Remember Who You Are: SEALED

Remember Who You Are: SEALED

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His…’  2nd Timothy 2:19

Sealed with a kiss.

There is something special about the kiss a husband gives to his wife before he walks out the door in the morning. The kiss says I love you, you are mine, and may God protect you until we are together again.   It is a daily reminder of the marriage covenant promise, which was sealed with a kiss so many years ago.

A mother gives the same kiss to her children when they leave for school.  The kiss says I love you, you are mine, and may God protect you until we are together again.  We assure our children of our love for them by stamping our kiss upon them!

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise… Ephesians 1:13 (NASB)

When you Listen, and then Believe, you become Sealed in Christ

If you have listened to the truth found in God’s Word and believed in the Gospel, then you are sealed in the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on the OT Promise of the Savior coming to offer redemption.

I will put My Spirit within you… Ezekiel 36:27

Queen Esther begged the king to save the Jewish nation from being destroyed, but there was one problem.  What is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s ring, may not be reversed by man.  The king had written a decree to have the Jews demolished and he sealed it with his signet ring.  No person can change a decree which has come under the seal of  the king.

Esther’s plea convinced the king to write a separate decree, which allowed the Jews to defend themselves in battle.

The king sealed the new decree, sent it out into the kingdom, and the Jewish nation was saved.

Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked. Esther 8:8

What is written in the King of king‘s name and sealed with the King of king‘s ring, may not be reversed by man.

God sealed His work on the cross, and He seals His promise in your heart when you believe in Him.

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for the gift of the Holy Spirit which is the seal of the promise made so long ago.  You confirm the hope which we have set in You.  Thank you for stamping your seal on our hearts.  We no longer have to prove ourselves to You, since Your seal shows we are already approved by You.  May you continue to remind us of exactly who we are through the truth of Your Word.  May our hearts rest in knowing that our souls are sealed with Your kiss, which says You love us, we are Yours, and You will protect us wherever we go.
In Jesus name we pray,
Amen

Remember Who You Are: CHOSEN
Remember Who You Are: BELOVED
Remember Who You Are: KNOWN
Remember Who You Are: REDEEMED
Remember Who You Are: SEALED

I am praying for you,

Signature_Mindy

 

Remember Who You Are: REDEEMED

Remember Who You Are: REDEEMED

But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! Isaiah 43:1 (NASB)

Good conversations with friends (centered around warm coffee or tea) become even sweeter if we find a gift card in our wallet!  Who doesn’t love gift cards?  We each have our favorite kind we like to receive.  While my favorite is Starbucks, my husband likes Bass Pro Shops, and my kids love it when they receive iTunes gift cards! Actually, we love any gift card we receive on a special occasion!   Redeeming the value of each gift card is always a treat, since we know the price has already been paid for something we enjoy.

The gift to us is free and we are given the power to redeem, or buy back, at any time. 

While gift cards are only for temporary items, in Christ your life is eternally redeemed.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 (NASB)

Redeemed from what?

Each one of us comes from a different background and/or culture, and we have our own unique stories.

However, there is one part of our story that is the same.

 …but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. Genesis 2:17 (NASB)

Based on what we can see in the present day, we hold a measuring stick up to our past.  People judge stories.  We compare our pasts to see whose was the worst, or whose was the best.  We all have issues and everyone one of us has struggled with strongholds – some worse than others.  Regardless, our stories originated in the same place.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12 (NASB)

Each one of us has the same sin problem, as a result of the fall.

God told Adam and Eve they could eat from all the trees in the garden, except for one.  The serpent deceived them, so they ate the forbidden fruit.  It “looked” good to them.

God loves His creation.  He forgave Adam and Eve, but they lived with the consequence of sin.  They were banished from the beautiful Garden of Eden to live in bondage to sin.  Sin is legalistic.  Sin controls us.  Sin says your are not good enough.  Sin compares and sin drives unhealthy competition.  We live in the consequence of sin.

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.  Romans 5:15 (NASB)

God loves His creation.  According to Hebrew tradition, blood was shed on the alter in order for sin to be forgiven.  So, at the perfect time, God bought us back.

On the cross, God redeemed us through the blood of His Son once and for all, so that we may live in relationship with the Father.

He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.  Hebrews 9:12

The source of eternal-life redemption is a person, not a program, and cannot be bought with money.

…knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NASB)

And on the cross it was finished…tetelestai Greek (paid in full)

If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him. A.W. Tozer, Preparing for Jesus’ Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for the priceless of gift of redemption.  Regardless of our own sin, each one of us is separated from You as a result of the fall, but You bought us back into relationship with You because You love us.  Thank you for allowing our hearts to rest in knowing Christ died so that I may live a life free from the bondage of sin – completely redeemed.  Our faith is not about what we do to get closer to You, but what was done (once and for all) on the cross.  I am eternally grateful.  Please help me to live confidently knowing that I am beloved, chosen, known, and redeemed by the blood of Christ.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

Regardless of where you are…

Remember Who You Are: BELOVED
Remember Who You Are: CHOSEN
Remember Who You Are: KNOWN
Remember Who You Are: REDEEMED

Yes, He paid it all – once and for all.  You have received a free gift.  Will you accept it?
I am praying for you…

Signature_Mindy

 

 

 

Remember Who You Are: KNOWN

Remember Who You Are: KNOWN

Oh LORD, You have searched me and known me. Psalm 139:1

The instant a mother holds and smells her newborn after carrying him or her for nine months…
The comfort of sitting next to your childhood friend on the porch swing, or seeing her face in FaceTime…
The glance from your son when he makes a great save or scores his first goal…
Your hand in your husbands as you walk down the beach at sunset…

IMG_1533

It feels good to be known.

Knowing someone does not happen instantly.
Knowing someone well takes time.

In Hebrew, the word “yada” means “to know.” If you “yada” someone it means you know the person really, really well. You have spent time in that relationship, and it has grown over the years. You know the good side of a person and you also know the not-so-good side. You have laughed and cried, and you have most likely hugged and fought together as well. This is how we grow. The more we “know” each other, the more we grow together.

God has known you since the beginning of time.  Since then He has searched you and has become familiar with every part.  When you criticize yourself you are criticizing His masterpiece.  God does not make mistakes.

For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. Psalm 103:14 (NASB)

He placed you in your mother’s arms and He gave you friendships to symbolize His friendship with you.

He already knows your good side, so you don’t have to prove yourself to Him.

I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul. Psalm 31:7 (NASB)

He also knows your bad side, and if you trust Him, he will walk through your frustrations and guilt with you.

He conquered it all for you – on the cross.

He invites you to nail them there – once and for all.

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13, 14 (NASB)

God loves you, and He chose you for who you are.

He knows you better than a parent knows a child, and He loves even more.

http://youtu.be/_la8CUQWyN0

Let’s Pray…

Heavenly Father,
I praise you for knowing me so well and yet still loving me.  Words cannot express the incomprehensible gratitude which I have for You
Each day I continue to know you more, and as our relationship grows deeper I realize how blessed I am.  Your fingerprints are all over my life.  Thank you for opening my eyes to see them.  My worries, frustrations, condemnation, and guilt I have held on to for so long are now nailed to the cross, and I am bravely walking in freedom.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

Regardless of where you have been, may your heart rest in Him today as you ~

Remember Who You Are: BELOVED, CHOSEN, & KNOWN

I’m praying for you…

Signature_Mindy

Remember Who You Are: CHOSEN

Remember Who You Are: CHOSEN

You did not choose me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name he may give to you.  John 15:16 (NASB)

The ball swished through the air and sweet sounds of cheering children could be heard far away from the basketball court/soccer field.

In one glance my heart warmed as smiles were found on the children’s faces.

Worries were gone, and fun abounded at the Tumani Home.

DSC_0304

I didn’t see how it all began, but I knew Dale (my step-father) and Jon (my husband) were having a blast playing with my son and the children at the Tanzanian orphanage.

DSC_0303

They were suppose to referee a soccer game, but age difference didn’t seem to matter to the children, language barriers came down, and they ended up playing “full-out” with the little kids!

IMG_6814

Afterwards, I asked Dale how they went from refereeing the game to being “full time” players.

He told me, “I was picked!”

He said, “They started picking teams and one of the little kids picked me! It felt so good to be picked! I got to play!”

The excitement of being picked to play by a child made him feel wanted, important, and worthy!

God chose David.  On the surface, the choice made no sense.  But God doesn’t work on sense; He works on grace.  God called you, and God called me.  He knew what He was doing.  Beth Moore, A Heart Like His

Our Creator calls us to Himself.  As Dale was chosen to be on the team, God calls us to be in relationship with Him.

IMG_6898 YOU are important!

YOU are wanted!

YOU are worthy!

From our perspective, our background or past may not appear to be good enough to be chosen by God.

When God places a stirring in your heart, you cannot deny it.  Will you respond to His calling?

Turn your focus from within to looking completely at Him.

Regardless of age, gender, or race, He extends grace, should we choose to accept it.

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23, 24 (NIV)

Dale did not intend to be chosen. He never imagined having the opportunity to play, but he impacted the lives of many children as a result of answering the call.

