Thursday, April 22, 2021
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The photographer captured the moment. Folks were gathered together in front of the last log cabin built in the Welsh Hills. Some of the individuals were standing, while others were seated on hardback chairs. None of subjects were smiling, as was typical in bygone generations. Even the family…

Thursday, April 15, 2021
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On the outskirts of a small village in Ohio is a rural countryside known as the Welsh Hills. Many settlers of the village are buried together in the Welsh Hills Cemetery, which dates back to the 18th century. These hearty immigrants from Wales pioneered this gorgeous region of fertile ground…

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After a year of devastating tornadoes that ripped through neighborhoods and flash floods that left roads and bridges underwater, Tennesseans are no strangers to deteriorating infrastructure. Even as many parents and workers are still navigating floodwaters to find reliable paths to school an…

Thursday, April 08, 2021
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Every once in a while, a little-known local or state politician can become nationally famous for an outbreak of alarming honesty. I give you Arizona state Rep. John Kavanagh, one of the chief architects of a wave of laws Republicans are pushing in the state to make it harder to vote:

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Preserving Tennessee’s legal and civic history and making our history accessible through the Tennessee State Library and Archives is not just our statutory responsibility. Rather, it is our honor to house our state government’s history and collections from Tennessee families, churches, newsp…

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From the time I got a job in broadcasting, until a year ago, I had a daily routine. I would spend around ten hours a day at work, and then come home. In spring and summer, I would do yard work for an hour or two, or watch the Atlanta Braves. In the fall and winter, I would watch a little TV,…

Thursday, April 01, 2021
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What happens in a world where medical innovations like the vaccines that are defeating the coronavirus are no longer possible? That could be the result of a ham-handed effort to make America an “also-ran” country in the global pharmaceutical business.

Thursday, March 25, 2021
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Kirk Dewayne Franklin is an American choir director, gospel musician, singer, songwriter, and author. He is best known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God’s Property, and One Nation Crew. He is a beloved and influential figure in the gospel-music world.

Thursday, March 18, 2021
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I reflected upon an unusual anniversary this week. Many years ago I was told to perform a task that was a violation of my conscience. As a result of this conflict of mind and spirit, I refused to do what I was expected to do. The consequences were swift and significant. I would now have to b…

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In many high-poverty communities, the zip code remains as strong of a predictor of student success as it did a half-century ago. Federal education programs have come and gone, as have politicians who promised results. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. However, it is …

Thursday, March 11, 2021
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As I was watching the news the other evening, I was unnerved by the incivility of many fellow citizens across this great land. We are witnessing the worst possible behaviors being committed upon one another. We have taken an enormous step backward in civility and humanity in 2021.

Thursday, March 04, 2021
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It was the opinion of Job, the ancient writer of the Old Testament that, "A man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward." (Job 5:7). Indeed, all God's children have problems! It seems that we move from one problem to another during the course of our lifetime. We thank God for enough bl…

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Just days after U.S. forces in Iraq suffered casualties from a rocket attack likely launched by an Iran-backed militia, the Biden administration appeared to turn the other cheek by signaling openness last week to talks with Iran to reenter the flawed nuclear deal that President Donald Trump …

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National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Week is a special time for me — an opportunity to reflect on the vital role agriculture has played in my life and the direct impact it has on the success of Tennessee.

Thursday, February 25, 2021
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This week I received news that a dear friend and colleague had lost her battle with cancer. It is always tragic to hear that a beautiful soul is gone and that I will not see them again, on this side of eternity. The memories she leaves me are filled with smiles, hugs and testimonies of her u…

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott knows who and what to blame for the fact that a subfreezing cold snap and winter storm has left millions of people in his state without access to heat, water and electricity for days. It’s not him. It’s not the climate change-denying Republican Party. Instead, it’s the…

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When the novel coronavirus first began to spread across the United States, many self-proclaimed experts and pundits demanded that Americans “follow the science” — but the underlying message was clear: stop asking questions.

Thursday, February 18, 2021
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I am challenged every day to step up and love people unconditionally. The beloved Apostle Paul teaches the members of the Corinthian church in the New Testament, that demonstrations of benevolence, spiritual gifts and martyrdom are worthless, if they are not demonstrated in charity. (1 Corin…

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Recently I was honored to deliver the eulogy for my uncle, Owen Norris of Ider, Alabama. He was a child of the Great Depression. He learned how to build and fix things out of necessity, he served our country in a MASH unit in Korea, and he started his own business. He raised a great family, …

Thursday, February 11, 2021
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I am unapologetically Christian. My personal faith in God is the anchor of my life and the doctrines of the Bible define my worldview. While my faith serves as my “true north” and “moral compass,” I respect the differences of others in a pluralistic society. I endeavor to demonstrate love fo…

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If you review your world and even U.S. history, you will realize that governments often lie to their people. There are several basic motivations to do so, but arrogance is the most common one. Arrogance takes the form of “You can’t handle the truth,” or “We know what’s best for you.”

Thursday, February 04, 2021
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Tucked away in the genealogies of the Jewish people in the Old Testament is a man whose life is recorded in two verses. His name was Jabez and his entire life story is recorded in 1 Chronicles, Chapter 4, verses 9-10. (I Chronicles 4:9-10). While a mere two verses in the entire Bible are not…

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Out in Washington we may have paused to open the book on a new Congress, but the families, small business owners, and educators who call Tennessee home haven’t missed a beat. Life, as they say, has gone on, even in the face of a “new normal” that long ago wore out its welcome.

Thursday, January 28, 2021
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When reading the Bible, the third chapter of the Epistle of James, the reader is challenged by a warning concerning their tongue. With the purpose of growing his readers in Christian grace and spiritual maturity, James emphasizes that a child of God must examine the smallest part of their bo…

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Congress’ COVID relief student loan deferrals are set to expire at the end of January — saddling hundreds of thousands of Americans with burdensome monthly payments in the midst of an ongoing crisis. In order to avoid this impending catastrophe and set the stage for strong, equitable future …

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The House of Representatives, with the sole responsibility of impeachment, has passed a single Article of Impeachment charging President Donald Trump with committing a high crime, namely that he “made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the C…

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Most of us are who we are, because of the adults who influenced us in our youth. Our parents, grandparents, older siblings, teachers and others. I was blessed to have role models who taught me to respect people of all colors, ethnic groups, and religions. As parents, my wife and I have passe…

Thursday, January 21, 2021
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The sons of Korah were Temple musicians and assistants who faithfully exhorted believers to worship and praise the true and Almighty God of Israel. They also penned several of the Psalms of the Old Testament. One of the dearest Psalms to my heart is the forty-second, where the author proclai…