Tuesday, April 15, 2014

God Moments

Yesterday morning as I woke up, music was playing on my alarm, which is quite rare as usually I'm awake long before it goes off :) The sunlight was already beginning to shine through the blinds and the words that were playing in the songs were "How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God...then sings my soul my Savior God to thee...Open the eyes of my heart God, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see You...Holy holy holy I want to see You....Hallelujah what a Savior, He is everything to me.." What a great way to wake up! ♡ I love waking up when my heart is so in tune right away with the things of God and feelings of peace and contentment just wash over me! So, I got up out of my bed with my heart/mind singing all these songs and opened the blind to this amazing sun rising above the rooftop of the house behind me. Right now the words on my alarm are saying "Just look at the sun for a moment and think the Lord's glory is 10,000 times more intense than that sun." Wow!! I love that!!! ONLY GOD can time things like that and speak so directly in a single moment! Oh how I praise Him! ♡

When I opened my Bible, it opened to the passage in Psalm 119 and my eyes fell upon verses 145-149 which have been my situation many times "I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! I will obey your principles. I cry out to you: save me, that I may obey your decrees. I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise. In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; in your justice, save my life." ...and I will add 'save my children's and loved ones lives too.' How perfect is that to read those words on this beautiful morning. It's often in the place that I've been...staying awake, rising early, crying out for God's help, putting my hope in Him and His words, wanting God to answer me, thinking about His promises, etc...
Right now the words on my alarm are singing.."how I long for that day to see You face to face and I will see you and touch you in that day...my heart yearns for you, great will be that day, oh God we wait on You, my eyes are turned toward You...great day when the sun/Son is rising, great when the day is fading and we wait on You.. "...yup my heart is full first thing that morning and it is longing.....is yours? ♡

I rise early, before the sun is up;
    I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.
Psalm 119:147  NLT


This verse especially rung deep in my soul as that is often the case for me...I'm usually an early riser, before the sun (in winter) or right after the sun (in summer) and placing my petitions before God and putting my hope in His promises. Right now my daughter Alysha is travelling and will be home soon. I get a little more nervous when she has many connections to make and flights to catch...but I know that God can do a better job at looking after her than I can. :)  She's had a tremendous experience travelling and has made incredible memories...from Bible school at Capernwray to staying at a friends over Christmas in England, to making new friends there, to travelling throughout Europe to staying at friends in Switzerland - friends that we had JUST met this past summer...another God ordained moment in our lives...which there are many of! :) We met in summer, Olga is a sister to my friend Helena, so now Alysha was in Olga's home in Zurich and we got to SKYPE the other day! SO THANKFUL! God is amazing!! :)

This past Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, we had a great day starting with church and being given Palm branches to use during worship. The passage of Scripture from John about the people laying down palm branches on the road in front of Jesus as he rode on a colt into Jerusalem was on my mind and I had wonderful memories of being in that place while I was in Israel this past March. I couldn't help but go through some of my photos and post a few. :)  Then we had a lovely lunch and visit with our son. Love it when he comes home! ♥ Then we ended the day by going to a Christ in the Passover presentation (put on by www.jewsforjesus.org) which took us through a Jewish Passover meal. It was wonderful and gave us more understanding of what Passover is and how it is celebrated by Jews all over the world. Once we got home, we also watched a documentary put on by Day of Discovery of how a Jewish man came to receive Jesus and believe that He is the Messiah. It was great to see all the Scriptures that led him on his journey to this decision. It is not always easy for a Jew to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, as many are still waiting for a messiah to come.

But it is also so interesting to me that right now in Bible study, we are journeying through the Book of Revelation as well and learning more about the end times. On the night of Passover, a lunar eclipse happened where the moon turned a blood red. Many believe this is prophetic of the end times being much closer than ever before. Four blood moons will be happening in a row...now, then in September 2014, then April 2015 and again in April 2015 with a solar eclipse happening right in the middle of the 4 blood moons. No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return but it sure will be interesting to see what will happen in the world during this time. I enjoyed reading this blog post on the explanation of these blood moons.  John Hagee also has much teaching on these four blood moons. I believe it's definitely a sign of the times. I hadn't seen the eclipse personally but there have been many pics on Instragram and Facebook. Here's a few of them that I put together in a collage...I have the names of all the people who took them if you need to know. :)
It's always interesting to me the timing of things...and it's no coincidence that we're taking Revelation right now, with Passover happening and this lunar eclipse happening. 

