Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Can we eradicate poverty?

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave the State of the Union address shortly following the death of President John F. Kennedy.  Part of that address was focused on poverty and its grip on America.  We still are plagued by the problem of poverty and many things have not changed.  What can the church do to begin down the road once again of eradicating poverty?

"...Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope -- some because of their poverty, and some because of their color, and all too many because of both. Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity....
Poverty is a national problem, requiring improved national organization and support. But this attack, to be effective, must also be organized at the State and the local level and must be supported and directed by State and local efforts. For the war against poverty will not be won here in Washington. It must be won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the courthouse to the White House.
 The program I shall propose will emphasize this cooperative approach to help that one-fifth of all American families with incomes too small to even meet their basic needs.  Our chief weapons in a more pinpointed attack will be better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities to help more Americans, especially young Americans, escape from squalor and misery and unemployment rolls where other citizens help to carry them.
 Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper -- in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.  But whatever the cause, our joint Federal-local effort must pursue poverty, pursue it wherever it exists -- in city slums and small towns, in sharecropper shacks or in migrant worker camps, on Indian Reservations, among whites as well as Negroes, among the young as well as the aged, in the boom towns and in the depressed areas."
 May we find ways to move the vision of LBJ forward.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Oh the things that happen in a month

It has been a month since last posting.  How things have changed.  Went on a mission trip to Houston with Middle School youth and spent the week going hard and fast serving at different soup kitchens, clearing brush at the Arboretum and at the oldest African American cemetery, and sorting food at the Houston Food Bank.  It was a wonderful and busy week and I enjoyed spending time with the middle school youth who went. 

The day before leaving, I told the head of staff and associate pastor that I would be resigning my position because my wife had been placed in a CPE residency in Kansas City, MO.  After returning from the mission trip, life has been a whirlwind.  Trying to clean out my office, leave things in as good an order as is possible and starting to pack and sort things at home as well. 

I move without a job.  I am terrified and excited all at the same time.  It is a new adventure to see what God has in store.  There is much to be done and much to be excited about. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Cloud Atlas

The last 2 days, Sally and I have watched Cloud Atlas.  A 2012 movie that is one story woven through 6 time periods.  It is a movie that must be watched several times to catch deeper and interwoven plots.  I am fascinated with its commentary on the power structure of the modern world.  One of the themes as it flashes through several different time periods is that "boundaries are conventions," and that boundaries are to be transcended.

But what does this look like?
What are the boundaries that we are presented with?
What are the boundaries with which I keep myself constrained?
What are boundaries that I need to transcend for myself?  That I need to help others transcend?
What are social and political conventions that no longer work and need to be brought down?
Who are the people who are my allies?

More questions than answers.
More pondering is required.
However, there are small steps I can take in transcending the boundaries I constrain myself with.

Friday, June 07, 2013

So now it is Friday

Well, it is Friday and I haven't posted in a couple days.  Life has gotten busy and I remember that I haven't blogged just about the time I am ready to go to bed.  After a day of hiking, haircuts, hanging with the elementary kids at church, and honoring a high school graduate, I am taking a few minutes to write. 

Tomorrow I must spend time working on my exam for my Christian Educator Certification.  I have some writing to do.  Some of the writing is very much about me focusing on what my passions are, how they are informed by my academic knowledge, and how they play out in the life of the church. 
I need to put more of myself into this project and let my passions come across.  Hope to post some of the work tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


So I got caught up in listening to the OU Women's softball game against Tennessee for the national title last night and forgot to write anything.  Makes me want to change a quote from Airplane to "looks like I picked the wrong week to start blogging everyday."  Oh well, like I said the first night, this isn't about being perfect, it is about getting started. 

I also spent a lot of time yesterday reading other blogs, particularly ones on organization.  I am fascinated with organization and I think there are some incredible ideas, but I need to figure out ways to help myself stay organized.  I have tried lots of different things, but I find that they get cumbersome.  So here's to finding ideas and trying to adapt them to fit my not so organized style.

Monday, June 03, 2013

What a day

No earth shattering information today, just lots of frustration with my car.  Last night I went out to my car and it would not start.  I called my dad to let him listen to it.  He thought it was the battery.  I was frustrated because of how my car was parked and it would be only possible to jump the battery with extra long cables and it really didn't do me any good to call on a Sunday night as no place would be open anyway. 

I had decided to wait until morning.  However, on a whim while walking the dog once last time for the night, I tried starting my car.  First, I flipped on the headlights and they came on.  I tried to turn the ignition over and it whirred like before.  I tried it again and it tried to turn over.  The third time it turned over, but died quickly.  On the fourth time, the car fired much to my surprise. 

I grabbed the dog and put her in the car and jumped in to keep it running and went for a drive.  I called my dad again and talked to him for a minute.  Yes, I needed to drive for a while to give the alternator a chance to charge the battery a bit.  I drove up and down Mo-Pac and 183 for about 30 minutes, very glad that I had filled the gas tank a few days before. 

I got home and decided that I would get up early, take care of the dog and then pray the car would start so I could drive to the dealership.  I had phone numbers for a couple of options for jump starting my car and I had been smart enough to back into the parking place so jump starting the car was actually a possibility. 

Much to my relief, the car started this morning on the 2nd try.  So I drove to the dealership to get a new battery and to go ahead with the next 5k service which was close to being due anyway.    Then there was an hour wait to get the shuttle to work and later in the day, a 2 hour wait after calling from work to get a shuttle to take me back to the dealer. 

So at the end of the day, I drove out of the dealership with a new battery, tires rotated, oil changed, an alignment and wheel balance, so hopefully the mechanical issues are taken care of for awhile.  I so didn't need to add that to my day.