Archive for June, 2011

That Old Desk Keeps Coughing It Up

OK, Siestas, remember two posts ago when I told you about finding those old Scripture cards in that desk drawer? Eureka! Old girl struck gold again! To appreciate this particular brand of gold, you have to think in broad terms. In my family, amusement is a fist full of gold. Absurdity is a brick of  gold. And a belly laugh is a ton of gold. To my dear friend Sophie (Boomama) and me, the national reserve of gold would be anything that makes us lean back in our chairs and clap our hands with glee. I’m not saying you’re going to get one of those. I’m just helping you sort out various levels of gold so that you know when you’ve struck the mama load.

I was three drawers down this time, looking for a set of immunization records which, incidentally, I never found. Since this is the second discovery I’m sharing with you from this old desk, I’ll provide a proper visual.

I love, love, LOVE that piece of stained glass above it. Keith’s youngest sister, Mary, salvaged it – with permission – from an old Methodist church under reconstruction. Our friend had it framed for us and we’ll keep it forever.

Back to the desk. So, this time it wasn’t Scripture cards from the family altar that I found in those bottomless drawers. It was speaking notes from the 1980′s and early 1990′s. Honestly, I sat in the floor slack-jawed, looking from message to message and laughed so hard that I could have cried. And sometimes I felt like crying so hard that I could have laughed. I wish you could tell from this picture how thick the stack is. (Every bit of three or four inches.)  Some of the messages are on typing paper from my first word processor but many of them are handwritten on notebook paper.

 

How about a closer look?

Could you possibly have  missed that I used HOT ROLLERS (I think you’re supposed to say it really loud) as an illustration?? I bet you anything it was to explain how we need to plug in to the Holy Spirit. Bless my sweet heart. I can hardly sit up to type. The worst part is that I am still using hair-related illustrations. One would so hope she’d grown in 25 years. Below is one of my favorite smatterings of messages. Please behold the broad stretch of topics. Can you make out the one at the top about “Table Manners and Table Settings”?

Talking was all I ever could do. My brothers and sisters were musical and theatrical. I simply talked. As you can see, it took me a few years to figure out what I was actually called to talk about. There were innumerable messages about Christian fitness in the stack. I may keep some of them. After all, Jane Fonda made an aerobic come-back. Here’s another one. The part that nearly sent me over to my side, kicking my legs, was the “POEM, end.” (It is of such importance that, lo, it is in my notes twice.) Well, of course, say a poem then end. That’s what speakers and even preachers did in those days. Please note my commitment to cultural relevance as the inclusion of a story about Rosanne Barr clearly illustrates. (Correct spelling of her name is actually Roseanne but I didn’t know that at the time nor did anyone ever whisper in my ear, “You’ll be showing these notes to a LOT of people in 20 something years.”) Oh, what I would give to know what story I was telling about her. As you might note, my source was the Enquirer.

 

 

No doubt, you are on pins and needles by now over this riveting post but, alas, the fleeting clock permits me, yea, only one more brick of gold. But it’s a doozy. This is a list of my seminar topics that I included in my “packet” to anyone who showed interest in asking me to speak.

Perhaps my favorite of all is “The Many Hats of God.” (I can no longer sit up to type for laughing. Lord, I am so sorry that I helped these innocent audiences of God-fearing women picture You wearing all manner of head gear.) My mind is eased only by the clear remembrance of often receiving a potted plant as honorarium. And, if you care an iota about accuracy, please picture me giving most of these messages wearing a corsage pinned over my bosom by the pastor’s wife. (That is not a bad word. Check your hymnbook.)

In closing, permit me to say that, if you think the (looooooooong) life of a Christian communicator is easy, you have clearly been set straight today. My son-in-law Curtis, is presently going through a stack of old cassette tapes of my earliest Sunday school lessons and messages to see what needs to be kept and what can be tossed. I can hardly look him in the eye right now. And he’s my pastor. Oh, the gifts that keep on giving.

Well. There you have it. Surely somewhere in those notes you’d find this saying: “Be patient. God is not finished with me yet.”

