All posts by Rachael Benson

T is For Timing

Hi everyone, and welcome to The ABC’S of Contentment. Today is week 20 and we’re on the letter T, and T stands for Timing. The verse that goes with the word Timing is Ecclesiastes 3:11 where it says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what the Lord has done from beginning to end.” I’ve seen this to be true in my life time and time again; over and over. One of the first places I’ve ever seen it to be true is when I had that surgery that doctors thought was supposed to give me the full ability to walk without a walker. Trust me, there’s times I could look back and I wish it did. Even though I did the exercises the therapists said, the message that communicates with that part of the brain just wasn’t there. For some reason, the Lord said no. He had another plan. But I have to be thankful that I am walking. With that, other things can happen. Like I’ve said, I volunteer at the hospital. I’ve been doing that for 12 years. I volunteer at church with the Awana program. I’ve been doing that for 19 years. This year I’m on a new adventure. Usually I’m an assistant at Awana. This year, I’m a full-time table leader. I’m really being stretched as I’m learning how to teach my 5th and 6th grade girls on their level and getting them to memorize scripture, while at the same time making it fun for them. The Lord is teaching me a lot this year; and in God’s Timing. I’ve learned that when it’s fun, and the kids are motivated, they’ll memorize scripture. I’ve also seen the principle of Timing to be true with my mom when I was born. When I was first born, even though she was a Christ-follower, my mom was angry. She harbored angry feelings toward God because of the way I was born. She says when she talked to people, that was often her wake-up call that she had a lot of spiritual growing to do in the Lord. It’s not until someone (like my mother) goes through a situation like that, that they realize that they have a lot of spiritual growing to do even though they’ve walked with the Lord for years. The person that says, “That Jesus stuff is not for me,” it’s not until they go through something like waiting to hear whether their loved one is going to live or die in the hospital that they’re crying out to God and praying to Him for the first time. Because the Lord softened my mother’s heart, I came close to the Lord at an early age. Thank you, Lord and thank you, mom. She’s a good example of how in God’s Timing, everything is made beautiful. Though I can’t walk like I’d like to without my walker, I’ve realized everything has a purpose. I’ve also seen that as I search the scriptures and through other people that I’ve met. If I had the full ability to walk like I’d like to, who knows the kind of places I would go? Who knows the kind of choices I would make? Would I even care about spiritual things in the same way? Would I be doing this series? I don’t think so. Would I be helping with Awana? I don’t think so. I look at our society today and I often think that we’re too independent for our own good. I think that’s why we want to take God out of so many things. One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of the word Timing is an old song I heard with a fictional character named Psalty the Singing Songbook. The song is called “In His Time.” I’ll leave a link to the lyrics in the description when I upload the video. Through my many hardships and the challenges I still face today, the Lord has shown me that everything is beautiful in His Timing. I could go on and on. This could be a long video. I’ve seen how everything is made beautiful. My dad died of a massive heart attack in 1995 and I grew even closer to my church family. All the verses I memorized in Awana have really helped me through the years. Because of so many things that I’ve seen, I’ve seen so much light that there’s no way I could doubt the Lord. There’s so much I’ve seen that I could say everything really is made beautiful in His Timing. The question is, are we willing to wait to see what that beautiful thing is going to be? There’s always a lesson. Are we willing to learn that lesson and be moldable? Lord thank you that through my trials and tribulations you show me that everything is made beautiful in your Timing. Please give me patience as I continue to go through many trials and continue to show me that everything is made beautiful in your Timing. I can’t wait to see the other beautiful plans you have for my life. Amen. Well, that’s it for the letter T and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter U. U will be for Understanding. Bye everyone, and God Bless.
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R is for Renew


