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Spiritual Inspiration Messages

Spiritual Inspiration Messages

  • October 27, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

    - Brené Brown


  • October 26, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt."

    - Zig Ziglar


  • October 23, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LOGAN IVEY, VISUAL MEDIA MANAGER, VOA-NCNN

    "Open-minded people don't care to be right, they care to understand. There's never a right or wrong answer. Everything is about understanding."


  • October 22, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Vulnerability is the only authentic state. Being vulnerable means being open, for wounding, but also for pleasure. Being open to the wounds of life means also being open to the bounty and beauty. Don’t mask or deny your vulnerability: it is your greatest asset. Be vulnerable: quake and shake in your boots with it. the new goodness that is coming to you, in the form of people, situations, and things can only come to you when you are vulnerable, i.e. open.”

    - Stephen Russell


  • October 21, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.

    - Nancy Lopez


  • October 20, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “I didn't pay attention to times or distance, instead focusing on how it felt just to be in motion, knowing it wasn't about the finish line but how I got there that mattered.”

    -Sarah Dessen


  • October 19, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity."

    - W. Clement Stone


  • October 16, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.”

    - Leo Babauta


  • October 15, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Always hear others out and remain open-minded; the day you think you know everything is the day you have the most yet to learn.”

    - A.J. Darkholme


  • October 14, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "Failure is a judgment, an opinion. It stems from your fears, which can be eliminated by love - love for yourself, love for what you do, love for others, and love for your planet."

    - Wayne Dyer


  • October 13, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

    - Brené Brown


  • October 12, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “When you are non-judgmental, you are happy. Happiness depends on you, on your thoughts, on your attitude, on your ideas and vision, and nothing else.”

    - Debasish Mridha


  • October 9, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    Oftentimes, we wonder why we are here, what is our purpose. Maybe we are overthinking it, maybe it is quite simple. We are placed on this planet because this is where we are supposed to be - this time and this place.


  • October 8, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life - all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity."

    Zig Ziglar


  • October 7, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”

    - Thich Nhat Hanh


  • October 6, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

    -Maya Angelou


  • October 5, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY MELISSA ALIOTTI, BOARD CHAIR, VOA-NCNN

    "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."

    -Mother Teresa


  • October 2, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "Imaginative empathy is one of the great gifts that humans have, and it means that we can live more than one life. We can picture what it would be like from another perspective."

    -Dan Chaon


  • October 1, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Do not be daunted by the
    enormity of the world's grief
    Do justly, now.
    Love mercy, now.
    Walk humbly, now.
    You are not obligated to
    complete the work,
    but neither are you free
    to abandon it.


  • September 30, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”

    - Thích Nhất Hạnh


  • September 29, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn't what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You... Be Free... Share.”

    -Steve Maraboli


  • September 28, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN


  • September 25, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    All throughout my history
    Your faithfulness has walked beside me
    The winter storms made way for Spring
    In every season from where I'm standing

    I see the evidence of Your goodness
    All over my life, all over my life
    I see Your promises in fulfillment
    All over my life, all over my life

    Help me remember when I'm weak
    Fear may come but fear will leave
    You lead my heart to victory
    You are my strength and You always will be


  • September 24, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “We often think that there is just one way to look at things - the way we always have. In fact, there are an infinite number of ways to look at most everything. An open mind allows for a multitude of perspectives from which to choose in any given moment. That suppleness of mind allows for true choice, and opens us to a whole new realm of possibility.”

    ― Jeffrey R. Anderson


  • September 23, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade."

    - Ruth Bader Ginsburg


  • September 22, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”

    B. F. Skinner


  • September 21, 2020

    Submitted by Chris Mann, Employment Services Supervisor, VOA-NCNN

    And so we know and rely on the love God has for you. God is Love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

    1 John 4:6


  • September 18, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LINDA GRACE, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, VOA-NCNN

    Shanah Tovah to you and your loved ones! Rosh Hashanah begins this evening and ends on the evening of September 20th. It is the first of the High Holidays and a celebration of the Jewish new year. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of a ten-day period that ends with Yom Kippur. May this mark the beginning of something new in our hearts and in our lives.

    "On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, all things revert to their primordial state. The Inner Will ascends and is retracted into the Divine Essence; the worlds are in a state of sleep and are sustained only by the Outer Will. The service of man on Rosh Hashanah is to rebuild the Divine attribute of Sovereignty and reawaken the Divine desire for creation with the sounding of the shofar."


  • September 17, 2020

    Submitted by Beth Valentine, Program Director, and Minister, VOA-NCNN

    I am reminded now more than ever, how sacred each breath is. How I must not take God’s blessing for granted. The mystic Rumi instructs me to honor each breath by investing in Love.

    "With Life as short as a half taken breath. don't plant anything but love."

    -Rumi


  • September 16, 2020

    Submitted by Chris Mann, Employment Services Supervisor, VOA-NCNN

    Love is Patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres, LOVE NEVER FAILS.

    Corinthians 13: 4-8


  • September 15, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    "Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it's accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another's eyes or heart."

    Sue Monk Kidd


  • September 14, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "Even if it is very foggy, cloudy, or stormy, the blue sky is always there, for us, above the clouds."

    - Thich Nhat Hanh


  • September 11, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    LIVING WITH INTEGRITY MEANS:

    Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in our relationships

    Asking for what you want and need from others

    Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension

    Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values

    Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.


