• GRACE NOTES 06/19/2010: What is the "good life?"

    Confession time: I watch “The Real Housewives” of both New Jersey and New York.

    For the most part, the women on the shows are obscenely wealthy, living in opulent luxury. As one of them says at the beginning of every show, “To a certain group of people in New York, status is everything.”

    One of my favorite characters is Teresa, a New Jersey “Housewife.” When she and husband Joe built their new house last season, the cameras followed as Teresa went furniture shopping. Without blinking, she dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Mennonites to market

    JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — With their to-die-for doughnuts and distinctively dressed women and girls, they’ve become a familiar sight at the Johnson City Downtown Farmers Market, but families from the local Mennonite community are putting down deep roots that include a network of thriving small businesses.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 06/05/2010: In search of Noah's Ark ...

    The story is a familiar one. The Creator is disappointed with the humans s/he has created, and so decides to punish their wickedness with a global flood, which would destroy all of creation. All would be destroyed except for one man and his family who have found favor in the eyes of God. This man is told to build a huge boat in which to house the male and female species of the earth so that after the flood, the world can be repopulated.

  • Game on for the Gospel

    Every culture speaks the language of sports and recreation, and North America is no exception.

    A Gallup poll shows 90 percent of Americans watch, read about or participate in sports once a month and 70 percent once a week.

    In 1889, James Naismith applied to be a student at a YMCA training school. One of the application questions asked, “What is the work of a YMCA physical director?”

    Naismith answered, “To win men for the Master through the gym.”

  • GRACE NOTES 06/12/2010: Momishness revisited

    My friend Cristy and I often ponder the deep mysteries of the universe.

    For instance, “What was God thinking?” one of us will start, then say, “by putting trans fats and carbohydrates that turn into belly lard in foods that taste good?”

    One of our favorite ponderings involves mothers. Like, what was God thinking when he created crazy, neurotic mothers?

    She has one and I am one.

  • From the badge to the cross

    What do policemen and preachers have in common?

    If you ask the Rev. Richard Aldret, they both deal with the law and lawbreakers.

    Aldret, a retired South Florida policeman and now an ordained minister, was recently called as pastor of First Christian Church of Chassahowitzka, replacing the Rev. Lindsey Bledsoe, who retired after 25 years.

    “From policeman to preacher, it was a long road to get here,” Aldret said.

  • GRACE NOTES 06/05/2010: Veggies and grace

    A few weeks ago, a guest preacher at our church talked about vegetarianism.

    That wasn’t the main part of his sermon, but it’s what I remember. He said 4.5 million people in America call themselves vegetarians and that vegetarianism is on the upswing.

    We’re likin’ our veggies.

  • Seven Rivers welcomes new headmaster

    On June 1, Seven Rivers Christian School welcomed Dana James as its new headmaster. James and his family, formerly of Watkinsville, Ga., will be arriving in the area this month and James took the reins of school leadership on June 1. James brings to the school 30 years’ experience in education.  He has been on staff at Westminster Christian Academy, Watkinsville, Ga., for 15 years, serving as its headmaster for the past 10 years. In addition to leading a school staff and faculty, Dana loves teaching calculus and developing relationships with students.

  • ON RELIGION 05/29/2010: Is Catholic doctrine the key to "Lost?"

    When describing the mysterious concept called purgatory, the catechism of the Catholic Church starts with the basics.

    “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven,” the text states. “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification. ... The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.”

  • A title for the Tribe

    Dave Skretta

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK — Yuri Foreman leans over a table in the corner of Gleason’s Gym, a newsboy cap pulled down over his dark, piercing eyes. The thud of heavy bags and the rat-a-tat of speed bags form a mesmerizing rhythm around him, and for a moment he’s at a loss for words.

    He just smiles instead, and it’s hard to blame him.