Celebrate His Promises


My heart remains true and is awed by Your words. 
I celebrate because of Your promise, 
like someone who discovers great treasure. 
I despise and abhor lies, 
but I love Your law. 
Seven times every day I praise You 
because of Your right rulings. 

Psalm 119:161-164 The Voice

Homesick & Heartbroken

It was my freshman year in college. I was 500 miles from home and looking forward to a long weekend home for Easter. I was packed to go and even had riders to share the cost. I woke up Thursday morning for my last day of classes and there was snow on the ground. I received a call from my father in Wisconsin. He strongly suggested that I not come home because the weather between Kentucky and Wisconsin was pretty severe.

I was so heartbroken. I had had a long year fighting homesickness and I really wanted to go home. Dejected, I went to my first class. Being at a Christian college, the professor always opened class with prayer. That is, he always asked a student to pray. That morning, he asked me to pray.

I wondered, “How on earth could I pray?” I was so disappointed that I was not going to be able to go home. We all bowed our heads…


“Lord, thank you

for the beautiful snow…”


I’m not sure what else I said. I was shocked to hear myself say it. Certainly, I was not thankful for the snow. It was the cause of my demise.

Psalm 119 Celebrate his promises
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Thankful in the Midst of Trial

It’s hard to be thankful when you are in the midst of trials. Your mind is so centered on your trouble, you can’t really think of anything else. But maybe praise and thankfulness are what helps ease our mind. Maybe it is what helps us make it through. Could it be the way to keep from spiraling down into despair is to continually have His praises on our heart and our mind?

This celebration of His Blessings may very well have been the beginning of a wonderful Easter weekend. I was invited to go to Georgia instead. I visited with a friend AND my aunt and Uncle.

Celebrate His Promises

 Soon after the start of my chronic pain. I was introduced to the writings of Ann Voskamp. You have probably seen to droves of Thankful posts on Facebook during November. When I realized that this came from Ann, I decided to read her book, A Thousand Gifts.   I was challenged to list three blessings every day for an entire year. That was the beginning of the return of smiles in the midst of the pain.

It truly does make a difference to begin listing the things for which I am grateful.

As the women’s director, I challenged all the ladies at church to take the Joy Dare with me. Several did it along with me. One couple shared with me several times how not only did the Joy Dare make them stop and think of things they were grateful for, but also, gave them laughter. The prompts weren’t always easy to find answers to, but they would laugh trying to think of ideas. What a blessing!

Psalm 119 Celebrate His Promises

You have probably seen these Joy Dare prompts on Facebook. Go download them and begin your own journey to joy today! It will change your life as it did me and my friends. And as it did for Ann.
Notice again the last line of the scripture above. The Psalmist says he gave praise to God SEVEN TIMES A DAY.

Wow! Seven times. I know I’m behind.

Join me and Celebrate his Promises!

Tybee Island, GA

My Journey with Chronic Pain

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Finding Christ in the Feast of Firstfruits

Last fall I wrote about the feasts that God ordained in the fall of the year. This month when I was assigned a study on fellowship and guilt offers, I was reminded of the 7 Feasts book by Erin Davis. So I picked it up again and realized that I missed out on writing about Passover, the Feast of Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks. So today, I’d like to share how we find Christ in the Feast of Firstfruits.

What is the Purpose of all these Feasts, Anyway?

We seldom find ourselves reading in the Book of Leviticus. The little we know sometimes strikes fear in us. Why did God set all these rules and feasts up in the first place? It really seems a bit overbearing, don’t you think? A few years ago, the First 5 app did a study of it alongside the Book of Hebrews. It became a wonderfully beautiful illustration of what God through Christ did for us.

Spiritual Amnesia

Erin Davis begins her book by teaching us that we, humans, have a terrible habit of forgetting. She called it Spiritual Amnesia. We tend to become so self-sufficient when, in truth, we need God more and more every day. The feasts were a way to remind the people of their sinfulness held against the holiness of God. The feasts reminded them of a God that not only protects but forgives and gives us all a second, third, fourth chance. The law acted as guard rails to protect us as we wander.

firstfruits - spiritual amnesia - Romans 15:4
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Take time to Read Leviticus 23:9-14 – The Feast of First Fruits

Creation Teaches Us the Gospel

First of all, we have all learned about the seasons. They make a circle from death to life and back again. We can see the character of God in every season. We see His redemptive plan every spring as the flowers bloom and animals are born. Spring reminds us that Christ died but rose again for us. His circle of life shows us His faithfulness new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23); His great power and strength (Isaiah 40:26), His righteousness and justice (Job 37:21-23)

“The firstfruits of Spring join together to declare this amazing truth…”

He is not here, for He is risen, as He sad. Come and see the place where He lay.

