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Just a thought

Just a Thought: Are you ceremonial, or spiritual?

March 29, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Telling your story: a Christian duty

Beside the Sea of Galilee and up from Tiberias lies the Kibbutz Ginosar. A kibbutz is an area in Israel rich in farmland and vegetation. Kibbutz communities rely on agriculture for their income, and much of the area's fruits and vegetables come from these communities. The Kibbutz Ginosar is also known as the place for the "resurrection" of a 2000 year old fishing vessel which dates back to the first century. Known as the "Jesus boat," this boat was probably in use for many decades on the Sea of Galilee, and was the kind of boat that Jesus and ...

March 29, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


No longer strangers...

During my trip to Bethlehem, I had the pleasure of visiting the St. Nicolas Church, an Arab Christian congregation that sits on a side street just up the hill from the Angel Hotel. Behind the church in a small courtyard lie tombs of past leaders of the church. The graves are surrounded with flowers and marked with names and a picture, reminding all who visit this small churchyard of the faithfulness of these beloved leaders.

March 08, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Just a thought: Express yourself

Have you ever had a need, but couldn't express it?

March 08, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Who sees you?

Who are you teaching to pray? Now maybe no one has come to you like Jesus disciples and asked you specifically to teach them to pray. However, we don't always teach one on one or in a class or Sunday school class room either. The truth is we do far more teaching from a distance than we realize.

March 01, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Consider the lilies ...

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? "

March 01, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


The Mary, Martha Syndrome

I know you've heard of this one; "The Mary, Martha syndrome" Yup, we take a step back on purpose to remind us we need to be careful not to let the good things in our life rob us of the God things. Backing up to a small scene with huge implications in Luke 10, we find Jesus coming into the home of His single friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. This is place where Jesus can find rest and relaxation from His busy schedule. He has just about six months left before He will be crucified and he stops by ...

February 22, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


A view from the mountain

For the next few weeks, my meditations will grow out of the many thoughts, feelings and prayers from the Holy Land. If you follow me on Facebook, some of this may look familiar as my Lenten Journey this year will contain reflections from my recent trip. Some will be included here. Our first day of touring started here at Qumran, an archaeological dig site for artifacts. Many of the places we went in the Holy Land are or have been archaeological dig sites. When civilizations come to ruin and new civilizations are built on top of them, it takes archaeologists ...

February 22, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Keep your clothes on

"You are all God's children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

February 15, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


He always listens, even if it doesn't seem like it

"You are all God's children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

February 15, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Are you qualified for ministry?

Just a thought: Are you qualified for ministry?

February 01, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Be a light in dark places

"You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can't be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven."

February 01, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Parson to Person: The behavior of many is not "Christ-like"

When the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Mahatma Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader who led India in its quest for Independence, he asked him, "Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

November 20, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Christ is the only way

Recently I was having a discussion with a man from another faith. He was trying his best to convince me that, though our faiths were different, we really believed the same thing, He claimed that the only difference between us was that was the prophet we were following. Mine being simply an earlier and therefore less enlightened prophet than his. He actually made the fatal mistake that so many make, assuring me that "We (who are Monotheists) really are all related and we really believe the same things - we believe in the goodness of man, trying to better ourselves, etc ...

November 13, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Grace to face Judgment Day

Have you ever noticed how one person's big moment of absolute joy is another's worst nightmare?

November 13, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s grace for you to reform

Quick quiz: What was last weekend? Hint: Oct. 31. My guess is that most of you were thinking of ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treat. Everyone knows that Oct. 31 is Halloween, right? What not everyone knows is that something else is celebrated that day too - Reformation.

On Oct. 31, 1517, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany, Martin Luther posted 95 theses, 95 statements for debate and discussion among the scholars and churchmen. He wanted his church to start evaluating some of its practices in light of Scripture and not just do things because "that's what ...

November 06, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: The Jesus of scripture cannot be rewritten easily

Jesus today has been the victim of deconstruction theology. In an attempt to remove the Jesus of history from the Jesus of faith, a whole lot of views have been advanced in an attempt to explain why we cannot believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

November 06, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


God’s Grace in making a helper suitable

Last week, millions of people had birthdays, but when my son turned 3 and my daughter turned 6, those were special days. Why? Family. The wall at my daughter's school is full of pictures of "Students of the Month." But one is more heart-warming to me than any other. Why? Family.

