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

 

One day my father-in-law was drinking coffee at a McDonald’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas, when he asked another customer for his name and where he was from.  The answer came that Dalhart, Texas was the place and the person gave his name.  The following conversation unfolded.  

 

“I bet I can tell you where you lived.” “You can?”  “Yep. Your place was about 6 or 7 miles north of Dalhart, on the Highway towards Clayton.”  “You are right.”  “I bet I can also tell you a story about your father.”  “You knew him?”  “Yep. On a certain afternoon your Dad went down into your basement to check on the butane. When he lit a match, the room caught on fire because there was a leak in the line.

 

And now I can tell you a story about yourself.”  “What?”  “You were just a boy at the time, maybe 12. When you heard the whoosh, you ran downstairs into the fire to rescue your father.  You got burned along with him but you saved his life.”

 

The man then wanted to know how this seeming stranger, sitting at a  McDonald’s in Arkansas, could  know this important story from his life?  My father-in-law clarified that Dalhart was also his hometown.

 

As a result of this conversation, the heroic boy – now a man – felt the renewed strength that comes when the stories of our life are brought together in a way that we can better understand ourselves.

 

A similar strength happens when we read the Bible. Read More »

Posted on 24 December, 2009 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

 

Christmas is God’s love story.  God wraps Christmas with a feeling for new beginnings.  Christmas is God’s provided hope for a new way of living.

 

So centuries before Christ was born, God envisioned the future through Isaiah’s prophecy.  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders.  He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

 

Through the full scope of Isaiah’s prophetic ministry, God provided a portal through which people could more easily understand the future. 

 

Prophecy Reveals God’s HopeJesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth to declare the start of His Messiah ministry (Luke 4).  The day was a Sabbath and Jesus was asked to preach in the synagogue of His childhood.  He quoted from Isaiah’s writings, and then declared to seemingly everyone’s amazement … Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your presence.

 

Prophecy unveils the will of God for our lives. Yet for it to take effect, we must be willing to receive the message and apply it. 

 

Prophecy reveals the love language of God’s hope that the future can better than the past … if we are willing to live by His promises.  Consequently, Christmas is God’s message that our life worries have a resting place.

 

Emmanuel - God is with us now and forever.

 

So may we lean into God’s hope for this Christmas season by applying the prophecies from Isaiah that Christ fulfilled.  These messianic prophecies are: Read More »

Posted on 4 December, 2009 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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And so you care for them as one of your own family members.  Because now you know the truth:  There is a thin line between “them” and “us.”

 

Article by Malcolm Marler

 

Even though I work at an adult Level 1 trauma hospital, my work can still be routine at times.

 

In the Pastoral Care department, we are usually called during critical times with patients and families, as well as making routine visits on various units.  This happens every day.  It is all part of what we do as healthcare workers.

 

But when you are on the receiving side of the care giving equation in the hospital, it is anything but routine

 

Malcolm, I’ve had an accident,” he said.  ”Are you hurt?” I quickly asked while thanking God it was his voice calling me from his cell phone and not a state trooper.  ”I’m hurt a little, but the car is bad,” he offered apologetically.  At this point you realize just how insignificant a ton of steel and leather really is.  You can find another car.  Where are you?  I’ll be right there,” I said as I hung up the phone. Read More »

Posted on 2 December, 2009 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church

 

Mary Magdalene was thankful.  Her life needed changing and Christ changed her life.  Thoroughly. Inside out.

 

She had gotten caught in the oldest swindler’s scheme.  Hold the Devil’s hand just long enough to get out of a tight spot and then she would let go of him when the trouble cleared and her pain eased. The Devil never let’s go on his own.  Instead his grip tightens.

 

So she trusted him again to ease her pain and he just tightened it all the more.  All total she did this 7 times. She became known as the woman “bound by 7 demons.”  Her life became that proverbial “living hell”, with hell being understood as the seeming absence of God.

 

But while we live on earth, God is never absent.  He is ways listening to our prayers and waiting for us to enter into that teachable moment when we will trust His presence, lean into His power, and walk forward in His ways.

 

Mary did just that.  Consequently she became a THANKFUL person.  Mary Magdalene became one of Jesus’ greatest disciples.  She followed & supported Him (Luke 8:1-3).  She stood in solidarity with Him on Calvary’s hill while He was crucified (John 19:25).  She did not abandon Him but walked in procession to where He was buried (Luke 23:55).  And it was to Mary that Jesus first appeared after His resurrection (John 20:14-16). Read More »

Posted on 24 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Inspirational Stories
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Article by Malcolm Marler

 

This past Sunday our pastor did something you rarely see in church just before the offering plate was passed.

 

Bob said, “I want a representative from each family to take $5 OUT of the offering plate and be open to giving it away this week to someone who needs it.  No strings attached.  Just see what happens in your life.  You’ll know the right time to give it away.  Become a hilarious giver.  See what that feels like.”

 

When the offering plate came by, I took the $5 out of the offering plate and put it in my wallet.  I was tempted to buy lunch with it one day but thankfully I resisted! Read More »

Posted on 14 November, 2009 in Gratitude, Helping Others, Inspirational Stories
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