Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wednesday Wonder - Renae Brumbaugh

She writes devotionals every day on her Morning Coffee blog.
Every day.
She simply moves verse by verse through books of the Bible and expounds on them,
adding her thoughts and personal stories.
And she does this in her free time as a pastor's wife and a homeschooling mother of two.

I first met Renae at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference last year and felt drawn to the fellow Texan with her warm smile and easy laugh. Like with another of my Wednesday Wonders, Jennifer King, it was fun to meet another young mom with an awakened interest in writing (well, I thought we were young until BJ entered the room). Renae is wise and thoughtful, but she's also funny. An endearing quality that makes me like her even more, because I've always wanted to be funny.

One of the things I'm most fascinated about Renae is that her son, Foster James, was adopted six years ago. My nephew, Foster James, was also adopted six years ago. What are the chances of finding two six-year-old boys named Foster James living in different states but whose families actually know each other?!
Renae is married to Mark and they also have a beautiful ten-year-old daughter, Charis.

It takes about 5 minutes of meeting Renae to sense her love for God's Word. When asked about her favorite passage, she cites Isaiah 55:8-13:

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."

"Verses 8 - 11 inspire me as I write. I know that as long as God's Word keeps being thrown out there, in one way or another, God will use it to accomplish His great purpose. I love
that in Ephesians 6, where it talks about the armor of
God, the only OFFENSIVE weapon is the sword, or God's
Word. The rest of the armor is defensive. If we have
salvation, faith, righteousness, truth, etc, we will
be protected. But still, we can have on our armor, but
without an offensive weapon to fight with, we might as
well curl up in a fetal position. Satan will still
keep coming at us. He just won't be able to pierce
very deeply. But with God's Word, the sword, we can
actually fight Satan off! We can make Him run away,
with our Sword!
Then, v. 12 - 13 give me such a warm peaceful feeling.
Mark and I have been through some really tough times
in ministry. But I am reminded that in the end (and am
claiming it even for now!) that He will make sure I
"go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the
mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and
instead of the briers the myrtle grow. This will be
for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign which
will not be destroyed."

When asked how she's been personally rewarded through writing, Renae said,
"I love writing. For me, it has always been a form of
therapy, whether anyone reads it or not. My favorite
thing right now is the weekly newspaper column I am
writing. It is so exciting that God is letting me
address a secular audience with His message. Again -
as long as we keep casting it out there, God will do
the rest."

Renae's devotional/Bible study series, Morning Coffee, is slated for publication in Fall, 2009. The first book in the series is Morning Coffee with James. In addition to these devotionals, Renae is published locally and nationally in newspapers and magazines, has written a book chronicling the adoption of her son, and also recently signed a contract to write for a chapter book mystery series for girls, ages 8 - 12. She's been busy.
Thanks, Renae, for your friendship and for sharing your love for Scripture with us - a great jolt each morning. Your work blesses many... keep writing!

** Look for my Wednesday Wonder posts (most weeks!) - please forgive the cheesy name - as I highlight inspiring friends and people in my life... enjoy! **