Spiritual Life Church

 "Having God in Your Life Improves the Quality of Your Life" - Rev Daniel Hodlin


Spiritual Life Church
Rev. Daniel Hodlin  
Ordained Minister

Light Reading

• Home • This Week's Sermon • Pastor's Corner • When God Calls • Dealing w/ Grief • Bible Studies • Every Day Life • Poetry for the Spirit • Health & Wellness • Cooking with Rev Daniel • Spiritual Books • Light Reading • Stories of Faith • Knowledge For Life • Food For Thought •

Enjoy the original stories Woman Tomboy and Pink Pills for Pink People
Also see the reviewed books Christian women have found delightful reading!

Sunthrower - A new novel by Adele S. Hodlin
The tavern hunkered in the lee of a forbidding cliff of black stone shot through with fingers of green crystal. The crude lettering on the warped and weather-faded sign suspended at a cockeyed angle above the tavern door read simply, “The Last House”. Beyond lay the unmapped mysteries of the Syr, where the elusive creatures known as the Lingyl were said to dwell.
            As she eyed the tavern with misgiving, Stasia patted her mare's neck. “Nasty House would suit that disreputable pile of rubble better, don't you think?”
            The mare bobbed her head. They were in complete accord. With a grimace for the muck into which she was placing her boots, Stasia dismounted. The shaggy goat grazing in the thatch of the tavern’s roof paused in mid-chew to fix her with a baleful stare. She returned it in kind, and took a deep, steadying breath, squared her shoulders.
            A crumbling ruin the tavern might be, but she was in need of fresh provisions if she meant to continue on into the Syr, the one place she would be safe. The one place the soldiers sent after her by the Tarranti Governor wouldn't follow.
            There was nothing this side of the grave that could induce a Tarranti to venture into the lands held by the Lingyl. Nothing. The superstitious fools believed the creatures were demons, children of Gote, god of Evil, simply because the males, called struts, were possessed of horns and tails.
            The people of Meridios, Stasia’s people, had once worshipped the Lingyl; a steadfast few, the Devout, risked torture and death to keep the old religion alive even now, during the Tarranti occupation of their beloved city. They were unwavering in their conviction that one day the Lingyl strut called the Sunthrower would return to cast the cruel and rapacious Tarranti out of Meridios for all time.
            Stasia shook her head. The Devout also believed that her Destiny was the Destiny of the Meridiot people themselves. Which, as far as Stasia was concerned, was incontrovertible proof that the Devout, although well-intentioned, were utterly mad.
            With another deep breath and a hasty prayer, Stasia leaned her weight against the iron-banded plank door of the tavern. It gave with a grudging screech of rusty hinges.......
©1997 all rights reserved

From the beginning, man has complained that he can not, does not, understand woman. Over the centuries, he has alternately feared her and pitied her, dismissed or distrusted her, but never has he truly understood her. 
Woman is hailed as either one of God's most beautiful -- but always mysterious -- creations, or she is damned as a creature in league with the devil. Damaris Women are blessed with a remarkable gift of being more than one person, of having multiple personalities, not in the psychiatric sense, but in the theatrical sense. Like an actor, a woman can change her appearance, her persona, to suit her needs or the needs of others. Some are practiced masters, others are instinctive. There are those who mistake this facility for trickery or cunning or evil. At the lowest level, of course, it is. There will always be those who use their special talents for selfish gain. But those some talents can also be used to survive, to demonstrate love, to fascinate, or simply to entertain. Even the most ordinary of women can transform herself within seconds if the situation demands it. Most of us realize the majority of women are Mother, Daughter, Wife, and Provider in the course of a single day. Many are unaware of their abilities, many are uncomfortable with them. But the woman who is aware of her talent for transformation and uses it for love, the woman who can be an entire cast of characters at will is priceless and very special.
Relax! Sit back and enjoy the show!
©1998, all rights reserved.

