Dear Readers

I post here my weekly columns that The Danville News publishes every Friday.  This is a valued platform.  We include my most current column on this home page.  The columns I haven't been able to load as PDF I have placed as text under the heading of Sermons (see above to click to).  I thank many of you for kindly asking for them.  Once I update my Godaddy website I will be able to resume filing these columns in a PDF format.  It requires a technical skill I sorely lack so please be patient.   Yeah, yeah, I am going to get around to upgrading the website.  Ugh.  
 For you I write.  


The Danville News
Robert John Andrews
Friday, 25 May, 2018
“Peace Be With You”
Word Count:  750


It took me a while but I finally researched who is the lady statue on the Soldiers Monument at the center of Memorial Park.  We know that the lady statue facing Bloom Street on Danville’s isn’t Lady Justice.  Where are the scales of justice?   She isn’t Lady Liberty for those statues hold the torch aloft.  Neither is she the Goddess of Peace (if you want to find out who she is you can find out for yourself by visiting Memorial Park, Danville Pa at Youtube and view our multi-media tour).  

Memorial Day deserves a Goddess of Peace, of serenity.  In classical mythology Eirenei was this Goddess’ name.  Eirenei is the source word for lovely Irene:  “Good night Irene Good night Irene, I'll get you in my dreams.”   The statue of this goddess is depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a horn of plenty pouring out corn, bread, grapes (or in her arms a child named ‘plenty’) because peace makes real the dream for prosperity, abundance, happiness.  An overflowing, nourishing cornucopia.  

This makes sense.   No-peace brings the opposite.  The sin, failure, and impracticality of war, chaos, conflict brings devastation, privation, disease.  Lack of peace brings ruin, disaster.   Read the newspaper.  Brokenness breeds brokenness .  Separation breeds separation.  Hostility breeds hostility.  Lies breed lies.  Corruption breeds corruption.  Immorality breeds immorality.  Chaos breeds chaos.  Yelling breeds yelling.  The problem is that peace requires listening, which is tough for men particularly.  

Men declare.  Language for men is a tool, a weapon for combat or sport, a means for achieving status, to show off,  to impress everyone in the room how much they think they know, ever convinced that my cause, my opinion, my position is just and right and righteous, and I cannot believe all those stupid others do not agree with me.  I swear, Twitter must have been invented as the perfect male communication medium:  Yelling and telling without having to listen.  

So when was the last time you felt serene?  Content?  At peace?  At peace with yourself (blessed peace of mind), at peace with others?  Can we get peace from things un-peaceful?  We ask our farmers:  can you grow good crops from toxic soil?

Eireinei:   much more than the absence of war – that’s armistice.  But we’ll take what we can get, although it would be nice if all those soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice died for real peace rather than a lull in the actions.  But we’ll take what we can get.   

Armistice is a negative, it means merely the temporary suspension of hostilities.  Lack of peace is reactive.  Peace is a positive.  Peace is proactive.  Eireinei comes from the Greek word meaning “to join, to knit together into a whole.”

It’s impossible to be at peace personally and socially when lacking wholeness, integration, without seeing ourselves connected, mutually dependent, mutually weak, mutually needy.  There’s the prescription for our personal and social hope; there’s our source for social and personal healing.   Cure the cause rather than continue to treat the symptom.

The x-rays revealing the broken tibia and fractured skull of little toddler also exposes parents themselves as inwardly broken, deranged, peace-less.  Is it true that unless hindered by other forces and factors, a wound wants to heal?    

Can you tell when a choir lacks harmony?  Can you tell when a soccer team is a mess?  We know that a racing shell crew rowing out of synchronization, ignoring the coxswain, each doing what they want to do, oars clashing and slapping, isn’t going to advance forward very well.   

