How to Find Hope in the Hard Places

hard places book
image provided for Sarah Beckman

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am not being paid to write this or being told what to say.

There’s nothing like reading a book that you wish you had earlier but then realizing the Lord directed you to survive in the very way the author has suggested. That’s what I found in Sarah Beckman’s book, Hope for the Hard Places. That is exactly what happened to me.

Our family has had our share of hard places: chronic pain, job loss, bankruptcy, grief, You name it. Sarah offers some definite steps in how to handle a crisis. And everyone, one time or another, will need this guide.

If you are in a hard place, this book is for you. It’s a beautiful guide to making it through the worst of times whether it is from grief or sickness or any other trial. If you need encouragement, go ahead and read the last chapter.
Then start from the beginning and read IT through. This book is filled with practical advice along with the spiritual. Trust me you will be glad you picked this one up.

Everyone will need this guidebook sooner or later. Buy it today, get bonuses. #hopeforthehardplaces #pastors #grief #cancer #chronicillness Click To Tweet

Sarah will tell you how to place the right people around you and what you need to have at your access. She will offer you great ways to get what you most desperately need in your own time of crisis. This book will help you deal with words that hurt and friends that disappear. Sarah will also help you look inward to change impossible expectations and how to give yourself grace when you fail to rise to your own expectations for yourself.

hard times without missteps

Most importantly, she talks about your own soul-care for this, to me, is the most important thing you can do in a crisis because as the scriptures say,  “For what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul” (Matthew 16:26) I’ll let you get the whole explanation by reading the book yourself but here are the steps in a nutshell.

5 Steps of Soul-care during a Crisis

  • Listen to God – Ask “Why me?” but also “What now?”
  • Be Honest with Trusted Friends – tell them what you need
  • Trust God without any Expectations – He sees you & knows what you need
  • Choose Joy – A positive outlook makes all the difference
  • Spend Regular time in God’s Word – Cindy Barnes recently wrote this about regular time with God here on the blog.

Get bonus products by ordering today ~ LAUNCH DAY, March 5th

Hope for the Hard Places

There is so, so much more in this wonderful guide for the hard places. Please go get your own copy to read and keep on your shelf. Trust me. You or someone near you will need it soon.

The Perfect Guide for When you are in Hard Places. #grief #cancer #chronic illness Click To Tweet

And Hold on to Jesus, He’s got this.

Mandy Farmer

P.S. Free Resource – How Can I Help

I wrote about how How you can Help Others when they are in crisis. There is a free resource there.


You may also like Sarah’s book, Alongside which guides you to come alongside a friend who is in crisis.


magnabilities

Product Review: Magnabilities Jewelry

I have not been asked or paid to write this review. I’m writing because I love it and I want you to know about it.

Magnabilities valentine


I’ve not purchased jewelry in 5 years

And that jewelry was some junk I purchased at a $1 jewelry shop. Then in December, my daughter-in-law began selling this beautiful, interchangeable Magnabilities Jewelry. You see, the center of the jewelry is a magnet which you can pop out and place a different piece into the setting. If that isn’t great enough, you can customize the inserts by selecting your favorite photos of family, friends, pets or even scenery. They will pop the photo onto an insert and Voila! a new necklace has been created.

It’s Lightweight!

Another great thing about Magnabilities Jewelry. It’s lightweight. Heavy pieces and my chest do not get along. I suffer from fibromyalgia and heavy jewelry causes pain. Even their larger pieces are not too heavy for me to wear.

It’s Customizable

Also, I had been wanting to create a piece of jewelry to wear that would remind people to hug me softly. I love a good hug as well as anyone but a squeeze can be quite painful for me. Magnabilities gave me an opportunity to create a beautiful piece of jewelry that can stand as a reminder ~”Soft Hugs Only”.

It’s Versitile

Gorgeous necklaces and bracelets in gold, silver, antique silver, and hematite. Also, available in different lengths.

And oh, don’t forget adding charms. You will never wear the same exact set again. I’m telling you, every Sunday when i see Tina at church, the question of the day is, “What are you wearing today?”

It’s Beautiful!

It’s Beautiful! Every piece of jewelry that Tina shows me is gorgeous! I want every piece I see. Magnabilities offers dozens of designs: necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings. And if you aren’t a jewelry person, there are keychains to use for that or even purse jewelry.

