This summer the rains have fallen in abundance, refreshing our landscapes and forests.  Water falls gently through the air, single drops, yet creating an incredible impact.  In recent weeks we have enjoyed meditating in our Chapel where we reflected on water as an analogy for God’s spirit in our lives.  Gently, God comes to us, and yet as we open ourselves to God we are transformed and can become conduits for God’s grace and love.

From the devotion booklet Contemplative by Design we read, ” The author of Isaiah shares a vision of a meaningful relationship with the Almighty and then says that those who experience it are both watered and become water for others. ‘If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then. . . you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.'”  The Gospel of John also affirms the life-giving power of a relationship with God “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

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Growing Deeper

This summer during our annual Kids’ Camp the children enjoyed engaging with elders in new ways!  They listened to stories of faith, participated in events and activities with elders, and several times, played my favorite my game, Bible Trivia.  How fun it was to see who could come up with questions and answers, some remembering facts from Sunday school classes taught decades ago, others sharing tidbits from a story heard at a recently attended VBS .

During the mornings, the children participated in The Way of the Child program where we gathered in the courtyard for quiet time to reflect, to contemplate and pray.  After hearing a short lesson, they walked to a prayer station where they could journal, do art, read, or light a candle and pray.  This quiet time allowed the children space to listen to God and quietly open themselves to God’s leading in their lives.  By the end of our weeks together they had practiced a variety of ways to quiet themselves and pray, providing groundwork for a deeper spiritual walk, which hopefully, will last a lifetime!

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A Day at Dollywood

Chaplain Karen Borchert

From our front porch we often heard the train whistle at Dollywood, beckoning us to visit.  This week had our chance!  We boarded the buses and headed over for a day of adventure!  Thirty-four of us, including elders, nurses, CNAs and staff rolled into the park early and enjoyed a full day of fun!

Everyone enjoyed the mix of activities and sights: hearing the squeals of children on rides, seeing a ferris wheel for the first time in decades, playing carnival games, riding the carousel, watching shows, visiting Dolly’s museum, singing with musicians and more.  There was something for everyone, and plenty of staff to get the job done.

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Chaplain Karen Borchert

” in-ter-di-pen-duh ns” 1. the quality or condition of being interdependent, or mutually reliant on each other; 2. a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects, or individuals, or groups)

How we pride ourselves on our independence.  As children we delighted in the praises we received as we grew independent of our parents.  What joy we felt as we moved into our first apartment, independent of our families, and when our own children became independent of us.  “I just want to stay independent” my elderly mother told my family, as she, at eighty-eight, told us about her adventures with the riding lawn mower.

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Chaplain Karen Borchert

At two o’clock the snack carts roll through our lovely home and folks pick what treats they want from the display.  Some pick different items each day, watermelon and crackers one day, cupcakes and tea the next, a sweet bun and a juice after that.  Others choose their familiar favorites every day like cookies and milk , “why mess with a good thing?” they say.

A  wonderful thing about snack time is that it is a special time set apart, for savoring.  Food is meant to be savored.   Sometimes in our lives we may rush through meals without thinking of what we are eating, unaffected by the flavors and textures, oblivious to the rich variety.  Snack time is a great time for reflecting and enjoying.

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“But love your neighbor as yourself….Lev. 19:18

 Rabbi Moshe Leib told this story:

“How to love men is something I learned from a peasant. Be wassitting in an inn along with other peasants, drinking. For a long time he was as silent as all the rest, but when he was moved by the wine, he asked one of the men seated beside him: ‘Tell me, do you love me or don’t you love me?’ The other replied: ‘I love you very much.’ But the first peasant replied: ‘You say that you love me, but you do not know what I need. If you really loved me, you would know.’ The other had not a word to say to this, and the peasant who had put the question fell silent again.

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…Ecc1.9:10


The Ultimate Key to Success

Do you know what is one of the ultimate secrets for success? It is a trait that is more important than talent, brains or luck, yet anyone can master it. It is the trait call persistence. It is that which helped Lee Trevino, Sally Jesse Raphael, Steven King, and a host of others make it in this world.

Lee Trevino was a fatherless boy with a seventh grade education, when he began practicing at every opportunity he could, to hone his skills at golf . He even used a soda bottle wrapped in tape as a putter to practice. Even after placing 54th in his first US Open, he did not give up.

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Happy & Rewarding Life

I was in the emergency room recently, when I came across this list of sayings, entitled “Suggestions on How to Live a Happy and Rewarding Life”. It is a small part of the booklet Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Browne Jr. (Rutledge Hill Press, 1991). Both the book and these sayings are thought provoking and wise. See if you don’t agree.


Take time to smell the roses.

Take a nap on Sunday afternoon.

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GOD is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its water roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of GOD, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall; GOD will help her at break of day.

The LORD ALMIGHTY is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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Recently I reread a newsletter from Hanford Community Medical Center. I was impressed with one of the articles, which I would like to share with you. It is entitled:



The customer is your real reason for being in business. Chores can wait!


Customers are people, and they like friendly contact. They usually return it.


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