Saturday, December 26, 2009

Angel Standing By

Howdy, I hope you had a fantastic Christmas with your familiy and friends. Just thought I'd post this video today. It's amazing.

Merry Christmas again!!!



xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day 24 - The Birth

Merry Christmas everyone. Today is the last day of my Calendar but I will keep on posting regularly, so keep checking.

How could I not end the Calendar with pointing it all to Jesus. He came to the world, became human, was crucified and rose again from death to take away all our sins so whoever believes in Him and calls Him Lord will find eternal life in Him.

I am posting the Christmas story, the birth of Jesus, Emmanual, King of Kings today!


1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified,10 but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.18 All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished,19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.
22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.23 The law of the Lord says, "If a woman's first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the LORD."*24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—"either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."



Merry Christmas.

xoxo

Ramona

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 23 - Roses

Today we gave a rose to every home in the town where my church is. We spread 870 roses. We wished them all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Most people almost could not believe it. It was so much fun!!! So great to be part of a church that blesses people! We truly blessed the community today!
The church is here to make a difference.



So I am asking you today: How are you making a difference? How are you blessing people?

xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 22 - At this Moment

I haven't posted a video in a while, but this you have to watch. It's another dance that is so inspiring and beautiful and it doesn't get any better.
So, take a moment, drink some tea, enjoy the day and enjoy this dance.



For Facebook viewers please click "view original post"

xoxo

Ramona

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day 21 - Why

Today I read this quote a friend of mine posted on facebook and it struck me. I will share it with you.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world, when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question."-Anonymous


Wow, I mean... if that doesn't play the ball right back into our hands? We are supposed to be God's hands and feet. We have to go and reach out to the world. If we won't do it, who will?
That does not even necessarily mean that you have to travel to the far ends of the world. Who are your neighbours, the people you work with or go to school with? Did you know you cannot only be poor in material but also also emotionally and socially?

Are you God's hands? Are you His feet? Do you tell people of the good news? What do you do to bring justice and love and hope?

xoxo

Ramona

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 20 - Winter Wonderland

It's snowing outside!!! Yesterday we had -16° C, that's crazy, but I love it. Dreaming of a white Christmas.
Hope you're celebrating a beautiful 4th Advent.



xoxo

Ramona

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 19 - Beautiful

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You’re beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you're beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You're beautiful, You're beautiful


Song and lyrics by Phil Wickham

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 18 - Christmas Party

Due to our youth Christmas Party I couldn't post anything earlier and all I'm posting is the flyer of the party.
It was an amazing night... so great to see so many people grow over this year. I love these people sooo much.



xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 17 - Take Time

Take time to laugh
It is the music of the soul.

Take time to think
It is the source of power.

Take time to play
It is the source of perpetual youth.

Take time to read
It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to pray
It is the greatest power on earth.

Take time to love and be loved
It is a God-given privilege.

Take time to be friendly
It is the road to happiness

Take time to give
It is too short a day to be selfish

Take time to work
It is the price of success

~ Irish Poem, Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day 16 - Words of Encouragement

It's snowing outside and I am sitting here with my tea, cookies, clementine and the Vitamin String quartett playing Maroon 5 songs. I'm enjoying this moment, especially because I am super excited about today's blog.

Today I want to try something out, but I need you to join me in this. Ready?
Here we go:

I want you to take a piece of paper, a card, whatever is at hand. Then think of a person and write down all the things you like about this person. Why do you appreciate this person? And what are some of the things you enjoy with this person. Only write down positive things, write down words of encouragement.
When you have done that, give your piece of paper to this person and let him/her know that you just simply want to encourage them.

Why do this? Because we all know the feeling and the goodness that comes when people encourage us, don't we? Let's not only take for ourselves, but let's give it to others.

Let me know how it all worked out and how people reacted to your words!

Can't wait for your comments.

xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15 - Dreams

It is so interesting. Ever since I started writing the Virtual Calendar thoughts, poems and such just come my way constantly.

Today I read a quote that made me think, so I want to share it with you:

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
~ George Bernard Shaw

What are some of the things that never were, that you dream of? Write a list about these dreams, pray and see God do the impossible and fulfill each of these dreams.

Until tomorrow

xoxo

Ramona

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 14 - Friendship

Another week has started and to be honest with you, I am super excited. I'm so excited about what is happening right now and what is ahead.

Somehow this whole weekend and today the topic of friendship has kind of been with me.
Somebody once said, that life is like climbing a mountain, there are people who have gone before us, who help us climb up, there are people who come after us, who we lead. And then there are the people who we climb the mountain with. They are our friends, people who we share this experience, called life, with.
I want to raise the question if you have good friendships, but in order to do that I feel like I have to define what a friend is. According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, a friend is "a favored companion". I like that. A companion is somebody who accompanies you.
For me, a friend is someone who I can trust, someone who shares this life with me, someone who I look after and someone who looks after me. A friend is a person in which's company you can completly be yourself. A friend has full permission to speak into my life, may it be praise or criticism.

Today I raise the question if we have those kind of friends? Godly friends. People who take care of you?

Friends have a very high influence on us, which is why we must choose them wisely and carefully.

Who are your friends? What kind of influence do they have on you? How do they help you grow as a person. How do they help you become a better person?

I really want you to ponder and reflect on this subject today. Maybe even write down a few things.

Until tomorrow

xoxo

Ramona

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 13 - The Christmas Story

Christmas is only 1 1/2 weeks away and I am sooo excited.

Today at church our Pastor preached again about the story of Ruth in the bible and it is one of my favorite stories. It represents so much what Christmas talks about and I want you to read the book for Ruth today (it's only a few chapters) and link you to a blog I once wrote about how Ruth is my hero. You can find it here under Decisions that make History

Enjoy this day. Celebrate the coming of our King, Jesus, YHWH.

xoxo

Ramona

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 12 - Silent Night

Christmas is coming closer and closer, but are we really aware of it? What does Christmas mean to you?

I am posting the Silent Night lyrics because they are so beautiful and reflective of what Christmas is.


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth



xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 10 - An ordinary Day

Just lit my little candle I have on my desk. Also I am enjoying a good cup of tea and a piece of cake that tastes like Christmas. Plus: The sun came out.

Anyway, orginally I wanted to post about something else, something more serious and deep than I am acutally going to now. But I feel I should post this.

I called this post "Ordinary Day" because often times we think it will just be a normal, well ordinary day with nothing spectacular to happen. Yet sometimes the sweetest, most beautiful things can happen. The sparkle of a moment can happen on these days.
The only problem is that sometimes we are so consumed with what's going on, with the hectic of a day that we can miss out on these things.
Therefore I want to encourage you today to live life with opened eyes. Don't be to busy to see. Don't run everywhere. Look around you. See the things that are happening around and about you. I promise you that although not every day will be spectacular, you will find the sparkles, the breathtaking moments, the beautiful scenes, the people around you. You will be surprised about the beauty of it all.

Also I am posting this amazing dance that in my opinion embodies what I just wrote about: the sparkle of a moment.