Adirondack guide Floyd Geisler was leading a hunting party into Murphy Lake when one of the men pointed excitedly to the bear track in the black mud beside the rocky forest trail. "Oh, that ain’t no bear," said Floyd, squinting at the track. "That’s Doctor Joe’s daughter been through here." 
Her father always got a charge out of that story. He told it every chance he got. She must have been about ten. Her feet were so tough she could walk on broken glass without breaking the skin. Thirty-five years later, Morgan doesn’t remember when she started playing the longest running role of her life in earnest. Maybe while she was in nursing school. That’s when she learned to wear the costume and the mask, the under-wired bras, the mascara and blush. 
She allowed her tomboy self to be suffocated by the demands of work and responsibility, by her need to blend in. To do whatever it is the world expects a woman to do. A loner and a misfit all her life, she desperately wanted to belong. She studied for the role by watching other women just being themselves. Cooing over babies. Playing hostess to guests in the office. Remembering birthdays and special occasions. Giving thoughtful little gifts. Arranging luncheons. Critiquing one another’s knitting and needlework and crafts. Chatting over tossed salad. Exclaiming over photos of their children and grandchildren. Hugging one another. 
By now, she almost has the hugging thing down, she even manages to remember the occasional thoughtful little gift, but don’t ask her to coo over any babies. Now, if you need your file cabinet moved… Enough. It’s time to retire the role. Time to embrace the wolf child, Doctor Joe’s tomboy daughter, who walked barefoot and unafraid through the woods. More than one tough cookie in a gunslinger’s hat who baited her own hook. 
A lot of girls go through that stage. They brag about being tomboys when they were little. But a real tomboy is a tomboy for life. It’s not a stage, it’s a state of being. The wannabes grow up to become women, feminine women. A tomboy grows up -- or do they? -- to become… a tomboy. Not that a tomboy can't have a feminine side, just as men do. Doctor Joe's daughter is a sucker for Regency romances, for instance. Tomboys were called hoydens back then, sad romps. 
What are tomboys really? Will the genies of genes discover a crooked chromosome? Or is it a hormonal imbalance, an error of chemistry? A neuro-psychiatric flaw? An intrusion of a past life into the present? A symbiotic co-existence with another spirit? Something else altogether? Every so often the fragments of another self align within Morgan's consciousness like the splintered shards within a kaleidoscope. Not surprisingly, the alignment occurs when she’s driving fast or riding a trail bike, or using a shovel or a hammer. 
For an instant suspended in time, she comes together. And she is male. Recognizably the same male who occupies her body when she dreams. Lean, dark, self-possessed. Confident. Competent. There is a fleeting but overwhelming sensation of wholeness. Morgan's posture changes. The person looking out of her eyes sees differently. Thinks differently. She becomes aggressive, sure of herself. But just for a moment. Then the mind’s rational censor kicks in. 
The responsible grown-up inside her head reminds her that the body she inhabits is female. The magical instant is no more. She feels a little silly. Co-existing entities are the stuff of science fiction, or worse, tabloid farce. But her every instinct tells her to believe. It’s as if she’s two entities co-existing within a flesh and blood framework that happens to be, in this time, place and space, female. The male entity was dominant in childhood. Abetted by indulgent parents, Morgan was unfettered by convention. 
Looking back, she has to admire their courage. It was the Fifties, after all, and they lived in a small town that was -- still is – intolerant of those who choose their own path. Protected, she realizes now, by her father’s status as a beloved and respected family doctor, she was free to be herself, an ungoverned and ungovernable wolf child. 
Today, the diagnosis would be ADHD. Not only was Morgan loud, dirty and perpetually in motion, she was utterly without fear. The Avon lady damned near had a heart attack when she spotted Morgan strolling along the second floor banister as if it were a tight rope with a safety net below. Easier to mend a broken bone than a broken spirit, Morgan's mother calmly assured the terrified woman. Morgan's conviction that she was somehow linked to her brother had already taken root. Joe, Jr. died at birth. A blue baby they called them in those days. Morgan expects they would have been able to save him today. 
For as long as she can remember, she’s believed that on his death, his spirit entered her. Odds are, given the persistence of tall, dark, lanky males on her father’s side of the family, her brother would have fit the mold. He would have looked like the male entity that co-exists within her, waking and dreaming. Morgan's rational mind spills over with reasonable explanations for this conviction. Crippled by guilt because she lived and he didn’t, she created the fantasy of co-existing spirits to keep him alive. Or perhaps, sensing her parents’ grief with a child’s acuity of instinct, she tried to ease their pain by becoming the son they would never have, the boy who would have carried on her father’s name. Or it may be nothing more than wishful thinking. It would have been nice to have a little brother. 
Morgan was a lonely child. Only the bravest of the neighbor kids came to the house to play. Strangers always mistook her for a boy, a mistake she encouraged. It was more than just the short hair and blue jeans, it was the attitude. Doctor Joe’s barefoot daughter carried a BB rifle, strapped a World War II souvenir bayonet to her waist and rode a trail bike without benefit of either helmet or shoes. Being a girl wasn’t even in her frame of reference. Still isn’t. That’s the hardest part. The world sees and hears a woman, and judges accordingly. Half an hour after Morgan puts on the costume, the foundation and powder and panty hose, she’s forgotten she’s female. It comes as a shock when she’s treated like one. It tempts her to think that in a past life, she must have been a swaggering young buck with only one use for the gentler sex, maybe even a gouty old misogynist. Reincarnation as pay-back. 
But no matter how you cut it, no matter what you choose to believe, whether Morgan became her parents’ son to ease their grief or whether her brother’s spirit really does co-exist alongside her own, this female is a force to be reckoned with. Male, female, neither and both. The real thing. She’s Doctor Joe’s tomboy daughter, walking barefoot and unafraid through the woods.
©1998 all rights reserved

Pink Pills for Pink People
Beyond the soundproof mint-green door in the back wall of my grandmother’s bedroom on the first floor of our house lay my father’s domain, The Office. It was the most exciting place in the entire world when I was a kid. Better even, than television! It was the 1950’s, and my father was a doctor.

Every evening (except on Wednesday, of course) after dinner I’d race downstairs. By 6:00 P.M., the waiting room, with its high ceilings and tall windows, would already be full. After turning a couple of cartwheels for the entertainment of the patients, I’d settle in to help my father’s secretary. Actually, she was nurse, receptionist, secretary, file clerk and office manager. She looked a lot like Della Street in the Perry Mason TV show and she must have had the patience of a saint.

Except for the almost constant ringing of one of a pair of black rotary dial telephones, the low murmur of the patients chatting – and me -- the office was quiet, almost hushed. No computers, no photocopiers, no fax machines. There was a black cast iron Smith Corona typewriter with round keys, and a big appointment book that smelled like pencil lead and eraser dust. A gallon bottle of blue ink used to fill fountain pens sat under the desk. Above the desk hung a painting of a tired doctor at a woman’s bedside; over them both stood Jesus, one gentle, healing hand on the woman’s forehead.

The door between the waiting room and the big, bright space that served as both consultation and examination room was massive, like the door to a safe, and completely soundproof. The glass tube in the blood pressure apparatus mounted on the wall between my father’s desk and the patient chair was filled with real mercury. Across from the desk stood the instrument cabinet. It was dark brown, with a brilliant white enamel interior The doors made a distinctive metallic ping when they opened, releasing the sharp odors of rubbing alcohol and iodine. Gleaming stainless steel instruments were lined up on the glass shelves: big-barreled ear syringes, specula – I didn’t know what the big ones were for until I was a lot older – forceps and scissors of every size and description; suture needles like miniature scimitars.

At the other end of the room stood the ominous hulk of the exam table, its worn black leather pad covered with glossy, crackling paper. A gooseneck lamp and a piano stool sat at its foot. In another corner, built-in shelves held my father’s best books, and many of the gifts he regularly received from his patients. The tall black scale beside the shelves was my first stop whenever I was allowed into this most private of inner sanctums, where my father was The Doctor, not Dad.

Between the exam room and the bathroom a small, dark cubicle housed the battleship gray hulk of the fluoroscope, an early X-ray machine that reminded me of a huge, sinister robot. A lead vest and a pair of goggles with eerie red lenses hung on a hook beside it. That was it. No lead-lined room, no remote controls. Once, my father gave in and let my girlfriend and me stand behind the adjustable screen on the front of the monster machine so we could look down and see our bones.

Among other fascinating things, the floor-to-ceiling white cabinets in the bathroom held all different sizes of syringes and needles. The syringes were glass and the steel needle had to be screwed on the end before they could be used. The beveled tips were sharpened against a whetstone. If office hours ended early – before ten P.M. – I was allowed to rinse the syringes in the sink and place them in the steel basket in the small white enamel autoclave to be sterilized. The dark brown surgical gloves had to be washed, dried, turned inside out, and powdered for the next day.

But the most interesting room of all was tucked away in the back. Heavy, leather bound medical books full of graphic and, in the case of a memorable text on skin diseases, truly gross photographs, lined the highest shelves. No problem, I just climbed up on the massive green and brass filing cabinets to get at them. The other shelves held bottles and boxes of pills and tinctures and solutions and ointments of every description. Injectable drugs in glass vials with rubber tops were kept in a tiny refrigerator. Best of all, the room also served as a laboratory, with a Bunsen burner, and a centrifuge that had to be cranked by hand. I spent hours peering into the microscope at the slides of various types of human tissue kept in an elegant slotted and labeled wooden box.

