Dave had just gotten back from his church’s annual youth conference. The speakers this year gave amazing messages, the worship sessions were incredibly powerful, and there were many teens that had come to Christ. Dave came home with a feeling of elation. He decided he was going to be more proactive about spending time with the Lord and becoming a more godly man. He determined that he was going to talk to that kid in his math class who he knew need to hear about Jesus. He would begin a new chapter in his life. Dave woke up the next morning and went to school as usual. He complained about how terrible the cafeteria food was, as usual. He did not even think about talking to that kid in his math class until he got home from school. Dave’s routine and behavior were unchanged despite the strong feelings he had at the conference.
Dave’s story may be fictitious, but it is something many Christians experience, especially in today’s culture. Feelings of elation and closeness to God are actively sought after, but many fail to realize that these feelings are not critical to faith. Christians often call this feeling a “Spiritual High.”
Having this spiritual high is not bad or wrong. This feeling of nearness to God is beautiful and should be cherished. God uses these times to fill one’s heart and sometimes cause a dramatic change. However, these times of elation do not last forever. Feelings can change from one end of the spectrum to the other in an instant. In the same way, spiritual highs do not last very long.
There has been an increasing desire for these spiritual experiences, especially among today’s youth. Tangible experiences have become more important. This type of experience is not what Biblical faith consists of.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith does not mean one always feels the presence of God. On the contrary, faith is being confident in God when one cannot see him working in one’s life; especially then. God is ever-present, and tells us so in Matthew 28:20, “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” God is not limited to working in the hearts of his people only when they can feel it. However, this has been the approach of many Christians today.
Many Christians go through their lives in search of their next spiritual high. They will go to every chapel, worship session, prayer meeting, conference, and Bible study looking to feel God’s presence. While there is nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, the motivation to go to these things has become corrupted. The motivation has changed from a desire to learn and study God more to a desire to feel something. This desire transfers over into other aspects of life. Many Christians are so obsessed with tangibly experiencing God that they find it anywhere and everywhere. They may see a message from God in the shape of the clouds, or in a passing remark from a friend. While He does choose to work in these ways sometimes, these Christians interpret these mediocre things as divine messages from The Lord. They see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear because they are so desperately trying to feel God.
These Christians are so desperate to feel that spiritual high because, without it, their faith is weak. Spiritual highs, especially in today’s culture, have replaced fostering a deep relationship with The Lord and spiritually disciplining oneself to obey God’s commands. Instead of strapping on the armor of God, Christians are strapping on their guitars to plan a really good set for the next worship session. This practice is crippling. Spiritual highs don’t last forever, so when the feeling stops…What then? There is a strong need for Christians to get back into the practice of spiritually disciplining themselves and grounding themselves in the Word of God. Many have chosen to base their faith on experience because it’s easier and more comfortable. However, God hasn’t called us to lead comfortable lives. He has called us to follow him and his commands and expand his kingdom over all the earth. To have this kind of active faith, one cannot substitute spiritual discipline with spiritual highs.
Imagine a child’s wonderment of receiving a special wrapped gift. Small hands open a decorated box with excitement because they know the gift was made just for them. Receiving a small gift fills the child’s heart with awe and astonishment. In the past twenty-two years, over 124 million children have received Christmas gifts distributed by Samaritan’s Purse in over 150 countries. Many of these common items are hard to find in the poorest of countries. To the children in many foreign countries, items such as, a toothbrush, pencils, notebooks, and toys are received with immeasurable gratitude and happiness.
Having the opportunity to participate in Operation Christmas Child’s life-changing ministry is an unforgettable experience. More importantly, sharing the love of Christ is revealed through The Greatest Journey, the gospel booklet provided by Samaritan’s Purse. This discipleship program provides booklets that are placed in each individual gift. Furthermore, it is estimated that each booklet is read an average of nine times. With these booklets, Samaritan’s Purse is planting seeds of hope inside the shoeboxes.
Spreading the name of Jesus through each Christmas gift can forever impact and transform innocent hearts. Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” With just a few hours of time, one has the opportunity to disciple and share the power of the gospel.
With Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child, volunteers have the ability to help thousands of children around the world. The Atlanta Processing Center in Suwanee Georgia is one location where people can pack gifts to be sent out internationally. Groups travel there from many different states to participate.
Once volunteers arrive at the processing center, they will immediately go through specific training. A leader will show everyone how to pack the gifts properly and efficiently. The group will enter the back of the warehouse filled with tables of boxes complete with toys, soap, pens, notebooks, and hygiene items. People are assigned different tasks throughout the room to make sure each gift is packed and marked properly.
