I’m not that girl … yet

First take a time out and watch this video.

A: I love Shane and Shane

B: I love John Piper

The truth is there are some days I live and breath the truth in this video. I deeply desire to be the person that this video describes. Then there are some days that I get so frustrated I ignore that fact that God is calling me to be this person. So in reality I am not the girl in the video… yet.

I have this deep aching desire within me to see the church awakened, and for people to know who God is and walk fully in the callings He has for us.I dream of seeing an army of people rise up. An army of people who fight for redemption. An army of people who live and love selflessly.

Lately though I’ve been talking to lots of people and experiencing a lot of confrontation when it comes to the topics of unity and spiritual growth. We talk about comfort, and safety, and jobs, and financial security, and how boring or not boring the bible is, and who is fun, and who is not, and how others can help make us better, and a million other things, I really don’t care about. It frustrates me. It makes me want to quit, pack my bags and go somewhere new. It frustrates me because I think I’m right. It frustrates me because I know God wants more, and I think I have the answers to fix the world. It frustrates me because I’m impatient. It frustrates me because I see little or no hope in the people I’m talking to. It frustrates me because people are wasting great opportunities. I mean it is my job to make sure they don’t miss out on God. Right?

That video is describing a person with the exact opposite attitude. The person in this video doesn’t quit. The person in the video endures adversity, and is humble, and trust that God will finish the good work he starts in us. The person in the video can see that everyone is made in the image of a holy God. If I were the person in this video I would get over myself and grow up.(this is the very thing I often want to say to others.)

So normally after a realization like this, I beat myself up, try harder, burn myself out, my circumstances get hard, I stop caring, and then again another revelation and the process starts over again.

Lame. I know. But I have had an AhhHa moment. What if I would let go, trust God to finish the good work He started in me, and pursue holiness and the one who creates it? I think then maybe I might be the girl in the video all the time. Not just on the days full of hope and promise. Not just on the days where I feel like justice is an urgent matter. Not just on the days where I see great need. EVERYDAY!

I’m confident that I will get over myself and grow up. I am confident that others will to0. I’m confident that God will raise up a mighty army that loves and lives selflessly. I am confident that the person described in the video is real, and that there will be more serving the kingdom in the future. I am confident I will be that person more and more each day.

So I am not the girl in the video yet. I will be.  What about you? Do you desire to be that person or am I crazy? Do you ever feel alone in your calling? What do you do when you want to give up? What are you confident in? Fill me in.

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Confession: I’m an ambitious, people pleasing, control freak

Hey everyone. It has been a while. To find out why I’m writing blogs again check out the about me section of the blog. It will save us all time. Also I have posted all my favorite World Race Blogs on this site so check them out. Now down to business.

Here it comes. Confession time. It’s awkward for me, since I want to be perfect, and now I am aware that I am not. It is intriguing to you because you get to see where I mess up in life. It’s like watching a train wreck or reality t.v., or Snooki.   It is a win-win situation.

My confession today is this: I’m an ambitious, people pleasing, control freak.  I have been home from the mission field for almost five months. That is longer than I was actually gone, and the truth is I don’t have any more of a plan today than I did five months ago. I have no idea what is next. I have no long-term goals set, no ten-year life changing plans. I have no idea how to get where I want to be.

That’s not true. I do have a plan. That’s the control freak part. I have it all figured out. Who, what, where, when, and even the why. I think I know how God will be most glorified, while I am the happiest, most comfortable version of me that I can be. Gross! Right? I have tied up everything with a pretty little bow, and I have expected God to give it to me. Just to fill you in, He said no. What I guess I should say is, I don’t know what God’s ten-year life changing plan is. It is driving me crazy. I am ambitious, and I like to work towards things. I love to dream big, and work hard enough to earn that dream. I also like to please people. The truth is lots of people expect more from me than just working at a shopping mall, babysitting kids, and planning some ministry events. I want to live up to those expectations. I want to be liked, valued, and respected, as a person, and a leader in my community.

In the last paragraph I used the word I about 1000 times. That seems to be the problem. I want a lot of things. I expect a lot of things. I pursue a lot of things. I’m finally to the place where I am asking God what He wants. What He has. What He wants me to do. I don’t have an answer except for wait. I hate that word. Wait. Even though I hate that word, I know there is something worth waiting for. God’s plan is better than mine. I’m trusting Him to lead me. The hardest part of letting God lead me is that I don’t get to earn what He has. God gives grace which means, I don’t get to earn but only receive. I SUCK AT RECEIVING! Add another thing to my to-do list on pinterest. Become better at receiving.

