Give Thanks to the Lord

Welcome to today’s “Time in the Word”. I told you last week we’d finish up our Colossians passage, but I’ve got thankfulness on my mind with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up.

Our scripture today comes from Psalm 136, with our focus on verse 1. If you are reading this digitally you can simply click on the highlighted text, otherwise, I invite you to grab your bible and turn to Psalm 136:1, or I have enclosed the scripture below for you. How are you giving thanks to God? What are you thankful for?

Continue reading
Why Still Sick

If God is my Healer, Why Am I Still Sick?

“For I am the Lord who heals you.”

– Exodus 15:26 NLT

Why Am I Still Sick?

Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle with illness and weakness? You would think that since God is a Healer that He would reach down and heal his people, especially those that are believers.

You would think that since God is Our Healer, He would heal me. #godismyhealer #chronicpain Click To Tweet

It’s a question that has been asked down through the ages, I would guess.  And many have searched to find the answer. I have learned there are many reasons why God may leave us in our sickness, disability, or weakness.

Continue reading

The God Who Fights For You

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17
God Fights for You
All images created for free by Mandy in Canva.com

Throughout the Bible we see that the godly are not exempt from troubles; however, God is always near to us. He is ever watching and He will help us through. Isaiah always shared comfort in that God was walking through those trials with us. He hears our cries and He provides what is needed as we go THROUGH the trial.

Continue reading
pain and suffering

Pain and Suffering: An Indication of God’s Love

This is Going to Hurt me More than it hurts you

Have you ever heard your parents say this to you? I can remember a time or too when it was said to me. However, it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I saw the truth in that statement. We never had to discipline our children much but when the need arose, it broke our hearts.

It’s the same with God.

pain and suffering

He loves us so much and He wants to keep us on the right path. And as we know there are times that the only way to keep us on the straight and narrow is to apply the rod of discipline.

I learned this lesson when I was hit with chronic pain in 2011. It was excruciating. But as time went by I realized that God was trying to get my attention. I was “working for the Lord” … very busy with children’s ministry and other things that draw the attention of a pastor’s wife. But in retrospect, God was saying to me, ‘Hey, you going out on your own and forgetting to rely on Me.” It was then that I turned my attention back to God. I got serious about studying His Word. And I found this statement from David.

It was good for me to be afflicted

so that I could learn your statutes.

Psalm 119:71

God Allows Pain and Suffering for Many Reasons

Certainly, God allows pain and suffering because He loves us. But there are other reasons as well. C.S. Lewis states in The Problem of Pain,

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Have you ever noticed that when tragedy comes, this is when people turn back to God? (At least for a while). And this is God’s purpose. .. to draw us back to Him. He did it time and again in the Old Testament. We may need to repent of sin or just develop our faith. You see, He doesn’t want us to stay infants in Christ. He wants to bring us to maturity.

Like a Shepherd, He gently guides

We, humans, are like sheep. dumb and ignorant. God places us in a green pasture and we start gobbling up the grass, never looking to the right or the left. Until that moment, when we look up and we are nowhere near the rest of the flock and now we don’t know how to get back.

So we need a shepherd to guide us and correct our paths. Just as David said in the 23rd Psalm. He allows us to go through the shadows of death, but He is right there to guide us and comfort us. He never leaves us alone.

Not long after my illness began, a friend reminded me of a wonderful book, Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet in High Places.

a timeless allegory dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. In this moving tale, follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey as she overcomes many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and is transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.

Hind’s Feet in High Places, Hannah Hurnard

One surprising element in the book was that the Shepherd gave her a guide named, Suffering. Why would she want this guide? But the Shepherd assured her that Suffering was the best guide she could have. I have found it true as well. My pain and suffering has kept me at the feet of Jesus and caused my faith to continue to grow.

Even Years of Pain and Suffering are for our advantage

I just reached year 9 of chronic pain. LIke Paul I have talked with God about taking the pain away. But God and I have come to an understanding.

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.

2 Corinthians 12:9
2 corinthians 12:9  My Grace is all you need

You see, I have found that through my pain I have many blessings.

  • I am maturing in Christ daily.
  • Writing and blogging have been my new ministry.
  • Friendships around the globe have been cultivated.
  • I have more empathy for those who suffer.
  • Becoming an advocate for others who suffer.

I previously wrote about these things and came to one conclusion, If pain is what it takes to keep me in the center of God’s will, then …

BRING ON THE PAIN!

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA


I agreed to review this book because of my own journey with pain. What a great reminder of the reasons God allows pain and suffering in our lives. Just as we discipline our children when the veer off the path of righteousness, God also loves us enough to direct our path on the straight and narrow.

All of us will at some time, experience a bit of pain and suffering. That is when it is time to remember that God is with us in the Furnace of Affliction and it is for our good.

You May Benefit From Reading These Books

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. If you click through them and purchase the item, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.




legacy link-ups

It’s Your Turn!

Join us in the Legacy Link-up! SHare a post of testimony. How is God guiding and directing your life?

