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One thing truly amazes is how fast Thanksgiving goes. Here I am in the living room relaxing in my easy chair just one day after Thanksgiving.

We moved our family to Iowa from Texas about three and a half years ago, when we were asked to help plant and pastor a new church in Knoxville.

As I walked in the door of our home for lunch, I was immediately surrounded by a group of small people all talking at once. This is a common occurrence when they study something in their homeschooling efforts that particularly captures their attention. Eventually I was able to convince them …

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can sit back and recoup from the activity. I'm not sure about anybody else, but a holiday such as Thanksgiving takes a lot out of me. Of course, it puts a lot in me, but that's another story.

As a child, my favorite holiday was Christmas, second only to my birthday. These holidays were important because of the gifts I received. Oh, did I look forward to those holidays and all the presents I was going to delight in. And delight, I certainly did to the extreme.

I cannot express how ecstatic I was when someone gave me a coupon for a free donut. Normally, I am not overly excited about “free.”

At the Well we have the privilege of meeting so many different people who all bring their own amazing story. The stories come in all forms and fashions from despair to hope. One thing I find interesting is how people view themselves in their story.

I will not admit to being old, but I am older than I was 10 years ago. Those 10 years have been filled with all kinds of things helping me to get older.

Lately, I have been getting behind in my work schedule. Just when I think I am caught up, I discover something I had forgotten about.

At my stage in life, I have experienced a gazillion weeks. I thought about actually counting how many weeks I have lived, but I don’t have that many fingers or toes. It doesn’t matter how many weeks it is.

“When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” --Acts 4:31

I have heard it said that confession is good for the soul. I want to take that a step further and say confession is good for the body as well.

I was tootling along one day last week, quite focused on getting my business for the day done. In fact, I was feeling good about the progress I was making with my “to-do list.” Nothing is more satisfying to me than the sense of being in control of my schedule. I love checking off items on my…

Here is a sentence that you can complete: The last person on earth that I would consider to be a good example for others to follow is . . .

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Everywhere I look these days people are obsessed with age. More products are sold today to make you look younger than anything else. Everybody desires to look younger than what they actually are. I think that is rather hypocritical.

It’s not often that a day goes my way. Occasionally, I have a day that focuses on my desires and me.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25 NRSV

“After this, Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you …

A certain situation has been building in the Parsonage for the last several months. At first, I did not think it too serious but alas, we have reached a terrible impasse. Quite frankly, I’m not exactly sure what to do.

It may sound strange to some people and sometimes they are ignored but, I would like to compare the signs we have on roads and highways to the guidance we find in Christ as we journey through life.

Normally, I’m not a superstitious sort of a person. But then again there is a good case to be made that I am really not normal. If you stop to think about it, (and I have), the average person is a composite of everybody and the description ends up to be that of nobody. That is exactly what I…

The fourth petition in the Lord’s Prayer is “Give us today our daily bread.” When Christians pray for “daily bread,” it can evoke the Christian practice stewardship, such as tithing, sacrificial giving, or living simply. The premise of stewardship is that God has given abundantly to all peop…

Throughout life, I have discovered many challenges. Some I have handled fairly well and others have handled me pretty badly.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and me recently celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. It sure does not seem we have been married that long. I guess, as you get older, according to my grandmother, time goes faster. If that is true, I must be getting older.

Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved.”

This week begins “Sweet Corn Season” at the Barnes home.

It is not that I do not like to travel; I just don’t like to leave home. I am quite comfortable at home where I have everything I need within easy reach.

I was having a rather down day recently. You know how it is; you are going along 100 miles an hour and finally you crash. I was experiencing one of those reality crashes.

“John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Soon a man is coming who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before I did. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God se…

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “

This time we continue our investigation of what really happened on the cross, and its significance to you and me. One of Jesus’ last statements from that cross was, “It is finished”, which is a one word statement in the common Greek language of the day. This word, or statement would have mea…


Father James V. Schall, a prolific Jesuit priest, distinguished professor and scholar, died April 17 — a few days before Easter Sunday. He was 91.

We are about ready to celebrate Easter. All over the world churches will be filled with people anxious to hear the Easter sermon. Just as we welcome spring after a long harsh winter we yearn to be uplifted. The church pews will be filled with joyful voices singing about the death and the res…

editor's pick

Vacation Bible School registrations for our community youth ages 3-years-old through fifth grade are available at First United Methodist Church and will be accepted up to July 24. It may be hot outside but it will be cool in Church. VBS runs July 24, 25, and 26 with a free light meal, for th…

The phrase in 2 Corinthians 10:12(MSG), “We’re not putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.”

editor's pick

It may be hot outside but it will be cool at the First United Methodist Church for Vacation Bible School. It is scheduled for the evenings of July 24, 25, and 26 with a free light meal for the families served from 5:30 to 6 p.m. VBS lasts till 8:30 p.m. Cokesbury’s Hero Central will be this …

editor's pick

In the Bible, Canaan is the land of milk and honey. Canaan Township, which includes Mt. Union, used to be Mississippi River swamp ground. In the early 19th Century, the swamp was drained, exposing some of the most fertile, flat, black soil in Iowa. You can see for miles in any direction. Cor…

editor's pick

We all have days we will never forget. Some of those days contain life-changing events — weddings, births, deaths, the first day of school, the moment we met a particular someone, news from the doctor. These unforgetful days run the spectrum of emotion. There are days filled with joy, some w…

editor's pick

Ruth 2:16 And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. (KJV)

editor's pick

May is here, and event calendars everywhere runneth over. It’s a time of celebration and ceremony. It’s a time for long robes and guest speakers. For many, it’s a time to dream new dreams and contemplate new challenges. It’s a busy time of year… and promising, too.

KNOXVILLE — Faith Baptist Church has a new lead pastor. Josh Spencer joined the church in February.

Have you considered lately that what you think may not line up with what God thinks? Maybe it would be good if we thought about it? Romans chapter 12, and verse 2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of Go…

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