• Critics: Stay Away or Draw Close to Them?

    Blog | Charles Stone | June 24, 2021

    Criticism hurts, especially the non-constructive kind. We tend to stay away from such critics. But is that the wisest choice? Should we draw close to them instead of pulling away from them? In this post I explore the idea of not shunning your critics.

    The Bible reminds us in Proverbs 15:31-33 that “whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.”

  • Jehovah Shammah: The God Who is There

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | June 22, 2021

    A loud crash woke me up from a deep sleep. I opened my eyes, sat up and squinting, tried to sort through the all-encompassing shadows. As if blinking my eyes would dissipate the thick, inky, suffocating blackness, there was no difference from when my eyes were closed. I couldn’t see anything. I didn’t remember where I was. I cried out to God, “Help me, Lord.” Immediately I felt peace, comfort and hope in the shelter of God’s presence. Instead of feeling breathless from fear, a sigh of relief became my prayer of thanksgiving and praise. “Thank you Jehovah-Shammah.”

  • Leadership Lessons from Video Games

    Blog | Kim Rider | June 17, 2021

    Much like many of the teens and tweens these days, my grandson loves to play video games. He likes one particular game where you are on a team and the goal is to beat the team you are playing against. You are randomly placed on a team each time you play so you don’t get to pick your team members. As your team wins, you get points and work your way up to different levels. Of course, as you get more points, the games get more challenging.

  • Stage of Life

    Blog | Christine Vogelsang | June 15, 2021

    “Dinner is served.”

    The entire audience erupted in applause and cheers as my husband, the butler, made his entrance and delivered his first words. Even though it was never his intention, he had just committed the unforgiveable: upstaging the lead. The audience’s response threw off the timing of the scene, and the lead actor almost forgot his next line. I’m sure he was wondering just who this bit player was who had just stolen a scene with his entrance.

  • It Only Takes a Minute

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | June 10, 2021

    “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should” (PSALM 90:12, TLB).  How should we spend our time?  We’re encouraged to make the best use of our time.  But what does that really mean?  Should we aim to be more productive?  Is the goal a better quality of life?  Will owning a bigger house, living in a better community, going to a better school lead us to happiness and fulfillment?  How should we use our time to have the biggest impact?

  • When Jesus was crucified cruelly on a wooden cross, two local robbers were also crucified, one on either side of Jesus (Mark 15:27). They observed Jesus for a few hours, while all three were nailed to and hung on the cross, bleeding in excruciating pain. Based on their observation of Jesus, both robbers formed strong but opposing opinions about Jesus on the cross.

    One robber could NOT see the real Jesus on the cross

  • Fears and Stays

    Blog | Christine Vogelsang | May 27, 2021

    “So Ryan, did you hear the part I just played? It’s really important that this comes through. It’s one of the main songs in the musical, so you fellows really have a chance to shine. Could you follow your part?”

    “I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear it over the sound of my own panic!”

    I smiled at his comment, but it spoke volumes of the trepidation this young actor was feeling as a new member of our theatre group. It would be my job as the music director to calm his fears and show him he could succeed.

  • Overcoming Hopelessness with Hope

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | May 25, 2021

    To abide in hope is not just saying I wish. It’s more than desiring something to come to pass, looking forward to an event or being in a person’s presence. Hope is defined by Webster as “to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true 2: to expect with confidence: TRUST.”

    Hope is more than mere wishful thinking, yet hopelessness can bring on despair, depression and even thoughts of suicide.

  • Make Time for Now

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | May 18, 2021

    If God sent someone to seek your advice or just talk to you, would you ignore them?  Of course, my answer (and probably yours too) is no way!  While reading Acres of Diamonds (J. Franklin, 2020), this question has been placed in my heart, undoubtedly, to make me look at my own behavior.  I thought of times when someone wanted to speak with me, but I told them I had an appointment.  When someone came to my office and I pretended to be busy, or times I thought my work was more important than spending time with the family.  These were opportunities that I can never get back.

  • I learned a lesson about leadership composure from an unlikely source. Several years ago, I had scheduled a plumber to fix minor leaks in some toilets in our home as we prepared to sell our house. My wife was to meet the plumber in my absence and give him the instructions I had given her. At about ten minutes after the appointment time, she called and told me that he had come and said the fixes were so simple I could do them. I asked her what he charged us to give us that sage advice. Her response? “$125.” I was not a happy camper.