And, Lord knows, He’s still not.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Living Proof Live – Lincoln, NE

Many thanks to David Lowe for this recap video!

Living Proof Live Lincoln NE from David Lowe on Vimeo.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Lincoln, Nebraska LPL Ticket Giveaway!

Hey Siestas!
Beth is getting ready to head out to Lincoln, NE for Living Proof Live this weekend and she is so anxious to get there and see what God has in store!

She asked me to hop on here and let you know that, thanks to the Siesta Scholarship Fund, we have set aside 20 scholarships for this weekend for the first 20 of you who call during regular business hours at Living Proof. It is our joy to offer these to some of you that would like to go but you just can’t afford the ticket. We so get that! Call Kimberly or Susan between 8:30-4:30 (CST) using our toll free number: 1-888-700-1999. If you call over the lunch hour, or you go straight to voice mail, just leave a message with your phone number and they will get back in touch with you just as soon as possible.

As Beth has said: We are THRILLED that we can partner with Christ and with one another to offer these scholarships to you. May God sovereignly hand them out just as He sees fit.

KMac

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer

Last week I was looking through the drawers of an old desk in our den that has become a catch-all of sorts through the years. Maybe you have one of those, too. It’s where you stick everything you really want to keep but have no time to file. I was searching for a picture of our house the year we bought it so that I could work it into a decoupage of our many years here. Ultimately, I found the picture elsewhere but I stumbled on a treasure while rummaging around in that drawer that sent me into a tailspin of memories.

First, the back-story because I bet some of you can relate.

I well remember being in the throes of family life and wondering from season to season whether or not we’d even make it. Or, if we made it, would we be glad we did?? Life is hard as it is. It’s even harder when two people have as many problems as we did. Both Keith and I brought heaps of issues into our marriage. Some we fell victim to. Some we inherited. Some we created. Some we earned through our own sinfulness and stubbornness. Some we passed right on to our beloved children, God forgive us. Like many of you, the odds were stacked against us and I knew – I’m saying I absolutely KNEW – that Jesus was the only way we were going to make it. Furthermore, He was not likely to do it without us.

The quandary was how we were going to head a certain direction if my man didn’t necessarily want to take the lead. What happens, sisters, when you (who are moms) feel strongly that your children need to be led a certain strong (Biblical) direction but you do not want to usurp your husband? And he’s not feeling so led? Even as I pose that question, I know full well that our simple blog format is not big enough to come up with crystal-clear, no-fail answers to those loaded questions. Yet, it’s part of our family story and a part my man does not mind me sharing. He’s never been much for bull. Or pretense, if you like that word better. Keith walked the aisle as a public profession of faith and was baptized right before we got engaged and, as clearly as I knew, that’s all that mattered. That might explain the timing. Grin. It was real. But it was also a prerequisite.

My man is a believer in Jesus Christ. He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity. He has often prayed over me and over our family with a power that left me bug-eyed and bereft of natural explanation. But he has still been very much his own man with his own idea of how he wanted to practice his faith. He was a maverick. He’s still a maverick. The harder you push him, the slower he goes. He sets his own pace or he walks alone. He is also God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God. I cannot imagine my life without the likes of Ivan Keith Moore.

Rewind 15 or so years to those days when we had young adolescents under our roof who not only needed human direction (which both parents gave), they needed divine intervention. So did their parents, and in the worst way.

I did lots of reading in those days just like I do now. I’d read about how many godly homes practiced what they called a “family altar time.” They prayed together on a regular basis and maybe the parents even led in a family devotion. We didn’t do anything like that except when we were in a full-on crisis. (I am so thankful that we did it then, needless to say. I don’t want to be harder on us than our history really calls for.) We did a little more moderate version of “the family that prays together stays together.” Keith and I prayed at mealtime with our kids and, then, on numerous other occasions when something called for an extra measure of attention. I guess one of the most spiritual things we did along the way was simply ask for forgiveness when we were idiots to them or in front of them.

I’d long-since been practicing a morning quiet time and certainly prayed for my family members then but I knew that the greater victory in our family was somehow going to involve all of us…some how, on some level. I’d learned through the years that guilt-tripping your husband into spiritual leadership wasn’t going to bear much fruit or last over the long haul. And let me just go ahead and say the embarrassingly obvious. Would the man ever have done it consistently like I thought it should be done???? Could he have lived up to whatever expectation I had? I assure you, this man got more than he bargained for when he married. He had not signed up for all of this.

So, what was a woman to do?

I was stuck on the whole family altar thing. I’d convinced myself that it was the key. (I’m not saying it was. I’m just saying that I believed to the bone that it was.) “Family altar” was the buzz phrase of all the families that seemed to be doing it right. (It’s interesting how spiritual terms have fads, isn’t it?)  So I figured out how we could have an adaptable experience without Keith being forced to take charge of it or me taking authority over him in the eyes of my children (or, as importantly, in his own eyes).

I got an idea.

I set up a little altar area on the hearth in our den. It had a journal for recording any prayer requests that members of our family wanted to share. It was solid gold to me. Sometimes they’d write “unspoken” and you know what that does to a nosy mother. What they didn’t realize is that, most of the time, Mom had already figured out that “unspoken” request. I also set out an age-appropriate devotional book on the hearth.Here is a picture of our makeshift “family altar.” The only reason I have this picture is because our dogs loved to lay on the cushion that I’d set out. We used to say they were having their quiet times.

I also got up earlier than the rest of the household in the morning and chose a verse for that day for our family. Most often I’d select it from my own time with God but sometimes circumstances dictated the choice. I’d write the Scripture with a Sharpie on an index card then lay it out on the altar. Everybody in our family was invited to kneel at that altar one at a time when they first got up in the morning. (Well, OK, only Keith was really “invited.” The girls were strongly urged. As their mother, I could full well take that authority over them.) After they read the verse, they were asked to sign the index card.

So, this is what I found the other day in that old desk drawer: Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card.

Some of them were signed by all four of us:

It was okay to be a little silly and even throw in an occasional nickname. Keith alone knows why he tagged Amanda as “Rooter” when she was a little kid. Most of our nicknames have morphed into much weirder tags in recent years.

A number of times Keith opted out and that had to be fine, too.We weren’t his boss.

On occasion, it would just be two of us:

Or another two of us:

Sometimes I’d add a little extra encouragement because it would break my heart wide-open with love to see those young teenage girls taking their turns at that altar in their jammies.

One girl obviously didn’t get to see that encouragement that morning.Laughing. I love them both so much.

It was a very imperfect shot at the whole thing. In fact, I can’t convey strongly enough that I hope you’ll receive this only as a simple short story in the lives of God and a family of four Moores. It’s not meant to be an example of a discipline you should take up. It was too messy to turn into a science. It’s just what worked for a season for us. We still made it on the grace of God alone.

I glance back over my shoulder at those turbulent years and recall a home bulging with hormones and woes, fears and foes, maybe too many yeses and not enough nos. Like every woman, I wish I could cut and paste our family story into all that sparkles and nothing that stinks. Like most women, there are a few things I wish I could blot out. Maybe more than most women, I have some sizable regrets. But, that day last week when I went looking for a photograph in that old desk drawer, I found a whole handful of our family life, held it close to my heart, and remembered.

Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget…”

1 Chronicles 16:12 “Remember the wonders He has done…”

 

 

 

 

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Deeper Still – Louisville, KY

Deeper Still Louisville KY from David Lowe on Vimeo.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 12!

weeks
-13
-7
days
0
-4
hours
-2
-2
minutes
-4
-4
seconds
-4
-9

**January 20-21, 2012**

Hear bells and whistles and lots of music, maybe even a few beginning bars of the Hallelujah chorus: YOU MADE IT EXACTLY HALFWAY!!!! You are officially over the hump after you get this entry behind you.

