All posts filed under: guest post

Fulfilling Traditions by Rachael Ritchey

When I was a kid, we moved far from my big extended family with whom we celebrated Christmas every year. From then on, it was always just the four of us. That wasn’t so bad, and we had traditions we continued, like decorating the tree after Thanksgiving, eating turkey, marking the advent calendar, and devouring the yummiest green Jell-O in the world. Growing up, I loved participating in these things, but the holidays look different for each of us. Some of us don’t like the idea of doing something just because it’s always been done, but traditions don’t need to be rote or boring. Traditions are beliefs, customs, and actions passed down from generation to generation. As believers, we have a unique and special opportunity to not only teach the next generation the reason for our joy, but we get to remind ourselves and each other what we’ve been given. Jonathan Edwards once said, “The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” Traditions we have with our families …

Jesus in the Leaves: Seeing Christ in the Season of Transition by Regina Hernandez

Autumn and Spring are my two favorite seasons. I love them for so many reasons but mostly because they both represent transformation. My one complaint about Autumn is: it feels like the shortest of all the seasons, especially in the south where it seems to last only a week or two at best. One of my favorite facts about autumn is: the green in leaves of trees comes from the chlorophyll; so when a tree begins the process of dying for winter and produces less and less chlorophyll, the yellow and orange we see are the true colors of the tree’s leaves.  In the process of a tree dying, of losing life, we see it’s true colors. Those colors have always been there, they have just been hidden by the overabundance of life-giving chlorophyll. Even better yet, those true colors are a little different from year to year depending on how much the sun, heat, weather, and other factors have played a role in that tree’s life for the past three seasons. When I enter …

A Tale as Old as Time: Revelation in Relationship by Charlie Louthen

I think it’s important to share that I did not want to write this article. I literally tried twice to disqualify myself to Candice and to myself numerous times. But Papa (Christ Jesus) continuously tugged at my heart to do it. Why was I so resistant? I narrowed it down to one reason. Fear. Why was I afraid? 1. How do you write something on a topic so deeply personal like a hard break-up with care and consideration for the other party involved when you were hurt by their actions? 2. How do you help others with forgiveness when you are not fully healed? I prayed for days on these two questions and got wise counsel from close friends. In the end, the answer was simple. Truth and grace. The truth is sometimes God will give you exactly what you want so that He can show you what you really need. This is biblically accurate. He gave the Israelites a king when they begged Him for it. He even told them all the horrible things …

Life Abundantly by Regina Hernandez

“The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come so that they may have life and life more abundantly.” ~JOHN 10:10 After an unexpected surgery in December, I found myself in this really weird place. I was lacking motivation. Simple tasks felt impossible. I wasn’t feeling social at all, which is a bit uncharacteristic for me…and the worst was, despite life being in a pretty good place, I was carrying this overwhelming sense of sadness with me. Come to find out, post-op depression is a thing, and I was struggling. Once I identified what was going on, I decided to find a way to press into the Lord. I wanted to seek Him out in the midst of the struggle instead of embracing the depression and just trying to trudge through until it was over. As I spent time with Him, I started just writing out some of what was on my mind and what I wanted help to overcome. I wrote about how I felt like I was lacking motivation and …

Fear of Forgiveness by Rachael Ritchey

A hard flick to my hat brim detonated a cloud of dust into the sweltering, stagnant air, and I hated how the subtle imagery matched the powder keg of dread ready to bust my chest open. Selena coughed and punched my hip. I cringed. No doubt she was glaring at me, too, but I shrugged it off and stepped forward, jamming the Stetson back on my sweaty head. “Go get ’em, tiger!” she said. I rolled my eyes but couldn’t help the reluctant smile, even if it didn’t last long. Did I deserve a second chance? Hell no, but Selena convinced me to give it a shot, and I wasn’t going to let her down. She kept insisting what happened wasn’t my fault, but every time I looked at her, crippled and trapped in that godawful wheelchair, I couldn’t shake the guilt. If only I could take back what happened a year ago. If only I could rewind the clock and stop my sister from getting trampled in that stampede. If I’d been there on …

Mad Mona, Monarch of Madonia’s Christmas Surprise By Rachael Ritchey

I know better than to answer my phone after nine at night, and on Christmas Eve to boot. I really don’t know what came over me … except as I think on it, I doubt my not answering would have stopped Her Majesty from knocking my door down. It’s not as though anyone else would follow her on one of her hair-brained schemes. Learning to skateboard and royal spaghetti-eating contests in neighboring Pastarea aside, she’s not always a loon, but Queen Mona isn’t lovingly referred to as Mad Mona, Her Majesty of Madonia for nothing. At least I’m not wearing a ridiculous red-checked tablecloth as a cape this time. Still …. “Doyle!” Her Majesty waves me over with a wild sweep of her plump arm, the roundness of the limb enhanced by the down-filled coat I insisted she wear on this winter excursion that is quite against my better judgment. “Doyle! Stop lolly-gagging, you overzealous buffoon.” “Of course, Your Majesty.” I approach her and take the hand she extends to me. Between myself and the …

Second Sight by Rachael Ritchey

The future we see through broken and twisted spectacles There is not sure sight to know the path We trip along, hoping to grasp a rail When in fact, none is to be had Not with our hands, at least Only our hearts can lead For our hearts see what Eyes cannot see Feel what hands do not feel Touch what bone cannot touch Deeper is marrow than that of bone The core of one life is beyond imagining When hearts reach out to search the blindness Our hearts can go to places our bodies are unwilling In the heart lies the soul of a man and desire to love is there Photo by Quentin Lagache on Unsplash *This poem was written by Indie Author, Rachael Ritchey. To read more of her works, including her published pieces, follow her at: rachaelritchey.com Twitter: Rachael Ritchey Facebook: WritingRaci

An Unexpected Purpose & a Prepared Blessing by Pastor Robert House

*This Article is written by Pastor Robert House. A short bio of the author will be at the end of the article.  My purpose in writing this is to tell my own truth and not to talk bad about anyone else or their experience as a pastor, stepfather, husband and even simply as a Christian but just to write out my own thoughts on what I have experienced so far in this 10-month journey of change. I have known my wife since I was in the 6th grade but we were never close because I was older but her family was active in the church as I was. Everyone knew me because I was one of the few blacks in the school. My wife also played sports with one of my close friends so I knew her through that association. Around September of 2017, she messaged me and told me how much I meant to her during that time since she grew up in a rough situation and we begin talking every day. On November …