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Notice the Signs

The sign is clear. Sitting in the middle of the road, with only a narrow lane available for local traffic into the small condominium complex at the edge of the lake, the large sign warns, “BRIDGE CLOSED!” In fact, it’s the third notification of the same message. Within 50 yards of direct sight, a metal

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Crappy Lessons

When a participant at a Healing for Men Workshop asked for a plunger one Friday afternoon, I knew it was a bad sign. I declined his offer to deal with a stopped toilet and asked one of the male staff to investigate. They both returned before long and agreed the problem required more than a

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Showing Up

Somehow when I saw the caller ID, I knew my brother Larry had bad news. “Miss Ada,” a beloved family friend, had died at almost 100 years old. Her son Jim had been Larry’s best friend through high school and college, and when Jim was killed in a boating accident at age 22, my brother

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Enough for the Moment

Perhaps it sounds odd, but sometimes the pressure and pulls of a good life can be taxing. It doesn’t take so-called “problems” to create stress. Even good things — a family you love, the opportunities you’ve hoped for, a career you’re passionate about, people you normally enjoy mentoring or helping — can feel exhausting at

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100 Years

Occasionally, there are, indeed, once-in-a-lifetime events. A child’s birth is probably the most common, though each is unique and hopefully never taken for granted. Yearly birthdays, then, become celebratory milestones, and some of those birthdays are “big,” like turning 18 or 30 or 50 or 75. Few people live too much past their early 90s,

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Praying or Packing

My dad used to tell a story about a preacher who had been asked to move to a distant Third World country to do mission work. The preacher shared how he was wrestling with the decision and trying to discern God’s will about it. When someone asked the preacher’s wife her thoughts, she said simply,

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Christmas Puddles

The predicted rain started around 2 am on Christmas Eve. Strong and steady as expected, the sound woke me up with its welcome presence after a summer of drought. The rain’s steady cadence was as melodic as the Christmas piano CD that had soothed me to sleep. Although a white Christmas would be nice, the

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The Best of Belle

A few days ago my husband, son and I said goodbye to our beloved, arthritic Lab named Belle, who had been part of our family for 13 ½ years. In tears, we sat on the antiseptic tile floor in the vet’s office caressing her as she was relieved of her suffering. And ours, too, actually.

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Someone to Help You

The 2016 Olympics are in the past and perhaps largely forgotten as the sports world moves on. Still, I can’t get a particular incident from Rio out of my mind. If you didn’t see the images of what happened during a qualifying heat of the women’s 5,000 meter race, you missed a heart-warming story.  

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The Pivot and the Pool

The frigid water assaulted the protective wetsuit and immediately my whole body tensed. Unconsciously, I stood on tiptoes and lifted my arms so that my hands laid on the top of the water instead of plunging beneath it. Wow, this was cold!   This wasn’t some exotic adventure that had me snorkeling in 65-degree water

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It’s Not About Politics

Our nation is embroiled in a contentious political race, but this blog is not about politics. We’re involved in a much more critical discussion about topics that affect all of us, especially those who have a connection to Bethesda Workshops. I have struggled about if and what to write regarding recent circumstances, because I don’t

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Chronology of Blessings

In recent weeks we’ve explored themes that surfaced as I doubted the wisdom of committing to a building that would forever change Bethesda Workshops’ financial paradigm. Instead of being self-supporting (with the generous provision of donated space), the possibility of buying our own building meant the ministry would have to trust our financial future to

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Ask the Right Questions

As Bethesda Workshops contemplated the purchase of a building, I found it important to lean into the doubt about the wisdom of that decision. Exploring the potential of a significant decision or situation offers a reality check for unbridled optimism.   I learned a process for exploring the doubt through a sweet “coincidence” when I

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Self-Sufficiency or Dependence on God?

The story of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 is familiar to most Christians and recorded in all four of the gospels. A recent sermon about this event seemed to correlate well with Bethesda Workshops’ experience about buying our own building. In the biblical account a large crowd had gathered to hear Jesus teach, and after

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Support during Stressful Times

For years I believed that a strong connection to God and enough faith would carry me through challenges without too much difficulty, at least when I viewed the path through the lens of “the long haul” as my dad would say. Until a particularly tough stretch of stressful events nearly did me in.   Here’s

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The Transformation of Spirituality

After receiving multiple inquiries and responses concerning my recent blog about self-care during stressful times, I am diverting from the series of lessons from 1035 Acorn Drive to explore a bit further the concepts of spirituality and community. This detour is made with trepidation, because I am certain I won’t do justice to either construct,

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Faith or Folly

The journey to acquire our own building for Bethesda Workshops surfaced many challenging issues for me. I am sure that even if we hadn’t gotten the property, the process was well worth the headaches and investment because of the lessons learned. At the core, one key question was, “Is this an exercise of faith or

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Little Cat Feet

A recent major home improvement project involved removing a 30-year old wood deck and replacing it with a concrete patio. There were the normal issues, of course, which structurally included adjusting the size of the steps leading inside the house and figuring out what to do with a tricky area around the basement entry. More

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Fullfillment of a Heart’s Desire

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Who forgives all our sins and heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalm 103:

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I Have Seen the Lord

The empty tomb makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I admit I am profoundly uncomfortable with Holy Week. I couldn’t bear to watch the movie The Passion of the Christ, and the Stations of the Cross are unnerving. It’s too achingly painful. Too much. Of course it is – that’s the whole point of Jesus’

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No Dead Ends

The path was untidy from the ravages of winter and a cold, wet spring. This labyrinth was new to me, and I felt oddly anxious as I stood at its entrance. I could barely see where to begin, and the dividing bricks outlining the winding, switch-back path were nearly buried beyond sight.   I took

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Morning Prayer

The recitation of the Twelve Steps was my first introduction to liturgy, though I had no idea of that practice at the time. I didn’t grow up in a church that used the liturgical calendar or shared spoken readings. I did know that my spirit soothed every time I practiced a moment of silence. I

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Missing the Obvious

These days I’m often meeting with people about joining the effort to match the Challenge Gift for our own space. On a recent morning I was running a couple of minutes late for an appointment (which is one of my persistent character defects), and I dashed out the door without the lunch I had packed.

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Birthday Celebration

I’m not a big gifts person, at least not in terms of wrapped presents to open. Even at Christmas I’m not interested in a pile of packages with my name on them. My love languages are more words and invested time, which I confess I crave like a child who wants a pony with a

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