jolson

jeff olson

counselor. writer. outdoorsman. US.

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one

Have you ever wanted to take a quick peek at someone else’s mail? Maybe it was an envelope from a doctor’s office that held the results of a family member’s recent medical tests. Or perhaps it was a letter addressed to your parents from an estranged family member. As you held the envelope in... read more »

dead coming back to life

The Dead Sea in Israel is a one-of-a-kind place to take a dip. Tourists who enter its waters immediately realize that swimming aids aren’t necessary. Yep, there’s no need to tread water in the Dead Sea. Due to its exceptionally high concentration of salt, people simply float on its surface like... read more »

the one who sees

I recently stumbled across an online thread titled “I Am So Freaking Tired of Being Hurt.” It’s part of a website that invites people to share difficult life experiences such as battling cancer or facing a marriage crisis. Hagar certainly could have added her life story to this thread (Genesis... read more »

storytellers

Every two years in Wales, hundreds of people gather for an international story festival called Beyond the Border. The festival is an effort to celebrate the world’s rich heritage of oral tradition. “Oral tradition” is the passing on of stories—specifically historical, cultural accounts—by... read more »

the words we pray

As I was growing up, my parents made sure we prayed before evening meals. Sitting around the kitchen table, my siblings and I would bow our heads as either Dad or Mom would pray. I remember liking it when Dad prayed. His prayers were generally short and to the point. But it was a different story... read more »

heartburn

Heartburn. It strikes when stomach acid leaks backward into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest. Take it from me—an untreated case of heartburn will ruin your day. A few days after Jesus’ crucifixion, two of His disillusioned followers experienced a different sort of... read more »

happy endings

The 1995 movie Apollo 13 contains two famous radio transmissions: The first: “Houston, we have a problem.” And then: “Hello, Houston . . . this is Odyssey. It’s good to see you again.” Together, these two messages form the bookends to the real-life drama of NASA’s struggle to bring three... read more »

an innocent man

On April 15, 1865, family, physicians, and government officials crowded around the bedside of US President Abraham Lincoln. He was unconscious and close to death from an assassin’s fatal bullet. After Lincoln took his last breath, those keeping vigil stood in silence. Shock and sadness left them... read more »

you’re in good hands

Sometime back in the 1950s, the Allstate Insurance Company’s marketing group was struggling to come up with a slogan for the company’s first major national advertising campaign. As the team was ready to quit after an empty day of brainstorming, sales executive Davis Ellis remembered a reassuring... read more »

into the light

One of the hardest things about getting ready in the morning is picking out my socks. Are they blue or black? Because I’m color-blind, those two colors look the same to me in the dim morning light! So what I typically do is take them out into the kitchen and compare them under some bright... read more »
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