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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Griffin

Well-known and loved by many at Toccoa Falls College, Professor Joyce Griffin has been teaching at TFC for 18 years. The college asked her to become a professor after she had returned from living overseas as a missionary in Argentina. At first, Professor Griffin was an adjunct professor, but she eventually moved into a full-time.

When asked for her favorite passage of Scripture, Griffin had a hard time choosing—because she loves the whole Bible, of course! However, she was able to narrow it down to two passages. Currently, Psalm 23 is very special to her. Throughout this Psalm, God reveals Himself to be a loving shepherd to His people, instead of a harsh judge. God has been using this truth in Griffin’s life lately, as she has been going through a study on the Psalm with the girls in her Barnabas group. The second passage that Griffin chose is Philippians 4:4-9. These verses have been a comfort to her throughout her life, helping with anxiousness, correcting her thinking, and helping her to rejoice in various circumstances.

Next, Griffin gave three interesting facts about herself:

One time when she was riding in a tiny plane, the engine failed. The pilot was forced to crash the plane in a field. Luckily, everyone was ok, but  it has become quite the story to tell!

Second interesting fact, when she was little, she was locked inside a men’s restroom at a campground in Quebec, Canada. The other people in the restroom only spoke French, so it took some time before she was able to escape.

Lastly, she  reveals that she was once a co-star in a three-act Christmas play for a church in Argentina—her office is in the World Missions building, in case you want an autograph.

Griffin says that her favorite part about working at TFC is the students. She loves being able to build relationships through mentoring, teaching, and everything else involved in working with students. Ask her what her least favorite part about teaching is and she instantly answers “grading papers!’. Griffin’s craziest memory at TFC involves some students from her department. One year, the seniors had thrown a Christmas party for the professors in the Global Ministries Department. Legend has it, that the student impersonations of the professors and the White Elephant gifts went a little crazy that night.

Professor GriffinGriffin offers these three pieces of advice for students at TFC:

  1. Take your classes seriously and learn everything that you can. Even if it does not seem applicable now, it will build character and life skills.
  2. Make relationships and invest in them. Learn this now, so you can do it in the post-college world.
  3. Get all kinds of experience while at TFC. Figure out who you are as an individual in God through these experiences.

It can definitely be said that many TFC students  are very grateful for Professor Griffin’s work. Her love for Christ and for students shines in all that she does. She loves to laugh, which is fitting because she makes her students laugh as well. She is a joy to have as a professor, mentor, and friend. Thank you, Professor Griffin, for serving the Lord the way you do! Simply put, you are fantastic, and your ministry at TFC is beyond valued by all!

 

 

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In Honor of Mothers Everywhere

When one thinks of a mother, words such as caring, kind, and wise usually begin to come to mind. Mothers play a huge role in the lives of their children, and this does not stop when the children start to grow up.

College students often find themselves completely flustered by situations faced by adults every day. For some, cooking is a prime example of this. Recently, one TFC student found herself with three large pots of beans, when she only intended to make one small pot for herself. Though stuck in a sticky situation, this college student knew exactly what to do. It was time to call in the expert: her mom. A mother’s advice seems to be able to fix most everything. In the case of the excess beans, this superhero mother’s solution was quite simple: freeze them in Ziploc baggies and save them for later. Good mothers are always there to help out their children, even with the tiniest of crises, such as having cooked enough beans to feed the entire school.

Moms are special people. From day one, many moms are ever-devoted to caring for their children. They give and give, and expect nothing in return. When they do not feel good themselves, they can often be found taking care of others. If something is wrong, a perceptive mom will know right off the bat. Usually, she will also know just what to do to help fix it.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy for people to take their mothers for granted. Sometimes, a mother’s love can be misinterpreted as over-protective or nosy. Instead of shoving a mother’s questions aside as insignificant, it is important to value them and answer them fully.  Mothers desire to be connected with their children, and it is hard for a mother to let her children grow up.

With that in mind, college students should remember that the occasional phone call to keep mom up-to-date can make a huge difference.

It is also important to note that a mom does not have to be a biological mother in order to be a mom. Many of the world’s greatest moms are not the biological mother of their children. These women are very special individuals who deserve just as much honor as any other mother.

