Religion

Editor’s note: This column is part two of a three part series exploring the author’s quest to understand and ultimately live for God. Part one ran in the Rome News-Tribune’s Jan. 11 edition.

What do you think of the world we now live in? We live in a world full of poverty. It is shameful and really inexcusable that one- half the world population lives at or below the poverty level. Many people in America are literally homeless because of mental challenges, depression and poverty…

It all began the day I got the news. Opening a box containing a pacifier has its effect. The news arrested my unrestricted, youthful perspective and changed everything. The emotions, thoughts, excitements, realities and anticipations occupied me. This news came on its schedule, not mine. Wit…

If you haven’t read Esther in a while, you should pull it off the shelf. It is high melodrama. Esther tells the story of Jews who have been forced into exile in Babylon. King Ahasuerus dumps his wife, Queen Vashti, because he thinks she’s dissed him (though who can argue with her wanting to …

As we observe the season of Advent and anticipate the coming of Jesus into our world, I want to offer a challenge to all of us who follow Jesus.

I didn’t notice when it happened. Somehow I found myself feeling nostalgic about Rod Stewart. A sudden compulsion to go to Walgreens and buy Grecian formula startled me. Vanity had never visited me before, just enough grooming awareness to be conforming. Evoking these thoughts, I stared at t…

Humanity was forever changed when Moses brought down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments. Here were rules not to be violated, rules to live by.

Did you know that we live in a world of seven major religions and thousands of common religions? Could that be a part of why our world is so divided? That said, I am grateful that I live in a country and was raised in a neighborhood where Christianity was the dominant faith. Someone said rel…

And now, I ask myself, “Why are black-eyed peas always served with pork?” Maybe it’s a Southern tradition or as regional as red beans and rice. Perhaps food, like language, has its own sort of culinary dialect. Maybe tradition, our sense of how to order things, is a human construct offering …

Turning the corner, I steered the car into the parking lot. There, confronting me, the sign said, “Sudden Service.” I thought, “Wow! Not bad for a ‘fried in old grease, we’ll worry about the arteries later chicken joint.” Catchy slogans cannot overcome a “rust on the building, empty parking …

If you are part of any sort of group that gets together you will certainly understand what I’m talking about. It might be a book club or people getting together to play cards. It might be a coffee group that gathers every morning, or even a prayer group that meets every week. Or it could be …

No story. No memory. No watermelons or tomatoes. No metaphors treading in spiritual time. Today, I want to remind myself and readers of a singular gospel truth. I want to allow God’s power and provision to rest in my soul and give me peace. I want you to allow and remember it, too.

Several years ago, both of my ankles were broken simultaneously when a driver ran a red light and hit my car head on. It took surgery, pins and plates, and three years of hard work to rehab my ankles. I had just begun to walk normally and was finally able to manage stairs without having to u…

Undeniable realization always comes, moments when vision is clear and unequivocal, when compensations and denials no longer supplant the truth attempting to land permanence on the landscape of dreams. Mine came on a putting green in college. Believing myself to be a fine putter, the glue hol…

 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning — yes, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5,6, NKJV).

What if I told you that you are richer than you think? There are approximately 7 ½ billions of people on the planet earth. Nearly half of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

Bernard “Bernie” Sims was a friend of mine. He lived a few houses down from my family on Pruitt Drive. We were a year apart in age and shared an interest in golf. This meant we did not share any classes in school and that I could only observe him on the golf course. Bernie appeared more verb…

It started as a family feud. Before it was over, it morphed into murder, an attempted coup d’etat and political assassination. Absalom’s anger was understandable. Amnon took a fancy to Absalom’s sister Tamar. When Tamar rejected him, Amnon forced the issue – then casually threw Tamar on the …

The day arrived and along with my golf bag and clubs, I carried all the associated anticipation, excitement and butterflies I normally experienced before competition. It remains a highlight in my golf career. By virtue of a top ten finish in the South Carolina Junior Championship, I qualifie…

“Repentance is the strained throbbing of birth. Forgiveness through the grace of God is the gift of the new life emerging from the depths of sin’s womb. The born again, those who have received that new birth, learn to forgive first self, then others as self.” — Harris Murray

In the “bread of life” verses in John’s Gospel, Chapter 6, Jesus says a lot that is difficult to understand and to wrap our minds around. The disciples did a good job of asking probing questions, trying to get Jesus to clarify what he was talking about. But the more he talked, the more confu…

There are so many things happening in this post modern world. Some are very positive, but in my mind I see this cosmos — world of order God created— as chaos — a world of disorder the evil one has seduced man to create.

My presence in this room of writers was a strange beginning; at least, this was my perception. It was evident to me they were honed in their craft and I was not. Some internal gravity had convinced me to come to this meeting, had meted me with enough courage to subject myself and attend.

Church leaders, pastors and even members talk about being faithful to the word of God. But how do we determine what is being faithful? Is it following a list of biblical rules and regulations? Or is it more challenging than that?

Age has thrust upon me a ripening. I’ve reached a stage when stories begin with some variation of the word “ago,” as in some time ago, 30-years-ago, 20-years-ago or 10-years-ago.

Along the street, the sign on the fence says Blake, but there are other Blakes claiming this place by blood and lineage. Old and stately, built in 1867, this house sits beachside overlooking Charleston Harbor. The family has owned it since the 1890’s. The history is recorded in the courthous…

It’s tournament time. The alarm meets its 4 a.m. appointment. I wake with the same thoughts I took to sleep with me as though I did not sleep at all. There is no time but to focus on the day’s tasks and preparations.

It was the early morning hours when Jesus entered the Temple court and sat down to teach. As crowds gathered around to listen to him, Roman soldiers patrolled the walls of the Antonia Fortress overlooking the Temple, on guard for eruptions of violence. The Temple authorities were still burni…

The image holds firm in my heart. When a deep breath in my schedule allows me indulgence, my mind takes me to a simpler, more innocent day.

It was an excitement to me. The unencumbered thought of waking wide-eyed, captivated by a readiness and willingness to engage the day’s promise meant my day had come, meant my dream gripped reality like my spikes gripped the ground. The sun pierced my window like the day’s wish had pierced m…

It was the early morning hours when Jesus entered the Temple court and sat down to teach. As crowds gathered around to listen to him, Roman soldiers patrolled the walls of the Antonia Fortress overlooking the Temple, on guard for eruptions of violence. The Temple authorities were still burni…

“But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13: 51,52).

After forty years, I still remember my physiology test. It remains the hardest multiple-choice test I took in college. I’m sure the professor experienced a depressive episode at worst, and at least puzzlement.

“… that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.” James Allen

The Christian faiths recognize this coming Sunday as Palm Sunday — the story of Jesus’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and then, the greatest story ever told the Passion of the Christ.