I put God first in all things. I love people and sharing my things and ideas. I love to travel, read, good music, pretty things and my favorite color is pink.
Dr. Gwen Ford
Let's encourage each other
Posted on August 11, 2019 2:30pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Well, here I am … late evening … feeling blessed, tired, and full of hope and love for the viewers I was fortunate to have touched directly and indirectly tonight. I am Dr. Gwen Ford and I have an almost 12 year old TV ministry called "I BELIEVE". I feel that this ministry was totally GOD inspired. In the beginning, I somehow felt like I had been given the opportunity to reach others so that they can also enjoy the love and comfort I feel in knowing my God. It was nothing I had planned. It was nothing I felt prepared to do. It was nothing I even had thought about before. It was just a thought that would not leave my mind. A thought that had quietly crept in my mind and my heart. I tried to talk myself out of this thought.
However, after several months I was giving it full time attention. Wow. I had previously heard that when our Lord calls, HE gets a strong hold of us. Well, that's the best way for me to explain the beginning of my TV ministry. I had always been taught at an early age by my parents that we should always be kind and encouraging and try to help others in need. So wanting to help people was easy. It comes to me naturally. Sometimes I get carried away and have to stop so as not to become an enabler. There are so many people in need and so many ways to help them.
Since, my goal was to encourage, inspire, motivate and reach people by producing a televison show I had to learn production, taping sessions, on camera presence, size of viewing audience, in other words,
"LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!"
As I started to ponder the first thing I should do, I decided that I needed to take an inventory of what skills, talents, finances, time, and resources I had to begin this adventure. And, I truly see that now. I can look back at the past 12 years, it truly has been an adventure. It has been challenging, fun and a rewarding time. I don't regret one moment. Has it been all good times? Absolutely not. But, I have been able to get through these times. To God be the glory. I feel that God has been guiding all my steps. Even though there have been situations that have presented themselves, scary times, problems and decisions that had to be made and of course many financial stressful times that occurred sometimes one right after another. I have to admit that I wondered where is my God? Why is this happening? Why now?
This is why I have decided to write this article. I know that I am not alone on these feelings of doubt and insecurity. Therefore, I have titled this article "Let's encourage each other". It sounds simple to do, however, it is not always that easy to do. A lot of us don't feel comfortable dishing out compliments. Sometimes we feel that the other person receiving the compliment will question the reason for the nice words. Or they are unconfident with themselves and immediately begin to deny the kind words. Women are notorious for doing this. I know that I have given a compliment like
"Wow, that dress looks very nice on you!"
Only to get this back.
"Do you really think so?"
"I don't like this old thing … it's so old."
However, there have been many times, when I can see their face light up with surprise and delight.
Well, let me get back to my personal journey. I was a little skeptical myself to annouce my future plans. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. I was doubting myself as I explained above. So, I tried to share with some of my closest friends at first thinking they would all be supportive. Surprise!! The person that I thought would say
"Great, what can I do to help you?"
did not. Exactly the opposite. I heard
"Why would you want to do this? The cost and time alone would put you under. Not to mention the stress."
These are my thoughts on this friend's comments. She didn't even know the costs and she didn't know anything about TV production. And, she immediately proceeded to inform me of this, but still insisted that I should forget this thought altogether. My response was to end our luncheon as quickly and pleasantly as possible and go back to my own thoughts. I proceeded to ask myself how I felt, what I thought I could do, and what results and timeline I wanted to reach for. Then, as I always do, I went quietly to prayer.
After 3 days of this process, I stepped out again to the professionals that I would need to make all of this a reality. That process in itself, was encouraging because it was easier than I realized but totally discouraging because it was way out of my tiny budget. This is a lesson in life. This is where we have to reach out to others to network. Networking is one of my favorite words whenever I think of encouraging and being encouraged by others. I will write another article soon all about networking.
Fast forward to today. My TV ministry is about to begin its 12th year. Yes, I said 12 YEARS!! Amazing how time flies by when you stay focused and busy.
Has it been all roses & fun? NO! But, thru many ENCOURAGING phone calls, ENCOURAGING meetings, ENCOURAGING moments and ENCOURAGING viewers I am proud to say
“I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me!”(Phil 4:13 [nkjv])
Wow, what better way to end this article than quoting scripture. Our Lord is the best encourager we can turn to. HE is always there for us.
BE that special person in someone's life that encourages them to reach for the stars!
