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Trust In The Lord

Posted by Ronnie on September 24, 2013 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

At times it is easy to focus on the problems that sit right in your face. I like to write. I don't do as much of it as I should. It's a gift from God that I have often, over the years, neglected. But when I face yet another difficult situation it is so wonderful to be able to go back over my journals and devotionals and see how time after time, God has shown up just when I needed Him.  Below is an excerpt from my devotional booklet I wrote several years ago.


Trust In the Lord

 My oldest daughter, Jasmine was placed into a low functioning second grade class because she had a difficult time learning to read in first grade. The school administration labeled her “slow” but  I refused to accept this label.
 

By third grade, Jasmine was able to enter the gifted program. She stayed in gifted and advanced learning programs until she left school early to obtain her GED. She then entered nursing school in a class of over 20 students and was one of three to graduate. Of the three, she was the only one who took her exams, passed and became a licensed practical nurse. (Oops, don't be alarmed, that's just a little bit of a motherly pride dripping from the page into your lap. Just wipe it away and keep reading. Hallelujah!)

This was not an easy accomplishment. And it certainly didn't happen overnight!

Every morning, my daughter and I prayed together before she left for school.
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.


God worked it out so that when she was in second grade and still not doing well in reading, I was taking the college course, Teaching Reading in Elementary School. I was able to help her learn to read during my internship. So she had her own live-in reading tutor and I scored an A in my class! Woo-hoo!


Update: She is now enrolled in an RN program and doing extremely well in her classes!!

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Fast forward to today, 9/24/13 - Well, we received the report that my granddaughter has a learning disability. They wanted to keep her back in kindergarten. She is in first grade and well basically, here we go again! I can't wait to see how God works this one out!!

Spring Is Here, A Time For New Beginnings

Posted by Ronnie on June 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a really rough year. I completed my first year as a caseworker in May. This has been one of the most difficult trials I have gone through. I have had to do a great deal of soul searching to decide if this field is for me. 


But the best thing I gained is the knowledge that I can do an extremely stressful and difficult job. I am more confident of my job skills. I had some problems with my supervisor. She was new at being a supervisor and I was new at being a caseworker. I made some mistakes early on but I feel I've gained some valuable skills.

Most of all, my faith in God increased. I had reached a point where I simply felt I could not handle the job. I could not sleep at night. I was constantly stressed out worrying about what I had to do in the field and the paperwork backing up. I felt as though I was drowning.

Ever present He heard my call. He gave me a peace that transcends understanding. I don't wake up thinking about work or my clients. The nightmares are gone. And now I am able to consider what I really want to do. At this point in my life, I am over 50 years old. I have worked hard all my life, either at work or at home. I had two children after the age of 40! And now it's my time. So I am going to step out in faith in His Word that "with God nothing is impossible." And I will see where He leads me.

Contentment Is a Gift from God

Posted by Ronnie on February 15, 2012 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (1)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:12,13


 In the early 1800's, Fanny Crosby wrote this poem:

 O what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,

I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be;

How many blessings I enjoy, That other people don't!

To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot, and I won't.


She wrote over 9,000 songs and poems during her life. She lived to be 98 years old. Some of my favorite hymns, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross, Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior were written by Fanny Crosby.


We have seen many famous people succumb to drug and alcohol addiction. Many have died while in their prime. This week we lost Whitney Houston. So many are mourning her death. And though we celebrate how she blessed the world with her beautiful voice, we can't help but wonder about the private demons that kept her chained to drug abuse.


There is nothing more valuable than peace with God. Contentment is a gift from the Lord; it cannot be purchased, it cannot be sold, but it is attainable when we live our lives according to His Word. When will we learn that He already figured it all out. God knows all and then He gave us His Word, His Son and His Holy Spirit to help us to navigate this world. Life is hard, but if we give our burdens over to the Lord, it can be so much easier.


If you don't know Him, get to know Him. He is right there with you, not even as far away as your whisper. He is waiting with arms open. No matter how dark life seems, He is always there.

 



 

Declutter Everyday

Posted by Ronnie on January 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Okay, I am trying to continue my quest to a clutter-free home. I finally accept that I am a clutterbug and this could possibly lead to hoarding. I have friends and family members who are hoarders and hopefully this will inspire them to take the necessary steps to make sure it does not get out of hand.


So today I have thrown away three clothing items. One is a pair of shorts my daughter and granddaughter have both worn. They were originally purchased at a thrift store and there is no need to take them back. The other is a tiny shirt in a size 2. My daughter is ten and my granddaughter is soon to be five so neither of them can wear it and it is way too worn to pass on to anyone. The last is a beat up man's workshirt I purchased when I was working at a daycare. It has been worn and washed many, many times.


