Friday, November 26, 2010

Inviting Heaven to Earth

"With every action, comment or conversation we have the choice to invite Heaven or Hell to Earth." - Rob Bell

"We think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." - Mother Teresa

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. In many places across the country the poor and the homeless were served a complete Thanksgiving meal in churches, halls and soup kitchens. Yesterday I experienced a unique situation when homeless men were invited to Thanksgiving dinner in a home filled with love.

This unique Thanksgiving dinner started in the mind of my friend Christie. She thought it would be a great idea to organize a dinner for those that didn't have plans or family to spend Thanksgiving with. It wasn't long before I began thinking about some of my homeless friends and what they might be doing for Thanksgiving. Prior to any of this, my friends Russell and Dani Holloway had asked me to take care of their dogs and home while they were away in Berlin, Germany. Long story short, Russell and Dani not only let us do Thanksgiving in their home, they were also more than willing to let me invite my homeless friends to come over too.

One lives in a car. Others live in the woods. It didn't matter to my friends Kelly, Jeff, Jane, Kristina, Ron, Christie, Mike, Momma, Terri and Michael. For just a few hours these homeless men were people just like us. Just like us they enjoyed a meal, conversation, friendship and love. Everyone was smiling, eating, talking and laughing. Everyone sat in chairs, ate too much and then ate some more. Everyone took home leftovers, hugged each other and said good bye.

Yesterday for just a little while it was hard to tell who was homeless and who lived in a home. Yesterday for just a few hours it was great to see my friends bring Heaven to Earth.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"F" Words at the Elton John concert


I've seen Elton John in concert two times. The first was over 14 years ago in Spokane, WA. I went to the show expecting Elton to do all of the rocking hits of my youth. He had another agenda. It was Elton and a piano. He spent most of the evening singing ballads. I spent most of the evening acting like a drunk bastard who yelled "Crocodile Rock" and "Bitch is Back" while friends and co-workers wondered when I would be thrown out of the show. I must have been terribly annoying to the woman behind me. She told me to "shut the F@#* up".

Last night was my second Elton John show. I'm proud to say that I wasn't blasted out of my mind and Elton was there to do nearly all of my favorite rocking hits. I discovered that when you're not drunk you can hear and experience other "F" words that are more positive, encouraging and healing.


During his latest tour, Elton was joined by aging musician and songwriter Leon Russell. The show began with Elton introducing his friend Leon. Elton described Leon as someone he looked up to and admired for many years. Elton's words of respect for his friend poured into the hearts and minds of the audience. Leon was given star status before he played a single note because of the words shared by his dedicated friend. Elton left the stage and let his friend shine in the limelight.

Before singing a song dedicated to his friend, Leon said this, "I thank Elton John for dragging me out of the ditch. I don't know too many people that would have done that." These words from Leon dripped with truth. I knew without a doubt that whatever ditch Leon was in Elton was there to drag him out.


It has been 20 years since young Ryan White died of AIDS. The photo above shows Elton and Ryan's mom with him in the hospital. During last night's show Elton discussed his relationship with Ryan and his family. Elton said, "Ryan and his family were the true definition of Christians because they forgave others." In a letter published on the 20th anniversary of Ryan's death, Elton wrote:

"I remember so well when we first met. A young boy with a terrible disease, you were the epitome of grace. When students, parents and teachers in your community shunned you, threatened you and expelled you from school, you responded not with words of hate but with understanding beyond your years."

Everyone including Elton John are drawn to living, breathing examples of true forgiveness. Yet when these stories are shared they seem so unique and rare. It made me think about what I'm doing to make forgiveness commonplace in my world.

"These cuts I have they need love to help them heal." -- Elton John

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Share the Love of Jesus with the Needy: December 18th

Looking for an opportunity to love the less fortunate during the Christmas season? See note below from my friends Ray and Susan Kelley at the Daytona Outreach Center.

"So lots of people have been asking what we are doing for the holidays...this year we are going to have one big event. It will Be December 18th in HollyLand Park in Holly Hill(FL). We will be giving away jeans, sweatshirts, hats and gloves along with tennis shoes and clean socks. Worship will go throughout the day with Ray bringing the Word just before a wonderful Holiday meal (Turkey with all the trimmings) all wrapped in the Love of Jesus!

There are many ways you can help so please contact Susan at or call the office at 386-255-2409. We have plenty of room for those who desire to share the Love of Jesus with the needy in our area.

Look forward to working side by side with you!"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Last Time

The photo above means something. It represents the last time I went on a walk with my son in our neighborhood before he moved away.

The photo above also means something. It represents the last time I had lunch at school with my son before he moved away.

Last night my son left in a moving truck with his mom to the state of Washington. His mom and I are divorced. Both of our families and many dear friends live in Washington. My son will be surrounded with many people who will love and look out for him. I am thankful for that.

See the photo below. It was the last time that Devon and I carved a pumpkin together before he moved away.

The last walk. The last lunch. The last pumpkin carved. It all means something to me. Memories that will linger. Moments never taken away. These moments and memories make me miss him more today.