Cooperative sharing site for S.C. Press Association members

The S.C. News Exchange is a cooperative news sharing site exclusively for use by newspaper members and associate members of the S.C. Press Association.  Stories, editorials and photos are for use only in member publications and websites.  Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Here is the RSS feed to get updates when content is posted. 

To learn how to share content to the S.C. News Exchange,  contact Jen Madden.

Living on Purpose: Those who desperately seek God shall find Him

Dr. William Holland

Posted Jan. 10, 2022

By Dr. William Holland

I realize that my thoughts are not that important, but what God has to say contains the power to change what man cannot change. May we choose faith over fear and allow our hope to be larger than our doubt! Did you notice that I said we have the choice to decide which side we are going to believe. Yes, but brother Billy how can I choose life? Well, Deuteronomy chapter thirty is an amazing place to start when trying to comprehend God’s plans for our lives. Verse 19, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

These instructions and promises were being directed to the nation of Israel, but we can also incorporate spiritual principles like this into our lives today. God is saying to everyone that obedience unto Him will empower and renew our minds while imparting a clearer understanding of His perfect will. Our responsibility is to hear His word and then speak it forth in faith as we press forward in our quest to surrender our will so that we can accomplish His will. Men and women have always had choices to obey God or be rebellious and He is declaring that our decisions have much to do with whether we are blessed or cursed. We also notice that following His commands is associated with long life while on the other hand refusing to have a reverential fear of His holiness will bring judgment. Having a carnal nature always leads us to deeper levels of corruption and wickedness.

Do not confuse your current path with your destination. Just because it’s cloudy and storming today does not mean the sun will not shine tomorrow. We can have joy and peace on the inside no matter what is happening around us. An African proverb says; “however long the night, the dawn will break” which reminds us of the passage found in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may last through the night but joy comes in the morning.” The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it because it is eternal. May we always remember that if we are walking with God, Satan can never defeat us. The devil is allowed to tempt and influence us so that we might be discouraged and make wrong choices, but the Bible promises in James 4:7 that if we have the perseverance to resist him, he will flee. Satan came to Jesus in Matthew chapter 4 and Christ stood strong against him. We read in verses 10 and 11, “Then Jesus said to him, away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve. Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

As many of you know, my wife is a two-time cancer survivor. She has walked through many dark valleys, but today we rejoice as she has been cancer-free for 10 years. She agrees with the old saying that it’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up! When we are facing a crisis, we have three choices: We can let it define us, we can let it destroy us, or we can let it strengthen us. Cancer or any disease cannot stop love, shatter hope, dissolve faith, destroy peace, silence courage, steal eternal life, or conquer our spirit. I Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Faith does not go to bed and pull the covers over our head. The Bible talks a lot about spiritual warfare which is a reality for every Christian soldier. My new book is called, “Receiving our Healing – Going to war on our knees” and reveals that God wants to give us miracles, while also explaining what He requires from us. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual healing is included in the blood atonement of Christ and within this covenant, we can receive His promises. Nonetheless, to walk in the power and authority of His Spirit, we must know who He is in us, and who we are in Him. Jesus is our deliverer, our healer, our Redeemer and Savior, the King of kings, and the Lord above all lords.

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Noble Ruin of the South

Tom Poland

Posted Jan. 6, 2022

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

When man abandoned it, the traffic diverted west, and the forest began to claim it. Today, sycamores, cedars, and oaks console it, and wind and water song replace the hum of tires. If you know when and where to look, you can glimpse this noble ruin of the South.

A mere second, my glimpse, but it whispered, “Take time to visit me,” so I did. I knew the place would give me a good feeling, and it did. The place? The old U.S. Highway 25 bridge that used to straddle Turkey Creek.

“Used to, you say?”

“Yes, men cut away its mid-section.”

Now like bookends, its truncated ends stare at each other across a westward-flowing creek. You won’t see books suspended midair, but this place is a book, and it deserves to be in a book, and I just might put it in one.

