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Author Archives: mandy844

“Called to Controversy.”

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Called to controversy was different than I was expecting…. More biography than story, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. While parts of Moishe Rosen’s life journey were certainly inspirational the book was altogether not what I expected.

Having said that, the book was well written and unbiased for being written by his own daughter. Perhaps a good read for a person feeling called to mission work.

This book was provided free for review from BookSneeze.com

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
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‘Revealing Jesus’ by Darlene Zschech (A book review)

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Darlene Zschech is already well known for her musical and song-writing abilities and now she has added a whole new chapter to that talented portfolio; writing.

Each new day is another beautiful new perspective. Starting out with a scripture, she follows with practical ways on how to both understand no apply these scriptural truths. To end each day she writes an absolutely beautiful prayer that you can tuck into your heart for the day ahead!

A great devotional for those who find their lives hectic and busy. The devotions are not huge but will give you the meat you are hungry for! Definitely a five-star book!!!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
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“‘Jennifer’: An O’Malley Love Story” Book Review!!!

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This is the first book that I have read by Dee Henderson…..and what a beautiful love story it is!!!

The romance that Henderson paints in the pages of this book between Jennifer and Tom leaves me hungry for more of the O’Malley seres!!! This book seems like a great place to start this series and I highly recommend reading it! If you’ve already read the O’Malley series this is a neat look back into the history of Jennifer’s life!

Definitely a must read!!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The friendship challenge!

God has so blessed me.

I have attached my devotion from today into this post; its too good not to share. Lysa TerKeurst, one of my newest favourite writers has given a message in this devotion that burns on my heart as well. I know her thoughts and wisdoms to be true because they exist in my life. God has given me a wonderful friend to be vulnerable, exposed and uncovered with. I’ll let you read Lysa’s thoughts and then I will continue with my post below that 🙂

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The Friendship Challenge
Lysa TerKeurst

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)

A woman becomes tender when she reveals her vulnerabilities.

A woman becomes transparent when she exposes her wounds.

A woman becomes authentic when she uncovers her insecurities.

And there aren’t many women who enjoy being revealed, exposed, and uncovered. But establishing real intimacy with another person requires pushing past the resistance—past the fear.

Friendship is risky.

To be known is to risk being hurt. But friendship can be beautiful, and worth the risk.

We can look to the Bible for examples of monumental friendships. In 1 Samuel 18 we learn about the special friendship between David and Jonathan, an example of a true bond. When Jonathan’s father, King Saul, threatened David with death, Jonathan risked his position in his father’s household and warned his friend.

Jonathan and David’s friendship lasted their lifetime, and because of Jonathan’s loyalty to David, the Lord blessed them both. David eventually became king, but by then Jonathan had died. David inquired, “‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?'” (2 Samuel 9:1b NIV).

Don’t miss this beauty: it was customary for the present king to put to death any of the former king’s family. However, because of his and Jonathan’s strong friendship, King David tenderly provided for Jonathan’s son. “I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (2 Samuel 9:7b NIV). “So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons” (2 Samuel 9:11b NIV).

Awesome. Inspiring. Friendship.

Yes, friendship is beautiful. The Lord gave it to us. He knew we would need each other to get through this life.

Think about a friend you can make an investment in.

Not the friend with whom you feel most comfortable. But rather one who might benefit from seeing a little more of your tenderness, transparency, and authenticity. Someone who might be worth a risk.

Someone in your sphere of influence is desperate to know someone else understands.

Might we take three steps and give ourselves a friendship challenge? Here are three things you can do to invest in a friend:

1) Have a conversation with her in which you honestly admit one of your vulnerabilities. Chances are she’ll reveal something to you as well. Then really commit to pray for her. Maybe wear a watch or bracelet and every time you’re distracted by it, use this as a prompt to carry her burden in your prayers.

2) Buy or make this friend a gift. Just because. It doesn’t have to cost much. But make an investment of time to think of something that would personally delight her.

3) Write your friend a note to attach to the gift. In the letter, tell her at least three things you admire about her and some way she’s made a difference in your life.

Then deliver this little “just because” gift and note to your friend. This friend who sometimes feels a little vulnerable. Wounded. Exposed in some way.

Your honesty and thoughtfulness will be such a sweet investment.

For her.

For you.

For your friendship.

