Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning COVER TO COVER and a Bloggy Beth Moore Giveaway

BETH MOORE BLOGGY GIVEAWAY (scroll down to the next post)
The 4-day swim meet seemed endless. Britt's 25 second 50 Free swim turned into a 23 SECOND race for him!! His relay team WON second in state, runner-up for the state championship by a second. Britt walked away more excited about swimming than before. Yet, it looks like it's over. We don't know what our future holds as far as where we will live, where we will work, where we will play. Pray for us as we wait on God Who is watching to see His Word fulfilled, Jer 1:12.

There are a few questions that come to mind as we read the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah this week in our chronological reading. There is always so much to blog about from a whole week of reading the Bible. Never an adequate way to do that. So choose one question below from this way-too-long post and read that snippet. Then, leave a comment about what touched you this week as you connected with God through His Word. Link us up to your blog if you've posted about what lingers with you from the Word of God on this sultry Monday morning. Think about your journey, not about solutions to your problems. And let's respond back to our beautiful LORD Who is quieting us all with His Love, delighting over you this day, singing a song (which one?) over your life and bringing you BACK HOME. (Zeph 3:16-20)

ARE YOU EAGER FOR GOD WITH STRIFE IN YOUR HEART?
There are those who are “eager for God” bowing their heads in prayer yet staying in quarreling and strife in their relationships. Have to take a look at my own stuff and let God speak. “God will guide you and strengthen your frame Isa 58:11 and you will become a repairer of walls. Too many people want to be a repairer without facing what is going on in their hearts---the relational failure before God and man. They don’t want to face their disillusionment with God, with life, with their relationships. This can be a very fertile soil where hope grows. Honor God by not going your own way. 58:13 and listening to empty arguments 59:2. For our sin has separated us but our REDEEMER will come to those who REPENT 59:20…and how beautiful is that! His Spirit is on you and me and His words are in our mouths---not just on the “big people” in life like Piper or Willard or Moore.

WHAT IS MY GOD DOING IN MY LIFE? It’s not about what I will do with God, it’s all about what my God will do with me. Your God is COMING “to strengthen your feeble hands” 35:3. Our Redeemer comes. Arise! Shine! Those who were forsaken…no more. You will be nursed at royal breasts---I am your Redeemer. What is He doing for you? I am your LIGHT. Your God is your glory and even the LEAST will become 1,000 (60:22). Accepted. Loved. Redeemed. Called by a name better than daughter 56:5. No longer deserted. Sought After. No longer desolate. Delighted in. 62:4

DO I TRUST THE ARM OF FLESH OR ARM OF GOD? “Take this to heart” Isa 42:24,25. In all your distress Christ redeems. God’s presence saves us. 63:9. A friend says there are parts of her heart not redeemed yet and she is way further along than I. What is God doing? Confronting us with the Holy One in Isaiah 30. Then, Isaiah’s ending chapters turn the page to a God who gives hope. The LORD has anointed me to preach good news, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for captives and release from darkness. To comfort all who mourn. To bestow a crown of beauty, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. For the Display of His Splendor! So my God keeps convicting me of my trust in an arm of flesh or in the arm of God 2 Chron 32:7 that I may go do what I was made to do.

WHAT PRAYER MOVES THE HEART AND HANDS OF GOD? No ear has heard, no eye has seen any God besides our God who acts on behalf of those who wait for HIM 64:4. Before you call on ME this day, I will answer; while you are still speaking this day, I hear 65:24. My God is listening. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” And we are about to see a king who did just that. The story of Manasseh touches deep places in my heart. This king, the son of godly Hezekiah, bowed to the starry hosts and worshipped idols 2Kings 21:3. He was so passionate (about the wrong things!), he even sacrificed his own son to his gods. That’s unbelievably disillusioned and depraved! In 2Chron 33:11, The LORD brought the Assyrian army against Manasseh; they bound him in bronze shackles and took him prisoner. In Manasseh’s distress, he sought the favor of God and humbled himself greatly before God. The LORD was moved by his prayer and listened to his plea and brought him back to his kingdom. God brought him back. Then, this murderer knew that the Lord is God; he knew forgiveness. In all our distresses, big or small, may we all humble ourselves and humbly pray for favor that the God Who comes will show up in His garments stained with crimson striding forward in great strength for you and for me. Our God Who is mighty to save! He is listening to you this moment, this day! Come, Lord Jesus!

