• Grace Notes 1/30/2016: Good news about bad news

    When someone says, “I have good news and bad news,” which one do you prefer to hear first?

    Joe went to his doctor, who posed that question to him.

    “Give me the good news first,” Joe said.

    “You have 24 hours to live,” the doctor told him.

    Clutching his chest, Joe said, “If that’s the good news, what’s the bad news?”

  • Grace Notes 1/23/2016: Stepping towards grace

    Since my friend Mike has been sober, he’s taken me to one of his AA meetings every so often.

    I don’t struggle with alcohol, but I have my own compulsions and obsessions.

    It’s my opinion that every one of us is addicted to something and that those somethings can and do change, sometimes daily.

  • Jews fleeing Europe

    Aron Heller

    Associated Press

    JERUSALEM — Jewish immigration to Israel from western Europe has reached an all-time high as a result of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks, a leading nonprofit group said Thursday.

  • Religious rights most vital for US Christians


    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey.

  • Grace Notes 12/26/2015: Let's eat grandma

    The last time we visited the church we like in Ybor City, the pastor’s message was titled, “Let’s Eat Grandma — the Importance of Punctuation.”

    My first reaction was, “Hmmm. Punctuation? Really?”

    He spoke about commas.

    I’m a word person and I know a little bit about grammar and punctuation, although not much. And commas always throw me off.

  • War Room

    INVERNESS — Cornerstone Baptist Church will show the film “War Room” twice this month, including on New Year’s Eve. There is no charge to attend the showings at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, and Thursday, Dec. 31.

  • ‘Divinely Unique’

    CRYSTAL RIVER - God has a way of taking a little and turning it into a lot.

    What started out as an occasional yard sale to raise money for missions has turned into an impressive, “divinely unique” thrift and gift store.

  • Grace Notes: Hooray for Jacob!

    If you’ve been in church for any length of time, depending on the church you may have heard sermons about Bible heroes: strong and mighty Samson, brave David the shepherd boy who fought the giant Goliath and killed him with his sling shot and a stone.

    There’s Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew teens in the fiery furnace, Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt.

  • Grace Notes: Prayer weak

    As I write this, I’m sitting in the sanctuary of my church.

    It’s early on a Monday morning, the first day of our prayer week.

    We did this last year, opened the church to anyone who wanted to come and pray. Last year I went every day and prayed fervent, specific prayers, prayed with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

  • Hunters for the Hungry

    Patrick Whittle

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Maine

    It’s a cool fall morning outside a red brick warehouse in Maine’s largest city, and Don Morrison is facing a tall order. It’s time to turn 40 pounds of moose and deer meat into enough shepherd’s pie to feed 200 people by sundown.