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  • Writer's pictureGrace Episcopal Church

Member Spotlight: Tim McCourt!

Mary Baggs interviewing Tim McCourt

What is your go-to Bible verse to get you through the day?

"Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going" ~ Ecclesiastes 9:7-10

Ecclesiastes asks difficult questions about life's meaning and purpose. It acknowledges some difficult and timeless truths about the human condition. As I read through Ecclesiastes, it is never lost on me that how we relate to the world around us, the questions that we ask, and the answers that we seek, are the same today as they were thousands of years ago. As much as the world around us has changed, our souls have not. Ecclesiastes 9:7 -- 9:10 reminds me that fully experiencing and taking joy in the most simple things -- the taste of food and wine, spending time with your spouse, and having pride in the work you do -- are how God wants us to spend our days and enjoy our limited time on Earth. These verses serve as a constant reminder that God is present with me throughout my day, no matter what I am doing in any given moment.

Briefly tell us about a recent fun activity you and or your family participated in and why.

If there's one day a year that is special to us as a family, it's Halloween -- we dress up and get lots of candy from around the neighborhood. We try to have something of a common theme in our costumes. The rest of the year, we have a lot of fun spending time together doing things outside as a family. Most days, we simply go outside and we play in our yard. We watch our boys dig in the dirt, push them on the rope swing that hangs from our sycamore tree, and do whatever sport the boys have a mind to play that day -- football, frisbee, archery, basketball, baseball, or some game they learned at school. And contrary to popular belief, kids these days still drink water from the hose! (At least our kids do!) Sometimes, we walk to Walker Park where they always see their friends from school and where we watch them show-off their tree-climbing skills. And when we can, we like to hike in the woods or build sandcastles at the beach.

Do you have a recipe or take-out meal recommendation you would like to share?

When I moved to Ocala and started working at the State Attorney's Office, a couple of times a week I would wander across 441 to the "Taco N' Madre" taqueria -- located in a little yellow building just west of the courthouse. Since then, I've eaten more meals there than I can count, including lots of take-out during the COVID-shutdown. Luckily for me, my wife and kids love their food too, and it's one of the few places where we all enjoy eating. The food is delicious, there's a ton of variety, and I've never once had a take-out order be incorrect. If you're a first-time visitor there, I would recommend the steak quesadilla, my wife would recommend the veggie burrito with a side of guacamole, and our boys would recommend steak tacos with double rice (for Jimmy) or rice and beans (for Andrew). And we all recommend the chips.

If the opportunity presented itself, how would you encourage another person to attend Deacon Frans' Alpha Classes?

I would tell them, "Faith in God is more than a decision, it is a journey. Faith is a process that is never complete. It involves asking questions and waiting for answers, then asking more questions and waiting for more answers. As people, we all have something inside of us -- call it what you will, the soul or the spirit, consciousness or the mind -- but this part of us is something we all have and which humans have had for as far back as records go. It's the part of us that craves meaning and purpose, and that seeks answers. You may find that the answers you are looking for are out there, waiting to make themselves known to you, and just waiting for you to ask the right question, at the right time, in the right place. That place could be an Alpha Course, where you may find yourself beginning the journey of faith. If you're curious about learning more, bring your doubts, bring your objections, and bring your questions, but most of all bring yourself, an open mind, and an open heart. You might be surprised at what awaits you."

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