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Columns

  • God gives more than 100 percent

    I want to have some fun and use math to discover just how much God loves us. Athletes like to talk in percentages about how much they give to help their team win. They talk about giving more than 100 percent, but is that even possible since 100 percent is as much as we can give? Does the same apply in everyday life?

    To help make my point I want to give every letter of the alphabet a point value with “A” getting one point and “Z” getting 26 points and the rest correspond to their place in the alphabet. What equals 100 percent in life?

  • Remember to do an annual audit on yourself

    I am most thankful for the set of values I received in the course of my life from so many sources. At the same time, I am examining the scaffolding of beliefs, values and assumptions that I inherited from my family, school, religion and society. One by one and on an annual basis, I seek to dismantle and discard those that are not in keeping with mature adult living and cherish those that are.

  • Having a healthy fear of angels and the Lord

    What does an angel look like? The most famous pair of angels is perhaps Santi Raphael’s cute pair of cherubs. Type in angels on Google and there is no end to the cute, white faced, pink cheeked, precious winged, little creatures that have been drawn. They make us happy. Isn’t that what angels are supposed to do?

  • My Living Will: Loving concretely during Christmas

    Pastor Joel Gregory tells the story of a seminary professor who taught the Christian graces of love and forbearance for forty years until he retired. Occupying himself in his retirement years, he poured a new concrete driveway to his house. Finished, he went in to rest and get a glass of iced tea. Returning later to view his proud achievement, he discovered that the neighborhood kids were putting their footprints in the wet concrete.

  • Christmas spirit can be a great holiday gift

    I have to admit, I’ve had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.

    Typically I am that annoying person who starts playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving, while I put up the tree and decorate the house. Usually, I’ve started Christmas shopping in October and would be pretty much done before Dec. 1. By now my coworkers and friends would be tired of the baked goods and yummy snacks I would have inundated them with on a daily basis.

    But this year is not typical for a number of reasons.

  • Hope for the Future

    Someone pointed out that we live in two worlds – the world that is and the world we want it to be. Faith takes hold of the world that is and makes it what we want it to be. Faith takes the possible and makes it real. It was the great William James who said, “As the essence of courage is to stake one’s life on a possibility, so the essence of faith is to believe that the possibility exists.” By believing that a better tomorrow is possible, we have the courage to give our best to the creating of that tomorrow.

  • Struggling through the Holidays

    The holiday season presents particularly stressful situations to those struggling with grief. For many, this is the first holiday since the death of a loved one. Many can’t bear to see a Christmas tree. Every light, gift box and song invokes a painful recollection. These memories come at inopportune times, sometimes accompanied by a single tear, and sometimes with an anguish that buckles the knees. We each have to fight our way back towards “normal” and holidays are part of that struggle.

  • BRINGING COMFORT DURING HOLIDAY GRIEF

    When my grandfather passed away in February of 1990, it was the first major loss in my life. I fumbled through the grieving process, desperately trying to be strong for my grandmother whose home I moved into on the day grandpa died. I had been instructed by well-meaning relatives that I should not cry in front of her, but it was so very difficult to remain stoic while she grieved.

  • THE POWER OF LAUGHTER

    Someone has well said, “God must have had a good sense of humor, else God could not have made monkeys, pelicans and some of us.” Laughter gives us a wholesome attitude towards one another. When two people laugh together, there is a sense of belonging. Laughter carries with it sympathy for others; it tends to remove suspicion, doubts and antagonism. When we laugh together, we feel united, we are ready to forgive, and we begin to love. People cannot hate each other while they are laughing.

  • My Living Will – Marital Love

    What do kids think about marriage?

    Ten-year-old Kristen says, “No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.”

    Camille, 10, says you might be able to tell if a couple is married based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.

    Lynnette, 8, says about dating, “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.”