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Help for Men Caught Cheating & For Their Wives

Christian men aren’t immune from the decimating plague of infidelity. Yet underneath the hurt and betrayal, often there is still love. Without proper guidance, though, men have little chance of restoring relationship trust. In fact, they frequently make things worse. There is a path of redemption for the men who cheat and a possibility of

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Fridge and Friends

The plumber who came to our home this fall was excellent at his trade, but we discovered that’s not what was most important about him. Charles Dobbins’ love for and support of his childhood friend Calvin Bryant makes him memorable. The service call started with a personal question instead of one about the plumbing issue.

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Thanksgiving Memories 2018

The Thanksgiving image that always comes first to my mind isn’t of pumpkin or turkey or some crowded living room. It’s of my toddler self looking wide-eyed out the window of a red 1957 Ford Country Squire station wagon at my father, who was standing knee deep in blowing snow. We were trying to get

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Generosity Big and Small

We recently had a party at Bethesda Workshops that took 21 years to plan: a celebration of ownership of our own space! In early summer 2016, we located and “bought” a building near the Nashville airport, which ended our 20-year stint as a homeless ministry. Although we’ve considered the building ours, we didn’t hold the

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Personal, Not Political

I’ve hesitated for weeks to write anything about current events out of concern not for myself, but for the amazing ministry I am humbled to lead. I have no wish to be partisan or divisive. Yes, these thoughts are prompted by the accusations about a Supreme Court nominee and the testimony of the accuser and

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A Welcome Click

Recently, I was privileged to hear veteran journalist Tom Brokaw speak at Lipscomb University, my alma mater. For over 50 years Brokaw has been one of the most visible and respected newsmen in the world. Like millions of Americans, I grew up watching him on NBC, and I was familiar with his presence and accomplishments. What surprised and touched me was his humanness and humility.

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Going for the Gold

Like millions of Americans, every four years I become a total couch potato and watch dozens of hours of televised sports I know very little about (curling, anyone?) and don’t view again until the next winter Olympics. The acrobatics and physicality of the various styles of skiing, snowboarding, skating, and sliding are amazing. Even more,

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New Every Morning

When I considered what to share at the beginning of 2018, I read through some prior New Year’s greetings and found one from a few years ago that still seems fresh. Please enjoy – and happy new year from all of us at Bethesda Workshops!   ~ Marnie C. Ferree, founder & director   I’ve never

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Ready for Advent

This week I’m sharing a blog by one of my favorite thinkers and writers: my son-in-law, Chris Cox. He serves as a youth minister in Nashville and often stirs my heart and thinking. – Marnie Ferree Ready for Advent The calendar gave us an early Thanksgiving this year, and it seems like it has been

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Choose Thanksgiving

Choose Thanksgiving The idea behind the Thanksgiving holiday is so simple: Spend a day focused on gratitude, and share it with those you love. Most years I welcome my family to our home and make the traditional dishes my grandmother first made before my own mother was born. Today I’m blessed to enjoy rich relationships

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Helping Hands in Hell or High Water

The expression “come hell or high water” likely originated in the American West of the late 1800s in reference to cattle herders who crossed large prairies in the scorching summer heat (“hell”) and forged raging rivers (“high waters”) to get livestock to a railroad. It generally means a determination to accomplish something despite tough odds or difficulties.

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When the World Is Too Much With Us

Too often lately, I feel paralyzed and exhausted by all the pain in the world. Whether it's hate-mongers, an unstable political landscape, or the individual traumas that affect us all, sometimes "the world feels too much with us." Most days, I'm a hot mess. With alarming regularity, I realize I, too, am part of the problem. How do I respond in reflection of the mercy of a loving God?

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Three R’s

Sometimes life has more to teach me than the standard three R's I learned in elementary school. These lessons are both simpler and harder than "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.."

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In Sickness and In Health

Two wives from past Bethesda Workshops’ intensives have contacted me within recent weeks. Each was swirling in a vortex of equal parts pain and gratitude, and they were reaching out for a steadying connection. One woman had just lost her husband to an unexpected heart attack, and the second said her mate was in his

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Two Sides of Tenacity

Last summer shortly after Bethesda Workshops had first contracted for our building, David and I spent most of the Fourth of July weekend pulling the green growth from the back exterior wall. The vines clung with an invisible, plant Velcro to the peeling paint on the concrete surface. It was mostly easy and satisfying work

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To Need or Lend a Hand

Compassion and courage were all it took to rescue a family caught in a deadly rip current recently in Panama City Beach, Florida. Nothing else was available, and it turns out, those qualities were more than enough.   Instead of the fun swim they had planned, the Ursrey family, comprised of Roberta, Albert, and their

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Notice the Signs

The sign is clear. Sitting in the middle of the road, with only a narrow lane available for local traffic into the small condominium complex at the edge of the lake, the large sign warns, “BRIDGE CLOSED!” In fact, it’s the third notification of the same message. Within 50 yards of direct sight, a metal

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Crappy Lessons

When a participant at a Healing for Men Workshop asked for a plunger one Friday afternoon, I knew it was a bad sign. I declined his offer to deal with a stopped toilet and asked one of the male staff to investigate. They both returned before long and agreed the problem required more than a

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Showing Up

Somehow when I saw the caller ID, I knew my brother Larry had bad news. “Miss Ada,” a beloved family friend, had died at almost 100 years old. Her son Jim had been Larry’s best friend through high school and college, and when Jim was killed in a boating accident at age 22, my brother

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Enough for the Moment

Perhaps it sounds odd, but sometimes the pressure and pulls of a good life can be taxing. It doesn’t take so-called “problems” to create stress. Even good things — a family you love, the opportunities you’ve hoped for, a career you’re passionate about, people you normally enjoy mentoring or helping — can feel exhausting at

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100 Years

Occasionally, there are, indeed, once-in-a-lifetime events. A child’s birth is probably the most common, though each is unique and hopefully never taken for granted. Yearly birthdays, then, become celebratory milestones, and some of those birthdays are “big,” like turning 18 or 30 or 50 or 75. Few people live too much past their early 90s,

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Praying or Packing

My dad used to tell a story about a preacher who had been asked to move to a distant Third World country to do mission work. The preacher shared how he was wrestling with the decision and trying to discern God’s will about it. When someone asked the preacher’s wife her thoughts, she said simply,

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Christmas Puddles

The predicted rain started around 2 am on Christmas Eve. Strong and steady as expected, the sound woke me up with its welcome presence after a summer of drought. The rain’s steady cadence was as melodic as the Christmas piano CD that had soothed me to sleep. Although a white Christmas would be nice, the

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The Best of Belle

A few days ago my husband, son and I said goodbye to our beloved, arthritic Lab named Belle, who had been part of our family for 13 ½ years. In tears, we sat on the antiseptic tile floor in the vet’s office caressing her as she was relieved of her suffering. And ours, too, actually.

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