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Time to Resolidify?

28 Jul

Rhonda Rhea is a woman after my own heart. Chocolates bring her exceeding great joy.

In her new book, How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person?, Rhonda described a day when someone gave her a big box of chocolates. *

“It was one of those boxes of chocolates with the map in the lid,” she said, and “that lid diagram is a treasure map. There are times when there’s nothing sweeter than digging for treasure.”

But then something terrible happened.

“I got sidetracked and forgot to take the box out of the car,” Rhonda said. “A few hours baking in the car and instead of a box of chocolates, I ended up with a chocolate ooze that eventually resolidified into one giant chocolate.”

She learned a tough lesson. “I’m tearing up just thinking about it,” she said. “It’s just too sad when good chocolate goes bad. Treasure lost.”

Rhonda is known for her quirky comedic train-of-thought, but also for her biblical applications. “How it must break the heart of God,” she said, “when we get messy, slow to learn spiritual lessons… how often do we forget about self-control and turn back to that old way, conforming to the evil desires we had when we lived in ignorance? Why do we even look back at the darkness once we’ve seen the light?”

I’m all about choices, and so is Rhonda. She asks her readers whether they are ready to choose obedience to God and commit to right choices. “Time to resolidify,” she said. Just like that chocolate.

Resolidify? What does that mean in a spiritual sense?

Rhonda explains: “Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the old paths of sin. Sometimes those old paths are well-worn and easy to slip back onto. Ask Him to give you the wisdom to choose well. … You can choose well, even without a map in the lid.”

Choosing well… choosing the path of obedience. I’ve never regretted one instance of obedience to God, have you? Every time I’ve responded to the Holy Spirit’s nudges in my own spirit, I not only bless my Heavenly Father, I also end up blessing my own life with new opportunities to obey! In many ways, my life has been one act of obedience after another ~ an exciting, joyful journey of obedience with the One who loves me and has an incredible purpose for my life … just as He has for your life.

I’ve only regretted the times when God gave me clear direction, either through the Word of God, the Spirit of God, the counsel of godly people, or my own conscience, and I didn’t listen. I didn’t obey.

Who knows what treasures ~ what adventures with God and opportunities to bless and reach others ~ I missed through disobedience.

God gives us a precious treasure map (His Word) … but we’re not willing to follow it. How foolish is that?

“There really is treasure in obedience,” Rhonda said, “and in leaning on Jesus, loving Him, serving Him, bringing glory to His name.” Rhonda is quick to point out that our richest treasure is Christ Himself:  In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Have you discovered the treasure of obedience in your own life? Can you remember specific instances when God spoke, you obeyed, and either your circumstances or ministry changed? Do you see the precious treasure of Jesus, your Savior, and how He has transformed your life through His truth and light?

Thank God for those precious treasures…. and for the Word of God and the counsel of the Holy Spirit.

Want another LOL moment?

Rhonda says she discovered a silver lining in the chocolate-melting incident in her car.

“Now that it’s one big hunk,” she said, “I can eat the whole pound and still tell people I only had one piece.”

* Rhonda Rhea, How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person?: Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation (New Hope Publishers 2011), pp. 81-82, 85


Opening God’s Gifts

28 Nov

Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect gift. Other times, we really should try harder. After being away on business for a week before the Christmas Holiday, Barry thought it would be nice to bring his wife a gift. “How about some perfume?” he asked the cosmetics woman at the Department Store. So, she showed him a bottle of $50 perfume.

“That’s a bit much,” Barry said. The woman then returned with a smaller bottle costing $30.

Barry complained, “That’s still a lot of money.” Growing disgusted, the woman brought out her smallest little bottle of $15 perfume.

Barry grew even more restless and replied, “No no… What I mean is I’d like to see something really cheap!”

So the clerk handed him a mirror! (1)

A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to be special. It’s the heart that counts. But one of the fun aspects of Christmas giving is finding secret places to hide gifts until it’s time to place them under the tree. It’s especially tough if you’re the kind of woman who buys gifts in August or earlier!

I (Dawn) read about some great “secret places” to hide gifts from “snoops” ~

  • Hide small gifts in socks in your underwear drawer.
  • Hide gifts under the sink where cleaning supplies are stored, or in empty detergent and fabric softener boxes.. (Kids aren’t likely to get anywhere near anything to do with cleaning!)
  • If your kids don’t do laundry, hide larger gifts inside the dryer a few days before Christmas… or in a large dirty clothes hamper.
  • Consider the garage, storage shed, or pool house (who has a pool house?) as long as floors and walls are not damp.
  • The back of the Master Bathroom vanity is a good place, again, if it is free of moisture.
  • Use plain brown paper or fabric remnants, and hide gifts in plain sight! (For example, wrap a book and place in a bookcase.) Not quite as obvious as the bear shown here!
  • The trunk of the car is a terrific hiding place, unless your kids are likely to open your trunk (groceries, ball games, etc.).
  • If you have a “messy,” consider hiding a gift in your child’s room ~ perhaps in a children’s pile of laundry under the bed!
  • Larger or special gifts can be stored at a neighbor’s house, at the grandparents’ house, or even at your workplace.
  • I’ve hidden gifts in suitcases, which we always had a lot of in our family.

Of course, this will all be defeated if you have a clever child with Continue reading

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