Women of Wisdom: Spring Ladies' Luncheon 2019


Women of Wisdom: Spring Ladies’ Luncheon 2019

On June 9th, Trinity held its first annual Spring Ladies’ Luncheon. The idea was created by Deb Mongiardo, a member of Trinity’s staff. She hoped that an afternoon filled with good food, good company, and good conversation would help bring our already strong church community even closer.

Upon their arrival, the women were given name tags and were encouraged to sit with people they hadn't met before. There are so many people we see every week at church, but how many of those familiar faces do we turn into friendships? A simple conversation is enough to begin a relationship, and that’s how the luncheon began. The women shared their lives with each other as they waited to be called to the table. 


The groups were dismissed one by one to fill their plates with a delicious, catered lunch. The brightly colored dishes matched the lively atmosphere of the room!

A question and answer panel session followed lunch. Questions, which were compiled prior to the event, were answered by a group of Trinity women gathered at the front of the room. After a question was read, any of them were free to take the microphone and share their thoughts. The women were open and authentic, filling the room with God’s presence through their inspiring words. Many of them talked about overcoming parts of their journey, and it was encouraging to hear how their relationship with God helped them through tough times. They shared how difficult moments turned into beautiful lessons, and eventually, shaped them into who they are. The wisdom passed from the speakers to the audience was a blessing to all.


If you didn’t get the chance to participate this year, mark your calendar when the Second Annual Ladies’ Luncheon comes around next spring! It was an afternoon filled with great food, laughter, and many wise words. Thank you to everyone who helped organize the event, and thank you to all the lovely ladies that attended!

- Rachael A. Kelley

Rachael is a student in the Professional Writing Honors College at Appalachian State University. Photos by Rachael Kelley.



Women's Weekend at Sandy Cove 2019: Fearless



The women's weekend at Sandy Cove proved to be another opportunity to grow closer to God and to the other women in our church. Featured speaker, Dr. Veirdre Jackson, started out the preaching on Friday night with an object lesson to help us see the layers of obstacles that stand in the way of us being close to GOD.  We all have "life issues" we are dealing with, and we discussed how those life issues often lead to changes in our behavior and then behaviors inevitably lead to toxic self-talk. Dr. Jackson used the story of the Woman with the Issue of Blood in Mark 5 to give an example of how breakthrough comes when we start changing our inner conversations and decide to go the LORD with our issues. When we have tried and failed to fix ourselves we understand that our hope and faith is in His healing power. But it all starts with what we say to ourselves. We must choose to get close to Him, give it to Him and trust Him.

Saturday morning's message was about how to develop a fearless faith. Dr. Jackson talked about the primary emotions LOVE and FEAR and how every other emotion stems from these two. When life "rocks" us we have the choice to be grounded in love or fear. Dr. Jackson highlighted the woman with the demon-possessed daughter (Matthew 15:22-28) who came to Jesus for her healing as an example of fearless faith. Initially, Jesus told the woman that He couldn't help her, but she wouldn't take NO for an answer. She trusted in who she knew God to be. The most repeated command in the Bible is DO NOT FEAR. We talked about the different ways we commonly respond to fear (Forget Everything And Run, Finding Excuses And Reasons, Failure Expected And Received, and Fake Everything And Repeat).  The challenge was the Face Everything And Rise in the face of fear.  In addition to being a gifted speaker, Dr. Jackson used brain science to show us how our beliefs control our behavior.  Our "homework" was to come up with a Power Plan so that we can prepare for life challenges before they happen.  For me personally I renewed my commitment to studying and memorizing God's Word daily and living a life of praise and worship regardless of my circumstances and feelings.

The Saturday night message was about joy and how God brings us joy as a result of worship.  Dr. Jackson explained how God has used dance as a way for her to worship Him and to lift her out of some deep depression in her life.  The story of the Woman at the Well was used as an example of how we need to be vulnerable with God and with others.  When we are honest with others and tell our story that's when shame's power is broken in our lives.  We need each other, and the Enemy uses shame to keep us in isolation.  Our challenge was to take one step of obedience after another...focus on the what, not the how.  God's job is the how, we just need to worry about what to do next.

On Sunday morning, Dr. Jackson discussed transformation, and how we must train in the valley so we are prepared to move higher in our faith. Just like runners must be consistent in their training, our spiritual lives are meant to be lived with consistency as the key to our faith being strong and sustained over time. We read the story of Eljah in I Kings 19 coming off of a mountaintop experience/life victory and then running away and hiding to show how sometimes we want to just quit.  He was exhausted, so an angel of God appeared to Him and commanded him first to Eat and then Rest. We discussed self-care and how we sometimes can burn out, even when we are serving God. Our challenge was to find training partners and surround ourselves with a team of like-minded women who are fully committed to developing a strong fearless faith.

