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A Holy and Merry Christmas

Some of my earliest memories center on church services at Christ Church (Episcopal) in Pt. Pleasant, W.Va., and especially the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was called the “Midnight Mass” not because, as one would think, it started at the strike of 12 a.m., but because the actual taking of Holy Communion, and the closing of the service, was around midnight.

Making your life count

Does my life really count? Am I making a difference? Those are questions I ask myself and God every day - some days more than others. I too often get caught up in details of matters that really don’t matter one bit in view of eternity. That’s the battle of busyness.

Church news 11-28-14

God’s Way Fellowship Baptist Church, 1601 Commerce Road, will host the fifth Sunday mission and Selma Walls Family and Friends Day at 11 a.m. Sunday. The guest speaker will be Phyllis Walls, a pastor from Hot Springs.

An epiphany reflection and prayer

The word “epiphany” means “manifestation,” “striking appearance,” or “to make evident,” and happens to be the name of one of the Church celebrations that traditionally falls on Jan. 6 — the 12th day after Christmas — and this year the Season following Epiphany Day will last eight Sundays).

All things new

Here are some comforting words for the New Year: “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5).

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.