Midday Connection

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Archive for the category “Melinda Schmidt”

Midday blog: Failure in Love

The late founder of L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and author of The Mark of a Christian, Francis Schaeffer, wrote about Jesus’ desire for His people. (You can find it in John 13:34, 35.)

“The church is to be a loving church in a dying culture. How, then, is the dying culture going to consider us? Jesus says, ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ In the midst of the world, in the midst of our present dying culture, Jesus is giving a right to the world. Upon his authority he gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born-again Christians on the basis of our observable love toward all Christians.” (italics mine) He adds: “That’s pretty frightening.” I agree. Since Jesus gave the world the authority to judge us, we might ask ourselves, “How are we doing?”

From my perch, more and more I am struck with increasing polarization within our evangelical community. Of course, we will often find differences in our interpretation of God’s truth. (Not much different from the differences of the early churches, right? Take a look at the letters of the New Testament as well as books that cover early church history.) But how are we handling those conversations in these days? Are we expressing our thoughts cautiously, kindly, lovingly with old-fashioned good manners, or do we use combative, superior, self-righteous language? I fear the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, blogs), with its opportunities for a growing number of faceless conversations, has given us a false sense of empowerment to frame our thoughts and responses in boldly Jesus-vision-less ways.

Schaeffer sums up, “In other words, if people come up to us and cast in our teeth the judgment that we are not Christians because we have not shown love toward other Christians, we must understand that they are only exercising a prerogative Jesus gave them.”

Or in Jesus words,  “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5) Ah, there it is: humility.

God, please give us hearts of love toward our own, so that we may authentically show the world: we are Yours!

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidtMelinda Schmidt

Midday blog: Controllers Anonymous

Well I’ve started a new club with a girlfriend. You may have one in your area; I’m sure there are others around. Lynda, and I are calling ourselves Controllers Anonymous!

Here are some questions that helped us know we qualified for this new club. We found out we have both said things like:

“Why don’t you….”

“Well, you should/could/might have….”

“Did you do what I asked yet?”

“I would have….”

Ahhh, that well-intentioned advice or comment. Or is it? Sure, when others are ready to take a fall, we want to help them avoid it with some of our wisdom. And sometimes we need to follow up as leaders, making sure tasks are done and done well. But by whose definition? More often than not, I sense I just want my way, because, after all, it’s the best way, right? At least I believe it is! Oh boy, talk about arrogance.

Lynda and I talked about how our controlling comments can show a lack of trust that God is God. When we step in all of the time, we exhibit doubt that God is enough for the task of ___________(fill in the blank).  And we miss seeing what He will do, as well as then missing an opportunity to give Him glory as we see His empowering. Do we believe He is mighty, adequate, powerful or not? Or do we just want our way, by our methods?

I told Lynda about how I had wanted to have magical powers when I was a little girl – yep! I wanted to be GOD way back then! And she told her story of being in the car headed somewhere with her husband. She “suggested” he go a different way. He said to her, “Lynda, we can go your way or my way, but either way we are going to get there!” Okay then. Point made.

Anyone else part of Controllers Anonymous out there?

Melinda SchmidtMelinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: Can we shape another’s personality?

Have you ever noticed the subtle suggestion out there that parents can actually shape the personality of their child? Beyond the natural desire to guide children toward Biblical character development, there’s this hint that we can turn them into something – else. Something better?

The Biblical stories of Jacob, Cain, Abel, Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, Paul, Joseph, his brothers, and others demonstrate that each were born with a unique personality that sometimes served them well (Mary, Esther, Abel) and other times did not (Samson, Jacob, Ham, Jezebel).  Some lives came to good ends (Jews still celebrate Esther’s Purim today) while others came to tragic ends (Lot), never able to overcome their bents. Jacob continued to wrestle with his personality into adulthood and eventually wrestled with God, figuratively and literally in Genesis 32.

And actually, none of these Biblical characters were perfect.

You’ve probably scratched your head wondering how children can come from the same parents but be so different! There’s no doubt genetics play a part in who we are, but from the beginnings of humankind, we understand that God is the Creator of us all (Psalm 139). We arrive on earth imperfect, but we can gift others with God’s love, joy and truth with the Holy Spirit’s power. After that, their next steps are their own.

As we send an aroma of prayer to God (Ps. 141:2), and let our loved one go, releasing them into God’s hands, we give them freedom to accept or resist truth. They are making their own choices. Will I carry my anxieties and worries about my loved one to God, and confirm my trust in Him? Fill in the blanks of Psalm 31:15 with your loved one’s name: “ _____’s times are in your hands; deliver _____from the hands of _______’s enemies (Satan for one! as well as drugs, an emotional affair, deceit, etc.), from those who pursue _______ (evil friends or ideas or destructive habits, or other temptations).”

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidtMelinda Schmidt

Midday blog: Feeling Anxiety for Our Needy Loved Ones

If you are the parent, spouse, friend, or care giver of someone who is needy, see if you identify with these thoughts from Frederick Buechner in his book, Telling Secrets. He writes about his daughter’s very serious eating disorder and his varied responses:

– I wasn’t living my own life any more because I was so caught up in hers.

– She had given up food. I had virtually given up doing anything in the way of feeding myself humanly. To be at peace is to have peace inside yourself more or less in spite of what is going on outside yourself. In that sense I had no peace at all. If one particular day she took it into her head have a slice of toast, say with her dietician supper I was in seventh heaven. If on some other day she decided to have no supper at all, I was in hell.

– The love I had for my daughter was lost in the anxiety I had for my daughter.

Here’s a prayer I found online that might help to express to God the anxiety you feel for your needy person:

“I intercede for _____who is in ______,  struggling with issues relating to _________. I feel extremely frightened and worried and it is overwhelming me in my daily life.”

“Please help _____ with self esteem and self confidence and _________,  and I plead for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for her to choose ________,  to  be honest with me, surrounded by the people who will love and guide her in the right direction. I love_______ unconditionally. She won’t confide in anyone. Holy Spirit please pour out your blessings on ________.”

The peace of the Lord go with you, friend.

 

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: Keep Calm and Sparkle On: Gathered Thoughts

*Our Producer, Lori, got me on to this lovely-hearted blog. Topics: depression, Down Syndrome, autism, imperfection, mom-ing. I liked this quote from the blog: “In my silence, my life becomes small and lonely.” The nudge toward vulnerability, and sharing life in a community.  http://www.gillianmarchenko.com/

*I’ve started to do something that has helped to brighten my days: every morning I don’t get out of bed until I count 30 things I am thankful for on my fingers. Sometimes during the day I remember to keep it going, “That’s 41, 42, 43….” Kinda fun, and seems to add some kind of magic to the day. My suggestion is to not make it a serious project.

*This blew me away – it’s revealing about the way Christians view gays. God, help us to grow up, spiritually. (Prov. 29:25) http://tinyurl.com/knvdofe

* I liked this quote from Davis Bunn: “Will you be defined by inertia, or will you get started? You can always change direction.” There’s inspiration and hope in that, I think. And permission to risk!  He’s the author of The Turning which releases next month. http://www.TheTurningBook.com

douge

*Finally, you know I’m crazy about my 6 1/2 pound MinPin/long-haired Chihuahua, Pippa. Look-she made the cover of Dogue!

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidtMelinda Schmidt

Midday blog: Feeders

This Wednesday (February 12, 2014) Christine Wyrtzen and I talk about those “feeders” in our lives: People who drown us in their neediness often through manipulation.

-“You’re the only one I can talk to about this.”

-“I need you – can you come over right now? If not I think I’ll _______.”

-“No one understands me but you.”

They are continually self-focused, and when you catch your breath and stand back for a moment you notice they aren’t even making changes despite your large investment of time and effort.  Your continual counseling seems to start at A and end at A, unfortunately  never progressing.

While they have discovered your “likes” and often show up with your favorite books, foods or crafts, there’s an air of falseness –  any authentic relationship just isn’t there.

More and more I’m hearing spiritual leaders encourage us to back up a few steps and let God work in the lives of others. I’m glad for that encouragement. It can mean a sore heart, and taking risks as we relinquish the God-like role others have tried to make us wear. But it’s an opportunity for us – and for others – to see just what God’s Spirit might do.

There’s a concept I, sadly, often lose sight of.

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: “My husband is my everything” kind of living

Have you found yourself living into a belief system in your everyday life that looks like this: my husband should fulfill all of my needs and desires?
These feelings can contribute to making husbands the recipient of eventual disappointment, confusion and even disdain that is often covered up in our Christian communities. After all, when our husband doesn’t measure up to becoming the same kind of “head of the home” that another woman’s husband appears to be, we can often feel utterly left out, our marriage less-than, even believing our husband is a failure.
Personally, I never married with the expectation that my husband should “lead me.” After years as a self-sufficient career woman, and a sensibility that told me I was responsible for my own spiritual growth, it didn’t make sense to turn over the reins to somebody else. I had as my model for marriage my parents’ own strong one, where both operated as individuals who came together around disparity in loving communion, negotiation and prayer.
However, I did enter into marriage with the expectation that my new husband would fill those empty places inside my soul as I looked for security, adoration, natural spiritual unity, lack of marital conflict and the “shoulds” of a perfect Christian marriage that I’d been taught in church, on Christian radio, in women’s Bible studies and in Christian books. If you can relate to the dis-ease that sort of thinking brings to your life, you may appreciate this piece from Alexandra  Kuykendall called “Expecting a ‘You Complete Me’ Kind of Marriage”. Click on the link below to learn how she navigated the choppy waters of a “my husband is my everything” kind of life.

