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Sumter has a rich Jewish history. Like many others, Jews arrived in South Carolina seeking the freedom to practice their faith without persecution. The 1669 Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina allowed "Jews, heathens and other dissenters" the … more
We like God being compassionate, gracious, loving, faithful and forgiving. When we talk about God as judge, we don't like it. Why? We like being our own judges. I like to have moral authority over you. When I catch you doing something I deem … more
I've always been one for obsequious volunteerism, a phrase I made up so that I could make my debilitating impulse to enlist in every church activity sound like a justifiable habit. When someone asks for workers, my hand seems to always stretch to … more
If you've ever seen a ghost, you have something in common with 18 percent of Americans. But while there's evidence that our brains are hardwired to see ghosts, the apparitions we see tend to … more
As best I remember, it began the day Mark brought his new football to Zolfo Springs Elementary. Suddenly, he was the most popular boy in first grade. I had previously held the title (at least, in my memory), but Mark usurped my position. All the … more
We're living with three dogs now. Socks is the oldest at 15. A beagle lab mix, she was the runt of the litter when Hannah's dog Jewel had puppies. Moo came to us first as Abram's dog. A registered Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, he became Gina's dog and … more
I lived through the sexual revolution. The TV shows of my childhood showed couples sleeping in separate beds; now I can see sexually graphic content on broadcast networks. Pornography was found in magazines in quick stop stores; now, pornography is … more
Home - it's the place most of us end up during the holidays. Home is one of those words with the most diverse interpretation. For some, home is the ultimate comfort, a welcome respite from the everyday. To others, it's a space filled with … more
My favorite Christmas happened when I was 20. It wasn't because of a gift I received, but a gift I gave. That Christmas, I decided the best gift I could give my stepdad was to get up early and feed all the animals down at the barn. Pop usually … more
I had the opportunity to meet the world's worst church visitor this week. A harsh designation, perhaps, but this individual seemed to be looking for every reason to not be there. Maybe she had been burned by another congregation. Maybe she just … more
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