Tag: Strength

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When we are in the midst of struggle, whether it is personal, or if we are watching family and friends at a loss, or the world is in chaos, it’s always a good plan to expose ourselves to a brighter world, one that demonstrates beauty, creativity and inspiration. Over the years I have been blessed […]

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Wanted: The Strength of a Mule

 

I had a premonition this performance would not end well. It wasn’t because this was an impossibly big-and-spectacular Easter production that my relatively small-and-homespun church had been rehearsing for months. And it wasn’t because there were two smoke machines in the tomb that kept malfunctioning and the feathers on the angel wings refused to remain glued. No. It was because there was a live animal in the cast – and as the director, it would fall to me to … well … direct it.

Now everyone knows that one of the time-honored maxims of theatre is to never ever share a stage with a baby or an animal. Especially the latter. Animals are unpredictable, pose public hygiene challenges, and are perpetual scene-stealers. But the music director would not listen to any of my arguments and announced that this year Jesus would ride into Jerusalem during the Triumphal Entry song on a donkey. The pastor also thought it was a wonderful idea and read me the Scriptural account in Mark 11 of the “donkey colt that had never been ridden.”

“Don’t you think this will really bring the Bible to life?” he insisted. It’s hard to argue with your pastor when he’s quoting the Word of God. I sighed and relented. The donkey was in.

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One of my greatest moments of strength happened after I was raped when I was 16, by my boyfriend at the time, who we will call Sam.  It happened during the summer, after the last pool session of the day. After several of us had decided to raid the liquor cabinet of one of the […]

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Here in the Indianapolis area we’re a bit protective about our heroes. There is no shortage of them, nor is there a lack of stories to tell. Many hear the name Reggie Miller and think of basketball, but some think about him stopping at the side of the highway in considerable traffic to help a […]

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Strength: Women Who Answered When Duty Called

 

Young, adventurous and a self-admitted disaster in the kitchen, Julia Child had big plans. Her love of life and breaking boundaries led her into the world of intelligence. Taking up the mantle of spy, she ventured to exotic locations like Sri Lanka and China. While working as a research assistant for “the” William Donovan, her “first recipe” was a shark repellent she developed for the OSS, an agency later renamed the CIA.

She met her husband, also an OSS agent, and moved to France, while falling in love with the cuisine. Julia attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school for six months and studied privately with master chef Max Bugnard. Julia became convinced that French cooking could be simplified for the masses and The Art of French Cooking was born. Julia Child, an American woman who broke the boundaries of the enemy, as well as complicated French cooking through strength of spirit, patriotism and passion for life. Bon Appetit! 


German-born Marlene Dietrich was a sultry, sexy screen siren, rising in Hollywood as a fiery force to be reckoned with. As a successful woman in a male-dominated industry, dodging casting couch cads and red-carpet glitz, Marlene had a larger purpose. Hitler’s ugly war machine was tearing apart her beloved homeland. She refused lucrative contracts offered in Germany and used her contacts, growing wealth and property to help Jews escape Europe to America.

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By age 68, many people’s lives are slowing down.  At that age, most of us have had a full working life, raised and sent on their way their beloved children, and are ready to leave the work force and retire.  My generation, the “baby boomers” was the first cohort whose women found before them the […]

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Strength and the Martial Arts

 

The girl was 11 years old. She was the most diligent student in my class. When I would demonstrate how to stand, how to kick, how to block, she would watch intently while the other children horsed around and blew off steam (which is kind of the point for a child’s martial arts class). But not Tammy. She went off and carefully set up the technique I had shown her, and practiced it repeatedly. Her brow furrowed when she was unhappy with the result, and she’d try again.

Recognizing that she was one of the ones there to seriously learn, I spent a lot of time helping her. She passed her yellow belt test on her first try, and that earned her the right to represent her class in our annual demonstration for parents and the city.

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  Your body was designed (whether by G-d or evolution, whatever your bent) to move you and your big brain through time and space with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Sure, other predators may be able to outrun, outmuscle, or out climb us. The naked man against a creature of fang and claw loses almost every […]

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