Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

One month without internet! It wasn't self-imposed; it's just that we are in transition from Fort Worth to Austin. I've scoured to find the FREE WIFI signs in so many Austin restaurants. So, I'm a little sporadic, late here... and there. Haven't been able to comment much since LPL. We went back to our home in Fort Worth this weekend to finish up the garage and stuff while our renter graciously vacated for 24 hours. Three children moving home from college with all their household multiplied with my own stuff in the past year. Going through 33 years of my life has been eye-opening, exhausting, challenging, chilling, hilarious, and heart-wrenching. I have seen photos and memorabilia I don't think even happened. LOL. And which boy (they looked identical just in different generations) is it here in this picture? I was moving so F A S T yesterday that I accidentally flooded my kitchen, forgetting to turn off the water in the sink, while we grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant. Oh dear me. Pray for me as we close this chapter on my life. May I allow my beautiful Lord Who has so called us here to write the final words of the chapter. The ending has been harder on me than I ever expected. But, by God's grace, I am standing strong---and that's HIM! So moved by the story we read of Esther "standing" in His Grace.

DID YOU EXPECT MUCH BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE LITTLE
For those of you who stopped by for the chronological readings, here goes. What I have LOVED about reading the chronological Bible is just what we read this week in Ezra 4 about how the enemies hired counselors to make the people fearful and frustrated. But who enters in the midst of their discouragement over their work on the Lord’s building being halted. God’s messenger--- Haggai. And I would have not known who Haggai was speaking to if it had not been for this chronological reading. The Lord’s messenger delivers startling words that apply to us this September 2008: “Give careful thought to your ways… You expected MUCH but it turned out to be LITTLE. What you brought home, I blew away” because you were so busy building your own house and your own stuff in this world. A blowing thought to me as I unpack and unbury and reduce 33 years of living in 3400 square feet to 1250 square feet of stuff in my home and heart.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR BEAUTIFUL LORD IS STIRRING YOU UP
God called for drought in Haggai 1:11. And what happened? The people obeyed and feared God in their troubles. So HE came back to them and said: “I am with you.” And He stirred up their spirits. If God has allowed trouble in our lives this day, what great encouragement these verses are. For HE is saying to you and to me this very moment, “I am with you.” He is stirring up your spirit. That so moves me! Zech. 1:2 - Return to your LORD and HE will return to you!
OH!

AM I LOOKING AND LIVING FOR FORMULAS FOR THIS LIFE
The story of Esther's intercessory prayer for her people will linger in my thoughts and heart. Fasting and prayer moved the hands of her beautiful God for Esther LOVED NOT her own beautiful and power-filled life. She lived surrendered to her God. When she fasted, it wasn't for herself. We read in Zech. 7:5 this week that the LORD asked them about when they fasted: Was it really for Me? "It may seem marvelous to you" what you are doing for God, but "does it seem marvelous to God?" Zech 8:6. "The eye of my God is watching over all our going in and out." Ezra 5:5.

WHERE HAS GOD BROUGHT YOU TO ON THIS DAY
Esther 4:14 resonates so deeply in the place where I am. “If you keep silent at this time”…you’ll perish. “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther’s response—I’ll go on. I'll stand. If I perish, I perish.

AM I TOUCHING THE SCEPTER, TOUCHING THE HEM
Esther was invited to "touch the scepter." You and I are invited to "touch the hem." But we all want formulas, don't we? Tell me how to walk with God, have a great marriage, raise awesome kids, while having a powerful ministry impact. This is no formula kingdom that we live in. No formula structure for Esther---she fasted and prayed. Just like the Daniel we just read about---the one you could always find on his knees.

AM I SURRENDERED TO HIS SPIRIT WITH OPEN HEART, HANDS FOLDED
It is the Spirit of God at work in Esther to produce such humility and allow the Spirit to pour out His Love through her—Romans 5:5 is the cross ref—we have that same Spirit today so wanting to pour His Love in and through us. Psalm 105:4 “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His Presence continually.” When we need it, He will say “touch not my anointed ones.” 105:15. He may send darkness 105:28. He may strike down 105:33. I don’t begin to comprehend what and how God works but it’s not all the guaranteed blessings that Christians talk about. And here comes another beautiful alliteration: He will spread a cloud for covering and fire for light by night 105:39. HE is LIFE, Living Water. He opens the Rock, water gushes out, flows through a desert like a river. They asked and HE gave bread from heaven in abundance. 105:40.

DO I KNOW THIS DAY THAT MY GOD IS FIGHTING FOR ME, INTERVENING
Zech 9:10 - "His dominion shall be from sea to sea.” How our beautiful LORD advances His Kingdom through us is a divine mystery. Yet, our obedience in telling and living out the Gospel in both word and action and prayer makes the kingdom’s advance visible. Oh my goodness!!! So what will I do with this Christ this day? The prophet Zechariah paints a beautiful picture in chapter 14 of our God Himself intervening in our lives and fighting for us. His “feet…on the Mount of Olives.” A picture of the split mountain and of the streams of Living Water that flow from Jerusalem for me and for you. Our LIVING WATER—-the Holy Spirit overflowing into our lives on this very day. He is the King over all 14:16-20 and in the end, every mouth will move before HIM to Whom we must all give account. “On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.”

9 comments:

Michelle V 9/15/2008  

Bev,

It's so good to hear from you! I am so sorry about your kitchen!! There was SO much beautiful scripture this week that it was too difficult to talk about all of it, but I did post my thoughts.

Blessings
Michelle

connorcolesmom 9/15/2008  

Bev,
I have missed you!
I need your number so I can call you :)
I pray that things settle down for you and that God will wrap you in His peace
Love you
Kim

Toknowhim 9/15/2008  

Sweet Bev,

I love when I check my blog and see that you have left a comment. I know we haven't really kept up with leaving comments in the past few months, but I check your bloggy regularly... You are a special one sweet friend, and I have loved getting to see what the Lord has been doing in your life over this past year.

I love the way that you love our Jesus!!! Never stop telling about His Love...

Kim

Mary Lou 9/15/2008  

Bev, you will stand strong in Him because you have never stopped looking to Him and for Him. I am no
t totally sure where God has brought me to on this day, but He is bringing me to something. I have touched the hem of His garment. He is doing a work in my heart and I am learning to trust in a way that I have never trusted before. I have seen Him intervening for me in a situation that I would like to control but have no control over. Everything you wrote resonated in my heart. How it blessed me, thank you. He met me in such a powerful way in a mini concert with Fernando Ortega on Saturday night. As he played hymns and songs that he has written to scripture, I fell to my knees at my seat and would have gone to the altar and laid on my face, but I was afraid it would freak people out, there wasn't a great number but knew that I could be prostrate in my heart and didn't have to be actually. I have not felt Him so powerfully ever. He has met me more than once this year and shown me that He is aware of where I am and what I am going through. He has truly blessed me in a great way. Thank you for sharing your heart in such a great way. I have missed your greatly. Love, Mary Louw

Laura 9/15/2008  

Bev,
It is so good to hear from you and know you are moving along in this transition! I love Monday mornign, cover to cover. Don't ever stop! Even though I'm not walking through it with you, I learn something new through your post every time.
Still praying for you...

Shonda 9/16/2008  

Bev, it is good to hear from you. I pray for your transition. I am amazed by the Word of God and I love reading HIS word chronologically. I am learning so much and He is showing me wonderful things.

Your paragraph on living for formulas really stood out for me. Even in the "Christian" circles, it is so easy to attach a formula: do this and then this and then you'll be blessed. Not necessarily so. Each of us must seek the Lord ready to lay down our own lives for the sake of others. Each of us are where the Lord put us as He determines the times and places we shall live. We are here for a time such as this I must move forward with what HE calls me to do.

Oh Bev, I'm so grateful the Lord put you in my life. I just love how you love Jesus and the Word of God. I look forward to reading your Monday morning posts (although I must confess, most times Sunday's and Monday's are too hectic for me and I dont get to them until Tuesday). I hope you dont mind me being a day late.

Lots of love!

Engrafted by His Grace-
Shonda

Kristin 9/16/2008  

Hi Bev! It is so good to hear from you again! We recently made a move as well (although it was only to the house right next door!), but I know how it can really drain everything right out of you. Praying you are getting settled in your new home and church and God would allow it to be a place of refuge for you. I say this as I continue to feel like I am living in someone else's house and not my own. I was so sad not to get to go to the Fiesta in Aug., but it fell at the wrong time for my family and I. Even though I had envisioned being there for a whole year, God knew things would change at the last minute and I would be unable to go. Praying that I would still have the chance to meet you someday!
Love ~ Kristin

Nise' 9/16/2008  

Your third paragraph on Am I Looking and Living for Formulas spoke to me as I have been convicted lately about why do I do the things I do. Are they really for God alone or do I have other conditions attached?

Sorry to hear about your kitchen.

annie's eyes 9/17/2008  

Bev, you are so faithful through each storm--lack of internet (which I am sure is the least of your trouble) and all! He shines so beautifully through you. I am so thankful our paths have crossed this year and Cover to Cover has been an amazing blessing this year. Love you bunches, Annette

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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