• 'Surreal revelations'

    Nicole Winfield 

    Associated Press 

    The Vatican is no stranger to drama, intrigue or scandal. But even by Vatican standards, this has been one hell of a month. 

  • Grace Notes 11/7/2015: The gift of misery

    I spent this past weekend feeling sad.

    The reason isn’t important — actually, there really wasn’t a reason other than I just felt like being sad, and so I was.

    I called my sister to tell her that I was sad, but she was at her granddaughter’s soccer game and didn’t answer her phone, which made me even sadder.

  • Local church dreams big for new building

    BEVERLY HILLS — Their name tells it all: Joy and Praise Fellowship. 

    For more than 12 years, members of this lively Pentecostal congregation of Christian believers have worshiped in a storefront church in Beverly Hills Plaza on County Road 491, but now they believe God is wanting them to move on to bigger, better things.

  • '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.