Columns

A traditional Thanksgiving

As most post WWII American parents, Mom and Dad celebrated Thanksgiving Day with extended family—first and second cousins, aunts and uncles from O’Brien and McCoy clans. The folk at Mom’s table primarily came from Dad’s people who moved from Kentucky to Detroit for...

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The redemptive voice of music

As a young mother, I anticipated laundry day like a little vacation. After my husband and our three girls walked out the side door for work and school, I heaved a sigh and finished breakfast dishes in silence–listened to that still, small voice. I ran up and down two...

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Maybe it’s not as bad as we think

A few years ago, when I was flying home after being in Vietnam for more than a year, I took the opportunity to binge-watch the in-flight movies like everyone else does. Eventually I touched my screen to choose “La La Land,” which I had not yet seen. I distinctly...

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Culinary comforts and companionship

An email from Joyce popped up on my computer screen. As she respects my workday, I supposed the subject important. “Would you have a few minutes available for a short conversation this evening? I want to ask you about the Cook farm dairy,” she wrote. Well, Joyce knows...

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One nation, under God, indivisible

The election is over. Finally! Looks like Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States on January 20. More than half of the record number of voters chose him and he won the electoral votes of nearly half the states. Many of Donald Trump’s supporters, and...

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We can all be powerful in prayer

Over the years I have met and/or known many people, some whom you could consider famous, and others whom you would see as more than a little unknown. I’ve met the likes of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had coffee with the right-hand man to the president of...

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The definition of peregrination

It is a pretty coincidence that those who enjoy gardens and gardening also enjoy travel. Richardson Wright, The Gardener’s Bed-Book Perhaps it’s my Celtic spirit of adventure and botanic name Iris that call me to rove garden paths. Back in 1958, a child new to a muddy...

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Discerning consequences

“People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.” Job 5:7 (New Living Translation) Where do bad ideas come from? Certainly, in some cases they come from wayward desires and evil intentions, but in others they seem to emerge from the imagination...

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Embracing mercy, comfort

Today, October 24 is my father’s birthday. Born in 1922, Warren G. O’Brien would be 98 years old. However, he lived seventy-two years as the Scriptures say, and left us. When my sisters and I were youngsters, Dad would tease Mom and say, “I married an older woman.” I...

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Talking apples

It all began with little green apples. Aunt Eloise mailed Mom a letter saying the fruit was ready for canning applesauce. Mom loaded up the car with her Mason jars and our suitcases. Dad drove us south to the McCoy farm where we lived the first four years of my life....

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