Author Archive: Jeff Bishop

Ever-Present God

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart and mind be pleasing to you oh, Lord!” — Psalm 19:14 By Kathy Seibel The Flame Volunteer Writer When I was asked to write my story, my first reaction was “Not me! I have no life changing story.” I don’t particularly enjoy writing, […]

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Path to Now

“Being a Christian is not a burden; it is not a penalty, but rather it is a pleasure.” By James Oppedal The Flame Volunteer Writer While serving together on No Greater Love mission trips, Fred Bishop taught me that each of us should be able to give our testimony. We should be able to give […]

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Who Am I?

“I am a blessed, holy, forgiven child of the one true God; a living testimony to the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross to redeem my sins.  And because I gave my heart to Jesus I am assured in everlasting peace and grace in glory.” By Shelley Loring […]

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Journey Back to God

By Melissa Owens The Flame Volunteer Writer My earliest memory of church was when I was five years old. My four siblings and I were being raised by a single mom, and I remember the church van coming every Sunday morning to take us to church. I never understood why my mom didn’t attend church […]

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New Creation, New Life

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” — Ephesians 6:11 By Jeffrey Rolph The Flame Volunteer Writer Hello, my name is Jeffrey, and I am an alcoholic, and this is my story. I started drinking at the early age of 11. […]

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Out of the Darkness, Into His Light

By Craig LeQuatte The Flame Volunteer Writer We all have a story … this is mine.  As a boy, I loved to read, play outside and ride my bike. I felt I had a soft heart for God as I grew up in a church which taught more social gospel than repentance. Between ages 8 […]

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Living in Paradise

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” — Psalm 51:10-12, The Holy Bible, New International Version […]

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God, Cats in the Cradle and a Renewed Marriage

“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.” — Ephesians 5:25 By Jim Shoffstall The Flame Volunteer Writer I met Cheryl shortly after beginning a new career with an air medical provider based in St. Louis. I did not know it at the time, however I later learned that she […]

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True Connection

By Amy Bouvet The Flame Volunteer Writer I was raised in a protestant church family. My dad was a hard-working farmer and my mother an educated farm wife. Some Sunday mornings I would ask my dad if we “had” to go to church and he always answered, “No, you GET to go to church”. He […]

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A Passion for Giving

By Kathy O’Dell The Flame Volunteer Writer For 16 years I was a fundraiser for Southwestern Illinois College Foundation. It was the most rewarding job I ever had – Why? Because I saw first hand the joy people receive from funding a student’s scholarship, or helping to make the Schmidt Art Center a reality, or […]

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Then … What Happened … Now

By Becky Olroyd The Flame Volunteer Writer My story in 700 words or less – wow!  700 divided by 70, even by today’s math, is a mere ten words a year. How is that going to work?  As with everyone, my life story is comprised of many individual stories – some joyful, some sad, some […]

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Journey of Faith

By Theresa Cavalier The Flame Volunteer Writer My faith journey is made up of not one but several stories that culminate in where I am today.  The Christian rock group Big Daddy Weave sings a song that says “to tell you my story is to tell of Him.”  My story must include how God has worked […]

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Never Ending Grace

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life.” — 1 Timothy 1:16, The Holy Bible, New International Version. By Darah Dodt The Flame Volunteer Writer […]

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The Saints of our Lives: A Thank You Letter

Some sow, some tend and some harvest By Jeffrey M. Bishop The Flame Volunteer Writer “This is Your Life” was a TV show in the golden age of television. Each week, friends and loved ones of that week’s guest of honor would share stories of meaningful or poignant intersections of their lives. These separate anecdotes […]

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Reflecting on Foundations

You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. — II Timothy 3:15, Holy Bible, New Living Translation By Dr. Steve Heitkamp The Flame Volunteer Writer I was raised in the church. In fact, many of my […]

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Scandalous Grace

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9, Holy Bible, New International Version By Zack Funk Christ Church Director of Student […]

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Bricolage: Rebuilding With What You Have

By Lydia Bishop The Flame Volunteer Writer It was Christmas morning 2014, when I realized that I had died. I woke up alone, in a cold, dark apartment with empty walls, a broken family and not a friend in sight. The weight was so heavy, I couldn’t move. I laid there, eyes closed, mournfully crying […]

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God, My Restorer

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Joel 2:25 — The Holy Bible, King James Version By Jo Lewis The Flame Volunteer Writer As childhoods go, mine was not idyllic. My father, who was gripped by alcoholism and gambling, verbally abused me. My relationship with my mom was also […]

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But God, He Had Other Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11, New Living Translation By Kevin Siddle The Flame volunteer writer Have you ever had a major God moment? One of those times when […]

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Rev. Shane Bishop: The Next Fifteen Years

by Rev. Shane Bishop Christ Church Senior Pastor I have been amazed of late at how many people have asked me, “What are your plans for the next fifteen years?”  Perhaps they see the new building going up, the campuses in place and the Student and Children’s Ministries booming and wonder, “What is the next […]

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