and spirit...encouragement for your soul.

Hopefully this will be a place of resources and information for living a healthy lifestyle while feeding your soul. Recipes, links to helpful sites, words of encouragement and scripture....all to help you and your family make wise decisions for your life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Tongue is....Well.....Better!

Okay, I know I'm late posting on the progress I've made with my tongue but I have plenty of excuses:  I have been out of town, I have been busy, I have been not as well as usual, I've had writer's block, I am ashamed to admit I have gossiped in the last couple of months, etc., etc.,  All of the above apply but I'll admit the most accurate is I have not been focused.  One of my issues is developing a "Daily Method of Operation" that will allow me to accomplish all I have to do and want to do each day.  In other words, DISCIPLINE! 

On the subject of gossip and controlling my tongue, I can truthfully say I have made progress.  I no longer "mindlessly" talk about people in a negative manner.  I'm at least aware when I have made an unnecessary comment.  Also, since I challenged myself to "control my tongue" I am happy to report I have a more kindly, tolerant attitude toward many of those I used to rail against.  Amazingly, I can see both sides of an issue more easily and more clearly most of the time.

How about you?  Do you do what you need to do or want to do each day?  Do you have a plan to accomplish what you intend?  Do you work your plan? 

I have to say I have a very detailed calendar for every day of the week.  Some of the activities I have scheduled for myself are Bible study, Juice Plus activities, partnership activities, personal growth, exercise, Rotary, office work, cooking and gardening.  I make very elaborate plans for each day of the week and I make an effort to keep track of what I actually do.  I may as well just tie myself to an old fashion scrub board and jump up and down. 

What deters me from keeping to my plan?   LIFE!  The phone rings, the doorbell sounds, the bugs are eating my vegetables, the mailman brings an urgent, act now message, the grand kids need my help, the church needs me to advertise something, the family business needs attention. 

Obviously, the Bible has all the answers we need.  Just read Proverbs and be convicted of any number of self absorbed issues.  Proverbs contains reprimands, wisdom, encouragement and guidance.  If we follow the advice of Proverbs we shall all lead a very productive, fulfilling life. 

Another really good book supporting the Bible's admonishments is:  "The Four Agreements".....that is:  1.  Be Impeccable With Your Word; 2.  Don't Take Anything Personally; 3.  Never Make Assumptions; 4.  Always Do Your Best! challenge this month (November) is to develop a daily method of operation and stick to it.  I mean stick to it through all the challenges life presents.  My goal is to adjust when I need to, discard the urge to beat up myself when I don't do everything on the list but stick to it as closely as possible. 

Oh yeah, I also challenge myself to continue to "watch my tongue!"  God willing I'll have a good report at the end of the month!  How about you?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Love God, Love Each Other....Watch Your Tongue!

The title sums up the Ten Commandments very nicely.  If we do these two all the other commandments are automatically observed.  Sounds easy enough doesn't it? 

I'm going to confess it, "loving each other" is not always easy for me.   It isn't that I don't like some people and wish them harm.  I seriously can't think of anyone I truly dislike.  It's just that some people really get on my last nerve.  I find when folks do things I think should be done differently or should be done at a different time it is completely necessary to let everyone I know hear about it.  Am I alone here?   Am I the only one who fights this battle of the tongue and heart?  Mostly it's my unruly tongue.  I truly, in my heart, love most folks. 

God's command to love each other should be the simplest thing we do in life and I'm pretty sure most of us struggle in this area.  I know that because I talk to many people during the course of any given week.  I know that wherever two or more are gathered....there will be gossip!  I'm can wag my tongue with the best of them too. do we all change our ways? 

I'm thinking getting control of our hearts is less of an issue but that TONGUE....that's another thing entirely.  Maybe practice truly does make perfect.  How about a 21 day program of practicing keeping my ugly thoughts to myself and when I feel the urge to utter something negative I simply say something positive instead.  OR say nothing at all.  After all, if I don't really mean it maybe it's just better to remain silent. 

Starting today I promise to do my best to catch myself when I am tempted to gossip.  Starting today I promise to try to see the other side of any question.  Starting today I promise to practice holding my tongue.  At the end of 21 days we'll see how I did.  (Let's meet back here on September 26 and determine how successful this little experiment has been!) 

Proverbs 18:8 – “The words of gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” (NIV)

1 Timothy 5:13 – “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” (NIV)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Get thy financial house in order!

Is there any subject more "in the news" today than finances?  The countries financial house is in disarray.  Most states, counties and municipalities are not much better.  Seems every day there is a new crisis that requires more borrowing or spending. 

Then there are individuals like me.  My past habits of impulse buying "stuff" caught up with me years ago.  Fortunately, I realized I had an issue with spending and did something about it.  (Something congress hasn't learned!)  I am still not completely cured but I have learned to really think about a purchase before I just whip out a credit card.  For one thing I stopped using credit cards and began using cash or my debit card. 

