hopefully meet someone in my chair who needs Him most!
All my love,
Angie xoxo

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Thanks Angie...I love your humility and your kindness!
Thanks for the comment and
I pray that you may hear
your God speaking to you today
as you move to love others.

Sharon Brumfield 5/12/2008  

I loved that ya'll enjoyed some critters yesterday....ya gotta feel sorry for those who don't know what they are missing. There is nothing like a huge tray of mud bugs!

I am sorry that your hubby hurt his back. Some times it seems like the lessons of God just go on and on.
And when God seems to be moving slow...your mind can begin to wonder.
My cry lately has just been that I would see the Glory of God in the land of the living. That God would rise up and show that He has been miraculously working on our behalf even when we could not see it. And that He saw and has not forgotten all that we have done in His name.
I love the fact that you are still hearing His voice. Keep looking for His face.

annie's eyes 5/12/2008  

I didn't know what to make of Absalom and his daughter Tamar. Silence in the face of sin doesn't set anyone free." I knew you would know because God redeemed even that in you that you can have freedom where it did not exist before. I also love your poignant question, "do I want solutions or streams?" How I pray for each of us to need streams of His living water to flood us more than any circumstancial prayer. He is the answer alone. Beautiful post again so rich with His mercy and grace, Bev.

You are such a great mom and are blessed to the fullest measure with your four, even if you didn't win any races yesterday. Sounds like a fun day.

I will post more of my thoughts on this week's readings a little later today. I look forward to reading all of yours. I receive such a blessing from your insights. You all have a blessed week with Jesus as the sole solution to every circumstance.

Nise' 5/12/2008  

The thought captions that tugged at my heart even before reading the thoughts were: 2. SATAN INVITES US TO DWELL IN THE PAST or LIVE IN THE FUTURE and 5. SILENCE IN THE FACE OF SIN DOES NOT SET ANYONE FREE. Both of which got me to thinking this week about my kids. As a mom of young adult children it is way too easy to fret about their future based on what they are choosing right now! Also, I was struck this week about not being negligent when I see my kids sin. Which leads to what God spoke to me this week and that is CONFIDENCE in Him alone. The rest of my post on this week's reading is here.

Fran 5/12/2008  

#4 Bev. When you have a past this mostly "pit" filled and you come to know Christ and know how He heals and redeems....then there is no greater joy than to advance His Kingdom and bring others to Him.

You are gonna do just that with these kids you have now. Look at them as His children. Find their sweet, beautiful hearts and pray like never before.

I'm always covering you in prayer sweet friend. You are a HUGE blessing to me.

Lots of love,
Fran

Mary Lou 5/12/2008  

Bev, so glad you had such a great day on Mother's Day. So sorry about Bob's back. Praying for the job opportunities. Praying for you in yours...
2. Satan invites us to dwell in the past or live in the future. Oh, so true. That is right where I am right now. In this transition in our lives with semi-retiring and moving the office home, it is very emotional and it is so tempting to dwell in the past and fear the future. There truly is NO ONE like the LORD and He is so with us in this transition. We have to keep our focus on Him and go forward, this is where He told us to go. He is already there and has it all planned out for us. Change is hard..God is good and He is good all of the time and He is holding us by His right hand. God will take care of our future as we let go of it...He is the one in control David realized that fact and he just wanted whatever God wanted. So do I....please pray for us as we go thru this transition. We need all the prayer support we can get. thanks...Blessings on your week. May He meet you as you serve Him in the job He gave you.

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

There you go again Sharon with those weighty words ... I knew you would understand about crawfish :) Gourmet!

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Annette, I have so longed for solutions to my problems...that's so demanding on my part. Solve this God. Get rid of this. Just so arrogant of me. God has been so gracious to me to make me want HIM more than answers. Your life makes me want HIM more.

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

'Nise - I just always see you moving through life to find your God in the midst of the storms. Can't wait to come to your post. Thanks for your comment!

