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God’s love and wisdom re-routes our lives

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14.)

Address the broken death penalty system

When our state legislators convene for the 90th General Assembly they have a number of important issues to address. Chief among them should be Arkansas’ death penalty, which former Attorney General Dustin McDaniel rightly observed is “completely broken.” In lawyer-speak, this means the thing is indefensible in its present form.

Why does God allow evil?

Each week is a week of tragedy. There are wars, violence or natural disasters. There is hatred, jealousy and sorrow. But some weeks it strikes closer to home. A disaster seems more real when people in our own nation are involved.

Why were you born?

God created each of us for a reason. Many people live and die, searching for some kind of purpose to their lives —where they fit, whether they really matter in the grand scheme of things.

A day of gratitude

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Sen.-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas delivers a Thanksgiving message that recognizes the many blessings bestowed upon America and its citizens while offering special thanks and gratitude to our troops and their families during the holiday season. A full transcript of the address follows:

It’s time for U.S. to upgrade old thinking on old nukes

The publicized mishaps — they shouldn’t be called scandals — in recent years by Air Force and Navy personnel in charge of nuclear weapons give the White House and Congress a chance to rethink the U.S. deterrence mission before returning airmen to those buried missile silos or sending sailors off on new strategic submarine patrols.

The game of games

Nov. 1, the Arkansas Razorbacks played the No. 1 team in the nation – Mississippi State and lost in a true nail-biter at the last moment. The same thing occurred in December 1969, when our Hogs lost the “Game of the Century” to Texas on national TV with President Nixon in the stands. Both were heart-breakers.

Pine Bluff going forward

About 12 years ago I returned to Pine Bluff, my hometown, after spending nearly 40 years living elsewhere. One of my favorite preoccupations from the start has been the writing of letters and guest columns to The Commercial .

The class of ‘69 had its dreams, too

I received a special honor this weekend. I was asked back to give the keynote speech at the El Dorado High School Class of ‘69’s 45th reunion. I taught English IV that year. I was a bit apprehensive at first. Yet, at the end of the speech, I enjoyed a standing ovation and was “over the moon” because of the “Thank-you-for what-you-did-for-me” remarks and the student who asked, “You goin’ with anyone right now?” before slapping Freemon on the shoulder. The following includes portions of that speech …

“School days/school days”– again

So many things have changed since I began elementary school back in 1949. First, we did not go to kindergarten. It didn’t exist. We never used 20-pound backpacks slung over our shoulders to carry everything from books to cell phones to clothing. We carried our sparse needs in book satchels. They were plastic, light-weight, some decorated with pictures of heroes of the day. There was a little pocket in the front for items such as colors and lunch tickets.

The benefits of attack ads

Negative campaign ads appear to be on the rise with the approach of this fall’s congressional elections and the 2016 presidential campaign. Hardly anyone has a good word to say about them. The standard critique — that they demean our democracy, deceive voters and cause disgusted voters to stay home on Election Day — has the ring of truth. But this exaggerates the negative about negative ads while obscuring their benefits.