By Ted Furlow

 During the Christmas holidays, we visited my daughter in Medford, Oregon.  I really went to see three of my grandchildren, and it was a wonderful trip, complete with snow and a white Christmas.  One of the high points was taking the grandkids, Gabe, Katie and Annie, to breakfast at a local diner.  The place was pinewood cozy, a little bit kitsch, a little bit old, and seriously Oregon.  

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By Ted Furlow

 One day last week, while on the front porch getting the mail, I saw a flier on the ground. It was a thin piece of paper advertising a lawn service, so I bent down to pick it up. Wouldn’t you know I couldn’t get the darned thing off the concrete? I don’t have long nails, I bite them anyway, and I have little traction with my fingers. After stumbling about on the porch for a few moments, failing in every attempt and probably looking like a fool to my neighbors, I stood up, gave my fingers a wet lick, and managed to stick the paper to them. 

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By Ted Furlow

 In my time as a pastoral planner watching various communities drafting vision statements, I learned that writing them can be complicated. Since everyone has an opinion, it can easily become an endless round of what should be included, what should be said, and how it should look.

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By Ted Furlow

 As I write this article, I confess that I have been overwhelmed by the national obsession over the 2016 political train wreck.  I allowed myself to be swept up in a hysterical bout of civic OCD, living moment to moment watching the news cycle, reading endless articles, and listening to the talking heads opinionating about our future.

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By Ted Furlow

 In the middle ages, when map making wasn’t the Google Earth “go everywhere and see everything” tech phenomena of today, the edges of maps that extended beyond what was known to man often had the inscription, “Beware! there be dragons here.”

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