“Somehow I believe that You chose me.”

Available at amazon.com in paperback or Kindle.

This is the second week in Advent, a time to celebrate Christmas for a whole month, not just a single day. How are you doing at preparing your heart for the season?

From Chapter Three of Be Born in Me:

God chose Mary for an incredible assignment, didn’t He?  Think about it, this is the biggest assignment of anyone in the Bible!  You think your wife fussed about what to eat and what to do when she was pregnant?  Mary is carrying God’s Son. No pressure there!  Can you imagine what she thought about having to climb up on the back of a donkey and travel for four days to the city of David?  Can you hear her in the cold of the night?  “Joseph, sorry I can’t do that, I AM carrying the Son of God here, you know!”

Looking again at Luke 1 we see that the angel, Gabriel, has told Mary that she has been chosen. Mary asks, “How?” The angel replies,  “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” [1]

Do you know that you have been chosen by God for an assignment today and everyday? How does that make you feel? For some, it is overwhelming. For others it is exciting. For me it is humbling.  Humbling, because most days I feel completely inept at doing something for our great (announcer voice here) GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE.

But that is the point, isn’t it? For the greatest impact, God uses the everyday person to reach the everyday person. You don’t have to have a Bible degree or years of ministry training. You can grab a cup of coffee and walk to the end of the driveway and share His story with your next door neighbor.  You can sit on the floor with a bunch of preschool students and sing simple songs. You can offer a hug to an elderly woman in a nursing home wheelchair.

He has chosen you to carry His message and His love to those around you. And there is no better time to do so than at Christmas. People in our culture are open to hearing about Jesus, and talking about spiritual things, more so during December than any other time of the year. So may He give you the heart of Mary to bring His joy to your world this Advent.

And be encouraged to know that He has chosen you to do so.

Be Born in Me is divided into five sections and includes discussion questions so you can use in a weekly small group, family devotional or class setting.
Here’s the link to the amazon web site: http://amzn.to/SNOkND.
And here’s the link to the Kindle site: http://amzn.to/RI7ODe.
(c) 2012. Rich Ronald.

[1] Luke 1:37 (The Message)

 

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“Help me see with Heaven’s eyes…”

Available at amazon.com in paperback or Kindle

Advent starts this weekend.  Like the onset of a new season or the New Year, it is a beginning. A time to prepare our hearts for celebrating the birth of the Messiah. It is a time to renew who we are as children of God. A time which allows us to truly celebrate Christmas for four weeks, rather than just a single day.

It is a time to cry out to God with the same prayer as Mary, the mother of Jesus: “Be Born in Me.”

It is every Believer’s cry from the depth of our heart as we ask Jesus to take over our lives.  We need Jesus to be born in us, fully and completely.

This new little book is designed to help you celebrate the joy of Christmas by looking back from Mary’s perspective.  It takes you into the times and culture of her day.

From Chapter Two of the book:

Francesca Battistelli recorded the song: Be Born in Me.  In the first verse there is a lyric that says “Somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes.” What does this mean?

For starters, it means seeing the potential and possibilities of someone, who the world sees and rejects, with God’s eyes. It means seeing the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) and accepting them. God sees and accepts everyone who comes to Him, no matter our story. Harlot. Beggar. Murderer.  Adulterer. Thief. Pharisee. Sinner. You. Me.  Once we’ve bowed our knee to Jesus, God sees us from Jesus’ point of view. All redeemed. All restored. He sees us the way He created us, like a new born baby, fresh, like a new day with no mistakes in it.

May I encourage you as you go through the day today to look around and ponder what you see. The crowded shopping malls. The crazy traffic. The homeless on the corner. The eyes of hope at your dinner table.  Can you see as God does?

Yes. When He is born in you.

The booklet is divided into five sections and includes discussion questions so you can use in a weekly small group, family devotional or class setting.

Here’s the link to the amazon web site: http://amzn.to/SNOkND.

And here’s the link to the Kindle site: http://amzn.to/RI7ODe.

(c) 2012. Rich Ronald.

New Book for Advent (my first!): Be Born in Me.

Available at amazon.com in paperback or Kindle

A little more than a year ago, the worship planning team at Oak Hills Church began planning our Advent season. Worship Minister Jeff Nelson recommended a theme around the song, Be Born in Me (Mary). It was written by Bernie Herms and Nichole Nordeman and beautifully recorded by Francesca Battistelli. It is on the album Music Inspired by The Story from Word Entertainment.

I admit, I was hesistant at first.  “We’re going to preach a song for Advent?” But the more I meditated on the words, the more I let the Holy Spirit work in my heart, the more enthused I became.

Each week the ministers at OHC’s five campuses would unpack a certain line from the song.  I had the honor of preaching all four weeks at the North Central Campus.

This booklet is essentially that sermon series.

Have you ever prayed the prayer: “Be Born in Me!”?

It is every Believer’s cry from the depth of our heart as we ask Jesus to take over our lives.  We need Jesus to be born in us, fully and completely.

From the Preface of the book:

Can you see her? The angel Gabriel had just left this young teenage girl with the news that in today’s language is an announcement that would “rock her world.”  She would become pregnant. The Biblical text says she was “confused” [1] or “shaken.” [2] She was engaged to a man named Joseph, of the lineage of the Tribe of David. She had a deeply devout faith and had found favor with Adonai. 

We can imagine in the moments after the angel’s ascension that she is standing alone, dazed and numb. She looks to the heavens and offers a prayer, a song. She completely gives herself to the Father in heaven and cries “Be Born in Me.”

