Friday’s Question

Do I live my day for “arriving safely” or “skidding broadside”?

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

1 Timothy 6:17  As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

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Wild Ride

I can live my day making sure my nails are perfect and my makeup unsmudged or I can enjoy the dirt with my grand babies and work up a bit of a sweat.  I can sit all pretty in a chair watching others serve or I can be the one serving.

Lord, I thank You for allowing me experience life that has taught me the value of hard work and willingness/need to serve others.  Amen!

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Numbers

Jeremiah 29:11 BibleGateway.com-Logo

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

When I was young, all I really wanted to be was a wife and a mom,  married, to stay married, white picket fence, all living in the same country town and sitting on the church pew together on Sunday mornings.  Well 2 out of 6 ain’t bad.   And even 1 of those 2 doesn’t look like the plan I had in mind.  Don’t we all do that?  Aren’t we taught at an early age that we need to plan for our futures?  But all the best made plans don’t always end up like WE planned them.  Nope, they end up EVEN BETTER!

Divorce just simply was not in my plans yet it happened.  But God’s used those messed up plans and started preparing the best man for me long before I needed him.

Being a mom was a lot harder than I could have even imagined. But God used those experiences to expose in me my weaknesses and help me to be a better mom when my kids are becoming parents.

The white picket fence has changed into black pasture fencing that is surrounded by beauty of the quiet calm of the farm life. So God gave me a place for serenity right outside my door.

Nope, we don’t all live in the same country town but God has given us all blessings of the country life and teaching us to be independent and cherish the time we have together.

And “sitting on the church pew together” only happens once in a while . So God is working on us all individually, growing our faith in Him alone and allowing us to find our own way to him.

The Lord knows best!  Yes, I’m a wife and a mom, a mother in law and a “Lollie” to 5. Yes, I said 5.  The Lord’s plans are the best laid out plans.  My plans were limited to what I could imagine but God’s plans blessed me in #’s that I never dreamed of.IMG_0153IMG_0108

Lord, thank you for taking my messed up plans and making them beautiful! I pray I will always turn to You when I’m planning out my tomorrows. Amen!

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Friday’s Question

Do we really have to die to self to be renewed in Him?

20170328_174234 I’m a big perennial flower lover.  Buy them once, plant them once and enjoy the fruits of your labor a lift time.  Sometimes they have to be pruned back, cutting off the dead limbs and trimming the leaves that are weathered and worn from the harsh surroundings.  But they always come back doubled in size and more beautiful than ever. They literally died all the way back and God brought them alive again so they could please those around them with their beauty.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.—Matthew 16:25, NASB

Have you ever thought of your self as a perennial.  God molded and shaped us once, placed us in our mother’s womb so that once we were born He could enjoy the fruits of His labor for eternity.  But do we always act in ways that brings happiness to our Lord?  Are we working so hard to prove ourselves beautiful in the sight of those on earth that we forget about dying to self for our Lord?

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

So I will consider this the next time I’m trying to prove my point, pave my way, carve out my spot in the lime light and have my say. I must die to self to be renewed and become a more beautiful me.

Lord,I am grateful for your love for me.  I pray that I will let you be my guide. Amen!

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A fool or wise….which is it?

Proverbs 29:11  BibleGateway.com-Logo

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Ever wondered which one you are?  I know that I’ve fallen onto the side of “fool gives full vent” way too many times.  But the Lord is teaching me. Teaching me to listen to Him. Teaching me to shut my mouth when is necessary and showing me when to speak when needed.

I encourage  you to listen to Him.  He will NOT steer you wrong.

Lord, I thank You for your patience with me.  I ask You to continue molding my heart so that it knows exactly what You desire. Amen!

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Be the Gift

“The cells that only benefits themselves are known as cancer” Ann Voskamp – The Broken Way    #bethegift

From Ann Voskamp’s new book there is this quote. The jest of the book is about being broken and even through our brokenness we find a way to “be the gift” to others. We have an option, you know.  We can either stay buried in the muck of the brokenness or we can rise above with the help of the Lord.  We all have brokenness of some variety which stems from some past experiences. This quote is saying that we are the cells, we can make decisions that only benefits  our self and cause harm or pain to others  or we can find ways to break out of our brokenness through helping others.  Cancer cells live solely to feed themselves for their benefit of survival. Are we going to live as cancer cells or are we going to “be the gift”?

Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

I am not unfamiliar with brokenness and I have done my share of burying myself in the muck.  The only thing  that has gotten me out of that muck is actively working to have a true and strong relationship with Jesus.  Knowing Him as a loving friend.  Understand God as the Father that loves and never causes harm. Allowing His Spirit to guide my steps and my thoughts.  Without that I would still be in the muck. Because of my relationship with Him, I choose to “be the gift” and not the cancer.

So I challenge you to actively work on relationship with Him. Let Him pull you through the muck to a fabulous life of peace and love.

Lord, I thank You for being my all.  I thank You for loving me more than I knew I could be loved.  For being a firm foundation for my steps and for guiding me through the fire and bringing me to the other side even better then before.  I pray for You to help me remember my purpose here and I ask You to give me the words I need when I need them.  Wrap Your arms around those that don’t know You yet.  Amen!

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Friday’s Question

Am I using the gifts that God has given me?  Or am I squandering them away?

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

Full chapter – 1 Corin 12:4-11  BibleGateway.com-Logo

I’m a firm believer in spending enough time with God and being willing to step out in faith to figure out what gifts He has given you.  It wasn’t till I stepped out there in my fear and trusted Him to guide my steps that I truly understood who I am in Him.  Did my human side mess up some……. absolutely!  Do I still mess up some………absolutely!  But the difference now is I don’t get all stressed out over it.  I trust in my loving, grace giving, mercy abounding God to prepare my next step.  He has provided for me a path way to living a full-filling life here on earth and in great anticipation for when I’m with Him for eternity.

So don’t squander your gifts!  You have them, you know.  They are built into the mold that He cut you from. All you have to do is start stepping out there. Even if you have a little or a lot of fear, know this………… He will provide the way and He will teach you something new with every new step.  Don’t fear only trust!

Lord, thank You for giving me gifts that I can use to better your kingdom and helping me get over my fear of failure. Amen!

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RENEW

How am I doing after 3 months?

Psalm 51:10 BibleGateway.com-Logo

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:12 BibleGateway.com-Logo

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

2016 was an interesting year for me.  Started out dealing with a past hurt, then it lead me to an old hurt that is now intersecting with the new and then right into meshing the past with the present. Maybe one day I will be more specific but for now that’s it.

But how did that lead me to 2017 word being Renew?  And how am I doing with that process in the first 3 months?  It’s really not that easy.  30 year old hurts may be a thing of the past and God definitely has a way of healing but he doesn’t choose to wipe those memories away. So creating new memories to heal those old ones is where He can heal me. The renewing of the mind.  40 year old hurts that intersect with the new life can be messy and hard.  That’s when seeking His guidance in how to mesh them together, allowing the old to not control the new. Renewing of the soul.  And then we come to the 50 year old past meshing with the present and allowing forgiveness and love which God has given me so freely be my guide for the future. Renewing of the heart.  So how have I done?  I’ve sought a lot of guidance from God and the Godly people in my life and I’m learning and still leaning on Him.  The renewal of my life. There is still more for me in 2017 but I’m reminded that it’s not what is of this world that controls me.  It’s my love for the Lord and His love for me that creates in me a clean heart, renews my spirit, restores my joy and holds me up.

So with that I’m still working on the “Renew”.  Still seeking and listening to His small words and gentle nudges.  Still trusting that through all of this mess and change, He has a plan for me.

He has the same plan for you.  Your journey most likely doesn’t look like mine but His promises to you are the same. Just trust, seek and listen.

Lord, I trust.  Each day even through my tears, fears, laughter and joys, I trust!  I am grateful that You are always there for me, for us and for all the hurting and lost in the world.  Help me to continue to seek you.  Help me to feel your presence in my life.  Help me to always trust.  Amen!

