• Crotchety may in fact be an apt description

    Let’s begin with a cliche: Age is simply a number. Or another: You’re only as old as you feel.

    Or, as Mitch Albom suggested in his quirky The Time Keeper: If we didn’t measure time, would we know that it was passing?

    Those are thoughts at the top of my quickly crowding cranium because I recently had one of those landmark birthdays that give us pause and has us studying the mirror and dreading the horizon – and chanting it’s only a number, it’s only a number.

  • CHARLTON: Jesus’ message of love in face of war

    For several years I taught a class on St. Augustine’s classic book, the City of God. It is a weighty and sometimes impenetrable tome, and one I continue to struggle to understand. Though not widely read today, it remains one of the most enduring classics in the history of Western society and has, often unbeknownst to us, shaped our thinking in powerful ways.

  • SOUDER: God’s ‘Dream Team’ is an Unlikely Bunch

    Mention the words, “Dream Team,” and different people may think of different things. My first thought takes me back to my college days when three of my best friends and I referred to ourselves by that description. Though we shared many exploits and experiences together that in our minds merited the “Dream Team” designation, our fame was on a pretty localized level, and we didn’t gain much national exposure.

  • Celebrating a true labor of love

    On Friday a friend and former colleague posted these warm but ironic words on his Facebook page:

    “Happy Labor Day weekend everyone. Let’s hope we still have jobs on Monday.”

    His twist, you should know, comes from having been through the start-up, layoff pattern that so besets journalism in the digital age. You hear the bulletins of print operations lopping jobs, but so many of those we know and love years ago leaped to new ventures on the Web only to find themselves unwanted before the ink was dry on their paychecks.

  • Difficult Syria decision will always be about religion

    Should we or should we not intervene? While it looks inevitable that the United States will take some kind of military action against Syria, and may have done so by the time this column is published, the question remains – is military intervention the correct course of action?

  • How we cater to our cattle

    Having spent, like many boys and girls in Shelby County’s history, my formative years in keen observation of cows, I am continually amazed by the devotion families have to them, how delicately they treat them and care for them. Sometimes I have to wonder if some among us of have converted to Hindu, so revered are their bovine gods and goddesses. At least cows aren’t allowed to roam the streets anywhere this side of New Delhi.

  • SOUDER: In sports or life, it’s always good to know the score

    Anyone that knows me very well knows two things about me: I love to play games, and I love to win. I grew up playing all kinds of sports – baseball, football, tennis – but my favorite was always basketball.

    My family also played lots of board games like Monopoly and Life, word games like Scrabble and Boggle and card games like Euchre and Rook. But it didn’t matter what sport or game I was playing, because of my extremely competitive nature, I always did my very best to win.

  • CHARLTON: Biblical interpretations can be similar, different

    I have read with interest the competing points of view offered by Chuck Souder, through his column of June 28 titled “The Founders’ Declaration of ‘In-Dependence,’” and the letter of response by Rich Lane (and upon finishing this column found there were a couple of letters in response to Mr. Lane, which I have yet to read).

  • The demand of the supplies

    Now that our students are safely back in their classrooms, parents all over Shelby County can wipe their brows and fall backwards into our recliners in overwhelmed fatigue. That seasonal onslaught is behind us, and we have survived once again the Battle of School Supplies.

    Are you one of us, we parents who are assailed annually by requirements that our students must arrive for the first day of school towing a small U-Haul trailer filled with everything from some stratus of computer to a certain color of pencil to be used for a chapter in a one-term geography workbook?

  • SOUDER: What will our kids learn in school?

    Early one August morning, a mother went in to wake up her son. “Wake up, son,” she said. “It's the first day of school, and you don’t want to be late.”
    “But, Mom, I don't want to go,” he said.

    “Give me two reasons why you don't want to go,” his mother asked.

     “Well, the kids make fun of me for one, and the teachers don’t like me either!”

    The mother was unconvinced. “That's no reason not to go to school – now get ready!”