So for now I take it day by day. I’m trying to love others well, receive graciously, walk in daily obedience, and wait for God to speak. Maybe that was God’s plan for me all along.

Are you stuck in phase of life where you are waiting?

Any tips on enjoying the waiting period?

What are your life plans?

Lets have a discussion. Comment, or e-mail. I really want your thoughts.

In the Morning I Wake Up

Most mornings I wake up a bit disconnected. I am not a morning person. Not even for one second. I do think though. A lot. One of the first thoughts in my head is
“Who do I want to be today?”
The church answer is Christ.  I think that is a good answer. But I realized in asking that question so much over the last few years I have some identity issues.  Do I know who I want to be? Sometimes I want to be the really fun youth leader, or the super wise council, or the really amazing communicator, or the girl that no one knows,or the pretty girl, or the gentle girl or the lazy beach bum.Sometimes I really have no clue who I want to be. Often my answer is Jesus. But sometimes I want to be other things. Then I think it through and it always comes back to Jesus. I know that most would say, “Good job Mindy. Great answer. You are on the right track” I don’t want to be on the right track any more. I want to walk confidently in who I am made to be always.
In India I have had a major crisis with Identity. So I wanted to take my next few blog post to talk about what I think Identity is and what it is not. I want to hear from you. I want to hash through this. I want us to walk freely in our Identity in Christ. So please speak up on this topic.
So what is Identity? The dictionary says:
1.the state or fact of remaining  the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions.

2.the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another:

3.condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is
I would say we all have the same Identity as believer in Christ. I believe Identity is the one part of us that does not change. It is and will always be constant. It is the thing that defines who we are and how we respond. It is not our uniqueness or what we contribute to the kingdom. It is who God says we are.
 I thought I would finish this off by sharing with you where I want to find my Identity and where I do not.
I am not…
  • My gifts or lack of
  • My talents or lack of
  • My beauty or lack of
  • My sex appeal or lack of ( please don’t freak out. I know we are Christians. Explanation to come)
  • My skin color
  • My intelligence or lack of
  • My sense of humor or lack of
  • My personality
  • My friendships
  • My Job
  • My Church
  • My Calling
  • My role
  • My influence or lack of
  • My experiences or lack of
  • My gender
  • The perception and and assumptions of others
I am…
  • a daughter of the most High King
  • the vessel for the power of the universe
  • the bride of Christ
  • a servant to the kingdom
  • to be love, grace, and mercy
  • holy and blameless before a righteous God

So where do you find your Identity? How do you define yourself? Is your definition healthy? Lets have a conversation and find out who God is leading us to be.

Raising the Dead

Hey Everyone. I know there have been no blog post and you have all been letting me know. Internet is limited in India so I am just now uploading my Thailand Blogs. Enjoy. Also if you are interested in helping me cover some of my out of pocket cost for the trip let me know. It would be greatly appreciated.

The time we spent in Pattaya was really unique to the rest of our trip. Technically prostitution in Thailand is illegal but that law is not really enforced so women will come from the provinces of Thailand to work in bars in major cities to provide for their families. So most of the women we met in Pattaya chose to work as prostitutes. They were not trafficked and held against their will. Some of the that does happen in Pattaya but not what you see on the streets. These women choose to work in bars not because they enjoy it but because they feel like they have no other option for a job. Everyday I had the opportunity to sit with women who work as prostitutes.They feel like they have no value, or worth as humans. They obviously do not know they have worth as a daughter of the most high king. As I sat with these women I would often wonder why Jesus sat with the prostitutes, and with the tax collectors. I tried to get in His head. What was He thinking? Where was His heart? Then I realized He was there to raise the dead.

 

In the gospels Jesus commissions the disciples to go out, raise the dead, cast out demons, heal the sick, and share the gospel. I believe that as a current disciple of Christ, I am called to do all those things. I believe that I can physically see all those things come to pass through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives and dwells within me. But today as I write about raising the dead, I don’t mean physically, I mean spiritually.

 

In Ezekiel 37 there is a story about Ezekiel. Who knew, right? Well Ezekiel has this vision where He is in this valley of dry bones and God commands Ezekiel to speak to those bones so that they might live again. (V. 4-6) Ezekiel does it and at first the bones are formed together, and grow flesh and physical bodies are made whole again.(V.7- 8) That is pretty cool but those bodies don’t live, they don’t breathe. They just exist. God had already promised that they would BREATHE so there has to be more!(V.9) The next part of the story is my favorite because God then commands Ezekiel to speak the the BREATH of these bodies. Ezekiel obeys and the bodies stood on their feet as an EXCEEDINGLY GREAT ARMY!(V. 10)

 

Ezekiel spoke to their souls, and when he did that, the army lived. Jesus spoke to the souls of His disciples, and the prostitute at the well, and the tax collector in the street, and the lame and the sick. When He did they lived. Jesus speaks to my soul and I LIVE!

