Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Changing Places, Changing Hearts, Changing Seasons.

It's getting Darker earlier, and I can tell.
It's pretty amazing to watch the seasons change. I feel the restlessness of fall come upon me, and I am prompted to do certain things because it's that time. I am prompted to watch birds as they migrate, and to join others in this effort. I do it year round, but now I will actually make special trips to special places in an effort to see them through my binoculars. I will keep lists, an hope for things such as "cerulean Warblers" and "Lesser Yellowlegs". I have lifelists, statelists, countylists, and Lake Hollingsworth lists. It's not quite an obsession, just merely a tick, one that borders obsession in the fall. I also feel obliged to hurl lead at squirrels in an effort to acquire meat for gumbo. That's right, I am a hunter, and I love eatin' tree rat. We have a love hate relationship (squirrels and I) with an understanding that no matter what, if one of us sits still long enough, they can be considered food by the other. So far I have an advantage, but I know from experience that I should never sleep in the back yard... I also feel obliged to heed my Grandfather's exhortations to grab a spinnerbait, and chunk it when "the water turns on the bayou". It's a phenomenon you'd have to see to understand, but so far the biggest bass I've caught out of the ole muddy bayou was caught under such condition behind Henry Corley's momma's house. I was using a plastic lizard, but I've caught bass on a spinnerbait "out-da-by" too. Can't do that here in Lakeland though, for Bayou Beouf don't run over here. This time of year is when I miss Cheneyville the most.
I also think, what's going to happen this fall? Will Florida be warm, cool, hurricaned, or dry? All of those are valid options. It's a sobering time of year, because it is one of stark change, and great contrast. Gone is the single question of summer time: "is it raining or not"? Now we have to ask, is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a blowing (thank you Gene Wilder!) The snowing part is hyperbole, but you would be surprised as how cool seventy can be if you have to sleep outside, under the stars, and nothing between you and the dirt/concrete/park bench but your clothes...
We need blankets and pants.
That is the most important thing I can say now.
We need blankets and pants, Please.

Sunday update to come, right now it's important for you to know that:
We need blankets and pants, fall is here.
and what will fall this year?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

And Here is the Lesson!

here's the lesson I'll be giving in Sunday school. I will be preaching a shorter version tonite downtown.
Goodnite everybody!

1 Thessalonians 1

1. What are the three things that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy remember before God about the Thessalonians? 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3

2. How did they receive the Gospel? 1 Thessalonians 1:5

3. Why is the way they received the Gospel important to their congregation? 1 Thessalonians 1:4

4. What is the Job of the Holy Spirit in the world and to the believers?
John 16:7-14

5. Describe the faith of the Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8

6. How did the world regard the Thessalonians? 1 Thessalonians 1:8

7. What kind of life did they have before they converted to Christianity?
1 Thessalonians 1:9

8. When they turned from their former lives, what life did they begin to live? 1 Thessalonians 1:10


Friday, September 14, 2007


Ok, it's not of BASIC, but it is still relevant. I found this by simply googling "Homeless News" without the quotes, and finding a Blog that is about Homeless news.

Here's the video:

It's pretty good, but like anything, I don't agree with everything the video assumes. It's easy to assume that money is the primary way to fix homelessness, but I think the primary emphasis needs to be on prevention, and the problems that lead to homelessness are more complicated than mere money. Not to say there could be more money spent on the issue, just that there are bigger fish to fry, like world view transformation, justice under the law, personal sin. It's more important to get someone out of their comfort zone, both homeless and not, and get them to a place where they are actively seeking and doing God's will than it is to simply increase spending. If you are not homeless, and you are doing God's will*, I think you will find that something changes you to the point where homelessness stops being the problem, and homeless people are blessed by you, and they can turn and bless God because of you.

I think I want to write more about that, but for now, just sit and think about it. Sunday I'll be going downtown, Saturday I'll post my lesson for the trip, which is based on the lesson I'll be giving this Sunday in Sunday school at Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland, FL.
Until Next Time!

*I include this post to Arron Chamber's entry on a new program because I really like the WATER concept he is using for his young adults ministry. It's something that the whole church needs to read, understand, and realize that this is what they've been thinking all along. The part about worship really says something special to me. Read it, and the rest of his bloggings too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Creating Perspective

Much of what BASIC does involves "creating perspective".

