Desmond Tutu on what it means to be Human

Desmond Mpilo Tutu is a South African religious leader, theologian and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Here are a few things he has said about being human.

All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.

If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

Without forgiveness, there's no future.

Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.

A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.

We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

a spring meme

My obligatory seasonal meme with a tip-o-the-hat to my friend Ollie.

  • Favorite smell - bacon, of course
  • First job - YMCA camp counselor
  • Current job - VP of Human Resources, Retirement KC
  • Dream job - I no longer dream about employment.
  • Astrological - Taurus, you now I am bullish. ツ
  • Favorite Pizza- Chicago Deep Dish … joking … NYC pizza of course!
  • Favorite foot attire- Crocs that I use for slippers.
  • Roller Coasters - Yuk!
  • Favorite candy - Chunky with M&M Peanuts a close second.
  • Favorite ice cream - Pistachio
  • Pet Peeve - Folks who say "the bible says" based on their interpretation.
  • What are you listening to right now - the sound of silence
  • Color of your vehicle -tan
  • Color of eyes - blue
  • Favorite holiday - every day is a holiday when you are retired
  • Night owl, morning or day person - morning
  • Favorite day of week - Monday
  • Tattoos - No but if I did it would be Lady Liberty
  • Like to cook? As long as a frying pan or grill is involved.
  • Beer or wine or neither? Depends on the meal.
  • Can you drive a manual transmission? Sure but ramped vans are all automatic.
  • Favorite color? Blue
  • Do you like vegetables? Depends
  • Do you wear glasses? Sometimes
  • Favorite season - Spring

Share how you would answer in the comments or on your blog.

It's fun to learn odd little things about people.

please do not #prayerbomb my friends

I loved reading this message from my friend Letiah on Facebook. She is a member of the clergy with the Church of the Nazarene. Letiah uses crutches to get around.
Letiah @ Young Clergy Network
My first time here. I was prayer-bombed today because I'm crippled. I did not fight it. I chose to endure the spiritual abuse because I knew it would make him leave faster. I was right. Prayer & go. Didn't even take the time to get to know me at all.

I'm surrounded by Christians who see me as a project right now. I just came to visit the new local coffee shop in my neighborhood. Perhaps if I was viewed as a human the quickie prayer might have focused on something else. I am not angry. This has happened too often in my life for anger to take up space about this. I am just naming the ignorance and ableism that is obviously present in our world and its systems.

Sadly, this is continued evidence that this narrative is widely lived into in the church. Why do people with disabilities widely refuse to attend church? Why do we have issues with our bodies and being? I would suggest because we don't like feeling like projects.

I would also suggest that many of us have accepted and even like the way our disabled bodies bear the image of God in our world. We are NOT here on earth to provide a source of inspiration or to be fixed. Our humanity has been blessed since the very beginning.

We are very good....crutches... and all.

Rant over.

BTW. The iced chocolate Chai is delicious and I'm still crippled. Just in case you were wondering.
Being in a wheelchair and disabled, my wife Ann has had similar experiences of being prayer-bombed because of her disability. I think that the problem with #prayerbombing is a confluence of bad theology and bad manners. I have often said that folks wanting to #prayerbomb Ann should be asking her to pray for them.

Like Letiah, Ann responds with beautiful grace to #prayerbombers. Hats off to Letiah and Ann for the grace and strength they display to us every single day.

So please try not to #prayerbomb my friends. Instead, ask them to pray for you.

Weightless Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking passed away today at the age of 76. I share this 2007 post to remember him.

I'm taking a few moments this morning, the day after Stephen's weightless ride, to share a few of his quotes:
It was amazing, I could have gone on and on. (about his weightless experience)

God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.

To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.

When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.

It matters if you just don't give up.
Stephen has suffered for many many years from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). This flight was the first time in 40 years that Stephen moved freely beyond his wheelchair.


Thought I would challenge my self a bit in February by posting 26 devotions in 28 days on words in the bible. The first word of the day is zeal. Click here for more.

