Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

We have been in Austin this weekend, interviewing for a church position. The people I met were delightful, courageous, and beautiful people. We are waiting on our God for an answer, not waiting for any man. As we drove home last night, I read our chronological reading for Sunday and it said: Though our God has given us affliction and adversity, our eyes will see our Teacher and our ears will hear a word behind us saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.' " Isaiah 30:21. I'm weeping as I write. Our God is so good, no matter what.

I've been on the road twice this week. Two road trips have taken its toll on blogging. Here we are, GONE FISHING in FLORIDA...(can you name everybody Brooke and Blair and Barrett?)Here I am, a little late this morning with Cover to Cover. Our chronological readings this week walked us through Isaiah and Micah and Psalms. Come back in a day or two and I'll post about our weekend where the LORD was among us all. This post about our readings this week is WAY TOO LONG. But I loved His Word so much this week as He spoke to my heart so tenderly, so generously. So, choose one of the questions below and read that one. I'd so love for you leave a comment if you've stopped by---all you need do is read one of the following questions and quotes that linger in my heart as we connected with our God to find HIM in His Word this week.

WHAT AM I DOING IN THE PLACE WHERE I AM?
Isaiah 22:9-12 You counted the buildings, you tore down houses to strengthen your walls, you built a reservoir, but you did not look to the One Who made it. You had no regard for the One who planned it. Isaiah 23:9 said: It was your beautiful LORD who planned all this to bring low, to humble. What am I really doing in this place where I am?

AM I FINDING REST IN PLACES I WANT TO FIND REST?
Where am I finding rest? Who gave you permission to chisel out a resting place in the rock. Only God is our resting place. Am I finding my rest in Him in the midst of what God has planned for me? Isaiah 23:9. Here’s your resting place or do you have to keeping doing and doing (you’ll get snared!) - Isaiah 28:12.God called you and he is calling today to sackcloth, to repent, and to Look to HIM, the One Who has made all this in our world and lives. God will drive us like a peg into a firm place and He will sit us down in a seat of honor in His House. Isaiah 22:22

WHAT DO I BELIEVE WHEN I AWAKE EACH MORNING? At morning’s light we carry out what we believe Micah 2:11. Every one of us had a choice to make this morning when light rose up in the skies. May this morning’s light that has shined so disturbing on me, may I find a Power in me that I know not, Micah 3:8, to carry out His will this day. Doesn’t His Word do good to the upright? Micah 2:7. I will gather you and pass through you. Micah 2:12.

AM I SAYING TO GOD, “THIS IS TOO MUCH?” “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.” Micah 6:3. TOO MUCH. Is that what I am saying by the way I live? God asked Hosea to marry a whore and love her. What! Hosea found God’s rest. And Hosea didn’t carve the rest out of a rock himself. Isaiah 22:16. God redeemed them in their slavery. Micah 6:4. God offers me today redemption in parts of my heart that know no freedom.

WHAT PLEASES GOD THEN AND NOW? Will 10,000 rams? 10,000 rivers? Micah 6:7 No. “God has showed you, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: To act justly. To love mercy. To walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8. Watch in Hope for the LORD. Wait for your God, your Savior. God will hear you in Houston, in Austin, in . Micah 7:7. Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light. Micah 7:8. Because I have sinned against him, He pleads my case and brings me into Light.

ON WHAT ARE YOU BASING YOUR CONFIDENCE? 2 Chron 32:22 The LORD saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria. He took care of them on every side. God is watching my back. You have strategy and strength—but you speak only empty words---this king of Assyria attacked Hezekiah’s judgment and told Hezekiah’s people that Hezekiah had deceived them (18:29) and mislead them (18:32) In verse 30, the Assyrian king says: Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the LORD. “Do not let the god you depend on deceive you Hezekiah - 2Kings 19:10.