In winter light, the north end looked Romanesque. The snow-white limbs of sycamores added brilliance to the dry brown of January, and the azure sky reigned perfect, not a cloud in the sky. Only man’s orange safety netting, a band-aid of sorts, marred the setting. Rains had the creek swollen and muddy, a chocolate-colored torrent.

I like ruins. I’ve been to Rome’s Coliseum. I like going to the Glendale Ruins up Sparkle City way. I’ve never been to Cumberland Island’s Dungeness Ruins, but I will. Best of all I like the ruins beneath my nose, the ones no one cares about but me. And so it was I found myself walking toward this old bridge. On the way in I walked past coyote scat and a deer stand. A refugee from the Old West and primal instincts seek safe harbor here near this bridge to the past.

When I got to the old bridge, right off I noticed that missing midsection. I noticed, too, two strange steel towers, green moss, white quartz embedded in gray cement, and those dazzling sycamores—a majestic setting for majestic ruins. This bridge speaks to me. “Like you, I was younger and essential once, but to see me is to see your future.”

Time and something called progress leave many a bridge behind. Many get razed, like the vanquished Silas N. Pearson/Cooper River Bridge. But the old Highway 25 Bridge stands still, and it gives me that ancient Rome vibe. It’s truly a bridge to the past. I think of old makes and models of cars and trucks it ferried north and south. Old Coca Cola trucks. Women in labor. Men bound for labor. Surely an old crew from the abandoned chain gang camp five miles south worked the highway here. Come torrid summer days I bet they leaned over those cement guardrails and dreamed they were swimming.

The chain gangs are dead now. All those trucks and cars rusted to death. Those who built the bridge are dead. Those who traveled it? Many are dead. When you and I are dead, it will still be there as it holds its place among the ranks of forlorn bridges forced into retirement.

On a cold, windy afternoon I stood on the old bridge’s south end watching the newer distant bridge ferry traffic across a creek turned small river when rains come. None, I daresay, knew a man was watching from the past, but I was, a witness to God Change. I watched them speed along oblivious to the old bridge and God Change who’s patiently waiting for them as well.


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Living on Purpose: The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few

Dr. William Holland

Posted Jan. 3, 2022

By Dr. William Holland

What if we knew Jesus was returning in five days? I would think that many people would prepare to meet Him, but is this not the expectant attitude we should have every moment? I believe the Lord is calling for people to repent and rededicate their lives to Him before it is too late. We never know when our last day or hour will be. Lately, several people I knew have left this world unexpectedly and if anyone is ever going to yield their will and have a personal relationship with God, today would be the perfect time to call upon Him and become born again.

Jesus perfectly understood what His purpose was along with the hopeless condition of the world. He did not have time to waste and realized the more He preached and performed miracles, the more people would be inspired to reach out to God in faith and be given access to Heaven. This is why He relayed God’s message wherever there was an audience. He was never intimidated and did not allow the mocking unbelievers to bully Him from doing His Father’s will. I ask myself, how determined am I to tell others about Christ? For many Christians, having a cross on their key-ring is about as far as they want to go with the Lord, but are we not called to have a burden for the lost? Have you ever considered the same reason we are afraid to be an extreme radical witness for Jesus is the same reason we are not interested in praying or worshiping Him? Many have never become desperate to do God’s will but rather just want enough of Him to get by. Even though we can have all of Jesus we want, it’s obvious that a majority only desire a comfortable amount.

Have you ever witnessed an individual carrying a large wooden cross? When I see this, I’m reminded of God’s demand that I abandon my plans and embrace His.  As I pass by, my heart is pierced with emotion as I imagine how Christ suffered and died on the cross, and at the same time I’m convicted that I do not have the courage to do this. I realize the passage found in Matthew 16:24 did not necessarily mean to literally carry a cross around town, but we are commanded to lay down our will so that His character can be seen within us. But why would I be embarrassed to remind everyone about the greatest event in the history of the world and is the foundation of my life? Am I afraid that people would point and laugh, honk their horns, and shout insults toward me? Persecution is common for those who stand for God. So, what causes someone to build a large cross, put it on their shoulder, and carry it along the highway? It’s simple; the love of Jesus has become so overwhelming within this person they will do whatever it takes to be used as a messenger of the gospel. When we lose our concern for where people will spend eternity we have lost our commitment and faith to follow Jesus. The Christian soldier is not embarrassed to witness and testify for His glory. They walk into the flood and the fire because they know that many souls around us are lost and need to be saved.

