Spring is the season of First Holy Communion. Parents, aunts, uncles, and even older brothers and sisters often look on with pride when their young relatives receive the sacrament for the first time. One of three Sacraments of Initiation within the Catholic church, the sacrament of First Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, is a momentous event in the life of a young Catholic.
I remember looking forward to Easter Sunday when I was a child. Part of it was the Easter-egg hunt at our small country church after service, but a lot of it was the spirit of celebration. That was evident starting with getting ready for church and carrying on through the service itself. The music was a little more upbeat, and the preacher spoke with a little more excitement. This definitely was a step up from ...
Sunday begins what is often called "Holy Week." Full disclosure here: My tradition does celebrate Holy Week as carefully as other Christian denominations. I have participated in Maundy Thursday observances. I have preached at the occasional Good Friday service. But for the most part, we Baptists place most of our emphasis on Easter Sunday and the resurrection. And that makes sense. After all, Easter is what the Christian faith is all about. Still, ...
God is not man. God is God. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Man's ways and God's ways are not the same. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). Man makes a mistake when he tries to bring God down to ...
"Love is blind, and marriage is an eye-opener." So goes the old saying. But what is love? To many, the word itself is exciting. Love is pure, positive emotion. Love is a force to be experienced. Love is uncontrollable, thrilling bliss!
Family planning is a controversial topic that brings out strong feelings and visions. The family is a focal point of life that God has designed. That's why the Apostle Paul devoted so much space in Ephesians to the issues of married couples (5:22-33), kids (6:1-3) and fathers (6:4). If two people marry in their 20s and live into their 70s, that's a substantial marriage commitment and a long life together. One would never enter into ...
In an Old Testament story, David, the one who killed Goliath, had 600 men with him as he literally was running for his life from King Saul of Israel.
In the Bible, man is told to put God first and not focus on the physical things of this life. Yet often, we see people putting making money and belongings before God.
As I get older, I seem to learn more lessons from the little. That's true in many areas of life, but especially in spiritual matters. Recently, I have learned a little more about what grace is. Last month, I put up three bird feeders in my backyard. I put out the first feeder, and I did not see a bird for two weeks. But then I noticed that it was empty. Something had eaten the ...
The Rev. Kathi Parchem is elated about her new position in the ministry. At the Savannah Presbytery winter meeting on St. Simons Island, Parchem, the interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hinesville, was elected unanimously as the moderator of the Savannah Presbytery. Comprised of 41 churches of Presbyterian Church USA, the Savannah Presbytery has approximately 6,000 members and covers Southeast of Georgia. The presbytery's mission is to engage, encourage and resource congregations so ...
Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path."
Easter is right around the corner, and it's a time when more people think about Jesus Christ than any other time of the year.
"It's elementary, my dear Watson." Sherlock Holmes made this line famous as he always solved the crime, just in the nick of time.
Do you understand that Jesus loves you? Yes, you - you are important to God. John wrote, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16 KJV). When someone truly loves another, they are willing to do things for that person. Jesus has done something for us (Philippians 2:5-11). Have you ever thought about what Jesus gave ...
Sunday was a time of new beginnings for the Beach Hill Baptist Church in Midway. The church installed a new pastor, the Rev. Douglas Carter of Hinesville. Dr. Sinclair Thorne of the First Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Hinesville will be the speaker. Carter, who was appointed as the pastor of the 133-year-old church in December 2012, is excited about his appointment. "The members are very enthusiastic and excited to see what God has ...
Each Nov. 11, we give our men and women of the military a special salute and shout-out.
On His journey through Galilee, Christ tried to prepare the minds of His disciples for the scenes before Him.
In Matthew's gospel, we find a story about John the Baptist coming on the scene as a New Testament prophet proclaiming the coming of the Christ. He was baptizing those who wanted to be identified with the new coming kingdom later called Christianity.
We are in the middle of home improvement projects at our house. We have added a new room and are replacing the flooring and painting in others. Right now, the place is a mess.
We continue our thoughts on the poem of Joseph M. Scriven. His poem that later was put to music serves to encourage all who seek to follow God.
"The church has many critiques but no revivals." This anonymous quote was an opening of careful reflection for me.
James 5:16 tells us to "confess your faults one with another." There are several benefits in doing this.
Last week, I went to visit my son. He is greatly improving in so many ways, though he remains in a wheelchair.
Joseph M. Scriven (1819-96), who wrote the poem "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," was no stranger to trials and sadness.
Lower Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church will hold its homecoming Nov. 2. The service is at 11 a.m. and lunch will follow at 11:30 a.m.
A few years ago there was a popular song called, "All You Need is Love." I agree that real love is needed and it's nice to be on the receiving end, but the thing most needed is hope.
There are so many ways one can misuse the tongue. Cursing, tale bearing, gossip, boasting and lying are just a few ways that words can be misused. Cursing in our day seems to have become a way of life for so many. It is as if some people could not talk unless they used a curse word in their speech.
"Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you. Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do. Live in peace with each other." - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NCV)
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." - Isaiah 55:11
Recently, my wife and I went on a short trip to the mountains. We happened to be there over a Sunday, so we went to a church close to the motel.