It’s Interchageable!

As I mentioned earlier, the inserts are interchangeable. You can buy one necklace or bracelet and then buy a myriad of inserts to change out. Then you have the perfect necklace for every outfit. Later on, purchase a new insert or a seasonal insert. I always hesitate to spend money on seasonal items because it’s just not practical. But this makes the jewelry very reasonable. Charms are also available. They clip right onto the pendants or bracelets.

Need to see a demonstration?

This doesn’t even touch the surface of possibilities. Tina and I will have a Facebook party this Friday, February 1, 2019 at 7:30EST in the evening. Make you wish list here. Then join us at my party at this link or just go shop around through this link.

Hope to see you there!

Mandy Farmer
Take HOld Books

Take Hold Helps You Let Go

I’ve been thinking about this book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For lately and even going back and thumbing through for a reference. So I figure it must be time to republish in the new blog.

When I heard that Sharon Jaynes was about to release a new book

and that I could have an opportunity to read it first, I jumped at the chance. You see, I’ve been praying the prayers from her book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe every day since it came out in 2014. (And then later read and took her 14 -day Romance Challenge) So I knew this new book would be worth the read.

From the beginning, “Take Hold” had my attention.

Sharon gently led me through a journey with  Moses in a much different way than I had before. She gently personalized the struggles of Moses with my life. She helped me consider each area in my life that might be holding me back. We walked through areas that could be keeping me from moving forward in my faith. Such as,

  • take hold boots

    Photo Credit: Sharon Jaynes Launch Team

    Insecurity

  • Inadequacy
  • Unforgiveness
  • “Weak-kneed” Worry
  • Shame
  • and more

And you can’t miss her Dr.Suess version of, Oh the Places You Will Go.

Read With a Highlighter

My book has highlight marks and notes all through it. And as I said, I keep referring back to it. This indicates it should be a great one for your shelves as well. Pick one up today.

Or if you’d like a little taste of it first. Download the YouVersion app onto your cell phone and search for the 7-day devotional of the same title.

Mandy Farmer

My Favorite Sharon Jaynes Books

 

Sharon’s Latest Book (which I still need to read)

Susannah Spurgeon Legacy

7 Ways Susannah Spurgeon Left a Legacy of Faith

I was given this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon

Susannah SpurgeonYou have likely heard the saying, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman.”  Susannah Spurgeon is just such a woman. Wife of the infamous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, she was an integral part of his life and ministry.  She was behind him in prayer support but also beside him in ministry.

Even after reading only the introduction and first chapter I wished that this book had been available to me 30 years ago as I was becoming a pastor’s wife. If I had the time all in one sitting, I would have read this book to completion in a day. What a beautiful example of a Christian wife, pastor’s wife or not.

Continue reading

Christmas Movies

8 Christmas Movies You May Have Missed

Have you Had Your Fill of Christmas Movies?

I’ve been feverishly watching Christmas movies this month. And yet, I didn’t watch a single new Christmas movie. Unless you count watching Die Hard with Bruce Willis a Christmas movie. I did sit down and watch that with my son this year. And you’re right; it has nothing to do with Christmas other than it happens at a Christmas party.

We have over 40 Christmas movies in our possession and I was content to watch the ones we had.  I didn’t even check out Hallmark Movie Channel and see the line-up of new movies they had. Not a single one. I really wasn’t much into a romance kind of mood this year. When I look at my list here, I see that I was more in a military mood. Though some did have a romance in the story.

Anyway,  I watched the oldies (like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and thought maybe you are looking for something different to watch yourself. Everyone else has offered to traditional and popular ones, so here are a few to choose from that are still around to rent and purchase. Continue reading

Favorite Christmas Books

Eight Favorite Christmas Books You Need in Your Home

I will honor Christmas in my heart,

and try to keep it all the year.

– Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Christmas Traditions

One thing I have tried to instill in my children is the love of reading. One way I tried to do this was to purchase each child a classic book each Christmas. At the same time, I also bought myself a Christmas book that I wanted. Usually, it would be in the form of a coffee table book; something pretty to sit around but also available to readers.

