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  • Don’t Forget

    Posted on May 21st, 2012 rhonda No comments

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexual immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    I went to a networking event for people representing various social/human services & healthcare agencies.  A heated debate broke out for about 10 minutes when one person referred to people who utilized an agency’s services as “clients”.  Two other women objected on the grounds that such language creates an “us” v. “them” mentality, or implies a hierarchy where the “client” is lesser than the professional.

    An acquaintance indicated to me that the opposite of judgment is identification.  That was a revelation.  I always thought that the opposite of judgment was non-judgment.  It’s hard to be judgmental of people that I identify with.  It’s hard to be judgmental of people who are in my group.  There’s too much understanding & empathy to be judgmental.

    I’m not sure what my word of wisdom for the day is.  Maybe its inclusion.  If I made an effort to figure out where I can identify with another person, what group we both come from, I’d be less judgmental.   My paraphrasing of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians would be, “Don’t forget where you came from.    Don’t look down your nose at anyone else.  Before you knew Christ, you were a hot mess.”

  • Reading the Bible with the Poor

    Posted on May 20th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

    Isaiah 58:6

    I participated in a Bible study called “Reading the Bible with the Poor”.  We looked at Old and New Testament scripture and compared and contrasted them against some of the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We talked about when Dr. King came out against the Vietnam War.

    King said that good number of people questioned the wisdom of him speaking out against the war.  His answer was that the people who questioned his judgment did not understand the times they were living in.  We also watched a video about some poor people who were organizing themselves in Kensington, PA.  One of the more poignant scenes was when a social worker removed the children from a homeless woman because she couldn’t provide them with a safe environment to live in.  The mom couldn’t afford an apartment; and shortly after her children were removed, the mother herself got on drugs – and disappeared.  Her friends speculated that she just couldn’t handle the loss of her children.

    Since I’m a social worker, that scene struck home.  I’ve often wondered if I was one of the “chains” that need loosening, because for every social service agency has rules on how to help people and who should get help.  Sometimes it’s hard to know where the rules are just or not.  Some sound just on paper, but in real life, they can be unjust.  The dilemma is then to figure out how to bring justice to an unjust situation.

    We’re supposed to obey our bosses do our work for the glory of God, with a sense of excellence; but I’m not clear that God calls us to be mindless drones.  We should all be aware of how we impact on other people.  We should be aware of the times we’re living in.

    My word of wisdom for today is justice.  Our God is a God of justice.

    Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that man gets justice.

    Proverbs 29:26

  • Jesus, You are the Center of My Joy

    Posted on May 19th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    Though rulers sit together and slander me,

    your servant will meditate on your decrees.

    Psalm 119:23


    Jesus, you are the center of my joy

    All things good and perfect come from you

    You’re the heart of my contentment

    Hope for all I do

    Jesus, you are the center of my joy

    I went to a concert at my church on a Saturday evening for a CD Release.  One of the songs sung was the one above, and it was a beautiful rendition.  The following day, during our testimony period, I had to admit that I’m a worry-wart.  I can read my Bible, close it, and immediately find myself dwelling on my problems, which is sin, because it signifies that somehow I’ve allowed my problems to become bigger than God.  Instead of waking up with my mind “stayed” on Jesus, I wake up with my mind “stayed” on the “rulers” who are slandering me, or otherwise attacking me.

    Jesus, you are the center of my joy

    The song was so beautifully done that I thought about it all night, and when I woke up in the morning, the song was still playing in my mind.  It gave me a feeling of peace.  I was given a gift of beautiful music, which successfully refocused my attention back on God and His Majesty & His Righteousness, and reminded me that nothing could harm me.

    My word of wisdom for today is meditation.  My word of advice is that we all spend time meditating on God, and who He says He is and what He says He can do.  Once we mediate on Him, we will remember that He is bigger than troublesome people & problems, and that will bring peace.

    Years ago, someone told me that worry is also a form of meditation, it’s just that we’re constantly thinking about the negative instead of the positive.  It’s curious that I don’t need instruction on how to worry.  In theory, I shouldn’t need instruction on how to think positively, but I do.  What I realized after this experience is that singing is a form of meditation.  If I get a really catchy tune or beautiful music in my head, I don’t need to focus my mind, arrange my body carefully, pay attention to my body & regulate my breathing.  The power of the music is strong enough to hold my attention & focus my thoughts.  I’m in meditation.

    Now I have a more powerful reason for not listening to “worldly” music.  When I listen to music laced with profanity, suggestive lyrics, and unGodly themes, I meditate on that.  The world’s problems become my problems, and I have enough problems of my own.

    I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

    Psalm 143:5

  • RIP Donna Summer

    Posted on May 18th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    “Teach us to number our days aright,

    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

    Psalm 90:12

    The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer, passed away on Thursday, May 17, 2012.  I was raised in a family that went to church.  Nonetheless, my parents never prohibited me from listening to secular music.  I was in elementary school during the 1970s, when she ruled the airwaves.  “Last Dance” was so popular that my mom got sick of hearing it.