For Facebook viewers please click on "View original post"

xoxo

Ramona

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 9 - String Quartett a little different

Oh I love this time of the day when I get to blog something for you! It's so much fun and gives me the time to pause for a few minutes also.

The video I am posting today is of a dance which I think is phenomenal. It's very different from the dances I usually like because it is more hip hop style. Yet mixed with this music it's simply beautiful.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!



For Facebook viewers, please click on "View original post" to see the video.

xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Day 8 - Cheese of Holes

I am back from Austria, where I spent the weekend to celebrate my uncle's 60th birthday.

This morning I read a few very interesting thoughts about how we see our lives and it inspired me to ponder along with you.
I want to raise the question about how we see our lives? What do we think of when we look at our lives? Where is our focus? What do we represent?

The article I am talking about compared our life with a piece of cheese and its holes. Often we only focus on the holes, where there is nothing, the things that didn't work out, things we failed in, instead of focusing on the actual cheese. Yes, it has different tastes, because we are differerent, but it is the cheese that tastes good, not the holes.

Why don't you start looking at your life today. Take a few minutes, write down what you are good in. Write down a few of your dreams. What legacy do you want to leave? What do you want to acchieve?
Also, start looking at yourself the way Jesus sees you. Read Psalm 139 again. These are His thoughts about you.

Then, walk into a new day, be yourself, enjoy the day. Make a difference and get ready for the big things that are yet to come.

Until tomorrow
xoxo

Ramona

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 7 - A Season

Today I am quoting Ecclesiastes 3

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.


What season are you in? What is your time now?

Until tomorrow

xoxo

Ramona

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 6 - Advent

It's the second advent.

Due to family celebrations I am only refering you to an article by Relevant magazine about the meaning of Advent. I thought it was worth reading.
So here you go:

It's the Final Countdown
xoxo

Ramona

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 5 - A recipe for some Gratimann

One day before St. Nicholaus day I have to post a quick and easy recipe for our local speciality called Grattimann. It's amazing.
I will post it in German and English. Maybe you have some time to make them.



Zutaten
250 ml Milch
40 g Hefe
500 g Mehl
75 g Zucker
2 Eigelbe
1 Prise Salz
100 g Butter

Zubereitung
1.Die Milch handwarm erwärmen, die Hefe hineinkrümeln und mit der Milch und 1 Tl Zucker glatt verrühren, beiseite stellen.
2.Inzwischen das Mehl in eine Schüssel geben, den restlichen Zucker, 1 1/2 Eigelb und das Salz hinzufügen. Die Butter zerlassen und ebenfalls zum Mehl in die Schüssel geben.
3.Die Hefemilch unter die Mehlmischung rühren und alles mit den Knethaken des Handrührgerätes zu einem glatten Hefeteig kneten. Den Hefeteig so lange kneten, bis er sich vom Schüsselrand löst, eventuell noch etwas Mehl dazugeben.
4.Teig mit etwas Mehl bestäuben und zugedeckt an einem warmen Ort etwa 20 Minuten gehen lassen.
5.Anschließend den Teig kräftig durchkneten und auf einer mit Mehl bestäubten Arbeitsfläche etwa 1,5 cm dick ausrollen.
6.Aus dem Hefeteig mit Hilfe einer einfachen Schablone 6 Weckmänner ausschneiden und auf 2 gefettete Backbleche legen. Weckmänner abgedeckt etwa 20 Minuten gehen lassen.
7.Den Backofen auf 225 °C vorheizen. Das halbe Eigelb mit etwas Wasser oder Milch verquirlen und die Weckmänner damit bestreichen. Mit Korinthen oder Rosinen den Weckmännern Augen, Nase und Mund geben.
8.Weckmänner anschließend im vorgeheizten Backofen bei 200 °C etwa 20 Minuten backen lassen.

Ingredients:
8,2 oz. Milk
2 Tbsp. Yeast
2 Cups all pupose flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 yolks
1 dash salt
½ cup butter

Instructions:
1. Warm up the milk and crumble in the yeast. Then stirr with 1 Tsp. Sugar and put aside.
2. In the meantime put flour in a bown and mix with the rest of the sugar, 1 ½ yolk and the salt. Melt the butter and mix in also.
3. Stirr the yeast milk into the fould mixture and knead until smooth. Knead until the dough gets off the border of the bowl. You might have to add some flour.
4. Dust dough with some flour and put aside covered for yout 20 minutes.
5. Knead again. Then dust your work area with flour. Roll out the dough to a 1.5 cm height.
6. Form 6 little men with a self made caliber and then put on greased backing tray. Let them rest for another 20 minutes.
7. Heat up the oven to 447° F. Whisk the yolk with some water or mild and coat the men with it. Use some raisins for eyes or or nose.
8. Bake Grättimen at 392° F for about 20 minutes

Enjoy

xoxo

Ramona

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 4 - Family

I am having my little morning break. Tea ready, a Grättimann and tangerine, plus a candle lit. I say, Christmas is right here.

Today I want to ponder a little bit about family. I am going to visit some family in Austria this weekend to celebrate my uncle's birthday. It's going to be a huge family celebration. I am super excited about it and think it is perfect now at this season of the year.

They say Christmas is the time of the year to be with your family. To visit your family, to spend time with them. I heard a girl say she doesn't like Christmas. Only sitting around, eating and talking. Others might say, they don't like to spend time with their family as too many conflicts could come up. Others then say, they don't even have a family or their family is living so far away there is noch chance to see them this Christmas.

I can understand these things and I know that I am blessed with an amazing family who is supportive and loving and forgiving and simply amazing.
Not everybody has this chance. Yet I want to encourage you, if you are not so good with your family, make an effort this year. Even if they did something to you. Make an effort, also if it is only a smile or some cookies. Hey, if that is the only thing you can do, do it.
If you don't have a family any more, let me encourage you by saying, that you have a family in Christ (if you are in a relationship with him). Do something with you best friends, celebrate with them. Make sure you are not alone on Christmas.

And here is also another way of giving love to a family. There are kids out there who don't have anything. They live with the least of things, usually with nothing.. And you can be their parent, give them love. How? Only with 1$ or 1€ a day. Organizations like Compassion International give you the oppornuity to make a change in a family. All you have to do is go to either www.compassion.com for the United States or www.compassion-de.org for Germany. Find out how you can sponsor a child.

Be the change.

Until tomorrow

xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 3 - Gift Suggestions

Christmas time is the season where stores make most profits. Everybody is hunting for presents, trying to get it all together before the big day. But is this really what Christmas is about?

I found a list of presents I thought are worth giving and thought I'd suggest them to you also:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

~ Oren Arnold (1900-1980)


Have fun giving and until tomorrow

xoxo

Ramona

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 2 - Time Flies

I cannot tell you how excited I am today about posting this video. It is a lyrical jazz dance which portraits that one moment in your life where you are completely content.

I think it fits so well into this Christmas time. Often times we are so hectic and busy and time flies by so quickly we cannot even grasp it. That is why it is so important to take a little bit (even if it is only 5 minutes) of your day, sit down and ponder about a few things, talk with God, be in relationship with him. Do you reflect your life every once in a while? What are some of the dreams you have? Where do you stand right now? How has God worked in your life this year? How have you grown?

Please watch the video with the dance. You will love it and hopefully you have a moment today.


For Facebook viewers please click "View original post" in order to actually see the video.

xoxo until tomorrow

Ramona

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 1 - See the Invisible

Enjoying some hot tea and a piece of toffee while taking a moment off of this day together with you.

I want to ponder a little bit about a quote that I read today.

"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Isn't this just so true. Sometimes we're so stuck in what we think we cannot do or how little we are capable of achieving a certain goal. We do not see outside the box and envision where we already are and how far we have already come. The people around us, who know us can see far more than we sometimes can see. And if they already see this much, how much more does God see the abilites in us, the gifts he placed into us, the dreams He has for our life and the goals He wants to reach for your life.
This encourages me so much. When I start seeing myself the way God sees me, my perspective completely changes. Yes, some of these things may look impossible to me, but isn't our God a God who makes the impossible possible? Aren't His ways of us always exceeding our utmost dreams?

I want to encourage you today to read Psalm 139. That is how you were created. Lift your eyes to Jesus, Yaweh, our Saviour and take a look through His eyes. He created you, He loves you, He wants you.

xoxo until tomorrow

Ramona

Monday, November 30, 2009

25 Days till Christmas - The Calendar

Sitting at my desk with a candle lit. I look out of my window and see a grey sky, rain and think to myself that this is the perfect weather to stay in bed and read all day while sipping hot tea.
Yet, we all (or most of us) have to go to work, school or other things each day. We don't get to lie in bed all day but as they say it's the moments that count.
Therefore I decided to give you a virtual Advent Calendar meaning that I will post a little something every day until Christmas. This may be songs, poems, verses, videos or thoughts of the day. Take a moment each day and zoom out of everything, take a moment and just be not do.
You are welcome to post your comments, thoughts, prayer request or anything. Together we will count down the days till Christmas and have a special moment together each day.

The journey begins tomorrow.

Until then

xoxo
Ramona

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heaven Breaks

Again I am intrigued by the lyrics of a song. The Sleeping at Last lyrics are so poetic and profound, whenever you take a closer look they give you an insight into another world almost.
Today I am posting their Heaven Breaks lyrics.

It always starts like this,
A harmless an simple thing to fix.
Contagious and spreading quick...
Like cracks in ice,
Wholly claiming our lives
While we sleep.

We'll pray for Heaven's floor to break,
Pour the brightest white on blackest space,
Come bleeding gloriously through
The clouds and the blue.
Forcing one place from two,
Killing formulaic views,
Only love proves to be the truth.

When heaven meets the earth,
We will have no use for numbers
To measure who we are and what we're worth.

When Heaven meets the earth,
We will have no need for mirrors
To tell us who to be
And where we fit into this awkward point of view.

When angels meet the earth, may our bodies be light.
When angels meet the earth, may our heavy hearts untie.
When angels meet the earth, may our bodies be light.
May our bodies be light for you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why regional Products

Good Morning everyone,

apparently I have been reading a lot about food and nutrition in the newspaper lately and most of you know that I am completely pro buying regional products. It is a very urgent topic and important if we want the next generation to be able to enjoy the same things we do, live and enjoy nice landscape and have quality of life that does not have to suffer due to failure of the last generation. Sustainability is what this is about!

Just to let you know up front I do know that we cannot buy everything regionally because not everything grows here and yes I agree we live in globalized times.

That having said I want to give you a scenario of a person who buys milk from a regional producer. With that I will give you the value added chain which we often times do not see but which should have us decide when we reach for products in the supermarket.

Person X goes to the nearby supermarket. He wants to buy milk. The milk aisle gives him a huge variety of milk brands ranging from milks produced in large fillings which is extremely cheap to well known brands produced somewhere else in the country he lives (this milk is the most expensive) to milk produced in a nearby production company. The price is usually a little higher, but not as high as the expensive brands. Naturally he would reach for the cheapest product to safe money. But what if he chose the regional milk? What effects would this have?

He buys the regional milk. It is produced in a company in his region. By buying this milk he makes a choice and adds money to the company helping them to further exist and even grow. When that factory still exists and grows people who work there keep their jobs and new people can be hired. By buying regional milk Person X secures employment in his region and helps people make up for their living and helps them keeping their standards of living.
When the people still work there and the factory still exists they will need farmers who supply the mik. Therefore Person X makes a choice and adds money to the milk farmers. This helps them to further exists. When they still exist their cows which produce the milk will continue to exist. They are out grazing on the hills and pastures in the region. So Person X makes a choice and secures space in the region where no houses and streets are built because the farmers own it and the flock is out. This adds value to the life quality of the region because it looks beautiful, the air is clean and fresh and people have a higher quality of living. Plus it attracts other people to this region who bring their money to invest into the region. Person X therefore helps sustain the region for the generations to come.

Ultimately Person X does not just spend a little bit more of money for his milk but actually makes a huge difference in sustaining his environment, something we all should be concerened about.

Of course this is one example but it can be transferred to any other product you buy, like for example jam, meat, butter, water, etc.

To you it might look like 50 cents more but to a whole region, to another generation, to milk farmers, to jobs this is an amount so little yet so effective.

I want to encourage you today to really think about what you buy. Why buy apples from Spain or somewhere else in Germany when you can get them in the next village from a farmer you can see, from trees you can actually see. Like I said, not everything can be bought from the region but get yourself informed about what is there in the region. You can make a difference by a few simple and small choices.

xoxo
Ramona

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Solution

Yesterday during praise and worship at you(th) I was so intrigued again by these lyrics that I'm going to post in a minute. Jesus is The Solution. Politics can't help us, money can't help us. All we need is Jesus in every circumstance.
It makes me so mad and sad at the same time that there are people out there, not only in the Least Developed countries, but here around us, who don't have anything, who are desperate, who are alone, who hunger, who thirst. And yet we just sit around and do nothing or when we do something it is talk. I understand that not everybody can go to places but everybody can do a little bit. Pray, give some money, smile at the beggar at the corner of the street, show them they are not invisible. Changing the world doesn't start by you flying to Africa building fountains or giving food. Changing the world starts in your neighborhood, in your community, in your city, your country. And that will effect the nations and ultimately the world. So don't just sit around and be comfortable, get yourself uncomfortable. Jump out of the boat, get wet and change YOUR world.