AM I GOING STRAIGHT TO OUR GOD ABOVE WITH THE BAD NEWS? Hezekiah received the terrifying letter and went straight up to the temple and spread it out before the LORD. 2Kings 19: 14-16. And Hezekiah prayed: “You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God…deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” With him is only the arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles. 2 Chron 32:7. That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. (19:35) Only God could have done this.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I LOSE THE TRUST OF THOSE I LOVE? Psalm 75:2—there are people in my life who quaked on me starting with my own family up to this day. Earthquakes. People Quakes. It’s our beautiful God Who is holding those pillars up all the time, right over us, and sometimes I never even knew it. Hosea 11:3. I will remember this word for a long time.

ARE WE LETTING GOD SIT US DOWN? Two years ago we lost our job, our church position that my husband held for 27 years on the same church staff. God has been opening doors to go back into the ministry. We interviewed in Austin this past weekend. It was encouraging, delightful, challenging and God was among those people! I read in my quiet time on Friday Psalm 75: 6,7 and wept. It was the first verse that God gave me when we were terminated…“Promotion comes from the Lord, not from the east or the west. He lifts one man up and brings down another.” For whatever reason. Here I sit, a couple of years later and that trauma in my life turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened to me.

WHAT DOES GOD SEE WHEN HE LOOKS IN OUR HEARTS THIS DAY? Trust? Psalm 125:1,2 - Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,which cannot be shaken. God surrounds me and you today and forever. Oh wow. Yet, we’re like the children God reared and brought up according to Isaiah 1:2---we have rebelled against God and are a nation loaded with guilt. Oh whoa. “Stop doing wrong, learn to do right” - Isaiah 1: 16,17. One decision affects eternity and the quality of our eternal life, or so it says in Mere Christianity. So, come now, “let us reason together” for our sins can be white as snow. Come, let us go to the House of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths. He will not judge by what He sees with His eyes, or decide by what He hears with his ears, but with righteousness He will judge. He is looking into our hearts. Isaiah 11:3.

CAN WE REALLY HIDE OUR PLANS FROM GOD? “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?” Isaiah 29:13 Do we honor Him with our lips but our hearts are far from HIM? Making grocery lists at church. Decorating the bedroom while our husbands think we are “all in” with them. Staying “mean” and critical in our thoughts about our friends. Are we hiding from or honoring our God?

WHAT PLANS WILL I CARRY OUT THIS DAY? “Woe to those who carry out plans that are not mine. Who go down to Egypt without consulting me - Isaiah 30:1. This is what your Sovereign LORD says to you this day: “In REPENTANCE and REST is your salvation, in QUIETNESS and TRUST is your strength” – Isaiah 30:15. You would have none of it, YET your LORD longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. It doesn’t depend on our performance. Don’t rely on your resources or the strength you can muster up. The effect of your righteousness will be peace and confidence and quietness. Blessed are you as you wait for HIM, not for any man. He’s coming! “Your eyes shall see your Teacher, and your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 Be gone those other things I trusted in! Be gone! Isaiah 30:22.

35 comments:

Blair 7/14/2008  

Beverly-
Try something a little harder next time...Barrett is the only one who doesn't know their names.

Start at the back left:
Shelby, Abby, Anthony, Ashley, Austin Carly, Alexi, Teri, Tony, Cameron, Carson, Terry McManus, Savannah, Suzanna, Lily.

BAM!

Got it.

What do I get?

Love you!
Blair

JnL4God 7/14/2008  

Bev,
Well I got a lot more out of it this week but it still doesn't hold a candle to your post. :) I will post my comments a little later on my Blog. Glad your travel went well.
Lynn

Michelle V 7/14/2008  

Bev,

A beautiful post as usual! I'm glad you enjoyed your trips and I'm praying for you all as you wait for God's direction.

