Columns/Opinions

Thu
21
Jan

Area churches, businesses kick off 2016 Daniel Plan on Valentine’s Day

   On February 14 area businesses and churches will kick off the 2016 community wide Daniel Plan, which has revolutionized the concept of healthy life styles at the Nature Center at 12:30 p.m.
   The gathering will include registration, a light lunch and then group trail walks. 
   Well-known pastor and author, Rick Warren (author: The Purpose Driven Life), developed the Daniel Plan in his church when he realized that the reason diets and exercise programs were just not working for him and others was because God was left out of the diet and exercise routine. 

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Thu
14
Jan

"A dilemma: Do we go for fluffy hearts this year?" by: Jessica Shepard

   Sometimes, when a new holiday rolls around, I’m a bit torn between wanting to decorate and not.
   It’s also rather hard when you work from home, too.
   I mean, sure, we got the “project” tree and ornaments all packed up.
   But, Valentine’s Day looms around the corner and my mom and I debated getting those decorations out of the attic.

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Thu
14
Jan

"Wait for opportunity in a difficult market" by: John Sample

   Well, if you thought last year was not much, this one is really starting off poorly. 
   We have been able to wipe out the total gains of the fourth quarter in the first six trading days of 2016. 
   Moreover, the earnings environment is not supportive either. 
   We had no gain in the second quarter of 2015 and negative results the last two quarters. 
   I hate to bring this to your attention but a year of earnings declines has a tendency to predict an economic recession. 
   That is with the Federal Reserve deciding it is the perfect time to raise rates to head off inflation.
   I am not much for the predictability of Santa Claus rallies or the first 10 days of trading in a new year but I could really use some good signals for a change. 

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Thu
14
Jan

"You should worship God’s beauty, not tremble in fear" by: Caleb Gibson

   There always are questions that I have had about the Bible.  
   Until God showed me the truth, this one question boggled me for my entire life. 
   What does it mean to, “fear the Lord?”  
   Now these words are scriptural, but it does not mean that we need to tremble and be scared of God. 
   Many teach that the Bible says, “fear the Lord” means to have a reverent fear of God. 
   This is one way to look at it, but I believe that there is an answer that is actually hidden in the Bible. 

 

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Thu
14
Jan

"We should stand out like the cardinal, offer hope" by: Betsy Monico

   I will continue on this week with some more deer hunting observations and call it part two. 
   Last week I shared an account of how I followed my hubby through the mud to get to and from the deer stand out in the boonies.  
   He led me there safely because he knew the path well. 
   He helped me make it back to the car in the dark without harm, reassuring me often that he had a gun if anything scary jumped out of the woods. 
   I drew a connection between following my husband on the hunt and following the Lord in my life. My hubby knew the route way better than I did. 
   I was wise to stay a step behind him. Likewise, the LORD knows the route in life we should take way better than we do too….obviously! 
   He created us. He created the world we live in.  We are way better off when we let the LORD lead and we follow. 

Thu
14
Jan

"Learning the art of the fetch" by: Rob Murray

   If you have been following along on this series of articles about dog training, then your pup should have a firm understanding that you are their Alpha leader, they should be looking you in the eyes when you call their name and they should be heeling, sitting and reliably coming to you with the “Here!” 
   Today, we teach the art of fetching! Most hunting dogs and labs in particular, are born with some, or a lot, of inherited drive to fetch an object. 
   We need to get the drive going…
   I start my pups fetching with small white bumpers or small teal size Doken duck dummies; both of which can be bought on-line or at sporting good stores. 

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Thu
07
Jan

"New year, new earworms" by: Jessica shepard

   So, I’ve managed to stumble across a genre of music as of late that had the strangest effect on me.  
   By stumble, of course I mean I picked it up on a playlist on 8Tracks and have since then, spent a grand amount of spare time educating myself on the subject. 
   I have officially had a nerd moment rooted in music for the first time in years. 
   It’s termed “Southern Gothic” and draws its roots from gospel, blues, folk tunes, classic country, classic rock and, of course, Gothic embellishments. 
   Other times it’s called “Dark Americana,” “Gothic Americana” or “Death Country.” 
   But, it also takes its cues from a literature subgenre of the same name.  

Thu
07
Jan

"2015 ended with Grinch, not Santa" by: John Sample

   I wish I could say that 2015 went out with a bang but the Santa Claus rally turned into the Grinch.  
   The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index closed down for the year for the first time since the recession started in 2008.  
   I suppose that would seem logical, since we finally raised interest rates for the first time since the recession.  
   You partner that with what was happening with energy prices, Asian economy, terrorism, politics and it is a wonder we didn’t experience a crash.  
   Lest anyone forget though, the various stock indexes traded at all-time highs in 2015.  
   We had not seen such lofty heights in over a decade.  
   The fact that we started the year off with a 200-plus pullback really only seems realistic. 
   The markets are going to have to become accustomed to trading in an environment where the central banks are not there to stoke the fires. This is long overdue.  

Thu
07
Jan

"Try setting achievable, meaningful resolutions " by: Sister Maria del Rosario Resendez

   A new year has begun, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We have 12 months of the unknown in our future and I hope that each unknown is a blessing to all. 
   This is the first year since I’ve had Facebook that my feed was not bombarded by New Year’s resolutions. 
   My Pinterest also wasn’t bombarded by several different workout routines or quick weight loss solutions.  
   Though I can live without all the New Year, new me posts I still found it kind of strange. 
   Did New Year resolutions cease to exist or did people finally realize that things like that are best kept secret? 
   If not secret maybe it’s best they are not posted on social media. 
   I used to do the usual resolution of losing weight and exercising more, but that never worked out. I failed to see that the resolution isn’t a diet plan that you stop doing once you have achieved your weight goal, but it’s a change in my lifestyle. 

Thu
07
Jan

"You can’t get lost with Jesus as your guide" by: Betsy Monico

   Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” 
   I truly feel like over the past two weeks the Lord has given me the desires of my heart. 
   We started off Christmas vacation with a family meeting. I asked each family member what we needed more of. 
   Their responses were so simple:  family football games, hanging out over at the shop, dinner at the table, movie nights and more working together out in the woods. 
   Everything was free and within our reach. I am happy to announce we nearly checked everything off of our list and we added in nightly pool tournaments, where I always ended up in the loser’s bracket. 
   We laughed a lot too…big stuff! 
   We do not always get along. We sometimes do not even want to be in the same room with each other; however, the Lord blessed our time together. 
   He granted me the desires of my heart. 

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