Message from The Executive Director – January 2018

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Welcome 2018 and Happy New Year Faithfully Guided Family!

Most of us are very familiar with the common new year’s resolutions and plans to be healthier and live better.  Does God come to mind when it comes to your new resolutions?  God promises each of us abundant life.  But what is abundant life?  The words that come to my mind are fullness, wholeness, health, connection, awareness, joy and presence.  As we make our lists and define our 2018 filters and mindsets, here are a couple of questions you may consider in your planning.  What is missing in your personal walk with Christ right now?  How can you make the abundant life that God wants for you become a reality in 2018?

My personal and spiritual goal for 2018 (and yes, I am sharing it with all of you!) is to love deeper and live simpler.  I have learned that my love will grow deeper for people as I walk closer to the Lord.  It is only in the receiving of Christ that we are able to love others as Christ loves His church (people).  As Faithfully Guided embarks on a new journey, I must attempt to keep life simple, practical and centered so that I can keep margin in my life to focus on what matters most – my relationship with God, my respect and love for my husband and love and calling to nurture our three boys. With that being said, Faithfully Guided is growing and expanding.

Some of you may heard that coming this Spring 2018, we will be become Faithfully Guided Health Center, Connecting Spirit, Mind and Body, and will be moving to our new location in the heart of downtown Ocala.  With new opportunities, often come changes as God sharpens His direction for all.  We would like to wish Scott Inman well on his new journey to counsel in his own practice.  We pray for him, his new ministry and for the people God will bring him to help.  You will find information on some of our new service lines and team members in the January newsletter, but be sure to stay tuned in the coming months on how you can learn about our expansion and get involved, literally, from the “ground up”.  The Faithfully Guided team asks for your prayers, specifically for discernment, focus and steadfastness as we each desire to serve our great community and all of God’s people. God Bless you this 2018!

Message from The Executive Director – December 2017

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It seems like the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year can become a whirlwind of holiday parties, school programs, year-end deadlines, and before you know it…it’s Christmas. However, this season of advent is really about a special journey, preparation and celebration of our faith which we commonly know more today as Christmas. Advent (Latin translation for “coming”) is the beginning of the Western liturgical year practiced by many but specifically in the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches. One catechism describes advent as, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming… the Church unites herself to his desire: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.” The Advent season can remind us to shift our focus from self (the needs and desires of our humanity), to Jesus so we can receive him more fully, the true gift of Christmas.

Each week of advent, we can prepare our hearts by reflecting upon the four virtues that only Jesus, through his birth, has brought us: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace. It is hard to imagine what life would be like without these gifts from God. As I reflect upon these words, I ask you the same questions I have considered myself.

What would life be like without hope? How would suffering be bearable? My eight year old son, Brody, simply shared how sad life would be without the ability to look forward to something.

What would life be like without love? Not only would life become lonely with no one to share it with but consider our physical mortality and ability to heal. For it is love that we even live. Love is in our DNA, we were wired for love from the start. Why do we fight it?

Joy. Only a loving Father would promise to bless His children with abundant joy. We can be so human sometimes and focus first, on our pain, our trials, tests, and crosses of this life that we forget to discover the joy in the midst of our suffering. Joy is found in the presence of Christ. Rest and holy pause can easily be overlooked.

When I think of the word Peace, my mind repeats “let my peace be with you” and “let my peace be the umpire of your soul”. For the peace of the Lord is what truly guides, does not confuse or complicate, but instead when walking close with God, we can be led on the path of His will.

I pray you also find time to reflect on these four virtues of Christ this advent season. How must you (the flesh) decrease so Jesus (Hope, Love, Joy, Peace) can increase and fulfill his promise of abundant life in your life today?

May God Bless You

Ocala’s Grow In Kindness Day

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Faithfully Guided is passionate about family life, specifically, the role of children and youth today. With increased demands of family life, lack of quality time, and exponential growth in technology, children and youth are not learning the social and problem-solving skills necessary for healthy relationships. As a result, bullying has become one of the more common household topics. Bullying has been internationally researched, curriculums have been created, campaigns implemented, policies and laws put in place, but yet we struggle as a society to find the right answers. Faithfully Guided believes we need to change our mindset and take personal responsibility by creating a culture of kindness. It begins with each person. The answer does not lie within the schools, community, or even legal system. If we continue to pass the blame and responsibility, our culture will stay the same. We have a responsibility to teach children and youth resiliency strategies and practice the simple choice to be kind. We can empower each other in our choice to respond in a different way.

Almost five years ago, Faithfully Guided began a community anti-bullying campaign to ignite the community in awareness and collaboration. Faithfully Guided has partnered with community organizations, schools, businesses, health professionals, pastors, educators, and law enforcement. Because of these efforts, anti-bullying weeks of awareness were created and implemented, many presentations to youth and adults given, and a tool-kit of academically based character education was written and implemented in a community summer camp that is now shared with other educators. One of the most influential partnerships has been with the Marion County Children’s Alliance, specifically the Community Council Against Substance Abuse (CCASA) work group, where we have partnered in the efforts of Red Ribbon Week and National Bullying Prevention Month during the month of October in the Marion County Public and Private Schools. In 2014, Mayor Kent Guinn, officially proclaimed October 22 as Ocala’s Grow In Kindness Day to support the national efforts of Unity Day for Anti-bullying. With your continued support, Faithfully Guided is able to partner with the community in projects to provide pastoral counseling, anti-bullying education, and resources for our children, youth, and families. Healthy individuals make healthy families which create healthy communities. God Bless!