Archive for February, 2007

Prayer Time at Newark Airport

I spoke to my mom today while they were on a layover in Newark. She seemed to be in good spirits. They had kind of a crazy morning. Their first flight started speeding down the runway and the pilot suddenly slammed on the breaks and came to a complete stop! They thought it was to miss another plane. Scary! It was actually because some kind of warning light came on as the pilot was accelerating. They had to wait an hour to make sure the warning didn’t come on again and then they took off without any problems.

Later, while they were waiting at their gate in Newark to board the Israel-bound plane, it was suddenly prayer time for the Jewish passengers. Mom said all the men in their black hats stood facing Jerusalem and began rocking and praying. In that moment I think the excitement hit them that they were indeed going to Jerusalem!

Melissa and I got one last text message from our parents that said “Will talk to you next from the Land Beautiful! Wish you both were with us!” Oh, me too!

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Sigh of Relief

Thank you so much for your sweet prayers and words of encouragement. It is a very great comfort knowing that you all are praying. What a gift!

I just talked to my mom and it turns out they won’t leave for the airport until 5:15 a.m. I don’t know how we got so mixed up to think it would be 2:30, but at least it made them excited about 5:15!

Please excuse my emotional outburst earlier. I finished weaning Jackson two days ago and my feelings are kind of exaggerated. Please more Spirit, Lord!

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Headed to the Holy Land

Sometimes people ask me, “Is it ever hard to be Beth Moore’s daughter?” Well, this is one of those times. My mom is teaching Bible study tonight and then around 2:30 in the morning she and my dad will get picked up to go to the airport. They are flying to Israel to tape some segments for the Psalms of Ascent study. It is painful for me to think about how tired she is going to be as she boards that flight. And then to have jet lag on top of that once she arrives in Israel. So here I am asking you all to please pray for my parents, especially my mom. I hope I don’t sound whiny. My heart is just very tender because I love her so much and I know that she is coming off a very exhausting month. Tears are welling up in my eyes right now. Do you remember having that feeling as a child when the babysitter arrived and your mom was getting to walk out the door and you cried, “Mommy, don’t go!” That is the feeling I have right now. And yes, I am 27 years old! Alright, now that I’ve cried about it I feel better. I know that I can trust the Lord with my parents. He will show Himself faithful as He always has.

There is a prayer sign up on our LPM home page if you’re interested. We won’t hear much from Beth for the next week, but I promise to keep you updated as I get the opportunity to talk to her on the phone. In the meantime, I’d love to hear if any of you have been to the Holy Land and, if so, what was the one thing that you’d like to see or do again? If you haven’t been yet, tell me what you would like to see or do one day.

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Travis Cottrell

I just got word that Travis Cottrell’s web site has crashed from all the post-simulcast traffic! The number of visitors to his site yesterday was more than 300% the average. If you’ve been trying to visit his web site, don’t give up! It should be up and running by Monday afternoon.

By the way, wasn’t the praise team incredible? Praise God for giving them such amazing gifts to lead us to the throne in worship!

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D-Day

My darling Sistas, Keith left a little while ago to shoot clay pigeons in a tournament and I’ve been sitting out on my back porch all by myself with Jesus. It’s a gorgeous, cool day in Houston. Both dogs are sprawled out next to each other in the grass, taking naps in the sunshine. All I can think about is Jesus, the simulcast, and 150,000 women (and some courageous men) I want so desperately to be (permanently!) free. I have never been more burdened or felt more weight of the Spirit – brooding as I called it yesterday – than I did in the days and even weeks leading up to this event. I have never felt smaller or less adequate or more desperate for God to come. I suppose there are many reasons for all the feelings leading up to D-Day but one of the most obvious was that the topic was publicized in advance and I knew that women were coming for a SERIOUS work of God. I so deeply did not want to do anything to quench or distract from the delivering work of God or miss the direction He wanted us to go. Thankfully, my weakness can’t trump His strength. At the same time, I think the team and I would be nuts to feel up to a task like that. Sometimes if you want to go face to face with Jesus, you’ve got to go face to face with the carpet. This was one of those times. He is so mystifyingly merciful. So willing to work in spite of us.

As Amanda conveyed, my whole family (and staff!) entered into this one like a bunch of bird dogs on point. Keith had prayed with me for days and after I flew in last night, we went back to carpet again, thanked God, and pled for the lives of each participant. Please join me in continued intercession until God gives us a release. Enduring deliverance takes place in an ongoing day-by-day relationship with Jesus Christ. He isn’t simply the most important thing in life to the delivered. He IS life to the delivered. Divine invasion is the only map for pit-free traveling. I’m bursting with jealousy for that kind of passion, Presence, and permanence for EVERY SINGLE ONE of those participants.

