Maybe Something A Little Refreshing

Hey, Darling Things! I am sitting at the gate at the small airport in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about to take a long way back to Houston. I’ve been at a wedding (I first wrote “weeding.” I reckon a wedding can be a weeding indeed) all weekend and something kinda cool happened that I thought might encourage a soul that’s feeling cynical. The wedding rehearsal took place first thing Saturday morning rather than Friday night perhaps to leave time for several out of town guests involved in the ceremony to arrive. We were told that the breakfast buffet in our hotel was still open after the rehearsal and, typically, I was starving so I headed that direction fully prepared to eat by myself. I don’t mind that. Instead, and as only God could have planned it, five of us from the wedding party wandered in there at the same time, pulled up chairs at the same table, and ended up being almost the only ones in the whole restaurant. Not all of us at the table knew one another personally. We’d come to take part in the wedding ceremony of dear mutual friends.

Dr. Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Dr. Jim Dobson (my friend, Shirley, would join us a bit later), Heather Olford (the late Dr. Stephen Olford’s wife), and I tarried, laughed and mused over scrambled eggs and lukewarm coffee for a delightfully long time. (Dr. LaHaye was officiating over the ceremony and Dr. Dobson and I were each speaking. Heather is considered among those very dearest to the bride.) Our conversations took us to family, church, and the Savior we all have in common. Dr. Dobson (I cannot bring myself to call him “Jim” although I’ve known him for a number of years now. I can live with Doc so that’s how I refer to him when I’m feeling casual) told us a wonderful story about his dad, a traveling evangelist, who was at the pinnacle of an exploding speaking ministry when his wife told him she could use some help with their son who’d begun to give her a few challenges. (That would be Doc.) He dropped what he was doing, cancelled his calendar indefinitely, and headed home. Although he served a local church faithfully the rest of his life, he never recaptured the momentum of the ministry he’d had. He’d sacrificed it, providentially, for his wife and son.

Dr. Dobson later read a letter to us that his dad had written his bride for their wedding day. In it he expressed that, with eyes wide open, he was binding himself to her in covenant before God for the rest of their lives and that, should their marriage ever call for mental anguish, he would remain her faithful husband throughout. He explained that he considered the success of their marriage to be a husband’s responsibility and he would do everything he could to make her happy. And he did. As I listened to Dr. Dobson tell stories about his dad, I thought – No wonder he does what he does.

At that same table, Dr. LaHaye began to talk about end time events and I had to keep my chin from dropping to the floor. I thought, “I’m listening to all this from the prophecy man himself.” I mean, this is the guy that wrote how many books in the Left Behind series with Jerry Jenkins? And here’s the important part: he sat at that table of five and spoke of the signs of the times and the coming King with a twinkle in his eye and, I don’t doubt, a race in his pulse. Not one hint of burn out. Stunning. Girlfriend, you can be Post-trib or No-trib and still appreciate that. I watched Beverly, an author herself who has penned many books on what it means to be a Godly wife and woman, look with such affection on her man and such heightened interest in what he was saying…as if she’d never heard it. He spoke of how he loved her and how he didn’t know what he’d do without her. How she was the administrative one of the two. Several times over breakfast I watched them tenderly reach out and touch each other.

I’d never met Heather Olford before but I’d heard about her for years. She totally captivated me as she shared how we must hold fast to our passion for Jesus Christ, come what may. You could still hear a hint of Irish in her accent, having left her home country for her new husband many years ago. After saying goodbye to her beloved man of 56 years and entering her early eighties, anyone would give her permission to just coast her way home. That’s decidedly not what she’s doing. I found her utterly remarkable. I wondered if maybe she looked and acted 15 years younger than she was because she’d been unwilling to let herself off the seeking and serving hook. She referred to something she’d read in a devotional book and I marveled that this powerful woman of God intended to seek fresh revelation about Christ until the day she saw Him face-to-face. She spoke of Him with such affection that it made me want to run to my hotel room and fall on my face before Jesus and see what new He would show me, too.

All four of those people are fallible just like we are. None of them needs or wants to be placed on a pedestal but I will tell you where they’re well worthy of our respect. They have maintained Godly passion and spiritual discipline in a long obedience the same direction that has taken each of them on the road to suffering…and persecution. They are real to the bone and what they loved and felt compelled by Christ to give their lives to decades ago, they still love and give their lives to today.

I spoke to a flight attendant on a plane this trip who struck up a conversation with me over a book she saw me reading. She told me that she goes to church but her good friend won’t come with her. Even though her friend professes to love God, she thinks all people in ministry are charlatans. Some of you have undoubtedly been hurt by seeing the weaknesses and failures of people in the Christian world you admired. A scandal can be absolutely devastating and don’t think for a moment Satan isn’t hoping to take down a thousand with the one. When you lose your faith over flesh and blood, the devil has gotten exactly what he schemed. The warfare is inconceivably fierce against those out front and many leaders are caught off guard by it and seduced before they realize what hit them. God help us all. God forgive us all. God restore us all…as many as will let Him do what it really takes. At the same time, I want you, my dear fellow sojourners, to know that so many out there are the real thing. They love Jesus Christ and pray when nobody’s looking and get up in the mornings and open their Bibles for the ten-thousandth time. They weep before Him for lost and hurting souls and rejoice before Him over one touched life. They do a very hard thing for a very long time…and, often, under very harsh criticism.

Oh, Sister, don’t let the enemy get you in the trap of cynicism. Yes, there’s some inauthentic – and flat-out-false stuff in the church and we must go to great lengths not to contribute to it by insisting upon our own authenticity and humility and sound scholarship before God and man. But there is also so much good. So many good. Not perfect I dare say. But good. So many of you are among those. I read your comments and find myself edified and encouraged in Spirit. I pray that maybe these stories build you up a bit this Lord’s Day.

He is so faithful. I love loving Him with you.


200 Responses to “Maybe Something A Little Refreshing”

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Beth, Thank you for your words and posting this. I feel like you were speaking directly to me giving me Godly wisdom and advice through your experience at this breakfast.

    Joey T.

  2. 2
    Yolanda says:

    This hit me with so much encouragement and love for those of us, only being where we are by the grace of God. Sharing who we used to be but more importantly whose we are today. Getting vulnerable and seeking that HEALING that comes from Christ Alone.

    I love and appeciate you as well as your precious family!

    Thank you for serving us so un-selfishly, we notice like no other!

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    You wrote, “so many out there are the real thing. They love Jesus Christ and pray when nobody’s looking and get up in the mornings and open their Bibles for the ten-thousandth time. They weep before Him for lost and hurting souls and rejoice before Him over one touched life. They do a very hard thing for a very long time…and, often, under very harsh criticism.”

    So many of these are in the workplace that we encounter every day, not just in the churches that we see once or twice a week. I have seen my fair share of folks receive criticism for following Christ and letting His light shine at work.

  4. 4
    Taria M. says:

    That you think of us in your everyday activities and events, and want to encourage us through them is such a blessing. Someday I’ll thank you in person with a big tight hug. God bless you richly!

  5. 5
    Dee says:

    Thank you! I just sat down and prayed for a Word from the Lord about an church decision that has plagued me for some time. I started to listen to your 30 minute “Nabal Grazing” lesson and decided to check our Blog first- so I pray God speaks to me through I Samuel too. Thank you again for being an anointed vessel, for being a ‘faithful to the TRUTH’ teacher. I really appreciate your advice and encouragement. Love, Dee

  6. 6
    Miranda says:

    Wow!! That is so awesome… I’ve met many Christian women in ministry and (so far) they are all so wonderful and encourage me so much. Bless Him for faithful servants!

    OKAY.. these “word verification” things CRACK ME UP!!

    You won’t believe me when I tell you my word on this comment is “PANTIE”… no lie!
    I mean, …get out.

    Ha! The things I type for y’all.

  7. 7
    Christina L says:

    Thank you soooo much for this post. I soooo needed it. My husband and I have been under attack for the past couple of months very hard and are finding it hard to push through. You have said in earlier posts that the enemy strikes hard at the ones he fears the most. The ones that can cause him the most damage. How I feel unworthy of that task, but obviously he sees something that I don’t feel right now. I pray we can all press on towards the goal in which Christ calls us. Thank you Beth.

  8. 8
    grayse says:

    Thank you for the reminder. satan would love to get us to not trust or believe in the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, our leader’s lives and so on. He would love for us to apply the law and not grace, therefore making the world even more skeptical. I need to remember to pray against this!

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    What a great reminder to lift you and these leaders up to the Lord, for protection, strength in the storm and resolve to continue walking/soaring with Christ our Lord. Time for me to repent for not being consistent in praying for you. Please forgive me.

  10. 10
    Mary Watkins says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you so much for sharing a peak into your weekend. What an encouragement to hear the testimony of faith of those you mentioned. It sounds as if you were encouraged by their fellowship. I am glad you had this time together.

    I had the honor of hearing Dr. Stephen Olford speak at my church
    in 1995. Loved his accent. His message was powerful.

    I have seen first hand a ministry fall like a house of cards devastated by scandal.

    Your words: “The warfare is inconceivably fierce against those out front….” are so true.
    Dear friend, you are one of those on the front line. I pray for you daily. I pray that God would hold you in the palm of his hand. I pray that in your daily walk you would be a mighty warrior dressed for battle each day. The battle is fierce, the enemy is real but the victory is ours in Christ Jesus.

    You always enourage my heart. May we be found faithful in our daily walk so others may be encouaged and curious to know Him.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. 11
    Alexia says:

    Oh Beth, what a great reminder for me as a Christian to be as authentic as I can. So many people I work with and come in contact with complain about how fake Christains can be. This breaks ny heart so much, we are to be like Christ and oh how I fail from time to time, but for some reason only God knows HE brings me back into focus with HIM. It is so important for all of us to be authentic we may never know who is watching and who we are influencing.
    Last year my son was struggling and still is with some issues, I could not bring myself to have my small group pray for him, and you know why—– because I thought they would judge me, cause lets face it not all Christians are understanding. One Sunday morning, an acquaintance asked me how my children were. I felt safe and began to tell his story, I knew she has a son who struggled with some of the same issues. She asked have I told my small group, I said no, she encouraged me to and wondered why not, I said because Christians are the most judgmental people I know, she looked at me and said are you, my mouth dropped open and wept tears of sadness and said you know many times I am and do not realize it. Oh Beth, that was an eye opener for me. I am to be salt and light of the world. It gave me more compassion why people do what they do and reasons why they got there. I want to be real, to love the unlovable just like Jesus, that is my reason for living. JUST LIKE HIM!!!

    God Bless You


  12. 12
    thouartloosed says:

    Dear Beth,
    This was more than a little refreshing. I’ve been having a hard time lately with some unanswered prayers. Today at church, I had to force myself to sit on my pew and listen to the pastor. Your words on the perseverance of these spiritual leaders humbled me. It was encouraging and a reminder to get over myself.
    The Lord bless you and keep you and yours.

  13. 13
    Tammie says:

    And this is one of the very reasons I love you so.


  14. 14
    fuzzytop says:

    Hi Beth,

    It is such an encouragement to hear first hand stories about people staying authentic, and gripped with passion for Jesus. I needed to hear this today.


  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Beth, for being so real and authentic, yourself. And I love loving Him with you,too.

  16. 16
    ocean mommy says:

    This is SO true.

    When you started sharing about who joined you for breakfast…I thought…I would not have been able to eat because I would have been soaking up everything that was being said! What an incredible time God gave you!