So I will go back to my verse posted above, that I've chosen in the Scripture memory challenge I'm involved in....I will lay my petitions before God and put my hope in His words....we don't know what will happen tomorrow...or today..but we can rest in God's promises and trust in HIM to work all things out for good. 


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Continuation of the End

In these last couple of weeks, much has been on my mind and heart and on my plate. :)  Time has run short everyday, and it seems to just happen that way at times, doesn't it? I've been working on my SK calendars for 2015 and trying to get them to the printers to begin their work on them as this season of selling them is such a short time. We've also had our Women's Journey of Faith (WJOF) Sharing the Journey seminar workshops coming up this weekend April 4-5 with meetings on the 3rd so I've had stuff to prepare for that as well. I always look forward to this time of fellowship and growing/learning. Learning and growing never stops, does it? We continually take in everyday and, hopefully, learn and grow from all of it. :)

This week I've also been wrapping up a couple of Bible studies, the To
Live is Christ study which took us on a journey through the life of the Apostle Paul; and also Here and Now, There and Then which is a study on the Book of Revelation. They're both wonderful studies and they've been great to journey through in preparation for the Greece and Turkey tour that I will be going on with a friend of mine from Bible study in May. I've been reminded of so much because this is the 2nd time I've gone through To Live is Christ, but with Revelation....wooow!! I have learned SO MUCH! I've often been more afraid of Revelation, yet at the same time intrigued but now going through this study, it has left me more excited and longing for the end. It's given me so much to think about and ponder on.... I tell ya, there is so much in my brain each day, you don't even know an inch of it! :)  It's amazing how this mind of ours works and how much it can contain. Did you see the fun pic I came across? It sure explains it all, doesn't it :) ...and I'm sure my hubby is very glad that I don't talk about everything that's going on in my brain every day ...and you probably are too! :)


While I've been going through Scriptures and photos for preparation for the calendars, I've come across so many wonderful wonderful verses and I'd love to memorize them all! :)  But I know that's not possible, but it sure has given me many promises to hold on to and much hope to hang on to as well! So here's a few of them for you that I have put on some of the photos I've chosen for the 2015 Inspirational Calendar pages. I know they will all speak to you and perhaps one of them will be a verse that you will choose to memorize. :)

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God 
our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth...
Psalm 65:5 NLT

Commit to the LORD whatever you do and 
he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16:13 NIV

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

The above three verses will be on a calendar page and they're short enough that I'd like to work on memorizing them all. But I couldn't leave out this sharing this one below with you. :)  I can't wait to see that actual amazing breathtaking life-forever-changing 'picture' in the clouds one day! It's another amazing final ending to the Book of Revelation and, for those who believe in Him, it's the moment we all can't wait to witness.  ♥

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True...
Revelation 19:11  NLT

Oh what an amazing moment that will be! And as I wrap up Revelation this week, the last words in the book will remain in my mind and heart and I pray it will in yours too. What a day we have to look forward to!!

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says,
"Yes, I am coming soon!"
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all.
Revelation 22:20-21

From the Book of Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible and of the world, to the Book of Revelation, the very end of the Bible and of the world, God is good and He brings it all full circle to an amazing completion. The whole book of the Bible works together to tell an amazing story of redemption and salvation. Nothing in it is irrelevant or unimportant. In my study notes for verse 21 it says "Genesis describes Adam and Eve walking and talking with God; Revelation describes people worshiping God face to face. Genesis describes a garden with an evil serpent; Revelation describes a perfect city with no evil. The Garden of Eden was destroyed by sin; but paradise is re-created in the new Jerusalem. The Book of Revelation ends with an urgent plea: "Come, Lord Jesus!"  In a world of problems, persecution, evil and immorality, Christ calls us to endure in our faith. Our efforts to better our world are important but their results cannot compare with the transformation that Jesus will bring about when he returns. He alone controls human history, forgives sin, and will re-create the earth and bring lasting peace. Revelation is, above all, a book of hope. It shows that no matter what happens on earth, God is in control. It promises that evil will not last forever. And it depicts the wonderful reward that is waiting for all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord."


So my dear friends, as you study His Word, the Bible, and memorize it's verses, I know you will be BLESSED and filled with HOPE and GRACE and FORGIVENESS and LOVE and AWE of how Great our God is and with some knowledge of how very much He loves us! Sing to the Lord as long as you live and praise God to your very last breath! AMEN! COME, Lord Jesus....Come soon!! ♥

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Battle is Fierce but the Ending is Glorious!


