Be Strong and Courageous…

Are you strong and courageous?

Do you have within you what you need to accomplish what is on your plate today? Are you discouraged, or afraid you might fail?

Well, take heart, my friend – God’s got your back!

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:7-9New Living Translation (NLT)

 For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

scripture-box

Trust in that.  Believe in that.  Look up and reach out to God – raise your hand and give it to Him to hold.  Close your eyes and imagine God right there with you, taking hold of your hand – leading you, comforting and guiding you. Giving you strength and courage.  No matter how big or little your need.  Ask Him to take hold of your hand and pour His strength into you through the joining of your hands. 

Go ahead, do this right now. 

Then in your mind and in your outstretched hand, grasp hold of His strong and very capable hand, close your fingers tightly around his; hold on and don’t ever let go!

13 “For I hold you by your right hand—  
    I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
    ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”

Isaiah 41:13 (NLT)

“Do not fear, for I am with you.”

Isaiah 43:5

“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:20

 helping_others1

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+41%3A10&version=NLT

Heart-Healing Words

Happy Sunday to you!!

Are you happy this morning? Or are you, like me, maybe feeling a little hurting in your heart – from hurt feelings, or maybe sadness from a loss?

A few days ago someone I love slung some very hurtful words at me and in hurt and anger I slung a few ugly and not nice words right back.  Words that I thought would never come out of my mouth. Today I feel great remorse (even though I am still reeling in hurt).

However, I read a few Words this morning that sounded so good and reminded me where I always can find healing for my hurt. These words were:

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Ps 119:103
And I am reminded again of how magically reviving and hurt-healing the Words of this Book can be to me when I remember to seek them out and let them into, and wash over my heart. I love to also dwell in Psalm 139 to know that I am not, I am NEVER alone. And there is good with me, wherever I am – always.
Today, I choose to dwell in His Words, instead of those other hurtful words.
And bask in His awesome healing.
How about you – where do you turn for your heart healing?  I invite you to click the link above to read Psalm 139 – let the Words flow over and sink into your heart as you reflect upon what they are saying to you.  Then re-read verses 13 & 14.
Oh, how I love these beautiful Words! They tell me (you) that I (you) was planned and placed and created by a wonderful Maker, whose works are **marvelous  – marvelous! – that means I (you) am marvelous! We are marvelous!
So I will let those hurtful words someone said to me, roll right off of me! They don’t stick today because God’s wonderful Words have healed my heart! I was created wonderfully and marvelously, with awe, and as long as I choose to live in this example of goodness, I can be wonderful and good, and no words can take that away from me (or you)!
So, choose to embrace this wonderfully marvelous self who God created you to be and let your heart be healed!
**Some other Bible versions use the word “wonderful” here. God’s words are wonderful! We are wonderful!
Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 139 – New American Standard Bible

http://www.biblegateway.com

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience. – For the choir director. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I

Wild Beauties

Wild Beauty     As I walked through my back yard this morning, meditating, and enjoying the lovely Springtime blooms, I came across the tree bearing this colorful flower. I stopped a moment to take in its unique and sort of wild beauty. While studying it, I couldn’t help draw a parallel of this flower’s half bloomed, unique beauty, to the partially bloomed beauty of our lives.

     This last month I’ve been doing a group study about letting go of worldly definitions of  beauty and feeling free to be the beautiful, wonderfully made individuals God intended us to be.  Looking at this beautiful, sort of exotic looking flower this morning, I thought, “this flower represents every one of us – such unique, vibrant qualities, and still in the process of blooming!” But oh my, how beautiful are the budding characteristics! The already bloomed parts that make this unique flower so special, which are weathering Spring’s wind and rain, yet standing out strong – are like the unique and special qualities in each of us that have born the tests and trials which have molded us into the beauties we are today. Yet, this special flower has not yet fully bloomed, we can’t yet see the full exquisite beauty this half-bloomed flower promises.  Oh – but promise it does!! Just as our own half-lived lives promise!

     And notice something else – the little green closed buds in the middle of the flower that have not opened yet – do you see how pretty they are? How they work together with the rest of the flower’s design and add to the special beauty of the overall bloom? Wow – how exciting to me to think that this is how I am – how each of us are – we are each a very special, beautiful, blooming work in progress!  Yes, you boys and men too! Just as God created this amazing, uniquely special, beautiful flower that blooms in stages, so has He made each one of us!

     Each stage of our lives, we have learned and brought forth a beautiful, unique, new quality that defines us. By the time we are adults, (like this flower) our outer shell is mostly formed, in all its stunning glory!  But there is yet wisdom to be learned, beauty to unfold and bloom, in our hearts, and throughout our lives as God directs us through our life paths, our challenges, our loves and losses, our joys and sorrows. And as we purpose to serve Him!

