Coming soon an interview with bluegrass and country singer, Alecia Nugent

After taking a break from her music career to focus on her family, Alecia Nugent is back in the spotlight with a brand new album. Unlike her previous bluegrass albums, this one, “The Old Side of Town,” is focused on traditional country music just like her idols, Merle Haggard and Reba McEntire. She gets candid in her interview that I did with her on Friday about her first single, ”They Don’t Make Them Like My Daddy Anymore,” and some of the other tear jerker tracks on the album like, “Way Too Young for Wings.”

Watch her “They Don’t Make Them Like My Daddy Anymore” official music video below, used with permission.

Alecia Nugent, courtesy photo

Mullen and Cameron Peak Fires

The city that I live in, Cheyenne, Wyoming had terrible air quality today due to the Mullen Fire that is located in the Snowy Mountain Range outside of Laramie, Wyoming and from the Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado. The above photo is a view from my window in my office.

The air quality has been hard on people and animals in the area, but especially for people who already have breathing difficulties like my daughter, who has asthma. We have been praying for rain or for snow (without hurricane force winds), which happened the last time we prayed for snow, but honestly we could really use the moisture. A cold front is coming in tonight and some moisture is supposed to happen Sunday. Fingers crossed. We have been praying for the fire fighters and everyone who has been evacuated in the Centennial and surrounding areas in Albany County, Wyoming, as well as the residents and businesses near the Cameron Peak Fire in Colorado.

There are people in Cheyenne and Laramie who are collecting items for both the displaced evacuees from the fires as well as for the fire fighters. Another way to help out is to support the American Red Cross with a monetary donation. Http://www.redcross.org Attached is a screen shot photo from the Cheyenne Firefighters’ Facebook Page . Masks will come in handy right now. Be safe everyone.

If you live in the area post your photos below in the comments.

Laramie County School District No. 1 reopening plan

LCSD1 draft school reopening plan available online

Laramie County School District 1 has developed a draft plan for schools to reopen with in-person instruction using the Wyoming Department of Education’s recommended Smart Start framework. 

The Board of Trustees will be meeting virtually on Wednesday, July 29, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. to discuss the draft plan. The meeting will be open to the public by Zoom at https://laramie1.zoom.us/j/96440152137 and will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel. 

The Smart Start reopening framework consists of three tiers, which will be in place depending on county health guidelines. According to LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. BoydBrown, the goal is to open school using Tier I guidelines, which would mean schools are open to students with new health precautions, social distancing and mask use when social distancing is not possible. 

“LCSD1 is committed to following the Smart Start framework provided by the Wyoming Department of Education and recommendations from our Laramie County and Wyoming health officers,” Brown said.

According to the framework, Tier II would be a combination of in-person instruction with possible intermittent closures and quarantining of students and staff. Tier III is the full closure of school, similar to what occurred in March. Depending on where the community stands with COVID-19, the district will be poised to pivot into each of the tiers depending on need. 

Families that are not comfortable with in-person instruction may register for Cheyenne Virtual School. Detailed information about the school and how to register is available by clicking the virtual school box on the homepage of the district website, www.laramie1.org

In addition, a link to the draft re-opening of schools plan is available on the homepage of the district website.

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Lcsd1 Youth Feeding Program won’t distribute meals on July 22 due to the Air Show and program extends until Aug. 14 read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carla Bankes, Carla.bankes@laramie1.org

7-9-20

Laramie County School District Youth Feeding Program won’t distribute meals on July 22. 

Laramie County School District 1’s youth feeding program will not be distributing meals on Wednesday, July 22 due to the Cheyenne Air Show. 

On Tuesday, July 21 Nutrition Services will distribute two breakfast/lunch combination bags. The program will continue toprovide meals Monday through Friday until the end of July.

People may pick up food bags Monday-Friday at a variety of sites, which have been approved by the Wyoming Department of Education and the USDA.

