Archive for July, 2007

Roots

Praise the Lord for hotels with WiFi! We made it to my mom’s hometown – Arkadelphia, Arkansas, this evening. It was so fun driving through town and searching for all the landmarks I had written down on my list. We found both of my mom’s old houses. I wished for her when we were there because I wanted to know which window was her room and how big the tree in the front yard was when she lived there. It really made me miss my Nanny to see the homes where she raised her family. One of the houses was right across the street from the old high school. Mom and Aunt Gay used to run home during their lunch period and watch As the World Turns with their mom and grandma. Female bonding at its best. We drove down Main Street and saw the building that once housed my grandpa’s movie theater. My mom told me that, of course, her dates always wanted to take her there. I pictured my Uncle Tony working at the ticket window as a preteen. Finally, we made our way to the First Baptist Church, where my mom fell in love with Jesus. There were cars outside and it was apparent they were having their Sunday evening activities. I took the opportunity to wander through the halls for a minute and grab a bulletin for a souvenir. I saw that they were about to have some sort of fellowship meal and I kind of wanted to crash the party! A sweet lady greeted me warmly and I thought it must be a very dear church. There was a Cracker Barrel not far from there and it did not disappoint. My only regret is that I didn’t buy an Arkansas Razorbacks t-shirt for Jackson in the gift store. My grandparents would have been proud. When we pulled up to our hotel I told Curt that I still can’t believe I’m old enough to take random trips like this without getting permission from my parents! I’ll be 28 this fall.

I did get to talk to my mom for a few minutes this afternoon. She visited Matthew today. For those of you who don’t know his story, Matthew was on his deathbed when she met him and his mother two years ago in a malnutrition clinic. He was starving, malnourished, and dying. By the time he arrived at the clinic, he was too far-gone to be helped. My mom prayed with him and pleaded for his healing. You may have seen footage of it on LIFE Today. God did a HUGE miracle, to the praise of HIS glory, and Matthew was completely restored! My mom said he just turned five years old and was running all over the place today. I know she had a sweet time with his mother, who believed without a doubt that on that day two years ago, God raised Matthew. We serve one awesome God! Be encouraged as you believe Him for your own miracles, sisters!

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Camp – Part 2

My little family is heading out for our last summer camp. We have the privilege of serving at the youth camp for Curt’s home church. We’re so excited! On our way, we will drive through Arkansas and stay in my mom’s hometown. I have a list of family landmarks to drive by. I haven’t been there since I was nine years old, so it will be fun.

I am taking some work with me, but I will be shocked if I have even five minutes online in the next week. So for the next week you won’t see your comments posted or even your bulletin board entries. I am so sad to say that I won’t be able to update you on my parents’ trip. I’m not exactly sure if we will even have a cell phone connection at the camp we’re going to.

My mom and I will look forward to catching up with you ladies in a week or so! Thanks for keeping my parents in your prayers. It is VERY comforting to know they are being lifted up. I did have a message from my mom after church saying that they made it to Angola safely. Praise God!

Enjoy your week!
Love,
Amanda

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They Made It!

I’m so happy to say that this morning I got a phone call from my mom and they were already at their hotel in Johannesburg. Praise the Lord! She sounded good and other than a little delay in D.C., everything had gone well. It was evening there and I’m sure they were looking forward to going to bed soon.

It’s been a while since I posted a picture of Jackson. Here’s my little Skater Boy at 17 months.

Don’t worry, Dad. I’m taking good care of your guitar and cell phone.

Little man’s best friend.

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Prophecy Under Fulfillment

Hey, my Darling Siestas! I just have to share some news before I head out of the country. It has to do with an accidental prophecy that came out of my mouth about six years ago. Some of you may know that I started obsessing about a future “Baby Curtis” way back when Amanda and Curt were engaged. It all started when I asked his sweet mom to send me some baby pictures so that I could prepare a slide show of them both for their wedding. I opened that envelope full of snapshots and nearly died. He was the cutest baby boy I’d ever seen. I promptly stuck the picture in Amanda’s face and announced, “I want me one of THOSE. Right there. Have me a grandbaby that looks like that.” At that time, Amanda was convinced that she could only handle baby girls so I was scoffed and, in fact, told not to speak a thing like that over her again. Of course, in our family that means nothing. We tease each other to no end. When the night for the rehearsal dinner finally came, after the groomsmen and bridesmaids had lifted their Cherry Cokes and given their toasts, Keith stood to give his: “Be fruitful and multiply.” That’s my man.

A while passed after the wedding and I was sprawled out on the couch day dreaming while my beloved son-in-law was sitting on a chair at my house watching television. “You know what I can’t wait to do, Curtis?”

“What, Ma’am?”

“I can’t wait to praise dance with my grandson.”

