My thoughts- Judges and Acts 

thought I'd share my thoughts from my reading this morning:
Judges 1:8-15 
Judah is fighting and continuing the conquest of Canaan. He offers his daughter in marriage to the man who attacks Kiriath-sepher. Caleb's younger bro does and so marries Caleb's daughter. She asks her father for a field and springs of water.
Okay, so there is probably so much more we could grab from this but here is my take on it from where I am today:
This conquest was a process that took time, and involved different people as the story continued to unfold.

Acts 1:12-
So in this time, Peter and John and James and ... were in ONE accord devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and the brothers of Jesus. 
Peter speaks and recaps and then 2 people are chosen to be candidates to replace Judas. They cast lots and Matthias was chosen...
Okay, so first of all what a huge responsibility falls on the shoulders of Matthias to be included with these men. In thinking of the "now what" - these other apostles were with Jesus, they were part of the story..and then Matthias comes in. Were there times where they would tell a story and Matthias felt left out? 
I think about Walter entering high school, and he becomes part of the crowd...there must be stories that he has not been a part of. I think about how that can feel. But, then this humongo thing happens and Matthias gets to be a part of it, and it's when tongues of fire rests on each one and they are each filled with the Holy Spirit. Matthias included! Blessed with a story, indeed!
And then I think about the other candidate. Not chosen. What a flood of emotions this guy could have gone through- feeling not good enough? I would have to fight back feelings of disappointment, rejection, etc. It's hard not to be picked.

Posted by Mindy Thursday, November 02, 2017 10:37:00 AM Categories: Devotional

Being Still 

Being still can be so tough when life comes at you fast.  Transitions can be tough.  Maybe they are always tough.
My kids transitioned back into public school after two years of homeschooling.  I was so nervous about the transition and rightly so.  We "escaped" the fast frenzy world of staying up way too late to finish schoolwork that we won't even remember doing b/c we are so exhausted...and came home to pretty much private tutoring for two years.  What we learned in two years was way different had we been in school.  We studied ancient history from a Biblical perspective.  We read about God's provision and how over and over again He would restore His people after they fell away.  We were able to look in the mirror and reflect on how much we are like those people and how much God loves us.  What a great foundation.
     Now God has called them back into the public school system.  I wrestled with God on this one.  Not that the public school is full of people who do evil, but in a sense it is like sending my kids to Ninevah.  Do I trust the Lord enough to send them to a place where learning is harder, people can be cruel, and spread the light?  Already I have seen fruit.  Walter called fellow students out for using swear words...asking them why was it necessary to use those words.  Good for him.  
But back here on the homefront it is tough to be still and not worry when they are not with me and I can't control their world.
Be still, be still...and know that you are God...
Better hands, better hands, better hands...I know they are in better hands.

Posted by Mindy Friday, September 01, 2017 10:25:00 AM

What Fuels are thoughts and behavior? 

What is feeding us?

Last night I asked a question to my 7th grade girls small group, it was the same question brought up earlier in large group.
What is fueling our thoughts and behaviors?
We pay attention to what gas we put in our car, what food we put in our mouths, do we pay attention to what is feeding our emotional and spiritual selves?
The world around us is full of things that can fuel our thoughts and behaviors and we need to have an awareness of the things we see, hear, and get exposure to.
If a television show continues to have words that are disrespectful and dishonoring our God, should we continue to watch it?
I think we fuel ourselves with the wrong messages when we allow ourselves to say, "It's not that bad."
Okay, when we say that, I think we are dangerously close to chipping away at our filter.  We are growing numb to what bothers us and ultimately bothers our Creator.  When we grow numb, we begin to tolerate it, accept it, and then our lives start to be molded into something we were never created to be.
 

Posted by Mindy Thursday, April 21, 2016 10:27:00 AM Categories: Devotional

honesty in music 

I was thinking about music today, and how it keeps us honest. when a musician plays a song, if a note isn't right, it is pretty obvious. If a musician is playing a recognizable song, he or she had better get it right, because people..."they" will know. My son plays in a band where he is the only 2nd trombone part. In other bands, there could be as many as 9 or 10 trombone parts. If you miss a note in a larger band, chances are you won't hear it. So, my son needs to be it correctly. But music, I think, calls us to a place to open our hearts and be completely vulnerable and honest with ourselves, others, and hopefully...our Creator. I understand not everyone has the gift to create music, or play music...but music plays a vital role in so many lives. I think we can all understand the importance it has on our lives and inner being.
Posted by Mindy Monday, April 11, 2016 10:43:00 PM

How Deep the Father's Love for Us 

How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure...
Look at this tender loving moment with my husband, Jeff congratulating our daughter on a great soccer game. I love how he spoke to her with his hands on her face ...I love how he loves her so well. It made me reflect on how much more my Heavenly Father loves me so tenderly and in many ways touches my face and draws me near. The sun, the gentle breeze, kisses from my family...
So again, how deep the Father's love for us.