On December 4th, from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm, Sylvia and Gordon Anderson are offering transportation to any students who are interested in traveling to the Atlanta Processing Center in Suwannee Georgia. Please contact Jessica Smith, email@example.com, by November 23rd if interested in participating in a fun and helpful way to spread the love of Christ.
Furthermore, contact Dave Rades, OCC of Toccoa at 706-344-7528 if interested in volunteering a few hours from November 16th through the 23rd for National Collection Week! Anyone is welcome to come and join for an experience that can help change the life of a child.
Student Missions Fellowship, or more commonly known as SMF, is an organization at Toccoa Falls College that focuses on what God is doing throughout the nations. Each week, SMF gathers in Woerner Missions to enjoy a time of worship, offering, prayer, and hearing from a speaker who has just completed an internship or from speakers that are affiliated with different missions organizations.
Generally, the speakers consist of interns who have just recently finished their internship requirements for their major in cross-cultural studies. The offering that SMF gathers and all of the fundraisers that SMF puts together go to fund the internships that the cross-cultural students take part in. This organization is dedicated to helping send students out who have a desire to share the gospel and then providing a space in which they can share their experiences with other people.
This Wednesday is the last SMF of the semester. Therefore, the SMF council has decided to switch things up and put together a worship night for TFC students to enjoy.
In speaking of the event, SMF president, Shannon Sarkar said,“This event will be a time of worship for the student body and anyone else that is interested. Our intent is to just worship the Lord, share testimonies of what God is doing in the season that we’re in, and to have a time of fellowship.”
According to Sarkar, the heart behind the event is to allow students “to go deeper with God that night. We want to worship the Lord through whatever circumstance or season that we are in, recognizing that He’s been there all along.” This truth is so important to remember. As the semester picks up speed and is quickly approaching the end, it is easy to lose focus, motivation, and a good attitude. However, this worship night will provide a wonderful opportunity for students to take a break from studying and just breathe.
This worship night will give students a chance to draw near to the Lord and allow them to prepare their hearts for the upcoming holiday season. Sarkar said, “As Thanksgiving is approaching, we want to worship with thanks and surrender!”
When asked how she feels about this upcoming night, Sarkar stated, “I’m excited to see what God has in store for SMF’s Worship Night! Come and join us while we worship and hear testimonies from our fellow peers! There will be s’mores, bonfires, and fun. It will be a relaxed and free time to just soak in all that the Lord has for us and to be able to experience it as a student body.” This is going to be a night to remember! Everyone is encouraged to come.
This event is taking place Wednesday, November 18th at 6:30pm. Due to possible inclement weather, the location of the worship night is still to be determined. If anyone is interested in attending, then stay tuned for more details concerning the location of SMF’s worship night.
The Justice Campaign is an organization at Toccoa Falls College that aims to bring awareness and action to injustices taking place within the community and around the world. Each year, the members pick an injustice to focus on; they spend the year getting out in the community and encouraging TFC students to make a difference and fight for justice.
This year is no different and their chosen injustice is poverty. The leadership team of The Justice Campaign spent time praying and seeking the Lord in order to pick an injustice to which they wanted to bring attention. They feel that poverty is an injustice that needs to be spoken about.
In a recent interview, one of the team leaders, Jessie Kerr, stated, “We chose it as a team last semester. Each member of the Justice Campaign felt the need to be involved locally. Our hearts were burdened as we researched the Stephens County area and found surprising statistics on poverty. We felt convicted and a drive welled up within our team to be members of the Toccoa community- not just the TFC community.”
This conviction is what motivates The Justice Campaign to take part in ending injustices. They realize that being a part of the community and making the difference in one life is significant. The aim of this organization is to get students involved. They don’t want to merely talk to students about injustice and not do anything further.
Awareness is great and it is the first step, but there comes a point when awareness turns into action. The Justice Campaign is that turning point for the TFC community. Kerr stated, “We want to show students the community rather than simply tell them about it. Our team will challenge the student body, as well as one another, to become active community members. The excuse of “I’m so busy” only gets us so far, and it doesn’t get us anywhere closer to missional living. Action looks like adopting a new mindset and loving others as God has commanded.”
There is a clear challenge put forth for TFC students: GET INVOLVED! Students are encouraged to get out in the community and do something. Often times, people do not do anything because they do not know what to do. The Justice Campaign is providing an amazing opportunity for students who desire to help, but just are not sure how to start. There are many ways that TFC students can get involved.
