Consulting services for your business

Dan Robling

Priest APKC 

President American Business Consultants, Inc. 

Adjunct Professor of International

Business MBA/MSM
Retired Chrysler MFG. Exec. 33 years


Our philosophy

Each situation (and company) is unique. One-size-fits-all   approaches will never help your business reach its full potential.  Custom  solutions take advantage of opportunities that your competitors  can't. That's  what we deliver to you.


Our commitment to results

When we work with you, we roll up our sleeves and become  your  business partner. Our success is measured by the success of your  company.  That's why we invest whatever resources are needed to get and  keep your  business on the right track.

International Business Experience

I have been in your shoes and done business in many regions of the world.

Get to know our approach

 Companies do not fail because of poor followership;  they fail because of poor leadership. It has been said that the  difference in leaders and managers is that managers do things right and  leaders do the right things. As customer requirements, technologies,  workforce sophistication and emerging competition changes and evolves,  leadership styles of the past are less effective for business survival.  

This way to business success

As you talk with your peers, subordinates, superiors,  children, and significant others this week please remember "Each of them  will forget what you said. They may forget what you did. But, they will  never forget how you made them feel." author unknown

Also keep in mind that, "Managers do things right.  Leaders do the right things." Be a leader in all aspects of your life  and you will enjoy tremendous personal and professional success.

Make the life of one person better and learn something  new each day. Your days will be wonderful and your life will be enriched  beyond measure.

This way to God's Blessings


One of Doral’s parishioners and best friends, Dr. Carl Schlageter was on duty in the emergency room.  Luther and Dr. Carl lifted him from the gurney and laid him on the emergency room table.   Doral immediately looked across the room and smiled a tremendously happy smile. His eyes were beaming.  He seemed as though he was seeing a long lost friend. He raised his arms and reached towards what he was seeing. He exclaimed, “Oh Jesus, I love you!”  Those were his last words as he took his last breath.  Praise God, he saw Jesus come to get him! He was thrilled to go home with Jesus even though he was not homesick!  Luther told Mom about witnessing this event.  Since hearing about Dad’s experience, I have moved beyond believing to knowing!  My heart has been so filled with a passion for the love of Jesus Christ that frequently I cannot contain it.  This is one of those days.  That is why I must share this good news with you today.  Praise God!  He lives, he lives, and we live forever through the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


The Rev. Dr. P. Doral Robling was pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sparta, Illinois at the time of his passing.


WHY I AM WHO I AM article 1

I  am going to tell you a story today about sowing seeds. There are over  ninety references to sowing, as in planting, dispersed throughout the  Old and New Testaments. The most significant of these references are in  sermons presented by Jesus. In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus talks  about planting a tiny mustard seed that grows into a bush and then into  a tree. In the Gospel reading for last Sunday, Jesus was talking about  sowing bad seeds (weeds) among good seeds (wheat). Use of  "sowing/planting" analogies is useful for understanding the biblical  story. 

I  recently asked one hundred-seventy high school students to write  individual themes describing the most significant hero in his or her  life. Their responses were very touching. Their heroes were parents,  grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, teachers, and ministers. While  reading their papers, the thought occurred to me that none of the heroes  would likely recall the incidents that so wonderfully influenced the  children. The heroes had planted small seeds. The seeds grew into plants  that bore significant and lasting fruit. 

Reading  about the student's heroes caused me to think about the heroes of my  life and to pick the most significant one. My most significant hero is  Delsa Mae Thompson Robling. Delsa was born late in the nineteenth  century during the mid 1890s. The area of her birth was in the rural  Midwestern United States. Agriculture, coal mining, and a small college  town primarily supported the area. 

Life  began wonderfully for little "Delsie." Her mother was a wonderful lady  frequently referred as "a saint on earth." Delsie's dad was also a  loving and highly respected man of faith. Delsie's dad became ill with  the flu and died when she was two years old. The mother and daughter  moved in with grandparents. Life was OK, but not as wonderful as when  her Daddy was with her. 

After  a time of mourning, a respected gentleman farmer from an adjoining  community courted and married Delsie's mother. They joined him at his  farm where eventually two baby sisters were born. Life was good again.  Delsie dearly loved her baby sisters. Shortly after Delsie finished the  third grade, her mother gave birth to a baby boy. Her mother died giving  birth to the baby boy. 

Once  again, life was not so good for little Delsie. Going to school and  learning had been a highly prized part of her life. She loved reading  and learning. It was necessary, however, for the nine-year-old to quit  school to help her stepfather raise her three siblings. She lost her  mother and the joy of going to school. 

At  Sunday School one Sunday morning, during her fifteenth year, she met  the handsomest young man she had ever seen. She was "in love." They  married after a short courtship. Life expectancies were short in those  days, so couples were usually married during their teens. 

Life  was wonderful again. Her husband was a coalminer. He was intelligent,  industrious, and energetic. He was soon promoted to a supervisory  position and their income increased. They were able to get a loan with  which to buy a farm and house. They also purchased a shiny new black  Model T Ford. Delsie gave birth to two daughters and later a son. Her  husband was indeed the Prince Charming of her dreams. Life was better  than she had imagined possible. 

Her  husband became ill with a heart condition while her children were ten,  eight, and four. He was ill and unable to work for a few months. He  eventually spent a month in a hospital where he died. 

Life  was not so good again. Their savings were spent for medical expenses  for her dying husband. Their mortgage payments were past due. Taxes were  due for the farm. She did not even have enough money for her husband's  funeral. She paid fifteen cents a week for twenty-five years until the  funeral bill was paid in full. 

The  difficulties of her past had made her strong and resilient. Delsie  developed a plan. The crops were already planted. She would complete the  crops. Harvesting would provide food and cash for paying the mortgage  payments and taxes. She would have time to come up with a longer-term  plan for her little family's future. She hooked up the farm implements  to a team of horses and headed for the fields. Stories are told of the  pitiful young widow wrestling the implements as she walked up and down  the crop rows from dawn until dusk with her three little children  following her. 

She  was not able to complete her plan. One day the Sheriff came and placed  all of the family belongings in the front yard. He brought all of the  equipment out of the barn and placed it with the animals. He auctioned  everything, including the house and land. She stood in the road with her  three children owning only the clothes they were wearing at the time. 

A  family took pity on them and took them into their home. The house of  the charitable family was accidentally consumed by fire. Delsie stood in  the road again beside her three children owning only the clothes they  were wearing at the time. 

The  nearby college town was touched by her desperate situation. A local  lumber company felt compassion for the widow and her children. Lumber  was donated and the Boy Scouts along with other citizens of the town  built a small house for the unfortunate family. Railroad tracks ran  through the town. Railcars containing coal from the mines accidentally  spilled coal along the tracks daily. Her children took burlap bags to  the tracks and picked up coal. A generous person gave them a stove. Life  was tolerable. They had a house. They had heat. Delsie used her  "washboard" to hand-scrub neighbor's clothes for about three dollars per  week. Three dollars provided a meager fare of food and paid the  property taxes. 

On  an extremely cold Midwestern night Delsie stoked up a fire in the  stove. The chimney caught on fire. The fire spread to the roof. The  house burned to the ground. The family was left in the cold with only  their sleeping clothes. 

Throughout  all the hardships and tragedies, Delsa taught her children to love  Jesus by loving all of his creation. She assured them that life was  eternal and there would be a better time someday. She was planting seeds  of faith and righteousness. 

Delsa,  was a young woman of great Christian faith and love. She taught her  children about faith, love, charity, and eternal life. She was planting  small seeds of love and understanding that would eventually grow into  giant trees. 

Delsa  would not allow her children to speak negatively about anyone. She  would always stop judgmental conversations by interrupting with, "If you  can't say something good don't say anything." 

The  pain of having only completed the third grade was unbearable. She  wanted her children to develop an appreciation for education. She read  EVERY book in the library of her hometown to gain knowledge and provide  an example for her children. She raised three children. All went to  college, one achieved a masters degrees. One earned two doctoral degrees  and also received an honorary doctoral degree. 

She had six grand children. All are living. Four have graduate degrees., 

The  seeds she planted have borne fruit that has literally touched the lives  of hundreds of thousands of people. Although she has been gone for  nearly forty years, her witness continues to thrive. One of her  daughters retired from an elementary teaching career during a time when  every class began with a scripture reading, prayer, and devotion. She  had one son and two grandsons. All became preachers. Her only son became  pastor of a large Presbyterian Church. He had a television ministry in a  metropolitan market and a radio ministry. Her oldest grandson became an  Episcopal missionary to Iran. He is currently active as rector of St.  Paul's Episcopal Church in Henderson, Kentucky. Her lesser grandson (me)  became pastor or priest of fifteen Methodist, Presbyterian, and  Anglican churches.

Almost  thirty years ago, I had the privilege of spending a couple of days with  the renowned Quaker orator, professor, and prolific writer Dr. Elton  Trueblood. Dr. Trueblood, in his book "THE LIFE WE PRIZE," summarized  the meaning of today's Gospel lesson. He wrote, "Man has made at least a  start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade  trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." 

Christ  is calling us today to go forth from this place to plant shade trees  and along the way plant seeds of love, compassion, faith, and  righteousness in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

HE TOUCHED ME

Oakland  City Indiana in 1940 was a small coal mining town suffering through the  Great Depression until after WWII.  Wilma and Doral Robling lived in  poverty as did most of the 3500 residents.  The Roblings were living in a  small house without modern conveniences.  There was a large plot of  land behind the house and railroad tracks where coal was hauled across  the nation.  There was a outdoor toilet at the end of the yard.  Doral  raised a large garden in the yard and Wilma canned(preserved) the food.   Doral made $15 per week cutting meat in a local grocery store.  The  family ate what we grew, preserved, shot while hunting, or caught while  fishing.  Coal that had fallen off the railroad cars could be picked up  in large cloth vegetable bags referred to as “tow sacks.” and carried to  the house for heat.  There was no heat during the middle of the winter  nights.  Wash basins and glasses of water beside the beds would often  freeze while we slep

There  was no hospital.  There were a few men who called themselves  “Doctors.”  Few people in the community had cars.  The “Doctors” came to  us.  Wilma was told that she was too small in frame to have children.   She was soon pregnant with me.  The Doctor told her that I would die  during birth and she would probably die as well.  