  • September 10, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LOGAN IVEY, MARKETING ASSOCIATE, VOA-NCNN

    "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today."


  • September 9, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That's when you can get more creative in solving problems.

    Stephen Covey


  • September 8, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Life is so very difficult. How can we be anything but kind?


  • September 7, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Most of the time nobody is going to see the work you do. Nobody is going to see you read that book, say that prayer, or send those texts to check on your friends. Nobody is going to see the money you donate, the hard conversations you dig into, or the research you do. Nobody is going to see you teach your kids, or stop hateful dialogue, or quietly build bridges. Nobody is going to see you check your own heart and clean out the junk BUT YOU DO IT ANYWAY. People don't always need to see you plant the seed, they just need to see the kind of fruit it produces.


  • September 4, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the
    greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn't what you get for it, but what
    you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You...Be Free...Share.”

    ― Steve Maraboli


  • September 3, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    There's always, I mean always, something to be thankful for even when we are hurting.


  • September 2, 2020

    Submitted by Lisa J. Arthur, Resident Wellness Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”

    - Thích Nhất Hạnh


  • September 1, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Let the display of thoughts, emotions and perceptions unfold naturally and without clinging, like clouds passing through an open sky.

    -Tsoknyi Rinpoche


  • August 31, 2020

    Submitted by Judy McGarry, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN


  • August 28, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.


  • August 27, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    We need to learn how to wholeheartedly Trust God with our whole life.
    The things we do not trust Him with will eat us up inside.
    When we give those things that we are holding onto to Jesus it opens the door of blessings, but it shuts the door in the face of Jesus when we hold onto things out of pride.

    Let's Pray.
    Lord Jesus, we come to You humbly asking You to put Your foot in the door so that the door to Your blessings is always open to show us clearly that there's nothing hidden from You. And, as we give you our brokenness, You lift us up, dust us off, and whisper to us that You are with us.  In Christ Jesus, we pray.


  • August 26, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LOGAN IVEY, MARKETING ASSOCIATE, VOA-NCNN

    "You never really know the true impact you have on those around you. You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them. You never know how much your kindness turned someone's entire life around. You never know how much someone needed that long hug or deep talk. So don't wait to be kind. Don't wait for someone else to be kind first. Don't wait for better circumstances or for someone to change. Just be kind, because you never know how much someone needs it."

    - Nikki Banas


  • August 25, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."

    -Hafiz of Shiraz


  • August 24, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people."
    - Maya Angelou


  • August 21, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    I always look to nature for life lessons. I have loved the ocean since I was a child and love combing the beaches for interesting seashells and sea glass. A friend of mine sent this to me recently, and it immediately resonated with me.

    I want to be like sea glass.
    Smoothed by tides,
    but not broken.
    I want my hard edges to soften.
    I want to ride the waves
    and go with the flow.
    I want to catch a wave
    and let it carry me
    to where I belong.
    I want to be picked up
    and held gently by
    those who delight in my
    well earned patina and
    appreciate the changes I went
    through to achieve that beauty.
    I want to enjoy the journey
    and always remember that if
    you give the ocean something
    breakable it will turn it into
    something beautiful.
    I want to be like sea glass.

    ~ Bernadette Noll ~


  • August 20, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW


    “Despite everything, life is full of beauty and meaning.”
    Etty Hillesum


  • August 19, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    “Those who spend their wealth in self-purification, and have in their minds no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected, but have only the desire to seek the pleasure of their Lord Most High, soon will they attain (complete) satisfaction.” (92:18-21)


  • August 18, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations can never effect a reform.” - Susan B. Anthony


  • August 17, 2020

    Submitted by La Tonya Comier, Program Director, VOA

    My life makes a difference in the world.

    I am rich in spiritual inheritance, and I use my life to express my divine qualities. I am not limited to the body I inhabit. While I am blessed with physical senses to experience life, I know there is so much more to me. I Use the gift that is my life to express these qualities for the betterment of myself, other people, and the world.

    I am a unique spiritual expression of God. I am imbued with the capacity to demonstrate love and faith. I am blessed with a loving heart, understanding mind, strong spirit, and giving nature.

    I choose to make a difference in this world as I use my gifts, talents, and passions for the benefit of others.

    God is in me, and I am in God. Life is in me, and I am in life.

    “It is the spirit that gives life.”-John 6:63


  • August 14, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”

    - Amelia Earhart


  • August 13, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Spiritual growth is not like fast food. It takes time for its roots to grow, and that requires us to be receptive and patient.


  • August 12, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JOHN ORR, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    God has given us this day to see His face, in the neighbor walking the dog, the skateboarder sailing past us, the mother and young children navigating the grocery lanes, masks in place, the elder gentlemen in their head coverings enjoying a chat in the park, the huge sunflower blooming in the front yard a few blocks away, in the face of the nightly newscaster leaving us with a hopeful message after a string of discouraging news stories. Each reveals something of God to us.


  • August 11, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”

    - Maya Angelou


  • August 10, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY MELISSA ALIOTTI, BOARD CHAIR, VOA-NCNN

    Given the current restrictions in our personal interactions, many of us have lost the positive reflection of ourselves that we are accustomed to seeing when we commune with others. Consciously or not, we rely upon that interpersonal connection, and the reflection it provides, to nurture, reassure, and affirm ourselves, our thoughts, our actions. Without that reflection from others, it is easy to forget our inherent value. I find the writings of the ancient mystic and poet, Hafez, inspiring, and choose to share this one line today: "I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being." As you go about your day today, remember a person's inherent value does not change, regardless of his or her circumstances.


