Sunday, March 29, 2009


Mae Govannen,

Some of you have already read this before, but I felt that God wanted me to post it on this blog for those of you who haven't.

All She Could Do
Inspired by God

The 19-year-old’s head shot up at the sound of the voice she had never hoped to hear again. There, running towards her, was her estranged and disowned sister, Rizpah. She hadn’t seen her since…since she was twelve.
“Tirzah!” her sister called again, still running with arms spread wide apart. “Tirzah, I’ve come home!”
“Go away!”
“But Tirzah, I—”
“I said go away. Leave. You have no place here,” Tirzah called bitterly, though the words stung her conscience. She should be welcoming her sister, not rebuking her. But she couldn’t. Because of what Rizpah had done.
“No, you don’t understand. I’ve seen Him! Tirzah, you should have been there! They caught me—it was a trap—and brought me before Him, but He forgave me. He forgave me, Tirzah!” Rizpah had tears coursing down her dusty cheeks. The black and green paint highlighting her eyes was smeared and messy; evidence of the battering Rizpah had certainly received at the hands of the authorities.
“What do you mean?” Tirzah cried harshly, recoiling from Rizpah’s embrace. “Don’t touch me!”
“Tirzah, please,” Rizpah begged brokenly. “You have to listen.”
Tirzah stopped her retreat, but still held a frown in place. From Rizpah’s hurt look, Tirzah could tell her eyes were brimming with hostility. “All right, but hurry. I don’t have time for this. Asa is waiting for his meal.
“Asa? Then you did marry him?” Rizpah questioned.
“Yes, and I have stayed by his side all these years, unlike what you did to Ahijah so long ago.”
“Tirzah, just listen. Please.” Rizpah paused only a moment. “As I said, they caught me—it was a trap, I’m sure, because he got away.” She ignored Tirzah’s repulsed grimace. “They dragged me to the square, and stopped a rabbi there. They asked Him what they should do to me, expecting Him to answer as they all do—‘stone her.’ But He just looked at them, and then stooped and started writing something in the dirt.”
At this, Tirzah’s eyes widened. Stooping in front of the teachers of the law was an act of disrespect. Who was this rabbi? A bold one, for sure.
“They kept asking Him what they should do, and then He stood back up and looked at them again. Finally, He said ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ ”
Tirzah was astonished to see a look of deep love and wonder in her sister’s eyes. Never, not since before the Act had Rizpah carried this look in her midnight eyes. Always they had been cold and vacant, like an empty well.
“Then He bent back down and started writing in the dirt again. I knelt there, covered in dust and muck, and watched as, one by one, with the older ones first, they all left. When they were all gone, He straightened and looked at me. Oh, Tirzah—His eyes, they…they were so full of love and compassion, and yet a deep shadow, too. But He said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
“ ‘No one, sir,’ I said.
“ ‘ Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.’ ”
Tirzah stared, wide-eyed. “Who is this man?”
“Not just a man, Tirzah! The Messiah! I am sure of it. His eyes told me. I could tell!”
“But, but—”
“Tirzah! What are you doing? You’re needed in the house.”
Tirzah started at her husband’s call. Turning on her heel, she shouted back to her sister, “That’s blasphemy, and you know it. If this man is the Messiah, then why hasn’t he delivered us from the Romans’ iron fist? Why didn’t he erase those seven years from your life and let you start over? If he’s the Messiah, why didn’t he save my daughter from the fire?”
“The…fire?” Rizpah looked taken aback. “What fire? You had a…daughter?”
“Yes, Rizpah, I had a daughter.” Tirzah stopped mid-stride. “Two daughters, in fact, but only one escaped from the fire the Romans started—the fire that almost killed our—my entire family.” The fact that her sister was still in disgrace did not escape Tirzah’s notice, hence the hasty exclusion from the family.
“Tirzah, I don’t know why the Lord allowed those things to happen. But don’t you see? He has erased those years from my life. Or has given me the next best thing. I know those years will always haunt me, will always dog my footsteps with irking persistency. But He’s given me a new beginning. I wasn’t condemned, don’t you see? I’ve resolved to leave my life of sin. Even if my entire family continues to disown me—I have something better.”
“Something better?” Tirzah shot back. “What could be better than a loving family and faithful spouse? Or, what could be better than the luxurious life you were leading?” She stopped short, seeing how her words had stung.
“It wasn’t luxurious, Tirzah,” Rizpah choked out. “I felt empty, and betrayed.”
“Betrayed? Oh—”
“I know what you’re going to say, Tirzah, and I know that I was the one who betrayed Ahijah. But you wouldn’t understand. Please. Will you forgive me?”
“Forgive you? After all you’ve done—all the hurt you’ve put us through, all the disgrace you’ve thrown wantonly on our family, you want me to forgive you? It was easy enough for that rabbi not to condemn you. He wasn’t put through all that pain and disgust that we were. But I—no. No, Rizpah. I can’t.”
Rizpah looked hurt, but only for a moment. However, instead of the black blaze of fury Tirzah was sure she would see, Rizpah’s midnight eyes held a depth of emotion that Tirzah couldn’t grasp. Neither could she understand it.
Whom was this woman standing before her? It looked like Rizpah—had the same honey skin and curling black tresses—the same high cheekbones and black eyes—but, no. Her eyes—they were different. No blazing fury or vacant apathy filled the ebony orbs. No bitter defiance or condescending hate pooled there, spilling onto her face in the form of lavish paints and eye make-up. Instead, there resided an inner peace and unfathomable understanding. This tender passion caressed her beautiful skin in unthought-of ways. Dusty tear-tracks, smeared kohl, and bruise-marks all testified to the sudden change that had occurred in her sister, somehow.
“What happened to you, Rizpah? What happened?” Tirzah whispered in wonder, and then marched abruptly inside.
Tears of compassion collected in Rizpah’s eyes as she watched her younger sister walk away. “I ran from God, Tirzah. I ran from God, and he pulled me back and whispered words of love in my undeserving ear. And I turned from my life of sin. That’s what happened, sister.”