Way to go, Sisters. Way to go! It’s a pretty good feeling, isn’t it? Don’t think for a second that the enemy didn’t try to steal away your focus and commitment. If you made it this far, you fought with him and won. This is a big victory. Celebrate it with your very faithful God.

I want to brag on you for being so fastidious about limiting your comments to the memory verses. Even when I’ve taunted you with extra conversation, you’ve held steadfastly to the rule. You are the best group ever. To look down the comment stream and see nothing but verses is immensely powerful. My faith explodes in my chest every single time. The sight of it and the effect it was having on my own personal life led me to invite anybody on Twitter who could use a fresh brainwashing to come and peruse it. I pray that numbers were blessed and that some took the challenge and decided to start memorizing Scripture.

All that said, this time, since we’re at the halfway point, I’m going to open your comments up to one extra line for the sake of personal testimony. After you’ve documented all your usual information (First name, city, verse, and translation), finish this sentence: Memorizing God’s Word this year has…

Get as specific as you can!

So you’ll have an example to go by, here’s my entry this time around with the completion of the added sentence:

Beth, Houston. “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (The NET Bible) Memorizing God’s Word this year has caused me to have a redirected mind in a situation that could have bred fear and discontentment.

Get the idea? OK, now it’s your turn.

P.S. Here’s some really great news! Android and Blackberry SSMT apps are up, running and available. AND, plans toward our January celebration are already in full swing! We can hardly wait to host you here, Sisters.

I love you like crazy.
Beth

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Last Deeper Still – Ticket Giveaway!

Hey, Sweet Things!

I pray you are well and blessed in the Presence of Christ Jesus! Thank you so much for your hearts toward our family in the big transition I shared with you in the previous post. I could tell you got it and it touched me in a deep place. Thank you for so many prayers! We receive them with arms open wide and pray that they will not be without blatant effect. Well! Our final Deeper Still is this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. Kay, Priscilla and I are looking so forward to what God has in store for all 8000+ of us and, at the same time, will be tenderhearted to see our times together on this particular platform draw to a close. I hope to still be able to minister with each of these mighty teachers of God’s Word on other occasions and in whatever ways that please Christ. I have deep respect for them both. Priscilla and I texted back and forth yesterday as we do virtually every week over one thing or another and I visited with Kay on the phone this morning. They are spectacular women and, if you’ve never had the privilege of meeting either of them personally, you would love who they are one-one-one and in daily life as much as you love who they are as teachers. Each of them told me what direction they are headed in their messages this weekend and they both sound fabulous! I can’t wait! I’ll have my Bible open and my pen ready.

Tammie Head will also be with us, kicking off Saturday morning with a devotional. We are so thrilled to have this new Bible study author on board at this final Deeper Still! She wrote the brand new series Duty or Delight? A number of you probably remember meeting her through a blog video we did together. Pray for all four of us, Travis, and each member of the praise team to be filled with the Spirit, completely submissive to God’s leadership, preferring one another over ourselves, and alive and energetic in His Word and worship. For crying out loud, pray that for all 8000+ of us! We want so much to please Christ and to avoid quenching the Spirit in any conceivable way.

SO, would some of you like to go but you just can’t afford the ticket? We so understand that! Money is tight for so many of us and it can be hard to fit anything else in the budget. That’s what the Siesta Scholarship Fund is all about! We are setting aside Deeper Still scholarships for this coming weekend for the first 20 of you who call Susan or Kimberly during regular business hours (CST) at Living Proof. The toll free number is 1-888-700-1999. If you call over lunch or you go straight into voice mail, just leave a message with your phone number and they will get back to you as fast as possible. A number of people call all at once so they need a little extra patience as they field through each one. We are THRILLED that we can partner with Christ and with one another to offer these scholarships to you. May God sovereignly hand them out just as He sees fit.