My wife’s mother was a faithful Christian, and we were very close through the years as we went to church together and spent a lot of time talking about God and the Christian life. She was always listening to sermons and praise music and reading the Bible and spiritual resources every day. Jesus was all she wanted to talk about and I was reminded when writing her eulogy, that she had written personal letters to several family members over the years as a way of reaching out to them concerning their salvation. She loved her family and was concerned about where everyone would spend eternity. This was another way of telling them how much God loved them. She was known to be a Jesus fanatic and sometimes her aggressive approach to evangelism made people uncomfortable, but she was sincere and cared so much that she did not fear what others thought about her. Our love for God and all people will reveal our true identity when we stand before the Almighty.

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Stuart Neiman Cartoon: Still Here

Posted Jan. 3, 2022

By Stuart Neiman

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit line

Stuart Neiman Cartoon: Poke The Bear

Posted Jan. 3, 2022

By Stuart Neiman

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit line

Living on Purpose: A Perfect Time To Begin Brand New

Dr. William Holland

Posted Jan. 3, 2022

By Dr. William Holland

The New Year is here and I’m excited to see what 2022 has for us! My hope is this coming year will be a season of abundance not just with material prosperity and success, but of love, health, and spiritual awareness. As we plant seeds of faith, may we have the patience and expectation to witness the harvest of God’s blessings. One of my personal resolutions is to be more generous and joyful even when things are not going well. I’m reminded of a quote by Mother Teresa who said, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”

January means “beginning” and as we plan our resolutions this is the perfect occasion to consider developing physical, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle changes. You notice I used the word developing because our goals are often a lengthy process. For example, eating a salad today is not going to automatically make us healthy, but it’s a positive first step that will pay off if we can embrace that little secret weapon called perseverance. Today let us believe that anything is possible and just like everything else in life, being diligent and determined are important aspects of personal transformation.

There have been many adaptations from the original Al-anon credo that encourages everyone to be realistic about trying to change everything all at once as it’s important to realize that changing who we are is a lifestyle and not just a whim. No one else can do this for us. We must see our need to change and be willing to do whatever it takes to be victorious. There is nothing wrong with having long-term goals and we should release our faith into accomplishing our destiny, but it’s also important to focus on our mission one day at a time. It would be better to take it slow with permanent results than to go through the motions and become overwhelmed with frustration and eventually give up.

Our world has changed and facing our fears and uncertainties is now a normal way of living. I’m very sorry for what many of you have gone through these past two years as God brings comfort times of sorrow. I encourage us to be brave in this New Year as we consider the old saying, “a ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” May we live in the moment and begin each day with gratitude. Let’s laugh more and take the time to consider those around us and how much they mean to us. We have the choice to see the glass half-full and to use our voice to bring hope and love at a time when the world needs it the most. John Bunyan is quoted as saying, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

Let us not forget that while we are advancing in our own journey, that we have a responsibility to demonstrate and teach wisdom and truth to the younger ones. Children may outgrow their shoes, but they will never outgrow the positive and encouraging messages we leave with them. Most of the time we are so busy that we rarely consider how easy it is to ignore what is truly important. Realizing that optimism is a learned behavior allows us to know that personal awareness and transformation is hard work. It’s not about how smart we are or how much we can achieve but our motive should be to allow God to empower us and work through us to accomplish His plans.

Finally, let’s make a sincere decision to exonerate those who have wronged us and allow forgiveness to cleanse our conscience. When we hold grudges it’s like an infection within our soul, but when we choose to forgive, we will experience a refreshing that will flood our soul with joy and peace. If we have wronged someone, may we have the courage to step forward in honesty and tell them we are sorry. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” Ephesians 4:32. Edith Lovejoy Pierce is quoted as saying, “We will open the book. The pages are blank. We are going to write the words ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” I wish all you of you a very blessed New Year! 

