Would you whisper a little prayer for my boy? Britt leaves for Bolivia on Tuesday on a mission trip with the leaders of Pine Cove Camps. It's a beautiful vision PCC is bringing to several places in South America.
We're on our way to Pine Cove this weekend. What stirs in Britt's heart is such a good thing. He could be spending his Christmas break skiing with his buddies. He wanted to be a part of making a difference in Bolivia.
We would be so humbled if you joined us in praying for Britt sometime during the next two weeks. Pray God's Protection over my boy. He has finally recovered from a year-long bout with mono. Pray God's Good Hand over the 15 college students and Pine Cove leaders on this trip. May they all be "gripped" by a very Good God.
And pray that the rest of his money comes in by this Tuesday when he leaves. He still is in need of about $500. Would you like to join in on what God is doing in another country? If God leads you to send $5 or $50, you can send it to Britt by PayPal. So appreciative! Our PayPal account address is: email@example.com. You may call Britt directly to talk or pray with him about his trip, if you would like ~ 817.915.3349.
To those of you who gave to Britt to make this dream of his come true, this mom sends a huge note of thanks. This has been a very tight tough year financially for us, coming off of cancer. God has stepped into our midst and provided in our need in ways that just doesn't happen very often in America. Long story. Big God! We are so grateful that Britt has this awesome opportunity.
There is always a "ram in the thicket" and may we have eyes to see what God is doing in our lives. May He provide for our son and those he will reach, beyond what we can ask.
A Thousand Thanks for caring about our youngest boy whom God is stirring. Would you say a little prayer for him this day?
Friday, December 30, 2011
Would you whisper a little prayer for my boy? Britt leaves for Bolivia on Tuesday on a mission trip with the leaders of Pine Cove Camps. It's a beautiful vision PCC is bringing to several places in South America.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:42 PM
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I am being swept away by a Beautiful God in Seattle. Something about Him carries us away. It's Him Here! Just ate dinner at a quaint milltown restaurant in this spectacularness no words can describe. Would have to make them up. Mount Rainier sits outside my window.
Back at the restaurant, the waitress lights up: "Did you see Mount Rainier?" You know, when the locals never tire of the majestic mount, that's something! You see, they don't see it very often. It's there but not visible to them day after monotonous day. No, they rarely see it in this village. So when she peaks through the clouds, the community awakes from their slumbering daily race and cheers.
Brings to mind a story that George MacDonald told about Jesus' death. "After He had gone out of their sight, and they looked all around and down in the grave and up in the air, and did not see him anywhere---they thought they had lost Him. But, He began to come to them again from The Other Side---from The Inside! The meaning of anything is more than its visible presence." The disciples began to see things that they had never seen before when Jesus was with them. They loved Him so but forgot His Words and cowered when asked if He was their friend. But not in Acts! Just like that missing mountain, they appreciated and abided in Him so much more after His Death. Nothing physical anymore.
His Spirit is more than a bodily presence. He has given each of us a Gift of the Spirit of God in our inmost being. He gives us This Gift and gives us the ability to enjoy it through His Power. Unbelievable! So, when rest evades me, when hospital visits wear us thin, when peace about our dire circumstances doesn't pass understanding, and if there are no joy bells ringing in my heart, then what has gone amiss??? We have The Gift! He's here but maybe I'm not all there. And those are simply signposts that cause us to take a deep look inside our empty hearts. The Spirit of God is waiting to fill that empty space with Himself, The Gift! He's here in Seattle. He'll be back home with me tomorrow as we wave goodbye to Brooke sending her to Thailand for a bit. Then, welcome Britt home from counseling kids at Pine Cove this summer. Then, pray for Blair who is moving once again due to flooding. There's the update on the Brandon front.
So grateful to a Good God awakening my own heart in the midst of some suffering! When do you find yourself most awake with Him?
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 9:51 PM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Happy Easter to you and your family! May your Sunday be full of promise and hope. May you leave your Easter service a changed person.