Your comments were a great catalyst to a good cry. And to tell you the truth, I feel a lot better. This gathering was one of the weightiest things my family, Travis, and I feel that God has ever placed before us. When I awakened this morning, my poor, old body felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck. I live to see captives set free in Christ and I’m willing to make a fool out of myself to encourage people to let Him do what it takes. Thank you so much for taking the time, not just to comment, but to spend precious hours before a screen, look past the annoying technology, and welcome the Spirit of Christ in such a peculiar set up. God worked miracle after miracle to put on that simulcast. To share just one: TEN MINUTES before it began, we had a rain storm in Tyler and we lost satellite power. You understand that if WE lost power, all 500+ sites would lose power. We went crazy in prayer. Not only did Jesus rebuke the storm, He blew away the clouds and brought out the sun. It was stunning. He intended to make sure we knew He was there. Jehovah Shammah!

After the event ended, Travis, the team and I returned to our knees and profusely thanked God. As I walked off that platform with the inevitable wish that this or that had been said or NOT been said, I was reminded by God that He doesn’t ask His servants to do their tasks perfectly. Just wholeheartedly. This morning I experienced an unsolicited show of God’s pleasure toward the simulcast through my devotional reading. (Our whole church is doing the one year devotional “At His Feet”) The reference was Matthew 9:13, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Author Chris Tiegreen explained, “If He is extravantly merciful, so must we be. If He prefers the company of those who know their sinfulness over the company of those who don’t, so must we. If He dines with the unlovable, He will put it within us to do likewise. This God showed up on our planet in the form of a merciful Savior. He offers grace without rebuke to those who know they need it. His rebukes are saved for those who won’t acknowledge their need. He is purity that pursues the corrupt; mercy that hounds the needy; grace that demands only belief.” Praise You, Jesus.

Yesterday some 150,000 needy souls showed up for the grace of God. Some had been innocently thrown into a pit, others had slipped into a pit, and others had hauled off and aimed for one. I couldn’t see into the faces of those on the other side of the screen but I looked straight into the faces of several thousand women yesterday in Tyler, Texas and I did not see ONE who looked like she needed us to think she had it all together. Most of us were driven to all those locations, not by wheels, but by desperation. (Here’s the best part of all) And God was pleased. By His sovereign choice, He can’t resist any group of people who trade in pretense for Presence.

Jesus. He’s who I want. Any way I can get Him. He is everything. He redeems our lives from the pit and crowns us with loving kindness. Today I raise my left hand to a God reaching down with His right, ever looking to lift my feet lest they dangle near a pit.

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‘Twas the Night Before the Simulcast

I know a lot of us have been getting ready in various ways for tomorrow’s simulcast. My church has been buzzing with activity and excitement all week. Mom has been intense and constantly in the Word for the last few days. She’s already safe and sound in Tyler and ready to go.

My own preparation as one of the hostesses at my site has been pretty intense, too. I bought some Velcro rollers and root lifting spray so that I can have Beth Moore-worthy big hair tomorrow. You know, because I want to be recognizable to our visitors as the daughter. So every day for the past week I’ve swapped my hair minimizer (the Chi) for my new hair maximizers so that on the big day I will be proficient at creating my adequately large do. I realized almost too late that my roots were completely unacceptable for standing in front of a crowd and making announcements. But the Lord kindly provided an open spot with my stylist to correct the problem. I know my sisters are relieved for me.

In all seriousness, I am speechless at the amount of people that my mom is going to speak to tomorrow. If I really let my mind think about it, I get a stomach ache. It is a huge, huge blessing to all of us to know that y’all are interceding. May it not be our hair, but our Savior – the One who is able to deliver anyone from any pit – who is high and lifted up tomorrow.

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Melissa on American Idolatry

Hey, Sistas! Amanda and I have asked her younger sister, Melissa, a couple of times to guest-author some entries on our blog. She stays so swamped as she finishes up her Master’s that we didn’t know when she’d ever find the time. Yesterday Melissa sent me something she had written for a different reason and it was so thought provoking to me that I asked if I could post it in our blog. After some thought, she gave me permission. May God speak.

Just a Christian’s feeble attempt to comment on American Idolatry

As I sit here and ponder the News as of late my heart becomes heavily burdened. From Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith to the latest media frenzy, the rich and famous don’t seem to be holding up too well. I wonder if there isn’t some common denominator between these troubled souls. How could those who have so much fame, talent, and not to mention enough money to purchase for them their every object of desire, be so self-destructive? I can’t help but think of the fates of those such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Kurt Cobain, whose status of fame may as well have been elevated to sainthood. And then it hits me, what if the common denominator is not solely their individual self-destructiveness, but what if it includes the destructiveness of American Idolatry?

