More Than Music

Something that I think the modern Church gets wrong is worship. Most people think of worship as the music time in a church service. The leader gets up, you sing a few songs, a few people get emotional,  and then everyone sits down.

Worship is so much more than that. Worship is a lifestyle of servitude and gratitude to God. Yes, music is important, and I wholly believe that God loves it when we praise His name in song. It’s one way that many people, including me, connect to God and feel His Spirit.

My problem with the way we talk about music starts when friends tell me that they don’t think they are good Christians because they don’t connect with the music like the people around them during Church. They don’t feel comfortable or lead to praise Jesus by belting out notes or raising their hands. This is the kind of limited worship that I have a problem with.

Limiting worship to song is putting both God and His followers into boxes. It places God in a box and says that He can only speak to and connect with His children through song, and it places Christians into boxes and says that we can only commune with our Father through song. This ignores that God mad each of us a unique and interesting person,  and He therefore connects with each person uniquely, and each person will therefore worship Him in a different way.

If you are good with numbers,  be an honest business man. If you love building homes or furniture, let God guide your fingers to create the best work you possibly can. If you love talking with people,  minister to others in the name of the Lord. All of these things are worship if you do them with your heart in the right place: directed to God.

Worship is so much more than music. It is a lifestyle, and I believe that it can be a powerful one if we let it. Today, as you go about your seemingly mundane tasks, invite the Holy Spirit to show Himself to you. When He does, praise Him for his faithfulness and love.

Something Better

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God has challenged me recently to re-evaluate what it means to follow Him. What it means to be a Christian. He has been challenging me to go deeper, beyond the religion that we have created out of His love. Going to a personal, irrational relationship with the Creator of the world.

That is a big, obscure, convoluted idea to tackle, and it’s one that I am only starting to get a glimpse of. However, I have started thinking about what that would look like in the world. What would it look like to live in a full-force, undivided, passionate pursuit and obedience of the Creator?

In Acts 5, Luke writes about how the early believers would meet in Solomon’s Colonnade, a part of the Temple in Jerusalem. In verse 13, he writes about how the rest of the people viewed the believers:

“But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them.” ~Acts 5:13

The Christians were different and everyone could see that. They saw that they were unique, and they liked it, but they were too afraid to join. Why they were too afraid is a topic for another blog, but what I want to point out is that the Christians stood out.

They were weird. Everyone knew that they were following Jesus because of the way they acted. They were more than just really nice people that everyone liked. They were different.

I’ve been forced to ask myself, “Can other people tell that I’m a Christian simply by the way I live my life and how I interact with others? Or do I just blend in?” God calls me to acknowledge Him with my lips and with my actions. Actions go beyond the stuff I was taught in Sunday School. Actions go to how I treat that annoying customer at work, how I interact with my family, what I do in and out of the public eye.

As much as I want to fit in and go with the flow, because it’s easy and comfortable, God has called me to something bigger than me and, oh, so much better. He has called me to follow the narrow road that will take me outside of my comfort zone because He loves me. Following Jesus isn’t easy, and striving for a life-changing relationship with Him will cause me to stand out. And that’s good. Really, really good.

Blessings and love in Christ,

~Lindy

An Apology

Hey y’all, 

Sorry that the blog has been a bit on the nonexistent side recently. I’ve been feeling discouraged and worn out recently,  and it’s hard for me to write when I feel like that. I want this blog to be a happy, encouraging place, and sharing my mopey feelings won’t encourage that. I’ll hopefully be back soon with happy, perky blogs.

Thanks for understanding.

Love and blessings,
~Lindy

Sifting Through History

I have always lived close to my grandparents.  They built a house on a hill when I was one. When I was two, my parents and I moved into that house while construction was underway on our own house at the bottom of that hill. Since we were so close, I spent a lot of time there as a kid.

Much has changed since then. My grandfather has passed away, and my grandmother has remarried. I now have three younger siblings, and the little house at the bottom of the hill has gotten crowded.

Back to the house on the top of the hill. For several reasons,  my grandparents have sold their home and are in the process of moving into a smaller house. Today I went up to help the sort through the boxes that have piled up in their attic: what should be kept, thrown away, or sold.

With people who have lived such rich lives, many memories were unearthed in the process.

Happy memories of grandchildren and children,  long hikes in the woods, companies owned, and travels documented. I saw the fabric that my grandfather printed by hand that was used to make the stage curtains for “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway. I saw pictures of my grandmother as a young missionary in New Mexico. She got to be a bridesmaid in a Mexican wedding. I saw pictures of both of them as children.

Sad memories of children and grandchildren that were taken to Heaven before they experienced this world. Sympathy cards and poems that bring to your eyes.

