Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On New Year's resolutions

I had never made any New Year resolutions until this year.  Mostly because the requisite resolution is usually about weight and I am terribly pessimistic about losing weight, obviously.  I hate dieting and the idea of going on one makes me cranky.

However, I am determined to improve my life, with God's help and for His glory.  I made two measurable resolutions.  First, to pray for at least 10 minutes every day.  I know that sounds lame, but if you don't start timing yourself, you can be deceived about how much you are really praying.  I am doing good, if not perfectly, but I have been greatly blessed by this.  Second, I want to lose 12 pounds this year, about 1 pound per month.  I knew that it would not be possible in January due to our guests and our travelling.  BTW, we ate a lot of amazingly good food.

But now our guests are gone, and the travelling is over.  I did something today I have not done is years.  I got on the scale. I had mentally prepared myself for the worst.  I told myself that no matter how bad it was, I would still tackle this.  Come to find out I weigh 20 pounds less than what I thought I weighed!  Yay!  It's still bad, but I already feel like I lost 20 pounds.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I was asked to speak last week on "Serving with Joy".   As soon as I received the topic, I knew what I wanted to say.  Good thing, too, because when I got to researching joy in the Bible, it was overwhelming!  God not only wants us to serve with joy, he wants us to be joyful.

  I learned that joy, like suffering, anger and fear, is everywhere.  If you set your sights to discover it, you will find abundant joy that will make your burdens light.  God has given us so much to be joyful for.  If we are thankful, and if we praise him for what he has done, we will quickly discover the joy that he has prepared for us.

I also learned that you cannot be angry or fearful and joyful at the same time.  Joyful and sad, yes.  Joyful and angry?  Never have I seen it. Ever.

See these beautiful daffodils?   They bring me joy!   Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, January 22, 2016

January update

We just got back from Lancaster, where we attended the Spanish Spiritual Leadership Conference.  God blessed us in so many ways.  The music was so good.  The preaching was great, and spot-on for our needs.  The fellowship was sweet.   All the sessions will be available soon online, so if you are interested, I encourage you to listen!  I was honored to teach a session, and I pray that it was a blessing to someone.   We got to eat at The Point, twice, and it was great.  

Our friends, Jorge and Carla, have left, and a part of us grieves again, just as we did when we left Chile nearly five years ago. We made great memories and regret nothing.  They were blessed by the conference as well.  I asked Jorge, "If your trip to the US had only been for this conference, no Disneyland or other fun, would it have been worth all you spent to come here?"  He said that it would have been worth it.  They are looking forward to returning to their ministry with renewed strength.  

Today our church is praying to end abortion.  Sounds like an impossible request!  Is anything impossible for our God?  No, I didn't think so.  Join us!    #WEstand

I now have a huge mess in my house. Suitcases have exploded all over the house.  Time to get to work.  I read my Scripture, and I am ready to go!

Monday, January 11, 2016

A whirlwind of a Christmas season!

This was a particularly fantastic Christmas season.   We have a our friends from Chile here.  They are not just friends, but more like family.  Pastor Jorge and his wife Carla were saved in our ministry in Chile.  She was saved as a child, and has been Eileen's friend since forever.  Jorge was saved when he was 16.  He became Neil's shadow.  Three years ago, they were married, he was ordained, and he now pastors the church the we started.  He is Neil's son in the faith and in ministry.  What a blessing!

Last week, we took them sightseeing in California.  First, San Diego and the Creation museum.   Next, a drenching, rainy day at California Adventure.  After that, we took them to Forest Lawn, Glendale, to see the Crucifixion painting.  If you've never seen it, I heartily recommend you take the time to see it.   We visited the Spanish Baptist Church in South Gate and had a time of sweet fellowship with Pastor Jack and Becky Hurtado.   The following day was an absolutely fabulous day at Disneyland.

In all my days as the self-proclaimed "Tour Guide Rhonda", we have never had such a full Disney day.   We got them on all the big rides, some twice.  Eileen and Carla got photos with 13 different characters, and they saw several shows and one parade.  The only thing they missed was the fireworks which were cancelled due to high winds.   We even managed to get a silhouette of little Cintia.   They were so happy.

And because we can't do anything easy, we drove to Grand Canyon the next day.   We stopped by to see our former sending church.  We had another hour of sweet fellowship with Pastor Dunlop and his family.

We awoke the next morning to dense fog.  I was afraid that there would be no visibility at the Grand Canyon.  We prayed as we drove, and saw the clouds and fog miraculously open up before us.  Sure, the temperature was 14 degrees, but we had a great couple of hours seeing the beauty of the canyon.  We drove back, stopping for an hour at Bass Pro Shop.  Jorge was awe-struck!

Needless to say, I should be cleaning this house instead of blogging, but I wanted to share our blessings.  Thank you, Jesus.