Tips for Dealing with the Winter Blues

By Kathy Pollard

Some people really struggle with feeling blah when darkness descends so much earlier. Here it’s getting dark around 4:30 p.m. so by the time it’s 8:30, it feels much later. It takes some getting used to! If the shorter days are getting you down, try a few of these simple tips and see if they help:

  • Eat some citrus as it starts to get dark. The smell of citrus is a natural mood lifter. Grab a couple of cuties and enjoy the taste of sunshine.
  • Take Vitamin D.
  • Drink more water. You may not feel like drinking cold water when all you want is a hot cup of coffee, but your body really needs it. The last thing you need is to fuddle your brain with dehydration. Plus, your skin will thank you.
  • Get outside for a bit everyday, no matter the weather.
  • Keep moving! You may feel like hunkering down under a blanket but surprise your body by going for a walk or going up and down the stairs a few times. It will warm your muscles, wake up your mind, and is perhaps one of the best things for mental health.
  • Try yoga. Find an instructor on YouTube that you like and just spend 15 minutes stretching your body. You will feel good all over.
  • Cook with lemon and lime. Lots of wholesome foods (like chicken, fish, whole grains, beans, and all kinds of greens) taste wonderful topped with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice.
  • Cook with green herbs and warming spices. Not only will they awaken your taste buds but they’re good for you, too.
  • BRIGHTEN someone else’s day. A fun winter challenge could be to lift at least one person each day. Send a thoughtful text or card. Offer sincere compliments to the people you run across. Express appreciation. Do a small act of service. Surprise your spouse in a sweet way. It’s amazing how doing for others is a double blessing. It encourages them and ends up making you feel so good, too.
  • Saturate your soul with SONshine. There are many Bible verses that will cheer you from the inside out. A quick Google search is a great starting point. You can search “Scriptures about light” or “Scriptures about shining.” For example, “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned” (Matt. 4:16). You could start your own “SONlight” journal by jotting down a verse each day.
  • Pray. God knows, cares, and always listens.
  • Smile! Besides, everyone looks better when they’re smiling. 🙂
  • Sing. Especially hymns. They’re not just for church and will lift your heart.

For those struggling with clinical depression or anxiety, these tips aren’t meant to take the place of professional care and counseling. But I think they can serve as a little extra TLC to help you get through the challenging winter months.

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My Happiness or Yours?

By Kathy Pollard

I have always been a hugger. Even as a child, I hugged everyone in church. I enjoyed it and naturally assumed that everyone else did, too. A few years ago I learned that some people aren’t crazy about it. In addition to hugging, I have always been a hand-holder during prayers. Whether in worship, fellowship, our home table, or at a restaurant, it was a very natural thing for me to grab the hands of the people next to me. It never dawned on me that some people don’t care for that. I now know that there are many who are so uncomfortable if someone grabs their hand that they can hardly focus on the prayer itself.

I’m ashamed to admit that my initial reaction to these discoveries wasn’t great. My first thought was, “What is wrong with them?” I could hardly fathom the idea of someone not liking a hug because to me, hugs equaled warmth and affection. My second reaction was selfish and resentful. “What about my wants and needs? Surely my soul will shrivel up in such a sterile, non-hugging environment!” And then my pride reared its ugly head. “Fine. See if I ever offer warmth and affection ever again.” After all, I felt a bit foolish. How many people had I hugged through the years without realizing my actions made them uncomfortable? Yes, I let Satan have a heyday with my heart.

How many lessons have I heard (and taught!) about the “others above self” mentality of Philippians 2? Or the kind of love that leads to unity from Romans 12? Or the “love for one another” that Jesus said identifies us as His followers in John 13? Yet there I was wrestling with it all when surprised by another point of view. Apparently it’s all well and good for us to have differences until it affects me personally or calls for me to make a change. I wish I could say that I recognized my self-problem as quickly as it took me to acknowledge it in these couple of paragraphs. But I am grateful for a couple of things I did finally see through the process.

Growth. Learning that there are some who don’t like hugs forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert and find it way easier to express love, joy, concern, or sympathy through hugs than through words. It also gave me an opportunity to see my unintentional self-centeredness. I realized I have to actually learn about others in order to know how they need to receive love. I need to pay attention to them instead of assuming they think, feel, and act like I do. Imagine that!

Jesus said, “Love one another even as I have loved you” (John 13:34). He had just demonstrated that love through the humble service of foot washing. He said, “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (v. 15). He also said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (v. 17). Knowing and doing are two different things. How easy it is to get caught up in our rights and our feelings, to swallow Satan’s lie that our own happiness reigns supreme! But when we do, we make ourselves miserable. Jesus knows what’s best for His body, including each individual part, including me. Focusing on self doesn’t lead to happiness. The blessed life comes from caring more about others. It causes growth, stretching, learning, and experiencing in ways that we can’t when we’re wrapped up in ourselves.

Grace. I learned about the folks who don’t like hand-holding in a social media thread. Someone posted a  question about it and I was amazed at all the comments. My eyes landed on one comment about a woman’s complete discomfort with having her hand held and I thought, “Oh no…I know for a fact that I’ve grabbed her hand during a prayer!”

It took me a while to realize that people have been extending grace to me for a long time. I was in my 40s before I learned that some people don’t like hugs or hand-holding. Why is that? Because no one ever rejected a hug from me or pushed me away or embarrassed me by saying, “I’d rather you not do that.” Even though they didn’t really care for it, they cared for me. That’s just the way I am and so they put up with it, at their own expense. I’m humbled by the realization.

Jesus poured water in the basin and went from one set of dirty feet to another. I put myself in His place as He came upon the feet of Judas. I imagine I would whisper, “Nope,” and move on to the next disciple. But the next disciple is Peter. It blows my mind that Jesus knew they would soon betray Him and deny Him but He knelt down before them anyway. He offered grace in advance. 

I rarely reach for a hand during prayer unless it’s immediate family, and I’m a lot less likely to hug someone when I see them. But you’ll be relieved to know that my soul didn’t shrivel up after all. I’ve learned that people express warmth and affection in lots of different ways, and they’re good ways! I could’ve saved myself some heartache if I had been more like Jesus with grace in advance. Intentional grace. Others will not always understand me and I will not always understand them. But I can determine ahead of time how I will respond when this happens. With love and grace, we can grow through this.

“My happiness or yours” sounds like something that could foster a begrudging mindset. “One of us must lose and so I guess as a Christian I should let you win and have your way.” Satan would love that. There’s no love there or compassion or grace or unity. Just keeping track and keeping score. Jesus taught a different mindset: lay aside yourself for the good of others. And followed that up with His promise, “You will be blessed.”

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Photo cred: Lynn Hite, friend and fellow-hugger

My Happiness or Yours?

By Kathy Pollard

I have always been a hugger. Even as a child, I hugged everyone in church. I enjoyed it and naturally assumed that everyone else did, too. A few years ago I learned that some people aren’t crazy about it. In addition to hugging, I have always been a hand-holder during prayers. Whether in worship, fellowship, our home table, or at a restaurant, it was a very natural thing for me to grab the hands of the people next to me. It never dawned on me that some people don’t care for that. I now know that there are many who are so uncomfortable if someone grabs their hand that they can hardly focus on the prayer itself.

I’m ashamed to admit that my initial reaction to these discoveries wasn’t great. My first thought was, “What is wrong with them?” I could hardly fathom the idea of someone not liking a hug because to me, hugs equaled warmth and affection. My second reaction was selfish and resentful. “What about my wants and needs? Surely my soul will shrivel up in such a sterile, non-hugging environment!” And then my pride reared its ugly head. “Fine. See if I ever offer warmth and affection ever again.” After all, I felt a bit foolish. How many people had I hugged through the years without realizing my actions made them uncomfortable? Yes, I let Satan have a heyday with my heart.

How many lessons have I heard (and taught!) about the “others above self” mentality of Philippians 2? Or the kind of love that leads to unity from Romans 12? Or the “love for one another” that Jesus said identifies us as His followers in John 13? Yet there I was wrestling with it all when surprised by another point of view. Apparently it’s all well and good for us to have differences until it affects me personally or calls for me to make a change. I wish I could say that I recognized my self-problem as quickly as it took me to acknowledge it in these couple of paragraphs. But I am grateful for a couple of things I did finally see through the process.

Growth. Learning that there are some who don’t like hugs forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert and find it way easier to express love, joy, concern, or sympathy through hugs than through words. It also gave me an opportunity to see my unintentional self-centeredness. I realized I have to actually learn about others in order to know how they need to receive love. I need to pay attention to them instead of assuming they think, feel, and act like I do. Imagine that!

