Archive for July, 2012

Behind the Scenes at Moline LPL – A Recap

Happy Monday, ladies! I hope you all had the best weekend.

Beth was in Moline, Illinois for Living Proof Live , which come to find out, is also the world headquarters for all things John Deere. Truth be told, this was new information to me as of Friday morning. Our Siesta Mama was on a tweeting roll and the pictures she was so graciously sharing with us were the perfect start to what seemed to be a wonderful weekend!

In case you are not a part of the twittersphere, allow us to humor you. And in case you’re having a rough Monday morning, please allow these to brighten your day.

Here is Beth heading out pulling out of Houston to head that way.

When she first arrived. This is a huge tractor in front of the John Deere Pavillion which you can see in the background.

Beth and Travis were very happy to be there.

And here are your fearless leaders preparing for Friday evening.

A little behind the scenes..the team getting situated to bid an appropriate farewell to Moline. You can see Rich getting them all perfectly placed in this one. Just like a family portrait. It’s serious business, folks.

And last but certainly not least, the team saying farewell to Moline.

Of course, don’t miss the amazing recap Rich created for us! Honestly, they get better and better each time. Thank you SO much, Rich!

Living Proof Live – Moline IL from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

We love y’all so much!

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Moline LPL – Siesta Scholarship Ticket Giveaway

Good Thursday morning, ladies. This weekend Living Proof Live is traveling to Moline, IL and we have 20 tickets we’d love to give away. If this scholarship ticket would you give you the opportunity to attend the conference that you otherwise could not attend because of finances, please let us know. You can call our office toll free at 1.888.700.1999 during regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30 CST) and ask for Kimberly Meyer. She will get you squared away and good to go! Again, these tickets are just for those of you that financially cannot afford it at this time.

Thank you so much in joining us through prayer this weekend! Pray that the Lord would land on Moline in a way they’ve never experienced. We are so thankful for you, ladies! You are loved.

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Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 3!

Nehemiah Summer Session 3 from LPV on Vimeo.

Hey, you darling things! Our summer Bible study is flying like the wind! We are four weeks stronger in the Word of God than we were when we started and THAT is a powerful thing. I am so blessed that you are persevering amid about 1000 things vying for your attention. Our culture has infected us with such serious attention deficit disorder that we have to fight harder than ever for focus and reflection. We also have to catch where catch can. I love picturing some of your Nehemiah workbooks with water splotches on them from your neighborhood pool, with mustard on them from catching up on your homework during your lunch, and, goodness knows, with coffee on them from getting up at some unreasonably godly hour to get it all done. God has not missed a single effort you have put into this journey nor will He allow a solitary word to return void.

“For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:47

We, too, have our Jordans. We, too, have lands of promise where we thrive by faith and serve God and our fellowman in the full throttle effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. So, take heart! What you’re doing here is profoundly important.

OK, our gatherings and discussions today will reflect on Weeks (or Sessions) Three and Four of our homework. Remember that all comments to this post come AFTER your group views the video (or questions below) and completes the guided discussion. Always sign in by your group name, city, and number participating each time or, if you’re going solo, by your name and city. Solo participants will choose several of the questions that resonate with you most and answer them succinctly in your comment.

1. In the introduction to Session or Week Three and at the bottom of p.64, Kelly strongly encourages us to open up our worlds and deliberately look straight into the faces of some who are powerless, oppressed and poor. I love the way she ends the challenge: GO LEARN A NAME. Share within the discretion of your group the name of someone you reach out to personally who lives a very different life and falls under one of those headings. Share something about your interaction with the person that God has used in YOUR life and not just hers/his. Those of you going solo: since we have a very public format, use first names only.

2. Look at the shaded personal response section on p.72. Let’s tweak that question a little bit to involve even more of us: Name a time when God has asked you to lay down entitlement in an area where you were justified in holding onto it. As you share this occasion, discuss what you believe to have been the greater purpose.

3. Look in the left-hand margin of p.80 and share your answer to this question: In what area of obedience are you currently fatiguing? Encourage one another to persevere! Talk about the value of what God is calling you to do and any blessing that has already come to you as a direct result of this area of obedience.