I would like to close this article with one of my favorite sayings …
"TO WIN YOU MUST BEGIN"
THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
Posted on December 25, 2017 10:12pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Well, Christmas Day is almost over. We've all been looking forward to it. Some with joy. Some with pure anticipation. Kids with excitement. Some with Love and Hope. But, whatever your feelings are about this amazing day, I think we all have to agree about one thing. It is a special day. It changes our normal thoughts, our schedules, our shopping habits, our budgets, but most of all, it changes our emotions. Christmas is synonymous with joy, happiness, family time, tradition, gift giving and the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
To me, the latter is the most important and most significant of all the things listed above. I BELIEVE that in a few words … the true meaning of Christmas is love. I will explain my thoughts.
I am the mother of two wonderful sons. I love them very very much. Words don't seem meaningful or big enough to say to anyone who listens how much I love them. I say this to try to comprehend how much God loves us, HIS children. Our GOD sent HIS ONLY son down here to earth on Christmas Day. He did this for us. To save the world. I cannot imagine that tremendous sacrifice. And for those of us that know the details … God allowed HIS son to come to us in such a humble, simple yet miraculous way! Wow!!
We should focus on the miracle of Christmas. It is a time to relish this tremendous event that took place for our salvation. The best gift ever given to anyone anywhere. AND it was and still is … a gift from GOD!
I BELIEVE that is why we all get into the gift giving mode. Why we sacrifice our own needs and spend money and time and love on our family and friends. We give a lot of thought to finding that "just right" gift. And best of all, we enjoy doing it. I love Christmas. I just wish we could have one day every month to celebrate Christmas. I BELIEVE that would make us more appreciative of our family and our friends.
Even total strangers. Have you noticed how many total strangers smile at you … open doors for you … share jokes and just plain fellowship. I love it. It's fun to see the TV Christmas movies. Even the commercials are joyful. And let's not forget all the cookies and festive recipes and traditional family dishes we share on Christmas Day!
My scripture for today is:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(John 3:16-17 [NIV]
I BELIEVE we can hold on to the true meaning of Christmas, by showing kindness, caring, compassion, touching, meeting of others, and telling others of your love for Christ. Share HIS love!
THE POWER OF PRAYER
Posted on October 11, 2017 12:00pm (EDT) by Dr. Gwen Ford
As I sit here, I felt motivated to write down some of my thoughts about the power of prayer.15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
(Psalm 34:15 [NIV]
I love to pray.
I love to pray. I totally enjoy my time with my LORD. I feel at peace and my mind and body feel refreshed when I am finished. Sometimes I don't want to stop. I feel prayer is better than a good nights sleep to calm you and make your spirits and enthusiam unite. But, then that is me. So, let me begin with how prayer can calm your nerves and lighten your spirits. Prayer can make you feel very motivated and fearless.3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
(Psalm 5:3 [NIV]
Prayer can educate you.
Prayer can educate you. If you devote a certain time of the day or evening and open your bible to a certain book … you will travel back in history and understand why things are the way they are. You can receive a true foundation on our ten commandments. Of course, you must start somewhere and develop your initial foundation and understanding of the scriptures. This takes time. But, when you devote some "quiet" time … the Lord will guide you and open your mind so that you can receive the knowledge and wisdom. This takes discipline for most of us. I had a little trouble with this in the beginning. Finding the time, and then shutting out the chatter in my mind was a little hard to do. But I am proud to say that I can do this now with very little effort.
BUT, let me explain the REAL power of prayer. It is "our" time to talk and share our thoughts with our Lord. This is a special time to express our feelings and open our hearts. We have a direct line to our Creator thru prayer.18 … we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
(Daniel 9:18 [NIV]
Unfortunately, most people consider prayer a time to ask for stuff, or to complain in the form of asking for healing i.e. "Why did this happen Lord?" If we are truly believers, we understand that God already knows what is going on and HE will never leave us especially in our time of need. But, the important thing to remember is that everything happens in HIS time … not ours. That is the hard part for most people to comprehend.14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
(1 John 5:14 [NIV]
(James 4:3 [NIV]
The power of prayer IS a promise from above.
Our God is a very, very good GOD! We are blessed thru HIS grace. Not thru anything we do or give to others. We cannot earn grace. That is God's gift to us. The power of prayer IS a promise from above. I am a strong believer and have seen personally the power of prayer work many many times. In my personal life as well as in the lives of others as I intercede in prayer for them.
I close with this thought. We cannot imagine the REAL power of prayer. It is soooo amazing and supernatural! But, we can know and totally understand that it WORKS!
God hears the prayers of those who put their trust in him.
Now, go and find your quiet space and PRAY!!!
Posted on June 11, 2017 12:00pm (EDT) by Dr. Gwen Ford
My how time flies by soooo quickly. I am sure a lot of you believers out there say this at least once a week. I know I do. I have so much to do everyday … and I am always trying to find ways to save minutes here and there and STILL run out of time. At least I don't run out of energy. God has blessed me with a lot of energy and ambition.
