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Columns

  • LETTERS FROM THE NEST: Summers and stickball

    Once upon a time—before the Internet, hand-held games, cell phones, cell phones with the Internet or cell phones with the Internet and games—there was this magical world right at our fingertips.
    Not a virtual existence, but rather a real life experience.
    That world is what we referred to as summer.

  • 'Blessed are the merciful'

     Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7). Perhaps the merciful are shown mercy because there are no more wonderful gifts for sinners to receive. 

    Mercy is its own reward. 

    The poor in spirit will receive the kingdom of heaven. 

    The mourners will receive comfort. 

    The meek will inherit the earth. 

    They that hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. 

    What do the merciful get? 

    Mercy.

  • FROM A MOTHER'S HEART: 'Blessed are the merciful'

     Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7). Perhaps the merciful are shown mercy because there are no more wonderful gifts for sinners to receive. 

    Mercy is its own reward. 

    The poor in spirit will receive the kingdom of heaven. 

    The mourners will receive comfort. 

    The meek will inherit the earth. 

    They that hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. 

    What do the merciful get? 

    Mercy.

  • SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Happy Mother's Day

     What a wonderful privilege being a mother. 

    What an opportunity we have to teach and train our children.

    I found this thought I wanted to pass on to you. It was published by the “Gospel Tract Society Inc.” 

    The writer was anonymous but the thoughts are priceless. It is entitled, “Train up a child.”

    She could not give her children gold, so she gave them faith to have and hold.

  • ON HIGHER GROUND: God's mercy evident, even in sinful world

     For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22).

    The devastation of a modern American city is still etched indelibly on my mind—whole   communities abandoned, shopping centers gutted, hospitals and churches boarded up. A vibrant, colorful New Orleans sat in ruins, the victim of extensive flooding and wind damage from Hurricane Katrina— one of that decade’s natural disasters.  

  • 'What I saw'

    By Christie Elkins

    Unwashed faces, cold embraces, empty looks of sleepless nights. Tubs filled with trash, no place to bathe, toilets overflowing. 

    This is what I saw. 

    Drugs hidden in microwaves, meth labs where kids used to play, sleeping on the floor since someone took the bed away. 

    This is what I saw. 

    Wearing pajamas to school — since that was the only thing clean. Relying on free lunch — since they hadn’t eaten in days. 

  • From a Mother's Heart

     John the Baptist told two of his disciples (Andrew and, most likely, John or Philip) that Jesus was the “Lamb of God,” and suddenly, they turned around and followed him. Jesus asked bluntly, “What do you want?” 

    It was perfectly timed, with a well-placed question. 

  • Spiritually Speaking

     If you are a Christian and you love the Lord do you ever feel like searching your heart?

    I am going to paraphrase Psalm 139 NIV, please read it in its entirety.

    O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

    You hem me in, behind and before you have laid your hand upon me such knowledge is too lofty for me to attain.

  • On Higher Ground
  • GOVERNOR: Healthcare a complex issue facing this state

    There is no more important, or more complex, issue facing our country and our state today than healthcare.

    While Tennessee is doing a better job than the rest of the country in controlling costs of Medicaid growth, the costs are still taking a larger and larger percentage of our budget each year.  

    For the last several months, I’ve been working on a plan to change the way healthcare coverage looks in Tennessee.