Monthly Archives: February 2012

Ears Should Hear

  Yeah, the Lord created ears  to hear.
We know that.

Proverbs 20:12

The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
the LORD has made them both.

Little kids know that.

Husbands don’t always know that.
Well, husbands know ears are for hearing,

but I’m pretty sure they have a shut-off valve wired in their ears.
They know HOW to use their ears,
they like to decide WHEN to use them.
Little kids are obvious when they’re  ignoring you.
 They keep their head down and
concentrate on their book, their toy,
or whatever they deem more important
than the avalanche of words falling off your tongue.
A husband isn’t so obvious.
He’ll smile and nod,
giving  monosyllabic words of affirmation,
so you think he’s listening and agreeing.
It’s only later when you reaffirm plans,  go spend the money,
or plan an outing,  he’s busted.
Then the wife begins the quizzing, the drilling, the accusations.“You never listen to me.”
“What did I say about _______?”
“Who did I tell you called today?”
“When are we going out to dinner with the Smiths?”

 
As a young bride, I was devastated.
I had envisioned an adoring husband clinging to my every word.
As a young groom, I’m pretty sure he was devastated, too.
I don’t think he envisioned having a young bride
who could talk the hind leg off a mule (name that movie)
and expect him to remember
every.
single.
word.
I learned a few things early on.
There are good reasons why a man doesn’t listen,
and each wife has to figure out what turns the shut-off valve
in her husband’s ears.
Once we both learned to apply what we knew
about communication, it became easier.
I’ve even trained the kids to look for that glassy look
in Daddy’s eyes that tells them
the porch light’s on,
but nobody’s home.
Daddy might see lips moving and hear noises,
but he might not be listening.
He might still be at work.
He might be balancing the budget.
He might be planning a trip to Hawaii.
(Ya’ never know, it could happen again!)
They are to politely and respectfully get Daddy’s attention,
first his eyes,
then his ears,
then they can talk.The Lord used a different method to make a man hear.

Mark 7:31-35
 “And He… put his fingers into his ears,
and he spit, and touched his tongue”

I haven’t tried that.
I thought about demanding a hearing test, but spitting is out of question.

Prior to this healing, the Lord commanded three times in Mark
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”



I can joke about my husband’s ears, but mine are no different.
The words go in the ear canal, but not always into the heart.
That’s why the Lord had to give us this command.
He knew His people would have trouble listening to His Word.

Glassy-eyed,  we smile and nod our way through the Scriptures,
the words tickling our eardrums, but not impacting our lives.

We  should be that eager bride hanging onto every Word,
doncha’ think?

Well, doncha’?

Hey, are you listening to me?

Heresy in My Home

As a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing parent,
I’ve been careful about what I expose my kids to.
(I know you’re not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition,
 but I’m tired.)
I don’t take my responsibility as a parent lightly,
as I understand some day I will stand before the
King of Kings
and give an account for the job I did as a Mother.
At the Judgement Seat of Christ,
my life will be put to the match test,
wood, hay and stubble will burn,
gold, silver and precious stones will remain.
So, I  try to carefully evaluate
books
movies
games
technology
toys
and try to help the kids understand my Biblical reasoning
for the decisions made.
I cherish their souls and long to present them spotless before the Lord.
After 24 years of parenting,
I realized I failed.
Epic failure, in fact.
Heresy entered our home.
 I let down my guard and brought it in myself.
This heresy came in through a
~brace yourself~
~this is bad folks~
 a coloring book.
That’s right,
a coloring book.
No, it’s not the short skirt on Noah,
but that would cause some outrage in some circles.
Notice the raindrops falling on Noah?
Heresy.
Not one drop of judgement fell on Noah or his family,
who followed him into the ark by faith.
God shut the door, then the rain began.
The ark is a beautiful Old Testament picture of Christ,
with those inside the ark by faith facing no judgement for sin.
Not one eensy, weensy, tiny drop of water
landed on Noah and his family.
Not.
one.
drop.
“Wait a minute, Momma Mindy,”
I hear you saying.
“You said you were going to appear before the Judgement Seat.”
Yep,  that’s right.
(click on the links to read the verses)
I won’t face judgement for sin at the Great White Throne
because I already faced the Lord God as the Judge on earth
when I admitted my sin and trusted Christ as my Savior.
Anyone who waits to meet the Judge after death,
will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
However, believers face the Judgement Seat of Christ
where their works are judged.
Rewards will also be given based on what survives the fire.
That’s a pretty heavy sermon,
all started by a  black and white drawing ripped from a kids’ book.
I think I need to use that page to start a fire in the fireplace,
cuz it won’t stand the match test.
I’m not going to forbid coloring and coloring books,
but I did discuss the error.
It was important that my children understand
the beautiful picture of Christ represented by the ark.
Can’t have heresy in this house,
no sirree,
not one eensy, weensy, tiny drop,
not even in our
coloring books.

