Archive for Reading Reflections

The Language of Flowers

Red Daisy_011Until I read Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers I had no idea that such a concept existed.  Then we went to see the new Angels & Tomboys exhibit at Crystal Bridges and there it was again – individual flowers have specific meanings which was really popular a couple of centuries ago.  The artists used flowers in many of their paintings sometimes to indicate gender and other times personality traits. So here is the bouquet I choose:  black-eyed Susans (justice – had to have that one), bellflower (gratitude), Gerbera Daisy (cheerful), purple coneflower (strength and health), lupine (imagination), freesia (friendship), phlox (our souls are united – and John loves phlox), baby’s breath (everlasting love), orange (generosity), elder (compassion), oregano (joy).


My reading in the last few days has included some notable synchronicities.  First, I read this in Terry Tempest Williams’ book When Women Were Birds:

“But what thrilled me most was the fact that millions of meteors burn up every day as they enter our atmosphere. As a result, Earth receives ten tons of dust from outer space. Not only do we take in the world with each breath, we are inhaling the universe.  We are made of stardust.”

Then one of my daily readings from Inward/Outward ( was William Wordsworth’s poem, “Intimations of Immortality:”

“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home….”

That leads me back to Miriam Therese Winter who once said, “From stardust we came, and to stardust we return.”

And . . . tomorrow night the moon will be full.  Somehow, it all seems connected and makes such sense to me. I feel such a connection to the life around me that is so easy to miss because it is so ordinary.  The next time I have to dust my house, I will remind myself that I am gathering stardust.  But then what do I do with it?


Bella Vista Book Group List

Here is the reading list for the Bella Vista Book Group.  This group meets monthly and each year reads fiction, non-fiction, a work by an Arkansas author and a classic.


In the Garden of Beasts, Larsen

Moloka’I, Brennert

Steve Jobs, Isaacson

Light from a Distant Star, Morris

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, Ackerman

Tortilla Flat, Steinbeck

Caleb’s Crossing, Brooks

The Ture Account: A Novel of the Lewis and Clark and Kinneson Expeditions, Mosher

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See

Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, Margolick


Freedom, Franzen

Doc, Russell

The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson

The Truth about Celia, Brockmeier

White Noise, DeLillo

Cleopatra: A Life, Shiff

The Forgotten Garden, Morton

The Power and the Glory, Greene

Left Neglected, Genova

Clara and Mr. Tiffany, Vreeland


Rising Tide:  The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Barry

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Smith

Thurgood Marshall, Williams

The Help, Stockett

Arkansas/Arkansaw, Blevins

The Whistling Season, Doig

Lacuna, Kingsolver

The Madonnas of Leningrad, Dean

A Thread of Grace, Russell

People of the Book, Brooks


Bridge of Sighs, Russo

The Post-American World, Zakaria

Dreams from My Father, Obama

Where the Road Begins, Dane

Maytrees, Dillard

Sarah’s Key, DeRosmay

Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Tsukiyama

Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Shaffer & Barrows

The Girls from Ames, Zaslow


Suite Francaise, Nemirovsky

So Big, Ferber

Gertrude Bell:  Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, Howell

Isaac’s Storm:  The Drowning of Galveston, 8 September 1900, Larson

Widow of the South, Hicks

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini

To Great Mischief, MacLeod

The Nine:  Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Toobin

Augusta Locke, Henderson

Woods Colt, Williamson


The Emperor’s Children, Messud

The Distinguished Guest, Miller

Team of Rivals, Goodwin

Florence of Arabia, Buckley

The Worst Hard Time, Egan

Gilead, Robinson

Forgetfulness, Just

Will Rogers, Yagoda

Year of Magical Thinking, Didion

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston


Empire, Vidal

Jayber Crow, Berry

The March, Doctorow

All the Live Little Things, Stegner

Leap of Faith:  Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, Queen Noor

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Nafisi

This House of Sky, Doig

Northanger Abbey, Austen

By the Lake, McGahern

The Woman Who Wouldn’t Talk, McDougal


Giants in the Earth, Rolvaag

The Language of threads, Tsukiyama

Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson

Unless, Shields

Devil in the White City, Larson (1890s)

Atonement, MacEwan

American Dream, DeParles (women off welfare in Milwaukee

Three Junes, Glass (gay)

The Earth Is Enough, Middleton (Arkansas boy raised by two old men, Duvall movie

Kite Runner, Hosseini

B&N Book Group List

People often ask me for the lists from my reading groups so I decided to post them here.

B&N Book Group


What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

The Rebel Wife by Taylor M. Polites


The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

Girl in Translation by Kwok

Await Your Reply by Chaon

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Simonson

Tinkers by Harding

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Keeping Time by Stacey McGlynn

Room by  Emma Donoghue

Lord of Misrule by J Gordon


Verghese – The Tennis Partner

Stokett – The Help

Dragon House by John Shors

The Outlander by Gil Adamson (not to be confused with the book by Gabaldon)

The Return by Victoria Hislop

World Made by Hand by James Kunstler

No Angel by Penny Vincenzi

Columbine by Cullen

The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano

The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang


Jones-The Known World

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Greene – Once Upon a Town


Landvik – Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

Harington – With

Chessman – Someone Not Really Her Mother

Picoult – Picture Perfect

Simon – Riding the Bus with My Sister

Wells – Ya-Yas in Bloom

Trollope – The Rector’s Wife

Lawson – Crow Lake

Boyle – Tortilla Curtain

Hegi – Stones from the River

Escandon – Gonzalez & Daughter Trucking Co.


Hoseini – Kite Runner

Siddons – Sweetwater Creek

Kohn – The Gilded Chamber

Fergus – One Thousand White Women

Otsuka – When the Emperor Was Divine

Tan – Saving Fish from Drowning

Archer – False Impression

Alverez -In the time of Butterflies

Williams – Refuge

Robinson – Gilead

Zusak – The Book Thief

Hill – Ursula Under


Landvik – Oh, My Stars

Berg – We Are All Welcome Here

Frazier – Thirteen Moons

Setterfield – Thirteenth Tale

Gruen – Water for Elephants

Greenway – White Ghost Girls

Pamuk – Snow

Kuettner – March to a Promised Land: The Civil Rights Files of a White Reporter

Jacoway – Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis that Shocked the Nation

Thomason – Liberating Paris

Maguire – An Infinity  of Little Hours

Ironside – No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club


Beah – A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

Stegner – Angle of Repose

McGovern – Eye Contact

Bennett – The Uncommon Reader

Patchett – Run

Kahf – Girl in the Tangerine Scarf

Clinch – Finn

Dean – The Madonnas of Leningrad

Martin – Trespass

Harington – Farther Along

Samet – Soldier’s Heart

Montgomery – The Good Good Pig, the Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood


Harris – The Girl with No Shadow

Shaffer/Barrows – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Wroblewski – The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Ebershoff – The 19th Wife

Jordan – Mudbound

Horan – Loving Frank

Barry – The Lace Reader

De los Santos – Belong to Me

Ford – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Petterson – Out Stealing Horses

Chopin – The Awakening

Words of Wisdom, Part One

Yesterday as I was cleaning out old handbags to give to the church garage sale, I found a little book filled with quotations.  There are similar little books in lots of places.  I like the way some people express little bits of wisdom and I try to hang on to them by writing them down.  Here is one of my collections of Words of Wisdom.  These are not the ones I found in this latest little notebook.  Those will go in Part Two.  Each book reflects what I’ve been reading at various times.  This collection is a fairly long one.


Collected by Jean Fitch Justice

*Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, Saying, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Rademacher

*Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.

