Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I can't live without you.

You found me here I’m barely breathing
You picked me up but I’m still wanting more
You’re the ocean deep I’m in up to my knees
Wanting desperately to drown
You’re the one bright part of my languid heart
You’re the love I cannot live without
I cannot live without

Please hold me close I can’t stop shaking
It’s not for fear my walls are breaking down
You’re the ocean deep I'm in up to my knees

Wanting desperately to drown
You're the one bright part of my languid heart
You're the love I cannot live without
I cannot live without you

I cannot live without you

You hold on.. hold on
Can you hold on to me?
Because you’ve held everything… yeah

I can’t live without you
I can’t live without you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

O Oprah...


"There are many paths to what you call God...if it brings her to the same point it brings you, it doesn't matter if she calls it God along the way or not. There couldn't possibly be just one way. What about Jesus? There couldn't possibly be (one way) with the millions of people in the world.""I was able to open my mind about the absolute indescribable hugeness of that what we call God. I took God out of the box because I grew up in the Baptist church and there were rules, belief system and doctrines and I happen to be sitting in church in my late 20's where you have to get there at 8 AM or you couldn't get a seat. A very charismatic minister and everybody was into the sermon and this great minister was preaching about how great God was and how omniscient and omnipresent and God is everything and then he said the Lord Thy God is a jealous God and I was caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said jealous. And something struck me, and I was like 27 or 28 and I was thinking, God is all omnipresent and God is also jealous? Jealous? God is jealous of me? And something about that didn't feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love and is in all things and so that's when the search of searching more than doctrine started to stir within me...""Man made God in his own image-the eternal, infinite and unnameable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as my God or our God. God is a feeling experience not a believing experience. Religion is a believing experience. If God for you is still about a belief than it's not truly God."


"I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols." (Isa. 42:8)"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN." (Matt. 5:16)Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." (John 14:6)Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness...So God created man in HIS OWN image, in the IMAGE OF GOD he created HIM; male and female he created them." (Gen. 1:26-27)"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1)** "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who SUPPRESS the TRUTH by their wickedness...They exchanged the TRUTH of God for a LIE, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is FOREVER praised. Amen... Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (Rom. 1:18-31)


God is not jealous OF you, He is jealous FOR you! God plainly demonstrated this to me at work. We were out playing on the play ground with another class. Yes, me and another teacher and our 3 year olds. One of my sweet girls fell off the slide and was hurt and began to weep loudly. I saw this occur and my heart felt compassion for my little child. As she ran to me in tears, I embraced her in my arms. As I was comforting her, I looked up and the other teacher was looking at us. I thought to myself, I am so glad she ran to me! I am her teacher who spends time with her in and out of days, I love her and show her love, and I have taught her that I care for her. Of course I would want her to run to me and not the other teacher. She is my student. This is not out of anger, jealous of the other teacher, or selfish concern but because she is mine and I know what is best for her. This is how God is with us. When we turn our eyes to other objects or ideas, he is burdened because he created us, taught us how to love, and died for us.... why wouldn't he be jealous FOR us?!

The Teachings of Eckhart Tolle:

-Who you are requires no belief-Heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness-the man on the cross is an archetypal image. He is every man and every woman.-My mind is part of God's. I am very holy.-My holiness is my salvation-My salvation comes from me.-Let me remember that there is no sin-The only message of crucifixion is that you can overcome the cross.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


