Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Month: October 2011

Enough.

In this short but thought-provoking book, Helen Roseveare looks at the different ways we use the English word ‘enough’.  As she explains in the prologue, ‘it is a word that might well be translated by many different words or phrases – but I do believe that they can all be summed up in the one word:  sufficiency’.

In the following six chapters Dr Roseveare looks at whether God is enough for our salvation, our assurance, our emotional support, our ability to please Him, and our happiness and contentment, climaxing with the final chapter in which she considers whether God is our ‘enoughness’ or sufficiency in everything.

Each chapter is headed by a searching question and verse of Scripture, which help tune the mind of the reader to the subject of that chapter.  Although the book is a mere 78 pages, don’t be fooled  – this is absolute dynamite!  Interspersed with honest personal stories and experiences, Dr Roseveare considers God’s ‘enough’ in a thoroughly real and refreshing way.

I was particularly blessed by her chapter on emotional support.  In it Dr Roseveare looks candidly at whether God is enough for single people.  Can He truly satisfy the deep longings of a heart lonely for a marriage partner?  Can He bring healing after someone has suffered the brutality of rape?  Dr Roseveare is able to answer these questions by Scripture and through personal experience.  When I read this, I was struggling to come to terms with being unable to have children of my own.  But I can truthfully say, with Dr Roseveare, that God is enough to satisfy all my longings for a child, just as He is enough to satisfy a single person, and as He is enough to heal a rape victim.

I can highly recommend this short, dynamic, God-centred book, and will be placing a copy in my church’s library tomorrow.

Christian Focus Publications kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of this review.

Rejoicing One Year On

I woke up this morning rejoicing at how wonderful and powerful, how generous and, well, just plain nice God is.  Psalm 30 expressed what I was feeling exactly:

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have drawn me up
and not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You have healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You restored me to life from among those who go down to the grave.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints,
and give thanks to His holy name.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my whole being may sing Your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You for ever!

On this day last year, God drew near and graciously began a powerful healing process in me.  I can’t thank Him enough for what He’s done for me.  Jesus died for me, taking my sin, my punishment, my sicknesses, my sorrow.  Jesus is my Hero!

If you haven’t read the exciting story of the amazing way He healed me, here it is.

Remembering Natalie

When my friends Keren and Steve lost their precious little girl a few years ago, Keren’s mum Judy wrote this beautiful poem:

O Natalie, Natalie the finality
Here on earth, that you went home
So soon.
We wanted you to stay longer
To share our journey.
We tried to protect you from harm, danger;
Difficulties,
But it came with stealth
Like a thief in the night
And took you home so suddenly, unexpectedly.
We were not ready.
How we loved you!
We saw your shell,
Your beautiful, pale, silent, soft shell
And knew it was not you
And knew you were not there
And knew that you’d gone home.
Yet we are raging, riven with grief
Wanting the life to return,
Wanting you to come back and join us.
So we carry on incomplete
Trusting our Guide on the journey
Who tells us He has gone before;
That you’ve gone to softer scenes,
That you’ve gone to gentler, greener glades.
We have you in our hearts
We have our memories
We have you in our mind’s eye
Constantly.
We see the reminders of you all around
And we are comforted
To have spent the time we did
To love you as we did.

Judy Grayburn, 2006
Reproduced by kind permission.

Is There Life After ME?

Earlier this year, I met Linda at my friends’ house.  Ron and Una were celebrating their ruby wedding by having friends and family round for an an ‘open house’.  As Adrian and I were leaving, I got chatting with Linda who had just arrived.  I am so glad we met!  It hadn’t been long before that since God completed my healing, and I was still coming to terms with what He’d done for me.  So imagine my delight when Linda shared with me how ill she had been with ME (chronic fatigue syndrome)!  She had suffered with it for eight long years and had been housebound for two of those years.  Because she lived alone, she was completely reliant on social services and good friends who provided basic care for her – feeding and washing her, as well as doing the housework. 

Throughout those eight years, Linda’s church prayed faithfully for her to be healed, but nothing much happened.  Until one Sunday evening….  Read Linda’s story.

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