• In Matthew 2, we read about the Magi, more commonly known as the Wise Men.

    These men traveled a great distance because of a bright, shining star. They knew that this star was shining because a King had been born in Israel and they wanted to worship this newborn King. When they finally arrived in Bethlehem they went to the house where the star stood over and worshipped the young child Jesus. They gave expensive gifts to the family in honor of Jesus.

  • This Christmas Eve of 2018 marks the bicentennial of the first performance of “Silent Night,” the Christmas carol beloved by millions around the world.

    Many legends have circulated down through the years about the origins of this Christmas hymn — that it was written in one or two days by two men, first performed with guitar accompaniment because church mice had destroyed the bellows of the church organ and largely forgotten for many years after its first performance.

  • When I was a kid, my family observed Advent, lighting the candles on a traditional evergreen wreath.

    Because there’s four of us kids, we each got to light one of the four candles, one candle for each of the four weeks in Advent.

    The first candle represents hope; the second, peace; the third, love and the fourth is joy. A center candle is the Christ candle — Jesus, the light of the world.

    My dad made the base of the wreath, because he’s awesome and can make anything, and he’d read prayers out of a booklet as we lit the candles.

  • If you’re like me, you think this is the best time of the year. After all Christmas is here. That means there will be gifts, and great food, Christmas music, gifts, visiting with family, gifts, Christmas movies, gifts, Christmas trees, gifts...Come on, we all know Christmas is special because of gifts. It’s the time of year when the toy companies bring out the best toys. But what is the best gift?

  • During Advent, one of the first Christmas carols we sing at my church is “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”

    It’s a melancholy song of Israel’s lament, of their crying out to God for relief from bondage and slavery, begging God to come and free them.

    But then the chorus goes: “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.”

    Rejoice — to feel and/or show great joy or delight.

  • Hovering, floating, spinning and drifting, helicopters are sailing through the sky.

  • Wow! I can’t believe we are already into the month of December and we are now halfway through the season of Advent.

  • The height of irony is that Christmas, the birth of the Prince of Peace, is full of busyness, exhaustion and stress. People in a rush to celebrate the birth of this Prince seem to be missing the point.

    Most who were originally anticipating the birth of the Prince of Peace missed the point, too. In the days of Caesar Augustus, when Joseph, Mary and their donkey were on their way to Bethlehem, God’s chosen people were waiting for a savior that would squash their enemies. Then there would be peace on earth.

  • Now that Black Friday 2018 is history and the BF hoopla is over, I’ll tell you what I think about it.

    I was never a Black Friday shopper, but it was always my favorite news story of the year back when it was just this quirky thing that people did the day after Thanksgiving.

    I would look forward to watching the evening news on TV, with the news reporter out at some crowded mall talking to shoppers about the bargains they got.

  • BY CHARLES LISTON | Special to the Banner

    Each year an especially active Rotary International member from District’s 6710 55 clubs is elected governor to serve one year visiting all clubs and coordinating 11 active district committees. New Governor (2018-2019) Michael Owsley visited the Bedford club last week and gave overviews and success stories of Rotary at state and international levels.

  • BY CHARLES LISTON | Special to the Banner

    Bedford Rotarians and guests learned much about the benefits of massage therapy during the club’s Nov. 20 meeting.

    Kelli Puckett, a licensed massage therapist (LMT), serves more than 100 clients regularly at Campbellsburg Chiropractic offices in Campbellsburg and La Grange, while Associate Paisley Turner provides similar services for Bedford and Carrollton.

  • A BRIGHTER DAY | The Rev. Doug Salisbury

    During the season of celebrating Christmas, with its carols, parties, decorating, baking, gift giving and family time, it’s easy for us to forget that in our own circle of associates there is likely to be someone for whom the idea of Christmas joy is not part of the season this year.

  • “But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

    God created humans to have a three-element composition for use in life: heart, soul and mind (Matt 22:37). Men and women are the top of the created order in their spender and glory. All of creation was in the hand of the master artist God.

  • Milton UMC Christmas cantata

    Milton United Methodist Church will host a community cantata, “Let Earth Receive Her King!” at 7 p.m. Sunday at the church, 11100 U.S. 421 North in Milton. All are invited to attend. Participating churches are Milton Baptist, Mt. Carmel Methodist, Bedford United Methodist, Corn Creek Baptist and Milton United Methodist.

    Bedford Baptist Christmas concert

  • Editor’s note: This is the 20th year of Nancy Kennedy’s annual Thanksgiving psalm. She is still thankful.

    Dear God,

    As you know, I’ve had a difficult time starting this year’s Thanksgiving psalm.

    In fact, it’s a week late.

    Life hasn’t been sunshine and roses and rainbow-colored unicorns this year, not for me and not for a lot of people. And yet, I have much to be thankful for.

  • Whenever my husband and I travel the 70 miles to eat the best pizza ever, we always make sure not to eat breakfast because we want to be good and hungry so it will be worth the trip.

    Barry gets two slices with green peppers, onions and mushrooms and I get one slice of Florentine pizza -- creamy ricotta cheese and spinach.

    As we eat, we close our eyes and smile, maybe sigh, because this is The. Best. Pizza. Ever.

    Not everyone loves pizza, but every human being is hungry, and the desire for food and to be fed is amazingly powerful.

  • We have arrived at the holiday season of the year!

    Thanksgiving ushers in that time of the year when the hustle and bustle of activities begins and seemingly never ends. It is that time when the calendar is filled with appointments, parties and get-togethers of all sorts. It seems there are never enough days to go around and we find ourselves frantically and feverishly working to accommodate all that is necessary.

  • We have two cats, Target and Mohawk.

    They’re old and don’t do much of anything except sleep, eat and sneeze all over the back porch window. But we like them.

    Of the two, Mohawk is the easiest and Target is the troublemaker. He thinks biting is a sign of affection as is waking us up at 4:45 a.m. to announce that he’s famished, even though there’s food in his dish. He just likes it to be refreshed — at his command.