Articles By: Paul Penner

Trump tariffs will hurt farmers

“The sooner you fall behind, the more time you’ll have to catch up.” — Steve Wright Who said catching up was easy? Perhaps it is true only when snow skiing downhill on a steep mountainside. In all other circumstances, it is very hard work, if it is even possible. On the final leg of a 600-meter race, Heather Dorni­den tripped […]

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Issues around gun violence

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke This quote, written long before we Americans took to the sidelines during the advent of mass school shootings, shines an uncomfortable light upon us all. In the interest of full disclosure, it is noteworthy that I have numerous friends and acquaintances who […]

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No secret: Ag profits declining

No secret: Ag profits declining

What do international trade and agriculture have in common? It is an easy answer: They are intricately intertwined with the other. Today, it is crucial that no harm is done to either one. I begin with agriculture. It is no secret in a farming community such as Hills­boro and surrounding communities, agriculture is in a financial slump. Prices have been […]

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What is your Christmas like?

Remembering Christmases past, my childhood comes to mind. I received my first baseball glove, ball and bat on a snowy evening. One year, a wind-up train set arrived under the tree. But perhaps the most notable gift Deborah and I received was the birth of our granddaughter, Eva, three days later. This week, we celebrate that birthday, along with the […]

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Water comes, water goes….

Water, water, everywhere, and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink…. Any student of literature worth his or her salt would easily recognize the author of those lines and the title of the poem. As a junior in high school, my class assignment was to memorize Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s work, “The Rhyme of the […]

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Is honesty still the best policy?

“Trust me, it’s (not) gonna happen.” “I will get back to you.” “The check is in the mail.” If I were a betting person, I would wager that every adult has heard one of those promises—or a version of it—at least once in their lifetime, only to discover it was a lie. The book of Proverbs in the Bible is […]

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Are negative emotions wrong?

Myth or truth: Suc­cess­ful men are always positive. How about this one: It is unspiritual to show negative emotions. In his book, “Men’s Secret Wars,” Patrick A. Means writes about common misconceptions regarding male behavior and how they are encouraged to leave them behind in their search for healing and wholeness. For years, Means practiced a Christian version of the […]

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Unpack the hurtful messages

“Pain from our past that is unresolved is pain we’re condemned to repeat.” —Terry Kellogg, in “Men’s Secret Wars,” by Patrick A. Means I cannot count the number of times in my life when someone, including me, repeats this worn out phrase: “He (she) is just like his father (or her mother).” It’s often true, but it reflects a statement […]

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Ask: If not you, then who?

“Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against one another.” (Zachariah 7:9-10) Children are incred­ible at learning from the examples of parents and other adults. I still remember events of my childhood. It’s almost like the memories are hard-wired into […]

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Generosity knows no limits

“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink….” —Matthew 25:35 Certain memories of an earlier time remain fixed in my mind. They are present not in a haunting way, but they have become permanently etched, carved in stone, as it were. In much the same way people talk […]

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