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Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014
A Salute to Labor Day
Posted Friday, August 29, at 8:01 AM
So what's Labor Day all about, anyway? For most of us, it marks the end of the summer: the closing of local swimming pools; one last neighborhood barbeque; a quick trip to the lake for the extended weekend before autumn starts opening the door for winter to slip in. But when do we celebrate "labor?" Or at least the Labor Movement?...

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Nowhere Bound
Posted Friday, August 22, at 7:54 AM

It was the middle nowhere as far as I was concerned. For sure, it was the middle of the night. Two o'clock in the morning to be exact. And I was a bus on my way to Kansas City from Portland sitting in front of the Greyhound station in beautiful downtown Mountain Home, Idaho...

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Let the River Flow
Posted Monday, August 18, at 8:53 AM

If you watch any of the varied "survivor" shows on television very long, you'll hear a familiar phrase used over and over again. It goes something like "when you are lost, look for a river or stream and follow it downstream." The thought is that if you follow a river -- out of a lush rain forest or across a desert or from atop a glaciated mountain range -- you will, sooner or later, find some sort of civilization. ...

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The Season of Green
Posted Friday, August 8, at 9:57 AM

In the fall and winter each year, after the corn and soybeans have been harvested, the land around our home takes on a pale grey tone that lasts for months. This is the best time of the year to see the lay of the land. The draws and cuts and stands of smaller brush are easier to see. Still, it can be a hard time folks who love the colors of spring and summer in the Midwest...

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Poetry 101
Posted Thursday, July 31, at 11:13 AM

Recently, someone called me a poet. The very idea gave me pause to ponder the possibility. What is a poet, exactly? And -- more importantly -- what is poetry? The way I see it, the world around us is filled with poetry. As Percival said -- "The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies and sparkle and shine in its brightness."...

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The Territory Beyond: Revisited
Posted Thursday, July 24, at 1:49 PM

Somewhere north of Mountain View, Arkansas, high above the beautiful White River overlooking the hamlet of Calico Rock, stands a bluff. From there you can see for miles in all directions. It's a place I used to frequent back in my younger days, climbing around on the rocks and daring gravity to take me captive. And it was a long drop from that promontory to the wooded banks of the river below...

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The Soundtrack of Life
Posted Friday, July 18, at 8:26 AM

Did ever want to get the opportunity to say "Thank You" to someone you never even met? I do. In fact, sometimes I get the urge to just -- right out loud -- say thank you to some folks who have had quite an influence in the life of this sometimes singer/songwriter...

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Dirt Road Memories
Posted Friday, July 11, at 9:30 AM

They lead to favorite old swimming holes and secret rendezvous spots. They take us past old farmsteads and new farm homes and acres of crop land. For many of us, they are filled with memories so strong we can almost smell the dampness of the leaves carpeting the path through the hills...

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Coffee With Lil' Bear
Posted Monday, July 7, at 10:43 AM

Recently I wrote about having coffee, from time to time, with a group of "veterans of life" at a local restaurant (which serves great pie, by the way!). I am sure that if I listen close enough and long enough I will glean valuable lessons from their conversations...

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Goodbye to the Old Neighborhood
Posted Thursday, June 19, at 11:14 AM

I drove through the old neighborhood the other day and, my, how things have changed. Families on the street where I grew up in the old Northeast neighborhood Kansas City used to be made up of middle-class working folks. Some of them were first or second generation immigrants from Europe, mostly Italy...

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His Name Was Ben
Posted Thursday, June 12, at 10:55 AM

He was born in Stone County in the great state of Arkansas way back in 1930. His mom named him Urbane, but everyone knew him as Ben. You might say the folks around those parts were poor hillbillies. But they didn't know it. They were just hard working country hill folk doing their best to make it day in and day out...

