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Joel Snider

The seven “deadly sins” are well known to most, and many make perfect sense. Of course anger is a deadly sin. News stories about road rage and disgruntled workers shooting former co-workers remind us of the deep anger that permeates society. Envy has destroyed many relationships and on a national level can lead to war. […] Read More

Twenty years ago our congregation adopted five core values. The one which speaks to our internal relationships says, “In relationships … Family.” Our church covenant expands this core value: “As a group of gathered believers, we understand ourselves to be a part of a family of faith. Therefore, we shall love, forgive, admonish, encourage, serve […] Read More

I first read “Tobacco Road” in the 1970s. Erskine Caldwell’s 1932 novel of the rural South taught me lessons about poverty that have stayed with me for a lifetime. These are valuable lessons for a pastor who deals with requests for help every week from people in need. I’ve reread the book in order to […] Read More

‘Being Mortal’

With the advent of the DVD, moviemakers have offered viewers the option to watch alternate endings of their favorite movies. A “director’s cut” lets us choose one ending over another, according to our preferences. Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal,” allows individuals in declining health or with a terminal illness to consider alternate endings to their […] Read More

What insight would be gained from reversing the beatitudes or blessings Jesus offers in the Sermon on the Mount? I was researching the Beatitudes for a sermon a few years ago when I came across the writings of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) who had done just that. After repeating the first beatitude (“Blessed are the […] Read More

Our church has just entered into its annual stewardship season. I find it impossible to consider my own, personal stewardship without considering my relationship to “stuff.” An honest Christian will have to admit that a major factor in a decision about what we give to God is the question: “How much will I have left for ‘stuff’?” Very […] Read More

In “Sighing for Eden,” William Willimon tells a story about a young man riding his bike who was forced off the road and into a ditch by a passing car. What disturbed the bike rider most was not the actions of the driver, but his personal feelings immediately following the incident. “I was surprised that the […] Read More

In my previous post, I quoted Amos Wilder’s observation that “the language of a people is its fate.” What we say and how we say it shapes our lives. That column looked at the growing acceptance on profanity and the lack of civility it breeds. Profanity (language) shapes our fate (growing disrespect). Perhaps you’d expect a […] Read More

“The language of a people is its fate.” So says Amos Wilder in “Early Christian Rhetoric.” This quotation has bothered me for years. Maybe, virtues determine the fate of a people. Perhaps government or economy or faith. But language? How so? In order to understand Wilder’s comment, let’s look at a few examples. The French […] Read More

  A Sermon By Joel Snider, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rome, Ga. Hebrews 10:19-25  Meditation Text: Humans are social creatures. Capable of only brief episodes of solitude, human life thrives on our social connections to each other. In fact, human life is only found in the extraordinary number of connections humans make with their families, […] Read More