The messages were extremely powerful all weekend and I felt confirmed in many things God was already showing me before I arrived (my desire to praise Him at all times, rest in His love, know Scripture, trust God's character, be bold in my faith, and find deeper friendships). One of the highlights of the weekend for me, was identifying two women in my life (one at church and one at work) that are fully committed to the LORD and willing to be vulnerable with me and let me be fully vulnerable with them. God worked as only He can do, literally obliterating the small fears I was holding onto as I was walking out the door of the last session. He is REAL, and He LOVES us so much and He makes Himself evident when we trust and obey. For any women seeking to grow closer to God, I highly recommend attending next year's Women's Weekend. It might just bring the breakthrough you've been looking for.

– Faith Ralph


Till WE Have Faces


Till WE Have Faces

Moses was a main topic in Pastor Ron’s new series that started Sunday. Moses was a rare human being; he saw God face to face on Mount Sinai. After speaking with God, his face was radiant. In fact, after his encounters with God, he covered his face with a veil. The people knew he’d been with the Lord. He was a changed man, and the people recognized that.

How do we, the people of Trinity, appear to the world outside the church? I’m talking about those we interact with in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and even our families. Can they tell we’ve been worshipping together each Sunday? Is our countenance any different after our time with the Lord? Do our faces, our actions, and our attitudes attract people to know more about the God of love, the God who saves? Till we have faces that radiate the God of the universe, how can we expect to win more souls for Him and the Kingdom?


– Judy Frett, Trinity Member


April 21, 2019 Lent Daily Devotional: The Risen Lord


The Risen Lord

...Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.” Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” ~ JOHN 20:26-29 (MSG)

After countless years of hearing sermons and reading scripture, I am amazed that it was an article in The Wall Street Journal that jogged something in my brain to ponder the magnificent reality of the magnitude of change defined by the resurrection. I have always accepted the truth of the resurrection and the promise of salvation and eternal life, but perhaps the changed body of Jesus was something on which I never concentrated.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He rose with a transformed body. Our Lord truly conquered death. Even the people closest to Him had trouble grasping this reality and the reality of Jesus in His changed body. Those in the garden didn’t recognize Him right away. (John 20:16-17) His fellow travelers on the road to Emmaus didn’t grasp who He was until the end of their journey: “As they sat down to eat, he asked God’s blessing on the food and then took a small loaf of bread and broke it and was passing it over to them, when suddenly — it was as though their eyes were opened — they recognized him! And at that moment he disappeared!” (Luke 24:30-31 TLB)

I wondered, after all these people recovered from their initial shock of encountering someone who demonstrated normal human characteristics but wasn’t constrained by routine physical barriers like “doors and distance,” what did they think? I imagine that this was when all of Jesus’ teaching suddenly made sense. This was the moment when the promise of eternal life suddenly made sense. This was the reality that made it possible for the disciples to carry forth the message of Christ and face trials and even martyrdom. Herein lay their hope and our hope. Jesus brought the promise of eternal life, and His resurrected body demonstrated that promise. Death was no longer final. Jesus changed everything, and they saw that reality with their own eyes. “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-55 NIV)

Thank you, Jesus, for demonstrating the reality of life after death and the promise of eternal life.



April 20, 2019 Lent Daily Devotional: An Unheard Conversation


An Unheard Conversation

... God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law. ~ GALATIANS 4:4-5 (NASB)

Jesus was already the Son in eternity past, but never before in human flesh — born of a woman and, as man, subject to the Law.
Jesus left behind — stripped off — omnipotence, or at least omnipresence and omniscience. He left the eternal fellowship of His Father and even the Spirit, to “put on” flesh for us. He did it with perfect foreknowledge, in complete oneness of purpose with the Father and the Spirit.


Father: When our children choose not to love us, we will have to let them go. Sin through disobedience has no place here.

Son: But we love them.

Father: Sin is death; their life-blood cannot remain.

Son: Could the blood of another serve?

Father: Yes, but only untainted blood.

Son: How? Whose?

Father: There is, will be, none.

Father-Son-Spirit: Could we make a way?

Father-Son-Spirit: We can. Nothing is impossible. It will be costly beyond measure. Only great love can pay the price.

Son: Because of our Perfect Love, I want to do it, pay it, for our joy’s sake.Father: Please do.
Son: I will.


Dearest Lord Jesus, you left your glory to become like us. May we, through your sacrifice, become more like you.



April 19, 2019 Lent Daily Devotional: His Cross Is Our Cross

Photo by: Mike Ralph

Photo by: Mike Ralph

His Cross Is Our Cross

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. ~ LUKE 23:26-27 (NIV)

Iremember coming in from the countryside on the road to Golgotha. There were people everywhere along the narrow path, pushing, shoving, and shouting, “Crucify him! He claims to be the Messiah and savior of our people. He is a blasphemer and a fraud! Let his blood be on us and on our children’s children. Crucify him!” The sky was overcast as dark clouds started to fill the sky. There was an unsettling spirit of evil that seemed to fill the air with a thick, consuming vacuum, lacking human compassion.

