Rhonda Ratliff steps into heaven January 2012
Our loss is truly heaven’s gain! I know she is dancing for joy now and free from pain.
Rhonda was a best friend and a most faithful prayer partner for many many years. I guess we met as a result of Susan and Richard White who sent her my way for financial consultation back in the 1990′s although I am not sure of the year and we may actually have first met at the bible study in their home years ago.
Anyway, she did an amazing job of getting her financial affairs in order through some very difficult circumstances and with much prayer and wise actions was able to turn things around and bless many in the process. She lived a life of ministry seeking first the kingdom of heaven and I am very sure there was much rejoicing there upon her recent arrival. I knew she was instantly in the presence of the Lord and free free free. While I mourn with her family on her passing, I am just a bit jealous that she beat me there. I look forward to our reunion in eternity and encourage any reading this and knowing of her time with us to smile and remember how she blessed each one of us the best way that she knew to do so.
I remember her decision to go work with Joyce Meyer’s Ministries and also her decision to return to the Dallas area. Each decision carefully turned over to the Lord and time spent actively seeking His guidance in all matters. She loved her family dearly and cared for her dad through difficult times and his relatively recent passing.
She has supported each one of her friends and many she did not know personally in prayer. Many of us received almost daily devotionals from her and it was always a good reminder to me about putting first things first. When my mom was bedridden, Rhonda would come over and help me with her and just be with us when we both really needed a friend. She was and is the definition of a friend. She was there when needed to encourage and do what she could about matters. The ripples of her good works will go on for eternity and I look forward to seeing her again.
But the most precious thing above all is the knowledge of her deep and abiding love for the Lord. What a sweet sweet spirit just to be with her! With lots of love and warm memories of times spent together~
NOTE: Rhonda’s memorial service will be this Monday at 3 PM in the Cindy Nichols Chapel at the First Baptist Church in Denton, Texas. The church is on Malone street and the chapel is on the north side. There will be a gathering after the service at the church.
What follows is a letter I received at my earthly father’s passing that applies to Rhonda as well so I share it with you now. People who know the Lord, know where they are going but we only have glimpses of how glorious it will be. Somehow Claire gave me a special glimpse with this letter and I hope it ministers to you in your time of need as well.
Preface: This is just one of the special notes received when my earthly father, Ted Franklin Crosnoe, passed on September 18, 1996. It has ministered to me so often and so strongly that I share it with those experiencing the loss of a loved one. Somehow Clare’s letter helps me catch a glimpse of the other side and look forward to the day we will see each other again. I share it with you now in the hopes that it will bless you as it has me. In loving memory of my dad and of your loved one also./sc
Our Lord’s Day, 22 September 1996
Kevin Reed gave us the news that the Lord had delivered your father from “the
body of this death”, and taken him home to glory. I am both glad and sorry to
hear of it. Glad, of course, for your father, for “to die is gain”, and he can now
see God face to face and is delivered from the spiritual battles of this life. I
grieve, though, for you and your mother. It seems now like such a long time until
we shall see our departed loved ones again, though laid in the balance with
eternity I’m sure it must really appear miniscule. But since we are a body and
have need of each other, we feel it keenly when one member is absent, and I
know that you must miss your father greatly.
I hope the Lord will remain especially close to you during this time, that you might
be cheered by His presence. I praise Him for your father’s holy life, and that He
gave your father grace to persevere to the end. I was just reading over the
promises in Revelation 2-3, to “him that overcometh”, and they are so thrilling
and marvelous: your father will be given to eat of the tree of life, which is in the
paradise of God; will receive a crown of life; will not be hurt of the second death;
will be given the hidden manna and a white stone with a new name written; will
be clothed in white raiment, and Christ will confess his name before his Father
and his angels; will sit with Christ on his throne; and will be made a pillar in the
temple of God, and will go no more out. Surely “eye hath not seen, nor ear
heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath
prepared for them that love him”!
Our prayers will be with you and your family.
Love in Christ,
Van Alstyne, Texas