Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanks be to God!

"I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now." Philippians 1:3-5

Thanks be to God for all those who have faithfully served in this ministry over the past two years. There are so many loving and generous people who have stepped out to be the hands and feet of Christ for our brothers and sisters in need. You know who you are. You know in your heart how the good Lord has changed you. Yes, there is much more we don't know: how many countless brothers and sisters have experienced change through the power of God in us. How many have experienced mercy, compassion, forgiveness, repentance, joy, HOPE because someone took a step to meet them where they are.

You have given of your time, talents and treasure for the kingdom of God.

You are the owners of Crane Dance Farms donating over 100 pounds of organic meat this past year for nutritious soup and brats. You are the friend from Carhartt donating hundreds of socks, gloves and hats to help people stay warm. You are the women donating proceeds from your business to help supply the food. You are the friend sitting at home crocheting blankets of love and warmth for those sleeping outside; the kids making blankets and coloring pictures of joy on lunch bags. You are the families handing out job listings, Bibles, rosaries, prayer cards. You are family and friends who have sent money for food and bus passes. You are adults and youth in homes and churches across our community who have faithfully given many hours preparing sandwiches, soups, meals, fruit, desserts, lemonade and hot chocolate, many hours praying, many hours joyfully serving and listening in the heat, the rain and the snow, hours purchasing and sorting used and NEW clothing... You are the homeless and the jobless who pray with us, help us carry all the supplies to and from the park each week, and minister to your fellow men and women from right where they are as children of God... The list goes on and on.

More importantly, together you have all been faithful to Jesus' commandment in the 25th chapter of Matthew's Gospel.

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

I have heard numerous stories of sorrow from people on the streets. Yet, I have heard MORE stories of hope because of people's decision to get off their couch and out of their comfort zone to meet brothers and sisters in need - not only in this ministry but in various ministries around Grand Rapids. God uses our brokenness to show His strength. Only He knows the depth of His love that has been shown and received. Every one of us are links in God's chain on the road to eternal life. Each link is important. When He calls, we must answer. If we do not, then the body of Christ - the church - will suffer as we can see in happening in our world today. Our loving God allows suffering, but He does not make us suffer. We do that by our refusal to know, love and serve Him.

The kingdom of God IS at hand, and our Father has called us to be His hands, His feet, His voice at this point in time to bring the Good News to those around us for conversion of hearts and souls.

Clearly, God gives the grace of conversion. In a manner of speaking, we are just the sales people. Still, we must witness in love to the Word of God and let God do the rest. Thank you, again, to everyone who has given - even those across the globe who contact me with your prayers.

“Christ has no body but yours; no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on this world; yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now but yours; no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours”. – St. Theresa of Avila

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you today and in the coming year. May you grow in charity towards one another and towards all people.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jesus Is Coming!

A Medley Minute: Jesus Is Coming!

This is thought-provoking.
Thank you, Father Samuel Medley, S.O.L.T for sharing the wisdom of the Holy Spirit!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Perseverance and prayer

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today join me in praising the Lord for prayers answered for our friend, Mike! He has a job and his faith remains strong.

Mike used to have many tools for woodworking and construction until they were stolen last year. Months before that, he entered the "homeless" sector and had to store the tools at a friend's house.

One evening we got a phone call from Mike telling us his friend was close to dying. He had contracted a rare and quick-spreading cancer and was going downhill fast. Todd raced downtown to pick Mike up. They drove over to the friend's house and prayed at his bedside.

Two days later, the friend died. Unfortunately, the tools Mike has stored at his house were stolen.

This was the one-two punch for Mike as he was still reeling from his friend's death. With his tools gone, any chance for a pick-up construction job was slim to none. He held on to the Lord and persevered through a rough winter and spring. Many times, he wondered what would be next. Mike's faith and perseverance astounded me. He kept giving of himself when others were in need and always greeted me with a smile and hug even when his eyes told of struggles.

