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I recently arrived at a local hospital to make a pastoral visit. Unlike most patients, however, in this case a nurse had to escort me to the individual's room. In order to get into that particular section of the hospital, she used her identification badge that had a magnetic strip on the back. As she held the strip up to the sensor, the door magically swung open in front of us. While I had an identification badge of my own, mine lacked the proper coding to unlock the door and allow entry. In hospitals, this ensures privacy and protects patients from unnecessary exposure to infection. comments

As many of my readers know, in the 1990s I served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. It was among the greatest experiences of my life. comments

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In the mid-1970s I taught at an all-boys Catholic high school in Alexandria. An older lady, Anne, worked in the school's main office. Her gray hair framed her smiling face, and she was always pleasant and patient, even to a rude parent on the phone or an impatient, young teacher. comments

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There was just something about her. The woman behind the Handy Mart counter in Woodstock had worried eyes and a tired smile. I suspected the reason her smile was exhausted had nothing to do with using it all the time, it was just tired of lying. comments

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My friend Druin Burch lives in England. He practices medicine in Oxford and lives in a lovely Cotswold village near there. We met when he and I were employees in the same program of study for American high school students in Oxford. We have been friends for 15 to 20 years, and the bond that brought us together was our mutual love of and appreciation for literature. comments

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The look of a Jaguar can attract second glances and just sitting behind the wheel can create an addiction. comments

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You may remember that rocketing into the sacred past is one of my tiresome obsessions. But must our vehicle always be some antique full of story and character? No! Encountering those with extraordinary historical credentials will do perfectly. So, January 1950, age 10, outside the Alabama Department of Archives and History, I shook the hand of 108-year-old Tom Joar, Jefferson Davis' servant when Montgomery was the capital of the Confederacy. (Note: Google "Joar" for some remarkable African slavery associations!). comments

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My family first discovered ABC's "Shark Tank" two seasons ago. We'd been fishing for shows we could watch together as a family and it didn't take long before we were hooked. (Get it? Hooked? Like a shark?) comments

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When Mary Ann and I were just valley "weekenders," each Saturday morning I would ride my upright bike on Old Bethel Road. Our little road is hilly, so it offered me good exercise and a way to keep my weekly mileage up. It was on one of those rides, some 10 years ago, that I met him. comments

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Sitting in the shade on the bank of the North Fork to escape the early July heat, I watched Carl, our oldest son, fly-fish. His waders gave him a bulkier than realistic look, but his fly rod was a baton of magic as he played line using his artistry to lure any unsuspecting fish with one of his hand-tied flies. comments

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I've been blessed to speak on four continents in front of crowds ranging from seven to 7,000. I've spoken at schools, churches, corporate chicken dinners and at backyard barbecues. comments

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I guess I'm one of those crazy people who actually likes snakes. To my wife's great consternation, I have three as pets (all in aquariums). The snake is a truly unique creature and capable of some incredible feats impossible for other members of the animal kingdom. Their downside is that you usually see them when you least expect them and they scare the bejebes out of you. comments

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The 2014 World Cup is the premier sporting event on planet Earth. comments

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We recently observed the 70th anniversary of the Allied attack on the beaches of Normandy commonly referred to as D-Day. It was a day of great heroism and bravery, of great suffering and loss. We are blessed at Antioch to have a D-Day veteran, Fred Hepner Sr., in our congregation. I had the privilege of visiting with him on Memorial Day and to hear accounts of some of his experiences and how God shielded and protected him through the battle in a providential way. comments

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The past winter, as gardeners know, was a brutal one for plants. Our winter-killed butterfly bush is just now showing good growth from its root ball, and Mary Ann and I await its first blooms of rich purple. comments

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The 2014 Chevrolet Spark, the first mini-car made by General Motors, is perfect for navigating crowded urban streets, squeezing into tight parking spaces and has been successful with more than a quarter of million global sales since 2012. comments

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Every other week, the sermon from Antioch is rebroadcast on a local radio station. Because the typical sermon is longer than the allotted air time, our administrative assistant must use some sound editing software to pare it down to an acceptable length. comments

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  • Note to readers: Do you have a hobby or expertise in something that you’d like to share with our readers? If you would like to be considered as a guest columnist, please email your first column to lash@nvdaily.com. We're looking for about 750 words of beautiful prose, and at least six columns, one a month for six months.

    Guest Columns

    Anthony Ring Ask Dave the Car Guy Chalet Jean-Baptiste Chastity Harris Dr. Alla Y. Hynes Elizabeth H. Cottrell George Bowers Guest Columns Jason Wright Jeanne Russell Jon Robertson Karen Kwiatkowski Karen Poff Marilyn Solomon Mark Brown Patrick Farris Richard and Sybille Stromberg Richard Hoover Roger Barbee Seth Coffman Tom Crosby

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