Category Archives: Faith Lived Dangerously

I is for Interdependence

It’s really interesting writing the scripts for these videos and then filming them on camera. You’ll find that what I wrote is always the jist of what I said but it never comes out quite like that in the video. No matter what I’m speaking purely from the heart as Christ’s Ambassador and having fun! Thanks for watching!


I is for Interdependence
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Hi everyone and welcome to week nine of The ABC’S of contentment. Today’s letter is I and it stands for Interdependent. I got the word from one of my favorite Christian mentors, John Eareckson Tada. She’s paralyzed from a diving accident and has her own disability ministry. She says:
“God designed my disability not to make me ‘independent,’ but ‘interdependent.’” I’ll leave a link to her website in the description when I post the video. Anyway, I live at home with my mother. She’s not exactly a handywoman, but she tries. One time, the sprinkler was broken. She looked at it but didn’t know what to do. She left it alone for a while because she didn’t want to make the problem any worse. After a few weeks, she decided it was time to try again. She went to the hardware store to get a part and came back and tried again. When she came back, she cut off the main valve to the sprinkler without realizing it was the main source of water, and it got plugged up!
When she told me, we both laughed. “Think of the parable of the branches, she said, “When we cut ourselves off from our source of strength, what happens?”
Mother’s right. How many times have you felt overwhelmed and said, “I can’t do this!” Did you ever stop to think that maybe you’re overwhelmed because you’re trying to do it all by yourself? I need help with things that most people would take for granted – like getting dressed. Without Jesus, I couldn’t handle the challenges of CP. Like Joni, I’m interdependent. Being interdependent on people has helped me learn to lean on the Lord.
The last time we met I told you we would talk about the next step that comes after you accept Christ as your Savior. After you accept Christ as your Savior, the next step is to make it a priority to gather together with other Christ-followers on a regular basis. If I didn’t go to church and I wasn’t around like-minded people who shared the same values, I wouldn’t be so positive. The second thing is to read God’s word (The Bible) daily. Here’s another reason why it’s good to be around like-minded people. This is one that’s easy to say but can be hard to do because it’s easy to get distracted with other things in our culture. My suggestion is to get together with a group of people who want to study God’s word weekly and pick a book of the Bible to read together. Then when you meet, you can talk about what you read. If you’re new to the faith, I suggest you start reading in the book of John. It’s a good book that talks about Salvation and gives a clear picture of who Jesus is. The last thing is to pray. When you meet with your group of people, ask each other, “Is there anything I can pray for you about?” No one was ever meant to do this by themselves. The Bible talks about how those who are in Christ are members of the Body. Learning from each other’s experiences is how we grow and deepen our walk with Christ. Anyway, that’s it for the Letter I. I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter J which stands for Joy. Thanks for watching. Bye and God Bless.
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H is for Healing

If you notice a little more stuttering and hesitation than usual, it’s because I filmed the video first this time and then I wrote the script. It’s also why even though I say in the video there’s two parts to spiritual healing, I actually describe four. I realized it after I filmed the video.  I was trying to stay on schedule with filming videos and getting them up so that people would keep coming to my channel. I hope you hear the message and know that I’m speaking purely from my heart. This is all part of living dangerously right? Thanks for watching!

