Pinterest and Proverbs: June 25, 2019 Email

Hey ladies,

So, I think we have all heard the saying in the last couple of years, “Don’t compare your life to somebody else’s Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram, etc.” And I know that is absolutely true.

Social Media is not real life, but still I find myself getting caught up. It’s very enthralling to watch the best parts of everyone’s lives scroll by on the phone or computer screen. I have spent hours, especially now that I have a high school class reunion coming up, looking up old friends to see how their lives are going, or at least how they look like they are going.

I step away from these sessions, after liking and laughing and loving and wowing, thinking “Wow, good for you! That is incredible! I’m so happy for you.”

But in the back of my head there is that voice.

I think you all know it.

That little itch in the back of your brain that starts in quietly and then starts shouting: “Yeah, so happy for them. You dropped and broke half of the eggs you had just purchased in the grocery store parking lot today!”

(This really did happen. I cried. I’m over it.)

“And this Pinterest Mom would have taken those egg shells and made them into compost to feed the organic garden from which she gets the vegetables to make those beautiful meals that her five home-schooled kids, who’ve never once seen any screen time, eat with joy and beauty at a table she made from a pallet she found at the back of the grocery store where you couldn’t even hold your eggs!”

(Did not really happen, but you get my drift here.)

Social Media is great to keep in touch, but don’t  believe most of what you see. No one takes a picture of their absolute worst, crying in the grocery store parking lot, days.

That said, we have been provided with the opposite.

The Bible.

It’s like God is reaching down and whispering (whilst crushing that crazy back-of-my-brain voice with his thumb) “I love you. See all of these people I used? They didn’t always have things perfect either. You’re ok. We are going to make something beautiful of this mess.”

Let’s take a quick look at just one of the passages we’ve read in the earlier part of our reading this summer. The genealogy of Christ. 

We know that not one word in the Bible is wasted, and that means that each name on that list is there for a reason. Shall we look at a few? I think it might be time:

Let’s look at Matthew 1: 1-16. I won’t write it out as that would make this even longer, just read along.

Abraham – (Genesis 20) gave in to fear and claimed his wife was his sister, brought big problems on a whole nation.

Judah and Tamar – (Genesis 38) Talk about dirty laundry! Trust me, it’s a soap opera.

Rahab – (Joshua 2) A prostitute by trade before she met the Hebrew spies.

David – (2 Samuel 2:11) Called a Man after God’s own heart. Still an adulterer and a murderer.

There is more, but we could be here forever.

All of these people, flaws included (and shared in the Bible for all time), were deemed worthy by God to be a part of the official genealogy of His son.

So, maybe we can read the Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram posts a little less and the stories of the flawed, yet loved, people in the Bible a little more.

Love you all,

Ronda

What Do We Treasure: June 18, 2019

Hi ladies!

I hope your summer is going well. I can’t believe how fast it is going. My vacation time with my boys always seems too short.

Something I have discovered being the mom of two very imaginative and talkative little boys is their absolute love for anything that even remotely appears to be a treasure box. Every time my 4 year old sees an old looking box with a hook and eye closure and metal straps across the top, he has to touch it, to open it, to see what “treasure” is inside.

Treasure is a popular topic in the Bible. There are plenty of stories of treasure being claimed by victors of battle and such, but there are also reminders in the Psalms and Proverbs of the treasure of wisdom and where that comes from.

Jesus reminded us in Luke 12 and Matthew 6 that our treasure is in Heaven, not earthly treasure that can be so easily lost.

Then Paul wrote to the Colossians:

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Colossians 2:2-3


Early in our reading this summer we learned that several times during Jesus’ life Mary “treasured” what she was seeing in the life of God’s son. (Luke 2:19 and 51)

I noticed something about these last two uses of the word treasure: They speak about Christ and understanding.

Mary was seeing something unfold that few would have the privilege to see, certainly no one would see it from her perspective, and she didn’t always fully understand it.

In Luke 2:19 it says she pondered the things she was treasuring.

In Luke 2:50 we learn that Jesus’ parents didn’t understand what he was saying to them and in the next breath we learn that his mother treasured these things she did not understand in her heart.

