Category Archives: Poverty

Accepting revulsion 2: Life in the looney bin

Miscellaneous notes about accepting bad feelings.

[Second in a series.]

One afternoon some years back, I hooked up with my bud Brian Williard at the Light Street McDonald’s.  We were there for maybe half an hour, and then set out eastbound on Baltimore Street towards the shelters where we stayed.  I stay at one, and he stayed at another about 100 yards farther east.

We walked and talked, and he talked, and he talked, and a lot of what he talked about wasn’t necessarily of much interest to me.  It came to me:  “I’m doing ministry; he needs this.”  Finally, he said, “It’s such a relief to talk to somebody sane.”

Continue reading Accepting revulsion 2: Life in the looney bin

Reasons to seek prosperity

Reasons to seek prosperity

At any given moment, it may help me to have an actual reason to seek prosperity.  As my moods and POV change from day to day, however, a reason that I may have believed in one day, may not be credible the next:  “I’m not feelin’ it.”  So I may do well to have several reasons, different ones of which may be credible on different days. Continue reading Reasons to seek prosperity

“By the time they start school, for some children it’s already too late.”

This article by Nick Morrison originally appeared in Forbes on 11/30/16, but for some reason is almost impossible to access now.  I reproduce here below the cached version; if there are legal repercussions, I’ll face them when the time comes.

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By The Time They Start School, For Some Children It’s Already Too Late

Continue reading “By the time they start school, for some children it’s already too late.”

Alcoholism basics

(A message I sent family on 26 April 2006.)

Disease, or sin?

To the best of my knowledge, the “disease theory of alcoholism” began with Dr. Robert Silkworth, at the time of St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, coincident with the beginnings of A.A. “Dr. Bob” referred to the condition as an “allergy”; for whatever reason, these folks’ bodies respond to this substance differently than others’ do.

This theory and its ramifications are, today, largely taken for granted throughout the scientific world. Whatever the disease’s cause, behavioral strategies are needed, too, if the subject is to manage the disease and live a normal life. The same is just as true of diabetes or near-sightedness or hay fever.

The competing view, that drinking problems reflect sin or some kind of moral deficiency, still has its grip on the popular mind. The predicaments that problem drinkers create for themselves and for others, are bad enough in and of themselves without the added burden of this stigma. My late father insisted until his last lucid day, that it was all a question of “will power.” I remember visiting Mom at home sometime prior to 1990, and finding on the bookshelf different books by Hazen G. Werner, an Ohio Methodist bishop whom my father fervently admired, and finding certain passages that my father had marked wherein the author discounted the disease theory and blamed it all instead on, as it were, sin. I shook my head at the untold, needless damage such words do.
Continue reading Alcoholism basics

Rough day at BK

Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.

Rough day at BK.  I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all.  But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave.  (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined.  I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.

The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.

Continue reading Rough day at BK

Treasures in heaven

(Originally published 07/01/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

One of my buds came into McDonald’s this morning looking for me. I’d not seen him in about a week. He’s in really good shape today, but it turns out that, as I’d supposed, he’d been on a bender.

We went out front to smoke and talk, and the time came for him to get on his way. I expected him to turn to go back upstairs to get his stuff. He did not. “Where’s your stuff?” I asked.

He’d lost it. Again. Everything. Kept only his I.D. and Independence card. Somewhere, sometime, while blacked out, he’d got up and left wherever he’d been, leaving behind all his belongings in a forgotten place.

In my immediately last prior post, “Me, me, me,” I said:

It’s not that I despised material possessions; I did not value them nearly as much as I (overwhelmingly) valued relationships. What I did despise was the desire for material possessions. As a result, now I have none.

Relationships are what I do have. They are my treasures in heaven.
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger

Me, Me, Me

(Originally published 06/06/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

This has been a very heavy day, and there’s a lot here. For the moment, at least, I will not try to organize this.

Darkness at times appears to serve Light; destruction, to serve creation.

It is a rude awakening for me to have to revisit the world of infantile self-centeredness, apparently to have to re-learn correctly this time (at age 57!) some things I didn’t learn correctly on the first go-round.

A world where it is correct for me to want things only for “Me, me, me!”
Continue reading Me, Me, Me

Dilemma

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In a comment on a WaPo article about “Prosperity Gospel” televangelists, someone said:

Jesus taught us to think of others needs before our own.

As of now I dispute that Jesus taught that.

If he did teach that, Jesus was wrong.
Continue reading Dilemma

Giving it all away

(Originally published 05/09/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/30/13.)

At work on Tuesday 05/08/12, the radio station they had on the PA played Genesis’ “Giving it all away.”

People see things different ways given their personal circumstances.

I know nothing about Phil Collins personally. But in all likelihood, were he to “give it all away” as he understands it, he would probably have a lot left.

Not I.

All I own is the contents of two heavy bags. Giving it all away would be a simple gesture. And afterwards, I would have nothing.

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That afternoon, as usual, as soon as I got to my bunk I sat down and got out my medications for the evening. The guy assigned to the bunk above me was a newcomer, real clean-cut, a Jake Pavelka lookalike.

“Got any goodies in those pill bottles?” he asked.

“No,” I answered.

“It’d been cooler if you’d said yes,” he said.

As usual, I put my meds back in my zipper bag when I finished, and, as usual, I locked it.

Because of guys like him.
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger