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Purging History

When our older son purchased his first vehicle, he was about sixteen years old. He wanted a pickup truck and found a 1984 Dodge that appeared to be a dependable vehicle. After he purchased it, he began making modifications. I recall he put lifts on it and he painted it a dull camouflage green. (There were other things as well that I’ve likely forgotten.) He loved that vehicle. The picture below isn’t his truck, but a similar version.We were glad he enjoyed spending time fixing up his truck and making it an expression of his personality. However, we put our foot down when it came to one specific attachment he’d planned – he wanted to hang a Confederate battle flag in the rear window. We told him we thought that was an especially bad idea. Continue Reading →

The Right to Define

UPDATE:  Yesterday (6/17/15) on the World Magazine website, Editor Marvin Olasky made a similar comparison to this post, also citing the quote below.

“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” If you’re not familiar with this quote, you may find it to be an interesting statement. I have. (I’ll wait a bit before I tell you who said it.)Liberty

If ever this statement applied to our culture, I think it would be today. At first blush, the statement carries the veneer of ringing true. Liberty, one of the lofty concepts on which our country was founded, has become the cry of many … and seemingly understood only by the few. Continue Reading →

Captive Culture

For some, it’s been called The Culture Wars. For others, it’s simply life in the 21st Century. Whichever your particular point of view, unless you’re under 20 years of age, the world is quite different from the one into which you were born. At its most basic level, the phrase defines two competing ideologies or sets of values, each seeking preeminence in the public square.300357

Some observers pose the rivalry as Red States versus Blue States or Democrats versus Republicans or Progressives versus Conservatives. While each description has its merits, I prefer to think about The Culture Wars in terms less political. I think such categories hamper a clear view of the landscape and foster polarization. Continue Reading →

HillBilly Circus

Most of my life, I thought a “well-informed” person should read at least one weekly news-magazine, read a daily newspaper (or more), tune in nightly news broadcasts and listen to a broad range of current-issue radio presentations. After carefully consuming “news” via reading / listening / watching multiple news resources as well as analyzing and evaluating issues, I realize the term “well-informed” can be misleading. I’ve found the freedom to unplug!oldtimeradio

The newspaper was the first to go. I spent entirely too much time everyday … morning coffee eased into mid-morning coffee and even midday. (My thought process went like this:  as long as I held a cup of coffee in my hand, it was still “breakfast.“) About ten years ago, I was ready to cancel delivery, except my Beloved insisted on keeping it. We continue to subscribe but now the accumulation of papers just annoys me. Continue Reading →

Out of the Gate!

The horse-race has begun! Can’t you just feel the anticipation? The excitement? The hotly-contested, fiercely-competitive quest for the checkered flag … er, the green jacket … er, the stretched-out tape at the finish line … er, the party’s nod to run for President – that doesn’t necessarily mean victory and White House residency.andtheyreoff

You may actually have enthusiasm for this renewed political season to be kicking off … I’m not. I knew it would be upon us soon enough, but I’ve dreaded hearing various candidates announce they’re launching their campaigns. It seems as though the wall-to-wall nature of media and news has spawned a monster, like a massive and disgusting tapeworm that devours from within. Continue Reading →

Crossroad of Church and State

Hatred is an insidious emotion. The recent massacre at a Kenyan university underscores hatred’s indiscriminate power to destroy the innocent. With a death toll of nearly 150, the pre-dawn terror attack focused on non-Muslim students, setting professed Muslims free. Certainly, hatred with a religious component is even more insidious because the perpetrators justify their actions by claiming religious zeal.

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FROM: http://tiny.cc/rhilwx

The religious leaders in the first century were masters at stirring up the Hebrew people. As Luke 22:47-53 notes, a crowd (mob?) had come under the darkness of night to where Jesus had retreated to pray. In the crowd (leading the crowd?) were the “chief priests and officers of the temple and elders.” As they seized Jesus to take Him away, He observes how He’s been teaching “day after day in the temple” and yet “you did not lay hands on me.Continue Reading →

A 21st Century Henny-Penny Tale

Alas and alack! Oh, woe is me! Here in the heart of Chicken-dale, northwest Arkansas, home to millions of white-feathered birds who eventually get delivered in one form or another to the grocery stores … and after that, end up on platters at the center of our dinner tables … there’s a crisis of epic proportions going on!

A Crisis, I tell you! The magnitude of this crisis is stunning and beyond belief. Given the stories coming from the television news, the newspapers and various online hysteria-mongers, nothing so bad as this has happened since … what? Chick-Fil-A Day back in July of 2012?sky-is-falling-2

Please don’t get ahead of me here. To my knowledge this particular crisis has nothing to do with describing the former First Lady of Arkansas (the insincere, er, out of touch, er, polarizing, er, esteemed Hillary Clinton) as ambitious, calculating, disingenuous or any of the notoriously “sexist” words now banned by Clinton supporters who’ve identified the words as “coded sexism.” As serious a misstep as that would be to let slip one of the verboten terms in reference to HRC, this is not the current crisis of which I speak. Continue Reading →

The Shocking Lure of Celebrity

Usually, I take less than minimal interest in the ways congressmen or women choose to decorate their DC offices. It’s mostly trivial to me. However, when a congressman decides to go with the Downton Abbey motif (at a cost of $40,000), that piques my curiosity (and causes me to question his wisdom). The unfortunate revelations surrounding U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) have gradually surfaced, leading to his resignation announcement today.

FROM:  http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx

FROM: http://tiny.cc/6o0nvx

Schock made a pretty big impression in the nation’s capital. He recently was described this way by Politico:  The guy might just be America’s most photogenic congressman. The Men’s Health cover (above) dates from June 2011. The congressman rose quickly through the ranks and enjoyed wide margins of victory in his most recent elections. Continue Reading →

Winning On One’s Own Terms

An article in today’s The Guardian caught my attention. In an especially humanizing piece, author Ed Pilkington (in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the byline notes) offers a thoughtful presentation that Hillary Clinton’s Arkansas Friends reveal a woman wanting to win on her own terms.

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AP / Seth Wenig

As with the aforementioned post, my post also originates in Fayetteville, Arkansas. And I, not normally a Hillary-watcher, found Pilkington’s observations interesting. The piece is an effort to set into context Mrs. Clinton’s email debacle news conference (earlier this week). Contrasting her admissions of failure, er, stupidity, er, desire for privacy and convenience to the frustrations of her earlier years and a determination to do things her way, Pilkington unveils a canvas painted by those closest to her. Continue Reading →

Naming the Name of Jesus

A little boy needs his daddy. When birthdays roll around, he feeds on his daddy’s presence … the grown man modeling for the young one how to navigate through the normal events of life. For a boy in primary school whose daddy is half a world away, an extended absence of more than thirty months represents a significant chunk of the child’s life. Knowing daddy is wrongly imprisoned causes a level of anxiety a little boy should never have to endure.abedini-pastor-saeed-abedini-and-their-two-young-children-in-this-undated-family-photoThe boy is Jacob Abedini whose father Pastor Saeed Abedini has been detained in an Iranian prison since 2012. Back in January, President Obama met with Abedini’s wife and two children; he assured them Saeed’s release was a “top priority” for him and his administration. Continue Reading →

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