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Ski Lessons

Published on 03/17/13

by Siera Weber, written for MtTFC 2013

Kacii and her sister Karen huddled together on the couch, crying softly, while Grandma paced back and forth. For two hours since they got the call they had all been in certain attitudes of expectancy. Uncle Stan, who had been contacted first, did not have the details on how bad it had been. He had gone to the hospital and promised to call when he had more news. Now two hours, one minute, and thirty-four seconds had gone by.

Karen's muffled sobs were interrupted by the telephone's screech. Grandma dove for it, nearly yelling into the mouthpiece, “How are they?”

After listening for a time, she said, “Okay, we'll be down soon.” She hung up. “Girls, I need you to be brave.”

The next day, Sunday, was like any other. Except, it was different. There was an awkward silence in the moments before Sunday school started, and most of Mr. Richardson's prayer involved pleas for Kacii's parents. In the auditorium of the church, which normally was buzzing with voices, a quietness reigned. Many people searched out Kacii and Karen, assuring them that they were praying for them. “It'll be alright, Honey,” said old Mrs. Wilkins. “God works all things together for good.”

Kacii nodded and thanked everyone, but her heart was not in it. The pianist started playing, and everyone took their seats in the pews. Britney, Kacii's best friend, scooted in next to her. “Is it true?” she asked with concern. Kacii nodded. Britney made a sympathetic sound.

“Good morning, everyone,” said Pastor Jones. People murmured back a greeting. “It has come to my attention that Mike and Macy Hallis were in a horrible car wreck. Both have extensive bone damage, and one of Mike's lungs collapsed. The girls are staying with their grandmother right now. I encourage you to pray for the family. They will be needing God's strength during this time.” He went on, but Kacii left the room. She could not listen any more. Why would God let something like this happen? What had her parents done? They did not deserve to be in the hospital. Yet, there thy were. If all things were really supposed to work together for good, then why were things going so horribly wrong?

That week, Pastor Jones called and invited the girls to go skiing on Saturday. Normally, Kacii would have jumped at the idea, but now she was reluctant. She would have rather spent the day sitting with her mom and dad at the hospital, but Grandma accepted the pastor's invitation without asking the girls. When Kacii protested, Grandma answered, “You can't just sit around worrying, Dear. Your parents are improving, and you can't spend every minute with them anyways.”

Saturday was the perfect day for skiing. Twenty inches of fresh snow adorned the packed mountainside, and a few stray rays of sunshine danced over the sparkling whiteness. As Kacii put her skis on, she began to feel a little excited in spite of herself. She glanced over at Karen, who was going to be skiing for the first time. She looked a little nervous, but Kacii knew that Mrs. Jones would be an excellent teacher for her.

“So, Karen and Lily are going to do some easy hills,” Pastor Jones said, adjusting his goggles, “and we'll tackle a couple of harder ones, alright Kace?”

Kacii nodded, almost smiling. She waved to Karen and then followed Pastor Jones, who had already started off for their first slope. They skied a couple of intermediate hills, but then, as they went up the ski lift, Pastor Jones said, “Now that we've warmed up, I think we're ready for Horror Hill.”

“Oh, please no,” begged Kacii.

“No, no, I think you're ready for it. You need to be pushed a little,” Pastor Jones replied firmly.

Horror Hill was a dramatic name for the slope, especially for experienced skiers like Pastor Jones, but for Kacii the name was correct. The slope was not groomed, and thus it had acquired an interesting landscape. Bumps, thick powder, and trees were everywhere, and the slope was also rather steep. It was a nightmare for Kacii, but she made no protest as they skied to the top. Then, she froze, staring down it. It seemed to stretch on forever. A thick fog clouded the north side of the mountain, making the slope even eerier. “Alright, just follow me,” said Pastor Jones. He started off. Kacii tried to call to him and make him understand that she could not do it, but the words caught in her throat. She timidly followed, progressing very slowly down the slope. Several times she fell, but Pastor Jones was always there to help her up. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, they reached the bottom. “Good job, Kacii!” exclaimed Pastor Jones. Kacii just hoped they could stick to easier slopes.

When they went to the lodge for lunch, they talked over the little escapade at Horror Hill. “I was really scared,” Kacii admitted, “but Pastor Jones made me go anyways.”

“That's because I knew you could do it, and I was there to help you,” he said with a smile. “If it had been too hard, I wouldn't have made you go. But I knew it would make you a better skier. You know, sometimes it's like that in life. God has us go through trials that we think we can't handle. But He's always there with us, and in the end, if we yield to Him and trust Him, then we'll become better Christians because of them. God never promised that everything in life would go as we think it should. Our definition of 'good' may not be the same as His. That's where trust comes in.” He perused the girls carefully as he said this. Kacii knew he was alluding to the situation with her parents.

Mrs. Jones's phone rang, and she hurriedly answered it. “Oh, Trish, how are Mike and Macy?”

After listening for a few minutes, she closed the phone and said somberly, “Henry, we need to get the girls to the hospital. Their dad's taken a turn for the worse.

That night, Kacii held her dad's hand and stared at his sleeping face. Bandages covered his body, and his oxygen mask covered most of his face. Karen was sitting outside with Grandma, trying to gain some composure before she came in. Kacii bowed her head and let the silent tears creep down her cheeks. “God,” she whispered brokenly, “I don't know what's gonna happen. I'm scared. I don't want to lose Dad. But—You know—best. Please help me to trust You, no matter what happens.”

What’s In A Name? – Why we should retain the name Baptist

Published on 03/05/13

by Rick Shrader & Matt Shrader; published in Aletheia, March 2013, Volume 20, Number 3

The question continues to be asked, “why should we keep using the denominational names?” My answer is because they are needed as much now as ever and probably more. The use of the name Baptist has never been without controversy with multiple detractors and supporters. In this first part I want to give some historical and practical reasons why I am a supporter of keeping denominational names, especially our name, Baptist.

We encourage you to finish this article at Aletheia Baptist Ministries.

Why Do We Need the Church?

Published on 08/27/12

by Matt Shrader; published in Aletheia, May 2012, Volume 19, Number 5

The question of why we need the church is an understandable question. It is also a helpful question. There are many of us who attend church multiple times every week and have done so for most, if not all, of our Christian lives. But why do we do so? What makes going to church and "the church" so important? Is it one of those "we've always done it this way" type of issues? I am asking not only what are the reasons we need the church but also what is the church. To take a step back and consider what we are doing is a good thing to do now and again.

We encourage you to finish this article at Aletheia Baptist Ministries.

Who Will Write Your Story?

Published on 06/01/12

By Evangelist Wil Rice IV

From the Branding Iron of the Bill Rice Ranch June-July 2012, Vol. 51—No. 3 (Used with permission)

While World War II is the historical context in which most people see Winston Churchill, the reason he is remembered at all is not because of what happened to him but because of what he caused to happen. Churchill had never been a man passively waiting for history to hand him his script. He was a man of action. As he stated, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

While history’s best actors may have been people who played their roles well, they were also people who acted on the best scripts. Think of Daniel. He was handed two competing scripts, neither of them offered in the midst of ideal conditions. The conquering king of Babylon took Daniel from his home to distant Babylon where he fed, taught, and even named Daniel in an attempt to make him conform to Babylon’s script.
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Definition of a Re•bel

Published on 05/31/12

By Evangelist Wil Rice IV

From the Branding Iron of the Bill Rice Ranch June-July 2012, Vol. 51—No. 3 (Used with permission)

Joshua 24:15: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

What is a rebel? Let me ask you to try to picture one. Allow me to give the parameters. This rebel is eighteen, and this parents are Independent Baptists!
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