On the morning of March 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln had to have wondered if the grim cold rain and gusty winds were there to cast a gloomy pall over his second term as President of the United States. Despite encouraging news from the battlefields of Virginia, Lincoln was to take his second oath…

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Did the year 2020 get you down? Has its effects flavored 2021 so much that it tastes bitter already? Whether limited in travel or quarantines in COVID, perhaps what your spirit needs is a reason to celebrate. Try on one or more of these national days and see if your spirit becomes lifted.

“I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting me because they are the only ones that count.”

Have you ever experienced a sudden overwhelming feeling of anxiety and fear? A panic attack pummels the body with intensity that is both unexpected and debilitating. The heart pounds. Breathing seems a chore. Without warning, the sense of impending death or insanity lurks directly around the…

NOTE: The Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee published its findings in December 2020. Of the 63 pregnancy-related deaths identified, the majority occurred postpartum, and the most common contributing factor was substance abuse disorder. Accidental overdose was overwhelmingly the lea…

If you’ve been following current events, this has been a crazy, bizarro past number of weeks and an incredibly sad past few days for our nation. I don’t know about you, but my mind and heart are going in a dozen different directions. So, here are some of my random thoughts:

NOTE: The Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee published its findings in December 2020. Of the 63 pregnancy-related deaths identified, the majority occurred postpartum, and the most common contributing factor was substance abuse disorder. Accidental overdose was overwhelmingly the lea…

Conspiracy beliefs unfortunately are fairly common in the United States. According to research, over half of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy story. Even bizarre beliefs, such as the idea that the government is intentionally placing invisible chemicals into the environment, is be…

It was already dark when I came to my desk to write tonight; even the stars and moon have covered themselves with a blanket of clouds on this bleak winter evening. It is a wonderful set of incongruent technologies, but all I hear as I sit in the glow of my laptop screen is a Seth Thomas mant…

Franklin Roosevelt had meandered through the entire 1932 presidential campaign against Herbert Hoover promising as little as possible about what he would do if elected. He relied upon his quick wit and optimistic personality to create a positive, almost bubbly feel to the election. But in hi…

All this week I’ve had a song playing in my head, “On the Willows” from the musical “Godspell” and taken from Psalm 137. A song of bitter lament, I’ve been hearing the part that goes: “How can we sing, sing the Lord’s song, in a foreign land?”

A few days ago my wife Diane spontaneously bought a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle that she saw at the grocery store. We have been working on it ever since. In the United States more people enjoy jigsaw puzzles than any other table game. The puzzle market is growing in leaps and bounds and is …

topical

“A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality.”

Christmas is no more. Its carols, such as they were this unusual season, echo but only hauntingly. Mere phantoms adding their wisps to the great mass of Christmases past. Marley molders still.

Reading my typical three newspapers on this eve of our new year, the same theme of “don’t look back to 2020” appears in all their opinion sections. I respectfully disagree and assert that if we do so, we will miss out on an incredible teachable moment and the learning opportunity of our life…

A couple of months ago, a title of a book came across the computer screen in an advertisement for Amazon. The title intrigued and the sub-title even more, so the ad was clicked. Reading the contents, the prefaces and the recommendations added to the appeal of the title. The price point was n…

During the pandemic, I experienced something that fundamentally changed my perspective on a problem I thought was already solved. I attended a virtual meeting with a participant connecting from her car. When the meeting ended, I asked her why. It turns out, she had returned home to care for …

As the year comes to a close, everything seems to be focused on the pandemic. We cancelled graduations, weddings, even funerals because of it. We received stimulus checks to help us through it. Our hearts are pounding in the hope of getting another one soon. Jobs have been lost, changed, or …

Satchell Paige was one of the greatest pitchers in professional baseball. Like another great, Yogi Berra, he had a way of saying things that seemed not quite understandable, but right.

Christmas was totally different this year. We didn’t have to rush out to yet one more house. The grandkids actually got to spend the day playing with their new gifts instead of rushing out to get more. Dinner was wonderful because I didn’t have to cook (my daughter did), and it was my first …

Indiana utility companies are accelerating their shift away from coal to produce energy, a trend that could spell the end to nearly all coal-fired power plants within the next two decades.

Christmas traditions have added the ginger and spice to the discussions over the past several weeks. The journey began with thoughts about advent and ways to count down to the celebration of Christmas. Later the traditions centered round the use of light during the holiday. Finally, traditio…

The traditional Christmas message is pretty straightforward. The gospel of Luke proclaims “…on earth peace, good will toward men.” This year, in particular, America is at crossroads and peace and good will are more important than ever before. In 2019 Annie Lowrey, a writer at The Atlantic, w…

Like most people, nostalgic or not, I like Christmas music. There are few things I enjoy more than sitting in my writing space on a wintry December night, a cup of steaming coffee nearby, a comforting Christmas classic playing in the background, the glimmer of colored lights at the eaves.

The family sat down the other night to watch the 1954 movie musical White Christmas starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney. The story of two war buddies who fall for two sisters is a seasonal favorite and features the famous song of the same name. Laughter and cringing always unfurls as t…

This is the time of year that I always write about creating a life plan for the upcoming new year and create a compelling vision because as Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This year is calling me to go deeper than the usual “Eat to live, don’t live to ea…

Across the globe this week, many people have new hope for an end of the pandemic and an eventual return to normalcy, as vaccines are finally deployed. Even without COVID-19 the holidays are a challenging time for many people. While there is no evidence that supports the myth that suicides in…

There have been periods of time in our country where the poor have struggled to be housed. None as prolific as today. In the past we recognized that poverty was real and while some struggled in tenement housing or poor farms in past decades, contemporary poor people had nowhere to go literal…

It has been a summer and fall of discontent; a time of mostly unnecessary political drama and an attention-getting virus, of hurricanes and wildfires and of general unease. It is hard to imagine that much of anything has gone right this year seeing that the national mood is frumpy, its patie…

Sunday marks 40 days and 40 nights wrongly wasted by President Trump and his allies in an attempt to subvert the will of the people, cancel the results of the presidential election, and keep him in power.

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