Ok, let me define that: Creating perspective is the art and science of giving people the chance to remove their assumptions about anything. Once their assumptions are removed, and they have a chance to re-examine a situation and consider a different way of viewing the situation, then perspective is created. The goal is to understand that no one person knows everything, and that knowing everything about a situation is the only way one person can permanently judge someone's actions as being damning or liberating. Ultimately, this should lead to a service producing humility where one can obey the command to display a sincere love to others, even our enemies. Romans 12:9-13 says:
9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

I must admit, I have a hard time displaying love toward everyone. Seems like if I have a chance to ignore the situation of someone who either doesn't like me, or if I can find a reason to not like them, then I will ignore their situation, or pose some cutesy little paradigm to their situation that neatly absolves me from responsibility to help them overcome their sin.

What I need is perspective.

If I had the right perspective I would understand who my real enemies are. A couple of posts ago I asked a question about my enemies. I don't remember mentioning the names on that list. I mean, I suppose the only people who are my enemies are the ones who directly oppose the spread of the message of God. They are not drug addicts, prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, abortion doctors, or other "sinners" that many preachers preach against. I would say that most muslims are not "my enemy" because they are at least willing to talk to Christians and hear us out. This article is not about who is and is not my enemies though, I'm writing this so that hopefully you will understand what I mean when I talk about creating perspective.

What perspective do you need?

I know homeless people who need the perspective that they need to know me before they make demands of me. There may be very good reasons why I don't hand out money to them, even thought that's what they say they need. I know people with money who need perspective about homeless people, that they are not just hopeless alcoholics without morality. I know liberals who need to understand that Jesus really does need to be involved in the process of restoration. I have never met anyone who didn't have a comfort zone from which they examined the whole world, and thus missed out on something that is so obvious;

When you have the right perspective.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Downtown Live!!

I am downtown, live and in person!!
I had to ride around a little bit to let everyone know that BASIC won't be downtown next weekend but the weekend after. pluss I wanted to blow off a little stress on the ole trusty steed. So, I saw a goodly number of people and I handed out a bunch of the copies of the Gospel of John. I've had a bunch kinda locked up for a while and rediscovered them. I guess it was kinda my way of being sorry for not having food and clothes, although I have no reason to feel that way. I do long for a change from the ordinary. Sometimes I wonder if I'm building the right relationships. So much of what BASIC does right now is meet "right now" needs. I kinda get frustrated. It's good to ride when I think about such things because it is easy for me to forget here i am going the in the world. Helps me see. Plus traffic keeps me on my toes...

Well, I'm at Panera, and my truck is a little ways from here. I must go so I can get home. Hopefully, that means an earlier bed time, but I also discovered the presentation I am giving Tuesday has been deleted! That means I have to rewrite it. Yuck.

I love you all!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Sunday School Lesson

Hey all!
While I am not preaching this Sunday in Orlando, I am giving the Sunday school lesson today at Highlands Church of Christ. I would like to share it here with you so you can see it and so people can view it online as well. The text is from Psalm 129 and here are the nine questions I will be asking tomorrow!
1. How is the suffering of the children of Israel described in Psalm 129:3?

2. What are some of the afflictions they may have been facing at the time? Ezr_3:3; Neh_2:10

3. Why does the Psalmist declare the Lord to be righteous in Verse 4?

4. What does the writer ask God to do? Verse 5.

5. Who is in Zion? What comes from there? Psalm 2:1-6; 9:11; 14:7; 20:2; 50:2 What is the significance of being turned away from Zion?

6. When are some times that the children of God have faced an enemy, only to be delivered at the last moment? Acts 16:16-39

7. Name some of the enemies of the children of God: 1 Corinthians 15:26, 1Peter 5:8 Matthew 13:37-39; Acts 13:8-11; James_4:4

8. Can we continue to expect God to deliver us from our enemies? Revelation 20:7-15

9. Is God's blessing extended to those who oppose and frustrate the children of God? Verse 8

I'm not going to link all the other verse references, if you want that you will need the E-sword topic file from me!!!
It's free to use.
Any questions?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Extra, Extra Read all Ablog it!

