Tag Archives: Evangelism

Unlocking the vision

Proverbs 29:18:  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

I saw it any number of times while teaching:  give a child a musical instrument, or the discovery of any other talent, whether art, or sports, or some special interest; and it just transforms that life.  The vision of the excellence he or she can achieve, the beauty she or he can create, unlocks vast positive energies.  The mediocre-at-best student comes to excel in every subject.  The child who was awkward and socially withdrawn begins to shine.
Continue reading Unlocking the vision

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The wandering will

Cartesian space
A vector in a three-dimensional space.

I envision the emotional or spiritual world as a ten-dimensional space, in which a vector (arrow) beginning at the origin (the center of the space) depicts a person’s emotional state at any point in time.  The vector’s length indicates the intensity of one’s emotions at a given moment, while its direction indicates what kinds of feelings those are — equal parts joy and sadness, for example, or some anger and much love.

These are the energies one is emanating at that moment, the kinds of light or darkness one creates.
Continue reading The wandering will

I really have nothing better to do

(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

Light Inside: A Hallowe’en Message

(Below appears a tract I passed out with the Hallowe’en candy in 2007. “Chaos overwhelms the poor” describes that neighborhood.  Originally posted here 10/26/13.)

Light Inside

Hallowe’en is the night before a Christian holiday. The name of the holiday is “All Saints’ Day.” Years ago, they called it “All Hallows’ Day,” and the night before, “All Hallows’ Evening.”

Continue reading Light Inside: A Hallowe’en Message

Chaos overwhelms the poor

(Originally posted 08/06/14.)

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

Where trees thrive, people thrive

This thinking goes back to 1973.

I was a senior in high school, running an errand in the family car.  I must have been listening to WKSU.  This 5- or 15-minute segment came on.  A female spokesperson for the ACLU said that, under the compulsory school attendance law, a minor can only be in one of two places: a school, or a penal facility.  In her view there was no real difference.

I was an honors student and deeply convicted that education is the answer to poverty.  Thus her remarks left me incensed.  More than that, whereas I’ve never been a conservative, it seemed to me that the ACLU and other, like-minded movements were bent on destroying all order in society.  The family unit was under attack.  Marriage was under attack.  The schools were under attack.  Change for its own sake, which seemed to be what these people were after, isn’t good.  Nothing can be built on a foundation of chaos.  A child needs to root oneself in earth that will be in the same place today as tomorrow.  A tree can’t grow in quicksand.

Continue reading Where trees thrive, people thrive

* Chaos overwhelms the poor

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading * Chaos overwhelms the poor

* Unlocking the vision

Proverbs 29:18:  “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

I saw it any number of times while teaching:  give a child a musical instrument, or the discovery of any other talent, whether art, or sports, or some special interest; and it just transforms that life.  The vision of the excellence he or she can achieve, the beauty she or he can create, unlocks vast positive energies.  The mediocre-at-best student comes to excel in every subject.  The child who was awkward and socially withdrawn begins to shine.
Continue reading * Unlocking the vision

* The wandering will

Cartesian space
A vector in a three-dimensional space.

I envision the emotional or spiritual world as a ten-dimensional space, in which a vector (arrow) beginning at the origin (the center of the space) depicts a person’s emotional state at any point in time.  The vector’s length indicates the intensity of one’s emotions at a given moment, while its direction indicates what kinds of feelings those are — equal parts joy and sadness, for example, or some anger and much love.

These are the energies one is emanating at that moment, the kinds of light or darkness one creates.
Continue reading * The wandering will

* Light Inside: A Hallowe’en Message

(Below appears a tract I passed out with the Hallowe’en candy in 2007. “Chaos overwhelms the poor” describes that neighborhood.)

Light Inside

Hallowe’en is the night before a Christian holiday. The name of the holiday is “All Saints’ Day.” Years ago, they called it “All Hallows’ Day,” and the night before, “All Hallows’ Evening.”

Trick or treat, jack o’ lanterns and all the stuff with ghosts, come instead from a pagan holiday called Samhein. These customs became attached to Hallowe’en, but are not really part of it. Hallowe’en comes on October 31 every year. Samhein comes on the first full moon after September 21, which can be any day between September 22 and October 19.

A jack o’ lantern is a pumpkin with the insides carved out, and a candle or other light inside. What about the light inside of you?

It was to people just like you, that Jesus said these words:

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

These words aren’t about believing anything. They’re not about going to heaven after you die. They are instead about what you are, here and now, and what you do, here and now.

  • You are God’s child. This does not depend on what you believe. Those to whom Jesus said these words, were not Christians; they weren’t “born again.” At the time he said this, no one but he alone knew that he would die and rise again to save the world from sin. You are God’s child now. Do you act like it?
  • You are the world’s light. The light inside a jack o’lantern makes the whole thing glow, and shines out into the world. In this world, in your world, that light which comes from inside you and shines out into the world, is the only light that matters.
  • Your good works won’t “save” you. No one can earn salvation. But your actions do have big effect, for good or harm, on your home, your family, and the ‘hood. Are your actions good?

On “All Saints’ Day,” the church remembers all those Christians who have gone before, who worked so hard to be faithful to what Jesus taught. The “communion of saints,” mentioned in the Creeds, means these souls are still available today, to support those who seek to continue in the same work they did. And it is work. Minimum requirements for anyone who wants to be about these things, include these four:

  • Weekly church attendance. The people there aren’t perfect. Their beliefs aren’t perfect, either. Go anyway. Nobody but the church is even trying to understand and live as Jesus taught.
  • Daily Bible study. Don’t rely on anybody else to tell you what the Bible says. Learn it for yourself. (Minimum: 15 minutes/day.)
  • Daily prayer time. This must include admitting one’s mistakes and accepting forgiveness for them. (Minimum: 15 minutes/day.)
  • Daily application of Jesus’ teachings as you understand them. This is not a matter of teaching them to others. It’s a matter of practicing them yourself. (Minimum: 24 hours/day.)

Your home, your family, the ‘hood all need your light and your good works.

Don’t wait for anything to change, before you will begin.

Do it now.

Start today.

(c) 2013 William Tell

(Reblogged 10/27/16.)
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger