Stuck or Shamed? Living Life in the Country

Last night, I read an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal entitled, “Rural Americans Feel Stuck in Fading Towns.”  The authors, Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg, have added yet another entry in what has become a series in the WSJ since the Presidential election.  I’ve read a lot of these essays on rural life, as

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Thinking About Mozambique

Sunday, after worship and a large community dinner, we drove back from Ressano Garcia towards Matola and on to our hotel in Maputo.  Ezy, a friend and colleague who lives in Mozambique, drove.  The chilling morning clouds in Ressano gave way to intense sun, and the truck’s interior warmed quickly with no air conditioning to

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Being Non-Complementary

My daughter, recently turned eleven, sometimes imagines herself a prophet.  That’s really true when it comes to gender equality and women’s issues.  When her candidate for president lost, she had so hoped for the first woman to take office, she took days to recover.  And, three years ago, she decided to use Halloween to make

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I’m Not Sure It’s Okay to Be Angry at Congress

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly voted to pass the American Healthcare Act, now referred to as the AHCA.  The bill purports to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (the ACA or Obamacare).  The AHCA would undo the requirement that all individuals have health insurance and the income-based premium tax credits of the

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Stealing Emily Dickinson

Last week, I caught my daughter stealing Emily Dickinson. Well, actually, I caught her stealing a small volume of poems I’ve been reading.  To say she stole it may be a bit strong.  She didn’t keep the volume, or even hide it.  But, she did take it, and while I can’t be entirely certain, seemed

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Please Stop Talking About Abundance and Scarcity

Over the last forty-eight hours, fighting through the delirium of a cold, I’ve participated in a United Methodist summit on “financial literacy.”  Hosted by our United Methodist pension agency called Wespath, the Lily Foundation and the Texas Methodist Foundation, the meeting offered presentations and conversation between financial leaders in the United Methodist Church. Pastors and

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Fasting with Little Debbie

I need to confess something and unburden my conscience.  I know you, the reader, won’t judge.  I’m not looking for pardon or forgiveness so much as understanding and compassion, maybe even some kindred spirits to offer an understanding ear.  Ok. Here it is.  I confess:  I have a craving for Little Debbie snack cakes that

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The Religion of Reading Fiction

Every day, when I get into my truck to go to work, I carry the same load: my briefcase, a thermos of coffee and whatever book I happen to be reading. I don’t usually put the book in my briefcase. With my laptop and two journals (one for work and one for writing), it makes

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Why I Think Congress Should Keep the Affordable Care Act

Over the last four years, I’ve spent more time than I wanted exploring health insurance and, especially, the impact of the Affordable Care Act (the “A.C.A.”). The A.C.A. was never entirely settled, though most people were resolved to its future. Then, following the last election, the nation erupted in debate with Republicans threatening to make

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An Introduction of Sorts

To all the accountants, mathematicians, statisticians, bean counters, lovers of numbers and those who know what the sin, cos, tan and Rand buttons on calculators do…. And, to all the dreamers, the poets, the playwrights, dramatists, lovers of language and literature, those who know Wordsworth, Keats, Dickinson, to those who have read even James Joyce….

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