*It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny. – Jean Nidetch

*Maybe God’s greater than your cosmology. – Tony Campolo

*The heart that gives, gathers.  – Marianne Moore

*Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa

*Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows. — Helen Keller

*Anything worth doing takes more than one lifetime. – Reinhold Niebuhr

*Well-behaved women rarely make history.

*The abundance of God’s grace is sufficient for the journey.  Kathi Austin Mahle

*Burn brightly without burning out.  — Richard Biggs

*If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Rob Estes

*Civilization = the ever-expanding circle of those whom we do not kill. – Margaret Mead

*To bring joy to a single human being is of more value than building many shrines. – Abu Ibn Said

*True peace is not merely the absence of violence; it is the presence of justice. – MLKing Jr

*Books may well be the only true magic… – Alice Hoffman

*Go! Be! Live! Love!  – Buechner

*Blessed are those who traverse mountains and are silent enough to hear snow. – Teta Cleaveland

*All acts of memory are to some extent imaginative. – Eva Hoffman

*A quilt stitched with love is a comforter for the soul.

*To build a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books. – Carlos Maria Dominguez

*Come my friends, it is not too late to dream a better world. – Tennyson

*I’m learning to live inside the view that everything is really already okay. – Stephen Cope

*Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.  – Dennis Wholey

*Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps.

*When it’s raining porridge, hold up your bowl. – Sandra Dallas

*Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to look at the world in a way that takes noting for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed.”     (Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel)

*Judaism is deed that leads to creed; Christianity is creed that leads to deed. – Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman

*God does not give me the strength to carry my own burdens; God gives US strength to carry OUR burdens. – Diana Hynson

*One of the biggest gifts you can give the world is a healed life.  – Christiane Northrup

*Vision w/o action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Glorious vision combined w/decisive action can change the world. – Dick Wills

*Most people are on the world, not in it. – John Muir

*May God keep you safe til the word of your life is fully spoken. – Irish blessing

*I believe in Christ. I don’t believe in Christianity. – Jean Fitch Justice

*If we loved one generation of children fully, the world’s problems would disappear. -Bernie Siegel

*Explanations are timebound; experience is real and eternal. – John Shelby Spong

*Live in your heart; magic happens. – Bernie Siegel

*There are so many more ways for God to be God than we have realized. – Mary Farrell Bednarowski

*There lives more faith in honest doubt than in all the creeds. – Tennyson

*Forgive us our trash passes as we forgive those who pass trash against us. – David Fleming’s sermon

*Of the 1,426 people given names in the Hebrew scriptures, only 111 of them are female. – Kathy Coffey

*Tickle the dirt and listen to God laugh.

*If the shoe doesn’t fit, wear it anyway and walk funny. – Miriam Therese Winter

*Put all of your eggs in God’s basket and count your blessings before they hatch.

*What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for others? – George Eliot 1871

*What’s down in the well will come up in the bucket. – Colliga

*Only the meeting matters. – Frederick Buechner

*Silence is the only true voice of our God.- Melville

*Your dreams go holy put into action. – Adelide Ann Procter

*The greatest gift is to know love. – Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls

*We find rest for our souls — a refuge and a shelter — when we clear a space for Christ in our lives. – Delbert Harmon (UR)

*Compassion and justice are companions, not choices. – Wm Sloan Coffin

*Theology is making segues from one of God’s metaphors to another. – Don Saliers

*Gracious God, give us the ability to be present with those who face adversity, without agenda, without expectations, without anything in our hearts but love. – Parker Palmer

*Information. Inspiration. Recreation. Your library.