  17. 17
    Bridgette Jencks says:

    What an amazing breakfast! Had I have happened to be at that same buffet, I don’t think I’d have been able to resist pulling up a chair to listen, marvel, and learn!!!!! WOW!!!!! So blessed! Thank you!

  18. 18
    Mariel says:

    Amen. How it must grieve Jesus and please Satan when we allow ‘rib issures’ to divide the body, while allowing satan further access to us and those around us. Thank you for the reminder that our eyes must be on Jesus…whether we are Tim LaHaye, Beth Moore, or just a homeschool mama! We are all just a bunch of sinners saved by grace! You bless me so!

    hugs~ Mariel

  19. 19
    Kelli says:

    Thank you for such a great reminder of the realness of their passion for Christ!!

  20. 20
    Deidre says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, Beth. I received a phone call earlier this week from a woman disappointed in a fellow Christian. I heard her say, “All Christians are (insert negative comment here). I know she is hurting and I wanted so much to reassure her that there are A LOT of people serving Christ with a passion and heart for Him. I want so much to please the Lord and never be that example that might turn another away from the ONE True Deliverer!

    I SO appreciate you and your ministry. I am HANDS DOWN so much better for it. I participated in my first Beth Moore bible study 11 years ago (Living Beyond Yourself) and was in such bondage feeling as if I had nothing to offer anyone. God used you to spark an unquenchable thirst for His Word in my life and I simply cannot get enough of Him. Praise His Name.

    Thank you a million times and I pray for you as you continue to follow His leading so we may glean from your obedience.

  21. 21
    Jackie Sue says:

    I just love to talk with those who are authentic in their faith. I just love real people. The other day at a brunch with other mom’s I connected with a mom I hadn’t talked with in a while and both of us were refreshed by the conversation b/c it was real. We ran into eachother later and both said how much we enjoyed it. Authenticity seems rare at times…so many people want to look like they have it all together…I got over that a long time ago when God brought me to my knees. Now I would love to be able to introduce myself like this, “Hi, I’m Jackie Sue and I’m a sinner in need of a Savior…everyday, all the time”. Even in church…I’m so glad you had a nice visit with such folks…can’t wait til Heaven when I will get to meet all my mentors…those who have impacted me for all eternity even though we’ve never met…and hey, Siesta Mama…you are one of them! Many blessings and Merry Christmas!!!

  22. 22
    Kendra says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Beth! Makes me want to run to Him for a fresh word this second. He is AWESOME indeed. Amen and amen!

  23. 23
    Ceffie in WV says:

    Oh how I needed this today. Life has been hard these last 6 months with retiring, a sick mom, and grown children doing their thing. I have found it hard to keep my spirits up even though I turn the music up even louder than usual. I felt a rush while reading your blog and realized that God has been there through it all. The good man I love, the strength to go another day, healing and hope. My God has been there waiting for me to recognize him as my comforter, deliverer, and Savior. Thanks Beth

  24. 24
    Kendra White says:

    so cool… i studied (and met my husband at Focus on the Family institute)my mother was appalled when I referred to Doctor James Dobson as “jimmy d”. So freeing… give it a whirl!

  25. 25
    K says:

    Oh Miss B, You are right on it. My husband and I faithfully served 8 years in our church and in street ministry. We had home group, women’s group, men’s group. We had church. When our infant became critically ill we sat at the hospital alone. We called the Pastor, no call back. We were the ones always serving and in our time of needing service we were alone. I would love to tell you it didn’t damage our relationship with God, but that would be a lie. We have let our dissapointments with human beings affect our relationship with the supreme being. Your post helped me much…may God help us to not give the devil another inch. I love you and pray for you and LPM every Monday.

  26. 26
    Sacha says:

    Thank you so much for this encouraging post! I am so motivated by people in thier fifties, sixties, seventies……, that still have a fresh passion for our Lord Jesus Christ! My husband and I were raised in the church by our parents but now both of our parents (who are in their late fifties, early sixties) seem to have lost their passion and zeal for our Lord and have admittedly discontent feelings towards life in general. I do not want that for myself, my husband, or our children. I want a passion that you have described in your post today that lasts forever! I know it takes humbling myself to my Saviour daily and searching His word and His will for my life!
    Thank you again for your encouraging words!
    God Bless You All!

