Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fine Silk Upon My Skin

How beautiful are your Words to me
Like fine silk upon my skin
When reading from your love to me -
While wearied and courage thin.

Though constant seem my trials and fears
Insecurities abound
Loving peace and tranquility
In Your presence I have found.

Oh Lord, how I love Your beautiful, wonderful Words of Love!

Wow, once again I am amazed at the smile on my face and the peace in my heart after reading a few short verses in my Lord’s holy Word. 

It seems no matter how discouraged or apprehensive I am feeling - with anything - I can go to the Book of Love for some encouragement and always come away feeling better.

Today I opened God’s Words of Love to Me, to the book of Romans. Chapter 12, especially verses 10-21 began to speak to me and caress my heart. 

Here I learned (once again) that my troubles and fears – my issues – are not exclusive to me.  God has already written advice to counteract them, so many must be those who have these same issues, if God feels He should address them.  Here, I see that I am not alone in my issues - yay!  (He says - persevering in tribulation: weep with those who weep…, so I cannot be the only one.)  And if I am dismayed or hurt with a “friend’s” behavior, here God has written how to handle that.   Feed them, give them drink, for in doing so, that will heap burning coals on his (or her) head!  I wonder; is this where the phrase “kill them with kindness” comes from? 

So, I am comforted in knowing that God did not single me out to weep and to have trials and tribulations – we all must have to endure those things, or else why would He address them specifically?  And furthermore, He says to share these times with others, which means none of us should be alone in our trials, that we should all help one another.  I need not feel bad, weak or insecure in asking for help or support.  That is comforting indeed.  

And don’t forget, He says to rejoice with those rejoicing also!!  So that means there are plenty of happy times to share too!  Yes!

And chapter 12 verse 19 – Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGENCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.”

Yay! Yay! Yay!   I don’t have to worry about getting back or even with any one of those people who have hurt me or my loved ones – right here it tells me that God will take care of that!  That leaves me free to be a nice person.  I like being a nice person so much better than holding onto bitterness or revenge in my heart!  Don’t you? 

Phhhhhhewwwwww!!!  I am so relieved!!!  God’s got my back.  (smile, smile)

Stay tuned for tomorrow.  We'll talk about being beloved.
<3 Mindy

Monday, August 13, 2012

Be Glorious!!

Hey Everyone!!!
Today I am stoked - wow, I can't believe I am actually doing this blog thing again!  My heart is so happy - I love to write and I love to read, and I really LOVE to SHARE!!   Thank you to all of you who have not so subtly encouraged me to begin again!  

In continuation from yesterday:

Yesterday we learned from scripture, that when we accept, believe in, and trust Christ as God’s only son and our savior, the Holy Spirit then comes and indwells within us and acts as our teacher. (Yay!!!!) That this spirit of God teaches us right from wrong and the Truth of God’s Word by speaking to our minds and hearts.  (Thank goodness - I don’t have to rely on my own often mixed-up feelings!) (John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:13-15)

We also learned from scripture that only those who have accepted Jesus as God’s only son, and believe in the work he did on the cross as truth, are gifted with the Holy Spirit; that those who do not believe Jesus is the Messiah or savior do not have the Holy Spirit and the Truth within them. (A great reason to share your faith and the Truth with others – so more people can actually KNOW the Truth!) (John 14:17)

So, with this we can see why our focal scripture says “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you.”  The Holy Spirit is “holy,” so it should have a holy place or “temple” in which to reside, right? Remember, when you accepted Jesus into your life as your “savior” that means your mistakes, faults, yes, all those yukky characteristics you wish you didn’t have in you, etc, were all forgiven and your slate was wiped clean.  At that moment, you became holy.  Voila! A holy place or Temple for the Holy Spirit to enter in!  On our own we can never achieve enough cleanliness of spirit to resemble a temple – thank goodness God created a way!! Oh thank you Jesus!! 

Okay, so our bodies are a temple, made that way by Jesus, and inhabited by the Holy Spirit, given to us by God when we accepted Jesus.  Today, let’s look at what happens when we are bad to our temples. Ughh…this will be a reality check for many of us – but never you fear – redemption is only a step away!

What do you think of a nice cool glass of spring water, over ice on a really hot day?  Or maybe after a hot and sweaty work out? Ahhhhhh, nice and refreshing!!

