Tag Archives: Travis Flora

GROW: The Lady With The Christian Fish

-submitted by Travis Flora

A man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy
boulevard.  Suddenly, the light turns yellow, just in front of him.
He does the honest thing, and stops at the crosswalk, even
though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating
through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming
in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the
intersection with him.  As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a
tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very
serious police officer.  The officer orders her to exit her car
with her hands up.  He takes her to the police station where
she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in
a cell.

After a couple of hours, a police officer approaches the cell
and opens the door.  She is escorted back to the booking
desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal
effects.

He says, “I’m very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up
behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping
the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him.

I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder,
the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker,
the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the
chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.”

“Naturally, I had to assume you had stolen the car.”

Thanks to Ernie Casey for sharing that email. It’s a great reminder that when we put on Christ and claim Him as our Lord and Master, we need to act like it. The world is watching.

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Grow:  In 2 Peter 1:5-8, the Apostle Peter illustrates that just being “in Christ” is not enough, we need to grow. Opportunities for growing in our relationship with Christ abound at Holly Hill. These blogs will highlight these opportunities, or may just illustrate, teach or inspire us as we grow in knowledge, faith and love of God.


REACH: Re-Pack The Pulpit Is TONIGHT

-submitted by Travis Flora

We have been made aware of 15-20 additional families that are in need of food this season. So we are going to RE-PACK THE PULPIT TONIGHT at our 7 p.m. Bible Study. Bring the food to the BASEMENT.

Check out this video that features Todd Best describing the Pack the Pulpit program. If you can’t view the video below, you can view it on our Holly Hill church of Christ YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/HollyHillCOC?feature=mhee

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 REACH is the focus of our midweek blog. Christ’s Great Commission is for His people to “go” into the world, spreading His gospel. This includes all aspects of the good news, both teaching the Word, as well as showing the benevolence toward others that Christ showed through His living example. These blogs will highlight opportunities at Holly Hill for us to REACH into the world around us and make a difference for Christ.


CONNECT: Sharing Our Thanksgiving

-submitted by Travis Flora

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

The American holiday for giving thanks is upon us. And I, for one, think that’s pretty cool. Despite all the bickering over just about any and every topic, our nation still sets aside one day each year to give thanks to the One who provides all blessings and goodness.

Sure the holiday has changed a little over the years. To some people, Thanksgiving is nothing more than a speedbump on the way to Black Friday sales and special deals. That’s too bad. I like a good deal as much as anyone, but let’s not lose sight of what is really important.

It’s about God. And His goodness. And the love He has shown us. It can be physical blessings, which is what we most often focus on. But it is also the Spiritual blessings he has shown to those of us who are in Christ.

There are lots of Bible verses that talk about Thanksgiving. I started this blog with one. I’ve seen several other verses posted by friends on Facebook. That’s great. Spread that word every way we can, including Social Media!

To end today’s ramblings, I’d like to do something a little different. I’m going to list a few of the things I’m thankful for this year. I’m going to pray my thanks for them, and I’d like you to do the same. List a few things you are faithful for. You can list them in the Comments section at the bottom of this page, or on the Holly Hill CoC Facebook page. But don’t just pray for your own blessings, pray for those listed by others. Let’s focus and share in the goodness God has provided to all of us, our friends and family in Christ. This is a great way for us to CONNECT with each other.

Here’s a start on my list:

 My wife, for making me a better man.

My kids for their love, optimism and faith that I can do anything.

My friends, old and new, for picking me up when I’m down, and letting me do the same for them.

My mother-in-law and grandmother, both of whom passed away this year but live on through their love and the lessons they taught me.

My employer, because lots of people don’t have a job, and my kids like to eat and have a roof over their heads.

My church family. You are much more than just friends, you truly are family and have been such a blessing to Mary Sue, Cassie, Evan and me. I thank God for each of you for showing me a better way to live and serve God.

And finally (and above all), I’m thankful to God for making it all possible and being there with me when I need him, and even when I think I don’t.

I look forward to hearing what you’re thankful for and sharing in your blessings.


CONNECT: Fun Times at the Men’s Retreat

-submitted by Travis Flora

This was my first year to attend a Men’s Retreat, not just at Holly Hill but anywhere. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect when Evan and I signed up to attend this year. Even though we’ve been attending Holly Hill for about a year and a half now, we still don’t know many people that well. So as I thought about attending the Men’s Retreat, I was both excited and also a little nervous. It’s one thing to be around people on Sundays and Wednesdays, but something different to spend a few days tucked away at a Bible camp with people you don’t know that well.