Blessings
Michelle

Mary Lou 7/14/2008  

Bev, I could comment on every one of your comments but I won't. The last one is the one that has the verse that jumped out at me the most. Beside it I wrote Be Still and know that I AM God. Right now He has been dealing with me on keeping the main thing the main thing and the bottom line is the bottom line...people repenting and turning to the Lord Jesus for salvation. The more I read the more I am convinced that we are in the last days of the last days. We need to be looking to Him for our confidence and not in Wall Street, the White House or any one party or man to "save" our country. God is the only answer. He is coming soon. Glad everything went well,glad you got home safely. Praying for His leadership in your lives..Blessings.. Mary Lou

Karen 7/14/2008  

What does God see when He looks at my heart? I shudder to think sometimes. Our sermon Sunday was based on Joshua 24 (and idols). Each day I am presented with a choice. It is a reminder that I must be intentional in my choices, not just choose once and think that all things will fall into place. (I suppose all things might fall...not in a good way.) At any rate, let us choose Him.

blessings,
karen

Ang baylis 7/14/2008  

What do I believe when I awake in the morning? Today I believe Joy Cometh! You are such a blessing, dear Bev!
I'm praying for you!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Blair, 100%...woohoo!
your Starbucks gift card is in the mail!
I really thought the kids have grown so much that you would all be surprised. Way to go!!

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Lynn - your post was awesome. Your insight on Micah 2:1 is a statement I think I will remember for a very long time. It touched deep places in my heart.

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Michelle - Your quote about God's origin from days of Eternity was simply beautiful. Great post!

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Mary Lou, Seems like we think so much about the same things...could also be that our lives are so similar right now...just love your heart! Your trusting heart! You are such an encouragement to me!

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Karen, your post was so heartfelt! So sincere! And I am so with you! And I do love doing this together...to read the psalm that was penned because of the battle faced is just amazing and alive to me. And I am so glad you are doing this with us! And we are doing it with you! Great post!

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Ang - a powerful verse that so resonates...great post.
God is emptying spaces in all of our hearts that we have filled up with other things. May we hear that call of surrender...
moment by moment. You're a humble girl!

jennyhope 7/14/2008  

I can remember back in 2000 having Isa 30:21 come so alive to me. You know how the Lord just pops out a verse that you need that was a huge one for me. I just had you on my heart and got your comment. Also, please pray that I will have energy tomorrow. I need it bad. Love you

Bev Brandon 7/14/2008  

Praying for you Jen in the midst of your health stuff that continues to surface. Surprise to us, but no surprise to God. He is watching you on every side---a verse from last week. Surrounding you. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I'm holding your face and your story in my heart. So often you come to mind!

helenw13 7/15/2008  

Hey Bev,
I believe I would have been numero quarto on your comments and I wrote a long one but then my laptop lost its connection...and then I kind of lost my umph...sorry for that!

I really loved all of your questions this week...it is too hard to pick one...

I can't remember exactly what I wrote but mostly I wanted to say that I am praying for you and your husband as you wait to know the outcome of this job/ministry opportunity...that you will definitely hear Him whisper to you...this is the way walk in it!

God is so faithful...

Helen

JnL4God 7/15/2008  

Bev
Thanks for your nice comments. I was making a comment on Michelles post and I wanted to share with you also that it is so wonderful that all of us can read the same scriptures, even if in different versions and get so many different insights. I know that has to do with the where we are at in our life at the time and the experiences we have had, but sometheing else that struck me was when we read ourselves there are things that linger and and stand out to us, then even though at first a scripture may not touch our spirit when we read it however someones insight on a scripture will catch us. Isn't Gods word awesome. Gods got me stirred up today. :) Have a great day.
Lynn

JnL4God 7/15/2008  

Sorry for not proofing the last post. I hope you got the point. :)
Lynn

annie's eyes 7/15/2008  

Soooo many good thoughts Bev that touch the deep places of my heart. I am asking myself if I am making a rock to rest in or if God is my dwelling place of refuge and safety. Praying for you for your next steps! Love you, Annette

Nise' 7/15/2008  

I needed to hear what you said this morning, "God offers me today redemption in parts of my heart that know no freedom". Amen and Thank you Lord! I also love the thought of Do I go straight to God with bad news or to the arm of flesh? Will continue to pray for you as you wait for the Lord to say, "This is the way, walk in it".

