default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Gwin Mitchell Paden Let’s all attack stress by reclaiming the Sabbath

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Gwin Paden

Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 2:10 pm, Wed Aug 24, 2011.

The squirrels are back, and feistier than ever — unless they are a different pair. It is hard to tell, except that this pair challenges the cats more loudly and authoritatively than before. Between jays and squirrels, the garden is in more of a turmoil than it's been for a while.

A recent email called this the Age of Turmoil, referring to what's going on in the world in general. Very aptly named, I think.

When living in a world of turmoil, what can the average person do? I think we can try to keep our neighborhoods and areas of influence peaceful. We can be nice to each other, help each other out, protect each other. A Neighborhood Watch is a good thing, and good common sense can straighten out problems of all sorts.

There's another, more personal component. Sen. Joe Lieberman has recently written a book, "The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Sabbath." In discussing it with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, Lieberman said that we all go at a fast and furious pace 24/7, and it's time we took one day off to enjoy peace and quiet. He turns off his BlackBerry all day, and spends the time quietly with family and friends or enjoying nature, and, most importantly, communing with God.

Hannity thought that was a great idea, and that he was going to shut off his own BlackBerry on Sunday. I think it's a great idea, too — and I don't even have a BlackBerry to shut off.

Remember, prayer is the world's greatest wireless connection.

This leads me to another subject — churches. It seems to me the atmosphere in churches in general is less contemplative and worshipful than it used to be. They all seem to want to be DOING things all during the service. Elijah didn't hear the voice of God in various kinds of earthly turmoil. He heard it in the midst of a great silence. Maybe every church should have the words, "Be still and know that I am God" engraved on the lintel of the main entrance just to remind us Who is in charge.

Church should be a worshipful place of sanctuary, of healing, of refuge and renewal; no other place or institution really meets these needs. It also should welcome all who come seeking quiet, renewal or refuge, whether members or not. And, once renewed and strengthened, it is our responsibility to use our own spiritual revivifying to help others and show them how they, too, can find answers to their own needs.

This is another way of helping each other. The hand that is open to give is also open to receive. A closed fist achieves nothing that really matters.


There have been some very joyous occasions lately. One was the luau at the Vintage for residents and guests. Skillful music and dancing, featuring the 'Anapa Nui Polynesian Review, and very good lunch. Met some old friends I haven't seen for a long time: Esther Bender, Gloria Coffin and June Kemalyan. Esther is sort of the welcoming person, as she has been there since Vintage opened. Norma Seavey and John Spagnola from my church were also there.

Found out something that delights my soul: pets are allowed at Vintage. Of course, size and behavior are important factors!


Speaking of animal sizes, I received a poster about saving whales — a very important thing to be doing. Seems a humpback whale is 48 to 62 feet long and weighs 40 tons (80,000 pounds). In contrast, an elephant, the largest land animal, is 8 to 13 feet high at the shoulder and weighs a mere 5,000 to 14,000 pounds. The average man is about 6 feet high and weighs 180 pounds, and a clown fish weighs 1 to 2 ounces and is slightly more than 4 inches in length. Makes you think, doesn't it?


Two other events, sort of the same and yet very different. One was the Lodi Community Band's final summer concert outdoors at Hutchins Street Square; the other, the combined performances of the Yamanashi International Exchange Band and the Air Force Band of the Golden West in the auditorium.

The first was a musical ending to a lovely day, an old-fashioned community event with families sitting on the lawn, some with picnics, as the sun went down slowly enough to let the band complete its performance before running out of light. The whole thing was a harkening back to an older time when people had simpler ideas about concerts and fun.

The event following on Monday evening was far more energetic, but no less tuneful. This was the ending celebration of a three-day stay by a delegation from Kofu, Japan, one of Lodi's sister cities. The Square's Lange Auditorium was filled for the combined performances of the two bands.

Because all the Yamanshi band members could not make the trip here, several members of the AF Band filled in for them. The young ones gave their own talented performance, and then the AF Band had their turn before the bands combined for several selections. Three women's talents were highlighted: Capt. Haley Armstrong, an energetic conductor; a splendid singer; and a band member whose nimble fingers made the most of her piccolo solo.

I was pleased to see Bill Hinkle, president of the Lodi Sister City Committee, get recognized. Bill has devoted years of service to the committee and to the Lodi Japanese American Citizens League. Of course, both mayors and band directors got kudos, too.

Lest you think I forgot: The answer to last column's wit twister (What is the minimum number of players on the field in any one inning?) — the answer is 10, of course. You all knew that!

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

Recent Comments

Posted 7 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Letter: Ron Portal’s letters repeat the…

Ed the US economy is currently the strongest economy in the world. Do you wonder why you still need to play it down or is it that you are j…


Posted 10 hours ago by Shane Marcus.

article: Letter: I enjoy ‘Words to Live By’ in t…

Its not the sin that is in the world, but the sin that is in everyone of us.


Posted 11 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Traffic laws are not much of a deterrent since ticketing rarely occurs. Sure, those who get ticketed think it's a deterrent, but that war…


Posted 23 hours ago by Steve Schmidt.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

I would suggest suicide as a reasonable alternative to a trip to Phoenix. There are worse things than death and that flea pit is one of th…


Posted 23 hours ago by Steve Schmidt.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Yup Brian. That would be never. I am a gun owner and a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment both here (on numerous threads) and in rea…



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists