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Columns / Rene In Real Life

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 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    September 3, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH | Let Your Soul Catch Up

The first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City in 1882. It was not intended to be the official end of summer. It was a movement to honor “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    August 13, 2013

Keeping the Faith | No more show-and-tell

In American literature, the biggest religious pretender of all time is probably Sinclair Lewis’ Elmer Gantry. While most of us have not read the book, we may remember the movie. The film was a 1960 masterpiece starring Burt Lancaster in an...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    July 2, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: Seeing Stars

My wife attended Lutheran Catechism. My neighbor went to an Adventist Sabbath class. My college friend was enrolled in a Yeshiva. And I attended Sunday School. I suppose these are all different names for a similar religious rite of passage: The...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 25, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: Some assembly required

Do you know the three most frightening words in the English language? “Some assembly required.” You order something online; a toy or a bicycle for your children. Or you go to a big box store to get a grill or piece of patio furniture....

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 18, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: Thanks dad, for wising up

I’m writing this article while sitting in my father’s chair. You know the chair of which I speak. It is that ratty old recliner that occupies the living room, den, or man-cave that no guest or other family member is ever allowed access....

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 21, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: School’s out

Curtain climbers. yard monkeys. cherubs. whippersnappers. ankle biters. urchins. I don’t know what you call them, but our children have been turned loose on the world. School is out for summer (at least it ends this week here where I live). By...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 14, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: THE WISDOM OF SIMPLICITY

In Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, the author tells of a young lad sent journeying to a wise man to discover the secret of happiness. After a long journey, the wise man listened to the boy’s explanation for his visit, then answered,...

 
 By Journal Staff    Columns    May 8, 2013

Kick-off summer with the Everett Aquasox and Li’l Hungry Hearts

Come and join Li’l Hungry Hearts on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. to watch the Everett Aquasox play the Hillsboro Hops. Ticket pre-sales starts now until May 10 and tickets cost $11 with $4 going directly to help “Take A Bite Out Of...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 8, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: A Saint goes marching in

Years ago my oldest son asked me a question: “What is a saint?” When you’re driving along with a numb mind at day’s end, as I was, that’s not the type of question you are prepared to answer. So I splattered out,...

 
 By Journal Staff    Columns    May 8, 2013

Give blood through the Puget Sound Blood Center

The Puget Sound Blood Center is bringing a mobile blood drawing unit to Frontier Village on Tuesday, May 14. The Lake Stevens Kiwanis Club is sponsoring the event. If you are interested in donating please call 425-760-7183 or stop by the day of the...

 
 By Journal Staff    Columns    May 8, 2013

Art Walk coming to Mt. Pilchuck

Mt. Pilchuck Elementary will be having their Art Walk “Garden Party” Tuesday, May 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. They will be celebrating the Art Program as well as dedicating the “Giving Garden”. There will be various artists in...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 30, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: The power of now

There is a Zen parable about a man who surprised a sleeping tiger while walking through the jungle. The ferocious animal pursued the man, causing him to throw down his bag and walking stick, as he ran for his life. With the tiger tightly on his...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 16, 2013

Keeping the faith: The discovery of forgiveness

Four-hundred and ninety times. That was Jesus’ answer to the question, “How many times should I forgive someone who has offended me.” I don’t think Jesus was being literal; how I wish he were!. Then there would at least be a...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 2, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: where nothing is sacred

The words “holy” and “sacred” are sometimes used interchangeably. I don’t think this should be the case, as there is a huge difference between the two. Sacred comes from the Latin, “sacrum.” You might...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    March 26, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: BAD, GOOD, AND BETTER NEWS

I have bad news. Researchers have confirmed that planet Earth is headed toward an apocalypse. Yes, I know that the Mayan calendar is in our rearview mirrors, and we have all returned to paying our credit card bills, mortgages, and car payments once a...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    March 12, 2013

KEEPING THE FAITH: HOW FAR IS HEAVEN

Jesus never described the gospel as an escape hatch, whereby we can exchange this current world for a spiritual retreat far away. Rather, his gospel was: “God’s kingdom is here! Heaven has come to earth!” Jesus invites his...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 3, 2012

Easter & Incomplete Answers

On Easter morning a Sunday School teacher began to quiz her class of young children about the real meaning of the day. She asked them, “What is Easter?”. A little boy jumped up and said, “Oh, I know! Easter is that holiday when we...

 
 By Rene Whipple    Columns    February 24, 2012

I'm not complaining

I have a dear friend whose is a recent empty nester and whose husband is away working at a distant job site. Her experience touched me very deeply about how she is relying on and exercising faith in God to help her at this trying time in her life....

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    December 5, 2011

Freedom from Fear

In the town of Madison, Florida, you can find the Colin P. Kelly memorial, a striking sculpture of four angels, their wings unfurled in the wind. The memorial was dedicated in 1943 to the name and heroics of a B-17 pilot whose plane was shot down...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    October 28, 2011

Help With the Missing Pieces

I love puzzles. Crosswords, brainteasers, and search-a-words to be sure, but nothing beats an old fashioned jigsaw puzzle with about gazillion pieces spilling out of the box. Right now there is a monster-sized puzzle strewn across our family’s...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    June 13, 2011

Disappearing Dump Trucks

I once approached my life and work as if I was building a house. Drive a nail here. Lay a block there. Smear a bit of paint in the corner. Cut out a window now and again. Figuratively, this is how I treated my life, and it is a solid, powerful...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    May 19, 2011

“Crying, Loving, and Leaving”

A few months ago bestselling author Anne Rice made a very public departure from Christianity. Her words – “Today I quit being a Christian…I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being Christian” – rattled arou...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    April 11, 2011

The Pickled Pain of the Past

Dr. Paul Brand was one of God’s great gifts to the world and to modern medicine. The son of English missionaries to India, Brand came home to Britain in preparation to follow in his parents’ footsteps. He studied to become a physician,...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    March 21, 2011

In Matters of Faith, Keep Your Eye on the Ball

“You talk a whole lot about Jesus,” an interviewer said to me. I was glad to hear this remark, for talking “a whole lot about Jesus” is my intention. He continued, “But when are you going to talk about the...

 
 By Ronnie Mcbrayer    Columns    February 7, 2011

Break the Bank; We’ll All Be Richer for It

“No man is an island entire of itself,” the great John Donne famously wrote. Rather, he said, every person “is a part of the main.” That is, we are all involved with and interconnected to humankind. God, a relational being as...