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Is COVID-19 the Will of God? By Dr. Jim Lewis

Is COVID-19 the Will of God? By Dr. Jim Lewis

As the COVID-19 epidemic tightens its grip on Memphis, it is helpful to think about God and His involvement in human affairs.  Our young adult Sunday School class had just started reviewing the book The Will of God by Leslie Weatherhead when Covid-19 struck. ...

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Connection and Belonging By Carmen Anderson

Connection and Belonging By Carmen Anderson

As I am writing this, our country and the world at large are going through an unsettling and disorienting time of dealing with COVID-19. Perhaps the idea of writing about connection and belonging may seem a bit untimely, as we are now in the midst of learning the...

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“In a World Where…” by John N. Avis

“In a World Where…” by John N. Avis

The first time I recall truly thinking about what the future held for me was during the summer of 1961 as I was about to enter the fourth grade. My older sister graduated from high school earlier that spring. She made several trips visiting colleges across the...

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The Value of Saying, “I Don’t Know” By Catherine Lewis

The Value of Saying, “I Don’t Know” By Catherine Lewis

Last Sunday one of our class members mentioned his child’s tendency to respond to new information by declaring, “I know.”  He also pointed out that, as adults, we often still struggle with the same desire to hide our ignorance and pretend we already know something...

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The Sounds of Easter by Theresa Jennings

The Sounds of Easter by Theresa Jennings

Our church recently celebrated Ash Wednesday as the beginning day of Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter.  After the choir and congregation sang, our pastor led us in devotional thoughts preparatory to receiving our crosses made of ash. Near the end of the service, a...

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Known by God, Know God by Catherine Denman

Known by God, Know God by Catherine Denman

Every day as I drive to work, I pass by a church where the minister stands outside in all kinds of weather, waving to the traffic. Even though I pass by on the opposite side of the road, the minister and I usually wave to each other. This past year, though, I have...

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Aging and Old Dogs by Dr. Jim Lewis

Aging and Old Dogs by Dr. Jim Lewis

How do we age gracefully?  Perhaps we need to look at our pets to get the answer.  We own Abigail, a 14-year-old cocker spaniel pictured above.  Abigail has always been a trip whose adolescence caused us consternation.  As a young dog, she disdained pleasing us....

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Three Chords and the Truth by John N. Avis

Three Chords and the Truth by John N. Avis

I first heard “three chords and the truth” in a song by U2 from their Rattle and Hum album (1988), as lead singer Bono added the phrase to Bob Dylan’s  “All Along the Watchtower” declaring, “All I got is a red guitar, three chords and the truth.” This line followed...

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Religious Humor by Carmen Anderson

Religious Humor by Carmen Anderson

A rabbi, a Baptist pastor and a Muslim walk into a ………theater. No, not the start of a joke but certainly an invitation to an evening of humor! I recently attended the Laugh in Peace Comedy Tour that was held in the theater at the Crosstown Concourse. As soon as I...

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Greetings and Salutations! by Theresa Jennings

Greetings and Salutations! by Theresa Jennings

How do you greet a family member, good friend, or fellow church member? Do you greet them  with a smile or hug? Often we in the south inquire either sincerely or by rote, "How are you doing?" (How ya doin?) or "Doing OK"? If you are sincerely interested in them, we...

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Becoming the Solution by Catherine Denman

Becoming the Solution by Catherine Denman

When my daughter was born, I felt like my community was changing. We had been a part of an amazing Sunday School class filled with other young couples with young children, but three of the couples soon moved away and my husband took a position at a different church. I...

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Elder Abuse by Dr. Jim Lewis

Elder Abuse by Dr. Jim Lewis

On July 1, my wife and I made an emergency trip to a small community in Arkansas to relocate my sister who had become a victim of elder abuse. The short story is that my sister required living assistance following the death of her husband three years ago. She suffered...

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Sacrificial Giving By Carmen Anderson

Sacrificial Giving By Carmen Anderson

Christmas is certainly the time of year when giving is uppermost in our minds. We have our lists of names consisting of family, friends, school teachers, music teachers, soccer coaches, yardmen, babysitters, etc. We want to remember everyone who has contributed to our...

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Sing! by John N. Avis

Sing! by John N. Avis

In a recent New York Times article, Linda Ronstadt talks about why we sing. “For the same reasons birds do,” she says, “for a mate, to claim their territory or simply give voice to being alive in the midst of a beautiful day. They sing so coming generations won’t...

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Muslims among Us by Dr. Jim Lewis

Muslims among Us by Dr. Jim Lewis

Recently our church has experienced in-depth discussions about other religions.  One of the most important religions for us to understand is Islam.  Internationally the number of Muslims will be about the same as the number of Christians after 2050.  Islam is the...

