A Babel-builders Legacy

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we many make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.’” Genesis 11:4

In her recent book, Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore translated the Tower of Babel story into a modern day parable. She likened the Babel builders to the many people who have attempted to climb Mount Everest.

“The spend fortunes, suffer all manner of maladies, risk relationships, and endanger life and limb. They experience a level of cold no average person can imagine to trudge past frozen bodies. But do you know what mystifies me most? If they make it to the top, they can’t even enjoy the thrill of victory. Their heads pound. They’re disoriented. Their lungs nearly collapse. They suffer snow blindness. They stand on top of the famed Mount Everest for five minutes and begin a hasty descent while they can still breathe. Why do they do it? For the sheer accomplishment of climbing to the highest peak on earth and the accompanying notoriety. Ironically, by the time they achieve the goal, most of them can’t even remember their names.”

I wrote furiously up the margin of the page, around the top, over the title and finally pulled out my tattered journal to keep going. Comparing myself to a thrill-seeking, glory-hound is not exactly complimentary, but the similarities are there nonetheless.

My years with an eating disorder could also explain the Tower of Babel in modern terms. For nearly 15 years, a transcript of my thoughts would have read, “I will build a body of perfection. I will create myself in the  image of ideal beauty. Then people will know me, admire me, remember me, envy me.”

And with focused abandon I risked relationships, physical injury and even my life to that end. The difference between Beth’s Everest example and my own is that I could never reach the pinnacle, there was no definition of success. I could never become my own creator. No one ever asked me to help them become anorexic. In fact, no one ever looked at my emaciated body with admiration and asked me to help them create the  “ideal body”.

Praise God, just like at the Tower of Babel, He came down into my little, broken life and scattered the pieces. He revealed to me the danger of my course, healed me, and like the good Creator that He is, gave me again the “perfect body” He intended for me.

Today, I am in the process of building a legacy, of leaving a mark on the world. Almost daily, God sends me people who ask how I overcame anorexia, who helped me to heal and will I pray for them.

Today, my actions center around loving God with all my heart and learning to love others as He loves me. His glory, His name is the mark I want to leave on the world.

This post was first published on Nov. 28, 2013 at FINDINGbalance.com

Book Review, Whispers of Hope

Maybe it’s my ego, but I considered myself a prayer veteran. I mean, I’ve studied Kay Arthur’s, Lord Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days. I’ve read many of Stormie O’Martian’s books, I even own Beth Moore’s, Praying God’s Word, flash cards. I’ve been a Christian since I was seven and I’ve led Bible studies on prayer. I have over a dozen journals filled with notes from my morning conversations with God.

So, when I was asked to review Beth Moore’s new book, Whispers of Hope, I admit I wondered how it could possibly be different. Prayer isn’t exactly an evolving science and God didn’t suddenly change the rules. What is there left to learn?

I opened, Whispers of Hope, the moment it arrived on my doorstep, and read the introduction and Day One. Immediately, I knew that this book was less about teaching me to pray, and more about cultivating a habit of deep prayer. If a habit is formed in 21 days, Beth triples her bets with this book, offering the reader a full 70 days of gentle reminders, guidance and incentive to talk to God.

The first thing I appreciated about, Whispers of Hope, is the brief introduction. No ten page didactic on, “How to use this book”. Just a simple, one page spread explaining the journal headings and reminding the reader of the command and reward of consistent prayer.

Beth uses an acronym of the word PRAISE to designate six essential elements of prayer. How humbling to discover that in my frequent “popcorn” prayers, I often forget important aspects of communicating with the High King!

Each of the seventy days begins in with a Scripture reading and a one page devotional by Beth. Following, are two pages with three categories each for jotting down prayer notes.

Two aspects of my own prayer life, Acknowledgement and Intercession, were particularly strengthened by this book.

Acknowledgement: This is an aspect of prayer I often forget, assuming I cover my bases with praise and thanksgiving. Of course, I know God is in charge, but most days I still find myself questioning each interruption, flustered by changes in plans, or cross because a certain item on my to-do list takes longer than expected.

In this category, Beth reminds us to recognize God’s sovereign authority over the minuscule moments of our lives. This is the ground floor of humility; at the same time, it’s the epitome of freedom.

Taking Beth’s frequent admonition to use Scripture in my prayer, I found Psalm 15 to be an excellent guide for acknowledging God’s rule and goodness in my life.

Intercession: I am ashamed to admit that this is a topic I have brushed over lightly in the past. Sometimes, my intercessory prayers seem redundant, so I default to casual, passing thoughts, “Haven’t I been praying this thing for that person forever? God, you know.”

Beth points out a relieving truth about intercessory prayer that I have never considered before. Using Jesus’s mother, Mary, in John 2:3, Beth says that we don’t need to offer God a solution to the problem. We do not need to ask God to do something specific in an individual’s life or a certain circumstance. Instead, as Mary did, we can simply state the need. My part in intercession is to show a oneness with His heart, a sensitivity to the Spirit and compassion for the person in need. God is capable of solving the problem in His own time and manner. In fact, He already knows the issue.

As it turns out, there is much I can still learn about prayer. No, it isn’t an evolving science, but it is an ongoing conversation. As I child grows up and learns to participate respectfully in adult conversation, so I believe, as we grow in faith and intimacy with God, the tone, attitude and expression of our prayers will change.

Whispers of Hope, is an excellent, unique resource both for learning to pray and for maturing in our relationship with God.

Make sure you leave a comment on this post because tomorrow I will select the winner of a free copy of,
Whispers of Hope. Good luck!

Upcoming Giveaway!

Hello and happy Friday, All!

I wanted to let you know that on Saturday, Nov. 30, I will be publishing a review of Beth Moore’s newest book, “Whispers of Hope”.
Icon Media Group asked me to review the book and has graciously provided me with a copy to give away to my readers. This book will be an excellent Christmas gift. Or if you’re like me, with two anniversaries and two birthdays stacked right on top of Christmas, it will make a great gift for those occasions too. 

Make sure you leave a comment under that post on November 30th. I will do a random drawing from the names of those who have commented and announce the winner on Sunday, December 1. 

Happy Thanksgiving!