Meet the Ladies of the Homecoming Court 2016!

This year, the seven Toccoa Falls College women were honored to be picked by their peers to
represent them at homecoming. The freshman, sophomore, and junior representatives as well as
the four senior candidates for Homecoming Queen are honored to be a part of the legacy of
Toccoa Falls College.

picture by: Mark Westlund

Regan Paul is the Freshman Representative for Toccoa Fall College’s 2016 Homecoming Court. Regan is from McDonough, Ga. She is currently pursuing degrees in both cross cultural adult education and TESOL. She enjoys missions work and being outside. Coffee and Hiking are also things that she enjoys. Regan reports that the most important thing in her life is forming relationships with people. She loves to connect with people and share with them the grace and love that Christ has shown her. She wants it to be known that everything that she is today is because of Him.

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Briana Koser is the sophomore representative. She is currently pursuing a degree in both Music and Bible and Theology. She is currently on the TFC Women’s soccer team, the publicity head for Toccoa Falls for Life, and the Choir Chaplain for the TFC choir. She is also a member of a chapel team. She enjoys as she terms a ‘connoisseur of all things science fiction”. The interest even lead her to create and independent film this past summer entitled Dead sound. While TFC was not the school she expected to attend, she has come to view it as strangely wonderful. The genuine people searching after the Same God full-heartedly have made TFC her unexpected home.

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Madison Coulter, known to her friends as Madi, is the Junior Representative. She is well on her way to earning a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is from Franklin, NC, but feels at home anywhere in the mountains. She is currently working as the Assistant Resident Director for Fant and Letourneau Halls. Madi enjoys playing with cats, using essential oils for made-up ailments, and reading picture books to kids.

By: Mark Westlund

Dania Morales, soon to be Dania Ramirez, is a senior nominee for Homecoming Queen. She is thankful for her time at TFC and how it has formed her. She reports that she gets to marry her dream guy this December and that she has loved the journey God has given them together. The main lesson she is taking from TFC is to pursue character. She reports that she has learned that her life is not about her but about Christ. She is thankful that is true. She is passionate about leading worship and prays that attitude spills over into how she lives out her daily life.

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Hevenly Dacus is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. Currently, she is the Executive Campus Life Chair, is part of a Worship Arts team, and works as a tutor for Academic Services. The things that she is most grateful that TFC has taught her are the positive effects of learning. She has learned to love learning for the sake of learning, how to give an account for why she believes what she believes, the power of random dance parties, the simple courage of fighting for those she loves, the importance of humility in showing love, and what the priceless honor of gaining fiercely loyal friends feels like. After graduations, she hopes to get a masters in leadership development in order to facilitate success in leadership teams in ministries and businesses.

By: Marcus Westlund

Arin Harrison is a senior Homecoming Queen Nominee and is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling and Psychology. She serves as the Executive Chair of Community Partnerships for SGA. She is a master in the arts of passenger seat dancing and singing in the shower. She also can make any stick into a lovely home decoration. In the future, she hopes to receive her masters in psychology. Arin has a great passion for building strong, local communities and sees that helping individuals who suffer with mental health disorders in one of the best ways to impact communities for the better. She is so thankful for the friend, professors, and mentors who challenged, encouraged, and loved her and ultimately prepared Arin for the future.

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Katlyn Koser, known to her friends as Kay, is a senior nominee for Homecoming queen. She is currently pursuing a degree in Counseling Psychology. She reports that Toccoa Falls College is a part of her family stating that this college was the place where her grandparents met. She loves the community that Toccoa Falls fosters and seeing college students pursue Jesus in all of their endeavors. She is thankful for all the wonderful people here who continually show the love of Jesus. Katy is currently a part of the Women’s Soccer team, of the Counseling Club, the SGA senate. In her spare time she enjoys going on adventures with loved ones, naps, dancing always, and appreciating the little things in life. God continues to transform her life as she learns at Toccoa Falls College, and she counts herself as blessed to experience the Gospel oriented community of TFC.

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All four nominees have demonstrated care for others and a deep conviction to love God and to love others. They are humbled by the love they’ve received at TFC both because of their nomination and their experience as a whole. This week you’ll have the opportunity to share your voice in who should be left as this year’s Legacy.

Here’s the link to vote: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfsUUH2w9LH23cKYmhEaAj8aUWypVc0qta8TqB8d7Kj8esSqQ/viewform

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.