 

Over the last month I have realized the power of speaking to someones soul. I have had mine spoken to by many of you and it creates refreshment and life with in my spirit. I got to sit with women and speak life to their souls, and watch something awaken in them that is beautiful and alive.

 

I also realized how much I don’t speak life into the souls of people I do life with. I get comfortable with people. I assume they know I value them I love them, they are talented, or gifted, or a joy to be around. The truth is we live in a world where there is an enemy fighting to convince of lies and sometimes those I love forget I love them, sometimes those I care for don’t know that I do. Sometimes we all lose sight of our giftings, and callings and we just need someone to remind us, to help breathe some life into our weary souls.

 

 

So my prayer is that we will be a people who speak life into others souls whenever we can, even if it seems like overkill. No one can have too much life. Lets be honest. I pray that as we speak life into the souls of those around us we will raise up an Exceedingly great army for the Kingdom of God.

Lessons Learned and Re-learned

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38

 

“Love Never Fails”

1st Corinthians 13:8

 

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers ALL transgressions.”

Proverbs 10:12

 

The verses above are some of the most cliche and overused verses in the bible. I think with good reason though. They matter. They are truth worth clinging too. We must walk in these truths to remember there is hope in the midst of destruction. That there is a reason to sew into impossible situations.

 

 

Everyday in Pattaya I walked down one of the worst streets in the city to do ministry. I saw girls out and ready to find customers at eleven in the morning. I saw men, looking for a good time, intimacy, or an easy relationship. I watched as girls who couldn’t be older than 13 try to win the attention of men quadruple their age. I saw the enemy in the eyes of captive people. I saw destruction, devastation and and to an unbeliever a hopeless situation.

 

I would walk down these streets, and on the beach and would pray for these people. I would ask God to intervene, to act, to rescue. The Holy Spirit would whisper to me, My Love OVERCOMES! God literally would whisper this to me 50 times a day.

 

I would have conversations with people who were held captive by their sin, who saw no other options, who had no hope. People who had made horrible choices, who had horrible things done to them. The Spirit would then whisper My Love is DEEPER.

 

I fell in love with people I would only see once on this earth. Some of them I would get to see  a few times. I spent two weeks in Pattaya and was filled with sadness when it came time to leave. I was in Bangkok for ten days and I silently wept as I drove to the airport because I deeply love our ministry contacts. I have loved deeper in the last month than I have most of my life.

 

For a long time now I have known God’s love is deep and wide, and unconditional and the key to restoring a broken world, and the thing that compels people to come into relationship with Him.

God has spent the last month simply revealing to me a new level of the depth of His love. I used to think the verse from Romans was true, but cheesy. Now it is life giving to my spirit and the truth I cling to when I look at a hopeless situation and I know that nothing can fix the brokenness I see. Today I know that God’s love is deeper, and that it overcomes all things. I know I change nothing but He changes everything. I know that I am very capable and I can make things happen. I know God is the only one that makes good happen. I know that the condition of the human heart is hopeless, but God does impossible things. (Matt. 19:16) These are all truths, I have learned before, and will learn again. I am thankful for the revelation of these truths and the hope that comes with them.

You Are Asking Me to Do What?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

Proverbs 1:7

For years I struggled with doubt. Not as much doubt in God as in me. I doubted I would listen, or walk in obedience, or that I could get things right. Then I learned to Fear the Lord. Not a fear the Lord as in, “look at pretty Jesus. Is He not sweet and kind. Look at all the good things He does. I think I will respect Him.” There are times where I am genuinely afraid of Him and His power. You might say this is not biblical, but how many times do people tremble in His presence?
Scripture also says
“Do you not fear Me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble in My presence?”
 Jeremiah 5:22
I think His power is to be feared.
Over time God has taught me about His power, and His sovereignty. The more He does the more I am genuinely afraid of what He might call me too, or what He might ask me to do. He is all powerful, all knowing, and I have got nothing on Him. I know I am not alone in this. The more I talk to those that I would consider to be part of my generation the more I think this is common. I am convinced God is raising us up to fear His power so that we might walk in it!
Now that the trip is half way over I start to think about what it is that God might be calling me to next and honestly… I am a bit terrified. I also know this to be true. The same power that holds the universe in place, that causes all things to work for God’s good, and could  destroy everything with one breath is FOR ME.
This is where perfect love cast out fear. I know He loves me and that He is for me. A kingdom can not be divided against itself so If I am serving His kingdom He wants to lead me in the best way to do so.
I have no idea what is next but I do know, it will be great. I am praying that we will be a people who genuinely fear God and walk in His perfect love.

