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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thoughts In My Head

* I haven't blogged much this week. It's been a busy one. Our Brunch With the Bunny has kept me busy this week. Two meetings and lots of emails/texts asking for people to help. * I had a great lunch today with my friend, Kellie. I love her so much. I've known her since I was 16. She is my mentor in so many ways! She's a preacher's wife like me and she is an incredible mentor as well as model for me. She keeps me grounded, she encourages, she listens. She loves me even when I'm being incredibly unlovable. I am SOOOOOO grateful for her and I am so glad that we were able to meet for lunch. We plan to make these lunches a regular thing. {I love her family that much, too!} *Tonight was my book club. I love my book club. I did not love the book we read so much though. Of Mice and Men, while well written and a great work of fiction, is the saddest thing I have ever read. ever! I love meeting with this diverse group of ladies each month though. We are all so very different, it's a wonderful thing. *Another sweet friend of mine lost her husband yesterday. She is planning her husband's funeral at the age of 32. My heart is so heavy for her. And her family. I cannot imagine what she is going through. *Spring Break starts tomorrow. The kids and I are packing up and heading to Georgia tomorrow. I look forward to seeing my family. I had big plans this week to make homemade bread to take to my mom, my dad, and my grandparents. I've been so busy this week, it didn't happen. *Hopefully, I will be able to blog some while I'm out of town. If not, I will see you all next week!! Won't you please be in prayer for my sweet friend. The funeral is on Saturday and I know she could use the prayers. in HIM- Mindy

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be Thou My Vision

This is my favorite hymn...... ...........



and most often, my prayer. Let it be, Lord. Let it be!!!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

365.12

This past week has been a pretty "normal" week for us. Luckily, it was a week with no meetings. So, pretty slow for us. Here's how our week went....
3.20.11 -Sunday... After church, we had a pretty quiet afternoon.
It was a very nice day, we the kids played outside a lot. I had an early evening meeting. As I was coming home, "our" cat -- whose really the church cat-- Oliver, was sitting in the front yard. Since my children claim him as our own, we needed to picture of him.
I think he is a beautiful cat. 3.21.11 - Monday... Another beautiful day. So beautiful in fact that we
did homework outside.
This pretty pink tree is in our yard. I have no idea what kind it is.
Someone suggested maybe a "Weeping Cherry".

3.22.11 - Tuesday....Another gorgeous day. Brady and I met Miss O and her Mom at
the park for a picnic and playing.
We also played in the field of daffodils.
This is one of my favorites from the day.
These two are so sweet together.


3.23.11 - Wednesday... The only picture I got on Wednesday was with my phone.
Sorry for the quality.
It's a pretty flower from our front yard, though.
It's a daffodil with an orange center.
LOVE it.



3.24.11 - Thursday... Hubs had to drive up the mountain to visit a church
member in the hospital.
Brady and I tagged along. While he went to the hospital, we walked around
in the little downtown area.
We ate lunch at a great little restaurant.
Brady had a cheese quesadilla.
The afternoon was great.....until we headed back down the mountain
and his car-sickness kicked in.....boo.
Oh, and the weather turned back to winter on Thursday, too.


3.25.11 - Friday.... On Friday, I checked Lillie out of school
after lunch for her special weekend at Nana's house.
We met halfway between our house and theirs (we live about
three hours apart). This is right before they went on their way.
Lillie was so excited to get to go to Nana's all by herself!


3.26.11 - Saturday... Today was a rainy,cold day in the mountains of NC.
We pretty much stayed in.
Allie was invited for a sleepover....so, there were only two
kiddo's still home.
These two had a great time watching Little House On The Prairie
tonight. They are now having a sleepover in Brady's room. =)



This is what our week held.
What did you do this week?
in HIM-
















Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God's Kind of Fasting!


Isaiah 58 (The Message)

1-3 "Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!
Tell my people what's wrong with their lives,
face my family Jacob with their sins!
They're busy, busy, busy at worship,
and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they're a nation of right-living people—
law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, 'What's the right thing to do?'
and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
'Why do we fast and you don't look our way?
Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?'

3-5"Well, here's why:
"The bottom line on your 'fast days' is profit.
You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
won't get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I'm after:
a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
a fast day that I, God, would like?

6-9"This is the kind of fast day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts.
What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You'll call out for help and I'll say, 'Here I am.'
9-12"If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
13-14"If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don't use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God's holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing 'business as usual,'
making money, running here and there—
Then you'll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I'll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I'll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob."
Yes! God says so!



Isaiah 58 (New Living Translation)

Isaiah 58
True and False Worship
1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”





Lord, Inscribe these words on my heart. I don't want to fast in an empty way. I want to fast in your way. Lead me and guide me. Remind me of these things as I go. Change my heart, Oh God, and make it like yours! Amen.

In HIM-











Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Beginning of Spring

The last couple of days have been so beautiful outside. And we have taken advantage of it.
Yesterday afternoon, we did our homework outside. =)
We are enjoying the beginning of spring!!!
Budding trees.....

and daffodils in our yard....


