breast cancer Posts

About Hillbilly Elegy & Those Who Champion Us


Photo by Sue Counts

Photo by Sue Counts

I’ve been reading the book that everyone was talking about six months ago – Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. It has been touted as an insightful book about Appalachia and more specifically about the people who voted Donald Trump into office.

It’s not really either of those things. When Vance says he’s from Appalachia what he means is that his people are from Kentucky, which is unquestionably Appalachia. But he grew up in Ohio, which to people who are Appalachian, not Appalachia.

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My Prayers for 2017


praying woman

I have this painting that a friend made me. It is a colorful painting with a big yellow sun in it and the phrase “FIND YOUR HAPPY” in big bold letters.


Many a theologian has warned us that if we go in search of happiness we will surely be disappointed. They often quote from the Scriptures: “Seek you first the kingdom of God and  his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The Message version of this verse sums it up this way: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

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Beneath a Rising Jesus


Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
(Psalm 30:5)

It was Saturday and we were in church. A big city church sat back on one of Portland’s wooded corners.

Imago Dei. Image of God.

Two years of Latin and I still had to look that up, just to be sure.

The woman with the sophisticated and expertly coiffed gray hair stopped me as I approached the Ladies Room. She called me by name. We met, she said. Remember? I’m the woman whose son died in war.

Yes, yes, I said, hugging her once again. We met at another church, on another day, that meeting time not nearly so emotional as this one.

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