On  a stormy July night the time came for my removal.  Mom was placed on  the kitchen table.  Kerosene lamps were lit. The practice of cesarean  delivery did not exist.  The doctor took a knife and some forceps and  began the process of making room to remove me and used all of his  strength, at any risk, to my mother and me, to remove me.  

The  doctor noticed that I was breathing.  There was and still is a large  forceps indentation in the front of my skull. My jaw was dislocated.  My  skull was cone shaped.  My dad’s wedding ring would fit the end of my  head. There were knife wounds over my body. The doctor exclaimed, “This  baby is alive.”  He handed me to my dad’s mother and instructed her to  keep me awake for eight hours.  He indicated that I might have a chance  to live.  My grandfather entered the door as my grandmother held me up  to begin eight hours of spanking.  Pappy screamed, “Wilma and Doral have  had a monster.”   He ran to his house, fell to his knees, and cried out  to God that I would die.

Someone  inquired as to which day was my birthdate.  The process took place  around midnight.  None knew whether I was born on July 11 or 12.  They  decided to make the certificate for the 11th. The 11th was one of my aunts birthday.  They thought she would be pleased enough to buy a larger gift.

On  the sixth week, they took me according to our custom to the church to  be dedicated.  Throughout the rest of this story I will explain to you  how I know that I was spared by God’s touch to spend a lifetime serving  him by serving others.

According  to family tradition, we attended church services twice on Sundays and  every Wednesday evening.  One Sunday evening, as I was approaching the  age of four,  I enquired of my dad, “ Who are the elders of the  church?”  He was astonished as he asked, “Why do you ask Danny?”  I  replied that Preacher Bond had said in his sermon that evening that, “If  the Elders placed their hands on your head, anointed you with oil, and  prayed for your healing. You would be healed.”  I had been a sickly but  precocious child since birth.  I said to my dad that I was tired of  being sick.  

An  hour later there were three uncles and my dad standing over me,  anointing me, and praying for my healing.  That was beginning of a call  and introduction to a healing ministry that continues to this day.  I  was eighteen years old when I became chaplain of the first of three  nursing homes over many years.

Our  only formal entertainment was by battery operated radios during the day  time.  Most radio stations were required to turn down their power at  sundown during the war.  All of the stations close to us were  constrained by that requirement.  Entertainment for us was chatting with  the milkman as he delivered our milk in a horse-drawn carriage.  Next  the iceman and his carriage arrived.  The Mailman came next as he walked  his route.  We chatted with each of them.  

I  was born a year before the United States entered World War II. Most of  the men from our small coal mining community were already gone to the  war before my dad was drafted. That afternoon while I was four, my dad  received a letter from "his friends and neighbors." They had selected  him to serve our country in the armed services. He read the letter to me  and asked me not to mention it to anyone. He wanted to tell Mom in his  own way in his own time. 

A  few days later, we piled into my grandfather's car and took Dad to the  train for him to leave for the war. After returning home and getting out  of the car, I laid on the front sidewalk of our home and kicked, hit,  and screamed, "I want my Daddy" until there was no longer a voice with  which to scream. That night and every night for months thereafter, I  cried myself to sleep repeating "I want my Daddy." I was convinced that I  would never see my father again. 

We  had already learned to fear the Western Union delivery man. We would  pray that he was not going to stop at our house while he was walking  through our neighborhood, we would watch to see where he stopped. We  converged on the house where a message had been delivered to console the  recipient family. Church bells rang and the people of our village  gathered to pray and console each other. 

I  had already seen many of the boxes containing the remains of friends,  neighbors, and relatives return to their homes. Each box was draped with  an American flag. I did not know what the flag was all about, but I  suspected that it had some special significance. Six soldiers or sailors  accompanied each box. Each of the six men carried an M1 (30 caliber)  rifle. One of them carried a bugle. 

Townsmen,  too old to go to war, would dig a large and deep hole at the cemetery.  The flag-draped box was suspended on boards above the hole. Every  citizen of our little town would gather at the cemetery. I would walk up  to the hole and look in. Sometimes, I would kick some dirt into the  hole and watch it hit the bottom of the hole. I did not know what it all  meant, especially the flag. I understood that war was about men going  "overseas" to fight, get killed, and come home in a box. 

The  six military men would fire several rounds from their rifles. It was  called a "military salute." It was a way of honoring the person who had  died for his country. One of them would slowly play the eerie sounds of  "taps" as other men lowered the box into the hole. While our ears were  still ringing from the rifle shots, the soldiers would ceremoniously  fold the flag in a deliberate manner. One of them would slowly and  carefully carry the folded flag to "the next of kin." The mother or  widow receiving the flag would cry uncontrollably. Those were confusing  and disturbing experiences for a four-year old child. It hurts to think  of them again. 

We  moved from our hometown when I was seven. Eventually, we moved to  Indianapolis where I attended the world's largest high school. The high  school had been an arsenal during the Civil War. In keeping with its  military history, military training was part of our curriculum. I  received an Army uniform and my own M1 rifle from the "Magazine  Building" from which weapons and uniforms had been issued during the  Civil War. 

The  war had ended eight years before my high school freshman year. All of  the materials captured from the Japanese and Nazis had been sorted  through and analyzed. Our government had captured many films among the  spoils of war. The Japanese and Nazis had delighted in filming the acts  of atrocity committed against American military men. Our training was  for infantry service, hand to hand combat. Although we were fourteen, we  were shown the movies frequently to desensitize us to killing and to  teach us to understand and hate our enemies. 

We  were not viewing video games or Tom Hanks movies. The heads and arms  flying through the air were real and "they" were "us." I remember seeing  a man running down a hill. His head fell off and his body continued  down the hill with the momentum and pull of gravity. 

Our  enemies delighted in taking pictures of taking down our flag. It was a  supreme honor for them and horribly dishonorable for us. The films  helped me understand that there has been a price paid with blood and  lives for our flag to continue flying. 

As  the experiences and studies of my adult life took me throughout the  industrialized world, I learned the rest of the story of our flag. Most  of the world is hungry and wants what we have. Much of the world is  angry and wants to destroy us for fanatical reasons. Even our friends  around the world are jealous of what we have and would be satisfied to  see us have less. Many people and groups around the world are dedicating  their resources and lives to taking down our flag forever. 

After  decades of living and learning, I have come to understand that the flag  is a symbol of everything good in the world. It stands for faith, love,  and charity. It stands as an emblem of freedom to pursue one's dreams.  It stands proudly in honor of every person and every generation who paid  the price for our flag to fly majestically above the earth

I  can recall waking up one morning when I was five years old. I was so  excited. The impression of that day is still clear in my mind. It seems  as though it happened yesterday. My dad would be returning from World  War II that evening on a troupe train and I was going to Vincennes to  meet him. The war wasn't over yet. Dad was getting a disability  discharge. I had no idea what that meant but it really didn't matter.  All that mattered was that he was coming home. Our family didn't have a  car but Uncle Lee had agreed to take us to the train station in his  green Ford V8. Most folks in our town didn't have cars back then. I  couldn't remember the last time I had ridden in a car. What a day that  was! I saw Dad coming down the steps of the train. I outran everyone and  jumped into his arms. We hugged, cried, and repeated I love you. Seeing  Dad again and riding in a car both in the same day! It was a  significant emotional event in my young life. 

Another  memorable event took place a few months later. Dad borrowed Pappy’s  (Pappy was my grandfather) team of horses. He had found a discarded car  setting in a barn lot. He paid fifteen dollars for that Model “A” and  pulled it home with the horses. I watched and handed him tools as he  worked on the car that day. It was my first experience at serious  father/ son bonding. It was a man thing. It wasn't something that he  would do with Mom or my sister. It was just us guys and the car. We took  a rope hoist and pulled the engine. Dad rebuilt the engine, put it back  in the car, and had it running again within twelve hours. That was a  proud moment in the life of this kid and his dad. We had a car! 

I  will always remember fondly the very special, proud, and close feeling  we shared when Dad and I would go for a ride in that car. We took a fly  spray pump and painted the car black. We thought it looked great!  Because of the shortages of civilian supplies during the war, we could  not buy a battery or tires. Dad had to start the car with a crank and it  ran on a magneto. We carried a frequently used Camel tire patching kit  and a pump. We didn't mind the inconveniences. We were thrilled with  having a car and being together. 

With  a car, Dad was able to become pastor of two churches and continue his  college education. When people were seriously ill, and with few Doctors  or hospitals around, families were usually advised to “call the  preacher.”  I did not want my dad out of my sight. I would always ask to  go with him when I saw him preparing to leave.  Dad wanted me with him.  We did not want to be apart.  The hurt of the short separation during  his active duty time was fresh in our hearts.  

Sometimes  he would say, “You may come but you must be quiet.  We are going to be  with Mr. Jones as he is dying.”  I would stand quietly in the room and  watched what my dad was doing.  I always felt a special presence with  us.  Other times he might say, “You may go but Mrs. Smith died  and we  are going to comfort her family.  I stood in the room and watched what  my dad was doing.  I always felt a special presence.  I eventually came  to know that presence as the Holy Spirit.  This was the beginning of  call and answer to a ministry of comforting the dying and grieving.  It  led to a nationwide grief ministry that I share as chaplain today.
 

There were many interesting experiences meeting and listening to the  stories and experiences of older shut-in members of his churches.  His  first assignment was in the southern Indiana area where Abraham Lincoln  grew up.  I remember visiting a couple frequently who had known Abraham  Lincoln when he was a young man.  They told me some unknown stories  about the young Lincoln.

During this fifth year, He continued to touch me. My  first experience at preaching at a regularly scheduled church service  came when I was nine years old. Dad got up on Sunday morning with a  wretched case of the flu. There was no else available to preach. I had  climbed up on top of the chicken coop, gathered the neighborhood  children around on the ground and preached many times. I would preach,  pray, sing and invite them to know my Lord from the time I was five  years old. Preaching was a natural thing for me to do. By the time I was  eighteen, I was pastor of a church, chaplain of a nursing home,  and an evangelist.  It was not difficult for me to preach at nine or be a  pastor at eighteen.

