A Special Gift From God

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Some things simply must be shared since to keep them a secret would be against their original intent.  The words that follow are what I consider to be such things.  They are words written by my beloved mother, Opal, toward the end of her battle with the cancer that had taken over her...

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A Reason for Cake and Ice Cream

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Alexander M. Sanders, Jr., was once Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals. When his daughter Zoe graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1992, he told this story that happened when she was just three years old.Sanders came home from work one day to find his home &ndash...

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Nobody Dies Here

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

I am persuaded that the ability to think and say the right thing at the right time is a virtue. For me, it is a virtue that often seems out of grasp…but not on one memorable occasion many years ago while still serving at my former congregation outside of Chicago. A few folks were...

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Can You Hear It Yet?!

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

There’s about to be a lot of noise in the neighborhood and I can’t wait to hear it! At times it will be a loud repeating crunching sound. At other times it will likely resound more like a continuously deep thumping and pounding percussion. And of course, there will also be the...

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Overcoming the Burnout Factor

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Every year I begin the what-is-supposed-to-be-happy task of taking out and stringing the Christmas lights in and around our home. I have already located the big red and green plastic bin in the basement that contains what I need…but like every other year I anticipate it will not go well...

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Remember to Take Out the Trash

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Old garbage really smells. Quite a few years ago when we still lived in the suburbs of Chicago I will never forget the summer when there was a sanitation worker strike. Though I forget the exact number of days the strike went on, I know it lasted a few solid weeks to be sure. During that time...

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What Defines

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

“I know what those are, Daddy! Do you?” My then four-year-old daughter Abby was looking over my aching back as I stretched to put together a new bookcase. It was the typical kind made of “simulated wood” laminated to particleboard—that takes the flexibility of a...

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It's Not Fake News!

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

It was a perfect, sunny spring day as a man was lounging on his backyard deck, when his cat dragged in a little “gift” in its mouth—a dead animal of some sort. Taking a closer look, he was dismayed to recognize the dead animal to be a bunny that belonged to a little girl who...

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Ongoing Maintenance Required

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

“Sir, could you step over here for a moment. I’d like to show you something!” There was something in the way the auto mechanic smirked at me that told me his request was out of the ordinary.  It has happened innumerable times when having my car serviced at one of those...

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One Still Night

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Perhaps you’ll agree that there is something about December that brings on the deep emotions of years gone by. The sights, sounds and smells all point toward thoughts of what once was and hope-filled expectation for what will be.For me, one of the primary memories that comes to mind each...

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