ANGEL'S SHARE NOW FEATURES THE 14 CHAPTER [WEDDINGS] OF MY SEASONS FOR EVERYTHING: TALES OF A RELUCTANT PASTOR.
Blurb (October 17): Hillary: a low grade fever. Trump: an infarction. Hillary: New York Times, Washington Post, Dallas Morning Expressing. Trump: supermarket tabloids. I'd be ashamed to vote for him. Would love to be challenged outside the voting poll. My Jersey will come out. All the vitriol (including mine) is proving the need for the Thanksgiving Service we''ve planned as an affirmation of our unity as citizens and our process of the constitutional exchnage of power.
Blurb (October 13): Very curious number one: this Republican anger at government for failing them, failing to solve their problems -- I always thought the Republicans tenet was wanting government to butt out so that we are to solve our own problems.
Very curious number two: Donald accusing Bill for being unfit for doing what Donald has done...
Bob's Blurb (October 11): So sad and so pathetic is Trump. He's also a walking disaster, but fortunately I have such confidence and pride in the United States that we will be able to learn from his candidacy and be the better for the sickness he exposes. That folks actually would vote for him strains credulity, given how un-American and un-gentlemanly he is. Without honor. He attacks Bill Clinton as being unqualified by alleging the same behavior that he actually exhibits. I don't get it. Being a pragmatic voter myself, I find those who wish to clothe themselves in garments of virtue in voting for third party candidates to be a tad prissy and holier than thou... And let's do our best to avoid being fascinated by the spiritual gymnastics of the conservative/neolithic evangelical branch in supporting him, he who contradicts everything they hold dear and sacred.
Bob Blurb: it is one thing to use the legal system to default and never pay taxes, it is another thing to still maintain a life of opulence, induilgence, and excess. My parents couldn't and didn't when their business struggled and failed. They had to sell the homestead and close the business and move in with my sister and her family. They suffered. It is one thing to point out Trump's bankruptcies and tax forms, it is another to ask why did he lack the moral character, let alone decency, to live within his means? We work, we pay, we do what we have to... he didn't and he doesn't. My father, a life-long Republican, would be ashamed about about the sycophants in the Republican party today...
For those interested int the article and Noah Zakarian's photographs from our trip to Armenia for Young Life, please take a look:
Danville News column
Robert John Andrews
Friday, October 21, 2016
“Are We Caring?”
Word count: 750
She was sweet, albeit a tad tentative. She stood by my hospital bed nervously clutching her clipboard. It was 7:30 in the morning. Ten hours ago my wife had phoned for the ambulance. The only thing I remember of that event was looking up at the face of one of the EMT’s and recognizing Antonio. He was a Godsend. His face was the last thing I remembered until around 4 AM when they rolled me downstairs for a MRI to test if I had suffered another infarction. Later that afternoon, my darling wife told me I hadn’t been the pleasantest patient in the Emergency Department. Not that I remember.
But I do remember this timid lady looking down at me at 7:30 next morning. I awoke enough to acknowledge her presence. She introduced herself to me as, for want of a better term, one of the hospital’s care monitors. She smiled, asking me: “Has your stay here at Geisinger been a good experience?”
A good experience? No!!!! I may have suffered the symptoms of a stroke leaving my brain clogged, as if my skull was stuffed with chunks of moldy eggplant. I may have been groggy from being shoved into a technological tube of toothpaste, trapped and claustrophobic, so Joe could bang-bang an hour of pictures of what remained of my cerebellum. Nonetheless, I retained sufficient presence of my inane brain to guffaw incredulously and then with crazed eyes bark back: “Good? No!!!! Why would it be good? Tell Feinberg (Geisinger’s CEO) he’s asking the wrong question. Has it been professional? Yes! Has the staff been competent? Yes! Good? No!!!!”
I’m afraid I scared my care monitor that morning.
Caring is a very curious term. I’ve always viewed caring as a by-product from practicing other virtues. I can name several staff at Geisinger who feel insulted by the current scheme to market Geisinger as a caring place. “What were we before?” they sigh. “Why spend thousands on new name-tags when raises would be appreciated,” they groan. This campaign’s as silly as naming the newer section of the hospital as the Hospital for Advanced Medicine. “What were we before,” ask folks from Foss or Abigail pavilion, “chopped liver, primitive Medicine?” Since when is healthcare a commodity anyway?
Please understand, I do tend toward the surrealistic and ironic given my Ernie Kovacs, Groucho Marx sense of humor. When the children’s hospital got named for Janet Weis, I wickedly wanted to sneak a ladder up some dark night and add the name Brad Majors next to the Janet Weis sign. Fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show might enjoy the mischief.
Caring. One of the more caring experiences in my life was when my wife informed me what an idiot I’d been as a husband, then again when I had to spackle the door jamb after kicking in my daughter’s locked door during a particularly unwholesome argument, then again when a therapist tortured me, then again when my college professor flunked me in expository writing, then again when I had to admit I said something wrong during a hospital visit, then again when a friend told me I had been drinking too much lately.
Several Sundays ago during the installation of a new pastor in Bloomsburg, our council of Presbyterian churches continued its custom of awarding all new arriving pastors with a lovely wooden shepherd’s crook. This is presented as a sign of pastoral love, caring, comfort. Aren’t we nice? Aren’t we kind? Aren’t we compassionate and pastoral?
Well now, I had good buddy who worked as a shepherd in the mountains of Colorado for two years before he decided to become an Episcopal priest. Real shepherds are rugged fellows. Jimmy used his shepherd’s crook to whack the dumb sheep on the head to get them back in line. He’d hook the stupid ones wandering off and drag the ornery, wayward sheep back to the flock. Sometimes caring hurts. Sometimes caring requires discipline. Sometimes caring, to be good, is uncomfortable, honest.
When I was in third grade I chose to attend worship instead of Sunday school. I couldn’t stand gluing another pop sickle stick puppet of Noah. I got bored attending a Sunday school trying its best to entice me with trite Bible lessons and thin gruel. I chose instead to join my parents and be stretched, pushed, challenged by listening to Dr. Hunt’s half-hour protein rich sermons. Church can be fun, okay, maybe, sometimes; far more important is when church is worthwhile.
Need to reach me? Try: email@example.com
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.
A WORD ABOUT MY WRITINGS:
1) FINISHED IS THE SEQUEL TO NATHANIEL'S CALL CALLED NATHANIEL'S RETURN -- THIRTEEN DAYS IN THIRTEEN CHAPTERS;
2) I AM GOING TO PULL DANGEROUS CURVES TO SUBMIT A REDRAFTED VERSION OF THE STORY;
3) SOON I WILL COMPLETE MY NON-FICTION WORK ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER AND THE PAINT BUSINESS, TITLED 'GREORGE AND FLORENCE - FOREVER YOURS;'
4) MY BIGGEST HOPE IS TO PACKAGE ALL MY NOVELS AND TRY TO ENLIST AN AGENT OR A REAL PUBLISHING HOUSE, AS WELL AS SYNDICATE MY COLUMNS -- ANY HELP IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
Nathaniel's Call available for purchase!
The paperback edition (355 pages) can be purchased from the following vendors:
Amazon at www.amazon.com
Barnes and Noble at www.bn.com for 16.52 (plus shipping)
Booklocker at www.booklocker.com
Also available at the Iron Heritage store, 316 Mill Street, Danville
Nathaniel's Call by Robert John Andrews
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.”