Of course, the Holy Spirit was at work all along. Once we shared the news of Mike's tools being stolen, a generous group of friends came together with donations for a surprise purchase for Mike - new tools and some terrific previously-used tools that looked and worked like new. He was going to have all he needed to tackle any big jobs that opened up.

Long story short (I know, too late!) a few guys got together with Mike and took him shopping. Mike was all about bargain hunting and making the best use of the money gifted to him. He was overwhelmed with gratitude.

After dinner one night, he asked us to store the tools in our home for safe-keeping since he didn't have any jobs lined up at the time. Soon, days turned into weeks and weeks into months with no work. We trusted God had prepared Mike with the tools. Wait patiently on the Lord...

Mike landed a couple odd jobs, but nothing big.

We hadn't seen or heard from Mike for over a month, but this morning he called and asked if I could bring the tools down to him at Matthew's House because he has two good jobs lined up starting tomorrow. Praise God!!

I met him on the sidewalk with a big hug. He then introduced me to Pastor George who is going to let Mike store the tools there. George told me about Matthew's House and their mission.

Let's just say that when the red-tape of the big agencies gets twisted up, the "little guys" (aka area churches and other groups) come together in big ways to assist and empower struggling brothers and sisters. It's a beautiful thing. The more God's family works together, the more His glory is shown. Jesus never said help just those who go to your church or live in your neighborhood or your own country. Whatever you do for the least of these...

We serve a mighty God Who chooses to work with great love through His sinful children. How amazing is that??

Christ has no body now but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
-Theresa of Avila

Take a moment to give glory, honor and praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is at work in your life and the lives of many others this very moment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Participating in God's work

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ..

After a meeting this evening with fellow life counselors (sidewalk counselors outside our local abortion clinics), I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Holy Spirit at work.
The Perpetual Eucharistic Chapel was close by, so I drove over and just collapsed in awe and thanksgiving before our Lord.
All glory, honor and praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!

Lord, how is it that You allow us sinners, us unlearned men and women, to participate in your Divine plan? You have no need of us, but still daily allow Your greatness to shine through our weakness. We only need to come to You and ask.
What greater blessing could we want or hope for than to know and trust Christ's love and be able to share that love with others??

While serving lunch in the park last Saturday, a woman was saying, "you will receive a great reward for this." Will receive? "We are receiving right now," I said, "by coming together in the unity of Christ with our brothers and sisters." Being a slave, a servant, of Christ is the reward. Through serving Him, He allows me to know Him better. He opens my eyes to His presence in every day occurrences. I experience the longing in many brothers and sisters that we meet.
The Holy Spirit convicts me of my sinfulness and, at the same time, creates an awareness of God's mercy that has rained down to save me each and every day.

There were many days in the past when I lived in mortal sin. I worshipped the God of the flesh and lived for the pleasures of this world. Thankfully, my Lord did not allow me to die in my sins. Now I can not stand the thought of another person on the verge of suffering eternal death. Of course, God is God and I am not. He gives each of us free will to choose good or evil. We need to pray for wisdom on how to help others on this journey and humbly received help when we are in the wrong.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Wouldn't you rather know the love of Christ and be able to participate as His disciple every day than have all the riches of the world? Do we spend more time judging others?
Are we concerned more with trying to fix them or praying for the grace to accept each individual right where they are?
How often do we tell others how much Jesus loves them?
Most days it's difficult for me to contain the joy, pain and gratitude amid the emptiness of all this world offers. Aside from faith, family/community, serving and the beauty of creation, everything else "is rubbish" as St. Paul said.
This is the daily carrying of the cross.

How then did the apostles feel actually being near Christ, walking with Him every day amid the darkness of their times? Where they overwhelmed that He chose them, simple as they were? Were they impatient, frustrated, joyful? Most likely, they were. Yet, Jesus chose them to participate in His divine plan and loved them through it all.

