burdens lifted

Burdens Are Lifted at Calvary

Too often we carry our burdens around by ourselves. I heard a preacher say that we live in a DIY society and it’s true with our Christian lives as well. We try to Do it Ourself. But God says we should bear one another’s burdens.

Do you know that 2 horses can pull three times the weight of one horse? So with us, if we share our burdens with one another the weight is much much lighter.

Not only that, if we share our burdens with Jesus, the weight is even lighter for he 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.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Hymn of the Week: “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary”

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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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We may earn a small commission for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support our work in bringing you spiritual encouragement and other favorite product reviews. Thank you.


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.

Looking Back Can Direct You Forward


te for five minutes. Today's prompt is BACK

Lysa Terkhurst’s book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way reminds me that our trials are not just troubles along the way. God intends for us to learn and grow from those tough times.

Looking Back

I thought about the recent struggles our family has been going through the past 5 years. I would rather push the memories away and try to forget but Lysa has been reminding me that “we are comforted to comfort others“. God wants us to use those times and how God got us through to help others get through the same kinds of things.

We often look around and think we are the only ones struggling, but indeed most of us are struggling. If we look back and direct our learning to others, we can be a source of compassion and encouragement. That’s what it’s all about … learning, growing, coming alongside others to help them through similar situations.

Acting Forward

I encourage you to look behind to get direction about your future. Dig deep into your sorrows and trials and find the gold nuggets that God wants you to share with others. I’m going to try to start doing that.

stop~ Five minutes up.

When life ripped away our livelihood, our home, our jobs, our identity. Satan tried to rip away my esteem. He tried to dredge up old feelings long gone. But God, through the Holy Spirit, reminded me whose I am.

Let me share a few nuggets from Chapter 5 of Lysa’s book

1. God wants us transformed, but Satan wants us paralyzed

2. God doesn’t expect perfection, so we sholdn’t expect it from ourselves and others.

3. We must get to a place of self-compassion if we hope to ever have true, deep compassion for others.

4. People need to know God’s compassion is alve and well and winning the epic battle of good versus evil. {and we are the ones to show it}

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa Terkhurst

In closing, here’s a prayer Lysawith which closed the chapter. Pray it with me.

Father,

I don’t want to let disppointment and heartbreak cause me to approach this life more cautious than creative. more critical than compassionate. More cynical than surrendered. Thank you for the ways you tenderly meet me in my brokenness and my pain. Ant thank you fo reminding me that I still have light and beauty to spread over this world. Today, I am choosing to grab the brush. No attempts at perfection. No apologizing or strategizing. Just me. Lighting this world with me color. Showing up with Your compassion and grace.

in Jesus’ name, amen

Mandy Farmer

This post was prompted by the gang at Five Minute Friday Each Friday we take five minutes to write on the same prompt. It’s a lot of fun to see what others are inspired to write from the same prompt. Give it a try or click and do a bit of fun reading.


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.



We may earn a small commission for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website. Your purchase helps support our work in bringing you spiritual encouragement and other favorite product reviews. Thank you.


peace through the storm, feature

My Peace Through the Storm

Hurricane Season is approaching

In Savannah, we all know what it is like to be awakened in the night with blaring horns warning us that there are severe storms in the area. I recall into the midwest that storms and tornado warnings could come upon us quickly as well. Either way, it’s a frightening experience.

Just like in a tropical storm, we have no control of where or how the storms come in our lives. It may barrel straight through us or it might skirt around us. Some storms may be strong and dangerous and others are slow and become just a thunderstorm or even just a bit of rain. One never knows.

Isn’t Living For Christ a Cake Walk?

We would like to think that if we are following the Lord, life’s path will take us through smooth sailing. But this is not true. The Bible says, “In this life, we will have trouble.” (John 16:33) The Promise we do have is safety through the storm.

Oh, how we must learn that God is faithful through the storm.

God Sees us THROUGH the Storm

pathway through the waters, peace and hope
image built in YouVersion

He will be right there with us, our haven. His path will help us grow and learn. We will be strengthened to face another day. He provides for our every need in every situation. There is Hope in the Hard Places.


We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV

Why do we worry and fret and not live in the peace that He offers us? Why do we allow the projected path of a storm to get us all worked up? We aren’t showing the world a reason to follow Christ if we fret and worry over our situation.

We aren't showing the world a reason to follow Christ if we fret and worry over our situation. #peace Click To Tweet

But when we have peace in the storm, THAT is when people stop and wonder what it is that makes us so calm. This is when we exemplify the peace that Christ provides. 

When we have peace in the storm, THAT is when people stop and wonder what it is that makes us so calm. #peace Click To Tweet

Let’s rest in Him through our trials so that He gets the glory and we get the peace that passes all understanding.

Let's rest in Him through the trials so that He gets the glory and we get the peace that passes all understanding. Click To Tweet

Enjoy This Hymn Favorite

P.S. I’ve been introducing the old hymns lately. This seems like a good time to share a hymn…

“There is Peace in the Midst of the Storm”

When the world that I’ve been
Living in collapses at my feet
And when my life is all tattered and torn
Though I’m wind-swept, I’ve been battered
I’m gonna cling unto His cross
I’ll find peace in the midst of the storm

-by Stephen Adams

There is peace in the midst of the storm-tossed life
There is an Anchor, there is a rock to build my faith upon
Jesus Christ is my vessel so I fear no alarm
He gives me peace in the midst of the storm

Peace in the Midst of the Storm: Performed by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Mandy Farmer

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.


workingout

Working out My Hurts and Pain

When I’m working out-

I also work out my mind. I work out the hurt and the pain these last years have brought in my life.

