Columns

Understanding the complexities of Medicare

June 2, 2021

While they’re working, many Americans become accustomed to getting health insurance through their employer. They make their initial selections and then update their choices once a year when its time…

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Just like nothing (else) on earth: Airmont Store

May 30, 2021

By Tim Jon Maybe someday I’ll make it inside; I considered it a quantum leap on my part to actually stop at the property, take a look around, and get…

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Having a mid-life crisis as a couple?

May 27, 2021

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not…

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The Art of Leadership

April 28, 2021

By Samuel Moore-Sobel As promised, I’m back this month with more thoughts about leadership. I just finished the book How to Lead by David Rubenstein. The author is a leader – a…

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Are you prepared for a financial emergency?

April 28, 2021

Preparing for a planned or unplanned life event during these challenging times may beg the question: “What’s the biggest threat to my financial stability?” Job loss likely comes to mind,…

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The Good, the bad and the ugly of competitive youth sports

April 28, 2021

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. As a psychologist, I frequently work with children and teens involved in competitive team sports, and while there are certainly advantages to being a great athlete,…

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By Tim Jon Tradition, steadfastness, physical and spiritual comfort, moral strength, reverence, timelessness: these are some of the first qualities that come to mind (mine, anyway) whenever I pass a familiar, long-standing place of worship. I found all of the above and more on my last visit to the grounds of the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovettsville; the red-brick building seems ready to stand up to any tests of time within reasonable imagination, and its cross-topped spire reaches out to observers from afar as it extends skyward. I recall a sense of reassurance from these images: the epic scale of construction, the stained glass, and the bedrock-solidity – and my most distant memories provide similar feelings; having grown up in a small farming community in South-central Minnesota, it should come as no surprise that my family attended a local Lutheran Church – which enjoyed a massive congregation – including many of my childhood chums – who in turn became lifelong friends. The theme of longevity certainly figures into the extended history of the New Jerusalem in Lovettsville; its formation pre-dates the American Revolution, and the adjacent churchyard includes gravestones indicating burial of some of the soldiers from our country's fight for independence. The present-day sanctuary heard its first service shortly after the American Civil War – in 1869 – and the familiar bell-tower added its classic silhouette in 1903. Originally a German-speaking congregation, the services continued in that language for about 75 years – from the Church's inception until around 1830 (initially in a log building, then a stone church prior to the present-day facilities). That's covering some ground in the scale of time, but considering Eternity, who's counting? Now, back to today's page of writing: even in Northern Virginia – a region featuring a rich array of historic landmarks – the well-known facade of the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church can boast of a prominent place in the collective memory of its neighboring citizens. And digging much further back in time and wonder, we recall that the Holy Bible speaks of the certainty of finding strength in the Lord; I would add that one could rest assured upon some of that support from a brief visit and walk about the grounds of this local place of worship – just South of the Town often referred to as the 'German Settlement,' off Berlin Turnpike along Lutheran Church Road. A sense of great power – to my finding pervades the place – even if only in the residual energy of the teams of builders (over the decades, even centuries), their massive materials and myriad tools used in the careful placement of each piece in this spiritual site. So – one could ask, “Does the visitor feel these sensations as a result of a connection to the divine, or is it just the imagination – wishful thinking?” To me, this question, in itself, speaks of a gap in understanding; it is all one. The sacred is inherent at the cellular and molecular levels – prior to the atom's existence and after its obliteration. I and I. Or – Eye and Eye. Well, OK: Let's call in some help on this from our friends. I can summon reference to my viewpoint in modern culture: just about anything written by Dr Seuss, George Harrison's penning the song “Within You, Without You”, the verbal – and non-verbal – chemistry shared by the comedians Carol Burnett, Tim Conway and Harvey Korman, Dylan Thomas' inference of 'church-bells of the spirit' in A Child's Christmas in Wales, the wonderful imagination of Walt Disney, and the more recent pop song by U2 – giving clues in its title – “One”; lastly, the mutual joy created in our laughter at one of those Latter-day Saints – any circus clown (thanks, friends); I believe we enjoy the Lord's approval – and participation – in each of these examples. Even further: The Eternal exists in ubiquity; if not, space – truly - is a vacuum. If the Creator cared enough to inspire the Bible, surely he cares enough to influence other writings, paintings, architectural designs, and more simply, the human heart. If He isn't 'here' – on this page, in these fingers, these eyes - there is no need to go look for Him. But – if you're searching - many of the local congregation may urge you to start your spiritual journey at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovettsville.

Just like nothing (else) on Earth: New Jerusalem Lutheran Church

April 28, 2021

By Tim Jon Tradition, steadfastness, physical and spiritual comfort, moral strength, reverence, timelessness: these are some of the first qualities that come to mind (mine, anyway) whenever I pass a…

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A True Heroine

March 31, 2021

“I waited for a half century to tell my story,” Dr. Lise Deguire writes in her memoir, Flashback Girl. After reading this book in just two days, I can tell you that…

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Ashburn Fire House

Just like nothing (else) on Earth: the old Ashburn Fire House

March 23, 2021

By Tim Jon One of my favorite memories of my Dad is watching him run from our family car to catch (on foot, guys!) and jump onto a departing Fire…

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Give your kids a “Yes Day!”

March 23, 2021

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “Yes Day!” is a recent movie that involves a mom and dad that usually say “no” to their children, but agree to a 24-hour period where…

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