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life”-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: Becoming More Human, Less Machine

This poem by Carol Bieleck is a piece of beautifully written layers, and for me, it describes that shocking evolution – when everyday life becomes everyday overwhelmed-ness, and the recognition that this is the new normal. It resonated with my own new normal. And then, that lovely invitation to accept what is and then to learn to breathe under water.

So, for starters, that means I’m taking some days of vacation this month (no school work or housework or people-serving allowed!) and engaging in what my executive coach calls soul care days.

I can’t wait..to spend time with me again. To become more human and less machine.

House by the Sea by Carol Bieleck

I built my house by the sea.
Not on sand, mind you.
Not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house.
By a strong sea.
And we got well-acquainted, the sea and I.
Good neighbors.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance,
but looking our thoughts across the fence
of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier;
always the sand between.
And then one day
(I still don’t know how it happened),
but the sea came.
Without warning.
Without welcome, even.
Not sudden and swift, but sifting across the
sand like wine.
Less like the flow of water than the flow
of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight and I thought of drowning and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher,
till it reached my door.
I knew, then, there was neither flight nor
death nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop
being good neighbors,
Well-acquainted, friendly-from-a-distance
neighbors.
And you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe under water.

 

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: Does Everyone Look Like You at Church?

Dave and I have wanted to visit a Chinese-American church near our home, so when I got to know Chen, a student from China, in one of my grad classes and found out he attended there, Dave and I decided to visit.

After couple of visits Dave turned to me and whispered, “This is refreshing.”

What we’ve appreciated is being in the minority. One Sunday four congregants stood at the front of the church to serve communion. Three were Asian and one was a Caucasian. It looked so out of the ordinary to me. I wondered: Is this what it’s like for minorities in church: To look to the front of it and see themselves as a minority representation? To be outnumbered by faces different than theirs – all the time? I’m not saying it’s either good or bad – I’m simply being faced with a different perspective.

Along with being a minority face in the crowd, I am also learning the stories of people who do life and faith from a different cultural perspective than mine. In Addition, the weekly message is given with an appreciation for the diverse ethnic and generational perspectives in the church. Out of the ordinary.

I resonated with a quote from this blog. “When you have always been in the position of power and privilege, it can be difficult to understand what it’s like to be in the minority.” You can read the rest of what Liuan Huska has to say here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2013/october/making-ourselves-strangers.html?paging=off

I’m appreciating being a minority…on Sundays at least.

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

Midday blog: Am I Willing to Be Disturbed?

Yesterday, while researching a topic for Midday Connection on Youtube, I watched a ten minute piece of a longer National Geographic documentary on child brides. On the right hand side of the page was a multitude of other pieces on the topic. “Wow, there’s tons of stuff on Youtube alone about the needs of the world!” There’s plenty of current bad news available through daily news outlets, but how many times do I watch it or read it with a reason to do it? Learning about the chilling practice of child marriages was viewing with a reason.

Developing our minds includes becoming aware of what’s going on around us, open hearted in our observations and conclusions. This is in complete contrast to – well, I will speak for myself here – a tendency toward judgmentalism. Having an open heart toward documentaries about the plight of child brides, or Op/Ed pieces on food deserts in our cities or ongoing racial/class tensions means we move from, “They need to get over it,” to “I wonder, what is their story?”

I’m not a fan of blood and violence, but years ago I made it through most of District 9 (Alert: blood and violence!). Disturbing as this movie was to watch I realized God’s Spirit opened my eyes to the crushing emotion and experience of segregation and racism. We may feel as though we just want to insulate ourselves from the “blood and violence” of life, but sometimes, God may have a reason for us watching, reading, thinking about our weighted world. Am I willing to take ten minutes a week to let God speak to me about the needs of the world through His eyes – in a newspaper, Youtube, documentary, movie or novel, and do it with an open heart?

Melinda Schmidt

Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. Twitter: @melindaschmidt

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