Marina 7/15/2008  

Bev, than you for your words on my post I just love them!! you have so much wisdom and I love it I hope someday I can see the word of God and gain wisdom from it I love his word and too many times my mind wonders as I read :( and that needs to stop,
I pray you will move to Austin you will be close to me and maybe we can meet :), In christ,marina
PS, love your picture you look so pretty

Shonda 7/15/2008  

Bev, I love reading all your thoughts. I am so grateful for HIS word. I am so glad that HE is gracious and compassionate. I wait for HIM!

I posted on my blog about how King Hezekiah handled a bad report.

Blessings in Christ-

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Helen, I lost a couple of comments myself last night and wonder what I just said!!! LOL. You're a faithful woman. So delighted you are part of this and for all that you contribute. Thank you for your prayers for us to hear that still small voice behind us saying 'this is the Way, walk in it.' Really appreciate you!

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Lynn. Think nothing of it. These are words off the top of our mind and hearts. I hear what you are saying and have seen that as I read all of you all. You bring me back to a word that comes alive for me like what you did with Micah 2:1. It so gripped my heart when you wrote about it. Thanks Lynn for your initiative, wholeheartedness, and encouragement.

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Annette, your story so grabs my heart and God is so alive in you! And if we make God our resting place, I think of the quote from the Chronicles of Narnia---"He's good but He's not safe."

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou Nise!
May we hear that still small Voice as we listen...
I love how you love the Word and
how you always linger on something where God has prepared you and is moving you to. You're precious!

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Marina, didn't know you lived near Austin---wow! Don't ever stop giving your beautiful heart to study the Word and know the Living Word. I think we all have wandering minds and wandering hearts. And He is so Faithful to bring us back. Just look at what HE has done in you and for you! And you will never walk away from His Love and you will never lose the Love of your beautiful Christ in you!

Bev Brandon 7/15/2008  

Shonda, I read your blog last night and you always speak from a heart that is wrestling with your God in faithful ways! Thanks!

littlerad 7/16/2008  

Bev,
I started to weep while reading this: Though our God has given us affliction and adversity, our eyes will see our Teacher and our ears will hear a word behind us saying, 'This is the way, walk in it.' " Isaiah 30:21

God has brought me through a hard time, knowning that I needed to go throught it with him, I turned to him and he helped me through it, and i'm so greatful that he was with me... Thank you for this post and a rememeder that God is allways with us...
You are in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

Toknowhim 7/16/2008  

Bev,

How exciting that God may have plans for your family in Austin...Either way I know that your heart is to take the path the Lord wants for your life...

You are precious, and if Austin is the place where you will end up...your new church family will be blessed to have your family on staff.

Much love sweet friend!!!

Bev Brandon 7/16/2008  

Thank you Connie
You certainly come across as a woman who has been deeply touched by your God, full of humility and tenderness and kindness. I'll take those words right back from you as I am waiting for my God to say this is the way, walk in it. With tears rolling down my face...

Bev Brandon 7/16/2008  

Thank you Kim, it will be our privilege to go wherever God calls us to serve and give and love. Can't wait! We thought we would know by now, but we will not know any definite word for a couple more weeks. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Michelle Bentham 7/17/2008  

Such a wise friend you are... I love your cover to cover Mondays... I wish I had more time to devote - alas maybe I can pick it up this fall. It is so good.

Blessings.

Bev Brandon 7/17/2008  

Michelle, thank you very much!
Why don't you do the New Testament with us...it will start in October.
I'd love to hear His Word from what lingers in your beautiful heart!

Lisa 7/17/2008  

Hi Bev!
Just wanted you to know that I prayed for you tonight. I am thrilled to hear about this possibility in Austin. Please keep me posted and know you are loved and cared for.

Lisa :)

Rachel 7/18/2008  

Hi Bev! I can't wait to meet you in SA. I love your blog! It looks like you had a lot of fun on your fishing trip!

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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