4-years

4 Year Chip

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart,  for they will see God.

Matthew 5:6

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires;  God will satisfy them fully!

Big celebration last night at CR……….. I received my 4 year chip.  Just over 4 years ago I found my home at Celebrate Recovery in Winchester, KY.  I began attending so I could help.  I had struggled with many things over the previous years and felt like God had brought me a long way.  And He had! But little did I know, I hadn’t arrived yet.  And I still haven’t!  But because of CR, I’m many steps further than I was 4  years ago.  God plopped me down in the little town with BIG things in mind for me.  And I’m grateful!

Celebrate Recovery  – click to find a group in your area

In CR there are 12 steps that we follow and 8 principles that are based on the Beatitudes that help us focus our minds on Christ and healing from whatever our hurt, habit or hangup is.

I have found that Principle 4 and 5 ring strongest for me……..

4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust.

5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

These principles coincide with the scriptures above.  It has been hard but has been the best step/principle that I could live by.  To openly examine and confess my faults.  Uug! But Wow!  Now it’s a daily thing for me.  I may not like it but it helps continue to the next step/principle and that’s to voluntarily submit to change God wants for make in my life.

So I say to  you who struggle with something…..ANYTHING, click on the link above and find a CR in your area.  You will not regret it!

Lord, thank You for loving me enough to allow the hurt to penetrate my soul and force me to seek out help which has lead me down a deeper path with You.  Be with those who are still searching.  Amen!

Rhonda

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The Gift

John 3

John 3:28-31 (NIV)

You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.

The gift that we were given……..Jesus.  He is our gift from God.  He shows us our path that we need to walk.  He shows us how we should love.  He shows us how to give grace and show mercy.  He shows us that we can come to Him in times of crisis and in times of joy. He shows us that He will carry us through the trials  and He will walk next to us in every day cares. When times are dark, He will bring light to them.  Never our minds should worry when we trust in Him.  When we are lonely, He will fill our space and be our companion.

“That JOY is mine, and it is now complete.  He must become greater; I must become less.”

Lord, I praise You for showing me the way to live.  I praise You for given me more than I deserve. I praise You for loving me even when I feel unlovable.  I’m grateful that the only thing you require from me is to love you and love others. Your expectations are great but the expectations of this world can be burdensome and greater.  I pray Lord that You will continue to remind me that meeting Your expectations are all that I need to do. I thank You for being my perfect example. Lord, please help me be quiet when I need to be and be brave and bold, speaking with love, when needed. I am joyful at all times because I have you beside me.

Rhonda

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Influence

Can my prayers influence (change, persuade, help determine) God’s plan?   Do our prayers come down to a heart issues and how deep our relationship is with Him?

 

For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3

Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Exodus 32

“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

John 3

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:15-16). Jesus himself says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). He assures us that our Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him (Matt. 7:11). In Exodus 32 it seems the prayer of Moses even got God to change his mind (v. 14): God threatened to wipe out the Israelites, and Moses asked him not to. The Bible indisputably teaches that prayer can make a difference. So why do we still wonder?

God gives us some conditions that must be met in order for us to be in the right condition to have our prayers answered:

  • our prayers must be grounded in faith in God (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24);
  • we must ask in Jesus’ name (John 16:24);
  • we must ask with the right motives (James 4:3);
  • we must be persistent in our dependence on God (Matthew 7:8; Luke 1:10);
  • we must keep His commandments and obey Him (I John 3:22); and
  • our prayers must be in accordance with His will (I John 5:14)

Ref: Bible study by Robert Driskell

Study and find out for yourself.  Why would the bible speak so much to us praying to God?  Having a relationship with Him?

Lord, I thank You!  I praise You for being every faithful, loving and grace giving.  I pray Lord that we will stop and listen for your direction and we will be bold and come to you with expectation.  Amen!

Rhonda

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A Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 

Silence……………. most people don’t like that uneasy silence.  The time spanning between one word until another one is uttered while sitting with someone over a meal.  The time when you’re alone and there is no one to share your deepest desires or regrets with.  The time that lingers while a loved one is taking their last breath.  Silence is uncomfortable!

It Is Well with My Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed… Full lyrics on Google Play Music

Lysa Terkuerst – “Silence” are we “Listening” or are we missing the voice of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-18

Silence…….we need to learn to cherish it because that is the place that God will speak to us the loudest.

Lord, I praise You!  You are a mighty and wonderous God!  The work that I’ve witnessed You do in my life is nothing short of miraculous. And I am grateful!  Please Lord let the people hear You speak to them loud and clear.  I pray we will cherish the times of silence in our lives and wait in anticipation for your voice. Amen!

Rhonda

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RECOVERY

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

With it being Recovery Month, I was feeling lead to share an experience with you that was both humbling and healing.  I have found the more I share my story the more healing I get from it.

We want to walk around and paste on a smile, trying to hide our real life from others but also from ourselves. We keep our hands and minds busy with dreams of fame and fortune in hopes that it will shield us from our pasts. We may disguise ourselves for a while but eventually we all have to face it.

Here is the post that my friend Holly Barrett shared almost 1 year ago exactly.  I  have know Holly for well over 20 years and we have raised children together and shared life experiences together that keeps our bond tight. She is doing great things for the Lord and sharing “her story” daily.  Giving back to others and the desire to bring more to Him.

 ( Click) Testimony Tuesday by Rhonda Gould

Here is Holly’s web page:  hollybarrett.org/

As I daily strive to stay on the path of God, I pray for you.  I know that it sometimes can be a hard journey but one well worth the travel.  One that our inner transformation will shine through the outward beauty.  Love the Lord!  Matthew 22:37

Lord please be with those who are struggling, those who feel like they must hide from the world. I pray Lord that they will stop hiding from you.  I thank You for always loving. Amen!

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Restoration

Alisa Bickham :     I’ve known Alisa for a few years now but really over the last year our relationship has grown.  I’ve seen a crumbled, an angry, a cautious and a baby step woman and now I see a renewed light shining in her smile.  God did that for her, in his timing!  We might not understand his timing during the process but I believe you’ll see that Alisa is beginning to understand it in her story…………….

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My walk with God started in my 20’s.  As a young Christian, I was blind to how much “self” was the focus of my life — sufficiency, pride, fear, perfectionism, materialism, and self righteous judgment.

In my 30’s,  my husband and I felt the call to adopt from Russia.  Over the course of 5 years, we adopted 3 children.  We rocked along for about 8 years.  As the children began to mature, issues surfaced.  There was never a peaceful calm.  One morning during my quiet time, the Lord laid it on my heart to pray for restoration for each family member.   I wrote the petition on a piece of paper, front and back.   That same night, our world turned upside down with the realization that our 10 year old son — who was our oldest son — was addicted to pornography.  Our middle son had been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome several years before this.  Our daughter was soon to be diagnosed with PTSD from trauma suffered while in the Russian orphanage that we were unaware of.  We adopted her at the age of 7 1/2.
With the progression of the addiction to porn, we sent our oldest son to rehab at the age of 15.  It was during this time that our daughter started having flashbacks.  She subsequently did a one week Intensive Therapy followed by several years of ongoing therapy.  Our youngest son started to spiral out of control with his behaviors also.
As our family seemed to be crashing, my husband lost his job.  I questioned God and began to say “If this is what restoration looks like, no thanks.”   We were not functioning as a family unit but as wounded souls, each trying to make it through the day.  My husband and I had exhausted any and all savings plus a lot of our retirement.  I was angry and carrying guilt for not trusting God.
Then God planted us in KY.  We have seen His hand in our relocation.  Our daughter has gotten a scholarship and is attending a KY college and is continuing to heal.  After undergraduate, she will continue her studies to become a trauma based therapist.  Our youngest son who is almost 20 has moved in with another couple and is flourishing; and we are hopeful one day, he can live on his own.  Our oldest son is still walking without God, but I know God has plans for him and will bring it about in His time.
My husband and I completed the Step Study in Celebrate Recovery.  I will start working with a holistic detox/ safe house for women who are victims of Sex Trafficking.
About three quarters of the petitions God laid on my heart to pray for restoration of our family have become a reality.  The path to sanctification and restoration may not be easy or look like what I had envisioned; but dying to self and becoming more like Jesus is worth it.
Isaiah 41:8-10
“But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you.  I said, ‘you are my servant,’ I have chosen you and have not rejected you.  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Just beautiful………….I pray that you have gleaned some insight on how God works in our lives,
Love ya, Rhonda
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Grace and Mercy

This marks the day when grace and mercy took over our lives…….

 Luke 2:40

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

Acts 11:23

When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

Exodus 33:19

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

1 Kings 8:28

Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.
15 years ago today, I took our oldest son to the doctor praying to not hear the words that we feared.  Our son had researched the symptoms that he had and basically self diagnosed himself.  But of course, for a momma………… I was not about to accept this diagnosis until I heard from a professional.  And regretfully we did that day hear…….. “Yes, you have cancer!”.  The rest of that day was very emotional, I remember initially making a few phone calls as we wait for the final blood work and then………….I don’t remember a thing!  The next morning we arose to a series of tests, more appts and surgery (within a 3 days span)  and then heading to Indiana for treatment determination, chemo treatments and ultimately ended with another surgery the following January in Indiana.
That dreaded day lead us through a journey of craziness.  Way too much to write about in this post but it also lead us to where we are now.  And honestly………….. I don’t know that our now would look like it does if we hadn’t heard those words that day.  I know that sounds crazy but without all those experiences that we’ve had in the last 15 years,  we may not have realized how much God really does love us.  When I look at my family today, I see God’s Grace and Mercy all over it.
So I say to you…………. today may be hard but if you let God in, tomorrow you’ll see Him working.
Lord, Thank you for loving us. I pray for those in this world that do not know you.  I pray for those that know you but have not yet allowed you to be the deciding factor in their lives. I stand amazed every day! Amen!
restless

Restless

Psalms 4:8

“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety.”

It’s been a while since I’ve had one of these nights.  You know, when you go to bed at a reasonable time, eager to get a great nights rest and then find yourself awake, mind wondering, thoughts races through your head at 2 am, not being able to settle it.

I’ve had many of those nights in the past.  Times of unrest!  Most of those nights, I could have told you exactly what was eating at me.  Stirring my emotions. But not tonight!

I find my self these days wondering on these restless nights, “what is God trying to show me?”  “What am I to learn tonight?”

Proverbs 3:21-24

My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Am I loosing my footing?  Am I not relying on His firm foundation?   Are my feelings or the feelings of others, the unknowns and unfamiliar, blocking my view of the truth?   Is He simply wanting me to seek out more truths about His love and promises for me?  What is is?

I think tonight, He wanted me to seek Him.  To have more understanding and to write out my thoughts.  Share Him with you and draw Him closer to me.  So then the next time I’m having unrest, my feet will the fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

Ephesians 6:15

and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

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911

Remembering

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Philippians 1:3

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Revelation 14:13

And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Psalm 116:15

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Luke 23:43

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Lord, I thank You for loving us and providing mercy on us.  I do not understand the hatred that others have in their hearts but I do understand the love You have in yours.  Lord I pray today for those who lost their lives this dreadful day of 9/11.  I pray for the families who lost their loved ones.  I ask You to continue to wrap Your loving arms around them and give them peace in the knowledge that they will be with them again one day. Amen!

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Friday’s Question

Am I following my feelings or the truth of God’s word?

Galatians 5:22

James 1:20

Romans 6:1-23

1 Peter 5:6-11

Proverbs 28:26

Proverbs 29:11

Hebrews 5:14

Proverbs 3:5-7

Jeremiah 17:9

Psalms 73:26

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Click here to go to Bible Gateway to read more……..

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