Spirituality

This is an old story, but I heard it recently, and loved it all over again. A young man gave the first sermon of his life at my son’s church and I drove in to hear him speak and to support him and his family, whom I had long loved. He did a remarkable job, was well prepared, had studied for hours, and he seemed quite comfortable in the pulpit addressing the rather large crowd. The people responded warmly to his message.

The young man told an interesting story in his opening remarks and right away, he got and held the attention of his audience members...

 

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow

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.

shadow

I have often, over the years, written about the power of words — both those that hurt and wound and those that help and heal. The Book of James teaches about the tongue and how powerful it is when used in anger or insult. I read Chapter 3 three times this week because I wanted to understand it as best I could.

shadow

Consider this column a Public Service Announcement. I have been in the newspaper world for many years now and have written my fair share of articles about fraud, theft, criminal activity, and those who live to take from those who work hard to pay their just and honest debts. In the past few years, I have interviewed bankers, loan officers, members of law enforcement, and individuals affected by crime, and have learned a lot.

shadow

I have heard all of my days that in life, we will meet two main types of people — the givers and the takers. It is a fairly simple truth. Think about it and I would be willing to bet my best Texas boots that you can form a list of names in your mind, with some in each category. Now, we are not going to ask you to do that or to share those names with others. That would put us on the ugly side of life, and we don’t want that.

shadow

I read much of the time, and before Hurricane Ike destroyed a great deal of the Bolivar Peninsula, I had quite a personal collection of good books. Some might not seem like significant works to others, but to me, they were old and dear friends. I might not be able to tell you the exact page number of a certain quote or story, but I could come very close to opening many of my books and pointing to the left top or the bottom right of the page where the writing nested. I had used many of these books for quote sources or good illustrations in all of these years of writing.

shadow

I wrote recently about some of the budgeting lessons I learned from my precious Mama Cole while I lived in her home from the time of my birth until my biological mother remarried and moved me to the Atlanta area of Georgia. Mama Cole did not believe in owing anyone and was adamant that if we could not pay cash for it, we could not have it.

shadow