Jesus said, “Love one another even as I have loved you” (John 13:34). He had just demonstrated that love through the humble service of foot washing. He said, “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (v. 15). He also said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (v. 17). Knowing and doing are two different things. How easy it is to get caught up in our rights and our feelings, to swallow Satan’s lie that our own happiness reigns supreme! But when we do, we make ourselves miserable. Jesus knows what’s best for His body, including each individual part, including me. Focusing on self doesn’t lead to happiness. The blessed life comes from caring more about others. It causes growth, stretching, learning, and experiencing in ways that we can’t when we’re wrapped up in ourselves.

Grace. I learned about the folks who don’t like hand-holding in a social media thread. Someone posted a  question about it and I was amazed at all the comments. My eyes landed on one comment about a woman’s complete discomfort with having her hand held and I thought, “Oh no…I know for a fact that I’ve grabbed her hand during a prayer!”

It took me a while to realize that people have been extending grace to me for a long time. I was in my 40s before I learned that some people don’t like hugs or hand-holding. Why is that? Because no one ever rejected a hug from me or pushed me away or embarrassed me by saying, “I’d rather you not do that.” Even though they didn’t really care for it, they cared for me. That’s just the way I am and so they put up with it, at their own expense. I’m humbled by the realization.

Jesus poured water in the basin and went from one set of dirty feet to another. I put myself in His place as He came upon the feet of Judas. I imagine I would whisper, “Nope,” and move on to the next disciple. But the next disciple is Peter. It blows my mind that Jesus knew they would soon betray Him and deny Him but He knelt down before them anyway. He offered grace in advance. 

I rarely reach for a hand during prayer unless it’s immediate family, and I’m a lot less likely to hug someone when I see them. But you’ll be relieved to know that my soul didn’t shrivel up after all. I’ve learned that people express warmth and affection in lots of different ways, and they’re good ways! I could’ve saved myself some heartache if I had been more like Jesus with grace in advance. Intentional grace. Others will not always understand me and I will not always understand them. But I can determine ahead of time how I will respond when this happens. With love and grace, we can grow through this.

“My happiness or yours” sounds like something that could foster a begrudging mindset. “One of us must lose and so I guess as a Christian I should let you win and have your way.” Satan would love that. There’s no love there or compassion or grace or unity. Just keeping track and keeping score. Jesus taught a different mindset: lay aside yourself for the good of others. And followed that up with His promise, “You will be blessed.”

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Photo cred: Lynn Hite, friend and fellow-hugger

Dual Citizenship

By Emily Pollard

Civic freedom is a privilege Americans have had for centuries. It is also something many people around the world have never experienced. Throughout history, both free and tyrannical governments have risen and fallen. As Americans, we bask in the glory of our freedom. We exercise our rights. We even take freedom for granted, while citizens of socialist and communist nations long for the freedom we have. When our freedom is threatened, we feel like it’s the end of the world. But the bottom line is, whether living in a free country or an oppressive one, Christians are citizens of a different nation altogether. We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” of God’s (1 Pet. 2:9). Paul explains this also in his letter to the Philippian church…

But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.”

Philippians 3:20-21

At every turn, we’re bombarded with news of corruption, injustice, and oppression around the world. Fear strikes our hearts at immorality that is accepted and even encouraged. We react with fear because we know our native country to be our homeland, and as the world moves further from Truth, we feel less and less at home. Certainly, Paul knows exactly how this feels as he wrote the book of Philippians in jail after being arrested for sharing Jesus.

            But the beauty of belonging to God’s kingdom is that we have a better home waiting. Through civil unrest or persecution, Christians on earth have an opportunity to live exemplary lives (1 Pet. 2:11-12, 15) and become more like Christ (1 Pet. 2:21-23) through trials. Even more so, in death, the faithful Christian has nothing to lose and everything to gain (1 Cor. 15:53-56). Whether we’re talking about cancel-culture or blatant persecution (both of which happen today), Paul’s message rings true. We must never let the instability of this world overshadow the glory of Heaven. No matter what happens, our homeland is Heaven, and our Ruler is God.

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(Photo credit:  Kellsey Erin Photography)

NOW Year’s Resolution

By Janelle Pollard

Now Year’s Resolution

It’s hard to believe there’s only two months left in 2021. The holidays always seem to fly by and before we know it, the new year will be upon us. This is when we usually start to decide on resolutions…things we want to try, give up, or finally accomplish. Many habits are hard to break and there’s something about a new year that gives us hope for a fresh start. When it comes to our spiritual lives, thankfully, we don’t need to wait (and really, shouldn’t!) for a new year to start a new habit. 

