Faith is not dead, nor does it sleep

Faith, I am told, is on the outs in The West.

Teens, young adults, and boomers alike are falling away at a record pace. The only demographic that’s shown no net loss in church attendance are senior citizens, whose only disfellowship seems to come at the cost of their lives.

In the place of this country’s former religious majority, a new demographic has started to assert itself statistically: the “none of the aboves.”

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Isolated amid our vast social networks

I wonder, how did people waste time before social networks became the norm?

How did we share the bizarre and/or silly things we encountered daily? What games did we play before there was such a thing as Draw Something or Words With Friends?

With a deft flick of the wrist I can tell you what I’m doing, where I’m at, or what I’m thinking. Thanks to the availability and versatility of smartphones and social networking websites, there’s no end to my self-aggrandizement.

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A defeat that survives all conquerors

I do not do well with defeat. I don’t mean to say I’m a sore loser. I was raised right, taught to be a gentleman when bested in competition, but I still hate to lose.

Here in the West, specifically here in these United States, we love winners. In fact, we worship them. We idolize our own history. From the upset victory over the Redcoats back 1783 to the current ongoing political news maelstrom. Be ye Republican or Democrat, it’s all about winning.

Just a few days ago I was playing a few friendly games of one-on-one basketball with a colleague. Losing by one in the first game, I came back and drubbed him in the next two games by five and eight points respectively.

“Oh yeah,” I said, reveling in victory, “I’m just a big hairy American winning machine.”

So much for a friendly game of one-on-one!

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I shall enjoy it, if only for a little while…

Y’know, I don’t mind saying it: the Henderson Daily News kicked some serious butt over the weekend at the North and East Texas Press Association (NETPA) annual conference. Yeah, that’s right. We kicked butt!

We were honored for the quality of our content as well as the craft of our design. Thus, the esteemed judges of the NETPA determined that our news product excels in both beauty as well as brains. What more can we ask for?

Anyone with a functioning consciousness and all five senses can cobble together some meager recollection of news or events. Of course, the higher the caliber of personnel you have, the better your results.

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Matthew Prosser named Journalist of the Year

MOUNT VERNON – Matthew Prosser was named 2012 Journalist of the Year during the North and East Texas Press Association (NETPA) Annual Conference Saturday afternoon.

Prosser is News Editor and Photographer for the Henderson Daily News, the paper of record for Rusk County with a daily circulation of well over 7,000.

The awards program and luncheon were held Saturday at a resort near Mount Vernon.

Prosser, who joined the Henderson Daily News in August 2009, was recognized with the prestigious Journalist of the Year Award for all daily newspapers, taking the first-place award over journalists from much larger dailies, Lufkin Daily News, The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, The Paris News and The Texarkana Gazette.

“It’s surprising but I’m very thankful,” Prosser said. “I am very appreciative to the judges for honoring me with this award […] it certainly wasn’t anything I was expecting.”

This was the third-straight year Prosser was in the running for the award, after finishing as runner-up in 2010 and 2011. Prosser was also honored with multiple other awards in various writing and photography categories including a first-place finish in News Photography.

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