Living in the Names of God is now available as an eBook on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.
You can purchase it here.
Living in the Names of God is now available as an eBook on Amazon Kindle for $3.99.
You can purchase it here.
Is it Christmas? But it’s August…
Here I am in the midst of Oregon’s 2013 record-breaking heat wave, and I’m hearing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus as I hug my first copy of my new book Living in the Names of God. Handel’s Messiah provides the perfect musical backdrop for this new book about His Majesty and Me – a book about 18 Old Testament names of God that find their fulfillment in the New Testament’s Messiah, Jesus Christ.
But don’t get scared, Living in the Names of God, is not a heavy-duty book on theology. It’s God’s names and attributes wrapped in autobiography stories about how God has shown up and saved my day again and again for the past twenty years.
“How did I pick the topic?” a friend asked. My answer, “It picked me.” Read Chapter 1 His Majesty and Me: How My Love Affair Began below and see how God met me, a woman, a wife, a mom, a grandma, an individual walking on artificial limbs or wheeling in my wheelchair.
I will forever remember the Saturday morning in autumn that began with a loud crash followed by an agonizing ouch. You ask me, “Judy, what hurt?”
Actually, my husband David was the one who was hurting when he and his roaring chainsaw fell fifteen feet off a ladder onto our driveway’s blacktop. Come to find out his anklebone was shattered into seventy pieces while doing my honey-do list. His words to the ER nurse who greeted the ambulance were: “You have to save my leg; my wife has none.” She dismissed it as delirium.
David’s accident knocked me off my feet, or more accurately, knocked me off my stumps. Weren’t his legs mine too? Didn’t I, a double amputee walking on artificial limbs, rely on his strong legs for parenting our three children and for balancing our busy household?
That was the year David and I tied for the World’s Most Helpless title as my ordered life toppled during his two-week hospitalization, three surgeries and months of recovery. I changed my name from Judy to Job as one thing after another went kaput. First David’s leg, then the transmission problems on my specially-adapted minivan. Then a broken oven which no repairman could fix with Thanksgiving only three weeks away. Then the worst case of bark beetle the local arborist had ever seen infesting our thirteen sky high Monterey pines. Plus – not good timing – the accident came two days before a mega-remodel on our home was to begin. And, oh, I’d just begun my first term as co-president of our daughters’ school’s PTA.
Unable to get beyond the robotical performance of the necessities, I squeezed out, “God, this is way too BIG! I’ll take all the help You can muster. Send the troops.” Enter Kay Arthur’s book, Lord, I Want to Know You, a devotional study of the names of God.1 First I met El Shaddai, who promised to replace my too little with His so big. His strength met my weakness and carried me across each day’s finish line.
Everyone I encountered – doctors for my husband and doctors for trees, construction workers at our home, the auto and appliance repairmen – heard my daily accounts of a God Who Cares About Every Detail of Our Lives. No one asked questions when a hope-bearing name plaque inscribed with El Shaddai replaced a battle weary Squiers above the front door.
Along with El Shaddai, other Hebrew names of God became household words. El Elyon, the Most High God, was my newfound power source who carried me on His shoulders. Jehovah Raah (Raah! Raah!) became my Shepherd Cheerleader. Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides, was true to His word, as He more than provided for our family’s daily needs. God faithfully came to my rescue and downed my giants with a single blow.
Thanks to David’s blessed accident, God showed up on my doorstep. (Actually, He was always there, but I missed seeing Him because I believed the myth that I could handle life on my own.) His troops consisted of eighteen Hebrew names of God, which having met men of old at their point of need now kept their promise to meet me.
No longer just a concept, God became a living presence, a family member, my constant companion every step of the way. What Tim Hansel explains in his book, You Gotta Keep Dancing, describes what happened to me. “The goal in this life we call Christian is that all of our theology become biography.”2 Most definitely the God of my theology intercepted my life and entered my biography. My cry for help was heard by our Almighty God who showed up with His troops and more.
Living in the names of God, what does it look like? My four-year-old granddaughter Brianna provided the answer one morning while her mom was driving her to preschool.