  • August 7, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

    - Mother Teresa


  • August 6, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    A simple but powerful concept about love.


  • August 5, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    "We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies."

    -Etty Hillesum


  • August 4, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LOGAN IVEY, MARKETING ASSOCIATE, VOA-NCNN

    "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'."

    -Mary Anne Radmacher.


  • August 3, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    Hopelessness is becoming more common, isn’t it? Hopelessness is not a new trait, it has been with humankind from the beginning; and from the beginning, God and His Messengers have urged us to be hopeful. They have given us guidance and encouragement.


  • July 31, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    The lift of every man's heart is upward; to help another human soul in its upward evolution is life's greatest and most joyful privilege; to lend ourselves each to the other as an inspiration to grander living is life's highest ministry and reward.


  • July 30, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    “I don’t want to be anything special. I only want to try to be true to that in me which seeks to fulfill its promise.”

    -Etty Hillesum


  • July 29, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LOGAN IVEY, MARKETING ASSOCIATE, VOA-NCNN

    "It is so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace."

    -Chuck Palahniuk


  • July 28, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    God is merciful, what we see around us every day is only one percent of His mercy. Every time a mother holds her child, or a nurse wipes the brow of a suffering patient, or rain falls on the parched earth in a drought-stricken area… it is God’s mercy alive in the world.


  • July 27, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    “Mindfulness gives you time. Time gives you choices. Choices, skillfully made, lead to freedom. You don’t have to be swept away by your feeling. You can respond with wisdom and kindness rather than habit and reactivity.”
    -Bhante H Gunaratana


  • July 24, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Effective leaders are those who can calm the anxieties of their followers, arouse their hopes, increase their aspirations, energize them, and inspire them to positive action.


  • July 23, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Growth is painful.
    Change is painful.
    But nothing is as
    painful as staying
    stuck somewhere you
    don't belong.


  • July 22, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Whatever we cultivate in times of ease, we gather as strength for times of change.


  • July 21, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    KINDNESS
    - Mark Twain said kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. This clarifies that encouraging kindness helps in promoting peace, care, love, and humbleness.
    - It promotes happiness and positive emotions in an individual.
    - Kindness induces satisfaction and gratitude and creates a friendly social environment.
    - It also reduces mental health issues like anxiety and depression as well as physical problems like cardiovascular diseases and several other diseases.

    “Every act of kindness is charity.”

    This indicates that giving charity doesn’t depend on your socio-economical status. It doesn’t depend on how rich or poor you are. Every little act of humbleness, kindness, thoughtfulness, and benevolence is equal to giving charity.


  • July 20, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    What surfaces after such introspection is inspiration. The ideas you receive in quiet moments of allowance are your keys to what appear to be miracles to you.


  • July 17, 2020

    Submitted by Tish Mokrzycki, Senior Manager, Development, Digital Fundraising, VOA

    From "Song of Myself"
    by Walt Whitman

    … I loafe and invite my Soul;
    I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass…

    The smoke of my own breath;
    Echoes, ripples, buzz’d whispers, love-root, silk-thread, crotch and vine;
    My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood
    and air through my lungs;

    The sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore, and
    dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn;

    The sound of the belch’d words of my voice, words loos’d to the eddies
    of the wind;…

    The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag;
    The delight alone, or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and
    hill-sides;

    The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and
    meeting the sun.


  • July 16, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    “Each of us must turn inward and destroy in himself all that he thinks he ought to destroy in others.”

    -Etty Hillesum


  • July 15, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    Today, July 15th, I now have 15 years clean from meth after doing it for 25 years.

    In the last 15 years, I have learned more about the Love of Christ Jesus. The biggest thing I have learned is I am not in this alone and the more time I spend with Jesus in Prayer the more Peace He gives me.

    His unconditional Love for me keeps me clean and sharing His Love with those who cross my path every day reminds me of how much He truly Loves me and you.

    So my Prayers are for His Love to flow from us to those who He brings to us today.

    THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR NEVER GIVING UP ON US.


  • July 14, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves because we are so busy helping each other. Make sure to take time for yourself.


  • July 13, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    The life of this world is filled with tests, trials, and tribulations but these must be faced with patience and hope. Hope that God will guide you to the best outcome. Hope will guide you through the darkness, but despair will only lengthen the journey.


  • July 10, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, Emeritus Board MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make our own life peaceful.


  • July 9, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    “I do believe it is possible to create, even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed.”

    -Etty Hillesum


  • July 8, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    With all that is going on, we are forgetting that there are consequences for everything we say or do. So we have to remember one thing: We are going to live with the choices we make. Either the good choices that we make after Praying and getting Jesus involved in our choices, or choosing not to Pray before saying or doing anything.

    When we let our pride or impatience come before our Prayers we have no right to ask why did things not go the way they should of. So, slow down and ask God how and what He needs us to say, or do. He already knows that the outcome is to PRAY and then pray some more.