Today's Gospel in John 1:45-51 tells of Nathanael (Bartholomew) exclaiming, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” because Jesus mentioned that He saw Nathanael sitting under a fig tree before He even met Nathanael. Then Jesus said, "You will see greater things than this.”And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
There must have been some amazing power of the Lord at work in the apostles to be with and follow Jesus every day without being stopped in their tracks at the awesomeness of it all. This, too, before the Holy Spirit was unleashed upon them revealing the fullness of the Truth!

To the world, the cross of Christ seems like foolishness. But to those of us striving to enter the kingdom of Heaven it is beautiful and necessary.

Along this subject line, I would like to share the wisdom of John Chrysostom from today's Office of Readings from the Liturgy of Hours. It is from his Homily on the First Letter to the Corinthians: 'The weakness of God is stronger than men'

It was clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive, in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Their discourse was not of unimportant matters but of God and true religion, of the Gospel way of life and future judgement, yet it turned plain, uneducated men into philosophers. How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men!
In what way is it stronger? It made its way throughout the world and overcame all men; countless men sought to eradicate the very name of the Crucified, but that name flourished and grew ever mightier. Its enemies lost out and perished; the living who waged a war on a dead man proved helpless. Therefore, when a Greek tells me I am dead, he shows only that he is foolish indeed, for I, whom he thinks a fool, turn out to be wiser than those reputed wise. So too, in calling me weak, he but shows that he is weaker still. For the good deeds which tax-collectors and fishermen were able to accomplish by God’s grace, the philosophers, the rulers, the countless multitudes cannot even imagine.
Paul had this in mind when he said: The weakness of God is stronger than men. That the preaching of these men was indeed divine is brought home to us in the same way. For how otherwise could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, the others fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!
How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime did not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, set forth to do battle with the whole world once Christ was dead – if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?” Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?
It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much.

May the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you today and always as you live out your faith.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

All the glory goes to God!

At Mass this morning, the first reading was from the prophet Isaiah. He spoke one of my favorite verses: "O LORD, you mete out peace to us, for it is You who have accomplished all we have done." Amen!

We don't accomplish anything. God accomplishes it through us!

This leads me to ponder...
How do we in our culture respond when we accomplish something good?
Do we pat ourselves on the back, or do we give praise, honor and glory to our loving God?
Next time someone gives you a compliment on something, listen to your response.
Is it a simple "thanks" or a "thanks be to God" ?

Many times when I meet people living on the streets or in the shelters and ask, "how are you doing?" They respond, "very well, thanks be to God."
If someone living without family or possessions can give thanks to God, then why can't we publicly give glory to Him for His gifts within us?

Are we too uncomfortable giving glory to the Him whom without we could not breath a single breath?
Do we pretend it's because we don't want others to feel uncomfortable?
Most likely it's because we want to keep things all nice and agreeable. We would rather deny that our Lord alone is responsible for any accomplishment than risk persecution.

Let us ask Jesus to help us remember His and our Blessed Mother Mary who didn't take any of the credit for her accomplishment when asked by Elizabeth "how it is that the mother of my Lord should come to visit me?" but instead gave glory to God replying, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior."

Yes, many of our homeless brothers and sisters do share stories of their daily hardships, but they are still able to thank God because they know it is only through Him that they are able to wake up and make it through another day. Their faith continually astounds me.

Still, there are countless others who don't acknowledge God exists or Jesus as their Savior, but God is still with them. He created them in His image! I recently talked with a man like this. He shared that he is not a believer.
Praise be to God that He allowed me to have a conversation with this man. It was a true gift.

I met "Tom" months ago during our Saturday lunch in the park. He and his friend, "Bob" always show up together. They both had "respectable" lives before living on the street. Bob was an accountant. Tom, a businessman. Divorce and other circumstances led them away from the Lord to life without a home.

