Author: Holly Barrett

Red Light, Green Light

Remember that game we all used to play as kids called Red Light, Green Light? Everybody stood at the end of the driveway and the one person who was the caller hollered out Green Light! And you ran as fast as you could towards that person. But as soon as they called out Red Light!, you had to stop. If they saw you moving when they turned around, you had to go back to the beginning. The first person to get to the end of the driveway won and it was their turn to be the caller. We would spend hours playing that game…debating whether or not someone had moved after Red Light was called out…and arguing over who had to start again. Crazy fun! I was thinking about that game the other day while driving to work. You don’t have to live in Charlotte long to figure out that the traffic is horrible! I only live two miles from my office and it still can take me 15-20 minutes to get there. I go through four stoplights to get there and I’m often amazed at the risks that people take just to get through a yellow light before it turns red. Only to get stopped at the next light and not really be ahead of the folks who were behind them at the first light. But what really...

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True Identity

It won’t surprise you to know that my love of the TODAY show continues! I don’t watch much news these days since my guys are on the other side of the world in a war zone but can’t resist keeping up with what’s going on with Matt, Ann, Al, and Natalie most mornings. This morning they had a guest who was promoting his new book on personal identity. I watched the interview because the guest is someone who rarely gives interviews despite being in a relationship with a very high profile celebrity. So I was curious to find out what he would say about this book and how he would answer the inevitable questions about his relationship. What really struck me in this interview was the author’s take on identity. That we can decide what defines us, and we can organize our lives around who we believe we are. When asked how he defined himself, the author said he is defined by the things he loves, the things he creates, the things he imagines…everything that he can do in this life. I gotta tell you, it was a lot of “I…I…I” in just a few short minutes. My Sunday school class has been studying the habits of Jesus, and yesterday we talked about using Scripture. And we talked about how Jesus viewed Scripture as truth and authority, so we...

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Why I haven’t been reading much lately…

As you know, I’m an avid reader. Below is the list of what I’ve been reading since the beginning of the year. It’s shorter than it looked like it might be in January as I was reading like a fiend when the new year started. But as often happens with the things we think are important, God has a way of changing our minds sometimes. As the PR staff was planning the events leading up to Commitment Sunday and working on the prayer marathon and fasting pieces, it was suggested that we consider fasting in three different ways. You may have read about these ways on the back of your prayer calendar. You could join the staff and elders in fasting on Wednesdays and come to GATHER on Wednesday night to break our fast together. You could fast from one meal once a week for five weeks. You could also take a 36-day fast from some thing – like a particular food or TV or media or whatever – anything that you spend a lot of time and energy on normally and then use that time to pray and commune with God. As this particular suggestion was being made in a staff meeting, I distinctly felt the pull to put down all the other books I was reading and to spend this time over the last month in the...

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A Sea of Emotions

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows…I guess some days are just like that. We get to experience a swing of emotions so wide that it takes our breath away and then it all has to process through our hearts and minds for hours. I think endings are the hardest part. Learning of the death of a friend is certainly a low. When that friend is only 8 years older than you, it sends all kinds of questions through your brain, not the least of which is, “Why, God?” Needing to ask God that question feels lower…although I know He welcomes our questions, even the hard ones. God’s timing in our lives is impeccable though. A family in our congregation called me several days ago to ask if I would baptize their daughter after services on Sunday, which I was delighted to do. And as this little girl committed her life to Christ, and came up out of the baptismal waters, I was struck by the collision of life and death on the very same day. One family grieves. One family rejoices. My friend, John, lived a life dedicated to God, his family, and the church. He wasn’t perfect but he was a servant who loved the Lord and wanted to see as many people as possible come to know and love Him too. Which is what my...

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Today is the Day

Sometimes you have a dream and you don’t have to wait too long for it to be fulfilled. Sometimes you have a dream and you have to wait, oh let’s say 12 years or so, to see it come true! It’s been just over 12 years since God’s call to full-time ministry fell on me. It happened in the kitchen of my best friend’s home, who at the time lived in North Augusta, SC. Doesn’t seem like a very audacious beginning, does it? Amy and I were discussing the divorce recovery ministry I had been leading in the six months since she had left Greensboro. And there it was. The dream of full-time ministry was born and Amy and I could see it just as clearly as if God had taken a snapshot and shown it to us. In the ensuing years, God has borne my impatience with love, compassion and great grace. He has been merciful to give me places in ministry to work. He has been gracious to correct, guide, and train me with far more patience than I would have offered me. I am grateful that His graciousness will continue to work those things in my life. It’s not been a very straight road…but they often aren’t. Looking back though, I can see reasons for every detour, every turn, every surprise along the way. Even the...

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