Hi everyone, and welcome to week 18 of the ABC’s of Contentment. I hope you’re enjoying the series. I am. Today’s letter is R and R can stand for a couple of things. It can stand for Rachael, or it can also stand for Renew. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today; Renew. Usually, I end with the song, but today we’re going to do things a little bit differently. Today’s song goes with the verse, so we’re going to start with the song. I found a song by a lady named Jennifer Shaw. It’s called “Those Who Hope in the Lord.” So here we go.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not be faint
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not be faint
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
Isaiah 40:31”

If you didn’t already guess from listening to the song, the verse is Isaiah 40:31 and it says exactly that. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” This is something I have to do daily; Renew. Let’s face it. For the most part I have a positive outlook about life and about my disability. But sometimes, I’m not going to lie to you sometimes having cerebral palsy, it can be difficult. I have other special needs friends who have CP (which stands for cerebral palsy) and they have a lesser degree of it. Sometimes I look at them and I think, “Why can’t I be one of them?” For instance, why can’t I be the person who after that surgery I had, has the full ability to walk without a walker? Why can’t I be the person who is able to comb their own hair and dress themselves? Why can’t I be the person who’s able to drive their own car and get themselves around town, and just get themselves out the door independently? If I’m not careful, the list can go on and on. I could have a real bitter heart. Sometimes my mom has to stop me and remind me of her famous saying, “Rachael, remember to focus on what you can do not what you can’t.” It’s at times like that that I have to remember the impact that my disability has had on different people in the community; such as people at the hospital. So how does my strength get Renewed? Well, it gets Renewed by reading God’s Word, remembering verses like the one we’re talking about today, and also remembering scriptures that we’ve already talked about; like the one we talked about in week four when we talked about D is for Displayed. In John chapter 9, the disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned? Was it this man or his parents that he was born blind?” and remember Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” When I remember scriptures like that, and then I remember people like my friend Joni Eareckson Tada who every morning when she gets up says, “O Lord may I please borrow your smile?” When I remember things like that, my strength is Renewed and then I can shine and be a light for Jesus. Again, it’s only through Jesus that my strength is Renewed. Without Him, I am nothing. It’s not something I can do by myself. Lord help me to remember that on a daily basis. Thank you that when I turn to your Word, my strength is Renewed. Thank you that I can run and not grow weary, walk and not faint, help me to soar and be like an eagle. Amen. How about you? Are you tired today and need some extra strength? Are you ready to give up? Instead of turning to Extra Strength Tylenol, or some other kind of medication which has terrible side effects, how about turning to Jesus? He will make you soar like an eagle. He will give you more strength than you could ever imagine. I promise. Well, that’s it for the letter R and I’ll see you next week when we talk about three words for the letter S: Sanctify, Organize, and Surrender. It’s what’s called the S.O.S. principles. Bye. God Bless.
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S. O. S. Principles

I know the letters are out of order. I will not be able to have the letter R up until the end of the month due to technical difficulties. I just wanted to put up something so that people would keep coming to my blog and my channel. Enjoy and thanks for watching. I’d love to hear from you!