Out of the blue, Brianna asked,
“Mom, Where is God?”
“In heaven,” her mom answered.
“No, He’s sitting in the car
right next to you,” Brianna said.
“Hi God, how are You?” her mom replied.
To which Brianna commented,
“He says He loves you.”*
You just read the introduction, which is followed by eighteen more chapters, one for each of God’s Hebrew names. You’ll learn what the name means, something about its context in Scripture and you’ll discover how knowing God through that name can transform your everyday life. For example: Do you feel inadequate for life’s challenges? Let me introduce you to El Shaddai, the God whose supply exceeds life’s demands. Do you keep coming up short? Meet El Elyon – the God who gives height and dignity to our low places. Are you overcome with that sinking feeling? Then it’s time you make the acquaintance of Adonai Tsuri – the Rock-Solid God who makes us unshakeable.
Soon to follow will be a Bible Study (coming early 2014) for those who want to go deeper. I was working on it recently while on an Alaskan cruise with our family.
My prayer is that you, the reader of Living in the Names of God will experience your own love affair with our unfathomable God whose many names will help you begin to fathom the depths of His person. As you learn His titles, may you begin to recognize His presence in new ways – in songs on Sunday mornings, in daily events and in life’s drama. Expect to hear yourself utter worshipful whoops, “It’s You, Lord.”
I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing which of God’s names are your favorites and how He, through one name or another, has shown up in your own story. Seeing the Lord in our every day evokes Glory-Hallelujahs, so let’s join our voices together no matter what month it is.
Living in the Names of God
$10 + shipping & handling
“Power comes to its full strength in weakness, the Bible says, and Judy makes that truth visible. She lives her life in and through her Lord and His many names.”
- Elisabeth Elliot Gren, Author & Speaker
*Excerpted from Living in the Names of God by Judy Squier Copyright © 2013 by Judy Squier. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
My last blog entry – Where’s Dr. Dobson – was months ago. The question Where’s Judy is fitting after half a year of silence. Any authors out there will know what I mean when I say, “I’ve been MIA (Missing In Action) in the bowels of book publishing.” Following the most productive writing year of my life, I now sit in the Waiting Room eagerly anticipating the Proof copy of Living in the Names of God: His Majesty and Me.
One year ago on July 11, 2012 God signed me up to teach a Living in the Names of God bible study. Yet-to-write were my book and the accompanying bible study lessons. So my casual writing turned URGENT as I became locked into weekly deadlines of delivering a chapter and a lesson. Twenty-one chapters later the book will be available in August; the bible study will soon follow by the end of the year.
One year later Praise Squier (Alias for Judy Squier; Judy means praise) is singing God’s praise as I thank Him for His faithfulness in the completion of this next book. He’s carried me, inspired me, empowered me and resuscitated me every step of the way.
I pass on to you a section from the upcoming book about God’s love song, which has wooed me and WOWed. May you, too, hear Him singing. Blessed are we when we wake up and hear God singing His love song with our names in it!
“Yes, God Himself is the song when the music goes out of our lives. That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with eighteen of His Hebrew names. Each name has sung a unique love song from God’s heart to mine (and yours).
Remember I created you and have big plans for your life.
Feeling low? Allow Me to be your high.
Whatever you need today, I AM.
Nestle in, little lamb. You’re safe with me, your Good Shepherd.
Feeling alone? You can’t go anywhere that I’m not already there.
Your pain is My pain. Be comforted knowing that I removed pain’s stinger on the cross.
The battle is already won. Trust Me and raise the victory flag.
Allow Me to wipe your smudged slate clean.
Trade in all your insufficiencies for My All-Sufficiencies.
Allow Me to save the day.
My more-than-enough exceeds your never-enough.
Are you ready to hand over your life so I can bless you?
Allow Me to be your rock-solid stability in life’s squalls.
I’m with you in your broken places.
Watch Me use them to heal you.
Experience My peace that guarantees
smooth sailing in every storm.
