Tuesday, 30 April 2013


We are doing a series on the book ‘The Emotionally Healthy Church’ at re:generation church at the moment. Over the past weeks since starting the series, the talks on a Sunday and also the Life Skills sessions have just been exceptional- challenging and enlightening. God has really been moving and one of the areas that He has been touching on in my life is my relationship (or lack thereof) with my dad. A deeply painful topic, but one that God has used to really refine me recently. God has also been showing me that 1) He (God) always has and always will be there for me, even if my earthly father hasn’t/isn’t, and 2) that if I really understood how much God loves me and how much He loves other people, I would place a lot more value on myself and on others!

I read this post by Joyce Meyer and it really encapsulated what God has been sharing with me recently. I hope you are challenged by it to step out in faith and out of your comfort zone!


Ronell x

We're Adopted
by Joyce Meyer - posted April 30, 2013

Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child]. —Psalm 27:10
Today’s scripture has been particularly meaningful and encouraging to me over the course of my life.
I was abused as a child. During my childhood, my mother was deeply afraid of my father, so she was unable to rescue me from the various kinds of abuse he perpetrated against me. I felt very alone, forgotten and abandoned. I have come to understand that multitudes of people that we encounter daily are just trying to survive until someone rescues them—and that someone could be you or me.
The Bible says that in God’s love, “He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). He planned for us to be adopted as His own children. These beautiful words brought a great deal of healing to my wounded soul. God adopts the forsaken and the lonely, and He lifts them up and gives them value.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta felt that each person she met was “Jesus in disguise.” Just try to imagine how much differently we would treat people if we thought of them as she did. She realized that God loves everyone as His own sons and daughters. If someone insulted, slighted, ignored or devalued one of my children, I would take it as a personal insult, so why is it so hard to understand that God feels the same way when one of His children is mistreated?  You and I belong to Him, so we need to love ourselves appropriately and treat ourselves well. We also need to treat others as part of God’s family and do what we can to build them up and add value to their lives.
Love God Today: Always be on the lookout for Jesus in disguise.
From the book Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer.

Train Yourself

I am teetering on the edge of committing to something big for June and am unsure if I can achieve it, but it is really on my heart… I have been praying about it and then read the following post by Joyce Meyer tonight, which I felt very inspired by. I hope it encourages and blesses you.


Ronell x

Train Yourself
by Joyce Meyer - posted April 29, 2013

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. —Proverbs 23:7
I encourage you to practice being a positive person. It’s just a matter of breaking one bad habit and forming a new one. I was so negative at one time in my life that if I even tried to think two positive thoughts in a row my brain got into a cramp. But now I am very positive and actually don’t enjoy being with people who are negative.
Discipline is required any time you are forming a new habit. You might consider putting some reminders around your house or in your car, like little signs that say “Be positive.” Ask a good friend or spouse to remind you if they hear you slipping into negativism.
Practice trusting yourself rather than doubting yourself. If you are applying for a promotion at work, don’t think to yourself or say, “I probably won’t get it.” Pray and ask God to give you favor with your employer and then say, “I believe I will get the job!” And if you try and the outcome isn’t what you were hoping for, then tell yourself, “If the job was right for me, God would give it to me, and since He didn’t, He must have something even better in mind for me.” You can train yourself to be positive in what appears to be a negative situation.
Lord, show me where I am stuck in negativity and need to break through to trusting You. Help me to have the right thoughts and attitudes that move me forward. Amen.
From the book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Beauty for Ashes

Tonight at re:generation church’s evening service, one of my dearest friends gave an incredibly moving talk and shared a very personal testimony about how she was sexually abused as a child by a family friend and had never told anyone, including her mum, up until last week.

I was really moved by her testimony and inspired by her courage to be vulnerable and to share such a personal and hurtful story. God really spoke to me and ministered to me tonight about many of the tragic and hurtful things that have happened in my past and, after my friend had prayed with me, He really prompted me again (I have been avoiding it for a couple of months now) to share two particular parts of my story on here (one today and one later this week).