In Proverbs, there is a description of what a godly woman looks like. This description is found in the latter half of chapter 31. This chapter is a good reminder of all that goes into motherhood and it shows that the job description is not easy. The Proverbs 31 woman is hard-working and valued by all those around her. Verses 25-26 say, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is an excellent description of what a good mother is for her children; she has much wisdom to impart to them and her words are kind and loving. Verse 28 says, “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her.”

Though it is easy to do this on Mother’s Day each year, it is important to recognize that mothers deserve this year-round.

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Praying for the SMF Interns

Every year, Toccoa Falls College sends out a group of interns who go overseas to do mission work. Often times, these students are cross-cultural majors, but in some cases other majors go overseas as well to fulfill their internship requirement. Every year, these students raise support, they raise awareness. They leave the comfort of home and family. They leave their friends and they go where the Lord is sending them. Every year, they come back with stories of joy, of growth, of pain and trials, of sorrow, of rejoicing, and ultimately stories of the Lord’s goodness in their lives.

This year is no different. The semester is coming to a close and as students are turning in the last of their papers, studying for finals, and preparing to leave this place for another year, there is a group of students who are also preparing to leave for the summer to go and serve where they have felt led to go.

There are over twenty interns this year, and they will be dispersing to go all over the world. Some are headed to the Middle East while others are headed to Thailand and some are going to Bosnia and others to various other locations. Some are going for the summer, and some are going for a semester abroad this coming Fall.

These interns have been working hard all semester to raise money through various Student Mission Fellowship events and sending out their support letters. Many people have given financially to support this group of interns, and the interns are overwhelmed by these people’s generosity. However, the interns still need support, but the support they need now looks a little different. They need people’s prayers and encouraging words. So many people have gathered in prayer for these interns, but it doesn’t need to stop now. The prayers need to continue and overflow throughout the summer and coming semester.

Prayer is powerful. Students are encouraged to commit to praying for an intern this summer and let the intern know that he or she is being prayed for. This is an incredible opportunity for the body of Christ to gather around their very own who are about to go out into the harvest. It is an exciting time, but a scary time as well.

Here are a few prayer requests for the interns:

  1. Strength for the journey.
  2. The Lord’s provision.
  3. Peace and confidence.
  4. Adapting to a new culture.
  5. Building relationships and sharing the love of Christ.

 

If anyone is interested in learning of more specific prayer requests, go and find an intern and ask them how you can be praying for them. There is a wall in Woerner Missions Building where pictures of all the interns have been hung up and each intern is holding a sign of their intended destination. One can take a look at the wall and see where students will be in the coming months.

In addition, next Wednesday, May 4th, is the last SMF of the semester. Dr. Crosby, a cross-cultural professor at Toccoa Falls College, will be speaking and he will be commissioning the interns to go out this summer to serve the Lord. At the end, there will be a time of prayer for the interns. All TFC students are encouraged to attend and be a part of this commissioning service whether it is as a friend to an intern, someone who supports missions, or someone who simply has a heart for people and wants to send the interns off with prayer and a hug. All are welcome. It is sure to be a special night.

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Taste of Toccoa

Taste of Toccoa hosted its 26th anniversary providing an evening of food, fun, and friends on April 28th.

This historical occasion offers different foods from local restaurants for people to enjoy. The event was hosted from 5 to 8 P.M. to bring the community together and share the experience of Toccoa life. The downtown area of Toccoa was closed off to set up booths, rides, and entertainment for both locals and visitors to enjoy the atmosphere of Toccoa. Taste of Toccoa helps advertise for small town business, coffee shops, and restaurants. On a beautiful, sunny day in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, people certainly took pleasure in an evening full of good food and friends.

Taste of Toccoa’s operation is fairly simple. As one walks into the downtown area, booths are set up for people to buy tokens for fifty cents each. After buying tokens, one can use them to buy food, coffee, or dessert at the different catering businesses and restaurants. At the end of the day, the tokens were counted and entered into a competition. The booth that received the most tokens wins a prize and the money is split between the city and the business.

Attendees were able to vote at the WNEG radio tent for their favorite foods. Businesses were challenged to bring their best spring menus. Eight different awards are offered every year to the favored food companies. As the voting was taking place, one of the volunteers at the tokens booth explained that she loved the event every year as she watched people interact and enjoy the different activities.

While walking past young children with funnel cakes and fellow college students curiously looking for food, everyone seemed to delight in the camaraderie that was built around the community.

