Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Day Reverend Henderson Bumped His Head

We've been talking at church some about what it meant to be a prophet. Yes, they told the future sometimes, but they did an awful lot of just "telling it like it is". This is a reading I had to do for one of my classes a couple of semesters ago. I thought it was really a humorous, but challenging read. For whoever wants to read it:

The Day Reverend Henderson Bumped His Head

A Parable By William H. Willimon

Leaning down toward the bottom shelf to retrieve his trusty Strong’s Concordance to pursue “new moon” through both testaments, the Reverend Henry Henderson, pastor of Sword of Truth Presbyterian Church, bumped his head.

“Darn,” he exclaimed, grabbing his forehead.

This he followed immediately with, “Damn,” which was muttered with atypical candor. The rather non-ministerial ejaculation surprised Henderson. He could hardly believe he said it. “Damn,” he heard himself say again. “This hurts.”

That, so far as the Reverend Henderson could tell, was how it all began—an accidental blow to the brain while reaching for a concordance.

Moments later the phone rang.

“Pastor,” whined a nasal voice at the other end, “are you busy?”

“Not at all…” said Henderson out of habit. Then, from nowhere Henderson said, “I’m sitting here in my study just dying for someone like you to call and make my day! No, I am busy. I was working on my sermon for next Sunday. What is it?”

His words paralyzed him. They must also have stunned the whiny voice at the other end of the line, for there was a long, awkward silence followed by “Er, well, I’ll call you at home tonight after work, Pastor.”

“No,” said Henderson firmly, alien words forming in his mouth as if not by his own devising, “call me during office hours on any day other than Friday. Thank you. Good bye.”

The receiver dropped from his hand and into the telephone cradle. He felt odd. Yes, quite odd. His head no longer throbbed. Yet he felt odd.

Emerging from his study, he encountered Jane Smith, come to church for her usual Friday duties for the altar guild. “As usual, just me,” she said to Henderson. “They all say they’ll be on the guild, that they don’t mind helping out the church. Yet, when it comes time for the work, where are they?”

“I think you know very well why they are not here,” said Henderson. “You gave them only a half-hearted invitation. Everyone knows you love playing the martyr. Their absence helps bolster your holier-than-thou-attitude.”

Smith nearly dropped the offering plate she was holding, along with the polishing cloth and the Brasso.

“Pastor! How dare you accuse me of being a complainer! You know how hard I’ve worked to get the altar guild going! If you gave us volunteers the kind of support we ought to…”

Henderson wasn’t listening. He staggered down the hall as Jane Smith continued her complaint. He was feeling dizzy, unsteady.

Out in the parking lot, gasping for fresh air, Henderson was spied by John Tyler.

“Glad I caught you,” said John. “Pray for Florence. My wife is under the weather again. Just working herself to death, I think. She won’t be at the Finance Committee meeting tonight. I’ll tell her I told you.”

“I doubt that Florence will know whether you told me or not, considering her condition,” said Henderson to Tyler.

“What do you mean?” asked Tyler.

“You know what I mean. ‘Under the weather’ is your euphemistic way of saying ‘dead drunk.’ Denial is not just a river in Egypt, John. I’ve tried to broach the subject with you and Florence before. When you’re ready to face the truth about Florence’s habit, let me know. Until then, spare me the excuses.”

Henderson got into his blue Toyota and shut the door, leaving Tyler staring dumbly at him from the church walk. Seated behind the steering wheel, Henderson started the car and backed out quickly, as if he knew where he was going and what he was doing. He didn’t. He was a man losing control. He simply could not stop telling the truth, no matter how much he wanted to do otherwise.

He was a pastor in peril.

Henderson at the hospital that afternoon, Room 344: “So the doctor tells you your heart problems are congenital? That so? Are you sure the doctor didn’t mention anything about (by my reckoning) eighty pounds of excess fat?

And in Room 204: “Really? So this is the strain of emphysema that is not caused by smoking? Give me a break! Two packs a day for thirty years, and you wonder why you’re sucking on an oxygen tank for dear life?”

At the Finance Committee meeting that evening: “Why wring our hands about the sad state of the budget? You don’t need to be Einstein to figure this one out. I know very well that I am giving more to this church than anybody in the room tonight, and you know that I’ve got the lowest salary of anyone in the room—thanks to you.”

On Sunday, his last words to the frantic choir director, just before the procession began, were, or so it was said, “Why worry about not having a couple of tenors? Will tenors redeem an anthem already ravaged by this choir?”

After that fateful Sunday service, after a pastoral prayer in which Henderson admitted to God that “Most of us didn’t really want to hear anything truthful you have to reveal to us,” an emergency meeting of the Pastor/Parish Committee was called. Of course, Henderson was fired, or at least that was what Henderson afterward said the committee did to him. The committee officially stated, “In a show of Christian compassion and concern, we are offering Brother Henderson a month’s worth of free counseling and rest so that he can ponder where the Lord will lead him next. We pray for him and wish him God’s blessings in his new field of ministry—wherever that may be.”

The now ex-Reverend Henderson would later claim, “That bump on the head made a prophet out of me, despite myself.”

Although most members of Sword of Truth Church, for compassion’s sake, never spoke his name in years to come, when Henderson’s name was mentioned, someone would always ask, “Wasn’t that the poor man who suddenly went kinda crazy?”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Augustine's Just War Theory

I just finished the most aggravating paper that I've ever written. I'm actually very interested in both the time period and the subject matter. I have had a nightmare with the research. I ordered a bunch of books I needed, and none of them came in on time. I took a whole week off from church 2 weeks ago, just to get this thing done, and instead of being able to read and write, I spent the whole time scrambling around for resources. On top of that, most of the resources I found weren't that good. At any rate, I do believe that my paper contains plenty of truthful factual information, though perhaps not the whole picture of all aspects involved. I got to the point where I just had to suck it up and type it. I sent it to my teacher...1 1/2 weeks late. He had told me he would give me a few extra days, but I don't know how many days he considers "a few". He is a really cool guy, and is typically very patient. I'll find out what he thinks about it.

BUT, since I've already posted my paper on the GA's changing views from pacifism to militant during WWI, if you, O Reader, are interested, here is a completely different setting where the early church shifted from pacific to militant, and for basically similar reasons. In the GA's case, you hear it from those resisting the change to a militant mindset, and from Augustine, you hear a guy who hates war, but basically paves the path for the Just War mindset because circumstances seem to necessitate it. It may not be a good paper, but maybe it will provide some food for thought. Click Here To Read My Paper

Now that I've spent a whole semester studying Christians and warfare, here's what I think:

Christians are to be peaceful people. We should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. When it appears that our nation might go to war, we should be on our knees daily, begging God to dissolve the problems without mankind choosing to resort to violence.

I don't know if there is a perfect example in scripture of whether or not we can fight in wars. You can point at the Sermon on the Mount teachings, or at Jesus telling Peter to put away his sword and say, "We can't participate in war without violating the teachings of Christ." You can also point to Jesus fashioning a whip to drive the moneychangers out of the temple, not to mention Abraham, David, and Moses...heroes of the faith...who were warriors. At the same time, life doesn't always leave us in a situation choosing between a good option and a bad option. Because we live in a sinful world, we are sometimes left choosing the lesser of two evils.

There are good reasons why war veterans refer to war as "Hell". People in wars do unspeakably evil things. Even those fighting for the nobler cause come home with permanent scars; mentally, physically, and emotionally. But I am open to the possibility that some of the men who go and do these terrible things are able to do so out of love for their fellow man.

I think of Everett Six. Though he recently passed away, in talking to me about his experiences in WWII against the Nazis, he was a machine gunner, who sometimes went more than 48 hours with no sleep and no food. He told me of how once, in the snow, the Nazis quietly approached, holding white sheets over themselves, hoping they wouldn't be noticed. In his own words, he "mowed them down". Mentally, he never could return to normal life after that. But even as he told me about some of the Germans he killed, in the same conversation, he talked about how good and kind many of the Germans were that he met. He said that a lot of them were under the influence of a bad person, and really didn't mean to be as evil as what they acted. I think Everett would be a textbook example of a person fighting a just war. He hated war. He hated the fighting and the killing. BUT, he saw a greater evil in standing by, letting innocents be slaughtered than to step up in a spirit of love and fight to protect those who couldn't protect themselves and to protect his family from what was becoming a very real threat. In a sense, Everett became the very image of Christ in laying his own life on the line (and permanently giving up his mental well-being) for the good of others.

But of all the wars we've been a part of, other than WWII, I don't think I can say any of them are truly just in the sense that Augustine laid out.

I have concluded that what a person will decide about whether it is right or wrong for a Christian to fight on behalf of his government will really depend on the government and the circumstances. In times like the 1940's or under Constantine's reign, when the government is supportive of Christianity, and an evil outside force threatens ruthlessly, people seem to see the need and just cause for fighting evil powers. When the government is hostile to Christianity, such as in the earliest church when emperors like Nero, Caligula, and Diocletian were torturing and killing Christians, our Kingdom mindset rises to the surface, and we say boldly, "I'm part of an everlasting kingdom, much greater than this one."

I personally will never join the military; the only exception being if an invading army shows up on our shores, in our neighborhoods, trying to kick down my door to attack my family. Too few wars are really just enough, in my eyes, to want to participate. I live within a peaceful country, for which I'm thankful, and have more than enough work to do spreading the gospel. Likewise, when I have friends who decide to join the military, and I have recently, I will continue to get them aside to encourage them to think very seriously about whether at some guy's order they are willing to take another person's life when Jesus sent us to bring life.

I am unsatisfied with the mentality of many military types who basically say, "I don't like killing, but my job is to follow orders." I'm convinced the reason that drunkeness is a sin is because a person gives up control of himself. How is this different? A prostitute could say the same of her pimp, "I don't like fornicating with strangers for money, but my job is to sleep with who he tells me to." Either I am a Christian all of the time, or none of the time. Compartmentalization is sinful and Godless. If I can see a way as a Christian to participate in a particular government military action (such as the WWII situation), then fine, but if not, I ought not ever do something that violates my conscience.

If all the people in the world were Christians...real Christians...there would be no need for wars or weapons. So while the government works for peace through coercive means, I intend to work for peace by spreading the teachings of Jesus. Governments stay in control by wielding the sword, but if everyone would lay their idols of selfishness, greed, and power at the foot of the cross, there would not be a need for the wielder of the sword.

That may be idealistic, but just because I won't completely attain it, does that mean it isn't worth striving for? Rather than waiting for everyone else to get rid of their bombs and guns first in order for me to be peaceful, to borrow from a Quaker, why shouldn't I lay down mine first, and be the first one to choose peace? Christ lead by example...why not me?

I'm happy to live in America, but I pledge my allegience to Christ first. I pray that I am never forced to choose between picking up a gun to fight for an earthly kingdom, and watching my loved ones be persecuted. For now, I'm thankful for my blessings, and I think I'm done with the whole war issue.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Only my wife's beauty surpasses that of the trees in my front yard. It's a very pretty time of year. We took a few pictures in the front yard when we got home from church today.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Churches of Christ and the First World War

Earlier this week, I had a paper due. I wrote it about the views of churches of Christ reflected in the Gospel Advocate from 1915-1922, the time of WWI. Formerly, churches of Christ were predominatly pacifist, but that changed by the end of WWII. If you're interested in reading it, you can either click here, or send me an e-mail and I'll e-mail you it in Word format.

I haven't gotten a grade on it yet, so I don't promise that it's good or accurate, but I did read through about 8,000 pages of old Gospel Advocates. I find this subject very interesting, and am working on another paper along a similar line. If I think it's as good as this one, I might post it when I finish it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The History of Donelson, Una, and Pleasant Hill churches of Christ

I was so excited the other day. I have always wondered how my home congregation got started. I knew we had a history that went back well over 100 years, but I didn't know of anyone who knew how it got started. I was searching through ancient Gospel Advocates, looking for something completely different, then something about "Donelson" caught my eye. Sure enough, it was about my own congregation and how it got started. I printed it, and now I've retyped it (those microfilm copies are always terrible). I'm pasting it below for anyone who cares to read's a fascinating story from an eye-witness and participant.

From the Gospel Advocate June 8, 1916. Volume 58, Pages 562-563.

Retyped by Mark S. Adams

“From Dan to Beersheba:” Or, From Donelson To Una. 1865-1872.

By Howell

It is often said that the aged delight in reminiscences. What if they do! It is right and proper for them and helpful to their progeny. To study and think of the successes and failures of those who have led in any good work of long, long ago is profitable to the young. If the succeeding generations do not profit by the experiences and observations of their ancestors, it will be more difficult to make progress in anything, material or spiritual. Real progress consists in learning and applying God’s material and spiritual laws to one’s thoughts and actions. Between the two there is a striking analogy, wholesome to study, giving one a higher conception of both.

Guided by the above principles, I ask the reader to follow me in a few reminiscences of the writer regarding the preparatory work in sowing the seed of the kingdom of Christ and the planting of three churches in an area of country reaching from Donelson on the north to Una on the south, embracing the contiguous country, making several square miles. Donelson, a little town seven miles east of Nashville on the Lebanon pike , is situated on a rim of a declivity which reaches the waters of the historical Stone River, about three miles from where it empties into the classical Cumberland.

We begin our narrative early in the month of June, 1865, at the home of William Dudley Baker, a farmer, who lived one and one-half miles southeast of Donelson. At this time Mr. Baker was fifty-three years of age, the father of eight children, having married at the age of nineteen. He was a zealous and active member of a large church congregation near by, the name of which is not recorded in the Book of God, neither did the individual members wear a name given by God or Christ. While Mr. Baker was a voracious reader, especially of the Bible and matter pertaining to it, he, like his brethren, had only a vague idea of the relation of faith, obedience, and salvation from sin as taught by Christ and his apostles. However, in one respect he was far in advance of his brethren of that day in that he had a conviction that the “mourners’-bench system” of “getting religion” was out of harmony with the teaching and practices of the apostles and early Christians. Sometimes he would express his views on this matter, especially to his preaching brethren. For this some of his brethren called him a “Campbellite.” He knew he was not a “Campbellite;” therefore these unkind thrusts did not move or intimidate him. He had never heard a “Campbellite” preach, nor had he read any literature from these “scarecrows.” However, he had heard that there were such people, and he had the traditional belief that with them baptism was the only indispensable condition of salvation.

In the protracted meetings, called “big meetings,” under the popular preaching and practices of those days, there was a cleared space fronting the pulpit, covered half-leg-deep with straw, with benches bordering the same, called “mourners’ benches.” These preparations were indispensable to their “getting religion” on those occasions. The benches served the purpose of giving rest to the mourner’s head and arms while he knelt upon the straw. The straw served another and a more important purpose. The shouting convert would often become so violently agitated that he would frequently fall prostrate upon the floor, the straw protecting him from physical injury. This preparation was a wise provision, we all must admit.

While these disorderly conditions were prevalent, in the early part of June, 1865, a stranger, weary, footsore, and hungry, called at Mr. Baker’s home and asked for a night’s lodging, saying he had no money. He was cordially received into the home. At this demonstration of ready hospitality the stranger in apt and fitting words expressed his appreciation. It was noticeable that, while the stranger was poorly dressed, his words and demeanor indicated that he was a cultivated and well-bred man. The stranger said his name was “Wright” and his home was in Missouri; that he had been in the Confederate Army four years performing the duty of chaplain and looking after the sick and wounded in the department to which he had been assigned, and that he was on his way home. When asked what sort of preacher he was, he replied, “A Christian,” stating that he was a Christian only, and that he endeavored to preach after the manner and instructions of the apostles of Christ; but that many people called him a “Campbellite,” which he repudiated. Presto! Here, right under his roof, Mr. Baker had caught the sure-enough thing. Under his own roof, with his stalwart boys about him, he felt secure. Now was his opportunity to hear what the “Campbellites” really believed and taught; so, plying questions, the good brother covered the subjects pretty well by midnight. The effect upon the host was such that he did not want to go to bed at all, but in deference to his tired guest he desisted for the present. The following morning the stranger was reminded that he needed more rest and therefore, was asked to remain a few days and preach in the home at night. This proposition he gladly accepted. The neighbors were accordingly invited, several of whom came regularly for six nights. By this time the light of truth began to disturb Mr. Baker’s former views on several points. This experience awakened an active desire to hear more; consequently he subscribed for the Gospel Advocate, which was then in its babyhood, so to speak. A little later he sought and met its editor, David Lipscomb, securing a promise from him to preach in his community as soon as arrangements could be made for a meeting place. Efforts were made to secure a meetinghouse near by, but because of the opposition and influence of the preacher in charge they failed. Then arrangements were made for Brother Lipscomb to preach in Mr. Baker’s home, returning each morning to his office in the city. These appointments continued at intervals until the audience became too large for the home.

One and one-half miles still farther along the line from Donelson to Una a log schoolhouse, known as “Pleasant Hill,” was secured for Brother Lipscomb. Several meetings were held here by him, with an occasional addition to the church of Christ, until May, 1870, when a protracted effort was made, resulting in thirty-six additions, the writer being one of that number.

Before this move to Pleasant Hill, E. G. Sewell filled an appointment for Brother Lipscomb at Mr. Baker’s home. In his discourse he spoke of the importance of Christian unity and how to attain it without giving up one Bible fact, practice, or commandment. In concluding his sermon, holding the open Bible in his hand, he said in substance that if any one present would meet him on the Bible, agreeing to take it as his only counsel in teaching and working, speak where it speaks, keep silent where it is silent, to manifest it by coming forward and placing his hand on the open Bible beside his. At this Mr. Baker arose and went forward, saying, “Brother Sewell, I accept and meet you on that proposition,” placing his hand beside that of Brother Sewell. This act was all Mr. Baker ever did from that night until his death, twenty-four years afterwards, toward joining anything, yet he was excluded from his former church connection on the charge of “joining the ‘Campbellites.’”

The circumstances and incidents attending his exclusion were both dramatic and pathetic. The charge was formulated, read, and prosecuted by the pastor of the said church before a large audience. The whole affair appeared to the unbiased as a ludicrous performance, although many tears were shed. After reading the charge as given, the pastor called for a motion to “exclude Brother Baker from the fellowship of the church.” Everybody remained as silent as a death chamber. The call was repeated; no response. The third call was made, whereupon the pastor himself made the motion, which was out of the regular order of the church usage. Then a call for a second to the motion was made. The accused himself seconded the motion. Then a vote was called for. Out of the large membership present, there was but one vote cast, and that by the first cousin of the wife of the accused. As it was according to the polity of this church to decide all questions coming before it by a majority vote, the one vote, of course, was the majority cast; therefore the brother was duly excluded. Within three or four years after this event the voter on this occasion became identified with the church we read about in the New Testament. Hence he came again into full fellowship with Brother Baker.

During the popular “big meetings” of that day the preachers rarely, if ever, preached about the love and mercy of God, but represented God as an angry, vengeful God. The devil was depicted in terms most horrifying. The effect on the callow youth and the more ignorant and superstitious ones was the fear of physical punishment of an outraged, angry God. The fact that “Satan sometimes fashions himself into an angel of light,” and that “It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their work” (2 Cor. 1:14, 15), was rarely presented.

After establishing an active, working church at Pleasant Hill, a successful move was made to plant a New Testament church at Donelson. An old house once used as a “tavern” was secured for a meeting place. David Lipscomb, who had been so true and self-denying at the other two places, came to the rescue again. One night while preaching to a crowded room, a rich and well-known bachelor who was addicted to the liquor habit pressed his way through the audience in an intoxicated condition, an, on arriving at the side of Brother Lipscomb, placed his hand upon Brother Lipscomb’s shoulder, saying: “You’re a good ‘un.” Addressing him gently, Brother Lipscomb asked him to have a seat. The man quietly seated himself and remained seated. Occasionally, however, smiling, winking, and nodding, he seemed to say: “I’m of the same opinion still.”

In the latter part of the summer, 1870, Brother Lipscomb was driving from Nashville to Scobey’s Chapel, in Wilson County. While stopping at a blacksmith’s shop near Donelson to have his horse shod, he engaged in a conversation with the smith, and the blacksmith learned that he was a preacher and on his way to an appointment. Mistaking him for a well-known Methodist preacher who occasionally came this way, he began saying some hard things abut the “Campbellites,” among which he said: “We beat the biggest Campbellite in this country last week for magistrate.” Being asked his name, he replied: “Squire Baker.” Brother Lipscomb departed without making known his identity. “Squire Baker” had served his county for twenty successive years as magistrate, and his defeat at this time was due to his religious views. After two years he was re-elected twice, resigning during his last term.

The “tavern” before mentioned belonged to some heirs and was for sale. To stop preaching in the house, two men, otherwise truthful and honorable, notified the brethren on the day before Brother E.G. Sewell was to begin a meeting in it that the house had been purchased by them and could not be used. The following year, in assessing property for taxation, these men disclaimed owning the property. Dr. E.E. Buchanan, a successful practicing physician of the town and an official member of a denominational church, so keenly felt the unfairness of such treatment that he offered the use of his beautifully shaded yard, which was accepted. Ere long he, his wife, and several of his children threw off the yoke of sectarianism and became Christians only. He died some years later, full of faith and hope of life eternal. A truer and better man never lived in any community. Dr. William Boyd, a well-known physician of Donelson and a member of the board of trustees of the Fanning Orphan School, married his daughter.

There is a section of country extending from the Fanning Orphan School to Una, paralleling the Murfreesboro pike, known as “Nubbin Ridge.” When this appellation was first given goes beyond the memory of the living. Why so called no one seems to know. It is a land pleasing to the sight and has always been occupied by a law-abiding citizenship. It is true that long ago it could not claim a denizen fitted to be called a “philosopher,” as it can at this time. (Thanks to David, Jr.)

Near where the Una church house now stands, under the shade of the majestic oaks, the towering poplars, with here and there the less imposing, but more beautiful, dogwood in flower, two young men, students of Franklin College, Granville, Lipscomb and T. B. Larimore, had an appointment to preach on a Sunday in the latter half of May, 1867. On this occasion the writer had his first view of these aspiring young men. The writer was then enjoying that period of life experienced by every young man when his ideals are far in advance of his ideas, when nothing escapes his sight, but much eludes his understanding. To him the sun shines brighter, the girls appear prettier; in fact, all nature is a panorama of music and poetry.

Granville Lipscomb (father of Editor A. B. Lipscomb) preached on this day. He was a young man of strong and handsome physique—ruddy and of quick motion. His voice was clear and distinct, bounding among the stately trees of the forest. Occasionally it would attain the height of eloquence. In one of these flights he endeavored to quote a passage of scripture to seal his thought in the hearts of his hearers. Failing to remember a portion of it, he made a second attempt with no better result. Just at this embarrassing point Brother Larimore, who was sitting near him, with that voice and enunciation which are so well known and pleasing to his hearers, quoted the passage in full for him. Unabashed, the speaker continued his discourse. Many years later, at the period of his greatest power and usefulness, Brother Lipscomb was a victim of an insidious disease which walketh at night and wasteth at noonday,” and loves the strong and plethoric.” His companion of that occasion is yet spared to preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” He is now advanced into the sear leaf of age, with undiminished power and eloquence in the Scriptures. With an eloquence unsurpassed he has preached “from Canada to Cuba, from Main to Mexico.”

At the beginning of our reminiscences there were only two churches in Davidson County which wore the divine name exclusively—one white and one colored in the city of Nashville. Now, in the year 1916, there are approximately forty.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I invited Darth Tater into my home. He subsequently attacked my wife and cat. According to the box he came in, As a Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Tater was once a promising young Jedi who lost his roots. I can't wait to set him out on my desk at church. What a great conversation piece. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Setting forth a plan

This is my first time to use a blog. I'm not sure exactly what direction this will take, but since I'm involved in full-time ministry and part-time theological grad school, they will undoubtedly shape the direction that my thoughts take. I believe there are two ways to measure a person's wisdom. First of all, having a good sense of what is appropriate. That carries into all aspects of life.

To know what to say or not to say to someone who's lost a loved one. To know the right time to tell the appropriate joke. To have the right answer ready for someone's difficult question. To know the right way to meet new people so as to make a good impression. Knowing what is appropriate at all times takes a great amount of wisdom.

Secondly, I believe a wise person is one who learns from the mistakes of others without having to make the same mistakes. There are plenty of things done wrong by other people that I can learn from without having to experience them.

And who could forget, the fear of the Lord is the real beginning of wisdom. I hope to update this blog from time to time as I learn things about becoming a better person and a better minister. I invite anyone for input as I wrestle to continually maintain a child-like faith, always wanting to grow. I do believe that everyone is in some way my superior with something valuable for me to learn from them.

Right now it is pretty late and I'm sleepy. I'll work on this thing some more later.