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One of the first things a physician often says when he examines a patient is, “Open up and say, Ahhh.” It is often possible to make a diagnosis just by looking inside a person’s mouth or their throat. Some problems can be detected by the tongue’s appearance.

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I begin this column on Monday morning, bright sunshine providing a gentle beginning to what may be one of the more stormy weeks in the history of American government.

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Remember the time you were expecting a piece of candy or a pickle to taste sweet, but it was bitter? It sent a shock to your taste buds. You quickly had to get something to drink in order to get the taste out.

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Though we are still very much within the Christmas season (should it really ever end?), the holiday itself has come and gone.

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What you did today will not likely be remembered for any length of time. In fact, the significant things we do in our lives will probably not be remembered in 100 years. What if you were someone important in this world? What if your efforts modernized an industry, improved many people’s qual…

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Things seemed well enough last winter, did they not? Little did we know how this year would play out. In March, suddenly, everything seemed to break down and break loose.

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We see life in color. The first thing we notice is color. We notice the color of someone’s clothes, hair, and skin. We have thousands of color choices to use in painting a wall. Marketers consider background and font colors when printing advertisements. We want to use color printers, because…

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As our Advent journey continues and Christmas Day draws near, it is proper for us to consider the mother on whom so much depended in the development of the world as we know it.

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This has been a Christmas season like no one can remember. December has the reputation of being one of the busiest months of the year. This year, I am hearing the opposite from young and old alike. Kids are bored because they aren’t in school and miss their holiday programs and parties. Adul…

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I cracked my wife’s phone by dropping it accidentally in the garage. Every time I look at the phone, I think about this mistake — while also mindful of her forbearance with me.

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When taking the stand, a witness is asked, “Do you swear (promise) to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” At one time, “So help me God” was part of that promise, as a petition to the highest authority. Telling the truth in a court of law is absolutely essential becau…

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If we grew up in a solid church community, we’ve heard it many more times than we can begin to remember.

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One person’s failure to live as they ought to should never become another’s excuse. Consider the life of Elkanah, Samuel’s Father. He is described in 1 Samuel 1 as a man who “went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh” (v. 3). That doesn’t sound like…

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Hagar had reached her breaking point. She had been sent away from her providers into the wilderness with only some bread, water, and her young son. The water bag had given its last drop. She put the child under some bushes and went a little ways off preparing for his and her eventual deaths.…

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Heather and Jake Dublin’s three-year-old daughter, Finley likes many of the same things any other 3-year-old girl would: dressing up, princesses and Barbies to name a few. But with the commonalities of other little girls, Finley’s birth was the result in vitro fertilization and the tales of …

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I remember growing up as a child, always looking forward to the Holiday season. Especially the toy catalogs that would come in the mail sometime in October. My older sister and I would be deep in thought and study for long periods of time over the next two months. We had pages folded, notes …

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I spent much of last week unable to focus well enough to write, thanks to pain-reducing narcotics before, during and after a kidney stone procedure at Baptist Health. Couldn’t concentrate on really anything, including prayer.

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It is easy to be misunderstood. Usually it is because something we say or do is taken by others in a way which we did not intend. Perhaps you heard about the auto repair place who used this phrase in their advertising: “Try us once and you’ll never go anywhere again.” That’s probably not qui…

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Our Lord was sorrowful and troubled. His heart was awash with emotions and feelings. His mind was confused with different desires. The greatest of conflicts was going on within his mind — would it be God’s will or the Son’s will?

Nobody cares for a phony. We do not appreciate someone who claims something they are not. We see it around us many times in politics, Hollywood and even in some business practices. There are people who say or claim one thing, yet do something entirely different. They are not genuine.

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One after the other they fall, surrendering to wind and season and creating a thick layer of brown and yellow on the green grass below. More have just fallen; many have this last day or so.

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A few years ago, Costco redesigned the shape of its milk containers. The spout was larger and the container taller and skinnier, giving it a more cylindrical shape. They told customers the new shape allowed for easier, more efficient stocking and delivery, and was thus cost-effective. They c…

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Psalm 125 reminds us that we do not need to fear the future. The psalmist is thankful to God because He has promised to protect and defend His people. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem so the Lord surrounds His people (v. 1-2).

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November 16 will kick off National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child and run through Nov. 23. Mayfield First United Methodist Church and Community Fellowship in Hickory are drop-off location for shoebox gifts that have been filled by churches, schools, groups, and individuals.

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Michael J. McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, is one step from sainthood, having been beatified during a ceremony Saturday, the day before All Saints Day, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Connecticut.

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“He said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.”