Along with this I am posting the Hillsong United Solution lyrics:

"It is not a human right
To stare not fight
While broken nations dream
Open up our eyes, so blind
That we might find
The Mercy for the need

Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey now
As we hold to our confession

It is not too far a cry
To much to try
To help the least of these
Politics will not decide
If we should rise
And be your hands and feet

Singing, Hey now
Fill our hearts with your compassion
Hey Now
As we hold to our confession

Woah-oh-oh,
God be the solution
Woah-oh-oh
We will be Your hands and be Your feet.
Yeah, yeah

Higher than a circumstance
Your promise stands
Your love for all to see
Higher than all protest lines and dollar signs
Your love is all we need

Only You can mend the broken heart
And cause the blind to see
Erase complete the sinners past
And set the captives free
Only You can take the widows cry
And cause her heart to sing
Be a Father to the fatherless
Our Savior and our King
We will be Your hands, we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place, we will be Your light
We will be Your light

We will run we will run
We will run with the solution

We will be Your hands we will be Your feet
We will run this race for the least of these
In the darkest place we will be Your light
We will be Your light
We sing"


xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Our Worship will be

Yesterday at you(th) Layne Schranz preached about relationship vs religion and how our worship differs within the two.
So he gave us 4 points that will happen in our worship if we have a real relationship with Jesus:

1. If we have a real relationship our worship will happen anywhere
I think that is so awesome because our worship should really not only be in church or at youth. It should be everywhere we go, even in the dark places where nobody can see it. If it comes from our heart our worship will be everywhere because it is our lifestyle.

2. If we have a real relationship our worship will bring freedom to others
This amazes me because when we truly worship, others will see Jesus in our lives and by Him they will be set free! So lets live a life that is so full of worship that people will find freedom.

3. If we have a real relationship our worship will be physical
How can you just stand around and not move and be excited when your heart is full of a love for Christ! When we have this true intimate relationship with Jesus and when we just love him deeply it will be seen on the outside and cannot be hidden.

4. If we have a real relationship our worship will not care about what others think about youHey, it's not about what our friends think or if they like us. It is about our relationship with Jesus! And if this relationship is right and true and intimate and if we just love Jesus, then we won't care about what the others think or say becasue we know what Jesus thinks and says.

Just thought I'd share these 4 points with you. I think they are so encouraging yet challenging at the same time to really examine our worship and our relationship with Jesus. People, let's move to the next level, let's make a step forward in our worship.

Hope that you are not the same today than you were yersterday. Change is good.

Much love.
xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Church

Today I want to point you to a blog written by my friend Joshua Grubb. It is an amazing statement about the importance of the Church. Find it under a A Family of Meaning
Also I want to share this wonderful song with you which I think suites very well with the beforementioned blog.



Be encouraged!!!

xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We're all in this together

Hello out there,

I want to share a Trailer with you today for a movie that will come out November 4 and will only be shown on one night. It is a documentary about the Body of Christ, justice and how we all play a part in it. It is by Hillsong United.

You can watch the Trailer here:


Unfotunately the movie will only be shown in the States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. So if you are from one of these countries I urge you to watch the film. To find out more about tickets and show times click on .

I hope you don't miss out on it!

xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Release of Potential

Today I want to adress a quote that was read at you(th) yesterday that just struck me. Let me write it to you. It is about the subject of what potential is:

"We must come into an awareness of our potential. Potential is hidden capacity, untapped power, unreleased energy. It is all you could be but haven´t yet become. Potential is who you really are, in accordance with your vision, even if you don´t yet know your true self. Potential is the person who has been trapped inside you because of false ideas of who you are--either your own or others." ~Myles Munroe


Wow! Just thinking of that makes me want to release that potential. But really, think about it. So often we are hindered by wrong images we have about ourselves or by being self-conscious. But if we saw ourselves through God's eyes... we would really see. You can read Psalm 139 about you. And then often when we are around the same people year after year, they cannot see the change or sometimes that potential and automatically put us in a box. But we must be out of this box in order to release the potential. Don't let false ideas others have about you because you once were different hinder you from reaching your full potential!

Today I want to challenge you to write down some of the craziest dreams, vision and ideas of what you want to be or do. Then give them to the Lord and let Him reach His potential in you!

xoxo

Ramona

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rock the Ballet

As many of you know I had the great opportunity of going to see Rasta Thomas' Rock the Ballet and meeting some of the dancers last week.
It was one of the best dancing I have ever seen! My eyes were filled with tears almost throughout the entire piece as it was so beautiful, strong, energetic, fun and emotional.

Let me just share this video with you as it says more than I could try to explain in words!



If you get the chance to go and see the show - go!

xoxo

Ramona

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trust Me

Sometimes you listen to a song and the lyrics just strike you. Trees (hallways of leaves) by Sleeping at last is one of these songs. I listened to it and the lyrics just took my imagination and brought me to another place.
Follow them with me:


It's just beyond those trees...
The place I've been dreaming of.
Will you follow me?

Trust me, I know where I'm going.

It's somewhere here within the leaves...
There must be some mistake...

Trust me, I know where I'm going

We'll cut a path out for us
Through the green seas,
We'll make hallways of leaves.

I know it seems it was just some crazy dream
And I know my eyes were closed
But this dream feels more real to me
Than life itself.

My ear is pressed upon this wall.
For behind it is that place.

The door is locked...
I'll do whatever it takes

(you have to) Trust me, I know where I'm going.

Will you follow me?
Will you follow me, still?

In the moments that I feel
We're closer than ever before
The world drops out from under our feet.
But I believe the darkest of fights
Prove we're almost there.

There is always something there
to take our hearts like thieves
There is always something there
to take our hearts (But nothing matters.)
There is always something there to take

When we arrive
We will hear
Voices sing.

Nothing matters.
Nothing matters anymore
Nothing matters anymore, anymore, anymore.

It's beginning to get dark.
But don't worry,
I know where we are,
I know where we are.
Will you follow me, still?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Walk down the Aisle

This week I read a quote that made me ponder a lot about my life and how I live it, so I wanted to share it with you that you may ponder on it and ask yourself a few questions about how you live your life.


"The Lord doesn't want to walk down the aisle with a bride who's been out with someone else the night before." - Chris Hodges

What kind of life do you live?
How will your walk down the aisle with Jesus look like?

I believe that there is no more time for mediocraty in our walk of faith... use each day, live it to the fullest with the Lord, let Him fill you, use you and make yourself available to Him.

Along with that I am posting a song that intrigued me over the last couple days too.



xoxo

Ramona

Friday, August 7, 2009

Do you know that feeling when you watch something and you feel so attached because it expresses exactly how you feel - even unintentionally? This often happens to me with music, film or even some dancing. Recently I have watched a lot of so you think you can dance and some of the dances just speak to me.

Today I decided to share this video of a dance with you that I randomly discovered yesterday and it so perfectly described how I was feeling inside or at least I thought so and was attached the minute I saw it.

I'm sharing it here with you:




xoxo

Ramona

****

For Facebook readers: To watch the video click on view original post.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why I don't go to Starbucks - The Statement

The Starbucks topic seems to be a very senstive one these days when you are talking with me. Whenever it comes up my friends and people I know start rolling their eyes, thinking oh no here she comes again with her fundamental thoughts of why she doesn’t like Starbucks.
And indeed, I try not to go there and if there’s no way around it, I don’t order coffee.
Some people don’t understand that because they think the coffee tastes so good and they don’t understand the background of my decision.
That is why I have decided to give a Statement of why I don’t go to Starbucks.

