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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014
Posted Friday, October 24, at 10:54 AM
Coming through the door after a business trip she was expecting the cats and dogs to greet her. All the way home she was anticipating the moment she stepped into the house. One of the dogs would be watching through the window of the door as she unlocked it and then "hug" her as she entered the house. ...

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The Bell
Posted Friday, October 17, at 9:46 AM

Sunday morning worship was about to begin. The usher and the acolyte moved to the foyer preparing for the light of Christ to enter. Their first task though was to ring the bell. The thick rope was tied up out of the reach of small hands. Untying the rope, he pulled with long, even strokes. The boy asked to help. Placing his small hands with the man's hands over them, they pulled. The bell rang loud and clear in the early morning--calling all to come worship together...

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Posted Friday, October 10, at 8:06 PM

Her dreams were restless and wild. The darkness was filled with flashes of light that exploded in colors all around her. At times it felt as if the light was piecing her. Loud noises . . . roaring . . . cracking . . . popping sounds surrounded her. Then a small sound caught her attention--a whimper...

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The Creek Cooler
Posted Friday, October 3, at 9:12 AM

Camping as a family was always a wonderful vacation. Four siblings, their wives and children gathered for a time of play, rest, and fun and good food. Their favorite place was Alley Spring. Camping on the spring branch was natural air conditioning during the hot summer days. The cool air lifted off the 36 degree water and kept them comfortable--even during the heat of the day. At night, it brought a chill to the air that made the campfire practical for warmth and long conversations...

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Peas in a Pod
Posted Friday, September 26, at 11:12 AM

People gathered for the first day of class. Anticipation was high that the course would be valuable, fun, and meet the requirements for the degree being sought. The tables began filling with students, books, laptops, notebooks, and lots of coffee or soft drinks. Some knew each other from other classes, however most did not. Who would ever guess that such a day would change the lives of three of the participants forever?...

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Posted Friday, September 19, at 1:17 PM

It had been a long day--actually a long series of long days. All the company from the weekend had returned to their homes. She was straightening things up, trying to get back to the normal routine. She had gathered the things that need to go to the upper story of the house and was about to go indulge in a long soak in the tub when the phone rang...

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The Power of Love
Posted Friday, September 12, at 10:01 AM

The day had finally arrived. People were gathering from far and near to celebrate the power of love and God's calling. Hugs and greeting abounded as people met with open arms--sharing the joy of the day. All was ready. Everyone arrived. It was time--after ten long years, it was time...

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Posted Friday, August 29, at 8:52 AM

A confrontation ends in violence. One person dead and others lives is in ruins. Accusations, angry demonstration, screaming, fighting break out. A young man in his prime lost. Facts no longer matter. Truth is obscured, ignored, and suffers as no one pays attention. Emotions run high. The crowd in whipped into a frenzy of thoughtless action. Violence erupts. Hatred reigns...

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Posted Friday, August 22, at 10:10 PM

There was once a group of college students who were travelling. They had two whole weeks away from school to go from place to place, singing and sharing their stories with the people they met along the way. They had great experiences. . . and fun as well. ...

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Posted Friday, August 8, at 1:36 PM

The days and nights had been filled with activities. Setting up a new house was daunting to say the least. Unpacking was time consuming--and painful. By the end of the day every bone in her body screamed for relief. Her joints burned as pain radiated through them into every part of her body. Taking a break, she moved into a chair to rest. She elevated her feet and reclined, trying to find one spot where she didn't hurt--an impossible task...

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Wonder and Awe
Posted Friday, August 1, at 4:12 PM

The children had all gathered round the story teller who held a small brown animal on her lap. It sat there quietly, filling her lap as she stroked its fur. His head was tucked slightly under her arm as if he were shy or unsure of his greeting by the children. As she spoke to the children, he tentatively looked out from under her arm...

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Taco Bed
Posted Friday, July 25, at 10:06 AM

It was her first night in her new house. Not all of the furniture had arrived yet, but she had an old roll-away bed that had been bought from a hotel years before that she could sleep on until her bed arrived. Normally her home was filled with people and animals, but this particular night, it was just her in the big, two-story, nearly one hundred-year-old home...

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Exotic Beauty
Posted Friday, July 18, at 10:08 AM

Exotic Beauty By Rayla Stewart Hogue Special to the Daily Statesman The gondola had arrived. It was our turn to step in with our group and begin our journey through the rain forest. The small metal cage seated only the six of us and was open to the elements. This morning the rain had lingered, however the foliage of the trees was so thick that it was more mist than rain. They were finally all loaded and settled in the gondola and swung off the loading area into the rain forest...

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Posted Friday, July 11, at 9:39 AM

Running and exploring were the joy of her life. There was nothing better that when mom opened the door of the house to go streaking outside, rushing to the far corner of the yard before turning to run the fence line to the pasture gate, whirling across the open yard to the opposite side and then racing back across the front of the house to climb the hay bales where she was queen of all she surveyed. Oh, the joy of puppy-hood...

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Posted Wednesday, July 2, at 4:38 PM

It was a beautiful afternoon--warm, but not too hot, with a gentle breeze filling the air with the warm smells of the damp earth. The scent of freshly mown grass and flowers in bloom tantalized him. He was slowly moving through the pasture nipping tender fresh grass along the way...

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Posted Friday, June 27, at 9:32 AM

Coming home from work, they let the dogs out to go take care of their business. It was a beautiful day and the girls were running, leaping, and playing as they raced across the yard. Bandita caught sight of a squirrel. Chasing it she ran it up a tree while she raced onto trailer near the tree. Climbing up it she stood at point--watching the squirrel as it chattered at her from the safety of the tree...

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Standing in the Shadows
Posted Saturday, June 21, at 10:29 AM

Stepping onto the stage she was terrified. Her preparations were complete. Rehearsal had gone as well as could be, yet . . . insecurities plagued her. "God, be my voice," she whispered as she picked up the mic. The music began and God's gift poured out...

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Shrouded in Mystery
Posted Friday, June 13, at 11:37 PM

Early summer mornings were amazing. She walked out onto the deck into the delicious upper 50s and slightly damp morning. Ground fog rose across the land from the moisture left behind after the recent rains. The rolling hills of the plains of were swaddled in ethereal beauty--misty white rising and dissipating in warming rays of the sun...

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Walking Wounded
Posted Friday, June 6, at 9:13 AM

Her day was filled with errands and appointments. Throughout the day she encountered so many interesting people along the way. Some she knew . . . some she didn't. Rarely a "shy" person she had brief conversations with people throughout the day. Yet as the day progressed she was tired and a little less eager to engage in conversation. Thoughts from the conversations with the doctors filled her mind and she just needed some quiet time to think...

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Through a Glass Darkly
Posted Friday, May 30, at 10:54 AM

He raced across the room, leaping into the chair, coming to an immediate stop. Every fiber of his being was on high alert. Watching with laser attentiveness, he stalked his prey. Without warning he pounced into action, seemingly flying up the back of the chair, up the curtain, paws outstretched, certain of capturing the bird...

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From My Heart to Yours
Rayla Stewart Hogue
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Rayla Stewart Hogue is a native of Dexter. She is a wife, mother, and minister of the UCC (United Church of Christ). She seeks to recognize and embrace the unending hues of God's ethne and religion, and commits herself to living and expressing this inclusive diversity through Sacrament and the spoken, written, and sung Word of God.
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The Bell
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The Creek Cooler
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Peas in a Pod
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