A Stringy Blue Bracelet and the Old Rugged Cross

A move always unearths interesting things. Curtis and I have spent the last month getting settled in our new house and unpacking everything from junk to earthly treasures. I found numerous unopened bottles of baby shampoo and lotion I didn’t realize we had. I also found photo albums that I thought had been eaten up by a black hole. One of the albums is from my trip to Israel with my mom in 1997. I was very relieved to find that. I happily unpacked this beautiful Lladro’ figurine that my dear Mrs. Mary Helen gave me when Curt and I got engaged. I’ve never had the proper place to display it (fearing destruction by a naughty cat or by a curious toddler), so I have been saving it for the right time. I finally have the perfect spot for it in my new house. One thing I was hoping to find but that hasn’t turned up yet is my Aggie Ring – a prized possession for any graduate of Texas A&M University. It went missing two moves ago when I was great with child and wasn’t wearing it on a regular basis. Only the Lord knows where that thing is.

Your Living Proof sisters are still in an unpacking frenzy. I went to work in the new office for the first time yesterday and things were in high gear. There was a large team of volunteers helping get the resource area in order. LPM has about thirteen paid staff members, but we have many, many more people than that who are critical to the operation of this ministry. That includes each and every one of you who prays for us, even though we don’t have the honor of seeing your sweet faces each week!

While I was at the office, I found some garments of praise (outfits for praise dancing) that someone had sent to us. Someone else found a box filled with hundreds of blue yarn Believing God bracelets. We did Believing God in the fall of 2002, so those babies are more than five years old. We wore the bracelets during the Bible study to remind us to believe God. My mom got the idea from Numbers 15:37-41. (The blue yarn frays at the ends and makes tassels.) The original bracelets we wore have long since fallen off, but when we need to focus intensely in prayer on a particular matter, we don’t hesitate to tie new ones on our wrists.

Curtis must have uncovered some bracelets during the packing phase because I noticed he had one on his wrist one day after work. “Yes,” I thought, “he is one of us now!” Over the weekend we both noticed that the bracelet had fallen off. Sometimes the yarn stretches out. You really have to tie it on tight if you want it to make the distance.

Last weekend the weather was incredibly beautiful and we felt inspired to go to the Texas Bluebonnet Festival in a tiny country town called Chappell Hill. The bluebonnet is state flower of Texas, in case anyone wanted to know. I bought a really neat, rather large wooden cross at the festival and Curtis and I took turns carrying it around.

Fast forward a couple of days. I hadn’t hung the cross on a wall yet and I picked it up to move it to a different spot. Something dark and stringy fell from it and imagine my surprise to find that it was Curtis’ Believing God bracelet! It was attached to the cross the entire time…just where it should have been. If our faith isn’t attached to the Cross of Christ, we’re hanging on by a thread.


126 Responses to “A Stringy Blue Bracelet and the Old Rugged Cross”

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  1. 51
    Kay Weathers says:

    Can I use your blue yarn. I think this is something our ladies group needs. Thanks for the memories.
    Your sister in “Christ”

  2. 52
    Pam B from SC says:

    Oh, Amanda. You “got it”, didn’t you, girl? The Creator of the universe stooped down to give you a wonderful illustration and you got it! How glorious that we get to “get it” along with you!

    “I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it some day for a crown” that I will in turn lay at the nail-scarred feet of the Only One Who could have saved a lost soul like mine & millions upon millions more!

    I love it! I love you, your family, and our siestas and miestas of LPM!


  3. 53
    Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) says:

    That is an awesome picture you just painted for us…

    I’m going to pray that Aggie ring turns up soon!


  4. 54
    Victoria says:

    I am presently involved in the Believing God Bible Study. It has so changed my life. When I first started the Bible study, I wasn’t to excited about wearing a blue yarn tassel and actually didn’t wear it…but I was reminded of the bracelet by your comments…because I have soooo changed my view of God…I am going to go find a new blue bracelet for me to wear…bec. I am BELIEVING GOD!!! Thanks for all yall do at LPM…

  5. 55
    tulip girl says:

    Just like Jesus using analogies during His time on earth, He still speaks to us the same way. It is always good to know there are fellow believers who can find the big message in everyday tiny happenings.