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Miss Lucy, Childhood Legend

Tom Poland

Posted Jan. 3, 2022

By Tom Poland
A Southern Writer
www.tompoland.net
tompol@earthlink.net

Small towns have that one eccentric person people long remember. Lincolnton, Georgia, had Miss Lucy Glaze. As I write I see a woman dressed in black, like Granny Clampett, racing down the sidewalk brandishing a rake. My crime? Being a kid.

For years a battle raged around the corner of Humphrey and Dallas Street down past Sunrise Drive and the old Green Building, a legend also. The rake-wielding years? The Great Time of Bedevilment? That was in the 1960s. To this day, if you want to excite folks back home say, “Do you remember Miss Lucy?”

Stand back because an arm-waving, hyperventilating soul is about to time travel back to a shrubbery-hidden home near the Green Building. Miss Lucy lurked across the street and if you approached her house, she’d pounce on you like a cat on a lizard.

I don’t recall her face, just her Instrument of Doom.

I don’t use exclamation points. Elmo Leonard, said, “You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” The “selfie” of punctuation, exclamation points populate this column. Well, that’s okay. They testify to the memories Miss Lucy elicits years after her passing. Right out the gate, Eddie Drinkard shares a memory colorful in more ways than one.

“Sunday Mornings—1964. As soon as Mr. Freeman and Coach Bunch’s Sunday school class ended, Gerald Smalley, Tommy Bunch, George Richard, and I would strike out for Mr. Maurice Banks station up on the corner. There was a 20-minute window to load your Sunday pants pockets with Mary Jane’s and Fire Balls and get back before preaching started. The best seats for eating candy were the back two rows under the balcony. No problem, but about twice a year, after church was about full and Preacher Buice was about to start, in walks Miss Lucy, walking stick and red hat with mesh on top.

“She could have walked straight in and got a good seat in the open sanctuary with the old folks, but no, she always turned left and took a seat on the front row under the balcony. You could hear an ‘Oh Shucks’ murmur go through the congregation! The only other sound was we boys unwrapping Mary Jane’s and Fire Balls. I remember a couple times when a giggle and snicker from our row would agitate her and she’d tap the walking stick on the floor, mumble, and walk out. Sigh of relief for the back row!”

Cathy Bufford Brantley remembers how kids loved throwing sand poppers on Miss Lucy’s front walk to make her come out raising hell. “Lord, we tortured that poor woman, screaming ‘Heeeeyyyy, Miss Lucy! Ohhhhh, Miss Lucy!’ ”

Cathy recalls Miss Lucy as an infamous flower bulb thief. “My grandmother, GG, caught her many times digging up bulbs in her yard.” Coach Jimmy Smith’s widow, Joan, recalls that as well. Joan’s son, Randy, according to his wife, Jeanie, bought the cane she chased and hit him with.

Priscilla A. Estes has carried a Miss Lucy story for 50 years. “When my mother, Lib, owned The Little Shop, manager Hollie Cartledge changed the window displays to reflect the seasons. One day Hollie left female mannequins unclothed while she took care of customers. I was in the store that day, working or pretending to. We heard banging out front, loud and fast. There was Miss Lucy. She was dressed in black and used the tip of a matching black umbrella to rattle the display window. Hollie, mom, and I stepped into the entrance. “Miss Lucy! Whatever are you doing,” said Mom.

‘Heathens! Heathens!” Miss Lucy shouted, brandishing her umbrella. ‘Nekkid women in the windows! Shameful! Disgraceful! Cover up those nekkid women! Heathens!’

“I’m sure my mother, a Methodist minister’s daughter, chuckled inwardly. ‘Of course, Miss Lucy. Miss Lucy watched as Hollie assembled the quickest window display of her life. Only then did the town character wander on.”

