Romance CHallenge

Reignite Your Marriage this Valentine’s Day

Is your marriage getting a little dull in the romance department?

Have you lost the passion you once had for each other? Looking for a way to challenge your romance?

Sharon Jaynes has written a little book that I’m sure will help you ignite the fires again. In 14 days she can help you spark that fire. She will take you step-by-step, offering little things you can do to reignite the fires.

Add a spark a day for 14 days

In just a page or two a day, Sharon talks about the things that will get the passion ignited for your guy. She explains what’s going on in his head and what you need to do to get his fires going. Each day she offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

One Act of Romance a Day

Each day she challenges you to do one small act of love. She offers 3 or 4 little things you can do for your husband each day. It could be as simple as sending a sweet text or something a bit more hot and sexy. She offers testimonials from women who have tried them and from the men who received them. These will certainly, be an encouragement to you to try them out.

The Best Little Romance Reference Book

In the last third of the book, Sharon includes some great addendums.

  • 150 additional Ways to Romance Your Husband
  • 10 Ways to Romance Your Husband According to His Love Language
  • 14 Tips for a More Romantic Bedroom
  • 10 Easy steps to Writing a Love Letter

Even if you don’t complete an act every day, you will find the passion in your marriage escalating. This is a book you will want to keep in your bedstand as a reference for whenever you need to add a spark to your relationship. Go out and buy yours today!

-Mandy

Habits of a Joy-Filled Marriage

How to Make Your Marriage Last Forever

Sacred Marriage – For a Better Marriage Relationship And More


How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 ~ How Great Our Joy

Advent Hymn #3 – How Great Our Joy! Traditional German Carol

v. 1-2 by Theodore Baker

Theme: JOY

images created in Canva.com

Christmas Icons provided by Creative Market

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!

    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation

    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.

I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding

    or a bride with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10

Perhaps you are not feeling it this Christmas.

Maybe you are more like Cindy Lou Who, saying, “Where are you Christmas?” Somehow the JOY has been lost. For many, it has been a dismal year. I hear of tragedy every week. Every day, my Open Doors app goes off with yet another person being persecuted. So how can there be joy?

Let’s take a closer look at this advent hymn, How Great our Joy!

Hymn of the Week How Great Our Joy

Maybe there is a clue here. This hymn speaks of the shepherds’ response to the Good News. Perhaps they can teach us about finding joy when all seems hopeless.

Verse 1

While by the sheep we watched at night,

Glad tidings brought an angel bright.

It was a quiet night. The shepherd-priests we learned of last week were settling down for another night. It had been over 400 years since they had even a word from God and the prophets. When would the Messiah come? Surely they had feelings of despair. “It’s never going to happen. We are stuck under the control of the Romans. At least they were allowing us to worship God and offer sacrifices in the temple. But When, When would the Messiah appear?

Emotions can turn on a dime. Imagine at one moment you are feeling hopeless; thinking it’s never going to happen. Nothing will ever change. I am stuck here in this trial forever. Then in a moment, everything changes. Imagine the excitement that came over the shepherds when they saw the angels and heard the Good News.

“Glory to God in highest heaven,

    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

Luke 2:14

The shepherd-priests didn’t stay stuck in their despair. They were filled with joy. They immediately said, “Let’s go see this thing…” After they saw Jesus, they were  “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

How Great was their Joy!

Verse 2

There shall be born, so he did say,

In Bethlehem a Child today.

A Child in Bethlehem! These were keywords from the prophets. They were words of HOPE.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel,

    whose origins are in the distant past,

    will come from you on my behalf.

Micah 5:2

They remembered the prophecy of Micah that a great ruler would come out of Bethlehem. Was it finally true? Had a child finally been born who would save them from tyranny? Hope was beginning to burst forth from the hearts. They just had to believe that it was so. After all, angels had come to tell them the news.

And again, Jeremiah had spoken of a Righteous King…

I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, [that is, someone in David’s line] a King who will reign wisely.

Jeremiah 23:5

This is another indication that salvation would come from the lowly town of Bethlehem; the City of David.

There was indeed HOPE RISING!

Verse 3

There shall the Child lie in a stall,

This Child who shall redeem us all.

A Promised Redeemer

Ah! Redemption! Whether you realize it or not, the thing your heart desires most is redemption. Just as God’s heart breaks because of the separation sin has caused, so our own hearts ache for restoration. Oh! How we need to be restored to God. From the beginning, at the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, God had promised a Redeemer. One who would restore man from the fall.

Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this, you are cursed
    more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
    groveling in the dust as long as you live.
15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 3:14-15

Revelation 12:9 confirms that God was speaking not just to the serpent but to Satan, himself.

This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

And believers grasp on to the Apostle Paul’s statement to the Romans

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 16:20)

God promised Moses that He would redeem Israel for Himself. (Exodus 6:6-7 ) There was the short-term promise of redemption from Egypt. This promise was also the promise through Christ for all who would believe. (John 1:12, Galatians 4:4-5 ) And finally, the complete fulfillment will come when He returns to restore the world and set up His Kingdom. (Revelation 21 )

Now that GIFT will be JOY indeed!

Verse 4

This gift of God we’ll cherish well,
that ever joy our hearts shall fill.

This is the joy that doesn’t depend on happiness or circumstance. Things may be hard right now. But we can still have JOY in our hearts. Great Joy! We can be “overwhelmed with joy” as Isaiah was because we know that we know that God has done a great work in us.