Well, enough about all that. Let me tell you what the latest and most challenging project I have just begun. Like 3 days ago. I have started a "GOFUNDME PAGE"!!!! That's really saying a lot for me. I have been blessed to have been able to always been in the giving position. I LOVE to give to people … I am definitely a giver. But it is time to listen to my heavenly Father and put down my pride and put my hand out there to take this super expanding TV ministry to another level. The ministry is touching soooo many lives and keeps surprising me with the magnitude and pace it is taking. Definitely a sign that God's hand is in it!
Let me share with you a few facts that I can testify to due to the fact that I answer every call that comes in every time the show airs.
This TV ministry has prevented 17 suicides, 29 abortions, saved 13 marriages, connected 100's to a local church and brought 1000's of souls to accept and know our sweet JESUS!
This is amazing and beautiful and just the beginning.
Please consider going to my "gofundmepage" and becoming a part of this body of believers movement. This is the time. So many things happening in this world and to our people. We need each other to make sure we all know our Almighty God!
Ideas for this blessed campaign are very welcome!
And as always … "TO GOD BE THE GLORY"
Fight the Good Fight
Posted on February 5, 2017 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I don't know about you all … but, I was wondering where the month of January went. My goodness. I want to say … "My, how time flies when you are having fun!" But, the truth of the matter is that I have been working ferociously this past month.
The good news is … I have accomplished a lot. First, let me say that I have been focused on my resolutions. Have you? I have messed up a little on 3 of them … but I got myself right back on track. Food is one my major temptations. Especially chocolate candy, cookies, frosting … well you get the picture. And of course, chocolate was EVERYWHERE!! But like I said, I am back on track. This is the scripture that I applied to this weakness.16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace
gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)[KJV]
Now, some of you may say, my problem is petty. This scripture should be applied to more serious matters. Well, I BELIEVE the word is meant for ALL your needs and problems … big or small. Always stay in the word. So I asked God to strengthen me and encourage me to stick to the plan. I love chocolate … but it has sugar. And sugar is not good for me. And since my body is the temple for my God … I must take the best care of it I can and honor it.
My point here is … stay in the word. I found many other scriptures that I could have applied … but this one reached out to me. I hand wrote it on an index card and put it in front of the TV. Of course, this is where I tend to munch a lot. Lol.
Well, I am running out of time right now. Continue to praise our heavenly Father … and stay in the word.
And, don't forget to share this blog with your loved ones and be sure to watch my TV show called "I BELIEVE" on various networks and also on-line. Please go to my Facebook page and "like" so that others can find it easier.
GOD BLESS YOU AND ALWAYS SAY " I BELIEVE"
My Spiritual Resolution for 2017
Posted on January 10, 2017 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
You've heard many times already … HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
So have I. But, I have waited a little bit to share with you my 12 SPIRITUAL resolutions for 2017. I am really excited about this new year. Every year around the middle of December I begin to make SERIOUS resolutions. I think them over real real good. And I make them realistic. I intend to keep them. I make Spiritual, financial, personal resolutions. But when I finish writing and thinking all these out … I realize that the most important and encompassing of the above are my SPIRITUAL resolutions. So that is why I have decided to share these with you. Every one of these spill over into the other two categories. I am accountable to my Lord and Saviour.
I know it won't always be easy to keep these. But here is my plan. I write them down on unique items … cardboard, I frame in a super cute frame, I color them brightly, I put them on pieces of wrapping paper and place them in my wooden prayer box, I type them in wordpad, I put them in my phone in "Notes", I handwrite them on a love note in my Bible, and of course I type them out and place in my greenhouse (my special prayer place). I can't miss them. By February I have them down pretty good.
Ok, here goes …1. I WANT TO HAVE JOY EVERY DAY.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.
The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God" my times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
"God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth"
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)[KJV]
May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.
Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health to you and your household. And good health to all that is yours!
(1 Samuel 25:6)[KJV]
But the Lord said to Samuel, "do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
(1 Samuel 16:7)[KJV]
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Well, there you have them. I hope this will encourage some of you to make your own set of resolutions for 2017. Each one of us can have Jesus Christ as our personal friend. Someone we can tell our inner most secrets and desires of our hearts. Then, we can pray for our friends and family. Prayer is the best gift you can give them. We can pray FOR them and WITH them.
Those of you who know me, know that my favorite book in the Bible is the book of Ephesians.
So ..... it makes sense that I would like to end this with a verse from Ephesians.I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,and His uncomparably great power for us to believe.