Today I thought I would share with you some of the Christmas books I have purchased over the years. Continue reading

Rather Have Jesus

Hymn Favorite – I’d Rather Have Jesus

Continuing from an earlier post on VALUES

Here’s a hymn that is familiar to most of us through the Billy Graham Crusades. George Beverly Shea found this poem lying on his piano, left there by his mother, who hoped it would change the course of his life. George created a tune to go with the poetry and that is the song we know today. It indeed did change the course of his life as a musician on NBC, he gave it up to travel and sing with the Reverend Billy Graham. I’d Rather Have Jesus became one of the most loved songs that he sang.

Hymn of the Week: I’d Rather Have Jesus

attr. to Oscar C. A. Bernadotte, 1888
Rhea F. Miller, 1922

copyright status is Public Domain

LYRICS

  1. I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
    I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
    I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
    I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand

    • Refrain:
      Than to be the king of a vast domain
      Or be held in sin’s dread sway;
      I’d rather have Jesus than anything
      This world affords today.
  2. I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
    I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
    I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
    I’d rather be true to His holy name
  3. He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
    He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
    He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
    I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead

Story Behind the Hymn

American hymnals give Rhea Miller credit for the song but Swedish believers so that is was written by Prince Oscar C. A. Bernadotte sometime after the woman he loved introduced him to Christ. She was a commoner and the story is told that he gave up his lineage to the Swedish throne to marry her and serve God.

weekend Hymn Favorite

Weekend Hymn Favorites ~ One Day

What a Difference a Day Makes

The hymn, One Day, was introduced to me in my teen years. We had moved from Ohio to Wisconsin and being in the middle school Sunday School class, I was required to take part in the Easter program. (You know, I was thinking it was Christmas but after reading the lyrics again, it surely must have been an Easter program.)

At the time, I didn’t particularly like the song mainly because it was a bit slow for my tastes. But over the years the song stuck in my heart and mind because it tells the story of Jesus from beginning to end; from the virgin birth to the cross and resurrection and on to the day still coming… His return… Oh, Glorious Day!

I was thrilled when I heard that Casting Crowns had placed the lyrics into a new contemporary song, Oh! Glorious Day. What a beautiful rendition. Continue reading

This is my song

Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine

Write 31 days: Prompt: Song

This is my story, this is my song. That’s what came to mind first with this prompt. This favorite and beautiful hymn that is nearly 200 years old. Some songs just pass the test of time and this Fanny Crosby hymn, along with many others, is one of them.

What’s your favorite?

What is your favorite song that has passed the test of time?  It might be hard to choose but I’d love to enjoy a bunch of songs today. So post a favorite “oldie, but goodie” in the comments for me. it doesn’t even have to be a religious song.

Hymn: Blessed Assurance

From the very day she wrote them, Crosby’s words have provided comfort for millions of Christians in the face of fear, persecution, sorrow, and doubt. In spite of all the trials that may come, we know that we serve a Savior who came to bring the Kingdom of God on earth, and as we serve Him, we participate in, and belong to, that Kingdom. We each play our own part in that “glorious foretaste” of what is still to come. We belong to Christ and his Kingdom – what an assurance this is!

-www.hymnary.net

Author: Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby, byname of Frances Jane Crosby, married name Fanny Van Alstyne, (born March 24, 1820, Southeast, N.Y., U.S.—died Feb. 12, 1915, Bridgeport, Conn.), American writer of hymns, the best known of which was “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.”

Crosby lost her sight to an eye infection and medical ignorance at the age of six weeks. She nonetheless grew up an active and happy child. From 1835 to 1843 she attended the New York Institution for the Blind in New York City. Her inclination to versify was encouraged by a visiting Scottish phrenologist, who examined her and proclaimed her a poet. Thereafter she was the school’s chief ornament.

She contributed a poetic eulogy on President William Henry Harrison to the New York Herald in 1841 and subsequently published verses in other newspapers. In 1844 she published her first volume, The Blind Girl and Other Poems, and in 1851 her second, Monterey and Other Poems. From 1851 she began writing verses to be set to music. With George F. Root, music instructor at the school, Crosby wrote a successful cantataThe Flower Queen. She also wrote lyrics for scores of songs, some of which, such as “Hazel Dell,” “There’s Music in the Air,” and “Rosalie, the Prairie Flower,” were widely popular. After her graduation, Crosby remained at the New York Institution for the Blind as a teacher of English grammar and rhetoricand of ancient history until 1858.

