Total Pageviews

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Born on a Journey and in the Silence of Homelessness

by
Rene Vaoillaume
Jesus came into this world, but he did not tell anyone, even those who were closest to him, who he was. If had entered the world in a home in Nazareth, his coming would have been celebrated with great rejoicing by all his relatives and all his neighbors and all those who lived in the town. But he was born on a journey and in the midst of a great number of unknown people. So he really does belong to everyone – and he came reticently making no noise. There is no doubt that God might have been able to do much more to spread the news of his coming, but it is clear that he does not want to thrust his son upon us. He wants us to come to him. We have to discover him. Yes, Jesus is infinitely reticent. He waits. All the historical events surrounding Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem at the turn of the age proclaim God in the silence of words. They were prophetic events speaking in silence to all the generations that have followed. But they are not in any way insistent, demanding to be understood at once. Jesus is patient. He has time.

Father Rene Vaoillaume left this world in 2003, however he left behind the legacy of founding the Little Brothers and Sisters of the Gospel.
______
What will you do with your Homeless In America?

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Homeless In America is Rated by RSSMicro FeedRank in the top 8% of
Blog Feeds & Reads

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Radical Luke

by
Edward Schillebeeckx

[In Luke’s gospel] there were all kinds of conflicts between the rich and the poor! Luke wrote his gospel with these conflicts in mind. What the rich young man in Luke’s gospel couldn’t do, then, these twelve men [the apostles] were able to do.

In another part of his gospel, Luke presents Zacchaeus, the tax collector, to his church as an example. Luke tells us the tax collector was a rich man who promised to give half of his property to the poor. So we have two examples – first the twelve who had voluntarily become poor and then Zacchaeus, who gave away half of his possessions. These are held up before the people who belonged to Luke’s community as orientation figures. [Today] we sit here and talk about whether we should give over two or three percent of our income to the poor. Luke however says: “Give half of your goods to the poor!” He is saying something very radical here – and he is saying it to the middle class Church, which is what we in fact are. None of us gives half of our goods to the poor! But that is what Luke is asking the Church to do in his gospel.

Edward Schillebeeckx, born in 1914, a Dominican and one of the foremost Christian philosophers of modern time, stressed that theology ought to reflect on the practice of faith.
______
What will you do with your Homeless In America?

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
VISIT – http://www.servantsofthefather.org/
DONATE - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation
JOIN – Email Vocations@ServantsoftheFather.org

Homeless In America is Rated by RSSMicro FeedRank in the top 8% of
Blog Feeds & Reads

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Treats on the Streets



The Holiday Week in Pics
From tangerines, sweaters, socks, blankets and jackets to handmade Christmas cards, bubble gum, Carl's Junior burgers, Starbucks and Noah's Bagels - Paulist Productions, Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Sebastian's, Sacred Heart and Saint Peter's - school kids and families made this month's Homeless in America StreetReach happen for more than 125 homeless women, men, children and teens!


______
What will you do with your Homeless In America?
VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
VISIT – http://www.servantsofthefather.org/
Homeless In America is Rated by RSSMicro FeedRank in the top 8% of
Blog Feeds & Reads

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's the Last Week of Advent, Christmas is nigh and Jesus Speaks ... "Behold I am coming soon!"

The Bible tells us that we must not only live in the Spirit, but also, we must walk in the Spirit. In our modern-day language, we often speak about a “way of life” or “walking-the-talk.” Coincidentally, Christians were first referred to in Acts chapter 9 as those who “belong to the way.”

With that point made, it could be said that everyone is on a pilgrimage. Being unsettled in this life is the condition of each human’s journey. Thus, homeless brothers and sisters living on our streets and in alleyways should be of no surprise to any of us. In actuality, we are all - each and everyone homeless. In that case, should we not reach out to the homeless and unite with them in our identical journeys?

Further, the fact that we belong “to the Way” denotes a pilgrimage and underscores the homelessness of each follower of Christ. The Way warns us that we are each involved in a purely physical activity of getting from one place to another. Each of us has an uncommon amount of restlessness and getting about that is part and parcel the nature of the Christian pilgrimage. The “Way” also warns us that we have no permanent abode here on earth.

Since we are all homeless, all of us on a pilgrimage, so then, what is the Goal of it all? The Goal is God himself, His first-coming in Bethlehem, His coming through repentance and conversion in each heart that receives Him, His coming at the moment of death and His soon Second Coming again. Jesus speaks, “Behold I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:12). Have you embraced your homeless journey (the sign of which is reaching out to the poor and homeless) or has materialism, sin, the enemy and comfort attachments deceived you into thinking that you have a home here on earth?
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.servantsofthefather.org/

Homeless In America is Rated by RSSMicro FeedRank in the top 8% of
Blog Feeds & Reads

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Paradox

One can love God whom one does not see only by loving one’s visible neighbor. In Ignatian spirituality, radical love of “my neighbor” (the unlovable - as per Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan), this type of love requires complete abandonment of self – a self-forgetting of myself, my own wants, my own desires, my own addictions. A person who has genuinely prayed for and has been gifted this sort of abandonment becomes homeless in the true sense of the word. As a result, a person of sincere self-abandonment for others becomes homeless in the incomprehensibility of who God is. Now the person can identify more easily with society’s marginalized people, the poor and the homeless. The paradox is that when we get lost in the totally incomprehensible God, we become homeless and then we find our eternal home – we enter into His peace!
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
@
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.servantsofthefather.org/

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In a Season when all that Glitters is not Gold ...

