From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mormons air 'clean laundry' on YouTube

(Photo by Eloquence)
After years of undergoing rude remarks about the “white, two-piece cotton” undergarments that are “worn daily by devout adult Latter-day Saints,” the Mormon Church has decided to
post an explanation of such on YouTube.

Brady McCombs of the Associated Press reports that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has posted a four-minute video that compares these “temple garments” to “holy vestments worn in other religious faiths…”  The video shows Jewish prayer shawls, Buddhist saffron robes, Roman Catholic nuns’ habits and priests’ collars.  It also airs publicly (for perhaps the first time) what the Mormon temple garments
consist of.

Stark and simple, these undergarments resemble a modest white “T-shirt and shorts.”  They are worn beneath everyday clothing as a reminder of the wearer’s “commitment to God” to live a “good,
honorable” life.

Jana Riess, a Religion News Service writer who blogs about Mormonism, hopes that this video will offset sensationalism by persuading “gawkers that there’s nothing to see here, folks.”

Copyright October 22, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marital wisdom: 73 years' worth

(Photo by Dmitri Markine)
When Barbara Cooper talks marriage, she knows whereof she speaks.  That’s because she and her husband had 73 years’ worth of success with it.

MSN Lifestyle therefore presents "9 Secrets From a 73-Year Marriage” – excerpts from Cooper’s book titled Fall In Love For Life.  Her primary theme is this:  “…never be too tired or too busy to feel love for your partner.”

This love can be expressed in a number of key ways.  One essential tip is to refrain from blurting out harsh words. Cooper reminds readers that the word “danger” includes the word
“anger.”  She suggests “admitting you are losing your cool,” then asking, “…so can you just humor me and help me get over it?”  This can help to dissipate the initial irritation.

When your spouse comes through the door, do you drop what you’re doing and focus upon a hearty greeting?   This is such a simple thing to do, and yet it can rekindle connections time and again.  Staying present for a loved one is the greatest gift you can offer.

Cooper claims that it’s unrealistic to expect a partner (or any humans, for that matter) to meet all of your desires.  The truth is that needs (and/or desires) will never be fully satisfied anyway…

Cooper then offers this good news:  You can actually live quite comfortably without having all of your needs met.  Therefore, cultivate what you’ve got rather than chasing after the so-called “perfect” mate(s).


Copyright October 21, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thync and Grow Calm

Cranial Nerves  (Image by Dwstultz)
Soon-to-be gone are the days of wine and roses.  Soon-to-be here are the days of Thync and Grow Calm (or energetic, take your pick).

If you’re one of those many slackers who has not yet heard of Thync, Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek
Technology has some brain-zapping news for you.

Stone recently allowed himself to be lured into the windowless recesses of “Thync, a secretive startup in Los Gatos, California.”  Once there, he experienced the results of targeting the cranial nerves with “specifically calibrated levels of electricity.”

Stopping thankfully short of electric-shock therapy, this treatment began to dissolve the “familiar knot of stress” in Stone’s stomach.  At “the intersection of neuroscience and consumer electronics,” this procedure may soon help “call up our focus, our calm, and creativity when we need it.”

So there you have it – the Power of Positive Thyncing…


Copyright October 20, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Innies' rule!

Audrey Helpburn   (Public Domain)
Belly buttons aren't the only things that are “innies” or “outies.”  People are, too.

Hillary White of Pop Sugar points out that introverts are “full of extraordinary talents and abilities,” even though they are “often perceived as shy or socially awkward.”

One main difference between human innies (introverts) and outies (extroverts) is their way of interacting with people.
Whereas extroverts seem energized by broad social interactions, introverts seek fewer and deeper personal connections.

Nevertheless, introverts have excellent leadership qualities. The following are some of the ones that White describes:
self-determination (innies don’t need much hand-holding when it comes to getting the job done), oratory strength (their public speeches tend to be passionate and well-prepared), and
creativity (less concerned about public disapproval, introverts are able to embrace the unusual).

Some examples of famous introverts that White gives are Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Audrey Hepburn.    


Copyright October 19, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 18, 2014

RIP wear: Grief on display

Bandanas   (Photo by Steven Depolo) 
It used to be that basic black was the color of funeral garb.  Either that, or basic brown, beige or gray…

These days, custom-made RIP shirts, jackets and bandanas are all the rage. Mary Wisniewski of Reuters reports that younger people are especially “proud to display their grief and that they love and miss somebody.”

This striking clothing often includes slogans such as “Long Live the King” and “Rest In Peace.”  It often bears “the deceased’s photo, his birth and death dates,” poems, rhinestones, and other adornments.

Mourners not only wear these articles to the funeral itself, but also on other special occasions such as the deceased one’s birthday.   For kids coping with gun violence and murder, these expressions of grief can go a long way toward healing.

One such RIP slogan reads:  If it ain’t no hope for the youth, it ain’t no hope for the future.   


Copyright October 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 17, 2014

Marriage: Combat complacency

Dance Contest   (Photo by Nathaniel C. Sheetz)
A marriage without conflict can be a marriage of complacency.

Although the myth exists that all conflict erodes a union, that just isn’t so.  MSN Lifestyle explains that hashing things out is a whole lot better than holding
back festering resentments.  “As long as you both know how to apologize and move on fast,” anger can be “a
perfectly healthy emotion.”

Of course, there are other ways than sparring to keep the marital embers glowing.  “To help keep apathy from creeping into your relationship,” it’s good to have new adventures together.  This doesn’t necessarily mean skydiving off cliffs, but it does mean mixing things up a bit.

If you’ve always reserved Saturdays for routine tasks such as housekeeping and shopping, perhaps it’s time to go for a bike ride instead.  If you’ve always gone to a certain restaurant, perhaps it’s time for a picnic in the park.  Even a bit of variety can make time together feel more exciting.

Although "major secrets are not okay in a long-term relationship,” minor surprises can be exhilarating.  Taking dance lessons on the side so that you can do your partner proud at that big event can help put the zing in the thing.


Copyright October 17, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 16, 2014

White-faced bear comes a calling

(Photo by Arturo de Frias Marques)
When Ruby Kaleak got the dispatch call last week, she couldn’t quite believe it.   After all, it’s not every day that a polar bear comes to visit.

Kaleak, whose part-time job is “polar bear patrol” within an Alaskan village, rushed to the scene.  Anchorage Associated Press reports that she came face-to-face with an enormous white bear that was “feasting on a drum of seal oil in the entryway” of an 81-year-old woman’s home.

This story had a happy ending for all concerned.  The bear had its fill before escaping into the wild, and no humans were harmed.

Although this particular white-faced bear was driven by hunger (“as ice has receded to deep water beyond the continental shelf, more bears are remaining on land to look for food”), legendary white-faced bears had different motives.

Amy Sillup gives this explanation: Aleut lore tells of a white-faced bear that “walks the woods as a spirit bear, reminding people to take from nature only as much as they need.”  Had folks only heeded this advice long ago, today’s polar bears might be a lot less hungry.


Copyright October 16, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved