While still in need of a Savior, they were called by God. Come find grace and courage to follow your call as you discover the Mary in yourself.
A Mary like Me unites twenty-first-century women with first-century saints by exploring the hearts of some of the most famous women of the Bible. One gave birth to the Son of God, another sat at his feet, and another was the first to proclaim his resurrection. These women shared the name Mary, which means bitter, defiant, and rebellious; and a closer look at Scripture reveals their personalities in light of their name.A Mary like Me uncovers the fear, doubt, bitterness, and faithlessness the biblical women fought, just as we do. In Jesus's presence, their weaknesses became strengths and their flaws were redeemed . . . just like ours. The reader discovers camaraderie in the imperfections of the Marys. Comparison paralyzes, but camaraderie found in our less-than-perfect hearts inspires.
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Don’t let the name fool you. She’s a girl. She just didn’t know how to spell her new name (the girl way) twenty-five years ago when God gave her this one. Like many biblical characters, God changed Andy’s (Andrea’s) name at a critical time in her life when she chose Jesus for a second and final time. It had been a lonely year without Him. Andy plunged into the waters of baptism and came out rubbing her hands together. She was ready to move forward with her calling and her faith never again to look back or deny her Savior.
Andy grew up on the plains of Southwest Oklahoma always believing she'd marry a farmer, but her prince wore Army boots. Like Sara she followed her Abraham wherever God sent them (which they trusted came through the chain-of-command). Serving their country was a blessing to their family even through deployments, wars, and many moves to foreign lands--like Germany and Boston.
Andy taught middle school Language Arts until she took a twenty-four year maternity leave to raise three kids and one husband. She's been an assistant pastor and a care giver to the elderly. Today, Andy blogs, teaches Hermeneutics, mentors, and speaks to audiences around the country. She and her retired soldier live on the coast of North Carolina. Their last baby bird recently flew to college, so the nest is now empty, except for Hank, the kitty.
Ladies, I have been taking A Mary Like Me Bible study with Andy for three weeks and you all are missing out. Andy is a wonderful teacher. A Mary Like Me is a must read and study for us all!
Give us the back story on "A Mary Like Me".
The desire to write a book lived in me for years, but I wouldn’t write one until God gave me an idea. And one day, He did. Out of the blue a thought wafted through my mind, “Write a book on the three Marys. You’ve got the material.” A few years earlier I had taught a women’s retreat using their stories. That thought was the Lord’s whisper nudging me into a new season of ministry. Our family would soon be moving to a new town, and I would no longer be working on staff at a church. The timing was perfect.
What is the most important thing you hope readers will take away from reading "A Mary Like Me"?
There are many things I hope they take away from this book, but if I have to choose, I pray they meet Jesus in a deeper place, and that stirs new dreams or forgotten ones and greater faith.
Tell us about your Dream to journey down the path of writing.
Even though I always thought it would be cool to write a book, I don’t think I took the dream seriously. It was too big a dream to allow myself to dream. But I always loved words and English class, and in high school I longed for teachers to tell me my writing was amazing. (But they didn’t.) When my parents didn’t allow me to be a religion major, I opted to be an English major in college. The closest thing to a compliment was an A+ on a paper in English Lit class with a note from the professor that she had investigated my writing for plagiarism but couldn’t find any. Later in life I enrolled in an adult- studies program for ministry that demanded many papers. I loved every assignment, and I know that program strengthened my writing. All along, God was leading me on this path to becoming an author, but I had no idea.
How does faith play on your writing?
It’s everything. Writing the book is the easy part, but publishing it demands faith. That was another journey all by itself. I began studying how long the book needed to be, and all I needed to do to get it published. A book is written to be read by others. And that takes faith. Faith that you’ve done what God has prompted you to do, and faith that you’ve written the best book you could write. Each step of this thing called writing requires faith from the words you type on the screen to the promptings of the Spirit to attend writers conferences and make appointments with publishing houses and literary agents, or decide to self-publish. It all requires hard work and a lot of faith.
If you were granted one wish what would you wish for?
My holy answer is, greater faith. But my worldly answer is for a bigger platform to share A Mary Like Me all over the world.
Do you listen to music when writing? If so, would you share your playlist with us?
I don’t listen to music when I write. I love silence and the sound of clicking keys.
What is your favorite book or books and why?
Thank you for the plural. I couldn’t give you just one. I love The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis because the books are brilliant. I love Living Prayer by Robert Benson because I love the ease in which he writes. The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey is one of my favorites because he made us question our traditional Sunday school view of Jesus, and I love all writing by John Eldredge. His words are both beautiful and challenging. I also loved The Help.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15:13.
Tell the blog readers how they can keep up with you?
I would love for ya’ll to visit me on my website: www.wordsbyandylee.com and you can follow me on Facebook, Andy Lee (Andrea Stone) to join hundreds of others on my daily Facebook Live broadcast called the Bite of Bread. Monday through Friday we dig into a bite of scripture to feed our spirits. Come dig deep to live fully with me!