About  a year after Dad returned, the war was over and victory was declared.  The whole town was celebrating. Dad and I took the Model “A” to town to  join in the jubilation. People were driving up and down Main Street in  our hometown (Oakland City, Indiana population 3500) honking their horns  and shouting with joy. Dad knew how to cause an electrical misfire that  would cause the car to backfire with a loud bang. It sounded like a  cherry bomb exploding!. We blew the muffler off of the car that day. It  was a special day. There has never been another like it. The old car  didn't last much longer after that and Dad is also gone. But, the  glowing memories of those experiences, my growing love for Dad, and my  fondness for cars continues steadfast. Now, my son and I frequently go  for a ride in our car, just the two of us. It's a man thing, I guess. 

THE HANGMAN’S NOOSE article 2

After  serving as pastor of a Presbyterian church, nursing home chaplain,  evangelist, and full-time college student (simultaneously) for two  years, I became a twenty year old Methodist minister; I was assigned as  pastor for a five-church circuit surrounding a county-seat town of  fifteen thousand people. The District Superintendent, the equivalent of  an Anglican or Episcopal Bishop, took me for a drive to each of the five  churches.  He told me a little of the history and personality of each  congregation.  The first church he took me to was established in the  Jackson Purchase.  It was founded by six white families who were the  only whites in that Indian occupied area.   There were graves in the  cemetery dating back to 1620.  

As  we approached the second church, he told me that the building we were  about to enter was one-hundred and thirty-five years old.  I was amazed  when he went on to say that the building was the third building built in the history of that church.  There were slaves buried in the cemetery. 

As  we entered the building, he turned to me and said, “Young man there are  only six members left in this church.  If you do not build it up during  the next twelve months, I will shut it down.”

I  vowed that that church would not close on my watch.  I returned to that  place the next day and while kneeling at the rail invoked God’s  blessings and guidance for making that place a beacon of the Light of  Christ for that community.  

The  five churches had historically been provided with one or two services  per month.  I gave a service to each church every Sunday and one week of  revival meetings each year.  

The  first service provided on the first Sunday of my ministry there was for  the folks at the one-hundred thirty-five year old church building.   Aside from my wife and baby, there were six people in attendance.  I  accompanied the service at the piano, led the singing, said the prayers,  and preached.  I decided to empower those precious few with the truth.   I relayed the Superintendent’s admonition that the church would be  closed if it did not grow.

The  six people were horrified by the news.  They inquired, “Preacher, we  must not lose our church.  Our great-grandparents grew up in this  church. How can we save it?  Can it be saved?”  I replied, “It will be  saved if you follow my lead and directions.”  I reminded them that I was  a full-time college student with a family and four other churches.  I  told them that I would not be able to do the work for them.  I promised  them that if they followed my lead, they would see the pews so crowded  that there would be people standing outside the building looking in the  windows by the end of a year because there would not be enough room for  them inside.  They committed to go to work immediately.  Three months  later there were people standing outside looking in the windows and  doors during services because the pews were filled with people and there  was no more room inside the building. 

The  leaders of the congregation came to me concerned that the crowds were  putting so much weight on the old wooden floors that there was a  possibility the floors might collapse and someone might be injured.  I  replied, “Let’s build a new building.”  They asked if I thought it would  be possible.  I reminded them of all of my other duties, but committed  that if they would follow my advice and “do the work” we would build a  new building. 

At  the end of my year there we had a brand new brick building constructed  and paid for except for four-thousand dollars.  I do not know the extent  of their sacrifices.  The area was a poor rural area where weeds barely  grew.  Farming was done with mules pulling ancient farm instruments.

I  did not get to hold any services in that new building.  The county  community decided to hang me from a tree at the County Courthouse Square  one week before the first service was held in the new building.  My dad  was scheduled to lead a revival week there and did so a few months  after I left.  

These  events took place over fifty-years ago.  The congregation was still  thriving when I last heard from them. When a church whines about their  plight today, I tell them this story and remind them that through God  all things are possible. 

Our  parsonage (rectory) was located in the town. The five churches were  located fifteen to twenty miles in varied directions surrounding the  town. While we were having a late Sunday lunch at home one afternoon, I  noticed a large billow of black smoke. It appeared to be about two  blocks away. We were in a residential area, so surely the fire was a  neighbor's house. I ran from the parsonage toward the burning house.
 

It was what we called a "shotgun house" in that neck of the woods. It  was a long narrow house. The door opened into a living room. From the  living room one would walk through a door into a second room. The second  room in a shotgun house was either a dining room or bedroom. Walking  through the second room one would find a third area divided into two  small rooms, a small kitchen and a small bedroom.
 

The fire had started in the kitchen. I ran into the house and joined  others carrying out furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings.  We carried kitchen stuff first and worked our way to the front yard. We  were able to remove most of the family belongings and placed them in the  front yard.
 

As I placed the last article in the front yard, I stood up to rest my  back and survey the situation. I was astonished to see a  heretofore-unnoticed multitude of white people glaring at me as though  they were going to kill me. I realized two things. The first thought  occurring to me was that I was looking into the depths of the eyes of  evil. The second realization was that everyone but my cousin (now Father  Gordon Morrison) who had been carrying out items from the house was  Black. I cannot adequately describe the sickening feeling that came over  me as the reality of the situation became clear.
 

I asked to meet the owner of the house. He stepped forward and extended  his hand. He was the local Black dentist. The good doctor had grown up  in that community of hate. He left the community after high school and  went to Chicago. He was able to find a job in Chicago where he worked  his way through college and dental school. He was able to establish a  successful dental practice in Chicago and was on his way to a life of  comfort. Thoughts of the people back in the hate-filled community of his  childhood haunted him. He kept thinking about his suffering people back  home knowing that they could not get dental care from white dentists.  Thoughts of their unbearable pain overwhelmed him. Even though he  realized that his people could not pay for his services, he gave up his  Chicago practice and life of comfort to return to his people. The  "shotgun house" with its meager furnishings was all he had.
 

The call from Christ that I was answering was not limited to boundaries  of my parish. It was a call to bring the world to salvation. I could not  walk away from this good man and that evil multitude without taking a  stand. 

I  asked the Doctor what I could do to help. He said that I should meet  Dr. A.M. Alcorn. Dr. Alcorn was the A.M.E. pastor and the leader of the  local black community. The dentist invited me to the evening service and  arranged an introduction to his pastor. Dr. Alcorn greeted us warmly  and told us that there was something we could do to help. He said for us  to come to a meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday evening of that  week and we would learn about what we could do to help.
 

I will never be able to forget the significance of that meeting and how  it has affected my life. The group was already assembled when we  arrived. The Reverend Doctor Alcorn introduced us and said, "See, I have  told you that there are other people who care." The group  simultaneously knelt around us and gave thanks to God for our presence. I  have never felt as honored, humbled, or as inadequate as in that  moment. Those wonderful people were thanking God for sending a  twenty-year-old preacher and his seminarian cousin to change the  miserable conditions of their lives.
 

Dr. Alcorn advised us that there was one hospital in the entire county.  The hospital was built and operated on tax revenues. The area was a  sub-marginal area that, other than a few cotton fields, would hardly  grow weeds. There were a few slave-wage industrial plants. People did  not have insurance and few could pay medical bills. Four of the beds in  the huge county owned hospital were designated for black patients.
 

The group's concerns had peaked the week previous to our meeting. A  Black teenager had required emergency surgery. The only available bed  for Blacks was in a room with her dying mother. She suffered the pains  of surgery and healing while enduring the agony of watching her mother  die. The situation was intolerable.
 

As a twenty-year-old preacher who had been called to "call the world to a  saving knowledge of Jesus Christ," I was equipped with fast answers for  every situation. I suggested that Dr. Alcorn call for a meeting with  the hospital administrator and the board of directors of the hospital.  The truly wise Dr. Alcorn, a member of the board of trustees of  Wilberforce University, advised me that he had requested a meeting and  his request had been denied.
 

He suggested that as the pastor of five white churches, I would have the  power to force a meeting with the hospital board. We people of Black  African heritage have found it necessary to organize frequently for  leading godly change. Yes, I said Black African Heritage. My mother’s  grandmother was born to a former slave.  My dad’s step-father knew  Grandmother Williams, the former slave.  I never met her. She passed on  before I was born. I did know her daughter though, our Grandmother  McDonald. When I think of Grandmother McDonald, I recall a woman with a  sweet spirit. I am sure she learned and received that sweet spirit from  her mother, a former slave.

 A  meeting was arranged with the hospital administration in combination  with other issues. I told the young girl's story. I spoke of the  four-bed situation and demanded change. I was advised that change would  not occur. I reminded them that the situation was ungodly, immoral, and  illegal. They laughed. I left.
 

They called a meeting of the townsfolk, some were my parishioners, at  the Courthouse Square. The courthouse was one of those that had "colored  only" drinking fountains and restrooms. I had been there many times to  speak to various government agencies. People always reviled me for  drinking at the "colored only" fountains. A consensus decision was made  to hang (lynch) me. 

I  sent my nineteen-year-old wife and eighteen-month-old son back to  Indiana by bus to her mother's house where they would be safe. While I  was waiting to be hanged, I received an urgent call from my District  Superintendent. He said that he needed to talk with me in his office  immediately. He was curious about the situation and wanted to hear my  side of the story. I told him the story as described to you today. He  asked, "Do you know that they are going to hang you?" I replied in the  affirmative. He asked what I planned to do about it. I told him that my  plan was to be hanged.
 

I wanted my life and death to send a message that standing against the  evils of prejudice and racism was worth dying for. He replied that he  appreciated a preacher with a "social conscience." He did not understand  this was about brotherly love.  He concluded that having a preacher  hanged at the Courthouse Square would reflect badly on the church. I was  whisked quickly to a six-church parish with a larger and nicer  parsonage in another county.
Recovering respect for the Church and its leaders took several years.  The passion for standing against the sins of injustice has never  lessened.
 

