Tag Archives: Bootstraps

“Just how bad do you think you’ve got it?”

At the shelter, we’re required to attend chapel for an hour every night. I normally find it just as edifying as a traffic jam.

The group from “Guilford” presents on the fourth Monday every month. About a dozen of them come. Their leader is J_____ R__.  Different ones preach in different months. When J_____ R__ preaches, the message is always the same.

“Just how bad do you think you’ve got it?”
Continue reading “Just how bad do you think you’ve got it?”

Work

(Originally posted 05/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions. Reblogged  02/12/14.)

To get from Point A to Point B, you must move.

At this moment, as I write this, I am living in a pit.

I am homeless.

I face a choice: do I want to get out, or stay here?
Continue reading Work

About the Parable of the Talents

Main points:
(1) God always provides more than you need.
(2) Use well what you’ve got now; only then will you get more.
(3) What you abuse, you lose.
(4) Absent a disease process, chronic poverty is not a natural condition.

I write as a man with next to nothing, concerned principally for others who have next to nothing.  God put me in this position for a reason.

I am strongly tempted to want to rename it “The Parable of the Bootstraps.”

Continue reading About the Parable of the Talents

The offering plate, part 2

ADVISORY:  This post includes explicit content that some readers may find objectionable.

One lives in a world substantially of one’s own creation.

The previous post asked, “What can I give as an offering?”

As of now, I am essentially a panhandler.

Continue reading The offering plate, part 2

The offering plate, part 1

One lives in a world substantially of one’s own creation.

The offering plate came around, and I got a shock.  I can remember when I dreamed of putting $60 in there each week, as the woman does who normally sits in front of me.  No such dream is available to me now; I am unable to envision myself ever putting anything in there.

My circumstances have rendered me infantile; a complete “taker.”  One of those who seeks to receive  “blessings” rather than seeking to be a blessing, a “maker.”

What can I give as an offering?

The offertory hymn was, “We are an offering.”

We lift our voices, we lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering
Lord use our voices, Lord use our hands
Lord use our lives, they are Yours
We are an offering

All that we have, all the we are
All that we hope to be
We give to You, we give to You

We lift our voices, we lift our hands
We lift our lives up to You
We are an offering, we are an offering[*]

I myself can be my offering.

More about that next week.

[*]Author: Dwight Liles. ©1984, Word Music, Inc.

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Previous posts mentioning the offering plate:
I’m getting interviews!
What a homeless man dreams of

Previous posts mentioning the credibility of dreams:
Hope and vision

“Do the Right Thing,” part 2

Prosperity belongs not to the righteous, but the wise.

In the days immediately following the initial mistrial of Baltimore Police Officer William Porter on charges relating to the death of Freddie Gray, Bounce TV broadcast Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing several times.  I could not help seeing this as a commentary on the mistrial.  Bounce had likewise shown the film several times in the days following the April 2015 riots.

The film focuses on events surrounding a pizzeria in a New York City ‘hood on the hottest day of the summer.  Sal is the Italian-American owner of the pizza place; Mookie, played by Spike Lee, is a young African-American employee.  At closing time, a group of people led by Radio Raheem enter the store to insist Sal take down his “Wall of Fame,” which displays portraits of Italian-American celebrities (only).

Continue reading “Do the Right Thing,” part 2

Bootstraps

Psalm 150:6:  “Let all things that have breath praise the Lord.”

At the homeless shelter where I stay, we’re required to attend chapel every night.  Monday, for the first time in months, Jervis Ray preached.  His text was Psalm 23.  However, he was soon enough back to his same old same old, haranguing us that we’re not grateful enough for our “blessings.”  “God woke you up in your right mind,” with the use of two arms and two legs.

He calls us to praise God that our bootstraps aren’t like others’.  “There are lots of people in hospitals who don’t know where they are.”

That stung me, as my oldest brother will be soon enough in just that state.

Continue reading Bootstraps

Why racism no longer matters to me

The last straw for certain things came with a Baltimore Sun front page banner headline:

Skepticism, despair as killings continue
Residents question city response; Four day death toll stands at 12.

I anticipate no response from Julia CravenJenee Desmond-HarrisTa-Nehisi CoatesStacey Patton, or Brittney Cooper.[*]

What was the last straw?

In short, it’s time for me to stop concerning myself with racism and race.

Continue reading Why racism no longer matters to me