Article by Mary Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

When I was involved withProject Compassion, an end-of-life care nonprofit, I learned the healing power of sharing our stories.

 

Early in its inception, Project Compassion sponsored a “Talking Circle,” structured after the Native American tradition.  A small group met once a week focusing on our personal experiences with serious illness, death, and grief.

 

Many of the participants had never met before.Bound by our common vulnerability, sacred trust soon developed.  Listening to the stories of others, I was able to move beyond my private pain, and my heart broke open to “the pain” present in all of our lives.

 

Watching others bravely face their sadness, I was encouraged to deal with my own grief over the death of my dear friend, Rhonda.  When one woman explained how losing her husband had reminded her of the preciousness of her own life, I was inspired to begin to “live again.” Read More »

Posted on 7 July, 2010 in Balance, Helping Others
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, edited by Dee DeWitt

While riding down the highway years ago, Ruth Graham noticed a sign beside the road: “End of construction – Thank you for your patience.”  With a smile, she said that those were the words she wanted on her gravestone.  After she passed away, her request was honored.

 

Today when you visit her gravesite on the grounds of the Billy Graham library, you will see that her epitaph is also connected to the Chinese character for righteousness. 

 

With the end in sight, we can work today to realize God’s great hopes for our lives…

 

As King David learned and Ruth Graham understood, our success in the holy endeavor of living is only possible through God’s gracious empowerment. There is a wise saying, “If you want to make God laugh then tell Him your plans.”  But we also recall the biblical proverb “where there is no vision the people perish.”  Consequently our only way forward is with an attitude of bold humility.

 

We sense the direction of God’s leadership but humbly relinquish any sense of controlling the outcome.  But only by boldly pursuing the possibilities can we discover by experience what is actually possible.  And only by trying, can we advance to a vantage point where we can see more clearly what God’s best hopes actually are for us.

 

We know that course corrections will be required along the way.  However we prefer to endeavor a successful future by intentionally thinking about the future rather than to guarantee failure by not trusting God enough to see what is possible. Read More »

Posted on 5 July, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

None of us are perfect, and neither was my father. Lewis Marler would have been the first person to tell you so.

If he was reading this blog he would say to me, “Malcolm, you’re making me sound too good.  I made lots of mistakes.  People are going to think too highly of me.”

 

There are not many of us who would worry about being thought of “too highly.”  But my father did.

In fact, he worried about a lot about of things.

 

He worried about what others thought of him. He worried if he had disappointed persons.  If he made a promise and for some reason couldn’t fulfill it, he would worry himself sick over it.

 

If he bought a new car, he worried that people in the church would think they were paying the pastor too much.  He turned down salary raises many years.

 

He worried about what he said to others, and would ruminate over it trying to determine if it was the absolute truth, and if it was a kind thing to say. Read More »

Posted on 8 June, 2010 in Balance, Happiness
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor,Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

God inspired the Bible to be written so we could live inspired lives by reading the Bible. And from this we can know how to share the good news of God’s love with others.

 

The Bible’s Trustworthiness.  The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years, by more than 40 authors living on three continents, in several languages, around God’s central theme of salvation.

 

The Bible has been under more scrutiny than any other book, for the longest period of time, and proven itself time and again to be God’s trustworthy promise for our lives.  The authority of Scripture means the word of God reveals the ways of God so the people of God can know how to live.  Covering more subjects than any other book, except a dictionary or encyclopedia, the Bible is God’s message for our daily living.

 

The Bible is organized into 66 individual books, containing 1,189 chapters.  The Old Testament has 39 books with a total of 929 chapters and the New Testament has 27 books with 260 chapters.  The Bible is divided into 31,101 verses, with the Old Testament having 23,144; verses and the New Testament having 7,957 verses.  Psalm 117 is the Bible’s shortest chapter and Psalm 119 is the Bible’s longest chapter.  John 11:35, “Jesus wept” is the Bible’s shortest verse and with 68 words, Revelation 20:4 is the New Testament’s longest verse.  All of which is interesting without being life-changing.

 

The power for transformation comes by our being in a personal relationship with God, who then inspires us to ask, understand and apply the meaning of each verse. Read More »

Posted on 5 June, 2010 in Motivation, Spirituality
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From “Lessons from My Father, Lewis Marler

 

Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

My father and I shared the love of sports when I was growing up.  We tossed a football in our yard on a regular basis.  He taught me how to catch a football and baseball.

 

We went to major college football games, which in the deep South rivals any religious commitment.  We cheered for our favorite team, but we also talked during the game and afterward about particular plays or players in the game, and what made them stand out.  We’d also listen to games on the radio together (before the days of cable TV and multiple channels).

 

Before you think my father lived his life through me in sports, I never experienced pressure from him to play …

 

One day, I came home frustrated after a bad practice and told him I was quitting.  He listened to the reasons why I wanted to quit.  He then let go and said, “If you decide you do not want to play football anymore, that is ok with me.  All I ask is that you try one more time tomorrow and see if you still feel the same way.”  The next day was a new day, and I kept playing for years.

 

Some of the life lessons my father taught me from sports were: 

Start with humility;

Make sure you show up, and; 

The value of teamwork. Read More »

Posted on 14 May, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Motivation, Parenting
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