I used to be a Starbucks lover. I loved the coffee mixes (where you don’t actually taste any coffee) and loved the atmosphere and just everything about it.
It was in 2007 that I read an article in the Neon magazine that stroke me. It told the journey of the coffee beans and how much coffee farmers acutally get for their coffee beans.
Ethiopia is the worlds largest exporter of coffee beans and the article showed the story of one Ethiopian man. While we enjoy our Caramel-Macchiato with lots of foam for 3 to 4 €, the Ethiopian man has to live with less than that for a day and has to feed a family with children.
But not only that: Starbucks stopped coffee farmers in Ethiopia to protect their brand, which would have raised cost for coffee beans in Ethiopia. They were harshly critized for that by the Oxfam (a worldwide help and development organization to stop injustice). Oxfam invoked Starbucks to stay to back up their promotion and show some responsibiliy for the economic and social situation of their production countries. (Neon, 2007)
After I had read this article I made the decision to not go to Starbucks anymore. I decided that I would do my part, what I can do even if it is just a simple little step, I still make a difference.

But to back up my decision I have done a little more research for you to give you some numbers. Coffee shops sell special high quality coffee for up to 14 £ a pound while the Ehtiopian coffee farmer only earns 30p to 40p for their crop, which barely covers cost of production. A 2002 Oxfam report states that on average coffee farmers get 24 cents a pound while consumers in rich countries pay about 3,6 $ for the same amount of coffee – this is a mark up of 1500 %. Therefore coffee costs more to grow and pick than to sell.

Having those numbers in the back of our minds, I do believe Starbucks is highly overprized and I know they tell you now that you pay for the experience, the atmosphere, but truly, I live in a country and a continent that is known for their coffeehouses with beautiful and charming atmosphere, so I wonder why I have to go to Starbucks, a world chain, pay 3 € for an expierience that I can also get in a local coffeshop just without the sofas. Plus, because of Starbucks hundreds of local coffee shops all over the globe (especially in France or Italy) had to close down. That has an effect not only on city pictures (only chains vs many little shops) but also on coffee culture in countries like Italy and makes people who have run a coffee shop for decades unemployed. This in my opinion is injustice that I will not support!

Now maybe the question of Starbuck’s fair trade coffee will already have been raised and I do not want to neglect to tackle this question as well. About a year ago in my Strategic Management class in university I had to read the whole company history and strategy of Starbucks. I was quite impressed with the article and thought to myself, that maybe they are not that bad after all. I mean, they have fair trade coffee, right? So I went to Starbucks, wanting to give them a chance and ordered my caramel macchiato with fair trade coffee. I was highly disappointed when the barrista told me that fair trade coffee is not made for this drink (I want to remark that this particular drink is one of the classics of Starbucks). I had to get it with the regular brand (and felt guilty with every sip I drank). It was only a few months ago that I found out from a friend who works for Starbucks that they don’t actively sell their fair trade coffee at the counter – only packaged to take home. I question that and wonder if their fair trade brand is only for marketing purposes to have a so calles Corporate Social Responsibility so noone can blame them.

Let’s come to the issue of taste though, which is a deciding one when it comes to coffee. And by that I mean the regular coffee, black and basic. For Christmas one of my friends gave me the special Christmas blend coffee by Starbucks and I thought to myself, that I should give Starbucks yet another chance, you know, maybe at least it will taste good. I was wrong. I grinded the coffee and poured myself a cup. It was not good at all. In fact it tasted burnt and was not enjoyable. My dad, who drinks coffee every morning went on a coffee fast until every single bean of that Starbucks blend was gone. In addition to that most of my American friends dislike the taste of Starbucks coffee (and you would think they like it because they are from the Starbucks country of origin).

I could go on about statements by the CEO about not filling cups, but filling souls… do I want my soul to be filled by Starbucks? I could also go on about their Corporate Social Responsilibly and their high requirments for coffee famers to even be eligible to be fair traded. But I will spare you with these reasons.

All I want is for you to understand my decision to not support this corporation anymore and to get you thinking about whether or not you want to support them.

I know I cannot fly to Ethiopia to do economic development (not yet!) and I cannot abolish poverty, but I can choose what coffee I drink and I can do my part here in the so called 1st world, while I still believe that there is One world!
I will make my difference here, will you?

Monday, July 20, 2009

How He loves uns

Ok, I know I really wanted to write this Starbucks article and it will come. I just don't seem to completely find time to write it. Nonetheless I don't want to spare you with silence anymore.

That's why I have decided to post lyrics and a video to a song that intrigued me yet again. God's love, His love is deep and amazing and believable, I can't live without it.

So here's "How he loves us" the lyrics and the video:

"He is jealous for me
Love's like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great your affections are for me.
Oh, how He loves us so
Oh, how He loves us
How He loves us so.

Yeah, He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves us
Woah, how He loves.

So we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss and my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way

That he loves us."


And the video:

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Starbucks Article

I plan on writing an article about "Why I don't go to Starbucks" soon. So stay connected at www.xanga.com/ramonasleben to find out soon.

xoxo. Ramona

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Stand

Was at you(th) tonight like usual and we sang this song "The Stand" again. It's is an amazing song, with such a powerful text, so I thought I have to share the lyrics with you. It is amazing!!!


"You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours


May this inspire you!

xoxo Ramona

Monday, June 15, 2009

City

Hello out there,

while watching the rain pour down today, I thought I'd share a video with you which I absolutely love. I think it's so great. Hope you enjoy it.

xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Decisions that make History

I have decided that this is going to be the last Hero that I will write about. After this I will start writing about other things again.
So I wanted to summarize some of the Heros. At first I talked about Joseph and the softness of his heart in every situation. Then I introduced you to Tristan from Tristan and Isolde and how he was willing to make the hard decisions in order to stay honorable. My next Heros were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who honored their God and did not bow to something they didn't believe in. They had influence. After this I showed you how Rocky Balboa is a Hero in my eyes too because he was willing to fight. He had the eye of the tiger. Amy Carmichael was a woman who is a Hero because she was willing to be God's hands and His feet. And the last Hero that I am going to introduce to you is Ruth from the bible.

I find her life remarkable. You might know her from the verse


"Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God"

But there is so much more to that. To tell you the story in short. Ruth was the daughter in law of Naomi. Naomi and her family had imigrated out of Bethlehem to Moab. Their sons married Moabitian women. When Naomi's husband and her sons die she finds herself in a country that is not her people with two daughters in law. She decides to go back to the land of Israel to live with her people. But she wants to set her daughters in law free. Yet Ruth decides to stay with Naomi because she is her family now.
So here's the first reason why she is a heroine in my eyes

1. She stuck with the decision she made, whatever it would cost her. We should do the same, not flounder from one place to the next, one church to the next, but stick with things, fight through things even if it means to sometimes sacrifice something.
So Ruth goes wih her and helps Naomi wherever she can. When she starts working in Boaze's field she finds favor with him and it turns out he is a relative of her family and the family-redeemer ( I don't have time to explain that now to you). So Naomi and Ruth are already blessed through that.
When Naomi gives Ruth instructions on what she has to do on the field and later to show Boaz that he should take is obligations as the family-redeemer, Ruth does so with a humble attitude and Boaz calls her a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11)

2. Wherever we serve, wherever we help and do things, have responsibility, we should do it with a humble attitude, knowing that God will show himself through our actions. Let not our pride be in the way, let us be virtuous and do what's right.
After Ruth had gone to Boaz, she had to wait until he made a decision whether or not to redeem her family. So her and Naomi wait patiently until Boaz does what is right and organizes everything. Then he marries Ruth.

