Where everyone has celebrity status.

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.


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!!


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?


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!


Time flies… February 7, 2008

Filed under: Faith,Family,Life — mandy @ 7:14 am

My my, how the time has flown by since my last post.  I don’t even know where to start to get up-to-date. 
I guess I’ll start with the Christmas holidays.  I got to spend lots of time with my family, which made me very happy.  On Christmas Eve we went to my mom’s parents and sang Christmas carols around their retirement complex.  We didn’t see a whole lot of folks, but those we did see really seemed to enjoy the music.   The rest of the holiday was filled with traveling to Dallas to visit my dad’s folks and the rest of our cousins there.  New Year’s day was spent at my Uncle Marion and Aunt Judy’s house.  It’s a tradition 🙂 
January seemed to go by so fast.  I’m in the thick of preparation for YEC.  I think it’s going to be a great one!  We’re going to be at a new venue, the Special Events Center in Garland.  I’m absolutely loving it here in Leander.  I am subbing in the school district and have enjoyed getting back in the classroom.  I also love, love, my Upward basketball teams.  I coach 2 teams.  k-2nd and 3rd-5th.  They’re so much fun to watch!
Things at the church are going really well.  The Upward basketball program has been very successful for our first year.  We get to see lots of parents and other family members of the players every Thursday and Saturday.  One Saturday there were about 200 fans there!  The  youth group is going well.  We have about 5 that come on a regular basis.  Pray for boldness in our students as they share their faith with their friends at school.  I’ll be starting a girls Bible study next week.  I’m very excited about that! 
After the first of the year, a group of ladies at our church decided it was time to get in shape.  We are using the Weight Watchers model and meet every Sunday to encourage one another.  It’s been really fun so far.  I’m determined and know that the Lord will give us all the strength to stick with it. 
I just got back to Leander after a long weekend in Dallas.  It was my cousin Brock’s 1st birthday party.  He sure is growing so fast!  I got to see friends and family and watch the Giants win the Super Bowl.  Doesn’t get much better than that!
 Alright, now that I’ve rambled on, I’ll wrap it up.  I have a few prayer requests this time.  1. Pray that I’ll be able to find a full time teaching position.  2. Pray for my great Aunt Nan.  She has some health issues and will be going in for surgery soon.  3.  Pray for FBC Leander and the surrounding community.  That we will be a light in the darkness.Thank you for your support and encouragement.  I love hearing from ya’ll.  Let me know how I can be praying for you!


Upward December 14, 2007

Filed under: Faith,Family,Life — mandy @ 5:45 am

This week has been a great one here in Leander. I attended a training session for substitute teaching. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the classroom. On Wednesday night we took the youth on a “Destination Unknown” outing. We took them to the local mall to pick out an angel from the angel tree. They chose a boy and a girl and we spent the next hour picking out gifts for them. It really was a good lesson in helping “the least of these” as Jesus says.

Our church is having an Upward Youth basketball league this winter. It’s the first time they’ve done it. I am coaching 2 teams. My first team, The Bears, are 3rd -5th graders. My second team, The Flyers are K-2nd graders. It’s so much fun. It’s a bit hard to keep their attention though and to explain how to dribble and run at the same time. I love spending time teaching kids though. Watching them figure things out and feel like they’ve done something amazing never gets old.

The church is also having a Christmas musical on Sunday night and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s so nice to be part of something like that again. My sisters will be coming down to sing with me and my parents will be here also. I’m so excited for them to see what’s going on here. God has been so good to me. I’m living with wonderful friends who encourage me and worshipping in a church full of people who love the Lord. I can’t ask for more than that. He has taken care of my every need so far and I have no doubt that He will continue to do so.

My prayer during these days prior to Christmas is that we will all take inventory of God’s faithfulness. Take a look back and see the needs He’s met, the ways He’s made. How amazing is the God of our Salvation! Enjoy the fullness of His love this season!


A little piece of pie… November 30, 2007

Filed under: Faith,Family,Life — mandy @ 10:09 pm

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I got to spend some time with my parents and my sisters.  We had a great time.  We played some Guitar Hero, which is a blast.  My grandparents think that I’m taking a video guitar course :). Our grandparents had 2 of their friends with them.  Ms. Lou and Ms. Millie.  It’s always nice to share the holidays with new friends.

 Friday we went to Christian Care center in Mesquite.  My great-grandmother was a resident there many years ago and we started a tradition of singing to the residents the day after Thanksgiving.  After the singing we had our annual gift exchange, which got a little feisty with all the stealing and swaping of gifts.  The highlight of the night was the bowling tournament on the wii gaming system.  Congrats to cousin David who was the Champ! As one who didn’t grow up playing video games, I have now become enamored with these new games.  Oh well, I guess there could be worse things.

I officially arrived in Leander  on Saturday.  I have spent the week finding my way around town and having a couple of job interviews.  We had a really good night at church on Wednesday night.  We call our mid week youth gathering The Well. (John 4:13) We had a game night and had 6 students.  It was a great opportunity to get to know the students.  I’m looking forward to more of that!  We’re praying that God will continue to bring students who need to know Him.  Pray for us that we will be able to reach the students of Leander, Cedar Park and the surrounding area.

I’ll close with this statement  I heard at church.  –When we tell our brothers and sisters in Christ that we can’t forgive a wrong they’ve done us, we’re telling them that His sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for them. —  That one still has me thinking.