  6. 56
    Missy says:

    Sheri-Lyn…I LOVED the poem!!!!

  7. 57
    Bobbie says:

    I’m so glad you found your Old Rugged Cross and that you reminded us that our faith is attached to the Cross! I have been looking for a Cross for our new home and will have to make sure we go to the Bluebonnet Festival next year after we are back in College Station! Fields of bluebonnets are one of my favorite things about Texas!

    My prayers are that you will find your Aggie Ring! Maybe just in time for Aggie Muster! I know how special those are! (I had noticed in several of your pictures that you weren’t wearing it!) My husband was the first Aggie in his family, our son graduated in ’98 and all together-36 years after my husband got his-we now have 11 Rings in the family! So I hope yours is just waiting for a special time to show up.

    How is Jackson adjusting to his new home? Has he rediscovered new toys he hasn’t seen in awhile? Enjoy your new home and the new office “home”–it’s incredible! During the summer tho, you may need to enjoy the gardens and patio real early in the morning.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. 58
    He Knows My Name says:

    beautiful amanda! i love this word picture!

  9. 59
    Fran says:

    Oh WOW Amanda…that was awesome.
    Faith attached to the cross. Amen sister!

  10. 60
    Melinda says:

    I LOVE this! I actually just came across my own blue bracelet a couple of weeks ago, but I doubt there is any lofty symbolism to its location in the linty depths of my junk drawer. :o\

  11. 61
    Anonymous says:

    Oh, as a fellow Aggie, I feel your pain on losing that ring! I took mine off once to clean (which I never did but thought I should try to take better care of my ring) and promptly lost it. I was heartbroken and looked high and low. I prayed daily that the Lord would just raise it right up from where ever it was hidden so I could find it! Months went by. I wondered what life lesson I needed to learn from misplacing such a treasure. Then I let it go. And then, while getting ready for a move, I found it. On the shelf of my closet under a box. How I managed to put a box on top of that ring I’ll never know (and why did I take it off for “safe” keeping in my closet?? I laughed until I cried, got down off that step ladder and onto my knees and thanked God! I’m 6.5 months pregnant, my hands are swelling, and I’m NOT taking this ring off again! You’ll find it. It’ll be somewhere weird, but you’ll find it.

  12. 62
    Christina L says:

    Amen. Thanks for sharing. Moves definitely do bring out some of the old forgotten items of our lives’.

  13. 63
    Melana says:

    Well, my goodness, I went out of town for a few days with my job, and DIDN’T have a computer except the one for work and you guys move and EVERYTHING! Glad the blog is right where I left it. I sooooo missed you guys.

    I surely will be praying for the new “office”. It looks like the kind of place that can inspire some wonderful Bible Studies.

    I’ve had two of those blue bracelets. I have the bits and pieces of them, someplace. They are a great reminder to me and I was able to share with several people, why I was wearing a little blue braided string around my wrist.

    Melana in Wyoming

  14. 64
    Rebecca says:

    love it! Im gona go out and get some blue yarn now!

  15. 65
    Anonymous says:

    Such a great reminder for all of us. Thank you!

    “hisfivefooter”, I want you to know that I’m praying for you, sister!

    Anne in MO

  16. 66
    Uncanny Colleen says:

    What a great illustration for God to give! Isn’t it amazing how when you are in God’s word, you are so much more aware of Him? I love Him! Who is like Him?

    On Monday, I pulled up in the driveway after picking up our 2 oldest little boys from school (K and PreK). I opened the van door and nearly stepped on a water moccasin! Calmly, I closed the door and called my husband on the cell phone. (He is a youth minister and so he has a day off during the week and happened to be in the house…Praise the LORD)!

    I went on and on about how that snake had the audacity to crawl up on our driveway, not near the street as if passing by, but right near the garage as if planning to board for the night. I further declared that I had a very biblical basis for my hatred of this creature (Gen 3:15a). Quietly, Larry listened on the phone as he came out armed with a shovel, and quickly beheaded the vile beast.

    We got all of the boys out of the car and let them see the snake. We went over rules of engagement and safety where snakes are concerned. As we were doing so, that wretched thing started rolling toward Larry! The head was about 1.5 inches long and there was still about 2 inches of body connected to the head. That little dude just rolled and flipped and stretched his fangs out trying to get to Larry.

    Larry said, “There’s Satan, cut-off and defeated. He’s just rollin’ right after us. Just a rollin’.”

  17. 67
    MrsJoeB says:

    So very true Amanda. Blessings in your new home!!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  18. 68
    Kelly @ Love Well says:

    Oh, you hit that one out of the park, Amanda. Nicely done.

    I love it when God gives us perfect blog material, don’t you?

    (I was part of the original online Believing God study, and I still have my blue bracelet. I use it as a bookmark in my Bible, to mark the passage that is most fueling my belivin’ at the moment.)

  19. 69
    Anonymous says:

    Glad your all getting moved in, enjoy the new home & place for LPM, God bless you all,love sister in Christ Victoria NC

  20. 70
    happy pamela says:

    priceless. . .

  21. 71
    Kristin says:

    Wow — Good writing, sista!

    I orgainzed my jewerly armoir this week (is that what it’s called?), and found my blue bracelet, now 3 years old. Couldn’t let it go! That study changed my life. It’s right there next to the bit o’ treasure I have — just as precious.

  22. 72
    Anonymous says:

    AMEN! This is response to “hisfivefooter” and the anonymous response.

    God is so good. I have never done the blue braclet or the bible study but I have been praying for my daddy and mom since I came to know the lord in 02. Still praying that they come to know the Lord. I have struggled with addiction a couple of years ago and God healed me now on 3 1/2 years of recovery and recently had a scare with medical issues that the Lord absolutely healed. With all of this my daddy just keeps saying, “God healed my baby.!” I cry everytime I tell this story and think about it. He called me 3 weeks ago after I had been really sick and said that he wants to get a bible and asked me where he could purchase one. He said I have been thinking that God has healed you and I want to start reading the bible.! AMEN. GOD IS SOOOOOO STINKIN GOOD.

    It is soooo good to see someone pray also for family and see them come to know Christ. NOTHING IS BIGGER THAN OUR GOD!

    praying for all of LPM and volunteers. We love you all!

  23. 73
    Sooz says:

    Amen! Isn’t it wonderful to find old treasures that mean the world to us. Moving can be stressful but oh its rewards are sometimes great! God bless you both!u

  24. 74
    Anonymous says:

    I just finished believing God, after never finishing it the first time years ago. I’m headed to the Word now. I’ve been trying way to hard on my own this week, and it’s been quiet. I’m believing God for the redemption of my divorced marriage. Pray for me!

  25. 75
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing….

    Are you guys going to share wedding photos? I am dying to see some!!! 🙂

  26. 76
    Jo-Ann says:

    This brought back so many wonderful memories, I was in that orginal class Believing God-and I to still have by blue yarn braclet-God Bless and again Thank you for the memory.

  27. 77
    Chelle' says:

    I’m getting a new blue yarn bracelet tomorrow.

    I have been praying through a health matter and know I could use a reminder- both to practice His presence consistently AND that He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do.

    Thanks Amanda-

  28. 78
    MaryM says:

    I too am in to throws of moving, we have been in the house for 2 weeks today (Friday). God has taken me and my husband on such a faith journey this past year and a half, really testing us. One thing I always say is everything needs to be measured against the back drop of the cross, and confirmed in scripture. I love this visual of the faith attached to the cross! I thought I would be divorced by now, not in a new house acting like a newly wed with my husband of 16 years…. God is great and great is His faithfulness… faith is the only thing that has got us here, faith that God knew what he was doing because we sure didn’t..

    thanks Amanda for a great visual of just where we really need our faith to be..