Now add a tablespoon of vinegar into that glass of cool water – how is it now? Yuk – bitter!!  Add another spoonful of vinegar – uggghh – disgusting!!!!  Vinegar has some very useful purposes, but for flavoring water, I’d say that more than just a drop is not one of them!

Well, think of your body as that nice, cool glass of spring water.  It’s been cleansed and detoxified by Jesus, invigorated by the Holy Spirit.  Wonderful, smart and glorious!  YES!  Now, take your body out for a night on the town.  oh yeah!! Add a few drinks; ok you’re still smart and glorious – maybe.  Add a few more drinks – the tongue gets loosened and the smart begins to seep away, little by little.  A few more drinks and the glorious ceases to be when you stagger across the floor or begin to slur your words or fall all over your dance partner.  As a matter of fact, that’s the bitter starting.  When the inhibitions begin to ease away as the drunkenness creeps in – well, now that cleansed, detoxified and glorious body is flirting with the disgusting!! oh no!!

Ugghh, imagine the Holy Spirit trying to live in all that disgustingness in there!  No wonder our stomachs want to just heave it all up and get it out of our system!  Yikes – how in the world are we going to hear and understand the voice of the Holy Spirit protecting and leading us when we are in this condition? 

The simple truth is – we can’t.  And what’s more is we leave ourselves open and defenseless against more serious vinegar invading our minds and bodies!

The other thought in this situation is this: are you ever dismayed at the growing popular view that Christians are hypocrites?  Or at the number of people turning away from Christianity to other religions? 

Today I will leave you with these questions:

  1. 1.    When we are observed being loud, loose, irreverent and/or immoral in our speech, activities, and/or behavior, whether in drunkenness or sobriety – who are we glorifying?  God?  How important does that make God seem in our lives to those observing us? 
  2. 2.    If we profess to love God and believe in His Word, yet we are observed doing or participating in activities contradicting His Word, especially with any regularity, what kind of belief statement are we making in the validity of God’s Word? How worthy or worth our time does that make God seem?
  3. 3.    Do we then sometimes deserve that taunt of “hypocrite?”

(But beloved, do not despair - remember – God knows we will stumble, we are human.  Only God is perfect.  When we stumble, we have only to go to God, our Heavenly Father, and with a sincere heart, ask for forgiveness, and with a stronger determination to succeed in holiness, go on. We are forgiven, no matter how many times we ask.  As long as we are truly repentant and keep sincerely trying.)

Now go be glorious!!
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Holy Spirit in Us?

For those asking me for a Bible study or daily devotional blog, this is for YOU!
I will work on this in days to come, in formatting and putting in some fun stuff, but for today, here is the rough beginning...

Today’s Verse: 1 Cor. 6:19-20        The Holy Spirit in Us, and Glorify God in our Bodies

Wow – these are tough words to hear and even tougher to really understand what they mean, and how to apply them to our lives, right?  Yes, I definitely agree.  As I began blogging my thoughts on these 2 verses I got distracted with the explanation and scriptural back up of what I was thinking.  So, I wandered a little and only touched the surface of these verses today.  After a couple hours of thinking and researching I put down my pen and will continue again tomorrow.  Maybe I will make this a week-long verse study? 

So after reading today’s blog (below) , be sure to come back again tomorrow to see where I go from there.  And please, please, please – know and understand that I am trying very hard to NOT seem judgmental because that is not my place or intention – I only attempt to – after much prayer - put into thoughts what I believe God’s Word is saying to me. And to give some real life examples (yes, MY life examples, no matter how funny or silly or misguided they may seem) of how to apply those Words to our day to day living. 

Anyway, enjoy and I would love to hear your comments, questions, or disagreements.  We all can learn from each other. 

Much love and blessings to you, and have a GREAT day!!

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 

So, let’s dissect these words for a better understanding: 

First, we have to understand what “the Holy Spirit who is in you” means. 
·       Protestants and Catholics, generally believe in the Trinity; the Father (God), the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14)
·       You will hear the Holy Spirit also referred to as the “teacher,” or the “helper.”
·       We learn throughout the Bible that when we believe in God and establish a belief and trust in Jesus as God’s son and our Savior, (becoming a Christian in the real sense of the word) then the Holy Spirit comes to us and indwells within our bodies (our spirit).  The Holy Spirit then becomes our “teacher” and “helper,” guiding us by a gentle voice, a soft prodding, or a prickling of our conscience.  (John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:13-15) Another way the Holy Spirit helps us is when we read the Bible and ask God to help us understand what the Words mean, then the Holy Spirit speaks to us, in our minds and hearts, with words or examples of what God wishes us to understand out of those Words.  
·       We also learn that those who are “of the world” or those who don’t believe in the deity of God and Jesus, the Son, (those who are not Christians) do not have the Holy Spirit living in them, and teaching them.  Therefore, Non-Christians do not and cannot have true understanding of God’s Word.  (John 14:17) That to me is very sad; I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in that kind of uncertainty.

