Tag: People

Miracles on Skid Row

If you didn’t know…

Skid Row is a popular block close to Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. It is home to the homeless. Tents pegged everywhere, smells, garbage…and then men, women, and families.

It is home to some good people who made mistakes, good people with unfortunate storiespeople with good stories who made poor choices, and others.

Yesterday, I saw miracles on Skid Row. I saw miracles in the streets. But first,

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat… (Mt 25:35-42)

For about two weeks, the Holy Spirit seemed to pull strings inside of me, pointing me toward that end. So, instead of the regular dose of Sunday Service and Sunday Netflix, I decided to follow Him. And the entire day turned out to be one big divine appointment.

Its the miracles on Skid Row I wish to highlight today.

I got together with some folks who visit Skid Row each Sunday. We went out, set up a tent, and just worshiped God with guitars and all. I was told that the homeless don’t show until they start giving care packages. But, as we just sang, they started coming out. Some to worship, sing, talk, and pray with and be prayed for.

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Then, we stared giving out care packages – sandwiches, soda, apples, and water. Then this one homeless woman (in the photo) showed up. She was anything but ordinary. She prayed up a storm and blessed people and us too. Then, I met Mary. And this is where it all started.

See, Mary was standing by her cart on the other side of the street. I went to invite her and she wouldn’t burge. She kept saying, “Next Sunday.” Translation – never. It turns out Mary was broken inside. Lost all hope. Felt worthless. So, I brought stuff to her and just talked. Then Mary said, “I want pants. Do you have pants? Its cold and I ain’t got none.”

I told her I was going to ask but doubted there was any. So, I went back and asked and well, there wasn’t any. Right when I picked up some more stuff for her and walked over to Mary and her cart, a brand new pair of jeans all glittered up was in her cart. I was shocked and asked how that happened. She said, some random person came by and gave it to her and left.

???? Random person ???

As I walked back, a car pulled up and said I got stuff for you guys, pulled out some bread, a guitar, and pointed us to a backseat of Hand Sanitizers. And people, let me tell you. These good people with unfortunate stories love their Hand Sanitizers. They would kill for one.

Not long after that, car after car came by with more food, groceries and drinks. And I was like, is this the feeding of the five thousand again? The big one was roasted chicken. Wooo! It got through in a flash. But here’s the mysterious thing.

All those folks who brought stuff? We didn’t know them! I inquired and I was told they were not friends (but for one or two). Most of these kindhearted folks were just lovers of our Lord Jesus who saw what was happening and decided to unite in the pursuit of applied compassion.

And, I haven’t ever seen a homeless man serve God with gladness like one homeless brother who showed up to serve alongside instead of being served. It was humbling. He was diligent, making sure nothing was wasted. He would tell you point blank if something was good, if chicken bones was still enough chicken for someone and all that good stuff.

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He knew who needed extra and who had a wife or kids to take food to. I really enjoyed how others who came thought of asking for extra for loved ones and neighbors who they felt would never approach the tent for personal reasons.

When I reflect on the privileged service and conversations, I can’t shake the thought that some of these men and women in unfortunate positions who have had to make compromising decisions to protect or provide for loved ones –

may just turn out to be better human beings than me and some of us

This humbles me.

I chose to share this to give glory to God for inviting me to be a part of this and also to share this as a piece of the bigger story we the redeemed have a part to play in.

Lessons Learned or Reinforced:

  • Think baby steps. Take baby steps.
  • If you think its the Spirit. Test it. Go and do it and you’ll find out real quick if its Him or not. Sometimes, that’s the only way.
  • Swift and complete obedience with no reservations.

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~ One Love, One Spirit


 

 

Answer People NOT Questions

Hello folks,

This is going to be an excellent year.

When I was studying Torah (bible) with a Rabbi and while I was learning from Chabad in the Midwest, I came across a saying. And this quote has become one of my favorite and has been shaping my approach to communication since. It is –

A Rabbi answers questions but a Rebbe answers people.

A Rebbe is a Rabbi, but one who has an intimate connection to his God, his people, his people’s experiences, his community, his own experience, and a wealth of wisdom and insight from the God who made and knows the people.

For instance this is my version of a story of my favorite Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, taken from the book Seeds of Wisdom – 2, written by Mendel Kalmenson:

A young Rabbi who had a fledgling business came to see the Rebbe because he was feeling overwhelmed. He was hoping to find out where to cut back and where to focus. Instead, the Rebbe said to him,

Not only should you NOT cut back your activities, but you should increase your outreach efforts, your rabbinic work, and also your business.”

Now, tell me this. Did that answer the question? Did this answer even sound like it answered the person? Continue reading “Answer People NOT Questions”

THE MAIN ATTRACTION

Okay! Question.

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If you planned on visiting Hollywood and actually did, what would be a memorable experience for you? Would it be –

  1. Going up to take a photo at the Hollywood sign
  2. Hiking on the “Walk of Fame” on Hollywood Boulevard – OR –
  3. Actually walking into or meeting and talking with a Hollywood star?

[Share your answers in the comments]

~ $10 says you go for option 3 ~ (Any wagers?)

But, here’s my point.

A place is NOT about the place: its about the people in that place

[Me and Anthony Anderson chit-chating about life] Continue reading “THE MAIN ATTRACTION”

Honor among gossips? WHAT!

No, not really.

Honor is something that should dwell among us. A step further: it should dwell on our lips in what we say or what we keep ourselves from saying. Let honor fare better with us that among thieves. This coming from a man who has made so many mistakes in this area. Oh well…God help us.

Let’s cross examine Joseph (the dreamer’s) story. First, we learn that Joseph has dreams of ruling. Jacob loves Joseph more than his other children which sparks jealousy and hate. Joseph’s brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites (ironically my name is Ishmael) and the Ishmaelite’s sell him in Egypt.

We know Joseph rises in rank and is in charge of Potiphar’s house. Next, he is framed by Potiphar’s wife, he is put in prison, and years later, after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, he is made Viceroy of Egypt. It will be 7 years later when a famine (agricultural depression) hits and his brothers come to Egypt to buy food (1).

Woa wooa wooa…! What’s your point?

Okay! Why didn’t Joseph send an email back to Canaan to tell his father Jacob he was alive? I’m sure they had either Camel or Donkey telecommunication services. That’s how word traveled. Okay, maybe when Joseph was being transported by the Ishmaelites he was only a transaction with no rights. No big deal.

What about when Joseph was head of Potiphar’s house? He most definitely could have sent an e-mail (eagle/bird mail) to his dad. Why didn’t he? Even so, when he became Viceroy of Egypt, he could have gone back or sent a messenger: why didn’t he? Continue reading “Honor among gossips? WHAT!”