Kerr explained just how TFC students can take part. She said, “TFC can get involved by participating in events, sharing social media updates, and praying for The Justice Campaign. If anyone is interested in becoming involved at a deeper level, I would love to hear from them! The Justice Campaign is not by any means an exclusive committee- we welcome and love involvement from our peers.” If students are interested, they can contact Jessie Kerr and see how they can get more intricately involved with this organization that stands for justice.
Also, those who do not necessarily want to be involved at a deeper level but desire to attend The Justice Campaign’s events then they have a great opportunity this upcoming Saturday, November 14th at 2:00pm. The Justice Campaign is throwing a block party! This will be a great chance for TFC students to participate with members of the Toccoa community and get involved with local families.
Everyone is encouraged to come and show their support of The Justice Campaign and ending injustice in the Toccoa community!
When a person thinks about mining for gold, hard, strenuous work often comes to mind. As a prospector since the age of ten, I would agree that it is hard work. However, it is very rewarding. One gets to feel the cool mountain waters and experience of finding his or her first pieces of gold. The reader of this article is encouraged to get on the old wagon and head into Eastern Georgia as the history of gold mining in Georgia and places where one can prospect for free are explained.
Dahlonega, GA- On his birthday in 1828, Benjamin Parks claimed to have found gold in the Northeastern mountains of Georgia while walking along a deer path. Subsequently, he and his business partner, Joel Stephens, leased the site from Reverend O’Barr. The total amount of gold discovered in the Dahlonega area and around Georgia amounted to sixteen to seventeen million dollars (United States Geological Survey). Today, One can still find gold in Yahoola Creek without having to pay to pan. Along the edges of the creek are big deposits of gold flakes and black sand.
Habersham, County- Gold was discovered here about the same time the Dahlonega veins were discovered. A gentleman of the first respectability in Habersham County writes under the date of July 22nd, “Two gold mines have just been discovered in this county, and preparations are making to bring these hidden treasures of the earth to use.” It appears that what has been long anticipated is coming to pass. The gold region of North and South Carolina has been found to extend into Georgia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Gold_Rush)
Dukes Creek- Dukes Creek is a creek in White County, Georgia on which gold was found in 1828. Either Frank Logan or one of his slaves is typically given the credit for this find. A man named Witherod found gold the same year, as did a man named Loud. The discovery of gold in White County and neighboring Lumpkin County led to the Georgia Gold Rush. (http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/Georgia_Gold_Rush)
Those that want to do some prospecting should first try the following places:
Dukes Creek- Most of the gold here is flour gold (small enough that it takes tweezers to fit in a vial). This creek has had tons of prospecting done on it and over the years many big nuggets have been found. For more information about this creek, one can visit the following website: http://www.goldrushnuggets.com/gegoru.html
Yahoola Creek- This creek is a great place to find gold and one can also see many mine ruins.
For more creeks in North Georgia that produces gold please see the following link: http://www.iowagold.com/WHERE_TO_FIND_GOLD_USA_PAGES/georgia_gold.htm
Supplies one should take are the following: gold pans (a Garrett brand is typically preferred), small trowel or shovel, gold vials, tweezers, sluice, water, first aid kit and anything else the prospector would think is appropriate. Prospectors need to be mindful of private property and avoid trespassing. Also, one needs to fill in any holes that may be dug in the process. Safety is important.
A part of Georgia’s history can be experienced through gold prospecting. Toccoa Falls College students are encouraged to try it or, at the very least, learn more about it. It is a fun and enriching experience.
*Image taken from: http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/gastudiesimages/Georgia%20Gold%20Rush%201.htm
This weekend, everyone should come and watch the Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society perform in this semester’s play, Crazytown, by Jonathan Rand.
Performances will be in Grace Chapel Friday and Saturday (November 13-14) at 7pm and Sunday (November 15) at 3pm.
Tickets are available for purchase in the student center now. Tickets are sold for a dollar less if bought in the Student Center this week. Prices are $5 for seniors and students, $7 for adults and $3 for children.
The audience will visit Crazytown, where things are a little off-kilter. The town’s news team will cover amazing stories like the heated presidential debate for Crazytown Elementary school, the least offensive play in the whole world, and a man who was arrested for being too darn nice. Anything goes in this town, and the antics of the citizens are hilarious.
Directors Renee Morris and Epiphany Hunter have been working with the cast all semester to make this play the best it can be.
Renee Morris shared a few of her thoughts about the production.
1. What has been your favorite part of putting this play together?
My favorite part of putting this play together has been watching how theater brings people together. We have students from all levels of college and one that is dual enrolled with us. Everyone has been brought together because of this play and it’s cool to see how they interact and have fun. It has been a privilege to direct this play.
2. Why should people come and see this play?
People should come and see this play because it’s hilarious. The actors and actresses have fun while performing and that is something worth seeing. They have worked so hard and an audience will only add energy to the performance and all their hard work will be paid off.
3. What do you want the cast and audience to take away from this experience?
The cast should know that performing this play will help in the long run. You gain confidence and help with time management skills. For the audience, I hope you walk out with your guts hurting from laughter. I hope you continue to support the theatrical society in the future from this performance.
The members of the TFC Theatrical Society greatly enjoy putting together plays like this for the enjoyment of the student body. This year’s cast has had a lot of fun putting together this comedy. The jokes are hilarious and the characters are zany and quirky. This play is sure to be enjoyed by all, so everyone is encouraged to support the society by seeing Crazytown!
College students are some of the most sleep-deprived people in the country.
“According to a 2001 study, only 11% of college students have good sleep quality, and 73% have occasional sleep problems. This same study found that 18% of college men and 30% of college women reported suffering from insomnia within the past 3 months, and over half reported feeling sleepy during the morning.” (www.Brown.edu)
One needs to get enough sleep, especially in college. Many students complain of not having enough time to sleep. However, it is very important to realize that the student can prioritize his or her life to get enough sleep. Here are some effects of not getting enough sleep:
- Lack of attentiveness for classes during the day. A lack of sleep can limit the student’s ability to properly listen in class and take notes. Many times when a student does not get enough sleep the night before, the brain does not focus and one cannot be fully attentive to the teacher.
- Lack of proper sleep for the college student can cause his or her immune system to be deficient. The immune system is more prone to colds, flus, and viruses when there is a lack of sleep.
Pulling an “all-nighter” may solve a temporary problem but has long-term effects on the student’s body. Pulling an “all-nighter” interferes with the student’s ability to properly learn new material. The student may be able to memorize a bunch of facts for the test the next day, which is part of the brain’s “short-term memory.” However, most likely, the brain will not remember the material for a much later cumulative exam. (www.webmd.com/sleepdisorders)
According to UGA’S University Health Center, the college student should get at least 6-10 hours of quality sleep per night. Quality sleep means uninterrupted sleep. There are several things the student may do to help with regulating their sleeping patterns.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the mornings. Doing this will help the student get his or her body on a proper “sleeping regimen.”
- Do not eat or drink anything two hours before bedtime. Since the digestive process is a while unique process in and of itself, a lot of times the student may have a hard time getting to sleep eating before bedtime.
- Get enough exercise 2 hours before bedtime. Unfortunately, many students complain that they only have time in the night to do their exercise. This, however, is not recommended since the body becomes more alert and attentive after exercise, thus making it hard for anyone to go to sleep. Once again, one must prioritize their day to get the proper amount of sleep and exercise they need.
Some tips for “winding down” at night for the college student are as follows:
- Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea relaxes the mind and body. The tea has natural ingredients to ease the mind and tension in the body. The recommendation is 30 minutes to one hour before bedtime.
- A natural sleeping aid that one can use to help with sleep is what is called “valerian root.” According to webmd.com, “Valerian is a herb. Medicine is made from the root. Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness.”
- Getting in a quiet, calm mood before bedtime is essential. Many students enjoy reading the Psalms, while other like prayer and meditation before bedtime. Soft worship music playing in the background can be edifying and gives off a sense of “cleansing in the atmosphere.”
Being a good steward of one’s body is a form of worship to God. Getting enough sleep at night is a way of practicing this stewardship. If one is not sleeping properly at night, one cannot effectively communicate and share the love of Christ along with not being able to fulfill his or her duties as a student.
*Image borrowed from ibhacks.com
Fall is upon Toccoa, Georgia. The leaves are changing colors and the air is getting cooler. One looks out and see shades of red, orange, yellow, and green. As a person walks around the leaves crunch beneath his or her feet. The air brings a slight chill that causes the sweaters to come out of hiding. The air is crisp and fresh and has a sweet smell that is special to the fall season. As fall begins to take over, the Toccoa community comes alive with scarecrows and pumpkins and fall cheer.
And with that fall cheer comes the highly anticipated annual Harvest Festival. This festival is a much-loved tradition of the Toccoa Community since 1978 that takes place in Historic Downtown Toccoa every year.
Each year, vendors come to sell delicious and eclectic food, homemade goodies, and homegrown products. The Toccoa Harvest Festival offers something for everyone. This year there will be over 160 vendors present. Not only are there vendors offering food and goods, there are also puppet shows, face painting, a petting zoo, and horse rides.
In addition, there will be entertainment in the form of music and dance (featuring Toccoa Falls College’s very own college choir and all men’s group The Singing Men performing Saturday morning at 10am), and one cannot forget about the antique and classic car show that takes place. With so many different things to choose from, there is something that appeals to a variety of different people from different backgrounds.
This year, the festival is on November 7th from 10am to 5pm and November 8th from 10am to 4pm. No one should miss out on this amazing opportunity to experience fall and the Toccoa community as thousands gather together to enjoy the Harvest Festival.
If TFC students are interested in volunteering to help with the Festival, they can contact Faith Champion and even receive SAO hours. There is a need for help with set-up and registration. This is a great way to get out in the community and serve and also earn SAO hours at the same time!
However, even if students do not want to volunteer, the festival is a great way to take part in the Toccoa community, and enjoy some light-hearted fun. Students are encouraged to grab friends and go on Saturday, November 7th, or Sunday, November 8th. It is not an experience they are likely to forget!
Joshua Folwell is the Featured Male Athlete. The 6 foot 3 inches Power Forward is poised to bring Toccoa Falls College a Championship.
Where are you from? Why did you choose to come to Toccoa Falls College?
I’m from a small town called Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s right past Charlotte. I went to another college first, to try and get on the basketball team, but it didn’t really work out. Their coach told me about Toccoa’s coach. I came in for a couple workouts and got to see the school. Really I wanted to play basketball and use basketball as a means to get a good education and eventually coach asked me to be on the team. It kind of just worked out, because I found out that they (TFC) had an Outdoor Leadership Education Major and things just seem to fit, so that’s how I chose Toccoa Falls.
What are you majoring in and why did you choose that major?
I’m an Outdoor Leadership Education Major. One main reason is that I love the outdoors. I love to fish, love to go hunting, kayaking, back packing, all those fun things. I also like kids. I have a heart for kids, a passion for kids. I figured I can use that major to reach out to kids, possibly doing a summer camp or yearlong camp.
Let’s talk sports, is there another sport you like to play beside basketball?
There is! I love all sports. Actually, since I’ve come to Toccoa, Volleyball has been one of my favorite sports to play. If I don’t have practice or if practice ends early, the Hmong students are in the gym a lot playing volleyball, and I love going and playing with them.
When it comes to basketball, do you model your game play after any NBA player’s game?
I don’t really know if I’d use the word model, but my favorite NBA player is LeBron James. I like the way he plays. I like his hard nose, getting to the basket mentality. I like getting to the basket and making something out of that. But yeah, if I had to say one player it’d be him.
As the season begins, what’s one goal you hope to accomplish?
Well, you’re always going into the season wanting to get that banner (Championship Banner) at the end of the year. That’s definitely a goal, winning a championship, winning the region tournament at the end of the year, but I think since a lot of our seniors left and a lot of our leaders left. I think this is the year for me to become a leader on this team. We got a lot of young kids coming in, a lot of freshmen and sophomores. I’m the only real junior, so I think becoming a leader for those guys would be good: showing them good things to do, different moves, this and that, and especially off the court, being a Christ-like leader.
What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
One thing that people don’t know about me is that I enjoy playing Yugioh, the card game. Only a few people know, but I guess I’m a nerd for that.
What’s one thing you’ve done in your life, that you really feel accomplished and proud of?
So this past summer, I had the opportunity to go to Thailand. I went with a team of ten people, including myself. I got to work at a college there. It was Chiang Mai University. We got to work with the college students and got to teach them English. Just being able to go to Thailand and be there for 8 weeks, and not having anything to worry about, just trusting the Lord. This was really something to feel accomplished about.
Alright, last question. What do you want to tell our readers out there before we end our interview? Maybe some advice, something to go by.
We just got a new coach this year. Every day after practice or before practice, he goes over a verse of the day or saying of the day. And on the first day was, “If a man doesn’t work, a man can’t eat.” It was really meant for basketball, but it can be applied for so many other things. If you don’t work hard for things in life, or work hard in your school life, or if you don’t work hard at anything, then you’re not going to benefit from all the stuff you do. If you only study for 5 minutes for a test and then go take the test, you’re not going to do good on that test. But if I go and study for 45 minutes to an hour and then next day you study for another 30 minutes. You’ll have a better opportunity to do good on that test. This just kind of stuck with me, if you don’t work hard at what you do, then the chances of you succeeding gets less and less.
That’s really encouraging. Something many of us can start to do as well. Thanks again Josh, I hope everyone enjoys getting to know you and definitely good luck to you and the Men’s Basketball team.