This is the midweek news update!!
YEah I did it...
First of all, some personal news: As many of you know, Kelly is great with child, and we've been pretty nervous. I'm nervous at least. I remember when our first daughter was born and how trying of an experience it was, if only because of the nature of the emergency that was involved. Katie was born via an emergency c-section, and that means that little yet to be born Emma will have to be born by one as well. Yesterday, Kelly went to the doctorman again, and he said that they will probably do the surgery October 3. I don't know, but it just seems funny to me that we can plan our Kid's birth. The first birth wasn't planned at all though, at least.
Keep praying for us in this time!
Ok, so, some homeless news:
A lady we had seen from time to time named Venus Martinez was murdered late July. I found out this last Sunday. She was found near the spot we usta meet, as a matter of fact, we *Just* changed where we meet, right after they found her body. Word is that she was raped and strangled. It's been about a month since it happened, and I haven't been able to find any information about any progress in the investigation. I mention it now cause it's news to me, and I did know her...
... also, seems like the powers that be are deliberately focusing on Murdered Homeless People. I don't know this guy, and I don't Stephen King The Person He Murdered or why he was murdered, but I do know there are lots of communities like the one where this guy lived along the I-4 corridor that need some sort of constant community witness to the changing power of Christ.
NOTE: The link for "The person he murdered" contains comments left in Honor of King. It helps to make homelessness something tangible to see the impassioned pleas of people who either knew him, or researched him...
A little research can change the hardest hearts.
Here's a site with some interesting news about violence against homeless people toward the east coast in Deland: Police search for suspects in beating of homeless man it's good cause it deals with the latest, and it focuses on some of the past crimes in the area.
God please rip the callous off our hearts!

for the 2 coming Sundays I won't be going downtown to do food and clothes. This next Sunday I need to go shopping for BASIC. Hopefully there will be some back to school backpacks on sale! Why not buy two or three and drop them off at the church building? Sunday after Kelly is having a baby shower, and I'm on Daddy duty. So that's the news, I hope you were changed
Now get out there and Love somebody!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

God Loves You, me, Tina, and Steve!

Back from downtown.
Here I am, I didn't get too worked up, but I did yell. I wonder if you can guess the parts of the sermon that I yelled. I'll give you a hint. I really don't think that some things are fair...
Anywho. I served about twenty-four people Sunday Nite, me and God, and some of them helped eveyone. Things went really well. I arrived about six downtown, and was done by seven. I call that a perfect plan, even though it rained lightly the entire time. Somehow, the rain was enough to feel appropriate considering the subject matter of the sermon.
Let me give you an interesting God story about today. In my travels, I have to decide by the time I get to the end of my street tolls or no tolls. Paying tolls means I save half an hour sometimes in travel time. Not paying tolls means I save about $3.50. Hmmm. It's not really an issue right now, because I don't have any toll money!!! :-D Hooray for simplicity!
In my simplicity, I prepared to exit highway 98 onto I-4, and I spied some hitch hikers. Two of them to be precise, a man and a woman.
WARNING!!! I am not about to advocate picking up hitch hikers. There are just too many way to creepy Urban Legends to just go picking them up. I knew them both!!! I also knew they were homeless I recognized Tina Bishop right away. She's small... I didn't recognize Steve first off though. They are the ones mentioned in the title of the post. They had come to Lakeland for the weekend to give Steve's Kids some good news and they were on their way back. Well, I was able to give them a ride to Orlando in the A/C. God has great timing.

So: Here are the prayer requests:
Jack Bishop: Everything
Adrian Hendy: Things get better
Cathy: Grandma
John Santrock: My Grandma
Nelson Daniels: Need Job, Place to stay.
Mona Thomas: To fight hunger and pneumonia while it continues to rain.
Steve: That we make it through another day.
David Fahrmer: For my mother and for our safety on the streets.
Robert Duncan: Pray for my mother.

Nearly fifty percent participation this week on the requests! Hey, that ain't bad...
So. Everyone have a good week, I'll have some more news later.
God Bless you!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sneek Peek!!!!! aka: Sunday's sermon right now!!

Here's a copy of the sermon I plan on preaching tomorrow nite, read, enjoy, rip it off! Rip it up, I don't care, discussion is appreciated though.......
Thanks Bunches for reading it!
Do You Really Want it All to Stop?
An Adventure in Missing the Point