For a bit now I've been struggling with feeling beat up, down on myself, inadequate, out of control, not knowing what I'm doing, worrying a bit too much and feeling very defeated at times but Wednesday morning was the worst. There are days and times in our lives where these feelings and thoughts can be so strong. Why? What do we do with them? As I was preparing for the Revelation Bible study God reminded me in a very impacting way that the devil and his demons are constantly going around accusing us to God and always wanting us to feel the way I was, and many other ways too. God is doing so many amazing things around me, in me, through me - and I don't say that with pride but with fear and trembling because I don't have one inch of an iota to do with all that - if it wasn't for Him, I'd be nothing and I'd be nowhere - but anyway, God is doing so many amazing things and the enemy is fighting fighting fighting. And honestly, there are days when I do become weary of the fight as it can be quite constant and we cannot afford to let up or take our armor off for even a day. The devil wants nothing more than for us to fall, to be defeated, to worry, and to be of no use to anyone because we're so wrapped up in our selfish little bubble. He also wants us to give up praying for and encouraging those around us who don't understand or 'don't seem to get it' or seem completely not interested in following the Lord right now. We're not to give up on anyone! We can't!!  We gotta keep loving, keep praying and keep on pressin on. :) We also need to remember that we can only plant the seed, others will water it, others may cultivate it but it is only the Holy Spirit of God who can truly transform a person into a believe and faith in Jesus Christ.

When I was preparing for my study, Daniel 12:3 told me that "those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever."  Wow! That's what I wanna be!! I am a true wannabe! :) I do want to shine for Jesus like the stars forever.  But this takes continual fellowship with God and following His ways daily. On this day that I felt like whining, the study also had me go into Philippians 2:14-15 which told me "in everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them." Ok God! I get the memo! : )  Forgive me for the whining and help me to keep focused on You! But the Devil loves to get us with our complaining and arguing, doesn’t he? I guess that’s why the Lord wanted to send me that reminder on Wednesday. : ) But the devil also wants us to believe that all the immorality and impurity happening in our world is okay.  It is easy to get depressed when one gets to dwell upon how much the world is becoming more immoral with each day that passes. His desensitizing ways through the media and politics can be very powerful if we spend too much time in it. The Bible study video took us to Revelation 17 which speaks of the great prostitute that will rise, who is symbolic of a great seductiveness that uses immoral means to gain its own pleasure, prosperity and advantage. She mixes all sorts of wonderful kinds of thoughts/ways/spirituality to throw everyone into a state of confusion and she is funded by the devil to keep people confused with all the sparkling appetizers and diamonds of this world. She is the representation of the carnal unending appetite of man and with her seductions she convinces many people of all that is appealing in this world to keep them from following Jesus Christ. It sure sounds to me like this is already happening very much in our world today. So in contrast to that great prostitute is Christ’s bride – the church, is holy, pure and obedient, completely opposite of her ali, so therefore will be hated to a great extent by those who will not ever believe in Jesus Christ. 

So, you’re thinking, Lisa, you’re getting us all down and depressed with you now.  This world is a horrible place! What are you doing? Well my friends, like the picture states, it takes having faith in Christ, being happy happy happy :) and being a fearless daughter of the Bible AND like the song that is playing in my home right now, “I wanna be heaven-minded, I wanna be heaven-minded, I wanna be heaven-minded....I wanna be like You God.”  What does that take? That takes realizing that yes this world is going to end one day and things will become worse and worse until that time....BUT....Jesus has already won the battle and God WILL have the victory in the end! Whoohoo! With all that’s going to happen, don’t you want to be on the winning side?? I know I sure do! By the end of that Wednesday and into the next day on Thursday, I felt so victorious and the gloomy cloud hanging over me had been lifted. I know it was spiritual warfare cause it was a super intense study we were covering that night as well. A sweet part of that day was that I had two different friends in different creative ways, they let me know at different parts of the day that they were praying for me! I love it when God does that!! He ALWAYS sends us confirmations that it's His battle and we're not in the fight alone. After the many tough chapters that are to come that are prophesied in the book of Revelation, the ending of the book is glorious and I CAN’T WAIT to stand before the Throne of God in that “vast crowd too numerous to count” with the heavenly angels filling the sky singing so beautifully “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” Ooohhh, I can’t wait for that day! And that my friends, is why I do what I do. It’s why week after week I journey through Bible study after Bible study with many others who are hungry for righteousness and truth, who are thirsty for the Word of God, and who want to deepen their walk with God on a daily basis. That is why I have days where the devil tries so hard to make me feel defeated but I KNOW that I AM an overcomer because of the Spirit of God that dwells within me and I can rely on the Joy of the Lord to give me strength! : )  And...that is why God is giving me this verse to memorize for ‘such a time as this’ in the Scripture memory challenge that I'm in this year. My music pastor at church gave it to me this morning when I was in his office for prayer before the Friday morning Bible study group began...thank you Pastor Lorn! :)  It comes from 1st Corinthians 15:58 in the New International Version. 

