Saturday, August 05, 2006

A View to the Future of B.A.S.I.C.?

Kevin Tells a Good Story

The Homeless Guy tells a story about a chronically homeless person getting off the streets in his area. There are a few key things to recognize about this story, that you must understand before you will understand what makes this story so encouraging to me.
1. It was a church that helped this guy. It's OUR JOB as Christians to address social problems, not the government's.
2. They got him off the streets right away. This is similar to the Housing First approach some social groups are advocating these days. I like the idea cause it's GRACE BASED!! intentionally or not.
3. The person they helped could be classified as "Chronically Homeless". The chronically homeless consume a large percentage of social services. Getting them off the streets makes sense! Most of the services they receive do nothing to enable them off the streets. They merely survive the day.

So read, enjoy, etc.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Getting Some Perspective...

I often wonder what street life does to change your outlook on Life in general. This radio show might be able to help me understand what's going on.

The internet changes things. Kevin in Nashville can give his thoughts, I can blog from the livingroom while watching my daughter. News is everywhere.
Strange days, I tell you what...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MARK MY WORDS (Babylonians, Friends or Foes?)

In the Book of Daniel,
King Belshazzar of the Babylonians received a message concerning the abrupt end to his kingdom and reign because of his unrighteousness. The experience is permantly recorded in Daniel chapter 5.
Of course, you knew this was going to happen because you read the book of Habakkuk.
God saw the injustice of the Babylonians, and was not willing to tolerate it.
Let's review:
There were six things that Habakkuk saw that made him question God.
God answers by saying that he would send the cruel Babylonians to punish the Israelites. The fall of Jerusalem, and divine judgement against the nation can be read in the book of 2 Kings 25. This telling history speaks a little bit of the cruelty the nation of Judah experienced at the hands of the babylonians.
Habakkuk questions God again, asking :

Hab 1:12-13 Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof. (13) You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and are silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
Now God actually told ole Hab that God was going to do something unbelievable! It seems strange sometimes that God uses the unjust to punish the unjust. In the end, I believe what we see is a working together for the good of the Called (Romans 8:28, 29). God does not just let the punisher escape either. He promises destruction comes to Babylon as well in Chapter 2.

Hab 2:8-12 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them. (9) "Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm! (10) You have devised shame for your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. (11) For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond. (12) "Woe to him who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity!

That's a summary of the destruction God brings to Babylon. I want to back up a few verses though, because God has something to say specifically to those of us who question Him, His timing, and His tolerance of injustice (specifically seen most recently as the bans on the public feeding of homeless people in Las Vegas and Orlando)

(Hab 2:1) I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Hab readies himself to hear what God has to say. He knows and expects God to answer. This is important, because while God knows we have questions, He expects us to also be ready to give an answer.

(Hab 2:2) And the LORD answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

God has an answer, and He does not want there to be any delay or mistake in getting that message out. The message still rings out today, because God wants people to know what He has to say.

(Hab 2:3) For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end--it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

"wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay" This is the crux of this message for us: We are commanded to wait, God will not delay in His justice. It will happen at just the right time. Be patient! God brings His justice, even if it seems slow.

(Hab 2:4) "Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.

At B.A.S.I.C. we live lives of faith. That's how God commands us to live. Paul quotes this at least twice: once in Romans 1:17, and also in Galatians 3:11. We must live by faith, because ultimately, trusting in one's own strength is the thing that God condemns the most.

We feed the hungry in faith, knowing that God will feed us spiritually through His word!

Take care!


Interesting things I read today on Blogs:
Two Views Reviewed: "Christian Activism" - Should Christians integrate their faith in every aspect of their life, or is there some seperation that must occur? A Reformed perspective, interesting to read what other people are thinking.

Christian Carnival: A great list of things going on in the "Holy Blogosphere"

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

the 13th juror: Outsmarted?

the 13th juror: Outsmarted?

Jacqueline notices how the Food not Bombs people continue their efforts to feed, even by trying to avoid being in the park. Of course, the law does seem to state that feeding the homeless in "Public areas" is forbidden, but I can't confirm the exact wording of the law. Nobody has published the exact wording of the law...
I have not been able to find it either...
Have fun!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday....

What an experience downtown.
BASIC set a new high attendance record.
Rafael and I had the pleasure of serving 94 of Orlando's homeless people. Some people will think, gee that's a lot of people, but when you consider that Orlando has between 4 and 6 THOUSAND people on the streets at night, 94 seems like a small drop in the bucket. Don't get me wrong, it still feels like a lot of people. But when you stop and think about the real need, it sticks out at you doesn't it. What is 94 compared to 4000?
We serve because we understand that God changes people. God used one man to preach the word to people way way back in time, on pentacost. You know the story most likely, Jesus ascends into heaven, telling his followers to wait in Jerusalem and they will receive a sign. The sign comes and they go away preaching, but this was a special sermon. They were speaking in other languages. It was so new to the people who were standing around, they thought the apostles were drunk! Peter stands up and corrects their thinking. You can find his sermon in Acts the second chapter. His one sermon (coupled with the witness of the apostles speaking in tongues.) lead to the salvation of over 3000 people. If the same formula holds true, our 94 people (coupled with the witness of the church around them) could reach over 282,000 people in one day. That'd be a lot of baptizing!
I know that's a pretty rough treatment of the numbers, but one of the things we do at B.A.S.I.C. is help people understand that they have a role in the church. Our efforts in concert produce light in the community to show the way along God's path. We must remember, we follow a narrow path, so we need to shine as much light on it as possible!
One way we shine light is by providing the prayer requests of the homeless every week. We publish these online so that you can follow the command of Paul to the Galatians (chapter 6:1 ff) and bear one another's burdens. There were many burdens this week to share. Everyone of them is important, but there are a few I want to highlight. The first four requests come from the same family. That's right, BASIC served a family this last week, and by family I mean, a Mother, a Father, a son, and a daughter. The kids were between eight and eleven, and the mother was pregnant. The father had a bad knee, but had recently reaquired some work.

Here are all the requests:

*Mario Durazo: Housing, Gas
*Rosalee Patton: Housing, Gas
*Michaela Williamson: Housing
*Christian Patton: Housing
Leon Stephene: Yes for a Job
P King: Lord please forgive me. And bless us all here in faith of your son's blood. thank you
Johnny A: Pray for me and my family
Krystal Coleman: Health, Peace
Michale Sal : That he continues what he started.
James Stringer: Job (*He's a landscaper if you know anyone*)
Alphonso Ellis : Salvation
John Maguire: Please help me to get home
Baby Ruth Dean: Need a place to live les than $400.00 pay $350 monthly
Melvin Baylor: Looking for a place to live for no more than $400 a month for a couple. Me and my fiance (*Baby Ruth*)
James Stafford (*?*): Shayla, Kelly, Maryssa, and Keeli
James Massey : Money to buy rundown houses to fix up to resell.

So that's this week's prayer request. The special guy this week is Mitch, don't forget to click the banner at the top of this page to find out more about him, and our pressing needs for the week.