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“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.

College cost isn’t big problem for poor students

To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting more kids from poor families into college, the key to moving up in an increasingly unequal society.

Make the right choice

Joshua, God’s servant, the leader of God’s chosen people Israel who succeeded Moses, his mentor, was growing old and knowing the character and the attitudes of his people was compelled to call them together. (Joshua 24: 14-14)

Birthday wows and woes

Since July is my birthday month, I guess I should write something about the past three-score and one anniversaries of the date. Actually, my very first memory is of my fourth birthday party. I have a vague recollection of playing “Drop the Handkerchief” and “London Bridge” and a birthday cake served on the front porch with presents. In 1947, we didn’t know about party themes, pizza/game parlors, or inflatable rentals for the lawn.

Devastation of hearts and homes

Arkansas, once again, has suffered the devastation of spring storms. We all have suffered along with our neighbors in Paron, Mayflower, Vilonia and other communities in our area. But Arkansas has rallied as she has always done — donating money and goods through fund drives and our churches to help our friends in need. Our hearts have been broken and, therefore, we have come forward with prayer and aid to uphold our neighbors in need. We are a caring state and I am so proud to be a part of my home state again.

Just do it

Nike’s catch phrase, “Just Do It “challenges me as a believer in a couple of ways. I have a very detail oriented; check the box kind of personality. I thrive on it. Sometimes I can sit for hours trying to decide where to start on a particular project and still not actually start unless I first make a list. I love to check things off my list. With each check I feel like I’ve taken a leap in the right direction.

How to stop a gossip

“Rumor has it…” What is it about having the edge on juicy information? What drives people to be the first to have and share some inside information? If someone starts off a sentence with, “Guess what I heard?” you had better be careful to check that information as truth before sharing it. Why is it we love rumors and gossip? What is even more ironic is that they are both forms of lies. If Satan is the father of all lies (John 8:44) then why do people, Christians especially, run to them sometimes like moths to a flame?

A Lenten reflection

When my father died I was devastated. I was relatively young, as was he, and we were close — even though my parents were divorced and I lived with my mother in another community. The loss was enough to cause me to register shock. One of my coping devices is to compartmentalize, which I did in this case. As a result, I did not have to deal with my emotions until much later.