Text: Jeremiah Chapter 12
No news is good news, and I'll tell you why. Every time I turn on the radio or pick up the paper, something else has gone wrong in the world. Recently storms made tornadoes in Detroit city, I mean, Detroit! Hurricane Dean killed at least 12 people in the Caribbean, and everyday it seems like someone else is dying for what amounts to no real good reason. Do you ever feel like the world is broken? What about the people around you? What about the government? Why is it that Lindsay Lohan can be arrested multiple times for drugs and alcohol and spend less than 2 hours in jail, but you sleep in the bushes, and it takes three months to get a court date sometimes!?! It's messed up and I'm tired of it!
The bad news is that this is nothing new. I say it's bad news because nothing has changed as far as injustice is concerned. Things were messed up when the Bible was written, and I'll just go ahead and say that things will be messed up until they are made complete in Christ's Kingdom. No matter who is the leader, you will find injustice. Jeremiah the prophet lived in the middle of one of the most wicked times in the history of the children of Israel. There was rampant idolatry, manifesting itself in wicked practices like temple prostitution by both men and women, and child sacrifice. Even the kings of Judah, the very sons of David would engage in this horrible practice. This is what Jeremiah Says:
Jeremiah 12:1-4 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? (2) You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. (3) But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. (4) How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, "He will not see our latter end."
It is important to understand what we feel when we look around at all the suffering, and I think that this passage is one of many that shows that God doesn't expect us to keep living our lives without question why sometimes. The problem I think, and that this passage will show us is that many times when we ask for Justice, we don't really understand all that that implies, and that we often get more than we bargained for. For one thing, things here are in a state of constant flux, and everyone agrees that seemingly insignificant acts can lead to something with grave unintended consequences. I think God is doing something big, but it's something that is taking a long time in manifesting itself in the world. Things really are so screwed up God is going to have to use a do-over to make it right! As we look at this passage, I want us to see one point taking shape: Because making things right means making things over, let us brace ourselves for the change to come. To understand this, we first need to realize that things are not right, and it's not fair.

point one: The question has already been asked: how can an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God allow evil to go unpunished? Things really on the surface seem to be unfair. Jeremiah starts the passage off assuming that God is righteous, and yet he doesn't do anything about the situation. Jeremiah can see and record with his own eyes the atrocities of the people, even the leaders and priests are not innocent in the matter. First of all this isn't the first time Jeremiah has complained about evil people winning. Jeremiah 5:28 says that the wicked have grown "fat and sleek" by way of their wickedness. Read Psalms 73:1-12, or listen to this: "I have seen a wicked, ruthless man, spreading himself like a green laurel tree." That's what Psalm 37:35 says, the wicked just rest themselves, go check out Job 12:4-6, and Malachi 3:14-15. Jeremiah could say much the same thing today, just listen to these recent little news blurbs:
a. The eldest member of a young trio that beat and stoned a homeless man in March pleaded no contest to aggravated battery today.
Jeremy Woods threw a punch that sent John D’Amico tumbling into a wall March 27 in Daytona Beach. The 58-year-old homeless army veteran was then pelted with rocks and bricks by two 10-year-old boys, suffering a serious eye injury.
Woods, 17, agreed to a maximum sentence of 15 months in state prison with his plea before Circuit Judge Juliane Piggotte. He will ask for less when he's sentenced Sept. 6. The two 10-year-olds are now in juvenile detention programs. (From the 13th Juror Blog)
b. A Florida judge sentenced John Evander Couey to death Friday for the kidnap, rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford.
Couey, a convicted sex offender, buried Lunsford alive in two black trash bags with her hands bound and her favorite purple stuffed dolphin tucked in her arms, Circuit Judge Richard Howard said. Lunsford's body was found in a grave in Couey's yard about three weeks after she disappeared. (From Fox News)
Jeremiah wants to see the bad guy get theirs! He screams out in prayer, aloud to God, and on paper so that we can read it today. He asks God to set them apart for the day of slaughter because even the very land the wicked inhabit cry out against them. Today, I think it would be wise for us to pray like Jeremiah prays here, to pray to God to make things better soon, because it is so hard to stand. Also, I don't think we will be ready to hear God's answer to Jeremiah until we express the disgust in our souls. Good Lord, your righteousness is from everlasting to everlasting. You see all, and not even a simple sparrow dies on this earth without you knowing about it and allowing it. Father we ask you to no longer let the unrighteousness go unpunished. We ask you to bring judgement on those who continually do us harm. Do not delay in bringing judgement Father, our hearts are heavy, and we feel sick. In Jesus' Holy Name we Pray, Amen. Remember we are going to learn today that making things right means making things over, so we need to brace ourselves for the change to come. When I am honest to God about how I see things, it helps me get ready for how God responds to me. God's response is shocking in this case.