Food bag pick up will be held from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.through Aug. 14 at the following locations.1. Afflerbach – parent pick up lane on the south side of the school2. Alta Vista – northeast parking lot at 17th Street and Logan Avenue3. Arp – parent pick up lane on the west side of the school4. Baggs – bus lane on the west side of the school5. Cole – south of the school in corner of O’Neil Avenue and Eighth Avenue6. Goins – parent pick up lane east of school7. Hebard – east of school on Pebrican Avenue8. Rossman – parent pick up lane on the east side of the school9. Sunrise – parent pick up lane on the west side of the school10. Anderson – end of the parent pickup lane on the south side of the school11. McCormick – bus lane on the east side of the school on Education Drive12. Pioneer Park – south of the school in the cul-de-sac at the end of Talbot Court13. Dildine – northwest side of school on Polk Avenue14. Henderson – northeast side of school on Kelley Drive

Food bag pick up will be held from 11:30 a.m.-noon at the following locations. 1. Fairview – north of school on 10th Street2. Johnson – bus lane on the southwest side of the school

Food bag pick up will be held from 12:15 p.m.–12:45 p.m. at the following locations. 1. Lebhart – northeast of school on Hanson Street2. South – east parking lot

Any youth, 18 years of age or younger, are eligible for food bags at any location. Pick up is being done using a walk-up or drive-through process. Students need not be present for parents/guardians to pick up the bags.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Lcsd1 school district reopening plan for the fall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown, 771-2121
7-14-2020

Officials at Laramie County School District 1 are developing aplan for schools to reopen with in-person instruction on Monday, Aug. 24 using the Wyoming Department of Education’s recommended Smart Start framework.

The framework consists of three tiers, which will be in place depending on county health guidelines. According to LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown, the goal is to open school using Tier I guidelines, which would mean schools are open to students with new health precautions, social distancing and mask use when social distancing is not possible.

“LCSD1 is committed to following the Smart Start framework provided by the Wyoming Department of Education and recommendations from our Laramie County health officer,” Brown said. 

According to the framework, Tier II would be a combination of in-person instruction with possible intermittent closures and quarantining of students and staff. Tier III is the full closure of school, similar to what occurred in March. Depending on where the community stands with COVID-19, the district will be poised to pivot into each of the tiers depending on need.

In addition, the district is in the process of developing a virtual K-12 school for parents who do not feel comfortable having their students return for in-person instruction. Detailed information and registration procedures will be provided at the beginning of August.

Brown explained each nuance of this plan is being developed and will be submitted to the WDE at the beginning of August. Once approved by WDE and county health officials, the plan will be released. 

In June, the district surveyed parents/guardians to get their feedback prior to developing the plan.

“We are working to create and implement a plan which best suits the needs of our students, staff and families,” Brown said. “This is a challenging time, but our goal is to make it happen while keeping safety and health in mind.”

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Prayers of love


This post is from Nick Windschitl, an American kindergarten teacher who is currently living with his family in Thailand where he is a teacher. He gave me permission to share this post with all of you: Everyone needs to hear about love from his son, Brecken.

Brecken decided to talk about fear tonight at bedtime. He said, “everyone fears something. I fear the dark.” I was prepared to tell him my second fear when he said, “You fear losing us.” I was shocked. He started praying and talking about love when I asked him if I could turn on the lights and have him explain what he was thinking. #prayersofBrecken #Love


here is the link to follow to listen to Brecken

https://youtu.be/f-PyUZcrhIs

A view about our world from an insightful pastor


I reached out to my dear friend Ahnna Ellie Cho Park who is a pastor based in Colorado. Here is her take on everything that is going on in our world.

Ahnna Ellie Cho Park

The America I Know

When I was 12 years old, my family moved to the United States of America from Saudi Arabia. We were in the Kingdom of Saud (KSA) as a missionary family for eight years. My father spent a total of 11 years out there. Our work was mostly hidden because KSA is a fundamental Islamic nation; the entire country abided by the teachings of Islam, down to the food they eat, to the dress they wear, and the clockwork prayer times that were designated for the whole nation; even TV programs and trafficstopped five times a day, to me and my sisters’ frustration. Ramadan was even worse. We couldn’t be seen chewing gum during the day in the whole month of Ramadan, or we would be arrested. Christianity was illegal in KSA and worshiping a deity other than the Allah was criminal activity punishable by imprisonment, fines, beatings, confiscation of property, deportation, and public execution.  

