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Value your moments

I am not a morning person. I am up and about early because I have to be, but not pleasantly so…Taking my boys to school is an example. In a single parent home, I am charged with the duty of waking everyone up, getting baths, breakfasts, and whatever else, together. And it is never pretty. I yell and scream, threaten and cajole, and still barely make it on time.

Don’t settle in Haran

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot, son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.” - Genesis 11:31-32

Life by the Spirit

How does a Christian keep away from sin and grow in Christ? I place those two statements together because they belong together as simultaneous actions. In Galatians 5:16-26 Paul gives the answer. He begins by saying we should, “Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (v. 16).

Peace on earth, good will to men

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) composed the words to one of my favorite Christmas carols, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” on Dec. 25, 1864. This carol was originally a poem entitled, “Christmas Bells,” which reflected Longfellow’s despair and grief during the years of the American Civil War and his confident hope of peace.

Will we see Jesus at Christmas?

Beginning as a young child, I remember many of the men in our small town, my father included, getting together around Christmas to buy groceries and wrapped gifts for families less fortunate, widows, and our local orphanage.

God's Benefit Package

Psalm 103:1-2 tells us, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” That’s a good reminder for me since I sometimes have problems remembering things. We should praise the Lord with our soul (our thoughts, actions, plans, dreams, etc.) and don’t forget all His benefits.

Every day should be a day of thanksgiving

One of the first recorded Thanksgiving Day observances in North America was held in Newfoundland in 1578 by Sir Martin Frobisher of the Frobisher Expedition to find the Northwest Passage. Another early thanksgiving observance was led by Captain John Woodlief on Dec. 4, 1619, who instructed that the day of his ship’s arrival “be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to almighty God.”

A cloud of witnesses joins in...

As an Episcopalian growing up in an old river town (Pt. Pleasant, W. Va.), I was a rare commodity indeed, because there were so few of us. Truth be known, there are not a superabundance of Episcopalians anywhere in the United States. However, if you look at the Anglican Communion [our world-wide denomination, which includes our “Mother Church,” The Church of England] there are about 80 million adherents. I have found that in many cases, even in large cities, the experience of having a large church building and a sparse membership is not uncommon in our branch of the Christian faith.

I married the wrong person

So many marriages today are ending in divorce. But yours doesn’t have to! As a marriage counselor, I’ve heard every reason in the world while couples are separating. The most common reason is there is usually someone else in the picture. Maybe it’s just thoughts or flirting (which are both still wrong), but that person is thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Let me say this: appearances can be deceiving. What looks better somewhere else usually isn’t. Sometimes it’s greener because it’s built over a septic tank. Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.” If you’re going to have oxen, you’re going to have oxen poop. You will have some mess in your marriage. You just have to clean up the mess along the way and not let it pile up.

The beauty of holiness

As a young clergyman, I was paid a stipend of $1,200 a month, no insurance or pension, all the farm eggs and deer meat I could eat, and frequent kind invitations to dinner in the homes of my parishioners.

Forgiving Yourself

“I know God forgives me, but I just can’t forgive myself.” I’ve heard it 1,000 times. Sometimes people are paralyzed by their past actions because they simply cannot forgive themselves. Here is some good news – you can’t forgive yourself. Only the Lord can forgive you. Once you have received His forgiveness you must live in His forgiveness. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” God does not hold sins against you any longer once you have confessed them. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us of all unrighteousness.” This means Jesus will forgive you of your sin and Jesus will help you change your life so you don’t commit that sin again.