If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

You know, Christmas trees are a big part of American Christmas traditions. Their origin began long ago in Germany. There is even a great Christmas song reflecting that, “O Tannenbaum.”

My immediate family (five brothers and sisters, their spouses, children and grandchildren) number about 55. With so many in the family and extended families to work out Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have, for the past 15 years had our Paxton Christmas the second Saturday in December at my b…

First of all, I want to wish all of you a most blessed Thanksgiving. Oh, I know that in many respects it will be a very different one. I really understand that as well. But while it may be very different for many reasons this year, it still exists. The meaning of it still exists.

My wife and I really didn’t have to think about changing plans for Thanksgiving this year because half of our family is in Alabama for the holiday. The other half will fit nicely under what the governor and Iowa health officials think is the optimum number of people to have dinner with…a num…

He was the first president who didn’t get us into a war during his term while wiping out ISIS and neutering Iran and yet he received no credit from 50 percent of the nation.

There are a lot of reasons to vote for Donald Trump. And most don’t include any sort of personal judgment that he is a nice man, a moral man, a man faithful to his marriage vows.

There is a very old story, true, about a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained to the family that she had a disease exactly like the one her brother had recovered from earlier. Her condition was so far advanced that only a transfusion from her brother would…

Greetings to all of you today. Most of you who know me are aware that ever since I was a lad, I have been a big, big baseball fan. Like everything else, this season was less than normal. But there is a magic to baseball that always enchanted me. Over the last few weeks, some of the Boys of S…

You know that Vice President Mike Pence cleaned Kamala Harris’ clock when the hacks on MSNBC and CNN claimed that she was a victim of racism and sexism. Kamala Harris is a victim of her own pathetic liberal belief system that withered in the face of VP Pence and his absolute command of the p…

I’m watching NFL football on Sunday and Russell Wilson throws a towering pass to his receiver who has beaten a Cowboys rookie safety. The guy catches it in stride, puts the ball in one hand and starts high stepping into the end zone about 10 yards out. That’s when the rookie never stops play…

Greetings to all of you. The word peace means different things to different people. Some people think of world peace. Others think of a personal peace. Others think of having peace and quiet occasionally. Peace, in any form, can be pretty elusive at times. There sure doesn’t seem to be much …

Greetings on our first column in what is now fall. Lots of folks love fall. It has its beauty. But I have never been a big fall fan. Spring. Ah, yes. Love it when everything springs to life. Seeing lots of farmers in the fields now as harvest gets rolling.

So let me get this straight. In New York City Mayor Bill diBlasio has established a permanent get out of jail free card for anyone rioting, looting, beating up old ladies or accosting people attempting to eat in open air restaurants.

John 3:16. Just about anyone knows what verse John 3:16 says, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

I’m not exactly sure the political strategy of mass e-mailing newspapers campaign lies, fund-raising pleas and the like, because if I actually opened every e-mail, I would sit at my desk eight hours and get nothing else done. It is not a good plan for semi-retirement.

The 2020 election is less than 60 days away I fully expect that it will be one of, if not the worst devisive elections ever. If you have ever followed my columns, you well know I am not a fan of President Trump. That is not to say that some of the things done during this administration have …

Jeremiah 1:5. “Before I firmed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

L ng st ry sh rt, I dr pped a 100 p und p ate g ass wind w n my right ring finger, spent tw h urs having the shredded skin stitched back and am wearing a sp int n my right finger t prevent the stitches fr m pu ing ut.

I’m not going to tell you that I watched gavel to gavel the Democrat convention last week. Frankly, my family, church and community are more important than sitting in front of a television soaking in largely hatred and vitriol from a political party, any political party. I thought I was an e…

This past week, I attended a prayer meeting with several pastors and parishioners at the Albia Baptist Temple. Each month we go to a different church. Not all of Albia’s or Monroe County’s pastors attend, but nonetheless, prayer is shared and Scripture as well. It is a wonderful and useful e…

Since the 2020 presidential election has turned into an “identity politics” circus, created by Joe Biden and his handlers when he announced he would name an African American woman to be his running mate, I’d like to make this observation.

Greetings, today, just a few days past now Publisher Emeritus Dave Paxton’s retirement party, I want to say thanks Dave for all you have done and do for the community and in your years of service as editor and publisher of the paper. In an era when newspapers in our area and nationwide strug…

Occasionally life gets in the way of planning. Like for any number of people who were dancing in the street last Monday thinking I was gone from the newspaper and saw my pick-up parked outside the building, for long periods of time all week. And this week as well. Requests for depression and…

Greetings, I want to share a story with you today from the Old Testament Book of Numbers, from chapter 13 and 14. The setting of the story is hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. The Hebrews have been in captivity in Egypt for over 400 years suffering at the hands of cruel Egyptian t…

My last few days as a full-time newspaper editor and publisher have been remarkable. I started writing sports for pay in 1974 and in a 46-year career had never covered a state championship team. I don’t count my first year as a part-time weekend writer for the Waterloo Courier when they sent…

Greetings. First of all, a hearty congratulations to the State Champion Albia Girls Softball team and players and coaches. Hard work, commitment and determination over the season and a career paid off. In a year where so many things are not good news, this was a shot in the arm for everyone.