    Donna has been out of the spotlight for years now, so I don’t think of her consciously every day; but news of her death did trigger some sense of mourning in me.    Recently we lost Whitney Houston.  “The Preacher’s Wife” is one of my favorite pieces of art from her, especially “Joy” & “I love the Lord”. 

    The Bible reminds us that the days of our lives are short, and we should live our lives in light of that reality.  So my word of wisdom today is that we number – and pray.  For all the hours of listening pleasure that Donna & Whitney have brought me, I should have prayed for them more.  I will commit myself to pray more for those people who are still alive & still blessing my life through their art.  My first prayer is that they all have the pleasure of an introduction to Christ, and that their lives and work be blessed through Him.

  • Helplessness

    Posted on May 17th, 2012 rhonda No comments

     “In your anger do not sin. 

    Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,

    and do not give the devil a foothold.”

    Ephesians 4:26-27

    My word of wisdom for today is helplessness.

    I am not used to hearing women talk about being angry and wanting revenge, but women in my program do. One woman shared her former desire to get revenge.  She never did anything beyond just having fantasies about how she’d like to get even.  She realized she had to let it go in order to get out of her food addiction.

    Another person said that being angry is the sure way to gain weight.  I have often let the sun go down on my anger; and the resulting sin is my nighttime gluttony.  When I think of Ephesians 4, I’ve always thought the sin was a sin committed against someone else.  Now I realize that the sin I’m committing is against myself.  Some people cut themselves.  I eat.  I sin.  Hope and addiction do not go together.  When I eat, I’m admitting hopelessness.

    Hope and addiction do not go together; but helplessness and a higher power (Jesus Christ) do go together.   Once I realize I’m helpless, I can let God do the work.  I’m supposed to meditate on God and His Word all day.  Instead, I sometimes dwell on other people, which is idol-worship.  Going to meetings refocuses me on God.



  • Recognition

    Posted on May 16th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    You are the Man!

    2nd Samuel 12:7


    Nathan confronted David about his sin by telling him a story where the subject was David, and after hearing the story, David still didn’t get it.  So Nathan had to tell him plainly, “You are the man!” In other words, Nathan said, “David!  You’re the guy I was talking about in the story!  Don’t you get it?!”  How many times have I been like David?  How long have I been hearing stories and not realizing that they were about me?  My word of wisdom for today is recognition.

    Is it true that my real problem may be that I’m just an addict?  Someone suggested that I go to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  I went. I heard a lot of people talking about being in recovery.  They talk like they have addictions that are just as serious as alcoholism.  I’ve been to 1 or 2 OA meetings before – many years ago.  It didn’t click before.  I thought the meetings were a little morbid, and I didn’t understand how thin women could be sitting around referring to themselves as overeaters.  It didn’t make sense. People don’t believe food addictions exist, but some women said that eating sugar was the same as taking heroin; and there’s no such thing as a “controlled” substance.

    People talked a lot about being addicted specifically to sugar, and the need to remain abstinent from sugar.  The sugar addiction resonated with a lot of women throughout the room. (The meeting room was full of women, there were only 2 men.  I liked that)   One woman said that when she eats sugar, she always gets sleepy.  I was sleepy at the time she was saying it.  Is it possible that the reason I always seem to need a nap, or never seem to have the same energy that other people do is because of sugar?

    Going home, I thought about what it means to me to say I’m an addict in recovery who relapsed and is trying to get abstinent.  I took a drug & alcohol class in graduate school.  Am I the woman I was reading about?

    I haven’t begun working the 12 steps; but thus far, meetings have been good for me.  Every time I go to a meeting, I hear something that resonates with me.  I’m grateful that someone told me to go.  Maybe I should show my gratitude by telling people about Christ.  I’ve been afraid to share the gospel because I’ve been afraid that people would be angry with me, thinking that I’m trying to shove my religion down their throat.  They might be right.  Jesus Christ is the medicine we all need.  But would a person experience the same relief that I did when I came to OA?  Would they experience the even bigger relief I experienced when I came to Christ?  I regret not having come to Christ in my teens and 20s.  I imagine how different my life would be now if I’d known Christ as a young woman.  Now I’m wondering how my life might have turned out if I’d realized I was an addict sooner.

    I remember when Cheers was a hit show on television.  Cheers was a comedy set in a bar.  No one ever got drunk, but it was their social club.  Part of the theme song was, “you wanna be where everybody knows your name, where they’re always glad you came”.  (At least I think that’s the way it goes.)  Maybe OA can be my social club.  They understand food addiction & addictive behavior.  “Civilians” don’t.   Whenever I decline to eat something, I’m told, “But it’s healthy food”, “One time won’t hurt”, “You look good [thin], you don’t have anything to worry about”.  When I worry over my weight, people get all Nike on me and start making “Just do it!” comments.  They don’t get me.

    People get me at OA.  And I get them.  Christ gets us all.


