W is for Will


Hi everyone, and welcome to week 23 of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter W, and W stands for the word Will. There’s two verses today. The first verse is James 5:14 where it says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” The second verse is James 4:14b-15 where it says, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” Again, today’s word is Will and this is a very touchy subject. Some Christians could look at those verses and they could say, “Shouldn’t we expect miraculous healing? The age of miracles is still with us, right?” That’s a good question. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject. As you know, one of my favorite spiritual mentors is Joni Earecksom Tada. I mention her a lot because she’s been very influential on my thinking throughout my life when it comes to subjects like this. She actually went to many faith healing services when she first had her accident and she wrote a pamphlet called, “Where’s My Miracle?” When we’re done and I upload the video, I’m going to leave a link to the pamphlet in the description. In it, one of the first things she says is that the age of miracles is still with us. She says the mistake in this line of reasoning fails to understand the purpose for miracles in the New Testament. Miracles had a special place at the time of Christ because they proved who He was and who He claimed to be- the Promised One of Israel. Miracles had a special place at the time of the apostles because they proved they too were who they claimed to be. She goes on to talk about how all of this was happening before we had the New Testament written down. So anyway, we live in a society where we want everything to be a quick fix. However, God is not required to stick to a formula. Just because He did something in the Old Testament times, doesn’t mean He has to do it the exact same way now. Look at me. Do I believe in miracles? Yes. Take for instance my birth. The way I survived when I was two months premature; that shouldn’t have happened. The only way that can be explained is a miracle of God, and I’m alive to tell about it and proclaim His good news. When I had the surgery, we didn’t know that it would turn out as well as it did. But God did. The same thing happened when I was born premature in the Neonatal Unit. God had His hand on the doctors. He knew how things were going to turn out. He had a special plan. God worked through the doctors as I believe He works through people today. However, people have come up to me over the years and they’ve prayed for me many times as if prayer is what’s going to make me rise out of my wheelchair. You know what? I appreciate prayer because I do need prayer to deal with my disability on a daily basis. But people cannot make me rise out of my wheelchair. It hasn’t happened and I don’t expect it to. Does that mean that I did something? No. Does that mean that my birth was caused by a sin my mother committed? No. It means that God had plan, God has a Will, God has a purpose, things turned out the way they did, and that’s okay. I have to be thankful that I’m living, that I’m able to do what I’m able to do, and just have thankful heart. Here’s another example of a miracle; a story that my friend Jessica shared with me. Another church that she went to a while ago had somebody who was deaf in both ears, which means she couldn’t hear at all. So people prayed over her, and Jessica’s dad and the kids started talking and she was covering her head. He was like, “Are you okay?” She said, “They’re talking too loud.” So then, just to make sure that he wasn’t crazy, he started talking to her softer and softer and she could hear him. Again, the only way stuff like that can be explained is by miracles of God. So why does God allow some people to be healed and some not? Or is it just the way we think of healing in our society? I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t have the mind of God. But I do know that, like I said, God reserves the right to heal or not heal people physically as He sees fit. If He believes that physical healing is how they’re going to serve Him best, then He will. However, if He doesn’t feel that physical healing is the best thing for them, then He won’t. He is in control of all things. That’s what sovereignty and God’s Will is all about. Another great speaker, Elizabeth Elliott (she is in heaven now) said, “God’s will is never exactly what you expect it to be.” Amen. I know that. I’m a living example. My biggest problem with faith healers on T.V. is that people have a tendency to give them all of the credit. As if the faith healers are God, and God is not. In my mind, if those people really had that gift, (again, I’ve done a bunch of research) why are they making money healing people? Why are they going on extravagant vacations? They should be using their gift to honor the Lord and bring glory to Him, not themselves. When I was born and doctors didn’t think that I would make it, my mom and my family said, “Thank you Lord.” That’s what I wish people would say more often, but they don’t. They tend to give credit to the one human being as if they’re God; and only God is God. If it wasn’t for God pulling me through my birth, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s only because of God, by His grace, that I’m still breathing; even with some of the health issues I face with cerebral palsy. I don’t expect in my case (while I know healing can happen) the cerebral palsy to go away; and that’s okay. Instead, I’d rather study God’s Word and just learn how to make my joy complete in all circumstances that come my way. That’s what I’m really stressing in the series; how do you make your joy complete in all circumstances? Even when God doesn’t give you everything you ask for. It’s like, think about when you were a child. You knew Christmas was coming and you had toys and gifts that you wanted, but did you get everything on your Christmas list? No. Even when you went to the store with your mom or dad, did you get that piece of candy all the time? No. Why not? Because a loving parent doesn’t give you everything that you ask for. The same goes with God. Just because we ask for healing, and there’s nothing wrong if we ask Him for healing; the Bible talks about it. That doesn’t mean that God’s going to give it to us all of the time. My concern, and that’s why I started this series, is that as Christians, we tend to pray for healing; and that’s it. While praying for physical healing is not a bad thing, it shouldn’t be all that we pray for. If we don’t get that physical healing, like I think of that physical healing that the doctors thought I would receive when I had the surgery, we should be praying, “Lord, can you please help me learn how to live with this? Show me how to live and get through it; depend on you and be a blessing to others.” I hope that makes sense. I think I covered everything. Now let’s see, and that there’s my friend Jessica who who’s behind the scenes. She reminds me and keeps me on track. Just like Jodi says in another quote from “Where’s My Miracle?” She says, “On a scale of one to ten, how quick are you to ask God to remove that painful situation from your life? On the same scale, how quick are you to share the gospel with others? Remember, God saved you so that you could share the gospel with others. And your painful situation may be His best platform to showcase that.” Remember, if He doesn’t heal you, it’s not about you. It’s for His glory; to bring glory to Him. I think that says it all. Amen. Now let’s close in prayer. Lord, please make my desires the desires of your heart. Give me compassion for those who have greater afflictions than mine. Help me to be made selfless. Give me patience and endurance as I learn to pray according to your Will. Thank you that you’ve brought me to a place where I can accept the Cerebral Palsy as a gift and remind me on a daily basis, through your word and through people, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for healing me, not physically, but spiritually, because our world needs more of a spiritual healing than a physical healing. In Jesus name, Amen. That’s it everybody. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time when I talk about the letter X and X will be about the history of Xmas Bye. God Bless.
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V is for Vase


Hi everyone. Welcome to week 22 of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter V and V stands for Vase. I told you I’m going to give you a condensed version of what I did for my Awana girls about how becoming a Christian is like becoming a Vase and give you a gospel message, so that’s what I’m gonna do. Here we go. First, here’s all the pieces that I made when I learned how to make a Vase. Again, this took 11 weeks, and all these pieces could represent how even when we come to the Lord and start becoming a Vase, growing in the Lord and getting to know Him is a process. It doesn’t just happen overnight like things do in the movies. Here’s the finished product that I made, and here’s a yellow one that my friend Jessica made. The reason I’m showing two different colored Vases is to show that not every Vase, not every life, is going to be the same. Sometimes we’re going to have different experiences and learn different things, even as Christians; but that’s okay. The important thing is that we grow in the Lord and get to know him; and when our time comes, we get to meet him face to face in heaven. The question is: are we ready for that? I once saw something on Facebook that a friend of mine had said, “Christians are people who are walking each other home.” That’s so true. Our goal is to help each other along. If we were all the same, relationships would be boring because we would have nothing to learn from each other. We’d all be robots. God never intended for us to be robots. Instead, he intended for us to be Vases. I’m using the Vase analogy because I thought it was appropriate. Remember Romans 9:20-21 that says, “Lord, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ 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?” There’s a lot about pottery in the Bible, so I thought it was appropriate; here we go. Here’s the gospel. God had planned for us as humans to have a relationship with him and be together in heaven in paradise where everything would be perfect. When He created Adam and Eve, He only gave them one rule to follow. Can you imagine if you only had to follow one rule? That would be great, wouldn’t it? I think so. Anyway, they only had one rule to follow, but they fell. God said in Genesis 2:16-17, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” One thing that you learn about God and His Word is that when God says something, He means what he says. God is not a liar. Anyway, all they had to do was follow that one rule but they failed. So because of that, we humans are like broken Vases because of sin. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God.” So the Vase (our relationship with God) has to be repaired. In order to help repair the Vases, God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So now that Christ died for us and rose again, there’s hope! The Vase can be repaired! Yay! Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Then after we accept Christ as our Savior, we begin to be transformed into that beautiful Vase that God meant for us to be in the first place. Psalms 51:7 says, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” From the day we accept Christ as our Savior, until the day we get to heaven, God is always working on us to complete that work that He started when we first became a Christian. Until the day we get to heaven, we’re like unfinished Vases. To become that finished Vase we have to do our part; it’s not all up to God. So how do we begin to become a finished Vase? Well, like I said, we meet with other Christians and learn from each other. Read his word and pray. We actually spend time with God and get to know Him. Philippians 1:4-6 says, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Now the Bible doesn’t say anything about become a Christian and your life will be smooth-sailing. No. Just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t have problems. Look at the Apostle Paul; even when Saul became Paul, he got thrown in jail many times because he was preaching the Word of God. But he still never went back on his faith; even from inside the jail cell. He wrote letters to other believers to encourage them because he knew what it was like to be in the big bad world. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the Apostle Paul says, “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 persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” See my strong muscles? Let’s face it: even though God forgives us, it’s not always easy for us as humans to forget the past. We all have things in our lives that we could look back and say, “I wish I hadn’t done that. What did I do that for?” As the Apostle Paul stated in that last verse, just because you become a Christian doesn’t mean you yourself forget what you did. The Vase may have blemishes, but it’s those blemishes that God uses in our lives to help us minister to others and show us how far we’ve come. The more you get to know the Lord (and this is why it’s so important to spend time with him in His word), the more you’ll be saying, “Thank you Lord for not removing those blemishes from my life. Thank you for what you brought me through. Thank you for who you are. Again, I could go on and on. So this is a condensed version of the gospel and if you’re interested in seeing the full lesson I did for the girls, come to my YouTube channel and look for the video titled, “How Becoming a Christian Is Like Becoming a Vase.” Thanks for watching everyone. If anybody has any questions about what I said, when I upload the video, feel free to leave questions or comments below. I’m here to help okay? Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next week when we talk about the letter W and W will be for Will. Bye everyone, God Bless.

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U is for Understanding


Hi everyone, and welcome to week 21 of The ABC’s of Contentment. If you’d have seen my laughter this morning, that is what contentment is all about. That is what happens when you’re content and joyful in Jesus. So anyway, like I said, it’s week 21, we’re on the letter U, and U is for Understanding. The verse that goes with the letter U is Proverbs 3:5-6. This is a famous, often quoted verse, and it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Amen. This is a principle I’ve seen to be true in my life over and over again. One of the areas I saw it in was back in 2017 when I was working on learning how to make a vase for the lesson I did for my Awana girls. I did it for 11 weeks, and every week that I did it with Jessica, we put up a picture, I put it on my blog, and I wrote a short devotional. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s on my blog. It’s a picture, a short devotional, and if anyone is a Sunday school teacher, I added activities for kids to do. So if anyone wants to use it as a curriculum, you’re welcome to do that. Anyway, moving on. I saw this to be true when I was learning how to make a vase. Little movements can be hard because of my limited hand dexterity. One of the things I first had trouble with was learning how to get the right heighth for the vase. We got to week eight and I finally learned how to get the right heighth for the vase. I worked on what’s called internal and external rotation, which is this. See, this is internal; now this is external. I know, it’s a simple movement, but when you have something like cerebral palsy, learning to do little things like that take time. That was a great day! That was a day when Jessica hardly helped me at all. I did the vase almost all by myself! However, that day Jessica took the picture just in time. Shortly after she took the picture, then I had a hard time getting my fingers to wrap around the play-doh. It was as if once we took away the containers, my brain said, “What’s going on?” My brain was used to doing internal-external rotation with the containers, but not by themselves. When someone has something like cerebral palsy, that’s what happens. When I’m used to doing something a certain way with my muscles, things take time. Change takes time, I should say. So of course, I’m going to leave a link to that great day on my blog. But like I said, the reason it looks so good in the picture is because my muscles had just been warmed up, so my mind was still fresh as to how it should be done. The same thing happens in Christianity. We don’t always Understand what the Lord is doing in our lives, but that’s okay; we just need to trust Him and know that He will reveal His perfect plan and His perfect timing. Again, I’ve said this many times, so I’m sounding like a broken record, but I don’t care. The question, the thing is, there’s always a lesson. Are we willing to learn that lesson and are we willing to see what that perfect plan is? His perfect timing; are we going to trust Him? Lord help me to remember that everything that happens in my life is in your will, and that your will is perfect. When I don’t Understand what’s happening in my life, help me to remember that. Thank you that in Your Word it says that someday I will understand and there will be no more tears. I look forward to the day when I will fully understand your ways. Amen. By the way, I forgot to mention that Joni talks about this in one of her radio broadcasts. There’s a song called “Someday He’ll Make It Plain” by a guy named Adam Geibel. I’m going leave the link to that broadcast in the description as well as a link to week 8 on my blog and you can look at it. Some things aren’t meant for us to Understand until we get to heaven and that’s okay. Like I don’t fully Understand why God didn’t allow the surgery I had to work 100% and let me walk without the walker; but I will someday. I look forward to that day. Well, that’s it everyone. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time when we talk about the letter V and V will be for Vase. Vase is going to be the week that we that we talk about a gospel message. I’ll show you a condensed version of what I shared with my girls. Bye. God Bless
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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.
If you want to see a video about upcycled art, come visit my channnel.

Rachael Benson's Blog