Is Faith Real? Two movies and some reflections

     The final week of my recent sabbatical included several good movies.  Two of them contained explicit themes of faith:  "The Way" and "Higher Ground."

My Favorite Church in the Holy Land

You might be surprised by my favorite church in the Holy Land.

A beginning report from the Holy Land ...

     Since returning from my journey to the Holy Land, my reading habits have changed a bit.  In addition to other sources and sites, now I turn to the Palestine News Network to find current news among a people and within a land I have visited for three weeks but expect to carry in my heart the rest of my life.


     I'll tell you in a minute what I saw on PNN.


What I Believe and What I Believe is True About Israel

Dear church family,

It's VBS time in the valley ...

The happy VBS (Vacation Bible School) buzz is buzzing here at the corner of 5th and Main, and here is what I'm seeing:

happy faces smiling
cute T shirts displaying
super-size appliance box delighting in the awesome things those boxes can create
snack time appetites cheering
Bible song humming 
cute craft grinning
mission project feel good glowing
beautiful bubbles blowing

... and that's just the grown ups.


Imagine how much fun the kids are having!

"Meek's Cut-Off" -- go and see it!

I went to "Meek's Cut-off" because I wanted to feast my eyes upon central Oregon, where the story takes place.  I knew it was loosely based upon a true piece of history:  a small group of wagon train pioneers who followed Steven Meek (older brother of better-known early Oregon leader Joseph Meek) on a "short cut" to the Columbia River.   The group became lost and very nearly perished in the high desert.

Mirror, mirror on the wall ...

     The surprising, violent, exciting, troubling, bravely-accomplished, long-promised, frustrating, weirdly scary, widely celebrated and/or anxiety-producing death of Osama bin Laden holds a mirror for each of us.

     During this past week, we have heard, read and watched the news unfold.  We have discussed it with family, friends and perhaps strangers.  We have discovered complicated reactions within ourselves.

I admit it: I was born in Tacoma

It came as a disappointing surprise to me when I found out I was born in Tacoma, Washington.   You can only truly understand how heartbreaking this news was if you have lived for any length of time in Seattle, where I grew up.  Actually, you can only TRULY understand it if you ever drove through Tacoma 'way back when' I was a kid and pulp mills made it smell really, really bad. 

Basement Brothers Become Lions of the Landscape

Just a note to thank Butch Wilcox* and Eion Scott* for the graceful new entryway which connects the Sanctuary and the Education Buildings. 

Death Valley Days

     Returning from five days in Death Valley National Park gives me the opportunity to write a report which school children were once assigned every September: here is "What I Did On Vacation."

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