Thursday, April 18, 2013
More than 300 churches in Cobb County have been invited to join hands to pray Friday at Smyrna's Emory-Adventist Hospital.
Smyrna and Cobb County's faith community will join hands to form a "Circle of Prayer" Friday evening at Emory-Adventist Hospital in Smyrna. The event to rededicate the hospital will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, and members of more than 300 churches in Cobb County have been invited to participate. Last year, more than 250 worshippers held hands in a chain that wrapped around Emory-Adventist, Cobb County’s only faith-based hospital.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Special Ash Wednesday services are being held to commemorate the upcoming forty days of Lent.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in Western Christianity, is quickly approaching. For those who might not know, Lent is when observants commit to a form of fasting or choose to temporarily give up other forms of luxury. In particular, Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of those who so choose as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. Lent is observed by Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans and some Baptists. It is increasingly being observed by other denominations as well. According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in …
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Martin Luther King, Jr. rallied for peace in the world, but what about the peace, or lack thereof, within ourselves?
The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate for peace. About a year before his assassination, the famous civil rights activist gave one of his most famous speeches entitled “A Time to Break Silence,” which outlined reasons the United States should withdraw from the Vietnam War. Ultimately, he longed to see a world at peace — peace within our borders and beyond. While peace between individuals, and certainly nations, is imperative to life as we know it, many people forget about the importance of finding peace within ourselves. For some, though, acquiring a peace with the life that we’ve been given can seem as much a lost cause as a world without the war that King rallied against. Not having inner peace can make everyday life difficult…
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Extending love during Christmas can be the greatest gift for those that desperately need it.
Like the famous song from Andy Williams says about the holiday season, “It's the most wonderful time of the year.” No doubt, Christmas time is special — what many consider to truly be the most wonderful time of each year. It is easy to see why: presents; time with family; elaborate Christmas light displays; great food. It is also the lack of these things, however, that people all over find it to be the most depressing time of the year. Christmas has a way of taking the good in our lives and amplifying it. For those in stable relationships, even new ones, the bond with the other person can feel much stronger. Families, too, can feel more connected and together. Life in general just seems a little more magical with gifts being exchanged …
Sunday, December 11, 2011
God rejoices when we receive the ultimate gift from Him.
I don’t really remember the moment that it happened, but I’m sure it was one of several different scenarios. Maybe I was at the mall, realizing how much fun I was having picking out personalized Christmas gifts for the people that meant the most to me. Most likely, though, it was when I saw the face of one of those people open the gift I bought for them. Not only was it the smile of that person, but the look of recognition in their eyes when they realized that I had remembered something significant about who they are represented in the gift I had selected. I learned in that moment and others like it that the Bible and my parents really were right all along — that it truly is better to give than receive. As a kid, it was hard for me to take…
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We don't have to wait on a new year for a fresh start, God's mercies are fresh every day.
With Smyrna-Vinings Patch recently celebrating its one-year birthday and the fact that 2012 is rapidly approaching, new beginnings have been on my mind a lot this week. We all long for fresh starts from our past and, often times, we look at each birthday or beginning of the New Year on Jan. 1 as the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. But what if we didn’t wait for the calendar to cue us for our new beginnings? What if we truly began looking at each new day as a chance for a fresh start? My birthday is at the end of December and, as I get older, each one comes to represent less of a celebration and more an evaluation — a point when I take stock of the year of life I just finished. What are some things I did wrong and could do better? …
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Smyrna voters have said they want the ability to purchase alcohol in stores on Sundays. But what does the Bible really have to say about drinking in moderation?
Having grown up in the church, I have noticed certain issues over the years that divide Christians both young and old. One of these topics is whether or not it is appropriate for a Christian to consume alcohol. This debate has continued, it seems, because there is really no clear-cut answer in the Bible. Or is there? I recently had a conversation with two of my most respected Christian friends and was amazed at how different each of their views on alcohol were. I decided I wanted to try to get to the bottom of this debate once and for all. My friends and I were hanging out at my apartment, discussing the current state of Israel of all things, when the conversation somehow segued to drinking alcohol. More specifically, is it okay for a …
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Realizing that we live in an imperfect world will help us walk closer to God during the times that we feel like everything is perfect.
We live in an imperfect world. So imperfect, in fact, that war, disease and crumbling economies make headlines these days as much as commonplace murders and robberies do. Yet, somewhere in our feeble minds, some of us, including myself, expect everything in our own little worlds to go perfectly. When they don’t, we are left frustrated and confused. The good news is, imperfect times are the best time to draw closer to a perfect God. I am writing this column as much for me as I am anyone else. You see, even though I know we live in an imperfect world, I still long for perfection in my daily life. I desperately hope that things to go smoothly and that I won’t be let down. I always have lofty expectations for myself and at times my …
Sunday, October 30, 2011
A bad situation won't always ruin your day. It really is all about perspective.
I remember it like it was just yesterday because, well, it was. My day had been going great. It had been busy, for sure, but in a good way. I had spent time with my parents, had a good day at work and, after that, was on my way to do a show with one of the artists I play for in Jacksonville, Ala. I had my Americano from Starbucks to keep me awake on the two hour drive there and had just eaten a delicious dinner, as well. Everything was going great and I knew that the show was going to be a lot of fun to boot. Then, I got a traffic citation. Well, two actually. I was furious for a moment, but knew it was up to me from that point whether or not I wanted to choose to have a good night anyway. Would I let it ruin my night? What would I choose…
Sunday, October 23, 2011
God may not speak to you in an audible voice, but He will communicate in other ways.
Stop for a moment and pay attention to all that is happening around you. If you are reading this right now, you are probably sitting at your computer at home with the television on in the background. Maybe you are checking it out on your smartphone while waiting to pick up a to-go order at a local restaurant. There may not seem to be much going on around you at the moment, but what if you knew that God was trying to communicate with you? How much more closely would you pay attention? The truth is, God does want to speak to you and He can do so in a grand fashion or in a quiet moment. The catch is, we have to be paying attention. There was a time when God chose to speak to His people with a voice from Heaven. He would give clear, audible …