Now, we have talked many times about one thing or another, but this one Saturday I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to go deeper with them. Trust me, I am not courageous enough without the grace of God to delve into many of the conversations on the streets. I have been tempted now and in the past to sit for hours in contemplation with the Lord, thinking this is the better way to get closer to Him only to be shown that playing board games with with my kids, folding laundry, taking a walk with my husband or preparing dinner for the family is the most beautiful prayer when done in love. That's why I love that quote at the bottom of this blog. Yes, Christ is truly present - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity - in the Eucharist. He is also present in every one we meet. We have only to ask our Lord for eyes to see and ears to hear Him.

Spending time in the presence of Christ on the streets began with prayer and continues to be rooted in prayer. It is a prayer that begins with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament - in Holy Mass and in Adoration. He helps me to let go, lay down my agenda and give everything over to His Will. It is only through Him, with Him and in Him that I am aware of the privilege of spending time with His poor.
Each person involved with serving lunch on Saturdays is a living prayer. There are many from different churches and walks of life that reflect the light of Christ and see the dignity of each and every person we meet. I believe this is why people come back to the park to eat on Saturdays even though they have other places where they could be getting food.

Back to my story about Bob and Tom...
As we were chatting, I asked if either of them had problems with drugs or alcohol.
Tom opened up and said he struggles with drugs. I had shared with him earlier that I, too, was deep into drugs for years after high school and know it was only through God's grace I am still alive and standing today. That's when Tom said, "to be honest, I am not a believer."

A lengthy conversation ensued. How utterly amazing it was that Tom would be honest with me! During our talk, I prayed to be open and loving as we spoke about life, God, faith, doubts, etc...
God is with Tom whether he acknowledges Him or not.
At one point, I looked him in the eye and said, "do you know how much Jesus loves you? He loves you so much, no matter what you've done." I can't really describe Tom's face or body language when he heard that, but something happened within him. The Holy Name of Jesus has power.

I challenged him to take time to pray to God in the coming week.
There was a little humor involved as I encourage him to pray, "God, you know I don't believe in you, but if you are there, show me."

Only God knows His plan for allowing us to talk that day. I am thankful He is helping me to have more compassion and see His presence in everyone. God knows how uncomfortable it is for me many times to talk with and accept those of other faiths or those who don't have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Praise and honor and glory to our Almighty Father Who is so merciful and patient! He works with my close-mindedness. He softens my stony heart.

So if Tom shows up next Saturday high on crack will I still love and accept him? Will I still trust that God is near Tom even though he is apparently turning his back on him? Of course! Why?? Because this is our faith! Our loving Father tells us to love the sinner and hate the sin. He does that with us EVERY DAY - loves us despite our sinfulness. And He "demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
If that's not good news, I don't know what is!

By God's grace, we can give Jesus glory, honor and praise for ALL that He accomplishes through us. Try it next time someone gives you a compliment for a job well done.

May the Lord be with you today and always.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Understanding the poor

There is much wisdom in those that have gone before us.
Who are the poorest of the poor? Following are words from Mother Theresa - one who became poor, like Christ, and lived most of her life serving Him in the poorest of the poor.

Today, the poor are hungry for bread and rice, and also for love and the living word of God. The poor are thirsty for water but also for peace, truth, and justice. The poor are homeless, in need of a shelter made of bricks, and also for a joyful heart that understands, covers, and loves. The poor are naked, in need of clothes and also for human dignity and compassion for the naked sinner. They are sick in need of medical care and also for that gentle touch and a warm smile.

The "shut-in," the unwanted, the unloved, the alcoholics, the dying destitute, the abandoned and the lonely, the outcast and the untouchables, the leprosy sufferers, all those who are a burden to human society, who have lost all hope and faith in life, who have forgotten how to smile, who have lost the sensibility of the warm hand touch of love and friendship, they look to us for comfort. If we turn our back on them, we turn it on Christ, and at the hour of our death we shall be judged if we have recognized Christ in them, and on what we have done for and to them, there will only be two ways, "come" or "go."

