How long have you been married and what are your fondest memories of your wedding and the days leading up to it?


We were married on March 2, 2013, so we have been married for a little under a year.


It’s rare to walk into marriage without an arsenal of expectations ready to fire. While some of us recognize these expectations, most of us don’t.


And when it comes right down to it, and things aren’t as rosy as we had in our minds, we have two choices. We can fold to complacency and conclude, “This must be how it’s going to be,” or we can fight for a marriage founded on Christ and His ability to pour endless resources of love, grace, and forgiveness into our hearts, which overflows into our marriage. This, of course, is much easier said than done. At the end of the day, we can all agree that marriage is hard, yet beautiful. It’s an opportunity to learn to love and be loved, forgive and be forgiven. But at it’s core, marriage is a picture of the story of Jesus and how He rescued us, His bride, from the dominion of darkness that attempted to hold us back from God’s arsenal of incredible love.

Monday, 02 December 2013 10:46

A Heavenly Christmas

Written by Steven Clark Goad

The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.” These are the words of a favorite Yuletide song. A baby in a manger makes for quite a story. Everyone loves babies. Jesus was once a baby. But he grew up and became a man. Most people can smile at an innocent child. How many can worship a crucified Savior on a cross who stated clearly that no one could approach the Father except through him?

The spirit of Christmas sparkles brightest and feels fuzziest when it’s shared. But for many people in the River Region, Christmas is just another day on the calendar. For the forgotten, lost and lonely, December 25th is a day that brings the realities of their desperate situations to light and the pain of being separated from family, a table full of food, and love cuts the deepest. This year, we want to showcase a handful of ministries throughout our capital city who give the gift of honor, dignity and a sense of belonging to those outside the margins this holiday season– a gift lasting longer than a date on the calendar. 




In 2004, the Blanchard family’s life took a turn that would forever impact them and the lives of people all over the globe. Local couple John and Lindy Blanchard were long-time supporters of faith-based and humanitarian programs for many years, but never expected they would be the boots on the ground in a venture that would influence the lives of children and families across the world.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:22

Establishing Boundaries in Ministry

Written by Candy Arrington

As Marc helped his wife clear the dinner dishes from the table, he realized he was weary. It had been a long, stressful week and he was looking forward to Friday evening at home with his family.

“Oh how I love your law!”

Committed to reading through the Bible in one year, my speed reading skidded to a screeching halt one hot July morning when my eyes caught Psalm 119:97. Did the writer say love? Wasn’t affection for law an emotion reserved only for law students and political science majors?

When the Bozemans came in the gym recently, a buzz rustled through the folks from our church, Gateway Baptist. We were watching an Eastwood Christian School volleyball game and some of our girls were playing with a good number of parents and youth there to cheer the girls on. Ruth was in her motorized wheel chair, as she has been in one form or another for over 60 years since she was struck with polio as a 25-year-old wife and mother of two young children. Ray was by her side, as he has been for 67 years. You cannot say the name of one without the other. It is always “Ray and Ruth.” They are one.

A simple Google search for adoption and foster care will harvest millions of results filled with articles, blogs and websites that represent the hundreds of thousands of people who are part of the movement to care for orphaned and at-risk children...a movement that has taken off in the last few years. With so many voices, attitudes and perspectives it can be overwhelming for any family thinking about becoming foster parents or an adoptive family to know where to begin. Agape of Central Alabama is one of those voices which has been advocating for children in Central Alabama since 1978.

Friday, 06 September 2013 11:58

A New Perspective on Anger And How to Handle It

Written by Candy Arrington

Jada and Laura had been friends for years, but recently, their relationship had changed. Laura had new friends and excluded Jada from their activities. Yet she still expected Jada to be available when she called.


Praying and distraction are practically synonymous for me. Often, after only a moment or two of prayer, sometimes after just a few seconds, distracting thoughts fill my mind. At other times, I can’t seem to put into words or thoughts what I want to say to God. That’s when I resort to “paper prayers.”



Just one year ago, Mary Ellen’s Hearth opened its doors in the Nellie Burge Community Center in the heart of Montgomery. With the desire to offer hope, help and healing to the homeless women and children of Montgomery, the staff provides an environment that allows women to focus on rebuilding their lives successfully. And it’s not just a shelter or a transitional home. Mary Ellen’s Hearth allows women to dream and pursue an independent lifestyle, one where they aren’t worried about the things that pertain to basic survival, like a place to sleep and food to eat. Instead it allows them to open up their minds and hearts to all that God has for them. In this way, they can begin to pursue those things in the comfort of a place they call home for up to two years before they begin the transition to true independent living.

Deep in the heart of the Washington Park neighborhood in West Montgomery stands what was once an old mill building with a tower stretching toward the sky – a landmark of sorts for this historic neighborhood that housed Civil rights activists and leaders of the 1950s and 60s. It’s been over 50 years since those days and much has changed. Due to numerous circumstances too complicated to hash out here, the Washington Park community went from thriving to dying. Crime, drugs and failing schools made headlines. The once thriving neighborhood was wilting away. Decades passed and businesses closed.  Boarded up buildings and homes lined what was once a bustling street. 

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