Religion

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I love that God chooses to reveal himself to us through story. In his encounter with two dejected followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24.13) Jesus himself reveals how the stories of Scripture speak into our present day lives.

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Jimmy was reared in modest means. A wholesome family, Jimmy’s parents worked hard and taught their children proper values and morals. They attended church regularly and the children rarely missed a day of school or the parents a day of work.

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Beneath the old oak tree, framed in twilight, a lone silhouette, an old man with his box sat and watched while the graveyard spirits spoke of possibility and certainty.

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It’s dangerous to look back, to think where you were then and where you are now, to gloat a bit over the idea you are better than you were. If you met your younger self, wouldn’t you be guided by your observation to say, “What joy, how far I have come?” Are you not also tempted to see only y…

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In a more naïve and simplistic time, when minuscule pains hovered and cast their shadow large over an otherwise carefree existence, when each imagined injury seemed unending and suggested life would never fulfill a novelistic perfection, I searched for a simple God.

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Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had risen from the grave and was now being seen by his disciples and hundreds of others. He was making ready for His ascension into Heaven to be with his father.

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Quite incidentally and unknowingly, mimicking professional golfer’s swings when we were kids, we stumbled into a key step in the habit formation process. Naming a particular swing or move the “Nicklaus” or “Trevino” or even something simple like “blue” enables the brain a way to cement the s…

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On Easter Sunday we celebrated the sacrament of infant baptism. Baptism is a sign and seal of what Jesus Christ has already done in the life of the child, but it is also a commitment by parents and the community of the church to help nurture the child in her own journey of faith, to provide …

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Without his parent’s permission, young Jimmy Ward at the ripe age of fourteen, feeling cocky upon entering high school, decided to invite a buddy over to his house after school.

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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3,4, NRSV).

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“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” These are the words that begin the Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday when the mark of ashes on our foreheads adds to the burden of the words. If this beginning is where we depart, Lent would be endlessly depressingly, a burdensome journey …

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“We must be rooted in the absence of a place. We must take the feeling of home into exile.”

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“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

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“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12, NKJV).

Starting March 1, Westminster Presbyterian Church at 1941 Shorter Avenue will have a new called pastor, Rev. Dr. Renee Ann Meyer. She is Westminster’s first female minister and takes the place of Rev. Dr. Sam Henderson who was Westminster’s interim minister for two years.

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The month of February is designated as Black History Month, Heart Month, and the observance of Valentine’s Day.

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The bell above the doorjamb jingled as Concetta entered the store. Warm air dispensed her shivers.

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In my middle adult years, I spent nearly every Saturday working with friends to build houses (42 of them) for Habitat for Humanity. As I got more and more familiar with the skills and techniques for building, I found that I preferred working on those early stages of building.

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Curator: “Sir, we do not sit on the museum’s display chairs.”

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Kumph! HaKumph! HaRrrrrummph! Why am I coughing? Where am I? It’s so dark. And cold.

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Jesus wept over the capitol city of his country, the symbolic representation of a whole people: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!”

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In many Christian churches this weekend, we gather in faith to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family — a family of loving relationships between a mother, a father and a son.

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“For the real good of every gift is essential first, that the giver be in the gift — as God always is, for He is love — and next, that the receiver know and receive the giver in the gift. Every gift of God is but a harbinger of His greatest and only sufficing gift — that of Himself. No gift …

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Convicted during my teen years, tagged as an old man before my time, I rarely made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with that judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7: 1,2).

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In the year of Covid, I miss those four walls called church. Imagine my delight when, taking respite up on the mountain, N. and I heard music across the street at the church.

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“May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.” Hearing this in Scripture at this beginning of the Season of Advent, the new Church Year, it will come as no surprise to hear me say that this theme can also pertain to our spiritual lives. We are asked to consider whether we are “awake” or “…

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Summers in Orangeburg were torrid. Situated in a geographic line between Florence, S.C. and Augusta, Ga., the big “O” sits in the middle of what is known as the sand hills. Normal days in July and August customarily reach 100 degrees with 100% humidity.

Over the coming weeks, we will share many meals as we gather with our families for the greatest seasons of the year.

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Philosophy, observed, seems at best an attempt to explain what is, a means to sift out the here and now in a game guided by a set of rules manufactured by one or more of the game’s players. A nice convenience, philosophy guides us in what we can see and understand. This convenience trips upo…

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Something I was not searching for, but I found serendipitously from an anonymous note I received, came in a flash of thought. Neither fight nor flight, dismissal nor belittlement occupied my reaction to it, only empathy for an unknown soul expressing bewilderment in an unsigned letter. Drift…

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One of the most valuable tools that we have at our disposal as Christians is prayer.

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We live in fractious times. It doesn’t matter where you are on the theological, political or philosophical spectrum, it seems there is an awful lot to worry about. What we need are people who serve as a non-anxious presence — those who offer hope in the midst of anxious times and circumstances.

Covid-19, hurricanes, fires, riots, political division, etc.

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Words lift the burden of meaning and with meaning comes thought and understanding and misnomer, but always perspective. Words are but symbols until experience gives a word a life. And then there is us, a complicated compilation of cells wishing we could come up with the right word, and too o…