Letter From the Editor: Fall 2016

As sweater weather settles in, the things I love about the cooler seasons are blanket cuddling, football watching, coffee sipping, even a skinny pumpkin spice or gingerbread latte (with whipped cream of course), and the warm glow of a fire. But, what’s even better is when these simple pleasures are shared with others.

Our Living Real team also believes real faith isn’t something we keep to ourselves, but rather it’s something to be shared. Locking arms to encourage and build one another up as we walk our faith journeys is what the Church is all about. There-fore, we’re embarking on some new adventures this season.

My heart is all about disciple making, and, more than ever before, I believe God has purposed LR to be a part of this Biblical process by mingling real life and real faith. Nothing brings me more joy than to bring people together willing to talk, laugh and cry with each other as our discussion centers on what the Word of God teaches us about how to live real life in Christ to the fullest.

One of the ways we’re implementing discipleship is by sponsor-ing a Women’s Bible study in our hometown. This semester we’re studying the book of Hosea. Our desire is for women to fall deeper in love with Christ by growing up in their faith and building healthy friendships with other women in the community.

We’re also thrilled to introduce our Out and About events — taking Living Real Magazine on the road into smaller venues for men and women. Besides offering a one-day, Co-ed Conference on a much larger scale, we believe we need to take our real life stories into the streets of our towns in more intimate settings. When real people share their real stories and engage in real conversation, an atmosphere is created where a much more natural, one-on-one ministry can occur. We’re looking at several coffee shops to kick-off these smaller events. If you would like to have some of the Living Real team come to a coffee shop near you, please contact me at livingrealmag.com. Stay tuned to Living Real Magazine’s Facebook page, Twitter @melanieshull, and our website at livingrealmag.com for more information. Who knows, we may show up in your hometown.

As you peruse the pages in this issue, our goal is to help you apply real faith into real life.

In our Going Deeper section, Dr. Don Wilton, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC shakes things up pointing to Things That Really Matter. He spoke on this subject at our Living Real Co-ed Conference in the spring of 2016, and it was on-the-edge-of-your-seat amazing. Thank you, Dr. Wilton.

(A bit of trivia: He’s also Dr. Billy Graham’s pastor.)

Do you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions when attending church? LeRyiah Arant from Lexington, SC does. Don’t miss The Red High Heel Façade.

Dianna Buchwalter’ introduced us to The Old Wooden Bench several issues back. Check out her continued story, From the Old Wooden Bench to the Comfy Brown Couch, to see how her faith and patience played a role in changing her name. Hopeless romantics will love this one.

Are you tired of politics as usual (or should I say, unusual)? Lauren Craft, a graduate of Virginia Tech, had a passion to create real change during her college years, but her passion quickly evolved into an obsession with politics. Then, tragedy struck and Lauren’s world was rocked. You’ll need to read Election Fears? Take Heart to find out how.

Madison Adams, a junior at Anderson University in SC, opens up and bares her soul about a very personal and difficult struggle. She is learning in the midst to trust God with her weaknesses and hopes you will too. I so admire this young woman’s bravery. See Fitbits & Food.

Through all of these personal stories and more, I hope you’ll see how faith is the most important ingredient for living real in this real world. [Because] without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 nkjv).

Keeping it Real,

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