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Following the death of Mao Zedong, former president and founding father of the People's Republic of China, more than 40 years ago, his successor, Deng Xiaoping, instituted economic reforms that looked less like classic communism and more like capitalism.

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Cannon Dick Sheppard was the minister at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the heart of London right after World War l. It is reported that when he died, quite suddenly, one of the morning newspapers printed a large photograph of his pulpit. There it was, the same as ever, but empty. However, the Bible on the pulpit was still open with a ray of light across it. Beneath the picture were these words: “Here endeth the first lesson.”

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One day I walked into Tink’s home office where he usually sits in an overstuffed chair decorated in bold flowers of orange, yellow and green. His feet were slung out on the matching ottoman.

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As a way of remembering Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I want to recall part of the introduction to my sermon on the following Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001.

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After a country supper in the days of my growing up, Mama would often stand up from the table and say, “Ronda, you clean up the kitchen. I need to call Idell and see how she’s doin.”

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The lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II wrote many beautiful songs for Broadway musicals. One that was not beautiful, but powerful for what it said about race relations in 1949 when the show opened was "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught." The song was about being taught to hate.

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Responding to Democrats in her party who are troubled by the massive $3.5 trillion spending bill that would forever transform America into a debtor nation, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked a question: "Where would you cut?"

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You were in your office, at home doing breakfast dishes, just getting out of bed, and at first, you didn't believe what you were seeing. It was not April Fool's Day, it was Sept. 11, 2001, and these books commemorate the anniversary of that day...

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It was many years ago now that I stopped by the post office to gather mail. Among the bills was a small ivory envelope. My name, though misspelled, was presented in printed hand. The postmark was from a Midwestern state.

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The 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and in the skies over Pennsylvania, demands considered reflection.



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