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I have been stretched from pillar to post. Honestly there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that I’ve signed up for, and the Lord has certainly taught me some valuable lessons, or reminded me of some, as January finally comes to a close

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What do we look for in a friend? I’ll admit the characteristics I look for in a friend have changed over the years. Of course, we want friends with similar interests and those who like to have fun.

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I have so many mixed emotions this time of year. It was the middle of the night. The temperatures were in the single digits, and our furnaced was working overtime. Chris and I went to bed like any other Saturday night. We set our clock to be sure we were on time for our Sunday church service…

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"God, we come to you in these moments that we don't understand, that are hard, because we believe that you're God, and coming to you and praying to you has impact.”

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Christian ministries are alive and well in Banks County, and during 2022 these organizations have been working hard to meet the needs of our community and beyond.

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Last year on Christmas Eve, my family was at the rehab center where Mom was recovering from a broken leg. We took our stockings to the rehab center and opened them together in the lobby.

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One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Mary Did You Know." When I listen to the song, I want to hear more, so I pick up my Bible and read Luke 1. Here we read a beautiful story of a young teen saying, "Yes, Lord," no matter the cost.

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Sometimes God puts people in our lives forever; at other times we get to know them for a season. That's the case for a young fellow I met about 15 years ago. He was a man with many titles: son, husband, father, and friend, to name a few.

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“Nate. Nate. Come in here. They are beautiful, beautiful,” screamed my three-year old granddaughter, Rylee, as she ran through the kitchen as I took the sugar cookies out of the oven. It was quite the process to get to that point. Just minutes earlier, they mixed the ingredients using five o…

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Self-care has become an important buzz word over the last few years. What does that work actually mean?  The dictionary says this. Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, especially during periods of stress. So, how do we practice …

Newsletters

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How can a single cat have so many hugs to give? Well, just ask DJ! DJ is our resident cuddle bug. He'll walk right out of his enclosure and straight into your arms. He's a big boy who just wants a lap to curl up on. So, if you're looking for a buddy to hunker down and binge-watch all your fa…

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As Christians, I believe we can all agree, we want more of Him in our lives. As the Lord takes over more and more, we will turn away from the things of this world and set our sights on things above.

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It is sad but it is true. Most of us find ourselves in conflict at one time or the other. Just last week, I was asked about how to handle a conflict within a family. Now that can be tough. While we pick our friends and we can walk away if the relationship does not honor God, it is somewhat d…

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Our God is always up to something great in our lives, and I’ve watched Him take the ordinary and allow me to experience the extraordinary time after time. I’m sure the same is true with all of us. Sometimes it just takes a bit of reflection to recognize His great blessings in our lives.

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As the Water’s Edge Ministry inaugural season comes to a close, I’ve had a chance to reflect on some of the lessons God has taught me over the last year as we planned and started the church on Lake Hartwell. 

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Not enough hours in the day; not enough days in the week. Our lists are so long at times, it’s hard to finish everything we think we should be doing. 

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Most likely we’ve all experienced the death of a loved one. This year marks the 35th anniversary of my mom’s eternal homecoming. Even after all these years, it is still difficult at times. When something great happens, I want to tell her. When something sad happens, I want to cry on her shou…

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As our faculty, staff, and students prepare to head back into classroom we need to pray, pray and pray some more. Without a doubt, prayer by faith moves the hand of God, and I know we all want these precious people to be blessed and highly favored during the 2022-2023 school year.

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God always answers our prayers. Sometimes I pray and He answers “yes” and situations change right away. I’m just wowed and amazed that God moved so quickly. At other times, I’ve received a resounding “no,” when I didn’t get the job I just knew was perfect for me or things didn’t turn out lik…

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I pulled into a friend’s yard the other day, and I was amazed at size of the family garden. I think it tripled in size from last year. “Now there is a garden that was planted by someone who buys a lot of groceries,” I said while getting out of my car. 