Believe Me. My work in you will be a WOW!
Fret not. You are heaven-bound and in Me you can enjoy it now.
My Specialty is transforming your wastelands into worshipful wonderlands.
My book Living in the Names of God is SOON to be available. Go to http://judysquier.com/book/living-in-the-names-of-god/ to check on book availability and for ordering.
I can’t imagine my life as Mrs. David Squier nor mother to Emily, Betsy Boop and Naphtalie without the radio broadcasts of Dr. James Dobson, America’s family counselor. How many of us were empowered in our quest to become Godly men and women, husbands and wives and Godly parents – thanks to Dr. Dobson’s daily interviews of people of faith in all walks of life? All the kids in Portola Valley, California knew silence was enforced at the Squier House twice a day – first for Dr. Dobson and then for Paul Harvey.
But then one day about three years ago Jim Dobson disappeared. Tuning into Focus on the Family, I discovered another Jim was broadcasting in his place.
Where’s Dr. Dobson?
Did he retire?
Lord, You know I need his Biblical counsel for grandma-hood!
I’m happy to report Dr. Dobson has been found. We saw him alive and well, stronger than ever, as David and I joined 40 other couples for a Valentine’s weekend in Palm Springs, California. The event was hosted by the entire Dobson family and the staff for a ministry called FamilyTalk, which was birthed the day after Focus on the Family retired their founder in 2010.
FamilyTalk airs throughout the week for half hour interviews and is hosted by Dr. Dobson (www.drjamesdobson.org) and co-hosted by his son Ryan and Luanne Crane. The program can be found on 1100 stations throughout the country. (Check the above website) If your town doesn’t yet carry it, you can listen by downloading from Dr. Dobson’s website and click on BROADCASTS (top middle of the screen).
In addition to the beloved radio programs, Dr. Dobson and his staff are tackling the formidable assignment of converting his 40 years of timeless wisdom into the largest, searchable library of family resources ever created using today’s technology. Our computer-savvy children and grandchildren will soon be able to access sound Judeo Christian answers to their endless questions about marriage, family and culture.
Furthermore FamilyTalk expects to complete a brand new eight part film series in 2013 called Building a Family Legacy. Who of us doesn’t remember the Turn Your Hearts Toward Home series in the 80’s, which was viewed by eighty million Americans, one third of the population in the United States?
One more thing: Be sure and get your copy of Dr. Dobson and co-author Kurt Bruner’s first book in a three part series: Fatherless is a novel which vividly imagines a future thirty years down the road in which present-day cultural trends come to sinister fruition. Chapter One is a grabber as we read about the young disabled man being transitioned (a euphemism for euthanized). Why? To relieve his family and his society of any physical, emotional and financial burden. OUCH!
The Squiers left the conference inspired anew by 77 year old Dr. Dobson and his undying commitment to America’s families and to the Judeo-Christian foundation on which our nation was built.
We want to add our names and our resources as one of the 10,000,000 families who FamilyTalk seeks to impact in the next 1000 days.
Now that you, too, know where Dr. Dobson is, here is his contact information if you desire to companion with him to strengthen crumbling marriages, provide resources for stressed families, to speak into our declining culture, to spread the life-changing and nation-changing gospel of Jesus Christ:
I post the following video clip to dispel any remnant myth that I am a Woman of Courage. Judy on the Slope is what my dear husband David put as a caption for my ride down the snow-covered hill in front of our home. Sweet that he didn’t caption it – My Dear Wife Screameth Yet Again.
My January, 2013 ride on the slope resulted when our son-in-law, Beau, decided two year old Luka and four year old Brianna needed to experience a ride on the snow. Watching them bravely and silently ride down our hill, I decided Granny Goose should join the fun. Fun? Fun when it ended, that is, but as you can see the downhill ride pushed this Old Goose’s fear button.
Those who know me well know I begin new situations with fear – until Jesus shows up. Then He and I do things I’d never sign up for – like motherhood, like mission trips to third-world countries, like writing a book, like finishing another book in 2013.