Let’s claim C.S. Lewis’ analogy:   Imagine a convoy of ships bringing supplies across the Atlantic to England.  A convoy can go wrong two ways.  First is when this fleet of ships fails to keep position, breaking formation, either drifting away or colliding into the path of another ship.  Second is when the ship itself has failed to keep itself seaworthy and fails to maintain engines in good order.  

We are a convoy.  In our homes, at work, in worship, nationally, internationally.  It helps when we keep formation, maintain courtesy, commitment, fair play, truth-telling.  It helps when we keep ours engines in good moral and spiritual repair.  

Many of us religious types are fond of passing the peace and using the word for peace as a greeting or a blessing:  Peace, paz, shalom, salaam alaikum.  Peace be with you.  My Bible offers a clever twist in this greeting.  The ‘you’ is plural not singular.  It must be plural.  It means nothing unless plural. 


```


The Daily Item
Robert John Andrews
Saturday, May 26, 2018
“One Nation Under God”
Word Count:  564


This Gettysburg Address was a message for all America, north and south.  Lincoln knew the United States wasn’t plural.  We do not say: “The United States are conceived in liberty.”  We say: “The United States is conceived in liberty.”  Out of many, one.  Count how often Lincoln used the words ‘we,’ ‘our,’ and ‘us’ in his Address -- 15 of the 272 words.   

The Gettysburg Address:  far more than a piece of antique rhetoric intoned full of patriotic sentimentality and solemnity on our Memorial Day gatherings, it’s a message demanding from us the progress of human freedom and human equality as originally endorsed by the Declaration of Independence.  That’s why Lincoln used that arched phrase ‘fourscore and seven years ago’ (appropriated from Psalm 90).  Instead of referring to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution as the birth of our Union, he refers to the signing of the Declaration of Independence:  A nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  

87 years later, Lincoln achieved what the signers of the Declaration of Independence failed to do.  Those created equal now include former slaves.  

What Lincoln did at that November afternoon’s cemetery dedication was to “take an ugly reality and transform it.”  From horrible, dreadful war, he voiced purpose in suffering and sacrifice.

Historian Gary Wills explained how Lincoln surprised the audience. The great task about which Lincoln spoke was not emancipation and slavery’s prohibition but popular self-government.  By popular, he meant lawful self-government.  A nation of law not men.  Just as law protects us from the tyranny of the few so law protects us from the tyranny of the majority.  Self-government by all the people, not just my kind of people.

Our American Revolution avoided ending up as did the French Revolution.  July 4 and July 14 -- Independence Day and Bastille Day -- are a study in contrasts with the French mob filling baskets with severed heads and creating a petty despot.   Our American Revolution remains incomplete, an unfinished work of democracy.  True then, true now.   Unfinished liberty, equality, justice.  Each generation must continue the work and the progress of this United States experiment.  

Lincoln likely added the phrase ‘under God’ during the speech.   The phrase is absent from prior drafts.  

Wrongly should we view ‘under God’ as affirmation, as boast, a divine quid pro quo, as if America is some kind of Christian nation guaranteed to be blessed above all other nations when we submit to the Bible (as certain Christian demagogues desire to tell us exactly what the Bible says).  How is this dangerous view of nationhood any different from Iran and a theocracy of sharia law? 

Lincoln’s faith kept him keenly alert to the danger of idolatry of nation.  He firmly believed that no nation is absolute or sovereign, for all nations stand under divine judgment.  This is what the phrase “under God” means.  It’s no boast.  It rejects the notion that America is spiritually pure or morally superior – our sin of slavery proved that, as have all our sinful injustices since.  It means we exist under God’s almighty judgment.  Providence as judgment reveals itself through human history.  

When you say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance be very afraid.  History judged them.  History judges us.   Whether or not the men buried at Gettysburg have died in vain is up to us still.  

