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We are Easter people

Everyone loves Christmas. Trees, lights, presents, songs, parties, and meals make Christmas a very special time every winter. But for Christians, Christmas is really only significant in light of Easter. The manger reflects its glory only in the witness of the empty tomb.

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‘CEO’ guilt and God’s timing

It’s a good bet that church pews will be more packed than usual these next two Sundays. Local congregants and pastors will likely struggle to remember the names of those who come to pray and sing next to them on Palm Sunday and Easter Day. Once again, it is time for the CEO (“Christmas and Easter Only”) crowd to emerge. My perspective on such folks is perhaps unique, stemming from a conversation I had years ago.

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Why we give to the United Way

Among the many revelations I’ve had over the past decade in my ministerial experiences in Effingham County are the following truths: (1) there are many people with real needs in our community, and (2) I am incapable of discerning exactly who they are.

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What’s love got to do with it?

In Christianity, hell is often characterized as a realm in which God or love is completely absent. The great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky may not have been far off when he said, “I am convinced that the only hell which exists is the inability to love.”

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Marital grace found in a doughnut shop

As my wife and I close in on 30 years of marriage, I suppose we will naturally look back and thank God for His care in our life together.

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Remembering the real St. Patrick

Can’t you imagine the following conversation with a local youngster?

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John Naisbitt was right after all

A few months ago, my teenage son Alex was competing in a national weightlifting competition outside St. Louis. The morning of his competition, I decided to forego the predictable hotel breakfast for fresh-cooked food at an omelet joint within walking distance.

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Snake salvation: what is tested?

Jamie Coots, pastor of a Middlesboro, Ky., church, died recently following a worship service in which he was handling snakes. I’ll give you three guesses on the cause of his death.

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What it was about Jeff Rollins

By now, you have seen many articles, news reports and columns about the passing of Jeffrey Rollins, the beloved pastor of Springfield Baptist Church for 25 years. And if you knew Pastor Jeff, you certainly understood the adjectives used to describe him — caring, selfless, loving, gracious, encouraging, giving and supportive. Many have added that they feel privileged to have known Jeff.

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