Okay, to put this in simpler language, we now know that the Holy Spirit is part of God, or God’s representative or interpreter, living inside us, serving as a voice of truth to teach us right from wrong.  And with this understanding I contemplate these additional thoughts:
·       If the Holy Spirit is a representative of God, actually a person or part of God, then the Holy Spirit is truly “holy.”  Which means clean, sacred, righteous, pure, sanctified, virtuous, Godly, divine.
·       And – if the Holy Spirit is all those virtuous things, then the Holy Spirit needs or should have a clean place to dwell, right? This then, explains why the Holy Spirit would come to those who are Christians trying to live a Christian life, and NOT to those who are not.  Someone who does not believe in God, or Jesus as the Son and Savior, then would not have the cleansed heart and spirit for the Holy Spirit to come dwell.  Because it is the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected back into Heaven, and our belief in this action that cleanses our hearts and spirits and makes us worthy and open enough to commune with God.  (John 3:16, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 1:7, 2 Cor. 5:21, Romans 5:8-11, 6:23) 
o   On a side note here: per the Bible practicing being good, kind, caring and loving and considerate to others regularly – in other words, being a really good person or practicing Christian behavior does not biblically classify you as a Christian.  Per the Bible, you must be “born again” or “saved by grace” or “redeemed” or “believe in him” to be given eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Not just by doing good works.  So be careful – you might think someone is a Christian because of their Christian or “good” behavior or stating they are a Christian – but according to God’s Word, if they have not accepted Jesus as their savior, no matter how great their works are, or how nice a person they might be, they are not the Biblical definition of a Christian and will not have the teaching of the Holy Spirit nor the understanding within them.  Wow, I'd say we can be very easily led astray by the watering down of this Biblical principal.  Now please don’t get me wrong – Jesus commands us to love one another, and I totally embrace that, unconditionally – but we just need to be careful whom we place our trust in and who we take our teachings and beliefs from  J  Even John in 1 John 4:1-2 says to test the spirits to be sure they are from God.
In case you don’t know, is a great place to go to look up and read scripture in a ton of different versions.  A handy tool, especially if you don’t have a Bible.    


Tune in tomorrow for the continuation.  Love to you all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I and My House are a Mess!

Psalm 23, with an honest evaluation of how I have been applying (or not applying) these awesome Words to my life.

The Lord is my shepherd (when I allow Him to be)
I shall not want. (Even though I do want - lots of things - I will try not to want unreasonably)
He makes me lie down in green pastures; (even though I don't see them)
He leads me beside quiet waters. (Even though I tend to stir them up)
He restores my soul; (time after time, after time)
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake. (This means He guides me when I seek Him. When I forget to seek Him, or ask for His help, more often than not, I end up on the wrong track!)
Even though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death, (Sorry God, I know that not having enough money for the things I think I need, is not actually the valley of the shadow of death, nor is having shoe envy! - but I get what you mean here)
I fear no evil, for You are with me; (I know You are with me, God, but sometimes it's so hard not to worry or be afraid. Bad things have happened in my life in the past, and I keep being afraid they will happen again.)
Your rod and your staff, they
comfort me. (Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I had to learn, I came out better for it. I don't like tough lessens at all - as a matter of fact, I dread them, but there is comfort in knowing that once through the lessen I will be stronger and a better person for it. And when I let You lead me, my reward is always greater on Your path than my own.
You prepare a table before me in the
presence of my enemies; (sometimes I don't get this one - but I know that when I'm around people I don't know, or those I feel uncomfortable around, or a little scared of - if I just say a quick prayer to You to help me or keep me safe, I always feel reassured. I know from Your Word that You will bless me for my faithfulness and carry me through any danger.
You have anointed my head
with oil; (and my feet with beautiful shoes)
My cup overflows. (Yes, Lord, even though I like to "want," I do realize that I have much more than many, many others. I have a non-leaking, heated and cooled roof over my head; I have a dependable car to get me where I need to go; I have ample and nutritious food in my tummy every day; and I have so much love and support in my life from family and friends - My cup does overflow! I will be grateful!! And during those times when the level in my cup begins to lower, yes even when it seems it will dry up - well, somehow just in the nick of time You fill it back up and then even overflow it again! I will remember this! I will!
Surely goodness and lovingkindness (and mercy)
will follow me all the days of my
life. (This means God will take care of me, providing for my basic needs and love me forever. This does NOT mean I will always be trouble-free, carefree, or rich! But I promise I will try to remember this and be grateful, even in the tough times.
And I will dwell in the house of the
Lord forever. (Thank You, God, that I have Your house and Your presence to dwell in. I, and my house are a mess! )