Are you up for taking the friendship challenge?

Dear Lord, thank You for all of the friendships and beautiful blessings You have placed in my life. Help me to see this challenge as a sweet reminder to show Your love to those around me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Reflect and Respond:
Write down the name of the friend or friends you chose for the friendship challenge. Don’t wait until later. Your friend will thank you!

Power Verses:
Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times …” (NIV)

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God has so blessed me with an absolutely incredible friend. It’s funny, looking back I would have considered her a pretty good friend the whole time I’ve known her; but I believe God scheduled a divine appointment one day. He created a time for us to connect as sisters in Christ; to be vulnerable, exposed and uncovered with each other. That day, she became so much more than my good friend; she became my very best friend. My soul sister!

I thank God every day for Cindy. She has been such an amazing blessing in my life.

I ‘dare’ you to take Lysa’s challenge. Us ladies need another Godly woman in our lives to come along side of us and hold us up during the battles of this life; to offer a different perspective when we can’t see past our own ‘stuff’.

Thank you God SO much for Cindy! Your word describes a friend that ‘picks up’ the other when they fall down and I thank you for placing that very kind of friend in my life. A friend that loves like you do; who knows me…all of the good and all of the ugly…..and loves me anyway. A friend that is faithful and true. I thank you God for this blessing in my life and I pray specifically for those ladies out there that need a friend like I have found. Please bless them, Father. Show them that they do not need to battle alone! I ask this in your precious name, Amen!

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Christian

 

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There is great purpose in ‘the wait’!

“Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for The Lord!” Psalm 27:14

I start getting jittery when my school boy dilly dally’s at the door when it’s time to catch the bus, or when I’m doing research online and the Internet is slow, or when I ask my hubby to take out the garbage and its not done an hour later, or when I know a box from home has been sent in the mail and I know I have to wait a week to peek inside, or even when I have prayed for something and don’t hear an instant answer. I struggle with having patience….they don’t come easy for me!

In our hurry-up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture, it’s so easy to think we should not have to wait. That way of thinking comes naturally as we are bombarded with short-cuts in all aspects of our every day life. Just take a moment and ponder our reality: in just a few moments I will click “publish” and thousands of you out there will instantly be free to read this post, in seconds we can know the weather anywhere around the globe because of Internet technology, by the click of a button we can pre-warm our vehicles while we scurry around the house getting ready for work, we can move dinner from the freezer to the table in 5 minutes thanks to microwaves, we can even eliminate a trip to the mall and shop from almost anything online! No wonder waiting is hard!!!

If we allow it, our waiting will bring us to an intimate knowledge of God that we would not have if ‘the wait’ was eliminated. Have you ever heard yourself asking “Why did God allow this to happen to me?!”

God does not ignore the cries of his children. King David cried out, begged and pleaded with God for help, intervention and defence throughout the psalms. God never let him down.

Our waiting has purpose.

What a great example King David’s life is for ‘waiting.’ Waiting is more comforting and less difficult when we allow God in to do his work during the waiting season. When we allow our guards down we will be more open to see how faithful he is to bring his plans for our lives into fullness.

I love the saying “If he will bring you to it, he will bring you through it.” I’ve seen very real examples of that in my ministry as well as many times throughout my own life. How faithful and true our God is!!!

Oh, God. Please help me with ‘the wait.’ Please remind me that there is divine purpose for this period of time that my flesh so wants to resist. I want to wait well. I want to be patient as you bring your plans for my life into fullness. I can’t do this life without you. In your name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Christian

 

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Identity Crisis?!

My sisters, listen up!!

As women we are uniquely wired with an abundance of emotions. We tend to take everything to heart and even base our identity on the intense emotions that we have flowing inside! Sometimes this very fact is quite detrimental to our ultimate goal of being more like Christ.

Situations take place in our lives on a daily basis. Situations with our spouse, with our children, with our family, with our friends, with our finances, with our health….etc, you get the picture.

I have some profound perspective for you….Don’t place the whole of your identity into the smallness of your situation.

In other words, don’t allow your emotions to take over. You risk allowing those emotions to cloud the very reason God has brought you to your situation.

Yes, he brought you to it. And if he brought you to it; he will bring you through it. Allow him to build your character through your situation.

“God lives fully in Christ. And you have been given fullness of Christ.”(Colossians 2:9-10)

Your situation (no matter what it is) is small from our great God’s perspective. Minuscule, in fact. He is waiting for you to give the whole of your identity over to him so he can fill you with the fullness of himself.

I have been given fullness. I am filled up by Christ. With acceptance. With love. With all the fullness of an identity that can’t be shaken.

I can place the wholeness of my identity in that reality … and see everything else as small in comparison. It’s not always easy; it’s actually pretty tough….but receiving the fullness of Christ and trusting him with my situations have been far more productive and worthwhile that trying to do things on my own.

My precious heavenly Father, I praise You for Your faithfulness to me in every situation. I don’t want to get hung up on the small things of this world. Please help me to place the wholeness of my identity in who You are and the everlasting acceptance that You provide. In Your Name, Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Christian

 

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A New Kinda Lov-er!

Romans 12:2b, “…let God transform you into a new person.”

Through many circumstances; bible studies, small groups, wise friendships, devotions, etc., this past year has been a year of Mandy’s changing heart. God has truly been teaching me a new way to love….

I, with my precious friend Cindy, am leading our youth girls in a book study called “When God writes your love story.” It’s a great book encouraging us to give God the pen to our romance….we trust God with lots of things…..Finances, health, careers, family, etc….but we often forget that God is the incredible author of romance as well. Why not trust him with our love life in addition to all those other things?

Throughout this year of many lessons on how to love my very best friend and husband Nathan….I have learned that real and true love boils down to this gold-trimmed lesson:

“Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, {I) should humbly be moved to treat {Nathan} as more important than {myself}. {That I} should be concerned not only about {my} own interests, but about the interests of {Nathan} as well.” Philippians 2:3-4 emphasis added.

I will admit I struggle with this! In fact I’ll also admit I’m TERRIBLE at it. It is an incredibly difficult battle with human nature (and our tendency to choose selfishness over selflessness) to put someone else’s needs before your own. It takes a great deal of vulnerability and compromise and most certainly the grace of our Lord! But it is absolutely what we are being asked to do.

Our culture does not support this way of loving. Culture instead implies that love is a feeling that is fleeting. You fall in, you fall out; and that’s ok. It’s not something that needs work- it should just ‘happen’. True God-ordained love is actually quite contrary to our culture’s belief on love:

First of all, love is not a feeling. It is a choice. Attraction is certainly a part of falling in love, chemistry between two people is absolutely the icing on the cake. But those things fade if we don’t have a foundation laid firmly to support and strengthen them. We must choose to love; an unconditional kind of love. A love that says ‘although sometimes you may hurt me, sometimes you may fail me, sometimes life might be a lot less than perfect but I will still choose to love you anyway.’
Isn’t that how Christ loves us? We sin against him every single day- yet his mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions do not fail. They are new every morning: great is his faithfulness.)
And doesn’t he ask us to love one another as he loves us? (John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”)

Second of all, people fall in and fall out because there is a complete disregard to that gold-trimmed lesson I mentioned above. You know…Philippians 2:3-4?! Remember that one? Putting your spouse before yourself?! It’s hard to do; I get that. But, if you want to make it work it’s absolutely necessary. Living life for yourself is no longer gratifying, it’s a hindrance.

And lastly love absolutely takes work. It certainly does not just happen! While dating we tend to go out of our way to love on that special guy/girl! We then expect marriage to take care of itself; we have already won the prize, what’s left to work for?
EVERYTHING!
Think about it, how different would it be for our marriages if we treated our married life like our dating life? I think we’d be quite surprised by the outcome! Dating shouldn’t cease where marriage begins…it’s something that should continue on for our lifetime…don’t you think?

I am so thankful that God is showing me how to love. I am a work in progress that is for sure, but my heart absolutely wants to honour God and I am enjoying learning how to do that.

Thank you God for bringing my wonderful husband Nathan into my life! Thank you that I have found a true friend in him, someone to trust and love and live life with. Help me to be so very mindful to put his interests, wants and needs above my own. I pray that you will help me to love him with a love that is unconditional; the very kind of love you love us with. Go before us and cancel all the enemies plans of de-railing this love that you have surely brought together. Please continue to bless and grow our marriage in a way that glorifies you. In Your name, Amen!!

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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Christian

 

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