Columnists

Susan Steen: Other countries can teach us to enjoy life


“Don’t just do something, sit there.” — attributed to Sylvia Boorstein Life has been busy lately. Actually, I’ve been saying that for most of my life, so perhaps I need a reminder that always doing isn’t necessarily effective, meaningful, or helpful. And it isn’t very healthy for my mental health, nor for yours. Sylvia Boorstein wrote a book whose title was the […]

Gardening: Don’t let cicadas bug your trees


The hum of cicadas is filling the air in Middle Tennessee this spring, ushered in with a cacophony of chirps and the shells scattered across the ground. Across the nation, experts are observing a rare phenomenon known as a “double emergence.” This occurs when two different broods of cicadas emerge simultaneously —Brood XIII, following a 17-year cycle, and Brood XIX, […]

Susan Steen: Safety information always valuable to know


“The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” – Plato or Socrates or Unknown Years ago, I shared some information that I thought would be helpful to fellow voters, as not everyone is adept at finding what they need on a website. I’ve always been a helper, but apparently, it isn’t always legal to provide information to […]

Beverly Keel: Four-year degree in music is worth every verse


It’s a classic American story: Someone moves to the big city with nothing to their name but a dream. Maybe, with good timing and some luck, they can turn that dream into something tangible. Social media appears to have made finding stardom and success in the music business as easy as posting some TikTok videos. The reality, though, is that […]

Steve Haley: Shout the hymns of heaven


Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!  Psalm 105:2  In the 1960s and 70s, Jake Hess was the host of Nashville Channel 5’s gospel music program, Old Time Singing Convention.   This program had a simple format. Hess played studio-produced videotapes of various professional and semi-pro Southern gospel groups. During the show, he announced area […]

Susan Steen: Develop your shield to deflect hurtful words


“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” — Maya Angelou On a beautiful sunny and warm afternoon when I was looking forward to doing some writing and enjoying the peacefulness of the afternoon, things went haywire. I was in the middle of a major home reorganization […]

Jack McCall: No Texas trip complete without visit to Luckenbach


A few years back Kathy and I were in San Antonio where I was speaking for a conference. While there, it was recommended to us that we take in the Alamo Creek General Store and Café in Fredericksburg, Texas. Because Fredericksburg is only 50 miles north, we decided to drive up and have a burger. While we were there someone […]

Susan Steen: Life’s speed limit leads to good decisions


“There is a 12-minute slowdown ahead due to a crash. You are still on the fastest route.” – Google Maps I was driving home from helping my daughter-in-law set up for an event in another town, and using my map app, as I always do in case there is a reason I need to take an alternate route, I learned […]

Jack McCall: The roads of life are all over the map


I grew up near a country road. It was called the Old County House Road. Of the gravel variety, it looped from US Highway 70 back around to rejoin 70 again. We knew every family who lived on that road. Sometimes, as early as my fifth year, my mother would send me walking on an errand to Dewey Manning’s General […]

Susan Steen: A little less talk and a lot more smiling


“I never said she stole your money.” — Language Nerds  Words matter. I say that a lot. But something else matters just as much: our tone of voice and our inflection. It isn’t just what we say, but how we say it. When you read the opening quote, where did you place the emphasis? Yes, emphasis matters too. One time, […]

Jack McCall: Men’s Bible class thrives with heavenly grace


I met Bryan Townsend about 20 years ago. When we were first introduced he was already a well-established member of the National Speakers Association. A Southern boy and motivational humorist like me, he traveled in the same speaking circles as I did. Over the following years we became friends. In the fall of 2010, Bryan invited me to be a […]

Susan Steen: Eclipse shines a light on what we should see


“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”– Henry David Thoreau, Journal of 5 Aug., 1851 Not everyone was as excited about the recent eclipse viewing opportunity as I was. Many commented on social media that they didn’t think it was a big deal. After all, the “once in a lifetime” sights have occurred twice in […]


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