    God Bless


  • July 7, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    Many people think that ‘the grass is greener’ for happy people. However, happy and unhappy people generally have the same number of adverse events in their lives. The difference is in their interpretation of unfortunate life events. Optimistic people are willing and able to make positive life action plans to counteract negative events in their lives, while pessimists are more likely to do nothing, then find themselves sinking into negativism, lethargy, perhaps even depression.


  • July 6, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Thoughts become the experiences you live. Releasing old thought patterns clears the way for new patterns of living.


  • July 2, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    There is a famous quote from John Lennon, "Love is the answer. What is the question?" My response - does it matter?

    I think the quote from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross speaks perfectly to that:

    "I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love. It is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives.”
    —Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


  • July 1, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    “Whoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience”


  • June 30, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”
    ― Bryan Stevenson


  • June 29, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Try to always find ways to be of service. To people, animals, the environment, whatever lights you up. Life gives to the giver and takes from the taker. Find ways to give and keep giving. Ways that inspire you, that speak to you, that fill your heart. Ways that empower you instead of depleting you. No matter where you are in life, there is always someone or something who could benefit from what you have to offer.


  • June 26, 2020

    Submitted by Logan Ivey, Marketing Associate, VOA-NCNN

    “Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?”

    -Sam Harris


  • June 25, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.


  • June 24, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    With all that is going on in the world, we need to know God's unconditional love is the answer to everything we say we know. He loves us but do we really know how much He loves us? 
    Lord Jesus help me truly know Your unconditional love is the answer to everything we are going through. Help us feel Your presence in our lives so that Your love flows from us naturally. I pray this in Your holy name, Christ Jesus.


  • June 23, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    If you can’t find truth right where you are, where else do you think you will find it?


  • June 22, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    "Those who have little interest in spirituality shouldn't think that human inner values don't apply to you. The inner peace of an alert and calm mind are the source of real happiness and good health."

    -Dalai Lama XIV


  • June 21, 2020

    Submitted by Linda Grace, Regional Development Officer, VOA-NCNN

    Bless Our Fathers

    Heavenly Father,
    Today we ask You to bless our earthly fathers
    for the many times they reflected the love, strength, generosity, wisdom and mercy that You exemplify in Your relationship with us, Your children.

    We honor our fathers for putting our needs above their own convenience and comfort;
    for teaching us to show courage and determination in the face of adversity;
    for challenging us to move beyond self-limiting boundaries;
    for modeling the qualities that would turn us into responsible, principled, caring adults.

    Not all our fathers lived up to these ideals.
    Give them the grace to acknowledge and learn from their mistakes.
    Give us the grace to extend to them the same forgiveness that you offer us all.
    Help us to resist the urge to stay stuck in past bitterness,
    instead, moving forward with humility and peace of heart.

    We ask your blessing on those men who served
    as father figures in our lives
    when our biological fathers weren't able to do so.
    May the love and selflessness they showed us
    be returned to them in all their relationships,
    and help them to know that their influence
    has changed us for the better.

    Give new and future fathers the guidance they need
    to raise happy and holy children,
    grounded in a love for God and other people -
    and remind these fathers that treating their wives
    with dignity, compassion and respect is
    one of the greatest gifts they can give their children.

    We pray that our fathers who have passed into the next life
    have been welcomed into Your loving embrace,
    and that our family will one be day be reunited in your heavenly kingdom.

    Amen.


  • June 19, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY Julie Beckner, MARKETING and Communications Manager, VOA-NCNN

    Juneteenth is not only an important day to acknowledge freedom, it's a day to acknowledge the delay of justice for African Americans. 

    Today, we take a moment to celebrate freedom and those who came before us.


  • June 18, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. IT IS NOT. With the slightest push in just the right place, IT CAN be tipped.

    -Malcolm Gladwell


  • June 17, 2020

    Submitted by Tessie M. Campbell, Community Administration Assistant, VOA-NCNN

    As I was waiting for my husband's procedure to be over, and dealing with this COVID-19, I reached in my purse for my bible or a current daily bread, I had neither. As I walked to my car to wait, I started talking to God. When I got to the car I did find a old daily bread and it opened to, 1 Kings 19:1 - 9, the subject was, "Strength for the Journey."

    When the journey is too much for us we might need to rest and enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal. When we are exhausted or hungry, we can easily succumb to disappointment or fear. When have you needed to slow down and receive sustenance before pressing on? God meets our physical needs through His resources, as much as possible in this fallen world, we can take the next step in serving Him


  • June 16, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY SHERMAN HAGGERTY, DIVISION DIRECTOR, EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, AND ORDAINED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    God is able to immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us.

    -Ephesians 3:20


  • June 15, 2020

    Submitted by Pastor Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    As we share the Love of Jesus Christ sometimes we feel that we have no more Love to share, that's when God steps in and fills us up again. Jesus tells us clearly He has the answer to all that we will face in life. Tells us to come to Me I will supply all that you will ever need.

    Question for you to think about - how much do you trust Jesus, and are there things that you have been holding onto that you need to give Him and trust Him with?

    Lord Jesus help me truly trust you with all of my life, help us see You at work in our lives so our trust will grow. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ.


  • June 12, 2020

    Submitted by Doralee Grindler Katonah

    To Bless the Space Between Us, by John O’Donohue
    This is the time to be slow.
    Lie low to the wall until the bitter weather passes.
    Try as best you can
    Not to let the wire brush of doubt
    Scrape from your heart all sense of yourself
    And your hesitant light.
    If you remain generous,
    Time will come good.
    And you will find your feet again
    On fresh pastures of promise.
    For the air will be kind
    And blushed with beginning.