Greetings to everyone today. I can’t believe July is almost over! It has been a summer to remember but also to forget in so many ways. For those who have asked about my mom, Gladys, she is still in the Northern Mahaska Rehab Center in Oskaloosa and is doing well. I sure appreciate, as she do…

It is a strange feeling approaching semi-retirement, particularly when facing one of the busiest weeks in a career spanning 45 years. Officially I enter a 12-15 hour work schedule Aug. 1. Which basically means I’ve got between 45 and 50 hours of brand new retirement time on my hands.

We’re fortunate we have a governor who is not running for re-election this fall. Gov. Kim Reynolds has the ability to lead without schlepping for money and votes, making everything she does political.

As an old history teacher, my interest in everything reflects in the concepts and underpinnings of this country’s development and guidance under the hands of a sovereign God. Like all of us, none of it was done by perfect people. Only Jesus was without sin.

You are blessed when you have the opportunity to make friends with an older generation. But you’re saddened when you invariably outlive them.

In 1776, a man by the name of Thomas Paine wrote an electrifying pamphlet called “Common Sense.” It was only about 49 pages but its political and moral arguments for independence fueled the American Revolution. Paine appealed rationally to the cause of freedom. It is still in print today and…

In preparing for my retirement in another month, I cleaned out the office I’ve occupied for the past 30 years and moved to a smaller office across the hall. I’m guessing I tossed a small dumpster worth of stuff that I hadn’t looked at in years and our new publisher will have no use for.

Prayer. So much has been written about prayer and if there was ever a time Christians needed to pray, it is now. We need to be praying for one another; for our nation and world. Prayer allows us the awesome privilege to talk to the Lord and come into His presence. I would be totally lost wit…

Greetings. Hope and pray all of your are well. One of my favorite Bible stories can be found in the Book of Daniel. The entire book is an account of one of the greatest men in the entire Bible, Daniel. The book is a prophetical book and yet historical, written by Daniel in the second century…

I just have one question for the young anarchists, Black Lives Matter agitators and Democrats who sit idly by while the country burns.

There’s any number of quasi socialist/communist organizations emboldened by the current racial tensions the United State finds itself in. One that started sending me e-mails is WFAN (Women’s Food and Ag Network) which sound innocuous enough. Something that might be a place for FarmersOnly.co…

Trust is a valuable commodity these days. The reason is because it seems to be in such short supply. Selfish ambition, greed, and a look out for number one mentality are just three common reasons for that. But in an era where there is so little trust, we can trust God.

The last two weeks I have waded into the growing issues of racial tension and the continuing Covid 19 issue. Today. No. It’s not that I don’t have more to say, I do. It does indicate that I am sick of the bias and madness that is sweeping our nation so many ways.

My parents were in their mid 40s when America was set on fire during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and the Vietnam War protests. I’m pretty sure they were terrified, not only because they had two draft age sons, but the safety and security my dad thought he had helped establish by f…

The first car I ever (sort of) owned was a 1965 Mercury Comet my brother and I got from our grandfather for painting his two-story farm house. That was in 1968. My brother drove it a couple of years before he went off to college and it was handed down to me in 1970 and I drove it until I wor…

For the last few days, I have debated what I wanted to share with you today. I decided I want to talk about a passion for Christ and what wonderful things it brings us. But I have to share one last time some insights on the racial situation that has even stretched into the Iowa football program.

I’ve felt halfway sick to my stomach all weekend, starting with what seems like endless replays of George Floyd being choked to death by a Minneapolis police officer while three other officers stood by and did nothing and seeing cities around the United States being torched by people who fra…

Greetings, grace and peace. One week ago, in my column, I mentioned how much I feared for the future of this country. I mentioned we needed national renewal and revival. That was one day before the riots we have witnessed over the last six days. In the time from when I wrote that until today…

Hallelujah! We’re going to have summer baseball and softball. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me feel, even with the seemingly endless rules governing the opening. You might get some eye rolling, but players and fans aren’t going to balk at all about how we’re going to have to play.

Greetings. I hope all of you had a good Memorial Day. I know for virtually all of us it was very different. Again, please keep my mother in your prayers. She is doing well but the concern about the Covid 19 in care centers is a concern. I have never felt as lost and helpless as I do now. Wit…

Three community newspapers from really fine cities (Centerville, Knoxville and Pella) were closed last week. For the guy who operates three newspapers between those three communities it was a shock.