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Posted by Mindy Monday, September 14, 2015 8:28:00 PM Categories: American Christian Music Christian Music Devotional

The Curl that Rocked My World 

Beautiful Freedom

My daughter, Carrie is now 9 years old.

When she was in preschool, she had very little hair.  In fact, the kids would even comment on how her ponytails were so tiny and would ask why she didn't have any hair (much hair.)


Our morning routine would involve spraying detangler that conditions and picking and brushing her hair that would eventually stick out everywhere.  It was wild hair that matched the fun, spunky, march-to-the-beat-of-her-own-drum personality.   
 

As you can see from the red dress Christmas picture, the lack of hair did not keep her from a certain cute adorableness, bow in her hair and a dimple to boot.

But pictures, especially SCHOOL pictures were so frustrating.  The photographer assistant would grab a comb and try to "fix" her hair and then it would fly everywhere.  We tried everything to get that hair to do what we wanted it to do.  Stay still.  Stay down, be straight and pretty and keep STILL.  Nope.  

One night at bathtime, my world changed.
Her world changed.
I was combing through her hair, trying to get to the tangles out, putting more and more conditioner and massaging it in...and
Loopy-loopty-doop!
That small section of hair I was combing curled itself up in the most beautiful curl.  
Huh, I thought.  I tried again, and there it did it again.
I tried other sections of hair.  It did the same thing.  
Much to my surprise, my daughter's hair was CURLY!
I don't have curly hair, my husband, Jeff doesn't have curly hair...but Carrie DOES have curly hair.  
Up until that moment, it was never long enough to reveal this beautiful secret.

Well, I thought, no wonder it never wanted to do what I wanted it to do!  
It was never created to be the way I tried to make it!  To act straight, to lay a certain way.  Well, I'll be!

From that moment on, instead of combing through it attempting straight hair, I'll comb it to detangle it, but then I'd use hair products for curly hair and do the scrunching thing treating her curls and encouraging them to do what they wanted to do...curl!

It still took a very long time for it to lengthen and get much thickness to it...
She is 9 and it's still only to her shoulders and thin, and it still sticks out when and where it wants to (doesn't most hair?)
But, giving it the freedom to be what it was created to be has allowed it to become so beautiful.

And all that leads me to this:  
I need to give people, especially my children the freedom to be who they were/are created to be.
I still had to brush/pick out the tangles and take care of the curls- I couldn't "let it go" (because that's no good, either.) I don't try to change what is a Godly unique design.
I just care for it differently.  


Just like I encourage her curls, I need to encourage them by loving and praising their marvelous and wonderful ways.   
I need to allow myself to BE inspired by them so that in turn they may be inspired by me.

I need to continue to teach and guide them.  
It is so important to help them discover who they are in Christ and how they can best utilize their gifts to communicate and build relationships with others.  
It is very valuable to teach them to take care of themselves and others, to have an awareness of the world around them and bringing them up in the way of the Lord.

Oh how awesome our Lord is and the many ways He talks to us, and I will continue to praise Him for the curl that rocked my world.

 
 


 
 
  
 
Posted by Mindy Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:47:00 AM

When Your Heart's Not In It 

truth trumps feelings

There are days when my heart's just not in it.  I'm not "feeling the joy."  
For reasons in and out of my own control, I'm just not "feeling it."  
Oh my goodness, thank the good Lord TRUTH triumphs over all that!

Be it sadness, frustration, despair, confusion, or simply exhaustion...it's okay.
Living in this world, parenting in this world, can be exhausting.

I told my girls in my sixth grade Sunday school class the other day, to feel...have emotions...but do NOT let them steer your ship.  Let truth do that. 

Let's face it, sometimes it stinks being female.  
The hormones alone can drive us to be sad or hot tempered in a New York minute.

So let's acknowledge those feelings, but cling to the TRUTH that the Holy Spirit is living and ACTIVE and IN us (if we have simply asked Him to and allowed Him to do His WORK) and helps us through the weary, sad, angry, whatever feels "unjoyful" moments.

