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Have you ever been to the most beautiful place on earth?

October 5, 2016
Have you ever been to the most beautiful place on earth?

Have you ever been to the most beautiful place on earth? I have.
Mrs Sweetie and I just returned from a week in beautiful British Columbia. Two of our days were vacation days in Whistler, where many of the ski events were held during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The rest of our time was spent in Vancouver, where I serve as the international advocate for church planting among Farsi speaking people, in partnership with West Coast Baptist Association.
The Metro Vancouver region is an amazingly beautiful and cosmopolitan region, with around 3 million residents from all over the world speaking more than 200 languages.… Read the rest

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Forgotten in the West: Abandoned ‘halfbreed’ women

October 5, 2016
Forgotten in the West: Abandoned ‘halfbreed’ women

This column first appeared April 16, 1987.

Whatever happened to the halfbreed children of white American men who traded with Indian tribes in the 19th century who took Indian women and later left them?
I found the story of the later life of one of them.
In 1853, a young man named Charles Rath left the hard work of the family farm in Ohio and went west. He became involvd in trading and eventually took a Cheyenne wife named Roadmaker.
They had one daughter who was called Cheyenne Belle. In 1863, Charles left his Indian wife and child. He eventually married a cultured young lady in his hometown in Ohio and had two children.… Read the rest

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See Killer Clowns from Outer Space, er, North Texas!

October 5, 2016
See Killer Clowns from Outer Space, er, North Texas!

Oh, you just thought you were scared of clowns.
Everybody has something that freaks them out. For some it’s spiders. Others snakes. Some people are terrified to even ponder public speaking. For me it’s heights.
And an amazing number of folks are frightened of clowns. They are coulrophobic, scientifically speaking.
This is not my first clown column. I made note back in the summer of 2002 that, despite sports teams being named everything under the sun, you hardly ever heard of a squad being called the Clowns. (There’s one, the old Negro League Indianapolis Clowns.)
The reason? Clowns are evil!
At least the ones popping up all over America right now seem to be.… Read the rest

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State opts out of federal refugee resettlement program

October 5, 2016
State opts out of federal refugee resettlement program

Texas has acted on its threat to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sept. 30.
Texas had demanded enhanced FBI screening of individuals “from terrorist-based nations” and expressed resistance to the federal government’s request that the Lone Star State increase by 25 percent the number of refugees to be resettled. An estimated 7,000 refugees have taken up residence in Texas in the past year.
The federal government did not respond to a Sept. 21 letter from the state refugee coordinator with the Texas Department of Human Services. The letter gave notice that the state would no longer participate in the program if the state’s concerns were not addressed.… Read the rest

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Read this and you will know how to vote in Nov.

September 28, 2016
Read this and you will know how to vote in Nov.

Not sure how to vote this year? Can’t decide between the massive egos of Clinton and Trump? Think everything is just too confusing?
Well, you’re in the right place. You can decide right now! Enjoy these opposing stances on the following topics employing the ridiculous hyperbole politicians always use.

The economy
Think the rich are only getting richer and should be forced to share their good fortune with the other 99 percent they are holding down? Vote Clinton.
Think big business is essential for creating jobs and it’s no big deal that a guy has four yachts stuffed with untaxed cash – this is America, you can go out and do it yourself?… Read the rest

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Having certainty in the midst of life’s uncertainties

September 28, 2016
Having certainty in the midst of life’s uncertainties

In over 28 years of full-time vocational ministry, I think I have only missed two Sundays because of illness. On one of those occasions, because I was afraid to leave the house, I had to find a pinch-hitting preacher on short notice. One of my preacher friends gave me a new term for the ailment that I was experiencing: “intestinal uncertainty.”
Now you know why I was afraid to leave the house.
If you have been reading my column for more than a week or two, you know that my mind sometimes goes in unexpected directions. That’s a nice way of saying that I may not be exactly normal in my thinking.… Read the rest

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Man strikes it rich with a gold mine – for a while

September 28, 2016
Man strikes it rich with a gold mine – for a while

This column first appeared June 8, 1978.

The familiar expression “easy come, easy go” must have been coined to describe how Western prospectors who happened to be lucky enough to find a big strike handled their easy money.
It certainly describes the reactions of a man named Felix Mayhew after his big find.
Mayhew turned up in the mining camp of Kofa, Arizona about 1899. He became a deputy to the law officer of the camp. He even was a delegate to a district Democratic convention in 1900.
In that year, he was elected a justice of the peace. He also operated some business that the local paper said he was “sure to do a good business” on payday but didn’t explain further.… Read the rest

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State may withdraw from fed resettlement program

September 28, 2016
State may withdraw from fed resettlement program

Texas officials said the state will withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program if the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement does not approve the Lone Star State’s refugee plan by Sept. 30.
In a Sept. 21 letter to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, State Refugee Coordinator Kara Crawford gave official notice of Texas’ intention to withdraw from the program. A news release from the governor’s office said the letter was in response to the federal government’s “unwillingness to approve Texas’ updated state refugee plan, which would require national security officials to ensure that refugees do not pose a security threat to Texas.”
If Texas withdraws, the state’s role in the program would end effective Jan.… Read the rest

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Scenes from a mad dash to the Texas coast

September 21, 2016
Scenes from a mad dash to the Texas coast

If the Bride and I are famous for anything, it’s taking off on a moment’s notice to travel somewhere distant, stay for just a little while, then return home.
We’ve driven to Austin and back just to eat at El Patio and have a frozen yogurt at Sandy’s afterward.
This time we hopped in one of two cars for a 48-hour vacation in Galveston – with six grandkids, two daughters, and a son-in-law.
In a feat that goes unrewarded but should be heralded from the rooftops, we made it 200 miles without stopping, to Buc-ee’s on Interstate 45 – with six kids under 10 years old.… Read the rest

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A Pikachu in the hand is worth two Angry Birds in the bush

September 21, 2016
A Pikachu in the hand is worth two Angry Birds in the bush

This Pokemon Go thing is nuts! I don’t mean that in terms of mentally unbalanced (though there are certainly those who would be with me on that assessment). I mean that in terms of how it has taken over the world.
This smartphone game app, released on July 6, 2016, hit 100 million downloads by August 1, is played over 30 minutes a day by the average iOS user, is used daily by over 23 million people in the US, and is generating more than $10 million in revenue per day.
This reminds me, albeit on an even larger scale, of the Angry Birds craze from a few years ago.… Read the rest

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