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

 

Holy week is the Hall of Fame week in world history. Why? Because Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and  Easter Sunday reveal God’s power to give meaning to Every Day of our lives.

 

Because of what Christ did those days we can know these days how to live daily with salvation’s joy.  Is your daily life filled with this joy?

 

As Jesus entered Jerusalem that Sunday, everyone in the region realized from that moment on there was no turning back.  Either His perfect love would win or the sinful nature of people & power would prevail.  Salvation’s freedom was at stake!

 

Would people’s shriveled hearts betray Jesus to the worldly authorities for crucifixion or would Jesus’ tender heart be tough enough to transform them?  The week unfolded in a way that both would happen.  By Jesus’ saving response to the dramatic tension during those days, we can know today the unending power of Jesus.

 

Two historical messages were given when Jesus prophetically rode a colt into Jerusalem and the crowd laid palm branches before him on what we call Palm Sunday. Read More »

Posted on 30 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

We have been taught all of our lives to tell the truth.  Sounds simple enough, right?

 

Well, not always … sometimes it is the hardest thing to do.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you were aware of specific information about someone, and that same person you were talking to did not know that you knew?  And how did that make you feel?

 

One time a patient died unexpectedly at the hospital and I was asked as the chaplain to come and be with the family.  But when I got there, I learned they had gone home earlier in the evening, and were called to come back to the hospital because their loved one “had taken a turn for the worse.”

 

So I waited for them outside the unit, introduced myself, ushered them into the family conference room, and alerted the nurse to page the physician to come to deliver the bad news. 

 

And we waited.

 

They began to ask reasonable questions, “What is going on?”  “How was their loved one doing?”  “Has anything bad happened?”  “Why couldn’t they go into the room?”  And I found myself dancing around their questions as I stalled for time.

 

Was I lying by not telling the truth?

 

I knew what had happened.  I knew the answer to their questions.  But someone else was supposed to deliver the news.

 

We find ourselves in the “truth dilemma” every day don’t we?

 

We shade the black-and-white truth with a little gray here and there.  And before we know it, we’ve changed the entire color of the conversation.  We go from living simply to living with complexity.

 

French philosopher Blaise Paschal said, “We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart.”

 

If we want to live more simply, we are drawn to the truth, however difficult that may be.

 

Telling the truth to others, and listening to the truth about ourselves … Both are steps in the journey to living more simply.

 

Malcolm

 

“In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.”
-Graham Greene

 

Malcolm Marler is Director of Pastoral Care for UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL.  In addition to his interest in spirituality and health, he loves to identify physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of persons, then design and build programs that help meet those needs.  His warmth and humor along with his powerful message of hope and grace is his greatest strength.  Malcolm grew up in Alabama and attended Clemson University (S.C.) on a football scholarship as a defensive back where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Psychology.  He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY with Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.  Malcolm lives on a lake in North Alabama with the love of his life, Mary Bea Sullivan.  He has two open-hearted, loving stepchildren, Brendan and Kiki who are both freshman in college.  For more information or to contact Malcolm, please visit www.MalcolmMarler.com.

 

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Posted on 29 March, 2010 in Goals, Simplify
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Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

At best … coping with the emotional and financial strains of having an unemployed spouse or significant other is difficult and highly stressful.

 

Yet at the same time, this is the very circumstance when your loved one needs your support.  According to University of Michigan researchers, a spouse’s attitude toward job hunting is a major influences the mental state of the unemployed mate.  And keeping a positive attitude both at home and in a job search can be the difference between success and failure … both in landing a job and in the success of the marriage.

 

So … What can each of us do to help our partner, while at the same time maintaining some resemblance of normalcy at home?  Couples who have successfully weathered unemployment, as well as professional counselors suggest: Read More »

Posted on 24 March, 2010 in Career, Finance & Family, Gratitude
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

What would you write if you were unjustly jailed?

 

The Apostle Paul, imprisoned for his faith, wrote a Spirit inspired letter to fellow believers in Ephesus.   Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail ignited a Civil Rights movement.  Thoreau’s jail house communication with Emerson shaped a consensus of conscience.

 

Paul’s letter challenged the church to change the world by living in God’s strength.  All of Paul’s writings were letters initially addressed to churches & individuals who resided in the Roman Empire.  As individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities, and regions were changed by the life giving relationship of conversion through Christ – the Roman Empire changed.

 

These same promises now inspire us to live powerfully in our 21st century world.

 

The “How” – Ephesians 6:10-20

As Paul prayerfully thought through his current circumstances, he saw the Roman soldier’s armor as a way of understanding how believers can live in the power of God’s might…

 

Instead of envying what he did not have – the Roman soldier’s armor – Paul claimed the greater power offered by God (6:10).  “Daily, be made powerful by God’s strength being the source of your strength,” is a faithful translation (6:11 & 13).  “Put on God’s whole armor” is twice emphasized by Paul to clarify that our strength comes by yielding our “complete self into God’s presence” (6:12-14). Read More »

Posted on 22 March, 2010 in Spirituality
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

We are a busy people rushing through life.  And yet recently, a few people chose a different pace.

 

There was a woman in her thirties who was walking early one cold, wintry morning. You could see her breath in the air as she stopped at the corner a couple of blocks from her work waiting for the light to change.  Cars rushed by in the busy downtown city.

 

She waited until the light was red and the crosswalk signal was white, and then something happened. No one was sure if she stepped awkwardly off the curb, or if she became dizzy and just fell.

 

Regardless, the result was hard to watch.

 

She hit the pavement face first and lay motionless for a moment.  Cars hit their brakes.  A nurse was walking out of a nearby parking deck and saw the woman fall and came running to her aid.  ”Are you ok, ma’am, are you ok?!” she yelled. Read More »

Posted on 21 March, 2010 in Helping Others, Inspirational Stories, Simplify
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