He looked a little stunned as if I’d just said something random. “I’ve been thinking about it,” I said. “I think I’d like to have weekly ‘Praise Dancing with Granny’ sessions where we can turn the worship music on and dance all over the house. I want him to know how much fun God is. When the little guy gets a little older, he and I will make us some banners. He’ll have a miniature one and I’ll have a regular one and then we’ll run through the house waving them to some really great praise songs. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

Silence.

I was messin’ with him just a tad but he knew it sounded just like something I was capable of doing. Then, like I’d received a sudden jolt of revelation, I blurted out, “And he can even bring his friends!”

Finally, the silence broke. “Ma’am, he won’t have any friends.”

A few years later I was sitting on the kitchen counter eating Fritos after work while Keith conjured up some masterpiece for us to eat. (It’s his fault I’m a terrible cook.) The door bell rang and I finished my sentence, hopped off the counter and went to see who it was. No one was there. Only a package. A tall, skinny package. I glanced up and down the street and didn’t see anybody. (Keith was already onto a prank and was making a far more thorough search which ultimately proved fruitful.) I tore into the odd package curiously and, after tugging and pulling, lo and behold I pulled out a long banner. Don’t think it was a dead give-away because I get all manner of creative praise aids since I’m in such interdenominational ministry. The shoo-in came when I pulled out the second one. A miniature. And burst into tears and screams. The card inside said, “You better get ready for Praise Dancing With Granny!” Oh, my word. To this day I could cry and squeal about it. And if I’d truly known how in love with the little dude I’d fall, I would have fainted flat on the floor from an overdose of joy.

I’m taking the time to write when I should be packing because you need to know that the praise dancing prophecy is under fulfillment. As God would have it, Jackson Curtis Jones would rather dance his legs off than anything on earth. Even if he hears music from a TV commercial, he’ll stop what he’s doing, get a certain mesmerized look on his face and get down with his darlin’ self. And if a commercial will bring it on, you ought to see the man-child do what he was born to do! That boy can get his praise groove on to the Glory! Last week when he and his mommy were here, we turned on the music every single day and all of us danced to beat the band. He has more moves than a locomotive! Needless to say, he takes up a lot of dance floor by making some wide running circles, but the best part is when he stands in place and lets it happen. He does a lot of side-to-side lunges kind of like an 80’s aerobic move then shifts his vibe to the front, alternating his arms up and down like he’s almost in a trance. It looks like a slow-mo throw back to the “Jerk” my oldest sister and brother used to do in the den when they were playing their Beatles 45’s. Only, me and my grandboy were spending our time doing something a whole lot better than that. We’ve got us some praise going. My favorite part is when he does the Stomp. Kirk Franklin would be so proud. The boy picks up his right foot and stomps it on the dance floor over and over with his feet so wide apart, I think he’s going to do the Chinese splits. I’m not telling you the little dude does it every once in a while. I’m telling you the little dude is a dancing machine. I’m telling you he can point to the CD player, tell me to turn it on, then break it down.

Sigh. This, Girlfriends, is what makes getting older worth it. You live long enough to see some prophecies fulfilled. Even a few you didn’t know were prophecies until they came to pass right before your very eyes. Yep, God sure is good. You want to hear just how good? Almost every night before his parents put him to bed, Curt grabs his guitar and plays while Jackson and his mommy give God some praise with the dance. One of these days my darling Curt may just put down that guitar and shake a leg. And I’ll invite some of his friends.

Have a great week and a half, Siestas! I’ll have so much to tell you when I get home. Thank you for your prayers! Our Angola trips involve some of the most difficult ministries we ever have the privilege to do. The suffering is unimaginable but God has called us to open our eyes and our hearts to it and do what we can to help. There will also undoubtedly be moments so tender, we’ll remember them forever. I will get to see darling Matthew, the tiny child that God raised from the death bed after we were there last. A miracle if I’ve ever seen one in my life.

I will keep you on my heart and freeze some frames in my mind and describe them to you when I get home. I love you so dearly and I’m so honored to be your servant. Your siesta!

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Prayer for Angola Trip

Hi, sisters!
This is the Africa trip prayer memo that will be emailed to our prayer warriors either this evening or tomorrow morning. Also, I have loved adding so many of your Bible studies to our Bulletin Board! Thanks and keep ‘em coming!
Love,
Amanda

Friday morning Keith and Beth will depart for a mission trip to Angola, Africa. They are partnering with LIFE Outreach International (www.LifeToday.org), a ministry that has touched countless lives worldwide through its humanitarian relief programs. This wonderful and effective ministry graciously hosts Beth every Wednesday on its television program, LIFE Today with James and Betty Robison.

