❝Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.❞ Psalm 126:6
Reflection by Sheila O’Neal
Just about a year ago after I broke my leg, I was wheeled into a space barely big enough for a single bed, let alone any furniture, to spend an undetermined amount of time. I could not at that moment even get out of bed and was totally dependent on others for every need. I was mortified. read more
❝How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! * My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God. The sparrow has found her a house and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young; * by the side of your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are they who dwell in your house! * they will always be praising you. Happy are the people whose strength is in you! * whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.❞ Psalm 84:1-4
Reflection by Ray Moreno
As many of you know, I moved several times in my formative years. Immokalee, El Campo, Tampa, Augusta, and most recently Tifton, are just a few of the places that I have lived and called home. Each has its unique memory and emotional tone. Comfort, peace, rest, and purpose. These are essential elements that define those places I have affectionately referred to as “home.”
The true feeling of home has been created in my life when that place, however modest, has centered on God, family, and friends. A home provides a place for me to devote time and space to each. A place to provide and receive comfort, peace, rest, and purpose for all and from all who enter.
A humble manger in Bethlehem, a camp in Egypt, a permanent dwelling in Nazareth, and the majestic temple in Jerusalem. These were places that Jesus called home. Each nourished Jesus with comfort, peace, rest and purpose, and provided a place for him to nourish others.
As I prepare for Advent, I am reminded to fill my space intentionally with the essential elements of home. Sharing those essentials with others nourishes them. And in so doing, I am again nourished.
I appreciate the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips. It reminds us all to “make this place your home.”
❝3 For my days are consumed like smoke,
And my bones are burned like a hearth.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass,
So that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the sound of my groaning
My bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness;
I am like an owl of the desert.
7 I lie awake,
And am like a sparrow alone on the housetop.❞ Psalm 102:3-7
Reflection by Alan Peaslee
In April of 2005, I assumed command of my Air National Guard Medical Group. I was selected for command earlier than expected, but I had two highly experienced NCO’s who would see me through the transition. Chief Master Sargent Sudduth and our beloved 1st Sargent Moses Haynes who was regarded, and has been publicly recognized, as the best first Sargent in the Georgia Air National Guard. Both of these men has been in the unit, in those positions, for more than 8 years, so my commander and I had every confidence we were set. read more
❝By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.❞ Psalm 137:1
Reflection by Rich McDonald
Approaching Advent, we are encouraged to look ahead to the season in front of us. We prepare ourselves for our annual celebration of the new life that Jesus brings to us, reminded of the birth of our Savior, as well as the promise of eternal life that God has promised to those who believe. read more
❝Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.❞ Psalm 1:1-3
Reflection by Janelle Taylor
Did you, as a parent, ever stand at the end of a tall slide with your child at the top, scared to come down? Can you remember saying “Come on down baby, I’m right here. I’ll catch you”? Did you ever stop to think, my child trusted me to catch him. My child loved me and wanted to please by obeying me. And did you catch that smile and the squeals and giggles of delight when your child did come down?
That child-like trust, plain and simply put, is what God asks of us. He wants us to trust him in all matters of our lives. How do I build that trust? Being the strong-willed, hard-headed person that I am, it’s easy for me to shoot my mouth off and not follow God’s lead. But when I slow down, pray, and seek God’s guidance, the results are always much better. God is able. God has shown me that if I obey his word, trust him to guide my footsteps and actions, then I, too, can have that inner pleasure of delight.
Listen to the song at right. It’s a song from most of our childhoods, especially if you grew up Baptist like me. The song is the first thing that came to my mind when I read that this week’s theme is Obedience and Trust. The song was written in the mid-1800s after a young man, obviously uneducated and knowing little about scripture, stood before a crowd in a tent revival. He stated “I am not quite sure–but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.” That one sentence was the inspiration for a song that has comforted and encouraged millions of believers in the years since.