Praying that you all have a very blessed and joyful New Year in 2017!
Dr. Gwen Ford
Eight Gifts That Are Free
Posted on December 22, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
This is the time when we are all out there shopping and spending money that sometimes we don't even have. We get all stressed out trying to find that perfect, unique, amazing gift. And then we are running out of time and everything looks picked over. And, I don't know about you guys, but some people make us really think. I always wonder why I didn't try to get hints or start looking months earlier. And then there is always this thought, "Will they like this?". Stressful to say the least.
Well, I have the perfect solution. I am going to share EIGHT Gift ideas that are totally free but priceless. And, I challenge you all to comment on this blog entry. Share with me your ideas by email, email@example.com, or by phone, 865-680-1891.
Well here goes.....
1. The gift of Listening. BUT, you must really listen. Don't interrupt, no texting or planning your response. Just listen. (You can handwrite out a note. This is good for one phone call or personal visit for you to share your thoughts or problems or whatever is on your mind.) Available 24 hrs and does not expire.
2. The gift of Affection. Be generous with hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handhold. Whatever is appropriate for that person. Let this demonstrate your love for that friend or family friend. (A cute little card-handwritten of course will be perfect.)
3. The gift of Laughter. Clip cute cartoons. Share funny articles and sayings and stories. Your "gift" will say … I love to laugh with you.
4. The gift of a written note. It can be simple or as elaborate and emotional as you feel. (I have done this many times … and my family members always treat it like a keepsake. This is my favorite).
5. The gift of a compliment. Make it a sincere and from the heart compliment. This is something we all like if we feel it is true. Again, a unique note or a phone call will make that person feel very important in your life or circle of friends. (This is something you can do to anyone … even if you don't know them.)
6. The gift of a favor. Put your thinking cap on. People always need something and those closest to us shouldn't have to ask us for help. (Offer yourself for 4 hrs or a day for whatever that person might need.)
7. The gift of solitude. There are times when we need to be alone. Have quiet time. "ME" time. Give your special someone a block of time for them to meditate or pray. Very easy to do.
8. The gift of a cheerful personality. Go out of your way to say "thank you" or "How are you today" or "God Loves YOU" or "I really appreciate your friendship". Kind words, from the heart can change the other persons outlook for the rest of the day.
Well, there you have them. I saw this somewhere a long time ago … and it stuck with me. I felt led to share this with you believers. Basically, you are giving the gift of love in a different way.
I hope and pray that you will try these out. Have fun with them. Be creative. When you give these notes … wrap them in unusual items. A plant … the back of a picture, in a batch of cookies, in a frame, in a very large box, in an empty bottle, inside a christmas ornament, in an empty purse … well you get the idea. Wrapping paper is out of the question.
I pray that all of you enjoy the most precious gift GOD gave us! All of the above gifts can last a lifetime and can change someone's life.
I PRAY AND ASK FOR HEAVEN'S BEST TO SURROUND YOUR FAMILY IN
EVERY WAY AND EVERYDAY!!!
Dr. Gwen Ford
How Should We Celebrate Christmas?
Posted on December 19, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
It's hard to believe that Christmas is only days away. And I know that a lot of people are not quite ready. Many are not feeling the joyful spirit of Christmas due to soooo many negative events that have happened within the past few WEEKS, much less the trying year that 2016 has been.
But, let's put all that behind us (if we can) and let's look at the "real reason for the season", as they say. I would like to ask you to think about Christmas. How are YOU going to celebrate Christmas? How should WE celebrate Christmas?
Even though most of us know that Jesus probably was not really born December 25th …most of us … Christians, and even non-Christians, recognize this as HIS birthday.
Well, most people will visit family & friends, decorate house, go shopping, wrap presents,bake cookies,take pics,go to church, eat too much, enjoy christmas movies and watch football. Right?
Well, I got to thinking about all of this … and all of a sudden this came to me as I was reading my bible in my little "greenhouse". I was in the book of Luke … reading about the "first" Christmas! … I BELIEVE the best way to celebrate (and I mean REALLY celebrate) is know the real meaning and tell others … in other words, share the beauty and meaning of Christmas with everyone. … Take it in yourself!!! … Think about it … the real meaning.
And then truly say "PRAISE GOD!!!". THANK YOU GOD!!!!
This truly is an event. Let me break it down just a little more for you guys.The shepherds came to Bethelem from nearby fields where they were guarding their sheep. An angel came & told them a Saviour was born! HE is Christ the Lord! Go to
Now this is a press release!!!!Like the angels told the shepherds, give Praise to GOD on this very special day.
