Gainesville District


"Ruggedly, Independently, Dependent”

     Several years ago my family and I spent the fourth of July in Wyoming.  This beautiful, rugged part of our nation is made up of people who live a totally different lifestyle than I do.  It is always good for me to go out and experience things I don’t get to experience on a day-to-day basis.  The challenges of those folks out there are far different from mine.  Often their choices affect many less folks than mine do.  The only thing I have to do while I am out there is put my brain in neutral and admire, observe, watch, and enjoy.

     Their lifestyle is indeed different but I began to understand that as much as things are different they are often the same.  They, just like we do, have to make a living.  Much of their livelihood depends on weather.  In other words, things that they cannot control.  The same is true of us.  We are controlled by the economy, the state of our health, the state of our retirement, or many other factors that we have little influence over.

     We are dependent, whether we like or not.  And yet, we want to feel as if we are rugged, independent, and free.  The only way that I know to be able to claim these things is to rely on the One who offers us true freedom--Jesus Christ.  The freedom Christ offers us is the ability to be free from the things of this world that keep from us from being in relationship with God.  We can be free from sin and we can be the rugged self-sufficient people that God created us to be.  We can never escape our dependence on God.

     We are blessed to be a part of a country which at its very formation sought freedom for its people.  I hope that we claim that independence to be the people that God calls us to be.  We are not called to conform to the ways of the world, the government, business, cultural phase or fad.  We are called to be independent from these things by the God we are dependent upon for everything we have or will ever have.

     Understanding our dependence on God, ironically, makes us truly independent.  Think about me and my family with our boots and hats on trying to imagine what it would have been like 150 years ago in the west when every day was a fight for survival--trying to act tough and rugged trying to overcome our dependence on air conditioning.  I am sure that we looked as if we came from a totally different planet than those who live this lifestyle every day.

     The truth is, that no matter how rugged we all try to be, we are all dependent on God and sometimes, on many other things.  The best we all can hope for is to claim to be ruggedly independently dependent.  

                                                                   Blessings, Richard


District Superintendent

Richard Chewning
(770) 536-2586
View Bio

Administrative Assistant

Beth Steed
(770) 536-2586

Contact Information

343 Northside Drive  
Gainesville, GA 30501  

(770) 536-2586 Phone
(770) 536-7188 Fax

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