Article by Jennifer Snelling, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Several months ago, someone shared a quote with me that essentially said no one is able to succeed without a support group.  I’ve struggled with this quote since.

 

Of course, you can define your own support group in many different ways.  It could be a literal group of people that encourage you … it could be your family … people you see socially that are interested in what you are doing and lift you up … or it could even be strangers who see your work and offer you praise for it.

 

Today I read a small passage about a young girl who was trying to sing a solo without accompaniment when she was suddenly stricken with stage fright.  She continued to sing, but her voice tightened and went weak.  Someone in the audience compassionately began to hum the tune along with her and was soon joined by a few other people.  With the support of various people in the audience, the girl finished her song with newfound confidence. Read More »

Posted on 19 March, 2010 in Goals, Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Jeanne Tessier, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

When my marriage ended 16 years ago, my friendship network underwent drastic upheaval…

 

Some of those I’d thought of as friends who’d support me through the terrible transition of coming spousally-unglued backed away with alarming alacrity.  Colleagues whose offices were eight feet away walked by my office door without saying hello; friends who used to invite me places didn’t any more.  It seemed my phone stopped ringing, although a faithful few stayed close at hand and unexpected people I hadn’t thought of as loyal friends stepped up to see me through.

 

One day a colleague of mine asked me what it was like to divorce and I said I’d not expected to become a pariah such that people fled from my company.  She replied that she understood completely how that could happen because every time she looked at me she realized that “divorce” could happen to her and she didn’t like to think about it, so it was easier to avoid me.  I was grateful for her candor.  In time I built a new network of friends.

 

A year ago, with great heartache, I realized that I could not in conscience remain any longer in the faith tradition I was raised in, had returned to as an adult, and had been deeply immersed in for many years… Read More »

Posted on 17 March, 2010 in Career, Finance & Family, Spirituality
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

The Bible is God’s storybook.  God wants us to know His story …

 

Not because He thought everyone would love Him because of the stories, though that was His hope.  Not because He thought everyone would get it, though that was His aim.  Not that he thought everyone would live better lives because of lessons learned from the stories, though that motivation moved Him.

 

Rather, He had the stories recorded because they give witness to His glorious acts of salvation and that whosoever had “eyes to see and ears to hear” would personally experience salvation by the stories delivered.

 

Acts is filled with good news stories, like Saul becoming Paul.  Saul, the terrorist, became the Apostle Paul who shared God’s open promise of salvation for all seekers.  On a walk to remember, towards Damascus, he was converted and called.  His call gave him his nickname, Apostle to the Gentiles.  God would use his life experiences to shape his future opportunities of service.

 

The same is true for you and me. Read More »

Posted on 15 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Some of you know that I accepted a new job about five months ago.  It’s kept me busier than I have been since I was in my 20’s. And if that’s not enough, I accepted more duties within this same timetable in a “moonlighting second job” that I have had been doing for several years. 

 

This doesn’t sound like simplifying my life!

 

I am over-committed, over-promised, and overwhelmed.  Have you been there?  Do you know what this feels like?

 

When I asked my wife, Mary, if I have been like this during our whole marriage, she answered truthfully, “No, you’ve had pretty good boundaries between work and home until you started your new job, and it’s been different since then.”  And she was right.

 

I’m learning that living more simply is not about committing to do more, trying harder, or making more promises to “do better.”  Too many promises makes life complicated, not simpler.  And so I will get out my calendar tomorrow, take a hard look at my commitments in coming weeks, and start saying I’m sorry but I won’t be able to do this or that commitment.  Deep breath.  Maybe it’s time to offer grace to myself. Read More »

Posted on 12 March, 2010 in Happiness, Simplify
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Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Doubting Thomas is what most people call him.  The nickname “doubting” stuck to the Apostle because three times, at key points in Jesus’ ministry, he asked Jesus to explain himself.

 

Does asking God to clarify Himself mean that we lack faith?  Maybe.  It can be our way of stiff-arming God to keep Him at a distance, and our commitments to Him at a minimum.  Or, asking questions can be our faithful response of wanting more information, insight, and instruction so our faith in God can be best applied.

 

Which was it for Thomas?  Which is it for you?

 

Doubt expressed from the lips of Thomas came from his heart of faith.  Doubts formed in the mind of Thomas caused him to be more certain in his faith.

 

Thomas placed his doubts in the hands of God so his own hands would not be unnerved by what the future would demand of him.  He knew that the stakes of following Jesus were as high as heaven, and costly as the cross. Thomas shows us how to use doubt in the service of faith.

 

First, after questioning whether Jesus really wanted to put his life at risk by going near Jerusalem in order to help His friend Lazarus, Thomas said – upon seeing Jesus walking in that direction – “Let us go also, that we may die with him.” (John 11:1-16).

 

Secondly, after Jesus told the Apostles to not let their hearts be troubled because they would know the way to be with Him after His death, Thomas said, “Lord we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?”  Thomas’ question set up Jesus to give the most powerful response, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, one comes to the Father through me.” (John 14:1-6). Read More »

Posted on 11 March, 2010 in Inspirational Stories, Spirituality
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