The first President my kids will remember and the one they won’t 

We are happy to share this insightful commentary on the recent American presidential election.

The Millennial Pastor

My son is only about 6 months older than Donald Trump’s two year campaign for the Oval Office. My daughter a couple weeks older than Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention.

For the past few weeks I had been dreaming of how different the world of my children would be. Even as Canadian, the American President is an important symbol of power and authority. Thefirst president I remember was Bill Clinton – a white man. My memory is like every other person who had a memory of a president – white men.

But for the past 8 years, a new generation now will remember a person of colour as their first president. And then my son and daughter had the promise of remembering a woman as president.

That promise is gone for now.

I can only hope that things change by 2020, that the outcome to this election is…

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How to make a Luther rose paper snowflake cut-out!

How to make a Luther rose paper snowflake cut-out!

Gotta try this!

Confessional Lutheran Ecclesiastical Art Resources

I posted the instructions to this project on the CLEAR blog way back in 2013, but for some reason, people have had difficulty finding it. Since people email me almost every week for it (which amazes me) I decided to try to make a more visible post for the instructions, which are in the form of a detailed PDF. Hopefully that will make it easier to find. Here are the instructions!  🙂

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South Sudan refugee crisis larger than Syria

A thought-provoking call to action regarding the overwhelming number of South Sudanese refugees and how, we in the West can help.

Voices from the Field

Imagine welcoming 8,200 refugees in a day: those fleeing South Sudan need our help

Last year, Canadians were justly proud of the fact that our country decided to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees in just a few months. Last month, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in just three weeks, it processed 37,491 refugees from South Sudan who were fleeing to neighbouring Uganda—8,200 arrived in a single day.

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The Driver’s License

The Driver’s License

We are reblogging this excellent story by James Osborne, a writer friend from our former residence in Vernon, British Columbia. Gayle has posted the following remark: As usual, I loved the story, Jim. Thanks for reminding me of the experience [of getting a driver’s license] of so many of my small town contemporaries in the same era as you. It has inspired me to post a story about my very different experiences getting my driver’s licenses – while in college in Minnesota, in Germany through the US Army and, much later, in Mexico. That is, if I can find the time to get at the computer. We moved to a larger apartment in our complex [in Winnipeg] and, after almost four weeks, I’m finally seeing the end in sight of the moving-in process. Our blog has certainly suffered from inactivity in the meantime. Thanks for the inspiration.

jamesosbornenovels

We’d moved from the country. Out there most kids by 12 were driving around on their farms… driving tractors, for sure, and even cars. I did. So did my older sister.

Farmers needed help from kids big enough to drive a tractor. Being ‘big enough’ was defined as: can your feet reach the pedals? www.curbsideclassic.com:auto-biographyWood booster blocks clamped to the pedals made that possible for many of us at first.

Empty farm pastures are great places for learning how to steer without hitting anything or anyone, and how to use the brakes, and especially getting the hang of accelerating and shifting gears.

It was a good thing no other vehicles, or people, were in the pasture where my sister and I took our first lurching trials behind the wheel of our tractor and then the family car. Lucky also, there were no light standards, or curbs, or stop signs, or cement…

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Is the first sentence the charm?

A fascinating post that caused us to analyse the opening sentences in our three published books. This calls for a new post by Gayle in the near future.

Take Five Authors

We’ve all been told that we have only a couple of pages to hook a reader. I think that’s wrong. I think the hook comes in the first page. The first paragraph. The first sentence.

Last weekend, I was at a workshop devoted to the first 100 words of a novel. That’s right – 100 WORDS.

I think that first paragraph can hook a reader not just into one book – but into an author’s storytelling and writing style. One sentence can turn a first time reader into a lifelong fan. It has happened to this reader – more than once.

I remember my first encounter with the great Mary Stewart. I was about thirteen and dreaming of escaping small town Australia to have adventures in the big wide world.

How outdated the cover seems now - the writing dates too, but it's good enough to overcome that. How outdated the cover seems now – the writing dates too, but it’s good enough to overcome that.

I opened…

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