Archive for February, 2014

February 27, 2014

Lending Hearts

“Food really helps with hospitality and setting clients at ease. We need simple but good fare that says, ‘Welcome!’

Openings range from breakfast to lunch, buffet style, and plain old sandwiches.

We also accept 100 sandwiches or breakfast tacos monthly for our freezer; as well as leftovers from parties, events, and other food recovery.”

We thank Lending Hearts for their volunteer work with our food recovery.

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February 25, 2014

Where Comes Contentment?

This came up during my daily Bible reading recently. We have the privilege of inviting lots of volunteers, in-kind donors, and financial supporters into ministry. And we have the privilege of knowing, loving and serving our clients. In some sense, we get to go between these two radically different worlds.

Our clients often are unhappy with their current circumstances when they are able to be vulnerable and real. But frequently they possess something we wish we could somehow transfer to our volunteers and donors. Our clients are often happy with what they have in terms of material possessions and wealth. Our clients are often aware of the great treasure they have around them: their street family and friends.

1 Timothy 3:6-10 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

An elder must not be a new believer. It might make him too proud of himself. Then he would be condemned for his pride the same as the devil was. An elder must also have the respect of people who are not part of the church. Then he will not be criticized by others and be caught in the devil’s trap.

Special Servants

In the same way, the men who are chosen to be special servants must have the respect of others. They must not be men who say things they don’t mean or who spend their time drinking too much. They must not be men who will do almost anything for money. They must follow the true faith that God has now made known to us and always do what they know is right. 10 You should test them first. Then, if you find that they have done nothing wrong, they can be special servants.

You may see us asking for help frequently in our ministry. It is not because we are desperate. It is because we never tire of inviting people into ministry with us. We want to share the great blessing and joy which is to serve our clients. We believe our clients will become a great blessing to you!

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

17 Give this command to those who are rich with the things of this world. Tell them not to be proud. Tell them to hope in God, not their money. Money cannot be trusted, but God takes care of us richly. He gives us everything to enjoy. 18 Tell those who are rich to do good—to be rich in good works. And tell them they should be happy to give and ready to share. 19 By doing this, they will be saving up a treasure for themselves. And that treasure will be a strong foundation on which their future life will be built. They will be able to have the life that is true life.;

It is a great privilege to know, love and serve out clients. 

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February 23, 2014

Coming Of Age

I have a client I’ve know for two years. When I first met him, he was rebellious and high all the time. He did a stint in state jail and now he’s back. But he’s different now. He walked with me the other day and we shared a very meaningful conversation.

When I first met you, I didn’t like you. I didn’t understand why you were here and why you were nice. And I knew you were religious, and I hated religion. I was an ass to you. I’m sorry.”

I replied, “Thank you for that, but I don’t remember you as an ass. I get everything you say. We are taught that nothing is free, so you wondered what my motivation is. Lots of people do. That’s why you’ll hear me say all the time, ‘My desire is to see you more stable, sober, reconnected with God, and finding a faith community when you want it.’ “
He asked a question, “Do you think there are any unforgivable sins?” This is a common question. I answered, “Jesus said blasphemy of the Spirit is unforgivable. But people aren’t in agreement what he meant.

 ‘My desire is to see you more stable, sober, reconnected with God, 

and finding a faith community 
when you want it.’

Here is my take based on the whole of the Bible. God loves you but God does not abide evil. Evil must be away from him. So we are put away from him, we separate ourselves when we are evil. And it’s not God that goes anywhere. It’s us. It’s as if I turned my back to you right now. Our conversation would stop. And if I had wronged you, you would not forgive me because we would not be talking. However, when I turn around, we can talk again. And probably no matter what I’ve done to you, if we have a safe new relationship, you probably would forgive me in time.”

He thought about this, “Yes, I have learned to forgive a lot of things as I get older.” He is 20 years old.  “I can forgive hurting me. I have forgiven stealing from me. I can forgive a lot. I think my line would be child abuse. I couldn’t forgive that.”

 I replied, “I understand. But I’ve seen people who eventually have a safe relationship with their abuser and forgive them. It’s not easy and I’m not saying it is required. But forgiving someone releases a burden that you carry with you until you are able to forgive. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or trusting.”

“But forgiving someone releases a burden that you carry with you until you are able to forgive.”

He replied, “I think I need to hear this. A family member was never there for me. I have hated him all my life. But when I got out of jail, I saw pictures and he’s wasting away. He’s old and has a disease. He’s going to die. And I have realized that I love him, but I’ve never told him.”

I explained, “Forgiveness begins in a vertical mode, between you and God, or within you. It doesn’t involve the person who wronged you at all. It sounds like you may have done this vertical part now.” He jumped in, “Yes! It feels like a weight just dropped off me when I realized this.” I agreed and continued, “You may eventually have the chance to work on horizontal forgiveness with this person. It sounds like you’d like that. Sometime the person isn’t safe, isn’t available, or even isn’t alive. Then it’s hard to do the horizontal part and sometimes the vertical forgiveness has to be enough. But when you have a safe relationship of some sort with the person, the horizontal forgiveness can lead to good things sometimes.”

We closed by talking about what he wants from the future. “I don’t want to turn out like my family. But I find myself wanting a family. It scares me to death. I want a house and kids and a wife. I’m changing.” I smiled: “It’s all normal, dude. The street was a safe place for you. It was sweet freedom for you at a time when you needed it, but most people can’t stay here forever. You’re right on track. Keep exploring those things. I believe you’re going to make it out of here. I bet in the next year.” He replied, “I hope so!”

“I pray for this client.”

I pray for this client. His questions suggest he needs to be able to forgive himself and those who hurt him in order to move forward. He is super smart and capable. His thought suggest he is growing by leaps and bounds. I pray he continues to do this and has great dreams and visions about his future.

It’s such a privilege to serve him.

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February 20, 2014

Feedback From A Church Partner

We recently got this feedback note from a church partner:

“This may sound very presumptuous . . . but I don’t think you understand how truly significant your ministry is.  You are a beacon.”

Terry’s response:

“I do know that God is doing wonderful things, and it’s an amazing privilege to be called and have a role. I’m as amazed as you are… trust me! But I do love hearing it, and I do love what I get to do.”

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February 18, 2014

3 Things We Are Thankful For

In my personal small group, we agreed to make a list of three things that we are thankful for. We are doing this every day for the next week.  

This made me think of SYM’s weekly prayer time. We ask clients, as one step in our prayer, to complete the sentence,

 “I’m thankful for ________________.”

I asked my group of guys (in my personal small group), what is the most popular response? 

  • It could be to get a beer or a joint. 
  • It could be to have someone be nice to me today or kick me down $10. 
  • Or, it might be to get a house or a car.

But do you know what the most popular response is? 

  • “I’m thankful to be alive.”
  •  “I’m thankful for another day of life.”  

  • “I’m thankful I woke up this morning.”
©2013 GospelGifs

Gives one a moment to pause for sure. 

Street youth can teach us a lot if we let them.

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February 4, 2014

Cients Say Thank You


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February 2, 2014

Need a greeter #volunteer Monday @11, Tu

Need a greeter #volunteer Monday @11, Tuesday @11, and helpers on UT Campus 10:00 to 2:30.!

February 2, 2014

Cold Weather Response 2013 – 2014

T H A N K S!

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