The Christmas season and all that comes along with this wonderful time of year is in full swing. Homes, businesses, towns and churches are decorated. The radio and church bells are playing Christmas music. There is an excitement in the air. Children are laughing and adults are smiling. Our c…

A woman wrote Reader’s Digest and said, “I knew my sister was having several members of her husband’s family for Thanksgiving dinner, so I stopped by her house on Thanksgiving morning to see how things were going. The house was in shambles. Her four young children were squabbling the way sib…

“And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’” – Mark 7:34

The world, the nation and even the community in which we live seem to be in constant conflict. Many of the world’s leaders are in disagreement and cannot live in peace. Political parties in America are in conflict and our nation continues to grow more separated as a result. Our communities c…

In my opinion, the most quoted and misquoted verses in the Bible are Matthew 7:1,2 where Jesus instructed, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged.” (New American Standard Bible) In Western culture, many distort Jesus’ words to mean, “Don’t …

I am very appreciative of the Index-Journal allowing local clergy to write these columns. My colleagues regularly give us food for thought and opportunities for spiritual formation. In short, they help us think about who God is. Isn’t that the fundamental question: “Who is God?” As many have…

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit New Orleans, or have at least seen picture postcards of the historic port city, then you can no doubt recall images of revelers decked out in beads on Bourbon Street, or the famous beignets and coffee served at Cafe du Monde. Perhaps you will rem…

One of the foundational principles of Christianity is a commandment found in each of the synoptic gospels. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Generally, the message we hear in this passage is our relationship with our neighbor. While that is the ultimate goal, the state…

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity…

During my early high school years, I worked in a fast-food restaurant. One day when I walked into work my boss handed me a rag and a big bottle of carpet cleaner. I quickly discovered that some of South Carolina’s famous red mud was staining the carpet in the dining room. A construction crew…

“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For th…

I am learning that little things are easy to miss. As the Apostle Paul wrote letters to people and churches, he was careful to make sure he took time to thank God when God accomplished great things in the lives of His saints. In 2 Thessalonians 1:3 Paul writes: “We are bound to thank God alw…

For many years, Vacation Bible School in Baptist circles began with three pledges: the pledge to the American flag, the pledge to the Christian flag and the pledge to the Bible. In my previous pastorate, at First Baptist Church in Edgefield, one VBS morning I was leading the children in the …

I recently watched an interview with a famous Southern author, taped all the way back in 1974. The setting was a luscious courtyard in the French Quarter of New Orleans. You aren’t surprised.

The lectionary texts over the Easter season this year included selections from the Book of Revelation. This complex book opens one’s imagination and invites the reader to peer into a vivid vision of John of Patmos. John is exiled on the Greek Island of Patmos during the persecution of Christ…

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