Archive for November, 2009
It’s a little after 7:00 PM on Thanksgiving evening and it’s just me and my best little buddy, Star. WHEW! We had a great celebration today that started with a bang. I had an abbreviated quiet time out on the back porch (it’s gorgeous and cool in Houston right now) then hit the kitchen tile running. I baked a ham, pulled it out of the oven and glazed it, put the turkey in the oven, and started setting tables. Everything becomes a table for holiday meals at the Moore house. Melissa and Colin rolled out of bed early and helped me get everything ready. She made the most incredible broccoli rice casserole. You’d think that dish would take the place of a green bean casserole but not in my family. They would be aghast. Amanda also came over early and brought that incredible pumpkin dessert. I made my usual Texas Sheetcake. It’s a family tradition. Curtis lagged behind another hour with Jackson and Annabeth so Amanda would just be free to help before all the company hit the house. My sons-in-law are the best.
My mom would have been super proud of my cornbread dressing again this year. It wasn’t my absolute best but it was really great. Keith’s parents, one of his sisters (the other lives in Japan), her two fine boys, one of my sisters and her two fine boys, the Joneses, Fitzpatricks, Keith and I all crowded in this very familiar abode of 25 years. So many memories here.
It was such a sweet day. We gave thanks to God, ate, all talked at the same time, laughed, and ate some more. The Fitzpatricks left the earliest because Colin’s parents, Joe and Jude Ann, live in our area, too, and they didn’t want to miss that celebration either. The two of them will probably gobble in their sleep. I remember those days really well because, when Keith and I were young, our parents also lived in the same town. We didn’t want to miss out on either family and would have gotten in the biggest fight if the other dared suggest otherwise.
Keith and one of his nephews headed for deer country by mid afternoon. (I told you he would. Has for 25 years. Uh, make that 30 but who’s counting?) His other nephew headed to the Texas A&M/Texas game. One by one all the other company left as well. My sister and I hadn’t seen each other in way too long so we hugged and hugged before she and her boys pulled out of the driveway.
Curtis and Amanda would not leave me here by myself until they’d cleaned the entire kitchen and even vacuumed my floor. I was astonished. I’ve had a dern herniated disk – the MRI said a “large” one – and, boy, has it ever hurt. I have never been a weakling or a person who preferred to be waited on so it’s really been hard for me to sit back and let people do certain things for me. This back thing has been so painful, though, that it has forced some sizable limitations. I’ve been so annoyed with it. That does NOT include putting down Annabeth – she’s within my weight limit, that tiny thing – although I have had to tell Jackson that Bibby can’t carry him for a few weeks. He dearly loves for Bibby to carry him.
After watching CJ and AJ whip my house back into shape, I packed up enough leftovers for them to have for supper when they got home and I walked them to their cars with their sleepy babies. Then, I came back inside, got down on my face and thanked God for my family, fixed me a plate of leftovers and savored every bite in front of the television. Have you ever noticed that you can’t really relax and taste the food as well when you’re the hostess? But afterward, you can relish every single crumb all by yourself and say, “Not bad, woman. Not bad at all.”
Well, Lis just called me and she’s on her way home so I better sign off. She’s dying for some of her mother’s leftovers. Can you believe it? She’ll eat then we’ll have some hot tea, put our aching feet in some hot soapy water, and talk all about today. Tomorrow we’ll do absolutely NOTHING. And I can hardly wait. I’m closing in on the last few chapters of a really great Christian fiction novel. Yep, tomorrow’s the day. Monday will come all too fast.
I am so thankful for each one of you. So grateful to our merciful God for the privilege to serve people like you. So thankful for my family. For my salvation. For JESUS. I thought it would be so rich to ask you to share one thing that you’re thankful for this year THAT YOU NEVER DREAMED YOU’D BE THANKFUL FOR. In other words, what has caught your grateful heart by surprise this year?
I love you. Happy Thanksgiving, my dear, dear fellow sojourners.