So, in the many hours that I've spent in the hospital visiting this weekend, I've had some thoughts:
-Why do we have a hospital if we don't believe in the power of healing that is ultimately from the Lord?
-Would medicine work without Jesus? I mean think about it, some meds work for some people-some for others. It is the same thing with surgery. I am going to go out on a limb and say that there is NO medication that has fully worked 100% of the time. Why not? Is there a higher power in control... or just coincidence?
-Does God sometimes put people in the hospital so he can have communication with his children? Seems that we pray without ceasing especially when we have loved ones in serious health conditions... maybe it's His way of drawing us to communicate with him.
-Why do we wait until someone is sick and dying to go pay a visit, send a call, or give a small gift?
-What is it about a hospital that similarizes a church building? Everyone there feels like family. Esp the ones who you see each visit that have loved ones laying in rooms right next to your loved ones. All the sudden, you get to know people and hear their lives. It's almost like it's his way of drawing us to community like we should do anyways.
-What about the impact just visitors do? Just because I am laying in a hospital bed and one of my saved friends is praying her heart out, one of my unsaved or struggling friends is inspired to know the Lord more or seek him more affectionately? Seems our impacts are usually not as heavy?
-When my grandfather in his 80's is getting fed by his adult children, he all the sudden resembles identically a newborn baby=completely helpless on his own. Hm... funny how life works? What about our Spiritual life? Isn't that how we would be (completely helpless and bonded to sin) without our Savior?
-The first words a man says when being asleep for 8 days, when he comes to consciousness is Jesus Christ. hm... What other name is worthy to be said?
-Life is so precious... why do we need hard times to remind us of them? Sometimes, it's too late.
James 5:14-15 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to PRAY over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.
Notice: It’s the “prayer offered in faith” that works. Not just wishful prayers for healing, but the prayer of faith.
Matthew 8:16-17 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and HEALED ALL the sick. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “HE took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
Mark 1:40-41 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” [41] Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I AM WILLING,” he said. “Be clean!”
Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those WHO BELIEVE: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in tongues; [18] they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Acts 3:2, 6, 16 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.... [6] Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but WHAT I HAVE I GIVE YOU. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” ...[16] BY FAITH IN THE NAME OF JESUS, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this COMPLETE healing to him, as you can all see.
Ephesians 6:18 (New American Standard Bible)
18With all (
A)prayer and petition (B)pray at all times (C)in the Spirit, and with this in view, (D)be on the alert with all (E)perseverance and (F)petition for all the saints,
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (New American Standard Bible)
A)pray without ceasing;

Earlier in the week, I was holding an infant at work. I had been reading about the Creation in Genesis and how God made Adam and then breathed life into him. So, I imagined this baby I was holding just as it is. All God did to create man was breathe life into him. WOW. Just one single breath. When I saw my mother spoon feeding my Grandbuddy this weekend, he resembled this newborn baby. As a baby we are completely helpless and dependent on others. However, at 80 we could end up the same way? Hm...
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

One last thought from friend of mine... In this hospital, I would love to be a witness in my final hour as I lay on a bed. Many doctors have hardened their hearts so they can better fulfill their duties. So, what if God uses a dying individual in the hospital to reach out to these doctors/nurses. I mean, who is really dead and hospitalized to sin?

HOSPITALS- sure make you think.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Many of you have been asking/following the update with my Grandbuddy so I FINALLY have some amazing news!! He is ALIVE and doing well. He is off the ventilator and the tubes but still is under some pretty serious circumstances. Everyday he is doing better! The man doesn't even realize how close he was this time. Last night, I finally got to go back in the ICU and see him. This is the first time he's been able to see or communicate with anyone. For his first introduction back to society, me, Brantley, Ann Morgan, Blair, Mom, and Aunt Jo were all there to welcome him back. My cousins and I just sat and talked to him as he whispered four words. Even though it took 20 min each for us to understand him, his words were as follows: Jesus Christ, prayer, home, and hungry. Yup.. He's doing just fine. We all sat and loved on him for the 30 minutes of visiting time we had. Then, we all went to dinner. It's fun to have family in town from Auburn, Clemson, and Mississippi.
Today, we went to see him at the 10 O'clock visit. He looks so much better already. Today he was talking a bit more. Even though he tried to convince us he is dying, we calmed him down and tried to make him realize the worst part is over and it's not his time to go. It was truly the Lord's plan to have him be at the hospital when he went down. He told us the nurse just fed him his last meal. After laughing and telling him that was his FIRST meal, he then started asking for a candy bar. haha!! We have no clue where this came from- ha. He wanted Mom to read some cards to him and then he had Blair, me and Ann Morgan pray over him. He really is doing well and we are so excited for him! The Lord is real. The Lord is powerful. The Lord is healing. We are seeing that today. Prayers are still appreciated and soon, Grandbuddy will be back in action. Life is precious- Don't take it for granted.
In Peace,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For My Grandbuddy.

