The God Squad: Letting go of guilt is to admit you're flawed but redeemable

Q: Grace says I'm forgiven for my sins because of the perfect and finished work of Christ. I believe this. I am saved not because of my own goodness or efforts, but in spite of myself, based entirely on the goodness and mercy of God. Also, according to my faith, grace should provide freedom...

A Word, Please: One less reason to trust the news media

Robert Siegel of National Public Radio, Jason Stallman of the New York Times and every other journalist who uses "fewer" with confidence, please take a seat. You're about to get a lesson in language that you didn't think you needed. There's a gaping hole in your grammar skills — a shocking...

A Word, Please: Writers who use semicolons aren't thinking about the reader

Here's a fun thing you can do with your writing: Take any two simple, clear sentences and use a semicolon to mush them into one. For example, imagine you have a paragraph with just two sentences.

Fitness Files: Grateful for small steps toward being pain-free

I'm a reader who likes a story with a good ending, an epilogue and then to top it all off, an interview with the author.

The God Squad: You don't need a psychic to trust in life after death

Q: My sister-in-law recently visited a psychic. I lost my daughter three years ago, at age 43. I lost my son when he was 3 days old, over 46 years ago. The psychic said my daughter and son were together in heaven, which made me very happy. My question is: Can a person grow older...

In the Pipeline: Dog owners more irresponsible, to the detriment of the pets and people

In the Pipeline: Dog owners more irresponsible, to the detriment of the pets and people

It's been about four years since I last wrote about dogs in Huntington Beach. But I wasn't really writing about dogs then. I was writing about people – irresponsible people who don't leash their dogs, pick up after their dogs or control their dogs and make me pity the dogs they own.

In the Pipeline: Huntington Beach once hosted the OC Fair

The OC Fair kicks off Friday, and it's a big one this year, the 125th anniversary of what has become, in many ways, the county square.

Fitness Files: Little sister scores a victory over illness

I have to stop everything and tell about the phone conversation I had two weeks ago with my little sister, Eleanor. She is "little" in a few ways — 10 years my junior and not even 5 feet tall and 88 pounds. She tells people, "Carrie and I look alike, but Carrie's 2 inches bigger everywhere."

The God Squad: Mourners welcome any loving expression of sympathy

Q: Just yesterday, my daughter's friend gave birth to a baby who died immediately. The parents knew about a genetic problem and were medically prepared for this event, but no one is ever prepared emotionally. Other than generic words of comfort, is there a good way to pay respect to little...

A Word, Please: There is no rule against splitting infinitives

If you want to help another person — say, your employee — with his writing, there are several approaches you could take.

The God Squad: Independence Day has a deep spiritual significance

There's a clear religious limit on celebrating nations. Nations can usurp God as the object of our reverence and awe. This can produce fascism or communism at its extreme. Even moderate forms of nation worship can become spiritually problematic.

Fitness Files: Little fairy next door is ready to fly away

In 1999, a fairy princess alighted next door. Through the slats of our redwood fence, we caught glimpses of golden curls, a lemon-yellow tulle dress and magic wand. Sometimes she looked down from her upstairs balcony, diamond tiara flashing. We loved her chime-like singing voice and tippy-toe...

A Word, Please: You and I trip ourselves up when we try too hard

"Since I gave up hope, I feel much better." The slacker attitude of this once-popular bumper sticker has gone the way of Lehman Brothers and pension plans. But if we apply the same idea to grammar, the message is timeless: Since I gave up hope, I talk much better.

The God Squad: After church murders, forgiveness a mighty sword against hate

We've been here before and we'll be here again. But how should we respond?

Fitness Files: A cat scratch should be checked out

Opened Pam's email Sunday morning to see a mountain-shaped diagram of the Oakland half-marathon her daughter had completed minutes before. This race had an elevation gain of 1,752 feet.

In the Pipeline: A cultural gem in the midst of an office complex

In the Pipeline: A cultural gem in the midst of an office complex

When it comes to local historical discoveries, I had quite a surprise recently, as you'll read in a bit.

A Word, Please: English users need to rein in the mistakes

The hardest thing about English grammar isn't grammar. Not in the strictest sense of the word, anyway. Narrowly speaking, grammar has to do with the way we order and inflect words to make sentences.

The Crowd: AnQi presents at James Beard dinner

The Crowd: AnQi presents at James Beard dinner

Costa Mesa's glamorous restaurateur Elizabeth An, of South Coast Plaza's AnQi, was invited to present its signature Asian fusion cuisine at the James Beard House in New York.