• No more ‘whiplash’

    Last weekend, I finally watched “Whiplash,” the movie with Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

    Miles grew up here in Citrus County, and J.K. Simmons is the bald guy in the Farmer’s Insurance commercials and used to be the psychiatrist on “Law and Order,” plus he was in a whole bunch of other stuff.

  • We will always be a member of God’s family

    As a chaplain for a veterans health care facility, I meet a lot of interesting men and women on a regular basis. I facilitate Bible studies and lead worship services throughout the week and really enjoy the private conversations with these military heroes. 

  • Everybody’s watching everybody

    A number of years ago, one of my daughters was a “secret shopper.”

    She actually got paid to go into restaurants and eat or clothing stores and shop. All she had to do was be inconspicuous as she observed the store’s employees.

  • Living on Purpose 2/4/2017: True peace and joy is only a prayer away

    It is spiritually reassuring to know that we are not alone in this world. Our gracious heavenly Father has promised His children that He is interested with even the tiniest occurrences in our life and has promised to be with us always. Matthew chapter six mentions how He knows what we need before we even ask Him. This spiritual insight brings comfort and peace to our souls as we realize that God is constantly aware and always concerned about us.

  • Grace Notes 2/4/2017: Stepping away from fear and toward sanity

    Awhile back, I went to a 12-step meeting with a friend.

    I like to do that occasionally because the things they believe are applicable to anybody, even those who aren’t addicted to any particular substance.

    The first step says, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

  • Choosing to build on a solid foundation

    This presidential election has caused a lot of stress and frustration to say the least. Each campaign relied on the same strategy of trying to intentionally scare and convince voters about what would happen if the other candidate took office and, to some degree, both sides had a valid point. 

  • Stop — just stop and breathe

    After deep and serious thought, I think I have a solution for all the world’s major problems:

    Everybody stop.

    Just stop. Take a breath. Step back. Chill out.

    Protesters, go ahead and protest, but you don’t have to riot, so put down your bricks and rocks. Stop looting. Stop damaging people’s property. Stop shouting obscenities — and clean up your litter on the streets.

  • Life lessons according to Facebook

    There’s always something new to click on Facebook, and recently it’s been “What Has 2016 Taught You?”

    According to Facebook, here’s what I’ve supposedly learned this past year: “Forgiving is easy, it’s trusting them again that’s hard.”

    The folks or whoever/whatever at Facebook added, “The past year has changed you completely. You’ve seen your life from a completely different angle and this led you to new experiences.”

  • An ode to Psalm 91

    For Christmas I gave my husband Psalm 91.

    Not all of it, just the first two verses:

    “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

    I found an artist on the Etsy website who hand paints scripture verses, white lettering on rustic gray paper.

  • Community Congregational announces its new pastor in Rev. Dr. Shawn Stapleton

    The Rev. Dr. Shawn Stapleton has recently been called to serve the Community Congregational Christian Church in Citrus Springs.  It’s just the latest chapter in a lifetime of dedication to serving others. 

    Stapleton was a newspaper reporter in Beloit, Wisconsin, where he covered a variety of municipal and educational issues, with a special focus on how administrative and political decisions affected the poor, the children and other often-overlooked members of the community.