Friday, July 31, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ed Freeman

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley , on11-14-1965, LZ X-ray , Vietnam .

Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8 - 1 and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you're not getting out.

Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then - over the machine gun noise - you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter..!!

You look up to see an un-armed Huey!! But.... it doesn't seem real because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

Ed Freeman is coming for you..!!

He's not Medi-Vac so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire anyway. Even after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.

He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire to the Doctors and Nurses.

And, he kept coming back..!! 13 more times..!! He took about 30 of you and your buddies out who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Ed Freeman, died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID

May God Rest His Soul.

I bet you didn't hear about this hero's passing, but we've sure seen a whole bunch

about Micheal Jackson passing..!!

Medal of Honor WinnerEd Freeman!

Shame on the American Media..!!

Now.... YOU pass this along on YOUR mailing list.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Strength Out of Weakness

Daily Encounter
A Week-day Devotional by Dick Innes of ACTS International

Tuesday, July 7, 2009
1. Strength out of Weakness
"But he [God] said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."1

I read a few years ago the story of a 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.

"Sensei," the boy finally said, "shouldn't I be learning more moves?"

"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "let him continue."

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and the sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind: "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"

"You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."

"The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength."2Hmmm ... very interesting. When it comes to life, for some folk their biggest strength becomes their biggest weakness. For example, as Jesus said about the wealthy man, "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."3 The eye of the needle was referring to a door in the wall of the city (as it was commonly called) which was too small for a camel to go through, meaning that it was impossible for a person who trusts in his riches—or his fame, personality, power or position—to get into God's heaven.

On the other hand, when we acknowledge our weaknesses and know that we need to depend on God for guidance, wisdom, discernment, and deliverance from temptation—this can become our greatest strength.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please deliver me from the sin of pride and help me always remember to be dependent on you for guidance, wisdom, direction, power to overcome temptation, and for my eternal salvation. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV).
2. Thought for the Day, by Alan Smith,
3. Matthew 19:24 (NIV).


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posted with permission of Dick Innes

Saturday, July 11, 2009


It’s not the knowledge of scripture –
It is the will to do it.

It’s not the obedience of the hands –
It is the attitude of the heart.

It’s not the people I know, depend on, love, need –
It is God.

It’s not talk about God –
It is talk with God.

It’s not asking God for what I want –
It is asking God for what He wants.

It’s not about what I can or cannot do or be –
It is about what God does in me, with me, through me.

It’s not about knowing myself –
It is about knowing God.

It’s not about knowledge for the sake of knowing, or satisfying curiosity –
It is about knowledge to know Him better, love Him better, serve Him better.

It’s not knowing about God –
It is knowing God.

©Rebecca A Givens, 06/29/09

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Come Away From Rush and Hurry

This song is to the tune of "Come Thou Fount"
It fit so well with my theme of REST that I just had to post it...

Come away from rush and hurry
to the stillness of God's peace;
From our vain ambition's worry,
come to Christ to find release.
Come away from noise and clamor,
life's demands and frenzied pace;
Come to join the people gathered
here to seek and find God's face.

In the pastures of God's goodness
we lie down to rest our soul.
From the waters of God's mercy
we drink deeply, are made whole.
At the table of God's presence
all the saints are richley fed.
With the oil of God's anointing
into service we are led.

Come, then, children, with your burdens,
life's confusions, fears and pain.
Leave them at the cross of Jesus;
take instead His kingdom's reign.
Bring your thirsts, for He will quench them,
He alone will satisfy.
All our longings find attainment
when to self we gladly die.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


12 hours is a long drive
it’s much easier to put up a tent with 2 people
a cold shower sucks
some girls dress like prostitutes… in public
my new friend is a little squirrel named Chatter
I saw 3 fawns
a rabbit ran under my legs as I sat in the camp chair, his friend watched
rain falling on the tent is not a comforting sound
I am a loner, but I still get lonely
I like the woods and being outside
bugs walking on the water is cool
I struggle with depression. can’t deny it anymore
people in Ohio talk funny
there is more to life than martial arts
it’s nice to be remembered
old people are wonderful
take what comes – don’t force it
God is relational
giant fish
baby ducks
rest and peace seep in slowly
does it always rain here?
the sound of the wind
my soul finds rest in God alone

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rest Only

I spent my last day or so in Ohio thinking about how to bring back the rest and peace I found there. I knew that I would be coming back to the normal chaos of my life. I thought about this all the way home as well. I feel like I can breathe again, like I can relax again. I don’t want to lose this!

Well, I got home last night. My desk is covered with mail, there are dishes and laundry and questions. My inbox has a zillion new e-mails. Finances, bills, discussions, plans all await my attention. How do I hang on to rest and peace?