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you 
know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I just realized that I had been working on memorizing this verse last May but in the New Living Translation. But this time the 'stand firm' or 'be steadfast' (from ESV) 'let nothing move you' words stood out to me because the battle can be intense at times and it's only with God that we can stand firm and steadfast. ♥ There will be times we'll feel down and defeated...but the important part is to get back up and keep at standing firm in the Lord. It's His battle and with His Armor on, we can always win together with Him!  :)


Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Study of Revelation

I've always had a fascination for the Book of Revelation but also a deep fear as well.
When I was a young teenager, I saw the 'Image of the Beast' movies and they totally freaked me out. I was a rebellious teenager and chose to go against what I was taught by my parents and went through a phase of drinking and partying...BUT, the fear that was instilled in me about the end times kept me from turning completely against God. Now in my later years, the fear has turned more into an excitement. A number of years ago, an adult Bible study class leader in church took us through Revelation and then in 2012, Roger and I led an adult Bible study class that took us through John Hagee's sermon series on Revelation. It was very interesting! He is definitely a believer of pre-trib and does give some good arguments about it. He's very knowledgeable and a very passionate speaker, but I can also somewhat see where other people get their viewpoints from as well.

When the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins began coming out around 2000, we bought every single book the moment it was released. I was particularly interested in the book called The Remnant as on the front cover is a photo of the treasury at Petra Jordan. It's so hard to believe that I've been there, 3 times and my husband and children have also been there. :)  What a fascinating place! Many people believe that Petra will be the place in the desert where the Jews and Christians will flee to, to escape the horrors of the end times and the  anti-christ and that they will be protected there for 3 1/1 years. We don't know this for certain as it could also be a spiritual protection that God was talking about and not necessarily a physical place that they will go to for protection. Nevertheless, it is all very fascinating to have read these books and to also study all the different viewpoints out there. I happen to believe in pan-trib....how it all pans out in the end is how it will be. :)


In June 2012 when I had attended the Beth Moore conference in Calgary, I saw that she had a study on Revelation as well, called Here and Now -> There and Then. I bought it but have always had other studies on the go. With the desire to tour through the 7 Churches of Revelation in Turkey and God opening that unexpected door for me to go there in May, I knew that now was the time to journey
through this study. It's been fascinating! I've loved journeying through it with my husband and other couples/individuals on Wednesday nights, but also Thursday morning and Friday morning with ladies. On Tuesday nights, another group of us have been journeying through the life of the Apostle Paul in the To Live is Christ Study, which has been excellent as well! It is preparing me for going through Paul's footsteps through various places in Greece during the same time of the tour that I'll be on in Turkey come this May. But back to the Revelation study, it has kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting more. It's no longer scary for me but very exciting! But at the same time, it has also put an urgency on my heart for those that don't know Jesus and part of me has wanted to be that person on a street corner holding a sign that says "Do you know Jesus? Do you know that there is a heaven and also a hell?" Yes, I've walked into a grocery store wanting to stop every person and ask if they know Jesus. :)  Really...really....if we really understood what hell was, why are we not talking non stop about Jesus and heaven?
What makes it extra special to be going through this study right now is that God had taken Roger and I
down to Houston TX for a few days in January. I had attended a Scripture memory celebration organized by Beth's office and it was together with many other ladies from around the U.S. What an incredible time! It was such a blessing to meet with Beth face to face again and to meet all her staff at Living Proof Ministries as well, to visit her churches and to attend her Tuesday night Bible study. But what was very cool too is that a dear woman from Houston had emailed me about a year ago because she had come
across my blog posts from my Israel tours. She was looking for the contact information for Arie Harel, my tour guide in Israel. Well, her and I became instant friends and chatted on the phone and emailed each other. We hadn't spoken in a while but when this opportunity came up to go to Houston, I emailed her about meeting her face to face and spending some time with her. Wow! God is so amazing at how He brings wonderful people into my life. We had a lovely time visiting with her and her husband! One of my favorite moments was sitting outside on her patio in the sunshine and talking about Bible study. What I didn't know was that she had already taken the Revelation study and had sat in on all the teaching sessions with Beth Moore during the taping of this series. How unique is that!! God was just giving me these sweet gifts one after the other. :)  It was an incredible time that we had there and if you want to read about it or see more pictures, then return to my previous post before this one on my blog. :)