  27. 27
    Joan Sch. says:

    I would have absolutely loved to be a table with all of you. I am overwhelmed just thinking about all the bibilical knowledge you share! Sheesh !! I would have been so honored to even just listen in, although I know with you there Beth there was lots of laughing going on too!

  28. 28
    Melinda says:

    Like so many others, I’ve lived through the fall of a pastor and watched the utter devastation that followed. We simply can’t let ourselves become jaded, lumping all into the misstep of one.

    How refreshing to hear of the years-long faithful walk of these precious warriors.

    Edifying words indeed.


  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your precious words today!! I needed the encouragement today and the Lord provided it through you. Kimberly in Northern Michigan

  30. 30
    Kelly says:

    Quite frankly Im so super jealous that I couldnt even just be a fly on the wall and listen to your conversations! But it is a blessing to read your words – Thank you for sharing your life with us. It truly is an encouragement and spurs me to seek my God more!

  31. 31
    Inksstillwet says:

    Thank you, Beth for these encouraging words! Yes, there are so many with a heart to serve, worship and praise our Savior! My parents go to Dr. Dobson’s church, Stonebriar, and it is always a joy to visit them and have the indulgence of hearing his preaching on Sunday morning. He’s such a man of true, authentic integrity. I wonder how their blogs would have described that day. A merciful blessing, I’m sure!
    Much gratitude for your servanthood, also! Love, Amy in OK

  32. 32
    Nikki says:

    Thank you Beth for that reminder and for sharing your weekend adventures with us! I know I needed to hear it!

    With love,

  33. 33
    kemeigh says:

    What a joy to sit with Dr. Dobson and listen to him tell that beautiful story of his father. I have 4 grown children, and raised them with guidance and wisdom from Dr. and Shirley Dobson. What a privilege to live in a time when we can hear the wisdom from so many godly men and women!
    Blessings to you!

  34. 34
    kemeigh says:

    What a joy to sit with Dr. Dobson and listen to him tell that beautiful story of his father. I have 4 grown children, and raised them with guidance and wisdom from Dr. and Shirley Dobson. What a privilege to live in a time when we can hear the wisdom from so many godly men and women!
    Blessings to you!

  35. 35
    Bobbie says:

    Thank you for sharing the stories with us. What a weekend you had!!

    My man & I were blessed to be with you, Travis and CeCe at Converge on Thursday. You really know how to capture a crowd! I don't think Satan had a square inch in that building! Thank you for sharing God's Word with us!

    Love & Blessings,

  36. 36
    kyredhead says:

    Thanks, Beth, what an encouragement for the soul today.

    Love, Julie

  37. 37
    DigiNee says:

    Thank you for sharing with us Beth —– a needed word of encouragement – must confess that my jaw did drop when I read who you had breakfast with . . . and that jaw drop includes you dear sister – while you show us that you are “just like us” (and we SOOOO thank you for that -keeps us all grounded so we do not make you an “idol”), we honor you for all that you have sacrificed and the seeds you have sown for the Kingdom. Our lives have been enriched via your willingness to be a vessel through which the Father can train us up in the way we should go . . .

  38. 38
    Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Beth!

  39. 39
    lavonda says:

    That is very definitely refreshing!

    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Kristin says:

    What a neat time of fellowship God orchestrated for all of you! I loved hearing a little about your time together. I actually heard Dr. Dobson share that same story and letter his dad had written on Focus on the Family not long ago. What a legacy he left by the sacrifice he made. Thanks again for sharing your heart. It encouraged me this day!
    With love ~ Kristin

  42. 42
    Lynann says:

    I needed that word today! Satan is trying everything under the sun to take me and my family down. The good news is that we all have christ living and active in our lives. Reading this passage just reminded me just how desperate we need to hang on and have the passion for Christ.

