intentional boasting

Intentionally Boast in the Cross

boasting in the Cross of Jesus Christ
all images in this post are provided by Gerd Altmann at Pixabay & edited by Mandy Farmer

But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14 csb

Who Wrote This to Whom?

Leon Morris wrote, “Galatians is a passionate letter, the outpouring of the soul of a preacher on fire for his Lord and deeply committed to bringing his hearers to an understanding of what saving faith is.” It was written to the Churches of Galatia. It is believed that this was about 15 years following Paul’s conversion on the Road to Damascus but before the council in Jerusalem. (since it was not mentioned in the letter) ‘Galatia’ covered the territory settled by the Gauls.” There is debate about whether the letter was written to northern or southern Galatia because Paul visited them both; however, it’s a moot point because this letter has much to say to all Christians.

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Experience a #deeperfaithwalk

How Experience Creates a Deeper Faith Walk & LinkUp

Christianity is more than a theory about the universe, more than teachings written down on paper; it is a path along which we journey – in the deepest and richest sense, the way of life.

from The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware

The Way of Life: a Path Which we Journey

This quote in itself is the experience that I desire to find this year. I want to follow the old paths as Jeremiah instructed us. (Jeremiah 6:16) And here it was in the first chapter of Bob Bennett’s Disciplines for the Inner Life. You see, Christianity is more than just a prayer and hallelujah. It’s a personal relationship we experience every day, deeper and greater.

Christianity is more than just a prayer and a hallelujah. #ancientpaths #experiencegod Click To Tweet
Deeper Faith Walk
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Yes, We are saved by faith through grace and that is all it takes to be saved. But I submit to you that there can be a much deeper faith walk than just believing that Jesus saves. We can experience this faith and salvation in such a deeper and more real way if we follow His paths and draw near to Him. We can truly experience God when we follow His paths.

Created for Relationship

God created us for relationship: not just to be someone He could lord over and tell us what to do. He desires to be our Father and our Friend: to “walk with us and talk with us and tell us we are His own“. But He also wants it to be a two-way street. That is why He has given us free will – an opportunity to chose this life. He wants us to desire to be with Him just as much as He wants to be with us.

How to Experience Relationship w/God

great faith walk #spiritualdisciplines #faithwalk

Just as with any relationship, talking and spending time with that person is the very best way to get to know them. When my husband and I were dating, we lived four hours apart. But we spent every evening talking on the phone. Many would say that a long-distance relationship is difficult, but we spent all that time talking where few talk this much when on an actual date. By the time our wedding rolled around, we knew each other well.

Throughout Biblical history, men and women talked with God; they questioned Him. They came to know Him through experience.

Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden every evening. (Genesis 3)

Jacob wrestled with God and begged Him for His blessing. HE said I won’t let you go until you bless me. (Genesis 32:22-31)

Job sat with God and questioned Him about His ways. He learned much and His thoughts about God became more clear. (Job 42:1-6)

The Samaritan Woman talked with Jesus and questioned Him until she understood about the Messiah. She hung on every word He spoke. Then she ran to tell others what she had learned. (John 4:1-26)

What’s the Difference?

Jeremiah described compared those who followed after God and those who did not. Those who follow after the ways of man find themselves weak and parched while those who follow after God become strong like a tree planted by the waters.

This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
    who rely on human strength
    and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
    with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salty land.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 NLT

Desire to Experience the Power of God

The Apostle Paul desired to know God more than anything. He considered anything in this life not worthy of holding on to. It was like garbage to him. He wanted to experience the Power of Christ that only comes from surrendering everything to Him.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

Philippians 3:7-11

In Conclusion

Let’s finish up with the next few thoughts from Kallistos Ware…

There is only one means of discovering the true nature of Christianity. We must step out upon this path, commit ourselves to this way of life, and then we shall begin to see for ourselves.

So long as we remain outside, we cannot properly understand. Certainly we need to be given directions before we start; we need to be told what signposts to look out for, and we need to have companions. Indeed, without guidance from others it is scarcely possible to begin the journey.

But directions given by others can never convey to us what the way is actually like; they cannot be a substitute for direct, personal experience. Each is called to verify for himself what he has been taught, each is required to re-live the Tradition he has received.

The Creed,” said Metropoliton Philaret of Moscow, “does not belong to you unless you have lived it.” No one can be an armchair traveller on this all-important journey. No one can be a Christian at second hand. God has children, but he has no grandchildren.”

From The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware
The Creed does not belong to you unless you have lived it. Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow #experiencegod #ancientpaths Click To Tweet

Are You Ready to Experience Christ?

How do you see the things of this life?

Do you desire the things of earth or the things of Heaven?

Seek Him, know Him, and obey Him then you will experience Him fully and completely. Follow my posts this year as I seek to go deeper with Christ. I want to know Christ and experience the power of His resurrection.

I would love for you to partner with me.

In Christ,

Mandy Farmer

It’s Your Turn

How do you leave a legacy with your deeper faith in Christ? What disciplines are important to you?

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What are Spiritual Disciplines and Why do I need them?

Image credit Free Photos at Pixabay

Here we stand at the beginning of a new year. Many of us are examining our lives to see where we need improvement. I felt God calling me this year to find the old paths and draw up closer to Him. The next thing He said was, “Go back to the spiritual disciplines and see where you have fallen back.

