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Will North Carolina continue to urbanize?

North Carolina used to be a small-town and rural state. In fact, we were traditionally one of the most non-urban states in the country. There were a couple of reasons for this. It wasn’t that long ago that a significant share of people worked on farms. Of course most farms, due to their need for large acreage, are in rural areas. Also, the manufacturing that North Carolina didhave was concentrated in small towns.

2 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Be sure to cry out to God

Do you talk to God? I sure hope you do. And I say this because, quite frankly, if I didn’t have God to talk with … I don’t know how I would survive. For there’s no way I could cope in this world without God’s presence and His daily input in my life. God’s companionship means everything to me … and when I say everything, I mean everything. For it is God, and God alone, who calms the troubled waters of my soul.Here’s a recent example &#...

2 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Dad, Diamond and a decade

It’s been 10 years now since my father passed away, and for a variety of reasons, memories about my dad have been shooting through my mind like solar flares.Maybe it’s because I wasn’t there the day my father passed away. My two brothers were, and they kept telling me to wait. So I did … until it was too late.Or maybe it’s because there have been so many things going on in my personal life this year that, normally, I could have gotten advice...

4 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Phenomenal festival

The annual Dublin Peanut Festival is now in the books, and it may very well go down as the best of its 22-year run for many reasons.If the event is to be judged simply on the crowd that arrived on Saturday, then there is little doubt that the Peanut Festival Committee put together a winner for 2014.But there are several other areas where successes are easy to find. They include …— Vendors: This year’s event attracted more than 90 food, craft ...

4 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

God doesn’t make any junk

I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in going to a yard sale and I didn’t hesitate for a second in telling my daughter Joy, “I’ve got enough junk of my own without going to a yard sale to BUY someone else’s junk!” To which Joy replied: “Mama, you will love yard sales! Besides, when was the last time we did anything together, just mother-daughter?”

5 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

God has given us His spirit

God’s plan is not in the Bible. God’s plan for the world and God’s people is in his mind. Read 1 Corinthians 1-16. God’s spirit is the only One that knows God’s plan. The Bible is a book of reference, not to be used for monetary gain.Friends, when I came and told the mystery that God has shared with us, I didn’t use big words or try to sound wise. In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who has been nail...

5 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Prescribed solution

The State Bureau of Investigation, along with Safe Kids North Carolina and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, will be co-sponsoring a national effort to safely dispose of unused prescription medicines in locations across the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27.It’s a worthwhile program, because taking expired, unwanted or unused medicines to one of the pill take-back locations is the best disposal method. This coordinated effort keeps harmful drugs out of the re...

7 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

How Scotland connected North Carolina to the modern world

Did North Carolinians have a stake in the outcome of last week’s referendum in Scotland?Maybe not the same kind of stake the residents of Scotland had, but our ties to that land are so close, so important, and so contemporary that perhaps we should have been entitled to vote on the question of its independence from the United Kingdom.New evidence of our enduring ties to Scotland comes in a few days with UNC Press’s release of “Wayfaring Strangers: The M...

8 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

President, Congress need to work together

In his recent speech outlining his plans to use military force against the jihadists of the Islamic State, President Obama gave Congress only passing mention. “I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL,” he said. “But I believe we are strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together.”He’s right, of course. But that’s not the half of it.We live in troubled times, and over the last decade or two our military...

9 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Frightened by freedom

As Islamic State militants slaughter civilians and decapitate prisoners of war in gruesome videos posted online for the world to see, some of us are more likely to balk when fellow Americans exercise their rights in controversial ways.The 2014 State of the First Amendment survey suggests terrorism makes us less likely to defend and perhaps more likely to censor speech and expression that offends others. Nearly four in 10 Americans (38 percent) believe the First Amendment goes too f...

11 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Consensus requires solid date

North Carolina’s public schools recently released end-of-grade and end-of-course test scores for the 2013-14 school year. You may have heard something about them, particularly from districts eager to claim a large increase in the share of students who test at or above grade level.It’s a good example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

12 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

A plea goes out to Bladen County

You may not remember or ever noticed Roger. He was a homeless person who died last year two days after he was baptized and received Christ in his life. You could often see him sitting on a bench uptown or volunteering at the Bladen Crisis Assistance Thrift Store.When I first met him, he had a smile on his face and the ability to make people laugh. He had kind feelings in his heart. He wanted to make a difference.Roger had a wish that blankets could be collected and distr...

13 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Contingency plans should be at the ready

I’ve never taken the opportunity to say that I really like the new Bladen Journal. If we’re not getting more news, it certainly appears so if ...

14 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Seriously shortchanged

The lawyers for Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown aren’t satisfied that they have been exonerated and — after spending 30 years in prison for heinous crimes that evidence suggests they not only didn’t commit but should not have been charged with or tried for — are now free.The lawyers say they will seek a pardon of innocence from Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican whose party works hard to appear tough on crime. The pardon is potentially 1.5 million...

14 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

Baltimore bully

OK, in the domestic violence case surrounding Ray Rice, all of the assumptions were correct. Thanks to a graphic video released on Monday, the world saw the former Baltimore Ravens running back slug his then-fiancee and drag the unconscious woman out of an Atlantic City, N.J., elevator.But as they say, hindsight is 20-20, so let’s not suddenly rise up and start pointing fingers at who got what wrong. The fact of the matter is this: Everyone got everything wrong.Nob...

18 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

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Cut the grass, not trash bags

Well, Bladen County DOT has done it again: They mowed a...

26 days 9 hours ago | | | Email

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