Matthew 28:6

The Feast of FirstFruits Follows Immediately after Passover and the Sabbath

Interestingly, these feasts are sequential.

On Thursday, they celebrated Passover.

Friday – Jesus was crucified,

Saturday, the Sabbath – Jesus rested in the grave.

On the first day of the week, Sunday – Feast of Firstfruits

– Jesus rose from the dead defeating death and sin!

Jesus was the firstfruits of our salvation! The first to rise from the dead to eternal life.

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23

 Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:5-6

We are the Second Firstfruits!

When we accept Christ as Savior, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). His Holy Spirit works within us to remove our carnal spirit and to become new in Him. The things in our past are now gone!

But we can take this all one step further. One day, we will rise! We will be raptured to be in Heaven ever with the Lord. This is a future hope!

We have this hope, hallelujah!

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

John 5:28-29

For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

“You have likely been celebrating the Feast of Firstfruits

all your life without realizing it!”

We call it Easter!

Erin Davis, 7 Feasts Finding Christ in the Feasts

On Easter we remember that because Jesus lives forever, we will too!

Jesus is Worthy of our Best!

At the feast of firstfruits, they were required to bring two offerings. First, a peace (or fellowship) offering of grain. This grain must be the very first sheaf of wheat they harvested. They were not to eat any of the new grains until after this offering was made. Like a peace offering we might bring to a spouse after messing up big time, it was an offering for acceptance; an offering to request fellowship again.

The second offering was a burnt offering or sin offering. This would be a male lamb, one-year-old with no blemishes. It was to be completely burned up and a fragrance to the Lord. It would be for the forgiveness of sins.

Did God need this grain? No. It was required to remind them of their sins and of God’s holiness. It was the “cure for their spiritual amnesia.” We still bring firstfruits offerings to God in the form of service, tithes, devotion. We give these things not because God needs them or even requires them but more as the posturing of our hearts. We give offerings because of our love and gratitude to Him.

Jesus gave the best for us. He gave all.

What offerings are you bringing to the Lord?

Are you giving the best of your best or just seconds?

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This Bible study is exciting and moving, even for a seasoned Christian like myself. I get so blessed connecting the traditions set forth by God in the Old Testament to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Like the A-Team said at the end of each episode, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

canceled

God’s Word Cannot Be Canceled

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 40:7-8 (Berean Study Bible)

In our Cancel Culture, we can get a bit fearful about what is going to happen. We get concerned because the world doesn’t want to hear The Truth anymore. And we wonder what’s next…

Canceled~left and right

Christians are being threatened to be canceled and losing their businesses because of their beliefs. They are being banned from restaurants and schools because they won’t change what they believe. They have been verbally abused for no reason at all other than a cap they wear or a statement they make.

Events, and even some churches, are canceling preachers from coming to speak because of their message. Books and authors are being censored; taken off library shelves and even bookstore shelves. Our national heroes are being canceled by tearing down statues and changing the names of buildings and schools. Even social media is CANCELING our posts on our own accounts and disallowing us to post what we believe. Stores are being shut down for their “wrong” beliefs.

Cancel Culture Can’t Stop the Fire

But all through the ages, we have seen that God’s message continues no matter what happens. Even in the days of Daniel, the kings said stop praying or stop worshiping God. If you don’t, we will CANCEL you, literally threatened to be put to death. I love how the Hebrew children responded,

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Daniel 3

In this case, God saved them from the fire. And later he saved Daniel from the lions. But even if we are persecuted for speaking the Word of God, His Word will still go out. They may cancel the person, but they CANNOT cancel the message!

