.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Religion

  • The false duality between ‘job’ and ‘service’

    Doing a job, performing a task, whether it is via volunteerism or for a paycheck has often been relegated to a “less-than-holy” status. As a result, folks frequently consider their life devoid of deep meaning and lacking a spiritual base. Zilong Wang would consider this to be an unfortunate misunderstanding. Wang labels it a false duality, one to which he had fallen prey before taking a second look at life. As he put it, “In my mind, I had created an unnecessary duality between “holding a job” and “living to serve.”

  • When demons are driven out, the mute speak

    I was stopped in my tracks when I saw … more than read … these words in Chapter 9 of the Matthean gospel, “When the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.” Surely, I had read this sentence many times. Yet, this time I saw beneath and beyond the words. It was a vision of possibility I had never before encountered in this way.

  • We are family: My brothers and my sisters and me
  • Reflections on the lost and found

    It all began with an anguished sigh. “My hearing aid is broken!” Yes, there are two aids and only one was inoperable, but the loss is mighty. Voices must now rise to nearly shouting level. There is the return of the repeated question: “What???” It is accompanied by a voiced lament: “I can’t hear you!” Urgent attention to the dilemma was obvious. A trip to Costco became an immediate need. It would definitely be return or replace without repeal.

  • To become wise and compassionate, ask and receive an understanding heart

    Vanita Hampton Wright once wrote: “Sometimes we make prayer difficult because we separate it from what is concrete in daily life. We develop the attitude that prayer is supposed to be something in the mind and heart, a spiritual equality hard to define and somewhat elusive to experience.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.