Although it’s hard for me to help my grandparents move out of a home that was so important to my childhood, I’m glad to help them and learn more about my family history.

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My grandmother's grandmother. We found this picture in the eves of the house.

On Creativity

I like to think of myself as a creative person.  I’m not entirely sure if that us 100% true, but I find myself inspired by creative people and by creating things myself. This blog is a perfect example. Almost every time I write a blog post, I find myself with ideas for two more.

A few months ago, I created a Pintrest board called “On Creativity.” That has become a space where I collect things that I find on the web that encourage creativity. I thought I would share a few quotes I have found.

“Don’t be afraid of silly ideas.” ~ Paul Arden

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” ~Steve Jobs

“To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong.” ~Joseph Chilton Pierce

“And by the way, everything in life us writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Road Trip Hacks

So over the past two weeks, I have gone on two rather extensive road trips. The first to Nashville, Tennessee with two of my closest friends.  The second to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with my family. 

While road trips are probably my favorite way to vacation,  they can be exhausting.  I, therefore, have compiled a list of ways to make any road trip better.

1. Celebrate the little things. Have a cheer for when you make it within 100 miles of your destination, or when you cross a state line. While this may sound a little childish,  it totally worked for me and my two friends.

2.  Excellent soundtracks are essential. This one is pretty obvious.  Make sure there is variety: love songs,  ballads, stupid songs that just make you laugh. Roll down the windows and sing out loud!

Something else that goes along with soundtracks is try out books on tape. My family discovered this a few years ago when we took a six week camping trip. This meant a ton of driving. Listening to books allows you to be transported out of the car you’re stuck in. It also adds another voice because if you’re on a road trip, you are with the few same people for a crazy long time. It’s good to get some variety.

3. Make other drivers smile. My one friend plays a game with herself. She sees how many other drivers she can get to wave at her. If she can get a trucker to honk at her, that’s a bonus! Not only did this make our trip better (we couldn’t help laughing at her antics), it made other drivers happy too.

4. Windows down! Obviously.

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What makes your road trips better?

Happy trails!
~Lindy

Baby Rhinos

I didn’t post a blog yesterday.  I could say that it’s because I was in Africa saving baby rhinos, or that I was in Seattle building a tiny house to travel North America in, or that I was smuggling Bibles into China. But all of those scenarios would be lies.

In all honesty, I completely forgot to write one until 10:30 last night and I had to get up at 5:30 this morning to go to work. I decided to act like an adult and get enough sleep. (Act, mind you. Not be.)

Anyway, last night, as I started to fall asleep,  I kept coming up with great ideas for blog posts. It was frustrating for me because I wanted nothing more than to get up and write the darn post, but I knew that I needed sleep for my early morning.

I have discovered that my creative juices are most potent at night when I’m tired.  I’ve heard it explained that as one gets drowsier, the filters in the brain that often block creativity go down. This is why insomniacs go through intense periods of creativity.

My problem is that, as I get these great ideas, I also fall asleep and forget them. Great ideas down the toilet.

To combat this, I have a great note-taking app on my phone. I use it write down the spectacular ideas for blogs I have throughout the day and at night while I’m laying in bed.

Although not all of these become blogs, several have. And they may be ideas that I can come back to later and develop into bigger and stronger ideas and subsequent blog posts.

Seeing is Understanding

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The saying goes that seeing is believing.  While I think that is a very true statement,  the words could use a little modification. For the case of this argument, let’s say that seeing is understanding better.

Let me explain myself.  We, as humans,  believe in all sorts of things we can’t see with our own eyes. We believe in wind, Mars, and love. I was talking to my sister about this idea, and she said, “I mean, I believe in Africa.”

However, when we see something (and I don’t mean see it on the internet, I mean see it in person) we come to a better understanding it. Once we see that thing that we believe, we can process it and come to a fuller understanding of it.

What got me thinking about this was a good friend of mine and her boyfriend. The two of them have been in a long-distance relationship for almost three years now. Due to the distance in their relationship,  I don’t know him very well. It’s very weird for me, as a friend,  to see them together because here’s this guy I don’t know holding hands and cuddling with my friend of ten years.

That really irritated me for the longest time. It made me mad that I was having a hard time being happy for my friend.  But then I came to the realization that seeing is understanding. I believe that they love each other, but seeing it can be weird and different. Every time I see them together,  I will add a layer of understanding to it. That doesn’t mean that being around them will be any less weird or awkward, but it might mean that I’ll be more okay with it.

Maybe next time I see them together, I’ll keep this idea in mind, and it’ll be a little easier to process.

Blessings,
~Lindy