The Sunday after my birthday, I went to Montgomery to spend some time with my family. I drove over to see Grandbuddy because it had been awhile since I'd seen him. When I first sat down with him to talk, he was asking about my summer and my time in Hong Kong. These general questions led to talking about my decision of school and the transfer to Auburn. Due to the heartbreak I felt he may have for my unpredicted quitting of volleyball, I was hesitant to this subject. However, he suprised me with his support and his encouragement to continue to do what I feel led by the Lord. Some humor aroused in our conversation when we got onto the subject of politics. For anyone who has spoken to Grandbuddy on this election, you know he is completely against OBama. He asked me how in Auburn, Christian students could vote for the anti-Christ. Even though I knew he was being slightly dramatic on this, we cleared it up with the conclusion in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I told him that even if Obama is the anti-Christ, then so be it! For those of us who know the Lord, that means our long awaited face to face introduction to our Savior is one day closer!! Keep in mind, this is Grandbuddy I'm talking to, so politics are a bit of an exaggeration.

This political conclusion opened up the next subject. Grandbuddy wanted to ask me about my Jewish family. He is very interested in mine and Blair's hearts for missions, so he rightly questioned the salvation for the Jews. He was only curious to my opinion. My Grandbuddy truly loves my Nana and Pop. Let me stop here and say something. I am so extremely thankful for all four of my grandparents. It is so uplifting to see their relationship as friends and the love they share. In fact, my Nana used to call Grandbuddy her date because he would pick her up and drive her to my athletic events in high school when my Pop had to work! (Nana is my mom's mother and Grandbuddy is my dad's father haha). I honestly value this quality of a genuine heart that all my grandparents display.
Anyways, Grandbuddy goes on to tell me his knowledge of Abraham and the chosen people in the Bible. This furthered our biblical conversation where I want to stop and add another humorous story. You never know what will come out of this man's mouth about the bible. Grandbuddy asks me, "Have you ever heard that Satan is the father of all lies?" With my nod, he continued, "Yea, well I think he's my grandfather!" He goes on to say, "I mean, that fish that I caught that was this big," his hands measure about the width of his shoulders, "was really only this big," and shortens the distance to about a few inches of space between his hands. He also explained to me that when he tells women they look good, thinner, and attractive, "They just aren't really that pretty to me at all." Of course, me and the other cousins that have returned home after a semester in college, didn't even get the privilege of the lie. Grandbuddy told us straight up what he thought about our weights. But, his concern was that he does lie, and by that- he meant a numerous amount. I honestly don't think he realizes how funny he really is. I mean, he really has convinced himself that Satan could be his father! :-)
The next part of our conversation again dealt with his humor, but also some truth. In reference to the spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8, Grandbuddy asks me, "You know where in the bible, it talks about gifts?" I gently nod for him to Enlighten me with his wisdom. He tells me,"I don't think I got one!" He said his Sunday school class focused on these gifts earlier that day and he was convinced that, "The Good-Lord just didn't give me none of them gifts!" While he is explaining that he can't preach and is not a teacher, and that "None of them healings or tongues can even happen in today's world," I silently praised the Lord that this man wasn't my preacher. He finished however, by telling me that if he has any gift at all, he thinks he has the gift of giving. He expanded his idea with the realization, "I mean I always have given my money away to the church or that St. Jude's place, so I think I'm a giver." Even in this humorous generalization, I started thinking about this, and I believe Grandbuddy is correct. Buddy Brendle is definitely a giver.
What astounds me most about this, is he doesn't even know the depths of his gift the Lord has sent to him. This man gives so much more than money. I have never known a man to support his grandchildren more than my Grandbuddy. Personally for me, he has shown an extreme deal of support in my athletic career. It would be awkward for the old man in the chair not to scream and holler at my ball games. You all know that only God himself would stop Grandbuddy from missing a game. Even though his words were not always affirming, a silent Grandbuddy would be even more strange. And, he isn't just screaming for/at me! I don't know many of my teammates of families of, for that matter, who don't call this man "Grandbuddy." He provided the support of a loving Grandfather to many of us as we grew up. He gives his time, energy, and support to each one of us. A giver- yes, he is!

To sum up this critical meeting I had with my Grandbuddy, I want to end with our conversation about life. "Well Brandy," he said, "I'm getting older and I'm soon to roll over." I quickly interrupted saying, "In that case Grandbuddy, you've been saying that or you've been near to death for ten whole years now..." Turning the conversation back to serious mode, he went on, "No really, I can't seem to think that it is only right to survey my life. I mean, what was my point on Earth, why was I even here, or what did I do significant?" After hearing his explanation to what he thought he had done to this day on Earth, I was really challenged in my own life. None of us are too young to sit down and meditate on this very question. What have I done with my life? Have I made an impact at all on this Earth? Why did God even put me here? And this, is the Point of it all. Every little bit of each of our lives does have a purpose. In fact, Isaiah 43:7 says, "Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." This verse is describing our identity and our purpose. Our sole purpose is to bring glory to our maker by loving the Lord and loving people. Each day, we are challenged to see Him and know Him more. We are to take that very love, that he displayed while hanging on a cross, which is now in each of us, and share it with every human being on the Earth. Grandbuddy, I think you are doing an amazing job. By the love that Jesus Christ has empowered to you, you are using your gifts of giving to share that very love with many others. From children at St. Jude you have never met, people in foreign countries who have been reached due to your financial support to me, Blair, and FBC, to the very individuals who have been coach, cheered on, or influenced by you on athletic grounds. Many of us feel loved by you today. This valuable lifetime we have each been given, matters! Take comfort in the fact that the creator of the universe, sun, moon, emotions, and life in general-loved us enough to send his son to die for us! There is NO greater act of love that can EVER be established. You are so, so incredibly loved! Use that love to impact the world around you. We all need to be loved. No known gift is required for you to do this. All we really have is Jesus, and he's COMPLETELY and SOLELY all we need to make a change in the world today.
See Grandbuddy, even in your gift of giving, you gave me some inspirational advice. The Lord used you this time to preach, teach, and give me some biblical, meaningful, and life-changing words. This is how the Holy Spirit works. God will take what you think is your gift and use it to fulfill all these other gifts. I am so thankful for you and have been touched by this conversation.
General Update on Grandbuddy: Today, Nov. 5- He had surgery to get a pacemaker put in... Surgery went well. Thanks so much for your prayers. Due to his rather clogged lungs, he is still on a ventilator. I think we are just waiting for his lungs are ready to start doing things on their own. I think the big thing now is just praying for those lungs to keep healing. The progress has been good lately! My prayers are centered around his patience and peace as this whole thing starts to aggravate him. I hate not being able to talk to someone I love and to think He can't talk to anyone like he would want to right now just shows me how frustrating this must be for him. Keep him in your prayers... I believe this will eventually all be better and he will be complaining about the government and Auburn/Alabama football in no time :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Voice of A Savior

The Voice of a Savior by Mandisa - lyrics
Some people try to listen to the bottom of a bottle
Some people try to listen to a needle in their arm
Some people try to listen to the money in their pocket
Some people try to listen to another's arms
You and I are not that different
We got a void and we're just trying to fill it up
With something that'll give just a little peace
All we want is a hand to reach to
Open arms that say I love you
We'd give anything to hear
The voice of a Savior
Some people try to find it with blind ambition
Some people try to find it where no one else has gone
Some people try to find it in the crowns of victory
Some people get defeated and lose the strength to carry on
You and I are not that different
We got a void and we're just trying to fill it up
With something that'll give just a little peace
All we want is a hand to reach to
Open arms that say I love you
We'd give anything to hear
The voice of a Savior
The voice of a Savior
Some people try to find it in the shadow of a steeple
Some people try to find it in the back row pew
Some people try to find it in the arms of Jesus
That's where I found it, how about you?
You and I are not that different
We got a void and we're just trying to fill it up
With something that'll give just a little peace
All we want is a hand to reach to
Open arms that say I love you
We'd give anything to hear
The voice of a Savior
The voice of a Savior
We'd give anything to hear
The voice of a Savior
The voice of a Savior
The voice of a Savior

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bamboo Curtain

Good Works and the Gospel

Just before China was taken over by the communists, one communist officer made a revealing statement to a missionary, John Meadows: "You missionaries have been in China for over a hundred years, but you have not won China to your cause. You lament the fact that there are uncounted millions who have never heard the name of your God. Nor do they know anything of your Christianity. But we communists have been in China less than 10 years, and there is not a Chinese who does not know...has not heard the name of Stalin...or something of communism...We have filled China with our doctrine.
"Now let me tell you why you have failed and we have succeeded," the officer continued. "You have tried to win the attention of masses by building churches, missions, mission hospitals, schools and what not. But we communists have printed our message and spread our literature all over China. Someday we will drive you missionaries out of our country, and we will do it by the means of the printed page."

Today of course, John Meadows is out of China. The communists were true to their word. They won China and drove out the missionaries. Indeed, what missionaries failed to do in 100 years, the communists did in 10. One Christian leader said that if the Church had spent as much time on preaching the Gospel as it did on hospitals, orphanages, schools, and rest homes-needful though they were-the Bamboo Curtain would never have existed.

The tragedy of China is being repeated today in other countries. When we allow a mission activity to focus only on the physical needs of man without the correct spiritual balance, we are participating in a program that ultimately will fail.

Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan



So lately, I've been in a time of reflection to see where the Lord has led me in the present day. In church the pastor has just finished a series titled, "Remember." He spent some time in the Old Testament, the book of Joshua Ch. 4. This is the time when Moses gives the leadership of the Israelites trip to the Promise Land over to Joshua. As my pastor taught about the crossing of the Jordan (vs. 19-24) and the provision of the manna and quail (Ex. 16), he showed us how the Lord provides for his people. This provision also reminds me of when the Lord provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice after he was obedient with his son in Genesis 22. This is something I really began to embrace and think about how God is ALWAYS faithful. Looking back on my life it challenges me to think of the times when He has been faithful to me. Looking how far He has brought me today from a life of destruction, darkness, and evil, only begins to describe His faithfulness in my own life.

My pastor went on to teach us about remembering these times when the Lord has been faithful and good. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan River in Joshua 4, Joshua took the 12 stones he had taken from the middle of the river (vs.8-9) and set them up at Gilgal (vs. 20). In verse 21 Joshua tells the Israelites, " In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over." Later on in the chapter in vs. 24 he continues, "He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God." You see, the Israelites set up markers here to remind them of what the Lord had done for them. One marker, in vs.19, was the specific day the Israelites named to signify the days that God provided a way for the "impossible." The key marker in this story is of course, the stones they set up in Gilgal. These stones were a significant way to remember the Lord stopping the waters for them. These stones would be shown to generations of their families so that they too would be reminded of the Lord's faithfulness.

Another story that was shared in church by Pastor Peter from Uganda was the story of Jacob's dream in Genesis 28. After he woke, he placed the stone which he laid on, up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it, naming this place Bethel, meaning "House of God." This was a way for Jacob to set a marker to remember this place where the Lord came to Him. He named it the house of God because He was amazed and magnified God because of His faithfulness. This story also reminded me of when Abraham named the place where he was to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to the Lord. Since the Lord responded to Abraham's obedience, Abraham called that place, The Lord Will Provide (Gen. 22:14).

These passages influenced me to look at my life and see the times the Lord has been faithful to me. Have I spent time remembering what He has done on my behalf? Do I have markers set to remind me daily that the Lord is faithful?

These thoughts overcame me as I sat at the park on my birthday for some time to reflect on the past year of my life. As I was celebrating the beginning of a new year of life, I was also drawn to look back and see where the Lord has brought me from the previous year. I got out all my devotion notes from the past year and began to see what verses, books, and songs had been inspirational to me. I also saw struggles that I have battled over the year. I remembered the time when the Lord brought me to my knees in total surrender in February, when the Lord showed up to me in writing at Passion in April, when I was baptized by the Holy Spirit at church camp in May, the Lord providing for me to go to Hong Kong in the summer, His provision to settle me in Auburn, and His continuing faithfulness to comfort me in these times in Auburn. Looking back to my studies in the different issues I faced and the trials I have overcome, all I can see is the Lord's hand in it all-good and bad times. It just stirs up a humbleness in me to think that He has done so much for me in this year to remain faithful to me. And to think that He has done greater things such as wash, sanctify, and justify me (1 Cor. 6:11) in the name of Jesus!! How great the Father's love for me! But, I am reminded in Phil. 3:12, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." AH I love this!

Think of it like this, the cross and the empty temple are the two final markers the Lord left us with. He wrote His love on our hearts so now, WE are the Markers. We are living stones in a spiritual house. (1 Peter 2:4-6).

So don't forget his goodness and faithfulness that He has shown you. He loves and cares for us so much. He is providing even now, if we don't even see it. The Lord has been so good to you- He even gave His son to watch be crucified so that we could be made right with God by grace through faith. The crime was committed- We are sinners. There had to be a punishment or God would be unfair or unjust. This punishment was Jesus's death on a cross so that you and I could believe in Him and be free from our transgressions so that we may know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead ( Phil.3:10-11). So, rest in that today! Examine your life. See where the Lord has been faithful and praise Him for that. Praise Him for Who He is! Find markers that will never allow you to forget Him! The nail marks in His hands show that He never forgets us! I hope that this will encourage you today.