Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

My response to Sunday’s sermon — and another event, after church — surprised me, and seemed to affirm that self-love is indeed the beginning of creation.

The sermon text was from Luke 18:

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Light Inside: A Hallowe’en Message

(Below appears a tract I passed out with the Hallowe’en candy in 2007. “Chaos overwhelms the poor” describes that neighborhood.  Originally posted here 10/26/13.)

Light Inside

Hallowe’en is the night before a Christian holiday. The name of the holiday is “All Saints’ Day.” Years ago, they called it “All Hallows’ Day,” and the night before, “All Hallows’ Evening.”

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Job search diary 10/27/16

I continue to try to hook up with H____, the manager of the CVS – Penn North, by phone.  This one prospect has been the sole focus of my attention, heart and mind.  If there is no progress by Friday morning, I will resume exploring other options; foremost, the new Save-A-Lot soon to open just 100 yards from my church.

It’s time to review my situation and goals.

Continue reading Job search diary 10/27/16

* Jacob’s ladder 04/05/14

(Originally posted 04/05/14.  Reblogged 06/07/18.)

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness. Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream. I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.” Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

1. Fear of the unknown. See From my diary: Learning to pray.
2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am. Details here.
3. Times of despair. I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen. Details here.
4. Incidents of utter selfishness. Details here.
5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
6. Cut loose the losers. Details here.
7. Smoking. See posts tagged “Smoking”.
8. Shame. See “(3) Baby steps.”
9. Attributions of arrogance, selfishness and greed. Details here.
10. Others’ well-intentioned but misguided prayers. Details here.

A landmark study

(Originally posted 07/08/15.)

Stress in low-income families can affect children’s learning

I am very excited about this.

This is, as far as I know, the first study to attempt to measure the degree of chaos in the home.

The researchers in an earlier-mentioned study (Related:  Poor children have smaller brains) speculated that “poor families tend to live more chaotic lives, and that stress could inhibit healthy brain development.”  The current study seems to indicate that it is directly so.

As of this writing, my hypothesis has become as follows:  the chaos of a growing child’s environment causes comparatively more resources to be devoted to the limbic system and less to the cerebral cortex, resulting in a body with reduced capacity to learn.

Related: Chaos overwhelms the poor