October 31, 2021 · 4:31 am
Today is Halloween, an annual holiday celebrated in the U.S. as well as several other countries. The last time it fell on a Sunday was 2010.
“Halloween” literally means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening.” The holiday is rooted in ancient Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots. Later Gregory III, the 8th century Catholic Pope, designated November 1st as a time to honor departed saints, so October 31 became known as “All Hollow’s Eve.” Continue reading →
October 30, 2021 · 4:30 am
Good morning from Cobbly Nob, Tennessee.
Norma Jean and I are quickly coming to an end of our stay in the Smoky Mountains. It has been another wonderful, relaxing, and also exhilarating time enjoying God’s creation and the Fall foliage as the colors become more brilliant each day.
It has also been wonderful to be with the brethren at the Cosby Church and to enjoy time with our good friends Olie and Mary Williamson and James and Cheryll Witherington. Also, we’ve seen friends and former classmates, visiting the Smokies, who we haven’t seen in years. Continue reading →
October 29, 2021 · 4:29 am
Last week former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, passed away after battling multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, and complications from COVID-19.
Powell was generally admired and respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. His 13 rules of leadership were first published in 1989 in Parade Magazine. They were discussed in detail in his 2012 memoir, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership. The 13 rules have been universally lauded, and often shared.
Powell’s list is not just excellent advice for leaders, but good guidelines for all of us to live by. Continue reading →
October 28, 2021 · 6:58 am
Avi Loeb, author, often quoted astronomer, and former chair of astronomy at Harvard University, posted an article in Scientific American suggesting aliens could have created the cosmos.
“The biggest mystery concerning the history of our universe is what happened before the big bang. Where did our universe come from?” Loeb asks in his post “Was Our Universe Created in a Laboratory?”
“Now there are a variety of conjectures in the scientific literature for our cosmic origins,” Loeb writes, “A less explored possibility is that our universe was created in the laboratory of an advanced technological civilization.” Continue reading →
October 27, 2021 · 7:29 am
“Seek your life’s nourishment in your life’s work,” once wrote the 19th-century author and preacher, Phillips Brooks.
Jesus is the consummate and perfect example of finding substance and sustenance in his mission and ministry on earth.
In response to the disciple’s concern that Jesus was hungry for lack of food, he replied, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”
The context and content of Jesus’ statement contain several layers we need to peel back. Continue reading →
October 26, 2021 · 7:30 am
Being in the mountains, this headline on my phone from The Guardian caught my attention:
Hiker lost on US mountain ignored calls from rescuers because he didn’t recognize the number
A Colorado man was hiking on Mount Elbert and lost his way around nightfall. He said he “bounced around on to different trails trying to locate the proper trailhead.”
When he was reported missing around 8pm, repeated calls to his cell phone went unanswered because the hiker didn’t recognize the number and reportedly had “no idea” anyone was looking for him. Continue reading →
October 25, 2021 · 7:38 am
Yesterday Norma Jean and I worshiped with the brethren in Cosby, Tennessee, where I preached at the morning service.
Teaching the Bible class was their preacher, 89-year-old Olie Williamson, who’s sharp, quick-witted, and physically active (Olie played golf Thursday and shot an 80).
Olie and his lovely wife Mary are also some of the kindest, sweetest, and most generous people you will ever meet. So, it seemed fitting his Bible class was about the kindness of King David.
“Was David a Rambo or wimp?” Olie asked to begin class. Continue reading →
October 24, 2021 · 4:24 am
This morning Norma Jean and I will be driving down the mountain where we’re staying in Cobbly Nob to Highway 321 and heading East toward Cosby, Tennessee, where I will be preaching today.
It’s a beautiful six-mile drive, surrounded by the majestic mountains and the fall foliage with the colors of yellow, orange, and bright red beginning to burst forth.
There’s something special about the serenity and solitude of the mountains. The quietude and tranquility offer a peaceful place to relax. Renew. Refresh. To think. Mediate. And muse. Continue reading →
October 23, 2021 · 6:29 am
Good morning from the Great Smoky Mountains,
One of the things I wanted to do when I stepped away from “full time, located preaching,” 3 1/2 years ago was spend a couple weeks in the Fall in the mountains. Except for our honeymoon here 53 years ago, we’ve never had the time to come for more than 2-3 days at a time.
We’ve been blessed that this is 4th consecutive year to be here the last two weeks of October. But an even greater blessing is the connection we’ve made with the brethren at the Cosby church of Christ and their preacher Olie Williamson and his sweet wife, Mary. They are lovely folks. Kind. Compassionate. And just the “salt of the earth” kind of people. Continue reading →
October 22, 2021 · 4:22 am
“Forgiveness is never easy. But forgiving yourself can be the most challenging type of forgiveness out there,” observed Psychologist, Dr. Brad Brenner.
“Like it or not, self-forgiveness takes work that requires both compassion and empathy,” Brenner wrote in a post “How To Forgive Yourself: Moving On From the Past.”
Brenner points out that a mistake, error in judgment, or even an egregious moral failure, does not have to define who we are. While the action was wrong, we can rise above it. Make amends for it. Grow from it. And become a bigger and better person. Continue reading →