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Guest Columns

  • 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.

  • Can we be angry with God?

    Here’s a question for you: Is it wrong to be angry with God?

    Most of us who are afraid of lightning bolts frying our faces off or earthquakes rattling our brains and opening the earth to swallow us whole would probably say yes.

     God is God and Creator and we are very much not God. That said, can we be honest? Sometimes God does stuff — or doesn’t do stuff — that ticks us off.

  • Grace defined, tattoo designed

    If I had to choose just one favorite book of the Bible, I would choose Romans, chock full of theology, which I love.

    And if I had to choose just one favorite chapter in all of Romans, hands down it would be chapter 8.

    And if I could choose only one verse in chapter 8 to tattoo across my shoulder, it has to be verse 1: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”