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Fran, you have such a servant heart! I love the ways you so want to move into the lives of others and keep that focus. You have such a huge heart for others.

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Mary Lou, I love the ways you find to trust your God no matter what is happening---that's all life is about anyway. Your life communicates that your God is good no matter what! He is! Thanks for the reminder today that God gave me this job....whew! Praying for your move.

Karen 5/12/2008  

Oh my, I would have to say that 2 and 7 speak to me. I have given a lot of thought lately as to how I apparently prefer to "wallow in my pit" as opposed to turning it completely over to God and allowing Him to set me free. I won't go into all the details, but #2 sure pops that one between the eyes.

The thing that I have held on to these past few weeks has been the knowledge that God is with me. And this has been driven home over and over again as we have read through the Bible the last two weeks. Isn't our God wonderful? He knew that this was exactly where I would be this week and what I would need to see and hold in my heart.

Also, I appreciate you being specific with your prayer requests. It helps me to know how to pray. I know the Lord knows, but when I have specifics, I tend not to ramble as much. (although, being blonde, I'm sure I still ramble somewhat.)

blessings to you,
karen

Lisa 5/12/2008  

Bev,
I so LOVE your heart! I have been missing you, friend, and wondered how you were doing. Please forgive me for being so busy and not checking in with you lately! Please know that it was not for lack of love or concern. :)

When you get a minute, please email me and let me know how you are and how I can pray for you!

Lisa :)

CrownLaidDown 5/12/2008  

I'm caught up, but my brain is functioning not-so-well with this cold. I understand the stone-throwing. I have had a few hurled my way over the past two days. Lord, I trust you to watch over me.

I also am praying for you Bev and for Bob! Thank you for blessing me this weekend!
Much love,
holly

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Oh Karen, just those four words "God is with me" powerfully penetrates my thoughts and feelings and depths of who I AM. I don't know what is happening to me but I cannot get enough of my beautiful God. Even your just saying that just bowled me over. I'll come visit soon.

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

Lisa, missing you too. I finally caught up on your posts a week ago. Working full-time has been a new chapter in my life and I don't know what to say "no" to at times. I've never had to do this ever and it's a huge change for me. Plus a lot of stress. My beautiful God is showing me my heart that wants kids to cooperate with me MORE THAN I want to bless them and that's NOT RIGHT. It has been a humbling experience and that's good. I'll e-mail soon. Thank you SO MUCH for your kindness to me! Love you!

Bev Brandon 5/12/2008  

A tear just fell for you Holly when I read that. Not right that anyone would hurl one at you. I've actually had rocks and bottle caps thrown at me by students; however, it was in jest (not funny to the teacher). But that sends something right through me and I am so praying for you to have no higher agenda but God's grace to love back----whatever that means! Sure do love you and loved visiting with you on Saturday!

Alana 5/12/2008  

#6 and #9 are ringing true to me these days.

Ashley 5/14/2008  

I hear ya on #2! As college graduation nears, it's hard to focus on living TODAY for Jesus ... so much of my time and energy is consumed with forward-looking thoughts.

Profbaugh 5/14/2008  

Hey Bev,

Just stopping by to say "hi." I'll be praying for your hubby. . you too! I know those kids in each classroom you enter this week will be blessed. Thanks for letting God use you in the classroom, at home and on this blog. You are definitely one multi-tasking Momma!

Much love,
~Cheryl

Bev Brandon 5/14/2008  

Alana, love your heart for your mighty God! You are such a really authentic person! A woman who smiles at the future! Love you lots!

Bev Brandon 5/14/2008  

Congratulations Ashley! That's quite an accomplishment. Hope you continue to hear from your God in the present moment as He directs your steps.

Bev Brandon 5/14/2008  

Cheryl, it's always a joy to hear from you and when your teacher voice speaks, I listen. You have such depth and kindness to go along with it. Thank you so much for your weighty words as always. Much Love to you, Bev

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

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

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