Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Day 3-7 - Gratitude Challenge

Day 3: The Sunrise

Day 4: Rend Collective Concert

Day 5: My job and co-workers. I love working in Children's Ministry. The children are learning about Gratitude this month and this is their grateful chain. Someone wrote my name on the board. So sweet! I am blessed by the people I work with, the children, and their families. 

Day 6: Christian Authors!

Some of the authors I have had the opportunity to meet over the years.

Day 7: Northern Lights!!!
I was so excited to see the Northern Lights, but I was driving and didn't get a picture, so this is just a screenshot from my phone...

What are you grateful for this month?


A Gift of Twins by Gabrielle Meyer - Book Review

A Gift of Twins is another story in Gabrielle Meyer's Little Falls Legacy series. I really enjoyed this Christmas story. It is the story of a teacher that comes to Minnesota. When the town sends for this teacher, they think a man is coming. They wanted a man because every female teacher has gotten married and has then left her teaching position. The town has had to continue to look for teacher after teacher. This teacher convinces the school board to give her a chance because she has no plans to ever get married. 

A Gift of Twins is well put together and a great story. Throughout the whole story, you see how different characters have to make difficult decisions. We all face hard decisions in our lives and we can relate to the situations in the story. Ultimately, we see that even when we don't think we can move forward, we should still keep going and persevere. The friends of the main characters encourage each other and strive to help them succeed and follow their hearts. In the end, you will see just what "unexpected holiday blessings" await! 

(On a side note, the book accurately portrays what a Minnesota winter truly can look like!)

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Day 2 - Gratitude Challenge

Day 2: I'm grateful for my nieces and nephews! All 17 of them! #rohgratitude #thankful #grateful

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gratitude Challenge - Day 1

This month I am going to do the Revive Our Hearts Gratitude Challenge. 

Day 1: a warm wood stove! 

It is snowing today and quite chilly out. :(

#rohgratitude #thankful #grateful

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors - Book Review

I had the opportunity to be on Katie's Launch Team!

Katie’s story is incredible. While not everyone can move to another country and do what Katie did, we do each have trials that we go through and God is the reason we can get through them. Katie’s story is about real life – the joys and the sorrows. Ultimately, like the title says, it is about daring to hope, especially when there doesn’t seem like there is much to hope for. When I first started reading the book, I thought, I’m not doing enough. Look at what she has done! How can I do that? But by the end, I realized that God uses us where He has called us. It may be in our homes, our jobs, or on the other side of the world, but we must be willing to be used by Him. One of the first things I underlined in this book was this quote, “I give Him my little and He makes up for my lack.” We just need to be willing to give Him what we have, give it all to Him, and He will take care of the rest.

One of the things that really struck me about her story is the personal journey God took her on. Katie talks about how when she first went to Uganda, many doors were open for her. God paved the way for her and blessed her ministry. She goes on to say, “But over time He has been showing me an even deeper truth: that when all those things pass away, He will remain.” When things feel stagnant, when we feel no hope, when we don’t get the answers to prayers that we want, when things are hard, Katie says, “He is still glorified in our faithful pursuit of Him.” We must keep going in the race. We must continue to hope.

Our world has a lot of darkness in it. There are many hard days. But in it all, we are called to hope. Not all of Katie’s story is easy to read. There is darkness, but there is also light. There is sorrow, but also joy. There are trials, but ultimately, there is hope. Hope in Jesus!

Daring to Hope releases today, Oct. 3, 2017! 

Get your copy today!

Here is a little video clip from talking with Katie about her new book!

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Even If by MercyMe

One of my favorite new songs!

My favorite part is:

I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

This is where my hope and trust lies, in Jesus Christ! But even if, Lord!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When Angels Cry by MaryLu Tyndall - Book Review

When Angels Cry by MaryLu Tyndall

Book Review

Have you ever wondered what might happen in the coming days, months, and years? Have you ever wondered how it might be at the end of time? While this is obviously a fictional account as we do not know what exactly how or what will happen, it helps you get a better glimpse of how things might be. I appreciate how Tyndall gives scripture throughout the story to back up her writing. This is a novel for our times. 

