Thank you Florian Klauer for the beautiful picture.

Sometimes I run across an idea in scripture I’ve never seen before. This song is based on the latest. I’m making my way through the book of Numbers. Chapter 7 includes a list of objects and animals and things brought to God. One of this, one of that, one of something else… but when they got to the sacrifice of peace, it was 2 of this, 5 of that and 5 of that and 5 more of that other thing. I had to read it again, and again. It was getting through — that making peace in difficult relationships takes…

The damage I spend hours un-doing each day in the counseling office - cleaning up the abusive messes the church has perpetrated on trusting precious believers is inexcusable. It takes so much time to undo what the church has done - that's the work we attend to first so that we can get down to all the other personal challenges that need attention - but what a waste of time. Can't the church pull in the same direction? Aren't they able to put an arm around and treat humans as precious to God, regardless of the struggles, that in our…

Thank You Jon Moore for this picture

Verse I:

Don’t ask me why I hurt when a tree comes down

Don’t laugh when I say I’ve lost a friend

No matter how hard the year

in the spring it blooms again

What has it ever done -

but give


I wonder

if trees are

supposed to live forever

I wonder


in eternity

they never die

I wonder

if the Tree of Life

died along with Adam

Why it’s not quite natural

to take a thing that’s growing

Why I’ve lost a friend

when a tree comes down

Verse II:

Don’t ask me if my house…

Thank You Frame Harirak for the Photograph

The line was 20 persons long — maybe more. Aged persons shivered in coats, blankets, and hats, some sitting on lawn chairs — some standing. No umbrella in-sight to manage the drizzle. Northwesterners are just too practical, I suppose, for rain protection. They do tote fancy dogs, but rarely an umbrella. One white-haired lady in solid-red pants brought her white-haired dog. The man just behind her was as long and lean and leaning as she was sturdy and stock-straight. …

Thank you Kylo for allowing me to use your beautiful photograph.

In the darkened room

There he sits all-day

Has a zoom for school

And a screen for play

And he’s groaning

Silently fading

But El Shama

Our God leans down to listen

El Shama

Our God, He hears the words yet to be formed

by your child and mine

El Shama

Down at the border

In a holding cage

The months go by

Till she’s finally sent away


And she’s groaning

Silently fading

But El Shama

Our God leans down to listen

El Shama

Our God who hears the words yet to be formed

by your child and mine

My brother’s skin is dark

My sister voted right

Though praying to the self-same God

hostility is high

We used to share a pew

and worship side by side

I wonder, would I say hello

If you were passing by?


But He Himself is our peace

He Himself makes us one

He is breaking down the hostile wall

That divides your hate from mine

He Himself is our peace

2nd Verse

She always wears a mask

He proudly never will

Though God is Father to them both

Division growing still

The learned against the ‘dumb’

The free against the…

(Thank you Arvid Hoidahl for allowing me to use your photograph. )

Thanksgiving Day the family piled in the truck and headed up to find snow on Hwy 20… driving up up up into God county we decided the road closure would be our turn around. Passing through tiny town we came to a four-way stop, and there she be. A house peeling paint on every side. Signs that she’s been coming apart one wet season after another.

Then I caught sight of little crisp white curtains carefully drawn one side then another at the windows and I was transported…

By Lisa Boyl-Davis, LICSW

I might have been 19. Maybe 20 — not sure. The extended family were circling a table full of food, heaping plates high and chatting. ‘So, what are your plans — what do you want to study in college” the one beside glanced up. Happy to be asked — it had been on my mind for some time, I replied “I’ve thought about becoming a counselor”. The room became a mixture of silence and an instantaneous roar of laughter — you know, knee slapping laughter that goes on just a little too long. “You?!!! You’re more…

Lisa Boyl-Davis, LICSW

My name is Lisa. I am a trauma and couples therapist, love to write, sing, hike, pray, bike, and accidently burn food too often…

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