Monday, August 10, 2009

You go first!

"Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings,
for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?”

Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king's work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite.
The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly." 1 Chron 29:1-9

Here's something to try...

Can you think of anything around you, that you would change? Do you know how you would change it?

If you can answer that (which hopefully everyone can) I challenge you to make that change this week. Step up and be the leader. Be the initiater of the change. David stepped up and gave all sorts of resources to the temple his son was about to build. Shortly after this, the ENTIRE nation of Israel followed his lead. And if you are in a position of leadership, remember your followers do as you do. The whole nation rejoiced at the generosity of their leadership....

I wonder what the church would do if it's leaders gave as generously as they "encourage" their congregations to give.

What can you change? And will you be the first?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I have a question for those of you who actually still read blogs :) I've slacked off a bit. When you pray, do you pray as if God might answer your prayer, believing He can if it's in His "will" or if He wants, or knowing He will come through for you since you are His child? It was a thought I got during small group a couple weeks back and I thought I'd pose the question to all of you out there who are much more wise than I. Do you have scripture as to how to pray? I find myself praying the "safe" prayer of "God do what you need in this situation" or something similar to that. But it seems to me that lacks a bit of faith in God's power. Of course He's going to do what He needs. He's God. He doesn't need me to ask Him to do something. I heard someone say one time that God "waits" for someone to ask Him to show up powerfully, and that seems like a prayer of believing He WILL.

Just some thoughts. Suggestions as to how to sort this out? How do you pray most of the time? I want to have the faith to believe He will come through in each and every miracle I pray for, but I don't want to look like a fool for praying for something "outside of God's will". And I'm probably making this way more confusing than it should be, but that's how my brain works :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Banner Will Be Clear

I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have the Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I am a disciple of his.

I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision,mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position,promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on his presense, walk by patience,lift by prayer, and labor by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, My road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, My guide reliable, my mission clear.

I can not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence ofthe adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach until all know, and work till he stops me,and when he comes for his own... he will have no problem recognizing me...My banner will be clear.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jeremiah 1:6-10

" 'Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak. I am only a child.'

But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and plant."

I don' t know about you, but I've had this same conversation with God. "I'm just a child." "I've barely made it out of high school and you want me to do what?!" I've always found myself in positions where I can lead, without being named the "leader," but for some reason, when I find myself in those same positions now, I find myself scared. I don't like it when other people label me as a child, even if it's just because I haven't had many life experiences, but I find that I often have that as my biggest excuse for not wanting to go where God leads me.

All I know is that God is leading me, He has gifted me, and I was created for this time. The God of the Ages is standing in front of me making way, to the sides of me to support me when I stumble, and behind me to minimize the attacks from when I'm not looking. I know that I have to combat this phrase every day. I am not just a child, I may be young, but God has gifted me.

What's your excuse?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If I die...

In our discussion of Francis Chan's book Crazy Love, we talked about living each day as it was your last. A hard concept for most people, especially people as young as me. I don't really want to think about today being my last day here on earth. There are so many things I can't wait to do! But then our conversation turned to "What would you like to be remembered by?"

"His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
I certainly don't want all the things I focused my time on to be burnt by the fire. I want to focus time on things that will matter in eternity. At the age of 19, I have a decision to make. Do I want to be known for the things I have achieved in my life (which is how a lot of people talk about me right now) or do I want to be known for how I loved others, or served, or gave of my time? After much thought (believe it or not, it was a hard decision) I've decided I'd like to be known for loving Jesus with everything in me. My biggest dream is for me to walk into a room and radiate Christ so much, that without speaking, people identify that I had "been with Jesus". Now this will take a lot of work. It's a different way of thinking. I'm driven by achievements. But Christ has called me to love him and seek after His ways.
By the time I go to meet Jesus and worship at his feet, I want people to say...
"Mandy, that girl who loved Jesus."
"Mandy, that one girl who always had time to sit and listen."
"Mandy, is that the girl who gave all she was? and all she had?"
I want people to know I love Jesus by my actions, not by what I speak.
What about you? What do you want to be known for? Are you driven by achievements?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Simplicity of "Yes, Dad."

Yesterday, I got to spend a day at the Zoo with the Edge family celebrating Brooklyn's 4th birthday! And while I had a lot of fun, I, of course came away with something to blog about :)Between old people wearing matching purple shirts, giving the play-by-play movements of the monkey and seeing the animals right next to the fence, there are plenty of topics I could go on and on about, but the thing I took away came from the girls.

1) My Daddy is here to protect me.
2) His directions are simple, if I just listen.

On their last trip to the zoo, the ostridge had gotten a little close to Brooklyn and tried to snap at her. So when we made it to see the giraffes and zebras in that terrain, she was taken by fear. The zebras were the first things she wanted to see, and she kept reminding us that's where she wanted to go. She was fired up about seeing them. Yet, once she caught sight of the ostridge, so was paralyzed. The animal she was "dying" to see was no longer important as her "fear" looked her in the face. I tried to help and so did her mom. But all it took was for her dad to say, "It's ok, Brooklyn. I won't let the ostridge hurt you." She slowly walked up to the fence and got to see the animal she loved. Just as Justin comforted Brooklyn with his protection, God offers the same to me. My Heavenly Father will always protect me from evil. I don't need to be paralyzed from fear when I am chasing after the goal He has for my life. He will stand and protect me so I can reach my dreams.