The Apostles and Believers Knew about Cancel Culture

Jesus proclaimed to Peter that “on this Rock, I will build my church”. It didn’t take long for the masses to turn on the disciples for the things they were preaching. The Early Church faced great persecution in their day. All but one disciple were killed for their faith. And history books tell us about Nero and his feats against the Church. The Apostle Paul was many times stoned, imprisoned, and finally killed for preaching the Gospel but listen to what he says,

And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the Word of God cannot be chained. 10 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

2 Timothy 2

Paul was willing to endure CANCELING for the sake of Christ.

God will Strengthen and Protect us

Jesus said, “in this world, we will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Don’t be fearful of what man can do to you. Jesus’ death and resurrection have overcome death and evil. We may experience physical death, but we will live on forever! (Revelation 20:6) As I have mentioned previously, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians that “God is faithful and He will strengthen you and guard you”. We can take that promise to the bank.

Remember what David said,

2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
3 But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 56

God will guard us and strengthen us no matter what we may go through.

Don’t Think it Strange

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you … If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you”.

1 Peter 4:12, 14, NKJV

It’s not strange that society wants to cancel us. These trials only make us stronger. They cause us to lean hard onto the Lord.

We will be Rewarded in Heaven

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

Revelations 2:10

God sees us. He helps us. And He will reward us if we persevere. Together with God, we’ve got this.

History Proves Canceling Does Not Work

There have been many throughout history who have given their lives for the Gospel. Consider how believers were persecuted in the Bible. But persecution actually caused the Word of God to spread all over the known world.

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

Acts 11:19-21

Many nations have tried to suppress the Word of God by making it illegal to worship God or to evangelize pushing the Church underground. But later when missionaries returned to these places, they found that the Church had multiplied and strengthened during those years of persecution.

God is Busy About His Plan

So though it may be scary to think about the course of our country and our own lives. We can be comforted to know that God is still working. He is either preparing to spark a new fire of revival in the land or…

it is just possible that He may be at this time, rising from His Throne to call His Church home. If you aren’t certain about this, take time to read Jesus’ discourse on the end times in Matthew 24:3-31

There is ONE THING I am glad got CANCELED

No matter who has canceled what, I can depend on one thing. My sin debt has been canceled and I look forward to my citizenship in Heaven. Praise God! Jesus canceled my debt.

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:14

Don’t cancel out your faith.

Keep Believing.

Confident that God is in Control!

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This post inspired by post at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

SHARING: Even in Pain there is Confident Hope

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

Ephesians 1:16-18

Confident Hope?

When chronic pain hits, we might wonder, “How can I have confident hope?” But I soon learned that this hope comes from drawing ever closer to the One Who gives all hope. That is, Jesus!

For me, it was six months of pain before finding any answers. But when I walked through the doors at Mayo Clinic, I felt an amazing hope. Every inch of this place offered hope to me. Then I began to look around at all the others seeking to find answers. Some did not know the confident hope in Christ; however, it was quite obvious that others knew Him well.

Thanks for sharing your confident hope!

I have met several of you who have splashed your confident hope all over me. I’m thanking God at every chance that through my chronic pain, you have become an essential part of my life. I pray for you often that God will continue to bless you with his wisdom and insight through the trials you face; believing it is through these trials that we come to truly KNOW the God of Hope. I pray that your heart is filled with His Light so that you continue in His confident hope and keep spilling it over on the rest of us.

We are His holy people and we are so blessed to be His rich and glorious inheritance. He has invested everything in us to make this possible.

confident hope

Prayer

Oh Lord God, thank you for bringing so many chronically wonderful friends into my life. I ask for wisdom and insight for each of us as we daily try to fight off pain with Your help. As David said, “It was good that I have suffered that I might know you,” the God of all Hope, better. Fill us with Your Light today. I pray that Your investment in us will yield great and wonderful results.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Questions

  1. In what circumstance have you found Confident Hope?

2. Who has graciously splashed their confident hope over you? Have you told them so? Have you prayed for them?

3. Who could you splash your confident hope over?

In His Confident Hope;

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Even though my life changed drastically 10 years ago, God has still brought purpose into my life. I have found a little niche in writing. Something I never had time, nor the confidence, for in the past. Chronic Joy is a wonderful ministry to help those with Chronic Illness thrive. I was given an opportunity to write a prayer prompt for them recently.