4. Review Nehemiah 8:1-8 where Ezra reads from the Book of the Law. Glance back at the bottom of p.103 and the top of p.104. Discuss that kind of awe for the Word of God and talk about current ways people are aided in their understanding of the Scriptures.

5. Lastly, glance at the right hand margin on p.111 and answer the personal reflection question: What about the Christian life gives you the most joy? Try to get specific!

I wish so much I could be in on all your discussions. I love being in the Word with you, Sweet Things! We only have 2 more weeks to go! Let’s finish strong by doing our 5th and 6th weeks of homework and we’ll meet again on Tuesday, August 7th. If you’re participating in the community meal, how about Capri’s Pasta on p.113?

I love you guys like crazy. Stay the course!

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So, What Were You Doing 30 Years Ago??

Monumental anniversaries are powerful forces for so many reasons. They not only cause us to remember and, to what extent we are able, relive the big moment that originally stole the show. They also snap a quick shot of an era of our lives. Like most any other, a tangy cocktail of an era both sweet and bitter, both beautiful and terrible. Such is life. But several times in the course of a long stay, a wonder comes along that blankets the whole tumultuous season in a smiling sun’s rays.

Right about this time of day 30 years ago, I sat in the waiting room of my OBGYN’s office with one thing on my mind: I meant to have a baby that day or else. My man worked in the oil field with BJ Hughes and they were sending him off for a month in two weeks, just when she was due. If she was on time, I was on my own. BUT, if she had a little nudging, the four of us – Keith, Amanda (our nearly-3-year-old daughter and the biggest dream-come-true of my 25 year-old life), this new little creature that had swung on my bottom ribs like monkey bars for months, and I would have 14 days together. Those were the stakes.

High indeed.

So early that morning, my big sister, Gay, came to Victoria, Texas where we’d been transferred with BJ Hughes, and together we went on a brisk little – well, as much as I hate to admit to it – jog to very deliberately see if we could get some action going. There is absolutely nothing about this approach that I’d recommend to an expectant mother no matter how great with child she is. Those were the 80’s when the pendulum had swung WAY to the left and we were advised to do any physical activity in our pregnancies that we’d been accustomed to doing at the time we conceived. That was for normal people. Not me. Most women didn’t teach high impact advanced aerobics classes. What I’m recommending is this: sit down the moment you realize you’re expecting and get up when you head to the hospital.

Because here’s what happened: I trained up a child in utero in the way she would go and when she was born, she did not depart from it. She stretched, rolled, tumbled, jumped, lunged, and high kicked so wildly from five months’ gestation to full term that I lived nonstop at my maximum target heart rate particularly when I climbed into bed at night. I sang in the choir at First Baptist Church in Victoria and, in those latter days, my blue choir robe came alive like a 3-D illustration of the raging sea in Mark 4, only not once did Jesus stand up from the boat and say, “Please be still!” Or was that “peace be still”??

It was prophetic. That child would demand the training wheels off her bicycle two days before her 3rd birthday then ride off on it like she was born to be wild.

Because she was.

Dr. Mabry took one look at me, peered over the sheet draped across my swollen tummy and said, “Is your husband in town?”

“Yes, sir! As a matter of fact he is!”

“Good, because I’m about to break this water and put you in the hospital. This child is on her way.”

I’d asked God for a boy. In fact, I did it just right. I used all the biblical terminology. I prayed in faith without doubting and summed it up confidently with, “In Jesus’ Name.” I made sure I asked before conception so we could start out with the appropriate gender and God wouldn’t have to go to any extra trouble. I persevered in asking until the circle formed perfectly on the bottom of the EPT test tube then I sat back, smiled, claimed it…and, yes, named it: Brandon Keith Moore.

At seven months along, my OB nurse, good friend, and sonogram technician, said, “Beth, I’m telling you, I think this is a girl.” I went home undeterred, sat back on the couch and said to the Lord with utter confidence, “This is not hard for you. In fact, nothing is too difficult for Thee!” (Using proper King James English is always most effective for times such as this.) “Change it,” I chirped then got very still to see if I felt anything.

Nothing.