I  have looked into the eyes of evil, escaped the hangman's noose, and  ducked the bullet whizzing past my head on its way to shattering the  glass window behind me. I KNOW EVIL WHEN I SEE IT. I KNOW EVIL WHEN I  HEAR IT. Prejudice and racism, at best, are subtle forms of hatred.  Hatred in any form is evil. Evil in the heart of any person will prevent  that person from knowing the full joy of the salvation that Christ died  to provide.
 

Jesus did not say, "Feed my white sheep." He did not say, "Those among  you who are white, feed my sheep." In Matthew 11:28 Jesus is quoted as  having said, "Come unto me ALL who labor and are heavy laden and I will  give you rest."
 

Sometimes people say, "Dan, you sound angry when you talk about racism."  The voice you hear through my writing today is the voice of my heart.  It is not an angry heart. It is an agonizing and pain-filled heart. The  agony is shared with the revolutionary Jesus who looked down over  Jerusalem and wept. It is pain shared with Jesus as he looks down on his  world today, on this state, his church, and into the hearts of people  who have not embraced his love.
 

The revolutionary Jesus who fed multitudes has left US in charge of  continuing his revolution. WE must lead all of his family to love and  understanding.
 

If anyone reading this story today is uncomfortable with reading about  racism and is angered by what I am saying please understand that there  is not room in a human heart (the soul of a person) for the love that  accompanies a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the hatred that  accompanies racism. The two cannot dwell in the same heart. 

Rediscovering A Means of Grace article 3

After  the “Hangman’s Noose Experience” as a twenty year old Methodist  minister in Tennessee, I became pastor of a Presbyterian church in  Illinois.  All the while my disappointment in the church in general with  its failure to take a proper stand against racism and for brotherly  love was causing me to lose respect for Christian churches and their  leaders.  

In  April of 1963, at the age of twenty-two, I along with two other student  ministers made an appointment to visit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in  Birmingham and offer our help there.  When we arrived in Birmingham we  heard on the car radio that Dr. King had been arrested. We heard that  President Kennedy had called the Sheriff in Birmingham and threatened  that federal troops would occupy Birmingham if Dr. King was harmed in  any way.  We were also told that President Kennedy talked with Dr. King  on the phone and assured him the President’s support.

I  asked a stranger on the street where the headquarters of Dr. King and  the S.C.L.C. was.  I was directed that we could find his staff working  in an office in the Atkins building.  Everywhere we walked in downtown  Birmingham, we were followed by a young white man dressed in a suit  wearing hearing aids.  He was followed by a state policeman, deputy  sheriff, and a city policeman.

We  found the Atkins building and introduced ourselves to Rev. Ralph  Abernathy and Rev. Wyatt T. Walker along with some teenage activists  working with them.  Rev. Abernathy was busy preparing literature and  planning activities.  I asked Rev. Walker what we could do to help.  

Rev.  Walker said the group was getting prepared to leave for a large  department store downtown.  Britt’s department store was a very large  store with a lunch counter for shoppers.  The two men with me were  white.  I looked white.  Rev. Walker asked us to go to the lunch counter  minutes before the departure of the young workers.  He asked that we go  ahead and order something to eat and observe the activities as the  young people came behind to join us.  We were then requested to return  and report our observations.

The  report I gave to Reverends Walker and Abernathy was that all sales  activity ceased in the store as the young brothers and sisters tried to  place orders at the lunch counter.  By the time the police arrived,  arrested, and removed the young people a few hours had passed.  People  were not shopping during the period and cashiers were not even trying to  make sales.

I  asked how many helpers were already in jail and when they would be  released.  I suggested that we work out a schedule that allowed the last  available members to enter the store as the previous group was leaving  for jail.  My expectation was that with an effective schedule, all  business could be halted around the clock.  I felt that “no sales” would  bring great pressure on the management and owners.

Reverends  Walker and Abernathy thanked us and expressed support for the idea  feeling it had merit and they agreed to try our plan.

I  was reading the St. Louis Post Dispatch a few days after returning to  Illinois.  Bold letters read, “SCLC changes strategy, applies economic  pressure, Birmingham business men agree to come to the bargaining  table.”

A  few Sundays later, I confirmed nineteen new members at my assigned  church and submitted my resignation and returned to my hometown in  Indiana. I felt complete disillusionment with the church.  God is love.  Christ revealed THAT love and instructed us to give his message to the  world.  I felt that we had disintegrated into social groups with social  agendas that missed God’s purpose for his church.

I did not attend church for about five years.  I prayed daily and tried to present a personal witness to all around me

I  became critically ill with pneumonia and pericarditis (infected heart).  My parents were called to Indiana from Illinois to say goodbye.  Faye  brought the children to my room with a tape recorder to record a last  conversation with me.  I do not remember the next four weeks.

Later  during recovery, I recalled entering the hospital.  It was a special  hospital for me. I had played in the high school band at the ground  breaking ceremony for the hospital while Vice President Nixon turned the  shovel

I  recalled that, during the admissions process, a young clerk asked what  church, parish, or synagogue I belonged to.  I replied, “none.”   He  inquired as to what minister, priest, or rabbi should be notified.  I  tersely replied, “I just told you I do not have one.”

As  I was being wheeled down the long hallway from Admissions to the  Critical Cardiac Care Unit to die, some words came to me from the past.   It was not a voice, but words I had read several years before in the  Methodist Book of Common Discipline.  The words were, “The church  affords a means of grace that can be found in no other way.”  I  remembered in that moment what the church had once meant to me.  I made a  promise to myself that if I should survive, I would try to recapture  that wonderful means of grace.  It was not a promise to God.  It was a  promise to me.  

Needless  to say, I found it.  Today, I am a priest in the Anglican Church  preaching the love of God as it is expressed in Christ’s admonition to  “Love one another as, I have loved you.”  Brotherly love for everyone is  an essential part of the call of God to every person.

What Does Jesus Do? article 4

This is a long form text area designed for your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.


Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.


Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.


Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.


Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are. 

The  church, of course, is more than a building. The church is the people  who have come to understand the message of God through Christ. We, you  and I, are the church. Therefore, our prime purpose for being is to  bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The  Gospel presents a wonderful story of a man who was blind from birth and  had to beg for a living. Jesus made mud, put it on the man's eyes and  gave him specific instructions to follow. The man followed Christ's  instructions and was healed. He could see! It is a wonderful story. The  greater significance of the Gospel for today is more than the miraculous  event of bringing sight to a man that was blind from birth. It is that  CHRIST DEFINED HIMSELF in this Gospel story from John.

Humankind  has sought to understand God from the beginning. We have read the  biblical stories. Other people long ago isolated in the deepest jungles  and on unreachable islands sensed the presence of a power greater than  themselves. They were so driven for defining that omnipresence that, in  the absence of revelations, such as Jesus, they felt compelled to create  answers for the burning questions, "Who is God?" "What is that spirit  around us?"

Our  curiosity and desperate desire to know and understand God is profound.  All who have heard the name need to know who Jesus is and what he does.

Our  youngest child was a busy little boy. He was precocious, curious,  articulate for his age, and above all …..busy. We took him to church  every Sunday. Church for his first three years meant playing in the  downstairs nursery and hearing stories. As he was approaching the age of  four, I realized that this inquisitive little creature was going to be  promoted to the Preschool Sunday School class and would be joining us  upstairs in "Big Boy Church" for communion. Preparing him for NOT  distracting the adults during communion would require planning and  training on my part.

I  developed a plan for Danny's introduction to "Big Boy Church." We had a  very small chapel (former storage closet) in our church building that  consisted of eight folding chairs, a kneeling stand, an alter, a small  credence table, and a votive stand. Every Wednesday we had a midweek  communion service in the chapel. Usually Father David and I were the  only ones attending. I thought the midweek service would be a good way  to introduce Danny to proper etiquette and procedures for attending and  participating in a communion service.

As  we were walking up the sidewalk approaching the church doors, I took  his little hand in mine to slow him down. He was always in a hurry. I  pointed toward the building and said, I said, "This is God's house. We  must be respectful in God's house by being quiet and listening." He  inquired, "So God lives here?" I replied, "Yes, God has many houses and  he lives in all of them." He said, "OK, I'll be quiet."

We  arrived in the chapel a few minutes before Father David. Danny was  sitting in a chair next to the credence table. On the credence table was  a copper impression of Our Lord's Supper. Danny looked at the picture  and quietly asked, "Who are those guys?" I replied, "That is Jesus and  his disciples." Danny inquired, "Which one is Jesus?" I said, the one  standing in the center is Jesus." "So that's Jesus, huh?" "Yes Danny  that is Jesus." He then JOLTED me with the next logical question, "Dad,  what does Jesus do?"

As  I was catching my breath, Father David walked into the chapel. I  quickly advised him that Danny had a question. "What does Jesus do?" I  can assure you that Father stammered for a minute before providing an  appropriate answer for an inquisitive three-year-old.

Even a three-year-old child who hears the name of Jesus needs to know who Jesus is and what he does.

Jesus  said, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD." The life, teaching, sacrifice, and  love of Jesus revealed the nature of God and his expectations for us.  Through him, mankind was enlightened.

In  a greater context of  Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am  the light of the world." We affirm in every communion service that Jesus  died, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven. NOW his light  shines in the world through his church, through us. WE MUST LET THE  LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINE THROUGH US so that people around us will be  brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

What will YOU do this week, this month, or this lifetime to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus

BECOMING SUCCESSFUL article 5

 

The  following speech is delivered to 400/750 high school students weekly.  Yesterday it was given to five classes (150 students) at a local high  school. Three of the classes responded with generous applause. Three  seniors came up to me and hugged me as they thanked me for the speech.  Two individual students came to me and said, "What you said today will  change my life forever. Thank you for sharing your story with us."  …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 

I  am here today to share a quotation from C.W. Buecher with you and  explain how applying the concepts, contained in the quote, can help you  become personally and professionally successful. The quote is: "People  will forget what you said. They may forget what you did. But they will  never forget how you made them feel." 