Empty nests---no bunnies here. Our Easter plans were firm and fun. All eight of us here in ATX. Then, someone threw more than one bunny wrench in the Easter plans and I'm home alone for Easter weekend for the first time E.V.E.R.
Folding up the apron, sending all the kids off to college and marriage, no one home for such a Holiday, the silence is deafening to me. Brooke said I'm having a double case of emptynesters cause I was a mama for longer than most people have kids at home---like 30 years worth. That's 10,800 days living with children and I loved every single day, or parts thereof! It's been 233 days without children. Look who's counting!
Brookie said I need to find a hobby like scrapbooking all those pictures I took over the lifetime. Funny how people think you don't have anything to do if you're an emptynester. I have enough to do to last me a lifetime! More goals than I can accomplish---that's not the problema. Teaching full-time. Counseling Courses. Continuing Education Classes. Leading bible studies. Writing. Speaking. Mentoring....On and On. I even went to the Holy Land!
I've thought a lot about I Samuel 30:6 for this season of my life. "David encouraged himself in the LORD." I've spent my life surrounded by people I deeply loved and they are g.o.n.e. They've moved on to begin their own lives and that's good and right. For me, it's like going from living in the middle of Grand Central Station to an anechoic Silence Chamber (I googled it!). I want someone to shoot me with a paintball gun (really now!). I Want To: Step on a Lego. Clean up spilled messes. Play hot wheels with a little boy. Make faces on sandwiches. Crawl in a kid's bed and pray with them. Throw water balloons off the balcony. Read Daniel in the Lion's Den to my boys. I want to take them on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n. Can I borrow your kid?
Manana, I get to celebrate the God I so ADORE and I cannot wait! I trained 8 weeks for tomorrow's service at Austin Stone to offer counseling at the end...so excited to serve! And, Bob will be preaching an Easter sermon! Can't wait to see what God does. Let's Celebrate God this Easter Sunday. Sing together---everyone! All you honest hearts, raise the roof, Psalm 32:11.
I walked into the tomb where Jesus was buried in Jerusalem last November and looked right, just like it says in the Bible, and He was not there! The stone was rolled away not to let Him out---He was already gone! He let all humanity in when His Angel rolled away the stone. And, One Day, He's coming again and will split humanity into those who followed Him and those who wouldn't.
So, I'm back to I Samuel 30:6. This week has been so difficult and I was so looking forward to Easter with my family. Didn't happen. So how do you encourage yourself in the LORD when life sends you into a frenzy, a funk? This text says that David took it all patiently and exercised faith in his God. How do you do that? Maybe, I'm asking the wrong question. It's not about "doing." Not about figuring it out. David leaned hard on God's Power and Providence, whatever it is God IS providing for you. He fell forward on God's faithfulness cause He won't ever walk away from us even though people have walked away from me. David remembered God's Grace and God's Goodness. What comes to my mind this very moment about His Goodness to me? Think on that.
David never lost hope that God would appear for him in some way or another and work it out. Is my hope in God or in solutions? Am I willing to live with problems unsolved, unconquered? "David strengthened himself in the Word of His LORD." What Word is God speaking to me? Okay God, I'm setting my hope on your Grace, I Peter 1:13. Believing you for Isaiah 43:19. BEHOLD. I will do something "new" for emptynesters. David was brought low before he was raised up to the throne. I'm pretty low, Dear God, but, I'm taking my encouragement from Your Word!
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 10:56 PM
Friday, April 1, 2011
Two years ago to this very day, frightful words freighted out of an unknown visiting doctor's mouth. A train wrecked in my heart, and I dropped to the feet of my husband and sobbed on his wing-tipped shoes, and I faced my own mortality. A grim diagnosis of cancer, metastasized. A flagrant miss on my last mammogram. Unnoticed by the radiologist. So noticed by a Good God, not a Grandfather God, but a very Good God Who is always out for doing us good, no matter what. Jeremiah 33:20---I mean, when was the Last Time that the Sun didn't set or dawn at the right time? When is the Last Time God refused to be good to me and to you? My life so wants to tell of the Goodness of God!