Spiritual Disciplines, ick!

Years ago, I read on a book required in my college philosophy class, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. In my shallow Christianity, I thought the guy was off of his rocker. I didn’t see the need for the things written in this book.

Today, looking back, I wish I had taken it more seriously. Maybe I would have put my feet on solid ground much earlier in my life. About ten years ago, I decided to present the disciplines to my women’s group at church. This time I used Barbara Hughes’ Disciplines of a Godly Woman because I had a true desire to be known as a godly woman. Whether or not the women grasped the importance of the disciplines, I’m not certain; but it was certainly a big growth year for myself.

Spiritual Disciplines, Yes!

Would you come along with me on this journey? I plan revisiting both of the books mentioned above and another devotional type book, Disciplines of the Inner Life by Bob Benson. I’ll write at the first of each month and have guest writers share their thoughts as well. Sign up for the newsletter to receive the monthly calendar with a verse for each day that I will share about on Instagram.

What are Spiritual Disciplines?

Richard Foster says, “The Spiritual Disciplines are God’s means of grace by which we are enabled to bring our little, individualized power pack we call a human body and place it before God as a “living sacrifice”, as the wise apostle Paul put it. (Romans 12:1)

Celebration of Discipline, special anniversary Edition

It’s about a relationship with God. Because He loves us, we desire to draw close to Him and live according to His plan. The disciplines are the tools we use to draw near to Him. The lack of spiritual disciplines leaves us weak and with very little growth to our souls. As parents, wouldn’t we be sad if our child never learned to walk or speak in complete sentences? Yes, we would. And God wants us to have spiritual growth just the same.

We cannot be truly transformed into His image without the spiritual disciplines. Timothy 4:7-8 tells us to “train ourselves to be godly”. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to run the race to win by removing the things that hinder us. These things take discipline.

We cannot be truly transformed into His image without the Spiritual Disciplines. #ancientpath #spiritualdisciplines Click To Tweet

Let’s start exercising those muscles!

I know I could use a little exercise in the disciplines. It’s always easier to do this with a friend. So join me as we look at the spiritual disciplines and find out where we need improvement.

Closing Prayer from John Wesley

O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for Thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I more love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all the chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.

John Wesley, Garden of Prayer

Mandy Farmer





#godsstrength #myweakness #hymn

I Boast In My Weakness ~ In Christ I Am Strong

It’s Friday. Time to join the crew at Five Minute Friday and write on a prompt. Prompt: Weak Weakness

Five MInute Friday PRompt Weak
image provided by Kate Motaung at Five Minute Friday

This post was originally published in 2018 on Leaving a Legacy, [GGMANDY dot COM and linked up on the Five-minute Friday Link-up.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

Sadly, I can relate to the Apostle Paul. He had some type of ailment or thorn in the flesh as he called it. He asked God to remove it several times, but God said,

“My grace is sufficient ..” 

Yes. It is true. His grace is sufficient.

First, I just reached the 8-year mile marker of a journey with chronic pain. And I have learned that this pain causes me to rest on Him. In the past, I trusted in my own strength, but now His grace is sufficient for me.

Secondly, even in ministry, I found myself doing everything from my own wisdom and my own strength my weakness. So God had to take me down a few notches. He needed me to look to Him for wisdom and strength. Oh, how it is so much better to lean on Him. So much more can be accomplished through Him when I allow Him to do the work. And it is so much more exciting to see Him do it!

it is so much better to lean on God. So much more can be accomplished through Him when I allow Him to do the work. Click To Tweet

Been There, Done That

Consequently, I have been there with Paul asking, “Can you take the pain away now? I have learned my lesson.”

And God responds,

“Really? Do you really think that you would continue to lean on Me or would you fall back into your old ways and begin again to trust your own strength?”

Regrettably, I think I know the answer.

I believe that no matter my good intentions, I would fall back on my own power.

So I accept my weakness, this “Thorn in the Flesh”.

I accept my weakness, this Thorn in the flesh. #chronicpain #weak #justathought Click To Tweet

For me, it is very literal. But I accept this pain and I lean on Him. Because His grace is sufficient. And His power is made perfect in my weakness.

Mandy Farmer
It is true. His grace is sufficient. Click To Tweet

Hymn Favorite by Mosie Lister

(1)     Many times I’m tried and tested 
As I travel day by day 
Oft I meet with pain and sorrow 
And there’s trouble in the way. 
But I have a sweet assurance 
That my soul the Lord will lead 
And in Him there is strength for every need. 
 
O, His grace is sufficient for me. 
And His love is abundant and free. 
And what joy fills my soul, 
Just to know, just to know 
That His grace is sufficient for me. 
 
(2)     When the tempter brings confusion 
And I don’t know what to do, 
On my knees I turn to Jesus 
For He’ll always see me through 
Then despair is changed to victory. 
Every doubt just melts away 
And in Him there is hope for everyday.
 
O, His grace is sufficient for me. 
And His love is abundant and free. 
And what joy fills my soul, 
Just to know, just to know 
That His grace is sufficient for me. 

Here’s a version of the song I grew up hearing on the old Magnavox record player.