I conclude with this from Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”

Mandy

P.S. I came across this poem by Annie Johnson Flint recently. Had to share it.

For All the Morrows

Has the year brought sadness?
Joy is yet in store.
Has it given gladness?
Next year giveth more.
Let your Father measure
All your pain and care,
Let Him weigh the burden
That your heart must bear,
Sending light or shadow
As He deemeth best,
For in His sure wisdom
You can safely rest.
Peace for all the morrows,
Strength for all the days,
These shall be your portion
Through the New Year’s ways.

Annie Flint Johnson

RESOURCES

The Four-fold Promise of Redemption – The nationhood of Israel is tied together with connection to G‑d. – Contemporary Kabbalists (chabad.org)

How Great Our Joy | Hymnary.org

The First Promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15) | Sharon Bible Presbyterian Church (wordpress.com)

22 Bible Verses about Joy – Uplifting Scripture Quotes (biblestudytools.com)

The Age of Innocence and Promise of a Redeemer – SLJ Institute

For All the Morrows by Annie Johnson Flint (homemakerscorner.com)

Book Review: Wounded By God’s People

Originally posted on GGMANDY dot com 10-27-16

We tend to think that God’s servants are protected against being wounded, but that is just not true.

As a matter of fact, most ministers of the Word are hurt at least once in their ministry. I so appreciate Anne for being vulnerable and opening up to us about her own life while she teaches us through the life of Hagar how to deal with the hurt.

It is in the story of Hagar, that we find the name of God, El Roi, The God Who Sees Me. He cares so much about each one of us and the plight in which we find ourselves. AND he is watching over us.

What I learned was the God Who Sees Me cares deeply for His own. He sees each and every one of us. The love that He has for us is unfathomable. He has a plan for us but He also allows us to make our own decisions. So He waits for us to call out to Him to rescue Him.

Wounded by the church

Studying the plight of Hagar has helped me face my own situation.

  1. It has taught me to look at where I may have failed.
  2. Anne warns against wounding others in our hurt.
  3. It has taught me that I must forgive regardless of what the other party may or may not do towards repentance and reconciliation.

This book helps anyone who has been hurt not only by the church but by anyone.

In this age where we seem to think everyone is bullying everyone else. I think we need to start looking at how Jesus handled those who bullied Him. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Have You Been Wounded by Someone? Read this Book.

Expecting Great things;

Mandy Farmer

Below you will find an affiliate link to purchase this book and Nan Jones’ book Perils of a Pastor’s wife. Nan wrote from her experience about being rejected by congregations. Thank you.

One More Thing, PASTORS AND SPOUSES

Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry? 

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after losing

their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.

This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.

joy in the wilderness; for wounded pastors
Click to Join

The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife Book Review

Great Book

The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife

by Nan Jones

The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone.

This post contains affiliate links

How did I find this book?

In order to do some blogging to assist pastors and wives, I ran a questionnaire a few months ago. Nan Jones was one that answered my questionnaire. I went to her blog to read some of her writings. After reading several of her posts, I decided I should read her book since I was in the same predicament that she was writing about. It was one of the best decisions I have made.

 Who will Benefit from this Book?

Perils ...”  is written to help other pastor’s wives who are dealing with the sad situation of being dismissed by a church. This is something that is happening in alarming numbers these days. While this book was written from the viewpoint of a woman and written for women, I think men could benefit as well. It is a wonderful book for those of us journeying the path of rejection and being in transition (without a “flock”).

My Personal Experience

I found that God used the very same scriptures and resources to inspire Nan as He did me in my journey with chronic pain and then our dismissal from our last church. Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet in High Places is an amazing allegory; Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts which set me on the right path for my journey. Her words are so gentle and encouraging. She shows us how to respond and get through it all with grace and (eventual) forgiveness.

Ministers in transition need to buy this book.

-Mandy

Have you been hurt by the church?

Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry?
The Perils of A Pastor’s Wife will speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all.

Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone.


JOY IN THE WILDERNESS

This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness

This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a shoulder to lean on.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.

 


Avoiding Spiritual Drift

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6:19-20

Drifting from safety

When my children were small, my greatest fear was taking them shopping. My son stayed right by my side, but my daughter was the curious type. She wanted to see everything. And it would only take a moment for her to wander away from me. She was a tiny thing and could get easily hidden within a rack of clothes. I would be frantic.

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When Life Has Dealt You a Bad Hand

We tend to get this idea in our heads that Christian leaders have everything in perfect order; that they are always holding a good hand. We think that they have had a great Christian life and have never been tempted to sin or been through troubled times. But this is far from the truth. When we look through scripture we find that God oftentimes chooses the weak or the least expected to do mighty things for Him.

Where the Light Felll

I have said many times that we need to have more times of testimony. Times when we share about our troubles and weakness. And then also to share how God has gone through the fire with us. How can others be encouraged or know that God is an amazing God when we aren’t sharing these things?

As I picked up Phillip Yancey’s memoir, Where the Light Fell, I found the story of his life heartbreaking. But I learned some things in my reading that I will share with you today.


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back to school

Back to School How NOT to worry about your Kids

Here we are! It’s time for school again. It’s easy to worry about all the things our children can face attending school. But God doesn’t want us worrying. So I thought it would be a good time to share some helpful resources. I polled some blogging friends for help. (NOTE: There are some affiliate links in this post.)

Teach Your Children Truth

I’d have to say that even before praying for your children, which is highly important, we must teach them daily from the Word. Proverbs says,

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. train up a child.

Proverbs 22:6
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