Two years down the road and my hand is over my mouth in awe. I used to have a lot more words, loads of loquacious complaint yet worship and grimace yet gratitude. But this anniversary, I'm all silenced. You see, my circumstances have esoterically gone*haywire*awry*languor*imbroglio*
Struggling for petrichor---the smell of the earth after rain. Psalm 27:13-14
Struggling for panacea---the solution to at least one of the problems we face. 2 Chron 20:12
Struggling for peace---not offense, blessed are you when you are Not.Offended.by.God. Luke 7:22
Struggling for my place in this worn world---advancing Good News that Christ can be formed in you and you and you. Gal 4:19
Fast Forward to Revelations...
Peruse and Peer and Peek into Eternity---what do we hear there? Rev. 19: 6-8 Hallelujah! Rejoice and Be Glad. Give Him Glory! For the Wedding of the Lamb has come and His Bride has made herself ready! So how are we doing making ourselves ready?
If we call Him LORD, we'll be doing the right things. But if I make my aim: Great marriage, successful ministry, awesome kids, fulfilling friendships...wait! That's not what is being proclaimed in Eternity. What is being proclaimed in Revelations 19 is twofold: Won! Come!
1. The Final Victory has already been WON! Christ Jesus accomplished His Plan and reigns forever!
2. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb has COME! We have been invited to the Wedding, in truth, you are the Bride. You stand scarlet no more. Your sins are gone. You stand before your Groom, pure and holy as He!
We are not singing a song that we've done it! That our children turned out great! Or, here's our successful ministries planted in Your Name! Or even, my marriage was awesome! Look what I did with my life! No. No. We are singing His Praises from way-down-deep gratitude for lives lived in His Presence, by His Power that changed us and made us who we are walking down the aisle.
And with my hand over my mouth, I kneel this night to close this hard cancer anniversary in surrender to a very Good God. With Reticence and Rest, I come to find Strength and Power to move out in Life and Love, not counting my way-too-many sorrows, but counting on the opportunities to bring others with me. I hear His Words that He has spoken to me and they are for you too. Deut 32:47. No idle words, they are our very life! Whatever is not of the Attitude of my Christ, Phil 3:15, reveal where I've forgotten, where I've failed, where I faint. Let me be more "taken" with Your Love than with my failures. With Your Hand of Grace on our Shoulders, and by Your Unbelievable Power, we will change it and truly live. Not in our own Energy, but in yours, Col 1:29, the Energy of Christ so powerfully at work in you and me.
Blessed are those not.offended.in.God. Luke 7:22.
In the corridors of truth, may I not miss the Mystery, a liminal place between two threshholds of time. Today and Eternity. We will throw all this sempiternal stuff down before the God-Who-Sees-All. Gen. 21:19. Lay down the doings this day. There's a Larger Story than just my little life of securing steady work and leaving legacies and growing gardens and fighting foes and creating children and daring to dream. Doesn't mean we ever stop doing good. Just says that in Eternity, we will be singing His Praises not our own, no matter what!
Ann Voskamp, http://www.aholyexperience.com/ writes on her blog about the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina. Ann is offering a random scholarship for one Judges 6:12 mighty warrior like Gideon who was scared stiff in his story but so wanting to serve. Oh, may our Good God use us to birth stories of service and grace. I am in the pains of childbirth that Christ be formed in me and in you! Gal. 4:19.
These women, http://shespeaksconference.com/, are conduits of composing this Psalm 45:1 kind of offer for writers, speakers, and ministry leaders. We all only have this moment, this life to leave a legacy, make a mark, reach out with redemptive rhetoric. If you've held tightly any thoughts of writing and speaking and ministering in leadership, then check out Lysa TerKeurst's blog http://lysaterkeurst.com/ and meet an amazing woman who is a "minister of the Word" (Luke 1:2). Titus 1:1 says that we are all servants of the Word of God for the faith of His People and the Knowledge of the Truth that leads to changed lives---that Christ be formed in many mighty warriors!
