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A Christian Looks Back at the First Year of Trump

IT CAME AS NO SURPRISE nor was it widely welcomed. As herald of the imperial census taken every fourteen years for the sake of universal taxation in support of ancient Rome’s vast military, “in those days a decree went out from the Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered” (Luke 2:1). Now, again …

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“From Warriors to Saints, Saints to Lovers, Lovers to Tigers, Tigers to Flowers”

VINCENT VAN GOGH LEARNED VOLUMES from his fellow artists by the study of countless numbers of their drawings and paintings, some old, some new. Not only did he visit many museums and exhibitions. He also lined the walls of his room with copies of others’ works, including the great masters who preceded him. Vincent once wrote …

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Grace Given As Grace Received

davidson's-orchard-dillwyn-virginia

THERE ARE STORIES PASSED DOWN about my grandfather Clarence, who died several years before I was born, to the effect that he could take quickly to the stern edge of his character and at times be brusque, impatient and demanding. While he was an industrious and productive Virginia farmer who certainly knew the meaning of hard work, with …

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“Best and Deepest” Self-Portraits

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IF ONE TAKES THE TIME to study Vincent van Gogh’s numerous self-portraits, it is apparent that there are several “Vincents” dwelling within the one Vincent. Never, though, do Vincent’s self-portraits exhibit an outright display of mirth. Like a hound tracking a faint whiff of exotic expectation, one must hunt for the glee hidden beneath the surface of …

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A Day for Love in the Age of Trump

YOU MIGHT SAY that at its inception St. Valentine’s Day was born of the order of a lover’s “blizzard.” For, as legend has it, Saint Valentine, a third century Christian priest, selflessly ministered to his fellow Christians during the blizzard of persecution instigated by the Roman emperor Claudius. He did so by deliberately defying the …

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The Line Of Vision

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DICK, STEPHEN, CHARITY, AND LUCY were their given names – these beloved “Negroes.” They were the propertied slaves owned by my fourth great grandfather at the time of his death. At the top of the list of all of Hezekiah Davidson’s worldly goods, the court appraised Dick at 120 pounds sterling, Stephen at 100, Charity …

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A World Of Surprises

BEING MOTHER OR FATHER TO YOUR OWN LIFE’S WORK is like the stone-deaf Beethoven birthing the Ninth Symphony’s Ode to Joy. The craft of creativity is far more formidable than comprehensible. We become infinitely more dependent upon what we do not know than upon what we know. Who knows for sure whether this score will ever …

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