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True Friendship with Him

Hebrews 5:12-14   For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Sitting idly by!  Satisfied with the status quo! Think you’ve arrived! Have the whole bible stoBibleGateway.com-Logored in your memory! Go to church every time the door is open! Feed the poor every Saturday!  But you don’t have a relationship with Christ! A relationship is more than simply being present, more than being satisfied where you are, more than being able to quote scripture, more than going to church and more than serving those less fortunate than you.  RELATIONSHIP……the way in which two people talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other, successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both, the most meaningful element in their lives and can seem like a lot of work until you sit back and realize just how much you’ve been given.  It seems easy to have a relationship with someone here, someone that we can touch, feel and enjoy life with, some that we can see but that someone also has the ability to cause the most pain for us.  We put so much effort into relationships on earth and think nothing of the time it takes but do we put as much or more time on our God.  Just because we can’t touch him, we can’t physically feel his touch, we can’t see him or plainly hear him speak doesn’t mean that he’s not there for us.  Once we realize that he is all around us, working for our good and providing our needs, knowing that all he desires from us is to spend our time with him, we will be able to feel the gentle breeze of His Spirit, hear Him in our hearts and see His work in our lives.  Don’t be satisfied with sitting idly by, never striving for more relationship with him.  Don’t believe the lies that we should be satisfied with the knowledge we have today.  Searching to know more of His love for me, more of His sacrifices He made for me, more of what He works in my life and more about a true relationship with Him.  #rhondagouldonline

Dear Lord, I pray that today I won’t be satisfied with my relationship with You.  That my urges to know You will be greater than my urges to please people of this world. I know that You gave everything for me because of Your love so I pray that I will give everything to You.  Amen!

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My Story is not Boring

Patty Raisor: Pure in Heart!  That is what I can say about Patty.  Which means she loves God and through that love she gives.  Gives in many ways to her neighbors in America and to her neighbors across the seas.  She feels BIG, big for joys and big for sorrows.  A person will never fails to feel loved when they are with her.  I have been blessed by her presence in my life.

1780066_10203010322633219_2085411338782936671_oThere is no such thing as a boring story with God.  I use to think my testimony was boring – I grew up in a Christian home, was in church all my life, had every opportunity to know God, did all the “Christian things,” but realized in High School that I had a religion and not a relationship.  It was at a youth camp that I realized I was working to obtain and keep my salvation – it was all about me and what I did.  Once I could see the ugliness of my sin – my attitudes, actions, thoughts, words – I realized I needed to be rescued from myself.  It was at that camp I asked Jesus to be in charge of my life, to save me from myself, to forgive me of my past and be my forever friend.

What is not boring about my story is that God had been pursuing me all my life – He gave me my family, He gave me a Christian upbringing, He protected me from myself and He has continued to hold me tight.

My salvation was secure, but I had not truly made Him Lord over my life which was evident during my college days.  I went my own way and lived a life that made me look like the world around me.  I rarely went to church, I never read the Bible, I prayed when I needed something and I was surrounded by non Christian friends.  My life definitely was not boring – but it was also not fulfilling.  I was running from God thinking I was in charge of my life.  BORING.jpg

Things began to change when I met my future husband.  We had so much in common – we were both Christians, we had very similar home life and interests and he too had been running from God.  We both had the desire to make our marriage God centered which meant getting serious about our relationship with Him.  It was then I committed to making Him Lord of my life.

I began attending Bible studies where I discovered for myself the truth about God, His character, the way He operated and what He desired for my life.  I began to grow in my relationship with Jesus as I applied what I was learning.  God began preparing me to serve Him in my home, the church and in para-church organizations.  Each ministry He placed me in was a training ground for the next assignment He had for me.  My husband and I loved serving God together and He gave us many opportunities which ultimately prepared us for His call to China.  For 2 years we taught English to college students with the main goal of sharing God’s love and showing Jesus to our students.

Why is my story not boring?  Because God’s grace is never boring.  He plucked me out of my self-centered life, He cleaned me up, He held tightly to me when I went my own way, He hand picked my spouse and has kept us together, He trained me for parenting and ministry outside of the home, He enables me to serve Him and He loves me unconditionally.  What a miracle!!

Patty

Lord, Yes what a miracle.  The miracle of Your Son.  The miracle of the love that You show us. I’m grateful for Patti and I pray for the paths that cross her, that they will be blessed by the gifts You have given her. Amen!

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