Thank You God for the Words You give me - that You give to everyone, to help me - us- make it through each and every day. God, please help me remember to start each day saying "hi" to You, and asking You to walk with me that day, and to be with me, no matter what. Show me who You are in my life, God. Give me faith to believe completely in You, and that You have a pre-made plan for me, because You loved me and formed me, and consecrated me even before I was born. Please help me be faithful. I love you God.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Today we find a car

Okay, back to the "just moved to Boston, gotta get settled" story. Yesterday we found and settled on a place to live. Today we find a car.

In typical fashion for our personalities, Bill and I weren't even close to agreeing on what kind, color, type of vehicle we wanted to buy. For right now we are just going to buy one car for the two of us to share, so we need something that fits both of us. Bill, being the wonderfully frugal and financially savvy guy that he is, would rather have a smaller, economical, gas efficient car that will get him from point A to point B in the most cost efficient manner. No fuss, no frills, just be dependable and economical. I, of course, wish for something a little more stylish, a good color, a few creature comforts, and NOT a smallish car! My heart and brain are set on a small SUV so I feel more safe and have more power for my little 5'3" stature. I don't like having to look up to people all the time in conversation, so I wear heels. So, it is only natural that I would like a little larger vehicle so I don't feel so intimidated by the big SUV's on the road. BUT...they are gas guzzlers - oh no! And they cost more - oh yes!

So, same as yesterday in the house search, today we are in a stalemate - again! At this point Bill and I are so stressed out from moving half way around the world, 2 weeks of no sleep, junk food, worrying about our kitty, and too many crazy decisions, that we can't think straight. We each are on our last nerve. We're thinking God must have some crazy sense of humor to put us two together, as different from each other as we are. (we have been married for over 18 years though, so something must be right!) But right now we can't agree on anything. And today we have to find and purchase a vehicle. And find a Massachusetts insurance agent to insure it.

We decided last night to look online and explore websites, cars, and options. At this point, Bill has succumbed to my need for a small suv, as long as I can find one with good gas mileage. Let me tell you, this is a hard task!! So, today I am looking at several websites and loosing hope. All the suv's I like only get 20-22 mpg hwy, even though I have lowered my wish list - no Lexus, no Acura, no Volvo, no, not even a Nissan or Toyota. The whole morning is wasted and I have found nothing. Bill is frustrated with me and the whole situation. I get overwhelmed and frustrated and retreat to the bedroom in tears again.

And again, through my exhausted tears, I send up another plea to my Lord, asking Him to please help me again. I even asked if He would just make the right car appear before our eyes somewhere. I was a hopeless mess, incapable of making any decisions, and my poor husband wasn't much better. (I told you in the last post that I have a hard time keeping things simple; I sure wasn't making things easy for my poor Bill, who was already nervous and anxious about starting a brand new job in 2 days. Not very nice on my part, I have to admit.)

So there I was, crying and asking God to pull me out of the fire - again! And here's the amazing part...

I dried my eyes, went back to the computer to look some more. I pulled up the last website I had been on. Only this time, there is a picture of a pretty Ford Escape LTD. It's black and shiny. Oh, and it has tan leather interior - not black! Pretty!! And it's 4wd, which everyone tells us we need up here. And guess what - it's in my price range! And oh my Lord - it says it gets 26mpg!!!!!!! I yell out for Bill - come look! He comes over and looks...and he wants to know more about it. Well, we pull up the details; moon roof, heated electric seats, ipod/phone hook up, sm satellite - and much more - all the little creature comforts I secretly wished for, but just knew I couldn't have. And the best part was, it was at a dealership only 5 miles from our hotel. No way!! Yes way!!!

We called, we went to look at it, we drove it, got $500 more off the price - we bought it!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!