How many of the rest of you already have tickets and are planning to come? Let us hear from you! You might also tell me very briefly what’s going on in your life right now so I could get a little flavor of the group God is bringing together. I’ll see you guys on Friday at FREEDOM HALL in Louisville, Kentucky! (If you saw that unedited version of my video blog on the Deeper Still site, I told you it was at Southeast Christian! I’m so sorry! That’s where I’ve spoken every other time and my poor blond brain defaulted right back to it. I even remember the event team saying Freedom Hall several months ago! In fact, we’re going with that name as a theme for the weekend. Blonder Than She Pays To Be struck again. So sorry for the confusion!)

I love you guys and I’m committed to serving you as long as God will allow. May He be evident in your day today!

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Letting Go and Welcoming In

Hey, my darling Siestas! I hope your weekend was full of Jesus and that you found refreshment with family and friends. I also hope you were blessed by a lively, Christ-loving body of believers in your local church and that you freely worshiped with them and sought God together with them through the Scriptures. You guys know how strongly we feel about the local church around here. These are days on the Kingdom calendar when we need one another more than ever. (Hebrews 10:24-25) We can’t afford to rationalize that we can link up with other believers on line as a replacement for investing our lives and our spiritual gifts in the local church of God’s leading. I love what we get to do here and believe that it’s real and that it has an important place but it’s not a replacement for a local body of believers. I’m so happy to say that I don’t see many people in this community confused about that. I often hear you refer to your churches with much love and commitment. You bless me so.

That said, God has brought about a huge transition in our lives over the last months. Let me say that in all caps: HUGE. I think the best way I can explain it to you is to post the letter that was inserted in the church bulletin at my home church yesterday and is up on their website. I will pick back up with you briefly at the end of the letter.

Dear HFBC, my beloved church family of so many years,

It is with indescribable gratitude and deep emotion that I say farewell to this body of believers as a fellow member. I asked Pastor Gregg if I could write you a letter rather than speak to you from the platform, not because I mind shedding tears in public but because I wish to spare you my lapse into an ugly cry.

These are exciting days in my family. Nine years ago, Keith walked our oldest daughter, Amanda, down an aisle of this very sanctuary and gave her in marriage to Curtis Jones, a young man with only one life plan: to serve Jesus anywhere, any time. We knew from the start that anything was game. Over the last several years, we’ve watched God prepare Curtis and Amanda to plant a church in another part of Houston. Keith and I will unwaveringly go with them with joy, approval, and glad anticipation.

Not one of us goes without cost, however. For once, I’ll let the others speak for themselves and I’ll stick to what I place on this altar today. I met my life-long mentor here and came to my first realization that human flesh and blood could fall madly in love with Jesus. At her insistence, I taught my first Sunday School class here and didn’t sit down for 23 years. I signed up for a Bible doctrine class taught on the second floor of this church on Sunday nights 26 years ago and was ruined for life for anything other than the pursuit of Christ through Scripture. You dared to take a Christian aerobics teacher with a side ponytail seriously when she pitched her leg warmers for commentaries. You gave me a safe place to keep learning amid a thousand mistakes.

Meanwhile, our marriage has endured for 32 years and, in such large part, over the support we received among godly couples here in this church. Our daughters, Amanda and Melissa, each walked one of these aisles, gave their lives to Jesus and were baptized in those very same waters above the choir loft.

As ministry life took us places – both good and hard – that we could not possibly have foreseen, you were my safe harbor. As far as I can recall, Dr. Jimmy Draper is the only one who has ever called me “normal” but the context was something I’ll treasure forever: “Beth, you know the only reason you’ve stayed normal?” No, Sir. I don’t. “You stayed in church.”

And now the tears well up in my eyes and spill over from my heart. How do you thank people for nearly 30 years of love and acceptance and patience and forgiveness and guidance? My best shot at it is this: I may be absent from you on Sunday mornings but you will never be absent from me. You are woven into my soul. I take you with me everywhere I go.

