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Fall Newsletter

Forge, blacksmith's work, hot metal
September 2018
Fall Newsletter

As another year swiftly passes, it gathers in is wake a great number of triumphs and trials. All of which can, of course, be dealt with in a positive or negative manner. Certainly, the triumphs are easy for us to endure, but the trials are a different story. Being human, it is natural to celebrate the triumphs over the trials. We all feel good when good things happen or when we witness good things happening to our friends and family, but for the trials, not so much. The weight of trials often bring us down. But the fact is, real character is measured by our response to the trials of life.

“People and nations are forged by the fire of adversity.”
– John Adams

John Adams—one of America’s greatest Founding Fathers—said of such trials, “People and nations are forged by the fire of adversity.” Pivotal to this statement are the terms, “forged in the fire.” Our lives are constantly being put to the flames of trial for the purpose of being forged or shaped with an eternal purpose; in other words, to exit the forge as a different or changed person. Mr. Adams knew that, as humans, we cannot escape that forge and the fires (or trials) that seek to change us. As previously stated, what matters is how we react to those times.

So what allows us to make it through or react to the trials in a positive way? To answer, let’s think about the word, “encouragement.” By definition, to encourage means, “The action of giving someone support, confidence or hope; to persuade to do or to continue something; the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state or belief.” In other words, encouragement helps us face the flames of trials. The fact of the matter is we cannot live without the stabilizing influence of human encouragement; without this important ingredient, the fires of the forge of life—of which Mr. Adams spoke—would destroy us. In fact, the Father of our nation, George Washington, reminded his fellow countrymen of a Divine source of encouragement when he said, “Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Supreme Being in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble action.” Mr. Washington also realized the importance of encouragement that eventually resulted in victory.

Stephen and Beth Anne Flick

As we think about the triumphs and trials of 2018, as always, the triumphs far out number the trials. Even still, it is natural for us to dwell on trials, allowing triumphs to be eclipsed. One such trial to the extreme was the passing of one of CHF’s founders, Beth Flick. On July 23 of this year, she was tragically taken from us in an auto accident in Virginia. While traveling home, headed south 0n I-81, from a visit with family, Dr. Steve and Beth had exited the Interstate for a time of rest. Upon re-entering the highway, on a cloverleaf style on-ramp, their car suddenly ran across a wet section of pavement and spun into the path of a southbound semi-truck, which hit them in the passenger door, critically injuring both Dr. Steve and Beth. Dr. Steve and Beth were both transported to the trauma unit at a hospital in nearby Roanoke. Within minutes of arriving, Beth passed away and Dr. Steve began treatment for his injuries. In the midst of a very difficult time, those of us who traveled to the hospital became very close to the staff members who were very caring and sensitive to Dr. Steve’s injuries.

On July 27—after nearly a five-day stay in the emergency room and trauma unit—we caravaned home to Clinton, Tennessee. One important point that would prove to be a great blessing was the fact that Beth would be on her way home to be prepared for the funeral and interment. “Sudden,” “tragic” and “devastating” are the words we have all used to describe the pain of that loss. In the midst of that loss, we have all sought to be an encouragement to Dr. Steve as he continues on. Herein we only need to look to Beth herself for instructions on encouraging others. That is who she was; that is what she was, and that is who and what she wanted all of us to be as well.

Going through a few old emails the other night, I came across one from Beth dated August 30, 2015. The context of that email focused on the fact that on Wednesday of that week, she would face her first chemo treatment for breast cancer. She was afraid of it and her friends knew she needed encouraging herself as they told her “…if there’s ever anything you need.” Here is what followed from Beth, “I will be very honest with my friends at this point. In the weeks to come, if anyone ever wants to do something for me, it would help the most by giving a small donation to CHF.” Even while facing her own trial, her own forge and her own fire, Beth focused on encouraging others and helping what she loved, which was to glorify her Lord through the ministry of CHF. If there was ever a lesson personified on encouragement, it was Beth Flick.

I call upon you all to be an encouragement to someone else. As life goes flying by we all need it, we all want it and we all must have it in order to emerge from the forge as changed people that continue on in the midst of trials. If you don’t know how, just look to the example left us by Beth Flick. Or, look to the Prophet Isaiah as he said, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might, He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall, but those that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 28-31

We need each other like never before, so let’s honor Beth by encouraging each other as she did others every day!

Keith Click
CHF Secretary

For Further Consideration

Suggested Resources, Studies in America's Christian Origin. Our list is not intended to be exhaustive, but a suggestive or recommended reading concerning America and the influence of Christianity upon the nation's origin and development. Given the fact that our tax-exempt status does not permit Christian Heritage Fellowship to commercially endorse the sale of products that do not originate within our organization, direct links are not provided from our selected reading materials.  Read more...
Stephen A. Flick, Ph.D., America's Founding Fathers and the Bible. Contrary to the contemporary mantra that America was birthed as a secular nation, the historical evidence demonstrates that America was founded by Christians who wished to enjoy the liberty to freely express their Christian faith. Lamentably, Christians have forgotten and neglected the Christian heritage bequeathed to them by America's Founding Fathers and have allowed secularists to disparage and deny what was given to them at such a great price. America's Founding Fathers and the Bible briefly describes a portion of America's Christian heritage, particularly during the rise of nationalism when America was shaping its national government.  Read more...
Stephen A. Flick, Ph.D., When the United States Capitol Was a Church. So deep and strong was the relationship of government to the Christian faith in America that the relationship was recognized in a variety of ways. Few realize that the United States Capitol was used as a church for years before it was used to convene the United States Congress. For nearly three-quarters of a century, the United States Capitol was used for church services. In fact, it became a meeting place for a number of churches in Washington, D. C. While secularists wish to keep this and many other similar historical facts quiet, the sincere Christian will wish to celebrate the spiritual heritage our Founding Fathers have bequeathed to us.  Read more...

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Written by Keith ClickNumber of posts: 2
Keith Click was born and raised in Knoxville, TN and is married to Tammy–wife of nearly 40 years–who is also of Knoxville. Keith is a graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, majoring in Church history. In their spare time, Keith and Tammy enjoy motorcycle riding in beautiful East Tennessee. Together with Christian Heritage Fellowship, Keith is an advocate of the message of the Gospel and America’s Christian heritage.
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