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Back to Star Gap
Posted Friday, May 23, at 1:54 PM

Once upon a time in a southern land not too far from here -- beside a lane near an old school house and cemetery -- stood what some city dwellers might call a cabin. The posts on the wide front porch -- where lots of "visiting" took place -- were cut from local timber and still boasted the original bark and small bits of limbs left behind that held bridles, ropes, and other useful things. There was probably an old hand-carved Wooden Indian there as well...

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An Open Letter to All Mean Moms
Posted Thursday, May 15, at 10:52 AM

Author's Note: If you are - or were - a "mean Mom" -- please take note. If you aren't or weren't a "mean mom" - it's never too late to change. Dear Mean Moms: How you can live with yourselves? You force your kids to eat healthy foods for breakfast while other kids eat candy or ice cream. ...

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Goodbye City of Angels
Posted Thursday, May 8, at 3:03 PM

Goodbye City of Angels Author's Note: I must have a little piece of Arkansas on my mind these days. Goodbye City of Angels This City of Angels is a night place to be But it just isn't where I belong ... The streets are so crowded and the sky is so gray...

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The Home Tree
Posted Thursday, May 1, at 8:34 AM

Jordan and I spent a couple of days on the old family "farmstead" last weekend. We were clearing some brush and trying to see what it might take to get it back in shape for living there (in the event I ever retire ... ). I must admit, it was good to be back there -- a place the folks used to call "down home" - if even for a short visit...

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The Rebel: Revisited
Posted Thursday, April 24, at 11:58 AM

As I watched a group of motorcyclists riding down Highway 65 a while back, I was reminded of a little pamphlet I had picked up at one of those small town community-wide celebrations. It made the point that if Jesus of Nazareth were here today, in the flesh, he probably would be riding beside those folks on his big V-Twin roadster. And, according to most of the written evidence we have on his life, the pamphlet was probably right...

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Posted Thursday, April 17, at 11:56 AM

Surprise! Just think about the surprises surrounding the last week of the life of Christ. First, we must all admit that it had been a terrifying week for the followers of Jesus. When he entered Jerusalem with great fanfare and proclamation, his followers all expected that this was it - Jesus was finally going to reveal himself as the King of Kings - the Messiah. ...

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Beautiful City of God
Posted Thursday, April 10, at 1:45 PM

Just prior to his final week of ministry and suffering, Jesus of Nazareth had apparently spent a few days at the home of his friends Lazarus, Martha and Mary. The Bible tells us they lived in Bethany, about two miles east of Jerusalem on the side of the Mount of Olives. It was a place he visited often. It must have been a place of comfort and peace for him; a place away from the crowds and demands he faced as he traveled from town to town, from village to village...

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Say Goobye to Hurts
Posted Thursday, March 27, at 8:17 AM

Sometimes, as we walk out our lives on this earth, we meet people who seem to be doing quite well but who secretly carry a great deal of hurt on the inside. You may know a few of these folks, and you may be one of these folks. Hurt can be a formative foe for many of us. It comes into our lives when we least expect it, and many times from the least expected places. It seems to hunt us down and then to try desperately to make a home for itself...

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Coffee -- with a side order of life lessons
Posted Thursday, March 20, at 1:51 PM

There are usually five or six of them. They sit at the table for about an hour each day -- except Sunday -- and usually in the same spots. You might see a couple of them "out of place" from time to time, but not very often. There's no "reserved" sign on the table, but I doubt any of the restaurant staff would let anyone else sit there at a particular time each day. And they never have to ask for a refill of their coffee or tea cups as the waitresses offer service with a smile...

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Shepherd's Heart
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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.
Hot topics
A Salute to Labor Day
(0 ~ 8:01 AM, Aug 29)

Nowhere Bound
(0 ~ 7:54 AM, Aug 22)

The Soundtrack of Life
(3 ~ 12:42 PM, Aug 21)

Let the River Flow
(0 ~ 8:53 AM, Aug 18)

The Season of Green
(0 ~ 9:57 AM, Aug 8)