I workout forgiveness toward myself- for unhealthy coping mechanisms that kept me stuck for so long.

I workout experiencing those low points and how now I have a deeper understanding of those who are going through dark times.

Working out Loss 

I workout that friends, even one I had half my life, can walk away and because of that, I learned the healthy boundary of relationships. And that I have the gift of forgiveness and to love but also not to expect that in return.

I work out that being on this path is rare– most don’t take the time to find themselves apart from identifying as something-

  • a wife, 
  • a mom,
  • a success,
  • college student etc.

Instead, I am working that out from the other end, finding myself, then success in what I want, and so on and so forth.

It’s empowering.

It’s empowering because I am not relying on anything to tell me where I “should be” or on anyone to make me feel valued.

I value me- because of all the humbling experiences that led me here and help me to show others their value too- and that to value yourself- it must come apart from anyone or anything.

-Thoughts from Jessie ❤️✊️

divider

Thank you, Jessie, for these words of encouragement. Back when I was swimming a mile a day, I found it to be very beneficial in working out my hurts, pains, emotions.

Friends, How to you work out your pain and emotions? Share in the comments.

different

We Are Called to Be Different

We are called to be different.

These days many of us would prefer to melt into the crowd than to stand out as different. We would rather not stand out or bring attention to ourselves. But in truth, as Christians, we really should be different. Our lives should attract others to us. No, rather it should attract others to Christ.

 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

I recently read these scriptures from 1 Peter. They always prick my heart and cause me to look deep to see if my life is indeed different. However, this time it seemed to have even more meaning. The reason is that it was brought to my attention to whom and when this was originally written.

Perspective Changes Things

It was written by Peter to the Christians in Rome around 60 AD. The emperor of Rome at that time was none other than Nero. You know, the guy who let Rome burn. The guy who persecuted Christians horribly by placing animals skins on them and throwing them in with wild dogs to watch the dogs attack and devour them alive. Other times he dipped the Christians in wax, tied them to trees and burned them alive as candles for his evening parties.

When I think about the fact that Peter gave these strong instructions to persecuted Christians, I am ashamed that we are so timid to stand up for Christ because it may cost us something. We give in to the tiniest of temptations because we don’t want to be different or called out.

10 Ways to be Different

different
  1. Rid yourselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. (1 Peter 2:1)
  2. Crave the Word of God. (2:2-3)
  3. Abstain from sinful desires (2:11)
  4. Submit to EVERY human authority. (2:13-14) Notice it doesn’t say “If you agree with them”.
  5. Love the family of believers. (2:17)
  6. Fear God.
  7. Honor the emperor. (This was Nero remember?) Are we honoring our president?
  8. Submit to your masters. (2:18) Can we change the wording to ‘Submit to your boss?’ even when they are harsh
  9. It’s commendable to suffer for doing good. Persevere! (2:20-21)
  10. Don’t retaliate when threatened or insulted. (2:23)

This is the first of Peter’s instructions to the Christian in Rome.

He goes on to address the way we treat our husbands and wives. Peter tells us how we should treat one another, being kind and compassionate and understanding. And then there is the idea that we shouldn’t repay evil for evil. He tells us that Christ gave us the perfect example and we should follow His example giving up all of our so-called rights just as He did for us. He took on suffering and we should do the same.

That is how we stand out. We stand up for what is right paying the price no matter the cost just as Christ did. Let’s make a pact to start be different from the world. Ask God to help you live more like Him in the coming year. If we all join together to live different lives think of the difference it will make!

From one Christian to another, let’s do this!

Called to be different! Let's Do this! Click To Tweet
Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA

Discover the Meaning in Life

What Have You Discovered?

It’s Five Minute Friday! I’m joining the gang to write on a specific prompt. Today’s Prompt: Discover!

Discover With the Wisest Man on Earth

Even though he was the wisest man of all time, King Solomon discovered much in his life. It’s kind of comforting to know that the wisest man of all time discovered that life is pretty much meaningless. If it was meaningless for him, no wonder we feel that way!

I’ve been studying along on the FIRST5 app from Proverbs 31 Ministries. We just finished studying the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon. Solomon searched for meaning and documented his findings in this book of the Bible. He realized a lot of things about life. Continue reading

The Glass Is Either Half Empty or Half Full

How full is your glass today?

Half full or half empty?

Over four inches of rain fell from yesterday morning through last night here in southwest Minnesota.  It’s the time of year when farmers want warm sunshine and breezes to help dry the corn and beans for harvest, not four inches of rain.  Just twenty miles to the West in South Dakota and they have had a very dry summer. This rain system that went through was very important to them!  Isn’t that like life though?  The glass is either half empty or half full.

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Life’s Interruptions Are Just a Change in Direction

Life interruptions don’t have to end your purpose in life. Here’s my life interruption story of chronic pain from fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Life’s Interruption … New Year’s Eve 1989.

wedding picture

Wedding Day December 31, 1989

This was the day we were married. God had done an amazing thing to bring us together. (Read this story here in this Christmas post). Just suffice it to say that I went from being a single girl, on her own, programming computers to a pastor’s wife and a mom of two boys, 9 and 14! What a change!

But that is not the interruption I want to share about today.

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