Anthropologists believe that storytelling is important to human existence. We use stories to make sense of our world, find meaning, and share understanding. Fairy tales teach values, ethics, social and cultural norms and differences in an inspiring and captivating manner. Listeners learn how to imagine, problem-solve, identify with others, and practice respectful listening.

January 7, 2021

Once upon a time… (Building Resilience, Part 2)

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Some Christians believe fairy tales are hurtful to children and may tempt them away from their Christian faith. In fact, fairy tales provide a wonderful foundation upon which to build a Christian perspective. Consider Pinocchio, Chronicles of Narnia, or the Legends of King Arthur. J.R. Tolkien believed fairy tales to be essential for all humanity. Tolkien said stories are needed so we can see that fairy tales are fulfilled in Christianity. Both Scripture and fairy tales point to our human weakness and our need for help. We share stories not to scare our children but to demonstrate their great need for God.

December 31, 2020

Four Ways Fairy-Tales Inspire Bravery (Building Resilience, Part 1)

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Living for God is the best thing one could ever do. Christian living encompasses freedom and liberty from the curse of sin and shame. However, living for God isn’t always easy. It is not a cakewalk or a stroll along the sands of the beach. During your walk with God, you will face rejection, persecution, and sorrow, but the Bible tells us that he that endures to the end shall be saved.

December 23, 2020

God Loves The Rejected Heart

Read

Demetrius Minor

What does “home for the holidays” look like to you? There are some expectations of change as children marry into other families with traditions of their own. It helps to focus on the blessings of these unions and less on the changes they bring to our celebrations. After all, the most important consistency of our Christmas is the Christmas Story itself. The story of a love so grand, so infinite, that God came down to live among us, and to teach us so that we might live and celebrate forever. We have forever to celebrate! Our time together is not finite because our Lord has prepared a place for us in our forever home with Him. He wants us to want to go home.

December 22, 2020

The Christmas Story

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

So called Pastor Warnock started a firestorm when he innocently tweeted that he is a “pro-choice pastor.” This was meant to burnish his credentials with the powerful abortion lobby led by Planned Parenthood and Naral, who are spending copious amounts of money in Georgia on the Senate runoff race. Instead, the tweet has brought the […]

December 15, 2020

There is no such thing as a pro-choice pastor!

Read

Stacy Washington

In a day and age where compromising integrity seems to be a regular occurrence, it’s imperative that believers don’t compromise their morals and faith. Our faith is our identity, and we must never discount it or put it in a proverbial garage sale simply for political convenience or for the sake of gaining popularity.

December 15, 2020

Don’t Put Your Faith in a Garage Sale

Read

Demetrius Minor

As promised, here is my two-cents worth of advice to complete our 3-part discussion. This time of year, we tend to reflect and assess our lives, purpose, and impact on others. Invariably, there are people we have hurt and repairs we ought to make. Likewise, there are people who have hurt us that we ought to forgive. Forgiveness is powerful and important for the extender and the receiver. Forgiving releases both the forgiver and the forgiven from the imprisonment of resentment and negativity so that each can experience the fullness of God’s love in us and through us. I make it sound easy, don’t I? I do not mean to. In fact, extending forgiveness is exceedingly difficult…

December 14, 2020

Regret and Forgiveness, Part 3

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Shorter Stacy: “Virtual learning isn’t working for American kids.” In the big scheme of things, one might consider the number of children earning F’s in school jumping from 8 percent to 38 percent a serious problem. Parents do. But Teachers Unions and public school administrators seem immune to the educational carnage. When I was asked […]

December 11, 2020

No One Is Listening To Parents About Virtual Learning

Screengrab of American Agenda on NewsmaxTV

Read

Stacy Washington

Struggling through the stages of regret and self-blame can be beneficial. Like Scrooge, who visited Christmas past, the struggle can allow us to grow in character and clarity and understand what is important, valuable, and meaningful. Such clarity and understanding clears our mind of the heavy cloud of guilt so we can show up, see the colors of life, and intentionally move towards mending the pains of our present and past comportment.

December 9, 2020

Regret and Forgiveness, Part 2

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

How badly do you really want to be like Jesus?! Do you want just His benefits, or do you want to take on His nature? Because to identify with Christ, you must also identify with pain. The pain is necessary for us to access the promises God has given us.

December 8, 2020

Why Pain is Necessary?

young troubled woman using laptop at home

Read

Demetrius Minor

Regret can either paralyze you or move you to action. As with almost everything, you have options. Do you have to forgive? No, you can choose not to. However, like Dr. Seuss’s famous character, The Grinch, this decision will debilitate you, weigh you down, and keep you locked into thoughts and feelings of negativity. It is much easier to hold onto regret, anger, and feelings of disappointment that match your disposition. However, hope, resilience, redemption, and renewal can spring from your decision to forgive.

November 30, 2020

Regret and Forgiveness

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

If we were to review the year, there’s a lot to be negative about. There’s an ongoing pandemic that is sickening family members and putting cities in lockdowns and restrictions. There’s the aftermath of racial tension and riots that have us beckoning for not only healing but understanding for the complexity of issues that we may not understand. There’s political chaos and uncertainty as America prepares to usher in a new administration.

November 25, 2020

Thankful for Trouble?

Read

Demetrius Minor

My father always refused the last piece of pie at Thanksgiving. If it was offered to him, he would give it to another. As a child, his way confused me and instilled wonder in me. As an adult, I’ve grown to understand my father’s self-restraint and relegation as a position of strength and humility. — Every family has traditions; sometimes they are rooted in rich meaning. What lies behind your family’s customs?

November 23, 2020

The Last Piece of Pie

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

It’s time to lean into the Word. This is such a sad and distressing time for so many Americans. The anger and disappointment are palpable; normally even-keeled people are reeling from the realization that our nation is a piping hot mess.  Christians aren’t immune to cultural strictures, but we are supposed to know what to […]

November 18, 2020

We Don’t Shrink Back…

SOTR images

Read

Stacy Washington

In the midst of national chaos, many of us just long for peace and normalcy. Our country is in desperate need of healing and unity. But before you can desire this, you must be bold enough to want to be different.

November 17, 2020

Unity that Divides

Read

Demetrius Minor

When friendships are rough and emotions are high, it takes courage to stay engaged and push through the challenge. When we persevere, we can find healing, and a deeper connection that is impossible otherwise. Friendship is a gift that we must protect and fight for.

November 16, 2020

Friendships, Part 3

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Cultivating a friendship requires outward focus – our relationship grows deeper when we intentionally affirm, encourage and take interest in another person rather than trying to impress them. In order to nurture a true friendship, we must evaluate our motives and intentions. Does our desire for relationship flow from our own needs? or are we ready to genuinely invest ourselves in the process?

November 9, 2020

Friendships, Part 2

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Friendship is one of the greatest blessings we can receive and give. What makes a friendship good? How can we be a good friend? And why is it important to be in relationship? Let’s take a deeper look at the friendships in our lives and consider how we can nurture them.

November 2, 2020

Friendships, Part 1

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

Christians must be acutely aware of what is at stake during this election season. We must participate in conversations with our families and peers about the importance of our religious freedoms and liberties. But within our discussions, there should also be the reassuring peace that no singular politician can take away. There must be the remembrance that the Lord is Sovereign and that those who live for him have no reason to fear or doubt. Do not let fear paralyze you! We serve the Prince of Peace! And HE is the antidote to all our fears!

October 30, 2020

Paralysis of Fear

Don't let fear paralyze you

Read

Demetrius Minor

There is this attempt within our mainstream way of living to silence the critics. There is a movement that desires to eradicate any voice of dissent. This is evident with the ‘cancel culture’ revolution, which is the phenomenon of promoting the “canceling” of people, brands, and even shows and movies due to what some consider to be offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies. But what we are witnessing in the latter days of this unconventional year of 2020 is not just a cancellation of alternative views or the suppression of free speech. It is an outright crucifixion.

October 27, 2020

The Crucifixion of Christianity

Read

Demetrius Minor

I got “ducked” on a beautiful night last week. Leaving Cottleville Wine Sellars, my friends and I returned to my Jeep to find a small, yellow, masked, rubber ducky sitting on my door handle. I was at once amused and then a bit nervous as to what it meant. I cautiously picked up the little fellow and read it’s card aloud, “Holy Duck…I love your Jeep! Stay calm and duck on! Share a smile and share a duck!” We all laughed in delightful surprise. How and why did ducking begin, I wondered?

October 26, 2020

I Got Ducked!

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

I recently witnessed a young mother take two lollipops out of her purse and hand one to each of her children. The candy was to occupy them quietly so that she could return to her conversation. However, her strategy backfired as her daughter shouted that she wanted the red lollipop that her brother had been given. Thus began the back and forth tussle of jealousy that robbed both children of the pleasure of enjoying an unexpected, sweet treat and their mother of enjoying a much-needed adult conversation.

October 19, 2020

Facing Jealousy

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz

There is so much anxiety about the upcoming November 3rd presidential election. It’s as if we have never had an election like this. Expressions of heightened anxiety are openly shared all over social media. In times such as these, we must pause and take stock of the situation. As Christians, we know that God works […]

October 14, 2020

A Word Of Encouragement for the Election

Stacy's copy of the Shepherd book

Read

Stacy Washington

As we greet autumn and begin looking forward to the holiday season, many of us are apprehensive about how our celebrations may be changing this year. Don’t lose hope if you are dreading the disruption of long-honored traditions this year. Even in the midst of our most difficult struggles, we can find hope, thankfulness, and contentment.

October 12, 2020

Meaningful Traditions and Change

nature red forest leaves

Read

Dr. Marie Yvette Seltz