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Posts published in “Opinion”

What would you do with eight more hours

By Ann Mann What would you do with eight more hours? That is how many hours we had between the time my husband coded in the Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth and the time he…

That girl can go!

The death of Tina Turner last week sent me roaring back in time to a hot, humid night in August of 1971 when the Ike and Tina Turner Revue played at Memorial Stadium in Savannah.…

Going to prison

By Ann Mann  Going to prison. Now that is a headline that gets your attention. I go to prison almost every month, by choice. Several years ago, I had the privilege of serving with the…

Competitive imbalance, indeed!

Lamar County school superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson did the right thing recently when he penned a missive to GHSA officials, members of its reclassification committee and others regarding what he termed ‘competitive imbalances’ in Class…

Wearing your ring

By Ann Mann  There is a moment I cannot seem to forget. It is the moment the nurse handed me my husband’s wedding band. Without even thinking about it, I took off my own wedding…

She will probably haunt me

She will probably haunt me for this but I am going to write it anyway so here goes. I had sung in my church choir for many years when, at a point some time back,…

The gift of new life

By Ann Mann

There is nothing quite like the gift of new life. Oh, the joy of holding a newborn baby in your arms. A child you have been praying for, longing for, waiting for. And now, the long-awaited grandbaby is here. When his father handed me this precious child, at first I was overcome with the grief of losing my husband, this child’s grandfather. Those tears turned quickly to tears of joy.

For months, I did not know if I would be holding a baby boy or a baby girl. If I am being honest, I  was rooting for a girl because they were going to name her Kimberly Ann (after my husband and me.) Of course, my greatest hope and prayer was for a healthy baby and Momma. And that prayer was answered.

I am the proud grandmother to a baby boy, James (the fourth.) He was born March 28th at 5:35 p.m., weighing 9 pounds and 8 ounces, measuring 21.25 inches long. A healthy baby, to be sure! Mommy and Daddy are doing great! Everyone is home, and adjusting well to life with a baby.

There is nothing quite like the gift of new life. As I write this, it is not lost on me that this child is being born as we approach Easter. Easter celebrates the gift of new life in Christ. Easter is proof of God’s love for us. John 3:16 reminds us that God loved us enough to send His Son, so that we might have new life in Christ. Praise be to God!

If you aren’t familiar with this gift of new life in Christ, please send me an email. I would love to get together with you and share this beautiful story of how God brings new life to all who believe. I would love to share the stories of what Christ is doing in my own life to heal my broken heart.

Even with the gift of new life, my heart is still broken. I am still healing. As I hold my precious grandchild, it is hard not to think of all that he will miss. There is nothing I can do about that. So, instead, I focus on all we have to look forward to in the years to come. The cuddles on the couch. Reading books at every opportunity. Showing you this great big wonderful world.

I will tell you stories of how we took Lynde, your mommy, to Zoo Atlanta all the time. I think that is where her love of animals began. Now she has her own zoo. Well not really, but it seems like it. They have three dogs, a cat, a snake, a lizard, and chickens. They also had ducks, but they have disappeared. And now, Lynde and James will raise a new generation to love all living things.

As I was on the front porch waiting for baby James and family to get home from the hospital, I noticed a dogwood with buds and blooms. New life waiting to burst forth. I have always loved dogwoods. What a marvelous gift of God that they bloom at this time of year. The four piercings at the edge of the petals are a reminder of what Christ endured for our sakes.

And so, that is the most important story I will share with sweet baby James. The story of a love so great, it knows no limits. There is nothing we can do to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. I feel the same way about sweet baby James. There is nothing this child can do that will change the way I love him. There is nothing quite like the gift of new life.  

(Ann Mann is an Emmy Award winning journalist, now serving as pastor to Barnesville First United Methodist Church. Her email is

A letter to my granddaughter

By Ann Mann For months I have been waiting. Waiting for the birth of our first grandchild. My daughter and her partner in life told me the happy news just weeks after I lost my…

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