27 Mar 2019


By |2019-08-05T08:57:47-05:00March 27th, 2019|Quotes|0 Comments



I’d like to a share three “gems” from the late William Sloane Coffin taken from his book of quotations entitled Credo. (John Knox Press, 2004)

William Slone Coffin

GEM #1

“The word ‘homeless’ is devastating, suggesting neither comfort nor companionship, dignity nor grace, and precious little identity. To have no place is to be no place. Homelessness is nowheresville—whether you’re one of the world’s 14 million refugees, a boat person from Indochina, one of Calcutta’s 400,000 semi-starved sidewalk dwellers, or one of the 36,000 who in New York City spend so much of their time huddled in doorways, wrapping themselves in the Daily News.

Can anyone disagree with this assessment?

So what does God’s word teach us?

GEM #2

“The biblical reminder is clear: whatever our economic system, the enemy is excess, not possessions. The battle cry is ‘Enough!’ not “Nothing!’ ‘Enough’ so that we can all break bread together, so that everyone’s prayer can be answered—’Give us this day our daily bread.’ ”

The Bible instructs to us love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. So one would think that those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus would get the idea of “having too much, an excess,” is something we’d all be careful not to indulge in.

Why? There’s a whole world out there who could survive on a bit of “our” excess.

And of course, this reasoning could apply to anyone who has “an excess” of goods or monetary resources. But you’d think that those who call themselves “Christians” would not have any problem with anyone, or any organization, or any government program, that is making “attempts” to aid those in need.

But, unfortunately, you’d be wrong, according to Coffin.

GEM #3

“It is ironic to think of the number of people in this country who pray for the poor and needy on Sunday and spend the rest of the week complaining that the government is doing something about them.”

Something to think about. Something to pray about. Something to do something about.

Let me know if you “readers” would like more of these types of quotes.

Thanks for stopping by.



15 Mar 2019

Everyone Has a Story to Tell . . .

By |2019-08-05T08:57:29-05:00March 15th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

And everyone has a story to live.

The question is: Where are Dave and his friends going to live?

Now if I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying, “There’s goes the neighborhood!”  Of course, this is referring to “those” folks who are now moving into “our” neighborhood.   And it’s primarily understood to carry a negative implication.  It usually involves those of a lower economic bracket moving into a step or two up from their previous neighborhood.

But how about when the roles are reversed?  How about when some upscale developers come into a much “lower-income” area and build a very, fancy high-rise condo building right across the street from the local MacDonald’s and Uptown Baptist Church?  Well, that’s what’s happening in our part of the Uptown neighborhood.  And as you can see, the developers wish to attract buyers who are ready to “Live Their Stories.”

Nothing wrong with that, right?  Aren’t we all free to prosper and dream and earn the right to purchase a nice condo if we can afford to?  Don’t we all have the right to “live our stories?”  Surely, this sounds good to most of us.  But there is a downside  to this “right.”  How about the man, Dave, standing next to the sign?  Although, he tells me he has a nice “spot” (adequate housing) for now, there’s just no telling where he and so many others are going to live out their stories?

From where I sit, less than 1 block away from this brand-new development, it’s apparent that I’ll be having some “new” neighbors soon.  And they won’t be looking like so many of Uptown’s long-time residents . . . folks like Dave.  But I’ll do my best to adapt because it won’t be impacting me “personally” for the moment.  But I do have to wonder (no, I don’t have to wonder!) how it has already impacted a number of my former neighbors.

So the question is—what story will those folks who have been or will soon be “priced out” of this neighborhood have to tell?  And will there be anyone listening?

Take care,

11 Mar 2019


By |2019-03-11T13:20:50-05:00March 11th, 2019|General|0 Comments




In Mark 14:3 we discover Jesus “reclining at the table in the home of a man named Simon the Leper,” when in walks a woman with “an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard.” And before we know it, she’s broken the jar and poured the perfume onto Jesus’ head.

What? What is going on? Who is this woman? And who does she think she is that she can just walk into a “dinner party” and just pour out all of this perfume on Jesus’ head?

