• 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.  

  • Strong man finds strength to overcome


    • WHAT: Rise Up Youth Rally with members of the Strength Team.
    • WHEN: On Sunday, Jan. 15. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event starts at 6:30 p.m.
    • WHERE: Eden Baptist Church, 22308 Lake Lindsey Road, Brooksville, off County Road 581 just over the Citrus/Hernando County line.  
    • GENERAL INFO: Strength Team members Zeb Bishop and Jon Andrickson will demonstrate their feats of strength at the youth rally. The event is free and open to all ages.
  • Bits, pieces, random musings about grace

    It seems the older I get, the less space I have in my brain, like all the file folders in the filing cabinet are full.

    More often than I care to admit, I’ll write myself a quick note intending to develop it into a column later, but when later comes I’ll have no clue what I was thinking when I wrote the note.

  • God’s grace on parade

    We had been planning this particular weekend for months, Part One of our Christmas 2016 Celebration Extravaganza.

    Part Two happens on Dec. 24 with a trip to Orlando for a replay of a Christmas Eve we spent there two years ago. 

    We had begun with a Christmas Eve service at a church near the downtown area, followed by pizza and hot, gooey garlic knots.

  • Heeding the call

    After just a few months as new pastor of Hernando United Methodist Church, the Rev. David Spaulding knows this is where God wants him to be. 

    “The church has been here for quite a while,” he said. “But God has a way of showing us how to do things differently.” 

    Spaulding and his wife, Jeanne, recently moved to Citrus County from Jacksonville. 

  • Party like a prodigal

    There’s a group of people in North Carolina who call themselves People of the Second Chance (POSC).

    One of the things they do is throw parties — for people just out of prison, for recovering drug addicts, for misfits, for the discouraged, for the uncelebrated and forgotten, for the overlooked and hurting, for those bowed down with guilt and shame.

  • Less religion, more grace

    Last Saturday, Larry Silverman caught a catfish, which he considers a miracle, a moment of light after a year of incredible darkness.

    Larry is the pastor of New Covenant of Grace Fellowship in Inverness.

    Last year, Larry had a loose tooth, and shortly after he had it pulled he was diagnosed with cancer in his mouth. As a result, he had part of his tongue removed and his jaw reconstructed using a bone and skin from his leg. He now eats through a feeding tube.

  • Diamond anniversary

    Back in the day, longtime Inverness resident Clarence Stokes faithfully brought his family to church every Sunday — all the way to Oxford in Sumter County, 30-plus miles from the family homestead on Old Floral City Road.

    “We always drove over to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Oxford at that old country church where my mama was raised,” said Juanita Shipp, the oldest of three of Joseph Stokes’ daughters.