Faith Newey, who is Toccoa Falls College’s Director of Leadership and Service, was helping with the Rotary table. Rotary is an organization of businesses that help with community needs. Faith explained that she has been coming to Taste of Toccoa since she was a student in the 90’s at Toccoa Falls College. She has enjoyed each year and loves to see all the people interact with each other.

Another table called the Stephens County Food Bank, Inc. provides non-perishable food and canned items for those in need. Also, connected with the Toccoa Soup Kitchen the volunteers explained that the organization has helped feed the hungry for over 25 years. Not only were tables meant to advertise food, but encourage the community to help others in need.

Taste of Toccoa is a fun, historic event that symbolizes the importance of community life. Interacting with one another allows people to grow and experience their culture together. One evening out of each year, people are given the opportunity to observe small town businesses while enjoying one another’s company. Taste of Toccoa truly fulfills a loving community inspired to help one another.

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Meet Martha

Hello there!  I’m Martha Mae, and I’m just tickled that you’re here. It isn’t often that I get visitors this far out. But if they do make it out here, nobody leaves with the bout of melancholy they came in with. You see, I just have that special knack for advice givin’. My mama had it, and so did her mama, and well, here I am with the same skills. I always seem to know just what to say to make a soul feel better.

Oh, but there I go, rambling along, but you don’t know nuttin’ about who I really am. I guess the first thing you oughta know is that I moved here from Savannah, GA. I was the prettiest girl in Savannah… Well, at least that’s what daddy said, but then mama would always shoot him a look that let him know she didn’t ‘ppreciate losing the contest. Anywho…

I make the best dang peach tea and pecan pie that will ever grace your taste buds. My pie has won blue ribbon at county fair for the past three years now. My mama and nana have taught me all their household runnin’ secrets. I’ve been married for nearly 50 years now. I’ve worked with people my whole life in different job endeavors, always following dreams. I love to paint and draw overlookin’ my back crick.  I’m just a regular ole southern gal still looking for adventure.

My kids are all grown now trying to give advice to little kiddos of their own. My husband spends his days fishing and cracking some smart aleck jokes in the rocking chair next to me. I’ve got some life under my belt and I want to share it with you, youngins.  It’s time my advice givin’ skills were put to good use.

I say all of that to let you know a little of who I am and why I can help you. All you have to do is ask; I won’t tell nobody your name or who you are. That’ll all be our little secret. So, come and sit a while with me on my porch and I’ll try to help you the best I can with what the Good Lord gave me. I hope we can learn a little from each other.

If you do decide that you would like to contact me to advise you in your time of need, honey, you can reach me by e-mail at: ComeToMartha@gmail.com.

I would love to help you. After all, these grey hairs aren’t just for show. Where else would you find this much knowledge in one place? Come back soon!

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Classapalooza Goes Tribal

This Saturday, April 30th, is Toccoa Falls College’s annual Classapalooza! This annual event is put on by Student Government Association and is a great way to celebrate the end of another year.

Each class bands together and competes against the other three classes in a series of different activities. Imagine tons of college students running around, competing, and fighting to the very end to be dubbed the best class. This year is sure to be an exciting year because Classapalooza has partnered with The Cherokee Challenge and transformed Classapalooza into Tribe-A-Palooza.

Each of the classes has been assigned a different Native American tribe. Each of these tribes is local and rich in history, with some dating back centuries.

Freshman: Catawba

Sophomore:Oconee

Junior: Apalachee

Senior: Cherokee

Some students will recall the crazy games from last year. Students will be happy to know that one or two of their favorites will be making an appearance while there have also been additional games added to the schedule.

The activities of the day include The Cherokee Challenge, which is a two-mile race course filled with challenges sure to test even the toughest warrior. The cost to participate in the Cherokee Challenge is $25 and all proceeds go to The Outdoor Club. The Cherokee Challenge begins at 10:00am.

The next event of the day begins at 1:30pm and it is the Chalk Art Competition. Then there is a Volleyball Tournament starting at 1:45pm, the Canoe Catch at 2:00pm, the Tomahawk Throw at 2:15pm, Buck Buck at 2:30pm, and the Canoe Relay at 3:00pm. The day’s last activity, the Fish and Egg Game, will begin at 3:45pm. Sign-ups for all activities are in the Student Center. Students can stop by to see if their tribe has any spots that still need to be filled!

This wonderful event is something people do not  want to miss! All students are encouraged to come down to the pond on Saturday and compete in one of the many events or support their tribe by watching and cheering. It is sure to be a day filled with excitement, laughter, and memories.

