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Q. I received a gift for the holidays. When I opened it, I discovered I had already bought the same thing for myself. I went to return it and the store pointed to a sign that said, “No returns, exchange only,” and told me I could not return it. There is nothing else I want in that store. Are they right? This doesn’t seem fair.

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Do you ever join me in feeling like when you take one step forward, someone or some thing pushes you two steps backward? Not a good feeling, is it? Perhaps we need to look at our adversities or hard places from a different viewpoint. It is most often in these times in our lives that God is “growing us” to become people He can and will use to do His will here on earth.

A friend shared a great little story with me that advances this point of view. I decided I’d like to share it with our readers.

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Recently two phenomena have arisen in national politics, one the Tea Party and the other the Occupy Wall Street movement. In many ways, both represent shortcomings of too many American citizens. These shortcomings may be the reason that our national government does not seem to be working like it should. They also may be the reason too many Americans don’t like the politicians who currently represent us.

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The spirit of giving is falling upon us as the holiday season is finally in sight. It’s the time for spending quality hours with loved ones, both friends and family, enjoying hearty meals and seasonal treats (and the process of preparing them), dragging decorations and lights from the attic to adorn the Christmas tree and home, and last but not least, spending hours scurrying to the perfect gift for said loved ones.

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If this year’s Thanksgiving recipes are seeming a little outdated and bland, or if dinnertime around the house could use some sprucing up, Beaumont has an event to help with that.

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