I can think back to certain Bible studies and ladies’ classes I’ve been to and can remember listening to some ladies who I knew without a doubt had a strong faith and knowing that it didn’t happen by chance. I knew that they didn’t just wake up one day and have a strong prayer life and disciplined Bible study habits. My first thoughts tended to be, “They’re probably way more disciplined of a person than I am,” or “maybe one day I’ll be as strong as they are,” or “I don’t even know where to start to develop habits like they have,” and would be a little discouraged that a mountain was ahead of me that I really didn’t know how to climb. But what it is important after thoughts like those are to recognize that they are not true. Those are thoughts that Satan wants us to think so that we won’t even try. But as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

As a southerner, I’m ashamed to admit that I really don’t like vegetables. Like, any of them. And I never have, especially as a kid. I mean, I will eat them and they’re not that bad but I would rather have cake. However, I know that to be healthy, I need to eat vegetables and the more I eat them, I find that I enjoy them a little more than I used to. If I want them to be part of my meals every day, would I start by cooking 5 different vegetables for every meal and expect to enjoy them? Probably not the best way to start. But, if I decided to have one vegetable a day for a week, and then add another the next week, while finding different ways to cook and season them, over time I would find that they’re much more enjoyable and would become a daily habit that is part of every meal. 

If I expect to become a strong Christian overnight, but never work to add daily prayer and Bible study to my daily habits, I will be in for a disappointing reality. Small daily changes will lead to big, lifelong results. But, we must put in the effort to reap the benefits, now and eternally.

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 

2 Peter 3:18

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Humble and Kind

By Chelsea Pollard

For someone who doesn’t listen to modern country much, one of my favorites is Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw. The tune is lovely, but I mainly appreciate the reminder. 

I’d like to believe that I don’t really need the reminder because this isn’t a problem for me. I think I’m a very kind person! I don’t think I’m prideful, so I’m already humble? As much as I hate to admit it, I am humbled very often. It mainly shows me that it’s my attitude and my mindset that is flawed. Now, it’s just up to me to learn from it. 

The most recent event happened while I was at work. I run a small cafe in a medical building and normally, I close at 4 pm but I decided I wanted to leave just a few minutes early. I figured I could have everything finished and leave around 3:45. It’s only a 15 minute head start to get home, but that sounded nice! A little after 3, a woman came up and started asking all kinds of questions. She was alone, around 60 years old and in a wheelchair, so she couldn’t see the displays very well. She started asking about the drinks, the lunch items, the snacks, the whole nine. She wanted to know what they were, the ingredients, the sugar content and I was totally fine with that! But the minutes started to drag on and I was getting a little annoyed. Like come on, I want to leave a little early! How dare she. 

Well, this conversation unfolded like they usually do. We started to learn more about each other, like where we are from and what brought us here. We’re both transplants, so we talked about how much we liked our town and enjoyed living in the south, her being from the north and me from the west. Talked about how crazy we thought the world was and we just wish we could be united again, live in peace with everyone. At some point in the conversation, she asked me “Are you a woman of faith?” I told her I was. She didn’t go much into detail, but what I gathered is that she is very spiritual. She kept telling me to “never lose faith.” She told me about her life and the health issues she had when she was very young and how that led her to where she was. She had cancer and diabetes in her early 20s, but she was grateful and said she was blessed. She beat the cancer, she lost all her weight and even though that put her in a wheelchair, she felt blessed. 

She had to take medical transport to get to her appointment and the reason she was “talking my ear off”, was because she was waiting for her ride and boy, how they were making her wait. She never complained, she was extremely pleasant, she was so positive and excited about everything we were talking about. Once 3:45 hit, she decided to call her ride again, get an ETA on the driver. I knew I needed to start closing up so I told her it was lovely talking to her, but she quickly got on her phone call. I wanted to give her her privacy so I stepped into the back for just a moment, but when I came out, she was on her way out the door. Then I noticed that she had left me a gift, right by my register. It was a beautiful necklace, a cross with small heart wrapped around it. Cue the humbling. 

