“Of course, now that I am a Presbyterian…”

In relation to “Greatest Hit“, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

Of course, now that I am a Presbyterian, I am supposed to argue with Luther that we are already saved by faith. However, it seems to me that God would hope for more than my resting on His laurels.

I find it difficult to believe that I am saved by faith, no matter what I might do, or not do. I understand that I am saved by grace because I cannot achieve perfection. I remain enough of a Universalist to believe that most, if not all, may be saved given appropriate action, perhaps in a place resembling purgatory.

But suppose we are all saved by God’s grace and our faith in Him – already, and despite what we do. Kierkegaard said, and it has stuck with me, that the best is to forgive others easily, but to forgive oneself only when one is sure one has done one’s best.

And so God forgives us easily. But should we also ourselves? I note that God did not forgive Himself easily. He came to Earth as one of us, to guide us against our own evil natures to him, and was tortured and nailed to a cross in partial payment for his love.

Should I not try to follow His example? Even if it is hopeless for me to hope to be good, should I not try? Should I not struggle against an evil, un-benevolent, unrighteous nature, cracked through with infidelity? Would God not hope that I would try, even if He was willing to forgive me if I failed, or even didn’t?

And if I loved Him, and He was truly my template, why wouldn’t I try?. It’s like a boxing match. God sits at my corner cheering me on. He patches me up after every round and sends me out to try again. He doesn’t give up on me. I hope He hopes I won’t give up on Him. I hope I don’t.

No doubt I will fail. I just hope to try, and to try again.

Powerful sentiments, just before Easter.

Posted in Christianity, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Religion | Leave a comment


In relation to “Share” concerning an incident of generosity between impoverished persons, and research showing that the poor are more giving than the rich, William Hawkins saw a different angle. The email exchange:


True, but it also is true that they prey on each other as well…


I wonder if they prey on each other more or less than the rich? Can’t find anything here.


Well, there are more of them, they can’t pay for security, so I’d guess they do.

Posted in Challenges, Poverty | Leave a comment


In relation to the rapid descent of Billy Cowsill, and his rehabilitation, through the help of Neil MacGonigill, among others:

He’s credited with being the man who saved veteran rock ‘n’ roller Billy Cowsill, who had literally descended from global pop star fame in the ’60s to lying drunk in a Northwest Territories ditch, where MacGonigill found him in the mid-’70s. Thanks to MacGonigill’s help, the late Cowsill went on to further his musical pedigree for decades to come.

Similar to legendary musician Bob Mosley, homeless for five years:

In 1996, Peter Lewis picked me up along the side of a San Diego freeway where I was living, to tell me a ruling by San Francisco Judge Garcia gave Moby Grape their name back. I was ready to go to work again.

Similar to pulling someone out of a snow bank, before he won’t be able to get up again.

When the lift becomes life-saving, if not life-changing…

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Drunk client for one of the criminal defence lawyers. Meet him outside the building, smoking. Me, not him.

He asks for one. Give him two, so he has an extra for later.

We go into building together. Forgot that he was accompanied by friend, not drunk. Immediately goes over and gives friend the second cigarette, before going upstairs to find out the range of sentence he is likely to face.

Several recent research studies showing that the poor are more generous than the rich. One expanded conclusion:

A PhD candidate at Berkeley, Paul Piff, recently repeated that finding – and more: “lower-income people were more generous, charitable, trusting and helpful to others than were those with more wealth. They were more attuned to the needs of others and more committed generally to the values of egalitarianism.”

Posted in Criminal Justice Issues, Income Disparities and Polarization | Leave a comment

“His whole life is dusty.”

Friend commenting on a life trajectory that somehow just doesn’t move consistently upward.

Tried to find a related clip, instead came across review of a biography of Dusty Springfield, where the parental lives seem a sideways match:

Her father was ‘overweight, bespectacled and balding,’ a tax adviser who refused to sit the accountancy exams because ‘he really wanted to be a concert pianist’. He also never did any gardening, as ‘there could be snakes hiding in the undergrowth’. Meantime, Dusty’s mother was continuously drunk and sat all day in cinemas.

Lives where…

Posted in Various life philosophies | Leave a comment

Professional II

In relation to “Professional“, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

The “profession” piece is interesting. Perhaps it explains my “mystique” as a tenure and promotion advisor – a bureaucratic version of an advocate for the defendant; an intrapreneur accredited by Faculty Association and Administration.

I’ve been doing the job, as it turns out, for about 13 years. It is an additional role to my employment as a business professor. And the people I represent often, usually or generally win. Though not always.

The role is crucial for anyone finding themselves feeling mauled in the jaws of the system and facing career limitations (denial of promotion) or the end of their career (denial of tenure) at my university. And I suppose the mystique is the record and the experience one develops.

Truthfully, it is a ministry for me; a way to express faith and hope in the action we define as love. I was once the victim. Now I help others avoid victimization, or help them survive it. When I no longer have this role, my replacement will be a victim I helped to save himself.

For me, its the best job I do at work. It is a chance to put Christian values into action, to make a real and immediate difference.

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Who Am I This Time?

Who Am I This Time? Film starring Chrisopher Walken and Susan Sarandon. How being on the stage enables one to be a person very different from the essence:

Thinking about how teaching is often like theatre, where a particular role is assumed. Wondering in terms of organizations where the essence must always be evident, and other organizations where the theatrical is acceptable or preferable.

So when one speaks about traits: the theatrical countering any immutability?

And with such theatrical wording…

Posted in Film, Personality, Television | Leave a comment