FAITH: Most important task for church leader
The life and health of a congregation, not to mention the life of the pastor/rabbi, is directly related to the pastor’s ability to relate to self.
FAITH: How many children are hungry in Albany, Ga.?
Love children. Hug children. Laugh with children. Play with children. Protect children. Teach children. Defend children. Pray for and with children.
FAITH: Baptists are plentiful and fervent
Every time I knocked on the door of a new resident the Baptists had long since arrived and the newcomers were already talking about immersion.
FAITH: Our words count more than we acknowledge
For almost 40 years I written and spoken billions of words. Have they been careful? Have they been truthful? Have they been grace filled? Have they reflected the love, mercy, justice and judgment of God? I shall be called to account for all of them.
FAITH: There's no single pattern of conversion
For those who want to explore the concept of conversion, to feel more confident about the process or to go deeper into this vital, necessary aspect of the Christian faith I recommend the 1984 book Conversions: The Christian Experience, edited by Hugh T. Kerr and John M. Mulder.
FAITH: Could value be found in creating a Religious Intensity Poll?
Such a poll would cover certain months of each church year, say from the First Sunday in Advent to Pentecost Sunday, roughly a seven-month season (December–June). Churches could be placed in various “leagues” according to congregation size so that smaller churches would not compete against mega-churches.
FAITH: Decisions that seem foolhardy to outsiders are the stuff of Christian witness
Christians are not the only courageous people, but my faith background leads me to recognize two examples of people who have risked themselves for others.
FAITH: Ranking the elements of worship in terms of meaning
This is a hopelessly subjective question. One week the anthem might top the list, the next week the sermon. One week the praise band or the pipe organ might be the most inspiring element and one week it could be the morning prayer or a hymn that the congregation sings with particular fervor.
FAITH: Few things have changed in the political realm since the period leading up to World War I
The negotiating table, whether it be in Iran, Ukraine, Israel, North Korea or Afghanistan, is still populated with leaders pontificating nobly while scheming desperately.
FAITH: Few political candidates endorse kindness strategy
Our daily behavior produces monumental, long term results. The choice is between whether by our behavior we want to build a better world or a more hostile place.
FAITH: Occasional change can help us appreciate different aspects of the Trinity.
Overlook that you’ll be in a congregation of strangers. In Christ all are brothers and sisters. Just go. You’ll be glad you did.
FAITH: News this week shows importance of the Bill of Rights
As long as the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution) has been ratified, we’ve argued over their meaning. This week, in our nation and in Georgia, we’ve seen new chapters written for what it means to be a person of faith (and a gun owner).
FAITH: Books on men of the cloth are numerous
One book I have not read is South Georgia native and United Methodist pastor G. Lee Ramsey’s “Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern Fiction.” It’s on my list and I wish I had written it.
FAITH: "The Deserted Village" should be required reading for all
One only has to read a few lines of Goldsmith to envision the empty storefronts of most small south Georgia towns: the boarded and shuttered dress shops, drug stores and movie theaters; the rotting farm houses; semi-collapsed barns, and rusting implements. This demonic process is still working its curse and few can resist the onslaught.
FAITH: One pastor moves in, another moves out on the same day
‘Moving day’ for South Georgia United Methodists is next Wednesday.