Bob Polk Recognized at Doane University

Reverend Dr. Robert L. Polk became a friend of my parents, while attending Doane with them, and was best man at their wedding (in 1952). Bob Polk has had a wonderful life and has been, and is, an inspiration for thousands.

Doane University named their newly built amphitheater in Robert Polk’s honor, on May 17, 2024 (details here/write-up here). I had the honor to be there. This was also the commencement weekend at Doane and Dr. Polk was the speaker at Baccalaureate and the Commencement.

Below I have collected some pictures, videos, and information about this great man for myself (and perhaps others) on the occasion of his honor and being together with him in Crete, NE, on the Doane campus.

Bob Polk (which sounds informal, but that’s what my dad always called him) was born May 8, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois. He and Georgetta Weaver were the first black persons to attend Doane College (now University). He graduated in 1952, the same year my dad, Walter J. Olsen, graduated. After Doane, he went to seminary. The first church he served, as a pastor, as in North Dakota. He has served the church and people his entire life. In his memoir, Bob Polk says, “My life’s work has moved along two parallel passions: ministry and social justice – majoring in race relations.” More details can be found following the links below.

Here is a video recording of the Baccalaureate and Robert L. Polk Open Air Theatre Naming Ceremony. Program here.

Here is a video of Dr. Polk’s awesome Commencement address.

Webpages and Videos

Photos (click to enlarge)

Pictures Special to the Olsen Family

50th Wedding Anniversary in Lincoln, NE. Amazing picture!

In Conclusion

I am very thankful for Bob Polk and all that he has done as a pioneer, faithful minister, leader, inspiration, and friend of our family.

This page created by Jim Olsen. URL:

Special thanks to my wife, Marilyn Olsen, and my sister, Liz Schulenberg, for finding and scanning the pictures.

Bear Grylls setting a good example

Bear Grylls setting a good example, in many ways. He is a strong christian along with being a well-known adventurist and survivalist.

See the article: Bear Grylls’ life off-screen – real name, famous wife and huge net worth.

I’m interested in the Book:

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense

by N. T. Wright

Read his introduction (in which he describes the structure (logic 😉 of the book), it is compelling.


In the devo today by @BearGrylls he has a good word about God-Confidence. Cf

Graphics :

Establishing daily motivation

In retirement there are some days in which I have a hard time getting motivated. Looking within myself, is sporadic at best, and generally of little value.
Here’s a simple process : ‘

  1. Begin with pondering and considering God, and his greatness. Pray.
  2. Ponder and consider all that God has given me and is giving me. Pray.
  3. Ponder, and consider God’s will, and intentions for this world. Pray.
  4. Ask the question, “What can I do to do my part?” Pray.
  5. Get my shoulder to the wheel in my eye on the grindstone. Pray for guidance and strength.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:6

Alistair Begg

Determining right & wrong based on the Bible it’s tough, because we are mortals. As people of faith, we should try to do it anyway.
@AlistairBegg logically & Biblically moved the needle.
Good, article here by Russel Moore.

Notes for January 2024

My sermon this month is titled, Eyes, Nose, and Shoulder for the Sake of Christ.

The primary point is to keep our eyes on Jesus (from Hebrews 12:1). I’ve always like the metaphors of keep your nose to the grindstone and put your shoulder to the wheel. To do the will of God we do need to apply our focus and our effort.

Bible Passages

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

1 John 4:9-11 9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.

James 1:22-24 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Books I’m Reading This Year

📖 Daily devotional book: Soul Fuel: A Daily Devotional, by: Bear Grylls.

📖 Book: Recalibrate Your Life: Navigating Transitions with Purpose and Hope, by: Kenneth Boa and Jenny Abel. This book has a strong Christian/biblical basis and is for all ages (we’ll say from age 20 through old age). It covers both regular recalibration of life and recalibration of life at major junctures of life (such as marriage, having children, major illness, retirement).

Abide in Christ

Abide in Christ is a timeless book written by Andrew Murray. Information, online book, and audio book found here.

Things Unseen Podcast

Sinclair Furguson does a podcast, titled Things Unseen,  each weekday, Monday through Friday (usually about 10 minutes). He has excellent discussion points on the Bible and Christian concepts. I have found the podcast very thought provoking and valuable to me as a Christian.

Annual Spiritual Checkup from CS Lewis Institute

The annual spiritual checkup begins with

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

There are 10 questions to consider. Five each for Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind and Loving neighbor.

Three Good Christmas Stories

Here are three short stories that I like–and you might also enjoy. Good to read at Christmas time.

The Philanthropist’s Christmas – James Weber Linn. This is a story a bit like A Christmas Carol, with a rich man who is gruff (without the Christmas spirit). However, Mr. Carter is not a total cruel as Ebenezer Scrooge.  The story is also lighter, with a fun little dog and no ghosts. Published in 1908. About 20 minutes.


A Christmas Mystery: The Story of Three Wise Men – William John Locke.  This is a story about 3 men, who are each individually ‘successful,’ but, sadly, lack family or relationships. They end up on a train, together, going to a Christmas party a long way away. On the trip, there is a failure in the transportation which causes to plot to change drastically. This is a deeper story than the first. I believe this takes place in the early 1900’s in England. Written in 1910. About 40 minutes.


How Dot Heard The Messiah – Hezekiah Butterworth. This is about a lowly boy, Dot, who is the bellows-boy for an organ in a large church. (The bellows of the organ had to be operated manually back in those days.) He makes an acquaintance with one of the distinguished tenors in the choir, and it changes his life. Written in 1882. About 21 minutes.



My all-time favorite Christmas story is The Other Wise Man.

If you know of other Christmas stories which have a Christian theme, please share with me.

Post by Jim Olsen.

Nicholas Winton Rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia

Nicholas Winton Rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia

Sir Nicholas Winton was born in Hampstead, London in 1909. For nine months in 1939 he rescued 669 children from Czechoslovakia, bringing them to the UK, thereby sparing them from the horrors of the Holocaust. Sir Nicholas died in July 2015, aged 106.

This is an an excellent story of service to mankind.

He was featured in 2023 by the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert. Video is here. The story about Nicki Winton begins about the 49 minute mark.

Nice write-up here. (Wikipedia.)