*** All along my Journey with Chronic Pain, I have met many who have encouraged me. I am so thankful to them. Seeing that others can make it through tells me I can too! In this journey, I have found a wonderful ministry for those with Chronic Pain called Chronic Joy. Today’s post was written for this ministry. Find more at this link.

How to Have Confidence That God is Enough

How can we know in our hearts that God is enough

Life is hard.  It’s tough. And it’s definitely not fair. 

God is Enough

Life seems to be tearing so many of us apart inside. Somehow, we must learn that our God is enough for all our needs. I know in my own life, that God’s graces are the only thing that has brought me through. In recent years, I have been fighting auto-immune diseases that are causing me great pain. But through it all, God’s graces have been enough for me. (My story was written several years ago HERE.. However, I am planning an update of that series beginning in May.) 

Certainly, there are times that I am discouraged  

I wonder how much more I can bear, but then if I get my eyes back on Jesus and His graces, He carries me through. Just like the poem, “Footprints” says when things are the toughest, that is when Jesus carries me! Then when we look back, we can say as Jacob did, “God was here, and I didn’t even know it!” (Genesis 28

God is Enough Genesis 28:16

One of the Best Gifts from God is Faith 

One of God’s greatest graces to me has been the gift of faith. Thankfully, through every trial, my faith has pulled me through. I have been able to rest in his sheltering arms to get to the other side of the mountain. 

You can take a test to find your spiritual gifts and find that faith is not your strongest gift, but we all have a bit of faith. 

To begin with, we have enough faith to believe that God exists. 

Secondly, we took the step of faith to believe He sent His Son to pay our debts. 

And now we just have to grow that faith until we have a victorious life. Just as the hymn by John H. Yates says… “Faith is the Victory that Overcomes the World!” 

The Apostle Paul told Timothy that his mother and grandmother had the gift of faith and that he (Timothy) had the same gift and he needed to “fan the flames of that gift“. (2 Tim 1:6). We need to work at building our faith. When God gives us a gift, He plants the seeds in our lives and we must do our part to make them grow. He often places us in situations that make our faith grow IF we take the right actions. 

Let’s consider some actions that will grow our faith. 

F – Fear Not 

(or worry not, or fret not, or doubt not, you fill in the blank) (2 Timothy 1:5-14) 

God is Enough 2 Timoty 1:6
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Paul continued in verse 7,  “God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but the spirit of power, love and self-discipline.”  We have to use that self-discipline to stop worrying and start believing the God can work it out. God saved us and he has brought us through so many things already. We need to lean on those facts, rather than worrying about the future (which, by the way, we have very little control of). 

So take on the Australian attitude .. “No worries!” or 

maybe the Bahamian idea “No Problem, Mon!”   or 

the retro theme “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” 

Choose what you may, just STOP WORRYING! 

A – Acknowledge our Concern & Ask God for help. 

Did you ever notice that the base word in “confidence” is “confide”?  So … maybe in order to have confidence, we should confide in the Lord about our fears and concerns. God wants to know about our concerns. 1 Peter 5:7 And we can have confidence that God will help us!

God is my helper Hebrews 13:6

Matthew 11 says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

It’s true, you know, He really does care.  #confidence #Godisenough Click To Tweet

I – Invoke Your Heart to Praise 

Invoke seems a hard word. Maybe indicating the forcing of something. But isn’t that what we must do? Sometimes praise is hard. Hebrews 13:14-15 says “let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God“. 

Continual Praise .. that means, at times we must praise the Lord, even when it’s hard. 

Even when we don’t want to. 

I am reminded of a time in college. Easter break was coming and I was so ready to get home for a few days. We woke to snow on the ground that Friday and I received a phone call from my father saying I should not come home because the roads between us were too dangerous. I was heart-broken. I went to my final class that morning with a heavy heart. We began class each day with prayer, and guess who the professor called on to pray… ME! 

I didn’t want to pray. 

What could I say to God at this moment? 

I was bummed. 

We bowed our heads and the words came from my mouth. “Thank you for the beautiful snow.” Wow! I really couldn’t believe the words were coming out of my mouth! Where did that come from? But guess what … staying at school brought new opportunities and a wonderful Easter weekend. 

