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February 13 2008 By virtueonline LIFE AS A JOURNEY: INTEGRATION

After five winters we moved south to Jacksonville and became very much part of north Florida. My congregation in Orange Park was home to many navy families, and we became integrated into the military culture and participated in many change of command, and retirement ceremonies.

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February 02 2008 By virtueonline LIFE AS A JOURNEY: ENCOUNTER

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

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January 25 2008 By virtueonline LIFE AS A JOURNEY: COMMITMENT

In our journey through life I am suggesting that it also can consist of three stages. The first stage is the roughest. It leads us through the rocky valleys of questioning. I call it the Quest stage. We question the existence of God and search for answers to our questions about the meaning and purpose of life. The second stage is when we decide to get on board with some of the answers. I call it the Commitment stage.

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January 10 2008 By virtueonline LIFE AS A JOURNEY: WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

God is calling us on a journey whose destination is personal wholeness in his heavenly presence. St. Paul writes about pressing on "to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

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January 06 2008 By virtueonline LIFE AS A JOURNEY: WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Life is such a journey. If we are wise men and women we will be seekers after truth, engaged on a quest. We will seek answers to the questions we have about life. We will be willing to move forward in our lives, from one stage to another, seeking to grow in faith, hope and love. It will be a search for meaning and purpose.

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December 29 2007 By virtueonline LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME

Yet having to choose poses dilemmas. Suppose we choose wrongly? What if we make the wrong choice? Yet for many of us anxiety is more about the possibility of losing freedom, of losing control, of being overtaken and threatened by adverse circumstances, by events that affect our wellbeing. As we look into the New Year we wonder what the year will bring forth. It is like looking down from a great height and growing dizzy at the possibility of falling into nothingness. The future is unknown.

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December 22 2007 By virtueonline TED SCHRODER'S READING LIST 2007

* Southerners read more romance novels than those from other regions.
* Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries are the most popular book categories.
* Churchgoers read half as much as non-churchgoers did.
* Democrats read slightly more books than Republicans.
* The average number of books read is the last year is seven.
* People 50 and older read more than younger readers.
* Those who have college degrees read the most. Beth Bakkum

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December 20 2007 By virtueonline FEAR NOT

The Christmas message - the good news of great joy which will be for all people - is that the love of God has come among us in Jesus to cast out fear. The birth of the baby who is the Savior, is the sign that this good news is for real.

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December 13 2007 By virtueonline PERPLEXED, PUZZLED, BEWILDERED

John the Baptist was looking for vindication, for Jesus to catch the ball he had thrown him, and make a touchdown for the winning team. Instead Jesus was doing a lot of teaching about the kingdom of God and healing. He sent his disciples 100 miles north from his prison, to ask Jesus whether he was indeed the one who was to come, the Christ, or whether they should expect someone else. In other words, he wanted to be reassured in his perplexity.

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December 01 2007 By virtueonline FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT

But there is another half. The eleven, who had had six weeks' experience of the risen Christ, were told after he had finally left their sight, that "this same Jesus will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

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