October 30, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Our God does the impossible through us

Remember that story of the Feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44)? It shows Jesus to be true God, right? Absolutely. It shows Jesus' inexplicable and self-sacrificing love, right? Absolutely, as he puts his own needs for rest and relaxation aside and helps those people. It shows so much about our Savior. But it also shows us something about ourselves.

October 23, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Special music service held at FPC

First Presbyterian Church of Covington will host a "Music Sunday" at its 11 a.m. worship service Sunday. The instrumental prelude will begin at 10:50 am. This annual service is offered to the glory of God by the Music Ministry of FPCC. Several soloists from the community will participate, and the Sanctuary and Ambassador Choirs from FPCC will sing. This service will be under the direction of Billy Wade, pastor; Alan Bunn, music director; and Alice Walker, organist.

October 23, 2009 | Staff Report | Columnists


Grace Notes: Our God does the impossible

Busy, busy, busy - too many things to do. One thing gets done and five more are waiting. Some things are going well. Some are going terribly wrong, but they all just seem to be going, going, going all the time. They try to take a break and get away from it, but that just adds more things to do. And then, they get asked to do the impossible.

Sure, that describes the disciples in our Bible reading on the Feeding of the 5,000 today, but it also describes you, doesn't it? Have you ever felt like that? Overwhelmed ...

October 16, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: One day you will answer for your life

Margarete Manning relates an experience that, sadly, is repeated far too many times. She writes of a friend who has jettisoned his Christian faith. Since she tells it far better than I can, let me simply quote her, "He did not leave his faith over a whim or because of some intellectual crisis he couldn't resolve with his dearly held beliefs. He left because his work as a journalist led him into Christian circles where he met some of the most influential Christian leaders and teachers. He left his Christian faith because as he traversed these circles, he saw ...

October 16, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s Grace to find you when you are lost

Have you ever tried to get lost? I'm guessing "no." Have you ever been lost? I'm pretty sure "yes" would be the answer to that one. On some trip, some time, somewhere - you've been lost. And, truth be told, on this journey of life - it's probably happened to you a time or two that spiritually, you've been lost. In fact, the Bible says, that's how we come into this world - lost.

But here are your directions: Read Luke 15. In this chapter, Jesus demonstrates for us what he meant when he said that he ...

October 09, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Designer Jesuses

Catholic priest and syndicated columnist Andrew Greeley wrote, "Much of the history of Christianity has been devoted to domesticating Jesus, to reducing that elusive, enigmatic, paradoxical person to dimensions we can comprehend, understand, and convert to our own purposes. So far it hasn't worked," (Strobel, Lee, The Case for the Real Jesus, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Mich., 2007 p.9).

We live in an age that is prone toward a distortion of Jesus. Years ago, a song was written entitled "Dressing Up Jesus," and the message of the song is that we have a tendency to make Jesus ...

October 09, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s Grace for you to carry your cross

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Jesus said that. And remember, in his day, when you heard the word "cross" you weren't thinking jewelry or art. You were thinking torture and blood and suffocation and death. All that considered, his recruitment pitch seems to leave something to be desired, doesn't it? But that's what he said.

In fact, in the words we're looking at from I Peter, Peter even goes a step beyond that and tells us to rejoice in our sufferings, rejoice as we ...

October 02, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: An unusual connection between Christ and Oprah

I was listening to the evening news Sunday night (9-20-09), and the anchor reported yet another scam that is taking place in our nation. This one is in the name of Oprah Winfrey.

Ms. Winfery's generosity is well known. Now, a group of con-artists are cashing in on her reputation and instead of rewarding people with cash gifts they are scamming people; stealing large sums of cash from them on the promise of being a recipient of one of Oprah's generous gifts (in this case, one million dollars).

October 02, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to person: We remember history the way we want to

I was reading in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings 18 and another passage popped into my mind. Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us "History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new" (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NLT). Perhaps this passage in Ecclesiastes is true because mankind has an appalling record of refusing to learn from history, so much so that today if we don't like the lessons of history, we simply rewrite that history. But I digress.

September 25, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


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