Archive for September, 2015

My Faith in Humanity is restored

In the last several days, I’ve had a few instances in which my faith in humanity was restored.

On Friday, my faith in humanity was damaged and restored within minutes. I was working at The Star’s Food Truck Friday (they’ll do it again on October 2nd) and one of my responsibilities at that is to go around and empty out the trash cans. As I was doing so, I saw someone walk towards a trash can and, clearly in sight of it, stop and throw a can in the grass a few feet from the trash can. I was tempted to run after him and say “Sir, I think you dropped this” but refrained. I slipped in to the shed to grab more trash bags with plans to go grab the discarded can but moments later was pleasantly surprised to find someone else had picked it up.

On Sunday, after church at Avondale United Methodist Church, I was heading over to my parents for lunch. I noticed my car’s dashboard had two lights on: Volts and Anti-Lock. Since I was close to my parents, I figured I’d just drive up the hill and look at the car once it cooled down. However, the car had other plans and started making loud/strange noises. I pulled over and looked at the car (which for anyone that knows me is humorous since I’m clueless regarding vehicles) and almost immediately a kid (technically an adult but he’s younger than my 3 kids) pulled over to check and see if I needed help.   He was on his way to play paint ball but put his plans on hold to help me out.

Adam followed me up the hill to O’Reilly’s to make sure I made it (which I did) and then went in to help explain what he’d observed. To make it even better, he knew the guy working (Ian) who came out and looked under the hood and instantly confirmed Adam’s observation that the belt was loose and further discovered that the Tensioner Assembly was gone due to metal fatigue and the car was not safe to drive. He then reached in and without even touching the engine pulled out the serpentine belt and we moved it to the front passenger floor board. He agreed to let me park the car until the issue was resolved (later in day) and let his co-workers know what was going on.

Then, Adam (whom I later learned works at Daily Safety Check) volunteered and drove me over to my parents’ house so I could have lunch. As he pulled up, he asked if I knew the Keller’s (my parents’ neighbors) whom I went to high school with and he goes to church with. Naturally, I let Paul Keller know about what an outstanding human being he had attending his church.

By the way, my Chevrolet Lumina is now fixed thanks to the folks at Hunt’s Car Care / Goodyear.

Today, I attended the United Way of Kansas City‘s Spirit of Caring Kickoff Luncheon and Annual Meeting at Union Station.  The Keynote speaker, John Quiñones, shared the following advice that he had received many years ago from journalist Peter Jennings:  “Forget about the movers and shakers, talk to the moved and shaken.”   Plus, he shared a clip from “What Would You Do?” (the TV show he hosts) that seems to fit in well with the theme of restoring faith in humanity.  If you’d like to learn more about United Way, here’s the editorial that appeared in The Kansas City Star.  And here’s the article about the kickoff.

Tomorrow morning, our company United Way campaign kicks off and for the first time in several years, I’m not in charge.  I had taken it over from Diane Scott and due to other responsibilities, I’ve now handed it off to Vana Sweetland.

So …

  1. thank you to the anonymous stranger for picking up trash
  2. thank you to Adam and Ian for helping me out with my car
  3. thank you to everyone that makes a difference in their local community

And thanks to everyone that has helped restore my faith in humanity.


Saying goodbye and saying hello

Congrats to Larry Schmitz and Rev. Kristy Schmitz on all the work they did in the Congo and good luck as they begin the next step in their mission work through the United Methodist Church and Global Ministries missionaries as trainers, advocates and liaisons.


We met Grace and Peter who were part of our commissioning class in Zimbabwe. While in Zimbabwe we met Grace and Peter who were part of our commissioning class.

This will likely be our last post on as we are no longer serving as missionaries in the Congo. Rather, we have been called to a new position through Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church to serve as Missionaries in Residence.

Missionaries who have served around the world. Missionaries who serve around the world.

Our responsibilities will involve helping to train new Global Ministries missionaries;  advocating for the nearly 400 missionaries worldwide that we represent; serving as a bridge from the leadership to the missionaries and from the missionaries to the leadership; and bringing the stories of these incredible people to you through various media like this blog.

Participants in the Global Fellowship training in Zimbabwe. Participants in the Global Fellowship training in Zimbabwe.

Our next post will be on our new blog we plan to entitle You might ask about the origin of this title. First…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle … cleaning out paperwork

For the second time this summer, I’m moving. No, not homes (I’ve lived the same place for 18 years) but offices. Ironically, both moves have involved a need to pack up my office before being out of the office. Last time, I packed my office before going to Charlotte; upon my return two weeks later, everything was still where it had been but at least I was ready. Now I’m packing up the office again so that they can move me tomorrow (while I’m out) or Thursday (when I’m in meetings) … also, I’m not sure where I’m moving to.

Whenever we move, I ought to take a look at what I really need to keep.  I did this last time and recycled boxes upon boxes of files.  This time, I’m just taking stuff off my walls to put in the file cabinets to move to my new location.  Hopefully when I come into the office on Thursday morning, everything will be in place.

While I’m in the mode of going through paperwork, I’m needing to also go through my files at home and church to figure out what needs to be kept/passed along and what needs to be recycled after 15 years as Youth Director at my church.  I’m sure my wife will be happy to see some of my paperwork go away.

Categories: Church, McClatchy