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Religion

  • Joining Mack in 'The Shack'

    I had read William Paul Young’s book, “The Shack,” when it was first published, finding it an easy read. In honesty, I was not terrifically impressed with its theological underpinnings and found the story line rather fantastical. However, loads of people were touting its praise. Weeks on the New York Times best seller list and more than 20 million sales would add doubt to the validity of my first impression. Then came the movie, which I have yet to view, bearing additional erosion of my original conviction.

  • Finding God in a simple coffee spill

    The day began with a too familiar cry, “I’m so tired!” Nighttime sleep did not refresh and renew. Morning’s awakening was marred with resultant fatigue. Stubbornly, I forced myself to buck up and push on. It would not be the best of ideas.

  • ‘Pistaco’ shows love abides in the end

    Love stories mingled with terror are not my usual reading fare. However, “Pistaco: A Tale of Love in the Andes,” written by Lynne Monahan intrigued me. At first, I was drawn to the fact the author had lived in Connecticut, my birthplace. There was another serendipitous surprise: the hero of the piece is described as a priest who served his early ministry in the Archdiocese of Hartford — where I had also spent many years in church work, as did Hubby Dear.

  • Concord United Methodist Church welcomes people for 100-plus years

    By Martha Koletar

    Special to the Beacon

    As you are driving on N.C. 211 (Southport/Supply Road) toward the intersection of U.S. 17 in Supply, there is a little white church, Concord United Methodist Church, sitting proudly in the shade of a magnificent, stately 300-year-old laurel oak, the oldest one in Brunswick County.

    Trees are important to this little church. Dogwoods have been planted to add to the beauty of its landscape, and it is customary to plant a Live Oak tree to honor all new baptisms.

  • Pledging allegiance to our flag

    The Fourth of July is around the corner. Celebrations galore will mark the day. Interestingly, a recent TIME magazine featured an article about the birth of America’s flag obsession.

  • Silence is sometimes deafening

    I read the book, “SILENCE” by Shusaku Endo. I watched the movie. Both experiences left me pondering the presence of pervading doubt emanating from a perceived absence of God. It is the subtle specter of silence that is not quiet. It disturbs, distracts and often results in false discernment. Silence, in this case, provides neither spiritual nor physical solace. At the same time, it is a profound absence that evokes an equally profound presence.

  • ‘Manchester by the Sea’: A journey of love, community, sacrifice and hope
  • Details Matter

     

  • Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise

    I recently read and re-read Fredrik Backman’s novel, “A Man Called Ove.” I’d already viewed the movie version, so this would be time No. 3 with Ove and his strangely surprising life. Though I had returned the book to the library and had conversed with others about it multiple times, I could not let it go. It would not let me go.

  • Ahhhh … I remember it well: Thoughts for Memorial Day

     

    Memories are strange and wonderful things. Strangely, they lure us into a past replete with all the vagaries of youth, all the remembrances of antics experienced and relished or, perhaps, yet laden with regret. Memory lane is not always a return to the good, ole days. Yet, it is a road we all travel, sometimes mindlessly. It is a trip we seem unable to refuse and one we replay with hope that all errors will be corrected. Mistakes will not be repeated.