Midweek Meditation – July 28, 2021


You can shed tears because they are gone, or you can smile because they lived.


You can close your eyes and pray they will come back, or you can open your eyes and see all that they left for you.


Your heart can be empty because you can’t see them, or you can be full of the love you shared.


You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.  


You can remember only that they are gone, or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.


You can cry and close your mind and feel empty, or you can do what they would want.


Smile, Open your heart, Love…

And go on.


–Elizabeth Ammons



Gracious Father,


We receive your greatest gift—LOVE—every day from you, from our family and friends, and from memories of those who have gone before us.  Please help us to remember how blessed we are, how blessed we have been, and how blessed we will be.  Please help us to remember to “Love First, Love All.”


In Jesus’ Name,


Midweek Meditation – July 28, 20212021-07-28T08:39:33-05:00

Midweek Meditation – July 21, 2021

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

 “But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

 “A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.

 We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.

 – Ira Byock.”

Shared from a Facebook Post because it is yet another beautiful and telling description of how Johnnie Bakkum lived her life to serve others and model civility. How many times—whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually—did Johnnie stay with the one who fell, bind up the wound, carry the person to safety and tend the person through recovery?

Thank you, God, for blessing our congregation with Johnnie Bakkum.  May we pass along her good works and caring spirit to those with whom we interact each day.   In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Johnnie Bakkum, left, with Mary Hubbs before Johnnie moved to Beaufort, S.C., to be near her daughter Catherine. Johnnie’s other children are Caren, Carlton and Leila.



Midweek Meditation – July 21, 20212021-07-21T08:56:57-05:00

Midweek Meditation – July 7, 2021


Recently, I was asked to preach about the concept of Sanctuary, a word that has dual meaning. Today, we tend to think of The Sanctuary as the room in the church in which we worship God. In times past, the word Sanctuary simply meant a place of safety, which prompts the question, Is our sanctuary a safe place? We know the world around us can be unsafe in terms of danger, disease, and disagreements. So, perhaps we can offset that by committing to make ourselves a Sanctuary for others, that is, a safe person. Before, during, and after worship, may the words to this chorus be both our anthem and our prayer: “Lord, prepare me to be a Sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living Sanctuary for you.” Amen.


The Rev. Cyndi Parr served as Interim Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, GA between 2013 and 2014.

Midweek Meditation – July 7, 20212021-07-07T08:36:29-05:00
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