Riding the gator....


Today, Brady and I met some friends at the park.
We had a picnic and played on the playground.
Then we went to play in a field of daffodils...



Brady and Olivia....




Even though, I'm not a fan of extremely hot weather.
The last two days have been incredible.
How are you enjoying the beginning of spring?

in HIM-




Monday, March 21, 2011

Praises and Gentle Reminders....


Praising God with these words today. I think I might even write them on a scripture memory card. Then I can praise Him with these incredible words everyday.


Psalm 63: 1-8

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly* search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.






and in the Message version.....

1 God—you're my God! I can't get enough of you!
I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.

2-4 So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

5-8 I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy;
I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises!
If I'm sleepless at midnight,
I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you've always stood up for me,
I'm free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.




Aren't those great words? Not only are they words that I can use as prayers of praise to the Lord, they are also a very comforting reminder of who He is and what He does for me. Also, in the New King James Version of verse 1, the word earnestly is instead tranlasted as early. This is quite a reminder for me that I need to start my day, every day with Him. I have gotten SOOOOo out of doing this in the past few years and long to get back to it.

I will be carrying these verses around with me for the rest of the day. Praising Him, Thanking Him, and Memorizing His Word!


And I'm going to do it all outside this afternoon in this glorious spring weather {thanking HIM for that, too!!!}


in HIM-


Saturday, March 19, 2011

365.11


It's been a pretty calm week for me. I am in between bible studies right now so that helps some what. I do miss it, though I love digging into God's Word and learning more about things. I can't wait to start the next one. Here's some snippets of our week in {mostly} photos.


3.13.11 -Sunday. We finished up our retreat in worship together.
On the way home, these three ladies and I stopped at a waterfall and took a few pictures.
I love these three girls!!!

3.14.11 - Monday. Monday was a very normal Monday. Full of
Laundry.....
Around 4PM the doorbell rang and these arrived for me.
I LOVE flowers. They made my day!!
A sweet lady from church sent me these. So kind!
And aren't they gorgeous?!!?

3.15.11 - Tuesday. Another run of the mill Tuesday. More laundry and some cleaning.
Allie has dance on Tuesday evenings. I took this picture as she was eating her spaghetti
when she got home.
We might need to work on our table manners.....=)


3.16.11 - Wednesday. Wednesdays are always great days.
I usually do lunch with friends on Wednesdays and we have church on
Wednesday nights. I helped in the Nursery this week.
These two cuties had the best time!!!
Jenny, one of our awesome Nursery Staff, was throwing a blanket over them and
pulling it off. They thought it was the best.


3.17.11 - Thursday. Happy St. Patty's Day!!!!

The girls wore the pillowcase dresses from last year with jeans.

I did have to get Brady a new shirt.

This is before he got mustard on it at supper time. {UGGGGHHHH}

3.18.11 - Friday. On Friday, I went to Asheville

on a Target Run with my friend Kandi. We use these trips as an excuse to eat

at all the fantastic little bistros/eateries downtown.

On Friday we ate at a place called Bistro 1896 and there was a street band.

SUCH FUN!!!



3.19.11 -Saturday. Today we had a wedding to attend.
It was a beautiful wedding.
Maggie, our friend - Polly, and Lillie had a blast dancing!!

It's been a pretty great week, and low-key week around here.

I hope yours was, too!

in HIM--

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Face"ing Changes.....

The other day, I was talking with some friends over lunch. My friend, Val, mentioned that her daughter who is in Kindergarten cannot wait to have a loose tooth. And then another friend of ours, Kelly, mentioned that when her daughter's teeth became loose she panicked and called the photographer. And I then began telling them how much kids faces change when their "big" teeth {especially the top ones} begin coming in.
I don't think my friends really believed me, though......
So, I came home and took a few pics. I also uploaded a few old ones.
Check it out.
This pictures is from 2006.
In this picture --
Lillie is 7 months old
Allie is 3
Maggie is 2.
Just for a further back perspective of the girls....
This is Allie at age 9 and almost 5 months....
This is Allie at 7 years and 1 month.....
after having lost 1 of her top teeth....
This is Maggie at 7 years and 7 months.....
This is Maggie at 5 years and 3 months.....
This is Lillie at 6 years and 2 months.....
This is Lillie at 3 years and 10 months......
Brady at 3 months old......
Brady at 2 years and 7 months old....


I just think that their faces change so much when they are young.
And especially when they start losing baby teeth and getting big teeth.
What do you think?
Do you agree?
in HIM--





Thursday, March 17, 2011

Love is.....

I was planning a post tonight with pictures....but for some reason blogger isn't cooperating and quite frankly -- I'm tired and ready for bed -- so....no....photos.

Today, I read the next chapter in Crazy Love. It was just as convicting as the previous chapters.
There is SOOO much in this book to digest that I will probably have to reread it a dozen times or a hundred to soak it all in.....

