Rhetorical Redhead http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com One ginger's tongue-in-cheek perspective on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Whatnot Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:09:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://i1.wp.com/www.rhetoricalredhead.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-Beach-Pic-200px.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Rhetorical Redhead http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com 32 32 54198076 Coffee with a Cop in Salem, Oregon http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/coffee-with-a-cop-in-salem-oregon-4/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0000 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/?p=2875 Continue Reading...Coffee with a Cop in Salem, Oregon]]> Koin6News Screenshot
Image courtesy of KOIN6

Salem, “Shalom.” It’s humbling news stories like these which prove that we are truly working towards creating “a city at peace with God.” (This introvert had *zero* intention of being in the spotlight! But if it helps further the shared vision of a better community, then the surprise embarrassment was absolutely worth it.)

Honestly, though, to organize events like these, it takes more than just one person. Thank you to Luke and Daniel and the entire village staff at Broadway Coffeehouse/Salem Alliance Church for opening your doors to this last-minute event, and for keeping those doors open year-round to welcome all who enter with genuine warmth and hospitality. Special thanks to my gracious conversation partner, Officer Cheyne Galusha, and to all the officers and staff at the Salem Police Department, especially Superwoman Angie, who have worked so hard to make these get-togethers happen on a regular basis.

I know I speak for others in our community when I say that we are all so grateful for your constant, selfless service and protection to ALL the people who live, work, and play in Salem. Thank you for reading and responding so passionately to the only tweet I’ve sent all year. 😉 You’ve all made a beautiful thing happen, here; let’s keep the conversation going. ‪#‎SalemOR #‎CoffeeWithACop‬ ‪#‎BroadwayCoffeehouse‬ ‪#‎RhetoricalRedhead‬‪#‎SalemPoliceDepartment‬ ‪#‎KOIN6‬

Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/mothers-day-2016-pop-up-shop/ Wed, 04 May 2016 21:51:58 +0000 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/?p=2803 Continue Reading...Mother’s Day Pop Up Shop]]> Mother's Day 2016

Mothers Day‬ is HERE!

I’m delighted and honored to be collaborating with Olive & Ivy Botanicals and Broadway Coffeehouse for this weekend’s holiday pop up‬ event to offer some wonderful homemade gift options for Mum (Saturday May 7th & Sunday May 8th, 9 am – 1 pm).

The beautiful and talented Sarah runs Olive & Ivy, which is an organic and raw, small batch botanical apothecary located here in Salem, Oregon. I will be creating custom #‎PopUpPoetry‬ on demand, and hopefully offer custom greeting cards for the first time! Sarah will offer her handcrafted, organic skin & body products.

And hey–even if not for Mom‬, feel free to stop by and say hello regardless and buy something for yourself! We’d love to talk with you and answer questions. And don’t forget — Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ coffee beans, coffee accessories, Smith Teamaker teas, and Broadway gift cards are always available at BCH for any occasion.

*Top left, bottom right images courtesy of Olive & Ivy Botanicals | Bottom left image courtesy of Dennis Galloway*

Forty Days Later… http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/forty-days-later/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 18:01:59 +0000 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/?p=2764 Continue Reading...Forty Days Later…]]> IMG_20160327_132817Forty days without social media. I’m back, but I’ve changed significantly and I’m in love with my newfound perspective. Without the distractions of social media, I was able to focus on my business and watch it grow exponentially in just 40 days…which seems so counter-cultural.

I had many people express their shock and concern that I was dropping my social media presence not only for personal use, but my business side as well. “Won’t that hurt your business?” and “That’s impossible to do as a business owner…” were two frequent claims people told me. But I’m thrilled to say it is possible…and that it didn’t hurt my business one iota. Rather, it did quite the opposite. It freed up more time for me to say YES to clients, work with clients, meet with potential collaborations, say YES to cool projects, take more time for my own personal growth, and rediscover that my priorities were all wrong prior to my fast. I spent more time with loved ones, and forged new friendships. It opened doors that would have otherwise remained closed due to my lack of being “present” in my own life.

I accomplished so much by saying YES to saying NO. Enough is enough, and while social media is often a double-edged sword for business owners, that “necessary evil,” I have re-entered the sphere to find that Rhetorical Redhead has missed nothing. Absolutely nothing. All the important people and events and discussions occurred over phone or email, and all the best things happened because of them. I feel liberated, encouraged, motivated, unstoppable. “When God is for us, nothing can be against us.” And God is always for us. YES.

Spoken Word: Easter 2016 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/spoken-word-easter-2016/ Mon, 28 Mar 2016 04:43:44 +0000 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/?p=2749 Continue Reading...Spoken Word: Easter 2016]]> Ray 5
Image courtesy of Salem Alliance Church. All rights reserved.

“Because He Lives”

© 2016 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved

This Easter, I had the opportunity to compose another spoken word poem for Salem Alliance Church. The piece would be performed by an intelligent young man by the name of Ray White, recorded by SAC’s extremely talented tech guy, Chris Hahn, and directed by myself and Jeff Brown, the church’s Worship Pastor.

I continue to be humbled and blessed by beautiful collaborations such as these…they fall into my lap without my asking, and I’ve learned to say “yes” to the things that terrify me. Growth happens when you’re able to work through your fears, making them work for you, and replacing uncertainty with absolute trust. It’s so very hard. But so very liberating. And that is exactly what happened this Easter weekend. I never seem to be able to articulate these experiences very well…and I suppose that is alright. The best things in life need no explanation.

The livestream video is available to view by clicking here. For those who do not wish to watch the full video, the spoken word piece begins at the 24:45 time stamp. If you happen to meet Ray or Chris or Jeff, thank them. And I do hope you’ll take the time to watch the service in its entirety. We are surrounded by passionate and talented individuals who have such a heart for Christ and for others. Let’s celebrate Him, and each other, and remember that we live because He lives.

(Text of poem below.)


“Because He Lives”

Written by Jessica Murdoch; Performed by Ray White

© 2016 Rhetorical Redhead All Rights Reserved


Blesséd are those who did not see

with rivered eyes as metallic streams flowed free

in silence-bitten mouths and still believed

Who did not see the gnarled tree

the tree cut down to cut down Love

and boring holes bore He who’d bleed

on Golgotha where we

did not watch God ascend to be

nailed to angry skies

and die at the pleasure of His people

But Love

ah Love could not come true without the lie of death

its serpent tongues piercing the defenseless heels of Mercy

congealing His gasps,

the enemy’s unworthy, wicked, wasteful threats

The serpent betting against a stacked deck

in that His final breath bore no finality

for death’s dark travesty made void in Jesus’ majesty

poured out from every pore

in streams of crystal sanguine beauty

Oh blesséd are we

who did not see…

believed in the oldest story told, indeed,

because our newfound life depended on a mustard seed

Without the Light we cannot see

but faith is blind and so are we without Him

Darkness only is

because Light…is

You are…because Father, Son, Spirit…are

Grace is

Grace lives

“For God so loved the world, He gave—”

and gave, and gave

became a slave to our humanity, traded

glory for thorns

psalms for scorn

because God is Love and Love was made

not to judge but to save His children from themselves…

What parent wills their child’s demise?

It’s no

wild surprise that Abba, Father, chose to give His life for us, His grand design,

if only to spare us from our flesh and from our minds

Our Eden independence

the grand—the only—sentence we would bear

but there…inscribed above His bleeding head He bore our sin of Knowledge not our own

because beating death meant severing the distance we chose

chasmatically—chaotic…’cly—in the Garden

as hearts were hardened

by our assumptions of good…and evil…good and…evil…

never begging pardon as His people

believing “Me” to be our number one priority

Blesséd are we…

who did not see it coming

who did not see what kind of Love it would take

to break the faultless bones of God

forsake the throne, forsake His life,

for the sake of giving us our own with Him in Paradise…

Now…doesn’t that sound nice?

To live a life devoid of shame, devoid of sin, devoid of lies…


This is life—

but there is no life if there

is no Christ!

Blesséd is He

who did not need hands to move the stone

barring the dead and living to be housed alone

and separate from holy possibility

The Choice made ours, no bars, no laws to hold our souls apart

but daily do we choose

to live or lose and let the walls grow taller ‘round our broken hearts

No boulder, pebble, brick too small to do our part

in layering lies and filling furrows with mortared deceit in place of Truth…

The Builder did not come to reject us…

For sticks and stones

are but rocks and bones the enemy uses to clone our false and slowful debt

as deception flows to steal your soul, so—why embrace death

when the Living Water came without a toll to quench our deserters’ breath?

The gift of free will has always been free

and blesséd are we who are freed by the Cross

triumphant in loss, regaining rebirth without cost…

Give pause…

Give praise…

because He loved

my soul was saved for all eternity…

“Why do you weep?…Whom do you seek?”

Oh blesséd be…

who did not see…

who knows that Jesus came to live to love to die

and bring redemption in His Victory.

“Poetry Has a New Name” http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/poetry-has-a-new-name/ Tue, 22 Mar 2016 18:02:38 +0000 http://www.rhetoricalredhead.com/?p=2719 Continue Reading...“Poetry Has a New Name”]]>  “Salem’s art scene is untapped. Portland—forget about it. It’s like elbowing into a crowded sardine can. But not here. This is a river you can leap into, and create a great literary scene.”

Henry Hughes, in an interview with the Salem Weeklybunchofanimals

Click here to read my recent article in the Salem Weekly‘s Art section, discussing our local poetry community.

The article weaves through an insightful interview with the ever gracious poet and author, Henry Hughes, who has just released a new collection of poetry, Bunch of Animals, as well as a memoir, Back Seat with Fish. Hughes’ writing continues to capture his ongoing love affair with fishing, people, nature, and the Pacific Northwest in exquisite detail and accuracy. Both his poetry and his nonfiction are highly recommended. You can read reviews for Hughes’ Back Seat with Fish by clicking here. For reviews on Bunch of Animals, click here. Both books are available for purchase on Amazon.com.

(Cover image for Bunch of Animals is an original piece by local artist Gregory Poulin.)