Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

I've just returned from a week's vacation on a barrier island---Santa Rosa Island, Florida. My sister invited me to go with her family of 17. It was such a gift for me to walk on the thousands of thought-filled reminders of His thoughts on the shore at sunrise every morning. I'd never done that before! I cooked for them all a couple of times and did arts & crafts with their nine loving livewires whom you see pictured above! I loved them all! I could have uninterrupted time with God, reading and listening, surrounded by beauty that pierced my heart! So grateful for the time! I'm back to blogging. Here's something from each day of our chronological readings from this past week that lingered with me.

There are a handful of us that are reading the Bible together chronologically and posting our comments on Monday mornings. You are always welcome to join. Please leave a link in your comment if you have written about what lingers with you from this week's reading. We are not about just getting insight to make our lives better. We hope that happens, but we are doing this to connect with the Author of our lives and linger in what He is saying to us through His Word this year. You are always welcome to stop by on Monday mornings and read our humble hearts trying to find the Living Word through His holy written word. So scroll down and read a paragraph or two that captures your eye. And I hope you leave a comment.

WE RECEIVE ONE WORD THAT SHAKES OUR WORLD, SHATTERS OUR SOULS and DRIES UP OUR DREAMS - Isaiah 7:2...
Who do we go to first? Isaiah 7:2 It happened to King Ahaz. He heard about who was coming full-speed-ahead to destroy him. Ahaz, a very successful king, perceived that it was a battle he couldn’t win. In our lives today, we take a look at the data and we may be quite accurate at what we perceive. The problem is we don’t do the math very well and we’re always adding up things yet getting the wrong number. We try to figure things out with people. We keep our heart from hurting and trusting and we don’t “let go” or “let down” and rest in where God is bringing us. Wonder why we are so afraid to rest in our suffering? Ahaz folded---didn’t want to play his hand. “The hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.” Isaiah 7:2. The LORD told Isaiah to tell Ahaz: 'Be CAREFUL, CALM DOWN. KEEP QUIET, DON’T FEAR from your heart because of what you see and hear. If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9. Am I listening to God or men? Am I “all in?”

INQUIRE OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL GOD FOR A SIGN - Isaiah 7:11
One more time, the LORD spoke to Ahaz, "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights." Isaiah 7:11 Those are the hardest times to let God change us---when we are desolate in the depths or fat and full in the heights. God spoke words to Ahaz twice. A word came to me very recently that shook my world and sunk me low, and brought me to my knees this week. I asked for a sign and one came within minutes. I don’t hold an experiential faith, yet I do believe God in whatever ways He shows up for me. You can read about receiving a sign in my post "Shimmering Skies." I was flabbergasted. Kneeling in brokenness; standing in grace.

WE ARE TO DREAD ONLY ONE THING. – Isaiah 8:13
The LORD came to me with his STRONG HAND upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people.. Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread what they dread. Isaiah 8:12-15. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy. HE is the one you are to fear. HE is the one you are to dread. And HE will be your sanctuary!

A LIGHT HAS DAWNED IN OUR DARKNESS – Isaiah 9:6
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. For to us a child is born…AND He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6. The zeal of the LORD will accomplish justice and righteousness. His Anger is not turned away. His Hand is still upraised. What will you do with the Light you have? What will you do on your day of reckoning; to Whom will you go for help? Isaiah 10:3

TURN TO YOUR FRIENDS FOR HELP or TO THE UNSEEN EYES – Hosea 5:13
When Ephraim saw his sickness and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria’s king for help. What’s our first response when our health fails or unwanted news arrives by phone or a friend handles us so wrongly or a family member hurts us deeply with no apologies. Who do we turn to? “The king is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores.” Do we seek to have intimate communion with God in the midst of our marital arguments---when we flee or fight? Verse 15 says: When we admit our guilt, “in our misery we shall earnestly seek Him.” Or do we just seek Him when circumstances are going well. Seek Him in your misery.

COME. RETURN. ACKNOWLEDGE. PRESS ON – Hosea 6:1
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. We cannot pick out the verses that build for us a safe life---all Scripture is inspired by God. What we can unpack from this chapter is the assurance that in the midst of suffering, our God will “come to us like the spring rains that water the earth. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear,” if we rend our hearts in repentance. Or, is our love like the morning mist that disappears? Hosea says that the LORD cut them in pieces with His Word. Are we connecting with HIM for greater insight to make our lives work---that sounds like idols to me. Or, are we finding HIM in the Word to know Him and have a relationship with the God Who created us for this very purpose. “Desire acknowledgement of God rather than offerings,” even of good programs and faithful groups and even Scripture knowledge---all good things but what do we seek first? God or things?

REDEEMED…SO CRY FROM YOUR HEART – Hosea 7: 13,14
God says in these verses He LONGS to redeem us. They are intrigued with God; their passions smolder. Yet, they don’t cry out to their God. They wail from their beds rather than crying out from their hearts. They are living in the old covenant---what are we supposed to do, they ask. This day, Jesus has redeemed us under the new covenant! Are we wailing upon our beds or crying out to HIM from our hearts? When we wail, we have one goal for our pain---relief. So how do we cry out to Him from our hearts and release His Spirit? In the new covenant, it is no longer what we are supposed to do, but what we WANT to do to follow our Christ cause there is no life apart from HIM.” So are the tears that fall---demanding angry tears or sorrowful repentant tears. I’ve not thought about asking what my tears are for…maybe I should say for Whom are my tears. For God or for myself?

WHAT ARE WE PILING IN HEAPS AS WE ADVANCE HIS KINGDOM? - 2 Chron 31:6
Just what are we stockpiling for this next world? “People lose heart and God brings their plans to nothing” for they consult everyone else but God, the Author of their lives. Hearts melt within when our trust is in anything other than God, our Source. (Isaiah 19:1). Where do we go for help and deliverance from the enemies of our soul? (Isaiah 20:5) We’ve relied on ourselves and the help we can find to muster up to get going again. Not so for Hezekiah. The LORD was mustering up an army and Hezekiah joined in and led his people to bring their tithes and pile them in heaps. This king offered a taste of God and advanced the kingdom of his God. Are we attaching and advancing His Kingdom or detaching and dismissing His Works?

My last word is this...life for me isn't about insight and more knowledge...our journey is all about finding a holy, sovereign God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Knowledge puffs up and just makes us proud but love changes everything I Cor 8:1. We so want to love HIM and love our world. I don't know where God is leading us to go, but pray for our family as we ask Him and listen.

34 comments:

Kaytlynn 7/06/2008  

Bev,
I came across your blog from another blog, and I've really enjoyed reading it. I can tell you truly love the Lord and delight in Him. It's good to be encouraged by a fellow sister in Christ.
In Him,
Kaytlynn

P.S. I love Psalm 45:11 too

Nise' 7/06/2008  

Many of these questions I ask myself often, "Who am I listening to?", "Am I seeking Him in good times as well as bad?", "What does my heart seek first?" You are in my prayers as you seek His leading.

Glad you had a wonderful time in Florida.

jennyhope 7/06/2008  

so funny because I was just on your blog. I followed the video tutorial on the dashboard and copied the link locations I already had on my blog roll and added them to the new thing. See if that helps.

Ang baylis 7/07/2008  

May we seek Him always! Love changes everything... GREAT point, Bev! I'm sorry I don't have anything this week for our readings. I'll be back next week!! In the meantime, I'll be praying for all of the sisters who are reading and look forward to reading what everyone shared this week! Bev, you are such an inspiration to me!
Love you,
Angie xoxo

Karen 7/07/2008  

Oh Bev, the deepest desire of my heart is to have a burning hunger for Him. As always, your post touched my heart. Keep seeking, sister.

karen

Laura 7/07/2008  

"...life for me isn't about insight and more knowledge...our journey is all about finding a holy, sovereign God, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Knowledge puffs up and just makes us proud but love changes everything..." Amen! Bev, what a wonderful opportunity to listen for His voice among the wind and waves! I'm so glad you go this opportunity to meet with Him. and what cuties you were in company with! YOur comment on my blog left me worried about you, dear friend. Please tell me about this rejection you mention. You are always in my prayers,
Laura

Mary Lou 7/07/2008  

My heart is there with yours...whom do I seek first? Him or other people. I so want it to be Him. And I want to seek Him in the good times as well as the bad. He has proven Himself so faithful to me in the bad times in the recent past that I have to give Him praise for that truth. Your words gave me pause for thoughts and make me search deeper in my heart and thoughts. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been praying for Him to lead and guide and direct your steps as you and your family search for what He would have you do. So glad you got to get away and enjoy the beautiful white sand and blue sky there in Santa Rosa Island. I've been there...it is beautiful.

helenw13 7/07/2008  

Bev...what beautiful pictures of your vacation...such a precious angels...gorgeous photo.

I echo above...whom do I seek first? What am I running to that is not God or that I put in the place of God? These readings have begun to be very personal to me...it is impossible to point a figure at those that walked this earth so long ago and think that their struggles are theres alone.

I actually wrote a short post this week...

Have a blessed week...as blessed as you are a blessing!

Helen

Oh...also how cool how you did your blogroll...that's really neat!

annie's eyes 7/07/2008  

I continue to pray for your family's decisions and wisdom in seeking Him first. I posted a few thoughts on many of the same points. This week was good for reinforcement of many of the precepts with God. You always inspire me to step up and draw nearer! Love you, my friend. Annette

Kaytlynn 7/07/2008  

Hey Bev,
The diary isn't mine. This year, as a freshmen in High school, I had a close friend get pregant. I used some of the things she went through couppled with what I thought it would be like if something happend and I were to get pregant. I'm sorry to hear some of the stuff you have been through. I can't even imagine. There is a little girl at church I'm mentoring who has been through a lot of those things too. Have a wonderfull day. I look forward to cont. to read your blog.
In Him,
Kaytlynn

Michelle V 7/07/2008  

Bev,

I loved reading your insights, and you are so right! It's about relationship with our Creator, not about head knowledge! I have my post up on my blog as well.

Blessings
Michelle

JnL4God 7/07/2008  

Bev
Great insight as always. I actually like how you are doing your format too. I was doing the reading and then at the end of the week trying to put it together on what lingered. I found last week I did that and then after I was done I was reading someones post and went .... oh yeah I remember that I was going to says something there too. I missed a couple of days reading this week and so I didn't have a lot that lingered this week. But as I said above I think I will try your format of doing a recap each day. (while it's fresh..did I say that) :)
Glad you had a nice vacation, we all need refueling.
Thanks,
Lynn

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Kaytlynn
You are always welcome to stop by...you are a very good writer from your heart.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Nise
Thank you for being faithful and compassionate and supportive.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

JennyHope
You are always so trendy yet always so full of faith. The tutorial worked!

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Ang
Thank you for your kind words. Hope your anniversary and upcoming year is filled with His Presence and Power. So touched to see you so happy.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Jen,
Happy Anniversary to you too!
You're such a good wife and mom!

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Karen
Your comment and e-mail meant so much to me. So glad we are on this journey together.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Laura
We are trusting with open hands and I do appreciate your concern and support. It's been a hard couple of weeks and God has present and He is good, no matter what.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Mary Lou
What similar paths we are on...so your words and wisdom mean much.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Helen
You're a great writer. You speak and write from your heart. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Annette, your post made me realize I skipped July 2nd---my son's birthday---and those verses meant so very much to me. Loved loved loved what you wrote about them and will carry them with me.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Michelle
Your love for the Word is
contagious and courageous.

Bev Brandon 7/07/2008  

Lynn
I always do it different, somewhat. There's so much that we all could say. Mine are way too long but I do it to remember those scriptures that jump off the page at me. So glad you are with us!

Shonda 7/08/2008  

Bev,
Beautiful picture of the kids and the beach. Thanks for sharing. I also thank you for sharing your heart and what moved you in reading the Bible this week. I always glean so much from you.

The Lord has certainly been dealing with me about relying too much on others and things of this world and not on HIM. My expectations fail me, but HE never does.

I wrote a post today (a day late but as soon as I could) about what I felt the Lord impressed upon my heart. Do I want to do things my way like the kings of Israel and Judah or do I want to do things The King's way?

I'm still praying for you and your family as You seek Him for direction. Lot's of love to you!!

Love and blessings in Christ--

Marina 7/09/2008  

Bev I have an award for you so come by and pick it up.marina

Marina 7/09/2008  

Bev I link you web site to mine however its not taking people there?
marina

Bev Brandon 7/09/2008  

Shonda, I stopped by and am constantly encouraged by the ways you deal with the desires of your heart and look to Him, your Author. Thank you for your kind words.

Bev Brandon 7/09/2008  

Marina, you are so precious to me. Thank you from my heart for thinking about me! I am not sure why the link doesn't work. I appreciate your beautiful heart very much!

littlerad 7/09/2008  

Bev,
I'm so glad that Beths words could touch you once again, and that they can speck to you, I have been through a hard time in the last week, and i'm glad to know that God is my comforter...
I'm humbled by your words...
You are in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

Alana 7/09/2008  

Two verses I loved this week...

Isaiah 5:1 and 5:26

Love ya!

So glad you enjoyed your vacation, friend!

Mary Lou 7/10/2008  

Bev, I just sent you an email and I then read some verses that He told me to send you...Psalm 33:18-22. those are in addition to the ones that I sent you earlier. Love,Mary Lou

jennyhope 7/10/2008  

Hey Bev! Just checking in. I have been sick and a little knocked out with some medicine they gave me for something I have called pelvic congestion. Morgan even spent the night with her mimi and pop and all I did was sleep today. Anyway, I need you to know what a blessing your blog is to me and what an encourager you are to all of us. I love you and hear your heart constantly. Keep running to Him until He fulfills the desires of your heart. I know hope deferred makes the heart sick. just saying hey and letting you know I am praying!!

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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