I think if we can muster up a bit of praise and singing, we’ll soon have forgotten the worries and find the joy

T – Trust His Promises 

god is enough Prov 3:5,6
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We’ll never understand what’s going on in the world, but God knows. He sees the whole picture and He knows best. When you feel worries and struggles coming your way. Get into the Word

Better yet, live in The Word always. 

Memorize His promises and lean on them. 

Sadly, too many of us never pick up our Bible, open its pages and read. And those of us who do, do it way too little. There are so many ways to get the Word into your mind. You don’t have to sit down and read it anymore; now you can listen to it on a CD or MP3. You can carry a little scripture card in your pocket. You can tape verses to your mirror or your computer monitor. 

We need to memorize it. Hide God’s Word in our hearts. 

psalm 119:11 God is enough

We can’t trust His promises if we don’t know what they are. 

H – Hide in the Shelter of His Arms 

After we do the aforementioned things, we can then rest in his arms. No Worries

God’s got our back. 

He’s got our future. 

He is in control! 

I love the illustration we were given in the Online Bible Study, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope; we’re in a God Sandwich! The Psalmist said, “You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.” (Psalm 139:5) 

God Sandwich
This verse is called the God Sandwich!

That’s when we know that GOD IS ENOUGH. 

Rest in this truth today. We can rest knowing that God is all around us taking care of the details.

So How About it? Let’s Start Living By Faith! 

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

This post was inspired by the book, A Confident Heart” by Renee Swope 

humble king missing piece

How to Find the Missing Piece in Your Life

excerpted from Humble King – Gracefully Truthful Journey Study

There is a God-shaped hole in our hearts. 

Our family loves Kincaid paintings. Of course, we were never able to purchase a painting, so we did the next best thing; we bought, assembled, and framed puzzles. What an accomplishment to finish the gorgeous pictures by placing the last piece! 

However, my husband enjoyed hiding away a puzzle piece so he could place it into the last open spot. It became a fun routine at our house and the kids went straight to Daddy to find the last piece. 

One Christmas

One Christmas, however, he didn’t take a piece, and yet, one was missing. Initially, the kids didn’t believe him, but eventually, the truth sank in; oh, what a disappointment to have a hole in the middle of the picture, leaving it incomplete! We framed the picture anyway, taking a piece from the unseen edges to try to fill the empty space, but our eyes were immediately drawn to the patched-up place every time we looked at the picture.

The God-Shaped Hole

Just like the unfinished puzzle, there is a hole in our hearts in the shape of God. The piece was removed way back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against God, separating us all from His Presence. 

Oh, the ache we feel over lost fellowship with God! We know something is missing, but often, we are not sure what (or really, Who). So we might try to fill the emptiness with other pieces like family, love, success, drugs, alcohol. But nothing really fits. 

missing piece
IMage created in canva with a Gracefully Truthful image

There is nothing like having the right puzzle piece.

The following Christmas, as we brought out the decorations, we found the missing puzzle piece! It had somehow fallen off the table into one of the boxes and was stored away. How appropriate to have found the missing piece at Christmas! Just like our family, if we keep searching for God (our hearts’ missing piece), we will find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Jeremiah 29:13 missing piece
image provided by FaithLife

All who accept Christ as their personal Savior have the Holy Spirit living within them, guiding and directing their lives. Indeed, God is with us now, but one day Christ will return to earth, righteous and victorious. He will set up His Kingdom, removing all evil. 

-Mandy

Read the complete devotion at

gracefully truthful
https://www.gracefullytruthful.com/enough-day-11-humble-king/

Losing it All ~ LEGACY LINKUP

Have you ever felt like you were losing it all? 

losing it all IG
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Originally Published Date: June 17, 2016, on ggmandy dot com

I Know I Have!

When fibromyalgia set in, So many of the things I loved were lost.

  • lost working with children at church. 
  • I lost supporting other homeschoolers and teaching classes, 
  • No freedom as I could no longer drive myself where I wanted to go, 
  • I lost my social life, 

However, I gained a new perspective on life

I gained an empathy for others who are ill…sicker than myself. 

