Sr. Minister’s Reflections

10 Items

Surprising Compassion

by James Skimins

Today is the day after Veterans Day and it is a few days after the Philippines has been decimated by the savage Typhoon Haiyan. Let me begin with a heart warming story of a veteran at the end of life and the unique role of our military today. The story of the death of a 99-year-old […]

Contrasts in Faithfulness

by James Skimins

It is with a heavy heart that I see Christians in Egypt, Syria, Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan becoming the victims of radical Islam. I know that this causes pain in the moderate Islamic community. As I dig below the headlines and see the bravery of the Christian community in these countries, I am reminded that […]

Summer Freshness

by James Skimins

I find Facebook interesting. At this time of the year, people post their vacation, Up North and family photos. This year more than any other, I have found that communication has become more varied and interesting. Yet one of the more interesting facts is that buying books by all age groups is still popular but some […]

Coffee with Calvin

by James Skimins

I was intrigued by the title of a new devotional guide entitled “Coffee with Calvin,” which has just been published by our Presbyterian publishing house. It is interesting to me that, in this country, the theology of John Calvin still resonates.  For example, 30% of the Southern Baptists describe themselves as “Calvinistic” and many large […]

Beyond the Heartbreak

by James Skimins

Each of us feels a deep sense of sadness at the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Even as we watch the images on TV or the computer, it is difficult to understand the magnitude and power of the storm. We are thankful that, at the time of writing, only 24 people have been killed, and we know […]

Easter Plus

by James Skimins

Over the last several years, I have been listening to people who are skeptical about faith. I can understand why they are. Religion destroys=9/11, Religion corrupts=Catholic abuse… Religion diverts our energy from ‘real’ problems. Yet for those of us to have faith, we readily join with those who do not have faith to seek justice where violence and […]

Lent Plus Renewal

by James Skimins

So here we are again. Another Christian season, yet one which is totally misunderstood. Other Christians see Lent as a season of denial after a season of plenty. After all, many of have just eaten that high fat delight call a Paczki. The English have Shrove Tuesday. In London, England, chefs from the five star hotels will have […]

Immigration Reform Myth, Reality or Hospitality?

by James Skimins

Let’s be honest. America the nation is divided today. Take any big issue, and polarization results. It can be the deficit, gun control, healthcare or Immigration reform. Emotions run high and vigorous debate occurs. Recent general elections have shown that we are still divided, but the most recent election has demonstrated something new and historic. The President appealed […]

Where was God?

by James Skimins

There is a natural tendency to wrap Christmas up in a sentimental bow. Yes, I enjoy all aspects of Christmas. I enjoy the music, even the old stuff on that prehistoric electronic device called the radio. Yes, I enjoy the lights and the worship, the busyness and even in the sad moments of this Christmas, with families experiencing […]

Advent: The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

by James Skimins

Charles Dickens and “The Christmas Carol” is one of the classics of Christmas. But he also wrote “A Tale of Two Cities,” which has one of the great opening lines of English literature. “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.” In many ways, this advent season is like this. This year, […]