As Tom Owens wrote in a blog about the Men’s Retreat that was published a few weeks ago, the lessons were great. Gary Knuckles did a fantastic job leading us through lessons that encourage us to be both the salt and the light of the world. It’s amazing how much you can really learn and examine about yourself when there are no outside distractions, like work, home projects, television, internet, and even family.

Just as valuable to me, though, was the “free time.” This was a chance to see my brothers in Christ “cutting loose” and having fun. You get to learn a lot about people’s character when you strip away the formality of “church” and just hang out. We have a bunch of fun-loving guys! Besides the usual sitting around talking and swapping tales, there were board games, basketball and tetherball, and several took a few hours on Saturday to take a nature hike along the trails of a state park that was within walking distance of Spring Mill Bible Camp where we stayed. The lake and cave were pretty awesome, and we even got to learn a little about our frontier past by visiting a restored frontier village complete with working mill.

And then there was Four Square. I’d never heard much about Four Square before coming to Holly Hill and finding out it is a required activity, not just for the younger men who attended, but for some of the older guys, too. It was fun to watch the older guys (David Rogers, Nick, Bryan and Kenneth) gang up on the younger guys and laugh with unrestrained joy as yet another young man was sent to the back of the line after getting victimized by another David Rogers corner shot. As I said, you learn a lot about people in situations like this…

We’ve uploaded several photos on our Facebook page that show some of the fun things we enjoyed together, including Nick Gill’s special birthday cake. Be sure to check it out. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.217670474972490.54316.138387032900835&type=1

And we’re also including links to a few YouTube clips that show some of the fun we had, fellowshipping with one another and growing closer as men in service to Christ. If the videos don’t appear below, just follow this link to our Holly Hill church of Christ YouTube Channel. Also, thanks to Gregg Stratton for sharing his videos from the retreat. http://www.youtube.com/user/HollyHillCOC?feature=mhee

When it comes to retreats and camps and other similar activities, it’s not just about learning God’s word (although that’s certainly the main emphasis), but it’s also about CONNECTing with each other. I encourage all the men at Holly Hill to make plans to attend next year.

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CONNECT is a weekly blog designed as a way for us to get to know each other better, build stronger relationships, and make us better equipped to edify one another. These blogs will highlight members of our congregation, either new converts, new members, or highlight other members to help us know each other better.


REACH: Inviting Your Friends – Made Easy!

-submitted by Travis Flora

We have an important event coming up this Sunday as we begin our “November to Remember” gospel meeting with Ralph Gillmore. This is a great opportunity for us to REACH out to those around us who are in need of a Savior. And, really, isn’t that everyone? Whether we’ve been members of the church for decades or just a few weeks (or months, or years), the one area that we often neglect is that whole “spreading the gospel” thing Christ commanded. Why? As we’ve been discussing in our Wednesday night evangelism classes, it’s kind of intimidating. We’re nervous of how people will react.

Here are a couple of suggestions. Actually, they’re tools you can use to make inviting others to worship a little easier.

First, use the upcoming November to Remember as a way of bringing up the topic. “Hey, we’re having a special guest speaker for our November to Remember gospel meeting that starts this Sunday. I’d like you to come.” Very simple and easy.

Second, we’ve set up an Event on our church Facebook page. Just click on that link and click “Share” and the event will automatically be posted on your Facebook page. Again, simple and will only take a few seconds. Here’s a link to the Facebook events page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=215522941850906

Third, share the link to our YouTube commercial. It’s being run on Frankfort cable stations this week and, like we’ve done with all our TV commercials over the past few months, we’ve added it to our church YouTube channel. Just open the video and click the Facebook or Twitter button at the bottom and it’ll post it to your website. We’ve included the link to our YouTube channel at the end of the blog. To share this video, click the “YouTube” wording beneath the picture. This will take you to our YouTube channel. Then click the “Share” button and select which Social Media to share it on (Facebook, Twitter…)

Fourth, forward an email. Barbara Sudduth sends out an email every time we update our blog (including today’s). Feel free to forward this one (or any of them) to your family and friends. It lets them see how active our congregation is and opens doors for you to “talk Christ” with them.

Fifth, send a postcard. We’ve printed postcard invitations for the November to Remember. They’re in the church lobby. Hand deliver them or mail them, doesn’t matter. Again, easy.

Inviting others to church is something we maybe don’t think about as much as we should. But we’re trying to give you the tools to make this a little bit easier. The tools are yours to use. So let’s get busy. It’s up to each of us to spread the gospel, even if it’s something as simple as one of the methods we’ve listed above.