“It’s a girl,” I told Keith when he came in from work that night.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know. That’s what they told me at the doctor’s office. And I asked God to change her into a boy and He didn’t. I could tell. I could tell He didn’t, that is.”

Young, strong, tan, black-headed, right winged, and at the peak of machismo as a 26 year old man tends to be, Keith grumbled something then looked up at me and said, “Well, then, we’ll have a girl.”

Good. Good plan.

The loud speaker went off over the grounds of BJ Hughes calling Keith Moore to the telephone. The kind with the black curly cord that was actually attached to the wall. “It’s your wife,” his supervisor said. “She said she needs to talk to you right away.”

“Hello?” Sounding a little frantic.

“Hey! Wanna have a baby today?”

“Today??”

“Yes, today. My parents are on their way to stay with Amanda. I’m packing. You better come get me.”

And he did.

Mamas push their babies into the world and then just keep on pushing.

We think we know just what we want them to be and just what will make them happy and we push and push and push and push, red-faced, grimacing, and threatening our husbands who got us into this shape. We just keep doing the thing we were doing the hours and minutes before they were born.

And, thank GOD, sometimes it doesn’t work.

I suppose Melissa would be at the peak of her professional basketball career if she kept going where I was pushing. And I’d be chaplain of the team. And assistant coach. Or head coach.

But she’s always had a mind of her own.

A fine one. Like her big sister’s.

I gave my heart away 30 years ago today for the second time in my life. Totally. Withholding nothing. Complete abandon. Both times to squirming little creatures that didn’t even weigh as much as their Daddy’s career trout.

I sat across a white-linened table from both of them 2 days ago, sharing three desserts, coffee and teas and I got lost in them all over again. Lost in their laughter. In the color of their eyes. In the way they use words. And sip out of a cup. Such a flawed woman. Such an embarrassing past. So many insecurities. Secrets that make me nauseous. And yet there before me, grace welled up in two distinct heaps, like twins born three years apart. Twins who only look a smidge alike. Twins as similar as salt and pepper…as homemade peach-vanilla ice cream and pico de gallo. Twins only because they each broke into my fortress, shimmied down the side, and ran off with my heart.

We asked the waiter at the restaurant if we could sit by a window because we needed to keep an eye on my car. We were seriously certain someone would want to steal the clothes we’d just bought from Anthropologie. Yes, all three of us. Of course, the birthday girl got the most but the three Moore women have always liked to do things together. So, we all got presents.

Just like Keith, Amanda, and I did 30 years ago today.

That very day a pair of ocean green eyes opened to this beautiful and terrible earth and none of us who know her well have ever seen life the same again.

 

And, as for Keith Moore?? Well, he wouldn’t trade that baby girl for a world full of fine sons.

And, whatever happened to that professional women’s basketball star? Well, a good friend of ours gave her a fragile centuries-old piece of Torah scroll a few days ago for her birthday.

And the child commenced to read it to me.

 

 

 

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A Weekend Wrap-Up and a WINNER!

Update: Here is the recap video, ladies. Rich did an exceptional job on this one! He really did pour his heart into it and it did not go unnoticed. Thank you so much, Rich!

Living Proof Live – Austin Tx from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.

Good Monday morning, sweet friends!

I sure hope the start of your day was a sweet one and that it’s only a reflection of your week to come. We could all use a good Monday here and there, couldn’t we? I know Monday is not typically a favored day of the week, but let’s give today a chance, shall we? What is one thing you’re looking forward to today? Or this week? Let’s hear it!

I happen to be attached at the hip to my phone because on this very Monday, my very best friend since the womb (I mean that seriously, I’ve never not known her), is delivering her first born baby girl. I am beside myself with ecstatic joy (shout out to Austin LPL!) and cannot wait to meet her and hold that little love!

We here at LPM had a FULL weekend! Most of the staff and a handful of our precious volunteers packed up and took a road trip to Austin for Living Proof Live. Is there a better way to bond with someone other than a road trip? I submit that there is not. We laughed, we worshiped, we studied, we cried and we got a WORD. Boy, did we get a Word. Often times we can hear a good Word and let it slip in one ear and out the other, but I’m praying this takes root and bears fruit. (I really didn’t mean to rhyme, but I like it so I’m leaving it. Insert cheesy grin.)

