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Guest Blogger: Mandisa | Mr. Right, Meet Mrs. Wrong

Guest Blogger Intro from Going Beyond on Vimeo.

*I'm so excited for you to get a chance to hear from Mandisa! Remember to comment below to enter to win a signed copy of her new CD, Overcomer (winners will be selected September 25). On the album she wrote a song to her future husband called "Praying For You" and this post gives you a little of the background! You can watch the music video on the bottom, Enjoy!

Priscilla

My friend Lisa Harper sometimes jokes that her future husband is lost and refuses to ask for directions! I'm convinced that my husband-to-be is hangin’ out with hers, and that they are aimlessly wandering around Nashville looking for us! LOL!

I used to pine away for marriage so much that I was missing many of the wonderful blessings associated with being single: my loving relationship with my bed (whom I have named "Rufus"...don't judge me), being able to commit my time and money to whatever ministries, organizations, or people I desire, the freedom of whisking away on last minute trips on a whim, and most importantly, spending as much time with Jesus as I want!

While I am fully enjoying my single life, I was recently convicted by a sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Andy Stanley. In "The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating" part 1, Andy taught that rather than looking for "Mr. Right", try focusing on becoming "Mrs. Right". I've been very diligent in praying for my future husband (Psalm 112 is my go-to prayer guide for him). It's kind of laughable that I had been so focused on making sure that he was the man God created him to be that I hadn't given much thought to becoming the woman God created ME to be! After all, when I meet the man of my dreams, I certainly don't want to be the woman of his nightmares!

So like Andy suggested, I am pursuing being a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of woman. I pray verses 4-7 often and ask God's Holy Spirit to help me recognize opportunities to grow in these areas:

  • Lord, teach me to be patient and kind.
  • Help me to resist being envious or boastful.
  • Convict me when I brag or strut about.
  • May I detest being arrogant, rude, crude, indecent, self-absorbed, or easily upset.
  • By the power of Your Spirit, keep me from tallying wrongs or celebrating injustice; rather, may I always delight in truth.
  • Grant me the supernatural ability to put up with anything and everything that comes along.
  • Like You, Jesus, teach me to trust, hope, and endure no matter what.
  • Finally Father, I commit to your words in 1 Corinthians 13:13, "But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love."

I believe that God has placed the desire in my heart for marriage one day. I don't know when that day will be, but I do know that God is completely trustworthy and knows what is best for each of His children. While I continue living my single and full life with contentment, I will pray for my future husband and pursue being molded and shaped in the image of Jesus daily. And when “Mr. Right-For-Me” finally stops to ask for directions and God leads him my way, may he find “Mrs. Right-For-Him”!

And all the single ladies said, AMEN!

Mandisa

 

God Gives Peace.

Three years ago I was riding in a car with my parents when my father had a heart attack at the wheel. We careened in the morning, rush hour flow before my mom was able to steer the car into the barrier that separated us from the traffic going in the opposite direction. Seven cars piled up and our car totaled beyond repair.

Mom and I survived. Daddy did not.

The beauty in that story is that Daddy was a strong man of faith and I'm not embarrassed to say that I'm jealous that he gets to party every day with Jesus.

I’m not sure a 9am on a September 24th will ever pass that I don’t need to stop and inhale deeply, then longingly wish it had all been a dream, but I'm still amazed at how God has worked in my own life, and my family and I are living proof that God can restore what bitterness, pain, fear and disappointment threaten to tear apart.

I still struggle with my questions...the when and how and WHY, but if I've learned anything, it's that regardless of what derails us in life, God will not forget, and life in Him contains more than enough of what is needed.

God’s promises are abundant, and just as much for me as they are for you. Don't ever stop believing that. 

We can expect more and boldly ask for more ... and be encouraged by what Christ is already doing in us.

God. IS. Able.

~AshleyM.

God is Able

 

Glad you're here!

I can't wait to talk to you. Click play on the video below!

 

God is Able from Going Beyond on Vimeo.


1. Use the Hashtag #GodisAble on your social media.
2. Copy this image below to use on Instagram, Facebook or other social media.
3. Leave a comment about how God's ability has been displayed in your life.
4. You can pre-order the book by clicking here.

Can't wait to read about what God has done in your life!
Priscilla

 

He Prepared A Table.

 

As Priscilla mentioned in her previous post, we had several guests at our office this week. We don't have guests very often so we wanted to be certain they felt welcomed and loved. In preparation for them, we bought a few snacks, cold drinks and sweets. We carefully set the buffet table with pretty glasses, ceramic platters and fresh fruit.