Last winter we met a scruffy-looking man in the park one Saturday. He was standing off to by the sidewalk alone. I noticed him, said hello and asked if he would like a sandwich. He replied, "I've been watching you here for a few weeks now. Why are you taking your time to stand out in the cold to hand out food to people you don't even know?? I looked into his eyes - so full of searching and brokenness - and said, "The truth is that the Holy Spirit led me down here. I'm not one to like freezing cold temperatures, but this doesn't bother me. I'm here to offer my brothers and sisters a hand." This man (I'll call him Frank) was living in his van. He shared how hopeless he felt, how if the next ten years of his life were going to be like the last ten then what's the use in living? We listened, not really knowing what to say, but offering encouragement as best we could. After awhile, he left and we didn't see him again for a few months.

Recently, I began seeing him around more and more. He had been in and out of jail, lost his van, lost his way.
A little over a month ago, he shared with a friend that he "just didn't know if he could go on."
Well, our awesome God is amazing in how He takes care of our needs when we step out in faith, like 'Frank' did by sharing his feelings with my friend. God is always setting up divine appointments through his followers...

One of His followers (Dave) decided he was going to get involved with an early morning Bible study on S. Division. Through this Bible study, our Lord put 'Frank' in touch with a godly man and a wonderful ministry called Next Step. From there 'Frank was able to get out of the homeless shelter. Dave then hired him to work at his construction company. Now he also has a more permanent place to live.
A couple weeks ago when I saw him again at the park, I didn't yet know all this news about the Bible study, job and living arrangements. What I did know was that there was "something different" about 'Frank.' He seemed more upbeat.

Here comes the best part - Last Saturday he came up to my van to help me unload the food and tables. He had a big smile on his face and shared that he was getting baptized the next day!

"Praise God," I shouted. "You're getting baptized on Pentecost. How awesome!"

The "something different" about 'Frank' was his new life in Christ. No human comfort or worldly good can provide this. He was lost but had been found.

'Frank' was one of those who Mother Theresa talked about - one "who was a burden to human society, who had lost all hope and faith in life, who had forgotten how to smile, who had lost the sensibility of the warm hand touch of love and friendship." He looked to us for comfort.

I pray that all of us as God's children can have our eyes and ears open to see and hear Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor. He is reaching out His hand to us each and every day. Will we grab hold and ask for the faith to follow him?

In Jesus and Mary,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Human dignity in Christ

Sharing in the dignity of each human person as a creation of God is the paramount mission of ‘Jesus on the streets.’

In prayer before serving, we acknowledge that we are getting ready to serve Jesus, so we greet Him in each person with a loving smile, eye contact and a warm hello. So many of the people we meet stand in one line after another for this need or that.
They can get eat at different shelters, churches, etc… around GR. Many times they are handed food without much contact or relationship.

From day one, we went out, striving to live the beatitudes in our serving.
We focus on a personal relationship with individuals – whether it be for 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 months.
Through relationship, we can open the door further to share the love relationship of the God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit and help them find resources for jobs, housing, etc…
We begin this relationship can begin with a simple smile.

Mother Theresa always said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” We know this is so true.
Someone once shard with me about the love they always feel when my son smiles at them. They mentioned how they are brought out of their pain for a brief time through the love and acceptance in his smile. In saying, "I love you" through our smile and greetings, God's grace allows us to lift each other "out of miry clay", if only for a short time.
Showing extraordinary love through ordinary acts is our daily call.
God help me to walk the walk and talk the talk, so as to be a witness of Your love.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the magnitude of homelessness, poverty, etc…Many times I have thought, what’s the use? Then I fall on my knees. Show me, Lord. Pour out Your wisdom.

We can never go wrong sharing the love of Christ with our neighbor.
In the silence of prayer, I continually hear the Lord say in my heart – Keep going. Focus on ONE person at a time. Through this, I will take your seeds of love and makes them grow.
God continues to change lives through this ministry.