Let’s take a close up look at four lines from the song, four prayers.  They were cries from Mary’s heart.  Can they be ours?
  1. Be born in me.
  2. Somehow help me see with Heaven’s eyes.
  3. Trembling heart, somehow I believe that You chose me.
  4. Make my heart your Bethlehem.

My prayer for you this coming Christmas season… that you will be able to embrace these prayers and believe all that they capture. May you let Jesus be born in you!

With great joy,

-rich

The booklet is divided into five sections and includes discussion questions so you can use in a weekly small group, family devotional or class setting.

Here’s the link to the amazon web site: http://amzn.to/SNOkND.

And here’s the link to the Kindle site: http://amzn.to/RI7ODe.


[1] Luke 1:29, CEV.

[2] Luke 1:29, The Message.

Lessons from the Fathers’ Hearts: Caleb

A devotional look at eleven Biblical dads and what we can learn from them.

Setting the table for your children’s success will certainly mean lending a helping hand.

The next father I want us to look at is Caleb.  You may recall it was Joshua, Caleb and ten others who Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land.  Ten reported that the Promised Land was a land full of giants and that the Hebrews could never conquer the land.  Caleb believed God’s word and told Moses, “yes, the land is full of giants, but our God is bigger and we can defeat them.”  (Numbers 13:30 paraphrase.)

So, Caleb and Joshua were the only two to be given God’s blessing to cross the Jordan River and enter the Land of their Inheritance.

Fast forward now some years and look in the book of Judges, Chapter 1.  Caleb has seen the giants in Caanan up close.  They are “Nephilim” — half breeds — children of fallen angels and women.  They are giants. And the land that Joshua gave Caleb had four known Nephilim cities. Caleb and Joshua had fought hard and long and defeated three of the four, but in his old age he needed help to defeat the last of these villages, Kiriath Sepher.

So, Caleb offered a challenge:  To the man who would defeat this enemy village, he would give his daughter in marriage.  You might think that offering his daughter’s hand would be something of a prize or property. However, Caleb was smart.  You see, he was killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.  He would rid the region of the cities of giants, and gain a God-fearing warrior husband for his daughter at the same time.  He loved his daughter and only wanted a good husband for her.

Continue reading “Lessons from the Fathers’ Hearts: Caleb”

Passover Haggadah, featuring Jesus the Messiah

PASSOVER SEDER

Our Messianic Haggadah

This Haggadah (or “Story”) was originally written by Rich Ronald for his family in 2000 with input from various teachings by Ilene Zatal, Ray VanderLaan, Martha Zimmerman, Don Finto, Mark Cowley, Dwight Pryor and James Bankowski. Additionally, portions have been directly excerpted from the booklet “Passover Seder Ritual and Menu for an Observance by Christians” by Barbara Balzac Thompson, published by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, © 1984.

Passover Celebration

SHE’MA

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.  Ve’ahavta et Adonai eloheykha bekol-levavkha u’vekhol nafshekha u’vekhol me’odekha.

Hear o Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

WELCOME

Welcome in the name of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah!  Tonight we will celebrate Pesach (pah-SACH)… Passover.  This is the celebration of the most incredible feast in the Jewish and Christian calendars.  It intricately weaves a story of God’s power, faithfulness and love for mankind in both the Old and New Testaments.  It was celebrated in the Ancient World, in Jesus’ time, and is still celebrated in traditional Jewish homes today.

The first Passover was not a celebration.  It was a night of apprehension, fear and expectation for the beginning of a new journey for the children of Israel.  The Word tells us that the Hebrews were to take the blood of a perfect lamb, and paint it on their doorposts.  By following this command, the Angel of Death which moved through Egypt that night would “pass over” their homes.  But since the Angel of Death did not pass over Pharaoh’s house, and his first born son was taken from him, his hardened heart was finally softened and the next morning Pharaoh let the Hebrew slaves go free.  This meal that we celebrate tonight, the Seder, is symbolic of the rush to leave Egypt and the bondage it represents.

We also celebrate the significance of Yeshua’s last meal, a traditional Passover meal, with His disciples in the Upper Room.  There is a lot of symbolism between the Old Covenant meal and the New Covenant meal.  We hope you’ll enjoy learning how Yeshua tied the two meals together… and how it is applicable for us all tonight.

Tonight, we tell a story, the Haggadah, of how the blood of a lamb saved the people of God in the Ancient times… and still saves today.

Continue reading “Passover Haggadah, featuring Jesus the Messiah”

Don Finto on “Dangerous Curiosity”

I am big fan of Don Finto, former Senior Pastor of Belmont Church in Nashville.  Don’s current ministry is focused on Israel and embracing Jews who embrace Yeshua as their Lord and Savior.  I have had the joy of traveling in The Land with Don twice. 

Don’s website is www.calebcompany.com.  What follows below is his most recent post.  It has nothing to do with Israel but everything to do with walking the faithful walk of integrity before our Lord, our ministry partners, our friends and neighbors.

“Lead us not into temptation.  Deliver us from the Evil One.”

“The thief comes to rob, kill and destroy.”

“Keep you eyes fixed on Jesus.”

May we all be encouraged to ignore the traps the enemy sets for us.

  Continue reading “Don Finto on “Dangerous Curiosity””

Ronald Family Summer 2009 Reading List

 

Not sure that we’ll get through all of these… but we will try.  My teenage sons will earn $5 for each book read and reviewed.  I have sought out these recommendations (in random order) from a number of other men with sons to help bring a “well roundedness” to our Christian world view.  Of course there are many other great books out there… many of which we have already read.  This is the current book list…

  Continue reading “Ronald Family Summer 2009 Reading List”