Afterwards as I was washing some of the dishes I was reminded of a verse that I know is familiar to many of you.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, and He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23

Think of it. He sets a table for me! He prepares the dishes, sets out the food and makes a place for me. In the same way that we prepared a welcoming environment for our guests, He prepares the same for me. In fact, He does this even in the midst of my enemies.

I don't know what enemies you are facing right now, whether it is anxiety, fear, finances, challenges at work or even fighting with your spouse. But what I do know is He has prepared a place for you. In the midst of your struggle He has not abandoned nor forgotten you. He has intentionally made a place for you.

Now the question is will we sit at the table? Let us come and enjoy His banquet.

Blessings,

Green

Sabbath?

Friday was absolute mayhem around here.

I mean, complete and utter chaos. Nothing bad happened at all. Only good things - just tons of them all occurring at the same time. I hadn't planned it that way. In my mind (and on the Notes App on my Iphone) everything had been planned in perfectly timed intervals that would allow for a smooth 24 hours. But nothing actually panned out that way.

I mean, does it ever?

For example, the delivery guy from the furniture store arrived to put together my sons' new bunk bed at the exact same time the handy man showed up to tinker with their broken go-cart. We are also in the middle of turning a clothes-hanging closet into a space suitable for holding books and school supplies. So, the contractor arrived (with two other contractors he'd not mentioned over the phone) just as it was time for me to start making dinner. When I opened the door to greet them, they nodded and smiled as if everything were normal . . . even though they was supposed to show up before lunch time.

To top it all off, the wonderful people from Focus on the Family were in our office for a Bible study taping with my family - parents and siblings. So, we did our best to host them while our tiny office space got turned upside down with cameras and lights and microphones and cords.

Fun.

Busy.

Exhausting.

By the end of the day, Jerry and I were winded like we'd just run the Boston marathon and were totally ready to plop down into the bed . . . just when we remembered that we'd scheduled a dinner with friends. Man, we hated to cancel. It'd been on the calendar for two months and deep down inside we knew that once we got there we'd be refreshed. So, we showered, tried to look presentable and drove off to meet them. So glad we did.

Whew. . .what a long day.

Which is why the irony of what my kids had been doing throughout the midst of that jammed packed day struck me so poignantly.

A friend of mine has been helping them to understand some of the details about the Jewish Sabbath recently. Just for informative fun. Over the past few days, they'd talked about it a little bit and even read up on a few details. So to culminate the experience they thought it'd be fun to actually have a traditional Sabbath meal. And they scheduled it. . .for Friday.

I joined them for a while as they drew a candlestick, goblet and other traditional elements onto a make-shift table cloth in an attempt to make it resemble the real deal . . (since I had no intention of buying a real silver goblet no matter how hard they tried to convince me that we'd use it on a regular basis).

I loved watching their excitement as they followed the recipe for the traditional Sabbath bread.

They watched and waited for it to rise all day and then popped it in the oven for baking.

As soon as it was cooked and ready, the table was set. Cups were filled with grape juice, candles were lit and then we listened to the reading of the traditional Jewish sayings. We tried our best to follow the directions - even down to my husband starting off with a prayer for his family like a Jewish father might at the beginning of the meal. We talked about how the Sabbath was a day of rest and refreshing and a time when the family is meant to enjoy God and each other.

We took communion together and then laughed hysterically when it was time to sing a hymn and my four year old belted out a rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round".

Hear me clearly - there was nothing calm or calming about our Sabbath meal but at least the kids got to experience it

. . .kind of.

In the midst of all the mayhem of this particular day- on a day when so much business abounded - it was just like God to remind me through my children about the importance of Sabbath - rest, refreshing, recuperation.

Prioritizing it.

Enjoying It.

Planning For It.

You have any "sabbath" moments planned this week?

Hot Mess? He Loves You Anyway.

 

Y'all, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed yesterday.

I'd been chugging along all week, but I crashed late Friday night, and managed to spend most of my weekend in my bed and on the couch doing almost nothing, save for some reading, tweeting and dozing in front of a collection of movies from the red box.

I rested so well in fact, that I slept through at least two alarms Sunday morning, and when I finally dragged myself out of bed yesterday I had just enough time to LITERALLY throw on some clothes, grab a cup of coffee and haul it to church.

By the time I pulled into the parking I lot, I was all too aware that I probably looked nothing short of a hot, sweaty mess: I hadn't finished my makeup, I'd chosen the WRONG bra for my maxi dress, and as I made my way from the car to the building I felt my unruly, bed-head hair slowly rise to the point of no return.