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 19 of the ABC’S of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter S and it’s an unusual week. Usually we just focus on one word but today we’re going to focus on three words: we’re going to talk about something called the S.O.S. Principles. If you’ve been around water a lot, or you go to the ocean, you know that S.O.S. usually means “Save Our Ship.” But today, we’re going to talk about something different that can apply to the Bible. I got the idea for this from Renee Bondi. She’s a recording artist who’s in a wheelchair because she was paralyzed from an accident. It’s complicated to explain how she got injured, so I’m not going to. I’m just going to leave a link to her website in the description and then you can look at it from there. I’m also going to leave a link to one of my favorite songs, a music video, and you can you can look at that if you want to. So, the first S is for Sanctify. Sanctify means to make holy or be set apart. When Renee was first paralyzed, she had quite a time adjusting to being in a wheelchair. It wasn’t until she got a pressure sore and had to be out of her wheelchair for seven months and in bed in different positions that she finally learned to appreciate her wheelchair. Afterwards, while she was in bed, Renee called Joni Eareckson Tada and Joni gave her some scriptures to meditate on. One of those scriptures was Philippians 4:8 where it says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on such things.” Great scripture, huh? And so, after those seven months of having to be in bed, when Renee could finally get back in her wheelchair, she looked at it as something to accompany her and something to help her get going on and live life. She says, “I looked at that chair while I was in bed and said, ‘Hello old friend. Sure wish I could hang out with you for a while, go places, etc.’ She said, “Guess what Jesus did? He turned it from my foe to my ally, from my enemy to my friend.” So Sanctify is the first S. What’s an area in your life that you need God to make you holy? The next letter is O and O is for Organized. The verse that goes with that is 1 Corinthians 10:31. It says, “So whether you eat, drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” Organize. Are your priorities organized? For instance, when you talk about making a decision, is God first in your thinking? Are you thinking about what you can do that would please God, or is He last? Where is God on your priority list? The next and last S is for Surrender. The verse that goes with that is Philippians 4:7 where it says, “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Is there an area in your life that you need to surrender to God? Renee says that the reason that she’s able to talk to crowds, the reason she’s able to encourage people and give the wonderful messages that she gives, is because she finally chose to surrender her accident and her life to God. Doctors said she would never sing again and as you’ll hear if you go to my video link, (that song I love so much), what do doctors know! But as Renee says, she could still sing, she just had to learn to do things a little differently. But because she changed her attitude, she was still able to be used by God. Have you surrendered your life to God so that He can use you and you can be a blessing to others? Is He the captain of the ship of your life? Lord, thank you that if we send out an S.O.S., you answer. Help us to make you the captain of our lives. I can’t wait to see the adventures you’ll take me on. Amen. Well that’s it for the letter S everyone. We’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter T and T will be for Timing. Bye and God Bless.
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Q is for Quick


Hi everyone and welcome to week 17 of The ABCs of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter Q and Q stands for Quick. The verse that goes with that is James 1:19 and 20, where it says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Okay, now let’s be honest: we live in such a fast-paced society, how many of us want to do things quickly? I know I do. How many times when my other caregiver, Traci, is trying to help me with something, like transferring somewhere, does she have to tell me, “Rachael, think about what you tell the patients at the hospital.” It’s one of those concepts that’s easy to know in your head, but hard to apply. I know that I knew it especially when I dealt with my bone infection. Boy, then I really had to slow down and that was difficult. Not only could I not walk or be on my feet, but like I said, I had to be carried everywhere. It was difficult to need extra help. As if having cerebral palsy wasn’t already enough; I needed help with the basic things, like transferring to and from my own bed. That drove me nuts! Traci and I couldn’t volunteer at the hospital because the doctor was afraid of making my bone infection worse. Some nights, I laid in bed and I’d think, “Lord, could you just take me home to heaven now? I’m ready to come home!” Sometimes I got so angry I wanted to SCREAM!!!! AAAHHH! Now, thankfully, the bone infection is over, (thank goodness) but I still have to be careful. Though I can walk with my walker, I can’t walk like I used to. When I go to the gym with my aides, we work on walking, we work on picking my feet up and down the proper way, we work on not twisting my feet. I have to be really careful never ever to let the bone infection happen again. That’s how serious it is. On the positive side, though I have to slow down physically even though I don’t want to, it’s taught me to listen to the Lord more. It’s taught me to be quick to listen to the Lord and when I go to the hospital and talk to patients, it’s given me something to relate to them with. Like when their recoveries can’t be as quick as they’d like. It gives me something to encourage them about and tell them that going slow is okay. Now if I can just remember that on a daily basis. Well, I’m working on it! It’s like my brother-in law said one time when he did a sermon at his church, “Are we going slow enough to see what God is doing?” Good question. Now it’s another great song by my friend Jana Alarya. It’s called “Stadin’ On the Solid Rock.” Here we go.She’s got great music.

My strong Savior is teaching me to know
When to speak, when to listen, when to go slow
My strong Savior is teaching me to be
One to trust and say to Him
“Here I am”
“Here I am”
“Here I am, send me.”

I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord

My strong Savior is teaching me to know
When to speak, when to listen, when to go slow
My strong Savior is teaching me to be
One to trust and say to Him
“Here I am” (echo)
“Here I am” (echo)
“Here I am, send me.”

I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord

I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord

I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord

I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of Jesus
I’m standin’ on the Solid Rock, Solid Rock of my Lord

Amen. How about you? Are you going to be quick to listen to the Lord, or are you so distracted in our fast-paced society that you’re too busy to listen? I pray that we will all take this scripture to heart and we will all learn to be quick to listen to the Lord, slow to speak, and slow to act on our own emotions. Lord help us all with that. That’s it for the letter Q and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter R. And R will be for Renew. Bye everyone, God Bless.
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P is for Perseverance

Hi, I realized after I filmed the video, that the Leper story I talk about is actually found in Luke 17:11-19. There’s more than one story about Leprosy in the Bible. I realized I got the one I was talking about mixed up with another story that is found in Matthew. I did not know I was going to talk about it, it just came out and was fitting, so I rolled with it. That happens. I write a script to give myself a guideline, and then once I’m on camera, I add as I go. I hope you can tell that I’m speaking from my heart and that you get the message of the video. What do you think of the series? Does anyone have any questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below and click on “I am not a robot.” God Bless. Rachael

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 16 of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today’s letter is P and P stands for Perseverance. It’s another one of those weeks when we’re actually going to focus on two words: Perseverance and Run because it takes Perseverance to Run a race; especially the kind of race the Bible talks about. So that means we’ll have two verses again just like we did for Masterpiece and Potter. So the first verse is Hebrews 12:1 and 2, where it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The second verse is another favorite of mine. It’s Romans 5:3-5. It says, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.” A good example of this is in the movie Overcomer, the new one by Stephen and Alex Kendrick. The plot is a man who’s been coaching basketball for a long time at a high school finds out that he cannot coach basketball because most of his key players are moving due to a factory plant shutting down. So now what? What does he do with himself? When the principal asks him to coach cross country, his response at first is, “Cross country is not even a real sport.” Boy, does he have a lot to learn! Throughout the movie, the coach works on his attitude as he learns many lessons about Perseverance. When he sees that the one runner on his team has asthma, he learns lessons about Perseverance. When he sees her run, she doesn’t let anything stop her. It’s such a good movie! When I post the video on YouTube, in the description I’m going to leave a link that says where the movie is playing so you can plug in your zip code to find out if it’s playing in your area. If it is, I suggest that you go see it. My mom and I saw it twice. It’s that good. So anyway, I’ve seen this so many times in my own life. People have come up to me and told me how I have Perseverance. They see Perseverance in me because I have to have Perseverance. If I didn’t have Perseverance, I could get really bitter. It’s easy to get bitter when we need help with the small things; like getting dressed, combing your hair, you get the idea. I constantly have to keep my eyes focused on Jesus. Though I can’t run physically, actually, I think that helps me run the race the Bible talks about and keep my eyes focused on eternal things that matter to God. Think about it; when you look back at the Bible, and you hear stories about healing, how many of those people really went back to thank Him? Not very many. In fact, you know the story where Jesus heals so many lepers? It’s found in Luke (17:11-19). He healed 10 lepers and out of 10, only one went back to thank Him. But isn’t that typical of our culture? As soon as we get the miracle we’re hoping for, in this case I mean physical healing, we’re like, “See ya God. I don’t need you anymore.” So sometimes when He doesn’t heal you the way you would like (like in my case, the surgery I described earlier when we talked about the letter E for Embrace), I think it’s because He knows what we’re going be like if we get healed. God is all-knowing and remember the verse we looked at when we talked about the letter F (Jeremiah 1:5)? It says, “Before I formed you I knew you.” So knowing that God is all-knowing, if He doesn’t heal, it means He’s got a plan and that He wants to use us in a unique way. I cannot stress enough how many opportunities I’ve had to minister in my wheelchair that wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t in my wheelchair. For those opportunities, I have to thank the Lord. Lord thank you for the things I can’t do physically. Help me to always keep my eyes focused on you so that I may run the race, get home to heaven someday and hear you say, “Welcome home my good and faithful servant, well done.” Amen. And now for today’s song. Today’s song is by a good friend of mine, Jana Alarya. In fact, you see that my shirt says “Shine?” That’s one of her shirts. I got it one year when I went to The Joni and Friends Family Retreat and she was there. So the song is called “Fight This Fight”. Here we go. It goes perfect with the word Perseverance.

“I will fight this fight
I will run this race
I will serve You, Lord in all I do
‘Til I see Your face

I will fight this fight
I will run this race
I will serve You, Lord in all I do
‘Til I see Your face

I see the cross before me
So I’ll keep on pressin’ on
God is callin’ so I won’t look back
His word is keepin’ me on the track
To Jesus (echo)
To Jesus (echo)

I will fight this fight
I will run this race
I will serve You, Lord in all I do
‘Til I see Your face

I see the cross before me
So I keep on pressin’ on
God is callin’ so I won’t look back
His word is keepin’ me on the track
To Jesus (echo)
To Jesus (echo)

I see the cross before me
So I keep on pressin’ on
God is callin’ so I won’t look back
His word is keepin’ me on the track
To Jesus (echo)
To Jesus (echo)

I will fight this fight
I will run this race
I will serve You, Lord in all I do
‘Til I see Your face

I will fight this fight
I will run this race
I will serve You, Lord in all I do
‘Til I see Your face”
Amen. Will you run the race and get the prize? The Eternal prize? That crown of rewards the Bible talks about? I sure hope so. You know, if you don’t know Jesus, and you haven’t started a relationship with Him, go back on my YouTube channel and look at the letter H for Healing. In the description there’s a prayer that I lead you in to start a relationship with Jesus. It’s really worth it. It’s because I have Jesus in my life that I’m able to Persevere. Because of Jesus, I have hope. Without Him you would not see the energy that you just saw. Well that’s it everyone and I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter Q and Q will be for Quick. Bye everyone, God Bless.
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O is for One


Hi everyone, and welcome to week 15 of the ABC’s of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter O. O stands for One, which actually means One Body in the Bible. The verse that goes with that is 1 Corinthians 12:21 and 22. The Apostle Paul gives a humorous illustration here, and he says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ The head cannot say to the foot, ‘I don’t need you!’” Hey, get out of here! In case you’re wondering, I can’t lift my feet that high, so that was my friend Jessica’s foot. Thank you, Jessica, for your help there. O is fun. Anyway, the verse goes on and it says, “In fact, some parts of the body that are thought of as weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” So true. I’ve seen this so many times in my life. I help out in Awana, as you know, and one year we did the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. If you’re curious what that is, you can Google it. When we did the shoe boxes, we made handmade bracelets with beads. Well, because of my limited hand dexterity, I couldn’t string the beads through, so we worked in pairs at our tables. I picked out the colors and handed the beads to the girl next to me, and then she would string the beads through. That’s an example of how we were one in the body of Christ. Yet we were serving the Lord and having fun. If you have someone who has a disability at your church and they want to serve, go ahead and let them. It could be as simple as handing out programs or greeting people at the door. I know a lot of my special needs friends like to give hugs; there’s something that everyone can do. If you really make an effort, there’s always a way to make everyone a part of the body of Christ. I believe one of the reasons I serve in Awana is because the leaders make me feel like a part of the body of Christ. How? Well, one of the major ways they do that is the way leaders find ways to adapt games. Some of the games; there’s a lot I can’t do physically, so by finding ways to adapt some of the games and letting me play, that speaks volumes to me. That speaks very loudly. That makes me feel loved and important. As I’ve continued on in Awana, meditating on those verses and memorizing many more, I realize that our society is spiritually disabled on the inside. There’s a major heart issue. Even with my disability, God has given me a heart to serve Him and a heart to help others; that’s why I make these videos and that’s why I write; with a purpose. Today’s song is “One Body” by Matt Osgood and Cathy Summers. Here we go. This one is going to be fun.