Besides getting to be with the 7500 ladies, another highlight was getting to meet about 72 of you! It felt fast and furious, but it was so fun. Getting to lay eyes on you in the flesh is so surreal. You exist outside of our computers. Praise the Lord!

As the trusty media assistant, I took all of two pictures this weekend.

Here is about half of the staff on our way to Austin! Sherry, our beloved chauffeur, believes in safety first so she decided not to turn around and smile and we were grateful. Also, no road trip is complete without Starbucks or gum.

And here is our beloved Siesta Mama teaching on Saturday morning! Note the Texas flag in the background. I was tempted to blur everything else out of the picture except the flag. But I refrained. You  might think Texans are proud if I did that. (Note: These are all iPhone pictures. Forgive the poor quality should you choose to enlarge the picture. Again, trusty media assistant always aiming to please.)

While we were busy taking notes, y’all were busy commenting away! So, lest you think I forgot about our giveaway, I did not!

Drum roll please…

Our lucky winner (thank you, random.org) of The Law of Law Lecture study is…Kathryn Bechtel!

Congratulations, Kathryn! Your comment was precious. If you’ll send me your mailing address at blog@lproof.org we’ll get it to right away!

A lot of you were curious if you could purchase The Law of Love. Yes! Yes you can!

You can pre-order a copy through LifeWay here. It should be made available by August 1st.

You can also purchase the digital downloads through our Living Proof website here.

Once I get the LPL video recap from Rich, I’ll post it as well. I mean really, no LPL weekend wrap-up would be complete without a recap video!

Y’all are simply the best. Thank you for letting us serve you. Seriously, it is a joy! We love YOU.

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The Law of Love Giveaway

Well, Siestas! Would you believe me if I told you that Houston is currently one of the coolest cities in the US? And while I do agree that we’re cool, what I’m referring to is the actual temperature. I think it’s in the 80’s today. In JULY. That is unheard of. However, while we’re so grateful to have a break from the heat, our bayous are taking a hit and being put to good use because there has been a downpour here since early this morning. Actually, it’s been raining pretty steady all week. In fact, this past Monday we experienced the storm of the century and a tree right outside our office took a literal hit as it was struck by lightning. Y’all, I’ve never seen, or heard, anything like it. Both Beth and I saw it happen right in front of our windows, so just imagine with us a big ball of fire flashing right before your eyes all the way down the tree. So crazy! Thankfully, no damage was done, except to the tree, and all is well here. This time last year we were in a major drought, so we’re not complaining and very much thanking God for the much needed rain!

Anyway, it has been a busy blog week, has it not? We’ve had Bible study, conference tickets, and encouragement left and right, so it only feels appropriate to add a giveaway. Especially in light of this weekends LPL being sold out and each one of our scholarship tickets gone!

This past spring, we got to spend six rich weeks in the pages of Deuteronomy. It was, hands down, one of my favorite lecture studies. I would have been okay with six more weeks.

Since many of us in Houston got to experience a short time in Deuteronomy, we wanted one of you to have the same experience, so of course, we’re giving ONE away! The difference between a lecture study and a Bible study is that a lecture study is just the six teaching sessions, partnered with some extra reading articles by Melissa. There is no actual Bible study to do and no homework to finish.

There is nothing you have to do to win! Just leave a comment with your first and last name we’ll put you in the random drawing.

Since Beth is hosting a Living Proof Live so close to home this weekend, most of the staff, as well as some of our lovely volunteers are packing up and heading that way to join her. We are just as excited as the rest of the precious ladies attending and can’t wait to get a fresh Word. With that said, the office will be closed today, and I’ll have limited access to a computer, so if you don’t see your comment posted right away, no worries, it might just take longer than normal for me to get to them!

I will close comments Sunday night and post the winner first thing Monday morning. We love you guys so much and hope you have the sweetest weekend! Maybe we’ll even run into some of you in Austin. That would be a blast!

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Austin LPL – Scholarship Ticket Giveaway

*Update: All of the Austin Scholarship LPL tickets have been spoken for. Thank you, ladies! We love you!

