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Tag: Faith

Divided States, Divided Children

Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.” So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”
1 Kings 3:26 -27 NKJV

On January 10, state Senator Linthicum of Oregon introduced the Greater Idaho bill, which would move 65% of Oregon’s eastern landmass into Idaho. A month later, two Idaho senators sponsored a non-binding petition to discuss the relocation of the Oregon / Idaho borders.

A citizen writing an op-ed piece in 2015 from the La Grande Observer noted that “They had switched their role in democracy from servant to lord.”

Moving from Missouri in 2013, I knew I was moving from a deeply red state to a deeply blue state, no middle purple ground here. However, I was surprised to find a red sea in a bastion of blue. Despite this fact, the slippery slope existed before I moved to Oregon.

Oregon is deeply divided – I have read three places where civil war could break out: Upstate New York, Michigan, and Eastern Oregon.

Other states are attempting to secede – Colorado and California, and maybe others. In the last decade or so, Colorado flipped from red to blue.

I believe the citizens of Eastern Oregon love her.

However, this is not just a states’ problem. This is a national problem. This is a problem kicked down the road for another day. This issue does not address the foundational issues that assaults every state.

The woman who stole the child, standing in front of King Solomon, did not want a righteous judgment. King Solomon had the God-given wisdom and creativity to discover it.

Just as the two women came before the King, so do we all need to come before the King of kings for answers beyond our capacity.

Oregon's Beacons

Refreshing Fires

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

My first several years of Oregon life was relatively fire quiet. One fire a few miles away quickly contained.

Then 2020 lit the skies.

I scrolled Twitter under hashtags for the Oregon fires. Any account asking for prayer received a like from me.

Then 2021 lit the skies.

That year, it came nearer to my home. The smoke was thick in the air. I package taped my front door with garbage bags. My Twitter account gone, I opened the #firemappers website every day and prayed over Oregon. Rainy season started early, on Sept. 1, and I rejoiced at the clear blue skies.

Then 2022 lit the skies.

Oregon has a few conflagration fires this fire season. Prayers again supplicated the skies.

Accumulated weariness and stress seeps into our homes like the thick smoke the fires produce. Three years of devastating fire seasons is hard to bear, especially for those that have lost much.

The disciples had lost Jesus, and they were hiding from the Jewish leaders.

There is another fire blazing above the heads of the apostles. This visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit would equip them to spread the gospel. During times of calamity, it is a chance to get right with God. Or as C. S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Oregon's Beacons

She Flies With Her Own Wings

Several years ago, I ventured to David’s Tent in Salem to pray for Oregon. I went inside the white tent staked in the parking lot across from the state capital building to pray. Before I left, David’s Tent placed an invitation to write the name of the town that you came from (I think it was a small piece of wood) and I did. I wrote the name of my town and said a prayer over it too.

Inside the state capital building is a small gift shop. I bought a few things, among them a plague that had the state motto written in Latin and English: Alis Volat Propiis or She Flies With Her Own Wings.

Oregon territory seal

The motto has not always been so. In 1854, Supreme Court Judge Jessie Quinn Thornton translated the Latin phrase and added it to the Oregon territory provisional government seal. It symbolized the independent spirit of the Oregon settlers outside both the British and United States government.

In 1957, it was changed to The Union, showing that Oregon was no longer divided by the issues of slavery from the Civil War. Finally, the motto She Flies With Her Own Wings returned home in 1987.

Oregon has been avant-garde in national legislation. Some laws include the recall of public officials, state-wide voter registration, and one dear to me, public access to the beaches.

Though I have lived in the Midwest most of my life, I have found a kinship with the spirit of Oregon – the beautiful vistas, the potential of her independent spirit.

Five Oregon counties are, for a second attempt, trying to join with Idaho since Salem does not represent conservative interests, and has a statewide super majority in all branches of government. I am torn. I desperately want Oregon to stay Oregon, but with draconian bills possibly being passed, living here would be miserable, to say the least.

Not only did I pray in Salem that day, I have walked the local beaches praying for my local area and beyond. I believe my prayers, and the prayers of other Oregonians, are stored in Heaven waiting for the right time to be answered.


Since I wrote this at h. renell’s Hearth, the Greater Idaho movement has given up on the Oregon Coast. My initial reaction was relief. One thing about life is that it changes. Why not stay and work to better Oregon?

Oregon's Beacons

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