This month, we sit down for coffee and a chat with Ronda Perry of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Ronda serves at St. Peter’s Church and is pursuing her M.Div at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, but she still finds time to contribute to The Mission blog. Pull up a chair and join us in getting to know this lively writer and thinker.
Q: What motivates you to get up in the morning?
Ronda Perry: Besides coffee? Honestly, what motivates me to get up in the morning is knowing how I will feel when I return, at last, to my bed that night. I prefer to have a plan for my day with specific to-do items that I can accomplish and check off the ongoing list in my head. Then, I look forward to that feeling of fatigue that comes with a day well spent and things accomplished. Sometimes I have even thought to myself, “Once these feet touch the floor, it will be non-stop until I’m here again.”
Q: What is your daily devotional rhythm, or what does your own spiritual formation look like on a daily basis?
RP: Lately, I’ve been enjoying exploring The Book of Common Prayer. Since I was not raised Anglican, this rhythm of prayer and liturgy is new to me. And knowing that these same prayers and creeds have been prayed by my brothers and sisters in the early church strengthens my faith.
I also read from the daily lectionary. The idea that Anglicans all over the world are reading the same thing I am gives me comfort and a connection. And I always find it so cool that passages selected so long ago to be read on this specific day are incredibly relevant to whatever I am currently dealing with. What a good example of how God’s Word is alive! Another spiritual discipline I’m working on is being quiet. To just sit there, not say a word, and listen for his voice. It takes practice. It’s hard for me to be still and wait. But when he does finally speak, wow! It amazes me that the God of the universe wants to tell me something. It is so exciting, like we have a shared secret.
Q: What is the most encouraging thing that happened in your life and ministry in the last year?
RP: Without hesitation I would say my acceptance to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and beginning my pursuit toward a M.Div. degree. It is something I have always wanted to do but never thought possible. I love the way my Abba Daddy’s plan for my life is always better than I would choose. My grandmother told me, “God gives his best to those who leave him the choice.”
Q: What person has most impacted your life, and why?
RP: This is a tough question. That’s like asking me what’s my favorite chocolate or my favorite pair of shoes! So many people have come alongside me, mentored me, taught me. But to choose only one, I would say my grandmother. She is the one who introduced me to Jesus. She lived her life in a way that showed me very early that following Jesus was a relationship, not a religion. She had a lot of hardship and trials in her life and yet she was continually in the Word and always trusted her Savior. Whenever we were together and it was time to say goodbye, she would say to me, “If I don’t see you again, I’ll meet you at the feet of Jesus.” That is where she is now. At his feet.
Q: What is one past accomplishment that you are proud of, and what is one thing that you would like to accomplish in the future?
RP: When my children were young, I wrote a series of children’s books to help them understand basic kingdom principles. They included our authority in Christ, how Jesus took the sins of the world, and how the enemy will deceive us. These allegorical stories gave them a clearer picture of these truths. What I would like to accomplish in the future? I’d like to publish them.
Follow Ronda on her blog.