Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Lush, green, serene … Camp McDowell serves its purpose well as a soul-restoration location.

 

There’s only one drawback.  If you have mobility issues, walking from the cabins, to the meeting room or the dining hall can take a lot of energy.

 

These past few days I have been immersed in the beauty of “Camp” as a facilitator for “Heartsong,” an annual retreat for people with HIV/AIDS.  The retreat organizers were prepared, and borrowed church vans to shuttle folks from one location to another as needed.

 

One of the participants, I call him “George,” needed a walker and routinely would be the last to arrive at each activity.  George is a young man … too young for a walker.  And sometimes he didn’t want to take the van. Read More »

Posted on 30 April, 2010 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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A central truth is that living in a right relationship with God enables us to live in a right relationship with others and ourselves. This righteousness begins and ends with love. This righteousness is a choice to make and becomes our character.

 

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Christian character, as noted by Richard Foster, is formed by “the habit of moral excellence.”  From our character we make decisions which shape our life.  From our character we choose how to use our time, spend our money, and invest our talents.

 

From our character we form our attitudes by which we respond to surprises, challenges and pain.  From our character we set our comfort zones, mold our preferences and connect with people.  From our character we are known by others, held accountable by God, and feel good or bad about ourselves.  Therefore, getting our character right is essential.

 

God promises to help us get it right. Read More »

Posted on 27 April, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Jeanne Tessier, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

God has a great sense of humor.  I came to this realization late in life, but now am frequently reminded of the reality of this (for me) quite unexpected truth.

 

I was raised with a God of wrath and admonition and believed from an early age that I was a creature too unworthy to be loved, much less played with and enjoyed.  Yet all the while, unknown to me, God laughs.

 

Here’s a recent – and personal – example of how God’s loving humor enriches and challenges me.

 

I had been thinking abstractly about getting a dog again “someday,” having been pet-free for seven years.  My brother Bob’s lovely border collie, Hannah, gave birth to seven pups in late fall.  Bob and his wife Kath began advocating for me to take one.  On New Year’s Day, Bob drove up from southwestern Kentucky to see me and announced that he and Kath had picked out one of the pups for me, a little one – last of the litter – they called Tough Guy.

 

I said I didn’t really want a tough guy, that I’d thought for years that if I ever got another dog, I’d want to name it Spirit.  Bob asked why, and I told him of a book I read years ago by Watchman Nee in which Nee talked about the importance of getting up every day and taking one’s spirit out for a walk.

 

Bob said he’d go home that evening, go out to the pups and call for Spirit, and whichever one came, that would be the one.  Well, that same night I dreamed … I was seated at a large gathering, where suddenly a dog came and planted itself directly in front of me, and stared intently into my face. Read More »

Posted on 25 April, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Making the Day Count
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

This past Sunday was Bright Sunday.  We wear bright clothes as a fun expression of living in the brightness of Christ’s resurrection.  The brightness also connects us to the historical practice for Christians to enjoy the humorous side of faith after we have experienced the seriousness of Holy Week.

 

God renews us by renewing people’s trust to be the “body of Christ.”  We are an Easter people.  We are a people of life transformation. So … what’s next? 

 

This article marks the beginning of a sermon series filled with God’s promises from the book of Acts. The answer to the question of ”What’s Next?” is “God’s 8 Transforming Promises.”  Through these promises, God reveals His truth, releases His power, and revitalizes us by His presence. Read More »

Posted on 13 April, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Easter shows us God at work.  The miracle comes through the power of the One who created the heavens and the earth.  Touched by it, we sing – “Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph over His foes.”

 

What’s at Stake?

With Christ’s resurrection comes our resurrection.  With Christ’s resurrection comes Satan’s ultimate defeat.  With Christ’s resurrection is the victory of heaven over hell; love over hate; hope over despair; forgiveness over sin. 

 

Like the early believers, we share the joy of Easter’s promise.  Christ is risen.  Christ is risen indeed!

 

What one believes about eternity is challenged when standing by an open grave of a loved one.  We do not play games or give false platitudes at the cemetery.  Is the gravesite the final resting place for a loved one whose casket is about to be lowered in the ground?  Or is the grave a historical location where we recall the person’s earthly life; grieve that the person no longer walks with us on earth; and then celebrate that our loved one now shares in the promise of Christ’s resurrection?

 

Easter makes clear that resurrection is the transforming work of God by which believers enter heaven. Read More »

Posted on 5 April, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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