This is the fifth and final of a series of articles based on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi beginning, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
Clarksville, TN – Many small children are afraid of the dark. “Scare me! Scare me!” usually results in a story in which darkness plays a role. Amazingly, a night light can help avoid extreme fear during the night. A dimmer switch on the night light can be over time lowered until the fear is overcome.
Somehow the idea that something sinister is lurking as soon as the lights go out is a common fear. With the number of terrifying movies and television programs that many children are being allowed to watch these days, it is amazing that many of them can even go to sleep!
As a teacher, I am flabbergasted when the children, ages five to 11, begin to tell me that they have seen Freddy Krueger, scenes from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc. The nightmares that follow lead one to believe that parental neglect in choosing appropriate entertainment can affect a child throughout life.
This is the fourth of a series of articles based on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi beginning, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
Clarksville, TN – The short days of winter can set up feelings of despair in the best of us. We long for the green leaves of spring, the flowers, the warmth that pervades the atmosphere, the lightness of spirit that comes in hearing the songs of birds and the renewal of the Earth’s beauty.
Almost everyone at one time or another suffers from “winter blues” when you want to sleep more and eat more and wish away the cold winter months.
For others, these short days actually set up a chemical reaction in the brain now branded SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Symptoms can begin as early as September and continue through April, but the worst days are the darkest days when one feels that he gets up in darkness and returns from work in darkness.
This is the third of a series of articles based on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi beginning, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
Clarksville, TN – St. Francis was born in 1182. His name at birth was Giovanni Bernadone, the son of Pietro and Picca Bernadone. His father, a cloth merchant, was probably the richest man in Assisi, Italy. Giovanni was nicknamed “Francis” (“Francesco” in Italian) supposedly because of his father’s love of France where he traded a great deal.
Francis lived the typical life of a spoiled rich young man during the time of the Troubadours. He loved to sing, wear expensive clothes, had a witty sense of humor, and was known to be the leader of frolic and good times with the young men of the town. He went to war as a soldier fighting for Assisi in 1204.
During his days as a soldier he contracted an illness and he is reported to have had a vision that caused him to return home and to lose his lust for a worldly life. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome and begged with beggars. This strengthened in him a desire for the life of poverty and returning home to Assisi, he began preaching in the streets, giving his money to charitable causes, and rebuilding churches that had fallen into ruin.
Clarksville, TN – Christmas is the time of year when we should give some serious thought to the process of giving and what it really means to show our love to others.
I suspect that if most of us tried to remember the best gifts we’ve ever received, we’d find that many of them didn’t necessarily cost a great deal of money. Instead they had a lovely share of thoughtfulness behind them.
One of the gifts I received that I’ll never forget was from a blind man who sat for several hours at his tape recorder and taped for me music he believed I’d enjoy and some of his own words about what my friendship for him had meant. Another gift I’ll never forget came from a student and her mother who made a CD of favorite Christmas songs for me. I listen to that CD in my car every Christmas because it has so many classics like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and James Taylor’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
Other gifts I’ve received are on a different scale.
Written by Dinah Maria Mulock
The dawn rose red o’er Bethlehem, the stars shone through the gray,
Clarksville, TN – I started attending church in the 80’s. I was 12, and very intimidated by the church scene. All the kids knew stuff. They knew about people from the Bible. They had verses memorized. They had always been in church.
I felt like a deviant weirdo misfit on a weekly basis. I didn’t hate church, but I can’t say that I liked it.
Well except on potluck days. Then I loved church.
It wasn’t just the creamy green bean casserole with fried crunchy onions on top. It wasn’t the potluck itself. What I really liked was not something you’d think a 12 year old would even care about.
Clarksville, TN – Please don’t think you “know” me.
Please don’t take a look at me, or even my public self on social media and think you got me all figured out.
Just because I am a woman, does not mean I cannot take charge.
Just because I am little, doesn’t mean I won’t put up a fight.
Just because I am a Christian, doesn’t mean I am judging you. «Read the rest of this article»
Clarksville, TN – On Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, during the bus ride home from Barkers Mill Elementary school, an older student decided to bully 3rd grader, Jaylen Garrett by punching him repeatedly in his chest.
Instead of retaliating or telling the bus driver, Jaylen used it as an opportunity to ask the kid if he knew Jesus. The kid replied that he had heard of Jesus, but didn’t know much about him.
But other times I feel like I have popped my own balloon.
Life is rarely as bad as it seems but sometimes I catch myself focusing on negative emotions, what others think or what is going wrong rather than what is going right. «Read the rest of this article»
In fact, I knew that it would not be easy long before I ever married the first time at the age of 21, because growing up I had been a stepchild. My step-dad adopted me, and he is a great dad, but it still made for the same dynamics of a blended family. No matter the legal status of your family, when families form later in the game, there is much to learn and overcome!
I met my bachelor child-free husband in 2006. I had been divorced for a year; my boys were 3 and 6 years old. In 2010, we married, officially creating a blended family. My oldest read 1 Corinthians and our youngest prayed for us at our ceremony. It seemed quite unique among our friends, but these days, about a third of all marriages create a blended family.
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