Brookings Harbor Community Bazaar

More than 100 artisans, crafters and hobbyists from throughout the region will sell their goods during the annual Brookings Harbor Community Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Brookings Harbor High School and Azalea Middle School in the gyms.

The event attracts hundreds of residents and tourists looking for holiday gifts such as candles, clothing, photography, blankets and more.

Theodore Allwardt sees more rainbows than rattlesnakes on his journey through life, and has written a daily affirmation book about the blessings it offers using verses from the Bible.

It’s the third such devotional book for the retired Lutheran pastor, who will be selling them at the Brookings Harbor Community Bazaar Nov. 12. (See side box for more information.) Allwardt will be available to autograph his books at the bazaar.

This book, published through CreateSpace, a division of Amazon, is entitled “More Rainbows than Rattlesnakes — Seeing Blessings on the Trip called Life.” It follows “Rattlesnakes and Rainbows: Daily Devotions Along the Trail of Life,” and “Messages from the Coast: Meditations on God’s Word.”

The trip of life book, written when he lived in New Mexico and reflects upon his experiences there, has sold more than 200 copies; the second book was purchased by more than 2,000.

He didn’t think he had it in him to write even the second book, envisioning himself as a one-book author, he said.

“I thought I wouldn’t be able to match the quality of those ‘Rattlesnake’ devotions or find an entire year of subjects without a lot of duplication. After awhile, I also realized I couldn’t think of a theme that would tie a year of devotions together.”

Then he moved to Oregon and took a trek down the coast.

“It’s kind of a travelogue, how it fits together,” Allwardt said. “But isn’t our life a travelogue? We all take different trips, but we’re all on the same trip, a trip called life.”

The devotions are autobiographical, of Allwardt’s observations and reflections while traveling or hiking. Lighthouses, sand dollars, beaches, kids at play — there’s always something Allwardt spots that he can relate to the Bible.

“I’ve written them as though you and I were having a personal chat about life,” he said. “The prayers are what I would pray in response to these thoughts. Some of them surprised me, the way they flowed.”

And “More Rainbows than Rattlesnakes” was born.

“It follows the theme that we are all on the same trip of life, from conception to death and beyond,” he said. “Rattlesnakes, troubles and sorrows come all too often. But the Lord also gives us ‘rainbows,’ daily blessings — especially the best one, Jesus as the Savior — so we can endure those troubles and live with peace and joy in spite of them.”

An excerpt from Colossians 3:1-11 reads: You have put away your old self and its ways and have put on the new self, which is continually renewed in knowledge to be like Him who created him.

Allwardt, who lives with his wife in Harbor, then describes the fields near Smith River that, toward the end of June, are speckled with white.

“The immature lily bulbs are blooming!” he writes, describing the labor-intensive process of harvesting bulbs. “As children of God by faith in Jesus, we, too are in a labor-intensive process to become beautiful in our lives. To God we are already are beautiful, because He sees us ‘dressed’ in the beauty of Jesus’ perfect life. But what other people see often isn’t even attractive, because sin is so visible.”

Allwardt ends each daily affirmation with a short prayer — in the case of the comparison with Smith River’s beautiful lilies: “Thank you Lord for giving me the beauty of Jesus’ perfect life. Help me today to live beautifully through kind words and deeds to those I live with and meet.”

He incorporates the Roosevelt elk, often found near the Lucky 7 Casino, in another Bible verse urging people to look to the interests of others and not just oneself, and the explosive colors of rhododendrons that “put a source of serenity into their hearts” — Psalm 96.

Allwardt reminds readers of the beauty surrounding everyone on the southern Oregon coast with its stately redwood and Douglas fir trees,

Or the challenges faced here, among them drought, wildfire and misshapen trees, to address the human conditions of feeling emotionally arid or angry, or handicaps many struggle with in their daily lives.

“Help me, whatever my handicaps, Lord, do what good I can do in this world and in Your kingdom.”

Allwardt even brings the twisting mountain and coastal roads into his discussion to meditate on Corinthians and how people — even when using turnouts and passing lanes — can graciously cede their will to others’.

He speaks of travel by car and how it is enjoyed with others.

“Just enjoying each other is a ‘rainbow,’” he said. “But God may be giving your clear opportunity to encourage or comfort or share a concern about those you visit. Or perhaps He is guiding you to this trip so you can be encouraged or comforted or made more aware of ways you need to beware of.

“Thank You, Lord, for the times You allow me to have with dear ones, who live far away, so I can be a good influence in their lives as well as be helped by their caring,” the daily prayer reads.

“I want people to see what they notice in life,” he said. “What it reminds you of in Scripture — but especially Jesus. That’s the tie-in.”