Or Share a book review

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
true repentance

True Repentance What Does it Look Like?


True Repentance Makes us Ready to Meet the Lord.

We see the day coming but we are no more ready to face the King of Kings and the Lords of Lords than they were in Joel’s day. We sit in our padded pews and “mourn” the sinfulness of our nation but ignore the subtle sins in our own hearts. Our nation will not “turn and repent” until they see that living for God looks different than the rest of the world.

Our nation will not "turn and repent" until they see that living for God looks different Click To Tweet

When we look in the mirror of the Ten Commandments, what do we see? Is it righteousness or self-righteousness? Does reading this list cause us to fall on our knees in true repentance like the prophet Isaiah did when he saw the Lord in the temple?

Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

Isaiah 6:5

Challenge to Examine Your Heart

true repentance

I challenge you to read down the list of commandments. Ask God to show you where you have failed him. If you don’t see any failure, read it again. And then again. Slow down, read slowly, and consider the subtle things that Satan has blinded you from.

  • How much time do you spend with God? 5 minutes a day? Do you have a quiet time? study the Word?
  • What have you placed above God? Job, Success, family, sports?
  • Do you treat the Sabbath just like every other day of the week?
  • What ways do you honor your parents?
  • Have you stolen anything lately? Extra time at lunch? office supplies? Have you robbed from God, by withholding tithes and offerings?
  • Do you lie and cheat to climb the ladder of success? Do you gossip in the guise of a prayer request?
  • Are you jealous of those who have more than you?

Hmmm… I wonder why people want nothing to do with Christianity.

Yes. We are all sinners

It’s true. None of us are righteous. We are all worthless and separated from God. Even King David who was considered “a man after God’s own heart” sinned. And he sinned BIG!

CLick image to go the Study of Psalm 51
Click this image for the study on Psalm 51

The size of the sin is not what matters. What matters is our response when we see that we have sinned against God. This week I wrote at Gracefully Truthful about David’s response when he was confronted with his sin. Click the purple image to read.

What matters is our response when we are face to face with our sinfulness. #repentance Click To Tweet

So, What Does a Repentant Heart Look Like?

Let’s take a look at the words of the prophet, Joel. He said if we repent, maybe God in His Mercy will forgive us and visit us once more. Let’s check it out.

“Now, therefore,” says the LORD,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart and not your garments;
Return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him;

Joel 2:12-17
true repentance; Joel 2
all images created in canva.com by Mandy
if we #repent, maybe God in His Mercy will forgive us and visit us once more #confession Click To Tweet

3 Actions of a Truly Repentant Heart

Turn to God

True Repentance requires more than just “I’m sorry”. It produces change, a turning away from sin. Too often our apologies are not sincere. We are more sorry that we were caught than mournful of our sin. We say “I’m sorry” but we don’t turn from our wicked ways. There must be a change of heart and life. If it is real, the change will be noticeable.

Seek His Face

Many times God says in His Word if we seek Him, we will find Him. Right smack in the middle of the Bible is Psalm 119. It’s a poem using each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The entire chapter is all about seeking God and meditating on His Word. Start here in your search for God.

Don’t just read a quick devotion or a few verses and go on your way. Think about what it says and how it applies to you. Ask God to show you why that particular passage is there for you. What can you learn? If you need help with this, I would suggest the online study Gracefully Truthful or try the First Five phone app which studies a chapter a day. This and many others are free online. There are also some great Bible apps for your phone.

Also, invite His Holy Spirit to take full control of your life. Consider your heart as a house. When you ask the Lord into your heart when you are saved, He comes in. But do you only allow him to stay in your living room? Do you allow him into your kitchen? your bedroom? closet? attic or basement? God wants it all. He wants full control. And until we surrender it all to Him, we are still the one in the driver’s seat. We aren’t in full obedience to God.

Fast Weep Mourn

fast –  Abstinence from food and/or drink as an element of private or public religious devotion. Today, some will fast other things they “can’t” live without. The importance is that you use this time for prayer.

weep –To express sorrow, grief or anguish by outcry. 

mourn – The Greek word used for mourn is “pentheo,” which means to “wail or passionately lament, grief so all-encompassing it cannot be hidden.” The same word is used in Mark 16:10 to describe the emotions of Jesus’ followers after His crucifixion, a soul-deep sorrow.

2 Corinthians 7:10 tells us “godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.” Thus, it is a necessary mourning, required for us to reach a place of complete repentance before God. 

Honestly consider, have you been truly repentant for your sins? For the sins of the nation? Regrettably, I doubt that most of us have. In Bible times, people would tear (rend) their clothing in remorse. But sometimes this became just a show. (like the Pharisees) Try Anne Graham Lotz’s prayer from the National Day of Prayer. You can find it on her website here.

What rituals are you doing by habit or just showing off your spirituality? I’m reminded of the Pharisees praying, “Thank you, that I am not like them.” We need humility and true sorrow as we pray. This is what Joel meant by “rend your hearts, and not your clothes”

Let’s come to God with a broken and contrite heart as David did in Psalm 51. He was a picture of true repentance.