Hi everyone and welcome to week eight of the ABCs of Contentment. Today’s letter is H and it stands for Healing. This is a big one! This is the whole reason why I started this series. Because, like I’ve said many times, when people see me out in public, they want to pray for my physical healing. This isn’t a bad thing, but again, I believe there’s more than one type of healing that as a culture we often miss. The verse that goes with Healing is found in the Old Testament in Exodus Chapter 4 Verse 11. The Lord and Moses are having a conversation. Moses isn’t too sure about rescuing the Israelites from Pharaoh. He has doubts about himself and the Lord is talking to Moses and the Lord says, “Who gives human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes them blind? Is it not I the LORD?”
That verse can apply especially to the surgery I had when I was six years old. Like I said, doctors thought that I would be able to walk without a walker, but God knew how the surgery was going to turn out even before the doctors did. And for some reason, it wasn’t God’s plan for me to walk without a walker. God had another plan for my life and that’s okay. I’m content with that; or at least I’m constantly working on being content with that. That’s hard, but I’m working on it. Being content and being healed is a lifelong journey. There’s four parts to spiritual healing. The first part is admitting that we need a Savior; and that we need God. We’ve all sinned and done things wrong against God’s will; so the first part is admitting that. The second part is believing. Believing that God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross. The third part is confessing. Confessing with our mouth we’re sinners: that we need a Savior and that we can’t handle life alone. I know I can’t. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had God in my life, I couldn’t handle the challenges with cerebral palsy; it’s just way too much. The fourth part of spiritual healing comes after accepting God’s gift of Jesus as our Savior. Just because we accept Christ doesn’t mean that everything is going to be smooth sailing. I know that as I face my physical challenges. Because I’m work on being spiritually healed and I’ve accepted God’s gift for me, I’m able to help the kids at church and I’m able to help at the hospital. People want to talk to me because they see I’m in a wheelchair and they see that light. But again, it’s a lifelong journey. No one is ever spiritually healed until they get to heaven. And if anyone is interested in a fact, one of my favorite Christmas carols is “Hark The Herald Angels Sing.” The third verse says:
“Hail! the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!”
I really believe what they’re emphasizing here is spiritual healing. Jesus came to earth to heal our relationships with the Father. Nothing against physical healing, but physical healing wasn’t His primary goal. I’ve seen people in my 36 years of life that have full use of their bodies; their arms, their legs, this & that, and yet emotionally, they’re still looking for many voids to be filled. Because I’ve been spiritually healed, I’m not perfect, but because I’ve been spiritually healed, I’m still working on it. There’s a lot in my life that has been filled that probably wouldn’t be filled if I didn’t have the daily physical challenges of cerebral palsy. When I post the video, I’m going to leave a prayer in the description. If you’re interested in praying that, you can read it, then pray the prayer and watch and see what the plan is that God has for your life. And when you pray that prayer, I’d love to hear from you. See you next time everyone when we talk about the letter I. I is for Interdependent. Bye. God Bless.

Here’s the prayer that’s also on YouTube:
If you’re interested in having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your savior, pray this prayer or something similar: Lord, I can’t handle my life alone. It’s too much responsibility. I need you to come and take the weight off my shoulders. Show me the bigger plan you have for my life. I need that deeper kind of healing. Please come into my life and show me how to be content in all circumstances. Show me how your power is made perfect in weakness. From now on, I choose to follow your plan for my life and not my own. I can’t wait to see what the big plan is. Amen.
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G is for Glory


