Wednesday, June 27, 2012

      I really did ride on the little yellow school bus in Havana when I traveled with a Friendshipment Caravan in 2007.  And folks in Colorado have saved four buses now from the junk yard.  Three are already in Cuba and the fourth will get there this summer.  One of them is being used by the Juan Diaz Ortopedica Hospital in Havana.  It is a good thing that we have done and I am proud of and grateful to those who have made it possible.
     The story is also, as you may have guessed, about Ben.  All too often when peope retire they are no longer considered to be of value.  Ben knew that is simply not true--and so should you.  The best to you as you decide on your adventure, whatever it may be, when you head into your golden years.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jenny advised Forest Gump to run whenever he was troubled.  If you remember, he ran to the coast three times.  Although I hardly ever ran because I was troubled, running was calming.  The picture on the left was probably taken after I had run about 16 miles in the Omaha Marathon.  I admit that, by this time, peace had given way to pain but I'm still glad I did it.  One of the ideas I took away from my running is that runners create their own environment.  So it is with life in general if we so choose.  We can't control a lot of our extenal circumstances.  We can control our disposition toward them.  Works for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I was appointed as a student pastor to a circuit of four Methodist churches.  My first Sunday, I preached at Isabella Methodist Church.  The Jenkins family was in attendance.  That evening I preached at Maplesville and lo and behold the Jenkins showed up.  I preached the same sermon I preached that morning.  Following the Service I did something I have never done since; I apologized to the family for having to hear the same sermon twice.  Carl said, "Preacher, I always tell my wife that if the soup is good the first time, it's good warmed over."  I thanked him for that.  Later, I realized that he never said it was good the first time.  Maybe you've heard my story about my visit to Spain before.  If so, I hope you will still find something in it that will brighten your day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Talmud says we see things as we are not as they are.  I can only guess the number of times I assumed that something was true about someone only to find out I was wrong.  Thank goodness I didn't always act on my assumptions.  I regret the few times I did.   I've discovered that when I've taken the time to ask questions, that time was not wasted.  And of all the questions that come to mind, the question "why?" is without doubt the most important.

Monday, May 28, 2012

After all these years, the old truck is resting in California.  My Dad lived his stories.  As a metaphor it informed my life.  Now it's my son's turn.  He'll have to tell/live his own stories.  But he'll always have the love of two men to back him up.
Before I passed it on, I drove it to the top of Pikes Peak and I also drove it over to the Garden of the Gods to reflect on all that had gone into the life of the man who gave it to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

How a truck became a metaphor
 Our parents didn't leave my sister and me much stuff. Just a lot of love and a grounding in values that informs our lives to this day.  But that old truck, that's a different story.  This is the first of two stories inspired by a truck driven first by my Dad, then by me, and finally by my son. As you listen, I hope you will understand what I mean when I say it's not just a truck, it's a metaphor.  The stories are a little long, my memories even longer, but hopefully they will bring you a little enjoyment.
A new lease on life

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Miss Bessie, a white woman, operated a small store in Gees Bend, Alabama, a rural area sparsely populated by poor African Americans.  She barely made a living herself, but her gift of new shoes to a twelve year black boy--the first ones he had ever owned, made a difference.  It's where social justice begins--with acts of simple yet profound compassion. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Five Cuban men began a mission in Miami in 1990 to monitor the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups aimed at attacking Cuba.  They never harmed anyone or ever possessed nor used any weapons on the mission.  They were arrested by the US government, unjustly convicted and imprisoned and remain so today. I encourage you to check for the whole story and seriously consider how you can help right this wrong.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Last Sunday I received the Micah 6 award from First Congregational Church in Colorado Springs. The award is given each year to persons in the community for their leadership in social justice issues. Micah 6 is the reference to the prophet's injunction to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with the Lord.” I received the award on behalf of the many folks in the area who, over the past several years, have sent buses of humanitarian aid and caravanistas to Cuba (5 buses to date).

We are raising money to purchase another bus for the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan this year. As many of you know, the Caravan travels without the required license to protest the unjust economic blockade the US has imposed on Cuba for the past fifty years.

 You are invited to a potluck supper at Vista Grande (5460 North Union Blvd) at 5:30 pm, July 7. We will hear from Pastors for Peace caravanistas and bless this year's bus for it's journey to Cuba. Our last bus is now in use by the Juan Diaz Orthopedic Hospital in Havana.

Email me at for more information and to find out how you can help.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In a perfect world, all the questions would have answers, all problems solutions.  A case in point if the injunction to love one another.  We care for one another as best we can, but the other person must decide whether or not to take responsibility for himself or herself.  Most of us, at one time or another, must cross that bridge.


Monday, April 16, 2012

I was alone with my Dad shortly before he died.  I confessed that I was sorry for all the stories I had told about Aunt Pearly.  I said, "I know she wasn't all that bad."  Dad thought for a moment and said, "Yes she was." Aunt Pearly had a "nevous condition."  She did, in fact, have a hard life and she complained a lot and expected everyone to do things her way, without question.  At least, that's how I remembered her.  But, in fairness, I also remember that, as far as I know, no one ever challenged her.  We were all content to criticize.  Now I can't help but wonder what her life and the lives of those around her would have been like if someone like Little John's wife had lovingly challenged her.  Just a thought.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The old depot still holds artifacts and memories of a day when Jack Slade finally killed Old Jules. The new town of Julesburg now rests in its fourth location.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hospoitality should go both ways

The year was 1957.  The place was a small community in Alabama--the heart of Klan country.  A young white preacher drops in to a Black Baptist Church unannounced, is welcomed without hesitation, is told he will preach, does so, and warms to a hospitality he cannot return.  And people wonder why I became active in Civil Rights.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Tin Man Triathalon, Topeka, Kansas is a scaled down version of the Iron Man.  3:21 hours, 11:6 seconds put me pretty close to last but left me with a victory in my book of memories.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Prophet in his own time

The Rev Emmett Wilson (Brother Wilson) lived in a simpler time but his courage, compassion, and his passion for justice should inspire all those who work for a better, fairer world

Monday, February 27, 2012

Brother Wilson, Healer

Brother Wilson, an old young voice, humble, courageous, speaking for justice

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Faith in Action

"When your yesterdays are brighter than your tomorrows, you know you are old." Brother Wilson

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nicodemus, A Town that Will Not Die

Nicodemus' Visitors Center and Museum is one of the few buildings still in use.  The building itself was a WPA Project, finished in 1939.      The building above is the old schoolhouse indicated in the sign.  There is also a Senior Residence and a Baptist Church.  The Church is apparently still is use.  There are no businesses open in the town.  As of the middle of January 2012, the population of Nicodemus was 19 but it is still the oldest remaining all African-American town in Kansas--founded in 1877 by ex-slaves from the South.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not Too Old

It's just a children's story about an old camel until both children and old folks get the point.