Heroes. Our televisions and movies are filled with super-heroes. Men and women gifted with special abilities to fight crime. Do we really believe someone can throw fire from their hands, or throw up an energy shield to withstand an explosion, or fly at will, or stop speeding cars with their hands? Of course not. It’s our way of stating our wish that someone could fight the evil around us and bring about justice. Continue reading
You might be astonished to learn that one out of every 10 households in America rents a storage unit to hold all of the STUFF that will not fit in their homes/garages. This statistic has me wondering why? If you know that you can’t take it with you when you die, then why would anyone feel the need to hang onto so much stuff? It boggles the mind!
I have a sister who has always been very sentimental about “things.” She has three children and three grandchildren and has proudly saved almost every drawing, trophy, report card, baseball, video, and doodle that they ever brought home. Although this is very sweet of her, the result of years of collecting was overwhelming! Continue reading
Several years ago I wrote a column of this same title. And I began the process of doing so. Changes can come fast or they can take years. Life changes in an instant with a job loss, a move, health challenges, divorce, or death. These kinds of changes are unexpected and there is little we can do to prepare for them.
Other kinds of changes take months or years, depending on circumstances. I began downsizing five years ago. I started by getting as much plastic as possible out of my house. Then books were donated to the library, the local Montessori school, and my friend’s rural ‘library box’ alongside her driveway. Bags and bags of recently unworn clothing went to local churches. Household goods went to Salvation Army and local Senior Centers. This made a considerable dent in ‘stuff’ but not so much. Continue reading
It’s 3:45am, and I am staring at the digital clock casting a blue glow at the end of my bed. I’m feeling impressed to get up at this early morning hour but I don’t know why. You have had the same feeling and experience tells you to respond immediately.
So, I got out of bed, had my prayer and started getting ready, not sure what I was getting ready for.
My bedroom window faces the Sandy River and normally I can hear traffic but not at this time of morning. The crickets are the only thing I hear outside my window. Their sound is interrupted by a car or possibly a truck speeding down East Columbia Scenic Highway. That is not unusual as traffic oftentimes is in a Continue reading
Have you ever wondered if all dogs go to Heaven as the cute animated film suggests? Did this film make you wonder if animals have souls, a necessary component of an incredible afterlife as Christians believe? This adorable film prompted me to do some research (Thank God for the Internet!). My first stop was scripture where I found proof that God loves His creations, and that includes animals.
In Genesis, God creates the animals first, and then Adam and Eve. Adam in His image as the first human being. Next God made Eve using one of Adam’s ribs. He gave Adam the responsibility of naming them. But I did not read scripture that gave me clear proof that animals have souls necessary for entry into Heaven (or Hell). There are theologians who hold onto this as truth. Continue reading
Music Mondays is a summer event in the park in downtown Gresham. Music is a fusion of voice, harmonics, and instruments. These elements come together to unite our community. Music in the park is an expression of who we are as a community of forest dwellers.
We bring our chairs and find just the perfect place to create a makeshift living room in the park. We hunker down ready to feast on satisfying sounds and symmetry. The music begins with light shades of notes building rhythm blending into one voice.
A huge pine sits center stage in the park. The branches at the top of the old pine gently move with the slightest breeze as birds gracefully glide across the sky. Our senses heighten in surrender as we relax into the music. Continue reading
The human psyche is a delicate matter. I took psychology classes from an expert professor. One story she used to tell was about being on a train with a young woman and her baby. The woman had just said goodbye to her husband. He was leaving to rejoin armed forces overseas. She boarded the train clutching her baby and crying. Aboard the train, the baby began to cry also. Eventually, this annoyance caused the passengers to turn and glare at her. Finally, my professor got up and approached the young mother. She introduced herself and asked if she might hold the baby. The distraught mother handed her the child, who ceased crying and snuggled against her shoulder. The mother was grateful. Continue reading
One of the major events in the Bible’s book of Exodus is the miraculous departure, or Exodus, of the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. The memory of this single event is repeated over and over throughout the history of the Jewish nation. The Hebrew people had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. That’s all the people knew – harsh slavery. The Pharaoh had deceitfully enslaved them and through hard labor, forced them to construct cities for him.
But once they began to call on God for help, He raised up Moses to be their deliverer. If you take time to notice, you will see that the early story of Moses really magnifies the character of five women. First on the scene are two midwives. Because they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh, they disobeyed his orders to throw newborn males into the river. Secondly, you see the faith of Moses’ mother to hide him for three months and then, unable to hide him Continue reading
A few mornings ago, I went out on the deck to water “not as pretty as last year” flower boxes. You can’t win ‘em all! I looked down and saw a tiny sort of face trying to come up between the slats of the deck. I squatted down to get a closer look. At first, I thought it was a tree frog. Easy save, I said to myself. I can just put it in our pond. Oh, what fools we mortals be! It was not a tree frog.
I gently freed the tiny creature from it’s struggles, and it spread out in my hand. I found myself looking at a tiny baby bat! All babies are cute – yes – a bit of a stretch in this case. All I could think of was #1 Why me?! #2 And, now what?! My mind was racing and the tiny creature was gasping. I laid it in a damp paper towel, mainly to keep its body moist. Continue reading
Whether staying home for a vacation this year, or driving through our lovely state of Oregon, or relocating and settling in, illness on the road is far worse when in flux. How can we make moves more comfortable and be prepared for the possible stress of travel or relocating.
The farther away you plan to travel or move, the sooner you should begin preparations. Up to a month before you can begin shoring up your immune system to deal with any onslaughts. Sleep and diet are under appreciated as “health aids”. Since sleep is difficult for many while traveling or under the stress of re-locating consider doing all you can to make yourself and those travelling with you as comfortable as possible. Consider one of those small travel pillows for each member of your family and put a few drops of each person’s favorite essential oil on the corners of the pillow. Continue reading