Miss Lucy returned to Lincolnton after working in New York City as a maid for the wealthy. Did Northerner’s cranky ways rub off onto her? Maybe. Aggravating kids didn’t help, but they made her a legend. Was she the tyrant we remember? Probably not. Eddie Drinkard remembers that “as disruptive and scary as she seemed to us kids, she would come across the street and sit with our grandmother Blanche who was in a wheelchair for years.”


Tom Poland’s website at www.tompoland.net

Email Tom about most anything at at tompol@earthlink.net 

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Everything and Nothing: Oh, what a book can do

Aïda Rogers

Posted Dec. 21, 2021

By Aïda Rogers

I’ve just sobbed my way through Where the Red Fern Grows, a famous children’s book about a boy in the Ozark Mountains who devotes himself to buying, training, and hunting with his two red coonhounds. I read it because it means the world to a new friend of mine.

Hinton

Claressa Hinton didn’t grow up reading like I did. She didn’t have time – she was too busy moving between group homes and foster homes and occasionally back to her temporarily sober parents. Claressa estimates she moved between 30 to 40 times from age two to 18. Reading wasn’t important; making sure she and her two brothers stayed together was.

They’d landed at Tamassee DAR School in Oconee County – the “Place of the Sunlight of God” – when Martha LeCroy slipped her a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows. Claressa’s seventh grade teacher told her the book would help with her problems.

“It was as if she just knew what I was going through,” she marvels.

By that time, she’d already endured multiple traumas. One was failing third grade. To pass, that teacher advised her to put aside her problems so she could perform better in class. How was she supposed to do that, young Claressa wondered, frustrated and angry, when her parents couldn’t even get her to school?

Ms. LeCroy was a different kind of teacher. She let Wilson Rawls, dead since 1984, help Claressa through his classic book. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy Colman endures hardships and unfairness too. Rural and poor, he walks barefoot, in overalls, 12 miles to the train station in town to get the pups he worked hard to buy. He sees his first school, drinks his first soda pop, and gets bullied and beaten by the town kids who ridicule him for his “hillbilly” appearance. Billy has many adventures with the two dogs who adore him and each other, and they encounter dangerous people and weather head-on, together. The ending is something I won’t spoil, but the book’s lessons are many and eternal, lessons Claressa learned too.

The itinerant carpenter who wrote Where the Red Fern Grows grew up much like Billy, on a remote farm roaming the Oklahoma countryside. His Cherokee mother taught him to read and write, but without much formal education, Rawls dropped out of high school. These were the Depression years, and he sought work where he could find it, hoboing around the country, serving time for breaking and entering. But always he wrote, having clutched Jack London’s The Call of the Wild the way Claressa clutched Where the Red Fern Grows. Embarrassed by his poor grammar, he destroyed his stories on the eve of his marriage.

Luckily for him and millions of readers, his wife learned about his stories and had him rewrite his tale of a young boy hunting with his coonhounds. Sophie Rawls edited his work, got it published, and Wilson Rawls, who married late and had no biological children, found himself with hundreds. They wrote him letters; they listened raptly when he spoke in their schools.

Here’s what’s important: Those children wouldn’t have found that book if it hadn’t been for the army of teachers and librarians who recognized its value. Not selling well as the adult book its publisher had marketed it as, Where the Red Fern Grows was going out of print. Those educators put the skids on that – just like John Jansen, Claressa’s basketball coach at Tamassee-Salem High, put the skids on her directionless attitude about college. Just like English teacher Laurie Edminster wouldn’t let her accept what another teacher told her – that she wasn’t a good reader and would not be a good writer. Scarred by that pronouncement, Claressa faltered, and twice didn’t pass the high school exit exam. Ms. Edminster tutored her for a year, and Claressa passed the third time, “with excellence.”      

Where is our heroine now? In Hopkins, a growing Richland County suburb, in an immaculate house she bought herself. She holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Morris College in Sumter, where she was awarded a full basketball scholarship, and a master’s degree in human resource development from Webster University. At 38 she’s the wife of a landscaper and the mother of a straight-A student.   