O Lord, your saints gave up all their love of this world and its goods in order to honor you and be free to help others find you without hindrances.

R Once again, remind us Lord that our happiness lies in you alone!

In a season when all that glitters is not gold;
- grant us freedom from the world’s clutter and be absorbed in the wealth of following you. R

For all those who are controlled by love of money, power and social status:
- allow them glimpses of the shallow pond that it all lies within. R

In a season where many live in poverty and have no home or shelter;
- grant them the peace of the manger, the light of the star and the protection of a guardian father. R
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rahner and St. Ignatius on being Priest, Pastor & Leader

In a profound article on spirituality and essence of priesthood, [Karl] Rahner (+1984) said that St. Ignatius of Loyola wanted both to be ordained a priest and to found an Order of priests [Jesuits]. “However,” Rahner writes, … “This was simply because, for him, it was concretely the most practical way and condition of the possibility of getting on with what he really wanted to do. In his own spirituality he was not at all terribly insistent about saying Mass; if I remember rightly, he waited a whole year after his ordination before he got as far as that, but then he said Mass very gladly and with immense devotion.

“But with his first companions, he went into prisons and ministered to the sick. For him it was enormously important to be in the closest possible contact with the poor and the socially underprivileged of his time in the prisons and go into the hideous hospitals of that period, to convert prostitutes in Rome, perhaps also to run a school to inspire princesses, etc. In a word, what he in fact did seems open to the inane verdict or objection that it could all have been achieved by people who were not priests. … Preaching the Gospel, ministering to the poor, defending the underprivileged, following Jesus in this sense, prayer, a mystical sphere of one’s own existence, are just as much part of the priestly office as – and I do not mean it in a pejorative [negative] sense – being able to say Mass.”

Excerpt from the book, "Karl Rahner, Mystic of Everyday Life" by Harvey D. Egan, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1998.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Look at Our Own Poverty and We have the Inspiration to serve others in their Poverty

by
Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (+1751)
"I experience impetuous desires of acquiring the gift of prayer, humility, gentleness, the love of God; to this I reply: Let us not think so much about our own interests: my duty is to occupy myself simply and quietly with God, to accomplish his will in all that He asks of me at the moment. That is my task; everything else I leave in the care of God; my advancement is his business as mine is to occupy myself ceaselessly with him and to execute his orders.

"My advancement is His business. A good thought to meditate on when we become impatient with ourselves, or worse, with God for not making us perfect yesterday. Ironically, that very spiritual impatience hinders our growth.

"It occurs to me that I am still so imperfect, so full of defects and meannesses, of infidelities and weaknesses; how long will it be before I am delivered from these things? I reply at once: By the grace of God I do not love my faults, I am resolved to combat them; but I shall only be delivered from them when it may please God to deliver me. That is his affair, mine is to hate these faults and to fight them with patience, penitence, and humility until it pleases God to give me the victory over them.

"The thought occurs to me: But I am so blind that I do not even know my faults, yet my duty is to lament them before God and confess them; I at once reply: I wish to know my faults, I no longer live in voluntary dissipation of mind, I spend a certain time quietly examining my conscience. This is what God demands of me; he will give me more light and knowledge when he thinks it well to do so; that is his affair; I have placed all my spiritual progress in his hands; it is, therefore, enough for the present for me to accuse myself of a few daily faults, as God gives me to know them, adding to them a sin of my past life."

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.thisBibletalksblog.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Faith in Action

Christians come from a long tradition of caring for the poor and the homeless as an integral part of their “faith in action.” From the years 1817 – 1872 comes an inspiration that reaches out to us even today in the life of Maria Luisa Merkert (photo). Born in Nysa, now Poland, Maria and her sister Maltide received a solid foundation in their faith from their widowed mother. Both girls entered adulthood inspired to seek a religious vocation. Upon their mother’s death and still in their twenties, both sisters devoted themselves to the care of the poor, the ill and the abandoned. Soon both joined with a Franciscan Third Order, Clara Wolff in her calling to visit the needy. Both had dedicated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There were risks to this life of poverty that both had chosen. In less than four years, Matilde died of typhus she had contracted in her nursing labors to the poor and needy. Maria persevered in her care for the sick and ultimately with Francis Werner, co-founded a group of women servants dedicated to the tending of the ill and the poor under the name, the Grey Sisters of Saint Elizabeth.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We must dare to go beyond our own self-perceived contentment …

For those who find comfort in their own lovely home, addictions (photo), in their own self-sufficiency and in their own ability to make money, win friends and influence people – for those who are already comfortable, “Comfort, O comfort My people” is irrelevant. Yet, we must dare to go beyond our own self-perceived contentment and realize how it is all perishable, it is all temporal – it will never satisfy. Temporary consolation will come – if that. We are all “homeless.” We are all estranged sheep in need of the Shepherd to comfort us. He will come and give us shelter, peace and safety if we will only yield to ourselves to be found and to rest without resistance in His arms.