I have the glorious privilege of placing my membership here at HFBC on the altar at the best possible time: when I have never loved this church more. There is not one hint of conflict. Not one iota of friction between my beloved Pastor and me. We have pledged our support and friendship to one another and to one another’s families. He has also graciously invited us to continue to hold our Tuesday night women’s Bible studies here. I’m Pastor Gregg’s fan forever and a staunch supporter of this fine church. Please hear these words, all of you, from the truest and most tender place in my heart:

Thank you for all that you’ve been to me. The gift of you is inestimable. I love you deeply and will press you close to my heart all my days. Pray for us as we pray for you “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.” (Ephesians 4:13)

Beth

Pastor Gregg and me:

I didn’t know until today that Melissa had snapped this picture of Keith and me up on the platform with Pastor Gregg yesterday during the service. When she walked into my office a few minutes ago and caught me inserting pictures into this article, she said, “Mom! I took one you’ve got to post!” I wish so much that this picture also had Kelly, Pastor Gregg’s wife, in it. I love her dearly and respect her to no end.

These next two pictures represent some of my very biggest losses at HFBC. Make no mistake. We will always be friends because our hearts are tied together forever but I won’t worship right in among them on a myriad of Sundays like I have for years. The first one is the Tate girls. A few of you may remember that I dedicated Get Out of That Pit to Kendall Tate and her family and told their story in the book. I, then, dedicated the GOOTP journal to all four of these wonderful girls.

This is Abigail Davis. I’ve known her (as well as each of the Tate girls) all her life. I told a story about Abigail and her golf lessons toward the very end of the Esther Bible study. I’m nuts about her. The best pictures I have of Abigail and me are in frames on shelves at home but I do have this one in my office. You can see that she is a well-rounded woman-child. A golfer and a dancer. Grin.

Well, you can see that these are days of change around here. I cried many tears yesterday as I said goodbye to a body of believers I have cherished with my whole heart and so much of my life. But, as I met with our church plant core-group of 50 on our knees last night, seeking God desperately to come and do His will in this infant church, I felt His power and pleasure. It is the Lord’s will. I welcome it and embrace it. Bayou City Fellowship will swing open its doors to the public in the Fall but you will not waste a prayer on us now. We have much work to do in the spiritual realm before that day comes.

I praise God that this fellowship of believers will be right here in Houston. When your kids are in ministry, you well know that God could “plant” them anywhere in the world. We are ecstatic that God led Curtis to plant this church right here in this big, fat, wonderful, hot city. Our whole family will be engaged in this crazy adventure, including Colin and Melissa. If you’re wondering about the name, Houston’s nickname is “Bayou City.” We couldn’t believe it hadn’t been snagged as a name for a church in this city yet. Over the coming years we want Houston to be so glad we are here as we stretch out our arms to its aid. Our first outside action as a church has been to gather various articles to give to families that lost all they had in a local apartment fire. As I folded up clothes this morning and put them in a bag and made a plan to run by Walmart, I thought to myself, “Well, old girl, there’s not a lot of time to sit around and mourn. Hop up and get on this love train. There’s a city to serve.”

And it felt right.

One last thing. Last night I looked at all the children of our core group couples and thought, “You are going to get to watch some of these children grow up. Open your heart wide and receive with joy!” I knelt down by about 7 children, one by one, last night and said, “Hi there! I’m Miss Beth and I’m new to this church, too. Would you be my friend?” Most of them said yes. A few of them stared at my big hair.

Jesus, be exalted in this city. Bless HFBC. Bless Bayou City Fellowship. Bless every body of believers with knees to the floor and faces to the sky in Your holy Name. We are wholly dependent upon Your presence.

PS. Amanda is my pastor’s wife. I have to throw my head back and laugh with joy. HOW ABOUT THAT????

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

Nothing Much To Say But Hi

Nothing Much To Say But Hi from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare

2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team: Verse 11!

weeks
-13
-7
days
0
-4
hours
-2
-1
minutes
-4
-4
seconds
-4
-9

**January 20-21, 2012**

Hey, You Scripture-Memory-Mad Women!