  29. 79
    Diana says:

    Amen, Siesta, Amen!
    God bless you for taking the time for that post amidst what certainly must be a hectic season! Your last sentence tied it all together gave Glory to Him!
    God’s blessings to you and the LMP staff always!

  30. 80
    Kimberly says:

    how awesome. what a neat picture!

  31. 81
    Jennifer says:

    My blue bracelet marks the book of ROMANS 4 that we were supposed to read (over and over and over…). It became an important passage to me…and each time I see it it reminds me of the study… and all the lessons that God taught me during that Season. What a blessing!!

  32. 82
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    Oh, that’s cool! I’d forgotten about the blue bracelets. I lost my first one because I didn’t tie it on tight enough, but quickly found another one when I was doing that study. I have no idea where it is now.

  33. 83
    Anonymous says:

    Funny…I finished Believing God a couple of weeks ago. This morning I find myself (again) between the lines of my reasoning and the omnipotence of my LORD. We forget so quickly that it is the cross, and the cross only, that gives us the hope to believe big.
    Much love,
    Heidi in WI

  34. 84
    "Miss" Clair says:

    What a wonder reminder for me!!! I must put my faith in Him alone and not lean on my own understanding. Your story goes right along with what God has been speaking to me about this week. Thank you for sharing!!:)

    ps I would love to see a picture of the bracelet. I am very craft challenged so I can’t even picture what they look like! Thanks

  35. 85
    Monica Chadwell says:

    That was a sweet story, and a God moment if I’ve ever heard of one. I love when He illustrates Himself in our lives like that. Powerful!!

    Enjoy a blessed day in Him! 😉

  36. 86
    Anonymous says:

    I have been going frantically this morning. I’m speaking at a mother/daughter tea in a few hours. My week has been one to remember. Between throwing up, broken shoes, lost tempers, lack of sleep, I needed to be reminded to believe God. Thank you for the reminder.

  37. 87
    Anonymous says:

    I am so happy to begin to have Gods word imprinted on my heart. I have been involved in bible studies for three years now and I have done quite a few of Beth’s I wanted to post this site as I was sickened at how this very influential person (Oprah Winfrey) of our time has perverted the word. I know a few christians who have read Toole’s books and find them compelling. They are very anti-Christian and need to be exposed. watch this-

  38. 88
    Kerin says:

    My “Believing God” bracelet is long gone!! I ,too, loved the ever present reminder to believe God. When life gets hard and things don’t go my way, I KNOW I am not alone and there is a reason for everything – GOD knows – and I shouldn’t need a bracelet to remind me. However, the bracelet also brought memories of this great bible study and the awesome things that took place. I saw Beth live for the first time during this bible study. So, a more permanent blue bracelet might be in order, like Emmy, just to bring back all of the wonderful memories of the study. I would love to visit and see the new “headquarters”. Kerin

  39. 89
    Anonymous says:

    Great job painting the portrait with words! I’ve done Believing God and wore my blue braclet every day of the study. Folks at my work would just stare when I explained it to them; but, they’ll wear a plastic one with a worldly-based sentiment without a second thought.
    BTW – Wore the blue bracelet to a major job interview. Didn’t get the job (God didn’t want to enlarge my boundaries at that time), but they did stare at the blue bracelet the entire 3 hours! As I was leaving, one of the women got up the courage to ask what the blue string was about. She was amazed that I had the faith to wear that into a job interview and said she was going to go look up the Bible verse! Praise HIM!!!
    Kim in Apex, NC

  40. 90
    Kathy In Arkansas says:

    Amanda, you will find your ring one day when you least expect it. Years ago I lost my h.s. class ring and I was sure a certain person had stolen it. No doubt in my mind.

    One day one of the drawers of my jewelry box would not close,something was behind it blocking it, I pulled the drawer out and there was my class ring.