Hey, Darling Siestas! I have some really fun news! Remember last year when I began leaking to you that God was pounding a passion in my heart to see Him free women from the epidemic insecurity our culture keeps whipping up? That passion turned into a women’s survey right here on this blog where more than 950 of you lavishly and thoughtfully participated. It then turned into a men’s survey where over 150 guys were willing to offer priceless insight into their own insecurities AND what they perceived to be the most obvious insecurities of women. (That part was especially fascinating, by the way.) That continuing passion went on to become one chapter, then two, then three, then ten, then eighteen that spanned over the course of one of the most interesting years of my life. God went out of His way to trip every single insecurity switch I had and to make the pursuit so personal to me that I’d be willing to do virtually anything for freedom. This became the result:
(If you’re wondering why it has to have my big ole face on the cover, those kinds of things aren’t my idea. In messages like this one – and Get Out of That Pit – publishers often feel like a friendly face gives some familiarity to an unfamiliar message and takes some of the intimidation out of a hard subject.)
The book will hit the shelves on February 2, 2010. The reason I’m so happy to share it with you on the blog is because, Siestas, YOU HELPED ME WRITE THIS ONE! You are all over it. You made such a profound contribution that you are the very first ones mentioned on a lengthy gratitude page. Your reaction to the subject matter was so decisive that God used it to stir up the courage in me to do the research and go to the hard work a project like this demands. If I would have concluded that insecurity was just an issue to a handful of women like me, I wouldn’t have bothered with a book. I would have settled for a small group or dealt with it by myself with God as I have a few other less public and pervasive things. Instead, I knew from you that the problem was tremendously widespread and carried titanic repercussions. I knew from you that I wasn’t just imagining it to be the number one issue I saw among women across our country and across professions and ethnic backgrounds, and despite marital status or age. The research that followed the surveys only proved the point first made by you.
Since you were such a huge part of this process, I want to do something special and, God willing and ever-present, something healing here in our community. The vision on my heart is for us to go through the book together when it comes out. We will give everyone seven to ten days to acquire a copy then we will launch with a sign-up (first name and city, just to see who’s participating) and begin weekly reading assignments. We’ll read two to three chapters a week, then I’ll pitch out a couple of discussion questions per week that you’ll actually answer here through a comment on the blog. I’ll explain all of this in greater detail in January but I hope this will whet your appetite like the thought has mine. Even if you prefer to read the book in one week’s time, you can still review it as we go through it together and participate in our discussions.
Of course, just like the Siesta Scripture Memory Team and Siesta Summer Bible Study, this won’t be exclusive. There will still be other things on the blog so there’s no pressure to participate nor will it hog every bit of blog space for months. It will strictly be offered to anyone here in Siestaville who wants to take part.
We will wrap up our reading and discussion a week or so before the scheduled So Long Insecurity CCN Simulcast on Saturday, April 24, 2010. I’ll make sure we have proper closure here on the blog for our journey through the book but, for those who are able to find a location and participate in the simulcast, we’ll be able to end with an extra bang. I’ll also be able to use some of the insight I gained from you at that event. You are priceless to me. If you’re interested in finding out if there’s a simulcast location in your area or if you think your church might be interested in becoming a host site, jump on www.ccn.tv/bethlive for information. (Keep in mind that there’s plenty of time for new host locations to pop up in the coming weeks so, if you don’t see something in your area right now, give it a month or so before you conclude you have no place to attend.)
My goal here is ministry. Not book sales. Not simulcast tickets. I have certainly had impure motives in my life and impure actions in my past but God has graciously and mercifully guarded a sincere heart toward ministry for these many years. My life passion is to see people discover the power and freedom of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, and the life breath of His Word. My particular concern is women and we women have one whopping case of insecurity. It’s time we dealt with it.
