It was my Monday morning at Panera (a tradition my husband wisely implemented when my children were younger, to provide consistent time to be refreshed and re-envisioned for my life) and I brought with me a treasured friend, the book Humility, True Greatness, by C.J. Mahaney. It occurred to me while I was re-reading the first two chapters of this book, how often the Mahaneys have accompanied me to Panera via books and teachings. In fact, apart from my parents, I can’t think of any other individuals who have impacted my way of thinking and living more than C.J. and Carolyn Mahaney.
Phrases like “The Cross”, “Evidences of Grace”, “Extravagant Devotion to the Savior”, “The Main Thing”, have become not just part of my vocabulary, but part of how I aim to live my life. These are words C.J. has provided to encapsulate profound concepts in scripture that would otherwise escape me in their significance. For example, through his teaching on the cross (as well as his book The Cross Centered Life) I have been provoked to view the cross as not only something done for me, but as something done by me. This was revelational because I have been mostly raised in the church my entire life and could have easily gone through life thinking erroneously, “I’m not that bad.” What riches of grace I have discovered in understanding the Cross better, truly I can’t express it here.
I will never forget the first time I heard Carolyn’s teachings on Titus 2. It truly shapes the way I aim to pursue biblical womanhood. What a transforming effect hearing these teachings from a grace motivated perspective has had on my life. I still use them constantly as a compass to keep me on course for what I am to be about as a Christian wife, mother, and homemaker. I have listened to these teachings so many times I can predict when a baby is going to fuss in the congregation. I am a devoted reader of the Girl Talk blog, and I love the fact that this faithful mother has lived what she has taught, and the evidence can be read almost daily through the wisdom her daughters inherited from her.
This isn’t an exercise in praising man. It is an expression of my gratitude to God for the means of grace He has provided me and countless others through the ministry of one couple devoted to His purposes and His glory. And also if you’ve never been blessed to read, or listen to teaching by the Mahaneys, allow me to introduce you. Any of the links will bring you to the resources that have impacted my life and the lives of many others.
By the way, Jason got the idea of sending me to Panera Bread every Monday from…the Mahaneys, of course!