Understand the "Good News", really, really know it. Get to know who Jesus really is. Jesus later in the Bible told us that HE was the way … the truth … and the life. Think about it. I BELIEVE we are living in a lost and hurting world today. I BELIEVE our world is very confused and mixed up today. I BELIEVE our world is dying.
When you look around you … you will not be able to stop yourself from sharing the "GOOD NEWS"!! On this day GOD BECAME MAN! What a miracle. God loved us so much that He became man in order to die for us. The next time you listen to one of my favorite Christmas carols … JOY TO THE WORLD … really, really listen to the words. …We are giving our Lord praise and glory.
Now that we have looked a little bit more closely at the real meaning of Christmas, don't you think this wonderful feeling that the whole world experiences … (of course, with the help of tv, newspapers, advertisers, churches and family and friends), should be kept going on every day of the new year ahead of us? I BELIEVE we should. The world would be a better place for sure.
When I finished reading the book of Luke, I realized that the best way for a non believer to celebrate Christmas is to get to know Christ as their Saviour and invite HIM into his or her heart on Christmas day!!! A day of JOY and PEACE!!!
When you know Jesus,I BELIEVE you will know real joy that only comes from God. Ask HIM into your heart on Christmas Day. You will receive the Best gift EVER!!!!! A gift from GOD! It's true! I BELIEVE IT. I AM A BELIEVER!!!!!When you give glory to our Lord and Saviour, I BELIEVE you can possess deep inner peace that passes all understanding. Be at peace with GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ …
A day of JOY and PEACE!!!
To sum it all up … I BELIEVE … THE REAL REASON OF CHRISTMAS IS … LOVE!!!!!!
Praying you will enjoy your Christmas Day with Love, Joy and Peace!!!
Dr. Gwen Ford
I don't know about you all … but when I receive "good news", I can't wait to share it. I invite you to share this with others. You may touch someone's heart and maybe even lead someone to Jesus, our Lord and Saviour on Christmas Day.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (KJV)
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14 (KJV)
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Romans 5:1 (KJV)
Joy To The World
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.
Unity in the Body Of Believers!!!!!
Posted on December 13, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Another day has passed. A lot of the survivors are sorting their thoughts, memories, concerns, doubts and needs thru this ordeal. But one thing I clearly see in the faces and voices of the people affected by this is the unfailing show of faith in our Almighty Lord. I am soooo proud to live here. I can't say it enough. In spite of all of that has happened … I continue to Red Cross of East Tn has supplied rakes, shovels, trash bags, gloves, masks and a whole bunch of cleaning supplies.
Our Gatlinburg skylift has now been thoroughly inspected and open for business. They suffered fire damage on the upper viewing area and the gift shop. For more information, go to Gatlinburg Skylift.com.
Westgate Resorts had a tremendous amount of damage. They reported 70 of their 90 buildings were destroyed. I heard that was over 650 units destroyed with around 350 untouched.
Westgate plans to hold a grand re-opening tomorrow (Dec 14th) at 11:30 at Smoky Mtn Opry Theater. They are sooo grateful for their employees who evacuated over 900 guests and saved many lives during the rage of the fire. At least 20 employees lost their personal homes. They have also started a fund to help at Westgate Resorts Foundation.org.
I'm proud to say that my bank … Suntrust … announced over the weekend that thru their Suntrust Foundation they would donate a $15,000 grant to Dolly's "MY PEOPLE" fund to help those families hurt by the fires. Dolly said she would donate $1000 a month for 6 months to those families affected. We are sooo blessed to have her as a strong member of our community.
I also found out that Walmart will give $250,000 to those most affected by these fires. Walmart has been donating water and allowing disaster relief vehicles to park on their lot. I also found out that Walmart and their foundation have given over $56 MILLION in disaster situations over the past 10 years. WOW! This is a fact I didn't know … but very pleased to report to you all. Since all of us at one time or another have shopped many many times at Walmart.
Tonight, Dolly has organized some of her famous country entertainers and is raising money thru a telethon. This is truly unity in the body of believers.
LET'S ALL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR SEVIER COUNTY!!!!!
We Are Mountain Tough...
Posted on December 11, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Well, here I am again. It has taken me several days to get myself motivated to write another blog. The Sevier County Economic Development Council, in conjunction with Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, announced the creation of Mountain Tough.org. The website was named for something that Mike Werner, Mayor of Gatlinburg said, "We are Mountain Tough, and we have a strong, strong faith in God."
And Mayor Werner could not have said it better. We are a strong community and a tough one.
I personally know a lot of victims of this tremendous disaster. I really have to say immediately how much UNITY everyone is showing towards each other. People are coming together and everyone has a good attitude in the middle of a lot of confusion.
