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Illusions and Miracles Military forces in the 18th and 19th centuries employed a deceptive tactic called “the Quaker gun trick.” This involved using wooden cannon replicas, sometimes painted black, to trick an adversary into withdrawal or surrender – without a shot being fired. We are not talking Peace Testimony here, but perhaps Friendly Trickery – deception for the greater good of de-escalation.

On Tricks (May 2021)

The Ground from which Miracles Spring I didn’t want to join the committee. As a “released Friend,” my role is to follow the leadings of my music ministry out in the world, freed from responsibility for the business of Multnomah Monthly Meeting. But I have found myself reckoning lately with a firehose of Spirit blasting a message through me that has nothing to do with songs or cello. In September 2021, this message came out in an epistle, which was published October 30 in Western Friend’s weekly email newsletter. This epistle, “Returning to the Body,” arose from my experience serving on Multnomah’s ad-hoc committee concerned with the question of how to worship in this age of pandemic. [See: https://westernfriend.org/returning-body]

On Freedom (January 2022)

The Miracle of Friendly Water Generally, when an airline cancels a flight, travelers feel frustrated.  For Del and Suzanne Livingston, however, a canceled flight in Mexico led them to a new calling. The nonprofit they helped establish – Friendly Waters for the World – operates primarily in Africa, bringing clean drinking water to over 40,000 people, along with much-needed jobs and money for families to pay school fees.

On Production (May 2014)

On Power Dear Friends: We marvel at incarnation, at the way that Life walks the earth in carne, in these bags of flesh we call bodies. By some mysterious grace we are given the power to live and to think and to act. Then gravity holds us down. Biochemistry drives us. History and community constrain us. Information limits our imagination. A tangle of powers confronts us with a chaos of demands. It’s enough to drive you to drink. It’s enough to drive whole civilizations mad.

On Power (March 2013)

The Estranged Family of Friends Andrew Secrest was a member of both Lake County Worship Group of Redwood Forest Friends Meeting and of Berkeley Friends Church. He was a husband and father, a hospice nurse, and he followed a calling his whole adult life to bridge the gap between evangelical Friends and liberal Friends. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in his home in Lakeport, CA, on June 25, 2013. The text below was excerpted from the transcript of an interview that Western Friend conducted with Andrew on May 16 and May 17, 2013. Thanks to Solomon Smilack for helping with the transcription.

On Love (September 2013)

Miracle Motors - Review Miracle Motors: A Pert Near True Story

On Reconciliation (January 2015)