Susan Steen: Apologies need some emotional wrapping paper

“If you need something from somebody always give that person a way to hand it to you.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, “The Secret Life of Bees” ‘Tis the season. Those three and a half words sure do have a place in many seasons. This time of year, though, it’s the season of heightened emotions plus tired humans, and it results […]

Steve Haley: A not so normal Christmas

During the Christmas weekend of 2021, my wife Elaine, daughter Sarah, and I were quarantined.  Our son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Laura visited us in Springfield, Tenn. on Wednesday, Dec. 22. After their return to Chattanooga, the following day, they discovered that he was COVID positive. Tim and Laura had made a pre-Christmas visit to New York City to visit […]

Jack McCall: Many surprises can bring lots of smiles

Life is full of surprises. I don’t know why we should be surprised. I was in the delivery room when our first son was born. He came into the world red and wrinkly and icky and not very happy with the situation. Caught up in the wonder of human birth, I was not prepared when the attending nurse suddenly turned […]

Cheryl Lewis: Throw this huggable dog a battery instead of a bone

My resistance is weak and I admit that I kinda want one. Everyone knows I’m not a cat person, mind you. I’m not even a little-dog person; I love big ol’ fluffy, lovable pups, the older the better. They are kind and affectionate. They’re cozy and will curl up and watch a movie together, popcorn notwithstanding, or hike for miles […]

Steve Haley: Running on encouragement

They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.  _  Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)  When our son, Timothy David, was in middle school he became interested in running track. As with most pre-teens, this time offered him the opportunities […]

Susan Steen: Put a ‘change freeze’ spot on daily calendar

“Change is not always progress, and progress is not always change.” – Douglas Adams “We’re in a change freeze, so our meeting might be cancelled.” Between my projects and responsibilities and his job that pays the bills, it has been difficult for my son and I to find time to eat lunch together. My work is much different than his, […]

Jack McCall: Thankful for my health and flannel shirts that keep me that way

Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to pause and offer thanks. I think it important, from time to time, to enumerate the things for which one is thankful, especially at Thanksgiving. In the past I have suggested to my friends and readers to make a list of 25 or more. This year I have made my list several […]

Cheryl Lewis: Thankful for family, tradition, love … and hash browns

Eli Holbrook of Lebanon isn’t the kind of guy who likes attention; he definitely doesn’t seek it. Truth be told, he’d prefer to blend into the woods, decked out in camo, inhaling peace and quiet while patiently waiting for deer to stroll by. Sure, he hunts and enjoys the sport, but mostly it’s the serenity, camaraderie, and sense of tradition […]

Steve Haley: Count your blessings and always ‘Give Thanks’

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty we might be rich.  2 Corinthians 8:9 KJV  In the Guthrie of my childhood the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a special day.  Most area churches traditionally gathered that evening for an ecumenical service. […]

Susan Steen: Hold people’s hands to open their hearts

“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” – Haruki Murakami “Hello there, my name is Juanita. I am here for you.” So began a 15-minute text chat with a volunteer with the Crisis Text Hotline. (Text HELLO to 741741) Sharing my reason for texting (wanting to see how it works, so I could share here), I became […]

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