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Awakening love in the soul

Fourteenth century Persian Sufi Poet Hafiz said, in one of his many beautiful verses, "People say that on hearing the song the soul entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the song."If you read this and feel a deep sigh of longing, as if you wish this were true but it does not feel ...

Remembering our Ring Day

Yesterday was Ring Day at the O'Brien household. Oct. 25 is the anniversary of the day Linda and I bought our wedding rings down in Washington, D.C. back in 1997. We always remember how we lingered in the car, wanting to be sure, before we hopped out and bought those rings. The person who sold ...

Partnering together for a healthier West Virginia

As summer wraps up, the humid, warm mornings give way to crisp, cool air, lending itself perfectly to the fall running season. What better time for West Virginia's largest running event on Oct. 6 -- the 10th Annual Freedom's Run, generously supported by American Public University System for the ...

Dabbing up the tears with popcorn

Written 2,600 years ago, Habakkuk's lament (Hab. 1:2-3; 2:2-4) cuts to the heart of our struggle with faith. "I cry for help but you don't listen! I cry out to you violence -- but you don't intervene. Why do you let me see ruin, why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before ...

What the “new religious person” will be like

Many thanks to my friend Ethel Hornbeck, director of spiritual formation at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, for sending me this quote from her former mentor, Franciscan nun and theologian Ilia Delio, Ph.D. It aptly describes what the "new religious person" of the 21stcentury will be ...

“Life is sweeter when we journey together”

Interesting trip home from church the other day. I was cutting cross-country to the nearest Walmart on a heavily traveled road.Just past Jefferson High School, traffic screeched to a halt. People were out of their cars running around in circles. I got out of my car to see if I could help -- ...

Teachers discover Jewish culture in the Eastern Panhandle during NEH institute

The chances of two traditional, Hebrew-speaking Jewish men, one from Rhode Island and the other from Arizona, winding up in West Virginia for the National Endowment for the Humanities' "Voices from the Misty Mountains and The Power of Storytelling" July institute for teachers is surely quite ...

Continue to love everyone

Friday night I had a dream. I was at a meeting of some official governing body of an unidentified country. A male member got up and began to read something from the Bible in support of his position on whatever we were talking about. When he finished, a woman rose and read something from the ...

Where do we find passion in our lives?

Recently, as a requirement of my doctoral program, I was assigned to read "The Power of Pull" by Hagel, Brown and Davison. One of the concepts this book covered was the power of passion. It started me thinking: What am I truly passionate about in my life?The answer to this question is unique to ...

Fresh berries — pick ’em while you can

The spiders spin their webs above fruit-laden vines. Watch out for wasps and bees. Gnats could invade your space. And so could mosquitoes. The foliage could hide ticks, chiggers or mites. Worst of all, you could stumble onto a snake or invade the privacy of poison ivy vines.All that nastiness ...