New Wine – Out of Me?

This morning as I spent some time in devotion, I closed my eyes and let myself get lost in the beauty of the instrumental, as well as the words of this gorgeous song – New Wine, by Hillsong Worship.

Wow! Just Wow!

Do you know this song? My church sings this song frequently so I know the words, but this morning they touched me to my soul.

In reflection, my whole life I have struggled with fear of failure and fear of rejection, mostly because of the dysfunctional pattern and deep hurts of my growing up years. Maybe you have struggled with some of these too? Well, over the years I learned – by doing OVER and OVER, until I FINALLY did it – to lay down these #lifehurts that kept me tied up in knots and afraid. And last year I finally laid down the 20-yr old #deepgrief of losing my beautiful son when he was just 9 yrs old. My heart is renewed!

So now, with the beginning of 2019, after much prayer, my spiritual #WordfortheYear is Courage. Courage! Me? Little #MuchAfraid? (If you are not familiar with the character, Much Afraid, you might want to check out the soul-stirring book, Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard). Oh boy!

So, this morning, in reflecting on this new #courage, along with this gorgeous song, this Verse also hits me hard:

No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. Luke 5:37-38

Woah! Did you get that?

Wow! I FINALLY did! What I finally get now is this: In the crushing, in the pressing of each #lifehurt I endured, as Jesus loved me through each one, he was making New Wine in me. And as an adult, as I laid down each crushing, breaking #lifehurt at the alter, Jesus fashioned a piece of my new wineskin out of each hurt. And as I finally laid down my last deep #lifehurt – my #deepgrief – my new wineskin was complete and ready for filling up with all that New Wine!

Whew! Oh! My! Goodness!

Now, with my spiritual new #WordfortheYear, Courage, I realize it’s time, yes, it’s time to pour myself OUT of my old wineskin and right INTO my new wineskin! Woohoo! And oh yes, it’s also time to embrace my true treasure, *Matt 6:19-20, which is helping women find healing from their lifetime of hurts. For me, this specifically means finishing my book #LayItAllDown, putting myself out there and getting it published! Do you know what YOUR true treasure is? Are you embracing it?

Oh my Goodness, YES! This is so exciting!

2019 is the year that I fully embrace being whole, complete, and courageously new!

I am NEW WINE and I live in a NEW WINESKIN!

Jesus, make me Your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever You want me to be! Jesus, bring new wine out of me!

Dear Reader, how about you – are you still living in your old wineskin? Do you have life hurts you want/need to lay down so they won’t hurt you any more? Are you still wandering through the desperate journey of deep grief and don’t know how to climb up out of it? Whatever it is that might be hurting you, holding you back, I implore you to take it up with your Heavenly Father, who loves you to distraction, who wants BETTER for you. He is just waiting for you to come to Him, with ALL your heart, telling Him what you need. He already knows what you need and is just waiting to help you – He just wants to hear it from you. Beloved, He will help you through it. I know He will, because He lovingly carried me through all of mine.

I’d love to pray for you too if you’d like to leave a comment and I will lift you up to our Heavenly Father, our Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, asking Him to help you, to give you courage and strength and to see you through as He, our Jehovah Raphe, our Healer God, draws you into healing and your new wineskin! He can and He will if you will just ask Him.

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

*Matthew 6:19-20 NASB“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;

Love deep from my heart,

Mindy



Dead Sea Rising!

The last few weeks I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Launch team for Jerry B. Jenkins new novel, Dead Sea Rising, including having live video chats with him about dead-sea-rising1this debut novel in his new series, Dead Sea Chronicles. If you’re not familiar with #JerryJenkins, prolific author, you may be familiar with his blockbuster series, Left Behind, which has been made into several movies. That series left so many of us biting our nails, up all night, voraciously reading until the very last page of each book. This new series may do the same, and the first book, Dead Sea Rising is in bookstores now, with more info and free chapters at DeadSeaRising.com. If you’re looking for a good book to cuddle up with and binge read, this is for you!

Here is my official review of #DeadSeaRising:

Dead Sea Rising is the new release from Jerry B. Jenkins (of the megahit, Left Behind Series) and Book One in his new Dead Sea Chronicles Series.

This book was a compelling read for me, at times thrilling, tense, and sweetly romantic in spots. Though not my normal type of read, I did enjoy it and particularly appreciated the archeological facts and Biblical history.

While reading, we flip back and forth between two main time periods, places and characters – modern day Manhattan and ancient Mesopotamia. A third time period from the Viet Nam War Era comes into play giving valuable background info on modern day Manhattan character, Dr. Ben Berman, and Charm, a young and beautiful Vietnamese woman.

The modern day Manhattan story line revolves around Dr. Nicole Berman, archeologist, and her quest to win a dig license in Saudi Arabia. Nicole believes she is on the brink of discovery that would change Middle Eastern history forever. But is it possible that there is someone out there trying to stop her at all costs, and is this person responsible for her mother’s injuries?

The ancient Mesopotamia story line finds Biblical character, Terah, in one hot spot after another serving his many gods, and as King Nimrod’s Chief Officer. It is remarkable here to see how Jerry Jenkins (with Biblical consulting from Dr. Craig Evans) takes the few Biblical facts we do know about Terah, the birth of his son, Abram, later known in the Bible as Abraham, and those around him and weaves them into an intriguing story of love, loyalty, conflict and loss.

I reminded myself as I flipped the pages, that this is book one in an upcoming series, which usually means the setup of characters and story lines that will be fleshed out and continued in greater detail in books to come. With that in mind, I thoroughly enjoyed Dead Sea Rising and look forward to the release of Book Two!