Be there and experience Tribe-A-Palooza.

 

 

*Pictured above are three Cherokee Indians on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina

*Picture retrieved from http://www.alltribes.com/kcenter/native-american-tribes/cherokee.html

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A Night of Improv and Comedy

This past Saturday and Sunday, the Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society put on their spring production,“A Night of Comedy and Improv.”

Like the title of the show suggests, the actors and actresses performed a few short, comedic skits and entertained the crowd with some bits of hilarious improvisation. The small group of students who had committed to this production rehearsed and prepared for months. The resulting performance showed their hard work!

The skits included a two-part sketch called “Flirting Academy”, inspired by Studio C, and a zany skit called “Are you a fool?” directed by TFC Junior, Rachel Mayo.

The Theatrical Society performed a more serious play in addition to the comedies. TFC senior, Rebekah Stillwell, directed “The Lifehouse Everything Skit”. This silent skit portrayed the redemption story in a moving and beautiful way. Stillwell commented on the evening,

“This was one of the most fun performances the Theatrical Society has ever done! I loved the way almost everyone was in multiple acts. And while our scripted skits were awesome, the best parts (and the ones that got the most laughs) were the improv sessions. It made for an informal, more laid back interaction with the audience. It was a very close-knit group and I was so proud to work with them!”

The night was filled with laughter and a good time was had by actors and audience alike. One audience member said, “It was comical and interesting. I can’t compare it to anything else!”

Rebecca Colson, the leader of the improve troupe, Dead Joke Society, shared her parting thoughts about the production,

“I loved getting to hang out, goof off, and get to know the cast members. With all the stress of final assignments, acting with this group of people has been a great boost. And getting to pray for them before and after rehearsals has been a special joy for me as a director.”

 This statement from Rebecca really sums up what the Theatrical Society is about. This group of theatrically inclined students is able to come together, build each other up, and pray for one another. The group loves to have fun together and, through performing together regularly, has developed a strong bond. Their chemistry transcends from their personal lives to the stage, where they can encourage and entertain others through their passion for the Arts. Their goal is to glorify God in the talent they share with the community and the student body, and this goal has been achieved every semester.

The group loves to have fun together and, through performing together regularly, has developed a strong bond. Their chemistry transcends from their personal lives to the stage, where they can encourage and entertain others through their passion for the Arts. Their goal is to glorify God in the talent they share with the community and the student body, and this goal has been achieved every semester.

The Theatrical Society is a great facet in the student life at Toccoa Falls College. They will have more great performances and events next semester, so students can be on the lookout for their updates! For more information about the Theatrical Society contact club president, Callan Bentley at callanbentley@tfc.edu or Rebecca Colson at rebecacolson@tfc.edu.

For more information about the Theatrical Society contact club president, Callan Bentley at callanbentley@tfc.edu or Rebecca Colson at rebecacolson@tfc.edu.

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Owning A Local Business

Victoria Head gave insight into what it is like to own a local business and left advice for aspiring business owners.

Toccoa native, Victoria Head, owns local bakery, Victoria’s Sweet Treats. Started in 2013, “Victoria’s” is relatively new; however, it continues to grow. Running her own business has given Head much experience and insight. In an interview, she explained that it has been both difficult and worthwhile.

Head said that the most difficult aspect of owning and running a local business is the management of both time and resources. While Victoria’s is rapidly increasing in popularity, it has a very limited staff.

“As the business has grown, it has been challenging to keep up with the demand in the space I am currently in with the staff I currently have. It requires long hours just to keep up with the orders and then on top of that, there is the ongoing need to manage the business’s finances and supplies to be able to continue operations.”

Head compared owning a business to having a child in the sense that “the work is never really done.” She said that the list of things needing to be prepared or accomplished seems endless.

Owning and running a local business has been rewarding for Head. “Knowing that a product or service you provide brings joy and happiness to someone else is a great feeling.” While encouraging those who aspire to own a business, she reminded them that it is a commitment. One must be willing to give one hundred percent effort.

Head also advised future business owners to become very familiar with their community and customers. She said, “If you do that, your customers will keep coming back and that is what keeps a business going.” Connections are crucial to businesses, especially in small areas.

Head believes she has followed her calling by opening her own bakery. While owning a small business is not easy, she has found it very gratifying.