I have been extremely reluctant to put either of these stories from my past on paper, but I have seen (both first hand and from watching others share) the power of being vulnerable and opening up about your past hurts and I really feel that it is time to allow God to use my testimony in this way now. So here goes…

I grew up in a Christian home and one of the values that I held in high regard was saving myself for marriage (being a virgin). When I went to university, I still adhered to this principle. I steered dangerously close to the line in secondary school (high school) and at university, but pretty much the one thing I was adamant about was that I wanted to ‘save myself’ for my husband one day.

While I was at university, I became good friends with a guy there who was clearly hurting from many different situations and had a tendency to hurt others (like my friend said tonight: “hurting people hurt people”). He was the most ‘dangerous’ person I had ever been close to and in a weird way that really attracted me.

We became good friends and eventually started ‘hooking up’ (not sleeping together). He always pushed for more, but I made my beliefs very clear to him and said that it was not an option for me.

One night, we went out drinking with some other friends and all got rather drunk (as was usual for us at university). One of the other guys that was there was an old friend/flame of mine who was particularly drunk. In his drunken state, he kissed me. I did not bother getting cross because of how very drunk he was and just helped him back to our table downstairs.

Unfortunately, this guy that I had been hooking up with saw this happen and became very angry and jealous. He pulled me back upstairs, through the student union, up to were the offices were (and no people) and started shouting at me. I tried to explain what had happened, but before I knew what was happening, he pinned me down and started pulling my clothes off and forcing himself on me.

It was over before I really had a chance to realise what had happened. When he was done with me, he pinned me up against the wall, kissed me aggressively and said “look what you made me do! This is your fault for making me jealous!”. Then pushed me away from him and told me to get dressed, before storming off and leaving me there by myself.

I felt dirty, empty and totally broken. It was one of the worst nights of my life- one that I will never fully forget and one that I kept to myself for a very long time. But I don’t feel the pain of it the same way as before. I really brought this to God and through prayer and mentoring, He has really brought me healing. It now feels like it was somebody else’s life. Like it was something that I saw in a film- a vivid memory, but without out the singe of pain.

God has taken that pain and the extreme shame and He has also helped me to forgive this man of what he did to me that night and for everything that followed. I tried to forget this by drinking, going into other relationships and just keeping busy/distracted, but it didn’t work. It was only 7/8 years after the event, once I had allowed God in, that I began to receive healing from all of the pain that came with this.

All I can say is, if you have been in a situation where you have been sexually or violently assaulted or abused, it is not your fault and please do not keep it to yourself! If you do not deal with it, it will come back to haunt you and eventually your own family until you finally face it- just the other day, a friend told me about a friend of hers whose wife committed suicide after having to testify in court about a choir master who sexually abused her when she was at school. She could not handle dealing with it after hiding it and suppressing the emotions for all those years. Do not allow someone else to have that kind of power over you! Get prayer, see a therapist, speak to someone you can trust and who can help you, but don’t let it get to a stage where it destroys your life and there is nothing that anyone can do to help you anymore.

I really hope that this testimony will help someone somewhere to come to terms with what has happened to them, or inspire someone to speak up about their own experience, or even just make someone aware of the pain that a friend or family member may be going through.

I know that God has given me healing, so that I can share my testimony with others and touch their lives. I pray for emotional healing and strength for anyone who has been affected by sexual or physical abuse and pray that God will really minister to you and bring healing.


Ronell x

Organisations that support rape victims:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” {Isaiah 61v1-3}

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Reduce, Reuse, Rescue, Revaluate!

My newest venture! 

Today, I launched Reduce, Reuse, Rescue, Revaluate... 12 Months of Commitment to Change: Commitment to Change. Have a look to find out what it is all about! 


Ronell x

Live Below the Line: Nicola Watkins

Action Against Hunger | ACF International is an international humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. Recognised as a leader in the fight against malnutrition, ACF works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. With 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster and chronic food insecurity, our work in over 40 countries benefits some 6 million people each year. From crisis to sustainability, we tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition and its effects, to ensure that short-term interventions become long-term solutions.