The astonishing thing comes after that. Ruth and Boaz have children and are King David's grandparents. Mary, Jesus's mother was a decendant of King David.

So to close this up, Ruth is a Heroine in my eyes, because she did whatever was necessary to be done, she was humble, she stuck with her decision and if it hadn't been for her many people hadn't been born because out of her flesh and blood the blood line of Jesus came. This is amazing to me!

Now at the end of my series about Heros you might ask yourself if you could ever be a Hero or you might say you are not a Hero. Let me tell you this. Those people to whom I introduced you were ordinary men and women, they had flaws, but they were willing to do what was necessary. Let me encouarge you here. You are the Hero of your own life story. Are you willing to do whatever is necessary even if it means to sacrifice things? We can be this brave with God's help.
To be a Hero it certainly takes character and love and certainly bravery, but I want to finish this series with a quote by my youth Pastor:


"If you fear God you don't have to be afraid of anything."


xoxo Ramona

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inspiration

Hello world,

sorry I haven't updated my blog lately, but my last Hero needs a little more inspiration than I tought it would.... so hope you can endure a little longer. In the meantime, I will share a video with you that has inspired me lately. I think it is absolutely beautiful... sooo... enjoy....

xoxo Ramona

Sunday, April 26, 2009

His Hands and His Feet

This week I am going to write about a woman who's life inspires me and I consider her to be a Hero. Amy Carmichael lived between 1867 and 1951. She gave her life to see people come to Christ and rescue children in India.

Amy Carmichael was born in Ireland (oh how I want to go there...). When she was only around 18 years old she founded a church in Belfast and soon started a Sunday school for girls who worked in the mill factories. In fact this ministry was so successful that it grew and grew and grew. Young girls wanted to be taught and learn about God.
After that she applied to go on missions in China, but was in very poor health condition. She did not end up going to China, but to India.
She was recruited to work with girls who were freed out of forced prostitution in Hindu temples. She founded the Donhavur Fellowship which still exists today and built a home for these young women, a haven to find shelter.
What is remarkable and what I love about God is that there is a reason for everything and that he knows our calling and takes care of things. When Amy Carmichael was a little girl she prayed to God to turn her eyes to blue (she had brown eyes) but that did not happen. It was only when she was in India that she found out why it was so important for her to have dark eyes just like the Indian women. As she went into the temples to capture and rescue these enslaved women she was not recognized easily (she also darkened her skin with make up to look Indian.). Had she had blue eyes she would've looked more European and would have had troubles maybe in India.
What we can learn from that is quite simply what Paul writes about in the Bible. Be a Greek to the Greek, a Roman to the Romans. Be transparent, be authentic, be close to the people surrounding you. Don't miss an opportunity because people are distracted by who YOU are as a person and don't see who CHRIST is in you.

Amy Carmichael gave her life to the children in India, serving them. She actually had very poor health and had to be in bed very often. This never stopped her from fulfilling her purpose, her calling. She served in India for 55 years, 20 of which she was bound to bed because of an injury she never healed from Yet, she kept on pressing, rescueing children, bringing them to Christ. Her heart was burning for the lost and broken, the needy. She loved those children she rescued.
Her most famous quote is:


"One can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving."

This is so true. When your heart is burning for something, when you love something with the immense love that only comes from God you cannot stop giving in any way. It's what God did. He loved us so much, that he GAVE, he gave His son, His only son, to rescue us. We were the lost, the broken, the needy, the ones who abandoned God. Yet, he LOVED and GAVE so that we may be whole, rescued, content, fulfilled and have a meaning in life. But not only for ourselves, but blessed with this to be a blessing. To be a river in the desert and love as He loved us first.

Amy Carmichael died in India, she had never gone back to Europe in the 55 years of ministry.
Her life is inspiring and influenced many missionaries after her. I pray that it may inspire you today to try to grasp again the fulness of God's love and His sacrifice so that we might be with him.

Now it's our calling to go out and be His hands and be His feet, to reach out our hand to the lost and broken. This may be in our neighborhood, in the utmost places of the earth. It may be at your work place. But whereever it is, you bring His light to a world of darkness.
So lift your eyes to Jesus, focus on Him, so that you may not miss what He has for your, the plan and calling for your life.
I want to end this blog with another quote by Amy Carmichael which expresses just that.


"Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is."


With those words and this short video clip, I leave you now but encourage you to ponder about these things and ask yourself where you should reach out your hand.

xoxo Ramona

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Eye of the Tiger

Hello out there!

I am back with my next Hero in my series. It took me awhile to figure out how I was going to write about this person but I think I found a way.

But before I start of, let me repeat a little about the Heroes we already talked about.
We had Joseph whose heart stayed soft through all the hardships and he never stopped loving. Then I talked about Tristan who was willing to make the tough choices no matter what it cost him. And last time I talked about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were brave people who had influence and feared their God.

The next Hero I am going to introduce you to is someone who you might me surprised about but watching the movie (yes he is a fictional person) just inspired me and I saw something that I have to share with you. I will write about Rocky Balboa. Yes, exactly I will write about a fictional boxer played by Sylvester Stallone. Those of you who read this and were born in the 90s, I'll excuse you for not knowing who Rocky is .

In the third movie of the sequels Rocky is really successful and keeps his title as world champion easily. He and his family have all the comfort to enjoy in life and it has become easy for him - especially after such a long journey from not having anything to having everything.
When he loses the fight and his title against a brutal challenger, Clubber Lang, Rocky is brought back to earth. And on top of this, his long year trainer Mickey dies. It seems like his world is falling apart.

Yet he chooses to fight back and gain victory over Clubber Lang. This indeed is easier said than done because, as his new trainer Apollo tells him, he has lost the eye of the tiger. But what does that mean? We’ll come to it shortly.
Things don’t seem to get better until a very crucial scene in the movie where Rocky and his wife Adrian talk at the beach. He confesses that he is afraid, afraid to lose, afraid to not be able to provide for his family, afraid to not being able of keeping up the life they have.
It is in that very scene that we see his heart and see the struggle.

So first thing to learn here is that fear will always hinder us to win. The bible clearly tells us that we should not be afraid. Because when we are afraid we cannot believe and hence not be victorious. It holds back faith!
After this conversation with Rocky’s wife he stays a little longer at the beach. He knows he has to make a decision. But the good thing also is that he knows that no matter what will happen, his wife is with him (just a little side note for you ladies out there ). That empowers him and sets him free.
He chooses to win and not be afraid.

So you can fight, but without the -what they call the eye of the tiger -, you will not win either. The eye of the tiger here basically means that you stick through things, that you are determined to win, to make it happen. In our walk with Christ we might not be afraid, and chose to win, but when we do not have a full commitment, a determination to win, we will not gain the same victories.
Therefore the second thing to learn here is to fight with commitment. In our daily life we have to fight for our faith. We are in this world and there will be struggles and fights, sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger, but when we are single minded on the Lord, not losing sight of Him and fear him (remember the 3 men in the furnace) we will not only gain victory, but gain strong victory. We will defeat our fears, our struggles and grow in the Lord. And people will be drawn to us, because they see our single mindedness.