    Somehow at sometime it had gotten lodged and it did not block the drawer but over time it must have shifted. It had been missing for several years at that point, even went through a move!

    I remember Believing God and although I dont’ wera a blue bracelet I still mentally wear one.

  41. 91
    Mary Watkins says:

    Dear Amanda,
    I loved your post. It is so much fun to discover mementos and items we have long forgotten or given up hope to find. One time in Brazil, a translator told me the gifts we recieved were a “remembrance” of this special time.

    The student minister I work with at church is from Texas. He told be the bluebonnets in bloom are georgous.

    The post reminded me how much the study, Believing God, has blessed my life. I have worn my tattered blue bracelet for nearly 2 years. Some time ago, I went through the study by myself. I shared with my pastor some of the lessons learned and he encouraged me to lead a group at our church. Finally, each Friday morning our early bird Bible study is about to finish the study. The four of us meet at six to fellowship and discuss what God has revealed in the past week’s study. Each time through this study God has showed me something I missed before. It has been a glorious time.

    I want to be a present-active-participle believer. I am not always successful but God is faithful to remind me to get up, dust my pants off, and keep following Him.

    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’ ” Numbers 15:41

    Love you

  42. 92
    crystalzaragoza says:

    Ha! I’m wearing my stringy blue bracelet – we’re on week 9 of Believeing God. It is a great reminder of my 9 week journey.

  43. 93
    Anonymous says:

    God is who He says He is! I am currently in Believing God with my womens Bible study group. God has really put my faith to the test-I am married to a Muslim man. After 10 yrs of marriage he walked out a couple of months ago only to return after a fellow Muslim tried to stab him. He is living like a roommate-sleeping in the spare room. My sisters, please Believe God with me and pray that Jesus would break him of his pride and open his eyes and ears. May God bless.

  44. 94
    MarySnyder says:

    Oh Amanda, how the Lord used you to touch me this day. Believing God and the blue bracelet were so precious to me. It was during this study that God called me to write the Girlfriend book — I just didn’t have a clue about all I would experience over the next 5 years. So much sorrow and so much joy. But all of it I will use for His glory.

    I’ve clung to believing God! I know who I am in Him and I know apart from Him I can do nothing.
    The blue bracelet hangs on my dresser as a reminder of His faithfulness.

    Thank you for this precious reminder — and I’m praying that you all have an easy transition.

  45. 95
    Missy says:

    I had one of those blue yarn bracelets!! Hmmm…where is that thing now? I borrowed that Bible study from my church and they let me keep it forever and I know I watched those videos at least 5 times each! I have a particular matter of prayer right now where I need to believe God BIG TIME, so I think I best go get me another one of those blue stringy yarn thingies and tie it on tight!! Thanks AJ! 🙂

  46. 96
    Anonymous says:

    Last night I dreamed I was your Special Assistant and that before you left to go to Bible Study, you asked me to fix your necklace and get you some bean dip to eat in the car!!

    The beaded necklace had broken, so I put it together. It looked very ordinary until you put it on, then the necklace fanned out like a rainbow full of beautiful stones across your neck.

    You grabbed your Bible, bean dip and “dish for the Potluck dinner” and…then I woke up!

  47. 97
    Dana says:

    When I did Believing God with ya’ll in Houston, I made my friends bracelets out of blue cord with a cross charm attached! Just as it should be…


  48. 98
    doxielovers says:

    Thanks Amanda,
    Our family is in the midst of believing God for some very important decisions. Your entry was so encouraging. I think I may have to get a new blue bracelet and tie it on!

    April \o/

  49. 99
    Anonymous says:

    Hi, I just found your blog. It is so interesting and up-lifting. I love the Lord with all my heart. I’ll be back to read more. until then…

  50. 100
    kctibs says:

    Fantastic closing statement. We were just discussing how to get our young mom’s group more motivated to use their bibles on a daily basis. (Claims of no time!) This will be a good analogy that our leader can use. Thank you so much for the words.

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