After the Gulf War of 1991, life in the KSA became more difficult for foreigners and Christians like us. The mutawa, or the government sanctioned religious police, enforced regulations at much stricter levels. When the opportunity came, my fatherchose to send my mom, my sisters, and me to the United States of America. He told us that unlike Saudi, the US is a Christian nation, a land blessed by our God, and one where Christians like us will be protected. In 1994, my family (minus my father) immigrated to the United States, to the small town of Morrilton,Arkansas.

The first two years in Morrilton proved my father right. My sister and I attended a wonderful private school called Sacred Heart Catholic School. I met wonderful Christian families there. Even though we were Protestant, we found that in the Catholic faith, Jesus was honored, and teachings of the Bible were lived out in the daily lives. 

In 1996, my father joined us in the States and our family moved to the Denver Metro Area. My sister and I were put into public schools. And that year, my understanding of America was turned upside down. 

At Columbia Middle School, I saw kids my age making out in the hallway, shouting profanities at one another, and flaunting gang signs across the cafeteria. I hung out with friends who did drugs during passing periods. My friends’ friends often braggedabout their biggest criminal activities, ranging from shoplifting to stealing cars. Then came high school. I enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Smoky Hill High School, where teachers often highlighted their lessons with winning points for atheism and Darwinian evolution. It didn’t matter whether I was in the biology class or the philosophy class or the literature class; the overwhelming message the school preached to the students was “God is fake. Christians are phonies. And science is king.” 

Keep in mind I came to the United States believing the US to be a “Christian nation” that would uphold my ways, the way Saudi Arabia was a Muslim nation that upheld the Muslim ways of life. Well, middle school and high school were a huge reality check. Feeling so belittled and attacked for my Christian faith, I started to wonder that maybe America is not any more friendly towards Christians than Saudi Arabia is. And I began to think, maybe the US is not a Christian nation that my family believed it to be.

My college and postgraduate experiences fully verified that unsettling hypothesis. I went to a fabulous school in Colorado Springs called Colorado College. CC too was a liberal school. Given the political milieu of 2002-2006, Christianity was often the butt of all jokes. My philosophy professors often mocked the idiocy of the Christian faith, and the few Christian faculty I knew seemed extremely reticent when it came to speaking about their faith. The same was true in graduate school. The LGBTQ agenda was so prominent that homosexuality was read into every text, even my all-time favorite, John Milton’s 17th century epic poem Paradise Lost (Adam’s interaction with angel Raphael is colored with such language that it conveys their mutual homosexual attraction, and so on). After my time at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I decided America is very much an anti-Christian nation. 

Since then, I went to Denver Seminary, found company in American evangelicals, and started working in the churches. Then Donald Trump became president. And I noticed that the political tables have turned somewhere in there; the Christians were now the ones voicing their strong preferences in the public arenas. I noticed that many people who have been in the US longer than I have, spoke with fond recollections of a Christian America, one that perhaps enjoyed its heyday before the 90s when I joined in on the American experience. 

I became a naturalized citizen of the US in the early 2000s. I took an oath to love and stand with this country. I am thankful to be an American. Yet, I’m still learning about my country. Recently, I’ve been relearning America’s history in light of the violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. I’m taking more interest in politics because I know it is part of my civic duty to be an informed voter. I care about the Denver Metro Area that I call home and I celebrate every reform it brings to ensure equality, freedom, and safety of all citizens. 

At the back of my mind though, I keep asking the question, “Is America a Christian nation?” 

This can be a complex question. I know there are many American evangelicals who believe so, and there are people in the south or small towns whose entire lives support the beliefthat America is indeed a Christian nation. And I believe their convictions are valid, given their personal experiences.