I gained an understanding of the concerns and pressures placed on a caregiver. None by their own choosing (other than the promise given in the wedding vows, or that blood is thicker the water). 

and ultimately, my husband lost his job due to my illness. Which meant we lost our home, our income, our self-worth. 

We gained a new trust in God as our provider (no relying on our own abilities here.) 

The greatest thing I gained in the stillness, was time to really get close to my Creator. I now gave Him time to really speak to me and, oh, how I have grown. 

Illness can teach us what is really important in life.

We can get so busy doing stuff.

Stuff that doesn’t matter worth a flip.

Stuff that will only burn up when we stand before God one day. 

losing it all PIN

Why don’t we listen

when we read or hear God’s Word?

He says … 

Jesus: If any one of you wants to follow Me, you will have to give yourself up to God’s plan, take up your cross, and do as I do. 35 For any one of you who wants to be rescued will lose your life, but any one of you who loses your life for My sake and for the sake of this good news will be liberated. 

36 Really, what profit is there for you to gain the whole world and lose yourself in the process? 

37 What can you give in exchange for your life? 

38 If you are ashamed of Me and of what I came to teach to this adulterous and sinful generation, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when He comes in the glory of His Father along with the holy messengers at the final judgment.

Mark 8: 34-38 

He lost EVERYTHING for you and me.

Shouldn’t we lose it all for Him?

Matthew 10:39 Losing it all

Lost in Him; 

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

LEGACY LINKUP – IT’S YOUR TURN

legacy link-ups

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

It’s Friday – But Sunday’s Coming

It’s Good Friday!  Writing on the prompt – “Alive”. 

originally published on ggmandy dot com on

I often find myself speechless when I think of what He went through for me. That’s why today, I haven’t found too many words of my own. I’m gonna let my sons do the writing this time!

Rev. Brian Farmer, “on Sunday’s Coming”

There’s certainly a place for the mentality of, “It’s Friday; but, Sunday’s coming.” No question about that.
My concern is that, in our Tylenol society, we don’t allow ourselves to really contemplate and reflect on Friday. We don’t like pain. We avoid thinking or talking about death.
But, without grasping the heartache, separation, and loss that took place on Friday, we can’t really appreciate Sunday for all that it’s worth, nor experience the depth of joy and gratitude its coming truly brings.
Don’t let Good Friday pass without really reflecting on what it commemorates. It’s not exactly comfortable; but, it’s not supposed to be. Experience the grief and loss with those early followers at the foot of the cross, so that you can really experience their amazement and joy at the empty tomb.

Reflect on the grief of Good Friday. It's not comfortable; but it's not supposed to be…" Click To Tweet

Brett D. Farmer

Friday – we should remember the initial grief the followers of Jesus felt, and remember He died to be our perfect sacrifice.

Saturday is usually forgotten. The disciples had failed, they lost all hope, they were fugitives, and the world had no Savior.

Sunday – We celebrate the fact that even though Christ died on Friday, He rose again declaring Himself the perfect living Savior. And even though we have “Saturdays” filled with failure and humiliation, we don’t have to stay on Saturday. We can move forward into Sunday remembering what Christ did on Friday and knowing he can turn our “Saturdays” into Sundays filled with Grace, Forgiveness, and Praise.

It's Friday – But Sunday's Coming; Christ can turn our Saturdays into Sundays Click To Tweet

Mandy

I was traveling  and listening to David Jeremiah.

My take away from his Easter sermon is this …

Sunday's Coming

We are ALIVE

because

He is ALIVE.

We are Alive because He is ALIVE! #saved #Easter Click To Tweet

We can only experience a second life because He paid the second death.

Praise the Lord!

  1. Our failures are not Fatal.
  2. Our Failures are not Futile.
  3. Our failures are not Final.

BECAUSE HE IS ALIVE!

Indeed! It is good to have  the reminder of pain  on Good Friday,

the sadness on Saturday,

so that we can

Celebrate on Sunday.

It is so amazing what he has done and my heart is filled with joy

because I am Alive forevermore because He is ALIVE forevermore.

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Savannah, GA
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Behold! The Lamb of God

Have you thought about the Lamb of God lately?