My friend Nicola is taking part in their Live Below The Line challenge! She wrote the following:

In today's world, extreme poverty and inequality are unjustifiable and unfair. Live Below the Line demonstrates the problem in a concrete way, while raising money to address the problem. Support me as I live below the line by donating now – your generous support will go towards fighting extreme poverty.

Read more about the cause and make your donation donations only.

Please join in or support Nicola’s journey!


Ronell x

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Youth Residential

We are having our first official Pulse youth residential this weekend. 2am: my night shift is over and I'm finally in bed now! :)

Despite some interesting turns of events today, it has been an exciting day full of potential! Excited to see what God has in store!

Today's challenge: volunteer at a local youth church! :)

Friday, 26 April 2013

Sevenly: END7

There are 7 diseases that disable and debilitate 1 in 6 people worldwide, including over half a billion children, and it is likely that you have never heard of them. These parasitic and bacterial diseases live and breed in bodies, causing severe weight loss and malnutrition, blindness, and even death. Sadly, these diseases are entirely treatable and preventable. Yet, each day lives are lost because there is no access to the solution: one packet of pills that costs approximately 50 cents.

THE SOLUTION? This week, your purchase from Sevenly provides a packet of pills that treats and protects 14 children from 7 deadly diseases for one year. With your support, they will not only save lives, but also end these diseases indefinitely, working with END7- an international advocacy campaign seeking to eliminate seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020. These diseases include elephantiasis, river blindness, trachoma, snail fever, hookworm, whipworm and roundworm.

Please help this cause by spreading the work to raise awareness and also keep visisting the online shop: http://www.sevenly.org/products? category=all.


Ronell x

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Show Jesus

This past week and a half has been incredibly challenging!! Most of all, it has been a challenge to keep my attitude and my opinions in check and to really pray about/figure out whether what I say and feel is right. I have also been challenged about how my words and actions reflect the love of Jesus.

I read this post by Joyce Meyer today and it really reinforced the challenge to me. I hope it makes you think!


Ronell x

Show Jesus

by Joyce Meyer - posted April 24, 2013

And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.—Ephesians 4:32

I hope to show to everyone I meet the character of Jesus through my words and actions. I pray that everyone who contacts our ministry team will say: “Those people are full of Jesus. They are patient, kind, and sweet.”

We are containers capable of being filled to overflowing with the Spirit of Jesus, who dwells in our hearts. If we understand that everywhere we go we can demonstrate His character and virtue, we will be as the Word says—lights in a dark world (see Philippians 2:15).

Jesus called us the salt of the earth (see Matthew 5:13). Salt gives flavor to what is otherwise bland or tasteless. Be salt today—at home, at your job, wherever you go.

{From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer}

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Lemon-aid: Ending Child Slavery- One Bottle at a Time

I read this story on facebook tonight and was really challenged. So many of us complain about circumstances holding us back, but this little 9 year old abolitionist proves that if we just start where we are and do what we can do, we can make an actual tangible difference in the world. Hope you are challenged and inspired to do something incredible! Remember, it doesn’t happen over night, just take the baby steps and it will grow!


Ronell x

Ending Child Slavery — One Bottle at a Time

on may 5, 2012, i saw a picture of two enslaved boys with big rocks strapped across their heads. to feel better, they were holding hands. i never knew about slavery, but i knew it was wrong. i decided to make a stand for them.

my quote is: “compassion is not compassion without action.” so, i decided to make a stand and sell my lemon-aid every day rain or shine to help end child slavery. the world stood with me. (you can see my entire journey right here!) on day #173, i reached my goal. when i woke up the next day i wanted to do more. so, i am!

i decided to bottle up my organic, fair-trade, dee-licious lemon-aid and give net profits to end child slavery. when you enjoy this best-ever-made lemonade, you are helping us end child slavery in our lifetime —one bottle at a time.

thank you with my whole heart.

with love,

vivienne, 9


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Peta: The truth about eating animals

Peta posted the following infographic with the slogan 'The truth about eating animals: it’s mass, mechanized murder. It’s destroying the planet'. Now, whether you are vegan/vegetarian or thinking about it.. or you are an animal lover.. or you care about your health.. or you like to know what you put in your body.. (or a mix of the above) this makes for very interesting reading! I hope you can get something from it and that it challenges you to do something (whatever is in your power/will) to educate yourself on this matter and to help make a difference for this issues.


Ronell x

Monday, 22 April 2013

Carlos Arredondo: Boston Marathon Hero

I read this today and thought that no excuse is big enough to allow yourself to give up on life!! In your pain reach out to others and you will find healing. It's a heck of a lot more effective & biblical that wallowing in your own misery and self pity! Read this incredible story below and be absolutely challenged to keep giving and keep going even when it hurts!!


Ronell x

The man in the cowboy hat in this photo's name is Carlos Arredondo. Carlos was at the Boston Marathon with his wife handing out American flags to runners. He lost a son to a sniper bullet in Iraq in 2004 and a second son to suicide a few years later - a depression triggered by the death of his brother. Carlos now spends a significant amount of his time on peace activism and working with vets coming home from war and was at the Marathon to hand out flags and inspire people.

Carlos does not having any medical training but when the blast went off, he ran towards the danger, jumped two fences and found the now-famous man in the wheelchair on the ground, both his legs blown off, and suffering from severe shock and critical wounds. He got him into a wheelchair and pinched the man's artery closed with two of his fingers (you can see him doing so in the photo). Because of Carlos, this man is alive today, having had surgery earlier today to remove both of his legs.

This man is a hero and deserves recognition. This man who lost so much still threw himself into the frenzy of panic and saved another guy's life.

Sunday, 21 April 2013


Tonight, I was in an almost-very-serious accident. Someone cut across a lane to get to an exit and nearly crashed at a high speed into my driver side door. Luckily, I sped up to avoid it, but he still hit my rear passenger door, making my car spin over 180 degrees across two lanes, facing oncoming traffic! Another oncoming car nearly hit my car as well, but luckily I was able to get off the road and onto the slip road where the offending car was waiting.

At first he tried to accuse me, but when I pointed out the road markings and the fact that my car had spun around and was nearly hit again, he realized he was indeed at fault. His friend who was in the car came over and checked that I was not seriously hurt (which I luckily was not- praise God!) and said that he was just glad it is just scratches on cars (unfortunately the damage was much more than that!) than people being seriously injured. And he was so right!

I could have been very seriously injured today, but I was not (just stiff and sore from the impact/spin). It is just a car= a thing. It may be basically new. It may be beautifully purple, but at the end of the day, it is just a possession and not something that holds eternal value.

Sometimes it is so easy to get so caught up in the value of things that we forget what really matters: people. God calls us to love, value and help other people, but often we allow money and things to get in the way.

I challenge you to re evaluate your priorities and to see where other people come in your list of priorities. If we are focused on self and our possessions, we have a very narrow view of the world, but if we are focused outwards towards people, our view becomes broadened and concentrated on serving others as God commanded.


Ronell x

Friday, 19 April 2013

Avaaz: Bee Petition

I received this email about a petition from Avaaz.com, (a 21-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making) and thought I would share it. "Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages. Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; the team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operating in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


Ronell x

Dear friends,

Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But in days the European Union could move to ban the most poisonous pesticides, and pave the way to a global ban that would save bees from extinction.

Four EU countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are already recovering. The official European food safety watchdog has already stated that certain pesticides are fatally harming bees. Now legal experts and European politicians are calling for an immediate ban. But Bayer and other giant pesticide producers are lobbying hard to keep them on the market. If we build a huge swarm of public outrage now, we can push European Agriculture ministers to put our health and our environment before the profit of a few.

We know our voices count! Last year, our 1.2 million strong petition forced US authorities to open a formal consultation on pesticides -- now if we reach 3 million, we can persuade the EU to get rid of these crazy poisons and pave the way for a ban worldwide. Sign the urgent petition and send this to everyone -- Avaaz and bee keepers will deliver our message to the meeting in Brussels:

Bees don't just make honey, they are vital to life on earth, every year pollinating 90% of plants and crops -- with an estimated $40bn value and over one-third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees, many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.

Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations -- some bee species are already extinct and some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers and now the European Food Safety Authority is saying that toxic chemicals called neonicotinoid pesticides could be responsible for the bee deaths. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee-killing pesticides. But Bayer continues to export its poison across the world.

Now the issue is coming to a boil. EU parliamentarians and the European Commission are stepping up their pressure on key governments to push new legislation to ban the deadly pesticides, and we can offer them the public support they need to counter the powerful pesticide lobby. Sign the urgent petition to European decision makers, then forward this email widely:

Our world is beset with threats to what makes it habitable, and to what fills it with wonder. The Avaaz community comes together to defend both -- large or small. Whether winning a battle to keep the International Whaling Commission from sanctioning the murder of these giants, or saving bees, the tiny creatures upon which so much depends, we will come together and stand up for the world we all want.

With hope,

Luis, Ari, Alice, Iain, Ricken, David, Alaphia, and the Avaaz team


Pesticides pose danger to bees (European Voice)

Crop pesticides are 'killing our bees' - says MEP (Public Service Europe)

Death knell for nerve agent pesticides in move to save bees (Independent)

Give Bees a Chance! (The Greens European Free Alliance)

Studies fault Bayer in bee die-off (Christian Science Monitor)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

How to Avoid the Titanic Mistake

I read this post from HTB / Nicky Gumble’s Bible In One Year program and thought I would share.

When the Titanic sailed in 1912, it was declared to be ‘unsinkable’ because it was using a new technology.  The ship’s hull was divided into sixteen watertight compartments.  Up to four of these compartments could be damaged or even flooded, and still the ship would float. 
The Titanic sank on 15 April 1912 at 2.20am.  1,513 people lost their lives.  At the time it was thought that five of its watertight compartments had been ruptured in a collision with an iceberg. 
However, when the intact wreck of the Titanic was found lying upright on the ocean floor, on 1 September 1985, there was no sign of the long gash previously thought to have been ripped in the ship’s hull by the iceberg.  Now scientists posit that the collision’s impact buckled or loosened the seams in the adjacent hull plate’s core, causing them to separate and allowing water to flood in – thus sinking the unsinkable ship.  What they discovered was that damage to one compartment affected all the rest. 
James Cameron, producer of the movie Titanic, says, ‘The Titanic is a metaphor of life.  We are all on the Titanic.’  One hole below the waterline will eventually sink the ship.
Many people make the Titanic mistake.  They think they can divide their lives into different ‘compartments’ and that what they do in one will not affect the rest.  The reality is that this is not the case.  As Rick Warren (from whom I have taken this illustration) says, ‘A life of integrity is one that is not divided into compartments.’
Jesus was described as a ‘man of integrity’ (Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:14).  David led the people with ‘integrity of heart’ (Psalm 78:72).  The writer of Chronicles says that God tests the ‘heart’ and is ‘pleased with integrity’ (1 Chronicles 29:17).
1.  Integrity in relationships
2.  Integrity with money
3.  Integrity of lifestyle

To read the rest of this passage in more detail, please go to: http://acs.alpha.org/bioy/commentary/478

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Be a Blessing

Be a Blessing
by Joyce Meyer

You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. —Isaiah 26:3
Galatians 6:10 says, “Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith.” Second Corinthians 10:5 speaks of casting down imaginations and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. In other words, keep (set) your mind on God’s promises and on what is relevant to His plan for your life.
Don’t let your mind be taken captive by the enemy. Instead, “lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.” Decide to be a blessing to everyone you meet today. Forgive anyone who has hurt you, and leave unresolved circumstances in God’s hands. Don’t use today to relive yesterday. Say, “I am moving forward today, in Jesus’ name.”
From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer.