4-Corners Blog

Andrew: Letters from Prison (8)

Whoever first said, “Hope springs eternal,” was stating an opinion, not a fact. Those who have hope face changing circumstances and the constant threat of discouragement and worse. In prison, the odds favor the worse. Andrew’s lawyer thought he might face one to two...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (7)

Some things can’t be fixed. You can’t take back your words, but you may be able to earn back trust over time. Actions have consequences but they might be reversed by good behavior. Bad decisions can be lessons for future decisions. Death is final. Before Thanksgiving...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (6)

They say, "You can't choose your family." That isn't quite true for Andrew who, because of his brokenness and family history, has had to choose surrogates for years - brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. His family ties run deep in our church.  Joan is one of his...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (5)

As the winter cold settled in, Andrew began adjusting to the new normal that was prison life, thankful nevertheless for a warm place off the streets. The uncertainty of his sentence gave way to this report in his next letter: “Bad news, I will be locked up for a...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (4)

The holidays can be a complicated time. For some they are straightforward enjoyment, time off, fun, food and family. For others they are a twisted path that weaves through memories, some sad and some happy. I think this is the case for Andrew The bulletin board at our...

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The Lost Memory of Memorial Day

As one man came to symbolize the price of the Civil War, so one man, Jesus, and his cross, symbolizes for us the price paid for the forgiveness of sins. He was just one man, God, but the first of many who would profit from his sacrifice.

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (3)

There is a saying in churches that is almost cliche: “God is good.” I cringe sometimes hearing it, not because it isn’t true, but because it is often linked only with events in our lives that are pleasant. I credit Wes McAdmas for pointing this out. “Getting to spend...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (2)

Andrew had started to put his life together in Portsmouth. His first job was for a property manager who hired him out on a day laborer. He started to attend our church, sing in the little choir and make healthy friendships. We would meet for coffee before work and...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison

I met Andrew on the streets of Portsmouth. He set up shop outside the Starbucks on Market Square, selling walking sticks he crafted from fallen tree limbs. Homeless since being released from prison, he was surprisingly open and upbeat about his future. “I’m trying to...

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Good Friday is Called "Good" for a Reason

Before I ever cared about Good Friday, I valued it. We got out of school early! Those days are gone, except for religious schools, some public schools and universities and, believe it or not, the Stock Market! A few states, Tennessee, Connecticut among them, declare...

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6 Reasons to Reject Religion

This is the season for religion, Palm Sunday then Good Friday, then Easter.  Let's see how you do on this Religion Quiz (no pressure, I scored pretty low). To redeem myself (no pun intended), I thought it would be good to reflect on this thing we call “religion.” It...

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Just Forgive and Move beyond the Roadblocks in Your Life

“To err is human. To forgive is divine.” Thank you Alexander Pope for reminding us that forgiveness is impossible without God’s help. Actually the famous quote comes from a really long poem that is really not a poem at all. It’s the Essay on Criticism (bet you won’t...

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