~~~






************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Sunday's Sermon Every Third Sunday


“Breath”
Grove Presbyterian Church
20 May, 2018
Pentecost
 
Old Testament Lesson - Ezekiel 37: 1-14


New Testament Lesson and Reflection-Romans 8: 22-27


22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 


Even at six years old, I got the joke.  It was as funny as those movies depicting Jesus as an Aryan with flowing blonde hair.  Come on, history knows Moses didn’t look like Charleston Heston.  


I love cartoons.  Sunday comics.  Calvin and Hobbes.  Far Side.  Political cartoons.  Especially cartoons in the New Yorker Magazine.  I spent hours turning the pages of The New Yorker Magazine Cartoon Collection in my favorite haunt in my house when growing up:  the family library.


Here’s one, delightfully twisted humor:  The Addams family gleefully pouring boiling oil from their rooftop onto Christmas Carolers.


Then I came across this one.  It rocked my world.  Better, it shook my perception of the world.  Cartoons do that.    


The cartoon shows a line of people at a drug store cash register – An Indian Indian, an Eskimo, someone perhaps from Japan, an African-American, a White European-American, a Sheik from Arabia, and a Native American Indian.  Panic shows on the face of the pharmacist behind the cash register who has turned to yell at his partner:  “Joe, these people say they want flesh-colored Band-Aids.”  


Even at six years old I got it.  Funny, funny.  


~~~


So what color is flesh colored Band-Aids?  


Did you see the April Special Issue of the National Geographic?  “Black and White:  These Twin Sisters Make Us Rethink Everything We Know About Race.” 


We all got flesh.  I like flesh.  And what a wonderful variety and array of types we got.  An insert displays the color wheel of humanity, introducing the panoply of humanity by saying how black and white really don’t exist.  We are all a continuum of skins tones.   Look around, look around.


The editor wrote:  “Race is not a biological construct…but a social one that can have devastating effects…  Racial distinctions continue to shape our politics, our neighborhoods, and our sense of self.”


So why do we still choose to let these special differences of flesh tone and ethnicity be reasons for fear, hatred, separation?  Sure, just as we differ in talents, intelligence, interests, integrity, or physique, so cultures differ, and not all are the same.  Moscow isn’t the same as London,  nor Damascus the same as Tokyo.  I’m forever grateful I grew up in New Jersey in the fifties rather than Birmingham, Alabama.  


Yes, different languages but the same Word.  Yes, differences, but before God one EQUAL humanity who cry the same, laugh the same, bleed the same, who all deserve the same.  


I am grateful for one of our older members who told me how impressed he has been with the Doctors who have cared for him.  He put his palm to the side of his mouth and whispered to me that he’s referring to those doctors who come from other parts of the world.  Not white.  He wants to get well so he can tell some of his friends that their attitude toward persons not like them is wrong.  He told me how one of his friends had a new neighbor move in – an immigrant neighbor who didn’t look like him – and his friend yelled at his new neighbor:  “What are you doing here?  Go home!”


26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.


Hello, Danville.  We do have a few sins to confess.  


In order to gin up fear and division a political party mailed me a poll and asked me this question:  Do you think race relations in America are getting better or worse?  


I’m terrible with polls.  I never can answer an either/or.  


My answer:  Well, it’s been worse, now it’s getting exposed.  Black lives matter.  Blue lives matter, okay.  But blue lives have chosen a profession of danger and risk.  Black lives don’t get the choice.  They were born into it.  


Earlier this month there was an anniversary overlooked.  55 years ago on May 2 in Birmingham, Alabama (only 55 years ago?), local school children marching for their civil rights defying Birmingham segregation laws were attacked when police let loose dogs, Billy clubs, fire hoses.  Children and teens:  “1,200 children of various ages were packed into jails intended to accommodate 900 – for several days.”  


Still, they kept marching.  Thank God for the young keeping us honest.  Keep marching!   It’s better than hand-wringing prayers for murdered high school students.  


~~~


These anti-democracy spasms of fear, prejudice, ignorance, vendetta, blame, retaliation, rabid nationalism expose our soul so we can be treated and made well.   It wasn’t by accident that Mussolini rose to ugly power by exploiting fears and resentments by fanning the flames of ‘victim us’ versus ‘them.’  Mussolini (the icon of fascism) needed an enemy for his angry followers to blame for their lack of what they thought they were entitled to. 


Last weekend we enjoyed a wedding in Bermuda.  Saturday we took the local bus into Saint George’s where we visited Saint Peter’s Anglican Church, “the oldest Protestant church in continuous use in the New World.”  The graveyard is divided into two sections, the farthest – on the other side of a five foot stone wall -- being the Burial Ground for Slaves and Free blacks.  It is a site on the African Diaspora Heritage Trail.  Even our graveyards are a humbling indictment of sin and crime.  


We don’t do that anymore.  We don’t impose segregation laws anymore.  It’s getting better folks and that is something to be proud of.   But a work unfinished.


~~~


I do believe how now that we are getting honest, it’s getting better.  We are in fits and stumbles growing up.  I’m excited about these labor pains of change.  Look around at the young ones here.  We change for them.  


Change.  Whenever there is security and trust, there is a readiness to accept change.   Only when suspicion and distrust is fanned do we cling to the old and worn out.  


~~~


We lose who we have been and are the better for it.


Imagine having a baby.  Many of you don’t have to imagine. You know the moment’s going to happen when the little comes squeezing out, so you do what you have to do to get ready.  Paint the nursery, read books, attend Lamaze classes, change personal habits.


When baby is born, you are never again the same.  The old you dies and the new you – as mom, as dad – is born.  


It is all birth, all life, all change.  All birth purchased in blood and pain and loss.  


Shoving aside what divides us and appreciate what we contribute to each other…  


Shoving aside these tentacles of separation and appreciate what we hold in common…


Shoving aside a “moral numbness” in favor of empathy and a conscience… 


Shoving aside those festering fears of us losing what we think we are losing or what we think we should have… 


Shoving aside false solutions and labor hard to address, redress legitimate grievances…


Shoving aside the view that some individuals, some groups or tribes, indeed some nations have “attributes and rights above all others.” 


ALL [HUMANS] ARE EQUAL  
BUT SOME [HUMANS] ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS 


Are they still permitted to read  “Animal Farm” in school?


~~~


Far more amazing is how similar we are.


Same organs.


Same laughter.


Same tears and groans.


Same dreams. 


Same needs, from achieving potential to drinking clean water.


Same blood.


This same human spirit


And we all got to breathe.  In fact, we all breathe the same air.  Fact is, this air is all we got.  Fact is, we’re all breathing each other’s breaths.  


Well, sure.  Breathing is good.  Don’t believe me.  Hold your breath.  Try not to breathe.  


It’s a gift.  


Holy Spirit


Gestation
Something is happening here, love taking human form
Perspiration
Life purchased in pain and push, blood and water
Incarnation
Cry loud little one and let us know you’ve arrived
Inspiration
Drawing in that first breath, first act we do
Jubilation
Can this be, what will this be, thank you
Aspiration
Staking ground, aware of aloneness we are here, we will try
Impregnation
Our turn sharing each other’s breath, gift of flesh
Adaptation
That which we can choose, that which chooses us, we respond
Exhalation
Releasing, returning the breath we’ve borrowed, the last act we do
Consecration
What good is body without a breath?
What good is breath without a body?


Every instinct insists that you breathe.   You can’t live on your own life support system, your own closed system.  You only build up carbon dioxide.  


We are the baby.  We are given breath to live as Christ’s own children.  


Yes, it is this divine spirit that determines us and makes us human.  It is this human spirit of Christ’s that makes us each and all divine.  


Churchill once said, “Man is spirit.”  It is what makes us us.
 
The spirit within us that inspires us to fight, to strive, to create, to do better for these young ones here and there.  


Prophesy to the breath.  


We get cancer.  We choose life one way or the other.


Prophesy to the breath.  


We hear others insulting or blaming others or bullying others and we step in.


Prophesy to the breath.  


We see a wrong and we resolve to right it.  


Prophesy to the breath.  


Labor Pains.


Birth. 


Purchased in blood and water, sweat and sacrifice.


I am so incredibly excited about the new world that is getting born right now.   I see an unseen hope emerging.


We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now…


So much hope.  So much promise. 


Breath of life, breath of God:  fill our lungs so this flesh now can fight the good fight.  


Newborn child:  cry loud and let us know you’ve arrived.


What good is body without a breath?
What good is breath without a body?


~~~

Finding My Writings…


Producer Jason Perez and I have gone public with our Youtube and DVD multi-media tour of the Danville Pennsylvania Memorial Park.  It is based upon a speech I delivered at the centennial of the park.  Enjoy the 38 tour on Youtube by entering:  Memorial Park Danville Pa.  You can 'play all' or watch the 7 segements separately.  Thank you, Jason of Brews and Bytes!


Angel’s Share now features Chapter 31 (Bruce) of my Seasons for Everything:  Tales of a Reluctant Pastor.


"This Land" -- The latest version of my Woody Guthrie road trip's 17 expanded columns (pending permission to use the lyrics) can be found here:

This_Land_Master_copy_full_text_10_October_2017.pdf
827.9 KB


Here's the link to my 21 November 13 mninute radio interview with Mark Lawrence for his Sunrise Show at WKOK - AM radio -- http://wkok.com/wkok-sunrise/#f3e7b63so9


 I also got playful this Labor Day and culled together a series of Religous Dim Sums, couplets (love that word) for pastors and congregations.  Enjoy.

Religious_Dim_Sums.pdf
332.2 KB


Click here to preview my "First Impressions" article about my impressions of church worship visits.

First_Impressions_pdf.pdf
366.4 KB


Click here to preview my "Beyond Third Grade: A Primer on the Bible."  I have attempted to take texts ripe for skeptics and the curious and offer up the proclamation in the story.  Enjoy.

 

Well now, finally posted -- the artcle on Armenia: 

https://ylexpeditions.blog/2018/02/01/a-familys-journey-to-armenia/


Poetry Corner (with apologies to Percy Dovetonsilsz)

see all under Calendar please

In trying to clean things up, all previous poems (as of 8 March, 2018) can be now found not as a PDF but text under the CALENDAR file (reachable above), coded by category: Love and Romance, Dim Sum Fun, Religious and Philosophical, Myth, Family, Political.  Since I was told I am driving a Model T website and need to buy a new car with automatic windows I am no longer able to load PDF's onto my clunker of a website.  So I am making all my poems available as text.  I write them for you...



Political Quips


Royal Bob (19 May):  Despite the fact that as a US citizen and of Scottish heritage I reject any concept of royalty, I am so proud of my classmate and friend Mike Curry giving the wedding sermon for the couple.  But I daresay Mike missed a chance.  Great for his message about making love real, etc., but it wasn't personal.  The world needed something intimate, something beautiful, something about them.  Mike:  you missed your chance.  We needed to hear about their love and their journey.   We needed beauty.  Thanks Mike, and I really hope this springsboards you to becoming a national voice because I sick and tired of Christianity being defined by Jeffress and Hagee.  But I'd like to offier my own message about love that I didn't get to say last week in Bermuda because the thunderstorms made us hustle:

Snapshots.  Life in snapshots.  At our stage we are cleaning out garages and rummaging through all the worn and crumpled photographs of what was.  

When is it that little girls become women?   Little boys men?

Snapshots.

You bring them home, fresh from the womb, cord cut forever, and you marvel at noses and wiggly finger and belly buttons.  This naked creature you created in love.  We often get it backwards, that humanity’s purpose is to become divine, when it is the other way around:  divinity’s purpose is to become human.  Humanity at is fullest and most glorious.   Blooming like a red rose, even with thorns that cannot be avoided.  

There’s the secret:  it is what you create, creating the chance to choose happiness lest “romance ripens into acquaintanceship” [George Ade]. Real, divine love never is the what, never the where, maybe sometimes when, but always who.  

Snapshots.

Little ones leaning to walk, soon to run.  Soon to run fast and never stop.  

Snapshots.

Football games and SAT’s and band lessons and soon enough off to college and oddly how soon it seems how prom dresses turn into white gowns.  

All the tears and laughters, even those squabbles with brothers and sisters.  But still the joy of being part of something called family.  And now to create new family.    

You have chosen the gift and fortune of having someone worth living for.  

We may think we come to this worship service so that that this sacred assembly may bless their marriage, but I think Rachel and Robert are before us here today that they may be a blessing for all of us.  

Now, here’s a little secret:  Love isn’t enough

All you need is love, love is all you need.    Love, love, love – that’s what it’s all about.    We’ll be optimistic that the Beatles were singing about real love.   It’s a good beginning.  But Love --popularized, trivialized facile --  isn’t enough because the trials, surprises, hurts, wonders of living require something real.  Love sentimentalized, saccharinized, romanticized only hint at the real thing.  

You here claim Bermudian kind of love, a Bermudian kind of marriage.  As beautiful as a gem is this island, it isn’t easy to live here.  Scarcity.  Thus white roofs to collect scarce drinking water.   Together to gather, preserve, create, share what is precious.  
 
This is a love that reaches deeper and grows higher that makes the living more beautiful than the place.  A love that turns dreams into truth, horizons into harbors.  Love far richer, stronger, than any form of natural love for it is spiritually divine love, love as divine energy, not a goal but the force by which we live.  It makes the other loves worthwhile.  It’s love made incarnate.  It is love unconditional, self-giving, respectful, vulnerable, grounded in impersonal truth, for to love is to be courageous enough to be vulnerable which makes this love unsafe and dangerous, seeking what is good regardless.  A love that fights.  Fighting for the light, for what is just, what is good.  

6Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. 7Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

Once before I said how love echoes love.  

Such love makes the difference between:
a wedding and a marriage…
the difference between a birthday and a life
the difference between a job and a career
the difference between happiness and joy
the difference between a house and a home 

Snapshots.  



Bob refusing to be numb (18 May):  As I promised several shootings ago, no more damn prayers.  I refuse to pray over dead schoolchildren until our nation acts on its grief, for if not then this grief is false.  The NRA be damned.  

Bob back from a little traveling (14 May):  And on the plane got to read a bit of Madeleine Albright's book, 'Fascism.'  I quote from page 24 when she wrote about Mussolini:  "He knew that citizens were fed up with a bureaucracy that seem to grow bigger and bigger and less efficient each year, so he insisted on daily roll calls in ministry offices and berated employees for arriving late to work or taking long lunches.  He initiated a campaign to drenare la palude ("drain the swamp") by firing more than 35,000 civil servants.  I laughed out loud.  Mussolini and Trump love the phrase!

Bob reaching out to Trump supporters (8 May, 2018):  I don't ask you to agree with me.  I only ask you to see clearly how Mussolini Trump screwed you over, uised you, abused you, failed you...

An appeal to moral greatness:  this is the United States opportunity and calling.  This is why we became a nation.  Yes, we called to be the servants of the world's needy.  Please, let us arise to this calling to moral greatness.  Let us resolve to take care of the Syrian orphans.  To rise up and do the noble work of love.  Since we can, it is to our shame if we do not.

Bob knowing funerals (6 May):  to be asked to offer an eulogy at a funeral service is a great honor.  No wonder Mussolini Trump isn't invited.  How could he give an eulogy when the idea is talk about someone else and not yourself.

I remind everyone of the Obama Application.  I ask Trump supporters to insert the name of Obama into Trump's problems.  How would they react, what would they say if what is criticized of Trump were Obama instead?  Fair is fair. 

 Bob seeking honesty (29 April):  Trump supporters:  I ask you to remember how you saluted and supported John Kelly as Chief of Staff.  Now, what are you going to do about how Kelly views Mr. Mussolini Trump?  Be honest please.  Are you really getting what you wanted?  


Is anybody else getting tired of these rallies and the repitition of the same borning stuff?  Our darling President is more and more tedious, like a broken record.  Aren't the fans getting bored too?  It's like going to a concert only to hear the same five top tunes for which the band is famous.  I've learnt as a pastor that a sign of decreasing mental ability among the elderly is what I call the video loop.  It begins with the old person repeating themselves without remembering the same story every half hour.  Then it happens every 15 minutes, then every 10, then every 5.  

Western Bob (29 April):  It's either the kid in me and all those western movies and TV shows, or it is me wondering what's missing in me, but I do love certain westerns.  Watched Open Range last night.  A favorite is Crossfire Trail.  I want to get back to listening to my Louis L'Amour tapes of his short stories.  Something about those characters, like Kevin Costner's or Tom Selleck's, and that quiet unassuming strength and virtue.  You do what you got to do and tough it out.  You play fair.  I'm wondering what real cowboys in Montana think of Mussolini Trump's braggadocio and false bravado.  And yes, though I prefer Australian hats and fedoras to cowboy hats, I do like cowboy boots and really want a riding slicker.  

Proud of the New York Times absenting themselves from the correspondence dinner.  Politicians and Journalists shouldn't try to ape the Oscars.  They shouldn't buddy up either.  They do need to reinvent that thing.  It not only is embarrassing and a range of insults supposed to be funny but serves up softballs for Trump to hit while his crowd chortles.  

 Bob wondering (23 April):  considering the Second Amendment is included the Artcles of Amendments to the United States Constitution, it would seem to me whereas the states can enact extra regulations for gun safety measures, the Federal Government has the responsibility to promulgate national regulations such as universal back ground checks.  



Cool.  My talk on 'The Other Side of the Coin -- the Life of the Danville Mill Worker' is now on Youtube, courtesy of Van Wagner.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC_BE29K1Uc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHLWtHXmMoE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOKpwxcttng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyK0QJ_l3XE


Nathaniel's Call available for purchase! 

The paperback edition (355 pages) can be purchased from the following vendors:

Amazon at www.amazon.com 
for 18.95

Barnes and Noble at 
www.bn.com for 16.52 (plus shipping)

Booklocker at 
www.booklocker.com 
for 18.95


Nathaniel's Call Cover

Nathaniel's Call by Robert John Andrews 

LOUISVILLE

The Presbyterian Writers Guild has selected the Rev. Robert John Andrews, a pastor in Danville, Pa., to receive its prestigious Presbyterian Publishing Corporation First Book Award for 2014 for his novel set in the Civil War, Nathaniel’s Call.

Andrews’ book ― self-published in 2012 ― was selected from among 17 entries in a variety of genres to receive the biennial award, given in Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly years to the best first book by a Presbyterian writer during the past two years. The PPC First Book Award winner is recognized at the Presbyterian Writers Guild’s General Assembly luncheon, which this year will be Thursday, June 19 in Detroit.

Jane Hines of Nashville ― retired director of communications for the Synod of Living Waters and chair of the PPC First Book Award Committee ― said, “Several genres are represented in the 17 books we received (teen science fiction, memoirs, poetry, young adult fiction, novels, journals, dissertation re-writes).  We were just looking for the best writing in any category and found it in Nathaniel’s Call.

As a Nashville-based committee comprised of Southerners, Hines added, “we don't think it will be a best-seller in Vicksburg and Richmond, but we see Nathaniel's Call as a splendid example of the art of writing.”