I  grew up in the inner city of a large metropolitan area. It was not a  nice way to live. It was a terrible way to grow up. It was a violent  place. The violence was horrible. Even though being violent was contrary  to my nature, it was necessary to do violent things to survive in that  environment. Ever-prevalent poverty was unacceptable to me. I did not  really view it as poverty. I just thought we were broke. I viewed  poverty as a permanent state of mind. Being broke was a temporary  condition that I could and would fix eventually. The concept of being  either poor or broke was totally unacceptable to me. 

While  attending the eighth grade, I devised a plan for getting out of the  inner city permanently. The plan was very simple. I was not capable of  developing a complicated plan at the age of thirteen. Preparation for  plan implementation included meeting as many people as possible. It  required being where things were happening and meeting people of all  stations of life. 

There  were two simple strategies included in my plan. The first strategy  required meeting and observing successful people. I would look for  common characteristics shared by them. Being highly successful, by my  definition, did not mean achieving the ability to pay large house and  car payments. Success was not about a "big year or five years." Success  for me meant being effective over the course of a lifetime. As I  detected common characteristics among successful people, I would embrace  those characteristics and assimilate them into my evolving adult  personality. My hope was that sharing common characteristics with  successful people would facilitate my success. 

The  second strategy was to observe total "losers." I would try to identify  unique characteristics shared by losers and make sure to never embrace  or emulate them. 

The  first vivid impression that evolved as my plan was being implemented  was the vast difference between the behaviors of successful people and  losers. They shared little more than their humanity. 'They did not act,  think, or respond to other people in similar ways. 

The  second discovery was that most of the people who were highly effective,  over the course of a lifetime, were sensitive to how they made other  people feel. This characteristic made sense to me. When we respond  positively and in a supportive manner to what other people are feeling,  they will like us. If they like us, they will become our friends. They  will hire us, give us raises, promote us, work for us, and buy what we  have to sell. They will vote for us and if there are enough of them THEY  will make us successful. 

I  eventually got a job running a machine in a large factory owned by the  world's fifth largest corporation. The job was a "big deal" for a guy  from the old neighborhood. The pay has fantastic! I was paid $2.57 per  hour, overtime pay, health insurance, and life insurance. It was also an  opportunity for implementing my plan for success. I responded to what  my peers were feeling in an empathetic and supportive manner. I treated  the people for whom I worked the same way. 

Guess  what! They liked me! Within five weeks, I was promoted to an office  job. Approximately five years later, I was an executive. A few years  later, I was leading some the world’s largest manufacturing operations.  By the time I was fifty-three, it was no longer necessary for me to work  another day of my life. At the age of fifty-four, I decided to retire. 

Before  submitting a retirement notice, my employer provided a timely  assignment. I was assigned, along with a team of respected associates,  to the dream assignment for a manufacturing executive. We were told to  build the world's latest, greatest, state of the art, manufacturing  plant. The plant would produce automatic transmissions for the 1999 Jeep  Grand Cherokee. We were required to complete the plant within two  years. The entire project could not exceed one billion - four hundred  million dollars. The initial product launch must occur in 1997 to  provide transmissions for endurance and process testing. Missing the  timing and budget requirements would be interpreted as failure. 

We  accepted the challenge. We traveled throughout the industrialized world  visiting some of the world's best manufacturing plants. We observed  best technologies, organizational cultural concepts, and management  practices. 

We  proceeded to build the plant, develop the processes, purchase the  manufacturing equipment, install the equipment, hire the employees,  train the employees and launch the plant. 

After  our objectives for the assignment were met, I realized that I had  achieved everything professionally that was included in my plan. My  eighth-grade plan had worked! All of my financial objectives were met as  well. The realization became clear that another dollar or another  million dollars would not contribute one whit of additional happiness to  my life. I decided to retire. 

I  had to make a decision as to what I should do with the rest of my life  at the age of fifty-six. I thought about the old neighborhood and how  wonderfully I had been blessed throughout the years. I felt an  obligation to give thanks for my many blessings by dedicating the rest  of my life to my religion and my community. You are my community. My  life is now, in part, dedicated to each of you. 

As  news spread of my retirement, a university asked if I would be  interested in teaching in their Business graduate degree programs. They  asked me to teach because they believed that my business experience,  academic achievements, and sensitivity to others would contribute  positively to the learning experiences of evolving business leaders. It  seemed like a wonderful opportunity to share this story. I could share  successful strategies with the students and also help them learn from  some of my professional failures. 

I  taught on campus for Indiana Wesleyan University for a year. It was a  thoroughly enjoyable experience. At the end of the year, we decided to  move here to Scottsdale. We wanted to be near our only daughter and  grandchild. Our daughter had moved here twenty years before to attend  Arizona State University. She loved the Valley of the Sun so much, she  did not return to the land of snowy winters. A vice-president from IWU  contacted a vice-president of Grand Canyon University here in Phoenix.  He recommended that GCU should use me in their College of Business. I  taught International Business at GCU for a year. At the end of the GCU  school year, I received a request from IWU to become one of the charter  professors in the launch of their online MBA program. 

I  accepted the challenge. My experience in an early IT operations was  good preparation for such an adventure. My new classroom would be  expanded with worldwide opportunities for helping more developing  business leaders. Teaching worldwide is exciting and interesting. One of  my recent students was living in Kuwait. I am constantly learning from  my students. The online forum for teaching provides great flexibility  for time-management. I am free to be involved in other community and  religious activities. 

VALUES article 6

During  our first year here in Scottsdale, I frequently heard about a critical  shortage of substitute teachers in the public school district. My  teenage son and teenage grandson were constantly telling me how mean and  stupid their teachers are, how mean and unruly the students are, and  how vicious and unfair the school administrators are to students. I  decided that, with my new flexible teaching schedule, there would be  time to answer the call for substitute teachers. It would provide an  opportunity to help teachers and students while analyzing the school  system from within. If the system were truly bad, I would organize and  lead a political movement to change it. 

Last  year I taught all grades including kindergarten through twelfth-grade.  It was a wonderful learning experience. Learning, by the way, is part of  my daily life-plan. I try to make one person's life better and learn  something new each day. It is not an ambitious plan. After all, I am  sixty-one now. It is achievable though even for this "old" person. I met  many terrific teachers and administrators last year. I also met many  wonderful students. Some of you are more wonderful than others. Some of  you are just beginning to work on becoming wonderful. I have confidence  that you will all achieve being wonderful eventually. 

We  live in a time and place where being "cool" involves dividing ourselves  into little groups. Each group has an agenda. Each agenda includes  doing and saying cruel things to people in other groups. It is cool to  be insensitive to people who of different religions, color, national  origins, gender, are fat, ugly, have zits, or are poor. I cannot imagine  how hurting someone enhances the quality of your life.  Listen closely to me! This is the definition of a loser! Losers are insensitive to others.
 

I have two goals for today and each day  of my life.  First, I try to learn something.  Second, I try  to make  the life of one person a little better.  Making someone's life better is  as simple as a smile, being friendly, being helpful, a hug or saying :I  love you."  Each day I learn something and make one person's life  better is a good day. As I put a large amount of these days back to  back, I createe a wonderful and joyful life.

You must soon make a decision. You must decide whether you will become a  successful achieving adult or spend your life as a loser. If you  embrace the "cool" agenda, you will be a loser for life. On the other  hand, if you try to respond positively to the feelings of everybody you  encounter every day of your life, I promise that you will be successful.  You will build a network of friends that will make you successful in  every way. 

 I  have told you all of this "stuff" about myself for a reason. I want you  to understand that I could be anywhere in the world today doing  virtually anything I want to do because I have the time and the money to  do so. I chose to be here with you sharing this quotation. I think it  is the most important thing I should be doing today. If you listen,  understand, and apply the lesson of this quote you too will become  personally and professionally successful. By the way, the people I have  learned from and emulated were the happiest people I have ever known.  Happiness is the truest measure of success. I know, because I am  probably the happiest person you will ever meet.
 

"People will forget what you said. They may forget what you did. But, they will never forget how you made them feel." 

DOUBT article 7

 

The  story of Thomas's doubting is even part of secular conversation. When  we cannot convince someone at work, at school, or at play we call him or  her Doubting Thomas. Doubting is profound. It does not have to be  taught. Doubting is basic to our nature. 

While  riding home from church one Sunday our ten year old son asked, "Dad are  the stories about Jesus true or are they like Santa Claus and the  Easter Bunny?" I replied, "Yes they are true son. Why do you ask?" He  said, "Well a guy coming alive after being dead and turning water into  wine are kind of hard to believe. I thought they might just be stories. I  needed to ask you about it." Our son was not taught to doubt. It was  basic to his humanness. If Thomas who had walked with the Master,  touched him, heard his message, seen him perform miracles, and loved him  could doubt anyone can doubt. We have all doubted and felt the  associated guilt. Imagine what poor Thomas felt while and after  doubting. 

Father  Jon recently mentioned that he was a preacher's kid. He stated that his  father was the strongest man on earth and knew more than any other  person. I am also a preacher's kid. I must tell you that my father was  the strongest and smartest man on earth. He knew everything. You could  ask him about religion, politics, psychology, morality, cars, baseball  or anything and he knew the answer. He had answers for every question I  could ask. 

Dad  taught me everything. By the time I was eighteen I knew everything. I  had a pat answer for every question. As the possessor of this vast  amount of knowledge, I felt compelled to share it with the world. By the  time I was eighteen I was pastor of a church, chaplain of a nursing  home, and a traveling evangelist preaching in virtually every Protestant  denomination. 

While  venturing into higher education I encountered new universes of thought.  I was introduced to other faiths. There were people of other faiths who  were just as sure of their knowledge as I was mine. Parishioners and  friends turned to me for counseling. The discovery that not all of my  pat answers were pat for every question and situation was alarming. I  became disillusioned, began to doubt, and eventually became a  nonbeliever. I wandered through a universe of ignorance for five years.  It was a dark, lonely, frightening place. 

