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Tindell Baldwin »

Jesus came to die so we wouldn’t have to live in sin. Let that soak in. Our wandering is exactly why he came. He came to secure a place next to him. He made us perfect in him so that we wouldn’t have to live apart from him. Yet we do, we choose to put other things before our savior.

I am down at the beach this week and have managed to read 200 pages of a Nicholas Sparks book (that is awesome) but have only managed to read my bible twice. It is sad to me that I can care so strongly about so many things but when it comes to growing in Christ I tend to say, there is always tomorrow. I tend to think that if I haven’t made it to the top of the spirtual totem pole then i’m just drowning. Thats not true though. God doesn’t ask us to be perfect, he did that for us when he came and died, he only ask that we strive towards him. Our striving is a sign that Christ is working in us.

John piper said it well in my devotional this morning when he said, “being on the way is proof that you have arrived.” All Christians are running a race towards Christ and when you get there he is going to tell you how you ran for him. What he says is up to you. Will you strive harder, pray more,  learn, or will you stay stagnant. Will you walk the race stopping along the way? What will Christ say to you when you cross that finish line. I want him to say to me, ” well done my good and faithful servant.”

Last week was Palm Sunday and as I sang hosanna at the top of my lungs, off key, I imagined myself being at Palm Sunday. I could see myself laying down the palm branches and shouting at my savior but at that same moment I could feel God telling me, “but you were also their on good friday.” I am the same fickle woman I have always been, one day laying down palm branches for my savior and the next day walking away, leaving him on the cross to hang.

It pains me to say this, I wish my devotion was pure and constant but in the midst of life I often forget who brought me from ashes to beauty. I tend to forget that from the great heights I have fallen and just remember my glorious return. I often don’t give credit where credit is due.

Yes it was long ago that men praised Jesus and then begged for his death but don’t we do it almost every day. Don’t we lift our hands in praise to his holiness then treat our spouse with resentment and hate. Don’t we have our quiet time and then forget to spread his holy name. Don’t we do so many things that contradict the praise that comes from our lips and the actions we then take. Man is fickle, our preacher said on Sunday, but God is Faithful, how true that is. We change our minds daily but God never changes his. He know’s you will love him then deny him but he never changes his mind about you. He always loves you no matter which part you play this weekend. Whether you are like me and can’t keep our mouths straight or you just standing by watching. Either way this easter is for you. The pain he suffered and the cross he bared is for you and no matter what our mouths say that truth will remain the same.

I have always thought that to succeed you really just need one person believing in you. When you are young it is crucial to have someone in your life speak truth to who you are. When I was sixteen I was consumed with myself and what I could get. I wasn’t adding much to the world except a few F bombs and a large amount of Abercrombie perfume to the already soaked halls of my high school. My point is no one had any reason to believe I would amount to anything. I drank like a fish, talked like a sailor, and wore enough blue eyeshadow to paint a wall. I was a pretty typical a teenager but despite my bad habits and inability to wear makeup my family always believed in me. There wasn’t much to believe in but they always said one day I would come out of this.

My oldest brother and his now wife had the greatest impact on me. I will never forget after another episode of being caught for drinking my brother sat me down and told me, “God is going to use you for great things one day Tindell.” I almost fell out of my chair in laughter. It stayed with me though. His wife would tell me the same thing. Every time I got caught for something I shouldn’t have been doing they would tell me, “God made you for so much better, one day you are going to be used.”

The result, here I sit almost ten years down the road believing that God will used my scarred past for his kingdom. I have written a book and am pursing publishing because years ago my brother, parents, and sister in law told me that God can used even the greatest of sinners. My point is when you are younger or even older, it just takes one person pouring into you to make a difference. Who is God calling you to believe in? Maybe its the slightly awkward kid at youth group, or the rebel in the corner, or maybe you need someone to believe in you. Whatever it is we were made to build each other up and doing so shows the great love of Christ because after all he is your biggest fan.