     So, as we go through our week, let’s all remember this beautifully unique, half bloomed flower, and the promise of exotic, perfect beauty it holds to come. Then let’s apply this to our own selves; we each are this beautiful and unique flower, which under God’s perfect hand, will over our lifetimes, grow and bloom and perfect into an exotic, perfect creation, meant to live out the unique purpose He individually chose for each of us and which will please Him! Our differences, our trials, our mistakes – they will all work together to grow us and refine us into these gorgeous creations and purposes that God intended.

     Now, go look in the mirror and see how uniquely beautiful you are! And just think – like this spectacular flower – God’s not done with you yet!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
   and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,

   as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
   before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
  they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
  you are still with me!

Psalm 139

Have a Beautiful Day!

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

#Goodness #Love #Mercy

May Love and Kindness

Guide your life today.

May you find a little Peace

Along the way

Enveloped in Compassion

Walking with Faith

May you sit with Contentment

At the end of this day.

 

Bury My Specialty – um…what?

Is there something in your life that you would really like to do, be, or accomplish – you know, that something that fills you with great passion, that something that seems you were born to do, or be? But…somehow there’s something else that bogs you down, makes you procrastinate, keeps you from seriously pursuing and accomplishing it?

 What is that something? And what is that something else keeping you from it?  Hmmm…is it  IMG_8590                     All my life, one of two things I always wanted to be is a singer. In elemSpecial Giftsentary school, I jealousy watched my best friend sing a solo in our school program. In junior and senior high, I happily sang in choir and took a solo to contest my senior year! 

But that’s when the nerves really kicked in – and began to derail my dreams!

The nerves became fear. The fear grew and took on life of its very own over my gift, leaving it weak and trembling! But, ooooooh, how I wanted to sing! But for the next 10+ years after high school, I hid – I buried my gift of singing underneath daily life and didn’t sing because it was too scary to put myself out there for rejection – yep, that old, powerful critic,

Fear of Rejection got me.

 Are you familiar with Fear of Rejection? That little sinking feeling inside you when you want to put yourself out there where someone has the opportunity to judge you and find you lacking? That little sinking feeling starts in your stomach and begins to grow inside you, swelling up, developing a voice, reverbing and banging around in your stomach, and your chest, then yelling and throbbing in your head and ears along with your heartbeat? Every time you muster up the courage to do that something you long to do, that special something you LOVE to do, this feeling takes over you and your “special something,” and your gift jumps right into the back seat- oh yes, again!

Fear dirtUuuuugggghhhh!

Well…that’s what happened to me every time I got up to sing. When I looked out over those expectant faces, this Fear would take hold in the pit of my stomach, then radiate in neon waves into my throat, effectively squeezing my vocal chords, making my voice into this foreign, wimpy sound no one recognized – every time. Even with constant affirmation, I questioned and doubted my ability. I worked hard at voice lessons, exercises, prayed continually, consulted experts in vocal performance, etc. In the privacy of my own home, I sang out with joy and abandon! In 3 different churches I prayed up and conquered my fear through auditions and made it into choir and amazingly praise team – but as soon as I got in front of a crowd – bam! That Fear slammed me! Year after year after frustrating year! Suffice it to say, I allowed Fear to bury my special gift Fear Burying Special Giftsin the back seat of my life and never realized my hope, my DREAM of being a real singer. This will go down in my life as one of my greatest disappointments.

 So how about YOU – what are YOU allowing Fear to squash and bury in YOUR life? IMG_8590

 My pastor’s message a few weeks ago used Matthew 25:14-26 – the Parable of the Talents to make his great point: Three slaves were each given talents (units of money) to manage for their master while he was away. The first two bravely went out and invested their talents and each doubled what they had been given, and received a great reward. But the third slave was afraid, and in his Fear, went and buried the coin instead of investing it, so nothing became of it. And because, in his Fear, he squandered his one gift and didn’t make good use of it, not only did he not receive any reward, his one talent was taken away from him.

Yikes! I think tFear dirthat’s what I have done! Living in my Fear, I have squandered the wonderful gift God gave me – the gift of joyful singing! I buried it with my Fear and didn’t grow it and share it with others. Now my prime-time-for-singing years are behind me. Opportunity lost. Gift effectively buried. Because of Fear. Friend – don’t let Fear bury your special God-given gift! Special Gifts

 If there is something (positive and legal) you are really good at naturally, that you deeply desire or “need” to do or be in your life, then pursue it!

Pursue it!!

You see, if God has given you a special gift, then He also has already given you the ability to use that special gift for good purposes, to grow, to share, to touch other lives with it. And He intends for you to do so.

Tap into it!