Another precious gift in all of this was that I was able to attend the first session of Beth's Tuesday night Bible study called 'Breath - the Life of God in Us.' Oh how precious!! She spoke about the Holy Spirit and how God's breath is in us and it was also the breath of His Spirit that hovered over the waters/earth at the beginning of time. When we left for Houston, God had already given me that Scripture on the plane along with a beautiful picture of it from the sky. But what an incredibly sweet gift for one who's led Bible studies for over 20 years and now I got to sit in an actual Bible study session rather than just seeing it over the TV.

What was even more special about this, which I just found out on this day that I'm typing out this blog post, is that 'Breath' is the last Tuesday night Bible study that Beth will lead in Houston's First Baptist Church. She has led studies and Sunday School in that church for 29 years and now this was her last one. You can read more about it in her Living Proof Ministries blog.  God has just made being able to attend this even more sweeter to me, knowing this now. What a tough night Beth had that last night of leading this study (which was just yesterday). What a mixture of emotions! I can relate a wee bit because I have a mixture of emotions running through me right now too as our lead pastor at church has just resigned. I love my pastor dearly, God has used him tremendously in our church and he has taught me so much and stretched me in my faith walk so incredibly in this past season of my life...just like Beth Moore has through her studies.  Both Pastor Russ and Beth have had a lot to do with me leading ladies groups to Israel, leading more indepth Bible studies, getting involved with the inner city, having my heart broken over the sex-trafficking issue right in our own city, and so much more. So, my heart is super full knowing that my pastor is leaving our church soon and that Beth has just finished her very last Tuesday night Bible study...of which I got to attend the first session of! Wow! God's timetable is astounding and always in perfect timing! What an amazing God we serve! He already knows the outcome so how could we not completely trust Him! Yay! :)

So, anyway, I felt led to continue on with the Scripture memory group this year, just on our own with a bunch of ladies through a Facebook group as Beth is not doing one for this year. For a couple of the verses in February God has given me to work on memorizing have come from the book of Revelation. In the study, Beth has encouraged us to memorize Revelation 17:14 in the NIV, which she calls the theme of the book.

"They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."


What a verse to memorize and meditate on! To be his called, chosen and faith follower..wow! That is what I desire more than anything here on earth!  It's not about Beth Moore or Pastor Russ Wilson or anyone else who has had a significant part in my life or your life...but it's all about who Jesus Christ is to you and what is He doing in and through your life to make a difference for the Kingdom of God...and it's about your heart and my heart being willing to serve Him and glorify Him in all we do. That is what Beth's mission is and I know it's the mission of my dear pastor too. God wants us to go wherever He leads us...are we willing?

Another couple of verses I've been working on memorizing in February were Revelation 4:11 and Revelation 5:13 NIV. The amazing picture of God's Throne on which He is always occupying and the fact that Jesus Christ is the only one worthy enough to open the scroll of the future events to unfold to bring about the end of days...it's all just too much! Such amazing pictures too glorious to behold and they have just stuck with me

"You are worthy, our Lord God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things ,and by your will they were created and have their being."


"Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them, saying: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praised and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!"


After reading these chapters in Revelation, I can't close my eyes while praying and picture nothingness...all I see is this incredible minute vision of God's throne and me before Him with my prayers and petitions. My prayers don't just go into oblivion...they go right before that amazing throne of Grace and are laid bare before an Almighty God who created the whole universe. Wow! Lord, forgive me for praying in a flippant manner and for not believing enough in the power of the words being spoken through prayer. Our prayer is like incense rising to You and You hear every single one of them!  Thank You Father, thank You.....

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

God Ordained Moments in Houston, TX

On Friday January 17th, my husband Roger and I boarded a plane to fly to sunny Houston, TX. I was going there because of an invitation to a Scripture Memory Celebration with Living Proof Ministries. We decided to make a bit of a holiday out of it to enjoy some time together and get away from the snow. :)  It was dark when we flew from Saskatoon to Calgary, but what an incredible display of lights when we got closer to Calgary. So reminded me of how we as believers in Jesus Christ, need to be the light of the world to others, to be a light in a dark place. So gorgeous! But then I was also super pumped to actually be going to Houston, Texas for what I knew would be an amazing time...but my imagination wasn't big enough to grasp at this moment all that God had in store for me, for us, on this quick 6 day trip.

