Religion column: Easter proves love stronger than death

The tomb is empty. The stone's been rolled away bringing endless hope to the human heart. We have been redeemed. Let the world rejoice. He is risen! It is the greatest moment in the annals of time. Easter symbolizes victory. Jesus is our champion. The one who endured the cross still reaches out to hurting […]

My turn: Rather spend spring break on the High Plains

A dozen Midwestern college students spent part of their spring break in the Milnesand area last week doing some volunteer work for The Nature Conservancy. On their last night here, my TNC friend, Tish, invited me to stargaze with the group. We walked a couple of hundred yards east of Milnesand on a quiet side […]

My turn: Grateful for small-town generosity

I learned a big lesson about small towns this weekend. Don't get on the road with your gas tank almost on empty assuming that there will be a gas station. On Saturday I covered the Floyd Jamboree. Eager to get on the road, I decided I'd fuel up when I got there. When I arrived, […]

Fate of TRICARE in west unsure

TRICARE beneficiaries across 21 western states won't know for another three months whether TriWest Healthcare Alliance will continue to administer their healthcare benefit beyond March of next year. After 16 years, TriWest lost its latest bid to continue to run the TRICARE West Region under a third generation support contract, this one worth an estimated […]

Strangers always become stories

This weekend, while making a random shopping trip, I was approached by a store employee, asking if I needed help with anything. "No thanks, just looking," I said, though I still made polite conversation about why I'd wanted the product I was looking at. I was left alone after that, for all of 30 seconds. […]

My turn: A little dirt never hurts

Will Rogers said, "What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." How I love this quote. It's fun to conjure it up when I've been in my flowerbeds all day and my nails are black with soil. It's finally time to get back out there in our yards, think about plowing our garden […]

Ban on feeding deer absurd

Here's why it is so much cooler to be a simple New Mexico columnist instead of a United States Supreme Court Justice. Instead of waking up at 3 a.m. troubled by the awesomely complex decision about whether the federal government has the constitutional right to force Americans to purchase health insurance, you get to ponder […]

My turn: Returning home to treasure hunt

I am moving to my hometown of Mt. Vernon (pop. 2,000), Texas, to pursue two lifelong dreams: buying a used pontoon boat for treasure hunts on nearby Lake Cypress Springs, and starting a newspaper to compete with the weekly — Optic-Herald. After becoming certified in scuba diving, I will lead expeditions of big-city folks to […]

Horseshoeing offers many lessons

I was asked by the author of Confessions of a Horseshoer* if he could use one of my quotes in his book. I agreed. He sent me a copy. The quote he used was "It's not that horseshoeing is so hard, it's just the dread of doing it." My first confession: it was not original; […]

Don’t forget to hang up when you’re done

Have you ever left a voice mail and then forgot to hang up the phone? It happened to me the other day. I was working on a bicycle at my bike shop when The Lady of the House came in angrily waving a paper over her head. "They've done it again!" she said. She was […]

In search of ponies: Tunes may be tortuous

It's a beautiful day so you decide to spend time with the pooch. He eagerly bounds into the car, settles in the seat beside you, and off you go — windows down, radio cranked. Bouncing down the road, head keeping time to your favorite tune, you have a broad smile on your face. It's perfect. […]

Live every day with wisdom, understanding, purpose

Today is the time to live, love, laugh and praise God. Today is the day to leave a good memory, to say, "I love you," to forgive a wrong, to mend a broken relationship. Today is the day to give your appreciation to someone you have long admired. It means more now than all the […]

A good book sounds an important warning

I don't know how long it took Eugene Peterson to actually write his book "The Pastor_, but though he's written around thirty others, it took him almost eighty years to be able to write this one. An amazing book (Peterson doesn't write any other kind), what he says for pastors and churches (and Christ's church […]

State creates made-up problems

It amuses me how many problems that have a government-mandated "solution" are caused by previous government mandates that came about as misguided solutions for previously manufactured problems. And, because the majority of "The People" have become convinced that the earlier mandates are "The Way it's Always Been Done" (rather than a relatively recent "gum, tape, […]

My turn: Beauty of spring wildflowers unrivaled

The Easter daisies are blooming. You may not know this unobtrusive, ground-hugging wildflower with creamy-white petals that close each evening to reveal a blush of pink. They are one of the earliest blossoms to appear each spring on the High Plains. Every year, for as long as he was able, my father picked the first […]

Service members earned low fees

A House subcommittee expected to vote soon on whether to recommend raising retiree TRICARE fees sharply over the next five years heard some compelling testimony against the move last week. Retired Air Force Col. Steve Strobridge, co-chair of The Military Coalition, a consortium of 34 military associations and veterans groups, traded debate points with Dr. […]

Ridicule can shed light on truth

PHILADELPHIA — As they find their friend's life cut short weeks away from his dream boxing match, answers don't appear forthcoming for friends of Robert Balboa. Family and friends of the 29-year-old amateur boxer, who insisted on being called, "Rocky," are outraged over what they perceive as a lack of concern from the local authorities […]

My turn: Silence sounds good

Ah … the sound of silence. I cherish it. I've just spent some time on my front porch enjoying the silence of the morning. And in that silence I heard such a grand variety of birds singing. I heard a child in my neighborhood playing with her dog. There was another dog barking somewhere off […]

My turn: Agitation comes easily

It is hard to admit, but I may be a psychopath. I have never been violent — except against vending machines — but I seldom feel genuine empathy. Oh, I'm good at pretending. I can look others in the eye and nod empathetically with the best of them — but, as soon I realize that […]

Defense of Marriage Act illegal

Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner pledged to continue defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court — this time against a challenge brought by members of the U.S. armed forces who claim that the law unconstitutionally denies them access to more than 100 family benefits that are otherwise offered to all […]