  • Wisdom

    Posted on May 15th, 2012 rhonda No comments

    I was a Fool

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”.  Psalm 53:1

    My word of wisdom for today is wisdom.  I said before that I’m not necessarily where I would want to be in life, and I believe the main reason for it is because I waited until so late in life to put my faith in God, who for me is the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Some people remember the exact date & time that they accepted Christ as their savior.  I don’t.  I put the date @ late summer (maybe August) of 2002.  I was at a job that I hated.  Fridays were my favorite day of the week because it meant I wouldn’t have to deal with the folks from my job for 2 whole days.  Saturdays mornings were great.  On Saturday afternoons I started feeling mildly anxious because I thought, “I only have 1 day left, then I have to face those people on Monday”.  On Sundays I was in a fairly high state of anxiety.  One day, while I was riding the bus to work, I started crying for no reason.  That never happened to me before.

    I was looking for solutions.  I picked up a book by Tony Evans entitled, The Battle is the Lord’s.  It described this war going on between God & Satan.  It was the first time I read about the purpose of angels or that humankind was caught up in the crossfire in this war.  The book also said that I could find safety in God.  Around the same time, I saw a sermon on television given by Charles Stanley.  The topic of that particular sermon was the cross.  I was raised in church, but I’d never been given a clear explanation of the centrality of the cross in the Christian faith and what it signified.  I’m a smart person, so if someone put me on the spot by asking the question, I certainly could have cobbled together an answer – but I really didn’t know.  Stanley explained the importance of understanding was the cross was where Jesus paid our sin-debt in full, thereby reconciling us to God, ourselves, and the rest of creation.

    Before that, no one ever explicitly told me that God was against me, but that’s what I believed.  I thought God was watching me from heaven, looking for me to make a mistake so that he could have good reasons to send me to hell.  He’s a negative Santa-Claus.  He’s keeping a list, and checking it twice, he’s gonna find out who’s naughty & nice, Jesus Christ is coming to town.  If you know that someone is out to get you, the reasonable thing to do is avoid him – hide.  After watching Dr. Stanley, it occurred to me for the first time that God was on my side and that he wanted me to submit to his authority so that he could protect me.  So I said the prayer of confession.

    The very first feeling I had was one of relief.  It was a comfort to know that I was now under the protection of the creator and ruler of the whole universe.  I stopped being a fool.

  • Welcome to Beginning of Wisdom!

    Posted on May 15th, 2012 BoW Admin No comments

    This is your new Christian journal / blog! It has the potential to become your most cherished earthly possession.

    This is what your blog will look like to the outside world, as well as where you interact with your blog’s visitors. You can update the look of your blog, but we’ll teach you that in a bit.

    The Dashboard is where you’ll create posts (and so much more). Watch the following quick videos to learn about the Dashboard, how to create your first post, and how to change your password.

    Your Blog Dashboard

    [wpmudev-video video=”dashboard”]

    How to Add a New Post

    [wpmudev-video video=”add-new-post”]

    Using the Post Editor Toolbar

    [wpmudev-video video=”the-toolbar”]

    Now that you know what to expect, go ahead and click the Login link on the top of the right sidebar and you will be taken to your blog’s Dashboard.  There, you’ll find additional video tutorials that will help you make the most of your new Christian blog!

    Remember to invite others to share in this experience with you and engage with you through your journal! Privacy can be set for your entire journal, as well as for individual posts – you’re in control of who sees what!


    Here are some sample post ideas:

    – Praise
    – Prayers
    – Prayer requests
    – Bible study notes
    – Small group notes
    – Teachings
    – Sermon and seminar notes
    – Ministry journaling
    – Book reviews / notes
    – General journaling

  • Choices

    Posted on May 14th, 2012 rhonda No comments


     This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life . . . .   Deuteronomy 31:6

    I decided to start writing because I hope to help other people.  I live a good life, but not a great life.  When I look back on my life, I wonder where I be now if I had known then (in my teens and twenties) what I know now.  I never had a mentor, so I learned through trial and error.  I thought I’d share the results of my trials & errors so that other people could pick up some useful tips.  I don’t want to hold myself out as a sage, because I haven’t arrived yet.  My highest hope is to create a community where we mentor one another by sharing words of wisdom.  My word of wisdom for today is choices.

    Several years ago I participated in a Bible study, and we read a book called “This Isn’t the Life I Signed Up For”.  The title alone was a revelation to me, because I didn’t know that I had to make choices in life.  Some things in life seem to be such common occurrences that I figured they just happened to people.  I was wrong.  There are a bunch of things that people have to decide whether or not they want.   We have to decide how we want our lives to play out.  That includes work, housing, location, marriage, children, and wealth, among other things.  I say that people have to make choices.  In reality, no one has to choose.  However, I would urge you to start making decisions about your life for 3 reasons.  If you don’t make a choice, other people will make it for you.  There’s a possibility that you won’t like the choices made for you.  When you get older, you may have regrets because you realize that you haven’t been living the most pleasurable and fulfilling life possible for you.

    There’s a big difference between going to a party, and watching a party.  Not making decisions about your own life is like watching the party.   I think there are some foundational things people have to figure out about themselves before they can deal with the smaller details of life.  Things like:

    1. Do I believe in God?
    2. What do I believe in?
    3. How do I figure out who I am and what I’m here for?
    4. Whose opinion should I believe in?  (Where do I look for truth)

    Think about it.  Twenty years from now, I pray that we all will be able to look back on our lives and say that we made the right choices.