I think were I am trying to go here is this: Your heart may not look like an old timey pirate’s treasure box that so excites my little boys, but it is a treasure box. 

It is the place where we put everything we are learning in our Bible study. A place to put these precious nuggets of knowledge and wisdom that God lets us see so that we can ponder them and learn from them. While doing this we may discover that God’s plan is so much more than us, that we may not understand it in it’s incredible vastness.

Let us, like Mary, quietly treasure what we don’t understand so that we may have the privilege of watching Him work.

God Bless you all this week,

Ronda

What’s On Your Plate: June 12, 2019 Email

Hi Ladies!

No matter where you are, the fellowship of a Bible Study is wonderful and there is always something to learn from God.

That is the point of my email today, as a matter of fact. Don’t ever let where you are in your ability to study the Bible or your Bible knowledge keep you for meeting together or opening your Bible.

I love that Marian and the Women’s Ministry at Mission City Church called this Summer reading plan “Come to the Table”. That is just what it is. God has put a banquet in front of us of His glorious knowledge, wisdom and presence. It may seem overwhelming at first, but that’s just because it is more sustenance than we have seen in a while in this dusty desert of a world we live in.

My life kind of revolves around food right now, so this is an easy metaphor for me. 

My littlest has to have a certain amount of certain foods every day or his body will revolt on him and we’ll be right back where we started. It can be frustrating for both him and us and, more often than not, our dinner table is less joy and more begging and fighting. But, something he has said over and over lately makes me think about how we accept the feast that God offers with His Word:

He says “It’s too much!”

At first I thought he meant too much on his fork or something like that, but then he used the phrase anytime he was frustrated or overwhelmed by anything.

That’s when I got it.

It’s too much = I’m overwhelmed, help me.

And as parents, we do help him. He is able to take in the great amount that he needs when we help him take it in at a pace that fits him.

God does that with us. 

The list of Bible verses in front of you may look overwhelming. Tell God, “It’s too much”. He will be faithful to help you see it in portions and at a pace that you can handle.

Some of us, on some days, are ready for deep examination and many, many commentaries and cross references and on other days it’s all you can do to open and read the first passage. 

Some of us are only ready to take a verse at a time. 

But all of us will be filled by God with exactly what we need to live this life and walk with Him.

Don’t get overwhelmed and step away from the table, please.

When it feels like too much, remember God is there to help you as a loving Father. He understands your need and your limitation.

One of my favorite passages from the Bible for when I feel like God wants more than I can give is this:

Hebrews 14-16 “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

God Bless you all this week,

Ronda

Bible Study: May 14, 2019 Email

Bible study is one of my favorite things and one of the most difficult things in my life. I thought I would write to you all today about why we need to study the Bible.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was running several marathons all going in different directions. Well, really I’m not sure if that is accurate as I have never run a marathon, but you get where I’m going here. The thing that I do know about marathons is that you have to follow the correct path or you just end up going nowhere. It is so easy to let life pull you in several different “noble” directions.

“Fill other’s buckets.” “Self Care is so important.” “Join the PTO/Book Club/(fill in the cause of the week group here).” “If you don’t give your kids a great breakfast you’re not doing your job.” “You really should be on a Keto/Paleo/Gluten Free/Egg Free/Cruelty Free/Weight Watchers/Bulletproof Coffee Diet.” “TV is bad.” “Watch Ted Talks.” “Watch this TV series.” “Watch this movie.” “Protest those movies.”

I could go on and on, and I have, but you probably understand what I’m feeling here and have most likely felt it yourself. The world constantly changes the finish line for us. We will never succeed based on that metric. I don’t like using the word never, but here, it is so true.

But there is good news in the midst of this hurricane: God is constant. What He asks of you is constant and not burdensome.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Matthew 11: 28-30

So, when the world throws all of these “You really should” statements at you go to God and ask Him what you should do. He’s the only one who matters and the only one who is ultimately correct. His word will help you run the right marathon in the right direction. Learn from Him.

Love you all,

Ronda