As students across most of America enter the classroom this month, they will be met with the latest technical assistance for learning – personal computers, large video screens, calculators, audio headsets, well-lighted classrooms and indoor restrooms. There will be comfortable facilities and equipment for just about any sport desired. Even young children will have a cell phone with internet connection so that Google is one voice command away.
As I reflect on this, and then ponder the scene of my early days in school, I wonder how we learned anything at all. At that time, we did not have even one of the items listed above. There was one room with desks varying in size to accommodate students from first to eighth grade. Windows were opened on warm days, and during winter, a pot-bellied stove was fired up by the one teacher, who arrived early. Parents supplied the wood and coal. Continue reading
Hope is to our soul what energy is to our body. Just like our bodies must have energy to keep going, our souls must have hope to keep going.
When our body needs energy, we eat food. But when our soul needs hope, what do we feed it? Promises.
Why do we feed our soul promises? Because promises have to do with our future, and hope is something we only feel about the future — about ten minutes from now, or ten months, or ten thousand years. Continue reading
One has to have lived quite a few decades to remember traveling across the USA without interstate highways. With today’s multi-lane highways, younger people do not know what it was like on the two-way roads that wound their way up and down steep inclines as they connected every town along the way.
I am quick to admit to having no desire to return to those days. But it is true that they had some assets that are lost with the interstates. Travel was slower, which usually meant we saw more scenery, stopped more often and connected with more people in their communities.
Tourists made mom-and-pop stores a thriving business. Every small town had one or several motels operated by local families. If you were in the habit of Sunday church, you probably visited one. That is how some of us were able to keep our perfect attendance record. Overall, the pace of life was slower and people took more time to enjoy the journey. Continue reading
Running through my neighborhood recently, I started praying for the people around me. The Lord is definitely growing in me a love for my neighbors, and praying for them is becoming more routine. This particular day, I started praying big, crazy prayers; “Lord heal marriages; restore broken relationships; deliver people from sickness, disease, addictions; bring Your salvation to families”. I felt empowered as I prayed verses that came to mind for each situation. Then I asked God to release an army of His angels to surround my neighborhood and battle against every evil and dark force affecting us. Continue reading
As we celebrate our nation’s Independence this month, I would like to share a story of God’s divine protection over our first president, George Washington (before his presidency). This story, which was told often by Washington himself, happens during the French and Indian War, which some historians argue was more significant than the Revolutionary War in starting Americans on the path of independence.
A young Virginia man, George Washington served as an officer for the British Army in the French and Indian War. During this particular battle on July 9, 1755, at the Monongahela River (near the city of Pittsburg now), Washington and his men were completely outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the French and Indian warriors. Within two hours, 1,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded, while only 30 French and Indian warriors were injured. Continue reading
This summer volunteers are gathering signatures and getting involved to stop taxpayer-funded abortions in Oregon. Faith communities are leading the charge, with over 400 churches of all sizes across Oregon holding petition drives. From Medford to Portland, Brookings to Baker City, passionate volunteers are working hard to meet the goal of 117,000+ signatures needed to qualify the measure for the November, 2018 ballot.
Corvallis-based Oregon Life United is heading up the drive. Initiative Petition 1 — known as the ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ — would prohibit state funds from being used for abortions, except when medically necessary or if required by federal law.
Initiative Will Reverse Abortions Mandated by HB 3391 Continue reading
[Note: this column is one of a series. Each column in the “Boy To Man” series is designed for a father to read with his 12-year-old son as he embarks on his journey to manhood. The series is based on the conviction that the book of Proverbs was intended by Solomon to be a manual for fathers to use in turning their sons from boys into men.]
A man works hard; a boy is a slacker
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” ~ Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)
“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” ~ Proverbs 10:4 (NIV)
As a man, God has made you for work. Working hard with your own hands to provide for your needs and the needs of your family is central to what it means to be a man. You have been called to be both a protector and a provider for your family. Continue reading
May’s official flower, one of the most beautiful, delicate, and fragrant spring flowers, the Lily-of-the-Valley, was mentioned by John Lawrence in “The Flower Garden” (1726) as having the “sweetest and most agreeable perfume.”
Also known as May lily, May bells, lily constancy, ladder-to-heaven, and fairy ladders, Lily-of-the-Valley is a low-growing perennial plant that makes an excellent ground cover. It usually has two large oblong leaves and small, bell-shaped flowers, making it a popular choice for bridal corsages, bouquets and centerpieces. Continue reading
Certain times in a person’s life are all about change ‒ graduation from high school, marriage, babies, career moves, death of a spouse, or the news that we have a terminal illness.
While these changes are a normal part of the life process, most people do not think much about them until faced with the reality that they are actually happening. And in many cases, there has been little or no preparation, so the adjustment is difficult.
There might be a sense of security in ignoring that these changes are coming. A four-year-old child should be allowed to enjoy the privilege of having no worries about finding employment. A newly married couple would not be expected to think about life challenges 50 years ahead. There is appropriate joy in making the most of now without thinking a lot about what tomorrow will bring. Continue reading
To many, the Bible is a book of legends and myths passed down through the ages. To say you inherently believe in the Word of God is generally viewed as ignorant, naive, and even foolish. So how do we know the Bible is reliable? To take it further, how do we know the Bible is the absolute truth? And if we don’t look to the Bible for truth, where do we look and how do we know a source is trustworthy? Now, more than ever, I think these are good questions to ponder.
People have been questioning truth and God’s Word since the beginning of time. In the garden of Eden, the serpent (Satan) planted doubt about God’s Word by saying to Adam and Eve “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1); and then Pontius Pilot asked Jesus Himself, “What is truth?” This was after Jesus said that He came to be a witness to the truth (John 18: 37-38). Francis Bacon said of Pilate, “What is truth? Said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” Continue reading