I genuinely enjoyed our conversation and I just couldn’t believe that I was annoyed, inconvenienced even. Here was this beautiful soul, having a conversation with me, but that’s not how I saw it. Not at first, anyway. I realized just how selfish I was being, like it wasn’t worth my time. I have loved getting to know people at my job for the last year and a half, so you’d think I’d know by now. But at times, I need to be reminded. Especially as Christians, it’s important to not only see the person, but the soul and treat them as such. In a sermon, Hiram Kemp said “Every time we look at the face of another human being, we are seeing an extension of God’s love.” That really stuck with me, especially after that day. 

“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.“  Galatians 6:10

She was still waiting outside as I left. I made sure to stop, tell her how much I appreciated the sweet gift and appreciated her. Once again, she told me to never lose faith. I will remember her and try my absolute best to keep the mindset that God wants me to have for His creation. 

“Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you

When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around

And help the next one in line

Always stay humble and kind.” 

 

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4 Lessons from 4 Months of Marriage

By Emily Pollard

Most people will admit to you that marriage is hard. If someone has told you marriage is easy, they’ve probably never been married. Many married couples will also readily admit that they are still learning after 15, 20, even 30 years of practice. That’s because marriage is just plain hard sometimes. Think about what you’re called to do as a spouse…

*Become one with another person

*Love your spouse unconditionally and selflessly

*Help your spouse grow spiritually

*Submit (as the wife) or lead the family (as the husband)

These responsibilities can be daunting but, aside from our own relationship with the Savior, I can’t think of a more rewarding and God-glorifying relationship than a godly marriage. My husband, Carl, and I have only been married for 4 months. So, I am by no means an expert on marriage, but there are 4 marriage-altering lessons that I have learned through trial and error (mostly error) in the short time we’ve been married.

1. Sharing is caring.

Opening up with one another about our deepest struggles and most shameful moments is something Carl’s and my personalities are naturally resistant to. The fear of disappointing your spouse or shame of admitting mistakes/temptations is crippling for many. However, the husband-and-wife relationship is called by God to be unified (Gen. 2:24). A key ingredient in growing as one is knowing your spouse and being known by your spouse. A strong line of communication between a husband and wife eliminates and simplifies so many problems. If you truly care for your spouse, you will work to share every part of life with them, and you will provide the safe space for him/her to communicate openly with you. As brother and sister in Christ, spouses are also called to speak the truth with one another (Eph. 4:25). It is possible to discuss uncomfortable and/or tense matters with your spouse. Hiding matters that need to be shared will hinder unity between you and your spouse.

2. Silence is powerful.

The power your words have over your spouse’s spirit is humbling. It is also easy to abuse. While honesty is always the best policy, being too honest is possible. If you are an opinionated person (like me), it is so tempting to blurt out advice or correction at every turn. While the peanut gallery comments don’t usually come from a mind of pride and hostility, they are discouraging and demeaning to your spouse. We all need correction at times (Gal. 6:1). That isn’t the point. The point is you married your spouse because you love who they are, and you like the way they think. Micromanaging their dishwashing method, the way they brush their teeth, or correcting them in front other people is destructive. In James 3, the tongue is compared to a small fire that can set an entire forest ablaze (James 3:4-6). The words your spouse hears from you can make them or break them. Don’t nag. Even if your spouse is wrong, it doesn’t mean they need you to tell them (James 4:11). Chances are, they already know and would admit it if you gave them the chance. The world is full of judgment and criticism. Your spouse needs you to build them up, not knock them down more (1Thess. 5:14).

3. Respect your spouse’s role.

While the world often describes God’s design for marriage as degrading toward women and partial toward men, anyone who seeks to fulfill God’s roles for men and women in marriage sees firsthand that there are challenges for husbands and wives. While we know this to be true, we still make our spouse’s job harder sometimes by disrespecting the challenges they face in trying to be a submissive wife or leading husband. The bottom line, it’s hard to be the leader (Eph. 5:23), and it’s hard to be submissive (Eph. 5:24). But what makes it easier is dwelling on the different yet often equally challenging commands you are each striving to fulfill. In the midst of an argument or a life-altering decision, remember that you both have difficult roles to maintain. Above all, you are both still in submission to God’s final say (1 Cor. 11:3)

4. Be willing to sacrifice.

A healthy marriage is not without sacrifice from both parties. As a Christian your goal is to love your spouse as Christ has demonstrated love for us in His own life. Christ was aware of what we needed before you and I even existed. Pay attention to your spouse, not just what they say, but their mood or things they may need that they don’t ask for. In order to provide the salvation we needed, Jesus “emptied Himself” (Phil. 2:7), “humbled himself” (Phil 2:8), and “bore our sins” (1 Pet. 2:24). In other words, Jesus denied His own wants, did so without complaining and fixed a problem we couldn’t fix on our own. Do the same for your spouse. If Christ was willing to endure abuse, mockery, and crucifixion because He loved us, surely we can make trivial sacrifices like helping with chores or letting your spouse pick dinner for once. Christ spent 33 years of His life on earth for us. We can take time out of our day to check on our spouse and provide for their needs.

These are just 4 out of the countless lessons to be learned in marriage. I know Carl and I have a lifetime worth of growing to do together. Praise God for the blessing of marriage!

What is Truth?

By Chelsea Pollard

The topic of truth has been on my mind a lot lately. Seeing where the world is, the confusion and how divided we are, it’s unsettling to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because – to a large number of people – there’s no objective truth. Did you know there’s a word for this? I learned this word from Hiram Kemp and it is “post-truth”. 

Oxford’s definition of post-truth: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Basically, feelings over fact. That’s your truth but it’s not my truth. I’ve got to speak my truth. We’ve all heard a variation of this and it’s troubling because we know the truth. 

  • “Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (Jn 14.6). 
  • “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (Jn 8.31,32). 
  • “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17.17). 
  • “For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth” (2 Cor 13:8). 
  • “Buy the truth and do not sell it – wisdom, instruction and insight as well” (Proverbs 23:23). 

We know the truth and we follow Him. Because of this truth, we have purpose and meaning in our lives! People may want to believe that they have their own truth, but they feel that hole in their lives. I believe that we are made with the desire to know the truth, it’s in our code to know our Creator. There are people out there seeking the truth and it’s up to us to show them. While I was looking for verses on truth, I came across Psalm 25. Please take a minute to read it. 

“In you, LORD my God, I put my trust….Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps 25:1,5). 

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Be Still

By Janelle Pollard

I’m so tired.

I’m exhausted.

I would (fill in the blank with some kind of social activity or event you’ve been invited to attend), but I’ve got to get some sleep.

Do any of the above phrases sound familiar? (I’m sure Dale would respond with a resounding “yes,” if I asked him.) I rarely get enough sleep and all too often complain of being tired. Thankfully, this is something I can easily change with a little intention and discipline.

In our day and age, there is so much going on and are so many distractions to fill our minds and time that we rarely get enough (good) rest. But we need rest! Not only do we need quality sleep to be able to function and be happy, but we also need rest. If there is any evidence of how badly we need rest, it can be found in Genesis 2:2.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.”

If our own all-powerful Creator rested, we should definitely be resting too. Of course we need sleep to function. But we need more than sleep. We need rest, to be still. It would greatly benefit us to put away all of our many distractions: TV, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. These things are fine if used sparingly, but not many of us do.

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 46:10, 

Be still, and know that I am God. 

I will be exalted among the nations, 

I will be exalted in the earth!

And in the beginning of 37:7,

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him”

We need to slow down and take time to be still before the Lord. To turn off all the noise and just listen. There’s so much to be gained from quiet time spent with God and we won’t come away from it feeling more tired and drained, but just the opposite. This kind of rest isn’t just good for the body, but good for the soul! If daily Bible study isn’t already a part of your normal routine, try it for a week. Start with maybe 5-10 minutes in the morning and at night. And as you begin to make this a part of your daily habits, increase the time and you will find that it’s never enough! 

Let’s all be still, not busy…

B-eing

U-nder

S-atan’s

Y-oke

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Hallelujah

By Emily Pollard

Oh Lord, dear Lord,
Blessed Creator of all
Compared to Your might,
All quandaries seem small.

The billowing waves,
Though they toss me about
Are to you one raindrop
In the midst of a drought.

In the height of shadow,
In lowliness of heart,
You bring hope, joy, and strength
Before the trials depart.

You are there before,
During, and after the pain.
In the highest and lowest times,
I never cease to praise your name.

Overcome with power,
love, and grace You bestow.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The only words my tongue now knows.

Oh Lord, dear Lord,
Now I see you face to face.
I bow down and thank you
For your mercy and your grace.

The sanctification process
Has led me to Your throne.
I am with You forever.
I am finally home.

For this, You and I labored
together many many years.
Now, here we are in eternity.
It was worth every tear.

Oh Lord, dear Lord
No number of praises
would ever be enough.
But eternity is long, and
I will spend it singing Hallelujah.

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