G is for Glory
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
2 Corinthians 4: 16-17
Hi, everyone, welcome to week seven of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today’s letter is G and it stands for Glory. We look around in our world and it seems like there’s trouble everywhere. When we watch the news, we hear about a new illness or something else that causes cancer and then doctors find a new treatment or cure. Yay! Just when they find a cure, a new illness is discovered and we ask ourselves, “Does it ever end?” Have you ever considered that maybe the reason for your hardship is to bring glory to God? Think about it; we live in a very fast-paced society. We’re always busy. In today’s American culture, God’s word is being pushed out of many things. We’re going here and there; we don’t do a whole lot of pausing. Suddenly, when a hardship such as an illness happens, we pause and reflect more on our lives. One of my former caregivers used to tell me, “The very same God who created the jackrabbit is also the very same God that created the tortoise.” She said that when she was trying to encourage me to use my muscles and do what I can for myself with cerebral palsy. I’ve heard that saying so many times now and said it so much to the patients at the hospital, I have it memorized. Trust me, I know it, but it’s hard to apply it. My caregiver is always saying, “Remember what you tell the patients.” Even though my body can often only do one thing at a time, my brain is often thinking of several things. I’ve noticed when you have something that doesn’t go away you tend to think about God more. In our broken world, it seems those people who have full use of their bodies are often even more spiritually disabled on the inside. For instance, because of my physical limitations as a child I really enjoyed Awana, a Bible program at my church that focuses on Scripture memorization. Because I can’t move from one spot to another easily without help, I had more time to memorize the verses and think about what they mean. I’ve been serving in the Awana program for 19 years and sharing the gospel with children. As I’ve become older, things have become tougher and those verses have really helped me lean on the Lord. I’ve found that as kids get older, they often lose interest in the Awana program and move on to other things. Maybe if I didn’t have this disability, I would lose interest and not have a deep relationship with God, and I wouldn’t be able to share the gospel the way I do. I’m reminded how God is glorified when the kids at Awana have said to me, “Thank you for being my leader.” My friend Jessica told me about today’s song called “God of Breakthrough” by Mack Brock. My favorite part says:
“Who can turn our failures into glory?
Who can bring a hope to any story?
Only You can. Only You can.”
How can you bring glory to God through hardship? Thank you for watching and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter H for healing. Bye and God Bless. 
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F Is For Formed

F is for Formed

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Hi Everyone. Welcome to week six of the ABC’s of Contentment. We’re on F. Today’s word is Formed. Think about it; when you start to create something, do you know what the end result is going to be? I don’t. When I write, I go through many rough drafts before the story comes out the way I want it. But God is the Master Creator. He knows me from start to finish.  Nothing that happens in our lives, good or bad, is a mistake. God knew I would have cerebral palsy. He knew I’d be born with a flat hip and have hip dysplasia. He knew it would get worse as I got older. He knew I would have my bone infection and it would be hard for me not to walk for a while. The thing to remember is that God can use us in our hardships to minister to others if we let Him. It’s not where you start with hardship but what’s in your heart at the end that matters. Sometimes I hear people say, “Where is God in the midst of suffering?” I often say, “He’s right there where He’s been all along.” The question we ask is not, “Where is God?” Instead, we should ask ourselves, “Where are we?”

“He Knows My Name.”By Tommy Walker

“I have a Maker.

He formed my heart

Before even time began

My life was in His hands.”

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Play-Doh

I’ve always loved playing with play-doh. In 2017, I decided to do a lesson for my 5th and 6th grade Awana girls on Inner Beauty. The Bible has many verses about how we are the clay and God is the potter. I called it, “How Becoming A Christian Is Like Becoming A Vase.” I practiced over the summer, and it took me 11  weeks to learn how to make a vase. Here you’ll see the steps. I also included the lesson I did for the girls and a gospel message that can be used.  I’m also on YouTube.  Please subscribe to my channel. here.

E is for Embrace


E is for Embrace
2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Hi everyone and welcome to week five of the ABC’s of contentment. Today’s word is Embrace. Recite the verse. Boy, this is another tough one! Again, here’s another one I battle daily. Last year, I discovered that I have an increase in my hip dysplasia. Part of it is caused by birth defects when I was born and it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. When I walk in my walker I have a tendency to rely on my arms more than my legs. In order to help with that a doctor prescribed a prescription for legs braces. I wear them when I walk in my walker; it helps take the pressure off my hips and helps me walk straighter. At first, I was not happy about getting leg braces. I hadn’t had to wear them since I was little and I didn’t want to feel more handicapped than I was. When my caregiver and I talked about it, she encouraged me to embrace the braces because it would mean I would be able to walk in my walker more. The more I’ve worn them, the more I’ve begun to embrace them. Get it?
As Christians, we should embrace our hardships What happens when the hardship you’re facing doesn’t go away? Can you still say, “God is Good?” I can. I’ve discovered It’s the hardships I’ve been through that have made me stronger.
There’s a song by Mercy Me called “Even If.” My favorite part goes:
“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone.”
Where is your hope?
That’s it for the word Embrace and I’ll see you next week when we’ll talk about the letter F. F is for Formed. Bye Everyone. God Bless.
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Contentment