Getting to Know God

One’s personal relationship with God is critical to maintain. Christians are called to grow in faith, and to become deeper with the Father. John 15:4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” A Christian cannot grow and bear fruit of he or she is not abiding in the Lord. Without having this deep relationship, one cannot hope to develop in faith. Maintaining this kind of deep relationship with God does not come easily. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world it can be easy to get distracted from spending time with God. How can one begin to strengthen this relationship? The following are three practical steps towards a healthy relationship with God:

1. Discipline
Form the habit of regularly reading Scripture and spending time in prayer. Friendships cannot survive without conversation, and spending time listening to what the other has to say. Hearing what the Bible says from others is excellent, but not sufficient for one’s personal relationship with God. Getting to know God by oneself by studying the Word and praying is critical to the relationship.
2. Structure
It can be difficult to know where to start when one sits down to spend some time in prayer. When one doesn’t know what to pray, one can pray Scripture. Psalms, for example, is good to pray back to God because many of the Psalms were written as prayers. Keeping a prayer journal can also be helpful. Listing and writing out prayers can keep one focused and clear-headed.
3. Accountability
Having the good intention to do all these things is great, but what is going to make or break the relationship is actually following through on all this or not. Have a trusted friend or mentor keeps a person to his or her commitment to grow in a relationship with the Lord through personal devotion. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Christians are called to come alongside one another and keep each other from falling away. Accountability is one way they do so.

Just as a person needs to put effort and time into a relationship with a friend, one needs to do the same thing in one’s relationship with God. It is the most important relationship one will ever have, and therefore needs to be taken seriously. Be encouraged! It is God’s desire to be close to his children. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” God will quicken anyone who comes to him for discernment. While one works to grow close to God, God will draw near to them.

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.

What is God’s Will?

“When God closes one door, he opens another.”
“I feel like God is leading me to…”
“I guess it just wasn’t God’s will.”

People say and hear things like this all the time in regard to decision-making, especially college students. During this time of life, these young adults are required to make big decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. They decide what type of career to pursue, where they should live, who they should marry, or whether or not they should marry at all. They want to know what God’s will is; what God ordained for their life. They seek signs and listen for guidance to divine what God has planned for their future.

With all the decisions that need to be made, it would be nice to know what the result of a decision will be before it is made. Sometimes, God is very clear about what to choose or what steps he wants a person to take. He opens doors and causes things to fall into place. However, for many people, this does not happen and it can be very discouraging. These people may feel lost, confused, and frustrated about not knowing what to do. They may hold off on making decisions until they find “divine confirmation” that they are making the right choice. They want to make sure that what they are doing is a part of God’s plan before they do anything, but is this sound theology? Is this what it means to know God’s Will?

Isaiah 46:9b-10 says, “[F]or I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose[.]”

In short, God’s plans cannot be thwarted. There is nothing one could do to upset God’s divine plan for the world, or even one’s life. God will accomplish all that he has set out to do. No decision one could make could interfere with his purpose. The non-ethical choices one makes (like what to major in, where to live, and what job to have) will not, and cannot, ruin the plans God has for him or her.

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In fact, in regard to these non-ethical decisions, Scripture does not have much instruction at all. The Bible does not serve as a “magical roadmap of destiny” by which one can decide where to go to college or decide if an investment is wise. God’s will is not a maze one has to navigate. God’s will is very simple and is clearly outlined in Scripture.

1 Thessalonians 4:3a says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification[.]” Chapter 5, verses 16-18 continues with, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Scripture says that the Will of God is for one to live a life of righteousness. If one lives a life pleasing to the Lord and obeys his commands that are outlined in Scripture, he or she is living in the Will of God.

It’s that simple. There is no need to search for signs of divine confirmation for non-spiritual decisions. As long as one’s decision does not contradict what Scripture teaches, the realm of possible actions to take is wide open. In his book Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung explains this in greater depth. He proposes four steps to take in regard to making decisions.

Step one: Search the Scriptures.
Does this decision contradict what God has laid out in His Word? Could you faithfully carry out God’s commands were you to make this choice?
Step two: Get wise counsel.
Seek an outside perspective from someone who knows you. Be willing to accept advice and/or constructive criticism.
Step three: Pray.
Pray that the decision you make will be one that will glorify God. More often than not, God does not make it clear what we are to do. Ask God for wisdom to make the most prudent choice.
Step four: Make a decision.
“Don’t over-spiritualize.” DeYoung writes, “You can serve the Lord in a thousand different jobs” (102). A Pastoral position is not “more spiritual” than a position as a cashier or a teacher. Whatever you choose to do, God will use to accomplish his purpose. Just choose something.
Carrying out the Will of God does not necessarily mean following a specific path ordained for any one individual. Carrying out the Will of God means living a righteous life that is pleasing to God. Do not be discouraged. Search the Scriptures to see what God has commanded, then, as Mr. DeYoung so aptly put it: just do something!