The Innocent Man

My heart is indebted to you who  have read, prayed, wept and encouraged
us through this past year of the life of
The Innocent Man.

I’ve rarely felt alone in this journey.
Just when I need it the most  one of you will comment,
send me an email or renew my strength with your prayer.
I know I’ve been vague in the details,
but because of the ongoing investigation and the need for my family’s privacy,
I haven’t been able to share more.
He is well loved by my family and everyone that knows him.
He lives 2,000 miles away and not near any family members.
(I was the only one who was able to fly out for the trial,
although many wonderful, supporter believers from the area were there.)
He is a new believer.
He was going to be married  June 2011.
He was going to graduate from college May 2011.
He was going to start a new job in his field in February 2010.
Someday, I’ll be able to tell you more.
Someday, when
comes, you will hear all.
The Innocent Man
 is in county jail, awaiting sentencing. 
The parole officer is recommending 13-16 years.
He could be 60 years old when released.
Even if he had committed the crime, this is a stiff penalty.
In the state where he’s detained,
 a person who commits murder is sentenced to life,
 but is eligible for parole after 20 years.
For an innocent person, this is unbelievably hard to face.
He has moments where he’s fine,
and other moments where he’s swallowed by the waves,
just like the rest of us.
We have a pact towards one another.
We choose to be strong so when he’s released,
he’ll come home to  family and friends strong in the Lord.
He’s choosing to be strong,
so those outside the bars can endure the unjustness of his confinement,
and won’t fail in their strength.
We choose to be strong for each other
and we choose to walk by faith,
though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
He’s daily reading His Bible.
He’s daily praying for everyone and everything he can think of.
He exercises daily.
He reads daily, thanks to wonderful friends who order books online.
 (You can’t mail packages, only order new books online.)
The Innocent Man also has been witnessing to many men.
One day he described a scene from the night before.
The men in his cell block wanted him to pray for them.
Of their own accord
they gathered in a circle,
held hands
and had the Innocent Man pray for them out loud.
It was a moment the Lord allowed to give us hope and peace,
and to understand about His ways and His thoughts.
We do see spiritual purpose and the Lord upholding.
But still, no matter how much he reads and prays and witnesses,
our hearts long for him to be out.
We long for justice and vindication.
But for now,
irons bars and an iron cot make up the home for
The Innocent Man.
We just rejoice that it’s not his final home,
he’s just a passin’ through,
his treasures are laid up,
somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon him,
from heaven’s open door,
and he can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
Thank you for upholding, through your words and prayers,
The Innocent Man
and those who love him.

What About Joseph?

This has been a hard post to write.
In fact, I’ve been struggling with the topic for months.
Maybe longer.

It’s hard to face the topic of Joseph.

People honestly love me and try to encourage me
with their thoughts of Joseph,
but they haven’t grasped our daily reality.

I know this is the Lord’s will.
I accept this by faith.

I long for a little compassion when they remind me of Joseph.

The Innocent Man has to find a way in jail to buy his own clothes,
his own toothpaste, his own shampoo, his own snacks.
He is limited to two shots of insulin a day,
when his doctor had him on a daily regimen of four.
In jail they consider baloney a food,
a food worthy of serving twice a day,
once on white bread, once with gravy.

