Category Archives: Personal

My Soul Is Weary


A very apt ‘Verse of the Day’ — at least for me.

My soul is weary with sorrow. Strengthen me according to your word.” — Psalm 119:28

That’s the NIV. Another translation, the New King James Version, is quoted in the image above. Very powerful words that sum up my past few months.

“My soul melts from heaviness.”


Hospitality to Strangers

This morning I visited a church where the pastor gently chastised his congregation for too often ignoring the plight of the less fortunate.

He used Romans 12:9-21 as his base. I am quoting one verse, 13, which particularly rang out to me.

“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.”

There is too little of it going on today. We live in fragmented, separate worlds.


Northlake Lutheran

This morning I visited a church, a Lutheran one. I don’t know the particular denomination. I kept looking, but couldn’t identify it.

I didn’t even know the place existed until yesterday. It’s not far from my doctor’s office.

The sermon was given by a visiting pastor, likely now long retired. He was called in to give the relatively new pastor a much-needed vacation.

He did mention a bit of church history, including the names of previous pastors and a reference to the Missouri Synod. I know of these Lutheran synods because my mother was raised in the Lutheran church. I think it was the Wisconsin Synod. There was a church split at some point. I can never seem to keep it straight in my head. I always have to look it up.

I enjoyed his talk, his informal, conversational style. I will probably write about the content of his message later. The man uses an impressive electric scooter to get around. He can elevate it to better see the congregation while speaking and leading.

Apparently the church is struggling, as is so often the case with liberal churches in general. Of course, being in leftist Seattle doesn’t help either. The membership is mostly older folks. I didn’t see anyone younger than me.


Stumbling Along

Reading a bit of the Bible today. Here’s something written by the author of the Epistle of James:

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

Another way of putting it:

“Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

Of course, I am guilty as charged, which brings us to the point of it, really: the need of a savior.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”


Adventures in the West Valley

Took a trip through the countryside yesterday, using Yamhill County Transit. I prefer it to the commuter busses on the other side of the river, operated by Salem-Keizer Transit and the city of Wilsonville. That route is often crowded and subject to traffic on the freeway. To get to Portland, one has to take the commuter train north from Wilsonville. It’s cheaper to take the shuttles operated by Yamhill.

The only problem is that it’s a long haul from the beginning of the line to the end. I started in West Salem, not far from my parents’ house, which made it very handy. Unfortunately, the shuttles leave every few hours so timing is important. Thankfully, I made my connection with no problems. In McMinnville, I transferred to another shuttle headed for Hillsboro and the Blue MAX light rail line.

I enjoyed gazing at the farmland, pastures with horses, a few bison, some cows, dilapidated barns, and the clouds casting shadows on the faraway hills topped with fir trees.. The scenery is serene.

There are many small towns along the way. I’ll have to stop and visit sometime in the future, though when I’ll be back to this part of Oregon, I really don’t know.

Among the highlights, places I liked just from looking out the window are Lincoln and the Lincoln Store — though there’s not much there, Carlton — a beautiful, little town, Cove Orchard, and Gaston. Forest Grove is closer to Portland, so I want to explore there, too.

I made my way onto the light rail in Hillsboro and dozed off here and there while riding into the heart of Portland. It was another long ride.

This morning I’m in Portland, at a friend’s place. After a good night’s sleep, I’m slowly waking up and getting ready to venture further north, to Kelso, where I am rendezvousing with my niece, nephews and sister and joining them on a trip to the Oregon Coast.


Ƹ◔_◔Ʒ Math & Me ن

A fella on Twitter sent me a direct message today, which is unusual. I don’t get many people writing to me that way, usually they just send a tweet with my handle, @aaronjhill.

He was wondering about the symbols by my name, Ƹ◔_◔Ʒ ∂ªΓºƞ ن.

“What is the significance of those mathematical symbols on your profile and what do they mean as a group. I’m stumped.”

I’m still surprised he didn’t see a face there.

“It’s my face. Two ears. two eyes & my nose. The other symbol is what Islamic terrorists use to identify Christians in Syria & Iraq.”

Of course, it’s not really ‘my face,’ but a representation of it.

“Ah. I see math in everything. And now I see the ISIS character.”

Ah, math. I never really liked studying it, with a few exceptions, such as algebra and set theory. One of the best math classes I ever took was in college, MTH105. It was actually kinda fun at times.

— ∂ªΓºƞ

Voodoo & Company

A photo of Voodoo Donuts in Portland at night.

Since I used a photo from a gentleman this morning, I think it’s only proper give credit where credit is do, as the saying goes. That can be hard to do Twitter, with only 140 characters of space to type.

He has a great blog with some terrific photography, 3inNYC. He knows what he’s doing with a camera.

I discovered him, and the photograph, while searching for an image of Voodoo Donuts to use. I would have taken my own, but my usual standby’s battery, an iPod Touch, has completely died, after months of barely being able to hold a charge for long. I’ve had it for years, a steady companion to my travels. I miss having him around. Gonna have to get it fixed, either by replacing the battery myself, no easy task, or sending it to Apple, which isn’t cheap.

He like me, wrote about “keeping Portland weird.” It’s the theme of the day apparently. He’s also written about faith, which I find interesting, though I haven’t had time yet to read it fully.