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins." A voice is calling, clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear say to the cities of Judah, “here is your God!” Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes with care. Isaiah 40:1-11

PS. Have mercy on our street-side family and send a generous donation to our StreetReach homeless outreach providing food, prayer aids and clothing this Christmas. Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc., P.O. Box 42001, Los Angeles, CA 90042.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Suddenly on the Skids

Today in the Los Angeles Times, artist, Robert Carter published a thought provoking ½ page color painting depicting a modern (similar to this look - see photo) “yuppie family” standing alongside homeless beggars in a “Free Soup for the Homeless” line. The article by David Colker, “Suddenly on the Skids” introduces recession readers to the number 211. It’s like 411 or 911, except you use it when you are in financial distress and in the threat of becoming homeless. 211 is suddenly receiving calls from families, who just a few months ago were making 70 – 80k a year. Now, 211 is the new consumer information guide for people in financial peril. It is available in most SoCal counties and is available 24/7. The staffers have the ability to refer callers to emergency shelters, food supplies and much more. One woman, a caller to 211 reported she had to sleep in her car the past four nights. After told that there are shelters for people like her, she said, “I thought shelters were only for people who are homeless.” Executive Director of LA County 211, M. Marin said the number of calls received each month has jumped from 30,000 last year to just over 50,000 now.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Keys are in the Suffering

About six months ago, we set out to ask readers about the problem of suffering. Certainly most of us have experience in this regard. One does not have to be homeless to encounter suffering, although it is quite prevalent in the lives of the poor. It appears as though the keys to sanctification and the keys to personal growth are in the suffering. The keys are hidden more in the valleys of our lives … more so than on the mountain tops.

The question was asked … Do you believe that the many forms of personal suffering in this life play a positive role in an individual's sanctification and that overall we should rejoice in trials and suffering?

There were 44 respondents - 81% (36) answered “Yes.” Only 18% (8) said “No.”

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Still Living out Jesus' Birth

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

For the homeless, it gets bone chilling cold and damp living under the bridges and in the alleyways of downtown Los Angeles this time of year. The chilly Pacific-driven winds and rains can last for days and catch many unprepared. On December 21st, Servants of the Father of Mercy will deliver winter supplies in conjunction with the celebration of Christmas and those homeless who are still living out Jesus’ birth; “There was no room for them in the inn.”

Within the next two weeks, we hope to acquire enough winter supplies to help 150 men, women and teenagers on December 21st. By giving alms, you can help too. Invite family and friends to help as well. You may choose to assign 100% of your donation to any of the following needs:

* Sweat pants and sweat shirts
* Athletic socks and underwear
* Blankets and warm sleeping bags
* T-shirts
* Sweaters and jackets
* Tangerines
* Bottled water
* Packaged individual snacks
* Bibles and prayer aids

Also, you may wish to support SFM administrative costs that keep the organization growing and giving - for such things as phone, internet, office, etc. Indicate that as well if you are donating to help SFM serve. Please write us and let us know where you wish your alms to go. Checks may be made out to …

Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
P.O. Box 42001
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Also, you may wish to participate in helping SFM to deliver the supplies. Email us at Contact@ServantsoftheFather.org in order to reserve your spot on our team in helping with this StreetReach.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

May Charity be the Root

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, and may charity be the root and foundation of your life. Amen. Ephesians 3:17

We pray …
Lord, hear the cry of the poor!

For all those who choose to become wealthy at the expense of the poor …
- grant them conversion of heart.

For all those who regard the poor and homeless as nuisances rather than a blessing and a gift …
- open their eyes, open their ears, open their minds.

For those heroes in our country who care for the poor with little thanks and little reward …
- grant them the reward of eternal life.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

One of those Rare Gems in Christian History

Saint Martin of Tours (b. 316) is one of those rare gems in Christian history that 1,700 years later, still points us to the real face of Christ in the world - the poor, the misunderstood and the forgotten. Martin is remembered for many stories, but one in particular is striking. One day he encountered a shivering beggar and immediately stopped, tore his warm cloak in half and compassionately gave it to the man. We assume that he did say to the man, “When will you get a job?” or “Here is a quarter.” In a dream that night, Martin learned that the beggar was Christ himself in the distressing disguise of a homeless man. St. Martin, all his life never lost his love for the poor or a life of uniting with them in personal poverty.

[Jesus said,] "But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." Luke 14:13-15
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Lord is an Abundant Helper, an Ever-Present Help in Time of Need

Psalm 146

Sometimes, when life gets so complicated and distressful all around us we ask - from where will come our help? Will it come from a friend, spouse, brother or sister? After a bit of maturity, we ultimately realize this is a lonely journey. In the end, when we are sick, lonely and especially when we are dying we discover no one can go with us, but One. Blessed is he whose help comes in the name of the Lord! We repent of our unmerciful ways. The wicked He will not help. The humble and the repentant, He will raise up.

R Blessed is he whose help comes in the name of the Lord!

Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being ... R

How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God.
The God who made the heavens and the earth.
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry … R

The LORD sets the prisoners free.
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous;
The LORD protects the strangers … R

He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
The LORD will reign forever! R
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 28, 2008

11 Year Old Brenden Foster's Dying Wish

Today, while celebrating a belated Thanksgiving meal with homeless family, the conversation drifted not to the talk on the streets, but we marvelled at the recent words of a child.

On November 21st, reporter Elisa Jaffe for Seattle’s KOMO TV 4 reported the story of Brenden Foster, “an old soul in an 11 year old's body.”

"I should be gone in a week or so," 11 year old Leukemia patient Brended Foster said calmly.

But most profoundly, this young boy surrounded by symbols of his faith – a crucifix and statues of saints, said that his dying wish was to help the homeless.

"They're probably starving, so give'em a chance," he said, "food and water."

But Brenden was too ill to feed them on his own. So volunteers from Emerald City Lights Bike Ride passed out some 200 sandwiches to the homeless in Seattle.

Then Brenden's last wish took on a life of its own.

A TV station in Los Angeles held a food drive. School kids in Ohio collected cans. People in Pensacola, Florida gathered goods.

