Lifestyles Columnists

Jun. 06, 2015 @ 12:05 PM

Public Pulpit: We must battle our inclination to sin

"There are things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind." So says Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Jun. 04, 2015 @ 01:33 PM

Carl Mays: Enjoy Friday, while helping others do the same

Good news for all doughnut lovers! Especially is it good news for those who have to pass by doughnut shops or display racks, look and lust at these tasty treats and then keep on driving or walking without looking back, knowing that your days of chomping into one of these sumptuous delights without feeling guilty, sinful and heavier are past memories. The good news is that Friday, June 5, 2015, is National Donut Day – and it may be your patriotic duty to consume one!

May. 30, 2015 @ 02:53 PM

Charles Mackem: Some restaurant experiences are best forgotten

As I'm unable at the moment to contact my attorney, no names will be mentioned – to protect the guilty. A couple of weeks ago, I had a visit from some family and, despite my expressed feelings of unease, a decision was made to go out for dinner. These are my impressions of that evening.

May. 30, 2015 @ 01:21 PM

Upland Chronicles: Middle Creek Methodist was established in the early 1800s

Soon after the first white settlers arrived around 1784, and Robert Shields constructed a blockhouse known as Shields’ Fort, circuit-riding Methodist preachers began holding services in the Middle Creek community. Folks from the community and beyond traveled on horseback or in wagons to gather for week-long revivals.

May. 30, 2015 @ 12:50 PM

Adriana Zoder: Experience history at Asheville's palatial Biltmore

You have, no doubt, heard the saying, "Wherever you go, there you are." As locals in a tourist town, we know this to be true. We see people coming here to relax, only to notice they are still plugged into their life at home with their phones, tablets and laptops. Then, of course, we also see those who relax too much and set safety aside. Wherever you go, there you are. We cannot change who we are by changing our surroundings.

May. 30, 2015 @ 11:43 AM

Public Pulpit: The love you have been looking for

Being truly loved unconditionally for oneself is a treasure. We were created to give and receive love. One of the two commands of Jesus was to love the Lord your God with your whole mind, soul, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.

May. 29, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Jake Old: Weird tales from band practice

There are many things I've missed about being able to regularly play music with two of my best friends. The creative process, the camaraderie, the experience of playing live.

May. 28, 2015 @ 01:55 PM

Carl Mays: Crises are a part of our very being

Last December I bought a T-shirt as a birthday present for our grandson Trey that reads, "Zombie Outbreak Response Team." I had seen the words and logo on the back window of a truck. I couldn't resist going online and finding a shirt with the same words and logo. Trey and his dad Carl II are big fans of "The Walking Dead" television series. And, yes, Trey now has his mother Beth watching the series with them. Since past seasons can be viewed, Jean and I watched the first show – which was also our last. Not our cup of tea.

May. 22, 2015 @ 03:48 PM

Public Pulpit: We look to God for forgiveness and stability

Thank you, Lord, for the rain. It has been quite some time since we’ve had more than just a few drops here in Pittman Center. The air now smells so fresh and clean, and all the pollen has been washed away for a time.

May. 22, 2015 @ 03:47 PM

Charles Mackem: There's a curry for everyone

I’m really fond of curries, and one of the main reasons is the nearly infinite variety of dishes that fall into this category. There are yellow curries from India, and red curries from Thailand. There are ginger curries from Malaysia, and curried noodle dishes from Singapore. I once had a curried goat and potato pizza on Union Island in the Caribbean, sold to me by two Rastafarians named Evol (that’s ‘love’ spelled backwards) and Elvis. It was delicious. There are thousands of dishes throughout the world that can reasonably be called curries.

May. 22, 2015 @ 04:40 PM

Carl Mays: There's a lot to be said for keeping calm under pressure

Several years ago, when I led in a conference for Kansas University students, the title of the conference was "Discovering the Foundations of Leadership," so named by the students themselves. The students were representatives from the student council, athletic teams, fraternities, sororities and other campus groups. All participants were given a colorful T-shirt that featured their Jayhawk mascot wearing a Sherlock Holmes hat and looking through a Sherlock-like magnifying glass at a quote by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi Von Nagyrapolt: "Discovering consists of seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought."

May. 16, 2015 @ 01:06 PM

Classic dishes are classic for a reason

In many ways, I'm a traditionalist. Classics are classics for a reason, and if they are to be changed or altered in any way whatsoever, there had better be a very good reason.


