Here’s a name you’ve never heard of. Continue reading Jackson Beck: Hero and role model
… is a slim volume for $24.99. The description on inside front dust jacket concludes it “may well be the most important book dealing with race to be published in recent decades.” That strikes me as presumptuous. The front matter includes a list of the author’s other titles, from which it appears he seldom writes about anything else.
Yet the portions I browsed remind me of something I want to do on my own show. The preface examines in some detail changes in public opinion polls between 2008 and 2010. I don’t attach the weight to these facts that Cose does. But if, for example, the President’s approval rating rises with one group and falls with another group in the same time frame, I would like to find out from listeners whose opinions changed and why; to examine with listeners how their thinking works, and on what bases their opinions change.
In recent weeks, I have become strongly motivated to become upwardly mobile. This raises theological issues.
Phil Zuckerman is a non-believer. He has no accountability to Jesus or the Scriptures. He doesn’t have to walk the Christian walk or talk the Christian talk. He doesn’t face the challenges, or have to do the work, I do as a follower of Jesus. Yet he wants to prescribe what Christianity must be.
He ascribes a certain Christianity to those who surround Donald Trump, and finds fault with it. I have no need to adopt or reject that Christianity. I have my own to practice. But it is not what Zuckerman wants to prescribe to me.
What’s wrong with Trump’s cronies? Apparently, as Zuckerman sees it, what’s wrong with them is that they’re prosperous. The love of God, as he portrays it, does not apply to prosperous people, but instead the poor. Only the poor.
So, according to the Christianity Zuckerman would prescribe for me, if I become prosperous, God won’t love me any more.
If anyone finds that he says differently from that, please advise. I welcome correction.
To walk the path to which I feel I’m called, I may need to focus on a Jesus saying Zuckerman does not cite. In fact, I have never heard any liberal cite it. Nor has it ever been cited in the chapel services at the homeless shelter where I stay; where they seem to think that all that matters is what one believes, and never what one does.
In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. … So let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
In other words, do praiseworthy things.
Praiseworthy actions glorify God.
If I were to become self-supporting, would that be praiseworthy?
Might my example encourage or inspire others?
Might I even teach, by example, the ways whereby one may become self-supporting?
Would that serve God?
As to the whole thrust of liberal ideology, it appears that, if I strive to do what I feel called by God to do, I’m swimming against the tide.
(Originally posted 10/12/13.)
(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)
This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.
“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth. She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker. She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.
I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle. Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store. And the line at the cash register was quite long. (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)
I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.” She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.” (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.) She went on: “Now, I like your manners. You speak to the customers …”
Continue reading I really have nothing better to do
(Originally posted 10/04/13. See update, below.)
Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland. My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now. Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway. To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011). The paperwork is extensive. One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).
So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.
Previous post: Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”
At this writing, I have no intention of seeking a pardon. My current job search history shows that, since the “ban the box” legislation took effect, my record poses no obstacle to interviews with, and even job offers from, the employers of interest to me. As noted in the post linked to, however, before that change in the law, certain major employers were rejecting my applications out of hand.
(Originally posted 2014-07-09.)
Courage and despair hang in the balance for a homeless radio talk jock wannabe.
“You’ve got to pay your dues
If you want to sing the blues,
And you know, it don’t come easy.”
— Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”
Many years ago, when I first conceived the ambition to become a radio talk show host, I quickly selected that song as virtually a theme for my show. Life is difficult. My heart’s desire was to equip people to face life’s difficulties head-on.
My life circumstances were far more comfortable at that time than they have become since. Now I’m asking myself if I’m paying my dues; if I can sing the blues; and whether I myself will face life’s difficulties head-on.
Continue reading Paying my dues, singing the blues?
(Originally posted 05/12/13.)
Facing various issues as to how to spend my time. The current appearance of this blog is a far cry from what I want, but I don’t want time spent redesigning it to take away from job search. The same dilemma presents in choice of whether to use my tax refund to restore my former website on Yahoo! for $125.00/year, or instead rebuild the site as part of this blog.
My church is about to launch Saturday morning prayer services in which I will have a leadership role. I will be offering teachings on prayer; I think I have about two hours’ worth of material, and an issue rises of whether to try to organize that into 10-minute or instead 15-minute segments. And there’s an issue that what I would present to the prayer team members only, isn’t necessarily what I’d present to the general public.
This morning at McDonald’s I was reflecting on these things, and on what I might teach to an audience drawn from the general public. I began to understand why Ambrose Worrall fails to refer to Kabbalah.
Prayer team members will be principally interested in learning how to pray effectively for others. People who come from the general public will be principally interested in how to pray effectively for themselves — how to get their own prayers answered.
I presume to be pretty good at the former. That’s how I became prayer ministry coordinator to start with. I’m not so good at the latter.
Continue reading From my diary: Learning to pray
Adapted from a 12/03/15 e-mail to my brothers and some others.
Given instability at the shelter where I’ve been for almost five years, I decided to apply to a certain program affiliated with a major national charity and major local soup kitchen. This program is residential, has a nice facility, and (as I understood it) was geared toward taking men with histories of addiction or homelessness and rendering them self-supporting.
Since it is a residential program, I would no longer have to carry my bags everywhere I go, vastly increasing the radius within which I can look for work; and, I supposed, I would be able to work any shift. After all, unlike the shelter where I’ve been, they’ve got a big shove towards self-sufficiency.
They rejected me.
Baptismal grace means: when you get knocked down, you get back up.
Blog post (from October ’14, about getting back up): Life in the outer darkness
In the immediate future, I will be checking out options in transitional housing, and case management services at the clinic where I’m currently in treatment for everything I’m in treatment for.