Hi ladies! We have ten tickets to give away to the Living Proof Live event in Austin this weekend. If a complimentary ticket would enable you to attend the conference, that you otherwise could not afford, please call our office toll free at 1.888.700.1999 during regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30 CST) and ask for Kimberly Meyer. I will let you know when each of the tickets have been spoken for. Our office will be closed this Friday so please call either today or tomorrow. Unfortunately, this event is sold out, so there are no more tickets available for purchase, but we were able to keep a few for our scholarship sisters.

We would love for you to pray that Jesus will be glorified through this gathering this coming weekend. Thanks, sisters!

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Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 2!

Hey Girls! Welcome to our second gathering for Siesta Summer Bible Study! I’m thrilled to be with you today! It feels so good to be back in Scripture together, doesn’t it? OK, before you go any further, remember that all comments to this post come AFTER your group views the video (or questions below) and completes the guided discussion. One representative will sign in on behalf of your entire group and using your group name, city, and number participating in this gathering. If you’re going solo, you will sign in by your name and city. Solo participants will choose several of the questions that resonate with you most and answer them succinctly in your comment. Group representatives will share the most powerful or pertinent part of your discussion. 

One more thing before we get to it! I want you to be able to picture our Bible study community because it’s such a rich mix of women. My beloved coworkers, Nancy and Kmac, went through all your comments to the summer Bible study launch (a daunting task indeed so applause please!) and here is an estimate of what our wonderful, colorful class looks like. (This has been updated since I did the video embedded in this post so the following is newer and more accurate information. The video has to be done around 4 days in advance so that’s the reason for any discrepancies between numbers.)

We are made up of about…

  • 4226 individuals total (whether in groups or going solo)
  • 1129 groups
  • 48 United States (missing Delaware and Vermont; 1 sister said she was originally from Vermont, but is now living in NY. As severely tempted as we are to count that, we won’t. At the time I did the video, we didn’t realize Delaware was missing as well so, if you’re out there, be sure and let us know! It’s all just for fun. We’re not trying to be all that, so don’t anybody go moving or anything. Grin.)
  • 14 countries outside U.S. (Africa, Australia, Bahamas, 4 Canadian provinces – AB, BC, ON, SK-, China, Costa Rica, Finland, France, Italy, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK)

Woooohooooo! May Jesus be pleased and highly praised!

OK, everybody! It’s time to meet. If possible, watch the video but, if you’re unable to view it, here are written instructions for your gathering. All the following questions or interactives are based on your first 2 weeks (or what they’re calling “Sessions”) of homework.

The first question comes from something Kelly said no further into the study than the second paragraph of the introduction on p.6. Reread the first two paragraphs then answer the following question:

#1. Name people you’ve met and, after getting to know them, realized you’d missed them terribly before they came into your life. In others words, describe a time when you encountered people that supplied something your life was greatly missing.

(In so many ways, Siestas, you have been this to me. I can hardly picture ministry around here at LPM before you got here. You supplied so much community that I lost when I gave up my beloved Sunday School class and you broadened my world immensely through your profound diversity. I am so thankful for you.)

#2.  One of the most important concepts for the study is introduced in Day One of the first week or “Session.” Turn to p.14 and review the portion mid-page. Why is it so vital to have a heart that can break? After answer the question, discuss how you filled in your columns: what breaks your heart and where you could be more tender.

#3.  Turn to the conclusion of Week or Session One on p.31 and share your answers to this “personal response” (mid-page): “What has God put in your heart to do?” Don’t descend into comparison, over analysis and self-condemnation as you discuss your answers. Remember, what God has put in our hearts to do may not be timed for fulfillment until many days or even years from the birth of our passion. After you answer the question, THEN glance ahead to the “Group Discussion” question in the margin on p.40 because it coincides so well with the concept we’re discussing here. “Have you ever forced a plan or dream that, in retrospect, you realized God’s hand wasn’t on?” Boy, I have and many times! Let’s have some community here so we’ll all know that this is a common occurrence.

#4.  Reflect on your answer to the question at the bottom of p.39: “So we will no longer be in disgrace.” (Some of your versions may say “shame.”) That word resonates deeply with me because I have felt disgraced and usually by my own actions or mistakes. Discuss a few ways that disgrace can result from a collapsed wall of some kind. THEN, celebrate the reality that walls can be REBUILT.

#5.  Go to p.56, the opening page of Day Five in Session Two and discuss some of your answers to the question in bold print: “What rubble in your life is presently the most discouraging and exhausting?” We are not just going to share and compare our piles of rubble here but we are going to turn our discussion into intercession as we conclude our gathering. After several people share, return to Nehemiah 4:14 and read it together and let it lead you in how you pray for one another. Close out in BELIEVING-RECEIVING intercession!

Our next gathering will be on Tuesday, July 24th. Have Weeks (Sessions) 3 and 4 of your homework completed. For those who are gathering around a meal, consider making the Romaine Salad on p.88 with the blue cheese and pecans and maple vinaigrette and, since you went so healthy on the main course, how about some Billie’s Banana Pudding on p.89 for dessert??

I love you guys so much!  Stay in the Word!

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You Amaze Me

This is just the quickest shout-out to say that you nearly took my breath away in your comments to the last post. I have never been so humbled and so thankful and blessed to be part of this community. If you haven’t had a chance to glance at the ministry going on between sisters in the faith, even just letting your eyes scan down the comments and seeing the interchange between the phrases,  “Little Sister here…” and “Big Sister here…” will put tears in your eyes. You amaze me. We are flawed people around here and all of us have some degree of brokenness but, Sisters, God formed something real in this community over the last years – something we couldn’t have conjured up with the best of plans, talent, and organization – and His Son has never been more obvious among you than in that last post. I cannot thank you enough. You mean so much to me.

I’m keeping it short because we have our big Siesta Summer Bible study post going up first thing in the morning but I want to ask you for one more thing. I am so pleased to hear from many of you that you’re agreeing to memorize Psalm 25. By all means, older sisters, join in, too, if you could really use those words in the marrow of your bones. Read it and see. Memory work is often done best in the framework of accountability. If you want to be held accountable to memorize it, would you please make a comment to this post and let us know you’re taking on Psalm 25 and what version you’re using? (The version is completely up to you! This is just to provide you a chance to sign on the dotted line, so to speak.) Some of you could also pair up and use the same version and agree on how you’re going to approach it and what Scriptures you’re taking on each week. My little sister in the faith that God used to spur on the whole previous post – remember, the one I ran into in the grocery store? – is going to memorize the same version as me so that we would be able to say it together. It just makes it extra fun and gets it done.

I love you guys so much. Now, let’s get out there and live in victory. Jesus, be obvious in Your daughters this day. This week. This lifetime. You are all to us.

 

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Big Sisters and Little Sisters

I’m really ticked. I just ran into a beloved little sister in the faith on my way to work when I stopped off at a grocery store to grab a few things. She and her family are nearly being eaten alive by the enemy. Honestly, we stood right there in plain sight near the vitamin aisle and ratted on the devil and shook the family tree for some fresh truth. As big tears rolled down those cheeks, she said one thing so emphatically that it seared straight into my bones:

“I was just thinking about you this morning, Beth. And I’ve just gotta know: have you been here?”

Where exactly did she mean by here? In that place where the enemy seems to leave NOTHING untouched. Nothing unmangled by his crushing iron jaw. The scene of the onslaught. Where Satan seems to systematically and patiently and daily and hourly go for you – heart, soul, and body, and for everything and everyone you hold dear, and for all you know – that you know – that you know you believe. That season where you can’t seem to recover because every time you start to get back up, something knocks you down again. That season that you really do begin to believe will absolutely kill you…and, in some respects, it does. It kills the old you. If allowed to, it stones to death the Goliath within every David, one welting throw after another. Welcome to the sifting zone where Satan gets so much leash that he rips to bloody shreds everything he can get his paws on…but what is really real. What is really left behind when we are stripped bare of all our earthly security and fleshly confidence.

Have I been there, my beloved little sister?

Let’s see. How loud can I say this?? I HAVE BEEN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOY, HAVE I EVER BEEN THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And part of me survived. And part of me died.

And the part of me that died, as painful as it was, needed to.

And when it tries to resurrect it’s ugly, deformed, decayed head, I remind it that it is dead, lest it need another killing. Because I don’t want another killing.

