Tag Archives: Rhonda Rhea

Chocolate-Covered, Grace-Covered

25 Nov

One of the funniest people I know is Rhonda Rhea—author, humor columnist, TV personality and quirky-wise pastor’s wife. I decided as a change of pace to feature her here, in this “Christmas is coming” fun post.

Enjoy . . . 

I never cease to be amazed—and pretty thrilled—at the new things people come up with to cover with chocolate each year.

We’re relatively in the neighborhood of “National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day.” December 16th. Oh my. That seems like such a great idea.

I highly—yea, emphatically—support chocolate coverings for the food beauty treatments they are.

But some of these people have gone and made it weird.

Chocolate-covered bacon. What?

Eat your bacon. It’s good.

Then eat your chocolate. That’s even better.

There’s an order to these things.

Chocolate-covered beef jerky? Chocolate-covered pickles? Chocolate-covered onions? Chocolate-covered squid?

Come on. Why would any of those ever be a thing?

Just because there’s no law against it, that does not make it okay, people.

In my book, all those ideas are terrible wastes of good chocolate and should be punishable by…well, maybe by making the people who came up with them actually eat them.

All of us in general are pretty good at coming up with bad ideas—everything that’s wrong for us. The curse of sin does that.

How amazing it is that Jesus can change our sin condition. He exchanges our sin for His own righteousness. And then He keeps working on us and in us even after that.

Jesus gives us a new “wanter.”

Paul said in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose,” (HCSB).

Jesus has us “covered,” in the best way, when it comes to both the ability to do the work we’re called to do, and then the desire to do it. By His grace, He’s the One at work inside us by the indwelling presence and power of His Holy Spirit. And He’s the One who causes our lives to be sweet. Fruitful.

Covered with His delicious purposes.

I think Joseph was a man who wanted to accomplish the purposes of God in His life. What a kick in the gut it must’ve been for him when he found that the girl he was to marry was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his. Under Jewish law, he had every right to make her humiliation public and have her stoned.

But Matthew 1:19 tells us that Joseph was a “righteous man.”

I picture a heartbroken Joseph tossing and turning, then slipping off into a troubled sleep. But what a wake-up call! It was a stunning message from an angel in a dream.

The angel told Joseph that it was okay to take Mary as his wife and that her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would be the Savior!

So what did Joseph do? He woke up from his dream and he did exactly what he was told.

I wonder if he ever even stopped to think about what he “wanted” to do. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find out that God had already tweaked his “wanter.” Joseph wanted to honor God’s plan.

O Lord, by Your Spirit, help us to ever want what You want. Let us respond to You with unhesitating obedience.

No ifs. No maybes. No sugar-coating.

And, dare I say it? Probably not even any chocolate-coating.

 – Recipe for Chocolate Covered Bacon Skewers (and source for photo) is available here.


Beauty Beyond Barbie – WAY Beyond!

7 Aug

BarbieDoll1959_pic_PinUpGirlCosmeticsHumor writer Rhonda Rhea got it right when she said, “Barbie boasts a figure that would only be feasible if she totally rearranged several of her internal organs.”

John Kehoe, Barbie’s biographer (1998) said the doll, at human size, would be 5’6″, weigh 110 pounds, and have these measurements: 39-18-35! *

Another comedian, Anita Renfroe, said, “I’d like to see a “Comfort Loving Barbie.’ They could accessorize her with sensible shoes, white cotton granny panties, elastic waist jeans and a flannel-covered hot water bottle.” LOL!

One woman’s story is an example of the extent some will go to feel beautiful … like Barbie.

Cindy Jackson, founder of the Cosmetic Surgery Network, transformed herself into a living Barbie with more than $100,000, because she wanted to appear “breathtaking” like her sister … even “glamorous.”

I grew up with a Barbie because my mom thought I should have one. (I’d rather have erector sets and Lincoln logs to this day!) I played with them with my sister, but I always thought Barbie was “too primp-y.” At age 9, my Barbie was much like that 1959 version in the photo. (It was my mom’s not-too-logical step up from a Tiny Tears baby doll, but maybe Barbie was all that was available at the time.)

Even as a child, I compared Barbie with all the women I loved and didn’t like what I saw in her.

She didn’t have my grandma’s wrinkles or my mom’s thighs. Her measurements weren’t like anyone I knew, and all the Webb family had short, stumpy legs. I thought her tiny feet would be better suited to a China doll.

But really.

What can you expect from a plastic, pin-up-perfect doll except unreachable standards and superficial everything?

Elisabeth Elliot, a godly woman who died recently (June, 2015), described these impossible standards:

“People’s standards, of course, differ. Usually, in things that do not matter, we set them impossibly high and thus guarantee for ourselves a life of discontent.”

Author and speaker Tonya Ruiz wrote, “God wants us to be smart. He wants us to use our brains and ‘consider’ what we do. … Barbie’s head is empty — yours is not.”

God not only wants us to be smart; He wants us to be wise, and He is the source of wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). He is the source of wisdom about beauty,  good body image and every healthy thing women seek. It does not good to compare ourselves with each other. We must believe what God says about us.

So what does God say?

I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well” (Psalm 139:14, HCSB).

After I became a Christ-follower, I discovered a beauty far beyond Barbie. I came to understand and embrace the beauty of who I am in Christ and why He created me.

Elisabeth Eliot concluded her thoughts on physical versus spiritual beauty with these words: “In things that matter we set them (standards) too low and are easily pleased with ourselves.”

I think this is the balance. There’s nothing wrong with beautifying our bodies to the glory of God. Even my no-nonsense Grandpa agreed it’s OK for women to “paint the barn.” But in what really matters — inner beauty — our standards are often vague or shallow.

The Bible encourages discernment about true beauty: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30; also 1 Timothy 2:9).

In other words, God looks on and is more concerned about the precious inner “heart” than the outer shell (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:4).

Mary Kassian wrote, “The Lord wants us to clothe ourselves in fine, spotless garments of righteousness — in holy character and holy deeds. (Revelation 19:7-8). He wants us to be beautiful, and through Jesus, we are! The great story of the gospel is that God gives us the opportunity to clothe ourselves in the beauty of Christ.

“He provides the beauty,” Mary said, “and we don’t need to work or strive to measure up, nor do we need fear that we will fail to meet the standard.”

The King desires our beauty (symbolically illustrated in Psalm 45:11) because it is His gift to us, and it’s far beyond the beauty of a plastic doll.

How can you cooperate with the Lord as He makes your life beautiful?

* Reference to Kehoe: http://graphic.pepperdine.edu/living/2007/2007-03-22-barbie.htm

NOTE: Quotes by Rhonda Rhea & Anita Renfroe were found at ronandtonyaruiz.com.

– Dawn

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

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