*Bible texts are best read with a pair of glasses made out of today’s newspaper.  – Dorothee Solle

*Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. – Chinese proverb

*It cannot be that the People should grow in Grace unless they give themselves to Reading. -John Wesley

*The rivers of our soul spring from the same well. -Po Chu-i, Chinese poet

*Friendship is the ground you plant your tree in.  — Bahauddin, father of Rumi

*It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ.  – Lucretia Mott

*I offer my waiting self to the One who’s never stopped believing in me, and the dance begins. – Joyce Rupp

*Listen with the heart. – St. Benedict

*If your mind cannot imagine, your eyes will never see. – Eugene Lowry

*Time away, time alone, & time together are all important elements in the search for meaning in our lives. – Brian Mitchell

*When we talk to God, we call it prayer. When God talks to us, we call it schizophrenia. – Dr. Dana Houck

*We never know what will land on the shoreline of tomorrow. – John O’Donohue

*Where you are understood you are home. – John O’Donohue

*Your identity is not equivalent to your biography. – John O’Donohue

*The visible world is the first shoreline of the invisible.  – John O’Donohue

*Deep in the darkness of a silent night and quietly in the secret of your soul the mystery of God continues to be born. – (unknown author)

*We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. – Anais Nin

*Nature produces no waste. – George Washington Carver

*The past is a hall of mirrors, not of statues. – Julia Glass

*We are in this for the long haul. – Rita Nakashima Brock

*Jesus never promised it would be easy; he promised it would be possible. – David Fleming

*Rest is as holy as work.  – Abraham Joshua Heschel

*Find pockets of unconditional love & live there. – Karyn Kedar

*Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition: It does not exist in nature. – Helen Keller

*Stay knee-deep in the Deep Muddy. To do less is incompatible with Christian teaching. – C. Joseph Sprague

*A world fit for children is a world fit for everyone. – Karon Mann

*Treat others the way they need to be treated. That’s the definition of love. – Michael Roberts

*Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the window that hope has opened.  – Charles H. Spurgeon

*Holding on to anger is like taking poison every day & hoping someone else will die.     – Judge Jean Lovell

*Whenever a story is told, it becomes night. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

*How can a nation be great when its bread tastes like Kleenex? – Julia Childs

*There are two ways to commit suicide.  One is to go after something with both hands.  The other is to leave the door open so whatever’s out there can come in.  — Ed in Keeping Watch by Laurie King

*Prayer is not asking for what you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine. – Kathleen Norris

*I tend to forget that the wisdom I’ve come to know was once dormant in the dim corridors of myself. – Joyce Rupp

*Libraries, labyrinths and books are all images of infinity.  – Jorge Luis Borges

*Literature is the path. – Susan Griffin

*Ruin is the first step in transformation. – Elizabeth Gilbert.

*Any evidence that does not support the ruling paradigm will be ignored. – Dr. James Biddle

*To be a contemplative we must begin to see time as a sacrament revealing God to us in the here and now. Always. – Joan Chittester

*There’s plenty of time to be dead. Why spend time being dead while you are alive? – Susan, Lief Ruona’s terminally ill sister

*So live that you’re not afraid to sell the family parrot to the town gossip. – Jeanne Cramer

*Hopelessness is the most fertile soil for hope, joy and life. – Lupe Saafi, GBOD

*Don’t tell God how big your problems are; tell your problems how big God is. — Michael Beckwith

*The Greek word for choice is heresis (heresy)! – Skip Sundberg

*To bring joy to a single human being is of more value than building many shrines. – Abu Ibn Said

*There is a time for tending to our own work for Christ’s sake and times for tending to Christ’s work for our own sake. – Patricia Lull

*When you decide that your doing  is central, you are never done. – David Lose

*A little white lie leaves a black spot.

*God, save us from those who believe in you. – graffiti in Wn., DC

*Memory takes you home. – Terry Tempest Williams

*My soul is fed by my needle and thread.

*Listen for the whispers. – Sue Bender

*Live to make a difference. – Joan Chittester

*Healing only comes to the Wasteland when you ask the question. – Peg Chemberlin on myth of Percival

*Act as though it were impossible to fail. – P.E.O.

*Every atom in the human body was once inside a star. – Unknown physicist

*God as primary music maker uses various instruments to enhance the eternal song. – Miriam Therese Winter

*To be healed is to have hope – the state wherein we know … there is somewhere to go, … something left to say. – Mary  Bednarowski

* Catering to people’s deep inner longings is also a form of social justice. – Sarah Grant

*It is faith that lights a path to peace.

