Episodes

With what a listener called one of the "most provocative, thoughtful messages I've heard from him over the years," Ronnie talks about moving on - into the new year to come. Based on Isaiah 65, he encourages listeners to believe that "the ones who have been harmed, hurt, and battered in the past, are the very ones who will rebuild a future." Things may never go back to the way they were, but things will go on - and so will we.

PS - Ronnie credits the "provocative, thoughtful" nature of this talk to new doses of albuterol. :-)

WWHD? What Would Hilda Do?

Synthesizing the final Sunday of Advent with a remembrance of his dear friend Hilda McDonald, Ronnie plots a path to personal peace in spite of these chaotic times. 

"Let's get this over with." That's what Elvis Presley said just before recording the now classic Christmas song, "Blue Christmas." In this talk Ronnie talks about how the holidays can have that exact effect on us, but how we can still find lasting joy for this season and beyond.

This talk fuses the Apostle Paul with Emily Dickinson and the need of all our hearts: Hope. Using Dickinson's image of hope as a bird that sings and Paul's encouragement that God finishes the work that God begins, Ronnie delivers timely words for Advent and beyond. 

Ronnie concludes his talk on the story of Naaman and Elisha from 2 Kings 5, focusing on gratitude - and how it is often the best medicine to cure what ails us.

The story of Naaman and Elisha falls on our ears like a simple Sunday school tale. Yet, it's far more tangled than that. Based on 2 Kings 5, this is the first part in Ronnie's exploration of Naaman's healing, the complexities that surround the story, and the implications for each of us today.

In the second part of his talk, "Sick and Tired" - which could be subtitled, "A Deal With the Devil," Ronnie talks about consequence, shares thoughts on divine punishment, and how we all come to a crossroads with the choice to wipe the slate clean. Legendary bluesman Robert Johnson is featured as well.

Visiting the man at the pool of Bethesda and connecting that story from the Gospels with Fannie Lou Hamer and how we all desire change, Ronnie talks about how we must become "sick and tired of being sick and tired" before real transformation is possible.

In this conclusion to his series of talks on "letting go," Ronnie talks about surrendering the future: "Make your plans - sure. Set some goals. That’s good. Use some common sense and apply some hard-earned wisdom. You’re going to need that. And then, when all your plans are made, your goals have been adapted to melodic slogans and website catch-phrases, and you have wisely and sincerely anticipated every possible outcome - make sure it’s all written in pencil. Nothing will happen as you think it will - and to say otherwise is foolishness. You can conceive, concoct, and contrive - but you cannot control. That’s your ego talking." 

"One of the hardest things to let go of is the past, because surrendering the past usually involves forgiveness...Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what happened to you is now and suddenly, okay. It means that you are giving up your power to make it, okay. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that justice should not be sought. It means that achieving justice is ultimately out of your hands. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the past will never hurt you again. It means you have decided to stop hurting others - or yourself - for what has happened to you or what you have done to yourself. This is achieved - not by time - but by grace - because you can’t do this on your own." - RM

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