Tripadvisor Readers likes Me

  Readership Badge
    46,000+ Readers

Just got another email note from Tripadvisor that said:
Bob, 46,836 readers have read your reviews –impressive! As a leading contributor, your advice has really made its mark in our travel community. You've also earned a Readership badge with TripCollective. Congrats.
I do not review as many restaurants as I used to but feel free to check my reviews out here.

concept-i car

Toyota's Concept-i Car on display at the Detroit Auto Show [more]

Get Out | ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I did not think that I would like this movie because it was labelled a horror flick. I think the tag was wrong - it is more like something that you would have seen on the Twilight Zone. Ordinary story turned really weird. Normal people become really creepy.

I thought that the acting was pretty good but the acting did not make this one good - the plot is everything. The setup has a 'guess who's coming to dinner' vibe. You get the impression that it is all about racism. And it is. Only not what you think.

I enjoyed the twists and the turns. I could not figure this one out. It kept me engaged all the way through. The editing seemed to be spot on and the casting was good.

I really liked the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★☆☆.

Catch my other mini-reviews by selecting the Movies link in the menu bar above.

Fall Flicks

Here are a few one liners about the flicks I have (re)watched this Fall but have not reviewed.
  • Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
    Not a great Superman or Batman movie. Wonder Woman showed up though.
  • Florence Foster Jenkins ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Meryl Streep acting like she cannot sing.
  • Going in Style ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    Fun movie about three old-timers who are cheated out of their pensions and rob a bank.
  • The Great Wall ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
    Matt Damon fighting reptilian monsters to protect the world says it all.
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    If you liked the first one, you will probably enjoy this one too.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    If you liked the first one, you will probably not enjoy this one.
  • Keeping Up With the Joneses ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Fun movie about when spies move into the neighborhood.
  • La La Land ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    A movie that was simply too full of itself. Major disappointment.
  • Logan ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    A swearing, bloody and disappointing end to the X-Men Origins and Wolverine series
  • Miss Sloane ★★★★★★★★☆☆
    Jessica Chastain excels in this flick about the dark side of lobbying in DC.
  • A Monster Calls ★★★★★★★★★☆
    A beautiful story about a young boy coping with his single mother's terminal illness.
  • Moonlight ★★★★★★★★★☆
    A great flick about growing up gay in an African American community.
  • Sister Act ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    I love watching this old movie about how God works in and through a nightclub singer.
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Tin Fey plays a journalist recounting her wartime coverage in Afghanistan.
  • Why Him? ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Story about how your daughter's boyfriend might be better than you think. A bit racy.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    How Professor Xavier went bald and other insignificant X-Men triva.
Have you seen many of these? Let me know what you thought about them.

Catch my other mini-reviews by selecting the Movies link in the menu bar above.

a simple challenge for 2018

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his
individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them. -Washington Irving

Rise above principle and do what's right. -Joseph Heller

You learn to rise above a lot of bad things that happen in your life. And you have to keep going. -Lauren Bacall

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself,
in acts of bravery and heroism. -Alexander Hamilton

Merry Christmas

She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger---there was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them,
"Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child.

All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said.

mixed messages

I think that your entire life is a process of sorting out some of those early messages that you got. -Bruce Springsteen

Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won't make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa - and it's about getting a balance. -Richard Branson

I want girls to feel the confidence you get from being smart. They get so many messages that tell them the most important thing is to be beautiful. -Danica McKellar

Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and to your needs. -Henry B. Eyring

The longing we have to communicate cleanly and directly with people is always obstructed by qualifications and often with concern about how our messages will be received. -John le Carre

Gone with the Wind | ★★★★★★★★★★

Ann and I watched this epic film last night. A few thoughts:

    •   Directing of the burning of Atlanta was spectacular;
    •   Unbelievable cinematography for a movie made in 1939;
    •   Clark Gable should have got the Oscar for his brilliant performance;
    •   Vivien Leigh made Scarlett come off the pages of the book;
    •   Great onscreen chemistry between Gable and Leigh;
    •   The backdrop of the South in the Civil War was heartbreaking;
    •   Hattie McDaniel was simply wonderful as Mammy;
    •   I loved the contrast in character between Melanie and Scarlett;
    •   The movie showed the different sides of what it means to be honorable;
    •   I think it is one of the best movies of all time.

I love this movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★★★.

Catch my other mini-reviews by selecting the Movies link in the menu bar above.