When we flew out of Calgary, the sun was coming up in glorious splendor over the snow capped mountains with an incredible filter of thin clouds wisping through the air. :)  To the right of my window the skies were still a deeper blew with a gorgeous white moon still glowing brightly. I tried to capture the breathtaking beauty on camera but it hardly did it justice to what I actually saw. It was all such a beautiful reminder of how the Spirit of God hovers over the earth. From the very beginning of this world, God's Spirit hovers over us and when we as Him to be a part of our lives, He comes to dwell within us through His Holy Spirit. I just felt so secure and surrounded by Him as I kept my eyes peeled out of the window of the plane. I couldn't stop watching His glorious display of creation He had 'just for me' that special morning. ♥

Once we landed, we had a taxi bring us to our hotel so we could unload our bags and walk a couple blocks to grab a bite to eat at the Chick-fil-A. It was delightful to sit outside eating our meal and our host was wonderful...I'm certain he was a believer, I could just tell by his smile, his attitude, and his amens and he told me his beautiful wife was named Lisa too. :) Then we went over to the rental car place to pick up our little love bug for a few days. Isn't it just the cutest thing ever?? :) My hubby was adorable in it! ;) It was quite amazing how many shopping bags we could hide in the back hatch...LOTS ...and I think Roger had more than me. :)  We ended our first day having a wonderful supper at the Olive Garden...my favorite place to eat when we're travelling---oh I wish they had one in Saskatoon!

I woke up Saturday morning super excited! I was fretting the night before and again in the morning about what I should wear for this special day! This was the day I had been waiting for since January 1, 2013 when I spontaneously signed up for a year of Scripture Memory through the Living Proof Ministries Blog They had mentioned in their first post of the year that there would be a celebration in a year if we completed the Scripture memory challenge...and oh wouldn't it be so cool if God would bring me there! I've also never been good at memorizing so this was a great new challenge for me. But now here I was! In Houston! Texas! Wow! I had met some lovely Siesta Scripture Memory sisters down in the lobby of our hotel that I would be driving to the church with. :)  Isn't God amazing?! We all were so excited! God was already giving me new sisters in the Lord! ♥

I walked into the church where there was already a lineup for registration and so I walked over to the back of the line. As I set my purse down on the ground, I heard the words "Are you Lisa Braun?" I looked up with a
laugh bursting out...I couldn't wait to tell me daughter that I had been at one of the largest churches in Houston and someone recognized me! :)  She's told me that I can hardly go anywhere without knowing someone. Standing in front of me was a dear woman I had met on the Siesta Sister Scripture memory FB group page who was from South Carolina and now God was having us meet face to face! How precious was this!! ♥ After registration, she even got me a seat at the very front of the room with the stage right in front of us! I loved this dear lady already! There were 480 lovely Siesta Sisters in the room from different States and a handful were from CAN, me being one of them. It was so precious to meet some of the ones I've become friends with on FB while going through the Scripture memory challenge.

Beth Moore had a great word for us about
M - memory is an inestimable gift
E - erasing memories may seem the goal but reframing is what heals the mind
M - memory is the driving force of all relationships
O - ordered thoughts are the most accurately remembered
R - remembering is to revival what forgetting is to rebellion
Y - you have the power to put good into another person's memories
It was a lovely day to be here, to worship our Lord together, to hear a great word, to enjoy the sunshine on a warm Texas day and to make lifelong memories together. I made many new friends in Christ, which is the beauty of the Family of God, you can meet for the first time face to face or on FB and feel like you've known each other for years. There's nothing like having that common bond. We enjoyed having our lunch outside in the beautiful warm sunshine after having some group pictures done with Beth. I am thankful for the brief face to face interaction God gave me with her again and an opportunity to meet many of the Living Proof staff as well.

Everyone got to be in a group pic and this was ours by the photographer on location

Great word about MEMORY from Beth Moore and so wonderful to meet some FB friends face to face ♥
Meeting Siesta Mamma Beth & my FB friend Kimberly from Living Proof Ministries and enjoying great praise n worship
LOVE the candid group shot with precious baby, posting verses on the Scripture Memory Tree plus eating outdoors in the warm sunshine ♥ and meeting so many lovely Siesta sisters from across the States...SO blessed to be here!

