Pilgrim Cafe

Continuing Conversations on the Human Spirit


Allen Simons

Raised in Huntsville, Texas. Cloistered in the segregated south. Recieved undergraduate degree in Music Education; Graduate degree in Theology, Perkins School of Theology, SMU Dallas, Texas. Served churches in Texas and Colorado. Was a Minister of Education for many years, then adjunct professor at The Iliff School of Theology, then Director of Youth and Camping Ministry and Church Leadership Training for the Rocky Mountain Conference. Prior to retirement was pastor of the Fruita United Methodist Church in Fruita, Colorado (west of Grand Junction). Now retired and living in Grand Junction where I drive a Grand Valley Transit Bus and play. Passions are poetry, music, religious and spiritual study, hiking, photography and and 4 wheeling. I love western Colorado. The varigated landscape of Mountains and Canyons, streams and rivers calls to something deep in my soul. I am passionate about religion without being religious. I live on the border of doctrinal faith, seeking the connecting spiritual links between all persons..

The helical model – our solar system is a vortex – YouTube

This fascinating animation of the earth’s trajectory gives one pause to consider how the earth, herself, appears to be on astral pilgrimage. Is the Way of the Pilgrim somehow etched into our spiritual DNA? Maybe we are at our best trudging some soul stirring adventure.

Posted from WordPress for Android

The Inner Journey


It seems that my continuing journey turns more and more inward as I scale the ramparts of my latter years. Is it because the current state of my physique is becoming increasingly restrictive as creeping old age seems to extract the youthful energy that was, at one time, a ready resource upon which my impulsive nature could draw?  Now, I find it more pleasurable to sit in my easy chair read and ruminate rather than putting my hand to the plough or hike the precipitous inclines of the Western Rockies surrounding my chosen home.

I hail from a family of farmers and cowboys who settled the northern high plains and eastern forests of Texas. They are a “gitter done” collection of characters the likes of which I have become more and more appreciative as I have watched them confront the numerous hurdles that life has laid before them.  Energy, readiness and resoursefulness have never been comodies in short supply among my kin nor in my own youthful years.

Today, however, I prefer to reflect and write.


There are some moments in life that are like pivots around which your existence turns — small intuitive flashes, when you know you have done something correct for a change, when you think you are on the right track.

Robyn Davidson, Tracks

T’was the Night Before Christmas in Texas


Every Christmas season the Womens Chorus of Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University) would present it’s Christmas production,in the beautiful auditorium of Old Main, under the able directorship of Virginia (Ginny) Irwin. It was always a wonderful of sacred and secular seasonal favorites and a community wide delight.

My father bought a Wollensach Reel to Reel sterio recorder and an Audiovox record cutter. Annually he recorded College musical programs an sold record to families. This, coupled with the fact that that I was a music major, and required to attend a certain compliment of performances, afforded me tge opportunity to hear all the choral performances and in some cases learn particular pieces by heart. Embossed on my heart is the following poem that was read by a student while the women sag Jingle Bells in the background.

T’was the night before Christmas
In Texas, you know,
Way out on the prairie
(Without any snow).

Asleep in their cabin
Were Buddy and Sue,
A-dream’ of Christmas
Like me and like you.

Not stockings, but boots,
At the foot of their bed
For this was in Texas,
What more need be said

When all of a sudden
From out the still night,
There came such a ruckus
It gave me a fright!

And I saw ‘cross the prairie
Like a shot from a gun,
A loaded-up buckboard
Come on at a run.

The driver was “Geein”,
And ‘hawin’, with a will.
The hosses (not reindeer)
He drove with such skill.

“Come on there, Buck, Pancho
And Prince, to the right!
There’ll be plenty of travelin’
For you-all tonight.”

The driver in Levi’s
And shirt that was red,
Had a ten-gallon Stetson
On top of his head.

As he stepped from the buckboard
He was really a sight
With his beard and moustaches
So curly and white.

As he burst in the cabin
The children awoke,
And both so astonished
That neither one spoke.

And he filled up their boots
With such presents galore
That neither could think
Of a single thing more.

When Buddy recovered
The use of his jaws,
He asked, in a whisper
“Are you Santa Clause?”

Am I the REAL Santa?
Well, what do you think?”
And he smiled as he gave
A mysterious wink.

Then he leapt in his buckboard,
And called back, in his drawl,
“To all children of TEXAS,

Copyright © 1998 – 2015 – R. McSpadden

Posted from WordPress for Android

Handmade Quilt Inspires


Allen Simons 2010


Video: The Pilgrims Preview | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

The Allen family of my mother’s lineage came as pilgrims to the new world from religious persecution in the old.
Posted from WordPress for Android

Brené Brown: Listening to shame | TED Talk |

One of the most helpful TED talks I have heard. Even though Bernie ‘s research was initially of women and shame, I find great personal insight breaking open when I hear her speak.

There are two things that I’ve learned in the last year. The first is: vulnerability is not weakness. And that myth is profoundly dangerous. Let me ask you honestly — and I’ll give you this warning, I’m trained as a therapist, so I can out-wait you uncomfortably — so if you could just raise your hand that would be awesome — how many of you honestly, when you’re thinking about doing or saying something vulnerable think, “God, vulnerability is weakness.” How many of you think of vulnerability and weakness synonymously? The majority of people. Now let me ask you this question: This past week at TED, how many of you, when you saw vulnerability up here, thought it was pure courage? Vulnerability is not weakness. I define vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty. It fuels our daily lives. And I’ve come to the belief — this is my 12th year doing this research — that vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage — to be vulnerable, to let ourselves be seen, to be honest.

One of the weird things that’s happened is, after the TED explosion, I got a lot of offers to speak all over the country — everyone from schools and parent meetings to Fortune 500 companies. And so many of the calls went like this, “Dr. Brown, we loved your TED talk. We’d like you to come in and speak. We’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t mention vulnerability or shame.”

What would you like for me to talk about? There are three big answers. This is mostly, to be honest with you, from the business sector: innovation, creativity and change.

Checkout Youtube video The Treasure, by Uri Shulevitz

Paulo Coelho, Brazillian author, wrote Treasure, his own version of a famous Jewish folk tail. I like the children’s version as told by Uncle Wally. Either holds a bit of wisdom that may inform one’s Pilgrimge.

Sent from vTube for Kindle Fire.