I was inspired to get control of my spending, get on a budget and start paying off debt by the financial radio personality, Dave Ramsey.  I began listening to his radio show many years ago and found him to be an amazingly frank, to the point, straight shooter.  What an inspiration he is to so many millions of listeners. 

My finances are certainly not where they need to be but I'm getting there by working Dave's "Baby Steps."  While continuing to work on my issues with money, spending and saving, I was sure I was hearing a call to help others do the same.  "Me Lord?  Really?  I mean I'm working on it but at present my life is a mess!  Me?  Really?

So I am coordinating Dave Ramsey's money course, "Financial Peace University."  My church, Tavares First United Methodist, is offering the course beginning on the evening of September 11, 2011.  We are nicknaming the course, "Let Freedom Ring."  To register for the class call the church office 352-343-2761 or go to and click on "classes" then "Financial Peace University," then "find a class."  Use the Tavares zip code (32778) and then click on continue and then "register."  You can buy the membership kit from the church (at a discount) on the first evening of the class.  The class is already filling up! 

It is the tenth anniversary of the attacks on our country and Tavares First is holding a prayer vigil beginning on September 10th at 8:00 am and continuing for 24 hours and ending just prior to the time when the attacks began.  Please join us anytime for the prayer vigil in the sanctuary.  Stay all night, all day, a few hours or a few minutes.  We'll be praying for our country, our leaders and ourselves.  Even if you can't join us physically you can join us in prayer. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

What a team! Wha a team!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV     
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

It's been a labor of love and excellent teamwork!  I don't think any member of the Communications Team would say they didn't enjoy it.  Our new website has taken a few meetings, a conference call, too many phone calls and emails to mention and finally, finally we are ready for the big reveal!!!

It's a huge decision to make a change to the look and function of a church's website.  It is not something we undertook without prayer and request for guidance from the Holy Spirit.  The website is, after all, a ministry. 

The website is where you can find the calendar for all the goings on both on campus and on the Internet.  You can double check your schedule for meetings and Bible study.  If your choir practice has been cancelled or changed you'll find the answers right their on the "Music Ministry" page.  Need encouragement?  Read one of the blogs on the "Links" page.  Looking for a good Christian education for your young children?  Click on the "Children's Enrichment Center" link and find the class schedule, enrollment forms, hours of operation and contact information.

No matter how you feel about this technology it's difficult to deny the impact it's had on all our lives.  Our good and faithful servant, John Adams, has been administering a "tape" ministry for many years for our church members who are unable to attend services.  (Yes, I'm talking cassette tapes!)  This has been a much needed and vital ministry for those who want to listen to the Word of God from our pastor but, due to  health problems, can't physically join us.  It has taken much effort and discipline to keep up with this ministry week after week.  Without the cassette tape technology (many years ago), our shut in members would have been denied access to the Word.

What would happen if those same ailing members could be "with us" in the sanctuary, watching Pastor John explain his "Mission Possible" series live on their own TV in their living room?  We're not there yet but we are working toward live streaming of the Sunday morning sermons and worship service.  Until the day we are ready for live streaming we are grateful the cassette tapes John faithfully delivers.

We chose a new look for our website.  We hope you like our new softer colors, curvy lines and easy navigation of our ministries, calendar, Pastor John's messages, the newsletter and events.  That new logo is not bad either.  Right?

It's been an amazing effort with a great Communications Team and the expertise and guidance of Kevin Robson.  We are happy with the result and pray you like it too.  What a team, what a team!!

Naomi Piper, Newsletter
Karen White, LED Sign, Bulletins
Millie Distasio, E-News
Cathy Mihal, E-News, Bulletins
Tom Weikel, Webmaster
Tammie Vinson, Facebook
Lee Johnson, Adviser
Tracy Curtas, Adviser
Pastor John Barham, Senior Pastor
Chris Kronenberger, Youth Minister
Rhonda Hoffman, Team Leader
Kevin Robson, Businessmaster.Net

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pay It Forward....repost from Bob Proctor's "Insight of the Day"

I loved this story because it happened to me about a year ago.  My very short story is at the end.  Enjoy!

Here is your Friday story,

Pay It Forward

This story is true and it happened to me..

One day after work, I asked my husband to pull into a local store so I could buy some cards and some gifts for our nieces.I got into line to check out behind a man dressed in a suit. I didn't pay much attention but then the woman in front of him started asking directions and he politely gave her all the directions. What caught my attention is that twice he said either God bless you or you have a blessed day.As a Christian, I thought - how refreshing to hear. It was now his turn to check out and he just had a gift bag and a card and tissue and some other small things, buying to wrap someone a gift.But, it seemed he didn't have much cash on him. So he told the cashier to check him out and he'd pay cash for part and part on a credit card. When she checked him out he was a little less than a dollar short and started to scan his credit card. "Stop" I said, "Don't scan your credit card for that dollar" and so I handed the cashier a dollar. He looked over at me and I said "no, it's nothing - I'm just trying to get out of debt and I hate to see anyone using a card for anything." He thanked me and "blessed" me too.

