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Carmen Lau

From Felicity to Trinity

Thirty-five years ago, I learned the word felicity when I found Jane Austen in the “A” section in fiction at the Loma Linda University library. Austen’s stories motivated me to look up this word since she frequently used it in her stories.

“Felicity" is a term for happiness that was used, apparently, in English a couple hundred years ago,  I discovered.

Reading the Bible: Feast or Snack?

We all have our favorite Bible verses.

“'For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Quiet Place, Quiet Space: Standing in the Tragic Gap

Parker Palmer uses the phrase “standing in the tragic gap” to describe the tension one feels between what is and what could be. The tragic gap is the uncomfortable spot where one sidesteps quick decisions, hasty analysis, and automatic labeling. When standing in the tragic gap, one can simply be. Breathe quietly. Take time. Stay away from swift labeling of ideas into realistic or idealistic categories that ignore the useful spectrum of perspectives between them. This is the tragic gap.

Book Review: The Day the Revolution Began

In-Between People: Avoiding Idolatry

Does the Christianity you know live up to the Jesus you love?

Humble Listening: A Courageous Act

Several brave people received their moments of fame in 2016. The film Sully was about Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who landed a jet on the Hudson River in 2009 and saved all 155 people on board. I cried at the theatre as I watched Tom Hanks portray Sully’s methodical completion of the feat, and I marveled at his resolve not to leave the sinking plane until all passengers were evacuated.

Stunted by Fear of a Slippery Slope

“An alert community will always subject its metaphors, especially its favorite metaphors, to critical analysis.”  -–Charles Scriven1

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”  -–1 John 4:18

Burn the Witch

If I can target the problem, I can turn chaos into order.
If I can find the contaminating element, I can get rid of it.
If I can discover who is to blame, I can eliminate her, sacrifice him, or torture them.

Unlikely Pairings

The art of cooking has always included using varied combinations, but it seems like food culture has taken an accelerated interest in unlikely food pairings:

Blueberry and ginger pie
Blood orange and red onion salad
Peanut butter and curry ice cream
Dark chocolate and beet brownies

Living In Day Tight Compartments

In 1986, while organizing some office space at Loma Linda University, I unearthed a stack of small yellow books that had been bulk purchased by Dr. Harvey Elder, a spiritual wayfarer who happened also to be an infectious disease specialist. The discovery of the book, “A Way of Life: Living in Day Tight Compartments,” would be one of the nodal points of my kingdom pilgrimage. I read it annually. Deliberately, I chose to review it in the early morning hours prior to going to the hospital for the scheduled delivery of each of my three children.

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