And the world goes round and round and round

I am more than amazed. I get requests for help from around the world. This one is for grace and patience to replace a ball joint on a BMW, that one is for a little girl that had her arm hacked off with a machete and then she was raped, bleeding and dieing. This one is for a better job and an apartment this year so they can move away from mom who wants the house cleaned and that one for food for a village that is starving. And Jesus hears all the prayers, knows all the secret thoughts and knows what to do. I certainly do not.

God knows I am an idiot. I think I know … everything and I often get so tired wrestling God that I just pass out. I want the kids to have food, the lame to walk, the blind to see (I lost an eye in Mexico) and though I used to want everyone to live forever, I am now content if they pass on to Heaven peacefully. I am tired of war and fighting and pain and suffering and … and …

I pray that you are at peace, maybe sitting in a nice comfy chair with family around. There are so many hurting and dieing and suffering. I pray, and pray, and ask God to do things that He knows to do but often does not. Come quickly Jesus. I thought that meant for the whole world but now I will settle for folks to pass into Heaven quickly and peacefully.

Today at the church, there was a wake for a dear woman of God who served her whole life and at the same time a meeting for disaster relief agencies while Times Square Church sent volunteers to feed the poor through our food and clothing handout. So many in Staten Island are in trouble.

I am praying for you. Like a fast forwarded movie, pictures go through my head of people I know and people who need help. I pause mentally on one or two but there are tens of thousands that made it into my prayers in 35 years of missions and study. And God knows all about it and them and billions I have not even heard of.

I am praying for you as you read this. Think on good things, if you can. If you can’t, cry out to God, you are being heard.

How quickly we forget!

Cold, I am blessed by the churches that go out of their way to rise early and prepare food. They drive to the disaster areas, park and start feeding those that come. No requirements for identification, they feed people. I want to do that and need partners. It can happen quickly but it requires the parts of the body, like fingers and thumb to come together to do this.

Today, the world wants to go on. Happy New Year, forget those in pain, forget others, I am doing ok. I am happy. I, I, I, but they have nothing. Jesus spoke these words to his family and to his church. He left his home and family and went to the streets and when he did go to church, they hated him because he pointed out errors and even beat the wealthy from the church because they wanted to make money off of God.

How many churches do I go to where they have coffee shops and book stores and sell things when there are people right here who have nothing. They have been wiped out by the storm. They are not professional street people but trying to keep the thieves from taking their remaining lives, their history, their prized possessions. A heater, a dehumidifier, the thieves are here to pick the carcases of the bleeding and hurt on the beaches.

Robberies have been happening and the things that were bought to help people have been stolen. If it were you, God would want to help you but he left it to us. It is in our hands.

Don’t get too comfortable in this world.

Christmas and it is happening around the world.

People are caught up in materialism and want to be appreciated, loved, accepted and “normal.”   study people and things and places and often wonder why it is, people deceive themselves into thinking that tomorrow, things will be better.

Sure, there is temporary pleasure and there are plenty of opportunities for folks to be comfortable but the things of this world are… well, they are temporary and the things that are coming, are coming for all of us.  Life, birth, death and the things beyond are there for all of us.  Each of us is living a life filled with pain and suffering.

I read the news.  War, famine and trouble nearly everywhere and yet, one family has … something and their neighbor, down the street or on the waterfront, has nothing.  If the pain is close, a close family member or someone we can mentally be a part of, we might deny ourselves something and maybe make changes in something but if we can (and with TV and the internet, we find it simple) we tone out and turn down the cries of the needy and ignore everyone we can for the sake of being happy or on our own.  Stuck in our own little area of the world, we seek to be happy and well fed no matter what the rest of the world is doing.

I just want to be … normal.  I want to have a family with friends and sit around on Sunday, watching football.  I want a house full of stuff and things I can have around, even if I never use them.  I want to be free of care and pain and if someone else is, I am sorry but I have my own broken fishing reel and my car needs new speakers.  Selfishness is acceptable for me but not for you.

When I am hurting and in pain, you should do something.  When you are hurting and in pain, perhaps a little more volume on the football game, some more chips and food and maybe, if I am feeling better, later, and have no immediate needs, I will drop a bit more in the plate at church or give away my new shirt (the one that does not fit anyway).

But, why should I care about them?  They are way, way, way over there and if they are right down the street, suffering from cold and exposure, what is that to me?  God did not make me just to deny myself and help others.  That is for the strange ones, those that are – out there, praying and fasting and living a life of solitude –

I watch as people go from poverty and pain to some success and become involved in materialism.  A little rest, a little folding of the hands and, oh yeah, turn up the volume for me.  No, I have that new remote control.  I have a car (next one will be better).  I have food (new appliances are on the way).  I have and I am happy and can no longer remember being poor and cold and devastated by that stupid hurricane or war or famine.  It really doesn’t matter, I mean … I was helped and am now comfortable, why go out of my way to help others?  It certainly is not my fault they are in pain, suffering from disasters or wars or famines or, well… whatever.  I am not my brothers keeper.

Still, if things go wrong, I am sure that there will be those “do gooders” out there that will give all they have to help me (again).  I deserve help.  So, please stop by the store and bring me some stuff so I can turn up the volume and ignore the pain, suffering and ugliness of, well… whatever out there.  I used to spend my time helping people but they just did not appreciate it.

Please, pass me the chips and a drink.  I am going to do something good but I have all these parties to go to.  I am not going to help those in need but I am going to go to the ones that have good food and are warm.  I am Ok and that is important.  Them?  I will think about them when I am one of them but right now, I think I will take a nap and forget about all that pain and suffering.

What does it take for God to move us?

Jesus told us to go to the ends of the earth. I have done quite a bit of trouble and find that most people want to build a cave (house, well protected that you can leave but others cannot get into) and the stay there. I was in a house recently that was fenced, had video surveillance and all of the windows and doors were barred. Reminded me of a really nice comfortable cave.

So, Jesus told us to go to the ends of the earth and sometimes the only way Jesus can achieve that goal is through … disasters. Yup, it took the crushing of the Jews in Jerusalem to make them leave and go to the ends of the earth.

It would be funny but only to a sadist. Hurricane Sandy caused untold damage and motivated people from all around the world to help. Yup, Christians had to go and in their going, preach the Gospel. Unprepared, untaught and certainly not willingly, people from all races, creeds and religions came together to help those that had been stepped on by life (God?). I listen to the volunteers and they come from everywhere and each has their desire to help and need to talk about what they believe.

I am in a Pentecostal Church that provides room for volunteers. I am housed with people from Rastafarians and Buddhists, Scientologists and just plain unbelievers of anything (so they say) and a lot of Christians who have to defend themselves and what they believe, even when they don’t really want to. I mean, who wants to come out of their cave.

So. Volunteer or not, you will go and do God’s work. You will either be prepared or un-prepared or just confused. But, you will go. You will go to the store where the Hindu fellow or girl sells you something or buy gas from someone who is a believer of Islam. Once you get past hello, you are into the weather and weather or not you are a well-prepared ambassador of Christ or maybe a confused candidate that misrepresents God to others.

Hrmmmm… Yer call baby. What are you going to do when God makes you an evangelist?

Reruns. Don’t worry, trouble is headed your way too.

Don’t worry, it is coming.  Roaming gangs of thugs with loade weapons (or not).  If you are not involved in major disaster relief, then you should study this instead of which actor or actress is sleeping with whom, or watching mindless shows on the TV.

Socialist equality means poverty across the board.  Socialist medicine means inadequate medical care for everyone.  Only those who are favored can gain medical care and governments decide, not doctors, who gets medicine and when.

If you are not prepared, then you will need our help.  We are prepared and headed to New York.  We spend our life preparing for bad times because as missionaries, we know that God is not going to come over the horizon and save everyone.  He gave the world to us to rule and reign by denying ourselves and serving others.  Don’t you get it?  Jesus did not plant mega churches and wear fancy clothes.  He left his home and family and beat people out of his church for selfish motives on their part.

Every time we go to help people that God slaps down, we try to remind them that it rains, snows and floods the good and bad.  Do you really think that everyone in the disasters is bad?  Do you really think that everyone deserves punishment?  How about Jesus?  He was not killed, He denied himself and gave himself up to be tortured beyond belief and to die.

If you pray, ask God to take me home.  I am tired of being kicked, stabbed, beaten and living in misery with others who have no choice.  Still, my Jesus is Lord and if he tells me to go to Hell, I will go gladly.  I owe him and love him and obey him because I know what He did for me.  Though he slay me…

Don’t be prepared.  See if you can make it through this life without pain, trials and trouble.

Headed to New York.  Going to those in trouble and today, what are you doing?  Perhaps getting ready for Christmas?  Worshiping God by building big buildings, singing dancing and laughing in fine clothes?  Don’t worry, when things go bad, missionaries, those who love Jesus, will come around and remind you that Matthew 25:31-46 is not a parable, joke or story to be ignored.


So sad

It is so sad,

More and more, when we go to visit people or contact people, we are met with “what’s in it for me.”  This attitude stops our friends from wanting to deal with people, especially people in need.  “What can I do for you,” is dead in so many places.

Once, while working in a very, very bad place, a crippled fellow came to me and asked me “What can I do for you?”  I laughed because I was dirty from sleeping on the streets so I could get to know people.  His name was Umpong, and I lamented the fact that I had no coffee.  “Cream and sugar,” he asked.  I told him yes and he went off, hobbling on one bad leg and using his one good arm to hold out to passers by.  He collected some money from those willing to donate to a crippled beggar and then he took the money and bought me a cup of coffee.  Is that it?  Is that the solution?  A president once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”  Of course, that is the basis for Matthew 25:31-46.  God is going to ask us, what we did for others.

It is going to rain, there are going to be disasters, pain and trouble, but what did we do for others?

Unfortunately, we are often faced with the problem of giving.  Yes, that can be a problem whe God tells us to be careful and to give when He tells us to give.  Often, it ends up in the hands of the greedy but there is nothing we can do but seek God and give where He tells us.

Today we are faced with this problem in several countries.  We have donations and want to give but need information.  Every time we are met with “What’s in it for me,” or “I am poor and cannot without a substantial donation first.”  Then we watch the door slowly close.  People often talk of their pain and trouble in trying to help us and that also closes the door.”  “Do everything as if you were doing it for Jesus …”  This is no longer important to so many but it is the key to God’s Kingdom, giving.

If we just had big money, then we could do so many things for so many people but, look.  There, the banks fail because of greed.  The missions close because they have big buildings and so many needs.  “We must have a million dollars or our million, million dollar operation will end.”  I have heard this so many times and have gone to so many churches that just can’t pay for their luxurious buildings and programs and then…

Then there is Umpong who brought me coffee.  He never did attend classes to learn business.  We offered but… He never did accept a house and place to stay with a laundry and kitchen.  He was satisfied just living and meeting the simplest needs of others on his simple little street in the middle of Hell.  I don’t know what happened to him but you know, When I was thirsty, he met my need without greed.

I have a young girl in need, surrounded and encased by greed.  Everyone I speak to wants money first.  She cannot speak English and I cannot find anyone to get her to the internet, translate for her and help her learn to care for herself and maybe… maybe she will have a heart to give and help others.

A friend was on a river in China.  There were many fishermen and one was hit and knocked unconscious, into the river.  My friend could not get to him because of the other boats and shouted for help.  He was met with many asking “How much will you pay me to help him?”  Unfortunately the man drown and people just continued to do their own thing.  A true story and a heart breaker as well.  If we cannot find those around Ruth who are willing to help her, we will watch her suffer and …  I don’t know …  I don’t know what God will do but the hands are out.  “Bless me, bless me, help me, then maybe I will help others.”  That’s all I hear in Church, the news and conversations around the world.

Look, we can feed the poor, take in all the strangers and clothe those who want to be clothed.  We can visit everyone in the hospital and prison if the Pastor would just start and end every thought with “Are you obeying Christs commandment in Matthew 25:31-46?  Instead, it is a plea for money to continue ministry that spends a very small fraction, sometimes to obey God.

Jesus indebted himself.  He said He needed to die for others.  Suicide?  Insanity?  His mother and brothers thought so.  They tried to have him arrested.  Would you go in debt to help someone you never met and do not know?  I will.  Perhaps you need money for your…  sigh…

I rarely see Umpong or his friends any more.  Begging to help others?  I am begging now.  I am asking you to sell all you have, give the money to the poor and change the world.  sigh…. can you hear me now?

The rich man was a pretty good guy

at least in his own eyes and probably his family as well. He must have been a repsected member of his community, being rich and all. I can imagine his religious services with the trappings, music and song and yet, I wonder. Did he give thought to the poor man at his gate? Did he stop to consider the people that carried his waste away or the lepers in town. i am sure that as the people came to talk to him about wars and problems he gave attention and maybe money but, there was Lazarus. Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. He cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.” But Abraham said, “Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.” So, today, as you wander around thinking you are doing God a favor, have you looked at those who are blessed by God as a matter of fact? Matthew 5, 1-11. Have you considered Matthew 25:31-46 and thought about your heavenly scholastic grade for last week, month, year? Sorry, I have to go, I need to help people.