About a year ago, I had gotten an email from a dear woman in Texas who came across my Israel blog when she was looking for some information about our Israeli Tour Guide, Arie Harel. We became instant friends and emailed for a bit and talked on the phone as well. She told me that if I was ever to come to Houston to give her a call. Well I did!!  We instantly reconnected on the phone and over email and met face to face when we went to Houston. :)  Isn't God amazing at how He brings people together!? I couldn't wait to meet Lynda and her dear husband and spend some time with them. We met Saturday night, after the celebration.

Lanier Theological Library grounds were beautiful to walk around in
After the celebration and a brief rest, we had a bite to eat and headed over to meet our new Texas friends Mike and Lynda Miller who invited us to attend a Lecture on Mount Sinai and the Red Sea Crossing. We were quite early to get a good seat :) and then took a walk around the grounds. So beautiful! Water birds of all kinds with a bridge going across a large pond and lovely walking trails. It was so incredible being here with them! I couldn't believe how God planned this time for us together and to come to this place!

Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas
The Lanier Theological Library is a great resource place for all students and scholars of the Bible and is located in Northwest Houston. The library is full of books, periodicals, historical documents and artifacts of church history and Biblical studies. They regularly host events with well known authors, lecturers and researchers. This is a place with serious tools for serious studies. A couple of my favorites was a replica of the scroll of Isaiah and also one of the first 200 copies of the Kings James Bible printed in 1611 as well as John Wesley's writings and Luther's works. Fascinating place!
It was so fascinating to be here for this lecture on the Red Sea Crossing and Mount Sinai. Both Roger and I have been at the traditional site of Mount Sinai and climbed it in the middle of the night so we could watch the sunrise at 6 am when we were in Israel/Egypt in November 2008 with our new pastor, Russ Wilson.

At a lecture of the Crossing of the Red Sea and Mount Sinai presented by host Mark Lanier, Stephen Moshier - Professor of Geology and James Hoffmeier - Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology
The Chapel that this lecture was held in on the Lanier Library grounds, is a reconstruction of a 500 A.D. church in Turkey, is in the shape of a cross and has beautiful images of stories from the Bible painted on its ceilings. It is such a beautiful building! Very blessed to be sitting in here with 100's of people and about 15 scholars from Denmark, Spain, Singapore, England, Israel and more. If you'd like to read up on their bio's, you can do so at that link. We had a rare opportunity to meet a couple of them face to face and speak with them. Wonderful men! I wanted to meet the one from England because my daughter is there now and we also met the one from Israel :)  So thankful God gave us this opportunity! This gave me such a new appreciation for our theologians, scholars, Bible translators and commentary writers. Thank You God for the gifts you've given them so we can study these amazing books!

Bayou City Fellowship Spring Branch meets at the Houston Christian High School Chapel
We attended church on Sunday morning at Bayou City Fellowship where Beth Moore's son-in-law Curtis Jones is the pastor at. They began this church in 2011 and have grown to 2 services each Sunday. A 2nd church plant was opened in Cypress in December 2013.  It was such a blessing to be here!

Bayou City Fellowship in Cypress currently meets at the Northwest Forest Conference Centre - such a beautiful location
Fellowship in this location began in December 2013. Pastor Curtis Jones gave an excellent message this morning. God blessed me with meeting the pastor's wife Amanda, who is also Beth's daughter. It was great to hear how they started Bayou City Fellowship and walk with her to where the kids meet for Sunday school in a building that is a replica of the Alamo. I loved sharing with her how the Patriarch study that we had taken in fall spoke to me. Beth had mentioned in that study that she had just sent Amanda and Curtis off to England for 6 months and how hard that was. Now 10 years later my daughter Alysha is in England for 6 months. It was a special moment to share with Amanda. :)  I was thankful for those few moments this morning with her.

Beautiful building and grounds of Living Proof Ministries in Houston, Texas
Sunday after lunch, we took a drive out to see where Living Proof Ministries was located. Our days were pretty full and it didn't fit into our schedule to get to the office when it was open, so we took the opportunity on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to go check it out. :)  What a blessing God has given Beth Moore and the staff of Living Proof Ministries when He provided this beautiful building and new location for their office location about 5 years ago.