  • Jennifer - This is beautiful girl. My parents told me the same thing growing up. It was hard to believe at first, but I know God can do amazing things through those who are willing. I'm excited for your book to come out!ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - i love this Tindell…love the way you write, love feeling connected to how God works in your life even though we've only ever been friends for 3 days :] ps your book photos are BEAUTIFUL!ReplyCancel

  • Tindell Baldwin - Thank you so much for the encouragement ladies! I love when people post comments!ReplyCancel

As I sat and journaled this morning I prayed for so many things. I realized in my praying that obedience to God comes through being obedient and in that you can answer others prayers. Let me explain,

Last week I prayed that God would take over control of my book. I was overwhelmed and underwhelmed and all kinds of whelmed with the publishing process. I sat down in utter frustration and told God “I can’t do this,” to which his reply was simple, “But I can.” So I prayed that he would do it. I told him all my fears and my concerns and told him how terrified I was because this is my heart on paper. He listened knowingly and that night I got a call from my dad.

This is the gist. A literary agent had agreed to read my manuscript (as a favor to my dad) and give me some advice. For those who don’t know the publishing process, like me, a literary agent is the one who gets your book to a publisher. Here’s the problem though I don’t have a lot of money to put into this project. Ben and I are saving for a house and life is expensive and so on and so on. So we put a tiny budget on getting my book ready to be published and asked God to do the rest.

Well this guy was nice enough to read my manuscript and actually liked it. He told me that he and his wife wanted to help me get my book published because he believed in the message. I was in shock. This is someone who has all the right know how to get my message out there. I read my email with the kind of God awe that comes with answered prayers.

I don’t know what will happen in this process but if nothing else God affirmed me that he is with me and he will handle it. This guy was simply there and listened to God and answered my prayer. What is God asking of you today? Whose prayer do you need to answer?

God calls us to be obedient daily and that means tuning in to learn what he wants from us. Even if its not pretty.

  
We went to passion in Fort Worth with expectant hearts. Ben and I had fallen into a spiritual rut and we needed a little God breath to pull us out of it. So we went to see Kristian and Kerri but mostly we went to learn and like God always does he showed up bigger than I could have imagined.

So here we are at passion the last night and John Piper brought us a message that I won’t even try to replicate but needless to say it was amazing. Then worship began and suddenly I was taken back to Passion 06, the year God changed my life forever and I began to walk with him. I looked around me and the venue was pretty much the same, the kids were still college kids, the volunteers had on similar bright orange shirts, but I wasn’t the same.
See five years ago I walked into a Passion conference so deep in sin that I couldn’t see the way out. I walked in so covered in chains I could barely hold my head up but I was there to hear my brother sing.  I had no idea who Louie was or Chris Tomlin, I wasn’t there for John piper and sadly I didn’t know Beth moore, I went to hear my brother sing. But in the moments and hours that followed my first step into the conference something in me changed. I changed. God came down and told me to walk away and threw the chains of sin off me and I’ve never been the same. So I looked around last night and I saw all the familiarity but I looked at my life and lifted my hands in praise because my life isn’t the same.  
Speakers are great. Musicians are great. Conferences are great. But Jesus he is life changing. Jesus is the name the will wreck your world and it might hurt and you might have to suffer for him but you will never regret it. My life changed in a lot of hard ways after 06 but looking back not one of them matters because my savior never left me. Five years later I can still lift my hands in praise and say, “Our God reigns, forever his kingdom reigns.”
  • Writingfor5 - I am so proud of you Tindell. So proud of the Truth you share and the growth that can be made through it!ReplyCancel

As I work to get my book ready to self publish I keep asking myself the same question “am I really ready to put this out there?” And I keep hearing the same answer, “life isn’t about you.” It doesn’t matter how hard I try to get this point through my thick scull I keep forgetting that, whenever God calls you to something its almost always painful but always worth it. Because these pages are filled with my heart, my story, and more importantly my Savior I keep asking myself if this will be worth it. More importantly what if people hate it? Does that mean they hate me?

All these questions keep running through my head and I don’t know how resolve it except to keep reminding myself that this process isn’t for me, about me, or have anything to do with me. These are the words God called me to write, my story that he called me to tell. So I will tell it.

We are all called to tell a story and most of the time your story comes from your greatest struggle. Whatever has caused you pain or made you grow as a person is most likely what God will ask you to use. If you had an absent father he will put you in a situation to minister to those in pain for the same reason. If you have a porn addiction he will ask you to tell your story to a group of men. If you are sick then you will be given people in your situation who need comfort and always need Jesus. As I always say God takes your misery and turns it into your ministry.