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Be Still by Catherine Denman

Be Still by Catherine Denman

“To do anything, you have to resist being entertained.” -Pete Dunlap, author of The Digital Detangler: A Guide to Mindful Technology Use. For my work, I am a librarian and technology specialist for a PK-5th grade school. Recently, I attended a professional development...

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Searching for Family by Theresa Jennings

Searching for Family by Theresa Jennings

I recently spent a unique weekend at a "reunion" of people who are Georgia Tann babies.  If you do not know, for three decades Ms. Tann ran an orphanage/clearing house that placed babies for adoption in the Memphis area and all over the United States.  The downside of...

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Aging and Loss by Andrew Smith

Aging and Loss by Andrew Smith

There are times when you get a wake-up call.  It was December 5, 2018, and we were in the Rehab Hospital where Mary Jo was recovering from a fall and two cracked bones in her neck.  She got a call from her brother to tell her that her sister-in-law Jo Anne had died. ...

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God’s and Men’s Plans by Carmen Anderson

God’s and Men’s Plans by Carmen Anderson

  “Man plans and God laughs."  We’ve all heard that and chuckled (somewhat ruefully) over the statement. Personally, I very much like to have a plan, and I enjoy “getting all my ducks in a row.” For me, it’s important to know what my purpose is and then line up the...

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I Thought My Father Was God by John N. Avis

I Thought My Father Was God by John N. Avis

In 1999, novelist Paul Auster and the hosts of National Public Radio’s All Things Considered asked listeners to send in true stories to be read on-air as part of the National Story Project. Auster received more than 4,000 submissions; the 180 best were published in I Thought My Father Was God, the title coming from one of the submissions. I was always struck by the title, for I always thought my father was God: I had no idea anyone else had the same perception of his or her father…

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Communion Insights by Duncan Breland

Communion Insights by Duncan Breland

When I was a young man (twenty-something) and wrestling with my faith and belief, I found myself occasionally abstaining from communion. Unfit, I thought, passing the plate. This is a common practice for many congregants. And we, the church, are probably not helping…

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Beautiful Desolation by John N. Avis

Beautiful Desolation by John N. Avis

  On July 20, we remember, commemorate, and perhaps celebrate the 50th anniversary of man’s setting foot on the moon. Fifty years ago I was a high school junior spending the summer living and working at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain. That Sunday evening we...

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Worry by Theresa Jennings

Worry by Theresa Jennings

  Have you ever been called a worrywart? A worrywart is one who either worries about people or situations himself or pesters someone else incessantly. A small child who continually distracts his mother who is talking on the telephone might be called a worrywart....

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First Date by Dr. Jim Lewis

First Date by Dr. Jim Lewis

My father and mother met as teachers in a small country school in North Carrollton, Ms.  He was the superintendent, and she was the new Latin and English teacher recently graduated from Blue Mountain College.  Money was scarce in 1930 in the depths of the Great...

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Separation of Church and State by Carmen Anderson

Separation of Church and State by Carmen Anderson

  This week we will celebrate our country’s birthday, our 243rd, to be exact. Quite an accomplishment for a still, somewhat fledgling nation. However, it’s a day to be thankful that we’ve made it to this point, in spite of the difficulties that have assailed us,...

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Baptism by Frances Breland

Baptism by Frances Breland

Recently both of my boys have expressed an interest in being baptized. While it is exciting to see their developing faith and understanding, it has also raised all kinds of questions for me personally about the timing, meaning and significance of baptism. Let me...

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God’s Grandeur by John N. Avis

God’s Grandeur by John N. Avis

Psalm 19: 1 - 4 (KJV) 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Growing up, family...

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Completely Clean by Theresa Jennings

Completely Clean by Theresa Jennings

About three weeks ago, our church helped sponsor a "Sorta Missions" day with our sister church, The Hope and Healing Center.  I was looking forward to participating because my part-time job had recently conflicted with this unique program. "Sorta Missions" offers the...

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How God Prepares Us for Life by Carmen Anderson

How God Prepares Us for Life by Carmen Anderson

52 years. A lifetime and yet, in some ways, no time at all. That was the feeling I had recently in Copenhagen, when I was fortunate to have a reunion with the Danish exchange student who lived with me during my senior year in high school. Over those 52 years our...

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The Second Mountain: Book Review by Dr. Jim Lewis

The Second Mountain: Book Review by Dr. Jim Lewis

  David Brooks' latest book, The Second Mountain - the Quest for a Moral Life, is a provocative study of how people can move from self-centeredness and hyper-individualism to joy.   Besides generating a thoughtful read, the book has implications for Christians whose...

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