Houston is the place of crazy freeways, home of the wealthy and also the homeless. While I was away at the Scripture memory celebration, Roger had a unique opportunity to speak with some of the homeless who were close to our hotel and to hear some of their testimonies. One person had told him of how they knew their purpose on earth was to tell as many people as they could about the God who loves them and can save them. Wow! May we know that our purpose is the same. It was a huge city to get around in and the freeways were massive and we were thankful for traffic that wasn't too crazy! :)  We enjoyed an outdoor patio for lunch in the sunshine where Roger had chicken fingers and waffles!!  Yes you heard right. Weird...but it was good! For supper we went to an amazing Mexican restaurant and we happened to eat at the very first Pappasito's that opened in Houston. Great food! Reminded me of Chi-Chi's. :)

Houston's First Baptist Church
Really enjoyed attending the 5 pm service at Houston's First Baptist Church where Beth Moore has taught Bible study for 29 years. It's massive, but not the largest church in Houston. I love visiting churches!  :) It was great to watch a few baptisms and to hear the testimonies of those being baptized. Blessed to be here!

At the Houston Space Center with our friends Mike and Lynda...so cool!!
When we had arrived in Houston, for some reason I started saying "Houston, we've got a problem" but I could not remember for the life of me, where I had heard that saying. So when we toured the Space Center, there is was right on the wall!! :)  It was so cool to tour this place and to see the space shuttle and the rockets up close. How amazing is it that man has been out in space and on the moon!!

Drove out to Galveston with Mike and Lynda to see the Gulf of Mexico! :)
What a great day for a drive to go step foot in the Gulf of Mexico! We ate at a lovely seafood restaurant where we could look out over the harbor. Loved setting my bare footprints in the sand and dipping my feet in the water. :)  What a great day we had with these friends that God gave us to....over email!! :)

At the Toyota Center to watch a Houston Rockets basketball game....definitely a highlight for Roger!
This was fun to end the evening with Mike and Lynda and watch a basketball game here in Houston! So fun! And to know as well that Beth Moore and other great speakers/teachers have had large women's conferences here as well. The Passion 2014 Conference with Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, Chris Tomlin, Frances Chan and other amazing speakers/musicians was here in February...so wish we couldn't been there!

Beautiful home of Mike and Lynda, our gracious hosts for a couple of nights...so thankful for this God-given friendship
What a beautiful morning we woke up to on our last day in Houston. Spending precious time with Mike and Lynda in their home and talk about God and Bible study and our families. So precious to have this sweet friendship that was completely God-given because of a simple email about an inquiry for an Israeli tour guide named Arie Harel. :)  LOVE it when God brings His people together through extraordinary means to bless our time here on earth with. So precious!! Love you guys! Lord willing, we will see you again. :)

Tuesday night Bible study by Beth Moore at Houston's First Baptist Church - 1st study of  Breath -The Life of God in us
I could hardly believe that I was here! How precious is it that God would ordain my time in Houston to be able to attend the opening night of Beth's newest Bible study called Breath - the Life of God in Us. Wow! After leading Bible study for over 20 years, this is a pretty sweet reward here on earth to be able to attend one of these studies rather than just watching it over a DVD. Can't wait for it to come out next year so that I can lead groups of women through it. :)  You can bet that we will! I'm thankful again, for my friend Lynda that God brought into my life. She has attended Beth's Bible studies and Sunday School classes for a few years and she was so gracious to bring me along to this Tuesday night Bible study. So so blessed to be here!

Another amazing thing is this:  Remember how at the beginning of our trip God had given me the Scriptures and words of His Breath/Spirit hovering over the earth and the pictures that He gave me? This is how He ended this amazing time in Houston as well...a Bible study on His Breath, His Spirit hovering over the earth. Beth had opened this study with that same passage of Scripture. So, I'd say this trip was completely ordained by God....wouldn't you say so too? :)  What an amazing God we serve!


On our way home, I was working on my Revelation study for Bible study that evening. Again, God was talking about His Spirit over the earth! :)  Then while we were driving home, He gave me another picture of a slight cloud cover with a beautiful sunset and snow covering the ground reminding me again of His Spirit hovering over the earth. God's love and Spirit encompass us all over, it never leaves us and never lets us down. Isn't that just amazing? :)  Our doggies were so happy to have us back home. It was an amazing time in Houston but it's always good to be back home too. I was so glad to be able to bring home a few gifts. I loved blessing my dear friend Lydia, who is battling cancer, a couple of gifts from the Scripture Celebration. Lydia had journeyed through the year together with me memorizing Scripture as well. So thankful for her!  Thank You God for this great gift of going to Houston....I'm so grateful! Help me to be a blessing to others just as so many have been to me. Thank you for the amazing women of God you brought across my path through Facebook and through this Scripture celebration and Bible study night. Thank You Thank You!!