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Guest Columns

  • Give thanks with a grateful heart

    An open letter to God, a psalm of thanksgiving:

    My Father who art in heaven

    Truly, hallowed and holy is your name.

    As I begin to write my yearly psalm of thanksgiving, this my 12th or 13th year, I’m wrestling with where to start, what to say, how to even approach you.

    Not that I’m not thankful, because I am. But I don’t want this to be rote and same -- or worse, clever for cleverness sake. After 12 or 13 years, I struggle to be fresh. I struggle to be present, to not just phone it in.

  • It’s time we work together

    Our world is at a point of crisis that most of us could never have imagined. Factors of climate, war, culture, environmental destruction, resources, unemployment and financial decline are creating fear and uncertainty of the future. We are at what some predict as the end times.

    Whether you agree with this or not, one thing that we all agree on is the need to set aside our differences and focus on mutual goals of restoration. We can no longer divide the focus by remaining in conflict within ourselves, our families, our communities, our country and our world.

  • Phantoms and mirror magic

    A month or so ago, I met a man with part of his right arm missing -- he was a tree trimmer and had an accident involving a chain saw.

    I asked him if the missing part ever hurt. He said as a matter of fact, it was bothering him as we were talking.

  • Kentucky’s new test scores attracting national interest

    Over the last two decades, Kentucky has built a national reputation for its willingness to blaze new paths when it comes to education.  Early this month, we took another major step forward with the release of the latest round of school accountability scores.

  • Welcome to my demise

    Recently, I had a raging flare up of my chronic, terminal hypochondria.

    It always hits on a Friday after regular doctors’ and dentists’ hours are over, which only increases the intensity of the flare up.

    I’ve died many times from hypochondria, if only in my mind.

    This recent attack came as a result of using too many new dental hygiene products at once. I had seen a commercial that warned: If you’re not whitening your teeth, you’re yellowing them.

    Sounds ominous, right?

  • Veterans Day a time of tribute to those who served

    For most of us, Veterans Day has always been a time set aside to honor all who served their country, no matter when that may have been. The holiday’s early history, however, was much more specific.

    It began in 1919, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month -- the exact one-year anniversary of the end of World War I.  President Woodrow Wilson called it Armistice Day, a term some still use today, and commemorating that conflict remained the day’s focus for more than 30 years.

  • Family feuds: It’s never over

    For those keeping an eye on the calendar, Election Day is almost here and the feuding is almost over.
    Except it won’t be over. It’s never over.

    Last week I attended a political forum, sponsored by the Chronicle. Held at the local college, the room overflowed with venom and vitriol and people who weren’t just pro-their candidate, but anti-the other person.

    Is it even possible to be pro-someone without being anti-the other person? Just asking.

  • Forgiveness and ‘forgetness’

    (Editor's note: A Chronicle reader requested that we reprint this column that first ran in July 2004. It’s a good one, so here goes.)

    Several weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about ghosts in closets -- things that people say they’ve forgiven and forgotten, but they really haven’t.

  • Compassion

    Compassion is defined as caring about the suffering and needs of others. If we want to live in a world of kindness and compassion, we must also walk the talk. This trait  must be created inside ourselves and be demonstrated by our outward acts. We are each challenged to examine our own behavior and thoughts. We need to control our response to external events, actions and opinions of others in order to build compassion for what  motivates their behavior. Compassion starts with being able to understand where the other person is coming from.

  • Game of thrones

    It’s no surprise to people who know me that I am not a fancy Nancy.

    I’m not plain, and I am (I hope) feminine, but I’m definitely not lacy, doily, flowery foo-foo.

    I’m so not a princess.

    That said, I’m constantly getting invited to women’s events that border on the fancy. This past weekend, I was with a group of women at a nearby Victorian hotel, which has fancy in its very structure.