  43. 43
    JoAnn Dorrepaal says:

    How good of you, Beth, to give us a look at what some of our dearest heroes are like when they sit down at the breakfast table and prove themselves not only faithful but real. It’s a modern day version of Hebrews 11 and each of us must run to win. I am reminded not to take any of my heroes for granted but to faithfully support all of you in prayer. Thanks so much for the fine Bible study materials you share with women all over the world. My Bible study ladies in a Sunday a.m. and a Thursday evening study group are all poised to do the Esther study in the new year. There’s no doubt that each of us is on stage for this particular time in kingdom history.I want to finish well! May He give us the grace to do it!
    JoAnn, Norfolk, VA

  44. 44
    Yvonne says:

    What a joy it is to see men and women walk in faithfulness and zeal with the Lord! Praise the Lord for their example!

  45. 45
    Kathryn says:

    This post was very encouraging and exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been involved in many churches for various reasons….only two I left due to sin issues. That was recent and very difficult. At only twenty four years old, I’m wanting to plant myself and learn from the “aged” (not in chronological age, but in Godly wisdom). Sometimes I get a glimpse and “feeling” from the Holy Spirit that others are looking at me for authenticity.

    Lord, I pray for my dear Sisters in Christ. Encourage them. Give them a sincere passion for You, God…whatever it takes. It may be sorrow or it may be joy, but prove and test us until we are faithfully Yours. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. In Your Precious Name, Jesus, Amen.

  46. 46
    Lopsided Halo says:

    Thank you mamma beth! I needed a reminder to hold on tighter to God’s truth. With my hand over my heart I will protect it no matter the cost.

    This time I’m not going to be so easy for Satan to drag back! No sir-e!!!

  47. 47
    Amy says:

    Beth, thank you so much. I don’t think I knew how much my soul needed that until I read your refreshing salve of a post.

    I love loving Him with you too!

  48. 48
    Jamie F. says:

    A long obedience in the same direction…Oh, how I love that. Just today at church, on the completion of a week that saw something VERY large come to fruition in my life, I sensed the Spirit saying, “Keep going…we’re not through yet.” Thanks for the encouragement to keep doing the “thang.” To keep pressing in, though it’s long and perhaps daunting.

  49. 49
    Katie says:

    Thank you Beth. Perfect timing as usual.

    This morning, I returned, for the first time in a long time, to visit the church and church staff who have greatly contributed to my struggle w/ cynicism. Due to a great scandal that occurred there during my senior year of high school (during which I was actively sought after to be drawn into the ordeal as some sort of political point person because of the position I held on a hiring committee), I’ve struggled deeply in respecting, loving, and forgiving the ministers involved. While there, I was struck at the depth of healing the Lord has brought to the situation as He revealed to me that even in that horrible situation, He has begun working it “for good” in my life, and theirs, as He has promised to do. There are many in that place that love our Jesus and even those ministers who fell before mentioned things this morning indicating the healing the Lord has brought to their lives. They are serving, building up the body, and leading people to Jesus. I saw HUMILITY in them. It was so huge! He is in control! He reminded me of that even in those who wounded me so deeply before. We truly never have an excuse to forget the great things He has done and as such, lapse into cynicism. He has set me free, released me from prion, and is constantly binding up this broken heart of mine. What a Savior right?

    Thanks again. 🙂

  50. 50
    Moose Mama says:

    I love loving Him with you too, Beth. Thank-you for those encouraging and edifying words to us….to me. I’m not on a pedestal, but I know others are watching just SO they can see me fall. It does touch my heart deeply that I have let my blessed Savior down so many times, because of my flawed life. Yet, I will keep on keeping on….

    Looking forward to breakfasts such as yours someday….probably in Glory! What sweet conversations those will be!!

    (After almost 26 years of marriage, my husband and I joke….”If you ever leave me, I’m going with you!”)

    Melana in (verrrrry cold) Wyoming!

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