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Southwestern

Eric Reed/Illinois Baptist

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FIRST-PERSON: After the ‘three-year pandemic’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) – The stories we hear right now are anecdotal – churches here and there witnessing something of a revival after months of closure and privation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some pundits warned that it may take years for all the regulars to return to church services, if they ever do. But more recent polls show people are growing eager to return to the normal things in life, including church attendance.

FIRST-PERSON: Heard from the kids lately?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) – The first time I recall feeling old I was only 34.

FIRST-PERSON: Learning from 1918’s quiet Christmas

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) – They called the holiday of December 1918 “the peace Christmas.” A truce had been declared. With the armistice announced, the shooting had stopped at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

FIRST-PERSON: Video games & violence

WHEATON, Ill. (BP) -- A man described to me a game his teenage son played at church. It's an electronic version of paintball, where kids wired up in battle gear shoot each other with beams of light. "We're going to give him all the equipment for Christmas," the dad said. "It's kind of expensive, but he's a good kid. He doesn't ask for much. I think he deserves it."