Author Archive

Room #402

May 8, 2021

Tom Hallman, Jr. is a storyteller. More specifically, he is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Oregonian, our state's largest newspaper. He specializes in warm-hearted, thoughtful, human-interest stories. As a long-time subscriber …( read more )

Our Master Craftsman

April 24, 2021

I am just a so-so crafter. Oh, I can enjoy an occasional craft project done with a group of friends or at a ladies' retreat, but I am not an avid quilter, painter, or knitter, as are some of my friends. If I were to claim any artistic …( read more )

The Big Move

April 8, 2021

How many times have you moved in your lifetime? It always amazes me to learn that some people live in the same house their entire lives, perhaps never even travelling more than five or ten miles from the place that they were born. …( read more )

The Smile Above The Mask

March 7, 2021

It's an unusual time that we're living in during these mask-wearing days of our global pandemic. Full facial expression — something that we normally take for granted — is no longer possible. Communication can be hampered when others …( read more )

Investing, Then Divesting

February 20, 2021

I feel as though I have spent most of my life preparing for the next thing on the agenda. As a child, school prepared me for life in general. College then helped me to prepare for a career. A first job was a starting point, which would …( read more )

Only One Life

January 30, 2021

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last." – C.T. Studd Life is short and I can live it only once, so I'd like to make the best use of it. I cannot do everything, but I can certainly do some things well. …( read more )

A Clean Stable

January 16, 2021

Wouldn't life be easier if we didn't have all of the muss and fuss that comes as part of daily living? The Passion Translation expresses today's verse in a humorous way: "The only clean stable is an empty stable. So if you want the work …( read more )

Anticipation!

December 24, 2020

My childhood memories of Christmas evoke the delicious shiver of anticipation as I lay in bed on Christmas Eve whispering to myself, "I can't wait until it's morning! I can't wait!" Though our family joyously celebrated Christmas, …( read more )

Aliens In Our World

December 15, 2020

My husband Lynn and I served as missionaries in Madagascar during the 1970s. Though we felt welcome there, we knew that we would never be mistaken for native-born Malagasy! We had to learn to appreciate new foods and new customs, and we …( read more )

A Hole In My Heart

November 17, 2020

My older brother and I shared a common bit of philosophy. We agreed that any years granted us beyond a certain given age would simply be icing on the cake, and death at any point thereafter should not be viewed as a great tragedy. We felt …( read more )

The Wind Storm

November 5, 2020

In western North America this past summer, wildfires devastated nearly four million acres of forests, burned 8,200 structures, and killed 31 people. One day, our weather forecasters warned that high winds were likely to exacerbate these …( read more )

Better By Far

October 17, 2020

Do you have a bucket list of things that you have never done but want to do before you die? This list could consist of places to see, goals to achieve, or adventures to be had. I have had a full and exciting life, and should God call me …( read more )

For Our Good Or For Our Harm?

October 1, 2020

When I was growing up, our chicken house usually housed a dozen or so generally docile hens, but the least disturbance could result in a cacophony of indignant clucking and flapping of wings before they'd all settle back down again on …( read more )

The Smile

September 16, 2020

Her smile seemed to envelop her from head to toe. Whenever I saw Abby, she seemed to radiate a smile that showed in her face, her eyes, and her body language. When she stood on the church platform to give announcements, read Scripture, or …( read more )

When God Answers "No"

September 1, 2020

The sad news came in mid-summer 2020. Because of the global pandemic, schools in Oregon, USA, will be using online education in the fall, with in-person education being postponed until at least November. This news had a dramatic effect on …( read more )

Seasons Of Life

August 19, 2020

I love living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, a corner of the United States that enjoys four full seasons. I emphasize four seasons because there are varying lengths and kinds of seasons around the globe. When God created the …( read more )

Who's To Blame?