Let me throw out one more detail and we’ll have as much information on this subject as you need for a while. When God began to formulate the plan in my mind to go through the book together as a blog community, I began to wrestle with the matter of finances for some of you and whether or not everybody who wanted to participate could afford a hardback book. I talked to Sabrina, my coworker, about it and that’s when the idea for a Christmas gift certificate hit us. This way, when your family members or friends ask for a few hints of what you want for Christmas, if you’d like a book, you might jot a gift certificate for it on your wish list. Just when we got ready to launch our LPM rendition of a gift certificate for SLI, we learned that CCN (the company hosting the simulcast) was totally on top of things and had beat us to the punch. SO, here is the link:
(If I see another “bethmoore” anywhere, I may throw up. Sorry about all of that. Not my doing but keep in mind that publishers or hosts are trying to make it easy to find or identify. Thank you for your patience.)
NOW, here’s the deal. If you really want a book so that you can journey through it with your sisters here on the blog but you absolutely cannot afford it and do not have a single person who’d get you a gift certificate for it for Christmas (or after Christmas), Girlfriend, I will personally buy you one. Gulp. That’s how serious I am about making sure everyone in our community gets one that wants one. After all other alternatives have run dry, just write an email to the ministry and let us know. Again, this is specifically and only for those who want to go through the book together as part of our blog community beginning in February 2010. If you’re reading this in 2015, the offer isn’t still good. But I love you.
This is one of only a handful of things God has ever led me to do that has some seeker-friendly possibilities. With this project behind me, I’ll go right back to my first love, in-depth Bible study. I felt as led of the Spirit to write this message as I did the curriculum for Daniel or for Esther or most of the rest of the studies. We have a serious problem and God has serious solutions. A whole lot of women out there in that big lost world struggle with insecurity. There is a very clear invitation to know Him in the book and my prayer – not my manipulation or hidden motive – is that they’ll discover what all of us so desperately need to find:
“The Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” Proverbs 3:26 NLT
I love you so dearly, Siestas.
*A note from Amanda*
Blogger is currently experiencing a comment publishing glitch. We can read most of your comments but we’re having a lot of trouble publishing them. We hope this will be resolved soon. Until then, there will be an unusual delay before you see your comments posted. We’re so sorry, Siestas! We love hearing from you!
Hey, my dear Siestas!
How is my favorite blog community doing this fine holiday season? It’s Monday and LPM is closed all week so we can all have an extended Sabbath and spend a little extra time with our families. The staff works so hard through the Fall semester of Bible study that, by Thanksgiving, everybody could use a rest in the worst – and best (we love what we get to do!) – way.
Melissa’s already here and her darling Colin will join us tomorrow. Our men let us have a special weekend just with the girls so she, Amanda, and I have already had the best time together. We laughed until, honestly, I pulled a muscle in my stomach. I’m not even kidding. I can’t remember ever doing that in my entire life but we got that kind of tickled when you think you’re going to throw up or your face is going to freeze in a contortion. The stupid part of it is that I can’t even remember exactly what originally got us tickled but it was in a restaurant and I doubt anybody was blessed but us.
We will have a big four-generation family Thanksgiving here at my house with several new guests followed by a tad quieter Christmas. Keith, the Joneses and I will all head to Atlanta soon after for the Passion conference. That’s one reason Thanksgiving will be our big holiday blow out this season instead of Christmas. Amanda is going to bring this incredible pumpkin dessert that you serve warm and I’m sure Melissa will fix something really good. She hasn’t committed yet. I’ll do the traditional Thanksgiving meal. As poor a cook as I am, generally speaking, I make a really good meat-and-potatoes meal. I can make cornbread dressing nearly as well as my mom did and Amanda lives for it every year. I have this small window of opportunity to be built up for my cooking so I relish the fleeting moment.
I can’t wait for the big family to see Annabeth. Jackson has always been a huge crowd pleaser and, boy, is his sister trying to hog some of his spotlight. She is at that stage where she is doing something new constantly. Crawling all over the place. Starting to say a few words (we should have “Bibby” mastered by Christmas), waving, clapping her hands, laughing her head off, and giving her big brother a run for his money over his toys. My firstborn is about to have her hands FULL because her baby is going completely mobile. I think God makes toddlers extra cute so their parents can bear the trouble.