I hope your Memorial Day weekend was wonderful and that your appreciation of our nation’s heroes got a fresh stir. I looked around our sanctuary on Sunday at all those who had served in wars and I marveled over the few World War II veterans we have left. My Dad was one of them and, had he lived, he would be ninety. Such a powerful part of our history was written in their blood. My dad lived well over half a century with a bullet fragment lodged near his heart. He took a hit right through his cheek and, ultimately, surgeons grafted skin from his hip to cover the severe indention in his face. If you have a family with a weird sense of humor, perhaps you can imagine that it was fodder for a few jokes, most of which he told himself.

Of course, heroes come in all generations and both genders. I have two framed pictures in prominent places in my office of women soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who have done Bible studies on their tours of duty. Flabbergasting to me. May Christ hold our soldiers tight and let them lose neither their lives nor their faith and may He return them to their families as whole people, twice the wiser.

Well, Girlfriends, it’s JUNE! Our temperatures in Houston are already well into the upper nineties and we are experiencing the severest drought in decades. It seems that few areas of our country are free of something ranging from brow-raising concern all the way to destruction and devastation. What on earth?? I don’t pretend to know the details of what is happening around us but I really do feel that Kingdom history is being written in these days entrusted to us. I believe there is a bold dot on the divine time line representing this era with a label Heaven alone knows for now, but generations will talk about until Christ’s Kingdom comes. We must stand firm in our faith and love twice as much. These are days when our words must be backed by our hearts or dismissed entirely by the world. Remember Christ’s warning in Matthew 24:12 that the hearts of many will grow cold. Our love will not endure extended seasons of difficulty by accident. In our self-protectiveness, the first natural casualty will be our emotions. We will either set our hearts on things above (Col. 3:1) where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, or we’ll lose our footing here below.

We are called to live by faith and to love by faith.

Part of how we stand firm is to know Scripture, and not with swollen heads but swollen hearts. One of the verses in my quiet time this morning was Psalm 119:57 – “The LORD is my source of security. I have determined to follow Your instructions.” (The NET Bible) One thing is certain: we are finding out how little security this anguishing planet can offer us. “The LORD is the source of security.” Personal. National. Global. Universal. The Lord alone. And, so, like never before, we need to know His instructions…and follow them.

One of my favorite portions of the Book of James has turned out to be the last half of 5:11 – “…you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” The Lord cannot set aside His compassion and mercy to deal with this world. Oh, I’m not saying He won’t ultimately deal with this world. His Word promises that He will. But I am saying that He cannot set aside His compassion and mercy to do it. They are elements of His immutable character and the first descriptions He used to introduce Himself to Moses by name in Exodus 34:6-7.

OK, Sisters. I better get to our purpose here on this first of June. The pages are flying off the calendar like leaves in the wind and it’s time for our 11th verse! God has had me in 2 Timothy recently for my memory work so here’s mine this time around:

Beth, Houston. “Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that He is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12 The NET Bible

You can bet your life on it.

You are treasured here. May Christ continue to captivate you. He loves you so much.

PS. OK, I can’t stand it anymore. SO HOW ABOUT THAT TIMER AT THE TOP OF THIS POST???? That, my beloved Siestas, is exactly how much time we have to go until our SSMT celebration! Wooooooohoooooooo!!! Bring it, Jesus! Kudos to my wonderful coworker, Kimberly McMahon, for making that happen. I told her I thought we needed a little extra incentive for this second half of our Scripture memory commitment. I WANT EVERY ONE OF YOU TO COME if you possibly can. With the numbers where they are right now on our 1st and 15th entries, we have room to fit all of you in our sanctuary. Save your money! Ask for it as a Christmas gift! Remember, the event is our gift to you but it’s not too soon to start saving for travel and accommodations. This is one of the biggest events on the calendar to us at Living Proof so please know how wanted you are and how loved you are. Celebrating a faithful work of God to a woefully dependent people was His idea in the first place. He loves festivals so, Girlfriends, let’s have one.

L.E.T.S.C.O.U.N.T.I.T.D.O.W.N.

 

Yahoo BookmarksDeliciousTwitterFacebookGoogle BookmarksPrintFriendlyStumbleUponShare