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Don’t just tolerate – celebrate!

Before last Sunday, I had never been to Lake Elmo. I also had never been to a Lutheran church service. Later in the day, back at home in my own church, I was chatting briefly with one of the deacons about the religious, racial, and cultural differences many of us can find not only in our communities, but among our friends and even within our own extended families. “Our differences shouldn’t just be tolerated,” he said. “They should be celebrated.” His words were music to [...]

By |August 21st, 2015|Columns, Faith, Music/Singing, Respect, Uganda, Values|2 Comments

All fired up from an inspiring dream

This is going to sound like something I totally made up, but I swear I’m telling it exactly as it happened – in a dream I had a few nights ago. It was early morning, actually, because my alarm went off and woke me up before it was finished. But that was good, because it kept the dream fresh and vivid enough for me to write it all down before it drifted away. In the dream, I was attending a meeting of a women’s networking [...]

By |July 24th, 2015|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

Cameras and courtesy provide common language

“Un…deux…trois.” English translation: “Say cheese.” That was the context, anyway, one afternoon last week as I stood near the waterfront, smiling and waiting for the woman with the camera to snap the shutter. I was in Barcelona, Spain, at the Mediterranean port where Christopher Columbus launched his journey to the new world. The location was both scenic and historic, and many of the people in the area were tourists taking pictures. I saw a young couple who were taking turns taking photos of each other, [...]

By |October 24th, 2014|Columns, Respect, Travel|0 Comments

Pillowcase Dresses and Washable Silk Can Change Lives and Attitudes

They are ladies I haven’t even met in person, or that I’ve known for only a short time. Yet they are doing something very special for people who are very special to me. And that makes them saints and heroes in my book. Late last year, a friend of mine told me about dresses that her sister makes out of pillowcases, and she asked if I would be interested in taking some of them with me on my next trip to Uganda. I immediately accepted [...]

By |June 27th, 2014|Columns, Making a Difference, Respect, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A good deed feeds the heart and soul

I was in Hopkins last week getting some service done on my car. The dealership where I bought the car and where I used to get my service work done went out of business not long ago, so I only recently started going to the place in Hopkins. Whenever I take my car in for service, I usually pack enough work to do – reading, writing, and whatever I can fit into a tote bag – and just wait there while the work is being [...]

By |October 4th, 2013|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

A sense of purpose will launch your dreams

Note: For ten weeks, I am using the Dream Coaching® program to work on my dream of finishing and publishing a book about my trip to Uganda, and I am reporting on my progress in my weekly column. As always, my column is posted on my blog every Friday. To read the series from the beginning, start with the introductory post, dated May 3, 2013. The third session of the Dream Coaching program is the one in which people’s hidden traits and talents really start [...]

Putting an End to Disasters and Diseases

It’s kind of ironic. We’re finally past all the end-of-the-world predictions and fears that had to do with the Mayan calendar, and now we’re hit with this flu epidemic. I haven’t heard any predictions that the flu is going to wipe out civilization as we know it, but I’ve read enough novels and watched enough disaster movies – where a medical research project goes awry, or a virulent strain of something-or-other gets out into the general public – that I’ve at least considered a “What [...]

By |January 18th, 2013|Accountability, Columns, Health and Well-being, Respect|0 Comments

A positive experience outshines negative ads

“Quiet on the set!” Yes, they really do say that. At least, they did last Sunday when I was in St. Paul for a taping of the show, “It’s a Woman’s World” for SPNN – the St. Paul Neighborhood Network. But they – meaning the producer of the show – said it just once, when two of the people in the room were having a whispered conversation on the side and didn’t realize that an individual recording of one of the show’s participants was about [...]

By |November 9th, 2012|Columns, Respect, Writing|0 Comments

Betty’s Beliefs: Sharing a few of her guidelines for life

“What have we learned from this?” My husband used to say that to our kids every so often as they were growing up. They hated hearing it at the time, but since then it’s become somewhat of a family joke. And it’s something we all still say to each other from time to time. It occurred to me recently that there are several other pearls of wisdom and advice that I treasure. I believe in them, I try to live by them, and I regularly [...]

By |January 27th, 2012|Columns, Family, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|0 Comments

A hope and a plea for happy holidays

You don’t say Happy Birthday to others when it’s your birthday. You wish them a Happy Birthday when the birthday is theirs. And you don’t tell someone Happy Anniversary on the date of your own wedding anniversary, unless the person you’re saying it to happens to be your spouse. I bring this up with the hope of diffusing what I see as a dangerous and ugly holiday tradition. And we’ve had plenty of those over the years. The most recent one is the alarming Black [...]

By |December 3rd, 2011|Columns, Family, Holidays, Respect, Values|0 Comments