• DOYLE: An enlightening holiday gift

    A few weeks ago, with Christmas wishes dancing through their heads, my younger children were offered an option for their primary, non-Santa holiday gift: Would they prefer a family getaway or another item off their really fairly brief lists? They quickly and loudly chose the trip, probably because they knew they still had Santa (and two sets of grandparents) as a fallback for anything really important.

  • SOUDER: The best Good News ever

    “The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11


    We all like good news: “It’s a girl!” “The biopsy came back negative. The cancer is gone!”

    “Today’s test is cancelled. Everyone gets an ‘A’!” “Cheeseburgers declared ‘miracle heath food of the year’!”

  • Our verse for the holiday

    With apologies to Clement Moore, we adapt our rhyme for the season and wish you a very Merry Christmas.


    ‘Twas the night before Christmas

    And all through the town,

    Not a creature was stirring

    The mayor had shut it down.


    Stockings were hung

    By the chimney with care,

    But doubtful old St. Nick

    Would dare be there.


    Our children were asleep,

    To the world they were dead,

    But Christmas dreams likely

  • CHARLTON: On Christmas, lets give peace a chance

    “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” – Isaiah 2:4-5.


    This famous quote from the prophet Isaiah adorns a wall in Ralph Bunche Park, situated across the street from the United Nations headquarters in New York. It expresses the hope and dream that peace, so elusive throughout human history, will one day come to our world.

  • Holidays are a mall world after all

    The man was telling me about his recent afternoon of Christmas shopping. He bemoaned the parking lot at a mall, saying he had to drive around 20 minutes just to find a place and hike a long way in the frozen wind to get inside the mall. There he found the muddled masses, which brings this question: Is the very word “mall” an adaptation of “masses all?”

    He was frustrated and indignant. “I hate dealing with all of that,” he said. Or perhaps words more colorful and to the point.

  • SOUDER: A prayer request from a grateful husband

    Today I ask that you pray for my wife.

    Now, because you are all such caring (and nosy) people, I’m sure the first thing that came to your mind was to wonder why I would make such a request. Is my wife sick? No. Is she hurt? No. Is she…pregnant? Oh my goodness – no!

    I am requesting prayers on my wife’s behalf at this time because as of last weekend we officially have two teenagers at our house, and as of this weekend she will have been married to me for 23 years.

  • State final creates a memory of a lifetime

    What Browning Becherer and the Collins Titans accomplished on a very cold Saturday afternoon is so heartwarming that surely it could have been an episode of Friday Night Lights, a sequence from Varsity Blues and, of course, an ultimate curtain call for Remember the Titans.

    These Titans surely won’t be forgotten for a few generations, and Becherer, the walk-on hero of the production, won’t forget his day as long as he can remember.

  • CHARLTON: You never should question God’s presence

    “Torture numbers,” someone has said, “and they’ll confess to anything.” Sounds like a pretty good description of how we come up with statistics.

    I find statistics interesting, but I don’t put a lot of stock in them. Consider the following statistic about religious belief – according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans younger than 30 who say they never doubt God’s existence has dropped 15 points since 2007.

  • Slow down and enjoy the holiday season

    I’ve always been the type who likes to let the Christmas season unwrap, slowly and beautifully, like the perfectly conceived and packaged gift, whose undressing leaves us rapt in anticipation. Or maybe it’s like savoring a 7-course gourmet meal, with its full aromatic elegance to be absorbed slowly.

  • SOUDER: A Thanksgiving proclamation: Giving thanks to God, by George

    A Thanksgiving proclamation: Giving thanks to God, by George

    Asked to write a composition entitled "What I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving," 7-year-old Timmy wrote, "I’m thankful that I’m not a turkey!"