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Listening to the deafening sounds of silence

November 12, 2014
Listening to the deafening sounds of silence

The fluid was gurgling in my ear.
Everybody has some sort of weird anomaly with their bodies. Some have hairy backs. Others weird feet. And still others have an extra something or other.
I’m an earwax guy.
It builds up through the years despite my living by the creed of “put nothing smaller than your elbow in your ear.”
(When I was a boy, my mom was the master at digging wax out with a bobby pin.… Read the rest

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What I meant to say

November 12, 2014
What I meant to say

You have probably seen some of these classic church bulletin bloopers, but here are a few, just in case you haven’t. I offer these as examples of why every church needs a proofreader before anything goes to print. I offer my commentary on each one because, well…I can.
1. “Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.” (Every 10 year-old boy will think this is the greatest missionary speaker ever.)… Read the rest

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More died from 1918-19 influenza epidemic than WWI

November 12, 2014
More died from 1918-19 influenza epidemic than WWI

Everyone is concerned with the ebola situation today. Sweeping the world 96 years ago was “influenza.”
In the U.S. 28 percent of Americans either got sick or died from the flu, and before it was all over 675,000 died.  Worldwide between 20 and 40 million people died. Some estimates go higher. This was more people in one year than the Bubonic Plague killed in Europe from 1347 to 1351. The 1918-19 epidemic was called the “Spanish Flu” because early cases were noted in that country.… Read the rest

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Abbott, Patrick voted into top Texas posts

November 12, 2014
Abbott, Patrick voted into top Texas posts

Winners in the Nov. 4 general election on the whole proved that incumbency and/or running as a Republican continue to be assets when Texas voters hit the polls.
Democrats Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte lost by wide margins to Republicans Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. In the Abbott-Davis race, the spread was 20 points: 59 to 39 percent. Similarly, the spread in the Patrick-Van de Putte race was 19 points: 58 to 39 percent.… Read the rest

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A poem by any other name will still be unread

November 5, 2014
A poem by any other name will still be unread

I try.
Occasionally, I pick up a book of poetry and try to get through it.
But, like with classical music or jazz, I soon find my mind wandering.
Oh, certain pieces of high society art have stuck with me through the years.
I know lots of classical music – well, bits of famous pieces – thanks to old Bugs Bunny cartoons I watched every Saturday morning as a kid.… Read the rest

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How can you go West and fail, but actually succeed?

November 5, 2014
How can you go West and fail, but actually succeed?

Nathaniel Wyeth spent five years in the West and failed, but he is remembered favorably by Western historians anyway. How did that happen?
Born Jan. 29, 1802 near Cambridge, Massachussets, Wyeth helped his father run a hotel the family owned instead of going to nearby Harvard like his older brother. In winter he cut and moved huge blocks of ice for hotel use in the summer and for export.  That was hard work, so when Bostonian Hall Jackson Kelley began a society in 1829 to settle Oregon, Wyeth joined.… Read the rest

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Secretary of State posts early voting turnout numbers

November 5, 2014
Secretary of State posts early voting turnout numbers

The Secretary of State’s Elections Division on Oct. 31 posted early voting turnouts for each of the state’s 15 highest-population counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Collin, Denton, El Paso, Fort Bend, Hidalgo, Montgomery, Williamson, Galveston, Nueces and Cameron.
Of the 8,978,313 registered voters in those counties, 1,715,731 voted early in person or by mail. That’s a 19.11 percent cumulative early voting percentage. To compare with the last midterm election, in 2010, the cumulative early voting total for those 15 counties was 1,731,589 ballots cast out of 8,339,034 registered voters, or 20.76 percent of the total.… Read the rest

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How can wisdom meet energy?

November 5, 2014
How can wisdom meet energy?

Are you as tired as I of the negativity and hyperbole of the election season? Thankfully, we can soon move on to what’s next. Something that amazes me is how those who come in second (a much nicer term than “losers”) congratulate and commit to work with those whom they have spent the past months vilifying. I guess they are hoping that their controversial and accusatory statements will be forgotten and they will still have a place at the table.… Read the rest

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Attack of the dead chicken

October 29, 2014
Attack of the dead chicken

It was like any other late Sunday night: I was eating in my favorite chair, watching British comedies on PBS.
Historically, TV and eating go together in my family.
While we were far from independently wealthy, my dad made sure of two things: We always ate good and we always had a decent TV.
(Well, actually, Dad made sure of three things: “Don’t stand in front of the TV when the Cowboys were on.”)… Read the rest

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So, what happens when wisdom meets energy?

October 29, 2014
So, what happens when wisdom meets energy?

I recently enjoyed a brief conversation with a “seasoned” pastor, in which we acknowledged our common experience of needing to be wise in how we budget our energy at this stage in life. We can’t do everything we did when we were young bucks in the ministry.
Our experience is not unique to pastors. It is probably true of every person in leadership, but the life of a pastor is what I know best.… Read the rest

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