This is not the normal genre that I read, but it made me really think things through. Are we doing all that God is calling us to? Are we being a witness for Him? None of us know when we are going to die, but I believe we should live each day like it is out last, living to the fullest and living to the glory of God.

The main character, Angelica, shows so much faith throughout the book. She remains faithful in the good times and the bad. She trusts that God knows what is best for her and for everyone in the story. She has real struggles, too. She is a single mom and is dealing with how to raise her children in a world that is falling apart and that is teaching her child the wrong things. Yet she stays true to who she is and fights the good fight. Even when all else is failing, she knows she needs to rely on God.
 I have enjoyed MaryLu Tyndall’s books for many years now and have read all of them. This is another one of her fast-paced books with action, adventure, romance, and the call to something greater, the call to spread the Good News and be aware of what is happening around us. I encourage you to check out this story and if it happens to leave you wanting for more, please remember these words by C.S. Lewis, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was under no obligation to post a review.

Book Description 

In the not too distant future…

Wars, plagues, and famines ravage the world, immorality and violence are rampant, and the Bible is outlawed.

Angelica Smoke, a single mother and cocktail waitress, ascends the steps of a megachurch to deliver a message from God to the one man she hoped to never see again.

That message thrusts world-famous pastor Daniel Cain into a whirlwind of confusion, causing him to seek out Angelica and demand an explanation. But the woman broke his heart once and is now involved in a fanatical cult. Even being seen with her could damage his career. Still, he cannot stay away, and the more time he spends with her, the more he begins to doubt everything he believes.

Angelica is a seer. God grants her visions of the future, but she has no idea what to do with them. Her top priority is protecting her son—from the world, the culture, the devil, and especially from Daniel. But God keeps throwing them together, causing her fears to rise and reopening old wounds that threaten to tear her soul apart.

Angels watch over the couple, protecting and hoping they will make the right choices. But the angels are limited in what they can do as the end of the age comes to a close and the spiritual battles intensify, not only for Angelica and Daniel, but for all humanity.

Click here to get the book on Amazon 

For more info on MaryLu Tyndall, check out her website:  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Intentional in 2017 (Word of the Year)

2017 is here! And we are already 11 days into it!

I have started a new tradition of picking a word for the year. I started in 2015 and am amazed how God seems to put a certain word in front of me and how I see the word repeated over and over again.

2015: Trust
2016: Loved


Life is short and I want to live it well. (Just like the lyrics to this song say.) I want to be intentional in how I am living. 

The dictionary defines Intentional as "done by intention or design". I like looking at synonyms and some of them that stood out to me were: conscious, purposeful, set, willed.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV) says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." No matter what I am doing, I want to intentionally do it to the glory of God.

There are several ways I want to use the word intentional this year:
  • in relationships with family and friends
  • in my faith
  • in praying more regularly
  • in memorizing scripture
  • in tithing and managing my money
  • in  blogging ;)
  • in all I say and do
I am also looking at specific ways that God is intentional in the ways He uses us, the people He puts in our lives, and more.

This year, I started a Pinterest board for things that remind me of my word. You can check it out here!

(I am also posting more often on the Musings Made By Mandy Facebook page! Please like the page to see when new blog posts are out and for some fun quotes, verses, and other random musings!)

I know this post has contained a lot of musings, but I wanted to give you some of my thoughts on the word Intentional and how I see that playing out in 2017!

Finally, I was asked last year why I choose a word each year (you know the last 3 years anyway!), and here is what I share then:
I like choosing a word because it helps me to have focus and see how God is working in that area of my life. It becomes my theme for the year.
[In 2015], my word was trust. Since it was on my mind, it seemed to come up over and over. Each time with clearer understanding. Even towards the end of the year, when I hadn't thought about it for a while, it came up and I was reminded of it.

I apply the word in different ways. I journal and blog about it. I look up verses and quotes about it. I pray how God wants me to apply it to my life. You can do as little or as much as you want with it!

This book, One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber, was inspiring, too!

 I would love to hear if you picked a word for the year. If so, what was it and why?