Today I met with a woman who was telling me the story of her marriage for one of my jobs. It was great but then she started telling me about how her twelve year old son knows girls that have sex (Dont ask me how). I was intrigued before, but now she had my heart racing. Because of my past I am passionate about teens not having sex until marriage. I got to share with her why I believed parents shouldn’t’ buy their kids condoms and more importantly I got to hear what her thoughts were about the issue. My misery to my ministry. I can only imagine that if ten people read my book I will get to have a few conversations about truth and that to me is worth putting my past out in the open for people to dissect, judge, and possible hate.

  • Writingfor5 - I am very excited for you to finish your book Tindell. Keep it going, you are a light.ReplyCancel

Well the time has come, I have decided to publish my book. I will be self publishing on the kindle until I can find a publisher. I am going to charge $3.50 on the kindle or Ebook and for every book I sell fifty cents of it will go to baby watoto, the organization in Africa that I visited this fall. I realize that God gave me these words and I wouldn’t be anywhere without him so the least I can do is give back to his kingdom. Any who here is the back cover to give you an idea of what the book will be about. It will be coming out in April so please spread the word!

Thanks!

Growing up isn’t easy in a world that rewards only the best and the most beautiful and being in the middle is the worst place to be. Being popular, however, is everything when you are sixteen, or is it worse than being unseen? Take the journey through one high school hall that sees it all. From broken hearts, bad boyfriends, booze, and eventually back to faith this is an honest look at what high school kids are facing every day.

Popular is a heart wrenching memoir of a young girl’s path to find out who she is and what her faith means. Stuck behind two; God squad, over achieving brothers, she searches for the one thing that she thinks will make her life good, Popularity. In an attempt to rise to the top she trades everything she once held dear and finds herself broken hearted and at the end of the road crawling back to her faith.

Popular is for anyone who has struggled to find out who they are. Anyone who is ever wondered if their faith is real or anyone who has ever wondered what the dark side of sin is. It is for the cheerleaders and the debate team because deep down we are all searching for the same thing, a place to belong.  
  • Kate - This is so awesome! I don't have a kindle, but if I did I would buy it. CongratsReplyCancel

  • Tindell Baldwin - You can actually buy it as long as you have a computer 🙂ReplyCancel

  • storey - when will it be available!?! can’t wait!ReplyCancel


  I woke up this morning in the mood to shop. When life gets dark this is my little habit, for some reason the feeling of buying things make me temporarily happy (emphasis on temporary). When we first moved to Texas this became my way of dealing with the unhappiness and when life swings down, like it inevitably will, my shopping bug comes back. It’s just like any other bad habit, some people like cigarettes but I love Target. At the end of the day I had mindlessly wandered the aisles of target for an hour only to buy laundry detergent we needed. My habit might not cause cancer but it does marital spats. Wednesday night is bible study night so I made myself sit down to read Beth’s (like to say that like I know her) “So Long Insecurity.”
    I’ll admit my to-do list was piling up in my head and I was reading quickly until I got to a part that made me stop in my tracks. It’s like her sweet face was coming out of the pages to talk to me and wow did I need it. As I read about her daughter’s mission trip to Calcutta my own trip to Uganda came back to my mind. Her prayer after her trip was, God don’t let me heal from these wounds. I realized it had been a quick five months since my trip and here I was consumed with what I could buy or more importantly what I “needed.” I was appalled with myself, how easily I forget that this life isn’t about me. Suddenly I can see it all again, the orphaned children in my arms not caring at all that they have one outfit. What’s more important is that God has taken care of them and they have a home.

I am so well taken care of. Clothes, food, family, and a husband that loves me (not in order of importance) yet this culture drives me towards myself and only a few months back in America and Africa’s mark has left my heart and in its place are dollar signs. Somewhere along these five months I have forgotten that God is the only thing that can heal my hurts.

    For about four months my girlfriends and I have been learning about letting our insecurity go but today I feel like I just got it. I won’t be healed from my insecurities until I learn what is most important, serving others. I will be healed when I stop looking at the mirror and picking at my faults. Me, my, and I get me know where but serving others gets me closer to my savior.

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