Rocky did gain back the eye of the tiger. He starts training for real again. But not in the old ways. He challenges his way of doing things and redefines himself.

Hence the third thing to learn from Rocky is that it is important for us, that we allow change in our life. Challenge yourself. Make things different. If gaining victory and really growing in our walk with Christ means that we have to completely turn things upside down and redefine the way we do things, then hey, let’s do it, go for it! Let’s not stick to the same old stuff. If it means that we have to let go of things in our life then we should definitely do it. If we really want to live this overflowing amazing God driven life, we have to allow God to put His finger on things in our life that need change or need to be let go. The outcome of being obedient is amazing - trust me on this one!

After Rocky makes this decision at the beach you see how it is affecting his life and how change is happening. He regains strength. He fights with the Eye of the Tiger and changes himself.

What happens then? You can already guess it. When he fights Clubber Lang again, he wins, he gains victory and not only a little bit or merely. No, full earned, better than ever victory!

That is what makes him a Hero in my eyes.

So before I leave you with those thoughts, I want to encourage you to look at your own life, where do you have fears? Where do you need change? Where do you need to start fighting for real again?

I also posted the Trailer to the Rocky III movie, which gives you a nice overview of the movie.

I hope you fill encouraged and empowered.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

xoxo Ramona

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Journey

Hello,

I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog in a while. I was out of town, adventouring Colorado and visiting friends in Santa Barbara.
But I'll be back soon with some new and amazing Heros. I'm inspired, so keep tuned in and find out more soon.
Until then enjoy some snapshots from my newest adventures!

xoxo

Ramona

PS: I graduated University yesterday!!!!




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Run your Race

This week I decided instead of introducing you to a Hero I will post a video that I find very impacting. As you watch it, ask yourself what you run your race for.
We are Heros in God's eyes, so let us run the race that He laid before us.

"I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Brave People of Influece

Recently I have been talked about some great Heros. I started off with Joseph and how he kept a soft heart all through his circumstances and how we have to make sure that our heart stays soft no matter what happens. The last Hero I talked about was Tristan. He was willing to make the tough choices even if it meant sacrifice. Are we willing to make the hard choices and be men and women of character?

Today I want to write to you about three remarkable men in the Bible: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Have you ever heard of them? Well, I guess you have. We can find their story in Daniel Chapter 3 and it is quite a remarkable story I was reminded of it again this Wednesday during you(th).
So what's the story behind these men. Well, King Nebuchadnezzar was one of the most evil kings during the Babylonian times. He erected a huge statue everybody was supposed to be praying to. Anyone refusing to do so would be thrown into the fire. Of course, everybody bowed down and praised the statue. EXCEPT the three guys mentioned earlier. They were Jews and believed in the one God.
Later the King lets them come to him and asks them about it. Their answers is remarkable. We read it in Daniel 3:17

"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty."

I find this absolutely amazing. Just read it again. They were brave enough to say to the most evil king of Babylonia that they will not bow before him and that their God will save them. Amazing! I love that about them.
These three men knew their God. They feared their God and therefore did not have to fear anything. They knew who He was and that He would always protect them if they fear them. When God is for us, who can be against us?
Read with me Psalm 34:9-10

"Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing."

Therefore when we fear the Lord, he will provide for everything else! Amazing. Those tree young men they knew their God. They knew they just needed to trust in the Lord.
And indeed God saved them from death. In the remainder of the story Nebuchadnezzar throws them into the fire, but they did not die. Their God was with them and protected them. He showed Himself powerfully that day. But not only were those three men heroically brave and affronted the king, but they also had a powerful influence on him and the coming generations.
Let us go back to Daniel and read chapter 4:1-3 (chapter 3:31-33 in the German Bible)

"King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: Peace and prosperity to you! “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations."

The most evil king ever wishes peace to everyone! He praises God! This is just amazing and it happened because three brave men who knew and feared their God stood up and made their stand. They had an impact on many other peoples, nations and generations. This is what makes them Heros in my eyes.

Hence in closing let me ask you a few questions:
Do you take God seriously?
Do you truly love and fear him?
Where are areas in your life where you should stand up and proclaim your God?

Remember, people who trust in their God, not only have everything provided, but also have big influence on others. Be that Hero, have this influence. Trust in your God, love Him wholeheartedly and honestly and fear him.

In this sense... let's live like Heros.

xoxo Ramona

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hen or egg?

There is this poster in the building where I work that says: "hen or egg?" and I've started thinking about this. What are we?

Are we the hen or are we the egg? In order to know that we need to know the characteristics of both of them.

As we know the hen is the female chicken. It lays eggs. It breeds the eggs until they're ready to crack and become another life.

An egg is the "hard-shelled reproductive body produced by a bird" (Merriam Webster online dictionary). The egg itself is not active. It sits there until it is ready bred. Once out of the egg the bird inside is life itself, yet very fragile still.

Now you might wonder where I am heading to, but we are getting there.
The question beforementioned asked you whether you were a hen or an egg. Accordingly I could also ask you if you are the one being active, producing ideas, breeding new life (meant as ideas, visions etc.)? Or are you the egg, waiting to crack and begin a life. Or are you waiting for the idea to be bred until you actually become active?

Think about your everyday life. Think about your ministry in church, the things where you are serving. Think about your relationships, your friendships, people in your small group.

Are you getting yourself out there, following a certain goal, breeding ideas, following your vision? Are you active?

To wrap this up, let me quote from Philippians 3:

12 I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Again I ask you: Are you the hen or the egg?

xoxo

Ramona

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Love is greater than either

As I watched Tristan & Isolde this weekend I came to decide that my next Hero was going to be Tristan, although I had planned on introducing you to another Hero first.

I know Tristan would not be considered the classic Hero, making everything right and work out. No... he has flaws and he even betrays the person he owes his life to, Lord Marke. He is in love with Lord Markes's wife, Isolde, who rescued and fell in love with him long before she was Lord Markes wife.
Tristan suffers from this love. He is torn between his duty and the life he owes to Lord Marke and the love he finds in Isolde. And with this love he finds a life beyond duty and death.
Throughout the story you might think that Tristan is no hero. He commits adultery and is unfaithful, a liar and a betrayer.
But... oh and that's good... but Lord Marke - after finding out and talking with Tristan and Isolde - gives Isolde free and lets Tristan be with her. Isn't the grace and mercy Lord Marke shows just remarkable?
This grace gives Tristan a choice: Take the easy way, run away with Isolde, whom he loves; or fight for his honor, being a man of character, seeking forgiveness and righteousness.
But Tristan is not a man of compromise or mediocrity. He chooses honor. He chooses the stony path.
It costs him his life in the end, but also washes him free of guilt and he gains Lord Markes forgiveness. That is why he is a hero in my eyes. He is a man of character who in the end understands that grace and honor are to be followed because of the fatherly love and forgiveness which is shown to him through grace by Lord Marke.

