Christianity

Wow! I confess I did not know where to start with this one. As I read more and more and studied writings and sermons, and read the Scriptures I could find on goodness, I realized just how big this subject is and how very little space we have to tackle it here in one column. Goodness is very important to God, and it is the sixth of the nine fruits listed in our reference verses found in Galatians.

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Let’s review the nine fruits of the Spirit of God. We started with love, joy, peace and meekness, and devoted two columns to the art of long-suffering before moving on to gentleness, today’s topic. How many of us have now memorized the fruits in the order in which they are listed? I confess I got two of them out of order when writing and was excited to get to one I particularly liked and had to do some backtracking to get them back in perspective. Perhaps this will help: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

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We have reached the third fruit of the Spirit of God, peace, and I can attest to the fact that God is always on time with His messages for us. There has never been a time in my life that I remember more people needing to find peace in their lives, homes, professions, neighborhoods, communities, and yes, though it’s sad to write, their churches. There is such vying for authority, leadership roles, being No. 1, and getting attention that it is a wonder the dear Lord has much room to work in hearts.

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What is love? Everyone has his or her own take on what the short four-letter word means, and the Bible has much to say about it as well. We hear a lot about it during the month of February, and men and women, and boys and girls are shopping, creating and thinking about what to do to express their love.

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The big week is almost here, and for me, it is a big week indeed. My birthday is Dec. 23, and then we have the blessed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For those of us celebrating a different kind of Christmas this year for whatever reason, please let me assure you with confidence that God knows all about each of our Christmases and what we will have and what we will not have.

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It is no big secret to those who know me well that my biological mother and I did not get along. There were many reasons, and looking back on them now that I am older and have grown children of my own, I see more of the complications that caused the often very turbulent waters. Some changes and a lot of understanding could have been made easier for all of us had I known then what I know now. Such is life.

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Some things in life are few and far between, and when they come along, we would be wise to take advantage. I fear looking around my own environment that way too many young couples – and older ones alike – simply live too fast. There is little time to actually teach, inspire, motivate and help others.

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I remember when I was a very young Christian getting discouraged about a matter within our church family. I went to the pastor’s office and talked with him a good while about the incident and asked for prayer and instruction. Because my husband and I worked on the church staff, Dr. Hutson was not only my spiritual leader, but my employer. My needs concerned him and he wanted to help. He wisely gave me sage advice that I have tried to remember since that time.

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One of the questions I get most often has to do with judging others for their actions, or lack thereof. Some people enjoy judging and really could make a good living out of it if they chose to do so in the legal field, but that would take more education, more discipline and more hard work. It is far easier to just sit back in a recliner or rocker and take on the world and let everyone who will listen know what others should do about their sorry lives. I am amazed at what ticks some folks off and how little it takes to get them ranting and raving for days.

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Brenda Cannon Henley, Senio  Correspondent to The Examiner

I have a dear friend (well, actually, more than one) who sometimes loses his objectivity and becomes downright mean to those around him. More often than not, he will be mean, excessively so, to one person for a week or two, and then completely switch his allegiance and turn on someone new within his circle. And believe me, after watching this trait demonstrated on several occasions, I can find no fault with the one that is chosen for that particular week. He or she will not have done anything demonstrating ill will, unkindness, or evil toward this person.

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