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.