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The Hidden Person of the Heart

There is definitely something to be said for dressing nicely, fixing your hair, and accessorizing it up to feel confident and pretty.

Formal Down Do

Beautiful hair, jewelry, makeup and clothes!

Some of my best days seem to be when I have on a feel-good pretty outfit that I know looks great on me, gorgeous notice-me heels, glittering jewelry, hair curled and flowing down my back, and a great bag on my arm.

DWTS Dress

 

However, because I currently live on a tiny tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where it’s drippy hot and humid every single day and the appropriate daily attire is shorts and flip flops, it’s not too often I get to dress up pretty like that. I struggle some days nose-diving right into low self-esteem – instead of the beautifully turquoise ocean – when faced with putting on those flat flip flops and boring pony tail AGAIN! IMG_5654My heart (and feet) yearn to put on those gorgeous, towering heels and that silky flowing dress, which are calling out to me from my closet. Ooooohhhh, to feel so pretty and vibrant again!

Mindy Jeanette red carpetYes, the struggle is real, folks.

But then I remember!

Yes, God made me and created me with a deep desire for beautiful things, especially when I can surround myself with them and WEAR them. This is a big part of my personality – of who I have always been. And oh how the world can chew me up and spit me out when I equate the ability to satisfy this desire in me with my ability to be beautiful. Let’s face it folks, to me, on ME, simple flip flops and boring pony tail do not = beauty!

But, yes, then I remember!

I remember these beautiful Words the Lover of my soul says over and over again to me:

Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, IMG_9215and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and

IMG_6679

All my gold finery, right?

quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3)

Ooooohhhhhhh that’s right – I don’t have to have on a beautiful dress, or sexy heels, or glittery, materialistic ANYTHING to BE beautiful! I don’t have to fix myself up with braided or curled hair and fancy jewelry and colorful, accentuating makeup (yes, I also love pretty makeup) to be beautiful, special, or precious.

Precious?  Do you know what being precious actually means? Dictionary.com defines precious as:

  • of high price or great value;
  • very valuable or costly:
  • highly esteemed for some spiritual, non-material, or moral quality:
  • dear; beloved:
  • a precious child.
  • a dearly beloved person; darling.

Yes, that is what I totally want to be, don’t you? A dearly beloved person or darling to someone – just as I am, faults and all. Stripped down, naked. Bare feet! Beloved and precious.

That’s me. That’s you. Beloved and Precious.

Just as we are.

Without outward adornment. The One who loved us first, the One who loves us best, even with an everlasting love, does not care about those things. What does He care about? “the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,” In other words, what’s in our hearts. What is precious to the Lover of our souls is having a true, soft and gentle heart that does good, even when others are not looking, not being loud and quarrelsome, but being peaceful, one that truly loves Him and continually puts their spirit in tune with Him. This is what makes us – me – you –  precious and beautiful to God.

And I find that when I allow myself to be precious and beautiful to God, I feel precious and beautiful. I AM precious and beautiful. Even without those sexy, towering heels 🙂

Oceanside shorts

Shorts and flip-flops CAN be BEAUTIFUL!

So, next time you are tempted to dive into that sea of low self-esteem, remember, you don’t have to measure up to the world’s standard of being beautiful – you were created to be precious and beautiful just by having a heart that loves God and is spiritually in tune with Him. Just tell Him you want to feel precious and beautiful. Tell God, your Heavenly Father that you love Him and want to be close to Him, that you want Him to guide your life. Then open your heart to hear His soft and reassuring voice, open your eyes to see the things He puts in your life. Let your spirit talk with and connect with Him all day, every day.  Then be precious and beautiful – because you are!

 

 

 

 

You Are Amazing!

     Don’t let the broken curves of your life defeat you! Take those twists, turns, breaks, curves, and pieces and let them form the stronger, wiser backbone of the amazing, life-filled person you are capable of being!  You can do it!

     Then triumph over those scars by putting them to GOOD use! – Use your experience in surviving your scars to help others get through their own broken curves and scars. God can and will help you make something good out of your life, no matter what is in your past, if you let Him.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  (Romans 8:28)

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Crooked Tree Meme Comp

 

…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and [b]we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.(Romans 5:1-5)

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.   (James 1:2-6)

Have faith in the One who created you and planned for good things in and from your life – before you were even born! Just believe in Him and ask Him to help you and He will!

Then change your life for the good! I am cheering for you ❤

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NASB

 

My House is a Mess, but I Am Oiled In the Presence of My Enemies!

A beloved Psalm throughout the ages, Psalm 23 speaks of devotion from our Shepherd, peace and rest, and protection.

But do we really understand what these beautiful Words say?

And how do we meaningfully apply them to our lives?

Here is my take on these timelessly beautiful and peaceful Words. The Words in Burgandy are Scripture, with my interpretation and a little humor on how I have been applying – or NOT applying them to my life in green. 

Enjoy!

Psalm 23

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 often 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 path!)

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 and boot 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. But I will try NOT to worry, and trust more that You know what You are doing.)

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

(Yes, God, I have to admit that in probably every tough lessen I have 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 knTall Table compowing that once through the lesson 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.  Yes, I have learned this.)

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 seem to always 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, because I, and my house are sometimes 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 remember this and be faithful. And in this season of Thanksgiving, please help me see and remember how much I have to be thankful for.  I love you God – Amen ❤

Thankful Table