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 REACH is the focus of our midweek blog. Christ’s Great Commission is for His people to “go” into the world, spreading His gospel. This includes all aspects of the good news, both teaching the Word, as well as showing the benevolence toward others that Christ showed through His living example. These blogs will highlight opportunities at Holly Hill for us to REACH into the world around us and make a difference for Christ.


CONNECT: Fall Festival Was GREAT!

-submitted by Travis Flora

Saturday, October 29, several members of Holly Hill got together to put together our first Fall Festival. Wow, what a great time! Over 100 people attended and enjoyed an afternoon of fun and fellowship! There were great games and activities, and David Rogers tied the days’ events into a great devotional. We really appreciate Amber Collins for organizing this year’s event, plus all the others who volunteered their time and resources to make this event a reality. Let’s be sure to thank them for their efforts. Events like this don’t just happen, it takes all of us CONNECTing and working together to make it real! We’ve uploaded several dozen photos of the event on our Facebook page. Here’s the link. https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.212472262158978.53305.138387032900835&type=1

Finally, here’s a video that may have been the highlight of the day, at least to the kids. Not to reveal too much, but just imagine two things: David Rogers and Slime! Check it out!

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CONNECT is a weekly blog designed as a way for us to get to know each other better, build stronger relationships, and make us better equipped to edify one another. These blogs will highlight members of our congregation, either new converts, new members, or highlight other members to help us know each other better.


CONNECT: Are You Sleeping When You’re Needed?

-submitted by Travis Flora

Our Life Group Bible lesson yesterday centered on Matthew 26:36-46. This is Matthew’s account of Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal. The message we focused on at Life Group was how Christ prayed  to God that “Thy will be done” and how He accepted God’s plan for redeeming mankind from sin.

It’s a great lesson, but there’s another one I want to focus on today, and that is the role of His disciples during this event.

From this passage and parallel accounts in the other gospels, we see Christ was surrounded by his 11 faithful disciples when he went to the Mount of Olives (Judas had already left to betray Him). However, we see that even within this small group, there were different relationships and responsibilities to their friend, Jesus.

First, Jesus left eight of His followers at the base of the mountain to keep watch. He knew that Jewish authorities would soon be there to arrest him, so he left these men as lookouts. These men had an important role providing a first set of eyes to watch for trouble. Jesus didn’t abandon them there, he left them with a mission. He depended on them to be there when He needed them.

Jesus then took his three closest friends – Peter, James and John — with him to the garden at Gethsemane. Why? As we see from the passage, it was because the human side of Christ desired what each of us long for, and that is the support of our closest friends. Just the presence of His friends strengthened and encouraged Him.

 Compare this with the scene of Christ’s temptation by Satan at the beginning of His earthly ministry, when angels came to support and strengthen Him after the temptation had ended. Now, a little over three years later, no angels were needed. His friends could provide whatever support and encouragement were needed.

I don’t think Jesus is different from most of us in His relationships with his followers, his “church” (as they were “called out” to follow him). We have a great family at Holly Hill who serve as our support network, who watch out for us and can work to shield us from some of the hard times of this world.

But even within that group, don’t we find that we typically have a handful that we are just a little closer with, who we just “click” with? Maybe we have more in common with them. Maybe it’s our age, or our marital status, or our kids are the same age? Maybe we have similar hobbies or talents? Whatever it is, we can usually find a few people that we’re a little closer to, that we relax a little more around, and even that we trust a little more – just like Jesus did with Peter, James and John.

Like Jesus, we need people we can turn to when times get tough. That involves a couple of things. First, we must open ourselves up and put ourselves in a position to draw closer to others. We can’t stand back and wait for it to happen because, guess what, it won’t! We have to make the effort. And we can’t be content with our current batch of friends. We’re missing out if we think our friends list is full.

Second, we need to recognize when others are doing the same around us. We’re all looking for closer relationships, in one form or another. We need to train ourselves to look for those signs as others are seeking to know us better. The last thing any of us should hear from someone when talking about Holly Hill is “Oh, they don’t care about anyone” or “No one ever takes the time to get to know me.”

Third, we can’t fall asleep when we’re needed. As we know from the account of Gethsemane, Jesus returned three times to find Peter, James and John asleep. We read of the grief that caused Him. If that caused grief to the Son of God, imagine the reaction it will have on the rest of us.

Let’s look for ways to CONNECT with others. Let’s open ourselves up to make closer relationships with our current friends, and establish bonds with new friends. Just as Christ needed His friends, we need each other. Let’s make sure we’re not asleep when our friends need us most.

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CONNECT is a weekly blog designed as a way for us to get to know each other better, build stronger relationships, and make us better equipped to edify one another. These blogs will highlight members of our congregation, either new converts, new members, or highlight other members to help us know each other better.