I also know a few other racers are praying about what is next for them. If you are looking for some crazy people to further the kingdom I know some.

Where the Heart Is

 

Hello Everyone! I know everyone has been waiting for an update so here it is! I am in Phnom Penh Cambodia. I will be here the whole month. I am staying in a super nice hostel and I love Cambodia and its people. God has been gracious and good. Here is what God has already taught me through this experience.  Where my heart is will be my home. Like I said. I love it here. I love walking to the market a couple times a day to eat fresh fruit. I love crossing busy streets, I love walking everywhere, and I love taking a tuk tuk to the places that are to far to walk. I don’t feel drawn to move here or anything but this is where God has me for a month so I am convinced He has made this transition easier than most so that I might dive into ministry. God has given me a heart for this country so even though I miss my friends and family terribly this feels like HOME!  Yesterday for the first time I met the women who head up the ministry I will be working with for the next month. I also met some of the girls I will get to hang out with. Part of the ministry is to provide jobs for the girls who are coming out of trafficking. The girls can make cards or other things to sell or work in a spa. We had the opportunity to hang out in the spa yesterday and I walked in and started crying. The reason that I started crying is because the spirit of the Lord rested there and because the Lord gave me an instant love for these girls. As I prayed about this experience God revealed to me that His presence was not in this spa but dwelt with the heats of these girls. That is where their beauty and kindness radiated from. They had found peace and restoration in a Holy God. Some of them are on the road to that still but are set up for success where they live. I went in expecting to serve and instead I received a mani and pedi. God sure does know they cry of this girls heart. I was humbled to have such beautiful women serve me in such a gracious way.  On the top of my hostel there is a small platform on the roof. I sit up there to seek out the Lord. As I sat up there last night and looked over the city the Holy Spirit whispered to me this… “Welcome Home, but don’t get to comfortable.” I am blown away by the presence of the Lord and by His abundance of love poured over me. I am excited to share stories of the girls and lesson learned over the next month. I am also excited to share with you about the three other homes I will have over the next four months and the struggles that come along with it. If home is where my heart is you all are a part of home and community. Community requires realness and rawness  to grow so I promise to share that with you. Shalom to you all…

I Hate to See You Leave…

Why? That is the question I have been asked a lot lately as I say goodbye to the ones I love and the people I have worked with for the last year. There are two answers to that question. The first answer is  One. One person. One heart. That is why I want to go on this trip. I know I am normally a big picture person, but my focus has completely changed on this trip. I’m no longer concerned about ending human trafficking. Although I would love for that to happen and I want to be part of ending trafficking, my focus on this trip is the one girl, or the one child, the one missionary, that I connect with, that I build a relationship with. I just want to go and love the people I interact with. The one person in my environment that day. I want to love so big that the only explanation for my response to a person is God. I know that I can not do one thing for the people I will get to interact with. I also know that God can provide everything that they need. My heart is for the people I get to meet to see Jesus and know His love.

The second answer to that question is the most important reason I am going. Me. I know that sounds selfish but it is true. I know that I will learn and receive more on this trip than anyone I interact with or serve. This trip is about people finding freedom and coming to know a really awesome God. But the reason I am the one specifically going is because I am the one who has something to learn from setting captives free in the name of Jesus.

On Sunday I was talking to a man and he simply said “This trip is going to wreck you. Are you ready for that?” My answer to that question is I am desperate to be wrecked. I know that this version of who I am will get on a plane in 16 days and fly to Cambodia. Somewhere in the next five months this version of me will die. I know that this trip is to push me farther into my relationship with my maker, and part of that is the death of my flesh.  Honestly this is a bit scary because as cocky as this  sounds I really like who I am. I  think I am fun and I would totally hang out with me.  So to know that I won’t come back the same is scary . As I say goodbye to all of my friends I realize they and I will never know this girl again.  I am also so excited about this truth. I want to live, look and love more like Christ.  Paul got it right in Philippians when he said everything else is rubbish compared to knowing Christ. Nothing matters more than knowing Jesus more. NOTHING!  I want to do whatever it takes to know Christ more so being crucified with Him is not even a question but it is the only option I feel like I have. So even though I hate to see this version of  me go I am excited to be the new version of me and I am desperate to know my  father more. I am desperate for the next chapter in my relationship with  maker.  As much as I like who I am today I can no longer stay here. I must be moved, I must be shaken, I must be wrecked. I need to be changed and transformed. The more I know God the more I need to know Him. God is so good and I am literally dying for more of  Him.