I think if anyone pictured their innocent loved one in jail,
they would struggle with the story of Joseph, too,
because they would be struggling with having to accept
that this is part of the Lord’s plan for their lives.

Not a wedding, not a career, not a public ministry.
Jail.

 I made myself read part of the Scriptures about Joseph.
Shying away from any part of the Lord’s Holy Word
is like turning my back on God.
Of course, I was blessed.
As I finally faced that story of Joseph,
I discovered  the first use of the word
deliverance
in the Bible is in the telling of the life of Joseph.

Genesis 45:7
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth,
and to save your lives by a great
deliverance.

When I walked out of the courtroom
without the Innocent Man  I understood

God doesn’t always deliver.

 Deliverance
did not come that day,
despite the tears, prayers and pleadings of many believers
around the United States.
Deliverance
occurs in
God’s timing
and
God’s way.

If God had delivered Joseph from his brothers out of the pit
and brought him home to his father,
he wouldn’t have been able to restore and  save his family.
If God had delivered him after he was sold to the Ishmaelites
he wouldn’t have been able to save the nations.

If God had delivered him when he was first jailed
he wouldn’t have been able to fulfill God’s plan.

 

Each step in Joseph’s life of suffering
brought him farther away from the comforts of home and family,
but  into closer fellowship with the Lord.
 
We can easily read about Joseph’s sufferings, because we know how it ends.
With the Innocent Man,
we don’t know how the story will end.
We don’t know how or when
deliverance
will come.
But, we read the story of Joseph for encouragement and hope.
We know who sent Joseph to jail,
even though it may be hard to accept.
Genesis 45:7-8
God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth,
and to save your lives by a great
deliverance.
So now it was not you who sent me here, but God;
We know it was meant for good.

Genesis 50:19-20
 Joseph said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me;
but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day,
to save many people alive.

By faith, we know
deliverance
will come.

Until
deliverance
comes,
we must live by faith.

God Doesn’t Always Deliver

In the past year, deliverance was always on my heart and mind. Thousands of Christians were praying for the Innocent Man. I received a small mountain of encouragement, verses sent in emails, texts, Facebook and  recited in person, repeating promises of deliverance.

 

This YouTube video by Selah blasted from my computer many times.

We all believed God was going to deliver in a mighty way.

When the jury foreman said
GUILTY
we were stunned.

Older believers, whose faith that could move mountains, were speechless before a holy and mighty Go. We were humbled to realize there was a plan we could not fathom.

Deliverance was not the plan for January 20, 2012.

I read Hebrews 11 last week in my morning devotions and was stunned again. How had I missed this message for almost 30 years?

13 These all died in faith,
not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off were assured of them,
embraced them and confessed that
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  

Somehow, I always thought of Hebrews 11 as a chapter of victory, recording great deliverances and miracles. I guess I didn’t read too clearly. My heart is beating a different rhythm these days,
trying to beat in tune with the heart of a God, whose ways are not my ways and thoughts are not my thoughts.

Clearly, in Hebrews, not all of His  people were delivered on earth. Instead, He reminds us we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth.

In other words, we don’t belong here. We belong with Him.

Deliverance  might not come when we think it should, and sometimes not until we pass from this world. Life on earth is hard for believers. The Lord doesn’t keep that a secret from His people.

Hebrews 11:35
Women received their dead raised to life again:
and others were tortured,
not accepting deliverance;
that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings,
yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,
were tempted, were slain with the sword.
They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins,
 being destitute, afflicted, tormented
38 of whom the world was not worthy.
They wandered in deserts and mountains,
in dens and caves of the earth.