Claressa works with children and families as a regional liaison for the Carolina Family Engagement Center, a grant project in the University of South Carolina’s College of Education. Thanks to her education and experience, she can speak with authenticity to children, parents and educators to improve how children learn, particularly when they’re in difficult circumstances. She’s particularly proud of one young man whose father was murdered years ago. He just graduated as valedictorian of C.A. Johnson High.  

She attributes her success to her “intrinsic motivation,” adults who cared, and the ragged copy of a book she says she’s read a thousand times – no exaggeration. Oh, what a book can do.

Read a more in-depth article about Claressa Hinton here.

Aïda Rogers writes from an old house in Columbia and a new porch in McClellanville. Her three-volume anthology series, State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, includes stories by 108 Palmetto State writers.

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Living on Purpose: Come Let us Adore Him – Christ the Lord!

Dr. William Holland

Posted Dec. 21, 2021

By Dr. William Holland

The holiday season is called the most wonderful time of the year but between buying gifts, hosting parties, trying not to break your healthy habits (or the bank), and attending family gatherings, it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Once again, we are trying to figure out what to give people who already have everything they need. Come to think of it, I’m trying to understand how we went from the wise men bringing gifts to Christ as an act of worship to the ritual of giving gifts to each other? I don’t remember Mary and Joseph exchanging presents with the shepherds, or Bethlehem being decorated with tinsel and ribbons. Yes, there is widespread affection for the magical stories and traditions that we are accustomed to, but we also understand that much of our holiday festivities have little to do with Christ. Not to mention that children are taught that Santa has the same abilities as God. Nonetheless, for those who would rather focus on a more spiritual meaning, we are reminded of the angel’s message to Mary in Luke 1:35, “The holy child that you will give birth to will be called the Son of God.”

This has been a sad Christmas especially for those who live in our state. On December 10th we were on stage ready to perform our annual Christmas production with our local theater, when suddenly people’s phones started lighting up. A plane had crashed just a few miles away as the pilot and his passenger were a part of our community that were dearly loved. Early the next morning, a powerful tornado stayed on the ground for over 100 miles and devastated the Western part of our state. As of this writing, 77 people lost their lives, and many lost everything they had. Let us keep these families in our prayers and may we remember to appreciate every moment we have. We are reminded that in all things God is absolutely good and from the words of a popular Christmas song, we humbly bow and proclaim, “O come let us adore Him – Christ the Lord.”

If there was ever a reason to celebrate, it would be to tell the world that Jesus Christ is the Savior who came to deliver us from sin and a doomed eternity. He is the Master of the universe, the Creator of all things, and is forever the way, the truth, and the life. It would have been much easier for the Almighty to send us a Hallmark card expressing how much He cares about us, but instead, He wanted to demonstrate and prove His love by sending His Son to be our Redeemer. He is now patiently waiting for people to decide if they will live for Him or themselves. It’s no secret the temptation to become entangled in commercialism can distract us from the true reason for the season, and I suppose this qualifies people like me as being a Grinch. However, in my defense, if you’ve read, “The gift of the Magi” we see there is a significant difference between wisdom and being impulsive and that love is the real meaning of life – not materialism. Anyway, there is genuine peace and comfort in knowing that Christ is filled with endless mercy and compassion for everyone. Because of His humble entrance into this realm to save those who believe, we can sing His praises, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”

So what does Christ want for Christmas? Among the flying reindeer, the abominable snowman, and magical elves, may we humbly realize that all God has ever wanted is our heart. Galatians 4:19 is not usually considered a Christmas text, but the Apostle Paul makes a very interesting statement, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” Is this not an appropriate time to declare our need for Jesus to be born into our lives? A holy truth that never becomes old or outdated and is as life-changing today as it was the moment Jesus appeared. The greatest Christmas miracle would be for Christ to be born in all of us. Do you have room for Him in your life? May we consider the familiar lines of, O Little Town of Bethlehem, “O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend on us we pray, cast out our sins and enter in, be born in us today.”

Read more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines.

Stuart Neiman Cartoon: Build Back Better

Posted Dec. 21, 2021

By Stuart Neiman

This content is being shared through the S.C. News Exchange and is for use in SCPA member publications. Please use appropriate bylines and credit line