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“The B-I-B-L-E yes that’s the book for me; I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” How many of us remember bolting out that tune at Vacation Bible School? It’s been engrained in my heart since I was a small child. I have more memories from VBS that I can count, and I know this prog…

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Being a godly example is not always for the faint of heart. Sure, it’s easy when we find the right parking spot, our dinner comes out perfectly, and there isn’t a bit of traffic on the freeway. Well, that doesn’t sound like real life, does it?

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As we celebrated Father’s Day last week, I began to think about the fathers who are in my life. I am so grateful to my heavenly Father. He loves me unconditionally, and He blesses me and comforts me no matter what life throws my way. Like no other, my Lord makes a way for me to have abundant…

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God is always at work in our lives. Even when we don’t feel it and we don’t see it, trust me He is orchestrating His perfect plan for us. Most likely, the plan will be greater than we could ever imagine.

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I thought it was a weird place to strike up a conversation. “It cost me more than 100 dollars to top mine off,” an older gentleman said in passing. It took me a minute then I responded. “Mine will probably be $55,” as I hustled back to the gas pump. “No wait. Mine is $66,” I said in astonishment. 

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A long line of graduates walked across Leopard field Friday night and received their high school diploma. The stands were filled with parents and friends so very proud of these young men and women who are about to take the first step into adulthood.

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It’s been my pleasure to watch so many families celebrating graduates over the last few weeks. Whether graduating from kindergarten or college, it is a milestone for the students and families as well. 

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Recently, I keep hearing a new song, “Thank You,” by singer/songwriter Ben Rector. He said it was a song to reflect on some of the things we take for granted. I know that’s true for me. We get busy; life begins to spin from one day to the next, and sometimes we forget about all of the many b…

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A conversation between a few women in the middle of a lake has turned into plans for a ministry on that same water with people to come by boat and water to worship together.

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Chef Andrew says eating is an art form in Italy. A meal is to be enjoyed over several hours with each course savored as you visit with old friends and make new friends. It’s not a hurried affair like it is in America where people quickly eat and go on to what is next on their list.

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I had a recent telephone call from my son, Ben, who enlisted my help on a project. Before it was all said and done, I volunteered to get on my hands and knees and scrub spots out of the carpet.

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This is Teacher Appreciation Week, but I am convinced teachers should be celebrated all year long. How could I say such a thing? I have been in the classroom more than I’ve been out of the classroom during my lifetime, and I’ve learned a thing or two. No one will ever know the ins and outs o…

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This week, we all will be taking time to reflect on and thank the mothers and teachers in our lives. Sunday will be Mother’s Day and, this week, is National Teacher Appreciation Week.

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I just returned from a getaway with a group of Christian ladies. The fellowship was terrific! The food was amazing! The encouragement was needed, and most of all, the laughter was just like a healing balm to my soul.  For that, I am truly thankful! God gave us this gift, and I pray we use it…

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Merriam-Webster defines a decision as a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. I wonder how many of us flippantly make decisions like a snap of the finger without thinking about the consequences.

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When the pandemic settled into our world just over two years ago, we all experienced change like never before. Our students were learning from home; we were working at home, shelves were cleaned out at the grocery stores, and many cities were a ghost town. 

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As I watch the war unfold on television, it has caused me to be more grateful for the simple things. I’m so thankful I am not on a trek northeast or southwest to walk into another country. I’m not shuffling my family into a bomb shelter to remain safe which listening for bombs that could com…

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As Christians, we should be able to agree on this. Our community is in need of prayer, but it goes even farther. Our country is in desperate need of prayer, and the Lord is the only answer for the worldwide situations we are in at this moment. I firmly believe prayer moves the hand of God, a…

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I waited with anticipation, and crossed off every day, until Sunday, March 13, finally arrived. It was just like the good old days when my mom’s family gathered around the table for food and fellowship. When I was a kid, I never realized what a treasure those moments would be in my life, but…

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Dear Editor, After reading this week’s column by Angela Gary, I was reminded of my own experience living in both worlds, rural Banks County, and urban metro Atlanta in Decatur. I still go back to church in Atlanta where I’ve been a member since 1961. I am a deacon there and we respond to tho…