RJ's Corner

Old Time Brown County

Max Photo-2

One of my friends who is also a camera buff sent me some photos of antique cars on a Brown County street.  I kind of antiqued this one and it now resides on my desktop. Thanks Max…..

Click on the pic if you want to see a larger version….

Maui Sunset


I have been digging pretty deeply into my photo archives lately and ran across this Maui Sunset taken in April 1986 while I was on my honeymoon.

Artistry of Nature…

Artistry of Nature.jpg

With my new macro lens in hand I am finding the artistry of nature almost everywhere I look… Yeah, I still got a lot of these works of art in my yard. :)


There is the sentiment that we can let the victims and families know we’re sorry for their loss, but those words fall on grieving, frightened and mostly, deaf ears. I am sorry about the loss of human life anywhere, but saying it to the internet has all the veracity of signing an office sympathy card, accompanied by those trite phrases we use, so that we don’t look like assholes. You’re in our thoughts. Wishing you comfort. Our prayers are with you. I don’t want to fill the air with my nothingness.


The voices of outrage come out in full force, relentless anger directed at them, at us, at anything that’s a moving or easy target. Presidential candidates fall over themselves trying to prove how many people they’d kill in response to this nightmare. Political ideologues and bigots of every persuasion grab hold of the pain and anxiety in vain attempts to support their own version of hate.


This is not my story. This is not my opportunity. This is not my moment on the stage. This is my time to listen, to learn, and to try to comprehend other people’s stories. I don’t stay silent because I don’t care. I stay silent because, at this moment, nothing I say will make as much difference as listening.

Source: A Wish for Peace…and Quiet | The Green Study

I wondered how I was going to do a post about Paris. I didn’t want to join all the hot-heads demanding immediate revenge. From past history I know that seldom works. We just get ourselves mired down in something that accomplishes little. I didn’t want to be part of that crowd.

Then I came across the post above on one of my recent Feedly feeds from The Green Study. I have to admit that I am envious of the way the blogger has wisdom beyond her years and even mine. The Green Study refers to the paint on the walls where she blogs. How simple can you get.  Here is a little about her from her “About” page:

I’m Michelle, a midwestern, middle-aged, middle manager of average height and IQ. I’m ex-Army, ex-Republican, ex-Seventh Day Adventist, ex-smoker and an ex-girlfriend several times over, with an obsolete college degree.

Yes, this is a time to just quietly sit by and give our condolences. Ranting accomplishes little except maybe for the GOP presidential wanna-be’s who are out in force trying to appease their base.

Thanks Michelle for showing me the way….

Life Flow …

2015-11-03_13-42-55This Sunday I want to flesh out a little more of what God means to me personally.  Theologians throughout the centuries have molded God into a being mainly of their own making.  If they can do it so can I, at least for my own purposes.

As I have said in the last two Sunday posts I see God as primarily the keeper of life.  There is something inside of us that makes us alive . Call it the spirit, soul, life blood or what ever you want but only God can make life. When you are born you are filled with life and consciousness. Part of consciousness is an underlying knowledge of right and wrong, of joy, empathy, and self-awareness and something greater than ourselves. Christians call this the “fruit of the Spirit”. All of this is part of life. When you die that spirit, which has everlasting life, leaves your body and rejoins the pool of life maintained by God.  The Bible here and there mentions Judgement day. It is treated as a one time event but I kind of think it is an ongoing thing upon the departure of each individual life. What is judged I will leave up to God to determine.

To me God controls life but not how that life is lived.  What that life becomes is a matter of circumstances sometimes within and sometimes beyond our control. Some of it is a result of our environment and particular culture. Some of it is due to our making the right decisions or the wrong decisions. Some of it is due to others who help or mistreat us to various degrees. It is up to each of us as to how we approach life.

Being the keeper of life he cares about all of us as we all come from him. I know that through the ages God has been viewed as sometimes a being very vengeful being who says “Say these words” or “Tow this line” and if we don’t he will send us to an eternity of agony beyond anything we can imagine. I simply don’t buy into a God who hates so much of his creation to do such a horrible thing! Now on to the last topic for today.

“Spiritual but not religious” has come to mean a very important difference to me.  I see a religion as a collective composition of previous thoughts from theologians about the spiritual realm. Various thinkers throughout time have come up with some very dramatically different views of God. Several of these views have gained millions of followers and then become a religion unto themselves.  In Christianity there are now over 35,000 different religious organizations who claim to be followers of Jesus and it seems each on says their version is right and everyone else is wrong to one degree or another.  I could, and have, belonged to different ones at various times in my life.  It is only recently that I have  decided not to even try to align with any of them. I refuse to pledge allegiance to any particular, and that is what most of them demand. So now I call myself spiritual but not religious…

Next Sunday I will discuss my thoughts about some of the current religious organizations and their followers and leaders. That should then close out this topic for me, at least for now.


Settler’s Cabin…

Old Time Cabin

This is a picture of the inside of one of the cabins at O’Bannon State Park in Indiana that I visited early this year. It showed that a family on the frontier often lived in a 200 square foot or small house. Today it seems most of us think that is too small for even a bathroom. :)  I love the hand hewn logs and such but I kinda think the flower are more an embellishment of today than they were a reality of yesterday.

Listen Up….

2015-10-11_18-45-05Many organized faith groups are wringing their hands over the growing category of “nones” and wondering how to attract young people, especially, back to the fold. What words of wisdom would you give them?

Listen, listen, listen. Listen again. Don’t think that stuff like beer nights and church meeting in a coffee shop and pastors in flannel and skinny jeans is going to be enough: it’s not, and many people see right through it. Meet people where they arrive rather than drawing a line and expecting them to cross it. Be present to people’s doubts and questions in honest ways. People want to do good for the world even if they’re not part of your faith tradition. Trust in that.

Source: There’s A Revolution Going On In Religion. Faith Groups Better Listen Up.

These are some of the wisest words I have come across lately concerning the increasing number of “nones” when it comes to religious membership.  I see myself as a very spiritual person. I want to do good for the world and have, at least in the past, believed that religious establishments were some of those places to be able to do that. But I, like so many others, was driven out of a religious organization because I asked too many questions and therefore threatened the perceived peace of a congregation.

I see the statistics almost everyday of the declining numbers in churches in the U.S. Even the mega-churches are starting to shrink in numbers.  From personal experiences I know that the “you jump through the right hoops and we will let you join us” mentality is very prevalent in today’s churches especially for those churches that take the bible to be literal. For them you seem to have to check your intelligence at the door and accept things that you pretty well much know is wrong in order to join.

I think the beer nights and coffee shop references above were about the mega-churches who are also in decline now. Even that could not keep them coming. Most people are looking for spiritual support, not a clubhouse, or certainly not to be told that they are nothing but worthless pieces of snot who can’t do anything as some approach it. To me one of the biggest problems with so many of today’s chruches are that they just want to hunker down in the “big bad world” instead of going out and to  the Lord’s business.

I think the magic words  in the source above are Be present to people’s doubts and questions in honest ways.  If only more of them did that.  If Pope Francis is true to his word I think that if he lives long enough he just might turn the Catholic church more  in that direction and maybe some of the others will follow.  Wouldn’t that be something??

I think God is up to all the questions we might ask and no the answer can’t always be that it is a mystery that we simply have to accept….

Two Very Different Views Of Being Christian…

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said President Barack Obama “pretends to be” Christian

“I’m less concerned about what faith the person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their politics … I’m also concerned about a guy that believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and then says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith,” Huckabee said. “I’m disappointed if someone says, ‘I’m a Christian,’ but you invite the pope into your home and then you invite a whole bunch of people who are at odds with the Catholic Church policy. I think there’s something very unseemly about that,” he added.

Source: Mike Huckabee: Obama pretends to be a Christian – CNNPolitics.com

I find it tragically ironic that the story above comes from a person who was a minister of a Christian denomination. The bible says more than a thing or two about judging others but this previous minister seems to have skipped that lesson in his bible. Are Mr. Huckabee’s words typical of all Baptists in this country? I just don’t know…

No man has a right to judge what is in another’s heart and to do just that is a fatal affront to God who does. If this were the story of the week I would likely be depressed once again on the narrowness of Christian beliefs.  But thank heavens that it is not the only story. Pope Francis has lightened my heart in religious matters. He is truly living out the words of Jesus.  Mr. Huckabee on the other hand just wants to secure his following in the bitter, angry, and anti-everything base of his party. I guess his words will get him a few more votes there but I am hoping that elsewhere people will come to understand the character of this particular politician….

About “In Search Of America”

Road Trips, History, Photography, Blogging

RJ Avatar 3Some of my major passions revolves around road trips, American History, photography, and blogging. They have all come together to form the heart of the InSearchOfAmerica category of this blog.

Do you want to visit places you have never been?

Do you want some ideas on where to visit for your next vacation?

Do you want to learn about our country by visiting our past?

This blog will do those things for you.

Over the past 25 years  I have taken many road trips with history in mind. I have actually traveled to all fifty States with my camera in hand.  This blog is all about the places I have visited and  the thousands of pictures I have taken across America.

Drop me a comment if you want more info or just to tell my you like the picture. I would love to hear from you and what you like about this blog.

New and Improved RJ’s Corner…


If you know me you know that I am one who embraces change and hate boredom. With both of those things itching at me I have spent the last week re-formatting my five blogs into one new one. It has been a tedious task but one I think is well worth the time. If you like it let me know please..


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