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Recently several of us in our congregation met out in the church yard to cut down and remove a half-dead tree that had become something of an eye-sore in the landscape. In spite of chainsaws malfunctioning at times, we finally managed to accomplish our goal. However, a day or two later I noticed an itchy rash on my arm.

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It is amazing how we craft words to suit our own desires. Probably the most notable example of this practice is a modern Humpty Dumpty who skirted not only responsibility but ultimately prosecution by arguing successfully, “That depends on what your definition of “is” is.”

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Part of our family recently had to deal with the eye infection known as “pink eye.” One of our grandchildren initially contracted the condition. Within a week, it had been passed along to his sibling and eventually to both parents. This infection is described as being very contagious. It certainly lived up to that reputation as it spread rapidly throughout the family.

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One of the Biblical descriptions of a thanksgiving celebration is made by the prophet Jeremiah. He predicted the return of the Hebrew people from Babylonian captivity in these terms: “And they shall come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, And they shall be radiant over the bounty of th…

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I do not think that I had ever noticed the end of Hebrews 10 before. I love Hebrews 11. It recounts story after story from Scripture about examples of faith, each one illustrating the theme that the chapter begins with: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

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Spiritually, many people are like those ill-fated victims of the Titanic tragedy. They have heard the good news of Jesus, his death and resurrection as an atonement for our sins, but they decide to trust other things instead.

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Dr. Edward Victor Hill (known as E.V.) was the famous pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is Los Angeles. He was an early leader in the civil rights movement and an early confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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God commanded the Hebrew judge, Samuel, to go to the household of Jesse to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel. As Samuel examined the older boys he was impressed with the tall, handsome robust ones, but “the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the …

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Two weeks ago our family increased by two, as we adopted a 7-year-old dog named Little Man and a 4-month-old kitten now renamed as Cooper. As they have adjusted to us and we have adjusted to them, so they also have had to adjust to one another.

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When identifying today’s wildflower, I discovered there are 489 different entries in the Department of Agriculture Database listed as asters growing in the United States. Of course, the habitats of many of them are in the West and North.

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What often gets lost in the celebration of Halloween is that its origins stem from the day that follows it. Halloween stands for “All Hallow’s Eve,” as in the evening before All Saints Day on Nov. 1.

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As I’m writing this, the World Series is still in progress, moving back to Houston for Game Six. Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, Atlanta fans will be celebrating a rare championship and not mourning over another disappointment from one of our sports teams.

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Those who were able to do this act of kindness were being recognized for their generosity. That’s where Ananias and Sapphira come into the picture. They are perfect examples of what a hypocrite really is.

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Psalm 71:8 expresses my delight with the wildflowers we have examined. “My mouth is filled with Thy praise, and with Thy glory all day long.” The discipline required to write about the drawing I have enjoyed has resulted in the discovery of things about God’s creation that I never knew.

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A few members of our family were disappointed last weekend. They had hoped to go to one of those farms that offer special fun activities during the fall season. However, due to our current societal situation, many of those venues are limiting the amount of people they allow in at any one time.

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Back in the 1980s, when I was a part of the volunteer chaplain staff for Rockdale Hospital (this was before they hired a full-time chaplain), while making my rounds, one of the nurses stopped me and asked me to look in on a terminal patient. It is an experience I will never forget.

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In Psalm 115:113-115, the psalmist describes the idols that men make as having mouths that cannot speak; eyes that cannot see; ears that cannot hear; hands that cannot feel; feet that cannot walk. Then in praise of the Living Lord, he states, “He will bless those who fear the Lord, the small…

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Our almost-2-year-old grandson enjoys having a certain book read to him. It helps him learn his colors as it pictures various items of apparel such as “red shirts” and “blue pants.” However, what he enjoys most is that every couple of pages it shows a certain character misusing a piece of clothing, such as putting a pair of pants on top of his head or covering his nose with a sock.

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Our faith does not rest on a book, but rather on an event that changed all of history, including even the way we date history. Our faith is based on eyewitness testimony as well as early investigative reporting (Dr. Luke) about the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead after having been crucified.

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“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the downtrodden, he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving ...” (Psalms 147:5-7a)

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Recently my mom lost her wallet. Some of our family members were with her at her home when she realized it was missing. They immediately got involved to help do a thorough search of the house, her car, and even the garbage. She called the store where she last remembered having the wallet and making use of its contents to see if anyone may have turned it in. Unfortunately, in spite of all the diligent seeking, the item in question failed to turn up.

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Many years ago, a young pastor accepted a position in a small country church in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. An elderly widow was a member of his new congregation and he learned that, since she lived up in the mountains, she was snowed in and unable to attend church for many months each year.

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If you’re reading this, you probably believe in and practice prayer to some extent. Maybe you even have a specific time set aside each day for such communication with God.

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Righteousness is defined by Webster as acts within divine law. When applied to God it denotes behavior that consistently and lovingly promotes the wellbeing of all creation, especially humans as the highest order of creation.

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A young man went into a drugstore and bought three boxes of chocolates. When the pharmacist asked him about the three boxes, he said, “Well, I’m going over to a new girlfriend’s house for supper. Then we’re going out. If she only lets me hold her hand, then I’ll give her the small box. If she lets me kiss her on the cheek, then I’ll give her the medium box. But if she lets me do some serious smooching, then I’ll give her the big box.”

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In my study of wildflowers I can come to only one conclusion about the origin of nature. It is the premise of Genesis 1:1 that states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

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Joel Thomas, lead pastor of Buckhead Church, said this past Sunday that we live either by ideology or theology. Ideology is a system of ideas and ideals which form the basis of how we live. At the core of ideology is a desire for autonomy particularly from God. We want to be in charge.

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What do you think is the most quoted verse from the Bible today? If you answer John 3:16, you would be wrong. The most quoted verse is Matthew 7:1. If you ever disagreed with someone over something or tried to correct someone, chances are you heard this verse (quoted completely out of context). “Do not judge, lest you be judged.”

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From time to time when I am reading the Bible I discover a thought that I had never noticed before. The verse for our meditation is another of those insights I have assumed was evident as I look at nature; however, the verse is more inclusive than the natural world. Solomon, whom we assume w…

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To me, one of the most moving accounts of Jesus is found in Luke 8. A woman who had hemorrhaged for many years was following Him amid a large crowd. She reached out and touched the hem of His garment in hope of being cured. At that moment her flow stopped.

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Last week I referred to a recent trip I had taken. I was actually in Arkansas as Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast. I had planned to head home on Monday morning, but decided to move up my departure time by several hours in order to try to stay ahead of the rains and winds from that storm as it progressed further inland.

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Tuesday mornings, you can normally find me studying and working intently as I prepare for the coming Sunday’s message. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was busy writing when our secretary rang me and said, “An airplane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

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Do you remember grandparents telling how things were back in the “good old days”? I’m old enough to remember my parents talking about things before the turn of the 19th century. Already, my children are telling my grandchildren how it was “way back in the 20th century.”

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