It seems to me that idolizing a human being isn’t just unhealthy and destructive for the one doing the idolizing, but also for the one being idolized. If there is any truth in this notion, namely, that it simply is not healthy (or to use politically incorrect language, it is simply morally wrong) for a person to be worshipped and idolized, then the American population is partly to blame for the broken state and the troubled fate of so many bold and indeed talented souls. Can we not appreciate a person’s talent and beauty without obsessing over what clothes they have worn at the Oscars or what person they are dating this week as opposed to last week? Is any single person worthy of this excessive attention or infatuation?

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul condemns the human race for suppressing the truth of God; he says that we should have seen God’s invisible attributes through that which is displayed in the created world. He goes on to declare that we didn’t honor God, but exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man. We failed and continue to fail to rightly credit the Creator, and instead we worship and serve the creatures that he has created. When we gaze upon the beauty or marvel at the talent of another and we fail to recognize that it is God alone who is the author and the source, we are not only lying to ourselves but we are doing a great disservice to our fellow man.

To have the American masses track your every move, fall at your feet, and even scream and shed tears in your presence—knowing all the while that you yourself are subject to the same kind of sickness and eventual death as the common folk—may be flattering for a moment, but in the end it is merely isolating, oppressive, and repulsive. Our obsession with the rich and famous places them in an impossible position, for there is only one name under heaven that is meant to be adored and there is only one being who will not be destructed by our worship. There is only one who remains pure and holy despite His glorious, incomprehensible, and inevitable, yes, eternal fame!

God doesn’t have an emotional need for our worship. Believe me, he gets plenty of it! For even the angelic beings shouted as they watched him place the stars in the sky and even now as I, a small speck on this globe, push buttons on a key-board, the entire heavens and earth declare of his glory! It is He who measured the waters in the hollow of His hand. It is He who weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales. To whom then shall we liken God? Or what likeness shall we compare with Him? We Americans, like, the craftsmen of old, are guilty of seeking out and fashioning for ourselves meaningless idols—we create them, we gaze upon them, we place hope in them, and then we condemn them when they don’t deliver and meet our needs and expectations. At the end of the day, idolizing a person is as futile as worshipping a wooden statue, for both are corruptible and they shall both return to the dust. God alone is incorruptible, and not only does he alone deserve man’s worship but he is the only being who is not corrupted by man’s worship. He is the one who reduces powerful rulers to nothing and makes even the judges of the earth meaningless…truly, he merely blows on them and they wither.

So I, a Christian who is guilty of having spent hundreds of dollars on People magazines, join my voice with the prophet Isaiah, “who shall we liken God…who shall be his equal?” And I am revitalized by the answer to this rhetorical question: no one. Let us lift up our eyes on high and see who has created the stars…for He calls them by name and because of the greatness of His might and the strength of his power, not one of them is missing. (Isa. 40:26) Only after first recognizing the Creator’s masterful hand behind every facet of life should we appreciate and savor the talents and the beauty of another…and even then, let us tread carefully, for ours is a jealous God. So then, I dare us (indeed I dare myself) to stop pointing fingers and asking why many who have phenomenal God-given talents, or extraordinary and dumb-founding God-given beauty, are so often hitting rock bottom. Yes, let you and me stop pointing fingers and actually claim part of the responsibility for their downfall!

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A True Friend to God and to Man

Read about Living Proof Live – Detroit here.

Click here for the video.

I love you now

I’ll love you when

You’re hard to love

‘Cause you’re my friend.

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Birthday Report

We had an amazing birthday weekend! Thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes. It could not have been more perfect!

Friday:
Curt’s parents arrived and we went to dinner together. Curt and I stole away to a movie while they put Jackson to bed. Later I realized I wouldn’t be putting my baby to bed on the last night before his birthday! Panic! At 11:40 I crept into his room and pulled him out of his crib. He never woke up, but I rocked him until midnight. It was the sweetest time together. I held him close and I told him everything on my heart. At midnight I wished him a happy birthday, gave lots of kisses, and put him back in bed a few minutes later. That for me was the highlight of the weekend.

Saturday:
When I opened my eyes that morning and realized Jackson wasn’t awake or crying yet, I summoned Curtis so we could wake him up together. We opened the nursery door and he was standing up smiling. We sang Happy Birthday and had a very happy, cheerful morning together.

Curt’s parents and sister’s family came over and we decided to go to the zoo. It was the most perfect day – gorgeous, blue, cool, and sunny. I had always wanted to take Jackson to the zoo and our first time did not disappoint. A lot of the animals were being really lazy, so I kept praying things like Lord, please make the kangaroo get up and bounce across the field. Please wake up the otters and tell them to swim. Lord, please cause the cheetah to run for us. Lord, make the gorilla wake up from his nap. Lord, please cause the baboon to show us his face and not just his ugly bald bee-hind. We did get to see the baboon’s face and it was rather creepy.

