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Musings

Musings: stories from local authors, inspiration from local pastors and more for Freeport and Niceville, Florida, including the Hammock Bay and Bluewater Bay areas surrounding the Choctawhatchee Bay.

By Sean Dietrich Easter Sunday. An Episcopal church in Birmingham. Vaulted ceilings. Ornate masonry. A pipe organ. A choir dressed in lacework cottas. Individual stained-glass windows that cost more than tactical government helicopters. The whole works. My wife and I arrived late. The place was loaded with parishioners in pastel colors....
By Pastor Doug Stauffer Life’s journey is guided by the decisions we make, shaping our path and defining our future. The Bible offers invaluable advice on making wise choices. James 1:5-8 stresses the importance of seeking God’s wisdom before making a decision. The book of James also says that God...
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 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 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 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...
By Pastor Doug Stauffer In this world of uncertainty and instability, hope can seem fleeting. Yet, the spirit-led visionary greets each new day, month and year with unwavering hope and resolute purpose. As Christmas approaches and a New Year beckons, God expects pastors to inspire awe concerning the birth of...
Sea Shul, a vibrant Jewish community nestled in Seaside, recently celebrated its first Rosh Hashanah holiday, drawing members and guests into a memorable experience of faith, unity and fresh starts. As the community advances in its mission, there’s a shared enthusiasm about the forthcoming Hanukkah event. The Sea Shul community...
Sea Shul, a vibrant Jewish community nestled in Seaside, recently celebrated its first Rosh Hashanah holiday, drawing members and guests into a memorable experience of faith, unity and fresh starts. As the community advances in its mission, there’s a shared enthusiasm about the forthcoming Hanukkah event. The Sea Shul community...
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...
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