And I am saying this with a tired, worn out, ready for summer -yawn...praise the Lord :)

Posted by Mindy Tuesday, May 05, 2015 3:47:00 PM

Shoelace Tying Song 

Hoe to tie a shoe

Hold the lace
do a loop

go around

and push it through

Watch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kejYU3J-zng
 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:00:00 AM

A few thoughts on my Genesis reading 

Abraham, Ishmael and other thoughts

I did some reading this morning and I found myself digging through Genesis.

What started off as reading ended up with some digging and researching.  I wanted answers.

First, my archaeological study Bible spoke of evidence of the destruction of Sodom.  
I started searching and found this:
http://www.arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm


Very interesting!

Then, I decided to start with the beginning of the story of Abram, after the Tower of Babel in chapter 11.

As I continued reading, I had another thought:

God tells Abram twice- once in the end of chapter 13 and again in the beginning of chapter 15 that He will bless him with many offspring.
First in chapter 13,  "I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted." verse 16
And in chapter 15, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars- if indeed you can count them.  So shall your offspring be." verse 5

God reminds us of His promises, so thankful!

 

Then, I had another thought-
the power of influence-

Sarai convinces Abram to take Hagar as his wife in order to have a child- taking the steering wheel in her own hands, so to speak.
Abram was told by God himself that he would have a son, but his doubt in God's power and faithfulness to His promise led him to listen to Sarai.

Which led me to this thought- at this point in time, wouldn't both Abram and Sarai have been sexually with other people?
Abram, of course, with Hagar, his new wife...but Sarai- she was once taken by Pharaoh to be his wife. (Chapter 12)
What strain on a marital relationship and going against God's original design for marriage.

Okay, so next thought
Timeline:
Abram was 75 when he left Haran and goes to Canaan
there is a famine so he goes to Egypt for a while - where Sarai becomes wife of Pharaoh
Pharaoh finds out she is Abram's wife after disease strikes and so he tells them to go

They go to Canaan 
10 years later Sarai has Abram marry Hagar
Abram is 86 when Ishmael is born (Hagar's son)

Abram is 99 years old when the LORD appears to him and renames him 
Abraham is 100 years old when Isaac is born

Okay...so here is where I was struggling to understand the scriptures
It says after Isaac is weaned (chapter 21) Ishmael is laughing, or mocking and Sarah (formerly Sarai) tells Abraham to cast out Hagar and Ishmael.

verse 14 "So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away.  And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba."

Okay, so in my head, I'm thinking...wait, he was at least 14 (doing the math) and then some b/c it was after Isaac was weaned- so how would she put him on her shoulder?!

I struggled with this and dug and dug and found some Biblical commentary that made total sense to me.
My thoughts on the wedding feast- with the song, "Forever Spoken For" - we are the bride of Christ...our bridal veil is placed upon His shoulders signifying we are under His authority and He will take care of us.

So perhaps here, Ishmael is "placed upon her shoulder" b/c now Ishmael answers to Hagar.
Hagar was a servant, so he and his mother were under the authority of Abraham.
He transfers that authority in that moment sending her on her way with him.

There is more to the story, but she has him under a bush and he cries.  Let's not underestimate that he is thirsty, and could die...and he was just sent away by his father.  I'm almost 40 and I would cry in this situation.  My father sends me away and I might die.

Read on, bc what's interesting to me also, is that there is a well RIGHT THERE.

But neither of them see it.

How many times do we NOT see what is RIGHT THERE when we are under such stress, fear, anxiety, etc?

Just a few of my thoughts this morning.  Thanks for chewing on it with  me

 

Posted by Mindy Wednesday, January 21, 2015 10:00:00 AM Categories: Devotional

Pray for Christian Music/Artists 

Tonight my daughter, Carrie, prayed a passionate prayer for Christian artists everywhere.  
She then prayed for Katy Perry.  She asked the Lord to help Katy find her faith.  I can't remember the details, but wow, what a prayer for a 9 year old girl!
It just about brought me to tears.
What it most certainly did is realign my heart.  Oh my goodness should I be praying for my own heart, witness, and the music/hearts of others out there proclaiming the truth of the Gospel.  

I should be praying for wisdom, guidance, strength, protection, and what we pray for every night for the leaders of our country and the leaders of our church:  "God, give them passion, purity, protection and peace."

Join me as we lift up our brothers and sisters everywhere proclaiming the good news in music.  There is a small number on the radio, but plenty of others out there, no one knows their name, but they continue to seek the kingdom of God and continue to praise His name with music.


 

Posted by Mindy Sunday, January 04, 2015 10:06:00 PM
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