• 10/31/09 GRACE NOTES: Tebow and faith

    Pam Tebow, mother of Gator quarterback Tim Tebow, told the story of her son buying Cocoa Krispies.

    She recently spoke to a packed crowd at First Baptist Church in Crystal River about being a person of influence.

    She said her son “Timmy” normally doesn’t eat sweets, but this one time they were at the store together and he put a box of Cocoa Krispies in the shopping cart.

    A little boy, a Tebow fan, saw the box of cereal and told his mom, “Tim Tebow eats Cocoa Krispies!” and he wanted some, too.

  • History of Hope

    Small churches are like cats, explained the Rev. Gary Clark, pastor of New Hope Methodist Church on Istachatta Road, just inside the Citrus/Hernando County line.

    “No one ever owned a cat,” he said. “It has its own personality, and my first Sunday here, the cat was at work!”

  • Reformation 101

    On Oct. 31, 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther sparked a controversy that split the Roman Catholic Church and birthed the Protestant Reformation.

    Nearly 500 years later, the greatest crisis in the history of the Catholic Church continues to be the  bedrock of Protestantism worldwide.

    Today, Reformation Day, Protestant Christians, especially Lutherans, Presbyterians and other Reformed denominations, celebrate the foundations of their theological distinctives.

  • New center to offer 'fresh hope' for women

    Jesus came to set captives free, to heal broken hearts and bind the wounds of those who have been hurt and abused.

    Donna Sallee, who co-pastors Christ Way Fellowship in Inverness with her husband, Paul, knows first-hand the pain of childhood abuse and the healing power of Christ.

    It’s with that knowledge and experience that she has founded The FresHope Place Women’s Center, a part of FresHope Ministries.

    Although the open house for the center at 130 North Florida Ave. in Inverness isn’t until Sunday, Dec. 6, the ministry has already begun.

  • 10/24/09 ON RELIGION: Mitch Albom's preacher

    Mitch Albom has seen plenty of extremely large men, which isn’t surprising after a quarter century as one of America’s top sports writers.

    But he wasn’t ready for the giant who met him outside the Pilgrim Church’s dilapidated Gothic sanctuary near downtown Detroit. The Rev. Henry Covington was as tall as a basketball player, but weighed 400 pounds or more.

  • 10/24/09 GRACE NOTES: Idol factory open

    Today I did not go to Bealls Outlet next to Publix in Inverness.

    That may not mean much to you, but to me it was a major big deal.

    Lately, I haven’t been able to stop at Publix without checking out the outlet. Even if I park far away I’ll say, “I need to walk more,” and head over to see what’s new at Bealls.

  • ON RELIGION 10/10/2009: When anger is a good thing

    Anyone who has turned on talk radio or the television, scanned the headlines or visited Capitol Hill lately knows that millions of Americans are angry.

    Democrats are mad at Republicans who are mad about President Barack Obama’s health care plans. Democrats are mad at other Democrats who are raising questions about hot-button issues in the legislation, especially questions about tax dollars and abortions. Republicans are mad about lots of other things, and they have YouTube videos to prove it.

  • JUDI'S JOURNAL 10/17/2009: Jews, Muslims share some common ground

    I was recently asked to represent the Jewish community on an interfaith panel to be at On Top of the World in February. The panel will consist of a Christian, a Jew (myself), and a Muslim.

    Though I have attended many Christian services of various denominations, I have never attended an Islamic one, so when the opportunity arose, I decided to experience for myself what a Muslim service was all about.

  • GRACE NOTES 10/17/2009: Breaking waves wash up fear

    Editor’s note: This column is from April 2002, but the message remains timeless.

    One of the things I miss most about living in California is the Pacific Ocean.

    This past weekend I was at Cocoa Beach, and although I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the beach and watching the waves, when it comes to ocean waves, compared to the Pacific, the Atlantic wimps out.

  • GRACE NOTES 10/10/2009: Civility -- trick or treat?

    The last time I was in an airport, I picked up the book “How to Talk to Anyone.” It promised 92 little “tricks” for big success in relationships.

    Because my job involves talking to people, or more importantly getting them to talk to me, I bought the book.

    The author, Leil Lowndes, also wrote “How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You.” I think the author may have used some crossover material from her other book in this one, because trick No. 3 is “How to use your eyes to make someone fall in love with you.”