We tend to glorify the cross and gloss over the suffering that we, ourselves, have caused Him. Today, I would like to walk through Isaiah 53 and Philippians 2 to show you my Jesus. 

originally posted in ggmandy dot com on March 30, 2018

The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 

John 1:29
Behold the LAmb of God who takes away the sin of the world

Take a

good look

at the Savior

 As we approach Easter, I’d like to really take a look at our Lord and be reminded of what He did for us. 

Let’s begin in Isaiah 53

He sprouted up like a twig before God,

   like a root out of parched soil;

[Who wants to be like a twig? or growing in parched soil?]


he had no stately form or majesty

that might catch our attention,

no special appearance that we should want to follow him.

[He didn’t have looks that attracted us to Him, either.]


He was despised and rejected by people,

one who experienced pain

and was acquainted with  illness;

people hid their faces from him;

[People shy away from Him. These words make me think of a child hiding behind the skirts of his mother. They might stare at Him, but certainly not speak or build a relationship with Him.]

he was despised,

[Such a sad word …  to feel contempt or a deep repugnance for. They didn’t just not like Him, they hated Him]

and we considered him insignificant. 

[Being one with self-esteem issues, I think I know this feeling.]

But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain;
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.

He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,

crushed because of our sins;

he endured punishment that made us well;

by The Lamb of God, we have been healed.

All of us had wandered off like sheep;
each of us had strayed off on his own path,
but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.

He was treated harshly and afflicted,

but he did not even open his mouth.

He quietly endured it all!

Behold the lamb of God

Did you know?

He carried all the sins of the world, yours and mine.

And thus, He acquitted us from those sins!

He did all this for us.

Behold! The Lamb of God He gave up heaven to become the lowest of the lowly, a slave, treated like a criminal. #easter #Jesusdiedforoursins Click To Tweet

Philippians 2:6-11

who though he existed in the form of God
did not regard equality with God
as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself
by taking on the form of a slave,
by looking like other men,
and by sharing in human nature.
He humbled himself,
by becoming obedient to the point of death
—even death on a cross!
As a result God highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow
—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—
11 and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.

[Praise His name! He did it for me. And He did it for you!]


Therefore, we should strive to live as He did.

12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, 13 for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world.

Philippians 2

How Do We Do This?

Photo Credit Pedrovia @Pixabay

16 by holding on to the word of life so that on the day of Christ I will have a reason to boast that I did not run in vain nor labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice together with all of you. 18 And in the same way you also should be glad and rejoice together with me.

Philippians 2

Seek Him and You Will Find Him

Rev. Charles Stanley writes here about “Seeking the Lord”.

Be Glad and Rejoice this Easter!

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International Day of Happiness

Originally posted on ggmandy dot com March 20, 2018

Who Knew There was a Day of Happiness?

So, today is the International Day of Happiness.

What is happiness anyway? The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines happiness as:

 : good fortune: prosperity

all happiness bechance to thee —William Shakespeare

 : a state of well-being and contentment: joy

: a pleasurable or satisfying experience 

I wish you every happiness in life.

MIriam-Webster Dictionary

The thing about happiness is that it depends on your circumstance.

You are only happy when things are going well. It is relative to your happenstance. Such as being happy on the day you graduate from high school. But that kind of “happy” doesn’t last long because your circumstances can change in an instant.

I submit that we should rather strive for joy.  The dictionary gave the same type of definition as for happiness but what they fail to tell you is that joy is not dependant on what’s happening around you. Joy can be constant in your life, regardless of the situation.

Here’s a short video where I shared what joy is and where you can find it. You might be surprised by the places where joy can be found. Take a few moments and listen in.

Scriptures from the video

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.

Philippians 3:1

You will show me the way of life,

    granting me the joy of your presence

    and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11

Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

Philemon 7

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!

    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.

Psalm 41:1

I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

3 John 4:4

For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

2 John 1:12

The watchmen shout and sing with joy,

    for before their very eyes

    they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem.

Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song,

    for the Lord has comforted his people.

    He has redeemed Jerusalem.

Isaiah 52:8,9

Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,

    who have no confidence in the proud

    or in those who worship idols.

Psalm 40:4

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.

Romans 4:7

In Conclusion

In short, joy is found through accepting Jesus Christ as Your Savior. If you would like to learn more, click here.

Have a happy Joyful day!

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Savannah, GA
international day of happiness