My American experience tells a different story, though. At the same time, my American experience is just as valid as any other. Additionally, I can’t help but evaluate the statement, “America is a Christian nation” in light of my experience of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I know exactly what it means for a country to be a Muslim nation; it means nothing other than Islam is tolerated. It indicates unwavering commitment to the ways of Islam. So with that in mind, I ask myself, is America a Christian nation? 

Unsurprisingly, the only conclusion I can draw is “No, it is not.”In fact, because the Constitution of the United States promisesreligious freedom to all, we cannot be a Christian nation in any legal sense. Yes, there may be a considerable number ofpracticing Christians in the US and we may be “heavily influenced” by Christian traditions of the past; but the official, bona fide position of the United States of America is that we area pluralistic nation that grants religious freedom to all. We can’tjust ignore that piece of detail. And by the way, religious pluralism is not compatible with the Christian doctrine. To be Christian means to surrender our very selves to Christ. To be Christian means we cast away all other idols to only worship the Yahweh. It’s not hard to see that the American and the biblical value systems are founded on two mutually exclusive premises.

It is worth noting the lingering culture of Christianity is not what makes a nation truly “Christian.” Only the unwavering allegiance to Christ at the national level would afford any country the honor of being called a Christian nation. As wonderful a country the US is, we fall vastly short of meeting that criteria, even if we have historically been characterized byChristian traditions. 

With the November election in view, the fight over culture, morality, and ethics is growing louder and louder. I see so many American evangelicals fighting for one party as if it is the equivalent of making America “Christian” again. 

While I cherish the Christian traditions of this nation, I want to nudge my Christian brothers and sisters that by the virtue of the Constitution of the United States, our country legally championsreligious pluralism, not Christianity. To make our countryuniformly Christian would mean we’d have to rewrite theConstitution itself. I absolutely believe there are ways we Christians can exercise our American citizenship with wisdom and faith, but there is nothing that will make the current Constitution an obedient servant of the Word of God. Consequently, there is no one uniformly Christian way to vote this November either. 

I know so many people mean well when they want to champion Christianity through American politics, but I think Christians’ passions and energy can be better applied to sanctifying the churches— the actual communities of faith— rather than trying to purify the de facto pluralistic society of America. I think we can invest more creativity and passion into letting our gospel shine brightly in our own lives and communities, instead of trying to force Christianity down Americans’ throats, regardless of what they have chosen to believe for themselves. Remember, we Americans are held together by the social contract of religious freedom, and we have the civic duty to respect each other’s choices as citizens of this country. Now is that Christian? Not necessarily. But is that what it means to be American? Absolutely.

America is not a Christian nation. Still, I believe America is a wonderful country. I love this country and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the greatest country in the world for many years to come. But let us be reminded that the glory of America pales in comparison to the glory of the eternal Kingdom of God. Don’tforget that the eternal Kingdom of God, not the pluralistic America, is the true Christian nation we believers have beenlonging for and we continue to long for. I think we will only deepen our commitment to the True Kingdom of God when we surrender our pipe dreams about America being a Christian nation that it is not. 

While we await the dawn of the Eternal Kingdom, let us be the best American citizens that we can be, respecting everyone’s rights, and voting to the best of our knowledge and wisdom. Let us learn from Jesus and render to America the things that are America’s, and render to God the things that are God’s (Matt. 22:21). Again, those two are not the same—make no mistake about that. Let’s remember now more than ever that we are pilgrims here on earth. And as such, let us wish our country peace and prosperity (Jeremiah 29:7). But our hope does not hang on the future of the USA, because we await to receive our True Country and True Home in the Promised Dwelling with our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:34).

Graduations taking place at Frontier Park

Good afternoon media,

This message is being sent on behalf of LCSD1 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Boyd Brown.

Following approval by the Laramie County Health Department and State Health Department, Laramie County School District 1 high school graduation ceremonies have been rescheduled to mid-June at Frontier Park.

The schedule is as follows.

Each student will be provided up to four tickets for immediate family members to attend the ceremony.

More details will be released soon.