I've never been more tempted to circle through like I was driving Miss Daisy and just head for the nearest Cracker Barrel.

Instead, I fished in my bag for a headband (the higher the hair, the closer to God, right?) and made a beeline for the pews upstairs, hoping to hide somewhere in the rafters.

REALLY, I was so glad to be at church, and glad for worship and the message, but all I could think of as the music started was how tired I was.

But God.

AS SOON as @aguilbert led us in worship (and this girl can sang, y'all), her words hit me like a brick. I've been overwhelmed by many things lately, but it's been a minute since I've been overwhelmed by His mere existence.

Each day God gives us a brand new opportunity to forget the ALL of the cares of the day before. He wipes our crowded slates clean so we can experience His love, which is huge and sure and NEVER FAILS.

I'm going to pick a couple of these scriptures to focus on this week and remember. Will you join me? We'll let them seep deep down into our souls so we won't forget that God’s Love is Huge and Overwhelming and NEVER Fails. 

  • Psalm 13:5 
 But I trust in your unfailing love. 
I will rejoice because you have rescued me. 
  • Psalm 21:7 
 For the king trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.
  • Psalm 36:7 
 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! 
All humanity finds shelter
 in the shadow of your wings.
  • Psalm 147:11 No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him, 
 those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
  • Psalm 143:8 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, 
 for I am trusting you. 
Show me where to walk, 
 for I give myself to you.
  • Psalm 107:15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
  • Psalm 33:5 He loves whatever is just and good; 
 the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
  • Psalm 36:7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God! 
 All humanity finds shelter
 in the shadow of your wings.
  • Psalm 119:76 Now let your unfailing love comfort me, 
 just as you promised me, your servant.
  • Psalm 130:7 O Israel, hope in the Lord; 
 for with the Lord there is unfailing love. 
 His redemption overflows.

Happy Monday! You are fiercely loved.

~AshleyM.

A Recipe for Prayer.

So, I was thinking...

The CONCEPT of having direct access, uninterrupted, to God is pretty fantastic.

Ever have trouble communicating with God? The reasons as to when, how and why we communicate may vary, but His grace is truly found in simple, transparent moments with Him, and absolutely necessary if we are to receive anything of value.

God can do so much more with what little we have than we ever could on our own! His place is one that is full with abundance and provision.

Be encouraged!

~AshleyM.

 

 

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

Have you seen that show?

It's on TLC and rivets my attention every time I've watched it.

Cause I just don't get it.

How in the world can you be pregnant and not know. Every single time I conceived, I was immediately overrun with exhaustion, developed strange eating habits and needed to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes. And that was just in the first 4 weeks.

Before my first doctor's visit around the 6 to 8 week mark, I'd already packed on fifteen pounds and in the months that followed I turned into a balloon with legs. I knew I was pregnant... and so did everyone else. And if I had any doubt, it was all quieted when my belly appeared to have an alien moving around under the skin when I lay in bed at night. Yup, there was a baby in there. No doubt about it.

But apparently there are women who go the entire 10 months without realizing what's happening.

I heard a speaker named Jasmine share a fabulous message around this theme last week. She pointed out that in most of the cases documented on the television show, the only way the women knew they were pregnant . . .was when they went into labor. It was the pain - the agonizing discomfort - that caused them to head to the ER for help. The pain was the indicator not that something was wrong but that something amazing was about to happen.

Pain in your life right now? Something uncomfortable driving you to your knees in prayer? Remember that all pain is not a sign of something gone wrong. Some pain is designed to reveal the start of something new; something that God is going to birth through you: a new ministry, a new calling, a new endeavor a new level of relationship with Himself. And sometimes, labor pain is the only way you can get jolted away from the regular endeavors of your life long enough to concentrate on what is to come.

The pain is what causes you to look into the eyes of God and hear Him whisper: "It's time. Push."

So, I hate to be the one to break the news, but you just might be pregnant my friend. The pain might be proof of that. Something brand new is on the way.

So push. . .and keep pushing until you are holding all that God has for you in your hands.

Priscilla

Happy Labor Day!

Hi Friends, Happy Labor Day!

We hope you are finding some peace and rest today with your familes, we are trying to do the same. :)

We hope this verse encourages you today:

We are praying for you!

Blessings,

The GB Team

A Fall Bucket List

Happy Friday!

Since September is {literally} around the corner, it's perfect timing to talk about fall! It's really one of my favorite seasons, and not too hot or cold.

Here's my {bucket list} of things I'd love to do before winter comes pushing through:

 

 

 

what's on YOUR Fall bucket list!?

~AshleyM.

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