July 30, 2020

These days, we live in a society that is so litigious — "unreasonably prone to go to law to settle disputes". No matter the cause, whenever anything bad happens to someone, the first thought is often, "Who is to blame for this misfortune? …( read more )

A Time For Everything

July 19, 2020

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time …( read more )

Seed Planting

June 28, 2020

One of the most important and helpful pieces of advice that I have received is "Learn your coffee barista's name — and use it!" Let me explain. I'm not a coffee addict, but I am a latte lover! Now that our local coffee shops are …( read more )

Peace, Perfect Peace

June 14, 2020

Today's world may seem dark and frightening. Many people harbour fear and dread of an uncertain future. Along with a deadly disease has come widespread unemployment. Life as we have always known it may never again be quite the same. A …( read more )

Dirty Laundry

May 27, 2020

Back in the day, a housewife doing her weekly laundry the good old-fashioned way knew when her clothes were clean. Through various iterations of laundry methods — from washing clothes on the riverbank, to using a washtub and scrub board, …( read more )

The Face Of Jesus

May 12, 2020

Sisters Tatyana, Anna, and their mother Anna are Ukrainian immigrants who, along with their families, have lived in my neighbourhood for the past 20 years. These families attend a local American church, and the ladies say that their …( read more )

A Gift Of Time

April 2, 2020

Suddenly, without warning, many of us have been given a gift — a gift of time. If we live in an area that has placed us under stay-at-home orders, we may now find ourselves with unexpected time on our hands. A month ago, we were likely …( read more )

Our Eyes Are Upon You

March 31, 2020

Our topsy-turvy world seems to be spinning — faster and faster — more out of control with each passing day, battling a seemingly unstoppable virus, with neither a vaccine to prevent it, nor a sure treatment to cure it. It is indeed a …( read more )

A Week Of Prayer

March 20, 2020

"I'll be praying for you" are words which can be a soothing balm to our troubled souls in our time of need. Alas, though genuine and heartfelt, my promise to pray for others is sometimes soon forgotten. After years of feeling regretful …( read more )

A Cloud Of Witnesses

March 11, 2020

Spring is coming, and track season is just around the corner. This means that I'll soon be spending many hours in the bleachers watching my grandson Ryan's high school track meets as he runs sprints, relays, and hurdles. Runners wear …( read more )

What Are You So Afraid Of?

March 1, 2020

It's been said that fear, greed, and/or a desire for power rule the world. Let's consider for a moment how fear affects the world — and particularly us as individual believers. There is truly just cause for fear in today's world. War, …( read more )

The New Car

January 24, 2020

Don't get me wrong — I loved my old car. Though it was almost ten years old, it was easy to drive and was still in great shape. My family, however, strongly encouraged me to consider getting a newer car with better safety features. …( read more )

Strength In Numbers

December 14, 2019

Do you live in or near a city where you can enjoy the annual holiday tradition, Tuba Christmas? Tuba Christmas was conceived in 1974 by a tuba player as a tribute to his teacher and mentor. The very first Tuba Christmas was held at the …( read more )

The Outspread Letter

November 23, 2019

What do you do when you are in serious trouble like King Hezekiah of Judah was? Ravenous Assyria was on the move, and swallowing up the tiny kingdom of Judah was next on King Sennacherib's agenda. He sent a letter to King Hezekiah, …( read more )

A Lifetime Of Firsts

October 23, 2019

Have you ever thought about how many "firsts" that we all experience in a lifetime? Some of those firsts we don't remember at all: our first breath, first step, first birthday, first tooth … . But the years tumble along, and we begin to …( read more )

Cleaning Up The Mess

September 14, 2019

My friend was dropping by one morning for a short visit, so I spent a few minutes beforehand tidying up things in preparation. Okay, I may have just been moving a little stack of books and papers from one place to another out of sight, …( read more )

An Open Palm

August 9, 2019

The open palm of the hand is generally understood as an indication of trust and surrender. It shows peaceful acceptance and acquiescence. In the Christian world, a raised, open palm is also a sign of adoration and praise to God. Its …( read more )

 



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