Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Aesthetics vs A Solution

"Commissioners need to focus on more than aesthetics in considering how to address homelessness."

This quote is so accurate in its portrayal of how most people look at homelessness.

Sweep them under the carpet so we don't see them.

Put the homeless in jail so they stay off the streets.

I just wish the city officials were better mathematicians and had more compassion.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breakfast with my neighbors

This past Saturday was the day I made some new friends.

On the third Saturday of the month we open the doors of the church for the people in the neighborhood to come to the food pantry.

The food pantry gives away food to those in need.

The supplies come from FeedMore the local food bank.

A typical day at the food pantry would consist of checking people in and then allowing them to get a bag of groceries.

A lot of people will come up to an hour before the doors open and stand out in the cold.

This Saturday we made some changes.

The doors were open almost two hours ahead of time.

And yes, someone was there when we opened the doors.

Coffee was served as people began to arrive.

Then we began to take orders for breakfast.

People were surprised as to what was happening.

The room was filled with folks sitting around and enjoying themselves.

They all had a great breakfast and then went to collect their groceries.

It was a little chaotic because I was not as organized as I should have been, but breakfast and groceries were not the goals.

What happened for me was the fact that I got to meet my neighbors and have a meal together.

I had awesome conversations about challenging subjects like being judgemental, race and God.

How do we see each other as God sees us?

God used that time for me to get to know my neighbors and they got to know my story as well.

Breakfast with my neighbors I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I can't wait till next month.

Do you want to have breakfast with us?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feels Good!

This article is inspiring.

Two boys at a very early age put on a Christmas dinner for the homeless.

It is amazing to watch two young brothers be so generous.

At the end of the story they state that it "feels good" to help people.


I would encourage folks to consider not just what feels good or makes you happy, but what are you called to do.

Happiness is based on a moment in time. 

I have learned that if I do things for the homeless based on just how it makes me feel, it won't last.

I have been hurt, disappointed, lied to and much more. 

I have wanted to quit.

I didn't like how it made me feel.

Joy comes from a calling.

Oswald Chambers writes

"Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing. The joy our Lord experienced came from doing what the Father sent Him to do. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). "

A calling does not always feel good, but there is joy in knowing your calling.

I am called to help solve homelessness.

What is your calling?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanks to my good friend Carol Kluver!

Carol - who knows what it truly means to love your neighbor.

The story below is all too familiar to the one I experienced in August of 2013 with David and Carol.

Happy ending for man who lost memory, became homeless in Raleigh | abc7news.com

I want to thank Carol, who reunited a man with his family after 15 years.

There are so many similarities between the two stories.

A man homeless for 10+ years.
The use of the internet to search.
Connecting with a sister in law.
The surprise of knowing someone is alive.
Family reunion after many years.

I could go on and on!

The part of this story that says

"As for what made that reunion possible, that's due in large part to not only Shameeka but the very philosophy they have at the outreach center. Catholic Charities encourages all the volunteers who come in from different faith-based groups to not only provide food but to also offer up fellowship and to take the time to talk to the people who are coming there."

is the true meaning of what it means to serve and love your neighbor.

I have seen lives changed not because someone was given food or clothes, but because someone cared enough to begin a friendship with a complete stranger!

Carol you are an inspiration!

Love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breakfast Anyone?

On Saturday Nov 15th I was on my prayer walk around the church.

It was early in the morning around 7:45 am. 

It just happened to be one of the coldest days of the year so far, 26 degrees.

I noticed a few people walking with their carts towards the church.

I then realized it was the Saturday that we open up the food pantry.

The food pantry serves between 50-75 families.

People were getting in line early, but they were all outside in the cold!

I thought to myself "We can do better".

I went home and mentioned my discovery to my wife.

I told her that I thought we should give these folks a ride home after they picked up their groceries.

They don't need to lug home a bunch of groceries in the freezing cold.

Then the conversation took on a new life.

What if we opened the doors early and let them get out of the cold?

What if we offered a good cup of coffee?

Then my wife said. "Let's take it up a notch".

What if "we prepared breakfast"?

Nothing like a good warm breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast!

So for anyone interested in helping with the food or the rides please show up at 3121 Moss Side Ave on Dec 20 at 8 am.

I would also like to point out it's not about the food or the rides!

It's about seizing the moment to build relationships with your neighbors.

Sit down and have a meal with a stranger.

Break bread together and you will walk away with a new friend.

Breakfast anyone? 

Let's love our neighbors!