So after all that praying we walked up on a cage with nothing in it. I did not even know what was supposed to be in the cage, but a male lion suddenly emerged from a cave. He stood right in front of us and sized us up. He climbed up on a big rock and stood there. I was holding Jackson on my hip and we were both in awe. Then the king of the jungle sneezed and we all jumped. We felt pretty dumb…it was just a sneeze, but such a loud sound coming from such a mighty animal commanded a response. Then he started staring us down and opened his mouth and began growling. It was so freaky and so amazing. I jumped several times and held Jackson close – a completely involuntary response. But after seeing all those lazy animals, God provided the mightiest of all to show off for us.

My parents arrived late that afternoon. It was such an answer to prayer that my mom’s flight was not delayed and she made it easily from her conference in Detroit.

I made it all the way to that night without crying. And then I decided to read through some of your comments and they definitely induced some tears. This sweet one below was the main culprit:

Happy Birthday Jackson. Amanda, cherish every moment because they fly faster than the speed of light. I know because in 76 days, my firstborn is going to meet his bride at the altar. It seems like only last week when I brought him home from the hospital.

*There’s a slight possibility that the lion’s growling was actually his attempt to cough up a massive hairball. We’ll never really know. But for dramatic effect we will assume it was actual growling.

Sunday:
Can I just say that my son was the ultimate birthday boy? He LOVED his party. He smiled the entire time and was very enthusiastic about everything. The only time he cried was when the instructor had us put away the maracas. Jackson made it known that he was very unhappy with the arrangement, so he got to keep his for the duration of the party. We had an absolute blast! I will let the pictures tell you about it. We had so much fun that I had a really hard time falling asleep last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Welcome, everyone!

Climbing this slide is my life’s work

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The Big O-N-E!!!

Hey, my dear Sistas! I’ve missed talking to you guys! I’m captive for a few minutes at the hair salon with my head under one of those warmers while my color bakes. A Texas woman wouldn’t be caught dead without some kind of color on her hair. Besides all the wonderfully Spiritual things it obviously means, here in Texas to be rooted and grounded means that until your fresh-rooted, you need to be grounded. I may miss other things, but I do NOT miss my hair appointments.

I’ve been busy as a bee since the last I touched base with you. I had a lot of getting ready to do for our Detroit Living Proof Live event then hopped on a plane bright and early Friday morning to see faith become sight. The team and I totally dug our group. Though God was faithful and present Friday night, we spent most of it warming up then really sensed the power of the Holy Spirit drop on us first thing Saturday morning. I don’t know about them but I didn’t feel Him let up until after we left. (Still felt Him so strongly on the plane that I sobbed part of the way home.) Seventeen women (three over 60, two under 16) made public professions of faith in Christ Jesus on Saturday. I felt the freedom of God to do something really unusual for the last session. He had given me clearance to finish up our topic at the end of the second session and save the third one for personal testimony. It was Jackson’s first birthday and my heart was so tender over all the miracles God has performed in our family that I wept through much of the session. If you and I have known each other long, you know how unusual that is. I may tear up but I almost never cry out-right while I’m teaching but I did this time. I was overwhelmed over the faithfulness of my merciful God. I wanted the women to have hope, no matter how hopeless things looked in some of their families, that nothing is too hard for God. I wanted them to learn to pray BIG and to do everything it took to cooperate with God so that He could be loosed to work wonders. I am jealous for others to see the same transformation in Christ that our family has experienced and I KNOW if He did it for us, He will do it for anyone.

The event was calendared well before Jackson was born but, thankfully, ending the engagement at noon enabled me to make it to Amanda’s by late afternoon that day and well before the party the next day. I’m so grateful to Amanda for her understanding and willingness to save the big party for Sunday afternoon. It turned out to be such a sweet plan because Amanda and Curt, Curt’s parents, and Keith and I were able to have our own time with Jackson on Saturday to open presents and gush over him. He wasn’t so overwhelmed that he was oblivious to all he had gotten. We are so blessed! The affectionate little thing seems to love both sets of his grandparents so much and we love each other. Both families get along really well.

Sunday was the big party at the Gymboree and Jackson was the best little host you can imagine. HE LOVED IT! He laughed and showed off and played his little heart out. I’m such a baby nut that the party was the next best thing to Heaven. The room was full of Jackson’s toddler buds who’d come to celebrate his big day. I laughed my head off at all their mannerisms and expressions and the hilarious ways they interacted. The baby girls had huge bows on their heads and, oh, their shoes!!! No wonder we girls grow up with shoe obsession! I’ve come to love all of Amanda’s fellow moms vicariously through her. I had the biggest blast watching all of them together. I’m going to ask Amanda to post some pictures of the big day so I can go ahead and be completely shameless. Thank you so much for humoring me. Our weekend, from beginning to end, was deliciously wonderful and full of God’s grace. I’m honored to share this part of our family life with you and humbled that you would let me. Pray big, Girls. You’ve got a big God.

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