And in Western Washington, Brenden’s home, KOMO TV viewers from all over took part in the Stuff the Truck food drive in his honor. Hundreds with generous hearts donated six and a half huge truck loads of groceries and more than $60,000 in cash to benefit Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline.

Brenden touched hearts all over the world. His wish came true, and he lived to see it. "He's left a legacy and he's only 11," said his mother, Wendy Foster. "He's done more than most people dream of doing just by making a wish."

Days before dying, Brenden surprised us with a sudden burst of energy. He wanted to get off the oxygen, hop out of bed and go buy a video game. Wise beyond his years, but still a kid.

When asked what made him sad, Brenden said, "When someone gives up."
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Thanksgiving, Grace Flows from Gratitude

Did "God shed His grace on thee?" On Thanksgiving Day, the homeless in America have many things to teach us who think we are rich. When the last meal was not as good as usual, I am thankful for what I was given - grace flows from gratitude. When the house requires more work than usual, I am thankful for the shelter - grace flows from gratitude. When going to work becomes a complaint, I am thankful for the income - grace flows from gratitude. When the mattress becomes less comfortable today than it was the night before, I am thankful for my bed - grace flows from gratitude. When my companions in life seem to bring more work than they bring joy, I am thankful for friends - grace flows from gratitude. On this Thanksgiving Day, the homeless in America have many things to teach us who think we are rich.
Adapted from HIA - bottom main page
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 24, 2008

O God, Please Hear Us!

Whosoever stops up his ears at the cry of the poor, he also will cry himself, but will not be heard. - Proverbs 21:13

For the homeless, it gets bone chilling cold and damp living under the bridges and in the alleyways of downtown Los Angeles this time of year. The chilly Pacific-driven winds and rains can last for days and catch many unprepared. On December 21st, Servants of the Father of Mercy will deliver winter supplies in conjunction with the celebration of Christmas and those homeless who are still living out Jesus’ birth; “There was no room for them in the inn.”

Within the next three weeks, we hope to gain enough winter supplies to help 150 men, women and teenagers on December 21st. By giving alms, you can help too. You may choose to assign 100% of your donation to any of the following needs:

* Sweat pants and sweat shirts
* Athletic socks and underwear
* Blankets and warm sleeping bags
* T-shirts
* Sweaters and jackets
* Tangerines
* Bottled water
* Packaged individual snacks
* Bibles and prayer aids

Also, you may wish to support SFM administrative costs that keep the organization growing and giving - for such things as phone, internet, office, etc. Indicate that as well if you are donating to help SFM serve. Please write us and let us know where you wish your alms to go. Checks may be made out to …

Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
P.O. Box 42001
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Also, you may wish to participate in helping SFM to deliver the supplies. Email us at Contact@ServantsoftheFather.org in order to reserve your spot on our team in helping with this StreetReach.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Reality of U.S. War Veterans

Reality Bites for Approximately 700,000 Men and Women -
More troops than those currently serving in the Mid East wars and conflicts...

23% of the homeless population is made up of veterans.
33% of homeless males are veterans.
47% are Vietnam Era
17% are post Vietnam Era
15% are pre Vietnam Era
67% served this country for three years or more.
33% were stationed in a war zone.
25% have used VA services.
85% completed high school/GED compared to 56% non-veteran homeless.
89% received Honorable Discharges.
79% reside in central cities.
16% reside in suburban areas.
5% in rural areas.
76% experience alcohol, drug or mental health problems.
______

More on the Internet
http://www.nchv.org/
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

May they be Imitated

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:33-34

Undertaking lives of charity, the saints lived out the Lord's call to serve the poor - as a result they are not to be adored, for that is for God alone - they are to be imitated. The saints consecrated themselves to the care of the sick, the homeless, the outcast and dying. In their mercy, they were shown mercy. In return for their heroic ability to follow Christ in His poverty - the saints were blessed with many gifts and favors from the Lord. May they never be adored - but may they be imitated in all of our lives, hearts, minds and souls.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your Emptiness will be Satisfied

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

All of the Christian rites and Sacraments use humble elements such as bread, wine and oil. These humble elements point to the profound humility, poverty and holiness of Christ Jesus.

We pray ...
Lord Jesus, through your humility exemplified in a manger and on the cross you revealed yourself as poor though rich. Lord you did not show us yourself as high and mighty, but as a servant. Lord, you continuously reveal yourself in the humble elements of the waters of Baptism, the bread and the wine of the Eucharist and the oil of Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick.

We reflect ...
Humility and humble elements do not make much sense to those who in their arrogance crave things of the world, riches and goods. The noisy lusts of the world deafen the soul. Our spirit hungers and it receives no relief. Many try to flee death in their arrogance by acquiring more things, by excessive work, shopping, sports and other addictions. However, these pursuits keep them from the humble knowledge of the Lord and His Sacraments. For the sick, the crushed and the poor, their humility allows them to readily welcome Christ into their lives. Their emptiness and need will be nourished and satisfied in the most humble elements of the Sacraments. These modest elements spell loss for those who are not being saved, but they are amazingly recognized by those who depend on them for eternal life.

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is it all about me?

This is the fasting that I wish: Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked when you see them. Isaiah 58:6-7
Let us pray ...
R Forgive us our trespasses, O Lord!