I always say Hannah Hurnard’s classic Hind’s Feet on High Places is the story of my life. Much Afraid and I share not only a disability, but a lack of courage. But fortunately we share the Good Shepherd – her Shepherd is my Shepherd and He manages to get each of us to the high places.
2013 will be filled with unknowns for all of us. My friend Shirley and I had mammograms two weeks ago and she’s scheduled for a double mastectomy. Please pray for her.
Fortunately God limits our vision to the present moment so we don’t know in advance what fearsome surprise tomorrow will bring. I’m told there are more than 365 Bible verses to battle fear – one for every day of the year. I’ve yet to find them all and until I do I’ll just keep screaming when life gets scary knowing that I can count on Jesus to show up to rescue me. And when He does, His presence alone will quiet me as His courage kicks in. His courage you know is big enough for all of us. So Much Afraid Squier is thanking Him in advance for His presence every day of this new year for me and for you.
PS Scream if you must. It sets people free to be real.
After 33 years of the Squier Christmas photo cards, our Thanksgiving photo shoot was pre-empted by the birth of a new grandson, Nico Christian. Yes, Elizabeth and Beau are busy parents and Granny Goose (Judy) and Pops (David) love having their family nearby. We see our other daughters and their spouses during frequent trips to the SF Bay Area. And in between Judy is busy writing another book while David catches up on some of the things he missed during 40 years at Lockheed.
Above photo from left to right: Judy, David, Emily, Jeremy, Beau & Elizabeth with Luka, Brianna, and a newborn Nico, Naphy & Andrew.
Celebrating 2 Births in 2012 – Nico & Jesus!
Happy Thanksgiving from the Squier Family!
Regarding the photo: David added the cross to the Sheep’s Rest landscape last year at Judy’s request. Amy Mayfield caught the picture with the red leaves flowing down like Christ’s crimson blood! What a Savior!
Elisabeth was one of the few people I’ve met who asked about my disability. Placing her hand on my artificial limb, she queried: Tell me what happened?
Subsequently she has had a story about our meeting in several of her books, her March/April 1989 newsletter and on numerous radio broadcasts:
There Are No Accidents
Author: Elisabeth Elliot
My friend Judy Squier of Portola Valley, California, is one of the most cheerful and radiant women I know. I met her first in a prayer meeting at the beginning of a conference. She was sitting in a wheel chair, and I noticed something funny about her legs. Later that day I saw her with no legs at all. In the evening she was walking around with crutches. Of course I had to ask her some questions. She was born with no legs; she had artificial ones which she used sometimes, but they were tiresome, she said (laughing) and she often left them behind.
When I heard of a little baby boy named Brandon Scott, born without arms or legs, I asked if she would write to his parents. She did:
The first thing I would say is that all that this entails is at least one hundred times harder on the parents than the child. A birth defect by God’s grace does not rob childhood of its wonder, nor is a child burdened by high expectations. Given a supportive, creative, and loving family, I know personally that I enjoyed not a less-than-average life nor an average life, but as I’ve told many, my life has been not ordinary but extra-ordinary.
I am convinced without a doubt that a loving Heavenly Father oversees the creative miracles in the inner sanctum of each mother’s womb (Psalm 139), and that in His sovereignty there are no accidents.
‘What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Creator calls a butterfly.’ As humanity we see only the imperfect, underside of God’s tapestry of our lives. What we judge to be ‘tragic–the most dreaded thing that could happen,’ I expect we’ll one day see as the awesome reason for the beauty and uniqueness of our life and our family. I think that’s why James 1:2 is a favorite verse of mine. Phillips’ translation put it this way: ‘When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders but welcome them as friends.’
I love Joni Eareckson Tada’s quote. When I saw it on the front of Moody Monthly, October 1982, I was convinced she’d penned the words for my epitaph. Now my husband David is aghast to hear me say I want it on my tombstone! Glory be!