With gentleness and sincerity,

Mandy Farmer
majesty

What is Man That You Should Think of Us?

Why Does He?

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers–the moon and the stars You have set in place–what are mortals that You should think of us, mere humans that You care for us?
You made us only a little lower than the angels, … You put us in charge of everything You made, … the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals… O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of Your name fills the earth!” – Psalm 8:3-9

As I read this passage, I think of the shepherds in that field near Bethlehem so long ago. They probably had an amazing view of God’s creation day and night. They may have even taken it for granted, perhaps complaining when nature didn’t cooperate with what they planned.

Yet God, in all His wisdom and majesty, chose these mere humans to share the good news of great joy. The lowly shepherds were the first to tell everyone about the Savior, baby Jesus, born to save us.

What are mere humans, that God should think of us?

He loved us enough to send Jesus!

Glenae

If you would like to know more about following Jesus, click here

lonely

A Random Note at My Door

When I read this article, I could so relate to the loneliness Laurie felt. I, too, was very lonely when I first left for college. I asked Laurie if I could reprint her article here on the blog and she graciously accepted.

A Random Note at My Door

Laurie Rambo, guest contributor

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
 my fortress where I will not be shaken.

My victory and honor come from God alone.

He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him
for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 NLT

Off to College Far, Far Away

With a state college just a mile from my home, it seemed a bit random to choose a college in Kentucky when I had never really left my home in New Jersey. But I had heard men like Dennis Kinlaw, Frank Stanger, Victor Hamilton, and Roy Lauter preach at Delanco Camp Meeting and it left me hungering for more- more teaching, more understanding, more of Jesus. And so I went to Asbury, leaving behind my family, the love of my young life, my friends and all that was familiar.

Lonely Arrives

While I made some friends and many acquaintances, I found myself desperately lonely. When I thought I could not bear it any longer and wanted nothing more than to pack up and go home, our Resident Director left a little note at my door with verse 8 from Psalm 62 at the bottom.

Reading that note was if God had written that verse just for me in that moment rather than thousands of years ago through the psalmist. I grabbed my Bible and rushed to my prayer closet (also known as a storage room) and read the rest of the Psalm. Sobbing, I did just what it said, poured out my heart to Jesus in a way I had never quite experienced before. With a clear understanding that He was my refuge; my shelter. And I could trust Him- trust Him to take my fear, my loneliness, my longing to be home, and work in that to draw me closer to Him.

[ctt template=”1″ link=”f5mLd” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”] I could trust Him- trust Him to take my fear, my loneliness, my longing to be home[/ctt]

Jesus Arrives

It was in that loneliness that Jesus met me and helped me understand who He is and how He was shaping me even in the depths of loneliness. It was through those hard days of being away that I learned to sit quietly before Him and trust Him, to stand upon Him as my Rock. I treasure that time of desperation because in it I found what I wanted at Asbury- more of Jesus. The lessons I learned in those years were foundational to my faith and shaped me into who I am today in Him.

In ALL Our Moments Jesus comes

There have been so many times over the years, at points of deep pain, that I have gone back to what Jesus taught me in those moments of desperation and to the “love note” of Psalm 62. When I can do nothing about circumstances I can count on Him implicitly. He alone is my Hope in whom I trust, my Rock and Salvation, the One who holds my heart when I pour out my pain; He is my refuge.

Are you needing to pour out your heart to Jesus today, to draw close and rest in Him alone? He will meet you wherever you are, even at this moment. His faithfulness will not fail you!

Laurie Rambo

Laurie has been married to David, the “young love of her life,” for nearly 39 years. Together they have raised four children and have 10 grandchildren. When not caring for grandchildren, she serves Jesus in her local church, through Delanco Camp Meeting and by producing the Titus Women’s e-news at the Francis Asbury Society in Wilmore, KY

from generation to generation

From Generation to Generation

Memories of Generations

One of my earliest memories is a sleep-over at my grandparents. I remember standing at Grandma’s knee while she crocheted a yellow hat for my dolly. I can still taste the frozen tart applesauce made from the apples in her yard. But my favorite memory is the nighttime devotions. A plastic loaf of bread held tiny cards printed with Scripture promises. I chose one card, then sat as close to Grandma as I could. With her arm around me, she whispered word by word, so I could “read” the verse.

It was the beginning of a legacy – the love of God and His Word. Before I was a week old, my parents took me to church, and faithfully continued to make sure I was taught the Word by Sunday School teachers and pastors. On an everyday basis, we looked to Scripture for guidance in our home.

Passing the Faith Along

My favorite parenting verses are found in Deuteronomy 6: Continue reading

AFRAID

What Are You Afraid of?

 So, What are you afraid of?

Are you worried or scared about the next step in your life? Sometimes, life can seem really foreboding. We might be afraid that we can’t accomplish the next step in our dream. Or that it will beat you down into failure. Maybe God is asking you to do something that you fear will cause you trouble? And you are shaking in fear about moving forward.

Childhood Fears

Continue reading