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I was preaching a series of sermons in a small town, and on one of the days an elderly gentleman came up to me during lunch. He said, “I know what it is to be frightened.”

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Mama was real good at money. She could get as much out of a dollar bill as a lot of people could get out of five dollars.

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The new year has arrived! As we begin to focus on it, many of us think of “good advice” that might guide us.

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It was the beginning of summer, the beginning of dusk edging toward twilight as we headed home from dinner with friends.

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Gadzooks! Can it really be 2020? That sounds more like what I wish my vision was than an actual year. Wasn’t it only yesterday when we sat holding our breath awaiting Y2K and wondering if all the computers in the world would go crazy and die? The only thing that happened was that a bunch of consultants got rich telling us our computers would go crazy and die if we didn’t hire them. Of course, nothing happened. The consultants and the computers are still laughing at us.

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For the past four years, my New Year’s resolution has been the same. It has nothing to do with weight, being a better person or cleaning the house more often.

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"It's the most wonderful time of the year," Andy Williams reminds us over tinny speakers in crowded shopping malls. It may be wonderful for the majority, but for those whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers or children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan there is a void this Christmas, and Christmases to come, that can never be filled. It is the same in every war.

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"Blowout" was how one UK newspaper described the decisive victory of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in last week's election.

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I constantly ask questions. It’s my job. But I don’t have all the answers. Why can’t airlines, hotels and concert ticket sellers just be honest? Instead of charging us more money for “convenience fees” and “service charges,” why not just jack up the price on the front end and be done with it?

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When Tink first moved to the place which he now firmly and alternately calls “my home” or “the place where I belong,” I often had advice on adjusting to the South. One piece was constant: “Be careful what you say about people because you never know who’s kin to who.”

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It is a truism that a blackmailer is rarely satisfied. Once the payoffs start, there often is no end to them.

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Among the great treats that come from my job as a writer are all the wonderful, handwritten letters I receive. Few are typed, and though I receive many emails, these scripted letters are always the most joyous.

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Some of you will be reading these words before, some during and several after Thanksgiving Day (like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on this column.) So, we need to set some ground rules: Let’s remember to express our thanks on days other than when our mouths are stuffed with turkey parts.The problem is that we usually don’t do so on the other 364 days a year (OK, 365 on a leap year. Some of you can be so picky) because we are too busy complaining about the weather, politics, our aches and pains, robocalls, inconsiderate drivers and/or the price of something or other.

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There is a telling scene in Season 3 of the Netflix drama "The Crown" about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II that can instruct contemporary America about Democrats' attempt to impeach President Trump.

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Thanks is a good word because it acknowledges that we can’t make it by ourselves.

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If you are in need of more evidence as to why so many Americans are cynical about politics in general and Washington in particular (and isn't current evidence sufficient?), you need look no further than the etymological shift taken by Democrats during the House impeachment hearings.

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So what is step one in addressing this destructive societal dilemma of division? For me, the suggestion is kindness.

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A while back, I found myself on a rural backroad that is now a blacktop, but I remember when it was nothing more than red dirt that left a swirl of dust behind the back end of a car or marred its wheels in mud that stuck to the whitewall tires like putty.

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We all have our ups and downs, our better days and our rough days. Everyone of us serves time with our own version of the blues.

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We all have our ups and downs, our better days and our rough days. Everyone of us serves time with our own version of the blues.

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“Well my daddy left home when I was three, and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me, except this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did, is before he left, he went and named me Sue.”

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Only extreme partisans intent on denying President Trump any credit for any success would be critical of the operation he ordered that resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These extreme partisans include Speaker Nancy Pelosi who, while praising the “heroism” of the special unit that conducted the raid on al-Baghdadi’s location in Northern Syria, could not bring herself to say anything nice about the president. Instead, she said the House should have been notified in advance. Why? Does the House command troops? Pelosi lamented that Russia was informed, but that was because Russian weapons and troops were in areas over which American helicopters flew in order to reach their target.

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A new wrestling league is being promoted during TV coverage of Major League Baseball’s post-season. The ad promises more action, more spectacle and includes women as well as men grappling with each other.

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It is so much easier to remain in our self-pity. It is so much easier to cling to our problems. It is so much easier to give up and succumb to the odds.

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Glimpses back to childhood always bring an odd remembrance of some kind. Sometimes when I go into our kitchen at night, I will think of the kitchen of my childhood home.

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This is all political theater and bad theater at that. Democrats are going through the motions of impeachment, hoping to thwart the president’s re-election.

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Well, I opened a can of worms. A few weeks ago, I listed a few of the common spelling mistakes that make us laugh (or groan). Since then, my mailbox runneth over with more. So before the “statue” of limitations runs out (where IS that statue, anyway?) let’s review a few from the Bad Spelling Hall of Fame.

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