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Showing posts from December, 2016

Family Traditions

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Among the things that make the holiday season memorable are family traditions. One dictionary defines tradition as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.” While growing up in Moorhead, Minnesota, my family had our share of Christmas rituals. One of them was my sister Tanya and I taking turns opening up the little flaps on our advent calendar.
My immediate family always opened presents on Christmas Eve after Dad came home from work in the late afternoon (or in the morning if he had the day off). To pass the time Tanya and I played the board game Monopoly, which often took two hours to complete. Sometimes we also went to a candlelight service at the Lutheran church we attended across the river in Fargo, North Dakota.
Later that night I would get together with my mother’s side of the family at Grandma Tweiten’s house. Often we ate a light dinner but then always sang Christmas carols before opening presents. Eventually my Aunt Gaye added a tradition I grew to…

Travel Tips for American Missionaries

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It’s been several years since I owned a car. Therefore, I mostly depend on public transportation to go from city to city. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things that will be shared in this article. Although much of this information can be helpful when traveling to other nations, I will mainly focus on three types of public transportation available within the U. S.
1) Planes - Obviously flying is a more attractive option when going longer distances. However, security lines became longer after 9/11 as well as the list of things passengers cannot bring aboard an airliner. Check the TSA website if you’re uncertain about what you’re allowed to transport in your luggage.
Speaking of luggage, one of my biggest pet peeves is baggage fees. Nowadays almost every American airline charges $20 or more just to check a suitcase. Some such as Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant also charge for carryon bags. United Airlines will soon charge economy travelers for the use of overhead bins if their carryons …

Hollywood and Islam

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Mark Wahlberg recently suggested that “Hollywood bubble actors” stop talking about politics because “they’re pretty out of touch with the common person.” One actress who appears to be taking positive action on the latter is Sally Field. In an interview on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show, the “real Momma Gump” announced she joined Twitter “in order to better understand how the American people could elect a man like Donald Trump.”
Ms. Field, I’d be happy to enlighten you on some things. First of all, this nation was founded as a Constitutional Republic…not a democracy as you and many Americans wrongly assume. I wish more celebrities who desire to use their fame for good have Judeo-Christian values like that of our Founding Fathers.
Moral reasons were given in a previous blog article as to why I vote Republican. Here I want to point out a key reason why Hillary Clinton would have been a bad president. The former Secretary of State talked of admitting 65,000 Syrian refugees (most if not all …

More Than a Survivor

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One of the most popular programs on TV is CBS’s “Survivor.” This reality show features a group of contestants marooned in an isolated location where they must provide for themselves and compete in challenges to avoid elimination. Derived from a Swedish series called “Expedition Robinson”, the U .S. version of “Survivor” debuted in 2000 and quickly became a ratings success. Until recently I never watched an entire episode but now have a passing interest in it. 
Sunday Burgquest and her husband Jeff oversee the Family Support Ministry at Living Word Christian Center, the church I attend when in the Minneapolis area. Sunday is currently one of eight surviving contestants for Season 33 of “Survivor.” This past Wednesday a group of us gathered in the fellowship hall to watch the latest episode. The sound was turned down during commercial breaks so Sunday and Jeff could share behind-the-scenes stuff. They were cautious not to reveal information that could disqualify Sunday from eventually wi…