OML - He really did just make it magically appear before our eyes! The exact right compromise for both of us, in a vehicle we are both ok with! Wow - and it was the only car we actually had to go look at. The first car was the right car. God - you really rock! You provided for us - yet again, in a big way! I am humbled and amazed. I just can't believe He really just made that car appear out of nowhere, for us. Thank you, God.

Yeah - it was God who made things happen for us this weekend - I know it was. Because I asked Him to. He loves me so much, go figure. I must remember to ask for His help BEFORE I get so stressed out. Things sure would be a lot easier sometimes. And I wouldn't make things so hard on my poor husband, who I guess puts up with a lot from me!

How about you?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wow, I can't believe I'm in Boston (Lexington) Massachusetts to actually live! What a dream life it was on the tropical and beautiful Island of Kwajalein for 5 1/2 years. Warm weather and sunshine year round was amazing. Riding bikes for transportation and having no cell phones was fun and relaxing. I already miss all our great friends, and I especially miss everyone from the Chapel. Pastor Jon - I could use one of your little mini-sermonettes right now!

But that life is done, new adventures await here in Boston - I can't wait to get started!

And get started we did - with lots of decisions, which of course caused tons of stress!!

And do you think I relaxed and took one thing at a time, relying on God's strength and wisdom to accomplish each decision and task??? Of course not...

But the thing is...God takes such good care of me anyway - He is so awesome and faithful - even when I don't deserve it! You know, I don't know why I work myself up into WORRY and anxiety all the time, over just plain STUFF. And then it's not until I'm in a desperate migraine mode before I remember to talk to God and ask for His help. Why in the world do I wait sometimes until I am a total nervous wreck, being mean to my husband, before I remember to look up for help? Well, here's the scoop:

We arrived in Boston on Thursday evening. Bill was set to begin his new job on Monday. So, we basically had 2 days to (1) find a place to live- one that would allow our cat, (2) find/buy a car - we're in a rental, (3)find an insurance agent and insure house and new car (4) find a sleep store and buy a new bed and set up for delivery once we find house (5) shop for a week's worth of business casual WARM clothing for Bill, (6) get utilities set up and paid for new place to live. I know I have forgotten many other little things that seemed to take forever to work out, but those were the biggest items on the immediate agenda.

Now mind you, Bill is an electrical engineer; engineers are famous for being extremely frugal and technically and logically minded. In other words, don't think with your emotions and don't spend one penny more than the bare minimum on anything!! Okay...well, I am a very emotional and frou-frou person. Not really high maintenance, but definitely particular, and I have a hard time keeping things simple. Needless to say, my husband and I didn't agree on anything in our house and car hunting. So we didn't accomplish very much, very quickly. Uggghhh!

We met with our relocation Realtor on Friday morning. Narrowed house choices down to 3, but of course Bill's favorite was my least favorite, and my favorite was his least favorite. Uuuugggghhhh again!!! We discussed and retreated, and discussed and retreated and discussed some more. We had to make a decision that day, and after more than a week of travel and very little sleep we were at a stalemate. I finally retreated to the bedroom (in our hotel) with a headache and in desperation, and a few tears, cried out to God to please help us, to please show me what to do. I wanted to do the right thing, and I wanted my husband to be comfortable wherever he lived, but I hated the place he wanted. But I didn't want to just be stubborn, and I wanted the decision over with. But I didn't want to live somewhere I didn't like.

So, I sent my plea up to God, shed a few final tears and then suggested we go look at my favorite place again and see if Bill liked it any better. Well, remember I said God is so faithful and takes such good care of me? Okay, here's the good part:

We are driving by my favorite place when our realtor calls on my cell. She says she just spoke to the owner and they just rented the house to someone else. It's now off the market. And not only that, the third place we were interested in would not except our offer. So, that just left 1 place. The decision was taken out of our hands. God intervened and worked fast!! Yes, the only place left was the town home Bill wanted, that I strongly disliked. But being a woman after God's (and my husband's) own heart, I bucked up, swallowed hard and said ok. Then I thanked God for making the decision for us and asked Him to give me grace to see it through. We went back to the town home, toured again, this time I imagined our personal stuff in there, and guess what - I actually started liking it. And the best thing is that it is right across the street from Bill's work so he won't have to struggle in commuter nightmare traffic!! And it allows my cat!! Yay!!

God is Good! And He answered my call!!

Next blog I will tell you about God's next decision for us, the very next day. It was even more awesome.