May. 16, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

Adriana Zoder: A royal English butler visits Gatlinburg

The first week of May, I attended an afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn. It featured a speech by a royal English butler, who retired as high host at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University. I would have gone just because it was afternoon tea at the Buckhorn Inn, you know what I mean? But when the invitation mentioned this modern-day Carson – if you watch "Downton Abbey," you know of whom I write – I canceled our son's piano lesson that afternoon to make room in our schedule.

May. 14, 2015 @ 04:43 PM

Carl Mays: For what are you most thankful?

Whenever I pick up my grandson Trey from school, I usually ask him questions regarding the most interesting thing that happened that day, or the most unusual, or the most challenging, or the best, or what he liked most – or something along these lines. I also like to ask, "For what are you most thankful today?" When our family is gathered around the dinner table, sometimes for the pre-meal blessing, I like to ask each member to mention what he or she is most thankful for that day. I don't believe we can ever cover all the things for which we are thankful – things from God, family, friends and others. No doubt, even when it seems things are going wrong for us in various ways, there are always many things – and people – for which to be thankful.

May. 09, 2015 @ 01:56 PM

Lamb burgers with the Smoky Mountain Gourmet

Things are slowly getting back to what I suppose is the new normal for my house. Only about half of my floor space is covered in boxes these days, and I'm beginning to get used to the presence of peanut butter (can't stand the stuff) and juice boxes (liquid poison) in my refrigerator. The reality of life with kids, I suppose.

May. 08, 2015 @ 01:38 PM

Public Pulpit: Pondering God's plan as a new chapter begins

Ah, the refreshing smell of raindrops. You can almost see the trees, grass and plants gulping down the nourishment like a giant dose of elixir. The burgeoning growth in every leaf and bud is second by second. The warmth of the spring air is like a soothing balm, and sleep is so peaceful with the windows wide open, letting in the fragrant aroma and the tiny sounds of the night.

May. 10, 2015 @ 09:36 AM

Jake Old: I'm proud of my big brother

Around this time last year, my little brother graduated high school, and I wrote about how it was weird seeing him all grown up. This year there is another graduation in my family.

May. 07, 2015 @ 01:18 PM

Carl Mays: Ask yourself - are you a true friend?

I read a recent report about responses from over 5,000 teens who were asked, "What does it mean to be a friend?" Many said evidence of true friends is what they do and/or say to show loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness or willingness to make a sacrifice when you need help.

May. 02, 2015 @ 05:21 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet: Mountaintop culinary dispatches

Saturday, April 25: Grilled chicken on the fire pit. This was the first time the pit came into play this season. Had to shovel out copious amounts of acorns and other debris. On the positive side of things, the snow that fell last Halloween brought down loads of quality oak that should last well into the summer. Showed the boys how to operate the electric chainsaw. The chicken was excellent.

May. 01, 2015 @ 05:26 PM

Jeff Farrell: We need to get used to paying for the news

It’s funny how we can change our habits without even thinking.

May. 01, 2015 @ 05:25 PM

Adriana Zoder: Food Ministry Fiesta a great success

Last Monday evening, Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg was closed for a private function. Ripley’s apologized for it on a big billboard at the entrance. I do not know if anybody was inconvenienced. I would think a few people turned around, disappointed. Those of us who came to the aquarium to attend this private function certainly felt grateful to attend.

May. 01, 2015 @ 05:24 PM

Public Pulpit: We all need guidance from God

As I waited for my wife to finish work, the wee girl on the bench beside me began to talk about her boyfriend Charley.

Apr. 25, 2015 @ 04:01 PM

Kenneth Burns: Walking in the national park is one of my favorite things

Two hundred seventy-three. That’s how many miles I have walked on trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At least since I started keeping track.

Apr. 25, 2015 @ 12:37 PM

Public Pulpit: He makes all things new – even us

Many of us have shared the spiritual journey once again that encompassed the week that changed the world. We gather to celebrate an event, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. Because He lives, we too shall share in life everlasting. I repeat, this is an event text. We don't have to ponder nuances of the Greek or puzzle what knowledge of the culture will further illuminate. We celebrate this event by allowing it to live on in and through us.

Apr. 23, 2015 @ 01:15 PM

Carl Mays: Exercise your ability to concentrate

"The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming An Individual In An Age Of Distraction," by Matthew B. Crawford, published March 2015, is a very interesting read. It's his second book, following "Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into The Value Of Work." I can relate to both – and so can you.