Tuesday, January 19, 2010


There've been a few nuggets over the past few days...

Recently I've had the sweetest series of bed time discussions with my 7 year old daughter Ella.
She was struggling with some things and I told her the other night..."Ella, God loves you. And you know what? He doesn't love you because you're mine...when He looks at you He says-'See that girl? I am CRAZY about her because she belongs to me.' He knows exactly how your brain works. He knows exactly how your heart is put together and how you think and every feeling you have and He's crazy about you. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what makes you mad. He loves you when you mess up. He loves you when you do great things. He loves you and feels jealous and protective of you. You are uniquely created and He loves every part--inside and out."

She beamed. Then she began asking questions like, "How can God be so many different places at once? How can He be in your heart, mommy's heart, my heart...? Is it sort of like a reflection? Like God's reflection in all of us?"

I took a second to gather my jaw off the ground and then I told her that was a very, VERY good question. I did my best to explain omnipresence and we talked a lot about the Holy Spirit. Very precious discussion.

Then Ella asked, "Daddy, how do we know the Bible is from God? I mean it's not like he just rained down Bibles on everyone."

Wow. I told her what I believe about it and about the Holy Spirit's involvement.

Ella said, "Daddy, how do you know when God is speaking to your heart?"

I told her that it's something that we work on our entire lives. Sometimes for me it means being still and meditating or dedicating time to listen or journal. Ultimately, the best teacher of how to hear God is God himself. We agreed to pray together every day that God would teach us how to hear His voice and listen for Him. Needless to say...I walked out of her room that night and went back to my bed and quietly sobbed. Precious, precious moments that last a lifetime.

I don't want my kids to think there's an answer for everything. There's not. I say, "I don't know" a LOT. We talk about stuff and agree to think about it pray about it. I think God works in that open space...much more than he does our black and white theological safety nets.

In other Thomas news, Sam got a Webkinz dinosaur for Christmas which he as now appropriately named "Dino"..."Dino Scott Thomas". Sam is a little bundle of joy. Somehow he wakes up every morning and springs out of a bed with his classic smile. WHOSE CHILD ARE YOU??

We had a major ZOE Group meeting yesterday. Visioning, future, trouble-shooting, relationship building...it was a long day but needed and very valuable. We've all been on this journey together since 1996. That's a long time. God has blessed us and we pray that our vision and plans be lost in His will.

The ZOE team will be doing several worship weekends this year. If you're interested in booking us to come, please contact me at zoebst@gmail.com . So far we have Midland, Malibu, Athens Alabama, Houston, and Tyler on the books.

I haven't said it in a while, but I want you to know I'm thankful for you. Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading. I pray that today you would feel refreshed by the Lord's presence.


Connie said...

This Midlander is greatly encouraged for Zoe's special worship experience and you will be blessed.

annie said...

Brandon, Your whole post was so uplifting to read just now! Between Ella's & your discussion about God-things, & having a reflection time with Zoe----and wanting to book some worship weekends with churches (what I'm longing for with our congregation!), I feel hopeful again this morning!

I might be contacting you in the near future....I'm certainly praying for Zoe to be able to continue the wonderful ministry you guys started way back when!

maryann said...

Oh, Brandon!
loved the dialogue between you and Ella. It is obvious the Spirit is already doing a mighty act in her heart. Those are some of the closest moments to heaven, aren't they? Love you, brother. You continue to be an encouragement to me!

judy thomas said...

I think we need Ella to teach the ladies' class on Tuesday at Otter.
Bless you Babe as you talk about God-things with her. Parents are the best teachers.

Robin said...

You, my friend, are blessed beyond imagination! What a precious gift in your daughter!!!

julie said...

Brandon, I have missed interaction with you. Ella reminds me so much of Lucy, my 16 yr old. Let me tell you, it only gets better.
The first year that I came to Zoe was 1997. All of you gave me hope that I could keep moving and living in the church. That was not an easy task considering how I was feeling at the time. You, in particular, made me feel welcome there and that was half the battle for me. Thank you for all that you done through Zoe...thanks for allowing the Spirit to guide that time.
I really do miss you.