Have you watched the news lately? If you’re a little like me, you might be avoiding it. It can be really depressing! Mounting evidence of Russia’s intrusion into not only our election process but that of other countries as well. Hateful political rhetoric that deepens the divide in our country and throughout the world. Hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, and a volcano on the brink. Church and school shootings (there are way too many shootings everywhere but it seems even more tragic because the two places you should never have to worry about are church and school.) All of these issues on top of racism, child abuse, human trafficking, substance abuse, poverty, etc.
Today I am in Germany. I am part of a church trip to Germany and to England to study the Reformation. We made the trip this year because of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the “95 Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg (10/31/1517). It was one of the pivotal moments in the history of the church.
Racism is polluting our country and we are all affected by its poison. It seems like it has only grown worse and it is in times like this I can become so frustrated. I want to do something, yet – I also feel somewhat helpless to take on the entire subject of “racism in America”.
Last night there was a terrible fire in a high-rise apartment building in London. At last report 12 people have been killed and many more injured. Today a gunman killed three people in San Francisco. He injured at least two others before taking his own life. And also this morning, a man began shooting at […]
Recently I heard a fascinating quote (and I beg forgiveness that I do not remember where I heard it), it went something like this, “We do not have a problem with anger in our country, we have a problem with contempt.”
My son Brooks has long had the habit of spending time in the car – specifically, staying in the car when we arrive home from somewhere. Typically what happens is I will park the car, get out, start to head in – and Brooks will stay behind in the car for some time. We had wondered what he was doing – sometimes he would be listening to music, sometimes playing a game on his phone, sometimes reading…But why couldn’t he just do that in the house?
Yesterday a powerful storm and tornado system hit Elk City, Oklahoma. There was at least one fatality, several injuries, and significant damage to homes and businesses. One of the homes that was hit was the one where we used to live. It was so surreal to see it affected knowing that it figured so prominently in our daughter’s childhood. It was a strange feeling seeing that it had largely been destroyed and at the same time remembering that it had once given us a joyful place to live.that had once given you safe and joyful memories. I don’t know who lives there now, but they are certainly in my prayers.
My 16 year-old son just received his drivers license! It is funny that we are doing the sermon series, “Racing to the Flag” at St. Luke’s and my own household has revolved around driving (and getting to drive) lately. Brooks’ license came after training at a driving academy, obtaining a temporary permit, hours of practice, and then….waiting. Six months of waiting to be exact, though the last two weeks have been the longest!
Recently I was stopped at a traffic light for a few moments and happened to see a person on the side of the road selling magazines. They were offering “The Curbside Chronicle” for a suggested donation of $2. “The Curbside Chronicle” works to help homeless individuals find a source of employment. People who sell the magazines go through an application and then a training process. They receive their first 15 magazines free to sell and then they purchase copies for $.75/copy to sell for suggested donation of $2. They keep 100% of their sales.
Up until this spring there had been a certain elderly gentleman that walked regularly in our neighborhood. He appeared to me to be of Asian descent and perhaps not over 5’6” in height. But there were really only two reasons that he stood out to me. First, he had a very distinctive gait pattern. He walked with a fairly brisk pace and his arm would swing back in an arc all the way behind his back as he walked along. It may have been part of his daily exercise to get the most out of his walk, but it was memorable. But the biggest thing I remember about him was his smile. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t a huge smile. It just always struck me as kind and genuine. I would drive by in my car, he would wave and flash a small smile, and I truly felt blessed by him.