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I made a mistake the other night of complaining out loud. It is one thing to complain under your breath so that nobody hears you or knows what you are complaining about. But when you complain out loud, then you run the chance of somebody hearing you.

Slow. That’s the way that my January started out.

To paraphrase one of my favorite humorist, Will Rogers, “All I know is what I read on Facebook.”

The Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions; it includes conduct and character development. As Christians our deeds must be consistent with our creeds, and our beliefs must be backed up with Christlike behavior. Love, His love, is the mark of a maturing spiritual life that has…

Normally, I’m a rather calm, cool and collected person. Actually, my creditors trying to collect things from me, mostly money, are responsible for this and I have been officially collected. If I could only collect my thoughts, but the pieces are too small and too few.

It is a new year and a new decade. Many people are making resolutions and setting goals, but others greet the new year soldiering under the same burdens and weights of the previous year. Perhaps you or someone you love is feeling alone and hopeless. The challenges seem overwhelming and even …

Time goes so fast at times that I do not always remember what day it is. I get so busy trying to get my work done that I forget if it’s Monday or Friday.


I recently had an epiphany, and it is about the Christian holiday Epiphany, coincidentally.

“Two people went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of my income.’ But the publican (common person) standin…

After months of planning and rearranging our schedule, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage finally organized a little vacation time for Christmas.

Lord, it is so comfortable at home. I feel Your peace here. It is warm.

The Christmas frenzy is over, and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly are sitting back surveying our Christmas plunder. Only a few days ago, the house was ablaze with Christmas lights, and the rafters were echoing with Christmas delight. Now, much to my delight, quietness …

One great blessing of Christmas is presents. Of course, at my age, I am not too interested in what I am getting but rather what I am giving.

When first attempting to live my life fully for Jesus, I sought to make a positive impact on others. Being now less resistant to God, I anticipated people would appreciate the good I was trying to do in life. But rather than affirming or even acknowledging this intent to bless, a number of p…

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.

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