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During my time in Afghanistan, my company tried to cut costs by mandating that when my boss and I went into Herat, we would be accompanied by only a driver rather than by a driver and a shooter. Julie and I were alarmed, because in Afghanistan at that time, it was more likely that western wo…

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When a story is compelling I am drawn to it. You know the kind of story, where you have to know the ending even if it means reading half the night when you have an early morning meeting. A compelling story makes you watch one more episode on Netflix when you only had time for one, but now yo…

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On Monday we celebrated Veterans Day, which is supposed to be a moment for us as a nation to stop, reflect and thank our veterans who served our country. It seems like in recent years Veterans Day has transformed from a day of random department store sales into a day of people sharing memes …

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Mrs. Jessie Miller was deemed to be insane after she demanded to be allowed to preach during a revival meeting at the Methodist church in the spring of 1877. She was sent to the asylum at Fulton, Missouri, for treatment and was released that autumn. In October, her husband behaved in ways th…

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Candles and candy and raffles and bread braids and pizza and punch cards and gear! When mom, dad, and the teacher just want a beer! There’ll be tickets for selling and tickets for selling and tickets for selling and …

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Last week, I implored you to investigate information before you circulated it as truth because of the proliferation of lies that permeate our society through social media. Today, I want us to be nicer to each other, because I find the level of plain old downright meanness that has insidiousl…

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In the Gospel of Mark, the sixth chapter, there are two well-known miracles that Jesus performs.  The first miracle is the feeding of the 5,000 with five small loaves of bread and two fish. You probably know the story – as Jesus blessed the food and broke it into pieces, the amount of food c…

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It is no secret that our country is extremely divided right now. I feel like this has been a slow but steady evolution in the last 15 years or so. I worry a lot of times that the extreme and alienating rhetoric from both political parties and figureheads on different viewpoints will eventual…

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During 1877, the actions of the family of W.J. and Jessie Miller of Sedalia were reported in both the Sedalia Bazoo and the Sedalia Democrat. Figuring out the accuracy of the articles is difficult, in part because those who spoke or wrote to the papers presented only one side of the events, …

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The neon sign made its debut in America (it was a French invention) in the early 1920s when a Packard dealer in Los Angeles erected the first one. The “classic neon” period continued into the 1960s.

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It isn’t that I spend all my day on Facebook, but I do visit the social media page every day to see what’s going on with my friends, what’s going on in the New York Times, Washington Post, the Kansas City Star, and other newspapers across the country, and who in my weight lifting group is sh…

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Writer’s note: This piece originally ran on Halloween 2018 in my personal blog, St. Dymphna’s Daughter.

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Sean Patrick calls himself a “Renaissance individual.” That seems to be shorthand for a guy with a lot of dreams and the drive to make them come true.

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Halloween is over. Christmas music has started to play in stores and on the radio. The grumbling about skipping Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas has started to creep into conversations across the land. It must be Nov. 1. But before we dive too deep into the holiday madness, I wan…

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When the Sedalia Democrat published a list of houses built during 1877, it not only included several expensive homes built for the well-to-do but listed more homes built for Sedalia’s working class. Most of the homes for the working class were located in the eastern or northern parts of Sedalia.

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Last week I checked into a hospital. A nurse inserted a needle in my arm, an anesthesiologist gave me a quick nap, and a surgeon made a tiny cut in my chest and removed my chemotherapy port from a large vein. A little industrial-strength glue to patch it all up, and voila! The only remaining…

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Jordann Gregory quickly went from not knowing much of anything about the Kansas City Chiefs to spending game days helping get the team’s spirit horse, Warpaint, ready for its scoring celebration rides in Arrowhead Stadium.

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A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was waiting for the service manager to look at his bike.

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As a thirtysomething in 2019, I am very aware of and am present on social media. However, my social media preferences do not match those of my peers. I have never had a Pinterest and I don’t post too terribly often on Facebook. However, I am very active on Twitter. 

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During the 19th century, a home was seen as a visible sign not only as an indication of a family’s wealth but also as evidence of the family’s status. This attitude led architectural historian Wayne Andrews to provide a tongue-in-cheek definition of architectural style as that thing that pro…

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The candy is purchased. The spooky decorations are up. The costumes have been chosen (after much dramatic whining and changing of minds). The nights are getting longer, and Halloween is approaching. 

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One of the best things about going to college was living in a dormitory with a bunch of girls. Back in the old days, girls had to be locked in at 10 p.m. while the boys stayed out for as long as they wanted, so after we came in from our dates, we hung out in the hall, talking and giggling up…

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Sometimes when I am lying in my bed with the sounds of the city keeping me awake, I can’t help thinking how different the sounds are than those of the country home my wife and I left a few months ago. 

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The word “home” had special meanings for people living in the 19th century. First of all, a home was seen as a refuge from the tribulations of an increasingly industrialized society. Surrounded by loving family members, the head of the household could relax and enjoy life.

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To me, the American impeachment process is a lot like the Electoral College. Everyone knows what it is, but most Americans have zero idea of how it actually works.

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Ferocious was in Oklahoma City last weekend, only five or six hours away, and I was upset that I couldn’t spend the necessary 12 hours in the car to get to see him. For those of you who might not know, “Ferocious” was the name I gave one of my security guys in Afghanistan. I nicknamed him th…

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I was going to write about A Very Important Topic this week. Something timely, something smart, something with a great moral at the end. 

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The Christian Campus Connection, or C3 as we call it, is a club affiliated at State Fair Community College. When I arrived at Calvary Baptist Church in August 2018, I suggested to Pastor Satterwhite that we find a way to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the SFCC campus. He said that sound…

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Life in 2019 can be quite the trip. Today I discovered I can sign up with the United States Post Office to get an email every time I receive mail. Apparently, it will even send me a picture of the mail. This is touted as a convenient feature for people who are away from home a lot or live in…

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For centuries, citizens have turned to their local news publication for local breaking and investigative news, as well as to learn about hot-button issues in their communities. In the last 15 years, with the rise of digital communications, many readers have changed their preferences to digit…

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The study of history is more than identifying the persons involved in events at a certain date, time, and place. Skillful researchers must make connections between the facts they discover in order to understand a situation fully. Sometimes the conclusions involve linking a series of facts di…

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The air is finally crisp and chilly. The trees look tired, and the leaves are turning dull. School has been in session for several weeks, and students are into fall sports. It’s finally autumn and time for the most terrifying event any of us, well, any of us past a certain age, can imagine: …

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The ongoing turmoil in Hong Kong takes me back to my Navy days, which spanned 1959 to 1963.

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The month of October is always one that I look forward to. I love the beginning of the fall season, cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks are blessings to me. I love the colors of autumn as the trees let go of the summer heat and harshness. I also love playoff baseball,…

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I’ve noticed that sometimes that when a situation is screwed up, after a while I accept it as normal and forget that the situation is abnormal. I believe our society does this on many subjects. The biggest one I have noticed that everyday people have accepted as normal is our health care system.