Kindness Counts: The Rainforest Hero

Purple Almond Wellness

Did you know that forests cover 30% of the Earth’s surface? (2) Trees are a very important part of our ecosystem. To name just a few things, trees… provide oxygen; combat climate change by absorbing CO2; absorb pollutants; prevent water pollution by preventing runoff; provide food; provide over 121 natural remedies; and  provide a habitat for wild life. (3) But, despite this, 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest are lost each year. (2)  This loss of forests “contributes between 12 percent and 17 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions.” (2)


Deforestation is a huge problem . But, just what is deforestation? According to Conserve Energy Future, deforestation is…

” the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland. Deforestation can also be seen as removal…

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What trees teach us about LIFE…

Michelle Shrader

tree-of-life-prophetic-painting-mindi-oaten-art-colors-leaves-healing-of-the-nations_grandeFor the past six weeks, I have been journeying with a group in Cape Town, reflecting on the messages of discipleship, hidden in the trees of the bible.  The bible is bookended with stories about trees.  In the beginning in the book of Genesis, there are two trees–The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil.  The Tree of Life reappears in awe-inspiring imagery at the end of the bible in the Book of Revelation.

Psalm 1:3 names that “They shall be like trees planted by streams of water, that bear fruit in their right season, their leaves do not wither, and in all that they do, they prosper.”  The “they” in the psalm is the people of God.  They were likened to trees and so we can know that trees hold significant value and have much to teach us.  The word tree appears in the bible 288 times…

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Your donation improves beautiful Tweet Street Park.

Cool San Diego Sights!

A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood more beautiful. A recently improved section of Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill. Volunteers help make this downtown neighborhood even more beautiful.

Do you love Tweet Street Park on Cortez Hill? I feel very fortunate that I get to walk through the narrow but lush park almost every single day.

Over the past weeks and months, I’ve noticed smiling volunteers busy pruning, planting, removing trash, and adding new beauty to our downtown park. They are the Friends of Tweet Street Park! They welcome new community members!

A couple days ago I talked to Joe Ciavarella as he was working on one section of the park. I learned that Cortez Hill residents and anyone interested in beautifying this special corner of downtown San Diego can make a tax deductible contribution that benefits the Friends of Tweet Street Park. Funds obtained go to the purchase of gardening tools, new plants and materials that…

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Three dystopian short stories.

Cool San Diego Sights!

Perhaps you’ve noticed I love to write fiction. I love to combine words. Words are tools that can dig toward truth.

I’ve recently written three short stories that are absolutely dystopian. Not that I’m a pessimist. I prefer to smile and generally try to find and highlight good things in life. But I also strive to be intellectually honest. I recognize that the human world contains both light and darkness. And some of my stories can be quite dark.

These three dystopian stories are: Life Made Easier, A Ship Without Ghosts, and What the Giant Saw. Click the links if you’d like to read them.

It’s funny–the latter, most recent story was written yesterday as I sat beside the small river in Balboa Park’s beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden. Looking down at the living water, I felt strangely like a giant. Perhaps my stream of thought emerged from…

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