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Back to Life, Back to Reality September 6, 2012

Filed under: Faith,Life — mandy @ 5:46 pm
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After a summer full of camps, conferences, overseas travel, VBS, and a quick vacation, I finally feel like I’m coming back around to reality.

I often wonder if we’ve forgotten what that word really means. Reality.  According to tv, it’s highly produced, over dramatic “real- life” activity.  But let’s be honest.  That’s not real at all.  It may start out that way, but then quickly gets edited and altered to increase ratings. But we watch it and laugh or cringe and talk about it with our friends.  I’m the worst about it!  Reality is defined as the quality or state of being real.  Reality is this;  We are a people in need of rescue.

In April, I began working at a church in Rowlett as the Children’s Director.  I love these kids.  I adore getting to see Jesus mold their little hearts.  But I’ve learned I haven’t had to teach them to be bad or start trouble.  They get that all on their own.  It’s my job to partner with their parents to help them grow in the Word and to know Christ.  I want them to fall in love with Him and serve Him.   I pray daily for their salvation.  They need Him!  We need Him!  Christ came that we might have life and live it to the fullest! (John 10:10)  He lives so that we can have relationship with him.  Real. Life. Relationship.  Not collagen injected stories and made up drama.

Reality isn’t always perfect.  It’s often messy, difficult, and painful.  It’s also beautiful and rewarding, and fun.  But in those messes and through that pain, Jesus is faithful.  And in those moments of beauty and fun, He is true.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He redeems our mistakes and our failures. (Psalm 34:22) He takes great delight in us. (Zephaniah 3:17)  We rejoice in Him! (Psalm 32:11)

My reality looks a bit like this:  I hate folding laundry.  I’m selfish, prideful, and rude.  I make mistakes and I learn from them.  I love my friends and family deeply.   I care way too much about what people think of me.  I’m good a trivia. I might be addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper.  But the best part of this reality?  Jesus rescued me! (2 Timothy 4:18)  He is my reward!   Real life isn’t about who gets the final rose or who wins a recording contract. Real life is about making much of Christ and doing all that I can so that others might know Him and make much of His name forever. (Thanks Jason, for this reference) Our reality is a beautiful picture of grace.  Offered freely and without limit.   Because of God’s great love, our past, our future, our reality is secure.  I’ll close with one of my favorite passages of scripture.

Ephesians 2: 4-10

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


Testing, testing… May 15, 2012

Filed under: Life,Pop Culture — mandy @ 9:52 pm

Ok, I’ve decided to really give this blogging thing a chance. A couple of years ago, I started doing weekly recaps of the shows I’m watching. I’m thinking I’ll give that a go again. This summer promises for some good commentary with the return of The Bachelorette and So You Think You Can Dance. Also be on the lookout for excerpts from Duck Dynasty and Toddlers and Tiaras. Way too much good material comes from those shows.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned…


Konichiwa July 23, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Life — mandy @ 6:35 pm

Today begins day 5 of our mission trip in Tokyo, Japan. I have quite honestly been overwhelmed to be back in this beautiful city. The minute we arrived in the city, my senses were flooded by all the sights, sounds and smells. Immediately memories from my trip 2 years ago rushed to my mind and I was once again reminded just how much I love these people. I am a chaperone for a group of students from Super Summer. They are from all over the state of Texas, but you would think that they have known each other for a lifetime. They love each other and I know this experience of sharing the gospel with so many will bond them strongly. Seeing faith in action through their conversations everyday is so encouraging!

Every morning we meet for worship and training. God has taught me so much as we have walked through the book of Acts. One of the verses that has stood out to me is chapter 4 verse 13. It says that when the elders saw Peter and John’s boldness they were astonished and they recognized they had been with Jesus. My hope and prayer for us as believers is that people will recognize when we have spent time with Jesus. Not because we’ve been to Super Summer or to Tokyo, but because we’ve been with the One who is above all and in all.

Our theme for this summer has been The Bottom Line. The bottom line of all that we do is to bring God glory! Psalm 46:10 is our prayer. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!

Father- to you alone be all glory and honor! Thank you for allowing us to be your hands and feet here in Tokyo!!


Mobile Me July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mandy @ 2:20 pm

I’ve just added the wordpress app to my phone so now I have less excuse to not blog. In the next two weeks I’ll be at Super Summer in Abilene and in Tokyo. I’ll do my best to blog every couple of days to keep interested parties updated. Pray for father’s provision and protection in travel and ministry.

For His Renown-


So it’s summer time… May 25, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Life — mandy @ 10:13 am

I have done a horrible job of keeping up with my blog lately. With all the tweeting, facebooking and other social media outlets, blogging gets put on the back burner sometimes.
Here’s what’s going on in my world right now.
Summer is officially here. We have 6 interns who have started with us and are already doing a great job!

Session 1 of Super Summer is 12 days away! Yikes! I feel like summer is rushing past me and I’m just trying to grab hold!

YEC is exactly one month away and there’s still lots to do to finish before the big day. I’ve never been married, but I would assume it’s a lot like planning for YEC. I work all year for a day and half event that’s over before I even get to settle into the venue.

I love what I do. I love even more that the Lord lets me do it! Planning events for students to encounter Christ brings me so much joy. Every hour of work, sleepless nights and sore muscles are completely worth watching thousands of students worship the Living God!
I’ll do my best to keep updated throughout the summer to let you know how God is moving in and through us.
I’m looking forward to Him blowing us away, like always 🙂 He’s so good!!

Our theme and verse for YEC sums it up best…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

Is He enough for you?


Spring Cleaning March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mandy @ 3:53 pm

Cleaning always makes me feel better.  Whether it’s my room, my desk or my car; it energizes me and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything!  With all the crazy weather we’ve had lately, I’m really ready for sunshine and spring breezes.  My little sister Crystal is in California for a spring vacation and I must admit, I’m a little jealous.  However, when I think about all that is coming for the summer, I get excited.  YEC, Super Summer, Tokyo.  My heart soars to think of all that God will do in this new season!  How great is He?!  He makes all things new.  He gives us hope and a joy that can come from nothing else. 

As you spring clean, think about how He is sanctifying us.  Ephesians 4: 22-24 says “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through decietful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Thank you Jesus, for this season of renewal.  Thank you for defeating death so that I might have life. 

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Persecution February 23, 2010

Filed under: Faith,Life — mandy @ 7:18 pm

Today I watched this video from Francis Chan about persecution of Christians in India.   It was excruciating to watch.  I honestly had no idea this was even going on.  As I watched it, my heart  felt like it was in a vice.  It still feels that way, and I don’t know quite what to do with the feelings.  I watched these innocent people being beaten and tortured for their faith.  As I was driving home tonight, I was thinking about the images I’d seen and how I felt about the situation.  I have no idea what real persecution is.  I’ve never even been laughed at for my faith, much less injured or endangered.  Knowing that this takes place on a daily basis in places like India makes my heart so heavy.  But to know that they are standing for the God of the universe is inspiring.

What could we do for them?  I want to step in, to fight back for them, to help in some way.  But I’m not in India, I’m in Dallas, TX where the worst thing that happens is being cut off in traffic on 635.  So, I will do what I can.  I will pray. I will ask the Father to comfort them and encourage them.  He loves them and has a plan for them.  He will receive glory from their faithfulness and boldness.  I pray they will have courage to face those who want to harm them, grace for those who don’t understand.  I think of Christs’ words in Matthew 5:10.  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  To say that I empathize with these people isn’t accurate.  I have no idea what they’re going through.  But I do know that Jesus does.

1 Peter 2:19-25 (The Message)

The Kind of Life He Lived

18-20You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.

21-25This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step.

He never did one thing wrong,
Not once said anything amiss.
They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.

If you think about it, please pray for those who are persecuted for Christs’ sake all over this world.  Pray for courage and protection.  Most of all, pray that Father would receive all the glory!