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I hope your heart is filled with gratitude at this Thanksgiving season. This has been an unprecedented year for most of us. Most have never dealt with a pandemic on the order of this one. Yet I hope, if I were to ask, you could name many things for which you are grateful.

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Jackie Davis tells about an evening when she and her daughter Jessie sat together in their squeaky rocker. Sometimes they sang songs or read a book, but that particular evening, her heart was not in it.

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I grew up in West Virginia. I almost said, “In the hills of West Virginia,” but my hometown was on the Ohio River, so hills around our city were minor compared to the mountains on the east side of the state.

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Charles Colson went to prison in 1974 as a result of investigations into the Watergate affair that eventually toppled Richard Nixon’s presidency.

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Gary Sinise is an actor who rose to national fame when he took on the role of “Lieutenant Dan” in the 1994 movie, Forest Gump. In the motion picture, Forest Gump rescued Gary Sinise’s character in Vietnam, but later in the movie, Lieutenant Dan showed up in a wheelchair, having lost his legs…

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Nine-year-old Russell Capper had a great idea. Why not have a day to honor grandparents? He believed in it so much that he wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon, suggesting a National Grandparents Day.

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OWOSSO — St. Paul Catholic School officials, parents and students had two reasons to celebrate Monday: the first day of school and a new school building.

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OWOSSO — The SUMMERPraise! concert season concludes at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Don and Metta Mitchell Amphitheater, 229 N. Water St., with The Sheldon Family.

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Abert Einstein became famous because of a formula he wrote. Obviously, research, careful observation, and massive analysis went into constructing the formula.

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CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office announced it is planning to conduct a basic church security training session Sept. 12.

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OWOSSO TWP. — Families can travel back to biblical times and learn about Daniel’s courage in captivity — without having to leave their cars.

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You have probably heard of Eric Liddell, the Flying Scot, who refused to run on Sunday at the 1924 Olympics. The motion picture, “Chariots of Fire,” featured his story. He went to China as a missionary.

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OWOSSO — Christian musicians Mike Reath and Lynn Webster will share a potpourri of gospel songs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Oakley Community Church, 327 S. Main St.

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OWOSSO TWP. — After a long and successful career, the Rev. Jerry Walden retired a couple of years ago — but it didn’t take.

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Football is important to the people of Alabama. I didn’t catch at which school this happened, but they like to tell about a game in which the teams were mismatched. One team had big bruisers on the line, while the other team had players that, well, didn’t quite measure up.

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CORUNNA — The Corunna Church of the Nazarene, 230 N. Woodworth St., invites music lovers to the 5 p.m. June 28 Sunday evening service as Stronghold Quartet shares “Freedom,” the group’s seventh CD.

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A young lawyer, practicing in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, worked to negotiate the release of prisoners during the War of 1812. These efforts led him to dine with British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant on the evening of Sept. 13, 18…

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OWOSSO TWP. — Catholic Charities has partnered with Good360 and Toys for Tots to help provide toys and games to children and families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jesus cautioned his followers against excessive worry. Knowing how prone humans are to worry about things we can’t control, he reminded them: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable…

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Historians tell us the Battle of Trafalgar was the most famous battle of British Admiral Lord Nelson’s career. It came in October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain. The combined fleets of France and Spain sought to control the English Channel in order to give Napoleon access to inv…

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HAZELTON TWP. — The Juddville United Methodist Church is offering three agricultural scholarships for Shiawassee County student taking part in 4-H or FFA.

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OWOSSO TWP. — Families can travel back to biblical times and learn about Daniel’s courage in captivity — without having to leave their cars.

You have probably heard of Eric Liddell, the Flying Scot, who refused to run on Sunday at the 1924 Olympics. The motion picture, “Chariots of Fire,” featured his story. He went to China as a missionary.

OWOSSO — Christian musicians Mike Reath and Lynn Webster will share a potpourri of gospel songs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Oakley Community Church, 327 S. Main St.

OWOSSO TWP. — After a long and successful career, the Rev. Jerry Walden retired a couple of years ago — but it didn’t take.