Weeks later, Tirzah sat shelling lentils in preparation for dinner. Her mind was not on her task, though. Ever since Rizpah had come seeking forgiveness, a nagging feeling of regret had filled Tirzah’s mind, casting a cloud over her life.
Had she done the right thing?
Of course.
Or had she? Who was she to condemn and forgive?
But she wasn’t condemning, and the Lord had said to forgive…
He had also said to stone people of Rizpah’s kind.
She was her sister!
This was silly. Tirzah gathered her lentils and stepped inside her home, intending to finish supper preparations. A quick glance in the water bucket presented the need for water, and sighing, she set off to the well.
Once there, she lowered the bucket into the dark, abyss-like hole, hoping to finish quickly. Women and girls of all ages milled about, some waiting for their turn to draw water, and others gossiping about the latest happenings in Bethany. Gradually, Tirzah picked up the conversation of the nearest group of women.
“…He’s returning to Bethany today, they say.” Said one woman.
“Yes, and He’s staying at the home of Simon the Leper, though I can’t imagine why.” A second informed.
“They say He’s the Messiah, but I have my doubts.” The first woman enunciated loudly.
“Well, I for one believe the rumors. Did you hear about the miracles He’s performed?” A third woman asked.
Curious, Tirzah started in the women’s direction. A suspicion glimmered on the edges of her mind, but she withheld it. She had to be sure.
“Who is this Messiah you talk about?” She inquired when she was standing among them.
“Why, Jesus,” the first woman said.
A strange sensation raced up and down Tirzah’s body at the name. Jesus. “What is so great about him, and how do you know he’s truly the Messiah?”
“We don’t, but it is hard not to believe it. I envy the ones who travel with Him. He’s said to be a great teacher, and perhaps even the Christ, though I have never seen Him.” Said the second.
“Well, no matter. I must get back to my husband.” The first woman left, and the others soon followed, leaving Tirzah standing with her thoughts.
Could it be the rabbi who let Rizpah go?
Silly. It couldn’t be. Never.
But what if he was? Should she go see?
Nonsense. She didn’t even know what he looked like. How would she know?
Jesus. His eyes. His eyes, Rizpah had said.
But she couldn’t go before him dressed like this, even if he was the Messiah. She was only a commoner. If he were the Messiah, which surely he wasn’t, she would have to come bearing gifts.
Come as you are. Bring only what you have to offer. It is enough.
Stupid, silly girl. Who could possibly—
Tirzah silenced the dark voice and started on her way home, heedless of her empty bucket. She had to do something. Anything. Everything.


