Archive for October, 2018

Real Stories from Central Canada
October 18, 2018

If you want to learn what it was like to live in the rural areas of central Canada in the nineteenth century, and what it was like to take the message of the gospel to the indigenous peoples, you would do well to consider reading By Canoe and Dog Train by Egerton R. Young.

Young, who lived from 1840 to 1909, was a teacher, Methodist missionary, lecturer and author. His missionary work followed the circuit-preacher approach as he worked among the Cree and Salteaux Indians north of Lake Winnipeg.

At a time when many Caucasian North Americans considered the indigenous people to be inferior, Young respected and loved them and encouraged them to develop fulfill their full potential as human beings and leaders in the church.

The book tells of the adventures, tragedy and joy that Young and his family experienced, and describes in interesting detail the nature of travel in the rural areas in those days – that is, by birch bark canoe and dog sled. I found this book hard to put down.

The stories of native Americans who came to faith in Christ and lived transformed lives are a blessing to read.

Egerton R. Young wrote a dozen other books and traveled throughout the United States, England and Australia, urging more people to come as Christian missionaries to the indigenous peoples of Canada.

Quoting Einstein
October 17, 2018

When I was in Washington, D. C., one year on July 4, I saw a fellow with this quote on his T-shirt:

When I said that all that matters in the universe is atoms, I was wrong. I should have said that all that really matters in the universe is…ADAMS.
Albert Einstein

I was impressed with the profound wisdom of this emphasis on human life, and sometimes I quoted it in my messages at churches, challenging every congregation to make it their aim to be a church that really cares about people.

Recently, remembering that not all quotes that circulate in our world are authentic, I decided to check sources on the internet to try to verify the T-shirt statement, and found, partly to my surprise and partly not, no reference to such a statement by Einstein – or anyone else, for that matter.

I did find several real, verified Einstein quotes. Here are two of them:

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”

” I believe in one thing – that only a life lived for others is a life worth living.”

Do you have a favorite Einstein quote? If so, I would be glad to have you share it with me and others who follow my blog.

A Rally in Pennsylvania
October 5, 2018

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building

Capitol Building, interior of the dome

Do you know what the initials DBI represent? I did not until recently. My friend Rich, a prisoner in a PA State Correctional Institution, told me it means Death By Incarceration, another term for life imprisonment without parole.

There is an organization called Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI). It seeks to advance two bills – Senate Bill 942 and House Bill 135 – that would make those serving life sentences in PA eligible for parole after 15 years. The organization held a rally on October 2 at the State Capitol, and I attended, along with about 300 others.

The rally was dynamic and the speeches informative. A Senator and a member of the House of Representatives and several citizens spoke. The presentations were well balanced, with passionate calls for ratification of the two bills mentioned above. with acknowledgement that victims, too, have rights, and with admissions of how hard it is to forgive offenders.

Some of the speakers have had the sobering experience that a family member has killed someone, and also another family member has been killed. So much pain in our world and our communities.

Other comments:
We believe in second chances.
I believe in redemption.

I urge you to become informed about this movement, the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarceration. Perhaps you will become an advocate.

A portion of the crowd on the steps in the Rotunda.

An important message.