That year she married Alexander Van Alstyne, also blind, a former pupil, and then a teacher at the school, and she published her third volume, A Wreath of Columbia’s Flowers. About 1864 Crosby began writing hymns. Like her poetry, her hymns suffer generally from cliché and sentimentality, but they also display an occasional gleam of more than ordinary talent. In all Crosby wrote between 5,500 and 9,000 hymns, the exact count obscured by the numerous pseudonyms (as many as 200, according to some sources) she employed to preserve her modesty. The best known of her hymns include:

  • “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,”
  • “Rescue the Perishing,”
  • “Blessed Assurance,”
  • “The Bright Forever,”
  • “Savior, More Than Life to Me,” and
  • “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior.”

Britannica

Hymn Lyrics

BLESSED ASSURANCE
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Hymn STory

One day in 1873, Aunt Fanny was visiting with a friend, Mrs. Joseph Knapp, a musician of sorts and wife of the founder of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. During their visit Mrs. Knapp played a tune on her piano, which she had recently written. She then asked Fanny, “What does this tune say?” After kneeling in prayer for a few moments, she rose and declared, “It says, ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!’”

Aunt Fanny began to dictate verses to Mrs. Knapp, who wrote them down, fitting them to the melody just as we hear it sung today.

-St. Augustine dot com

Listen to the Song

Enjoy Third Day singing this beautiful song.

 

What’s Your Favorite “Oldie, but Goodie” song? COmment now!

So tell me what is your all time favorite song? religious or secular. Why?

 

end of the Beginning

Sunday Lyrics: The End of the Beginning

End of the Beginning

I was takin’ a trip on a plane the other day
Just wishing that I could get out.
When the man next to me saw the book in my hand
And asked me what it was about.
So I settled back in my seat-
“A best seller, ” I said.
“A history, a mystery in one.”
And then I opened up the book and began to read
From Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

CHORUS

He was born of a virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ’round him underneath the stars
Singing praises to the great I Am.
He walked on the water, healed the lame and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though he never ever did a single thing wrong
The angry crowd chose him. And then he walked down the road
And died on the cross and that was the end of the beginning.

VERSE TWO

“That’s not a new book that’s a bible, ” he said, “and I’ve heard it all before.
I’ve tried religion- its shame and guilt and I don’t need it anymore.
It’s superstition, made up tales and just to help the weak to survive.”
“Let me read it again, ” I said, “listen closely, ’cause this is gonna change your life.

CHORUS

He was born of a virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem.
Angels gathered ’round him underneath the stars
Singing praises to the great I Am.
He walked on the water, healed the lame and made the blind to see again.
And for the first time here on earth we learned that God could be a friend.
And though he never ever did a single thing wrong
The angry crowd chose him. And then he walked down the road
And died on the cross and that was the end of the beginning.

Verse Three

“The end of the beginning, ” he said with a smile.
“What more could there be? He’s dead.
You said they hung him, put nails in His hands
And a crown of thorns on His head.”
I said, “I’ll read it again but this time there’s more,
And I believe that this is true.
His death wasn’t the end, the beginning of life
That’s completed in you.
Don’t you see he did all this for you!”

CHORUS

He was born of a virgin one holy night
In the little town of Bethlehem
All the angels singing praises to the great I am
He walked on the water, healed the lame,
And made the blind to see
(And for the first time here on earth)
Did you know that God could be a friend?
Tho He never ever did a single thing wrong,
He was the one the crowd chose.
Then he walked and he died but
Three days later
Three days later
Three days later
He rose!
Three days later he rose!
You see he came, he lived, and he died.
But that was the end of the beginning.
Songwriters: David Phelps
End of the Beginning lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Today’s FMF prompt: START.

I couldn’t think of a hymn with the theme of Start but I did think of the beginning. My thoughts went immediately to David Phelps’ song, End of the Beginning. It tells the whole story of Jesus. Go back and read the lyrics or listen below as he tells the story of Jesus Christ raised to save us.
Have you started your journey with the King of Kings? Try Him today. You won’t regret it.
Click here to learn more about Knowing Christ.
Mandy Farmer