Until eternal deliverance comes,  and we get to be with Him, we know how to act, thanks to Hebrews 11.

v. 5 Enoch pleased God
v. 7 Noah moved with godly fear
v. 8 Abraham obeyed
v. 11 Sarah received strength
v. 27 Moses forsook Egypt (this world!)
If you’ve trusted Christ as your Savior and your name is written in His book of life, write your name in another book.
Literally, I mean.
Open to Hebrews 11 and pencil in your name and your trial. Then think how you want your life remembered by others. Will your faith be recorded, even though you lived a life of suffering?
Can you walk by faith until you receive eternal deliverance?
Because God doesn’t always deliver on earth.

But, Daddy, you PROMISED!

If I heard this once, I heard it a thousand times.
 
When our kids were very young,
my dear hubby would make a promise
(like for a horse)
and the kids couldn’t patiently wait for the fulfillment.
Kids don’t understand details must be arranged
 before asks become answers.

 

Sometimes, Daddy wants to wait for the perfect timing.
Sometimes, Daddy wants to bless them when they need it the most,
not when they want it the most.
Sometimes, they have to keep their end of the promise,
to receive Daddy’s blessing.

 

A child’s impatience expects the words to jump off the tongue
 and morph into whatever was promised.
Kids need to learn to wait on Daddy,
without whining,
 fussing,
or throwing a temper tantrum.
 
They don’t trust their Daddy
They don’t believe their Daddy.
They want their way, not his.
They might wrongly think
they’re not loved
or
not listened to.
 Daddy’s discretion is more important than immediate gratification.
Feet stomping and huffing won’t change the mind of a Daddy.
He hears praise.
He hears thankfulness.
He hears love.
He watches for patience.
He watches for understanding.

As Daddy, he reserves the right to answer the promise
in His way
and
in His timing.

But, wait,
we’re talking about our kids still,
right?
RIGHT?!?!?!?!
As we wait on the Lord for answers to promises from His Word,
shoudn’t we be modeling the behavior we desire and expect
from our children?
 
He promised to never leave or forsake us.
 He promises He hears our prayers.
He promises to deliver.
In every book of the Bible,
every chapter,
every page,
every paragraph,
every sentence,
promises are made by our promise-keeping Father.
Pick a promise from your Daddy,
pray about it and
be patient.
No foot stompin’
fussin’
or whining’
for any of us,
k?
Cuz ya’ know what?
Our Daddy PROMISED!
 

Do YOU Attend Sparrow Funerals? God Does.

During Sunday morning’s message, I heard an incredible thought.
A heard a verse I’ve known for nearly three decades preached differently.
Referring to Matthew 10 the visiting preacher said,
“The Lord attends the funeral of every sparrow.
How much more He cares about the death
of one of His own.”
He was teaching verse by verse through Psalm 116,
ministering the Lord’s love and compassion for His people,
and had used these thoughts to support verse 15.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of His saints.”

It was a timely reminder.
This brother, Uncle Bill from Story Book Lodge Christian Camp,
didn’t know when he prepared his message for our little group of believers,
 that many of our elderly people had suffered serious health complications
in the past few weeks.
He didn’t know that we’re all secretly  fearing that very word ~
funeral.
What a relief to be reminded  when a believer breaths their last breath on earth,
they breath their next breath of Heavenly air.
This sparrow verse thrilled me as a new believer devouring her Bible.
I marveled that God cared so intimately and so deeply about His creation.

I was also thrilled with this verse tucked in between the sparrow thoughts.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

I wondered why He would care about such a trivial thing.
The more I pondered this, the more I marveled. 
He just didn’t know my strand count,
but the strand count of every person on earth.
When I brushed my hair and cleaned my hairbrush of the random strays,
I knew the Lord was subtracting those strands from the remaining ones.
Thirty years later, especially after losing a lot of hair due to thyroid cancer,
I still marvel about this.
Another verse that impacted me early on was Matthew 6:34,

“Do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

The God of Heaven was telling me not to worry.

He tells us He sees and understands these small details,
so we’ll entrust Him with the
big problems
of our lives.

Another verse in that passage tells me why.
Matthew 10:31
“Do not fear therefore;
you are of more value than many sparrows.”

We’re valued by a hair-counting, sparrow-watching
loving and eternal God.

That’s a good reason to not worry.