Choosing to follow God means we respond to the call He places on our hearts.

The call results in different roles in the body of Christ, but together we function as One, so that we may impact many.

As a child I remember sitting on the sidelines, wanting so badly to be chosen for the team.

Today I understand I am chosen by God.

Today you are being chosen by God.

May your feelings of rejection and loneliness be replaced with feelings of belonging and joy.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

Regardless of where you are, or where you have been…

Remember Who You Are: BELOVED
Remember Who You Are: CHOSEN

How will you respond?

IMG_6902Let’s Pray…
Heavenly Father, I praise You for tugging at my heart at the perfect time.  Thank you for choosing me, and for loving me first.  I am grateful that I can see your fingerprints all over my life.  You have brought me to where I am today.  Thank you for your grace from my past and your preparation for my future.  My heart is no longer lonely, but rather filled with joy.  May my heart continue to rest in knowing I am your Beloved, and Chosen by you for Your perfect purpose.  May I reach out to others to help them answer your call.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen

I am praying for you,

Signature_Mindy

Remember Who You Are: BELOVED

Remember Who You Are: BELOVED

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  Ephesians 1:3-4 (NLT)

IMG_0877

IMG_1220
My family recently moved to a location close to the beach.  This summer we have spent many mornings walking or running on the sand, and each morning something new lends itself to discovery.

When the waters from the high tide recede, they leave all kinds of sea creatures behind.

Regardless of our new discoveries, the sun consistently rises and sets each day around us.

Through this time of intense change in our lives we have found, Change is certain. Christ is constant.

In all things, God remains the same, and in Him, so do we.

Remember who you are.

He calls you BELOVED.

You are BELOVED, which means dearly loved.

God’s love for you did not begin at birth, or even at conception.

According to His Word, you have been dearly loved since the beginning of time.

Then you had your “birthday!”
{The specific time in HisStory when you where born.}

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

And you became BELOVED to your parents, who have loved you since your sweet pink skin was held close to their bodies, and they could feel your heartbeat for the first time.

Regardless of where you are – you are BELOVED.  You can move, but you cannot escape His love.
Regardless of what you do – you are BELOVED.  There is no sin too great for His blood to cover.
Regardless of how you feel – you are BELOVED.  Let the truth of His Word set you free from the strongholds which you battle physically, emotionally, and Spiritually.

God loves you with an everlasting love – from the beginning of time to the end of time you. are. BELOVED.

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  Ephesians 1:5 (NLT) 

God loves you so much that He let his Son die in your place, and He has adopted you as His own.

He is perfect and sinless, and in Him so are you, because of the great sacrifice of His Son.

Christ’s blood covers our sin, so that we are holy and without fault in our Father’s eyes.

May your anxious heart find rest in the truth of His Word – in Christ you are His BELOVED child.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NLT)

Today may you let His words comfort you and remind you that you are loved with the most intense kind of love
~ The Father’s Love.

Remember who YOU are: BELOVED

Let’s pray:
Heavenly Father, I praise YOU for Your unconditional love.  Thank you  for loving me regardless of where I go, what I do, what I have done, or how I feel.  You have loved me dearly from the beginning of time and you will love me until the end.   Thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross for my sin.  I am grateful to be called Your Beloved Child.  Please give me the confidence through Scripture to walk in Your truth, so that others may also experience the freedom which comes from believing in You.
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Now, go share His love with someone who needs it.  I will pray for you.

Signature_Mindy

Suprised By Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker ~ A Great Book for Moms

Suprised By Motherhood by Lisa Jo Baker ~ A Great Book for Moms

“But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation: My God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7 (RSV)

 

God sees us, God hears us, and God meets us right where we are.   He fills my heart continually with His Word, and with the words of others whose stories are so similar to mine. Our stories are different, yet they contain similar highlights, because we have the same Author.

In between the “busyness” of life I found time to sit down with this story…

IMG_0791

Lisa Jo Baker’s story of a mom, whose cup moves from emptiness to overflowing, shows women the depth of His grace, mercy, and love.  Her story is for all who nurture with love and compassion, the way God nurtures us, from the very beginning.
To moms who are raising children on a different continent than where their roots began…”I know of no other recipe for making a good-bye bearable than the promise that the God who goes with us and stays with them will be the bridge connecting us, no matter how far or long the distance.” Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 95

To moms whose faith is stretched in the early stages of parenting…”And what makes me happy is not necessarily what draws me closer to the God who knows my every nook and cranny.  It turns out He loves me enough to say no when, as every parent understands, saying yes would have been so much simpler, with less call for temper tantrums.”  Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 100

To  moms holding onto their babies in the worship sanctuary – who realize that this is how God holds us….”And to do this, the heavenly Father had to unwrap His arms from around His only Son.  Unmake the closeness.  Break more than the ties of flesh and blood.  And heaven itself cracked open when He let go of His Son and reached for me.”  Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 129

To moms who move from house to house or continent to continent…”Lying next to him, holding his hand, tucked into the curve of his thigh, I am home no matter what country I am in – this love that cracks the lock on zip codes and time zones.”  Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 192

The story begins with a girl who has lost her mom, “Losing a mother doesn’t happen in a moment.  It takes years to appreciate the impact of what is gone.” Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 62

Lisa Jo’s wounded heart decides she does not want children.   God opens her heart, heals her, and blesses her with two boys and a girl.  Her journey ends with a woman who has found a great understanding of herself through her children…”The woman who looks back at me from the mirror is someone I never expected to meet… The names she carries like so much dirt underneath her fingernails from digging into the roots of a family… We see ourselves in our children better than any mirror.”    Lisa Jo Baker, pg. 186-7

I have loved every stage of parenting.  Lisa Jo makes me fall in love with being a mom all over again.  She understands the depth of a mom’s love and shares her story with grace and elegance.

As moms across continents, our scars tell ours stories, our hearts beat as one, and the Spirit units us.

IMG_2202

Although this book has filled my heart with an even greater love for motherhood, that I had no idea was possible, it is about more than that.  This book is about understanding the love The Father has for His child.  A love that is present from the very beginning of conception.  A love that is understood as one takes a step back and realizes, “We love because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19.

We all have a story written by the perfect Author, with similar highlights, and the same resolution.

“For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”  Revelation 7:17

 

May your hearts be encouraged by Lisa Jo’s story Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected About Being a Mom  this Mother’s Day!

Signature_Mindy

Found: A Passionate Freedom

Found: A Passionate Freedom

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2nd Corinthians 5:17

 IMG_7631-1

There is a stirring.  God is doing something new.  He is calling, and we are answering…as the caterpillar waits in the chrysalis to emerge at the perfect time.
She struggles as she stretches long to break free.  One wing cuts through the outer shell, the blood flows to the tips of the wings, and she feels stronger.  She gains strength, the other wing is released, and she is free.  She is a completely new creature.  Slowly she stretches her wings to fly.  She is beautiful.

 Once the butterfly leaves the chrysalis, does she long to go back to being a caterpillar?

Does she carry the past with her?

She is a new creation, why should she go backwards?  Her one focus now is a passion for living.

We live in a fallen world.  We face challenges, but by the death of One on the cross, we are set free.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  1 John 4:4

We live free from guilt and condemnation of the past.
We live free in the grace given to us as the result of one sacrifice.  He died, so we may live.
We live free, so that we may show others the way.

Your passion comes from the struggle you went through – the deepest, darkest time of your life.  Your struggle for freedom gave birth to a passion within you.

Your passion plus the power of the Holy Spirit is what sets you on mission to impact the world.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  John 15:16

What if your past becomes the tools God uses to help shape the future?

When your passion turns into a calling, the cost becomes irrelevant.  Jennie Allen, from Restless

When Jesus chose Peter and Andrew He said to them,

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

God chose 12 men not for what they did, but for who they were – ordinary, loyal, and devoted.

He knew the depths of their hearts.  He even knew one would betray him.  He chose the disciples, used their past to ignite a passion, and helped them see how they would shape the future.

As disciples (students & learners) they followed him.  They learned how to see life from a fresh perspective.  When He was gone, He gave them the power of the Holy Spirit, and He sent them out.

He took their passions; He taught them the Scriptures; He gave them the Holy Spirit, and THEN He sent them out to reach certain people groups.

Jesus found ordinary men to do extraordinary tasks.

God’s favorite instruments are nobodies, so that no man can boast before God.  In other words, God chooses whom He chooses in order that He might receive the glory.  John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men

God was doing something new, so that we could see it was from Him.

He chose 12 ordinary men to become apostles who impacted the world then, and their stories continue to change the world today.

God is doing something new.  You are a part of it.

He needs you to move forward and not look back.

The power of the Holy Spirit combined with your passion creates the perfect combination needed to reach the people who need to hear about Him.

He has released you from your chrysalis, so that you may live with a passionate freedom.

Is something holding you back?  Do you realize you are chosen and called?  Spend time in His Word so that He may continue to equip you, and give you the confidence to go.  You are ready.

Sweet butterfly, it’s time to fly and impact your world today.

Signature_Mindy