Suddenly I felt a powerful grip on my arm from out of the surrounding crowd. A strong, raspy voice yelled, “Help this prisoner carry his cross. His strength has left him.” I looked down upon the man’s twisted, bruised, and blood-stained face as the wooden cross pressed him to the ground, causing his crown of thorns to sink deeper into his skull. His blood was running down into his eyes and mouth from the unrelenting coronation of hate. From within me came strength to help him lift and carry that which would become the symbol of hope and love forevermore. At once, I sensed around me the presence of perfect love. It was as if angels’ wings brushed up under the cross to lift it up. This tender, warm feeling permeated every inch of my being.

Then it happened — that look. Oh, I shall never forget how those loving eyes embraced me and drew me into Himself, expressing all the compassion and love He felt for this sinful world. He looked at me again and whispered with parched, cracked lips, “Simon, the cross you carry is for the redemption of the world.” I continued to look into those loving eyes of brown topaz. I shall never forget them.

After walking some distance more, I was pulled aside by another Roman soldier with a tongue of vituperate verbiage who said, “Enough! He can carry his own fate now.” As I moved aside, I knew I would never be the same, for I had been with the Source of all love, the Son of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, as you blessed Simon of Cyrene, bless us also to be the hands, the feet and the channel of love, to help all our brothers and sisters who need someone to help carry their crosses to the bliss of salvation through Jesus the Christ. Amen.



April 18, 2019 Lent Daily Devotional: We May Mess Up, But God Still Cares


We May Mess Up, But God Still Cares

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths. ~ 

Jesus has always been joyfully and lovingly by my side, but recently I know that something I did disappointed Him. Then one night I had a dream that woke me, and I think the dream meant something.

In my dream, it was late and dark, and I was leaving a friend’s house on my bicycle. A man was standing on the corner. I was afraid, so as I rode past him I hit him with my cane. He followed me and I kept striking him. No matter how much I hurt him, he kept following me.

When I woke up and thought about the dream, I remembered how I had disappointed God. I think the message He was sending through my dream was that He still forgives, loves, and cares, even when we mess up. Even when we hurt Him, or disappoint Him, He will not leave us.

Lord, I am grateful that when we seek you and ask, you are quick to forgive. Help us all to love you more and follow your leading in all ways.



(Matthew 26:17-30)

On Thursday evening of Holy Week, it is thought that Jesus had His last supper with His disciples. It was a reflective and tender hour of fellowship when Jesus shared some of His greatest insights with them. In many churches, the holy communion service on Thursday evening is held in memory of Jesus’ last supper.

Sometimes the day is called Maundy Thursday, from the Latin wordmandatum, which means mandate, and refers to the “new commandment” that Jesus gave his followers, “that ye love one another.” Another explanation for the name comes from the Latin words, mandatum novum do bovis, which relate to the custom of carrying gifts to the poor in maunds (hand baskets).

The German name for Holy Thursday is Gründonnerstag, which is translated as “Green Thursday.” It was also known as “The Day of Foot Washing” because the Gospel often read is the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.


April 17, 2019 Lent Daily Devotional: Where Am I?


Where Am I?

My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. ~ JOB 23:11 (NIV)

My husband and I took some friends who needed an outing for the day to lunch down near the shore. A nice time was had by all, but when my friend’s husband got home, he couldn’t find his cell phone. After looking all around for it, he decided to call his cell number and see if anyone answered. Well, was he surprised when a man (from the restaurant) answered. All my friend could say was, “Where am I?” Needless to say, he was found. This was something that stayed in my mind for a long time and has resurfaced during the Lenten season.

We need to look at ourselves and say, “Where am I with my Lord?” Do we have a loving relationship with Him, a warm smile for others, a giving and forgiving heart, and a reason to be joyful this Easter? If not, then how do we attain this?

One of the sermons I used to give was about a red Christmas gift bag with a big bow. It is God’s gift to us, but we have to open it in order to see it and use it. We can’t just let it sit there to admire; we need to use this greatest gift ever given to mankind, God’s Son, Jesus. We need to open our eyes and study the Word, open our ears and listen to His whispers, and open our mouths to pray. Also, we need to open our hearts to the love and joy that Jesus brings into our lives. Finally, we need to share the power of forgiven sin that Jesus’ death on the cross provides to all who believe and accept this sanctification. Let’s share, too, what Jesus has done and is doing in our lives.

In Matthew 9:2-6, some people brought a paralyzed man on a mat to Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child. Your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does He think He’s God?” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so He asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” As we all know, the man picked up his mat and walked home.

At this special time, let’s ask, “Where am I?” And let’s hope to answer, “Where I want to be!”

Lord Jesus, thank you for your cross and forgiveness of our sins, and the love and joy that comes from you.