More like Christmas

December 27, 2010 Lately I’ve noted a few happenings that have made the holidays seem more like Christmas this year. Let me enumerate them: Across the top of the sign at a local grocery market, I saw written “Jesus is the only gift you really need.”  I stopped in my tracks and read it again; then marched into the market and said “Thanks!” The sign at a local car sales lot wished Jesus a happy birthday again this year. Someone else gets the message.

Launch new boat

December 27, 2010 Dear editor:When I told a well known Arkansan from our area that I was moving to Batesville to teach at now Lyon College, he told me that Independence County had more millionaires per capita than any in Arkansas. Could that really be true?Not too many years later I, as chair of our church board, was cautioned not to be too quick to raise salaries. From time to time I still hear that holding down salaries is in Batesville’s best interest. Cogitate on that a bit.

Walkin’ tall

December 27, 2010 Dear editor:Maybe my math ain’t so hot, nor my grammar. But my heart is right on the mark. It says Batesville’s new hiking-biking trail along the Lyon College bluffs is “The Million Dollar Mile!”Huge thanks are due to those so brilliant as to conceive it and so diligent as to carve out this heavenly pathway.We lovers of rocks and hills and trees are richer now. We have more activity options, more dreams and inspiration and aspirations. Batesville seems even more now as a wonderful home.

2011 will be a new year for Republican mistakes

December 27, 2010 When it’s nearly time to flip the calendar to January, we take stock of the past 52 weeks and look ahead. It is an annual tradition we encourage all to adopt. Why? It helps you to plan and live intentionally.Our wish is that 2011 will be better for most Americans. While we are pessimistic in the short run, for the long term, we remain optimistic. Here’s why:

New year, old issues

December 22, 2010 Welcome, 2011, and all that you offer as a New Year: a chance for a fresh start and the promise of new opportunities.But it’s fair to say that in terms of the First Amendment, you’re going to look a lot like your just-departed calendar relative. Many of the major court battles, legislative debates and public controversies of 2010 will waft right into the next 12 months with nary a pause for a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.”

Good Book takes me home

December 22, 2010 As a small child I would grab the Bible, curl up in a comfy chair and read about the birth of baby Jesus every year just before Christmas, even though I could recite all the words by heart.I’m not sure at what age I started my own tradition of incorporating that, but I do recall it stayed with me for a great many years.I could recite all the books in the New Testament, although I don’t think I ever quite mastered the Old and soaked up those Bible stories like a sponge.

The Ghosts of Christmas Pageants Past

December 21, 2010 Indecipherable speech, missed cues and wardrobe malfunctions abounded, but a wintry good time was had by all.I’m speaking of my son Gideon’s first-grade Christmas pageant; but, come to think of it, I could probably go “green” and recycle that lead paragraph when reporting about a congressional junket to Jamaica.

Learning about an old Scrooge

December 21, 2010 My little 3-year-old daughter, Celese, let go of my hand and rushed to the little red wagon. “Oh, Daddy. Can we get it for Christmas?! Can we?!”I could see the longing in her smiling face and her sparkling eyes, but when I looked at the $60 price tag, my heart sank. As a college student, I was doing everything I could, but I was barely able to earn enough money for my family’s needs. Besides teaching some classes, and taking care of race horses at nights and on Saturdays, I also did work at our apartment complex for half of our rent.

Decade’s top 10 comedic news stories

December 21, 2010 Believe it or not, an entire decade has passed since the turn of the millennium. One hundred-twenty months. One-tenth of a century. More than 3,600 days. How did that happen? It’s harder to comprehend than a faded Kazakhstani street sign tagged by Mongolian graffiti.