*Rot is the beginning of the divine process. – Anne Lamott

*We are stardust and to stardust we return. – Miriam Therese Winter

*Gratitude turns enough into more. – Melody Beatty

*Exile is the time when the songs don’t come. – Bruce Birch

*Humility is walking in the truth of who you are. – Mother Teresa

*All is pith and vinegar. – Barbara Hiller

*Knowledge is an island in a sea of mystery. – Chet Raymo

*The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.  – Einstein

*Change your thoughts and change the world. – Norman Vincent Peale

*I’ve met despair in my life but I don’t keep a chair for it and it can’t eat off my plate. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

*Let the beauty we love be what we do. – Rumi


Jean Fitch Justice


My Twenty-Five Favorite Books (as of Today)

MY TWENTY-FIVE  FAVORITE BOOKS TODAY – June 2012 – Jean Fitch Justice

A few years ago, my friend Linda Seyfarth asked if I were going to spend the rest of my life on an island and could only have ten books, what would they be?  When she asked me, I couldn’t limit myself to ten.  I came up with 22.  Today, a few of those on my earlier list have been replaced by other options and I’m up to 25.  And I’m already thinking of more I’d want to add to the list (such as Philip Gulley’s If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person so I may have to start a list of the next 25. I’m sure my list will continue to change as the years go by. My choices include works of art, biography, devotions, essays, fiction, history, poetry, reference, science and Scripture.  I love it all.

 Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris – “Incarnation . . . the place where hope contends with fear. . . . a wonderful tension between the Word of God and human words.”

Creation of Feminist Consciousness by Gerda Lerner –  If only for one chapter, “A Thousand Years of Feminist Biblical Criticism,” this book is a must read.

Imaging the Word: An Arts and Lectionary Resource, Volumes I, II, III – Collections of readings, poetry and art to interpret Scripture.  If I could only have three books, I’d take these three because they include worlds of wisdom, centuries of faith, an inexhaustible well from which to drink.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. – “More than a way of loving, the heart may be a way of experiencing life, the capacity to know a fundamental connection to others and see them whole.”

New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver – “When it’s over, I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. / I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams – “Memory is the only way home.”

Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy – “You are the deep innerness of all things, / the last word that can never be spoken.”  “You said live out loud, and die you said lightly,/ and over and over again you said be.”

Sacred Journeys: A Woman’s Book of Daily Prayer by Jan L. Richardson – “May the God who makes all things new, strengthen you to know and claim who you are. May you journey without fear or shame, clearing a path for many and preparing a table for the feast.”

Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilarating Connection between Science and Religion by Chet Raymo – “Knowledge is an island in a sea of mystery.”

The Message by Eugene Petersen – The Bible in contemporary language

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – “She will call you in a voice you cannot fail to understand. If you have heard that call, there will be nowhere in the world to hide from her voice.”  “She knew, if he did not, that the God they both worshipped was greater and less bigoted than any priesthood.”

The New Beacon Book of Quotations by Women by Rosalie Maggio – “God wove a web of loveliness,/ Of clouds and stars and birds, / But made not anything at all / So beautiful as words.” Anna Hempstead, 1905

Pocketful of Miracles: Prayers, Meditations, and Affirmations to Nurture Your Spirit Every Day of the Year  by Joan Borysenko – “May I [you] be at peace, May my [your] heart remain open, / May I [you] awaken to the light of my [your] own true nature, / May I [ you] be healed, May I [you] be a source of healing for all beings.”

The Story of Painting: The Essential Guide to the History of Western Art by Sister Wendy Wright – “Love and knowledge go hand in hand. When we love, we always want to know, and this book will succeed if it starts the reader on the track that leads to more reading, greater knowledge, greater love, and, of course, greater happiness.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – “If you kin see de light at daybreak, you don’t keer if you die at dusk. It’s so many people never seen de light at all. Ah wuz fumblin’ round and God opened de door.”