For being caught up in the trap that, "life's all about me."
- that I may find a way to help the hungry and learn that life's "all about helping others." R

For being complacent with the homeless.
- that I may move out of my comfort zone and get in the zone and see how the poor really live. R

For the times when I could have given my sweater or jacket to the cold and lonely.
- that the naked will always find warmth and comfort in my charity. R
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On being William, a Teenager and being Homeless, Part IV

By William Dominguez, 18
(Final Post of a 4-part Series)
Continued from Tuesday, November 11, 2008 …

After just a week, I got picked up by the cops one night because I was falling asleep in a shopping center in West Hills. They asked, "What are those marks on your arms?" I told them I was feeling suicidal so they took me to the hospital. I was happy because I had food, a shower every day and a warm bed to sleep in.

Because of my running away and drug history, I was sent to a locked-down group home in Culver City called Vista Del Mar. I stayed there for more than a year. Sometimes I would act like I was back on the streets. I wouldn't sleep or eat for a few days and sometimes I did drugs. I still get the cravings to do drugs, but I've stayed clean.

Finally, someone believed in me!

One time when I was 18 they pissed me off to the point where I just walked out the front door. One of the staff stopped me by the gate. But they didn't kick me out. I don't know why. I guess they saw something in me. They said, "William, we know what you're going through. We're going to work with you." I guess they knew I was frustrated. I was 18 in a locked-up facility with no family, no freedom. They thought I was a good person. holy crap. That made me feel weird. If they had kicked me out, I would have been on the streets for good.

A few months later I graduated from Vista. When I found out I was going to transitional housing, which is where older foster youth live, I had nightmares where I was back on the streets. I had been a screwup my whole life. I was worried that I'd screw up and get kicked out.

In transitional living I get more freedom. I can go out for 24 hours on the weekend and spend the night at a friend's house. It's still hard because I'm not used to having a roof over my head, being able to eat three square meals a day and having people that care about me, like the staff and my friends. I still sometimes want to AWOL but I don't. I'm older and wiser. I know I have no place to go to.

For the first time, I have plans for the future. I want to go to a trade school to learn roofing. I also want to get my own place soon. Then I'll have all the freedom I want. I know I won't return to drugs. I don't want to end up like my biological father in prison.

Like they say in the movie Friday, "You win some, you lose some, but you live. You live to fight another day." My past is part of me. It will follow me wherever I go, but hopefully it will be put in the past. Sometimes I don't regret living on the streets because it made me wiser. I know what I have to do to survive. I'm going to get a job and be somebody.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.ThisBibleTalksBlog.BlogSpot.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On being William, a Teenager and being Homeless, Part III

By William Dominguez, 18
Continued from Sunday, November 9, 2008 …

"Can I borrow a dollar?"

I had to beg for money. I would ask for 50 cents or a dollar. I'd say, "Can I borrow a dollar so I can catch the bus?" I asked guys with their wives or girlfriends because they were more likely to help a kid out. Some people would look at me and say, "What a waste" or "Get the hell away from me, you bum." The ones who felt sorry for me would give me money and say "Poor kid." On a good day, I made $40 to $60. I'd go get something to eat. Then I'd buy drugs, alcohol and cigarettes with the rest of it. I smoked a lot of cigarettes and crystal meth. Drugs were more important than food. That's how it is for addicts.

It was scary at times. One time I was hanging out with this guy who had done a stupid drug deal. Later, we were sitting on a park bench and the guy he'd ripped off came back and started shooting at us. I ducked and fell to the ground. It was an adrenaline rush. I saw my life flash before my eyes. Luckily, we didn't get hurt.

While I was homeless, I thought of myself as nothing. I had no feelings whatsoever. I couldn't see myself still alive because of all the drugs I was doing, all the stuff I was seeing, all the people I was ripping off. I was breaking into houses and robbing them. I was afraid I would get caught. I thought I would overdose or get killed. Seeing little kids with their families was hard. I wished I had a family of my own.

I don't remember exactly when or how old I was, but I moved to the San Fernando Valley because it was familiar. I also had friends from middle school there. Once or twice a week I would shower or get something to eat at a friend's house. I made sure to go to different friends' houses so they wouldn't find out I was homeless. I'd tell them, "No one's at my house and I don't have a key."

My best friend got me into a crew. A crew is like a gang but you can get out when you want and they do smaller crimes like tagging. Being in the crew meant a lot to me. They were like family. They gave me food, a place to take a shower and sometimes a place to sleep. I would sometimes tag with them. They gave me the name AWOL after I told them how I ran away.

But one day I was asleep at a park and the cops came by. They saw me and ran my name through the police computer. I came up as a runaway so they took me in. I was mad because I was used to staying on the streets and living on my own. I had been on the streets for a year. I didn't want to go back to a group home.

After that, I was in and out of 13 group homes. I'd run away or get kicked out for having dirty drug tests. Each time I left I thought, "Here we go again." I would stay on the streets for one or two months, sleeping in parks or churches, then I would turn myself in. I don't remember much about this time because I don't want to and my memory is messed up.

I do remember that I went back to my crew for help. But they turned their backs on me. They said they weren't going to help me because I had lied to them about God knows what. But my best friend from the crew, Tommy, knew I hadn't lied so he let me stay with him. But I felt like I was interfering with his life. I was wearing his clothes and eating his food. I felt bad, so I left and was all alone again.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night crying, wishing I had a family to go to. I regretted leaving Tommy's house. I thought about selling myself for food and money, but I didn't.

I hit a breaking point when I was at a party with Tommy. I got in a fight and some guy came behind me and stabbed me in the side. That was it. I called my social worker and got the number for a runaway shelter in Hollywood. I stayed there for two months. I went to Narcotics Anonymous to get help with my drug problem, went to therapy and got my stab wound healed.

Then I was put in a foster home in Pacoima near San Fernando. But my rival crew was in the area. I got into fights and got threats every day. They'd say, "I'm gonna kill you. Get the hell out of this neighborhood." My foster mom didn't do a thing about it. So I ran away from there, too.

I felt really jacked up in the head when I realized I was going to be on the streets again. I was really scared that I would go back to my old ways of drugs and alcohol. After spending so long on the streets I felt like I had lost my mind. I had been stabbed. I had been shot at. I had seen people get shot and die or die from an overdose. I was tired of it. I started stealing and cutting myself and trying to overdose. I wanted to get caught. I wanted to die. To be continued …

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
LIST – Yourself as a blog “Follower” middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.ThisBibleTalksBlog.BlogSpot.com

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On being William, a Teenager and being Homeless, Part II

By William Dominguez, 18
Continued from Saturday, November 8, 2008 …

I was in three group homes over the next month but from each one I went AWOL. I would hang out on the streets by myself until I got stopped by police for being out past curfew. The cops would bring me back to the group home, but the staff wouldn't take me back.

Running away was my first instinct

Then I was placed at a group home in Pasadena. It was cool because the staff listened to my problems. I stayed there for a year until I got caught with weed. They said they were going to kick me out. I thought that was unfair because it was nothing big. It was only weed. I was mad so I went upstairs, packed my bag and left. I took the bus to my friend's house in downtown L.A. As always, I didn't know how long I was going to be on my own.

I liked it at first. The freedom, drugs and everything were freakin' great. My friend's mom told me I had to get a job to help with rent. I tried to get a fast-food job or anything I could get. I filled out applications and asked if they had openings. But no one wanted to hire a kid with no education and who was a runaway. So after a few months, my friend's mom kicked me out.

I went to MacArthur Park near downtown. It was cold and smelled really bad. There were a lot of drug addicts and jumpings. I'd make friends and they would be like, "You wanna get high?" I started doing crack cocaine and other drugs like crystal meth, coke and speed. I had never used those drugs before, but when I was on drugs, I didn't worry about falling asleep, getting caught or eating.

When I wasn't high I would go to the library and go to sleep far away in the corner. Sometimes on Sundays I would go to the park and play basketball.

At night I would sleep in the jungle gym, in the slide that was a tube, because it was warmer. When it rained I would sleep under the freeway bridge. Once in a while I could get a good night's sleep. But other nights I couldn't because I was worried about getting caught by the police. Every now and then I would hear gunfire and it would keep me up at night.

My clothes were dirty and ripped. I smelled like piss and body odor. I would eat out of garbage cans or steal food. Before I started living on the streets I was a good 135 pounds. I lost a lot of weight. I looked like a twig. I would go a few days without eating. For the first couple days I would be starving, but on the third day the hunger went away and I couldn't feel anything. To be continued …
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.

BECOME - a blog "Follower" middle right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On being William, a Teenager and being Homeless, Part I

By William Dominguez, 18
In 4 Parts

Maybe you have seen those smelly homeless guys asking for money. But did you ever stop to think that one of them might actually be a teenager? I spent a year and nine months on the streets. What I saw and experienced, no teenager should have to go through.

I grew up in an abusive family. When I was a little kid, I would stay out as long as I could around my neighborhood and at the park to avoid getting beat by my dad. When I was 5, my dad burned me on the stove and I was put into foster care.

I spent eight years in one foster home in the San Fernando Valley. I liked it. It was actually a normal family. We had dinner together. But I'd still get sick of it sometimes because I was the middle child and would get blamed for everything. I also got into fights with my foster parents over stupid things like my room being clean or homework. Sometimes I would run away for weeks and go to a friend's house. I was used to running away. The streets were like my home.

But when I was 13, I was taken out of my foster home. Social workers said there wasn't enough food or clothes and supposedly my foster dad was beating my little brother and sisters. I was sad to leave and surprised because I didn't think those things were true. I was placed in a group home where I lived with five other foster youth.

Going to a group home after spending so long in one place was hard. I didn't like how the group home staff didn't care when I told them I was getting picked on by the other kids because I was the new kid in the house. To be continued …

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jesus was Homeless

Jesus was both poor and for much of his life he was also homeless; practically from his birth as he was born in a barn because there was no room for him in an inn. He had a lower-class upbringing, as a cabinetmaker's son. That was a trade usually marginal and itinerant in his time. He chose his followers from the lower class, from fisher- men, dependent on the season's catch, or from a despised trade (tax collection for the Romans). There were no Scribes or scholars of the Law in his following.

Jesus not only favored the homeless, He was himself homeless, born homeless and living homeless during his public life, he said … "Foxes have lairs, and birds have nests in air, but the Son of Man has nowhere to put down his head" (Mt 8.20). He depended on others to shelter him. He especially depended on women, who were "second-class citizens" in his culture. He was not a philosopher. He wrote nothing for his followers to come. He depended on his uneducated followers to express what he meant. He knew that the Spirit moving them had no need of men with Ph.D.s or with grants from learned foundations (1 Cor 1.20). He was born homeless and on the run, fleeing Herod. He was buried homeless, in a sepulcher that was donated last minute by another. That is the true story of the Lord Jesus - stripped bare of modern trappings, crucifixes, altars, gold and mystical glamour - behold you King!
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let us Pray ...