One of the things that Francis Chan talks about in this chapter is that God measures our lives by how we love. He says that God told us what Love is supposed to look like in 1 Corinthians 13.
He then says that we should challenge ourselves by putting our name in the place of the word love and seeing if it fits.....

SO ----

Mindy Love is patient, Mindy love is kind.Mindy It does not envy, Mindy it does not boast, Mindy it is not proud. Mindy It does not dishonor others, Mindy it is not self-seeking, Mindy it is not easily angered, Mindy it keeps no record of wrongs. Mindy Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.



Well. I definitely cannot say that I am loving then. At least not all of the time.
Again, tonight, I'm thinking and praying that God will make me like HIM. Change my heart and let me become one who loves like you do!

in HIM-


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lukewarm


I'm reading the book, Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. Today, I read Chapter 4. The title of the chapter is "The Profile of the Lukewarm".

WOW........wow.

This chapter was TOUGH to read.


There is a lot of stuff in this chapter but here is something he says that really stuck out to me....


"Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God's kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?


I'm just going to go ahead and admit that I have had to think about those questions today.


But, Chan doesn't stop there.


He then gives a Litmus test of sorts about what a Lukewarm Christian looks like. Here is a quick list from the book (it's not the whole thing)......


*Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe "good Christians" do, so they go.


*Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church.....as long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra to give and it's easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?


*Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in a conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives.


*Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sins; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for them. Lukewarm people don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one.


**Lukewarm people gauge their morality or "goodness" by comparing themselves to the secular world. They feel satisfied that while they aren't as hard-core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as they guy down the street.


*Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives. But only a part. They give Him a section of their time, their money, their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives.


*Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn't really possible for the average person, it's only for pastors and missionaries and radicals.


*Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves. Their love of others is typically focused on those who love them in return, like family, friends, and other people they know and connect with. There is little love left for those who cannot love them whose kids are better athletes than theirs, or with whom conversations are awkward or uncomfortable. Their love is highly conditional, and very selective, and generally comes with strings attached.


*Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty. They want to do the bare minimum, to be "good enough" without it requiring too much of them.


*Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured so they never have to. They don't have to trust God if something unexpected happens - they have their savings account. They don't need God to help them - they have their retirement plan in place. They don't genuinely seek out what life God would have them live - they have life figured and mapped out. They don't depend on God on a daily basis - their refrigerators are full and , for the most part, they are in good health. The truth is, their lives wouldn't look much different if they suddenly stopped believing in God.


There are many more of these statements in the book. As I read these statements and the scripture that goes with each of them I realized how much I really fit into a lot of them. I am ashamed to admit that, but it is true for me sometimes and to some extent.


I've been thinking for a long time about how it is a blessing and a curse to be a Christian in America. It's a blessing because we are free to worship our God in public and no one is trying to kill us for it.


It's a curse because we are so wealthy, so spoiled, so selfish, and so self-serving......all in the name of it's the American way.


I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I am writing this post for myself. After reading this today, I knew I had to do a post to help me put my thoughts together and remember this chapter. Because, I. Don't. Want. To. Be. Lukewarm!!




Revelation 3: 15-16 says... I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.


I don't want to be spit out. And I fully believe that can and will happen. Revelation states that pretty clearly.....


I want to be on fire for my savior. I want people to look at me and say I want what she has. Tell me what it is!!!! I want for others to see evidence of the kingdom in my life. I want for my relationship with God to actually CHANGE my life.....


Change my heart, O God!


in HIM-

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh, How He Loves Us

I am pondering every word of this song tonight.....







Monday, March 14, 2011

365.10

I usually do this on Saturday evenings, but this is the late edition of the 365 Project.
3.6.11- Sunday..... the last night of my Prodigal God Study.
A very busy day.....no pictures were taken. oops!
3.7.11 - Monday.... Appalachian played on TV Monday afternoon.
Allie dressed the part and cheered on her team.
"Go Apps!"
"It's great to be a Mountaineer"!!
3.8.11-Tuesday...hubs, Brady and I went with our friends to eat lunch
at a Cajun Restaurant for Mardi Gras. The food was delicious
and these two....precious!!

3.9.11 - Wednesday... Ash Wednesday. We, of course,
had church services. It was raining and yucky out.
That called for every one's rain gear!!

3.10.11 - Thursday...I spent all day getting ready for our
Crazy Love Retreat. I baked, I planned, I packed, I made lists,
I put together gift bags....
These were the water bottles that went in the gift bags...



3.11.11- Friday... We headed out for our retreat at about noon on Friday.
We drove over the mountain to get to our destination.
It had snowed overnight. GORGEOUS!!!

This is another picture from Friday.
I didn't take it
but I love it and just wanted to share it!!!

3.12.11 - Saturday... The Group of us
at the Crazy Love Retreat....
{I didn't take this picture either}

It was a great, busy week and incredible weekend. Hope yours was, too!!!!

in HIM-