WHAT DO I WANT MORE THAN DRAWING NEAR TO GOD? God is searching with a lamp to punish the complacent----those who refuse to draw near to Him. Our pride is revealed in the words that tumble out of our mouths. Wait for ME and I will purify you so you can serve shoulder-to-shoulder. Don’t run out and do it on your own. Your God takes great delight in you. Your God quiets you with His Love. Your Commander-in-chief rejoices over you with song and HE is saying: I will bring you home! Zeph 3:16-20.

WHAT ONE VERSE SPEAKS OF TODAY’S EVIL? Jeremiah 2:13 A youthful Jeremiah is appointed by God to prophesy against Judah. Jeremiah was commanded not to marry or have children. He had few friends in part because of his message of doom. In verse six of chapter one, Jeremiah opens with the statement, “I do not know how to speak.” God says: Go and say what I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I AM with you and I am watching to see MY WORD fulfilled 1:12. Meanwhile, God puts these words in Jeremiah’s mouth in Jeremiah 2:13: There are TWO E.V.I.L.S. You have forsaken ME, the Living Water. You have hued out cisterns for yourselves, cisterns that hold no water. Complacent and passing up Living water or content to carve out my own cistern! Can a bride forget her dress? Not really. Yet, you have forgotten ME for “days without number” 2:32. Seems in my experience, I was looking for and awaiting lovers way too long before I found HIM 3:2. But, HE gave me shepherds after His own heart 3:15. Circumcise yourself and remove the skin from your own heart. Jer 4:4.

IS MY REPENTANCE TOO SHALLOW? If we refuse to repent, our wounds heal lightly 5:1. Superficial shallow repentance. You say you have peace but what do you wrestle with in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep? No peace 6:14. You don’t even blush 6:15 anymore, wonder why? Just how hard is it to change? Can the leopard change his spots; can the Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to not doing good 13:23. The prophet Jeremiah is so right: God’s Eyes are always on your ways; they are not hidden from God nor is your sin concealed from God’s Eyes. Why don’t I think about God looking at my sin when I sin? Jer 17:6-8 “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD whose confidence is in HIM.”

ARE WE HOPING FOR A CURE? ARE WE REALLY HUMBLE?
My closing words to you this Monday morning is a verse we all know---"our hearts are deceitful and beyond cure." Jeremiah 17:9,10. Something in us all wants to be cured for our lifetime. No cures but a holy invite to humble ourselves before our beautiful God. I the LORD search your heart and examine your mind. King Josiah sent his priest to the prophetess Huldah to inquire of their LORD. Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what Jeremiah spoke, I have heard you and I will gather you in peace - 2Chron 34. And King Josiah read all the words of the Book to ALL the people from the least to the greatest. No big people and small people in Josiah’s reign and today's world. God is committed to ALL of us. He led ALL of them to renew their covenant in the presence of God to follow the LORD and keep His Word. So, what is HE doing in your life?
PS Don't forget to leave a comment on the next post to win a Beth Moore book.

30 comments:

JnL4God 7/28/2008  

Good Morning Bev,
I haven't read your whole blog but I will come back later and finish. I like your "Is my repentance too shallow" My Husband and I talk about how when someone has true repentance he turns from evil, not that we never mess up or sin ever again, but we don't continue in our sinful ways. There is a difference between being sorry you got caught and sorry for the sin. I've noticed in alot of the reading we have done lately, these people were not always truely repentant. When we love God it is in us to want to always do good in His sight, and it is important to know we are always in is sight. (He see's everything)
I posted on my blog a couple of things that lingered. Have a great day and Blessed Week. Oh how are your daughters doing? Good I hope.
Loves,
Lynn

Mary Lou 7/28/2008  

Bev, guess I could be really wordy and "talk" too much and comment on each of your comments but I will refrain for I have so much on my plate today. Two that stood out to me this morning were...do I trust the arm of flesh or the arm of God and what do I want more than drawing near to the heart of God. OH, how I pray that I will trust the arm of God and not the arm of flesh and that I will always want to draw near to His heart more than I want anything else while I am still here on earth.
Looking forward to hearing from you. So glad that Britt did so well in the swim meet. Stay inside and stay cool, we have a heat advisory today and I intend to take care of myself and not get hot, Ha, ha... Blessings on your day and your life. Love Mary Lou

Shonda 7/28/2008  

Bev,
It is so refreshing to know that God hears our prayers. Humility is what He wants from us. I read all your thoughts and He speaks to you. I never lack gleaning from you when I read what spoke to you.

Like you, many things spoke to my heart. I only posted the one that spoke the loudest. Most often as I read His Word through this chronological reading, I learn lesson on how to apply His word to my life-to do what the Word says to do and to live it out. That's the practical application.

I wrote about one life lesson I learned this week. You can read my post called Rose Colored Glasses here.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Bev Brandon 7/28/2008  

Lynn, it's so neat for me to actually think back with you about what we read like our repentance being too shallow---you're so right. Sorry for being caught but not really sorry for what we've done in trying to make our own lives work w/o God, forgetting about HIM "days without number." OH! Thanks! On my way to your blog...

Bev Brandon 7/28/2008  

Mary Lou - Arm of God v Arm of Flesh...we say we want HIM with all our hearts but whose arm are we dancing on this day? You can leave words for me forever. Go read Hosea 14:2 - and take your words with you wherever you go---they last!

ocean mommy 7/28/2008  

Arm of God or Arm of Flesh...THIS one point stopped me in my tracks this morning!

I'm so looking forward to hugging your neck in just a few short days!

Blessings,
stephanie

annie's eyes 7/28/2008  

To be comforted by His peace, for His Love to comfort us, He is our everything. Nothing compares. So many beautiful Scriptures this week, yet I narrowed in on one here
, but don't get too excited--still a wordy post--because I love His Word. Each passage is a treasure. Thanks for your insights into your beautiful heart, Bev. You always bless me. Love, Annette

Bev Brandon 7/28/2008  

Stephanie...I will so be looking for Ocean Mommy. Your heart is so tender toward the things of God Steph and that really speaks to me.

Bev Brandon 7/28/2008  

Annette, your post was so thought provoking about "Worthless Idols" in our lives. We think it's money or jobs or tangible things but it can also be the American dream, can't it? Peace--- when we aren't fully willing to bow low letting go of irritations, anger, jealousies...I liked the way you wrapped it around Isaiah 2:11 to show us what we exchange for the nearness of our good God!

Bev Brandon 7/28/2008  

Shonda...I wrote on your blog that your Rose-Colored Glasses post so reminds me of the words of Jesus to Peter: "Do you love ME? Do you love ME? Do you love ME?" And you do! So evident from our phone conversation. You're so genuine.

No cures for our sin. An offer of forgiveness. No perfection. No quick fixes here, no solutions for life---just a beautiful journey into the heart of God! Love your journey!

Laura 7/28/2008  

Bev,
My heart is always so moved as I read of your faithfulness during this season of waiting. I feel I have been waiting with you...Waiting for Him to answer your prayers in the amazing way that is beyond anything we can ask or imagine. When I read your words, and I think of your situation of not knowing...I hear in your voice such confidence. You are so blessed to have such a faith, my friend. I will keep praying for you and your family.

Michelle V 7/28/2008  

Bev,

A very beautiful post and wonderful insights as always! I too was struck by the thought of turning to flesh rather than the Lord. It's funny because when I went back through my notes I skipped that one, but that was probably the most profound scripture for me this time.

Blessings
Michelle

Nise' 7/28/2008  

I love this.."Our pride is revealed in the words that tumble out of our mouths." Many times over the past 10 days I told the Lord I needed him to quiet my words when I wanted to speak words that I knew would not bring glory to Him. Sadly, a couple of times I spoke the words anyway.

I am glad to be back home!

Nicole 7/28/2008  

Bev,

This is my first time to your blog. I came from Shonda's. I love the comment that you posted on her blog...

"I hear through your post "Do you love ME? Do you love ME? Do you love ME?" And you do! No cures for our sin. An offer of forgiveness where the rubber meets the road. No quick fixes here, no solutions for life---just a beautiful journey into the heart of God! Love your journey!"

This really summed up for me what I have been thinking about and learning lately. In my head it was mumble jumble but to read what you wrote it made it more clear to me.

I need to be reminded that my life in Christ is a journey and not something to be mastered.

Thanks,
Nicole

helenw13 7/28/2008  

Hi everyone...
Well, I am behind...so I will come back and read all of your full posts once I get caught up...I have Zeph. and Jeremiah to complete then I can begin this week's readings...I didn't think I would post this week but I decided that I had to write something about Manasseh...my thoughts are really similar to yours Bev...the account really touched me...

Blessings to you all and thank you all for your comments...you are all so encouraging!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Laura
I am so grateful to God for eyes to see how dependent I am on Him and I have such a long way to go. The deadline for hearing back has been pushed back a few times and I think word could come tonight. But we wait for no man, we wait on our God with ongoing repentance over trying to make my life work and fit into a schedule. Isaiah 40:1-8 may our beautiful God make our valley be lifted up that we might know HIM...nothing else worth it. I so love hearing from you and you have such substance in your faith.

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Michelle,
I hear you...same thing happens to me...when someone else carves and serves the words to me...it sounds like I didn't hear it that way the first time...you have such a humble heart!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

'Nise - so glad you are back!! Missed you!! And when we see the sin in our lives, we repent and rest and smile that they are covered for there may be a battle in our souls but the Battle has already been won by our good God and it's not about us getting our act together but all about living broken before HIM and you so do that and honor HIM!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Nicole, we all have to think journey and not answers...I wrote a post about going to the Post Office and finding an answer there from God. Actually, God has so been dealing with me about so wanting understanding and answers for the confusion in my life. It's demandingness and I have to let go. Loved your comment to me and I thank you so much!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Helen, like you, I was totally drawn into the story of Manasseh and since I want to remember it that God is looking for humility not for righteous living then I have earmarked your post to emblazon that story on my heart. "The Lord was moved..." I can repent and He hears me. Thanks so much for your tender words!

Alana 7/29/2008  

Hello friend. Sorry I've been so out of touch. How are things with you? The Austin thing?? Are your girls both better now? I hope all is well!

Laura 7/29/2008  

Bev, I'm praying extra hard for you and your family today! I pray this will mark the end of the waiting! My prayer group meets tonight and we will lift you up before the Lord.
Love,
Laura

Ang baylis 7/29/2008  

Bev,
You continue to bless me with your insights every single week! He delights in you and I think you are pretty amazing, too! You can read a little something over here.
I hope you all have a great week!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

p.s. 23 seconds is HUGE...Congrats to Britt!!!!!!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Uh-lay-nuh
I am always so thrilled to see your face! Especially cause I see your heart! Girls are good to go---whatever that means. Adjusting Brooke's meds and Blair has rotator cuff issues. Austin is "on hold" and we are waiting on God, not on any man. Watch in Hope; Wait on God, we'll hear--Micah 7:7. Moment by moment abandonment for me to the fact that He is committed to me in midst of what I do not see. Not my timetable and that's hard! All is well!

Bev Brandon 7/29/2008  

Laura
Your sensitivity to the LORD is both challenging and convicting to me. As I said to Alana, we watch in hope and wait for God, not for any man. Hosea 7:7. Can't thank you enough for praying for someone you do not know.

lisasmith 7/30/2008  

The Redeemer will come to those who repent. Love that.

God is calling me to be more like him in many ways. When I read the prodigal son, the question He keeps asking me is "Are you becoming more like the Father?" He is having me RUN after friends while they are still a long way off. Humbling myself, putting on courage and righting those relationships is bringing oneness back into the friendships that for one reason or another have been put on hold because of "distance." He spans the distance. He is redeeming me, piece by piece. and I love it!

Laura 7/30/2008  

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing with you! Hoo-ray, hoo-ray, hoo-ray! Do you hear the angels rejoice? I am so excited for you and your family!! Kep me posted, Dear One!

Bev Brandon 8/01/2008  

Lisa - your comment so touches me and lifts me to such a good place. Beautiful, just beautiful! Love the tender humble heart I see in midst of struggle---that's dependence on your beautiful God.

Bev Brandon 8/01/2008  

Laura - what can I say to you, friend, for you have been a part and I appreciate deeply your caring heart.

Doreen 10/12/2008  

Hi Bev! Nice to meet you! I'm so glad I found your bloggy! I enjoyed reading this post from you. I signed up to follow you on your bloggy. :) God bless you! I would love to be entered for a book by Beth Moore! I love her! :)

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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