But it was for our sins he was wounded, and for our evil doings he was crushed: he took the punishment by which we have peace, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Let us pray to the Lord Jesus Christ our Healer:
R Grant healing, Lord, grant peace.
* To the victims of hate, gang violence and physical abuse: R
* To the bitter, confused, anxious and persecuted: R
* To the kind who find no kindness from others: R
* To the compassionate who meet no compassion in others: R
* To the lonely and cast aside who still choose to love and forgive others: R
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Lord is compassionate and so we too must be the same!

Thus says the Lord, you shall not molest or oppress the immigrant, for you were once immigrants yourselves in the land of Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate. Exodus 22:20-27

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.ThisBibleTalksBlog.BlogSpot.com

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The homeless schizophrenic man off his meds, who says he is Jesus Christ, is Jesus Christ “in a distressing disguise”

"Jesus has come to reveal to us the merciful face of the Father. In a world of suffering and violence, of injustice and pain, the love and mercy of our God is manifest to us in Christ. He has come to reveal the Father's love and mercy for all, especially those in pain and in want.

"We who are His Church are called to carry out these tasks in today’s world. The concept of a preferential love for the poor is not a modern concept. In the Gospels the poor, the sick, the marginalized, are the protagonists, and Jesus defines His mission in terms of being sent to bring glad tidings to such as these. Jesus tells us that he prefers mercy to sacrifice.

"The homeless schizophrenic man off his meds, who says he is Jesus Christ, is Jesus Christ “in a distressing disguise,” as Mother Teresa used to say. Jesus is present to us in the least of our brothers and sisters. He is with us in the hungry, the poor, the Alzheimer’s patient, the unborn, and the homeless person with AIDS, all of whom have a claim on our love. He is here where two or three are gathered in His name. Here we recognize Him in the breaking of the Bread and in His Sacraments. We recognize Christ present in His Church. We must not only look busy, we must be busy fulfilling the great command He has given us to carry on His mission."

Excerpt from the homily of Cardinal Sean O’Malley on the
occasion of his installation as Archbishop of Boston
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 31, 2008

Picturesque America New Poll

From sea to shining sea and from the rolling green hills of Ohio to the prairies of Nebraska, many American churches rest in lavish pastoral communities far from the poverty of our cities. Today, HIA launches a new poll. We ask, "how is Picturesque America doing?" In your opinion, what is our record on serving the poor and the homeless from the calm of our pristine settings? Please scroll down towards the bottom of this main page and respond to the poll …

In my opinion, the poor and homeless prompt this reaction from the average established Christian congregation worshiping in a common middle class American suburb today.

** Homeless? Are there many? I haven’t seen any here.
** We organize an ongoing food pantry, clothing drives & more!
** There was an outreach last Thanksgiving.
** We write a check to the Rescue Mission at Christmas.
** None of the above.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why we Love others ...

Love is sufficient of itself; it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in the practice. Of all the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one in which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be. For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return. The sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him. --Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.ThisBibleTalksBlog.BlogSpot.com

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From Foreboding Foreclosure to Homeless – 18 Tips to Prepare

Foreclosure pending? Planning to be homeless soon? You will need to know alot more than 18 tips, but this is a good start ...

1. When you know you are about to be homeless, you should take as little as you can, but as much as you need - no more than one bag per person.

2. Get with all of your children and decide what clothing they will need. They will need mostly warm clothing, but also have the ability to dress up or down in layers, depending.

3. Gather up all the storable foods you can find in your home if you still have a home. Don’t take foods that require refrigeration.

4. Foods that are good to take are canned beans, soup and canned meats, canned Spam and potted meat. Vienna sausages and canned ham that is cured and doesn't have to be refrigerated are good, too. Bread should be kept for sandwiches.

5. Have games ready for those times when the kids get annoyed with each other and bored with riding. For faith and encouragement, have some Christian CDs to play in the car, assuming you still have one.

6. Rest areas are a good place you can stay for a little while. If you get to know the park ranger, he may let you stay indefinitely. One family I heard of stayed a month in a park.

7. Make sure you always have enough gas. You do not want to run out of gas in a strange area, especially at night.

8. Stay close to truck drivers. If you are in trouble, they will look after you. They stick together in most situations. It is like travelling with family. They know what it is like to be homeless – they live on the road most of their lives.

9. When you arrive in the city you wish to live, find a place to rest. For instance, sleep in the parking lot of a well known superstore.

10. Large parks with lakes are great places to camp out. Of course, they usually charge you a fee. Park rangers can be unkind, but with any conscience, they may come around and be your ally.

11. Have some way of cooking. Don’t make huge bonfires; it draws attention – just very small fires to get the job done for you and your children.

12. Don't be too loud and let your children run around without supervision. It draws attention and you become more of a liability.

13. Remember, being homeless draws attention from city officials, too. The Family Services people may come and check on you. Make sure you have school books and impress them with how well you are homeschooling your children.

14. Acquiring a job can be difficult when you have only freezing cold water coming from a lake or a gas station bathroom. If bathing outdoors, it can be dangerous. Not only do you have to watch out for wild animals, but strangers wandering up, as well. This is why it is never a good idea to go to the park bathroom by yourself.

15. At night, there are wild animals that prowl in most remote places where there are woods. In this case, have family members take turns doing watches in the night. It is commong to see wolves, foxes, bears and mountain lions. They are looking for food and leftovers. Always seal and store food in the car at bed time. Have the night "watchman" use a powerful flashlight to ward off animals. Don’t flirt with deer or other “cute” wild animals, they will bite and charge you!

16. Remember, it is better to be homeless in a small town. People tend to be more helpful. You need to find out where they have places to help people in your situation.