I  did keep searching for more answers and the truth. I eventually  concluded that there is a God. Further, I concluded that the nature of  God was consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus. I returned to  being a Christian; a Christian with doubts. 

She Lives! article 8

By Daniel Robling

 

Please  accept my sincerest thanks to all of you who have joined me today in  this celebration of life. We are celebrating the life of my mother and  the gift of God, which is eternal life.  

 

There  is a great reunion going on in heaven today as Mom has been reunited  with Dad (her sweetheart from the sixth grade), her mother and father,  grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and friends who have gone  before her. What a day of rejoicing this is!  

 

As  I look around the room, I sense that we are in the midst of a paradox. I  see sad faces and tears of grief. Our tears do not appear to be tears  of joy. How can this be? We people of faith profess to believe that this  life is merely a time of preparation for a better and more satisfying  life. Why are we grieving if we truly believe that Mom has gone to a  better place? Is our faith faltering? Do we truly believe what we  profess? Are the promises of Jesus without substance? Are we false  prophets? Did he not say, "And when I go and prepare a place for you, I  will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be  also?"  

 

I  have a theory about the sorrow we are feeling simultaneous to the  jubilation of this triumphant celebration. I think we are grieving for  ourselves, not for Mom. Our lives will be different without her. She has  always been there for us. We are fearful of what our lives will be like  without her love, encouragement, and prayers. We do not know how to  deal with the differences in the way we will feel and act without her  presence and support.  

 

It  is surely all right to grieve for ourselves. After all, Jesus wept at  the death of his friend Lazarus. He knew that though "Lazarus was dead  yet he lived." Jesus said to Martha the sister of Lazarus, " I am the  resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet  shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do  you believe this?"  Family and friends, we do believe this. Through our  tears of grief we are rejoicing and celebrating life. Have faith that  God will console us in our grief and lead us to walk on in joy and  comfort without the earthly presence of Wilma/Mom.  

 

Many  years ago, the Bishop of London was visiting a dying child. As he  crossed a dimly lit room to the side of the little girl, he asked her if  there was anything he could do for her. She pleaded, "Please help me. I  am afraid to die." He asked if she would like for him to carry her into  the sunlit living room where everything was bright and cheerful. She  replied that she would enjoy that very much. He smiled and said, "That  is what God is about to do for you. He will soon be reaching down with  his loving arms and carry you to a more beautiful place where you can be  happy forever."  

 

All  of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God and his purpose  for us. So did Mom. But, she has been cleansed in the blood of the Lamb  and stands worthy before God today in his dwelling place. Praise God  that in his infinite love, he has lifted her up from the heartaches and  pain of this world and she now dwells in the house of the Lord forever.  

 

Thirty-six  years ago, Mom and Dad enjoyed a few nights of camping. On the day of  their return home, they went for a hike and enjoyed the beauty and  warmth of a sunny spring day. During the evening Dad asked her to call  for his friend Luther to bring the ambulance and take him to the  hospital. He was feeling some discomfort in his chest. Luther was the  local funeral director and ambulance driver. They had conducted hundreds  of funerals together and Luther was a trusted friend. Luther put Dad on  the ambulance gurney and took him three blocks to the small town  hospital where Dad served as volunteer chaplain. As Luther removed the  gurney containing Dad from the ambulance, Dad said, "I'm feeling better  now, I can walk to the emergency room." Luther had listened to Dad's  heart with a stethoscope before departing for the hospital and had not  liked what he heard. He said, "Dr. Robling, I'm sure that you are all  right but since you are already on the gurney let me wheel you in." Dad  consented. Luther pushed him into the emergency room. One of Dad's  parishioners and best friends, Dr. Carl Schlageter was on duty in the  emergency room. Luther and Dr. Carl lifted him from the gurney and laid  him on the emergency room table. Dad immediately looked across the room  and smiled a tremendously happy smile. His eyes were beaming as he  reached towards a corner of the ceiling. He seemed as though he was  seeing a long lost friend. He exclaimed, "Oh Jesus, I love you!" Those  were his last words as he took his last breath. Praise God, he saw Jesus  come to get him!  

 Now Jesus has come to get Mom. What a glorious day this is!  

I no longer believe.  Now I know!

9/11 article 9

 

I was speaking  to a group of high school seniors in Scottsdale on Friday September 7,  2001.  I said, “I believe that my father’s generation and generations  before him paid a down payment and several installment payments for us  to fly our emblem of freedom.”  I went on to say that many more payments  will be required and their young generation may have to pay more than  preceding generations.

On  Tuesday, September 11, 2001 fanatics acting in the name of “Allah”  awakened “sleeping demons” buried deep within the minds of Americans who  have lived and experienced the horrors of war.

For  senior citizens, the events of September 11 reopened all of the  nightmares we thought we had put to sleep.  All of the memories of pain,  fears, sorrows, smells, sights, hunger, rationing, and loneliness of  war were horribly awakened. 

For  young people, the events of Tuesday do not compute.  The world of “me”  is not all there is.  War is not a video game now.  It is real.  It is  here. Our realities have been amplified and changed forever.  

What  we have to do now is not acceptable, but we have to do it.  The  paradoxes between love, judgment, and discipline tears our faithful and  loving hearts.  We must kill but we cannot hate.  We must cause  suffering but we must feel compassion as we do it.  We must harm our  brothers and sisters while simultaneously loving them.

At  a prayer meeting the evening of our Great Tragedy, our parish priest,  Fr. Jon Coffey said, “At the heart of our faith is forgiveness.  But,  justice is consistent with forgiveness.  Forgiveness keeps us from  becoming slaves to revenge.”  He was right.

In Memory of Our Innocence article 10

 

At  the Memorial Service Friday in our National Cathedral, Rev. Billy  Graham said, "Tuesday September 11, 2001 was a day that will be  remembered." 

I  turned on the television that dreadful morning at 6:00 am Pacific Time  and watched the events unfold as they happened. I cannot say that I was  surprised that we were experiencing a terrorist attack. My first  thoughts were a smug, "I told you so." I was very detached from the  events for several minutes. 

It was not until  the Twin Towers fell to the ground and the sky showed through the dust  where the towers had stood that reality sank in. Suddenly the realities  of the events ripped their way into my consciousness. Part of America  was gone. Part of our lives was being changed forever. The world would  never be the same. America would never be the same. We would never be  the same. I would never be the same. 

A sickening feeling began to form in  the pit of my stomach. The suppressed demon memories of World War II  and the Cold War arose from the crypts of my mind and I felt like the  frightened child from long ago. For a while I became the child crying  for his soldier dad. The little kid kneeling beside his bed naming every  soldier friend and relative in prayer. Listening to the radio to see if  we had been attacked. Wanting a bomb shelter in my backyard. 

It  was a day of nostalgia and disbelief. The carnage was too much to  process. It was a day of shock. We hugged and clung to each other. 

Wednesday  was a day of anger. I wanted my M1 rifle back and an opportunity to  kill the barbarians. We spoke harsh words and expressed great feelings  of anger. 

Thursday  was the beginning of a lingering grief that will never end. We are  hurting deep within our souls. The hurt goes on and on and on. 

Friday  I felt compelled to express my feelings in writing or burst. I cried  and cried and cried. We cried. All of the days of this week were days of  prayer, unending prayers. We begged the Lord to help us. 

Today,  we must remember the fallen and move on. We grieve for what might have  been, the lives that were shattered, the dreams that were lost, the  gifts they would have given to the world, and the love of which their  relatives and friends have been robbed. We grieve for lost freedoms. And  we grieve for the lost innocence of our children. 

The  fallen are all soldiers in a war for freedom. We must revere their  memory and pray for their families. We must never forget what happened  to them. We must learn from this experience. And build an impenetrable  fortress of strength and love that will never allow it to happen again. 

Those  of us gathered here in our Senior Living Community have known war. We  have known defeat. And we have known victory. We are concerned and we  are wrestling with our memories, but we know that by the grace of God we  will move on. 

Our  children, though, are not equipped to process what they are feeling.  The situation does not compute. The world of "me" is not all there is  now. War is not a video game now. War is real. It is here now. Their  realities have been amplified and changed forever. We must respond to  what they are feeling with love, understanding, and assurance. We must  listen to them and hug them. 

Ignorant  people are committing hateful deeds towards people of Islamic faith. We  must understand that Osama bin Laden does not represent their faith any  more than Timothy McVey represented Christianity. Timothy McVey was a  madman. Osama and his little band of men are madmen too. My Islamic  friends are gentle peoples of faith as are my Hindu, Hebrew, Christian,  and Buddhist friends. We must be careful with our anger. All people have  one father. He is in heaven. He made us sisters and brothers of the  earth. We must remember that as we do what we must do. 

What  we have to do now is not acceptable, but we have to do it. The  paradoxes between love, judgment, and discipline tears our faithful and  loving hearts. We may need to harm but we cannot hate. We may cause  suffering but we must feel compassion. We must protect the right of all  to worship Jesus Christ in an environment of freedom. 

At  a prayer meeting on the evening of our Great Tragedy, our parish  priest, Fr. Jon Coffey said, "At the heart of our faith is forgiveness.  But, justice is consistent with forgiveness. Forgiveness simply keeps us  from becoming slaves to revenge." He was right. 

Now, we must have  the courage and confidence to do what we must do. We must be swift and  just. The demon memories must be returned to the crypts of our minds and  put to sleep again forever. 

Our faith and flag must rise above the dust of destruction. 

O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help 

Who Are You? article 11

by Dan Robling

 

(an article written after my return from a genealogical research trip to Wales) 

Mankind  has been in search of Adam for centuries. Massive volumes have been  written about this quest. "Roots" had one of the largest viewing  audiences in television history. People of every racial and ethnic  background could identify with what Alex Haley was feeling in his  search. 

Young  people usually wander through adolescence trying to find out who they  are. Adults who have been adopted as children and have never known the  identity of their natural parents sometimes spend years and thousands of  dollars in search of their natural beginnings in hopes of better  understanding who they are. The pursuit of genealogical information has  become a national past time and a burgeoning business. You can actually  hire services to trace your family tree for you. 

