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BRIEF COMPARISON OF MY THREE NOVELS

November 29, 2018

Tales from Trinity introduces Pastor Paul Walker, his family and congregation. Their stories are woven together like a patchwork quilt by God whose purpose is love, reconciliation, forgiveness, healing and hope.

Terror at Trinity unfolds two stories of terror. When a good person does something terribly inappropriate, shame and terror arise from within. When terrorists hold the congregation hostage, the threat is from an external source, but the fear and terror are even more intense. Can God bring Pastor Paul and his congregation through these hellish days?

Trials at Trinity is a saga of scope and depth, combining Jim’s two prior novels. Pastor Paul Walker and his family experience the everyday and the extraordinary experiences from which God weaves the tapestry of a rich and amazing life.

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Hawaiian Mission Trip

September 10, 2018

They call it a sabbatical interim. I was invited to lead worship and preach at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View, Hawaii in August.  Lutherans and Episcopalians have altar and pulpit fellowship, so after the necessary paperwork, I was approved by the bishop of the diocese of Hawaii to serve at St. Jude.

Carmen and I flew to Kona on August 8 and were met by Cordelia Burt, the warden of the parish.  She placed leis around our neck and greeted us warmly, then drove us to McKinney Place, where visiting priests and pastors stay during their sabbatical.  It was a lovely home, secure and well-furnished.  The small open-air church was just a short walk away, where each Saturday, people from the community line up for a free shower. Water is in short supply, and the outdoor shower stalls are in great demand.  Twenty-five to forty-five people sign in and wait their turn to get a nice hot shower.  While waiting they are offered a free lunch.  Children are entertained and learn in the Computer Lab, a small room with eight laptop computers. This is only one of the many services St. Jude provides to people of this impoverished development area, sometimes called “the Appalachia of Hawaii.”

Episcopalian worship is liturgical, but relaxed and unhurried.  A potluck dinner is served after every Sunday service where members and neighbors are engaged in conversation dedicated to getting to know each other, and honest caring. Everyone is welcome, no one turned away. St. Jude is The Little Church with a Big Heart.

We were provided use of a car for touring the island. We enjoyed malasadas at the Punalu’u bake shop in Ka’alehu, and snorkeling with the Weavers at Ho’okena beach. Hurricane Lane passed by while we were there, dumping torrential rains on Hilo, only strong winds and rain at Ocean View.  We didn’t go to Kilauea to see molten lava, but saw massive barren lava flows which form the South Point of the island.

Joel joined us for our final five days and treated us to a luau for our 52nd anniversary on August 27th at the Royal Kona Resort.  We returned home August 29th, grateful for a relaxing time on the big island.  The people of St. Jude were wonderful hosts and true servants of Christ. Thank you, Cindy Cutts, for the invitation to preach and serve.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

July 3, 2018

Humming Ruby framed 2

Crucifixion - framed

 

 

I cut a small piece of reflective red foil for the hummingbird’s throat and cut red origami paper behind the flowers.

The observer of Christ’s crucifixion looks from behind the cross because of fear and shame as the sky grows darker.

These and many more scissorcuts will be on display and for sale at the Balcony Gallery

at  Peace Lutheran Church       1525 Glen Creek Road      West Salem, OR  97304

September & October   Please call the church to schedule a visit or tour:  503-362-8500     or              1-503-917-1326

SNIPPETS

June 19, 2018

I’ve begun working on a new project called “SNIPPETS,” a collection of my art, poetry, scissorcuts, sermons, even Christmas cards.

Snippet: a small part, piece, or thing, esp. a brief quotable passage.                                From Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Scissors

I’ve always been a detail person. Part of my O.C.T. – Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies. My art teachers always told me to “loosen up.”  But I love realism, and reality is so full of detail!  Some people say, “You must have a lot of patience to do those scissorcuts.”  But for me, it is an escape. Like a mechanic who loves working on cars, or a quilter piecing together an intricate quilt. Everyone shows patience with things they enjoy.

As I snip away at a scissorcut, very small pieces of paper fall to my lap, snippets. Sometimes a snippet will hang on by a microscopic fiber, and the tip of my tiny scissors just keeps pulling and twisting it . . . but it won’t fall off!  I snip and tug, and pray for patience . . . and a sharper scissors. Before the invention of laser surgery, these were used for eye surgeries. When the points become dull, I sharpen them on a whetstone.

I write poetry because I love language. Sounds and meanings and layers of meaning. I write sermons because I believe God has called me to proclaim the good news of his love for the world. God’s creativity inspires mine. My art is dedicated to the glory of God who is the true creator of nature’s beauty, infinite variety, and detail.

Silhouettes, the outline of a person’s face, have been used since ancient times; for example, the emperor’s portrait on the faces of coins.  The term silhouette originated in France in the eighteenth century.  Scherenschnitte or scissorcutting dates back to the 1500s in Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. Multiple figures, children, carriages, and trees combined elegant composition and exquisite detail. The Pennsylvania Dutch brought scissorcutting to America in the 1700s. Intricate paper cutting is also popular in China, Japan, and Mexico. Sometimes the paper is folded then cut, to form geometric designs of fine lacey patterns.

Crow on Fence 3

My contribution to the art form is to add depth to the scene depicted. Mountains, rivers, forests, birds, deer, flowers, lakes, and ocean shores are my favorites.  With a background in science and engineering, a passion for theology and people, and a love of nature, my mind bounces through all kinds of crazy places as I write personal reflections, poetry, and sermons; and as I try to decide what subject matter will challenge my tiny scissors. I hope this book will give you a glimpse of the small pieces or things I have created through the years.

Mountain Majesty

April 19, 2018

I’m very pleased with my most recent cutting: Mountain Majesty. The detail of the mountain required hours and hours of cutting, as did the trees, and the rocks.  I won’t want to sell this one.Mountain Majesty

Latest Scissorcut

March 22, 2018

Just finished my latest piece of art, Deer Drinking at the Lake.Deer Drinking framed 1

Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith

February 24, 2018

I was honored by being asked to teach a class on Sunday mornings during Lent, using an excellent resource from the ELCA, “Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith.” I have always had an interest in world religions, and have prayed for more dialogue among the major faiths for the sake of world peace and justice. Response to the class has been excellent so far.
I have also introduced the class to another new resource from the ELCA which expresses much of my concern for education and cooperation in practicing our faiths. “A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment” is a draft policy statement of the ELCA. For example: “The ELCA will defend human rights and oppose all forms of religious bigotry, fear-mongering, violence, discrimination and persecution and stand in solidarity with those who experience them, whether they are Christian or of another religious tradition or worldview, upholding commitments made in existing ELCA social teaching.” (Lines 288-292) “The ELCA, in consultation with our partners, will seek to understand the religions of the world so as to identify and oppose those distortions that misuse religion to justify oppression, violence, genocide, or terrorism.” (Lines 296-297) This Declaration can be viewed on the ELCA website or http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Inter-Religious_Policy_Statement.pdf.

ELCA Declaration