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:57 PM
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Amazing Awesome Awestruck Austin Spring Break!!!
So why am I crying?
Just delivered my mono-sick college boy to his home under the Supermoon,
brought Britt back to Jester Dorm at the
March-Madness winning University of Texas.
Total privilege to be Britt's Mama & "Minister of the Word" like Dr. Luke says in Luke 1:2,
"Minister" - it's a medical term meaning serving under a physician, The Great Physician!
Britt is my caboose and my freighted soul has folded my apron once again this week.
Why is this so hard to say goodbye this time?
Loved every spring break second of serving Britt who is oh-so-sick since November, and
Loved serving 99 college students my daughter Brooke brought down from UTA for a missions trip
to serve our city's children and homeless and underserved.
Helped cook 60 pounds of chicken and 110 pounds of beef and 10 pounds of brownies and 15 pounds of peach cobbler and ...
the loquacious calories and 99 liminal lives I loved have moved on.
What stirs so heavy my weighted wonderful looming lunar life?
~I long to finish well~
God has orchestrated a transition for us. It is so God!
We're between jobs, between insurance, between a place to live,
between friends, between churches, NO LONGER in between cancer...
"Detaching me from Dependence on anything that brings me joy other than Him," 66 Love Letters
Bob lost his church job and we cannot wait to find another ministry to serve!
But we wait on God, Psalm 27:13-14, not on any man.
And I ask myself, is there anything I want more than the Love of my Christ?
For the past three decades in a row, I've had a myriad of children tugging at my skirt and heart.
The moon is rising in my heart, raising four and many more to know Him and live alive!
Speaking and writing, though sporadic, overwhelmed me with such joy
while mothering and ministering and I'd love to go back to speaking again.
I loved every esoteric exigent ineffable chapter we just closed
and it's bothering me that's there are no re-runs.
O God, help me face this new opportunity to love my husband,
love my world with fearless courage (Phil 1:9 Moffat).
So what is the Beautiful God I so adore stirring inside of me?
This I know...
It's not what happens to us along the way
but what happens inside of us that matters for Eternity.
And it's a Beautiful God that is so stirring up Hope and Confidence in all the messes I've made.
C.S. Lewis once said: "No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good."
I'm seeing more of the sin that resides in me, Rom 7:18, that I never ever dared dream was there,
and at the same time, seeing oh-so-much-more hope within that I never dreamed I could live in!
And I worship! And it's my fears that cause me to worship The Messiah of My Dreams.
And I want! To walk alongside others and offer hope and courage and dreams.
And I wonder! Do I really hate my sin more than my suffering?
So, that's why I'm entering this opportunity to win a Cecil Murphy Scholarship to attend the She Speaks Conference this summer. Renee Swope is the kind conduit of composing this Psalm 45:1 kind of offer: http://www.reneeswope.blogspot.com/
She Speaks, click http://shespeaksconference.com/, is a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for writers, speakers, and ministry leaders.
Editors and industry professionals are close-up and personally available with advice and direction. If God is stirring words and wit and wisdom in your heart, this conference is the place to be in July. We all only have this moment, this life to leave a legacy, make a mark, reach out with redemptive rhetoric. If you've held tightly any thoughts of writing and speaking and ministering in leadership, then check out Lysa TerKeurst's blog http://lysaterkeurst.com/ and meet an amazing woman who is a "minister of the Word" (Luke 1:2).
Titus 1:1 says that we are all servants of the Word of God for the faith of His People and the Knowledge of the Truth that leads to changed lives! Mine and yours! I so want to finish well!
So what are these tears for?
When is the Last Time the ordained moon didn't rise? Psalm 8:3
When is the Last Time He refused to be good to you and to me? Jeremiah 33:20
My God is about to do something new. Isaiah 43:19
Would you pray that I find Him in these present sufferings. Romans 8:18
I so miss my kids under the dine of every shining moon!