This Hebrew Lord by John Shelby Spong – “Nowhere in the gospel do I find the goal of Christian mission to be that of making one religious; rather, that goal is to set one free, to call one to life, to invite one to love.”

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés – “Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mate and their pack. They are experienced in adapting to constantly changing cirtcumstance4s; they are fiercely stalwart and very brave.”

A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings by Coleman Barks. “Let the beauty we love be what we do.”

The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheim.  A year of daily readings in seven disciplines: History, Literature, Visual Arts, Science, Music, Philosophy, Religion.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and its sequel, Children of God. Two remarkable books about faith and the relationships between people.

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue.  “Friendship is the grace that warms and sweetens our lives.”

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor. “Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars.”

An Altar in the World

I’m currently reading An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor.  I find myself highlighting nearly every other sentence.  Her premise is that the whole world is an altar to God.  As I sit on my porch watching and listening to the birds and enjoying the sights and sounds of the wind moving through the trees, I find myself more attuned to the Holy One than almost anywhere else.  I recommend her book!  Watch for a future Webinar on this book!

Resources I rely on regularly

My friends have asked me (many times) for a list of recommended reading.  I’ve decided to begin with a list of some of the web resources I frequently use.

DAILY E-MAIL MESSAGES TO WHICH I SUBSCRIBE:     This site gives me the opportunity each day to click a button which provides funding from sponsors for organizations serving a variety of interests including breast cancer, literacy, the environment, autism, veterans, animals and more.  I receive an e-mail reminder each day and it only takes a minute to click on each of the six or seven tabs.  This site also give me access to a great source for gifts – a fair trade market place.     This site is hosted by The Church of the Saviour, a “scattered community” of small independent churches in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.  This one provides compelling quotes each day.  I think this may be my favorite one.       This is my daily dose of eye candy.  Each day I receive an email containing three or four beautiful photographs and an analysis of the color palette of each.  I find this useful in both my card-making and quilting but also, I simply enjoy the beauty of the photos and the vibrancy of the colors.  It’s a daily treat – no calories!    This daily e-mail contains a verse from the Bible, a related quotation, and a host of resources for justice issues of all kinds.  This site is sponsored by Sojourners Magazine.    Gulley does not send out daily messages.  He writes from personal experience as a progressive (read heretical which I think is a worthy life calling) theologian.  This site provides access to his monthly column in an Indianapolis newspaper.  Those articles are always worth reading.  His Harmony series of fiction will be on my Recommended Reading List whenever I get around to posting that.  He is a Quaker preacher and a gifted writer.

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES – These do not provide regular messages but contain essential nutrients for a centered life.    This site contains a wealth of information about world religions.  Two of my favorite tabs are “Inspiration” and “Inspirational Quote Search.”     This site has more resources than one can humanly access.  My favorite parts are recommended films and books.  You can subscribe to an RSS feed (That means you receive a message each time there is an update to the site) but I have not done that.  I have trouble keeping up with my e-mail as it is.)  This site also offers E-Courses which are generally 40 days of daily messages on a specific topic or by a specific author.  I have done these on several topics (Rumi, Native Spirituality, Creativity are ones that come to mind) but in recent years, they have gotten a bit too expensive for me.  You might try one to see what you think.     There is only one scientific bone in my body and I have no idea where that one is.  Science is not my thing.  This scientist, Chet Raymo, has explained things to me in his books in ways that I can actually understand.  He is a science professor and naturalist with a gift for sharing what he knows with ordinary people.  His book, Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilerating Conversation between Science and Religion, is on my must-read list.  His columns are worth reading.     The night sky fascinates me and the Hubble site provides amazing photographs from outer space that take me beyond what I can see with the naked eye or with my feeble telescope.  I have just now subscribed to an RSS feed from this site so will have to see what I get as a result.