I plan to toss one to three items everyday in an effort to declutter my home. This includes drawers, closets and hidden spaces where useless items seem to linger.


Eventually, I hope to get to the point where I can get rid of items that are still useful, I really want to keep but know they have no purpose in my life or my home.

 *You know you are hoarding when you constantly throw away items that have not been used in years, but then fish it out of the trash because you think you can still find some way to use it.*


Check out my hub for more tips on decluttering: Decluttering Tips 101

 

Evangelism - Today's Sermon

Posted by Ronnie on January 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Today started out strangely...  My husband decided that no matter what we were going to be EARLY for church!!! Whooohoooo! And we did arrive about ten minutes before service started! It was so nice not to have to be the one trying to push everyone out the door. And as an added surprise, one of the teaching pastors from our main church campus came to visit as the guest speaker.


He spoke about how important it is for each of us Christians, in our little sphere of influence, to impact the world for Christ. This is something I've been thinking about and acting on for the last few months.


I was able to take a wonderful class on Evangelism this fall. The book we used for the class was The Master Plan of Evangelism. You can read my review of this book here.

 At the beginning of the class our instructor, Rev. Peggy Ducker gave each of us a composition book. I thought how nice she gave us a book to take notes in. Nope, the book was a daily journal. We were instructed to write how we impacted someone's life for Christ every day. I can remember many days waking up and wondering who I would encounter and how I would be am abassador for Christ. And it turned out to be so easy to find opportunities. Remember, Christ said,

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:35-40.



So give someone who is thirsty, some water to drink or buy them a juice or soda. Donate your clothing to someone who needs them. Feed someone who is hungry. Give a loving word to someone who is down in the dumps.

 Our last class was in December, and I was so sorry to see it come to an end. Not only was the coursework enlightening but the class discussions helped us, a group of about 14 women to connect on an intimate level. The class impacted my life in many ways. One of the things I am most grateful for is that I view my job as a substitute teacher differently. Before the class, I saw it as a somewhat lonely job. Every day a different school, diferent children. I felt like an outsider.


Now I see every day as a challenge to touch some child for Christ. I never speak about my religion, church or Christianity because obviously it is not allowed in the public schools. But each day I endeavor to show the love of Christ to the children. When I meet a "difficult" child, my hope is to let them know that somebody cares for them. I see my job as an opportunity as opposed so somewhere I drag myself to every day.


I do hope you read the review of the book and are able to purchase the book. Dr. Coleman, the author of the book presents an approach to church leadership and organization that is not often reflected in America's churches. It is a book I truly believe every Christian in America should read!



My Scripture for the Year: Isaiah 61

Posted by Ronnie on January 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I came across this Scripture a few days after the New Year. Last year, Philippians 4 gave me great joy and strength month after month. It was especially helpful to me when my daughter and granddaughter were in a terrible car accident. The Word of God is alive and will provide the strength and hope needed for every situation. This year I believe this is the Scripture for me!


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.


They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.


"For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them, Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed."


I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridgroom adorns his head like a priest, and a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61 NIV

 

Substitute Teaching: A Tool for Practicing Humility

Posted by Ronnie on January 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (4)

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16


As a substitute teacher, it is easy to become annoyed practically from the moment I walk into a school. The kids love to walk into a classroom and yell to each other, "It's a sub! We've got a sub!" As in, "Fresh meat, guys!"


Fortunately, I've become pretty well known and apparently well liked in many of the schools where I work. Yesterday, once again, I was ignorant of schedule changes. As I tried to understand why the 6th grade students were not going where I thought they should go, one of the kids, a little know-it-all, who reminded me of Woody Allen but with black hair, began to say in a whining voice, "She's just a sub, guys, she's just a sub. She doesn't know." The tone implied, "Ignore her. She doesn't know what she's talking about. She's just another idiot sub, she doesn't know anything."


I looked up to see his eyes fixed on my face and I gave him my most charming smile. His countenance lightened as he smiled back. He repeated his statement, but this time with an addition. "She's just a sub, guys. How's she supposed to know? Give her a break."


I thanked him for understanding and told him how the scheduling was different last year. He calmly explained to me that the scheduling process had been changed. "How could you have known? he asked me. It's not your fault. It's a dumb rule anyway, it confuses everybody."


Our exchange changed just like that, with a momentary smile. The other students calmed down and gave me some encouragement. And we all ended the exchange on a happy note. I could have gotten annoyed with their initial tone and the conversation would have taken a completely different route.


