5 minutes with Mandy ...
I grew up in Brisbane, part of the Churches of Christ of Queensland (and a member of my local Girls’ Brigade).
My favourite bible passage is Psalm 46 because even in the midst of nations in uproar and mountains falling into the sea (life feels a bit like that these days!) it reminds me to be still and know that He is God. I especially love the part that says “There is a river whose streams will make glad the city of our most high God. God is within her, she will not fail, he helps her at break of the day.” It reminds me of God’s faithfulness to the people of God over the centuries and to me, in my ordinary life today.
One of the best ways that helps me keep my eyes on Jesus is through keeping a sabbath—I take Monday off and protect it carefully. It helps me trust that I’m not only a workhorse and that God delights in me even when I’m accomplishing nothing at all.
I would encourage the next generation of Christian women to hone their skills in discerning the Spirit. There will be moments when the world around you doesn’t get what God is calling you to do or doesn’t recognise your gifts. These will be moments when you’ll have little else to go by except God at work within you and they’re moments that have taught me to listen to his guidance and comfort.
My church is not perfect but it helps me see why God created the Church. When ordinary folks get together and do the things Jesus calls us to do, we communicate something beautiful to one another and to the world around us. This beautiful gathering ministers to me every week.
In one of the hardest moments of my life, when I felt so overwhelmed and inadequate for the work of ministry, I learned that God uses weakness to show his strength. I’m still living on those promises today.
I’m passionate about the Church remembering who she is. We hear so many stories of ways Christians misrepresent the Church and hear about churches shrinking. At the same time, “there is a river whose streams make glad the city of our most high God. God is within her, she will not fail.” The Church, as dreamed up and sent on mission by God, is still beautiful and strong. We just have to remember who she has been created to be and allow her to be that.
One of my very favourite things to do when I rest is go to the beach on the Sunshine Coast (actually the piece of coral on my necklace in the photo is from a beach there—I still wear it often) but since that’s not possible very often, I love to make things, especially the kind of art that makes something new out of something old. It helps restore my hope that that’s the kind of work God is doing in and around us.