  • June 11, 2020

    Submitted by Scott Wong, VOA Society and Advisory Board Member, Reno NV

    The words of Maya Angelou have always touched me. "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


  • June 10, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Victory creates hatred, defeat creates suffering. Those who are wise strive for neither victory nor defeat.


  • June 9, 2020

    Submitted by Paul W Curry, Maintenance Manager, VOA

    Love is the answer to life 
    Jesus said to him "us" You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
    Matthew 22;37-39

    Lord show me how to Love with the same Love You love me with Your Unconditional Love so walk in His Love today God bless


  • June 8, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    What you do is behavior. How you do it are values. Why you do it is motive. Too often we focus on what and how but fail to think about our whys. Reflecting on our motives can open doors towards understanding what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Drilling down on our whys can lead to the clarification of what we were meant to be.


  • June 5, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY SHERMAN HAGGERTY, DIVISION DIRECTOR, EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, AND ORDAINED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
    Joshua 1:9


  • June 4, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.


  • June 3, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
    - Martin Luther King Jr

    During these tragic times, we mourn with the family of George Floyd and pray for a peace that surpasses all understanding. We also pray for peace to invade our streets and homes. Dear God, we need you and your wisdom to guide us. Please help us be humble and choose to listen to those who are hurting so deeply. Help us realize that there is power in learning and understanding. This is not the time to provide words of comfort, this is an opportunity for us to show we care by listening. God thank you for unwavering love, please let your love completely change us.


  • June 2, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    Empathy:
    “Let me
    hold the door for you.
    I may have
    never walked
    in your shoes,
    but I can see
    your soles are worn,
    your strength is torn
    under the weight of a story
    I have never lived before.
    Let me hold the door for you.
    After all you’ve walked through,
    It’s the least I can do.”
    – Morgan Harper Nichols


  • June 1, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    I Dream a World
    I dream a world where man
    No other man will scorn,
    Where love will bless the earth
    And peace its paths adorn
    I dream a world where all
    Will know sweet freedom's way,
    Where greed no longer saps the soul
    Nor avarice blights our day.
    A world I dream where black or white,
    Whatever race you be,
    Will share the bounties of the earth
    And every man is free,
    Where wretchedness will hang its head
    And joy, like a pearl,
    Attends the needs of all mankind-
    Of such I dream, my world!
    - Langston Hughes



  • May 29, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LORI JACOBWITH, FRIEND OF VOA-NCNN FROM MINNEAPOLIS

    As I've reflected on the violence that has erupted in my beloved Minneapolis, I've experienced fear, shock, and anger. My prayers & meditation today is the way I've felt I can offer to help begin to heal our community.

    We have much to learn as a city and country when it comes to healing the racial divide. Today, and always, may we be a country of caring humans. People who care for each other. 


  • May 28, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Once you understand your WHY, you’ll be able to clearly articulate what makes you feel fulfilled and to better understand what drives your behavior when you’re at your natural best. From now on, you will work with purpose, on purpose.


  • May 27, 2020

    Submitted by Linda Grace, Regional Development Officer, VOA-NCNN

    For you have been called to live in freedom… use your freedom to serve one another in love.
    -Galatians 5:13


  • May 26, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    What Does Love Look Like?
    It has hands to help others.
    It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy
    It has eyes to see misery and want
    It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men
    That is what love looks like.
    -St. Augustine


  • May 22, 2020

    submitted by Jeff Powell, VOA Program Graduate

    Good morning. 8 years ago I walked out of Delano Kern County State Prison. Hopeless and broken. VOA made me a part of their family. So many God-like moments in my life have happened since. Today, I celebrate 9 years of sobriety and practice love and tolerance in everything I do. My journey has led me to so many opportunities to help and provide that hope to another and share the gift of God's grace. I am grateful and thankful for all of all staff, case managers, executives, and workers providing inspiration when you hire them to be apart of your teams. VOA gave me my life back and I will repay by paying it forward for the rest of my life... GOD BLESS YOU AND THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO...


  • May 21, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.


  • May 20, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    I read a story last year about a teacher who brought balloons to school and instructed the kids to write their names on their balloons. She then told them to put all of their balloons in the hallway, and she mixed up all of the balloons and told the kids they had 5 minutes for every kid to find their own balloon.

    Each child frantically dove into the balloons searching for what they thought of as theirs. But when the time was up, not a single kid had found their own balloon.

    The teacher then told them to take the balloon closest to them and find the person whose name was on it, and give them their balloon. Within two minutes every child had their balloon.

    The teacher said “Balloons are like happiness. No one finds it when they are looking only for their own. But when everyone cares about each other’s happiness, they will find their own
    much more quickly.

    What also changed was how the children stopped looking for an object, and started looking for each other. And that is how we’ll find our way out, if we look out for each other, if we care about what happens to each and every person’s life and livelihood, if we live by the principle of “love your neighbor as yourself,” then and only then, we will find our way out.

    Excerpt from Rabbi Mona Alfi's sermon


  • May 19, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    Your vision is the story you are telling yourself about yourself and the world. It is more important to have a good vision than mere goals. A good vision will commit you to something greater than yourself and give meaning to your life.