Beth and Keith will arrive in South Africa on July 28 and proceed to Angola the next day. In Angola, the team will visit and serve at six “Mission Feeding” sites. LOI currently feeds over 400,000 African children every month through its Mission Feeding program. They will also visit two malnutrition clinics and two villages where they are not currently feeding in order to show the major need for food in those areas. The team will visit four additional sites for the “Water for LIFE” ministry. This ministry uses portable drilling rigs to dig wells that provide clean drinking water to communities. Throughout the week, the team will be taping footage of the feeding and water programs in order to help raise financial support for these ministries. The Moores will return to South Africa on August 2 and begin the trip home on August 5.

We covet your prayers for Beth and Keith and the entire mission team as they serve our Father in Africa.

Please pray…
-For peaceful, on-time flights. Storms have been forecasted for Houston for Friday morning.
-For Beth to be able to write during the plane rides.
-For perfect health during and after the trip.
-For a quick adjustment to the time change.
-For physical, emotional, and spiritual strength.
-For safety.
-For the entire team to be anointed to wash the feet of the people they encounter.
-For Christ to be glorified as physical and spiritual needs are met in His name.
-For lives to be changed.
-For this trip to result in increased financial support for these important humanitarian programs.
-For God to bind the enemy from having any influence over this trip.
-For God’s peace to rest on every family member and co-worker left behind.
-For the camera equipment to work perfectly.

Beth’s number one prayer request is for Jesus to so overwhelm them with love that it would carry them through the many difficult sights and emotions they will face. Beth wants to feel what Jesus feels for these dearly beloved people. She wants love to be the strongest emotion she has. Thank you so very, very much for taking these matters before the throne. God bless you, Dear One!

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Bible Study Bulletin Board

First of all, thank you for praying, ladies! My grandpa did not end up needing that surgery yesterday. We were all thrilled! He is not out of the woods yet, so please continue to pray for him as the Lord brings him to mind. Also, my mom’s flare up is gone. Praise God! Thanks for going to battle with us over those things.

Second, I want to let you know about the Bible Study Bulletin Board on our web site. We created it several years ago to help women find Bible study groups meeting in their communities. We were getting lots of emails from women who were relocating to new cities and wanted to plug into new groups right away. We also heard from many ladies who were attending churches that didn’t offer Beth Moore studies and wanted to know where they could find one.

If you are the leader of a fall Bible study group and you would welcome members you do not already know, we would love for you to register your group online. If you are not the leader but think this sounds great, please let your leader know about this opportunity to reach out to women who are hungry for the Word.

Please know that once your entry is submitted, I can’t edit it. I can delete it, but I cannot make any changes to it. Also, be sure to read the guidelines before you register or choose a group.

If you have connected with a Bible study group using our bulletin board, we’d love to hear from you on the blog today!

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25 Reasons Why My Sister is a Rock Star

My friend Michelle, whom you may have read about in Get Out of That Pit for a prank she pulled while we were in college, loves to compliment her friends by saying, “You’re a rock star!” So I’m stealing Michelle’s cool saying. In honor of my sister’s 25th birthday, here are 25 reasons why Melissa is a rock star.

1) She has the heart of a lion. Strong and brave.
2) She loves nerds. But she never was one.
3) She calls her Bible the Holy Scrips.
4) She can read out of a Greek New Testament.
5) She still makes our mom roll her hair for special occasions.
6) She makes up extremely bizarre names for the people she loves.
7) She is the funniest person in our family.
8) It’s never as much fun when she’s not around.
9) She’s a wonderful auntie to Jackson.
10) On several occasions, we’ve picked each other up from the airport wearing the same outfit.
11) She squeals when she’s really tickled.
12) She hates words with “p” in them. Pumpernickel, pumpkin loaf, pamphlet, etc.
13) She has THE most beautiful hair in the world.
14) She’s honest.
15) She knows a thing or two about perseverance.
16) When we were little girls, we would soak our feet in hot water together. We never outgrew it.
17) She was and is better than most boys at sports.
18) She’s got an artistic side.
19) Which means she’s great at decorating and putting outfits together.
20) She’s an inch taller than me. But my feet are bigger and I don’t think that’s fair.
21) She loves classic cars.
22) When she was 14, she bought an iguana to impress a guy. Mom eventually had to pay the pet store to take it back.
23) She’s a faithful friend.
24) She’s a very good baker and she also throws great dinner parties.
25) She’d give me a lung or a kidney if I needed it and I’d do the same for her.

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Mission Feeding

I have been camped out at my parents house for the last couple of days. My parents are leaving for Angola, Africa, soon and I wanted to make a visit before they left. We’ve had a wonderful time together. Melissa’s 25th birthday is tomorrow and we’ve been celebrating all week. Right now my parents are busy cooking a Thanksgiving-in-July feast and we are looking forward to sharing that together in about 1 hour and 55 minutes. Not that I’m counting.

