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Musings

Fort Walton Beach Locals' Short Stories, Musings on Faith and More

By Pastor Doug Stauffer Like so many other churches, we establish a new theme every year. Interestingly, our theme for 2020 was pretty predictable—“20/20 vision” (ugh, right before COVID-19 reared its ugly head). The vision that year seemed blurry at best. Last year, it was from James 4:8: “Draw nigh...
By Sean Dietrich The plane landed in Tuscaloosa at 8:37 p.m. Central Time. Coach Kalen DeBoer deboarded. He was met with an entourage of photographers and reporters with iPhones. DeBoer’s press conference was scheduled for 1 p.m. It was a blustery, rainy day in the Yellowhammer State. Nick Saban retired on Wednesday. DeBoer...
By Sean Dietrich Long ago, my college professor told us to choose a poem to recite in class. Students chose lofty selections from the greats. Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. I consulted Daddy’s Hank Williams songbook. 10:40 P.M.—New Year’s Eve. Hank Williams is on my radio. My wife is sleeping in the passenger...
By Pastor David Holland “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before I had conceived him.” –Luke 2:21 John Lennon mistakenly believed the Beatles were more famous than Christ. While the dead Beatle lies in the...
By Sean Dietrich Birmingham, Alabama—the 1970’s. The hairstyles are ridiculous. Fashions are even worse. It’s Christmastime in the Magic City. Early evening. A young couple arrives in town to visit family. They are working-class poor. He is overworked and underpaid. She is too. Still, things are looking up. Even though it’s hard...

Missing Christmas

By Gueary Clendenning Christmas is just around the corner. After Thanksgiving, the pace quickens toward the big day! We’ll find ourselves in a big rush, always pursuing one more thing we need to get accomplished. We look for the nearest parking spot in the crowded mall, searching for the perfect...
Dearest Becca, I am writing this shortly before boarding an airplane and flying 40,000 feet above the earth. I am about to leave the country, and I wanted to write before I go. It’s funny, I’ve been humming the song “You Are My Sunshine” all day, thinking about you. This is...
By Pastor Doug Stauffer More questions than answers?—not really. Amidst the rocket bombardment and agonizing cries from innocent lives lost on both sides during the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, the Bible resonates with poignant relevance. Here is a snippet of a sermon preached the day after Hamas propelled...
By Sean Dietrich I am a dropout. I grew up pretty hard. I am an educational failure. I had few academic opportunities. As a result, I am a very slow reader, and an even wurse speler. This is because, after my father died, my family hit rock bottom. My mother cleaned houses...
One of the most memorable lines in the classic novel The Old Man & the Sea is “Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.” Written in 1952, this memorable book won the Nobel Prize for literature...