I mean, really, this woman has a lot of nerve, right?

And of course, there were those at the party who were quick to condemn her act. Who, exactly, “those folks” we aren’t told, but I would venture that those who agreed with this condemnation, may have included some of Jesus’ own disciples (and so many of us, if we were in attendance!).

Why? Because we, too, would have agreed with their rationale: That this “expensive perfume” (which was worth more than a year’s wages!) could have been sold and the money given to the poor.

Sounds reasonable? Right? I mean, who could argue with that thought process?


Woman pouring oil on Jesus's head

Well, let’s see how Jesus, himself, reacts to this “extravagant out-pouring of love and affection.”   He immediately defends the woman and her actions (Mark 14:6), and then tells those in attendance why he is defending her and her actions.

Jesus seemingly agrees with those who were critical of her actions when he says, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.” (Mark 14:7) He seems to be saying something like, “Hey folks, of course I agree with you, the poor do indeed need as much help as we can give them, and you are “free” to do this whenever you want.” (Notice also Jesus appears to be allowing us “the freedom” to choose just how much we will give, and when we will give.)

But when Jesus states to this crowd (and to us) that “we” will not always have him, he seems to be implying (and not too subtly) that his very life and teachings and example is one of such prime importance that no one should mistake who he is and what his mission is all about.

And guess what? It is this “least” woman (who might have been a woman of some “means” because of the value of her gift…or not) who is the one who comprehends the significance of the moment. This woman had the spiritual insight (a gift from God) to recognize that Jesus’ time on earth was coming to an end… and soon! And she chose (it was her choice) to show her love and appreciation for what Jesus was going to do for her (and everyone else!). And she didn’t care what anyone else thought. All she knew is that she wanted to offer this gift… before the time had passed.

And how does Jesus view her actions?

He says, “I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9)

But why is this? Why is what she has done “so important” that wherever the gospel is preached (an integral part of God’s plan) her actions “will also be told?”

I don’t want to pretend to fathom the depths of the meaning behind this story… so I won’t. But I will venture to observe that this woman saw something of primary importance when we are talking about God, the poor, and our relationship with them both. She saw that she ought to give “her all” (give what she had) to this Jesus because of his willingness to go the cross for her. And further, I’d like to think that somehow she “instinctively” seemed to know that without God’s forgiveness and love and care for herself and everyone, well then, all our giving and helping the poor will lack the very deep down, humble integrity that we can only possess if we are in right relationship with God. In other words, one ought to come before the other.

And is not this exactly what the God of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament teaches? Yes indeed, in fact, as most of us are quite aware—God’s whole law can be summed up in the two great commandments.

And how did Jesus respond when an expert in the law asked him, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36)

Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love you neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)

So we see that God has a desired “order” of how he wants us to live our lives. He simply wants us to love him first and foremost. Why? Because he’s our creator and he knows that life will not “work” (no matter how we hard we try!) the way he intended if we can’t accept how much he loves us and how much he’s done for us.

But if we can “accept” this—and give God his due—then we’ll be so overflowing with love and gratefulness towards our God that we ought not have “too much” problem with loving our neighbors as ourselves. After all, if we truly grasp what God has done for us, well then, we ought to want “the best” for our neighbor.

For when we truly realize how much God loves and forgives us, then hopefully, we will be happy to give “what we have to spare” (whether it’s a lot or a little!) to our neighbors…which include the poor.   I mean, this kind of love is far “too good” to keep to ourselves.

And finally isn’t this what Jesus envisioned how we, who call ourselves his followers, would “put to use” his love for us? (See Matthew 25:31-40)

And this why he will say, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

And how about those who “claimed” to know him and have a relationship with him, but refused to help even a few of the “so many” who were lacking some of lifes’ most basic needs?” How will respond to them?

“I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45)

Which response would like to hear from Jesus?

Just remember, it’s your choice, and your life’s actions are telling your story…right now.

Take care,


(And take care of someone who needs it. You’ll be glad you did!)

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