I am personally witnessing a lot of emotional and physical hurt. This fire is reaching deep into our souls as well as physically. I have spoken with many victims/survivors in the past several days. I drove thru Gatlinburg on Friday ( the first day they allowed the public to go thru).
It overwhelmed me. I had seen videos, pictures watched TV, but nothing had prepared me for the scene I witnessed. It is beyond words. I felt such a loss that I couldn't get out and take a picture. I didn't want to. I can't imagine how it feels for those homeowners that were directly affected.
We need to reach out to our GOD! He will never leave us nor forsake us. I have to share with you all this amazing story.
Isaac McCord posted a single page from a Bible he says was found under a bench in the park, WYMT reports. It was badly burned but many verses still visible, providing hope.
Here are some verses from the page …
The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be! -Joel 1:15[KJV]
To you, LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. -Joel 1:19[KJV]
Even the beasts of the field pant for you because the water brooks are dried up, and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness. -Joel 1:20[KJV]
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand -Joel 2:1[KJV]
McCord says he plans on framing the page.
It made me feel real proud to live in this community. I spoke with lots of people who had lost all their belongings … but these very people were working to help others who also were in need. Our community is soooo resilient. Praise God.
If anyone reading this needs prayer or knows of someone who needs prayer please call me. This is our 24 hr prayer line … 865-680-1891. If the line is busy please text a message and I will personally get back to you.
GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERYONE OF US DURING THESE TRYING TIMES!!!!!
The City of Gatlinburg plans to reopen for business and to the general public on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 a.m. Major roadways are expected to be open, but some city roadways may remain closed to accommodate utility work. More information will be provided throughout the week.
Local officials have provided the following update:
- To date, there are 14 confirmed fatalities.
- To date, there have been 176 injuries/illnesses.
- 2,460 structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.
- There are currently 16 crews, 46 engines, 3 helicopters, 1 dozer, 593 total personnel fighting the Chimney Top 2 Fire as a part of the Type 1 Federal Incident Management Team.
- The Chimney Top 2 Fire is estimated to be 64% contained. The Cobbly Nob Fire is estimated to be 67% contained. After all the recent destruction, people may feel insecure about going back into areas where a wildfire is "not 100% contained." Please know that the Southern Area Incident Management Team is confident that the containment lines are very secure in all the areas near homes and businesses. There are some sections that lines simply have not been built yet, hence they are showing as "not contained." The team is making progress each day. With the rain and the high humidity, fire activity has been very low. There will be occasional "smokes" seen in the interior of the fire. These are large pieces of wood that haven't absorbed enough water and are still smoldering.
- The Spur parkway is open only from Pigeon Forge to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.
- Wiley Oakley Drive Road remains inaccessible due to critical utility work. Emergency crews are working to open it as soon as possible. Cliff Branch Road is open.
- The Water Boil Advisory is still in effect for the following areas in Gatlinburg: Ski Mountain, Chalet Village, Greystone Heights, Smoky View Road, and Campbell Lead areas.
Due to severe fire damage to certain water system pumping stations, the following residential areas are temporarily still out of water service:
- Cliff Branch Road
- Loop Road
- Topside Drive and Topside Road
- Little Fox Road
- Forest Springs Drive and Forest Springs Lane
- Spring Drive
- Silverbell Heights
- Silverbell Lane (above intersection with Loop Road)
- Foothills Drive
- Kings Way, both sides and outside city limits
- Colt Lane
- Mountain Stream Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
- Gatlinburg Falls Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
- Great Smoky Way (Gatlinburg Falls PUD)
There have been a number of confirmed fatalities and over 700 confirmed structures lost. This fire hit the communities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and surrounding areas adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park hard as they were preparing for both Christmas and the final few weeks of a bustling tourist season. The feelings of loss are palpable. While many areas within the basic fire perimeter did not burn, the city of Gatlinburg lies literally in the center of the fire perimeter.
The Southern Area Red Team assumed command of the Chimney Tops 2 Fire, Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. The Red Team, the Type 3 Gray Incident Management Team from Colorado, and other firefighting resources are on site.
Chimney Tops 2 Fire is currently burning in brush, hardwood slash, and leaf litter. Fire crews are still assessing and locating the fire edge to see what actions are needed to prevent additional spread of fire. The priorities are: 1) public and responder safety, 2) structure protection, and 3) limiting the spread of the fire. Crews will be working along U.S. 441, locally known as The Spur, to keep the road open for emergency traffic. In forested areas outside of the park, the Tennessee Division of Forestry is playing an integral role in firefighting efforts. Local fire departments continue to take the lead in structure protection. Aircraft will be overhead today with an additional 6 helicopters enroute to the fire.===================================
PROCESS OF RECOVERY … MOUNTAIN TOUGH …
Posted on December 8, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
This is my first blog after this devastating fire in our beautiful smoky mountains. I don't know where to begin. What to say first. It's soooo overwhelming. So tragic and has affected not only everyone in Sevier County and the surrounding counties … but it has touched all the millions of visitors that come here year after year to enjoy all the beauty and memories of past times.
