Resilient Faith, Session 1: An Anchor From the Storm

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by Rebecca George Lessons from the Life of Jeremiah Six years ago this coming August (2011), Hurr icane Katrina began her lethal trek toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When all was said and done, nearly 1,900 people lost their lives, and the storm caused more than $100 billion in destruction. Many college students in New Orleans lost everything. Students already immersed into the fall [...]

Resilient Faith, Session 1: Spot the Rainbow in the Rain

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BY ERIKA HOFFMAN His step was spryer than usual as he descended the stairs. Clack-clack, his cane stomped the wooden tread before his arthritic foot budged.  “Hey, Dad! You’re up earlier than usual,” I said as I attempted to peer into his eyes. I restrained from glancing pitifully at his uncertain, wobbly knees. His white [...]

Resilient Faith, Session 1: The Calm in the Storm

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Peace is the presence of Jesus. BY JENNIFER J. HOLT  BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP. Every morning begins the same way with a rousing alarm and a long list of things to do. I try to be a planner, packing my family’s lunches the night before and getting out what we’re going to wear before bed, yet somehow getting [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 6: Moving Mountains

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BY RACHEL DAVIS A visiting missionary told 10-year-old Arianna’s Sunday School class about life in third world countries. Arianna was especially moved when she learned kids in Haiti had no toys and often played with pieces of collapsed buildings or parts of old cars. That night she looked around her room at her stuffed animals. [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 6: Above the Clouds

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by Linda M. Harris The dreary February day, with its gray skies, leafless trees, and piles of plowed snow, seemed an echo of my disquieted heart.  My husband, Tommy, and I were on an overnight stay at Peaks of Otter Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary before my [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 6: No More Drama

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BY DAN EWALD Singer/Songwriter Heather Williams’ Story of Overcoming “I always feel like Charles Dickens when I start an interview,” Heather Williams sighs — and for good reason. The singer with the massive vocals behind the radio hit “Hallelujah” witnessed so much rejection and abandonment as a child that you can hear the hurt lingering in her voice to this day. Just [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 5: Accept His Plan

 by Danny R. Von Kanel  In the midst of a career change, God called me to accept His plan and look for unexpected fruit. Something seemed amiss … I had been faithfully serving as a full-time music minister for 32 years. I loved my work. I was good at it. Though I had my share [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 5: Stripping the Veneer

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By Casey Ewen Avenriep Why is it so difficult for me to be authentic, to admit failure, to boldly defy worldly standards, and to cry out to God for help in the process? My life is a walking contradiction. My inward dialogue sounds something like this: I’m a follower of Christ who has experienced His [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 4: Forgiveness and Forgetfulness

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Have you ever been disappointed in people? You’ve befriended, encouraged, and mentored them, yet, at some point, they have walked away, never saying thank you.  By Gene A. Getz Think what the apostle Paul must have felt during his final days. In that dark and terrible Roman dungeon, he wrote to his faithful disciple and [...]

Beyond Belief, Session 4: Lady in Waiting

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A fresh start is never far away. BY TOBIN PERRY At nearly 6 feet 2 inches tall, Iris Urrey always felt out of place and ugly. Deep down she wanted to be special in someone’s eyes. She longed to be seen as a lady. But in the world where she grew up, ladies — the ones [...]