Before Tristan dies he says some remarkable words which sum this up perfectly:

"I don't know if life is greater than death, but love was greater than either"
Below you'll find the music video by Gavin deGraw about this movie. I think it gives you a nice impression of the plot.

Before I leave you with the video, let me say one last thing. Do not choose the road of compromise, but choose life. Choose honor and love and grace and forgiveness and righteousness.

xoxo Ramona

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How to deal with Freedom in 10 Steps

I will continue writing about Heroes very soon. But right now I have to talk a little about the end of university. It’s craziness! In one week, after my speech and presentation of my diploma thesis I will be done. Finished… finito! And yet I feel like I’ve just begun… but that’s another story.

This whole last year was quite packed and full and yesterday I thought about what I want to do when I finish this next week. So here’s the list:
1. Sleep
2. Sleep in on Saturdays
3. Read books that don’t have to do anything with studying, business, marketing etc.
4. Write to people I haven’t written to forever
5. Invest time into people who I want to see growing in the Lord
6. Spend more quality time with friends
7. Go out on an adventure and do something crazy which I haven’t decided about yet
8. Go rock climbing… or just climbing
9. Just lie around an do nothing… listening to music… dreaming… getting lost in them and envision new things
10. Spend time with friends

Only one more week and those things can start... I'm so ready and I'm ready for a new adventure, somthing crazy, something new, something refreshing... something that the Lord has for me....
Please continue praying for me through this last week...

Thanks so much. Until next time again with Heroes... I already now who it will be so you can be excited... it's going to be... well... you'll see

xoxo Ramona

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tension & Thrill

This is yet another song by Sleeping at Last called "Tension and Thrill". Great words:

The headlines talk
Of sadness and new risk.
Life is deadly,
My finger’s to your lips.
We’ll send the world in reverse.

Love is tension and thrill
That begs to be ours.

We are diamonds waiting to be found,
Catching light in the corners of our eyes.
We are diamonds waiting to be found.

We are the hunted,
We are the shining northern lights.
We are the nervous,
We feel our hands becoming vines.
We’ll dream in color tonight.

Love is tension and thrill
That begs to be ours.
There are cities inside of everyone:
Life within life,
The trembling in our voice.

When I look into your eyes
I see the tip of an iceberg.
When I look into your eyes
I see that love is an iceberg
That throws us into the sea.

We’re walking on the ocean floor,
Feeding sharks out of our hands.

We are diamonds waiting to be found,
Catching light in the corners of our eyes.
We are diamonds waiting to be found.


xoxo

Ramona

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The soft Heart of Joseph

The first Hero I want to give you an insight about is Joseph. I think he is a remarkable man of God and his story can teach us quite some interesting principles. We can find his story in Genesis starting chapter 37.

Joseph was one of the two only sons born to Jacob (Israel) by his wife Rachel. Therefore he was something special to his father and in his favor. We all know about his dreams where he dreamt that his brothers would bow before him. Interestingly his brothers probably would've never imagined doing that for real many years later.

Of course his brothers envied Joseph and decided on killing him which then ended up as selling him as a slave. That's how Joseph came to Egypt which I find remarkable because God is positioning His people very clearly! There would be a famine years later and they needed a person favoring them in order to survive it not to mention how God showed Himself mightly by leading the Israelites out of Egypt through Moses' leadership.

Anyways, Joseph is in Egypt and sold to Potifar who served the Pharao. And Joseph had favor everywhere he went and was successful at whatever he laid his hand upon. That is because he pursued the will of God... it was the most important thing for him. By staying in God's will God was able to bless him! And not only him but the people he worked for. I love that!

Then comes the woman. Very obviously she didn't draw her meaning and her worth from the Lord and needed Joseph's attention and affirmation of her beauty. So girls: The only person you should rely your ultimate affirmation on is Jesus! No person, no man, noone can ever affirm it the way God can!

But... and I love that about Joseph... he stayed faithful to the Lord... oh and what a seduction! Well, Joseph was the man you would want, strong, in love with God, focused on God!
Joseph was thrown into prison but God's blessing was sill upon him and by knowing what the Pharao's dreams meant he came out of prison and was positioned very highly in the kingdom of Egypt. Remarkably Joseph was still young when that happened. No matter how old you are. God is positioning you! He has a plan for your life and even if it may seem a little rough here and there. When you keep your eyes focused on God like Joseph God will bless you and bring you to the place he wants you to be.

In Genesis 42 Joseph's brothers came to Egpyt to ask for food as there was a huge famine. Oh and those verses I love. In verse 24 it says how Joseph went into another room and cried. I mean he cried. Why would somebody cry when seeing his brothers who wanted to kill you and then on top of that bless them. Hello? Only someone who trusts in God is able to feel this kind of love. Isn't it remarkable? I love it! It shows that Joseph's heart was still soft after all those hard years. Is your heart soft or has it hardned over the years? Let God carry your heart and guard it. Don't try to protect it yourself all the time!
The story goes on and whenever Joseph sees his brothers he feels such love for them that it's hard for him to keep his disguise. Oh wow... that just awww... I love that. This softness, this love that comes from an overflowing heart of love!

Joseph is a hero for me becaus he loved God more than anything. He was humble and yet strong. He never gave up and trusted the Lord. He stayed in the will of God by which he was blessed and found favor wherever he went. But what's most outstanding for me is his soft heart and love and forgiveness for his brothers who were actually his enemies. That for me reflects the heart of God. I admire that and want to live just like that. Absolutley devoted to God, living out of His strength, no matter how hard the times are and I want to keep a soft heart in every situation.

I want to leave you with a few questions:
Where are areas in your life where you have become hard?
How can you make sure your heart stays soft?
Who are the kind of people you need to show more love even though they hurt you in the past?

I hope you are encouaraged to live a heroic life for the Lord.
Keep coming back to the site to learn more about some amazing Heros soon.

xoxo Ramona

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wisdom

I read Proverbs 8 these days and was captured by the beauty of wisdom and how much we need it to make it in this life.

1 Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 "I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.

12 "I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
14 Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
15 Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
16 Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.*

17 "I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
18 I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
20 I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
21 Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.

22 "The LORD formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
23 I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
24 I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25 Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
26 before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28 I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth's foundations,
30 I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
31 And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!

32 "And so, my children,* listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don't ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the LORD.
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death


Be wise!

xoxo

Ramona

Thursday, January 8, 2009

And then the Hero comes along

Hello hello,

I hope you all started the New Year well! It will be an amazing year, I know. Greater things are still to come! Uhhh... I'm excited Hope you are too!

Well... we started this new series at you(th) which is called BRAVE HEARTS - Dare to live God pleasing! Wow and I think that is just so amazing. I was inspired and decided to start a new series here too.

For the next few blogs I will introduce you to some amazing Heros!

So, keep clicking on my blog on www.ramonasebald.blogspot.com and find out more soon.

xoxo Ramona

PS: I am reading this amazing book by Christine Caine right now. It's called "Run to Win". You should get it!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Pin it Button