Monthly Archives: November 2016

About the widow and the judge

Many people are skeptical about prayer.

How many have prayed fervently, day and night, for an ailing loved one, and never obtained the desired outcome?

The parable of the widow and the judge promises, “[W]ill not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them.”  For African Americans, that deserves to be laughable.

No one has ever lived, nor is ever likely to live, more expert in prayer than Jesus.  I cannot believe he set forth a teaching either so completely wrong in itself or so subject to complete misunderstanding.

So what is wrong, and what is right?

Continue reading About the widow and the judge

The parable of the widow and the judge

Luke 18:

¹Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Who are the homeless?

(Originally posted 10/08/13.)

A lot of them are just like me: college graduates who have had professional careers, and then given issues in the job market and/or health issues, wind up in this state.

If at all possible, never let yourself become completely jobless.

My last job was at a dollar store where practically all of our white customers came from nearby homeless shelters. My impression at the time was that about half the homeless have jobs; what they don’t have is a job that enables one to have a place of one’s own.

40 hours per week at $7.25 per hour spells a weekly paycheck of $290 before taxes. Good luck finding any housing for $290/month. And that worker will probably qualify for food stamps. As to whether this is or should be what America wants for the minimum wage and food stamps, I have no opinion. It is what is. Even under socialism, there will be people who will not show up at any appointed place or time, and who will not follow anyone’s directions, even if food and shelter are at stake.

On the other hand, I have heard guys, who from their appearance I never would have expected to talk this way, talk about how good it is to be working, to stay busy with positive things, how it makes you feel better about yourself. And the guys on the crews the temp agency sends out normally show a good work ethic, taking initiatives, getting the job done.

About a third of the homeless have severe mental illness, and may or may not be taking their medications.

Continue reading Who are the homeless?

My record cannot be expunged. (UPDATED)

(Originally posted 10/04/13.  See update, below.)

Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland. My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now. Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway. To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011). The paperwork is extensive. One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).

So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.

Previous post: Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”


At this writing, I have no intention of seeking a pardon.  My current job search history shows that, since the “ban the box” legislation took effect, my record poses no obstacle to interviews with, and even job offers from, the employers of interest to me.  As noted in the post linked to, however, before that change in the law, certain major employers were rejecting my applications out of hand.

Changing what I want

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last week I was turned away from the shelter three times:  Sunday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night.

Under current conditions, to be sure I get a bunk, I must show up no later than 14:15.  It’s not just a matter of being on time, but of getting near the front of the line.  And that’s iffy in itself, given that there’s always a bum rush when the gate opens at 14:30.

Accordingly, I must wrap up my activities at church at 13:30 and leave out no later than 13:45.  But the way my day goes, it’s normally 13:00 before I have opportunity to do anything for job search.  That leaves me half an hour.  Can’t do much in half an hour.  It’s been a daily disappointment that I don’t even get off the e-mail to J___ M___, my contact at S&K.

What I want ain’t getting done.  May be time to change what I want — Continue reading Changing what I want

A real church in a real ‘hood

(Originally posted 10/01/13.)

Video: Amazing Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in East Baltimore

Link to it early and often throughout the day!

My first audition tapes will probably be PSAs (public service announcements) for this congregation.

Job search diary 11/03/16 – 11/08/16

Please donate!

THURSDAY 2016-11-03
Issues at the shelter
Posted on FB: Turned away again tonight.
So here’s the deal:
Tomorrow morning, get up no later than 5:15. Leave 5:45 and walk down to the Shot Tower Metro station; this will be do-able because I’ll have left everything at church. Arrive ~6:30. Donald Lee will meet me there and buy me an all-day bus pass.
Take Metro to Penn-North; do the interview; take Metro back to Johns Hopkins and then walk back to church. May arrive ~9:00.

Continue reading Job search diary 11/03/16 – 11/08/16