“One Body, one Lord,
one Father over all.
One Spirit in our hearts,
one body, many parts.”
(This is a fun one. Can you tell?)
“Male and female, different backgrounds,
young and old of equal worth,
called together to become
Christ’s body here on earth,
Christ’s body here on earth.”
One Body. I could continue that one forever. Can you tell I was having a great time? Well, that’s it everyone and I hope you really enjoyed it. I know I did and so did my friend Jessica; this is probably our most fun video. I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter P and P will be for Perseverance. Okay? Bye everyone. Thanks for watching. God Bless.
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N is for New

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 14 of The ABC’S of Contentment. I know I said it last week, but can you believe how time has flown by? It’s amazing isn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we started with the letter A for Amazing and now we’re on the letter N for New. How did we get here?So like I said, the word today is New and the verse that goes with that is 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away— look, the new has come!” That’s exciting right? Yes, it is. So what does that mean anyway? Being a new creation; does that make me a new person? Well kind of. Not in the way people often think of as new. What that means is being new on the inside spiritually and emotionally. Once you come to Christ, you don’t want the same things that you wanted before. You don’t want to be around the same kind of people. You don’t want to do the same kinds of things you did before because, well, that was before and part of your old life and now you have a new life.My friend Jessica shared this with me when we talked about today’s concept. It’s kind of like when we throw our trash away and the trash man picks up the trash and takes it to the dumpster. I know it sounds kind of silly, but stay with me for a minute, okay? It’s as if God goes to the dumpster, and instead of just throwing it away to be discarded, He takes those pieces that the world has discarded. We all know about the concept of recycling, right? So He recycles. He makes new.My friend Jessica showed me a concept of what is called upcycled art. I never heard of it until today. What it means is like if you have bottle caps, God takes those bottle caps and makes them into something new; say a lamp, a light switch; I don’t know. What is your favorite fixture or what is something you really like? Think of that and that’s what God makes the piece of trash into. That’s how we become a new creation.

Let me tell you like I said last week; when God makes a new creation, He does beautiful work. The question is, will we let him? My friend Jessica also told me about today’s song by Lincoln Brewster. It’s called “Made New” and there’s two lines in there that I really like. It says, “I am made new I am new, because of You.” Amen. I think that says it all.
Are you ready to be made into something new, and to see what God can do in your life? He is ready whenever you are. Well, that’s it for the letter N everyone, and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter O and O stands for One. Okay? See you next time Bye. God Bless.
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M is for Masterpiece

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 13 of the ABCs of Contentment. Can you believe how time has flown by? We’re on week 13 already. We’ll be at the end of the alphabet before you know it; and then I’ll have to come up with a new series. Anyway, today’s letter is M and M stands for Masterpiece. We’re actually going to talk about two words: Masterpiece and Potter because it takes a potter to create a masterpiece. So that means we’re going to talk about two verses.

The first verse is Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

The second verse has become a favorite of mine over the years. It’s Romans 9:20 and 21 where it says, “Who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘why did you make me like this?’” Good question. Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

Since we’re talking about Masterpiece, here’s two masterpieces I made. The one I’m holding is wheelchair tracks made with my power wheelchair. When I went to The Joni Friends Family Retreat in 2012, there was a guy there by the name of Tommy Hollenstein and he was a wheelchair artist. He taught us how to make art with our wheelchair.

The second painting my friend Jessica is holding. That’s me out of my wheelchair going into heaven. That’s when I have my new body. That’s what’s going to happen someday; but that day is not today and that’s okay. I have plenty of work to do down here. Just like the verse in Romans says, I have a purpose here; a special purpose.

Anyone that knows me really well, knows that knows that I like the Hallmark store. I go in there and I love all the little trinkets; especially at this time of year when they have the ornaments out already. I love looking at them. Sometimes I look at the shelves and go, “Oh boy, I wish I could do stuff like that. If I could do that kind of stuff, I wouldn’t be at the computer so much.” Maybe that’s true, but then, I wouldn’t be writing all these great stories and I wouldn’t be sharing the gospel with you in the same way because I wouldn’t have endured the hardships I’ve endured.

We live in a world where people and media are pushing the perfect image. Skinny legs, perfect hair, you get the idea. But you know what my idea of perfect is? My idea of perfect would be me being able to dress myself. My idea of perfect would be me being able to walk on my own without my walker.

Then again, there’s a purpose for me needing help with the simple things in life. I think it keeps me humble and makes me lean on the Lord more just like my special needs friends. I’ve never actually said it out loud, but in frustration I have thought, “Lord, why did you make me like this?” Especially when me and my friend Jessica made vases when I was learning how to play with play-doh and do a lesson for my Awana kids on how becoming a Christian is like becoming a vase. That was fun, but at times, that can be frustrating. Sometimes she’d tell me, “Breathe.” You’ll get to see the vases later when we talk about how the letter V is for Vase and I share the gospel.

So how about you? Are you going to let the Lord use you and become that beautiful masterpiece that the Potter wants you to be? Because let me tell you, I’ve seen it my whole lifetime; the Lord does beautiful work.

Lord, please help me and my friends to focus on your purpose for our lives. Help us to use our hardships and say, “How can I use this for my God, my Creator as we’re being crafted by You, the Master Potter, day by day? Take me, mold me, use me, fill me. I give my life to the Potter’s hand. Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me. I give my life to the Potter’s hand.”

Will you give your life to the Potter’s hand? I hope you will. Well, that’s it for the letter M everyone. I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter N for New. We’re going to talk about how when we accept the Lord into our lives, the Master Potter helps us become a new creation. See you next time. Bye, thank you for watching.

 

Watch these video to see how the art was done. What a fun year that was!
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L is for Lift

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 12 of the ABC’s of Contentment. Today’s letter is L and L stands for Lift. Another definition for Lift is to look up. Today’s verse is Psalm 121, 1-2. “I lift up my eyes to the mountain, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” I’ve seen this so many times when I meet with my special needs friends. They really know how to worship. When we sing worship songs, there’s one person in the group who is deaf. During the chorus of “Lord I Lift Your Name On High,” he starts doing sign language and the next thing you know we’re all doing it.  My special needs friends aren’t afraid to lift their hands, to dance, or to sing (even if is a little bit off-key!) because they’re just there praising the Lord. They are giving Him their whole hearts because they constantly have to lean on Him for strength; yet they’re very content with what He has provided. For many of them, music is what makes them come alive. My friend Traci told me about today’s song, “With Lifted Hands” by Ryan Stevenson, and I think this song describes a worship scene with my special needs friends well.

It goes:

 

“With every heartbeat in my chest

Lord, I surrender all that I have

The days yet to come, the days in the past

I’m giving You all that I am

With lifted hands, with lifted hands.”

 

Amen. Another song that I just heard about from Joni on her website is “Lionheart” by David Francisco and it was so good I thought I’d share it with you. First, let me give you a little background on David. He was paralyzed a from an accident in which he was hit by a distracted driver. Despite that, he still writes music and sings songs, but because he’s been paralyzed, his lyrics are a lot deeper and he’s able help those who are hurting. It was hard to pick my favorite part of that song because the whole thing is so good, so since I don’t have it memorized, I’m just gonna read it, okay? Again, this is called “Lionheart”. It goes:

 

“I have the heart of a lion

There’s a spirit inside of my bones

that makes me alive

 

I have a fighting desire

when the darkness is closing in

I’ll be the light

 

somehow when everything’s wrong

I know I’ll be alright

Just when my faith is gone

hope will arise

Somehow when I can’t move on

I find the strength to survive

Deep within me

is a Lion Heart.”

(And here’s my favorite part of the song, the chorus goes:)

“I may seem weak to the world

I may never be fast or as strong I wanna be

 

But I am a runner on the inside

and no one can stop me now,

I’m on fire, on fire

 

You can do more than you know

You can do anything, anything is possible

Do you believe it?

 

You have the heart of the lion

There’s courage inside of your bones

Don’t you believe?”

 

Amen. Does that say “Danger,” or what?  Perfect song. I can make that my life theme song, right? Anyway, whenever I get discouraged about some of the things that come on with my disability, my mom reminds me to look up by saying, “Focus on what you can do not what you can’t do.” Thanks mom. If I didn’t lift my eyes to the Lord, I would easily get bitter. Lord help me surrender my life to you and give you all that I am because you’re the one who gave me life in the first place. I pray for those who have an ongoing disability that they would learn to embrace it and show the world how easy it is to accept your gift of salvation – like a child. Thank you for my special needs friends who remind me to have the faith of a child. And thank you that my daily hardships cause me to lift my eyes to You. Amen. Well, that’s it for the letter L, everyone and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter M. M is for Masterpiece. Bye and God Bless

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K is for Kindness


Hi everyone, and welcome to week 11 of the ABCs of Contentment Today’s letter is K and K stands for Kindness. 1 Samuel16:7b. “People look at the outer appearance but the LORD looks at the heart.” This is so true. I’ve seen that so many times in my life. But today, we’re not gonna talk about an example in my life we’re gonna talk about an example I’ve heard from somebody else at my church who is also in a wheelchair. He told me this story yesterday when I went to the hospital. He was at the store with his wife and he was waiting because she does the shopping. While he was waiting somebody came up to him because he is in a wheelchair, and they gave him change. They said,”Here’s some change I hope you feel better.” He smiled and said,”Thank you.” Now that person was trying to be kind. And to them they were. But was change was money what that man really needed? Many times, people fail to think about the many things that have been accomplished by people with disabilities in the world. For instance, look at the church hymns. One of my favorites is “To God Be The Glory,” by Fanny Crosby.

My favorite stanza says: “Great things He has taught us, great things He has done, and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son; But purer, and higher, and greater will be, our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.”

See how focused on heaven the author is? I don’t think that would happen if she didn’t have to lean so hard on the Lord for strength
Fanny Crosby became blind at six weeks old due to a doctor’s error. If you wanna know what the error was you can look it up. Later on in life she said: “I believe the good Lord, in all his infinite mercy, has
through my blindness consecrated me to the work I am to do.” Amen! Amen!

I appreciate people’s heart of compassion for someone in a wheelchair. However, I wish they would have the right kind of compassion. And by the way everyone, compassion is another word for kindness. Like my friends at my church, instead just giving someone change, why don’t you ask them, “How can I help you?” Is there anything I can do for you?” instead of just assuming you know what they need.

Again, like Fanny Crosby and what she said about her blindness, I don’t think that the church would have as many hymns as they do today if it weren’t for people who endured hardship. There’s something to be said for having to endure hardship.

Lord, please help the person who has to face an ongoing
physical hardship to embrace it as a gift. Show them how your power is made perfect in weakness. And as a Christian community, show us how to embrace that gift and shine for Jesus. And help us to minister to that person and their family. Amen. Well that’s it for the letter K and I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter L for lift. And if you like my videos, I’d sure love to know.

You know as we talk about as we talk about kindness and what I just said, what are some of your ideas about Kindness? How have you seen this? What are some of your thoughts? I’f love for you to leave a comment on my videos.Thanks for watching everyone I’ll see you next week. Bye.  God Bless.
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God Bless.