People with disabilities are God’s best visual aids to demonstrate who He really is. His power shows up best in weakness. And who by the world’s standards is weaker than the mentally or physically disabled? As the world watches, these people persevere. They live, love, trust and obey Him. Eventually the world is forced to say, How great their God must be to inspire this kind of loyalty.
Being Christian didn’t shield my family from the pain and tears that came with my birth defect. In fact, ten years ago when David and I interviewed our parents for a Keepsake Tape, I was stunned to hear my mother’s true feelings. I asked her to tell the hardest thing in her life. Her response: ‘the day Judy Ann was born and it still is….’
And yet when we as a family look back over the years, our reflections are invariably silenced by the wonder of God’s handiwork. Someday I hope to put it in a book and I know it will be to the glory of God.
Getting married and becoming a mother were dreams I never dared to dream, but God, the doer of all miracles intended that my life be blessed with an incredible husband and three daughters. Emily is nine, Betsy will soon be seven, and Naphtalie Joy is four. I’ve decided that every handicapped person needs at least one child. They are fantastic helpers and so willing to let me ‘borrow their legs’ when I need help.
You as a family have been chosen in a special way to display His unique Masterwork. I pray that your roots of faith will grow deep down into the faithfulness of God’s Loving Plan, that you will exchange your inadequacy for the Adequacy of Jesus’ resurrection power, and that you will be awed as you witness the fruits of the Spirit manifested in your family.
- Judy’s letter to the Scott Family in 1988 -
~ ~ ~
I think of Elisabeth so often, remembering how she had so much to do as a conference speaker, an author, upholder of the Biblical world view throughout the world; she had her radio broadcast, her family, how did she do all that had to be done?
She shared her secret with me in a tract containing one of her favorite poems, one she made famous. I dedicate Elisabeth’s poem to All my busy friends, who like me aren’t sure what to do first on our bursting-at-the-seams schedules:
Do the Next Thing
(A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot)
“At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven that,
as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, ‘Do the next thing.’
Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.
Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.
Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing.”
My 2012 highlight just occurred at a Joni Camp on the Oregon Coast. I was scheduled to do my usual – lead the Woman-to-Woman support groups – but God promoted me to the role of main speaker when the camp pastor took ill the last minute.
What a privilege to give the three morning talks to 30 battle-weary families slammed by disability. I couldn’t help but think, where, oh where was a Joni and Friends family retreat in the 50’s when my family desperately needed relief?
As I spoke, I looked heavenward longing to tell my parents that:
– Our suffering was not wasted
– God kept His promise in Jeremiah 29:11
– His plan for my life – disability and all – was for good and not for disaster
– Low & behold, my life has become living proof to others of God’s future and hope
My deformed left hand stole the show preaching its now-revered, three-point sermon. Further proof that God transforms our broken places into Holy Ground.
Indeed Jesus showed up at Rockaway Beach, Oregon – in broken bodies, broken families, broken hearts and broken dreams. Why wouldn’t He? Wasn’t He broken so that He could make the dastardly holes in our lives, HOLY?
Heaven orchestrates an audible and inaudible chorus at Joni Camps throughout the world.
Holy, Holy, Holy reverberates as one beholds:
Heroes are ubiquitous at Joni Camp. Stockpiling their courage supplies the strength we all need to survive until next year’s family retreat. I’m savoring the memory of:
Angel –a gutsy, fear-filled tween (not quite a teenager) who announced that she came to camp to make fear walk the plank.
Three of us who formed an Amputee Club to celebrate the fact that Jesus grows those without limbs – spiritual limbs.
Ben, a 1st time STM, who was challenged by a teen camper who was in constant motion. After the families left, I asked Ben, “Are you relieved to be off duty?” Ben’s duo-reply summarized the wonder of Joni Camp: “I miss my camper and I’m going to ask to be his STM again next year.”
And then there’s Joni, the woman God used to redeem disability’s landscape around the world. July 30, 2012 marked the 45th anniversary of her dive into Chesapeake Bay, resulting in forty-five years of quadriplegia to date. Anniversary, one might ask, does such a crisis deserve the blessed word anniversary?