The cashier was surprised. I'm not sure if she was surprised because I did that or because she didn't expect me to help him or if it was because he was in a very nice suit and I was there in jeans and a t-shirt - I'm not sure, but when she gave the little change back from my dollar, she held my hand and told me that that was so unexpected of me and told me that I would be truly blessed for the act I just did. I just smiled and said "well I hope so -I could use some blessings!" So just then she told me my total which was around $6.00. As I reached in my wallet to pay her, a young man behind me said - "Wait! How much was her total?" The cashier told him and he reached in his wallet to pay for mine! I said, "No, you don't need to do that - - mine is much more than what I just dished out to help him." He said no he wanted to pay for mine for what he had just witnessed.

And here all along, I was feeling good by helping someone, but then when he did that, well; it was so unexpected and took me so by surprise. With tears in my eyes, I gave him a hug.I always try to do little things that I can, but have never had anyone do anything like that for me.I was speechless.As I walked to my car just amazed at God's love that had just been shown, I wondered what the cashier must be thinking of what she just witnessed in front of her.I cried when I told my husband because I just felt right there, right then, in a world where there is so much going bad, I witnessed God's love.

I went home that night and blogged about it and challenged anyone reading it to do the same.To do something small for someone else and see the difference it makes in your life as well as theirs.Of course my blog only has a couple of followers, but I had to get this story out! That young gentleman does not know how much he touched my heart by following my example. I'll never forget it.So, why not do something? Pay a toll for the car behind you, offer to pay for someone's item they are checking out, hand a water to someone working on the road, pay for someone's lunch - - it doesn't take much to show the love of God.

Lorraine Niemeyer

About a year ago I was pulling through Dunkin Donuts for a bagel.  When I arrived at the window the teenager handed me the bag with my bagel and my drink.  I held out a
$5.00 bill to pay.  The teenager said, "Oh, the lady in front of you paid your bill."  What a great surprise from a total stranger.  What a blessing for her and for me.  It inspired me to do the same from time to time.  God bless you all!  Rhonda

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rhonda's Living Towers are attracting all kinds of new friends!

I hardly know where to begin.  I was in Tampa at the Primrose School health fair last Saturday, in Tavares at the Tavares Tuesday Market on (of course) Tuesday, St. Cloud for an educational talk to a group of teachers on Wednesday, Kissimmee for a lunch and learn with a different group of teachers on Thursday, Living Towers Farm today for an open house. 

I am both excited and exhausted.  I have met so many nice people and made some really interesting new friends.  You just never know when someone is going to come into your life for a special purpose.   I just can't wait to see how it all works.  I met someone who could become special for friend.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

There are so many people drawn to the tower gardens!  I can't blame them.  I am absolutely in love with them.  It is the easiest gardening I have ever done.  The only problem is, being an avid gardener, I'm always wanting to fiddle with the towers and they really don't need constant attention.  Sooooo....I'm trying to restrain myself.

I had to buy some new roses to keep my gardening hands busy.  I love my new roses too but they have "bitten" me a couple of times already.  I have the scars to prove it.  They are both beautiful and viscious.  I get them at the Tavares Tuesday Market from the "Rose" man.  I have post a picture below of one of them along with new photoes of the towers. 

Come see me Tuesday at the Tavares Tuesday Market in Wooton Park from 9:00 am until 2:00ish.  It's the last market for the season!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

How on earth do we all get ourselves into situations where we have more to do than we can possibly fit into our schedule? I'm not the only one. Most of my friends are struggling to juggle activities and responsibilities for church, community service, business and friends.

I am leaving tomorrow for a Juice Plus conference in Long Beach CA and I have no idea how I am going to accomplish all the necessary tasks before I get on that plane.

The Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival is coming up soon and I still have to sign a contract for the catering, send invitations to our VIP guests such as elected officials and write checks to pay for the catering. These are task to be completed today!! First of all the invitations have not been printed yet, I still need to purchase envelopes and buy stamps.

I have to return a box to a company for an unwanted item and that will require standing in line at the post office. I'll try to time that so there are fewer people. When is that exactly?

I haven't given much thought to what clothes I'm taking either. I have checked the weather in Long Beach so I know how to dress but coming up with the correct traveling clothes is always a challenge. And shoes are an entirely different matter!

Okay now to the really, really important part....fingers and toes! I must have a manicure and pedicure before I leave on a trip. My feet need grooming badly. My fingers are not so bad right now but still need attention.

Soooooo...I'll go to the office store for the envelopes while I leave the printer printing the invitations. I'll address the envelopes while my feet are made pretty. I'll go through my closet and choose outfits while I listen to a conference call this afternoon. I'll ask a friend to make the payment and sign the contract for the Dragon Boat catering as she has to contact them anyway for a sponsorship. I'll buy stamps at the post office when I return the package. I'll leave the addressed envelopes for Wayne to stamp and mail tomorrow.

NOW....if I can just get a seat on the plane tomorrow (I fly standby) I'll have had a good couple of days.