Pray about it, talk to others about it, find a mentor or accountability partner, do what works for you to rise up and conquer your Fear.    Don’t let fearSpecial gift burying fear of failure or fear of rejection keep you from doing or being what God created you to do or be! It will be a great disappointment and regret in your life if you do. But if you embrace your gift, and pursue it and walk in it, well, this is where you will find your greatest happiness and fulfillment!

 Now, go dig up that gift, wash it off and put it to great use! Let’s have no regrets! Special Gifts Burried Fear

 PS – the second thing I always wanted to be is a writer – after dabbling with Fear, I have thrown it in the back seat and am now deep into pursuing my passion – yes with blogging, but also in editing/publishing a book I’ve written!

Will you hold me accountable?

 

Yours,

Mindy ❤ ❤ ❤

#Goodness

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-14

             Because I believe and know this deeply within my heart – that I am fearfully and wonderfully made – I also know that I am ok; I have good in me; my body, my soul, my spirit – all that makes up who I inherently am – is good, is right, is wonderful.  The very basis for who I am is good, right, and wonderful.  Because I was made – I was created that way, from the beginning, and with love.  By You. Baby Tommy for Blog

 “I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

 Jeremiah 31:3

             I will dwell on this, I will recite this, I will ingrain this FACT, this knowledge into my brain, my heart, into the whole fabric that is me.  Until I believe wholeheartedly, with all of my heart, soul, and spirit, without hesitation, that I was in the very beginning – good!  My basis is GOOD! (Not bad, wrong, off, by mistake, flawed, evil, in error, etc.)

             And if my BASIS is good, no matter the circumstances of my conception and/or birth, if my beginning is GOOD, then I can always go back to that beginning good.  I can always choose to tap back into that good that has always been there inside of me since the beginning.  I can claim it and drag it out!  Yep, I can drag it out, pour it over my head and let it wash all down and over me, washing off all the years of grit and grime I have wallowed and covered myself in! Oh yes I can!

             No matter what I have done, no matter how unloved, unworthy, or unlovable I am feeling, I can go back – back to that good.  I can dress myself in that good.  I can walk in that good.  I can make that beginning good in me a real thing – once again.  And again.  And again.  I can allow that goodness within me to take over my mind, my heart, my body – covering over all the hurt, the betrayal, the negative.  I can allow it to mend, to heal, to relieve all the regret, the brokenness, the pain.  I can allow myself to feel that goodness within me!  I can become that goodness in me – I can BE  that GOODNESS – again!  Yes, once AGAIN 

 I CAN!

YOU can!!

Just #Believe

           …#Believe you have that goodness within you and that it’s been there since the day of your conception! Go look for it –dig down in there if you have to – find it! Take it out, dust it off and put it on!  Yay!!!  And then #Commit to allowing #goodness, #love, and #mercy into your heart, allowing them to reign over all else in your life.  #Commit to being and doing #good for yourself.  #Commit to being and doing good for others.  #Commit to #love, patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofall

 And if you don’t know what this love is, here are some fun explanations:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=MSG

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=NASB

            This is what’s on my mind and heart today.  As I did this morning, I hope you will too, take this truth and push it deeply within your heart and soul, soothing your scarred and torn self-worth and shoring up your strength to start each day with GOOD!  Because you were intended for this!

 #Peace and #Goodness to you ❤

 If you don’t know what the #greatestlovestoryofall is, you can find out here: https://www.biblegateway.com/

           If you don’t believe this man is who this book says he is, then try to see it this way: the story of him, his life, and his love is still a perfect template to trace and model in our own lives.

 Here’s to living out #Goodness in 2015!

#Commit to #goodness, #love, and #mercy, allowing them to reign over all else in your life. #Commit to a #love patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofalltime.   

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to You!

Peaceful, Nice Veteran’s Day to you all!

In reflection today of those in my family, and those from around our Country who have served, and yet serve, and in thinking particularly of the changes that serving can and does make in our troops and their family’s lives, I came across this song Stand With Me by the band Downhere. It carries the message I wish to say to each of these faithful, serving in our Armed Forces –

I will stand with you!

May our entire Country stand with each of you, today, and always – God bless you and your families, and thank you for putting yourself out there for your Country and each of us. I appreciate each one of you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0yOzDptjWs#t=15

Tiff and Chris in Uniform

Welcome Home Son-in-Law

Richard Aaron in Uniform

Brave Nephew

Chas

Brave Neice

Nikki

Brave Niece

Billy, Mindy, Cyndi in Terminal

Welcome Home Brother

Dad in Uniform

My Korean Veteran Dad

Billy in Guard Uniform

Hero Brother

Billy in Navy Blues

Awesome Brother

Honor Guard at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard

Salute at Dad's Funeral

Veteran Honor Guard Salute at Dad’s Funeral

  Billy Taking Navy Oath