17. Get a job where you can. That doesn't mean a bad job or indecent job. This means if a fast food restaurant is where you have to work, do not be ashamed. Do whatever it takes to feed your family without lowering your standards.

18. The one important thing to remember...."never lose your faith". Jesus and his mother and father(there was no room in the inn) were homeless too, they understand what you are going through. Pray, and the Lord will come to your aid. Believe in miracles!

Adapted from a writing of HarleyAngelBrat, a mother of faith with seven children, a writer and who personally understands family homelessness.

_______
VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eager?

Immediately after the death of Jesus around 33 AD we know that Peter and the apostles remained in Jerusalem. It was here that they were entrusted with the good news of the gospel for the Jews, announcing to the people the continuation of Christ’s mission - that he had come to “preach good news to the poor and to set the captive free” (Luke 4:16-21). From the day Jesus commissioned himself in Luke 4 and then the apostles - they were always to be first and foremost mindful of the poor.

Later, the Apostle Paul, by the year 38 AD carried on the same mission to share the gospel with the poor, but specifically those among the Gentiles. Paul states in Galatians 2:7-14, “And when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me, James and Peter and John, who were reputed pillars, gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised [Jews]. Only, we were to be mindful of the poor, which is the very thing I was eager to do.”

Today, we continue the same ministry of Christ and His church pillars, Peter and Paul – meaning we first and foremost are required to have preferential treatment for the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the lost and forgotten. Like Paul, are we “eager” - mindful of the poor in our lives today, this week? Are we personally continuing the core mission of Christ’s journey?

______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – www.ThisBibleTalksBlog.BlogSpot.com

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Isaiah 66, the “Route 66” to Heaven

Thus says the LORD, Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things. Thus all these things came into being, declares the LORD. But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:1-2
Let us pray …

Lord, you said about the humility of little ones, “For thus is the kingdom of heaven.”
- Grant homeless children everywhere food, water, clothing, shelter, peace and safety.

Your compassionate Mother prayed, “For God has looked with favor on my lowliness.”
- Look mercifully upon the lowliness of all broken mothers living in poverty on our streets and supply all of their needs for today.

Dear Jesus, when you taught us to pray you said “Our Father” and “Forgive us our trespasses.”
- Teach fathers the humility of forgiveness, patience, kindness and compassion with their sons and daughters and through their charity and example, end the cycle of homelessness among abused teenagers.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!

http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poor, Prisoner, Oppressed, Immigrant, Orphan, Hungry & Blind the LORD Comes to Save

And Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18

Psalm 146
Praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul…

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,

the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,

the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.

The LORD watches over the immigrant
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked...
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Dumbing Down of America?

Chris, a longtime HIA reader and a frequent messenger of mercy to the poor and homeless in California sends to us this Business Week cover story, August 6, 2007 edition: The Pet Economy – Americans now spend $41 billion on their pets.

The article reports that Americans are doling out $41 billion a year for their pets - everything from gourmet and designer foods to Fido’s nose job. What that basically means is that a lot of humans are getting rich and people’s priorities are all messed up.

American society has evolved to the point where each year there are 3.5 million homeless (about the size of Phoenix, AZ) being ignored. We have human beings who are not even basically housed, fed or clothed. Yet our pets are essentially living in the lap of luxury.

Increasingly, Americans are making the choice to pamper pets that do not have the thinking capacity to understand designer differences. For instance, they cannot comprehend the difference between nourishing wholesome dog food and hand crafted, glazed and decorated treats – ones that are handsomely boxed and laid to rest on festive tissue paper; the latter of which can easily cost 10 times the former’s price. Some have gone so far to say that expensive and irrational choices such as these are another validation of what is popularly called, “The dumbing down of America!”
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear God

Dear God, there is no place like home, so help me with this prayer. I bring to you a brother in need. He is beloved, Divine and has talents within him to express and share. But he does not know this. He lives on the street and eats out of garbage cans. For living this wretched life, I have blamed and mocked him. I do not know his name, but call him “Homeless”. I do not know what has injured him. In fact, I do not know him at all. I have only seen him—sleeping in doorways, wandering aimlessly—staring up at me with hollow eyes. He barely survives. My blaming cannot stir him from his pain, but only increase it. So I release all blame now and call for your compassion to fill me.

Lord, I am so grateful that I have a home; that I have a place in which to eat, bathe, rest and love. I cannot imagine the chaos of living without one. Intervene on behalf of this beloved one. He is so dear to you and has so many faces—male, female, teenager, toddler, boy, girl, old and young. Fill this one with the most intimate knowledge of your love. Enter the hearts, minds and bodies of my brothers and sisters, and awaken within them knowledge of their holiness and gifts. Fill me with compassion for their journey and use me in your love and care for all so that many will no longer be known by the name “homeless” because you sent me – they have me, the hands of Christ to embrace them.

And so it is … Amen.
______

VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Something many People may not be Ready to Hear; Angela of Foligno tells us how to Know God

On one occassion, Blessed Angela of Foligno (a wife, mother and mystical writer who died in 1309) was asked why one should embrace poverty, suffering, and contempt, she replied ...

"One must know God and oneself ... From these [poverty, suffering and contempt], one begins to attain to knowledge of God ... Christ, the beloved always had, always loved, and always practiced poverty, suffering and contempt. Therefore, like Christ, the one who loves Him should always love, put into practice, and posess these three things."
______


VOTE – Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT – Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! –Top, right column.
INVITE – Friends and family to Subscribe!
http://www.homelessinamerica.blogspot.com/
Visit – http://www.thisbibletalksblog.blogspot.com/