Friday, April 18, 2014
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GUEST COLUMN • Mark Magnan | Raiders of the Lost Arts

No, this isn’t about paintings or statues lost during some war time events. I am thinking more along the lines of things that we don’t see any longer.
With the introduction of modern devices we seem to lose skills or “arts” that once were a part of our lives. One of the most obvious things is the written letter. Now if you get a letter in the mail it is probably something that is of no interest to you. Not like a few years ago when writing a letter and letting it travel across country the slow way. I had a favorite great aunt that cherished letter writing. She addressed the letter properly and at times even used a wax seal for the envelope. This was something that you did for special correspondence. I learned at an early age how to write and return a letter when I received one. Of course e-mail has taken this place, it is faster and cheaper and probably more reliable. But there is just something about a letter that becomes a permanent part of your memories of a person. When that person is gone, you still have the actual letter that they fashioned with their own hands. An electronic letter just doesn’t retain those memories.

Out & About • Patrick Lacombe | The looney bin

I have a problem, and they say the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that it exists. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this affliction, so I hope others will read this and maybe correct their behavior and benefit from it.
My problem is that I tend to spend entirely too much time on the computer, especially Facebook! Do I really care if little Sally ate all of her muffin or that little Johnny is taking his nap?  No, but if it makes you feel better to show a picture of your cat using his new litter box, then by all means, post it! I’ve seen a lot of people who post via their cell phones that they are at the drive thru window at their favorite fast food restaurant. To me, (but I’m kind of a cynical guy) you are telling the world that “Hey I’m not home, you may rob my house now.” But, to each his own!

LOOKING UP • JOE BAISDEN | Don’t panic!

In my preaching experience, sermons that receive comments like “I needed that!” are messages that I myself need in the worst way. 
The following is a summary of such a sermon.
The Bible says, “One who trusts will not panic” (Isa. 28:16 NRSV).  The versions vary on the wording of the passage.  The King James reads,  “He that believeth shall not make haste.”  The New International,  “The one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Peterson’s paraphrase in The Message,  “A trusting life won’t topple.”
The message is not designed to comfort the lazy nor excuse the procrastinator, but it is a strong guard against allowing our lives to become frantic and frenzied.
So often decisions made in haste and actions taken in an atmosphere of panic prove to be unwise.   Hurried estimates of people, prompted by our prejudices, can rob us of potentially wonderful relationships.   Rushing into matrimony, believing “He’ll change” or “She’ll change,” can be the source of great regret.  Children cannot be properly nurtured in a hurry.  It takes YOUR time AND THEIRS.  The coin of love is time.

GUEST COLUMN • Mark Magnan | Creature Comforts

I am writing this sitting in a hotel room. With at least 100 channels on TV and a great view of a scenic area, I am looking at the screen of my laptop. I had the option to look at quite a few sports channels that I normally don’t get on my cable at home. Even though the hotel was situated on a hill overlooking some of the best places in the state, my room looked out over the parking lot and the nearby highway. The other side of the hotel had a much better view and probably a great perspective from the top floor. I have been open about my borderline obsessive compulsive habits so I guess writing is a bit of an outlet to help me adjust to the strange surroundings. I don’t have any of the “hoarder” or excessive “hand-washing” tendencies, but I certainly like to be comfortable in my own little world. Hotels are a place of potential issues, this one was fairly new and very clean. But I have been in some that were well below my standards.
As night closes in I try to make my “room” as comfortable as I can, as close to my “zone” at home where I feel like it is normal to me. Of course this never quite works. I have a certain side of the bed that I sleep on, within reach is my night stand filled with all the things that I normally need at home. Very few of which I ever need in the middle of the night, however it soothes my wandering mind to have these items close. I can’t read my watch in the dark, and rarely do I get asked for a credit card or my drivers license tucked away in my wallet, but all of that is close by, just in case.