Once she was home, Tirzah dumped her bucket in the corner and ran through the tiny house, searching. There had to be something she could bring. Running from corner to corner, she combed the rooms. Then, in her wooden chest, she found it: the alabaster jar of nard—one of the most expensive perfumes in all the land. Tirzah had received it from her mother, whose mother had entrusted it to her. It had been in the family for three generations, and she had been keeping it for a special occasion, or for when they needed money. It had to be enough. It just had to.
Clasping the jar to her chest, Tirzah ran from the house, ignoring her husband’s calls. She knew what to do.


Tirzah knew exactly where Simon the Leper’s house was. Everyone did, so they could make a wide berth of it. Tirzah, however, was about to perform the unthinkable.
Running through the narrow, crowded streets, often stumbling in her haste, Tirzah hardly gave a thought to what she was about to do. All that crossed her mind was ‘hurry!’ Gradually, though, dark thoughts crept into her mind. Always there was a gentle whisper to counter them.
What if He isn’t there?
I will always be here, beloved. Come and drink of my love.
Stupid girl. What would He want with you?
I will gather My people to Me as a shepherd gathers his flock about him.
Don’t listen to Him!
Be still, My child, and listen to My voice. Always will I guide you in the paths of the righteous, if you but call My name and repent.
The dark thoughts left her at the third answer from the Voice. As Tirzah wove in and out of the throng of travelers, merchants, and locals, she pled repeatedly that He would be there, at Simon the Leper’s house.
Finally, after many twists, turns, and stumbles, Tirzah came upon Simon’s home, set slightly apart from the surrounding buildings. Slowing her reckless pace, the woman calmed her breath and racing heart. As she stood before the low-roofed house, Tirzah rethought her actions. Should she really do it? Yes, of course. The quiet Voice inside her head had made that clear enough. Glancing down at the alabaster jar clenched in her tense fingers, she thought, I don’t have to pour all of it out. I’ll just spill a little onto His head, and then I’ll leave soon after. That way He won’t ask questions, and Asa and Jochebed won’t miss me.
With steeled nerve and trembling heart, Tirzah set one foot in front of the other, advancing into the house she never thought she’d enter. The cool shadows washed over her, and she pushed back her shawl. Eyes growing accustomed to the darkness, Tirzah padded softly towards the sound of voices.
Abruptly, the narrow corridor ended, and she emerged into a long, low room. Reclining about a table were many men—perhaps fifteen to twenty. Swallowing hard, Tirzah advanced. She searched the faces of the men present, hoping, always hoping. Would He be there? Suddenly, she saw Him. He had been watching her ever since she had set foot in the room. As she looked into His eyes, Tirzah finally understood the measure of peace and understanding that had pooled in Rizpah’s eyes those weeks ago. For she beheld the same emotions in the depths of Jesus’ eyes as He gazed at her. And looking into those eyes, Tirzah did the only thing she could do. Breaking the bottle, she poured the perfume on His beautiful, holy head.