You have to come to a Joni Camp to see for yourself. To see with your own eyes why Joni and the thousands of families impacted by her life would say YES.
By the way, it’s not too early to consider attending a Joni Camp as a family or volunteering as an in 2013. Check into it: (www.joniandfriends.org)
A final word of advice from this veteran camper, who attended my first Joni camp in the early nineties with our three daughters:
DON’T FORGET YOUR SUNGLASSES,
or do I mean SONGLASSES?
Be forewarned: you are going to have to wear them 24/7 even on our overcast Oregon Coast. WHY? Because Jesus shines blindingly bright in the broken of body, mind and spirit – who the world overlooks – but who are His Stars at Joni Camps around the world.
WRITING does not come easy for me. I am not a born writer. I write and rewrite and rewrite sometimes a dozen times until it finally ZINGS!
If writing is hard work for me, why do I do it? The following quote by Madeleine L’Engle explains why I write.
A book comes and says, ‘Write me!’ My job is to try to serve it to the best of my ability, which is never good enough. But all I can do is listen to it, do what it tells me and collaborate.
Collaborate, according to my Roget’s Super Thesaurus means: work together, team up, coauthor, join forces. So I collaborate with the book but also with Elohim, the Creator God.
The Creator God is very much a part of my writing. He’s ultimately the Author while I click the keys on the keyboard. He gets me to my desk on days when I’d rather not. He’s the Finisher of each and every story that I work on so that after umpteen rewrites, when I read the finished work, I feel His Pleasure.
Though not a born writer, I realize I have always found great pleasure in words. I have filled journals with words from the early age of ten. At age thirteen, my Dad helped me select the right words for my first public speech. For a decade I worked as a speech pathologist helping children with delayed speech and language development and adults who’d had strokes learn to say words. My favorite book after the Bible is my Roget’s Super Thesaurus.
Words pepper the walls, counters and shelves of our home in southern Oregon. Plaques fill the empty space above many of our doors. I recently counted 17 words or quotes in one room. Two quotes stand out among many in my office: For This I Have Jesus and Do Something to Crow About.
Words and writing have served me well giving me an opportunity to live experiences a second time. As I relive life by writing my life stories I often hear myself say: Lord, You were with me even then, weren’t You? Writing enables me to see Jesus in the rear view mirror.
But mastering the craft of writing has been a long haul: fifteen to twenty years of writing classes and writers’ conferences with too-many-to-count rejections from book and magazine editors with only a splattering of memorable moments to prevent me from giving up.
I remember the night I read Twenty-Four Karat Miracle (now a chapter in His Majesty in Brokenness) in an adult education writing class at Palo Alto High School. As I finished reading, one of the other senior citizen students jumped out of her seat and shouted, “Judy, you’ve got a book in your belly.”
She was right. The book in my belly was published in August 2010. I thank the Lord for leading me to Createspace.com for a painless experience of self-publishing. The Createspace support staff held three Squier’s hands (Judy’s, David’s and daughter Naphtalie’s) and lead us along the path to finalizing the manuscript so that they could provide their top quality print on demand product.
Not only do I recommend them I am ready to use them again. All year I have busied myself with book number two – His Majesty and Me is my working title. The stories will convey my love affair with God, through His Hebrew names, including El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom and fifteen others. My prayer and goal is to send the PDF of the manuscript to Createspace by December 31, 2012. For this I have Jesus!
HOW ABOUT YOU?
What challenge is staring you in the face?
What is too big for you to pull off on your own?
Is someone you love overwhelmed?
I have a Bible verse for us all – a verse God gave me during final week in college. (I know He gave it to me because to this day I still have trouble finding Habakkuk in my Bible.)
Habakkuk 3:19 (Amplified Bible) reminds me Who to put in charge of life’s IMPOSSIBLE assignments. I have crowned Him my Author and Finisher for my current writing endeavor. What do you need to hand over to Him right now?
The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery, my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and will make me to walk (not to stand still in terror but to walk) and make spiritual progress upon my high places (of trouble, suffering and responsibility)!