While I was gone I made a list of things and places where I find at least a small measure of rest and peace in my life. As I reflected on those things and on my week the Psalm that God directed me to at the beginning of the week continued to run through my mind. “My soul finds rest in God alone…”

I wonder about myself – about my ability to handle pressure and stress, about my abilities as a wife and mother, about my abilities as a homemaker. I have responsibilities in these areas, but not abilities. And therein lies my lack of peace. The abilities I do have: teaching martial arts, kata, etc, cannot provide me with the rest and peace to make it through the other parts of my life (although I have frequently sought peace in those areas…).

So rest, soul rest, cannot come from within me. My abilities do not provide it, and my lack of abilities certainly cannot provide it. Only in God can I find rest. He had to take me out of the normal chaos of my life to remind me of that. I pray that as I return to this chaos, I will seek my rest only in Him.

becky givens

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Rest

With each passing day here I find the peace and the rest sinking deeper into me. Each day I breathe easier, I relax more, I sleep better. I keep thinking, “I found it! This is wonderful!” Only to find the next day I feel it even more, even deeper.

How do I take this home with me? How do I live in the present, in the moment, yet keep my eyes on eternity? How do I keep my soul in this place of God’s rest?

How do I remember who I am? How do I do what I am supposed to do?

I want to love my husband and let him love me.
I want to hug my kids.
I want to be the wife and mother I am supposed to be.

Yet I live in a fallen world, a fallen body, a fallen heart. Fears, finances, busyness, job. Responsibilities pull me in every direction. My thoughts and my intentions scatter to the wind with the beginning of each day. Every task presses in and squeezes me tighter, constricting my heart.

How does the rest of the soul happen in the chaos of the world?

Perhaps it exists:
In the hours before dawn when the house is asleep.
In the arms of my husband.
In the meditation of a kata.
In the quiet moments before sleep.
In the peace of a worship service.
In a cup of coffee with a friend.
In a cold beer.
In my pastor’s office.
In a walk through the woods.
In the surety of the knowledge of the sovereignty of God.
In the meditation of Scripture.
In a well written word.
In the help of a friend.
In the warmth of a fire.
In the coolness of a swim.
In a motorcycle ride.

Lord God, open my eyes and my heart to Your rest.

becky givens

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well, 2009 is half over. I must say that it has been very busy for me. At Thanksgiving I started a part time job. I trained intensively for the last 6 months getting ready for a black belt test that was in May. Child #2 graduated from high school in May. I started teaching karate at a new location in May. This all means that I currently work 12-15 hours/week, teach 9 hours/week, and home-school a 5th and 9th grader (yes, we are still trying to finish up last year’s school). Then there is family and house and church. Thank God the karate test and the graduation are over at this point!

As you can imagine, and probably relate in today’s world, the pressure and the exhaustion have caught up with me at times. It is hard to juggle the schedule and the responsibilities and my sanity. I found out 2 weeks ago that I had to drive child #3 to Ohio and stay for a week. I cannot tell you what went through my mind - let’s just say that I could not imagine any way that I could drop my classes, my work, my income, and my stuff and stay in Ohio for a week!
So, here I am - at a campground in Ohio. I’ve been here since Friday night. Saturday I spent at a harp competition, but I’ve been here alone in the woods ever since. I did go to church Sunday… it made me miss my own church. I do have neighbors in the campground… they make me miss my family (except the screaming child that was here the first day…). It took me several days to unwind and stop the chatter in my mind and really enjoy being here.

This morning I opened my Bible to the book of Psalms, and this is what I read:

Psalm 62:1-8

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault a man?
Would all of you throw him down –
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
They fully intend to topple him
from his lofty place;
they delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.

As I read this I realized that rest is what I have needed most. These last few months there has been no rest. There has been too much activity and busyness and noise in my life. Satan and the world and my own sin nature fully intend to topple me; and I can’t find rest anywhere except in God alone. He had to get me alone and away from my stuff and my responsibilities and my life to remind me of that.

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

becky givens

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I just returned from a week in Ohio. I had not planned to go, but a few weeks ago child #3's ride to OSAS, harp camp, fell through. I didn't have a great attitude going into this... money, cancelling classes, getting off work (therefore not getting paid), all the stuff I have to do. But I have to say that God knew what He was doing by making me go. I spent lots of time reading, studying, hiking, and sleeping. I spent time on my Life and Letters of Paul class, started studing in Romans, continued meditating in Psalms, listened to R.C. Sproul's podcasts, and Ravi Zacharias' podcasts, wrote a little, prayed a lot, read a few pointless novels. It took a few days for the rest to sink into my soul... and I did not realize how tense and stressed I have been until rest seeped in. I slept for the first time in months. I never would have dreamed how comfortable a cheap, narrow air mattress on the ground could be! Over the next few days I am going to post my thoughts that arose out of that week...