Monthly Archives: August 2017

22 Aug 2017

Old friend gets book

By |2017-08-22T08:18:22-05:00August 22nd, 2017|General|0 Comments

Here’s my old friend Ray. He’s been a friend and client at times over the years. When he heard that I had finally finished my book, he said he was eager to secure a copy. So he convinced his buddy who has a little more flexible income than he does to purchase one. He was so happy to get his copy. He told me he started reading it and found it “interesting.” And Ray wanted me to sign it, and I was glad to oblige.

Thanks Ray for your support. But really I owe you a lot more thanks for simply allowing me to “get a peek” into your life every once in a while.

Be blessed.


18 Aug 2017

Indoors in Uptown!

By |2017-08-18T09:45:25-05:00August 18th, 2017|General|0 Comments

Rally for the Ignored

ONE Northside sponsored a rally for the tenants of the Wilson Men’s Hotel on August 17, 2017. There was about 50-75 supporters that showed up to make their voice heard. The message: They called upon the new landlord of the building and Alderman James Cappleman to keep their word when they stated that they would both work together to make sure that No One becomes homeless because of the upcoming renovations that will take place. A number of these men have been residents for years and will most assuredly have a very difficult time in securing even the lowliest of affordable housing without sufficient assistance.

Tenants plead with Landlord and Alderman

I was honored to take a stand with these folks. Is it too much to ask for our poor and our least to be granted a simple, no-frills room to live in? One that is inside. Not outside. Pray for the new landlord and Alderman Cappleman to do their very best to ensure a smooth and decent transition for the residents of the W​​ilson Men’s Hotel.



16 Aug 2017

Why did God call me?

By |2017-08-16T09:04:43-05:00August 16th, 2017|General|0 Comments

A hint from Frederick Buechner

Spoiler Alert. But not really. At the end of my book I tell myself that I’ll need to “wait for Jesus to explain to me more fully why he placed me where he placed me.”

Well, I was reading a book by Megan McKenna called “And Morning Came” when she quoted Frederick Buechner in his book “Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC.” Buechner writes: “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and world’s deep hunger meet.”

Yeah, after 25 years on the front-lines of ministry, Buechner’s words offer a bit more insight into why God placed me where he placed me. He knew I’d be sufficiently “tested” (for me) as well as abundantly blessed in this spot. It seems to have truly helped me to stay close to him. And that is a “beautiful” thing.

Still, I’ll be glad to hear more explicitly Jesus’ reasons for my calling. I’m sure it will be quite revealing.


14 Aug 2017

A Little Back and Forth

By |2017-08-14T09:37:22-05:00August 14th, 2017|General|0 Comments

With My Friend Earl

This is my friend Earl. We’ve had a relationship for about the past 20 years. He’d come by our dinner guest program back then… and he’d always be good for some talk on just anything that creeped into the conversation. Earl has a way of putting forth his opinion in the most “bluntest” of expressions. But then his health started going down hill, and he’s been an extremely reluctant resident of Chicago’s nursing home system for about the past 15 years. I guess you could say that he hasn’t been a “happy camper” … for the most part.

But there is another side to my friend Earl as well. He can be very kind and even endearing to all that come across his path. He’s what he calls himself—a survivor! He says he’s had to “fight” for nearly ever little “want” or many times “needs” that he feels he ought to be granted without any question whatsoever. After all, he’s an intelligent man who knows what’s best for himself, right?

Now for the most part, I can readily agree with him regarding his wants and needs. They don’t seem unreasonable at all. Like the need for a wheelchair when he wants one. Or the time and assistance needed for a shower and clean clothes. Or maybe a little extra food from time to time.

But recently we got into a “have a go at it” conversation on the phone.

“Hey Chris, how are you doing?” he said. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry about the way I acted towards you on the phone last night. I wasn’t really mad at you. I was just so fed up with the way I’m being treated in this nursing home.
“Yeah, I can “hear” that,” I responded. “It really sounds like you’re really upset with how things are going now. Well, I just want you to know that I forgive you. But I also want you to know that the main reason that I try so hard to get you to “settle down” concerning these confrontations is for your own good.”
“But, Chris, you don’t understand what I’ve got to face each and every day!, he said. “You don’t have a clue with what I have to put up with each and every freakin’ day!”
“You know, you’re right,” I responded. “But I do know that constantly “fighting against the system” won’t help your situation much.”
.”Hey Chris, you know me, I’m not going to just let anyone boss me around and tell me what’s good for me or not.”
“Yeah, I do know that. And as Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for you?”
“Hey, it’s workin’ just fine.”
“Oh really, do you have any kind of peace after you’ve ranted and raved concerning your situation?”
“Of course, I don’t,” he quickly responded. “How do you expect me to feel?”
“Hey Earl, do you believe that I have “good’ intentions whenever I offer my perspective on your predicaments?”
“Of course, I do,” he said. “But you don’t understand how bad and how frustrating this whole system is. You just better hope that you never find yourself ending up in a nursing home. I guarantee you, you will not be a happy camper!”
“You know, Earl, I believe you,” I said.

Strangely enough, we ended up on a much more positive note. Earl had just needed “to vent” once more. And I had just needed to offer “my perspective” once again.

After all, I couldn’t just let my friend believe that the world is against him. Even though it might seem like that much of the time…to all of us.

I mean, I wouldn’t be much of a friend if I didn’t speak my mind, would I?