Football is important to the people of Alabama. I didn’t catch at which school this happened, but they like to tell about a game in which the teams were mismatched. One team had big bruisers on the line, while the other team had players that, well, didn’t quite measure up.

CORUNNA — The Corunna Church of the Nazarene, 230 N. Woodworth St., invites music lovers to the 5 p.m. June 28 Sunday evening service as Stronghold Quartet shares “Freedom,” the group’s seventh CD.

A young lawyer, practicing in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, worked to negotiate the release of prisoners during the War of 1812. These efforts led him to dine with British Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant on the evening of Sept. 13, 18…

OWOSSO TWP. — Catholic Charities has partnered with Good360 and Toys for Tots to help provide toys and games to children and families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jesus cautioned his followers against excessive worry. Knowing how prone humans are to worry about things we can’t control, he reminded them: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable…

Historians tell us the Battle of Trafalgar was the most famous battle of British Admiral Lord Nelson’s career. It came in October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain. The combined fleets of France and Spain sought to control the English Channel in order to give Napoleon access to inv…

HAZELTON TWP. — The Juddville United Methodist Church is offering three agricultural scholarships for Shiawassee County student taking part in 4-H or FFA.

OWOSSO — St. John’s United Church of Christ volunteers are adjusting their longtime routine of providing food to hungry and homeless people during the COVID-19 situation by distributing pre-packaged breakfasts outside the church on Saturday mornings.

We all make typographical errors now and then. Our fingers hit the wrong keys and words come out misspelled. How many times has “united” turned out to be “untied”? It wasn’t a political statement to refer to the Untied States instead of the United States. Just a typo.

I have been thinking this week about the “serenity prayer.” You know, the one that says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

OWOSSO — St. Phillip Lutheran Church is canceling its Easter Bake Sale, originally scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 4, due to the coronavirus.

LANSING — The Catholic Diocese of Lansing is suspending public services and events at all of its parishes through April 8 amid coronavirus concerns, the diocese said in a press release.

OWOSSO — Due to the continued concern over the coronavirus, the Owosso Area Ministerial Association is canceling all community Lenten services.

Those of us who write and speak need to remember the importance of brevity. Larry King, known for his television and radio interviews, reminded us in one of his books about Abraham Lincoln, who knew when to stop talking. His Gettysburg Address lasted less than five minutes.

Typically, when you walk into a Catholic Church there is a font for holy water. It’s a sacramental, sacred sign meant to remind us of baptism. But one recent weekday, I dipped my hand into a familiar font in a prominent church in our nation’s capital before morning Mass, and encountered it e…

OVID — The United Church of Ovid is hosting a chili cookoff at 4 p.m. March 21.

Darcy Olsen’s motivation in life is the babies in America crying not for the normal reasons that babies cry, but because they are born addicted to meth, inheriting that addiction from their mother. Olsen wants states to protect those babies from their parents instead of putting them in foste…

Remember the little engine that could? I don’t know the origin of the story, but it first appeared in print in the early 1900s as part of a sermon.

OWOSSO — The Owosso First United Methodist Church — 1500 N. Water St. — will host speaker Douglas Carmel at 6 p.m. March 22 for his presentation “Jesus in the 7 Feasts of Israel.”

DURAND — Christ-based nondenominational programs Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girl will meet from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Monday nights at the Durand Church of the Nazarene, 9725 E. Monroe Road.

OWOSSO — Women from First Church of Christ, 585 E. North St., welcome other women from the community to their annual women’s celebration March 28.

OWOSSO — Karl Manke’s new novel, “Hope From Heaven,” takes a deep dive into the themes of forgiveness, redemption and life after death.

OWOSSO — The 133rd meeting of the Shrove Tuesday Club took place Tuesday at the Wrought Iron Grill.

As a teenager, Trey Smith kept praying that he would reach 6-foot-5 — the right height for a blue-chip lineman coming out of high school, and then a college star who would rise high in the National Football League draft.

He killed his grandmother. And he did so brutally, dumping her in the water before she was even dead, if the coroner is correct that her cause of death was drowning. He killed two others — all evil acts. And then once in prison, he managed to kill a fellow inmate. So, I get why the governor …

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — A series of community Lenten services are slated for 7 p.m. each Wednesday this month.