Took a Chance on a Gamblers Game…

I have this friend who always makes fun of my because I say “I Love You” a lot. I think he is half kidding half serious in the way he makes fun of me.I think it is hard to hear it said that much and take it seriously. Our culture does use the word for lots of things that have no eternal value.I do that. I am very passionate and if I enjoy something I LOVE IT, and if not I HATE IT. I am all in or all out on all things.  I do say it a lot in reference to people but I always always always mean it. If I don’t love you I won’t say I do.I think people even christian people are skeptical of large amounts of love. I am even skeptical of people loving me in large amounts. I have been following Christ for eight years. In the last eight years one of the things that has changed is my capacity to love. To love people, to love the church, to love ministries. Part of my struggle with this trip was falling in love with this ministry. I thought by giving my heart to it that I would have to give up all the other ministries that I already love. During a lot of prayer and wrestling with God he revealed to me that His love is infinite and through Him my love should be the same. I don’t have to chose who I love or what I love because he expands my capacity to love.  The thing with love is though is that it is painful. There is a friend of mine who has been there for me through so much. I found out that she has cancer last week. My heart broke. Not because i’m worried she will die. The odds are actually in her favor. My heart breaks because I just didn’t want her to have to endure that. I know that I love her because I would totally carry this burden for her if I could. Gal 6:2 says that we should bear one anothers burdens and therefore fulfill the laws of Christ, which is to love God love others. (Matt 22:36-40). When we love we hurt because part of bearing burdens is hurting with others. There is a  song called “Running Around In My Dreams” by Tyrone Wells. There is this lyric I love. It says “I took a chance in a gamblers’ game. Put my heart on the line..” I feel like any time we love we are gambling with the out come, when we will get hurt, how bad, why. I know that as I ask God to grow my capacity to love, it grows my risk of hurt but I also know I love to love. IT IS WORTH IT! So my hope for you and myself is that we will see people love big, and instead of being skeptical we will expect it. I hope we will grow in our capacity to love, knowing that we will get hurt and still chose to do so. I want to be known as the girl who is willing to put her heart on the line so that others might know the love of an infinite God.

Between the Dead and the Living

I’ve never thought I was very good at taking a stand. I wanted to be good at it but, I’m afraid I will loose everything. I have lots of convictions and opinions about those convictions but very rarely am I willing to lay everything down for the good of another. I also bought into the lie that taking a stand meant having to do something elaborate or extreme. I’m learning however that taking a stand is all in the details of the way you live your life. Taking a stand is simply choosing to sow into life instead of death.

Why do I believe this? I read this passage in Numbers. It is chapter 16 verses 41-50. Here is the set up. The nation of Israel is complaining yet again and God is kind of over it so He intends to consume them with plagues. Moses then commands Aaron to do a couple of things to make atonement for the Israelites sins. In verse 48 it says “He took his stand between the dead and the living”

While I was at training camp the past week this passage kept running through my head. All I could think is “this is the thing we are called to do.” Take our stand between the living and the dead so that God’s kingdom may come here and now. So the lost, broken, and hopeless may experience life through the grace found in a loving God.

The baby in the picture above is Baby Mercy. She is my sweet baby niece and holds a piece of my heart. I adore her. She is such a picture of life to me. Everything is ahead of her. There is a calling over her life. That calling is the same as ours and by the grace of God she will live it out. The cemetery is obviously the dead. The thing that we are called to do is stand at the gates of the cemetery so that God can breathe life into dead bones so that they may live out their calling.

That is why I do what I do. Why I go to lock-ins, ride school buses for 24 hours, hang out twice a week with students, serve food in a shed on the side of the street, and travel to Cambodia, Thailand, and India. I want to go to the gates of that cemetery take my stand and see the dead raise up from their grave. I want to take my stand by sowing into things that bring life in big ways and in the details.

At camp I experienced one of the toughest spiritual battles of my life. I know it is because taking your stand between the dead and the living is hard. It is hard to leave a land surrounded by life and stand at the gates of death. It requires preparation, training, and action. God is teaching me how to fight. Fight for the lives of others.

So my question for you today is this…

Where are you taking a stand now?

How are you preparing for the next cemetery you are called to approach?