• 'I just fell in love'

    INVERNESS — On the way to becoming a history teacher, the Rev. Ron Pfeifer fell in love.

  • Grace Notes: Hope, like light, scatters the darkness

    The other morning I ate breakfast in the moonlight.

    The temperature outdoors was several degrees cooler than the temperature indoors, so I took my bowl of Cinnamon Chex/Fiber One with unsweetened almond milk and my cup of coffee, opened the sliding glass door that separates the living room from the back screened-in porch and sat at the high-top tile table.

  • Spreading the Good News

    “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).

    The methods and the medium have changed, but not the message: The gospel is good news.

  • Grace Notes: ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned’

    Several times a week, I pass a church that has a sign board out front advertising confessions on Saturdays.

    I confess that when I was a kid I went to a church that had confession booths, only I thought behind the dark wooden doors was either a broom closet or it was where they kept the devil.

    Kids think crazy things, don’t they?

  • A familiar tune

    INVERNESS — If you’re of a certain age, you know the music.

    But there’s a twist.

    Audience of One, a Christian parody band based out of Calvary Chapel in Inverness, takes familiar songs of the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and a few from later decades and sings them with rewritten lyrics.

  • Gospel karaoke

    “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; break out in loud songs, and sing praises.” (Psalms 98:4)

    INVERNESS — Every third Thursday, Mama’s Kuntry Kafe in Inverness becomes a place where lifting up the name of Jesus in song is welcomed — and you don’t even have to be able to carry a tune.

  • Grace Notes 9/26/2015: WWJD? You might be surprised...

    A few weeks ago, a woman called me with an idea for my column.

    She had just read “In His Steps,” a book written in 1896 that sparked the “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?) phenomena in the 1990s, the WWJD bracelets, bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets, et al.

    The book, written by Charles Sheldon, is a fictional story about a pastor who challenges his congregation not to do anything for an entire year without first asking, “What would Jesus do?” and then do that.

  • Grace Notes 9/19/2015: 'That's good stuff, Harry'

    I’ve mentioned my friend Harry before.

    He’s 86ish and used to golf every day, but one day several years ago he decided he’d had enough and hung up his clubs, or whatever it is you do when you stop golfing.

    Harry and his wife, Charlotte, have sat behind me in church for as long as I can remember.

  • Grace Notes 9/12/2015: Odds and ends

    Once again it’s time for a mumbo jumbo, bits of odds and ends column filled with random thoughts and various things I’ve found and have been saving that are too short for a full-length column yet too good not to use. I hope there will be something helpful to you.

    * In a sermon at the church in Tampa we often visit, the pastor talked about fear, a subject I am well acquainted with, although I’m much better than I was.

  • Grace Notes: Choo-choosing to unhitch from the crazy train

    Just this morning my friend Tara and I were wondering if it’s possible to be addicted to drama.

    She calls it being on the crazy train. She said when the crazy train comes around and she hitches a ride on it she’s firing on all cylinders, she’s in high gear and overdrive, not to mention mixing metaphors. 

    She feels alive, she says, yet at the same time she hates it with all her might.