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A Lens to See the International – Bethel College Information



Via Michelle Smith Westlund ’83, S’21, senior content material specialist
June 13, 2022 | 11 a.m.
Melissa (Haunty) Shackelford ’11 is director of program curation and group have an effect on for Higher Space, a middle for Christian amassing and studying on the College of Wisconsin-Madison.
Melissa (Haunty) Shackelford ’11 selected Bethel so she might be taken with all kinds of studies and actions. And he or she took complete good thing about the wealth Bethel had to provide. A communique arts and literature training main, Shackelford reveled in her involvement within the Humanities Program, with school who had been supportive and out there. She discovered a way of group in the course of the Bethel Choir, exploring her management items by way of serving as its trade supervisor and prayer chaplain. And he or she had a life-transforming find out about out of the country revel in. “Via all my school studies, I felt like I used to be creating a lens in which to peer the arena,” she says. 
As of late she’s bringing that holistic lens to her function as director of program curation and group have an effect on for Higher Space, a middle for Christian amassing and studying situated at the campus of the College of Wisconsin-Madison. Higher Space gives a spot for Christian religion exploration and training—serving undergraduate and graduate scholars, school/workforce, clergy, ministry leaders, market pros, artists, and the Madison group. “We search to combine religion, concepts, and communities with teachers, {the marketplace}, and the church,” explains Shackelford. “We focal point at the integration of Christian religion with other fields of analysis, questions in tradition, and people’ callings on the earth—serving to them see the connections that deepen their sense of id and objective and build up their working out of the way the dominion of God is at paintings of their professions and day by day lives.” 
A regular day for Shackelford is a mesh of creativity, program building, group of workers control, and group outreach. She may supervise and mobilize a staff, plan an tournament and draft a program description, chat with a speaker, spouse with every other group, or lead a strategic making plans assembly. In Higher Space’s dynamic programming atmosphere, she describes her function as “reworking ingenious power into sensible subsequent steps,” and says it balances her love of each creativity and construction, permitting her to make use of the breadth of her talents and talents. “I’ve a zeal for mining a speaker’s experience and crafting a program revel in that showcases the most productive of what God is doing in and thru their paintings,” she explains. “Different occasions, I discern a group want that conjures up a specific program concept. For instance, closing spring I co-curated a month-long artwork show off referred to as UNVEILED, that includes the paintings of native artists, designed as a prayer stroll for group contributors to steadily get reacquainted with coming to our area after a 12 months of the pandemic. It’s an honor so as to serve the church extensively within the town of Madison and to champion the dominion of God at paintings in all spheres of tradition.” 
It doesn’t in point of fact come as a wonder that Shackelford may be taken with more than one different spaces of group provider and inventive initiative. Previous to becoming a member of Higher Space as simply its 3rd workforce member in 2015, she controlled her brother’s artwork trade, Inspiring Artwork by way of Alex, and in conjunction with her circle of relatives based the nonprofit Alex Haunty’s Theater and Arts Fund, Inc., to create get right of entry to to the humanities for folks with disabilities. She lately serves at the group’s board, in addition to at the board of Inspiring Hope Ministries. “The humanities have at all times been a significant street of enlargement and pleasure for me—together with my time in Bethel Choir,” she says. “There’s not anything like developing one thing in group—like choral tune—that you’ll be able to’t accomplish by yourself. And I believe it’s necessary to make that chance to be had for others who haven’t had an opportunity to discover their ingenious items.”
Shackelford may be hooked in to connections. She sees the myriad connections God used to be making all over her Bethel revel in that ready her for a long term she couldn’t have imagined. “Whilst you get started school, it’s simple to suppose and hope that the trail ahead might be linear,” she says. “However that’s generally no longer the case. It’s additionally simple to really feel careworn to provide and carry out, however I believe God delights in our procedure a lot more than the product. I’ve observed God attach again to my Bethel studies in humanities, choir, and find out about out of the country and weave them into my existence these days. God doesn’t waste the rest. Agree with God that what you’re making an investment in now’s price it although you’ll be able to’t see the place it’s main. You don’t should be the person who makes all of it attach. You’ll be shocked at how God makes the ones connections for you at simply the suitable time.” 
Your Bethel training prepares you to excel for your selected profession trail—and so a lot more. Tune, find out about out of the country, and management building are simply one of the vital many alternatives that look ahead to you. And with a Christian standpoint built-in into each revel in, you’ll be told what it method to possess your religion and reside for one thing extra, anyplace your adventure leads.
Be informed extra
Bethel scholars and alumni accomplish improbable issues of their communities, their church buildings, and our international. Learn how you’ll be able to give a boost to long term generations of Royals as they step into the decision to do and be extra—for God’s glory and our neighbors’ excellent.
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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