Thursday, 20 October 2011 20:01

WWJD? I think we already know

I’m in a preachy mood this week. I get this way sometimes. It hits me on almost every Sunday morning. When I was an active pastor, there were years when I preached five times on Sundays and several times during the week.

Thursday, 13 October 2011 20:01

Love all creatures great and small

The greatest compliment a person can pay to a preacher or writer is to remember something said or written years earlier. Kathy Vitale of Cornelius gave me such a gift this week with a note in reference to some of my columns. She remembered a piece I wrote about the death of our miniature poodle, Little Bit, and the reaction of our cat, Liberty.

Thursday, 06 October 2011 20:01

How to become ‘from around here’

How often do you hear the question about you or one of your friends, “You ain’t from around here, are you?” It’s usually prompted by an unfamiliar accent or a snub of grits or a fried food or Southern music. It isn’t meant to be unfriendly, just curious. Truth is, most of us are from somewhere else. We have come to this region of the country because we wanted to live here. After we get settled into the Southern style, we begin to ask fresh newcomers, “Where are you from?”

Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:01

Lead us not into beach speed traps

Cousin Linda from Florida sent me the tale about the minister who parked his car illegally and left this note under the windshield wiper that read, “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.”

Thursday, 15 September 2011 20:01

Our seniors have much to teach

The topic this week is “seniors.” This topic is dear to my heart because I am one now and loads of my friends are hip, active, exciting, involved senior citizens.

Thursday, 08 September 2011 20:01

Thar’s gold in that thar e-mail!

Five hundred years ago, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto brought his expedition of explorers to the western North Carolina mountains. How do you say, “Thar’s gold in them thar hills,” in 16th-century Spanish?

Thursday, 01 September 2011 20:01

Age offers insight to all things possible

I have been rethinking what is possible in this world. Unusual things happen all around us. For instance we are living longer and longer. Longer life is becoming more the rule than the exception.

Thursday, 25 August 2011 20:01

Homecomings can’t come often enough

’Tis the season for one of the endearing traditions in Southern-fried religion, church homecomings. I love church homecomings. Here’s how they work, for those of you who’ve come to live in the South and are still learning about customs in these parts.

Thursday, 11 August 2011 20:01

She’s fallen, but they picked her up

I knew Ginny from a distance for a long time, but only met her a few months ago. She lived near Knoxville, Tenn., with her daughter Donnis and Donnis’ partner, Deb. She was confined to er bed in a beautiful bedroom adorned with butterflies, which she loved. She had reached a great age and had begun to suffer some dementia. (I wish we had a different word for “dementia.” Maybe something like “distraction.”) Clearly, she was nearing the end of her life.

Thursday, 28 July 2011 20:01

Don’t get back if you get hacked

I never knew I had so many friends until the phone began to ring and my e-mail inbox began to flood last week. They were friends contacting me to tell me that my Facebook account had been hacked. They were telling me that I needed to check and see what someone had done.

Deer friends, I have trouble in my little corner of Eden. Please class, take out your Bibles and turn to the first page. It begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now we will notice right away that this big book is going to present some challenges. It says “heavens.”