I don’t mean my baffling tendency to sin is dead. I deal with that old nature everyday. I can still – almost out of nowhere – vacillate furiously between self-love and self loathing until I’m so dizzy I could regurgitate. But that joint victim and victimizer in me, that violent inner working nurtured at the breast of deceit and raised in sickness with a bent on self-destruction, took what still appears over many years to be a fair beheading.

YES. I have been there. And it was so awful I still well remember almost to the detail. And this morning I was glad I did because my little sister in the faith – a MIGHTY woman of God – needed to hear it.

I got in that car so mad at the enemy and at this brazen, hateful world that I made a bee-line straight to work and clicked the words “new post.”

Big sisters, our little sisters need some encouragement. They need to know we’ve been where they are. Even if they’re not in a season of hell on earth. Maybe their house just smells like one huge dirty diaper. Maybe they just need a nap. Maybe they need a job. God alone knows exactly and truly what they need from Him but this WE can know they need from us:  encouragement! And, by God (and I mean that), we are going to give it to them.

Here’s what we’re going to do today. You who are 39 and under get to tell us where you could use some encouragement. You who are 40 and older and willing are going to give it to them. Here’s how it’s going to look:

If you are 39 or younger, you’re going to start your comment with “Your little sister here: …”

If you are 40 or older, you’re going to start your comment with “Your big sister here: …”

Here are the ground rules: (I’m going to warn you. When I’m furious, I can get into a bossy frame of mind and I’m there right this second. But, look at it this way. I’m beside myself in your behalf so humor me.)

Little sisters, don’t snow ball with every irritating, annoying, frustrating thing or relationship in your life. Get pretty quickly to the bottom line. I’m thinking about someone I really do love so much and want to encourage and help when at all possible but her emails to me are so long and about so many things going wrong and so many people going awry that by the end of it, all I can do is throw up my hands and say, “I am so overwhelmed, I have no idea where to begin!” Try, as much as you know how to tell us, to articulate what is really wrong. The real bottom line. Also, please look throughout the post for encouragements that may help you and keep in mind that what the big sisters write to one, they extend to all. Don’t be offended if no one speaks directly to you. Every encouragement is meant for every one of you.

Big Sisters, today is for encouraging our little sisters and that’s all. I know you have problems because I’m about your same age and I have a truckload of them. But you and I have lived long enough to know that we’re going to make it and that God IS going to be faithful and He is INDEED going to bring beauty from ashes and He will most certainly, given enough time, work every single detail out for our good and His glory. No complaining from us today. This post is a N0-Whine zone for big sisters. Life and the devil are eating our baby sisters alive. Let’s GET UP in their behalf, encourage them, and draw out our swords and fight for them. As often as you can, make your comment to all of them instead of just in reply to one of them. There will be exceptions, of course, but it’s crucial that we edify them across the board. They could all use it. You can talk to them or pray for them in your comment. Both are so Biblical and so right.

Now, listen, Little Sisters. One more thing from Big Sister with the big mouth. Get your tails in the Word. I mean it. Get your tails in the Word. NO TIME OFF. Read it aloud when you can’t absorb it or concentrate on it. Get yourself some accountability. Call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised and so shall you be saved from your enemies. Every morning.

One last thing. I left my beloved little sister with an assignment this morning and with the accountability to let me know she’s doing it. I’m going to give you little sisters who are feeling devoured the exact same one: memorize Psalm 25. Every word of it. Don’t tell me you can’t. Yes, you can. Get it printed out, laminate it, and memorize it. Say it over and over and over again. Start today. We can cheer you on and we can fight for you but we can’t fight instead of you. This victory is YOURS. The battle is meant to bring plunder directly to your personal life and family line or God wouldn’t have allowed it. Get up and fight.

Psalm 25.

I mean it.

I’m going to be asking you about it.

OK. I’m sorry for the bossy tone but I am so mad on behalf of you, our baby sisters, that I’m bruising this keyboard.

Now get busy, Girls. I have to be out of the office for a little while several times today so if we go a few hours without any comments moderated, have no fear, I’ll get back to it and get your encouragements posted.

I love you.

 

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