Unfortunately, a lot of historical and timeless structures have been destroyed. The city of Gatlingburg is never going to be the same … even though everyone is optimistic and energetically working to clean up and begin the very long process of restoration.
Well, let me start out by saying that I, like so many others, am totally heartbroken over all of this. I am in disbelief over the magnitude of this fire and all the lives that have been changed forever.
But those of you who know me know that I always focus on the positive side of things. It has taken me a while to wrap my head around the depth of this disaster. How those affected must feel today and will feel tomorrow as every day unfolds new problems and challenges for their very existence.
I want to sincerely express deep gratitude to those first responders. The brave men and women who rushed towards the fire as people ran from the raging fires … running for their very lives. Positive thought here … the bravery, organization and endless determination and dedication to put out this raging fire was beyond words. And the UNITY among soooo many fire departments from all over the state as well as around our country. I have a video I shot as I was waiting at the light on the parkway to turn into Walmart of a large convoy of fire trucks from counties all over Tennessee. Our State stood in UNITY in truly a time of need.
I thanked God at that moment. It was a site that I felt priviledged to witness … Sirens, lights flashing, and I felt PROUD to live here in Tennessee! Everyone in UNITY stepping to the plate as one body.
God Bless them all.
Posted on March 2, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Today I felt compelled to enjoy my day. To do something different.
So, I began by going to my "happy " book in the bible. When I read "He covers the sky with clouds, He supplies the earth with rain, and maketh the the grass grow on the hills." Psalms 147:8
That did it for me.
I immediately decided to go for a drive … it was raining. I saw things I have seen many times before … but this time I really saw things. I was experiencing the glory of God. I urge you guys to try this. God is always with us … but when we slow down justa little … WOW!!
God's hands are around you today.
Posted on March 1, 2016 12:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I just finished a call from a viewer asking for prayer. Let me tell you first of all … we need to reach out in prayer now more than ever. I think we all can agree … the world is going in sooooo make your directions. We need to stay focused and balanced. PRAYER does this. I pray a bunch of little prayers all day long. It makes me feel great. I am not alone … ever. I encourage you to try it. Let me give you an example. Yesterday, I was leaving the house … lots to do. I reached for my "to do " list. Oops … left it behind. I was already on the interstate … sooooo … I PRAYED. I said … "OK Lord, guide me today. " Well I could remember a lot … I do remember there were 17 things … so I got through 4 … then I realized I was running out of time … and my order was important to save time. All of a sudden, I got a call from a friend. I agreed to pick her up and take her to the pharmacy (her car had broken down ). Well, guess what? God answered my prayer. My friend had a lot of issues … and as I was helping her out … she made me realize that I could handle a lot of my errands by phone. And the best part, I helped her (one extra big time consuming thing) and when I got home … I checked out my list … the most important things were done. No sress. The scripture that came to mind was …
" GOD IS WITH YOU IN ALL THAT YOU DO " Genesis 21:22
Posted on February 29, 2016 9:30pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I am sooooo excited about this site. It's work in progress but I am happy people are already using it. I'm open to suggestions.
I am taping 4 new shows this Thursday … so I will have to make shorter entries.
Hope you check out my Facebook page …
This morning I received a call from a viewer with a need. After praying with her, I felt she was going to be alright. Well, she just finished calling me back with a fantastic praise report.
THANK YOU SWEET JESUS!!!!
I believe that by keeping our eyes on Jesus means that we are remembering that we have been rescued from our sins.
I believe that anyone who has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior enjoys the hope of spending eternal happiness with Him. We need to stay focused during the good and hard times. Praise God!
Prayer for tonight.
Dear Heavenly Father, I give you praise and glory for all the blessings I have received today. I know that I am going to be with you in eternity forever. I love you and adore you. I thank you for using an ordinary person like me to do your work and best of all, to know that you Lord will be with me as I do.
Lord, you are an all powerful God.
Posted on February 28, 2016 8:00pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I enjoyed a busy day today . I get a lot of requests to visit different church services. I was able to catch 3 services today. Wow! !! Met a lot of wonderful believers.
One service moved me to share it here with you.
It was titled … "How to share your faith ". It was wonderful. The pastor asked us to write our testimony out. To make it short. And to focus on 3 areas. My life before Christ, how I met Christ, and the difference Christ is making in my life now.
