Access-Life Presents “Real Life” by Chad Van De Griek: January 13, 2022 – Holding our Heavenly Father’s Hand

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

As I have meditated on this verse over the last few days, I found myself struggling to figure out what to say. I ultimately kept coming back to a story that I’ve shared over various platforms in the past, and while that has caused me to hesitate from putting it down on this technological page, I think that it is a beautiful story that is certainly worth sharing today.

On the weekends that I would be with my dad as a kid, we would occasionally take the time to walk around the house together. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “Chad, I thought you said you couldn’t walk”. And, yes, that is still definitely true and it is a big part of why this story is such an impactful one for me. Keep in mind that when I say “walking”, I am using that word pretty loosely here because this was not a pretty process! If anything, this time of “walking” would be more accurately described as a time of me gripping my dad’s hands as tight as I could as my feet helplessly dragged along the floor.  It did not look all that graceful, nor do I think that it actually helped me get any better at walking, but I genuinely believe that it was truly one of the most beautiful pictures of the Gospel that I have ever encountered.

Walking with dad was always a struggle for me. The muscles in my legs simply were not accustomed to that kind of workload, irrelevant to how small of a workload that it may have been. My legs have decent strength, standing for a brief period of time isn’t very challenging on my good days. However, getting those muscles to work together and start the walking process is a completely different story. Certain muscles have a really tough time doing what my brain is telling them to do Walking takes a ton of effort and energy, as a result. It is an extremely uncoordinated and strenuous workout. Not only that, my balance has always been off, keeping my body upright has always been a challenge. With these two factors colliding, one could see how this time of walking was full of literal ups and downs. Despite this, in those moments, my dad was present, encouraging, and never let go. 

Whenever I think back on the times that dad and I would walk together, I immediately connect it to the passage emphasized at the beginning of the post I love the reminder that God is with me and holding me as we go through life together. Just like my dad walked with me as a kid, God helps me and holds me up each and every day. And that love and compassion has been made available for each of us. Through all the ups and downs, regardless of how many times that we may slip and fall, may we all remember to cling tight to the hands of Christ. Life is not easy, difficulty is inevitable, but we can rest in the reassurance that we are never alone on this journey. 

Access-Life “Merry Christmas”: December 24, 2021 – Emmanuel

Merry Christmas, family and friends!

Leanne and I hope you all are enjoying this Advent season to the most and soaking up all the joy that only the birth of our Savior, Jesus can bring. :) It is a one of a kind season of expectation, hopefulness, holiness, humility, festivity and giving when we celebrate the moment God came to us. Yes, He came to save, heal and help us in our need and He is still here doing that every day of the year. What a gracious, good and wonderful God we have!

There are so many inspiring things about Christmas. The LI GHT, Jesus that came to earth, the LOVE of God that sent His only Son, Jesus, the GRACE of God that gives us hope through Jesus and the MERCY God extends to us all who will but believe on His immeasurable gift of Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. This year I am especially comforted by Emmanuel, which means God with us. As Believers God is constantly present in our lives, not just walking beside us but in us and surrounding us. What a truth full of peace and joy. It is amazing how when we awaken to this reality and become more aware of His presence things change.

I’ve actually been think and praying about revival a lot lately. Now, you may be thinking, what does that have to do with Christmas? Emmanuel is the answer. Check out this definition of revival. Revival is living with an awareness of God around us, above us, beside us, and within us. This leads to true worship which is filling our minds with thoughts of God, our hearts with love for God, and our mouths with praise to God.

So my prayer for me and you this Christmas is that we will let the awareness of Emanuel REVIVE our hearts and lives so we are constantly refreshed, faithfully walk in the light and love of Jesus, always believing and claiming His many promises and moment by moment allowing the precious Christ child to be our Overcomer, Way Maker and Best Friend.

#JESUSISTHEREASONFORTHESEASON

Access-Life “3 in 3”: December 21, 2021 – THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT

The December #AL3in3 is here! Kendahl Hancock and I have a special guest, too: #ALROYALAMBASSADOR, David Browne. 🙂 He is here to help us share Christmas light with you.

Now this is no ordinary Christmas tree light, nor light from a star but #THELIGHT. Check out our ministry video to find out about this completely pure light that IS #CHRISTMAS!

Access-Life “Fun Fact Friday”: December 17, 2021 – Age is Only a Number

Hey, it’s Friday and time for our DECEMBER #ALFUNFACTFRIDAY!

Kendahl Hancock even has a special guest with her asking this month’s question as well as another nameless guest trying to give away the answer. :)

Be sure to email kendahl@access-life.org or call/text 3524559926 by midnight Monday if you think you know the answer for a chance to win one of two $20 fun, foody and festive gift cards. #CHRISTMASISCOMING

Access-Life Presents “Real Life” by Chad Van De Griek: December 16, 2021 – Dream Big, Live Bigger

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” 2Thessalonians 1:11

There is something so special about taking time to dream big. I wish I did it more often. But, the truth is that I’m not very good at acting upon the dreams and aspirations that I have, especially the ones that I believe have been placed by God. I want to dream big and accomplish all of the good things that my faith prompts me to do, but more often than not, I don’t. More often than not, I freeze up and then eventually talk myself out of pursuing the dream in my soul. I want to take some time to share some possible reasons why this is the case for me and hopefully encourage and challenge others in the process.

