Category Archives: Personal Musings

Thoughts and Prayers

Although it is mid-November, the wildfire season here in California isn’t over. Northern California was forcibly reminded of that fact yesterday when a devastating fire blew up in Butte County, wiping out the charming mountain city of Paradise in a … Continue reading

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What can I believe?

“I just don’t know what to believe, anymore!” In our information-dense culture we are constantly bombarded with information; every source claiming to have the true take on every topic. With wildly conflicting versions, no wonder we don’t know what to … Continue reading

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The Halloween Question

Halloween is a controversial holiday for many Christians. Feelings about this holiday range all the way from fear and loathing of it’s satanic overtones to glee at the idea of candy, costumes, and fond childhood memories. Anyone who has done … Continue reading

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Beauty in dying

When Fall finally arrives in Northern California, we can’t compete with the autumn displays of the northeastern states, but there are still occasional bursts of rich color scattered in the hills and valleys where I live.  Walking along the streets … Continue reading

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A Sample Children’s Sermon

I was recently asked by my pastor to prepare the children’s sermon for our worship hour. I was hesitant because I know how tricky it can be to present something meaningful for both children and the rest of the congregation. … Continue reading

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Know your audience

Every writer soon learns how important it is to know exactly who you are writing for. The audience for my own cozy mystery novels (writing as J.B. Hawker) is predominantly women over forty who like wholesome, entertaining stories about down-to-earth characters. … Continue reading

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Take Time to be Holy

As we move into autumn, my favorite time of the year, I’m reminded of a glorious fall day a few years ago when my youngest son and I spent several hours geocaching in the foothills north-east of town. We traipsed … Continue reading

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Why a mustard seed?

Although theologians and even botanists disagree about exactly what variety of plant Jesus was alluding to in this parable (Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-21), one theory I read recently struck me. In the Holy Land at that time the … Continue reading

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The Burden of Blessing

I love those cute Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, don’t you? It’s such fun to keep opening each one to find the next little treasure. Sometimes I think blessings are like those little dolls. Each precious blessing contains an equally precious … Continue reading

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Why study the Bible?

I’m starting a new Bible study this fall and recently attended the orientation meeting. The facilitator asked each of the members our reason for joining the study, which is one requiring a real commitment of time during the week as … Continue reading

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