A Relationship with the Heavenly Father

Romans 8:15, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

It is easy for TFC college students to get “bombarded” with the cliches of walking with Christ. Students hear about the Christian “life”- whether it be in chapel, or at Barnabas group, or in Bible class. However, what does it truly mean to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? People come into adulthood with different views about the heavenly Father. One reason for this may be a poor, earthly father figure or abandonment from a father figure. It is easy to put on a Christian “mask” for pastors, teachers, and even friends and family. However, at the end of the day, what does a relationship with the heavenly Father look like?

A relationship with the heavenly Father is one of out LOVE. The Bible says that the Father sent His ONLY begotten Son to die the most excruciating death on the cross out of His UNCONDITIONAL love for mankind. One can never dream of this kind of love because it is an “out of this world” kind of love. Only Christ can provide that “perfect” type of love which is called “agape” love.

According to Gotquestions.org, “agape” love is: “The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. ”

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Maker of the Universe wants an authentic relationship with humanity. He wants people to be drawn to Himself. That is astounding!

Perhaps David the Psalmist gives us some insight. Psalms 63:1-8, ”

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you.”

A true relationship with the Father is seeking God and understanding who HE IS.

The psalmist says “Your steadfast love is better than life.” David had an authentic yearning to seek after God’s own heart.

One cannot earn his or her relationship with the Father. There is nothing one can do to make the heavenly Father love he or she any more or any less.

Romans 8:35,38-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The heavenly Father longs for his children to long after Him. God speaks to His children through His Word.

One of the most peaceful and reassuring attributes of the loving, heavenly Father is that He loves His children for who they are, and NOT what they DO.

Remember, the loving heavenly Father above seeks to have an intimate, authentic relationship with His children. God’s love can compel one to draw one to Himself.

Have a Good Friday everyone!

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!

 

 

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.

Get to Know The TFC Theatrical Society

The Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society is composed of a group of students committed to using their talent and love for the arts to serve the student body and the community. Their goal is to show that God’s glory can be reflected through dramatic arts. Toccoa Falls College student Callan Bentley, President of the Theatrical Society, put it eloquently when asked about the purpose of the club. She described the group as “dedicated to entertaining the TFC community with [their] talents and blessings in the dramatic arts, and to show that the Lord can be praised through the beauty of art and creativity.” Callan also shared her personal goals for the society and what students can look forward to this semester.

What is your desire for students who join and/or participate in club events?
My desire is that the TFC community as a whole would experience exactly what we work hard to give them: entertainment and appreciation for the arts. For the individual students, I believe that the club has a lot to offer them. Each individual has so much to give to the club! I have seen TFCTS build great teamwork, create friendships, and open the door for people to learn that they are capable of creating beautiful things. By the time the semester ends, we all miss it – whether it be a play, programs, or trips. We can’t wait to do it all again!
What’s going to be happening in the club this semester?
This semester we have several activities available. Beginning the Thursday after spring break, we will be having improv nights Tuesdays (9pm) and Thursdays (9:30pm) in WM 104. Anyone can come join and have fun! Also, April 23rd and 24th will be our semester’s play. There will be more details on that to come! In addition to these we have several other things planned that will be announced and open to anyone who would like to participate.
Callan describes membership in the society as similar to a family. The students who are members have bonded together and become very close-knit from putting on productions together, sharing hilarious memories, and participating in events. The improv group that Callan mentioned is officially called The Dead Joke Society and is headed up by Rebecca Colson, a junior here at TFC. She shared some of her thoughts and excitement about the club.
What is The Dead Joke society?
We’re a comedy improv group: A bunch of actors and actresses who love laughing and making others laugh. In case you didn’t know, “improv” is short for improvisation. There is little to know memorization for a performance, we just get on stage and start acting!
Who can join Dead Joke Society?
Like that chef from Ratatouille said, “Anyone can cook!” But by cook I mean join. You can come as many or as few nights as you want, it’s super relaxed, no commitment or experience required! You don’t have to be a member of the Theatrical Society either. However, later in the semester, we’ll be joining members of the Theatrical Society to put on a performance, so after a few weeks, we’ll be asking those interested in performing to commit to attending. Improv may not require scripts, but it does take practice!
What are you looking forward to most about starting improv again?
There’s a lot I’m looking forward to, but what I am the most would have to be getting to do improv myself. I’ve been doing improv acting since high school, and it’s one of my favorite things to do. I love getting to make people laugh and interacting with other actors on stage. Improv is so much fun. Even if you’ve never acted before, come join us one night and give it a try!
Theatrical Society members are anticipating exciting events this semester. Everyone should look out for their events and participate in their activities! They are sure to be enjoyed by all! For more information, email Callan Bentley at callanbentley@tfc.edu or Rebecca Colson at rebeccacolson@tfc.edu.

High All the Time

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.