Being a substitute teacher has helped to keep me humble. I often have to ask questions and depend on the students, if they are old enough to help me navigate some of the intricacies of each school. I look at every day as in opportunity to, without ever mentioned Christianity or religion, be an ambassador of Christ wherever I go.

And He Shoots!!

Posted by Ronnie on January 5, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Several years ago, I was in the family room, working on my computer. My baby daughter was upstairs asleep in her crib. Since she rarely napped during the day this was a special treat for me to be able to spend some time writing.


My son, David was 3 years old. we had one of those Fisher Price toddler basketball hoops. As I sat staring at the screen, having difficulty with the wording of a sentence, I became aware that he was whispering to himself. As he tried to dribble the ball, every so often he would stop and poise to the shoot the ball into the basket. Just before he let the ball fly, he whispered, "And he shoots!"


My first thought was to tell him to hush and play quietly. But instead, I watched him play for a few minutes. With his back to me, he took up his stance, placed his hands and ball up over his head, whispered, "And he shoots!" and shot the ball. In that moment, I saw him, more than six feet tall, taking up his stance and making a shot.


 

Today, David, 12 years old, is not quite 6 feet, yet. But he is almost as tall as me at 5'7". He towers over most of the players on his team and the opposite teams. He plays the forward position, though I'm still not quite sure what that is. He loves basketball and is very good at it.


Who knew how much I would miss the little three year old, whispering to himself. I'm so glad, that on a day several years ago, I didn't stop him from disturbing me. I simply turned back to the computer, typing to the tune of, "And he shoots."


Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Stir the Flame

Posted by Ronnie on March 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 

It's a cold blustery morning here in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Even though we had our kerosene heater on, there was still a chill in the air. I decided to make a small fire. I like to toss papers and boxes in the fireplace rather than putting them in the trash can. We are only allowed one container which is emptied once a week so I burn paper and cardboard in the fireplace.

 

It's a cold blustery morning here in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Even though we had our kerosene heater on, there was still a chill in the air. I decided to make a small fire. I like to toss papers and boxes in the fireplace rather than putting them in the trash can. We are only allowed one container which is emptied once a week so I burn paper and cardboard in the fireplace.

This morning, I lit a small fire so I could get dressed without freezing. The flame went out after a time. I could see some small glowing spots. I took the poker and began to stir the embers. A huge flame shot up and slowly filled the fireplace again. I was surprised there was that much heat and material still left to burn. As I stood there in front of the fireplace the scripture from II Timothy 1:6 came to mind:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Lately, I have spent so much time thinking about God's Word and the impact it has in my life and my family. I realized that by reading His Word, remembering what He has done for us, singing praises to Him and putting my hands to the work He has given me to do, it all adds up to stirring up the flame in my heart!!

We have had a long and difficult winter. And here it is March 16th and it is 23 degrees outside! Yikes! But when we walk in the joy of the Lord, thinking good thoughts and not evil. Believing that even in hard times, He has made a way, even when I can't see it, the winter doesn't get in my soul.

We have to continue to stir up the gift that is inside of us and be a light in this world.

 

This morning, I lit a small fire so I could get dressed without freezing. The flame went out after a time. I could see some small glowing spots. I took the poker and began to stir the embers. A huge flame shot up and slowly filled the fireplace again. I was surprised there was that much heat and material still left to burn. As I stood there in front of the fireplace the scripture from II Timothy 1:6 came to mind:

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

 

 

Lately, I have spent so much time thinking about God's Word and the impact it has in my life and my family. I realized that by reading His Word, remembering what He has done for us, singing praises to Him and putting my hands to the work He has given me to do, it all adds up to stirring up the flame in my heart!!

 

 

We have had a long and difficult winter. And here it is March 16th and it is 23 degrees outside! Yikes! But when we walk in the joy of the Lord, thinking good thoughts and not evil. Believing that even in hard times, He has made a way, even when I can't see it, the winter doesn't get in my soul.

 

 

We have to continue to stir up the gift that is inside of us and be a light in this world.

 

 

Thanksgiving

Posted by Ronnie on November 10, 2010 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Ten things I am Thankful for.....

1 - My wonderful family

2 - Flavored Creamer

3 - A car that starts when I turn the key.... the first time.

4 - Comfortable shoes

5 - That we are all healthy today.

6 - The barbecue ribs hubby cooked this a.m.

7 - A dog that is housetrained

8 - Fresh baked bread ( using a breadmaker)

9 - Great deals at the thrift store (cool jeans for my son)

10 - A beautiful day in the Poconos with plenty of sunshine!!