MY NOVEL–
READING THE SIGNS: A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY

Ted Jones, campus chaplain and English Professor in downtown Denver, doesn’t need more problems. His life has been full of them. More than a few of the clergy seem to think of the church as a sex club, and those who administer the English Department are vipers. Yet, at the beseeching of the spirit of an old woman who appears floating near the stained glass window of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Ted soon becomes involved with Sharon, the deceased woman’s grown granddaughter.

Damaged though she is, Sharon responds, trying to return the steadfast love that Ted offers. After her grandmother died, she lost that capacity in herself and couldn’t find it in any of the people who professed to love her.

Although Sharon and Ted’s trials are multiple, their love forms the crux of the novel. Such love reaches beyond time and space as we normally conceive them, to involve intersecting planes of existence that touch both past and future.

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While fiction, and centrally a love story, it is essentially true. My experiences teaching at CU Denver and the Episcopal Cathedral stick very close to the facts.

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Please help me launch this project by preordering copies on my website, using PayPal or another method (personal check, MO).  Paypal buttons will soon be up on the Writing Page.

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The novel ends with a vision of meeting Sharon on the fields of eternity:

For a moment, my earthly sight blurred with tears, I glimpsed Sharon and me. We stood on fields of gold, there, where chronos meets kairos, and earthly time rolls into eternity.

I think this will be the cover.

From Jim Wallis, who typically is very insightful:

For those of us who are people of faith and moral conscience, how do we lift up love over hate in this angry election season? How do we point to justice instead of revenge? How do we love our neighbors as ourselves — which all our religious traditions tell us to do — and vote that way? And if our faith traditions also tell us that a society is ultimately judged by how it treats its most vulnerable people, how do we best vote for the concerns of the most vulnerable in this coming election?

These will be matters for prayerful discernment and courageous action in this critical election year.

Jim Wallis

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A word to the wise from marriage therapists: Don’t buy into every piece of relationship advice you read in a magazine or hear from a well-meaning aunt. (For instance, “don’t go to bed angry” is total malarkey; it’s probably better for you and your partner to address the issue in the A.M., when cooler heads prevail.)

Below, couples therapists take to task common beliefs about marriage that couples should ignore.

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For the best relationship insight and advice, turn to a divorce attorney. After all, every day they have a front-row seat to the kinds of petty drama and missteps that lead couples to split up.

With that in mind, we (Huffington Post) asked family law attorneys from across the country to share some of the most obvious signs that a couple is likely to divorce.

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Therapy dogs like Izzy, a gray Havanese, are the heart, soul and wagging tail of a literacy program in schools and libraries called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) that encourages young readers.

“I love reading to Izzy because he listens to me and he doesn’t make fun of me when I make a mistake,” said Vasquez, 9, who read “Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Circus Clown.”

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Anxiety disorders like social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder and general anxiety are the most common forms of mental illness in the U.S. An estimated 18 percent of all American adults have an anxiety disorder, costing more than $42 billion a year.

America is unique in this regard, according to the largest ever global analysis. Some regions of the world, including the U.S. but also Western Europe, have higher rates of anxiety disorders in general. What’s more, some groups within the U.S. have a higher risk of anxiety disorder diagnosis than others.
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These are well worth checking out.

“Our dialogue around religion would be more productive if scientists respect the insights that religion can offer, and if religious individuals would respect the insights science can offer,” Jack said. “They are different kinds of insight, so there is really no reason for so much conflict to arise.”

And as individuals, optimal thinking likely results from a dynamic interplay of these two types of reasoning, based on the nature of the particular problem we’re facing.

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Integration of various ways of thinking and acting can be done. In fact, in my opinion, it’s necessary if we wish to live good lives as wholly as we can. Tom

You may not have to spend a lot of time with your friends to be happy, according to research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. In fact, if you’re an intelligent person living in an urban environment, spending less time with your friends might make you happier.

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Here’s what’s going on mentally and physically when you lose someone you love.

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If you suffer from depression or anxiety, your workout can play a key role in managing your symptoms, thanks to the powerful link between your physical and mental health.

“We know that the old divisions of body and mind are false,” says Ben Michaelis, PhD, an evolutionary clinical psychologist and author of Your Next Big Thing: 10 Small Steps to Get Moving and Get Happy ($2; amazon.com). “The body is the mind and the mind is the body. When you take care of yourself, you are helping the whole system.”

Needless to say, you should always consult with your doctor about your treatment options, says Michaelis. But it can’t hurt to incorporate exercise, of any kind, into your routine. Research suggests that these three activities in particular could help alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

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In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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