• “Only” or “The Only One”

    Blog | Christine Vogelsang | February 18, 2021

    “Look at that road sign for the next exit. Iota! Why would you name a town that? A speck? A tiny bit? Don’t they have any feelings of importance?”

    “Apparently not one iota,” my husband laughed.

    I looked up that Louisiana town and found out it had a population of less than 2,000. Okay, maybe it was a tiny town, but certainly the people in that town shouldn’t feel unimportant, insignificant.

    A character in the popular series Downton Abbey once chided a woman: “Why would you say, ‘It’s only me’? I always feel that greeting betrays such a lack of self worth.”

  • The L.A.S.T. Chance

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | February 16, 2021

    I had an urge for a milkshake. This was no ordinary urge; like a sailor being lured onto the rocks by the sirens, it made me turn the car around. I headed to Rita’s, driven by my inner voice.  Rita’s is a nation-wide franchise specializing in Italian ice, gelatos, and custards; and they make a mean milkshake.  After parking, I walked to the window and placed my order.  While I waited, my eyes drifted to a sign intended for the cashier (called a Treat Team Member).  I had been to Rita’s many times before but never noticed the sign which read: 

  • Lessons Learned from Lockdowns

    Blog | Kim Rider | February 10, 2021

    The past year presented us with a myriad of challenges, changes, and adjustments. Many of us learned how to work from home, school from home, and stay at home. We became more dependent on online information, delivery services, and online shopping. Our conversations started including phrases like social distancing and personal protective equipment. We experienced a range of emotions – fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, exhaustion, and being overwhelmed. As time went on, we learned new schedules, new rules, and new ways of doing things.

  • Beware of the Snare

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | January 28, 2021

    Ever felt stuck? Maybe you’ve struggled with an annoying habit or irritating addiction? You wonder how you can break loose. Yes, I get it. For decades, I was unaware I was caught up in a trap expertly designed for me by the enemy. For twenty years, I was hung up by a series of rejections that happened in my childhood. I believed the hurtful lies and owned the labels that had been spoken over me when I was bullied in my ballet class. I didn’t know I was misled. I was naïve about the tricks, traps, and snares that entangled me.

  • Open Your Eyes

    Blog | Karen McGuire | January 26, 2021

    In 2 Kings 6, we find several stories of the prophet Elisha. One of the stories involves the king of Aram who is chasing Elisha and wishes to capture the prophet. In verse 13, the king says, “Go and see where he is, so I can send men to capture him.”  So off the army goes to Dothan (not Alabama) by night and surround the city.

  • 4 Traits of the World’s Second Greatest Leader

    Blog | Charles Stone | January 21, 2021

    I believe Jesus was the world’s greatest leader. I would call the Apostle Paul the world’s second greatest leader because he wrote much of the New Testament and because he spread Christianity into the West through his missionary journeys. The book of Acts details much of those early missionary journeys. Acts 16 describes four traits that Christian leaders should emulate.

  • The Essence of Leadership is Faith, Hope and Love

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | January 19, 2021

    We can only hope!  This was the message delivered by many newscasters in the final broadcasts of the year. It is a new year and most of us couldn’t be happier that 2020 is in our rearview mirror. It was a long and tiring year. We’re tired of viruses, masking, social distancing, and maybe a little tired of each other because of quarantines. It isn’t that we don’t love each other or don’t enjoy being together; we’re just tired. I think we passed tired a few months back, now we’re fatigued. While not a clinical definition, fatigue simply means that we are tired of being tired. Fatigue drains u

  • Grieving and Getting Through the Holidays

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | December 16, 2020

    Is there an empty place at your table this Christmas? For many, this will be their first holiday season without their loved one. It’s okay to remember them. This year, my dad is celebrating his third Christmas in heaven. We recently visited dad’s grave at the beautifully decorated Central Valley veteran’s cemetery; a moving experience to see hundreds of natural pine wreaths with their bright red bows placed lovingly in front of each white marble headstone. Dad would have loved it.