During the 40 days of Lent leading up to the celebration of Easter, fasting typically becomes a hot topic. Ooltewah United Methodist Church would like to encourage you to learn more about the practice of fasting and provide some inspiration for your own journey. In the Bible we read that Jesus fasted from food and drink for 40 days and 40 nights, as part of his spiritual preparation. And indeed, fasting has long been a practice of Methodists. Read on →

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? Or why bad things happen at all if God is good? It’s completely natural to have these kinds of questions. It’s helpful to remember that God has given all humans free will. And with the freedom to make choices, humans carry the power to impact others simply through making choices. When we make any decision, it can carry both short-term and long-term effects. Read on →

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. -Proverbs 4:23-26 As believers, we often hear that we should “guard our hearts.” But have you ever wondered what that really means? Read on →

What makes a good marriage? Some of you are already married, while others are looking forward to marriage or hoping for one down the line. Regardless of your current position, as we inch closer to Valentine’s Day, we all can ruminate on what a quality marriage should be. Marriage is regarded in the Bible as a parallel for the relationship between Christ and the church. So for Christians, that’s the first place we can look, and it’s the best goal for any marriage relationship–to reflect the love of Christ. Read on →

Of all struggles most believers will face, loneliness is one of the most trying. It’s very easy to waver in your faith when battling the pain of feeling alone. Some may turn away from their faith because they felt they never got an answer to the question, “Where is God when I feel so alone?” There is probably no single good way to look at the question. A relationship with Christ is dependent on the belief in things unseen. Read on →

By now, everyone has heard of setting new year’s resolutions. Everyone has their own idea on whether or not to make them, as well as how to keep them. As a body of believers, we’d like to encourage you to contemplate some of the positive changes you might make in your life. A life with Jesus is all about transformation and growth–both personally and collectively. Among the most powerful ways to improve ourselves is to help others. Read on →

The observance of Christmas has long been a source of debate among Christians. Some see the holiday as deeply religious, while others see it as merely commercial, and still others see it as a day with pagan roots. There is no biblical instruction to celebrate–or not celebrate–the holiday, and so it is up to us individually to discern in our spirits how we are to observe the Christmas season. The birth of Jesus. Read on →

Are you looking for a small group project to serve the community this season? Well, Christmas is right around the corner, and many working families in our very own neighborhoods are struggling to put food on their tables, in addition to making happy memories for their children. One very effective way to serve such families in need is to hold an “adopt-a-family” program for Christmas. You can take nominations from friends, families, co-workers, charities and more to make a list of families you’d like to place with donors. Read on →

Many individuals have grown up in the church associating Thanksgiving with the opportunity to volunteer. It’s a beautiful thing to be inspired to serve others in need, and it is equally important to make sure your desire to be of service is truly helpful. In recent years, there has been some buzz on social media about somewhat misplaced efforts to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day which do more harm than good. Every Thanksgiving, there are folks who, wishing to serve others show up at charities unannounced and ask if they can give a hand. Read on →

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a powerful way to enrich our lives. Studies have repeatedly shown that individuals who make a conscious effort to live with thanksgiving experience better emotional well-being and physical health than others who don’t. Practicing gratitude also helps us to see ourselves and others through the eyes of our Creator. When we are more aware of our blessings and grateful for what we have been given, we are in a better position to love God and others. Read on →