Almost  every American family has some family member who is researching to find  who was in the family tree and what part of the world they can identify  as their land of heritage. Somehow, we seem to feel that if we can  return to our roots we may better understand why we are who we are. We  want to take pride in those who contributed to our being. Many of us  seem to be driven to validate our existence through gaining knowledge of  our history. We sometimes travel across the continent to attend family  reunions in hopes of gaining and nurturing some sense of belonging. One  can surf the internet and find help and solace among the thousands of  folks across the world who share their passion for knowing from whence  they came. Many of us dream of having an opportunity to visit the "old  country" to feel some sense of our past. We hope to find and experience  some mystical bond with previous generations of relatives who have lived  and walked there. Members of fragmented families may become consumed  with the quest for knowledge about their preceding generations. 

I  understand these feelings. I have felt them for most, if not all, of my  fifty four years. For those who may find it interesting, I will share a  personal experience about my quest for knowledge of my roots and the  impact this experience has had on my life. I hope the rest of you will  excuse this personal indulgence. Please be assured that we will return  to our normal business discussions next week . My paternal grandfather  died when he was thirty four years old. My dad was only five years old  at that time and did not visit much with his father's relatives. We  moved away from the area, where our relatives lived, when I was seven  years of age. Although we returned for annual Christmas visits, I never  really got to know my extended family as well as I wished to. I have  always felt somewhat cheated by having not known them well. Although I  love the ones I have met and am certain that they return my affection  and admiration, I have always felt that sharing more of their daily  lives would have been a wonderful, meaningful and supportive experience  for me and, hopefully, for them. Thoughts about shared physical and  mental traits, from past generations, have often wandered through my  mind. Did "they" make me who I am? Did "they" have some influence on  what I have done with my life? Who were "they"? I have always felt a  longing to return to the place of my roots in hopes that I might better  understand myself and have a greater sense of who I am and, perhaps,  gain some greater sense of belonging. 

I  have always known that my mother's paternal grandfather came to this  country from County Cork, Ireland, and her paternal grandmother was of  black African descent, but I did not know until this year which country  previous generations, carrying forth my surname, had called their  homeland. I recently discovered a distant relative who is an  accomplished genealogical researcher of my paternal family history. She  has spent a major portion of her life doing this research. I told her  that I was planning a trip to Europe and that I would be happy to  schedule some time to do family research there if she needed for me to.  She was excited to have me do some research for her and I was thrilled  with the opportunity to do so. She asked me to go to the Pembrokeshire  area of South Wales in search of the Rhydwilim Baptist Church register  from the late 1600'S and early 1700's. It seems that few accurate  records were kept during that period and the most accurate information  can be found in church records, where available. 

I  had a business appointment scheduled in Birmingham, England. Much to my  pleasure, I found that Birmingham is only four hours drive from the  National Library of Wales and this library has been collecting  genealogical documentation for the last twenty years and would be the  most likely repository of old church registers . Since they drive on the  wrong side of the road in that part of the world and their  intersections are actually roundabouts in which the best American  navigators could get confused, I set about to find a way to get there.  Fortunately, I was able to hire a car and driver who was willing to  drive across Wales to the seaside town of Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay,  wait for me while I researched the genealogical archives of the National  Library of Wales and then return me to Birmingham. 

My  heart was racing with anticipation as we crossed the lovely Welsh  Mountains to Aberystwyth. The beauty of the country was breathtaking as I  gazed at the natural and virtually unspoiled landscape. I felt a great  sense of history as I saw the large mountainside homes that have been  passed on from generation to generation throughout the centuries. As the  road took us across the green grassy covered rounded hills, we suddenly  found ourselves looking down on the most uniquely beautiful small  bayside town I have ever seen. There is truly a sense of centuries past  in Wales and especially in this ancient town. 

As  I walked up the steps to the library my heart was filled with emotion,  my mind was filled with thoughts of my dad, his dad and generations  before them. My eyes filled with tears that were soon running down my  face and mingling with the gently falling rain. Questions were whirling  about me. Would I find anything? Would I find nothing? What would I  feel, if I found something? Was I on a wild goose chase? 

As  I entered the library, I was greeted by a lovely and friendly young  girl who asked if she might help find what I was looking for. I told my  story to her. She asked me to wait as she looked for the church register  of the Rhydwilym Baptist church of Pembrokeshire. I waited with the  expectation that she would momentarily return with disappointing news.  In a few minutes she rushed back into the room beaming with a smile and  in an excitedly high pitched voice said. "We have it! I found it! Here  it is!". She proceeded to hand the book to me. I was allowed to take the  book into a study room and look through it. 

As  I gingerly turned through the original pages which had been written  during the years from 1600 through 1780, I felt greatly humbled. I was  beginning to believe, though, that there was nothing of my ancestors to  be found in the register as I labored through the old and often hard to  read script. Suddenly from a page containing entries from the 21st day  of February during the year of our Lord 1719 the baptism of Margaret  Roblin seemed to jump from the page. This was a significantly critical  moment in my life. Who I am and what my roots mean to me instantly  became clear in earthly terms. I am a grain of sand on a beach, a wisp  of air in a storm, a blade of grass on a prairie. Margaret and all of  the others for whom I have been searching do not make me who I am. They  are gone from this earth and are forgotten, as we too soon will be. I am  what God has made. My only significance is because of His grace. In the  short and due course of earthly time, it will become as though I had  never been. 

I  no longer look back except for purposes of curiosity and amusement. I  no longer feel a need to look back. I know that my mission is to make  this day all it can become for the good of those around me as I swiftly  pass through it, in the hope that God will be pleased with me and let me  share in a more meaningful life to come. 

In  a greater sense, from the perspective of ourselves as individuals,  nations, companies, churches, or any other identity given to us, history  is only meaningful in the lessons learned from it. Yesterday does not  make us who we are today. Yesterday cannot be fixed. Today is our  opportunity to become what we need to be and the credit or blame belongs  to you and me. . DAN ROBLING©1995

Robling update 1996 article 12

 

Continuing Robling Genealogy Studies 1996 

This  is not an article. It is a trip report about my second trip to Wales  for genealogical research. I have written it for the edification of my  family. Feel free to read it if you care to. 

The  earliest known Welshmen were Celts, descendants of the Vikings. They  had no formal governments. The only influencing units were the family  and church. They tended to live separately, in hamlets or small  villages. They had no surnames. During the occupation of the Normans,  government and social organization began to evolve. The taking of  surnames began in Wales during the thirteen hundreds. One of the  earliest Welsh surnames was Roblyn (The Surnames Of Wales, John and  Sheila Rowlands 1996, page 23, Federation of Family History Societies;  also refer to Dictionary Of Surnames, Oxford 1988, entry: Roberts page  453). 

Roblyn  was a derivative of the Anglo name Robert. Robert was a derivative of  the French name Robertson or Son of Robert. All Roblin, Robling,  Wroblin, Wrobling, ,Robline, Roblene, Robleyne, Robbins, Robinsons are  derivatives of Roblyn. 

In  June of 1996 my daughter, Dana Robling Shaul, and I continued to follow  the leads of our foremost family genealogist, Natalie(Mrs. Dale)  Robling of Vincennes Indiana. Our pursuits were a continuation of the  research I began in February of 1995 at The National Library of Wales in  Aberystwyth, Wales. Our findings were as follows: 

Jordan Roblyn 1326 in The Black Book of St. David's (owners of property) 

Adam  Roblyn Archdeacon of St. David's Cathedral September 19, 1350 and March  12, 1365 in the Papal Registers of the Diocese of St. David's also in  the Episcopal Registers of St. David's in 1383 

We  held in our hands and read the original will of Ievan Roblin of  Llawhaden county Pembrokeshire along with his inventory from the year  1609 registered in 1611. The documents were in mint condition and still  had the wax seal affixed to the will. 

The  muster rolls of 1613: John William Robline, Newport Parish John Roblin,  Ambleston & Reynalston Philip Roblin, Walton Thomas Roblin, St.  Ishmells 

Pembrokeshire Plea Rolls 1723 John Roblyn, of Roch Aug 10 1723 

Cofnodion,  Ewyllysiau, Tyddewi Probate Record of St. David's 1700- 1749 page 279  from The Facsimiles of Frances Green updated Feb 27, 1996. 

Name............Parish..........Township........County..........Status.......ref........record no 

John Roblin.....Lambston........Waseland........Pembroke............yeoman.......sd1704/46..110647 

John Roblin**...Llan-y-cefn..........................P..........................yeoman.......sd1740/144.118951 

Owen Roblin***..Walton East......................P.............................................sd1700/226.109995 

Peter Roblin*...Llan-y-cefn....Llwynbedw......P.............................................sd1733/216.117622 

Henry Robling...Warren.................................P.........................yeoman........sd1721/199.114509 

John Roblyn.....Burton...................................P.............................................sd1717/5...113370 

Phillip Roblyn****Llandysilio........................P..........................gent.............sd1720/07..114155 

.  * We held and read the original will and inventory of Peter Robling Jan  26 1728 along with the execution of the will Nov 24 1730. He and his  wife Catherine had two sons, Thomas and John** and four daughters Alice,  Elizabeth, Susan and Mary. Catherine and son John were executors of the  will. The daughters could receive their inheritances only after  marriage. 

**We  held and read the original will and inventory of John, son of Peter and  Catherine. The will was executed Oct 7, 1740. John left everything to  his mother Catherine. 

****Phillip  was the son of ***Owen. Owen and son Phillip inherited part of the  estate of son in law/ brother in law William Phillips Aug 15 1700. 