“Foolish girl!” One of the men cried out, his voice hot with indignation. “Why waste this perfume? It is worth a year’s wages. Why, you could have sold this and given the money to the poor.”
Tirzah stopped, her hands trembling. Had she done the wrong thing after all?
“Yes! How could you? You wasteful, ungrateful wretch! Look, you have just poured out food, drink, and money! Stupid!” Another man spoke up, voicing his anger.
One by one, the men hurled insults at her, rebuking her harshly. Tirzah shrank back, tears trembling on her lashes. Oh, God, how could I have done such a thing?
“Leave her alone.”
The quiet, commanding voice silenced the flying reproofs and established an air of calm in the dim room.
“Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Tirzah’s heart lodged in her throat. What was He saying? She had done a beautiful thing to Him? But she had just wasted a year’s wages! How could He not rebuke her?
He turned to look at her once more, holding her eyes with His piercing gaze. “Go, My child. You have done all you could do. You have brought all to me. Go in peace, and go in forgiveness.”
And then she remembered Rizpah. Forgiveness. Rizpah. Go. All.


Running from the room, Tirzah went in search of Rizpah. She had a message to deliver, a message from her heart. From the depths of sisterly love, she had a message.
Rizpah, I forgive you. I love you and forgive you.
That’s all I can do.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"When Rose Allison had left the schoolroom, Elsie got up from her desk and knelt down with her Bible before her. In her own simple words, she poured out her story to the dear Savior she loved so well, confessing that when she had done right and suffered for it, she had not endured the injustice. Earnestly, she prayed to be made like the meek and lowly Jesus, and as she prayed, her tears fell on the pages of her Bible. But when she stood again, Elsie's load of sorrow was gone, and as always, her heart was light with a sweet sense of peace and pardon."

~excerpt from Elsie's Endless Wait

One of the things I always find amazing and inspiring about Elsie in the A Life of Faith series is her ability to take any insult or injustice with incredible humility, patience, and peace.

However, she could not do it alone. As you saw in the excerpt above, she leaned on the Lord for all of her strength and peace.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)

It seems like no matter what happened in Elsie's life, she always desired and tried her best to be like Christ, who was mocked and treated horribly... and yet He did not say a word.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)

This is something I have to work on every day. Sometimes, honestly, it is so difficult not to open my mouth and say something I know I shouldn't whenever someone says something about me that isn't true or teases me. It isn't always easy to lay down our pride and have a gentle, quiet spirit and be meek and lowly like Jesus; but, if we are willing, He will mold us into His image and make us who He wants us to be.


P.S. If you have never heard of or Read the A Life of Faith series by Martha Finley, I highly recommend them. They are definitely some of the best books I have ever read!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What Do I Know of Holy?

Lyrics to an Addison Road song called What Do I Know of Holy?

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire?
Are You fury?
Are You sacred?
Are You beautiful?
What do I know?
What do I know of Holy
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bible Verses

Here are some of the Bible verses that I have on my boards in my room. These verses have helped me through hard times. The first one in my signature on the Rebelution and my text messages.

Numbers 6:24-26 (English Standard Version)
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (English Standard Version)
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (English Standard Version)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

Jeremiah 1:7-9 (English Standard Version)
But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD." Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

Colossians 1:15-17 (English Standard Version)
The Preeminence of Christ
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Philippians 2:1-11 (New King James Version)
Unity Through Humility
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1 Timothy 4:12 (New King James Version)
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.~Psalms 19:14

Isaiah 40:27-31(NKJV)
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “ My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Jeremiah 29:11 (New King James Version)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" ~Esther 4:14

Philippians 4:8 (New American Standard Bible)
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (English Standard Version)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;they are new every morning;great is your faithfulness."The LORD is my portion," says my soul,"therefore I will hope in him."

Micah 6:8 (English Standard Version)
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (English Standard Version)
A Time for Everything For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Proverbs 18:1 (English Standard Version)
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Colossians 3:22 (New American Standard Bible)
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

Isaiah 52:7 (New King James Version)
7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “ Your God reigns!”

Hebrews 11:6 (New King James Version)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Jeremiah 32:17 (New King James Version)
‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.

Calsie Rael (Numbers 6:24-26)

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