I plan on writing a post later with more detailed prayer requests for the Angola trip, but I would love to ask for your prayers now. As many of you know, it takes a lot of energy to get ready for an overseas trip – packing, getting immunizations, getting projects finished, and preparing spiritually. And the enemy is infamous for stirring things up right before an important work takes place. Here are a few things we would love prayer for before the trip.

A) Keith’s dad, John Moore (Pappaw to the grandkids), is in very poor health. He had an extremely serious, risky surgery last week and has been in the hospital ever since. Yesterday he developed a painful complication that could require more surgery if it does not correct itself before Monday. What was already working against him was the fact that his flesh has a hard time healing due to radiation he endured with prostate cancer years ago. He is desperate for prayer and for a work of God. As I was typing this he called my mom and she assured him we were asking our prayer warriors to lift him up. Please pray for complete healing without further surgery, for relief from his pain, and for a better quality of life for him as a result of his surgery last week. Thank you so much in advance!

B) My mom is having a reaction to one of her vaccinations that is causing a health issue she deals with to flare up. Please ask God to extinguish this flare up.

C) Pray for peace over the ministry and over our whole family for the next week as they prepare for this important trip. Pray for the peace to remain as they travel. The travel dates are July 27-August 5.

My parents have partnered with James and Betty Robison of Life Outreach International to help feed hungry and malnourished children in Africa. Because of the generosity of Life Today viewers and the amazing provision of our loving Father, Life Outreach International is currently able to feed over 400,000 children per month. This is what the trip is all about. I will have more details for you later, but for now you can read a little more about it here.

Thank you, sisters, for standing in the gap! You have no idea what it means to all of us! We love you.
Amanda

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Washington, D.C. Commissioning

My Dear Sister,
The God of Glory
Has called you.
You have a ministry.
In Christ, you are enough for that ministry.
Never forget that showing God off is your ministry.
No matter what,
Keep your heart in your ministry.
Unveil your face
And serve others with authenticity.
Always remember
That the power is in God’s Presence.
Let nothing
Come between you
And intimacy with God.
Keep moving forward
From glory to glory.
Let God thin that veil.
Remember, ministry is not about position.
It’s about people.
Let name after name
Be written on your heart.
Do not seek great things for yourself,
Seek a great God.
As you leave this place,
Go in a fresh anointing.
He who turns water into wine
Turns wimps into warriors.
You have a ministry.
Go fulfill it.

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Going Beyond

Hey My Darling Siestas!
I’ve been so anxious to catch up with you but in too fast a tail spin to do it! I have such a full plate today that I can’t say as much as I’d like but I at least wanted to greet you in Jesus’ great and powerful Name this morning and thank you a gillion for your incredible responses to the “tough being a woman” survey. Your answers were TERRIFIC and have already given me insight for the Esther study. After about four months of research, I’ve only just begun to write it and the process will take at least the next nine months. I am going to put your responses in a notebook and I will look at them MANY, MANY times in my writing journey. You are so precious to me. Sharing this community with you has already been used by God to add so many rich perspectives to this ministry. You were a missing link I needed, especially after having to retire from my beloved Sunday School class a year ago. I love you and I’m honored to serve you.

One more quick thing I hope you’ll enjoy! One of the greatest treats of doing what God has called me to do is getting to be with other sisters who have been called to something similar. It’s such a weird (and challenging) life that it helps tremendously to cross paths, laugh, and share the ups and downs of a public women’s ministry. Between the Women of Faith and Deeper Still events, God is allowing me in this season to be with other speaker friends that I totally dig in the Lord Jesus. This weekend when I returned from D.C., my good buddy Priscilla Shirer (one of THE most gifted Bible teachers I’ve ever heard) was in Houston doing one of her brand new Going Beyond revival events (get one on your calendar). Our other good buddy, Lisa Whelchel, was there lending support and receiving a word so how could I resist? I threw on my jeans and headed to the church with a heart blazing with anticipation. Lisa and I sat on the front row and “Amened” and “Hallelujah’d” while Priscilla tore it up in the power of the Holy Spirit. We, then, got to grab time together after the event and talk a thousand miles an hour. I’m crazy about both of them and they are head over heels in love with the Lord Jesus. I thought you might be relieved to know that, in a world (even a religious world) replete with territorialism and competition and ghastly egotism, there are a whole bunch of us girls (still weak in our natural man and an inch from the next pit, if we’re willing) who want desperately to be dead to the stinking flesh and alive to the Spirit, and able – despite pressure to the contrary – to cheer one another on in this difficult race on Planet Earth. Turf wars originated and persist in the devil himself and can erupt anywhere he is offered – however accidentally – an inch to work: churches, ministries, worship teams, mission fields. You name it. Be onto him when he rears his ugly head and refuse him the right to EVER talk you into a turf war with a brother or sister in Christ. U-N-I-T-Y!

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