This is good stuff. I hope you believers out there try doing this. The Pastor's purpose was to get you ready to share your testimony with others. That by writing it you would stay on track … in other words … not ramble. Like I do.
But I would like to focus on this for a minute. I came home and started to write mine out. A lot of things happened. I realized that I had more than one !! AND they were all great ones. It made me realize how much God loves me. How close a relationship I enjoy with my Lord.
Well, I have written 3 good ones. The next step was to use Bible verses in your testimony. Well this became a "bible study " for me. I LOVED DOING THIS. Hope you enjoy writing out your testimony or testimonies as MUCH as I did.
PRAYER FOR TODAY.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the blessings that you have allowed me to enjoy today. As I sit down to write my testimony I find out how wonderful you have been working in my life. And how much you have done for me. I thank you for all the blessings and the many times that you have been there for me. I love you and adore you sweet Jesus.
Posted on February 27, 2016 9:40pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I don't know about you but today was a beautiful day in more ways than one.
First of all, our LORD blessed us with a gorgeous sunny day! Then, I personally was able to accomplish a lot. That always make me happy. When things go smoothly … it seems that the time flies.
In our spiritual life, the same rule applies. When things are going super good … time just sails by and we sometimes forget to thank our Lord for all the blessings we are receiving and taking for granted. Things are good. We tend to reach out to GOD immediately when trouble rears its ugly head. Please GOD ... Help me GOD … I promise GOD … and so on. Then it seems that time just starts to creep by. The one thing I want to assure you is that GOD is with us during the good and happy times … as well as … the hard times. HE never leaves us. But some us forget that. My thought for today is to remind you that our LORD is ALWAYS with us.
Prayer for tonight.
Thank you LORD for all you do for me every minute of every day. I give you all the glory for all my blessings. And I thank you for all the abundant life I enjoy thru your grace. I love you Lord. Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for dying on the cross for my sins. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Lord Jesus, I open the door of my life and receive you as Lord and Saviour of my life.
Posted on February 26, 2016 8:50pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
Another day has disappeared like the wind. We must think about this for a minute. This reminds me of a soap opera my mother used to watch. "Days of our LIVES" are like sand thru an hour glass. I don't know about you believers out there … but I am the kind of person that loves to get a lot done in a day. I hurry … hurry … and then hurry more. But the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day is great.
I hope you were able to get whatever you wanted to accomplish today finished.
I always start out my day with my private time with my LORD. I love this time. It charges up my batteries. I put on the full armour of GOD for the day ahead. I never rush this time … and I NEVER and I mean NEVER skip it. This time balances my emotions, my feelings and most of all it spiritually equips me for the day ahead.
I always read my favorite book in the Bible … Ephesians. I hope you try doing this if you have never done it before. But I feel the key is to make a pattern or designated time and place. Like exercise … if you don't get on a regular schedule it is not effective. Any exercise is better than none. Like any time spent with our Lord is better than none … but regular time is WONDERFUL!!!!
One of the things I have been working on is this site. I hope you come back regularly and enjoy our changes. We are tweaking and creating.
Ok, I better go now. Lots to do. Please keep coming back. And don't forget to watch the show or go to YouTube.
Posted on February 25, 2016 12:10pm (EST) by Dr. Gwen Ford
I am soooooo excited this morning. I am finally able to start my blog for this year! I will try to inspire you and share with you what GOD Almighty puts on my heart. I have dedicated my whole life to working to further the kingdom. I pray that you will find some scripture or thought that will give you a blessing.
I love my Lord.
As I sit here this morning, I want to share this scripture with you.
To me this sums up the Bible. I quote this or a mini version of this at least 2 or 3 times a day. And believe me occasions occur. Sometimes I have to say it out loud … ( this has more impact on me) and other times I just think it when making a decision on something. But, trust me, it works!
If we apply this scripture to our daily chores and thoughts … we would live a happier life. So, I pray that you will give it a try if you don't do it already.
An example just happened to me at the gas station this morning. I was in my usual hurry … long line in front of me … and wouldn"t you know it … the lady BEHIND me has a crying baby in her arms and she is carrying a jug of milk. Don't know about you believers out there, but I've been there … done that … ( although a long time ago). But even though I was already running late … I let her go ahead of me. She thanked me profusely. You see, it can be as simple as that to apply this scripture.
Well, I better go now. Have lots to do today.
I would invite you to pray this simple prayer today.
"Dear Heavenly Father, bless me today as I go about my business. I pray that you open my heart to the needs of others and let Your light shine thru me. In Jesus's sweet name, I pray. AMEN!"