From The New Normal: The Collector Of Sentences


This coming Monday, I will turn – well…let’s just say that I’ll be another year older. As we grow older, we tend to become more nostalgic. You can see this at the end of Ecclesiastes. At the end of chapter 11 and into chapter 12, the Teacher (the Tree Of Life Version that I’m using here uses the Hebrew word Kohelet, which literally means “preacher” or “collector of sentences,” a turn of phrase that, as a writer, I love) says…

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From PJ Lifestyle: 7 Ways to Radically Improve Walt Disney World


The basket of apples appeared on my door step. At first I wasn’t sure where they came from until I saw the note card that read VJ’s Organic Co-Op, Washington, DC. The note inside the envelope read:

Dear Chris,

Try these apples. I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like them.

Love, Valerie

Valerie? I wasn’t sure who this Valerie was, but I figured organic apples couldn’t be all that bad. I made sure to wash one of them thoroughly, and I took a bite.

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From The New Normal: They Tried To Kill Us. We Won. Let’s Eat!


One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is Matt Rosenberg, a Messianic Rabbi based in Seattle. Sometime last year, during one of the Jewish holidays, he quoted the late comedian Alan King in his description of all Jewish festivals: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!”

As flippant as the quote sounds (though let’s face it – it’s funny), it’s actually a pretty apt description of what happens in the last two chapters of Esther.

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From The New Normal: The Reset Button


For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve recently returned to the staff at Eastridge after a season away from it. I needed those few years of working “in the world” for several reasons: to build skills, to remember what it’s like to be a volunteer…I could go on and on. But on top of everything else, the biggest reason was that I had neglected my spiritual growth to the extent that I needed a renewal – a reset.

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From The New Normal: King Fredo


I’m a huge fan of The Godfather movies – especially Part II, with its incredible dynastic sweep. In Part II, Mafia kingpin Michael Corleone’s older brother Fredo betrays the family’s interest. In Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958 (the same night the Communists took over Cuba), Michael reveals his knowledge of Fredo’s disloyalty by kissing him at a party, telling Fredo, “You broke my heart.” Later on, Michael tells his brother, “You’re nothing to me.” Years later, Michael has Fredo killed for betraying the family.

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From PJ Lifestyle: The 10 Greatest Moments From The Disney Renaissance


A few years after Walt Disney’s death, the studio he founded entered a creative drought of nearly 15 years. The projects Walt had his hands on had dried up, and the most creative minds in the company were working directly on the theme parks. Walt’s son-in-law Ron Miller oversaw the company during most of this era, and, though the studio managed to produce some underrated cartoons and live action films during this time period, nothing matched the artistry and innovation of the years when Walt was still alive.

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From PJ Lifestyle: Disney’s Wilderness Years, Part 2: How The Studio Navigated The Hit-Or-Miss 1980s


As the new decade dawned with a palpable sense of excitement brought about by the election of Walt’s friend Ronald Reagan, Disney didn’t immediately bounce back. Part of the reason for this hit-or-miss period stemmed from the fact that, after the light comedies of the 70s, many of Disney’s productions in the early 80s took a dark turn.

Beginning with the hideous Star Wars knockoff The Black Hole in 1979, Disney chose to take on some heavier themes and subject matter.

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from the eternal to the mundane…random thoughts from the revolution


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