Tag Archives: Stewardship

“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?”

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Easily breakable

(Originally posted 08/25/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 05/07/14.)

06/25/12 I had to buy another flash drive.

I was downloading the music for The William Tell Show. I backed up the .mp3 files by attaching them to e-mails to myself. Problem: some files, such as the first movement of Tchaikovski’s violin concerto, exceed 25 MB and can’t be attached to a Yahoo! e-mail. What to do? Get another flash drive, to back up just those files.

My current flash drive consisted of an aluminum sleeve wrapped around a flat plastic stick. The stick had the USB contacts at one end, and the other end was shaped into a hook. By moving the sleeve back and forth, you could either expose the USB contacts for use, or hide them and expose the hook, to clip the drive onto, say, a key ring for storage.

The clerk offered me a different kind, with no hook or loop or anything that would let me attach it to something for storage. I don’t want to carry the drive around loose in my pocket or bag. So I asked for another like the one I already have. She said people have had trouble with those because “they’re easily breakable.” She said the staff at the Public Computer Center had seen this so much that they asked for the new kind instead.

I smiled and said nothing.

The drives aren’t easily breakable. Rather, some people easily break them.

Continue reading Easily breakable

Issues with upcoming posts

(Originally posted 01/29/14.)

In the process of “recycling” old posts on Wednesdays(*), I am now coming upon a number of posts with which I’m not completely comfortable. I probably would not write them, now or in the future, the way I did at the time; but I’m also still not sure exactly how I’d write them differently.

At the time I wrote those posts, I supposed my homelessness would be brief, and William Tell would soon enough become a public figure able to speak to what he saw as the pressing social issues. My homelessness continues eighteen months later, and my perceptions of those issues have changed.
Continue reading Issues with upcoming posts

Gimme

Proverbs 30:15: “The leech has two daughters. Their names are ‘Gimme’ and ‘Gimme.’”

———— ♦ ————

Saturday 05/12/12, 3:00 p.m. — I tired today of strangers asking me for things when I was on smoke breaks out in front of the library.

Other homeless guys have talked with me about this in the past, expressing similar frustrations.

People talk about “What goes around comes around,” but when it comes to this stuff, I don’t see it. In my years in the ’hood (Barclay area, 2006-2011) I got the definite impression that it’s always the exact same individuals asking, asking, asking, and the “blessing” never gets passed on, nor do they ever give back.

They’ll bleed you dry.
Continue reading Gimme

Smoking, part 1

(Originally published 09/28/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Republished here 10/31/13.)

(Saying “part 1” just in case. There may or may not be a part 2, etc., in the future.)

My patronage has changed, and as a result I must quit smoking. As of 09/27/13, I have not managed this very well. As a result, I’m now in a terrific financial bind.

Forget about not having any more money for smokes; in this coming week, for financial reasons, I may have to spend several nights at a much less desirable shelter; where I don’t want to use the bathroom, haven’t figured out how to shower, and clean clothes aren’t available every day. Then there are the issues of getting prescriptions filled and buying disposable underwear, of which I’m almost out.

Motivation doesn’t matter when one’s facing necessity. However, I have had ample reasons for motivation:
Continue reading Smoking, part 1

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

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 Parable of the Talents

(Originally posted 10/08/13.)

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.
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“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

It pays to be grateful.

I meant to discuss how privileged you are if you can choose your food.

An event Thursday night changed that. Sometimes you’re privileged even when you can’t.

That same guy happened to be right behind me in the dinner line. As we approached the serving window, he got all put out because they’d run out of the chicken and French fries. What we had to accept instead:

Four thick slices of hot, tender, juicy, turkey breast with gravy, and this fantastic stuffing.

And mixed vegetables.

Related: I stay at the best shelter on the East Coast
Related: Learning curve
Continue reading It pays to be grateful.