religion

I am always excited when I meet a new Christian or someone that has decided to come back from a life of sin and shame to the things of God. They are excited, happy and generally open to learning everything they can about the Word of God and the things of God. They usually want to be around other Christian people and cannot seem to get enough of talking about how God has worked in their lives.

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When I was growing up in a lake community in rural Georgia, I was among the minority in my school classroom. Almost everyone I knew had a biological mother and father and maybe a brother or sister or two living in their family home. Mommy had married daddy, and they were all set to live happily every after, many of them in neat, white-framed or brick houses with perfectly matched picket fences and flower gardens.

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“Pay close attention to those you care about,” I read today in a blog I enjoy. What does that mean to you? For that matter, what does it mean to me? I first answered with a bit of righteous indignation. “Of course, I take care of those I love most. I cook. I clean. I buy clothes and I do laundry. I try to lead by example. I help where I can.” But after re-evaluating the question from a more calm and sincere state, I wondered, “Am I overlooking something in someone I love that I should catch?

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When I taught in Christian school and worked at the church, our many bulletin boards, church publications, and classroom decorations often depicted brightly colored kites, hot air balloons, and steps rising into the air. Our theme was to rise higher, accept challenges, and grow to be the “you” that you had envisioned. Some of us started on an exciting journey but got waylaid and have not had the strength or courage to start again. But as long as there is breath, there is hope.

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Something happened recently that blessed my soul, and I have decided to share it with you in the hope that your heart and mind might be pricked to remember someone that has done something good for you. Just perhaps when the event, act or incident happened, you were too busy, too immature, too troubled, or just too self-centered to think much of it at the time. Maybe you did appreciate the gift, but did not take the necessary time to say thank you to the giving person.

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“Once you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll be what you really are. Happiness is a sense of wholeness and completeness within yourself.”
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them,” is what I have often read and believed to be true.
Many attribute the second quote to Henry David Thoreau, saying it is taken from “Civil Disobedience and Other Essays.” Several scholars say, however, that it is an adaptation from Thoreau’s work, not from “Civil Disobedience,” but that the writing is taken loosely from his work, “Walden.”

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I have often heard hearts referred to as “heavy” or “light” by pastors, teachers and by friends in daily conversations. But what does that reference mean?

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We are taking a fresh look at the Ten Commandments. They show us our sin and they point us to Christ, who is the only way to God. I am reading from I Timothy 1:3- 11.

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As I was meditating and giving serious thought to what I would address for the month of February for several publications, I began to think about the human heart. Now, I have lived long enough to know that different folks believe different things about the importance of the heart. I am not referring to medical conditions, although God knows there are many people suffering from bad hearts in the physical realm. Scholars have long debated what is stored within man’s heart. Many say it is the seat of our emotions.

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There’s an old Southern gospel song I remember from my youth. Beaumont song leader Melvin Elkins will likely remember this one, too, from his more than 40 years of singing in churches large and small: “This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.” The premise of this song is that while we spend our allotted years here on earth, Christians must keep in mind that we are not going to be here forever.

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