I was amazed at how easily the girls would listen to their dad. "Go kiss that fish" "Wave to the monkey." "Get close to the cage so you can see the wolves." Each time the girls listened with out hesitation (or at least little hesitation). Sometimes it made Sheena and I nervous, but they didn't care. Their daddy said it was ok, so it must be. Why have I lost that simplicity in my relationship with God? Each time He directs me, even in the simple things, I hesitate and argue and most of the time lose that opportunity to be apart of His plan. Sometimes the things Justin would tell them to do was just crazy(like howling at the wolves) but they did it anyway. The simplicity of "yes."

Well, there you have it. My knowledge from the zoo. Next, I'll have to share the funny moments. Thoughts?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Reading

I started my summer reading list yesterday...first on the list-finish The Rest of the Gospel. Next I have Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

But I need some more to read! Any good books you've read recently? I've got two months and would like to get through a good amount of books before school starts again in August.

I jsut finished The Bait of Satan, and would recommend anyone and everyone read it at least once in their life. And if you are a grudge holder like myself, read it once a year...

Leave me some good books you've read or would like to read! It's time for summer reading!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you

You are the light
That's leading me
To the place where
I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my're everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you? Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won't let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you? Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you're all I want, You're all I need You're everything, everything You're all I want your all I need You're everything, everything. You're all I want you're all I need.

We sang this last night at Switch, and I just needed to share it with you guys. Watch the video after reading the lyrics and the whole song will change.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Me on a Paper Square

As a part of our "development" we as a staff received little paper squares from our Training and Development Team with our personality type and strenghts. Just thought I'd give you a run down, because it's pretty much me in a nutshell.

personality type: ISTJ
quiet, serious, dependable, practical, responsible, loyal

Deliberative (which they actually spelt wrong on my card)

Well that's pretty much me!
What about you? What's your personality type? I'm fascinated by personality studies, so please share!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Watch CBS Videos Online

Can someone please explain why the GOP has to move back to the middle ground? What happend to bi-partisianship?

Explain, please :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

It is the 

 not the preacher, 
 who has given us freedom of religion. 

It is 
 not the reporter, 
  who has given us freedom of the press.

It is 
 not the poet, 
who has given us freedom of speech.


It is 
not the campus organizer, 
who has given us freedom to assemble. 


It is 
 not the lawyer, 
who has given us the right to a fair trial. 


It is 
 not the politician, 
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the 
salutes the Flag,
Thank you! And may we always remember the price you have paid for our freedom.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Before the Throne of God Above

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

I by chance turned to this song this morning, and yet again, here I stand broken at the thought of Jesus' body on the cross and knowing that I am guilt free. Satan has no power over my thoughts for I stand in Christ's redemption. I am blameless in the sight of God Almighty. I am free and have no shame. When Satan tempts me with guilt, he has nothing to tempt me with. The just God has no complaint, now that he sees Christ in me.

Just thought I'd bless you all with it, too! :)

(by the way, it's by Shane and Shane)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Forced to Withdraw

"Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself." John 6:15

Jesus feeds five thousand people after accepting 5 loaves of bread and two fish from a local boy. Everyone there took as much as they needed and there were twelve baskets left for the disciples. Quickly after this miracle, Jesus went to the mountains to spend time with his Father.

I've heard this story over and over again, but this time, verse 15 really stood out. After Jesus fed all those people, he quickly fled, knowing the people would want to crown him as king. He dodged the recognition of "king" even though he was their king and deserved that recognition.

Lesson for me: even if I feel like I deserve recognition for something I do, remember to be humble. Pull myself from the situation before I get prideful. If Jesus didn't think he should be king, then I certainly don't deserve any honor.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I think I get the hints...

Let's just say, this is the FIFTH time I've heard someone speak or just talk to me about God's power and strength. I think I'm picking up on it now :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009


As requested, I thought I'd share the mint brownie recipe, although I think it will lose some of it's glory. ;)

Well here ya go!

1 box of brownie mix (I like Betty Crocker)
1 bag of Andes Mints

Follow the recipe on the brownie box adding eggs, oil, and water to the powder mix.
Next put it in the preheated oven. 
While the brownies are baking, unwrap the mints (unless you bought the mint chips)

Once the brownies are cooked to your perfection, take them out of the oven and place the mints on the "fresh-from-the-oven" brownies. After about a minute or two, take a knife and spread the melted chocolate like an icing on the brownies. Continue this until you get the amount of chocolate you want onto of your brownies. (I usually do just one layer).

Let these cool for about 15 minutes, then I like to put some of the mint chip on top of the melted whole mints. It adds a little bit of color  to the brownies. 

Let them sit for about an hour to cool, then take a plastic knife and cut them to your servings. Then let them continue to sit until the chocolate is hardened on the top!

AND now you have the amazing yummy deliciousness of Mandy's Mint Brownies~


Friday, March 27, 2009

Humbled by David

I've been reading a Psalm a day, and I must say I am absolutely humbled by David's heart and his pursuit of God. Here's one that spoke to me today--

1 Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can't find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
3 I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me.
4 Those who hate me without cause
outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
demanding that I give back what I didn't steal.

5 O God, you know how foolish I am;
my sins cannot be hidden from you.
6 Don't let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me,
O Sovereign Lord of Heaven's Armies.
Don't let me cause them to be humiliated,
O God of Israel.
7 For I endure insults for your sake;
humiliation is written all over my face.
8 Even my own brothers pretend they don't know me;
they treat me like a stranger.

9 Passion for your house has consumed me,
and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
10 When I weep and fast,
they scoff at me.
11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow,
they make fun of me.
12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip,
and all the drunks sing about me.

13 But I keep praying to you, Lord ,
hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mud;
don't let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don't let the floods overwhelm me,
or the deep waters swallow me,
or the pit of death devour me.

16 Answer my prayers, O Lord ,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
Take care of me,
for your mercy is so plentiful.
17 Don't hide from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble!

Come and redeem me;
free me from my enemies.

19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace.
You see all that my enemies are doing.
20 Their insults have broken my heart,
and I am in despair.
If only one person would show some pity;
if only one would turn and comfort me.
21 But instead, they give me poison for food;
they offer me sour wine for my thirst.

22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare
and their prosperity become a trap.
23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see,
and make their bodies shake continually.
24 Pour out your fury on them;
consume them with your burning anger.
25 Let their homes become desolate
and their tents be deserted.
26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury;
they add to the pain of those you have hurt.
27 Pile their sins up high,
and don't let them go free.
28 Erase their names from the Book of Life;
don't let them be counted among the righteous.

29 I am suffering and in pain.
Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.

30 Then I will praise God's name with singing,
and I will honor him with thanksgiving.
31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle,
more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves.
32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad.
Let all who seek God's help be encouraged.
33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy;
he does not despise his imprisoned people.

34 Praise him, O heaven and earth,
the seas and all that move in them.
35 For God will save Jerusalem
and rebuild the towns of Judah.
His people will live there
and settle in their own land.
36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land,
and those who love him will live there in safety.

I'm learning so much from this man who chased after God in everything. He was by no means perfect, but he was passionate about God and loved him with everything in him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mary's "yes!"

Mary responded, "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true."

Have you ever thought about how willing Mary must have been? She was willing to risk everything, her reputation, her engagement, her family, her name...simply because an angel told her she would give birth. The entire city would look down on her and the threat of being stoned for not staying faithful to Joseph was a possibility too.

I wonder what would happen if we were that willing. Would you be willing to risk everything you had to do something you knew God had planned for you, but it would cost you everything. I'm not sure I would have been willing.

"Oh, how I praise the Lord. How I rejoice in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation will call me blessed. "

And I'm pretty confident that this would not have been my immediate praise to God after he told me I was going to bring His Son into this world.

Man, she had some faith.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Last Amen

From the corner of my eye
There's a tear I'm trying to cry
But the feeling can't be found
Like a note thrills in a song
When I play it again, it's gone
Cuz it was never in the sound

And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like a night is waiting for a dawn

Every prayer I say (a little closer)
To my resting place (a little closer)
Where my final breath is the beginning
To never needing
And I will find my last Amen

I could swear I have two hearts
One to stay, one to depart
This sad, tragic kingdom
And it burns me down to the core
Because I know there's so much more
It's just a pale reflection
And it keeps me wanting
That mysterious thing
Like an outcast waiting to belong

And while the thrills are fading
The joy is in the waiting
Somewhere in the grand design
It's good be unsatisfied
It keeps the faith and hope a little more alive

This is a new song on Air1 and it has a strange sound, but listen to it if you get a chance!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Here's a topic brought up in my philosophy class. Just a thought to think about! :)

"It's cliche to say 'Forgive and forget.' However, forgiving is not forgetting. Christians say God forgets your sins, but that is incorrect. God is in fact all knowing, so how could He forget. Would that not take away His omniscient power? You say He "throws it as far as the east is from the west" but He knows where that is too. So how can forgiveness be the same as forgetting? God doesn't ever really "forget" your sins, so what power does that give Him, if He doesn't truly forget."

Yes, I was a little fired up and fought with all the logic I could. :) Thankfully, my God is a lot bigger than a feeling, and He's truth, or I think I would have walked out of that class with a big seed of doubt in my mind. The most frustrating thing about arguing with a philosophy teacher, He's smart!! :) and has thought of just about everything. And I think He's moved beyond rational. But that doesn't scare me. Thank you Jesus for wisdom!

Just some thoughts. Did they get you fired up??

It is in fact here, yet birthday is this weekend!! So in honor of that, what is your most favorite memory of me?? Respond, and I'll give you my most favorite memory with you (that is if they are not the same).