  • May 18, 2020

    Submitted by Dr. Rita Brock, Senior VP & Director of Shay Moral Injury Center, VOA

    “We give thanks for places of simplicity and peace. Let us find such a place within ourselves. We give thanks for places of refuge and beauty. Let us find such a place within ourselves…Let us search for these places in the world, in ourselves, and in others. Let us restore them. Let us strengthen and protect them and let us create them.”

    Excerpts from Michael Leunig, A Common Prayer: a Cartoonist Talks to God


  • May 15, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY SHERMAN HAGGERTY, DIVISION DIRECTOR, EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, AND ORDAINED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father"

    1 Thessalonians 1: 2-3


  • May 14, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.


  • May 13, 2020

    Submitted by Beth Valentine, Program Director, VOA-NCNN

    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
    [Colossians 3:16]

    The pillars that feed and guide of my walk with Christ are Service and Music. When your spiritual tank is low, what is the soundtrack that fuels your Faith?


  • May 12, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LORI JACOBWITH, FRIEND OF VOA-NCNN


  • May 11, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY EV LUNDGREN, CHAPLAIN, VOASW

    We have never been taught how to relax, how to take care of ourselves in a positive, nurturing way (not just going on a vacation or out for an expensive dinner). Twenty minutes of deep relaxation a day will aid your mental growth, improve your physical health and emotional stability, and possibly even increase your spiritual awareness.


  • May 8, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY JILL FOX, DIRECTOR OF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE, VOA-NCNN

    While it seems as though we are still living in a very uncertain time, we must continue to persevere. It is through perseverance and determination that we can make a difference. Martin Luther King put it so succinctly,

    “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

    God has put us in this world, at this specific time and place to illustrate for others what it means to stay steadfast.

    "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
    James 1:12.

    God will be right there waiting for us and in fact is guiding us along every step of this journey. Stay strong together.


  • May 7, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY VOA-NCNN STAFF

    God is with the patients


  • May 6, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY PAULETTE FREE, HR GENERALIST, VOA-NCNN

    I would like to challenge you in this season to become a LEADER. Each of us is called to be a leader of people in whatever role we hold. Leaders add value to peoples lives, we can accomplish this by living a servant leadership lifestyle.

    Who will you add value to today? We are called to be change makers in this world. What changes will you make today?

    Make your purpose as a leader to love people, lead others, make a difference, and share Christ. These are the true characteristics of a leader.


  • May 5, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY SHERMAN HAGGERTY, DIVISION DIRECTOR, EMPLOYMENT SERVICES, AND ORDAINED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    "Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity."

    "Mountain tops are for views and inspiration, but the fruit is grown in the valleys"

    " When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God"

    -Billy Graham quotes on suffering.


  • May 4, 2020

    Submitted by Julie Baumgartner, Director of Veteran Services, VOA-NCNN

    At this moment things may seem to be blinded between the fog
    Do not be discouraged
    As this fog lifts, you will be able to start seeing through it
    Continue to have Faith
    The warmth of the sun will start shining
    Filled with strength, courage and confidence
    Live for today, continue to hope for tomorrow


  • May 1, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN


  • April 30, 2020

    Submitted by Ev Lundgren, Chaplain, VOASW

    Forgiveness is one of our most powerful allies. Forgive the people in your life who harmed you and forgive yourself for your own mistakes and you will liberate yourself from pain, anger, resentment and negativity. Anger, grudges and resentment hurt no one more than the person holding them.


  • April 29, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY KENT LACIN, BOARD MEMBER, VOA-NCNN

    The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?


  • April 28, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY LEO MCFARLAND, PRESIDENT AND CEO, COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    A Journey of Prayer

    My first thoughtful prayer was spoken at bedtime as a young child and supervised by my mother, it went something like this; "Now I lay me down to sleep...…." included in this nightly prayer was a blessing for mommy and daddy, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, essentially my whole known world. My next genesis of prayer came around the dinner table, where we gave thanks for the blessings of the food before us and for those who prepared the bounty. As I grew older my prayers began to include others who I had never met. When we heard a siren, a prayer was offered for someone who may have suffered an injury. And so my prayers developed over time. Too often they were self serving prayers, a plea to God to help me overcome some insurmountable challenge, but eventually I came to understand how the offering of prayer could soothe the heart of someone in pain. Prayer is a connecting force that brings the blessings of God to the human condition. Today we have an abundance of opportunity to pray for so many who need the touch of God. As we humble ourselves to think of others through prayer, we open ourselves up to the grace of God, and it is our responsibility to share that grace at every opportunity. May the blessings of God's love comfort you and heal the pain and fear that surrounds you.
    Amen.


  • April 27, 2020

    Submitted by Gerald McFadden, President & CEO, VOASW

    Oh Heavenly Father, as we your children seek comfort during times of peril, uncertainty and fear. Let your holy spirit abide within us and your protective mercy be upon us, as we seek safe harbor in your loving arms. Father strengthen us and let us take courage in knowing that Your rod and Your staff will comfort and protect us…..
    Amen



  • April 24, 2020

    Submitted by Nick Angeloff, Director of Ministry & Outreach, VOANR

  • April 23, 2020

    Submitted by Doug Kleinsmith, Volunteer and Donor, VOA-NCNN

    The present will soon pass and how we embrace it has the power to change everything.


  • April 22, 2020

    Submitted by Ev Lundgren, Chaplain, VOASW

    Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.


  • April 21, 2020

    Submitted by Kent Lacin, Board Member, VOA-NCNN

    "We do not possess our home, our children, or even our own body. They are only given to us for a short while to treat with care and respect."


  • April 20, 2020

    Submitted by Paulette Free, HR Generalist, VOA-NCNN

    We are all experiencing something different at this uncertain time. While we do life differently, one of the things we need to do is to intentionally stay connected even though we are apart. In this unusual season let's allow the work of the Holy Spirit to go deep, and let's continue to grow in our relationship and trust of our good, good Father. Intentionally choose FAITH over FEAR. Life is going to continue to be full of uncertainty, but when we choose faith over fear and we place our trust in God, we can live with security. That security doesn't mean we won't ever be hit by "life" and that everything will always feel great. But it does mean we won't have to walk through life alone. If God is for us and with us, we can get through anything that comes at us. Remember, others are watching how those of us who follow Jesus are responding during this time. What are they seeing by your actions, choices, and attitudes? I pray God gives you peace and comforts you with his security.


  • April 17, 2020

    Submitted by Lori Jacobwith, friend of VOA-NCNN

    Beautiful Words to Bring Hope & Peace

    With so much uncertainty, it feels like time for a moment of hope & peace. These beautiful words of wisdom were shared by a friend recently. May they give you the same hopefulness they gave me.

    "Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.

    Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.

    It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

    What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing.

    We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.”

    – Clarissa Pinkola Estés


  • April 16, 2020

    Submitted by Sherman Haggerty, Division Director, Employment Services, and Ordained Minister, VOA-NCNN

    "I slept and dreamt that life is all joy.
    I woke and saw that life was all service.
    I served and saw that service is joy."

    -Kahil Gibran


  • April 15, 2020

    Submitted by VOA-NCNN staff

    AND BE STEADFAST IN PRAYER;
    PRACTICE REGULAR CHARITY;
    AND BOW DOWN YOUR HEADS WITH THOSE WHO BOW DOWN (IN WORSHIP)


  • April 14, 2020

    Submitted and adapted by Rev. Sean Savoy

    From Ode 6 of the Odes of Solomon

    As the wind glides through the harp and the strings speak,
    So the Spirit of the Most High speaks through my members, and I speak through Their love.
    For They destroy whatever is alien, and everything is of the Most High.
    For thus it was from the beginning, and will be until the end.
    So that nothing shall be contrary, and nothing shall rise up against Them.
    The Most High has multiplied Their knowledge, and They were zealous that those things should be known which through Their grace have been given to us.
    And Their praise They gave us on account of Their name, our spirits praise Their Holy Spirit.
    For there went forth a stream, and it became a river great and broad; indeed it carried away everything, and it shattered and brought it to the Temple.
    And the barriers which were built by humans were not able to restrain it, nor even the arts of them who habitually restrain water.
    For it spread over the surface of all the earth, and it filled everything.
    Then all the thirsty upon the earth drank, and thirst was relieved and quenched;
    For from the Most High the drink was given.
    Blessed, therefore, are the ministers of that drink, who have been entrusted with that water.
    They have refreshed the parched lips, and have aroused the paralyzed will.
    Even living persons who were about to expire, they have held back from death.
    And limbs which have collapsed, they have restored and set up.
    They gave strength for their coming, and light for their eyes.
    Because everyone recognized them as the the Most High’s, and lived by the living water of eternity.
    Hallelujah.


  • April 13, 2020

    Submitted by Jill Fox, Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, VOA-NCNN

    Without sun, there would be no light. Without light - only darkness. Sunlight literally keeps us alive. We literally could not live without it. During these uncertain times, let us be the light for others.


  • April 12, 2020

    Submitted by Leo McFarland, President and CEO, Commissioned Minister, VOA-NCNN

    It is April, the dawning of spring. Wherever you turn your glance, you can see the beauty of God’s handiwork in every blossom and freshly sprouted sprig. April is a time of rebirth and renewal, and for Christians, it is the holiest period of their faith journey. Easter, a time to wonder in the vibrant colors of the season. A time to walk with a child and touch and smell the newly formed blossoms. A time to decorate colorful eggs for the Sunday morning egg hunt. A time to gather as a community in prayer, a time to renew ones faith. Sometimes, as we are experiencing today, we are required to be a little more circumspect in gathering together as family. So Easter this year is like no other Easter in my lifetime or perhaps yours. True, the normal traditions of this time are being reimagined, but for a good reason. The health of the broader community requires a personal sacrifice, one we are all participating in. As emotionally painful as this is, it is also an opportune time to reacquaint ourselves with an often lost skill, that of reflection. What a more beautiful time than now to reflect on God’s abundant blessings. I started this message with a focus on the vibrancy of the Spring Season, I have a special legend that is attached to this season that I both take comfort in each year as well as anticipation, and it is attached to one of God’s great creations, the Dogwood Tree.

    Legend holds that the tree once grew like the great Oak Tree. Because it was so strong and sturdy, it was the wood used to build the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Because of its role in the crucifixion, it is said that God both cursed and blessed the tree. It was cursed to forever be small, with narrow and crooked branches, never to be good for building again.

    At the same time the tree was blessed so that it would produce beautiful flowers each spring, blossoming just in time for Easter. The petals of the dogwood actually form the shape of a cross, the middle of the Dogwood flower has a tight grouping resembling a “crown of thorns” and the tips of each petal are indented, as if they bear a nail dent. There are even colors in the petals that bring to mind the drops of blood that spilled during the crucifixion.

    For Christians, Good Friday is a time to prayerfully consider the ultimate sacrifice made on behalf of all mankind. Easter Sunday represents the fulfillment of Christ’s promise of the resurrection. May today be a time of deep reflection, focused on all the glory God has gifted us, and if possible, seek out and find a blossoming Dogwood Tree and remember for a moment, the sacrifice the Legend represents.

    God Bless you.


  • April 10, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY CHRISTIE HOLDEREGGER, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

    Isaiah 53:5



  • April 9, 2020

    Submitted by Paulette Free, HR Generalist, VOA-NCNN

    There's a great verse I would like to share that says something simple yet powerful that we all can keep in our hearts and hold on to right now:

    "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline."
    2 Timothy 1:7.

    God is our anchor, so we can anchor into Him as strong as we possibly can. He is guiding us through this day by day. Don't buy into the hysteria and panic, buy into the power of Christ and be diligent to study, read, and pray.


  • April 8, 2020

    Submitted by Sherman Haggerty, Division Director, Employment Services, and Ordained Minister, VOA-NCNN

    The Power of Kindness: Kindness is the instrument God uses to open the heart. It is the means God uses to transform fear, hardness, cruelty, and despair. It is the thing we are to bind around our neck and write deeply in our hearts (Pr. 3:3).

    There are three qualities to kindness: It deeply touches the heart, it is unexpected and it is undeserved. The heart of kindness is hospitality. Good hospitality welcomes with open arms and receives with pleasure and honors others with goodness. A heart open to suffering that receives an offering of kindness will know joy. Be kind to all today.


  • April 7, 2020

    Submitted by Melissa Aliotti, Board Chair, VOA-NCNN

    Each of us lives a singly independent life. We do not control what is outside ourselves, but in any given moment, we can control our reaction to our circumstances: In times of confusion, we can decide where to focus our attention; in times of despair we can find an opportunity for hope; and in times of darkness we can choose to be the light, if only just for ourselves and those around us.


  • April 6, 2020

    SUBMITTED BY ANA BANKERT, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMISSIONED MINISTER, VOA-NCNN

    An incredible verse that gives me hope and a sense of positivity during this time of uncertainty is found in: 2 Timothy 1:7 and it says,

    "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Another version of this verse says, "God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible."

    It is so easy to fall prey to fear. I almost guarantee that if I were to ask you to give me 3 things you are afraid of it would not take you long to list them. We are all facing challenges and fears that we have never thought possible which is why I think it is extremely important to be reminded of what we are all called to do according to this verse, and that is BE BOLD, LOVING and SENSIBLE.

    Be bold in the way you react to all the negative news coming your way. Find ways to take risks, be courageous for your family, neighbors and friends. This is a great time to put our selfless powers to the test.

    Be loving to those who need it most. There are many individuals in our circles of influence and the community at large that need our love more than ever. Find ways to show that love in a creative way. An example I saw on social media was, if you have extra toilet paper, hand sanitizer or paper towels, leave them out for your delivery drivers with a note to help themselves."

    Be sensible. There has never been a better time for us all to practice sensibility, not load up our carts with unnecessary supplies and food; and listen to state and local mandates as they relate to social distancing. This truly helps and protects all of us.

    I strongly believe that when we replace fear with, WHAT CAN I DO FOR OTHERS, our anxiety will slowly go away and we will have a newfound purpose during this unprecedented time we are living in. It would be a shame for us to come out of this without learning something, maybe it is time for us to relearn what it means to take care of thy neighbor and be there for one another.


  • April 3, 2020

    Submitted by Ev Lundgren, Chaplain, VOASW

    Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
    Amen


  • April 2, 2020

    Submitted by Sherman Haggerty, Division Director, Employment Services, and Ordained Minister, VOA-NCNN

    I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.
    (Jeremiah 29:11)


  • April 1, 2020

    Submitted by Kent Lacin, Board Member, VOA-NCNN

    "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of a candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."


  • March 31, 2020

    Submitted by John Orr, Board Member, VOA-NCNN

    We have an opportunity, hunkered down as we are, weathering through this coronavirus crisis, to consider the common bond of sisterhood and brotherhood that we have from our Creator. This disease shows how equal, and vulnerable, we all are. So while we have all this time to regroup and reflect, may we remember that we are one humanity. The miracle in this is that we are all unique, each an original. It is something to be celebrated, not shied away from or to be feared. Diversity! Thank God for diversity, in all creation, and in each person whose path we cross.


  • March 30, 2020

    Submitted by Leo McFarland, President and CEO, Commissioned Minister, VOA-NCNN

    Faith, during troubled times, binds us together. A shared Faith empowers the soul to persevere through the loneliness and fear of chaotic times. Prayerfulness quiets the heart and allows for a clearer vision of the path to redemption. Faith is the foundation for all that is promising, even when the promise is obscured by darkness. Let us pray together for all who are suffering and living in fear. Let God’s message of eternal salvation and peace flow from us to comfort all in need. Ever prayerful, ever kind, ever mindful, of God’s glorious love.