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Psalm 124 looks back at the kindness of the Lord in helping and protecting His people. Evil men were ready to swallow Israel up alive but the Lord delivered His people. Two times the psalmist declared, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side . . .” (Psalm 124:1-2).

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Pressure changes outcomes. We watch live sports because it is exciting to see what will happen in the heat of the battle. When the championship is on the line the athletes feel the pressure. Some rise to the occasion and perform in exceptional ways, while others will fold. Both responses are…

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Have you ever locked yourself out of your car or your house? What a frustrating, helpless feeling! “What will I do now?” “I have someplace I need to be or someone to meet.” “It’s too cold outside or someone won’t be home for hours.”

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Suppose you had come to Corinth, Greece for the famous Isthmian Games of A.D. 51 and needed a tent. You stumble upon a leather working man who makes, repairs, and sells tents. His name is Paul (Acts 18:3). You hear reports that he is a relatively well-known religious teacher. He is a trained…

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More and more, domestic discussions at my house are turning toward the holidays, as we all contend with schedules, shopping lists, travel plans and all the rest of it.

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In February of 2018, Amanda and I hiked Abrams Falls trail in the Cade’s Cove region of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful five mile round trip hike which is highlighted by Abrams Falls; a 20 foot waterfall with high water volume. The hike involves going up and over th…

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As if this year hasn’t been fun enough, we are now less than three weeks from Election Day, with the presidency and other offices on the line.

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Animals are interesting and mostly predictable in their behaviors. You can count on them to behave a certain way based upon what kind of animal they are. You would be surprised to find a cat who didn’t at least swat at a mouse that ran by. You would be amazed if a dog never sniffed around as…

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If we live 65 years, we have about 600,000 hours at our disposal. Assuming we are 18 when we complete high school, we have 47 years, or nearly 412,000 hours to live after graduation.

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Wingo Old Cumberland Presbyterian Church will have its annual Homecoming services on Sunday, Oct. 18. Worship will be at 10 a.m., followed by a potluck lunch in the Family Life Center of the church.

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Over the course of the year, Mary and I have seen new neighbors move in on both sides of us and behind us.

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In Luke 7:11-17 we read the remarkable account of what happened when Jesus encountered a large funeral procession. A grieving widow was on her way to bury her only son. Feeling compassion for the woman, he spoke to her, touched the coffin, and commanded her son to rise up out of the coffin!

Noise! We are used to it every day; our world is chaotic and busy. In the midst of this chaos, Paul gives us an unusual command, “aspire to live quietly” (1 Thes. 4:11). Does Paul want us to quit talking so much? While that is a part of the idea, it seems the concept is more of serenity, res…

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On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I found myself at Noble Park in Paducah for the first time in at least 30 years.

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During Passover week, Jerusalem would have had abundant visitors. There were a number of Greeks who had come to worship at the feast. They asked Philip if they could see Jesus. In response, Jesus said, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified” (John 12:23). Then, contrary t…

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Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, 2020. Her death, while met with memorials and sadness by many, primarily has created a firestorm over who will replace her. Given the election year timing of her death, political sides quickly divided on when and who should appoint …

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As we continue our consideration of loving selflessly, let’s turn to what St. John Paul II called utilitarianism.

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It was a delightful spring afternoon, King David was lounging around the palace with nothing to do. Typically, he would have been with his army, because this was the time of the year when kings go out to battle, but David stayed home.

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The Bible is not a written record of perfect people (except for Jesus). Throughout the entire book, God’s Word points out in painful detail the mistakes made by people of many different backgrounds.

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Last time, we began exploring the meaning of being made in the image of God, and through that our call to love selflessly. As we continue, let’s work from the idea that God had a conscious, deliberate plan in mind for your life and mine before we were born. This doesn’t negate free will, but…

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Harvest is here. Farmers are in the fields harvesting crops and will be gathering them for the next several months.

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Have you ever found it frustrating to talk to some people about what they believe? It is sometimes hard for people to express their beliefs because they are confused by what they have been taught.

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Let’s continue what we began last time, looking at the question of who God is for each of us.

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Our chickens have had it rough on the farm. We slowly lost our flock of birds to predators throughout the spring and summer. We got down to one rooster. He was all alone, wandering alone during the day and spending nights in the coop by himself. This rooster looked around and couldn’t find a…

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You’ve probably heard the story about the driver who put a note under the windshield wiper of a parked car. The note read, “I have just smashed into your car. The people who saw the accident are watching me. They think I’m writing down my name and address but I’m not.”

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Every religious tradition I can think of has some sort of creed or profession of faith, outlining the specifics of their tradition and what members are called to believe in. And certainly all those creeds will contain early mention of a divine central figure Christianity refers to as God.