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 By Mark Smith    Opinion

To tell the truth | Worship

It’s election season, and not a day goes by without one politician accusing another politician of lying. But if truth be known, we are all pretty good liars. Social scientists... — Updated 9/28/2016 Full story

 By Mark Smith    Opinion

The trap of instant gratification | Worship

It is easy to fall into the trap of instant gratification. We make the mistake of acting on impulse, satisfying our immediate desires without considering the long-term consequences... — Updated 7/20/2016

 By Mark Smith    Opinion

Love is not blind | Worship

It must be very challenging to be blind in a sighted world - to be unable to see what most people see. Unless we know a blind person, we know little about their particular... — Updated 5/11/2016


Love is more than a feeling | Worship

February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but love is still in the air. It was John Lennon who said, “All you need is love.” But what did he mean by that? Love is hard to define. It’s tragic that... — Updated 2/24/2016 Full story


Sharing in the family meal | Worship

You may have heard it said that the family that prays together, stays together. I say to you that the family that eats, together stays together. In fact, I wonder if some of the contemporary breakdown of the family in our society... — Updated 7/22/2015


Eternal beauty in a looks-crazy America | Worship

We live in a looks-crazy culture where – if you pay attention to the media – we’re led to believe that outward appearance is everything. We spend a lot of time and money to make ourselves look “good.” In America, $20... — Updated 5/13/2015


Practice civility as a step toward peace | Worship

The other day I read about how woman had an episode after McDonald’s got her order wrong. She grew agitated, demanded her money back, and after the employees refused, she threw a fit. First, she grabbed the water dispenser and po... — Updated 2/25/2015


The Star of Hope | Worship

Sirius may be the brightest star and Alpha Centauri may be the closest star, but I have no doubt that the most famous of all the stars that have shown in the sky above is the star that shone so brightly over Bethlehem that night... — Updated 12/24/2014


Grace-full friends reflect love of God | Worship

There is a story about a man by the name of Roy Riegels, who had a chance at fame and glory playing football for the University of California on New Year’s Day in 1929. The Cal Bears were playing Georgia Tech in the Rose Bowl. Ne... — Updated 9/30/2014 Full story


Find solid ground in our unchanging God | Worship

Do you ever stop and wonder, “What’s happened to my world?” For many of us, the world in which we grew up is no more. We feel like foreigners in a strange land. Change has always been part of life, of course. But these days... — Updated 7/16/2014


Finding happiness where we are today | Worship

Have you ever thought, “If I could only go to some new place, get a new start, change environments, then life would be better. Then I would be happy”? A lot of people try to... — Updated 5/7/2014


Grow old along with me! | Worship

The jig is up! It’s time for me to come to terms with my own aging process. I have been writing my worship column for the Beacon for some 20 years now, and the picture of me that... — Updated 2/12/2014 Full story


Can you imagine Christmas without any caroling?

Without a doubt one of the greatest gifts of God is music. Can you imagine a world without song? Can you imagine Christmas with no carols? Some things are so wonderfully good, you just have to sing about them. It comes as no... — Updated 12/18/2013


Letting go of the seasons of life | Weekly Worship

In the movie “Father of the Bride,” Steve Martin plays a middle-aged man by the name of George Banks who has a really hard time letting go of his daughter when she unexpectedly announces her plans to wed. The movie is really... — Updated 10/30/2013


Celebrities and heroes

To use the words of the late comedian and talk-show host Steve Allen, “The entire American people seem to have gone goofola about celebrities.” I don’t know if the word ‘goofola’ is in the dictionary, but you know what... — Updated 8/14/2013


Don't waste your time!

Without a doubt one of God's most precious gifts is time. It is also one of the most perishable of gifts. It has to be used wisely. Every morning we have 86,400 seconds or 1,440 minutes before us to spend and invest. Each day... — Updated 5/1/2013


Christmas hush

Here we are, squarely in the midst of the Christmas rush. So much to do, so little time! I like the story of the pastor who was visiting the Sunday school. He asked a young lady at a nursery-size table what it was she was doing as... — Updated 12/19/2012 Full story


Do you have a job or a calling?

There is an old story of a traveler who wandered past a giant construction project. He paused to speak with some of the workers. To one working with a chisel and saw he said, “What are you doing?” The man moaned, “I spend my... — Updated 10/31/2012


The worship of work

Daily work is truly a gift from God; it is not only a means to make a living, but lends meaning and purpose to our lives. We are indeed blessed if we love what we do! It’s possible, however, to love our work too much. We can end... — Updated 5/9/2012 Full story


Sports: An American idol?

Our culture is saturated with sports. A whole section of the daily newspaper and entire weeklies are dedicated to reporting on them. Cable channels broadcast games 24/7/365. Sports fuel our nation's economy; companies spend million... — Updated 2/15/2012


Are you giving any Christmas presence?

So, what are you giving for Christmas this year? Perhaps you are shopping for some people who seem to have everything. If you need ideas, it is always helpful to consult the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue, as I do, where you... — Updated 12/21/2011 Full story


The discipline of silence

Our society is awash with words. Wherever we go, we are surrounded by words: words softly whispered or loudly proclaimed; words written in books, on walls, in ads everywhere; words sung or recited or blared from the TV or radio.... — Updated 11/2/2011


Do dogs go to Heaven?

Our family recently experienced the trauma of saying goodbye to our sweet 16-year-old dog. Heart failure and just plain old age caught up with him in the end. For us, Max wasn’t just a pet but a member of the family and his... — Updated 8/24/2011


Thoughts on serving others

A few days ago, many Christians gathered together during Holy Week to commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. They also remembered what happened during the meal – how Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist... — Updated 5/4/2011 Full story


Becoming like Jesus

I remember reading about a man named Harry Hahn who has acted like Abraham Lincoln so long that he started to look like Lincoln. He lives in Mt. Pulaski, Ill., not far from Springfield, where Lincoln lived. Several years ago, they... — Updated 2/16/2011 Full story


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