 

I decided to do video a  series called the ABC’s of Contentment because I’ve noticed that over the years people want to pray for my physical healing. While that’s not a bad thing, I believe there’s more  people are often missing. My goal in doing this series is to show people the deeper kind of healing I’ve found through Jesus Christ. Each week, we’re going to talk about a different letter and a different verse as I share my life experiences about what I’ve learned about God through living with cerebral palsy. That means  26 promises of God’s goodness which means 26 scriptures. I will be posting the videos and the transcripts here on my blog. Please join my on the journey. Also, please tell your friends about my YouTube channel. I’m really trying to get myself out there. Thanks and God  Bless!

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D is for Displayed


D is for Displayed
John 9:3
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
NIV
One of the things I like about volunteering at the hospital is that I get to meet a lot of interesting people. The fact that I’m in a wheelchair starts many conversations. People want to know what it’s like to be in a wheelchair because now they must adjust to a new lifestyle and they just need someone to listen and relate to them. Sometimes I’ve inspired people to become volunteers at the hospital. It’s not uncommon for me to hang out in a room and talk to a patient for a while. One time I talked to a patient in rehab who was new to being paralyzed and was now going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. We talked for two hours. Instead of always trying to get rid of an illness or disability, (or whatever your hardship is) we should be asking, “How can I use this to glorify God, my Creator?” I don’t think my volunteer work would have the same impact on people if it wasn’t for my disability. Lord, help us to view our hardships as blessings from you. Show us how we can use them to minister to others. Amen!

C is for Contentment

C is for Contentment

Philippians 4:12-13

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

NIV

 


Hi everyone. Welcome to week three of the ABC’s of contentment. Today’s letter is C for contentment. This is a tough one! I battle this one daily. I especially battled it while I was dealing with my bone infection in 2016. The infection was in my right foot on my big toe. It affected my ability to walk. I couldn’t use my walker for a year and a half. It took two surgeries to remove the bacteria. I had to wait on people and be transferred everywhere. Thankfully, the bone infection is over now and I can get back to using my walker, but I’m still not using my walker as much as I used to. I’m glad people have a heart of compassion toward a person in a wheelchair. However, instead of praying for my physical healing, I’d much rather have people pray for my attitude; that I would be content in every situation, and shine for Jesus. How many times have I caught myself dwelling on the past? The days when my body was faster, etc. However, the Lord calls me not to do that, but instead to be content in every situation. Look at the story of Saul in the New Testament in Acts chapter 9. After he was blinded by the light on the road to Damascus, he became Paul, and was one of the most influential writers in the New Testament. It’s through hardship that real healing begins.
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B is for Blessings

B is for Blessings

James 1:12

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

NIV


Hi everyone. Thanks for joining me for my second video in the series, The ABC’s of Contentment. Today’s letter is B for blessings. I’m wearing a tiara because it goes with today’s verse. (Recite the verse).

I volunteer at my local hospital. Many times, I’ve heard people say, “Rachael, you’re such a blessing.” I appreciate that, and I reply and say, “Thank you. I love being here because it gives me a sense of fulfillment. People are always looking for ways to help a person with a disability. That’s fine, but I like showing people I can give back too.” People respond back with, “Thank you for what you do.” I reply, “My pleasure.” One time, a man who was in a wheelchair as a patient became a volunteer shortly after he got out of the hospital because I visited him.

A song I like by Laura Story is called “Blessings.” The chorus goes:

“What if Your blessings come through raindrops?

What if Your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”

Amen. If you’re interested in knowing the story behind the song by Laura Story, you can look it up. When going through hardships, we should ask, “What’s the blessing here? What’s God trying to teach me?” There’s always a purpose. The question is, are we willing to learn what it is? That’s it for week two. See you next week when we talk about how C is for Contentment. God Bless!

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