William  Roblin built the Mansion Roblinston during the reign of Henry IV. The  ruins of Roblinston were still standing during the early 1900's. I have  not established whether they still exist. References to Roblinston, a  mansion of greater size than normal for the time, can be found in the  following books: 

Caermarthenshire,  Cardiganshire & Pembrokeshire Pedigrees From About 1700 to 1710  John Philipps Allen Lloyd Phillips, Esq. of Dale Castle, county of  Pembroke. Typis Medio-Mentains, Impessit Jecobus Rogers Pembrokeshire  Pedigrees, page 35 and Roblinston & Wooldalf page 130 "William  Roblin of Roblinston" 

Historical  Tour Through Pembrokeshire, Richard Fenton, F.H.S. Davies & Co.  Bridge St. 2nd Edition 1903 page 86 William Roblyn 

I  have researched many of the Parish registers and Probate records of  several counties. This research includes baptisms, weddings, funerals,  disputes regarding land holdings, wills and other probate matters, and  various church records. All references to Roblyn, Roblin, Robling and  other derivatives of Roblyn in Wales during the period of 1300 through  1800 occur only in Pembroke (Pembrokeshire means "county of Pemproke".  It should be further noted that various record referring to the same  person will often be found spelled with different spellings of the name  of that person. 

Welsh history lists show no criminals and among our ancestors. 

I  am Daniel Prentice Robling father of Prentice Daniel Robling,  grandfather and adoptive father of Daniel Prentice Robling. I am the son  of Prentice Doral Robling, grandson of Prentice William Robling, great  grandson of Horatio Seymour Robling, great-great grandson of George  Robling, great-great-great grandson of Peter Robling of Pike County  Indiana, also descendant of Lewis and Peter Robling of North Carolina. 

Peace be with you, 

Dan 

July 5, 1996 

What Does Jesus Do? article 13

 

John 9:1-38 

Last  year, when our Archdeacon, Bill Greeley, preached at our parish, he  reminded us that the prime reason for the existence of the church is to  bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I don't know why,  but I was startled to hear him say those words. We believe it, of  course, but we seldom say it in that way. If we truly believe in Jesus,  we know that every ministry of the church is about bringing people to a  greater knowledge of God. 

The  church, of course, is more than a building. The church is the people  who have come to understand the message of God through Christ. We, you  and I, are the church. Therefore, our prime purpose for being is to  bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

The  Gospel for today presents a wonderful story of a man who was blind from  birth and had to beg for a living. Jesus made mud, put it on the man's  eyes and gave him specific instructions to follow. The man followed  Christ's instructions and was healed. He could see! It is a wonderful  story. The greater significance of the Gospel for today is more than the  miraculous event of bringing sight to a man that was blind from birth.  It is that CHRIST DEFINED HIMSELF in this Gospel story from John. 

Humankind  has sought to understand God from the beginning. We have read the  biblical stories. Other people long ago isolated in the deepest jungles  and on unreachable islands sensed the presence of a power greater than  themselves. They were so driven for defining that omnipresence that, in  the absence of revelations, such as Jesus, they felt compelled to create  answers for the burning questions, "Who is God?" "What is that spirit  around us?" 

Our  curiosity and desperate desire to know and understand God is profound.  All who have heard the name need to know who Jesus is and what he does. 

Our  youngest child was a busy little boy. He was precocious, curious,  articulate for his age, and above all …..busy. We took him to church  every Sunday. Church for his first three years meant playing in the  downstairs nursery and hearing stories. As he was approaching the age of  four, I realized that this inquisitive little creature was going to be  promoted to the Preschool Sunday School class and would be joining us  upstairs in "Big Boy Church" for communion. Preparing him for NOT  distracting the adults during communion would require planning and  training on my part. 

I  developed a plan for Danny's introduction to "Big Boy Church." We had a  very small chapel (former storage closet) in our church building that  consisted of eight folding chairs, a kneeling stand, an alter, a small  credence table, and a votive stand. Every Wednesday we had a midweek  communion service in the chapel. Usually Father David and I were the  only ones attending. I thought the midweek service would be a good way  to introduce Danny to proper etiquette and procedures for attending and  participating in a communion service. 

As  we were walking up the sidewalk approaching the church doors, I took  his little hand in mine to slow him down. He was always in a hurry. I  pointed toward the building and said, I said, "This is God's house. We  must be respectful in God's house by being quiet and listening." He  inquired, "So God lives here?" I replied, "Yes, God has many houses and  he lives in all of them." He said, "OK, I'll be quiet." 

We  arrived in the chapel a few minutes before Father David. Danny was  sitting in a chair next to the credence table. On the credence table was  a copper impression of Our Lord's Supper. Danny looked at the picture  and quietly asked, "Who are those guys?" I replied, "That is Jesus and  his disciples." Danny inquired, "Which one is Jesus?" I said, the one  standing in the center is Jesus." "So that's Jesus, huh?" "Yes Danny  that is Jesus." He then JOLTED me with the next logical question, "Dad,  what does Jesus do?" 

As  I was catching my breath, Father David walked into the chapel. I  quickly advised him that Danny had a question. "What does Jesus do?" I  can assure you that Father stammered for a minute before providing an  appropriate answer for an inquisitive three-year-old. 

Even a three-year-old child who hears the name of Jesus needs to know who Jesus is and what he does. 

In  today's Gospel Jesus said, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD." The life,  teaching, sacrifice, and love of Jesus revealed the nature of God and  his expectations for us. Through him, mankind was enlightened. 

In  a greater context of today's Gospel Jesus said, "As long as I am in the  world, I am the light of the world." We affirm in every communion  service that Jesus died, was buried, rose again, and ascended into  heaven. NOW his light shines in the world through his church, through  us. WE MUST LET THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINE THROUGH US so that people  around us will be brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. 

What will YOU do this week, this month, or this lifetime to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus?

It Is Not About Me article 14

 

The most difficult lesson of life …the lesson least often learned is that it isn't about me. 

The only time in life that was ever about me was the instant God breathed eternal life into my being. 

Everything  since that magnificent moment is, was, and will be about communicating,  sharing, and giving the message of His love to others…to care for all  of His creation…to bring peace to the lives of His children…to give all  that can be given to make His world and the lives of His family better. 

Accumulating  my things...all of the searching for the meaning of my life and my  purpose is and has been a waste of time. It is not about me… 

I wish I had known throughout the years...It is about you. 

dan robling December 2002 

Look Up Into the Face of God article 15

by dan robling

 

We  send missionaries all over the world to bring things to the needy. As  they travel to far away places to serve the needy, they drive past and  fly over the greatest mission field on earth.....our neighborhoods and  our country. 

Our  nation is perishing in sin and immorality, an estrangement from God. Of  course God is here. We just will not let him near us. 

We  are all called to be missionaries. Our mission field is outside our  front door. It may begin in our homes. Yes, we need to travel to the  remotest areas to reach some of the needy. But, if we do not conquer the  evil that surrounds us, we will not continue to be free or continue to  have resources to venture anywhere. 

We,  as a nation, killed three million babies last year and are proud to say  that is less than in previous years. Most children's heroes are evil.  Look at the movies we let them view. Listen to the music we let them  listen to. Check the history of sites they have visited on the  Internet........ Ignoring evil does not make evil good, tolerable, or  less evil. 

Nations  like China are not afraid to compete with us economically or  militarily. They do not want us in their country because they are afraid  that we will contaminate their cultures. The reason they are afraid we  will contaminate their cultures is because we ARE contaminating their  cultures. 

I  spend several days a week with teenagers. Most of them are orphans.  Many live in fine houses and have parents, but there is usually nobody  at home. Most of their parents are somewhere chasing wealth and/or other  interests. Large numbers of our kids, in the pain and anguish of  neglect, are self-medicating and/or looking to other sources for  attention and identity. 

WE  are missionaries called by Christ to bring understanding of his love  and compassion to the world. Our world begins at our address and extends  to every place we go in the course of each day. 

We  must speak the words and exemplify his goodness and love. The beginning  of the end of our beloved nation has begun. You and I are likely  looking for someone to blame. Each time I look in the mirror I see a  person to blame. 

I  challenge you to look in a mirror right now. Talk to yourself. Mention  the last time you spoke of Christ's love to someone....anyone. Mention  the last time that you took the time to be a child's hero. Mention the  last time you stood up to evil. Speak of your highest five priorities in  order, the most important to the least important. 

Now  look away from the mirror. Look up into the face of God and tell him  that you are doing your part as his missionary. Listen to God's reply. 

My Personal Mission Statement article 16

The  development of my personal mission statement was the product of my  early life experiences and learning. I was a preacher's kid (P.K.). I  was sure that my dad had all of the correct answers to all of the  questions of faith and life in general. Early on, I also believed that  his answers were correct and would always be adequate and satisfactory  for me. My first experience at preaching came when I was nine years old.  Dad got up on Sunday morning with a wretched case of the flu. There was  no else available to preach. I had climbed up on top of the chicken  coop, gathered the neighborhood children around on the ground and  practiced preaching many times. I would preach, pray, sing and invite  them to know my Lord. Preaching was a natural thing for me to do. By the  time I was eighteen, I too was pastoring a church. It was not difficult  for me to preach at nine or pastor at eighteen. My dad had given me all  of the answers for life and religion. As my life began to unfold,  outside of my childhood home, more complex questions developed and I was  forced to develop and present theological, philosophical and daily life  answers for my parishioners, college friends and wife. Many issues and  concepts no longer seemed simple and clear. I was studying and learning  new ideas and developing some thoughts of my own that were not always  consistent with the pat answers of the past. I became a doubter to the  point of becoming an nonbeliever, even while pastoring churches. I  dedicated significantly more time to study, discussions with my  colleagues and evaluating who I was, what I was here to do, and in  general searching for the meaning of life. This was occurring for me at a  time when our society was beginning to question almost everything. 

One  day in the midst of reading and contemplation, it occurred to me that  the order of things was not accidental. I cannot say that I was struck  blind on the road to Damascus like Paul. It was more of an intellectual  growth experience, although emotional at its conclusion. I realized that  there was truly a god and that my understanding of God was actually  consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. As I remembered  the response of Jesus to the question, "Which commandment is the  greatest?" and when he said in The Sermon On The Mount, "As you did it  to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.", my purpose  was revealed to me. The experience I am describing occurred when I was  twenty one. Thank God that even when I did not know him, my purpose had  never changed and now that I do know him it will never change. 

"My  purpose (mission) is to respond to God's love by loving all people with  whom I share life, using every resource I can find or generate for the  enhancement of the quality of their lives."  Dan Robling 1997