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The highest form of worship is the expression of gratitude for God’s creativity, for His love, and His grace that redeems us from sin. Not only did Jesus teach us to love God completely but He commanded us “to love our neighbor as ourselves” (Matthew 22:39).

The wildflower for today depicts an important truth, that is, righteousness is both vertical (to God) and horizontal (to our neighbor).

I first saw this wildflower along Interstate 16 from Macon to Savannah many years ago. Later I saw it along roadsides in our area. When rainfall is normal it blooms abundantly but because of the draughts of the past decade it is not as common as it once was.

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Passing a florist truck, I couldn’t help but notice the advertisement on the side of the vehicle. The advertisement read, “Flowers Whisper How You Feel.”

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The Hebrew people were under the rule of the Romans at the time of Jesus’ birth. There were soldiers everywhere “keeping order” so that Roman rule was preserved. If a soldier chose to assert his authority he could command any Hebrew to carry his equipment a mile. After doing his duty the Heb…

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As I was thinking about the new year, I recalled the late columnist Lewis Grizzard and one of his lists of new year’s resolutions. In speaking of them, he said, “The secret of new year’s resolutions is making an easy list.”

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I moved from Nebraska while I was in the eighth grade. I had learned little about the “Civil War” because it was a sad event that happened “back East, before we Nebraskans became a state (1867).” 

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Truly we can join the Psalmist and praise God saying, “Thou hast crowned the year with Thy bounty, and Thy paths drip with fatness (abundance)” (Psalm 65:11).

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Psalm 46:10a reads, “Be still, and know that I am God; . . .” Be still. That is easy to say, but does God realize the noises that surrounds me every day? Overhead we hear the rumble of passing aircraft. Add to that the trucks shifting gears to climb the surrounding hills, sirens from emergen…

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The Apostle Paul writes that divine love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NIV). Love always hopes.

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The Psalmist expressed praise of the Almighty God by noting His great strength when he said, “Thou art the God who works wonders; thou hast made known Thy strength among the peoples.” (Ps. 77:14)

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The birth, life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus demonstrated that fatherly yearning of God. It demonstrated the depth of that love that caused Jesus to sacrifice himself for our redemption.

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Today let us reflect on Psalm 119:27 “Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders.” The Genesis account of creation profoundly states mankind is made in the image of God. Yet no two of us are identical. Each of us are influenced by our environment in unique …

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“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 22:3). These are wise observations that may be applied to people regarding the control of thistles, especially today’s thistle.

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Psalm 43:5 reads “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why are you so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

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Some of us have marveled at the perspective of the Native American cultures in which the land and the buffalo were God’s gifts for all to use, not to own. In those cultures, the abundantly fruitful world was to be carefully managed and not wastefully exploited.

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In Matthew 13:44 (KJV) Jesus illustrated the excitement of discovery of God’s love and grace. He said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” (KJV)

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Job, the subject of an Old Testament book, suffered a devastating loss of wealth and family. Several friends came to sit with him, each one with the notion that he “knew” why God had caused this happen to Job.

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We are in the middle of a serious health pandemic. The deaths by COVID-19 have exceeded 125,000 in our nation. When compared to the number of deaths by our military personnel in the Korean War plus the Vietnam War (33,686 + 58,220) we have already lost 30,000 or more to COVID-19 than in those wars combined.

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During the Spring Quarter (March, April and May), I had the opportunity of writing 14 Sunday School lessons for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church on the subject of “Justice and The Prophets.” It was an enlightening though intense study of God’s intention to bring about justice in the world, humankind’s failure to heed the message and refusal to repent, and God’s judgmental fulfillment of his promise to set things right.

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The Covid-19 plague that surrounds us is teaching us that our relationships extend beyond our families to include our neighbors, state, nation, and the nations of the world. From this pandemic are many tragic deaths, sacrifices and especially on those in poverty.

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One of the things that separates the rather tedious everyday-ness of coronavirus reports of sickness, deaths, isolation, social distancing, quarantines, supply shortages and unemployment is Sunday!

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Mother’s Day this year is unique experience. In the past it was celebrated by a large crowd of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This year we are considering the impact of COVID-19 on the elderly, the most vulnerable to the virus.

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A Methodist pastor talked about leaving the ministry. He said he had lost the joy of serving. He no longer enjoyed pastoring or counseling or preaching or any of the other responsibilities of being a clergy person. When asked about his prayer life, there was an awkward silence. Tragically, like so many other people, this pastor didn’t have a prayer life.

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As we hunkered down a few nights ago for the anticipated storms and the continuing coronavirus threat, we were glad to see the dawn of a new sunshine-filled day. 

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A family was watching a movie of the life of Jesus on television. Their 6-year-old daughter was deeply moved as the moviemaker realistically portrayed Jesus’ crucifixion and death.

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There is not any of us that has not been affected by the coronavirus. Like you, over and over I have watched the unthinkable devastation of this virus. Tears have welled up in my eyes as I have listened to the agony of the bereaved, heard the staggering death counts, seen the overcrowded hospital conditions, observed business closings and people without jobs and heard the dire predictions of what could be.

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COVID-19 is the focus around the world. As finite individuals with the propensity to ask “Why?” may we attune our spiritual ears to the wisdom that God’s Spirit provides through His Word. When Jesus taught us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” (Mark 12:31) He surely meant for us to think h…

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Imagine it’s 2030 and I’m sitting around the table with my grandchildren. One asks, “Granddaddy, tell us about the war of 2020.”

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