I am an incredibly realistic person, especially when it comes to how I view myself. I am someone who is keenly aware of my own weaknesses and flaws. They are almost always at the forefront of my mind. This is partially for self-preservation. I have to best understand what I can and can’t do so that when obstacles inevitably arise, I can be as prepared as possible. This is a good and helpful mentality at its best, but at its worst, it can lead to me only focusing on my weaknesses and obsessing over what keeps me from striving to accomplish what God asks of me. My view of myself is often defined by where I am limited, which leads to a huge lack of confidence. And that lack of confidence loudly proclaims that my dreams aren’t worth pursuing.

However, I have learned that this unhealthy mentality is simply the fruit of something that is much deeper. If I am truly honest with myself, there is a big part of me that simply doesn’t believe that I am deserving of the dreams and goals that my faith prompts me to do. I look at my desires and aspirations and genuinely think that I can’t reach them. Because of my own personality and painful scars from my past, I am almost always under the impression that there is someone who is better suited to accomplish the dreams that are in my soul. So, I freeze up, and I don’t pursue them like I know I should. 

When looking at trying to dream big in a healthy and Christ-centered way, I am learning that, like most things in life, it takes balance. For sure, it is important to know one’s strengths and weaknesses, but we have to make sure that we aren’t solely focusing on the negative or the things that we simply don’t like about ourselves. We have to honestly look at the positive and affirm those qualities as well. We can’t let an honest view of our weaknesses grow into insurmountable fears that keep us from what we are being prompted to do.

But even when we are struggling to have the confidence to pursue all that God is calling us to, it is so important to remember that God is with us in the midst of it all. We dream big anyway, not because we always feel worthy or deserving, but because we are in Christ and Christ gives us the power to accomplish all the good things that our faith prompts us to do.

Access-Life “East Tennessee Christmas Jingle and Mingle”: December 4, 2021 – It’s Back!

Did you hear the news? We were able to hold our first Christmas Jingle a Mingle [#ETNJA2021] for individuals living with disabilities since 2019!

That’s right, our #ETNOUTPOST lead by faithful volunteer, Beth Arsenault and SUPER Ministry Support Lead, Kendahl Hancock spearheaded the activity last Saturday afternoon and it was a big blast of #CHRISTMAS celebrating Jesus’ birthday at Jefferson City Christian Church. 🙂

#CHRISTMASISCOMING

#JESUSISTHEREASONFORTHESEASON

Access-Life “Fun Fact Friday”: November 26, 2021 – THE BIG WHEEL DEAL

The NOVEMBER #ALFUNFACTFRIDAY is HERE! Unfortunately, Kendahl Hancock is recovering from yesterday with a carbohydrate OVERLOAD being treated with TUMMS and COUCH rest. So, I’m stepping-up for a short cameo.

It’s a tough question but if you think you know the answer email kendahl@access-life.org or call/text 3524559926 by Monday at midnight for a chance to win one of four FOODY gift cards.

Access-Life “3 in 3”: November 23, 2021 – Blessings from God

It’s time for our November #AL3IN3. What do you think it is about?

#THANKSGIVING! That’s right I’m holding tightly onto the old pigskin and Kendahl Hancock is wearing a delicious looking turkey hat. However, is that what Thanksgiving Day is all about?

You better check out the video Leanne Goddard took to make sure you know the real scoop!

Access-Life “Happy Thanksgiving”: November 22, 2021 – Humility

Hey there Access-Life, Inc. family and friends,

Leanne Goddard, Kendahl Hancock and I [Doug] wanted to take a moment to send you a message of greeting and a prayer that each of you are blessed with the happiest Thanksgiving this year! We hope that each and every one of us becomes more aware of God’s light, love, holiness, goodness and presence surrounding, covering and enfolding us in the cusp of His hand of tender mercy and grace. In the sincere remembrance of these truths and God’s promises, may we all be blessed with the humility that truly draws us closer to God and his heart.

Once we come to this quiet place of gratitude, then may we be transformed into a reflection of Jesus’ pure light and true love that will change the world: more people saved by Jesus’ sacrifice, more people choosing Jesus over the world, more of heaven on earth and yes, real revival!

So enjoy the great gifts of God this Thanksgiving, let you speech be seasoned with salt and shine in a way that God’s kingdom will expand increasing the joyful blessings we each experience, giving cause for us to lift up even more thanksgiving to God. :)

Finally, the art I painted and the verse included are representations of my hope for Thanksgiving this year. I hope they encourage you all as they do me. HAPPY #THANKSGIVING AND MAY #GODBLESS US ALL THROUGH HIS ABUNDANT MERCY AND GRACE!