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The one who contributes nothing

Remember the middle-school project? In her book Short Stories by Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine talks about the middle-school student who doesn’t do his–or it could be “her,” of course–share of the project. Everyone else works hard, but he doesn’t do anything. “And what if he didn’t care at all? What if he depended on us, even […]

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Architect, designer and decorator

Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter was the chief architect and decorator for the Fred Harvey Company from 1902 to 1948. In the Grand Canyon, she created a number of showcases—the Desert View Watchtower, the Bright Angel Lodge and the Lookout Studio. Colter left her mark on the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe when she helped […]

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What life is about

“Harmony, balance, rhythm,” said George Pocock, who designed the racing shell for the University of Washington men’s crew team’s 1936 Olympic victory. “There you have it. That’s what life is all about.” We read about Pocock in Daniel James Brown’s book The Boys in the Boat.

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Personalization, pervasiveness, permanence

Psychologist Martin Seligman found that the three Ps can stunt recovery after the death of someone you love, the loss of a job or any other catastrophe. • Personalization is the belief that we are at fault. • Pervasiveness is the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life. • Permanence is […]

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Critical thinking?

Sarah Bessey reminded me that critical thinking doesn’t always have to be critical. Bessey is the author of Jesus Feminist. –Joy

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Why do we read?

“We read to know that we are not alone,” C.S. Lewis once said. And, R.D. Cummings once said, “A good book has no ending.” I recently found those two quotes on the wall near a bookcase in Tulsa . –Joy

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The first independent woman

Why has Eve taken all the blame for taking a bite out of that fruit in the Garden of Eden? First, Bruce Feiler wants everyone to understand that the fruit was not an apple. Apples are not grown in the part of the world where the stories of the Bible took place. The fruit might […]

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Have a great life

Kerry Egan, a hospice chaplain, ends her book On Living with the advice she received from one of her dying patients. “Promise me that you’ll have a great life no matter what happens.”

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Finding meaning

Kerry Egan, author of On Living, is a hospice chaplain who spends a lot of time listening to people’s stories. If you know someone who tells the same stories again and again—and I do, Egan explains that the person is still trying to find meaning in his or her stories. That’s the reason for the […]

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Are you changing?

I’ve been thinking about birthdays because I have several good friends who have March and April birthdays, including my friend Sandra, who is celebrating her 91st birthday. In a book I bought for Sandra—90 and Proud of It, I found this quote from Doris Lessing: “The great secret that all old people share is that […]

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