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Conquering life’s enemies

“The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name! And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.” Luke 10:17-20 (Amplified Bible)

University Drive upgrade complete

The University Drive Highway 79B resurfacing project has been completed, and what a major boost for the University Park Neighborhood. The Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. would like to thank former Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche L. Lincoln, as well as former Congressman Mike Ross for helping ICVR Inc. with this project. However, this project almost didn’t happen because it was deemed “dead on arrival” when there was no funding available for the project.

Why does God allow people to do evil?

The Bible shows that God allows humans to have freedom of choice. He didn’t stop Adam and Eve from eating the forbidden fruit or Cain from murdering his brother (Genesis 3:6; 4:8). God didn’t prevent his own nation, ancient Israel, from sinning. The people were told to choose the way of love and life (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). But God didn’t prevent them from choosing the way of evil, which they did.

‘Dope’ will hook you

Three nerds with a mad obsession for ’90s rap mistakenly get tangled up in a drug snafu in the Sundance smash “Dope.” The movie, from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, is a high school coming-of-age comedy with a lot of heart, smarts and edge. Unlike others of its ilk, “Dope” isn’t set in some tony suburb or cultured city, but rather the gang-infested streets of a rough piece of Inglewood, California, called “The Bottoms.” Life there is a “daily navigation between bad and worse choices.” Call it “Geeks in the Hood.”

Forgiveness is a command

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:30-32.

What is salvation?

Salvation is a rescue operation. When God made humans, he made them “in his own image,” which includes intelligence, creativity and power over creation.

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.