Mon01262015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Jonah’s message offers lessons on love, repentance and grace

For the past couple of weeks at Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, we have been looking at the Book of Jonah, unique among the Bible’s prophetic books.

At this point in history, the northern kingdom is named Israel and the southern, Judah, but neither is mentioned in Jonah. In fact, the book is the only time a prophet of God is sent to another people group. Jonah is sent to proclaim God’s coming destruction on Nineveh, a city in Assyria, near modern-day Mosul.

Before the mission, Jonah was a prophet who encouraged the king of the northern kingdom to go to war and expand the boundaries of the kingdom. But now God is sending him to foreigners. Jonah runs away to avoid doing what God commanded, heading as far in the opposite direction as possible.

But God still had a calling on Jonah’s life and a job for him to do.

Jonah ends up going to Nineveh and preaching to its people. Lo and behold, the people listen and repent. They put on sackcloth and ashes and fast – all of them. Then we get to see God’s grace as He relents from the destruction for a time.

Scholars believe Jonah was written circa 780 B.C., and the destruction of Nineveh unfolds at the hands of three combined armies in 612 B.C. So for a time, God put the destruction of Nineveh on hold.

Jonah, though, is very angry. He really wanted God to destroy Nineveh, an enemy of his beloved Israel. Jonah had a feeling that he wouldn’t have been sent in the first place unless God was going to show mercy to Nineveh.

I think we can take a couple of lessons away from Jonah.

First, God loves all sorts of folks: Israelites and Ninevites, Americans and Iranians, people from every corner of every nation. God has a claim on every life because He created that life and sustains it.

Second, God loves repentance. Jonah repented in the belly of the fish, and the Ninevites repented when they heard the message Jonah carried from God.

Third, God is full of grace – for Jonah, for Nineveh, for us. We all need Jesus and the forgiveness He offers.

Finally, beware of the idols we worship without recognizing them. Jonah’s idols were his country and himself. When God offered grace contrary to Jonah’s will, Jonah told God simply to kill him. Idolatry is much subtler these days – it can be scientific materialism or nationalism, a political point of view or a bank account. There are all sorts of things that draw our attention away from God.

If you are of a mind, read Jonah again and review some of my recent sermons posted on our church’s website.

The Rev. David Moore is pastor of Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, 858 University Ave. For more information, call 948-4361 or visit unionpc.org.

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