By His grace, we plant and till, plant and till the soil. Christ is the gardener who brings growth. In His mercy, He sometimes allows us to see the fruit of our “work.” Yet, that is not our goal. Our goal is to be faithful in living the Gospel.
Christ is knocking at the door of our heart today. He is disguised as a family member, a neighbor, the homeless, the hungry, the imprisoned.
Will we open the door and let Him in?
May God bless you today and always as you seek Him.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I haven't posted in awhile, but there are many stories to tell.
I've been holding them in my heart and pondering upon them in regards to the great love of our Lord.

He continues to share how valuable each one of His creation is.
He loves us beyond our imagination, and that is what we try to share each week in the park and in our communities.
God is not some ancient man looking "from a distance", as the old Bette Midler song sings, and pointing a finger. He is all around us as pure love if we but ask Him to open our eyes and hearts to His Presence.
We are priviledged as Catholics to have Him present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist if we but seek Him out and ask for the faith to believe.
He doesn't need our love, but His gift to us is our desire to love Him.
He gives us this gift to share with others. I am so thankful for the grace to look through His eyes and see such value and dignity in brothers and sisters that some deem as having no value.
Try this today: Ask Jesus to help you see value in someone whom you don't right now in your life.

from the Magnificat:
During Lent, we seek to grow in faithfulness to our covenant with God. The law of the covenant given in Christ is summed up inthe two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. The test of our love for God is the quality of our love for other people. The measure of our lenten observance will be our growth in love. Jesus Christ our Savior is our model: we see in Him these words of Saint Paul lived to the full.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
If I have all faith so as to move mountains
but do not have love,
I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over
so that I may boast
byt do not have love,
I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous,

(Love) is not inflated, it is not rude.

(Love) does not seek its own interest, it is not quick-tempered.

(Love) does not brood over injury.

(Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God is revealed to us: God sent His only son into the wordl so that we might have life throug Him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is brought to perfection is us." 1 John 4:7-12

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One drop of Love...

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a gentle Father and the God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our sorrows, so that we can offer others, in their sorrows, the consolation that we have received from God ourselves. Indeed, as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so, through Christ, does our consolation overflow." -2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Our Loving Father is so amazing in the way He allows us, in all our sinfulness and longing, to serve Him by serving and comforting each other.

God has put upon my heart the desire to meet Him and bring about unity in another area.
I am praying about/working on an off-shoot to the Saturday lunch in the park – lunch/dinner in the community center 1-2 times a month (or more!) of a large subsidized housing complex near downtown.

There is such a need for community in many of these places. People are behind their closed doors and fear meeting neighbors due to many issues. One woman, leery about interacting with others there, shared with me how terrifying it is for her at times hearing a neighbor yelling abusive language toward his children. She comes to the park regularly when her food money runs out, but standing outside in the cold is tough because of circulation issues.
Other residents in the apartment building suffer from depression and/or loneliness. Amid their trials they feel no one understands or that they are the "only one going through this situation."

Our Lord God said, "it is not good for man to be alone." It would be great to bring residents together and offer help/hope in sharing a meal. We are more alike that we care to imagine.
Possibly, we could offer periodic support from local medical personnel (Dental – bringing toothbrushes, toothpaste, other helpful information. Nurses – blood pressure checks, foot care, etc… for those in need)

We have served lunches many times at another low-income apartment complex on S. Division, and have witnessed Christ's love/peace bringing people together. Christ is here is the faces of those He has left upon earth. Are we meeting Him or turning away?

Mother Theresa once said, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." Each act of kindness for our Lord is another drop in the waters of His Kingdom. Are we hoarding our drops or sharing them freely?

Please continue to pray for God's will in this mission and in the missions of your life. If you hear Him calling you to help us, pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance and shoot me an e-mail or call.

Have a blessed day!