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:13 PM
Monday, March 14, 2011
They say "no news is good news." Who is they? My oncologist has not called with the results of my latest scans. Waiting...
Meanwhile, I sit at Seton Hospital waiting for my youngest boy to be X-rayed for pneumonia, again. He's had it since Christmas. Why can't a strapping young boy fight off walking pneumonia? Mono.
From the swamped hospital waiting room, I swipe my own doctor's office for results. There's James on the end of the line: "Mrs. Brandon (who is holding her breath), Everything looks normal. Markers are stable." Breathe out. And I believe it's quite all right with the God I so adore to hold my breath for a second or two to see what's next.
For my joy, my rest comes not from cancer-free news or job-of-the-decade news or even a job.
Isaiah 30:15 "In Returnings and Rest,
In Quietness and Confidence, my Strength is in You.
It is good news that my cancer remains within a normal range. My tumor markers won't go down to zero because of metastasis. But these are just numbers, mere information, and I wait on a very Good God, no matter what. Test results are not our hope and joy, only He is.
Britt's home for Spring Break, sleeping the week away, trying to recuperate...we'll see what the doctor says. And we'll keep on praying for good health. In the waiting room...
Brooke and her BSU staff are here in A-town all week. She brought 99 students. 99 UT college students!!!!! From the other A-town. Here to serve our city! Britt & I helped serve roast & potatoes last night and then the worship---touched my soul deeply!!! Here are kids who are truly waiting on God.
This emptynester is like off the charts in spring-break-week-off excitement having two of mine own HOME. I miss my kids more than I can ever say. Three straight decades of children tugging on my skirt and heart and not a day off! They say it will get better...hmmm. On my way to go help cook dinner for the 99. You know I am ecstatic!
Isaiah 30:18 - The LORD longs to be compassionate on every one of us. Britt asleep. Tsunamis ravaging oh so many. The tsunami photos are horrificly chilling to see a city obliterated in a city minute. Praying God's Compassion on all.
We wait, not on any test results, not on any man. We wait on a very Good God Whose Eyes run back and forth the whole earth to show Himself strong, 2 Chron 16:9. To me and to you! Will our lives cause His Eyes to stop? Please stop here in ATX as we cook, dear LORD.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 12:55 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I remember it like it way just yesterday...
Another baby girl and this mama couldn't contain her Joy...
I laid lifeless on the gurney after giving birth...
A Young Girl so Compassionate ~
Can we help my friend who is losing his way tripping in his darkness without his mommy's help---for she's with You. Can I sit with my friend who is making really bad choices and needs someone to believe in him? Can we give our money away? Can we talk to every single person we see?
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:56 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Novice winds blow armaggedon hard in ATX, it's 18 degrees.
It is a season of no words for me yet holding Hope as I wait to thaw out of a tight place.
Night terrors washed over my Sunday sweet sleep.
I couldn't stop the tumultuous thoughts.
Just sweat it through and wait to thaw.
You see HE is the God-of-My-Tight-Places ~ Psalm 46:10.
And The Living Letters of my friends Annette & Holly & Deborah
bid me bloom forth like Lazarus in Spring ~ unwrapped, unearthed, undone ~ 2 Cor 3:3
Blogging Friends like Ann Voskamp give me Hope
She let me borrow her God Who never failed to send Spring.
I hang on to the Present Grace for
When was the Last Time the Sun didn't dawn or set at the right time?
When is the Last Time God refused to be good to me, to you? ~ Jeremiah 33:20
The Messiah of My Dreams sends forth His Word through new friends in a Voskamp camp and old friends gathered at Rock Lake Ranch and He melts my heart like snow in spring and heals me and I don't know how I'm any different this moment than I was a day ago.
But I am. ~ Psalm 107:20; 147:18
Frozen pain and Fresh problems remain. Always will.
The Present Grace is Who Stirs in me as I read you while the Living Word reads me.
Posted by Bev Brandon @ The Fray at 11:15 AM