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Guest Columns

Andy Schmookler: Changes that old movies reveal

There are many reasons for my love of old movies. Not least of them is that I have a lifelong interest in how things change. Watching an old movie, I might linger (with the pause button) over a shot of the New York skyline from the 1940s, and marvel over how completely the architecture has ...

George Bowers Sr. The eternal continental divide

Over the last few weeks, winter storm after winter storm has rolled into the northeastern U.S. and blown across the country dumping more than a foot of snow and inches of rain from west to east. As I write this article, yet another threatens to add  additional inches of snow on top of already ...

George Bowers Sr.: Two train wrecks from our past

One hundred and forty-two years ago this coming Tuesday, the Shenandoah Valley was shaken from its slumber about midnight. A 25-car Baltimore and Ohio train carrying people, livestock, and freight tragically crashed off the Narrow Passage trestle and plunged 10 stories into the chilly creek ...

Jason Wright: Life is about how you deal with the inevitable trials

A decade ago, Debbie Jenkins of Strongsville, Ohio, was hanging by a hair and entering the most challenging season of her life. The years to follow brought the flavor of heartache that can be impossible to overcome. The elementary school teacher had suffered through a painful divorce. She'd ...

Bass Mitchell: Continuing violence needs swift attention

Sleep hasn’t come easily these past few weeks, watching reports of yet one more senseless massacre in one of our schools. One picture still haunts me – the woman who is sobbing, the sign of a cross in ashes still on her forehead from having attended an Ash Wednesday service the night ...

Tom Crosby: A vehicle good for family, small business

Since 1903 Ford Motor Company has made 230 different models but none may be quite as funky as the Ford Transit Connect, which some call a mini-van, the government calls a special purpose vehicle and others call a wagon. By any name, it is a highly versatile vehicle suited for a cargo-needy ...

Craig Murto: The Force family had a wild weekend

The Force family of racers had a wild weekend in Arizona. John Force is the most recognizable figure in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) racing, winner of 16 Funny Car championships. But for the second time in two races the 68-year-old driver suffered catastrophic engine failure. In the ...

George Bowers Sr. Coffee’s transformation and ours

I still remember the first time I ever tasted coffee. It was a freezing cold night at a Central home football game, and I was a scrawny elementary kid. I was desperate for some warmth and my sister, Judy, compassionately and willingly shared her java with me. That sip, however, was undoubtedly ...

George Bowers Sr. The faith of Abraham Lincoln

This coming Monday we honor the birthdays of all U.S. presidents. Although only Washington, Harrison, Lincoln and Reagan were actually born in February, the holiday that originated to celebrate our first president has expanded to include all 44. Washington’s actual birthday is Feb. 22 but to ...

Jason Wright: Long-haired and Christian?

Meet 15-year-old Ben. Ben has long hair. Ben listens to wildly inappropriate music. Ben is rebellious, bitter and has no respect for authority. Ben smokes behind the barn and slings a vocabulary saltier than beef jerky. Maybe that's all true. Perhaps this great church friend of mine - a ...

George Bowers Sr. Who’s grinding your skates?

With the opening ceremonies of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games, the world turns its eyes and its televisions to South Korea. For the next two weeks, we will watch as athletes display their amazing skills honed by discipline, practice, and perseverance to compete for coveted gold, silver, and ...

George Bowers Sr. Don’t let the fog stop you

During these chilly winter months, Nancy and I warm up remembering our sunny vacation last spring in Hawaii. The incredible beauty of those islands combined with the ocean breezes created the perfect setting to both relax and worship the one who made them! Even the memories are tropical. One ...

Groundhog Day: When will winter end?

Mention Groundhog Day and you’ll get a few different reactions. Some folks know it to be a good-natured, but scientifically grossly inaccurate predictive way to forecast how long wintery weather will continue; and, others will think about the Bill Murray-led movie – though I remember his ...

Tom Crosby: All new 2018 Ford Expedition seeks top in class

Ford dominates the pick-up truck market with its F-150 and seeks to dominate the large SUV market with an all-new Ford Expedition with power, plenty of cargo and passenger space, plus decent mileage. Priced higher than most competitors, the improvement in head-to-head comparisons will interest ...

Bass Mitchell: Reading to Elizabeth – a love story

It was difficult not to stare at them, this 30ish couple coming into the small mountain café where I had stopped for a quiet meal. They both were dressed in hiking clothes. I had noticed their jeep when they pulled up. It had camping gear on top. The man, medium height with coal dark hair, had ...

George Bowers Sr. Putting life’s puzzle together

Winter is the perfect season for jigsaw puzzles. Gathering around a card table with all the pieces sprawled out along with some hot chocolate, soft music, and good friends can be very enjoyable. Conversation is unhindered by the minimal mental effort expended to connect odd shaped pieces with ...

George Bowers Sr. A tragedy averted

Nearly 32 years ago, a pregnant young woman visited a Woodstock physician for her first prenatal appointment. During that visit, the doctor encouraged her to abort the child because her “fetus” would be born paralyzed from the neck down. Crestfallen and distraught, this young lady had a ...

Guest column: God’s gift is eternal life

Wonderful? Marvelous? Glorious? What words could adequately describe the experience of yet another Christmas? Yes, Christmas; the celebration at his birth. Whose birth? God’s birth! God incarnate; the God-man! Yes, the God of the Bible, the one and only God who created all that exists, ...

George Bowers Sr. Historical statues and fallen humanity

The western United States has received a welcome reprieve from devastating firestorms that claimed many lives, destroyed thousands of properties, and cost billions of dollars. We should all pray that 2018 will be more kind to these areas and that life and homes will be spared. Meanwhile, we in ...

James Pinsky: Chill out on climate change

Well, hello 2018. We humans are a friendly bunch, so how about you stop giving us the cold shoulder. The recent cold spell throughout the nation has caught everyone's attention. It is winter, so I expect to wear a jacket from time to time… The unusually cold 2018 winter for we ...