OK, I’m anxious to hear what you guys are doing for Thanksgiving, even if it’s just regular stuff. That’s the best kind of holiday if you ask me. So here are three questions so we can see what everybody’s up to this week:
1. Where will you be for Thanksgiving and with whom?
2. Do you guys eat turkey and dressing or do you have a different tradition? If so, what is it?
3. What’s your one favorite dish at Thanksgiving?
Like you, we Moores, Joneses, and Fitzpatricks have so much to be thankful for. God has been unreasonably good to us but, of course, that’s the nature of divine grace. We have had a really challenging 2009 in several respects that we haven’t necessarily been free to share on such a public format but God has been active and powerful in our midst. Several of those situations are ongoing so you won’t waste a prayer on us right now. I will look forward to sharing about some of the things we’re walking through as we get to the other side and have some of the clarity and revelation that retrospect brings. Meanwhile, we need God enough for His Word to be such life and breath to us that we’re not taking a lot of spiritual time off…and that’s the way I like it. Many wonderful things have happened, too. I’m sure our lives are much like yours: a wild concoction of joy, laughter, pain, and bewilderment. Our one true unmovable thing is Jesus. He continues to be the uncontested center of life around here. Even when we waver, wander, or stumble, He remains steadfast and faithful.
Later in the week I’ll give you a chance to let us know what this holiday season finds you most grateful for. I’ll look so forward to that.
Amanda, Melissa and I are honored to serve you. You are loved here. Let me know what you guys are up to!
I have wonderful news. Maryam and Marzieh have been released from prison in Iran. Praise the Lord!
They may still have to face a court hearing, so please pray that their release will be unconditional. Also pray for the restoration of their health, their protection, and that God will continue to strengthen their faith.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the LORD,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Is there something you’ve always dreamed of doing? I’ve always wanted to do two things. Well, if I thought hard enough about it I could probably name a hundred things, but we’ll stick with two. First, when I was a kid I used to dream about galloping across a golf course on a horse. Don’t ask me why! Second, I’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore.
In college I was sort of an unofficial Beth Moore book supplier to a lot of the Christian girls on my campus. Our resource director, Diane, would hook me up with the books that had been requested and then I’d get them to my friends or friends-of-friends. The only problem was that since they were my mom’s books, I had the hardest time letting the girls pay for them. Diane probably had to mark most of them down as donations, which I’m sure she was pleased to do, but the point is I was a terrible book seller!
Even so, the dream of working in a bookstore has lived on in my heart. Every time I drive past a LifeWay store, I imagine myself working there. I think it would be so cool!
Well, this semester I’ve been getting to work at our resource table at Bible study with Diane, Evangeline, and several other co-workers and volunteers. It’s kind of been a scaled-down version of my dream and I’ve loved it! It’s been really fun to stand behind the tables and help our ladies with questions they have about the products. (But it’s so hard for me to take their payment. I’m still compelled to say, “Oh, don’t worry about it!”)
Tonight is the last session of our Revelation study. It’s been an amazing semester and I can’t wait to see how the Lord will wrap it all up for us. Some of you have asked if this series will be made available and I wanted to let you know that it will! Praise the Lord!
The Revelation DVD Set – Here and Now, There and Then – will be available after the New Year. We’ve actually been taking pre-orders for it on our web site for the last month. The product will begin shipping the first week of January and it will go out in the sequence in which we received the orders. If you’re interested in doing this 11-week series, you can see a video clip and pre-order it here. There is an accompanying listening guide that includes some brief weekly assignments. (Not full-scale homework like many of our other studies.) If you have any questions, you can email our resource department through the contact page.
As usual, I didn’t ask my mom if I could tell this on the blog because she’s generally averse to product promotion. But I wanted all of our siestas who wished they could be with us every Tuesday night to know that this is going to be available. At least if Mom gets mad and wants to fire me, I can now put book sales on my resume. Maybe a LifeWay store would take me!
Good morning, my lovely Scripture-memorizing Siestas! Happy Lord’s Day! Please see the addendum at the bottom of the previous post for why this turned out to be a much brighter morning than I anticipated last night. Yes, if I’m anything at all, I am mature. The very antithesis of superficial.
When our fifths or fifteenths fall on Sunday mornings, I can’t write an epistle to you because I need to hop in the shower and get ready for church. However, I am super excited about the glorious light at the end of our 2009 Scripture memory tunnel and having 22 solid gold verses in our spirals!! Yahooooooooooooo-Jah!!
Here is mine for this round. I’ll give it to you and then tell you why it particularly speaks to my heart:
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door.” Proverbs 8:34 NAS
I’ve been thinking here recently how wise our God is. He is far too onto us and our severe cases of Spiritual ADD to often give us a sense of what is going to happen in a particular situation. He knows good and well that, if He’d just tell us how a temporal challenge is going to turn out, we’ll take that answer, thank Him so much, and go on with living and give a rare nod His direction. He wants us to desire His attentiveness more than His answer.
Scripture describes God’s Word like a lamp to our feet. In other words, God normally – and wisely – shines just enough clear light to help us take the very next step when it’s time. Imagine how far you could hold a lamp out in front of you as you walk a dim path in the forest. That’s what you’re promised as the most normal experience in your believing journey. Don’t get me wrong. He tells us volumes about how things will ultimately turn out but, much of the time in our temporal challenges, He simply asks us to trust Him and let Him sustain us and lead us one day at a time. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
I love Proverbs 8:34 because it describes the blessed person who has her ear pressed against the door of Heaven. The blessed person who watches daily at His gates. She is the woman who will hear, not only direction for the next step when the time comes but, priceless treasures, promises and truths of all sorts because she’s not so distracted with her own answer that she misses the marvels of other revelations.
God is so wise.
In my “Through the Bible in a Year” with The Message, I also came upon a well-loved verse, Jeremiah 29:11, that I thought many of you might savor in Eugene Peterson’s translation. Some of you who don’t know what to memorize this time around might see it as the perfect selection. Here it goes:
“I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 The Msg
Isn’t that fantastic?
You are a pleasure to serve, my darling Siestas. Fight the good fight! Keep the faith! Let’s finish this race well.
Your Siesta Mama loves you.
OK, let’s hear yours!
CRITICAL UPDATE: It is 8:45 the next morning and my man has saved the day! Yes, I said “Saved the day!” He said he spent most of the night tossing and turning about how he could out-smart my coffee machine and get it to work…at least a few more days. Up the man popped this morning and flew to the cabinet where he found his oversized toothpicks. (They look like something Gulliver would have used to get the pot roast from last week dislodged from between his teeth.) Keith stuck the toothpick into the steamer in hopes that it would plug it up, make it stop blowing steam, and signal the other part of the machine to work. AND IT DID!!! IT DID!!!!!!!! Even after I’d humbly prepared 8 cups in my new pot! (I’d decided to be more mature and thankful this morning. Usually a night does the trick on my petty attitude especially if I think God is getting annoyed.) Please see brilliant demonstration below. Give special attention to the toothpick in the steamer. It’s leaking a tad so next we will be wrapping a little duct tape around it. Thank you for caring, Siestas! I just knew you would. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, I have recorded the drama below the updated picture.
The original post. A night that will live in infamy:
Seven years ago this Christmas, my man surprised me with one of the most extravagant gifts of our entire marriage. This Jura Capresso Coffee Maker from Williams Sonoma:
If he’s having an on year, he tends to splurge at Christmas time because of the inordinate amount of time he spends at the deer lease from early November to late January. These spurgings are his way of saying, “I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long, please don’t divorce me before deer season ends, and can I go one more time for just a few more weeks? I promise I’ll be the happiest husband you’ve ever had when I get home.” The year of this particular gift he stayed in my good graces all the way till the first of February (when I’ve ordinarily ceased speaking to him) because I’d never fallen more in love with an inanimate object in all my life. This, my dear Siestas, has been my best friend for 7 beautiful years. She makes the perfect cup of coffee every single time. Perfect aroma. Perfect weight. Perfect crema. Here she is with my very favorite cup and saucer:
Today she passed. Just like that. She passed. There I was in my jammies on an exquisite Saturday morning at home with Autumn leaves blowing from the trees and birds singing and circling my feeders. I was chomping at the bit to sit on the back porch with that first cup of the morning and take it all in. And for the first time in seven glorious years, she just couldn’t deliver. All she could do was sit there and blow steam. Literally. I nearly went into a state of shock. Keith threw on his jeans as fast as he could, grabbed the keys to his Ford Super Duty, and guided me to the truck still in my jammies. You know where we went. Where else could we possibly go?? Of course, we did the drive thru. My knees were too weak to walk in.
I survived the morning on a grande nonfat dry cappuccino and pulled myself together to spend a great day at the Nutcracker Market with Amanda. Since there was also a Starbucks there on the premises, I had all a soul could stand and didn’t think about my morning mishap until I got home that evening. You know how a mind tries to block out the unthinkable. Keith had also promised me we’d pack up the coffee maker and send it off to be repaired and I’d found considerable comfort in it. A brief separation. That’s all.
When I walked in the door this evening, all the sudden the realization hit me.
Keith: “What, Honey? Oh, no, what?”
“My coffee maker!”
Keith: “You didn’t remember to get us a back up?”
Keith: “Bummer. It could be a rough morning.”
Mind you, it was late by now. I grabbed my keys and ran back to the car and headed to our only nearby store – a Walgreen’s – to find a Black and Decker or Mr. Coffee or SOMETHING to tie us over until we could find something more suitable to tie us over in the long run. Maybe I’d have my best friend back by Christmas. I looked all over the drugstore. My pulse sped up. I scurried to check out and asked in the nicest but fastest way if I could have some assistance.
“My coffee maker passed and I need something for the next few days until we can find a better back up. I can’t find a coffee pot anywhere in the store! Do you guys have one?”
Sales clerk: “Absolutely! Let me help you find it.”
So relieved. But that word “it” bothered me a tad. Surely she didn’t mean “it” as in “one.”
Yep. That’s what she meant, all right. Here it is:
I nearly had to be helped to the car. Sometimes we have to make hard choices. Other times we just don’t have any choice at all. This is what I’ll be drinking my coffee out of in the morning.
Not even a Mr. Danged Coffee!! Who ever heard of this brand? Oh, I know! I know! It has no eternal significance. It’s totally trivial and pitifully temporal but I’ve been waking up to fresh grinding beans for seven solid years and many of those mornings I’ve taken that first hot sip and said out loud, “Thank You, God.” And maybe I’m making something up but I’ve wanted to believe He was up there saying, “You’re welcome.” Do you remember about a month ago when I told you guys I’d given up something for over a month? My eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I saw so many of you suggest that I’d given up coffee. Do you honestly think I would have waited a month before telling you that? Seriously? I would have called for an emergency support group.
OK, I’ll go get a grip. In no time at all, our old girl will be repaired and we’ll be back in business. Until then, mornings could be tender around the Moore home.
Good morning, Siestas! How is everyone today? Well, ever since the time change my kids have been waking up at about 6 a.m. That is definitely not when I would prefer to start my day, but with the extra time I’ve been trying to get out of the house and jog a little bit. I’m NOT a runner by any means, but this baby weight has got to go! So I’m trying. If nothing else, I’ve enjoyed getting to talk to God without morning cartoon background music or needing to stop and wipe someone’s nose or worse. Was that TMI? I’ll go ahead and change the subject now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Marlon Alexander, who is one of the children we sponsor through Compassion. He just turned twelve a few days ago. Every time Compassion sends out a group of bloggers, all the posts give me this overwhelming desire to get on a plane and head to Honduras to see him. By the way, have any of you ever been to Honduras? Did you know that Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has one of the scariest runways in the world? Curtis and I have survived it a few times. I feel like we should get a t-shirt or something.
Compassion has a team of bloggers in El Salvador this week. You can go here to read about what they’re doing. I know they would appreciate our prayers. While it’s fresh on our minds, this is a great time for us to log in to Compassion’s web site and send an email or even a Christmas gift to our sponsored children. I was never good at writing until I realized I could email. I love that! I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, ladies. We love you here at LPM.