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Looking back, looking forward

Wow! What a year! If someone would have told me what this year looked like for education when I was taking my education classes, I would have laughed and looked at them like they were crazy! No one could have predicted what schools would have to do this year to ensure health and safety measures were implemented for a worldwide pandemic. Our students and staff have been through a lot, but we are coming out the other side much stronger and wiser.

In troubled times, you need Jesus, friends

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is just really hard. 
Most of us feel like we know what to do when life is easy, perhaps we even know what to do when life is hard. BUT, do we have any idea how to live when life is really hard? 

Inside the Iowa House - Todd Pritchard, House Minority Leader - D-Charles City

March 26, 2021

Inside the Iowa House: Public Money for Public Schools

As the voucher bill has stalled so far this session, majority party lawmakers in the Iowa House are trying a different tactic to shift money out of public schools through a big expansion of Iowa's charter school law.

4th District U.S. Rep. Randy Feesnstra Comments

Issued March 5, 2021


Dear Friend,


On the Side: Seeing, Being

... Physical monuments to the history of a nation that saved the world from tyrants and perpetuated freedom better than any other modern society are coming down, and the invisible monuments erected to prevent some people from advancing are rightly being exposed.

Iowa Supreme Court mandates mediation in all family law cases - what it means for all of us

Last week Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Larson signed an Order establishing court-sponsored mandatory mediation rules for all family law cases. In 2020 Larson directed each Iowa judicial district to submit a plan for mandatory mediation of family law cases before trial. Her Order just approved and implemented those plans effective March 1st, 2021. 

Missionaries All

I grew up in a family of missionaries. They are people who feel called by God to take the message of Jesus to non-Christian parts of the world. My grandparents, Pastor Thure Holmer and his wife Celia, sailed from New York, New York to India a week or so following their marriage in 1912. It took 40 days to make the trip. Because of the length of the journey and costs involved, their time of service was ten years before they could set foot in America again. 

Inkspots: Of dining adventures with cats

It occurs to me that I haven’t written about the care and feeding of my stray cat, Christopher Robin, lately. For any of you who have been anxiously awaiting an update, be anxious no more. (I’m sure there must be at least one of you - right??? If not, humor me.)
 For those of you who might be newcomers to Inkspots, Christopher Robin is the offspring of Saint Francis, the first stray to venture onto my porch for dinner. 
Read Inkspots in the Feb. 25 Advance.

On the Side: Voter suppression?

Is it voter suppression? Or is it voter motivation?
Read On the Side in the Feb. 25 Advance.

Novel explores grief and PTSD

So what happens when two PTSD victims converge in a lonely cabin during a Colorado blizzard?
That’s the setup for “Halfway to Someday,” a psychologically engaging novel by Osage, Iowa, author Layla Dorine.
See all of Michael Tideman's book review in the Feb. 25 Advance.

Rural residents can get a say on snow removal practices

The door is open for rural Kossuth County residents who are concerned about the snow removal process. 
At a recent board meeting, the supervisors followed up on a request to Doug Miller, the county engineer, to determine whether the county’s practice of removing snow primarily in the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. fits with what other counties are doing and whether there is an advantage to residents to move the times.
See the full editorial in the Feb. 25 Advance.

The importance of God’s mercy

Several months ago, I had the opportunity to teach my son about the concept of mercy. My family and I had come down with COVID-19 and that meant that we had to stay in our house together. And I’ll be honest with you, after the first seven days, it got kind of rough. Now please understand me, I love my wife and kids. But it’s tough to be trapped in the house for two weeks, with no break, and no escape.

Sen. Grassley statement on vote against impeachment

this is a press release and statement from the Office of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley:

Grassley Statement on Impeachment Trial



Return to the Lord

... Of course this doesn’t mean we should behave like fools and put God to the test, needlessly placing ourselves in direct harm. So taking some precautions against danger is a prudent idea. But if caution prevents us for a prolonged time from receiving the things of the Lord, such as gathering together at church and receiving the sacrament of the altar, then that caution isn’t prudent. There is something more necessary than earthly life: Jesus is the one thing necessary!  ...

On the Side: Iowa Can’t afford to ignore California plan on electric cars

... While some might scoff and say, “Well, that’s never going to happen,” they ought to consider the impact California has on this country. 
All by itself, California has the sixth-largest economy in the world. 

Algona POW camp inspires books

... Around the time of our opening, we began to notice research for historical novels about the existence of German POWs in the U.S. during WWII. We have consistently received inquiries by authors who wanted to know more about the prisoner of war story. This interest led to the writing of historical novels that are based upon the existence of prisoners of war in the U.S. during WWII, or using Camp Algona as a base for their story.

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