Broken into beautiful

How God Restores a Broken Heart

So many of us find ourselves BROKEN. But God can make all things BEAUTIFUL if you will let Him. Don’t hold on to your broken heart.

broken to beautiful

I picked up Gwen Smith’s book because I am writing a series of devotionals on emotional trauma.* I wanted to find out how others dealt with their own broken hearts and other traumatic events and how God helped them recover.

*My series can be received weekly in your email box! Click here!

We have all found ourselves broken and unable to fix it. Only God can restore our broken hearts and make us whole again. Gwen brings to mind how this life can beat us up and break our tender hearts. Each chapter tells of someone she knows personally and links her together with a Biblical woman. She then shows us that “God can use each and every person who surrenders her brokenness into His hands…no matter what.” It doesn’t matter if we are broken from past sin. Sometimes, we ourselves have sinned. Other times, those around us have sinned and we became the object of the sin. Either way, God CAN use the brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. The key is our own surrender of the heart. We must allow God to do the work in our hearts and lives. Then and only then will the beauty shine through.

Gwen reminds us that Satan would like to take us down for the last time. He wants to defeat us and convince us that God does not care. These crafty lies of the evil one can hold us back and keep us struggling in the hurt. We must let the lies go. Stop believing the lies and begin believing in the God who created us. Gwen tells us that “when we invite God into our circumstances, He will faithfully respond to our needs”. And then we will experience His peace, his presence, His power!

At the end of each chapter, Gwen leaves us with lyrics to one of her songs

From one beautiful heart to another!

-Mandy

Connect With Gwen’s Broken but Beautiful Heart

Gwen blogs here HOME – Gwen Smith

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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.

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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.

 


girl of sudan

How a Lost Girl of Sudan Found Healing, Peace & Purpose

At times in my life, I have felt like a “lost girl” in a mixed-up world. Life can throw things at us that we don’t understand. We have been pushed through life seemingly without any control of what is happening. We may never understand until we get to heaven but other times we can look back and see that “What They Meant For Evil God Meant For Good.

Young Joseph [Genesis 50] certainly learned this lesson. At no fault of his own, he was sold into slavery, worked his way up only to be thrown in prison and left there to die. But God had a plan all along. The important thing was that Joseph never gave up on God.

And that has been my goal as well. To keep trusting and listening for God’s guidance and direction. My experiences in life can all work out for good (Romans 8:28) when I keep trusting him.

I have purposed to read more biographies this year; biographies of people different from myself. My desire is to understand more of other races, countries, beliefs, and situations. I want to as the Indian proverb says, “walk a mile in their shoes”. What I am learning, is that there is always, always someone who has struggled more than me.

The Lost Girl of Sudan

What they menat for EVil book

Imagine with me being only 5 years old and living a happy life in a small village in Africa. Until one day, you are running for your life with only the clothes on your back and leaving your grandmother (the one who was raising you) behind.

Several times you are able to return but then things get worse and one day you must keep running further and further. You no longer have the delicious food to eat but must scrounge in the forest for food. Every day, you walk further and further trying your best to keep up with your uncle. Once in a while, you get on the back of a truck and ride many miles.

Finally, you find yourself at a refugee camp in the middle of a desert and in a different country. Food is rationed and even though you are stationed in family groups, others will steal your measly food portions. It’s dangerous to be out away from the family and even people you thought you could trust end up raping you.

This is a taste of Rebecca Deng’s story. Her book will open your eyes to what is happening in many places. Thankfully, Rebecca had been taught about faith and got an opportunity to come to the USA for her education.

I encourage you to get a copy of this truly eye-opening book to find out how Rebecca finds healing, peace, and purpose for her own life. You will be inspired by this “lost girl of Sudan.”

Mandy Farmer

It’s Your Turn

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Many thanks to Net Galley and Faith Words Publishing for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and honestly.

Preparedness Kit for the Storms in Ministry

Everyone knows that you must be prepared for a hurricane. More than one storm will inevitably come sometime every fall, it’s just how it is.

Most assuredly, no matter where you live, there are natural storms or disasters that you need to be prepared for. There are certain things that you always have ready for when the storm hits. When I lived up north, we carried certain things in the trunk of our car in case of emergency in the deep cold winters.

It’s true for your ministry too.

You need to have a preparedness kit at hand for whenever the storms come. And they will come. I guarantee it.

John 16:33 says,

“In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.”

However, just because Christ has overcome does not mean we can lay back and not be prepared. Christ HAS overcome the world, but we must take Him along with us.

That daily relationship with Him is the best Preparedness kit you can have.

  • If we aren’t reading His word daily, how will we know His thoughts?
  • How will we recognize His voice, if we aren’t conversing with him on a daily basis?
  • It is hard enough to recognize His voice in calm times.
  • How will we recognize His Voice in the storm, if we aren’t familiar with His voice?

 

Recently, a pastor’s wife, Rhonda Cagle Thorson shared this story that impressed my heart of the importance of staying close enough to God to hear and recognize His voice.

God can speak in some most unusual places. Our family went white water rafting in OKC this weekend. We were given detailed instructions for every possible scenario. The guide sat at the back of the raft. We were to listen to his voice (which was hard in the noise of the water).

Although he was steering the raft, our failure to do what he asked us to do would take us off course and risk an overturned raft. With other rafting guides nearby, it was hard to know if it was our guide giving out commands. We had to listen carefully and become familiar with his voice.

God is guiding us through the rapids of our lives. While he is steering, we have to obey in order for His steering to be of benefit to us. We have to practice listening for his voice above the noise and other voices vying for our attention..

in 2011, my family started down a long road of tribulation which included chronic illness and ultimately job loss.

If it weren’t for our close walk with the Lord, I’m not sure we would have made it. God has walked with us every step of this long journey which we are still on. Just as this scripture indicates, it was only that we were walking daily with Him in the first place that He was then able to walk with us through the storm.

Psalm 119:92-95 Amplified Bible (AMP)

If Your law had not been my delight,
Then I would have perished in my time of trouble.
I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have revived me and given me life.
I am Yours, save me [as Your own];
For I have [diligently] sought Your precepts and required them [as my greatest need].

I recently read again the Hebrew Shamat from Deuteronomy 6

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Do you treasure God this much? This is the first scripture passage that a Jewish child learns from memory. It is quoted every day, if not several times a day. Maybe we should take note and do the same?

My Greatest Advice to you is

  1. Set a time and place for study and meditation and then keep it.
  2. Don’t let anything deter you from your quiet time.
  3. Spend more than a few minutes in prayer each day.
  4. Study  His Word diligently.
  5. Practice His presence all day long so that when the storm comes, He is there ready to step in and carry you if needed.
My greatest nugget of advice to anyone, whether a minister or a laymen is … Treasure God Above All Else. Click To Tweet

 

You will find that there is really nothing more important.

The world will wait.

And if it doesn’t it won’t make that much difference in the long run.

After all, you can’t bring people to a relationship with Christ if you don’t have one yourself.

Finding Treasure in Him!

Mandy Farmer