If there was time, and the supply of pre-filled little boxes – round and square in red and pink and blue – was low, I helped the nurse count out more pills from the big bottles in the back room. The powdery, bitter-tasting dust from the pills coated everything. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that I realized I had spent the better part of my childhood counting uppers and downers!  When I asked the nurse what the pills were for, she would tell me with a smile: “Green Pills are for Green People; and Pink pills are for Pink People.” 

It was a different world back then - we like to think so anyway!!!
©1998 all rights reserved

Christian women have found these books delightful reading! 
Click on the title to order yours today

Mrs. Jeffries Weeds the Plot
One of a series of delightful Victorian mysteries featuring Mrs. Jeffries, housekeeper to pleasant but often-bewildered Scotland Yard Inspector Witherspoon. Unbeknownst to the Inspector, his entire household, including Fred the family dog, is devoted to helping him solve the most complicated of crimes. Jolly good!
Emily Brightwell

Murder on High
Charlotte Graham may be seventy-one, but she’s a fit and feisty Yankee with a talent for sleuthing. From the unforgiving cliffs of Maine’s highest mountain, Mount Katahdin, to the equally unforgiving world of Hollywood, past and present, this complex mystery is rich with natural and historical detail. Eccentric characters on both coasts enliven Charlotte’s search for the truth.
Stefanie Matteson

Thale’s Folly
A sweet, slightly eccentric mystery by the author of the Mrs. Pollifax novels.
Dorothy Gilman

Grace Livingston Hill – Collection No. 1
Four complete novels, three by Grace Livingston Hill and one by her aunt, Isabella Alden.  Ms. Hill’s unique style combines tasteful and exciting romance with Christian faith.  Her aunt’s writing reflects the lessons taught by her minister husband Gustavus.  Both women remain popular with readers more than fifty years after their deaths.

Grace Livingston Hill – Collection No. 2
Four more complete novels, three by Grace Livingston Hill and one by her aunt, Isabella Alden

Aunt Dimity’s Death
Lori Shepherd is down and almost out when she discovers that Aunt Dimity isn’t just a character in a bedtime story after all!
Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity and the Duke
A Duke in search of a missing lantern with extraordinary powers brings Aunt Dimity, and her earthly assistant Emma Porter to a Gothic mansion in Cornwall.
Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity Digs In
All of Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly powers will be required to restore peace to the little village of Finch.
Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity’s Christmas
As soon as Lori Shepherd finds the mysterious stranger lying in the snow beneath the lilac bushes in front of her English cottage, an extraordinary sequence of events begins to enfold. With Aunt Dimity as her ghostly guide, Lori finds not only the truth about the gentle man dressed in rags, but the true meaning of Christmas. Any book that has the power to make you laugh and cry as this one does is worth reading—and re-reading.
Nancy Atherton

Miss Zukas and the Stroke of Death
Left with no choice but to give in gracefully, librarian Helma Zukas joins the Bellehaven Library relay race team. She sends home to Michigan for her handmade wooden canoe, but now, in between practice sessions, she must solve a murder to keep her eccentric artist friend, Ruth Winthrop, out of jail, and it isn’t long before the killer comes after her.
Jo Dereske

Miss Zukas and the Library Murders
The skills Helma Zukas employs as a most competent and ethical Librarian also serve her well as an amateur sleuth.  No detail escapes her notice!  This time it’s a body between the fiction stacks at the Bellehaven Library.
Jo Dereske

Miss Zukas and the Island Murders
Helma Zukas is the perfect person to organize her high school class’s twentieth reunion.  She hadn’t planned on being stranded with her old classmates on a foggy island with a clever murderer.
Jo Dereske

Miss Zukas In Death’s Shadow
Helma, who always buckles up and never speeds, is sentenced to fifty hours service in a local homeless shelter when she refuses to pay what she believes to be an undeserved traffic fine.  No one is surprised when she discovers a body on the very first night. 
Jo Dereske

© 1998 - 2013 Spiritual Life Church  Privacy & Usage Policy  All Rights Reserved
Webmaster Michele  

We use the internet to spread the Word of God around the world