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Columns

  • Bloom like an amaryllis

    My wife, Lori, and I are not good with houseplants. When she brings home a new plant, I shake my head, knowing the plant's likely demise. I want to pull it aside and whisper, "I'm so sorry she bought you. I promise I'll pray for you."

    If plants could muster a police force, they would charge Lori and me with negligent homicide.

    So last year, when some well-meaning friends gave us an amaryllis for Christmas, I thanked them kindly.

    And as soon as they left, I knelt by their gift and offered last rites for it.

  • Racism a problem, no matter your race

    In journalism, if you need a source for a story, you talk to someone who has a point of view to share for your story. You do that regardless of the person's background, and particularly regardless of their race.

    Usually, I find myself on the side of the news story where I'm the one asking the questions. Rarely have I been the one interviewed. But Monday morning, I received a telephone call that placed me as a source for a story to be aired on television.

  • A gardner's dilema: Should I stay or should I go?

    A friend and gardening mentor told me when I first ventured into this labor of love called gardening that this hobby should be relaxing. "If it's stressful," he told me, "you're taking it too seriously."

    His words echo in my ears as I stare at the freshly plowed ground, that chore the courtesy of a friend kind enough to break up the soil for me.

    It happens every year: "Can I do this? Do I really want to start with the planting, the cultivating, the weeding?"

  • Senseless violence in Baltimore

    To be honest, I'm not exactly a tolerant person. I can't stand stupidity, and I have little patience for people who do things that I consider to be stupid.

  • Somebody's prayin'

    "Preacher," a church member said to me one Sunday, "I was driving in front of the church this morning, and I saw you standing by yourself up there at the top of the front steps. I knew what you were doing; I knew you were praying. And I just want you to know it made me feel better."

    It somehow makes us feel better knowing somebody's praying, though I can't explain exactly why.

    I've never been much of a country music fan, but I can listen to Ricky Skaggs sing,

     

    Somebody's Prayin,' over and over.

  • A young life cut short

    It's a shame to see people waste opportunities in life. They don't come around very often, and if you get a good one, you should take it and apply yourself to the best of your ability.

    Jonathan Krueger was the kind of young man who did just that. He applied himself to his studies at the University of Kentucky, and he was part of a study abroad program that took him to London, England and Dublin, Ireland not long ago.

  • Reading the right book

    I’m a reader. I enjoy a good book, and I often find myself anticipating something that I want to read, even months before it’s released.

    I used to read hardbacks, but now, I find myself reading most of my books on my iPad or iPhone. It’s easier, and I can take an almost unlimited number of books with me wherever I go.

  • Holy hilarity on Easter Sunday

    Hearing laughter from one of the rooms where a Bible study class was meeting Sunday morning, I cracked opened the door and teased, “What’s this, laughter in church?”

    They answered with more laughter.

    And why not laugh in church? There certainly is a time for being quiet and even for sadness. As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, “There is an appointed time for everything…” including, “a time to cry and a time to laugh.”

  • Keep your butts in the car!

     

    We've all seen it as we drive down the road; a person in the car in front of us flicks a small object out of their window, and it falls to the ground, hardly visible.

    We drive on and, most times, we probably don't think about it again.

    The object is a cigarette butt, and we've all seen it. Do we call 911 and report someone for littering? No, of course not. It's just a cigarette butt.

  • Wise's legislation on KEES money passes

    The focus in the Senate last week and the days ahead will be on receiving and vetting many House bills while we continue to work on our own legislation.