point 2: If we are going to pray bold prayers, we can expect God to answer boldly. Many of you missed my sermon called "shirt, tie, and mohawk" but in it I mentioned that Jesus likes to mess with us a little bit. In that sermon we saw Jesus messing with a blind man by rubbing dirt into his eyes and telling him to go wash! He gets that trait from God. God messes with people and in this text, he messes with Jeremiah by telling him that things are only going to get worse. Listen to the next part of the passage:
Jeremiah 12:5-13 "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? (6) For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you." (7) "I have forsaken my house; I have abandoned my heritage; I have given the beloved of my soul into the hands of her enemies. (8) My heritage has become to me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against me; therefore I hate her. (9) Is my heritage to me like a hyena's lair? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour. (10) Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard; they have trampled down my portion; they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. (11) They have made it a desolation; desolate, it mourns to me. The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart. (12) Upon all the bare heights in the desert destroyers have come, for the sword of the LORD devours from one end of the land to the other; no flesh has peace. (13) They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns; they have tired themselves out but profit nothing. They shall be ashamed of their harvests because of the fierce anger of the LORD."
Remember, today's sermon title is "Do You Really Want it All to Stop?" Listen to what happens to the children of Israel because of their sin. It's horrible! Consider Jeremiah, he didn't escape the wrath, he was a part of it all, all the suffering in Jerusalem, all the famine, all the killing. He was even kidnapped and sent to Egypt with some Jewish rebels. I really wondered when I studied this book, if Jeremiah would have run away sooner if he had really known he was going to be in the middle of it. Part of being a person who calls on people to repent is being with that people when they suffer, and suffering alongside of them, so what are you going to do? The little things affect big things: Consider what happens when the gov't JUST changes the mortgage interest rates. Stocks fall, houses go cheap, people lose their jobs, everyone panics! We want God to bring Justice, but let us consider what it would take to punish all the rebellion that's been going on since man started living in rebellion. I do rest, and comfort in one thing though: God fully intends to bring judgement. Revelation six nine through eleven says:
Revelation 6:9-11 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. (10) They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (11) Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
For the nation of Israel, God tells them that he plans on abandoning the temple in Jerusalem. This is significant to the people of Israel, it is, after all, what made them special. They had God with them! No longer would that be the case. God will bring about His punishment in his own time, and when he does, it is complete. I want to know why God Doesn't do it now though, I think I can find some pretty good reasons why not in the scriptures, especially in the New Testament: He wants To Bring the unrighteous to repentance:
2 Peter 3:1-10 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, (2) that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, (3) knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. (4) They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." (5) For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, (6) and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. (7) But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (8) But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (9) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
He also wants to keep His true people from stumbling and living in constant fear, think about Christ's parable about the wheat and the weeds:
Matthew 13:24-30 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, (25) but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. (26) So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. (27) And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' (28) He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' (29) But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Also, I think God withholds his judgement because He wants to teach us about loving our enemies:
Matthew 5:43-48 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' (44) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Sin is God's enemy. God will destroy His enemy completely. He desires us to restore ourselves with our fellow man because that's part of missing the point. Sin is what's wrong, and it is the sin that must Go! When we ask God to bring His justice fully and completely to this world, as we did earlier, we are really asking that He takes all the sin out of the world.

point three: I trust this will happen, over time, because this world is proof that God takes His time. As we continue learning that we must brace ourselves for the change to come, we need to remember that things are really screwed up, and that they are only going to get worse. This is good news, because even in the midst of all this evil, we can accept the lessons God is trying to teach us, and that God will bring us back to Him. Listen to what God says at the end of Jeremiah Chapter twelve:
Jeremiah 12:14-17 Thus says the LORD concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: "Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. (15) And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. (16) And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, 'As the LORD lives,' even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people. (17) But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the LORD."

God's punishment in this life is meant for one reason only I think, I think it's to bring purity. God tells the lukewarm Church of the Laodiceans in Revelation the third chapter: "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent." We would do well to heed that advice. If we do so, God will bring us to our heritage. God's children have a heritage and God will welcome us in it. God even tells the Israelites about us all. Listen again: "and it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, 'as the LORD lives,' even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be bult up in the midst of my people." God has a two fold invitation: that was His invitation to follow God and live. God also has an invitation to destruction: "But if any nation will not listen, then I wil utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the LORD."

Conclusion: Either way, brace yourself for the change to come. Expect judgement, if you will continue to live in disobedience. God will find you. You cannot hide. God did not spare the Israelites, not even one escaped judgement. You won't either. God will burn the sin out of you when the time is right. I want to live. I want you to live too! I would rather have my sins washed away than burned away. God may promise the judgement for the future, but He promises salvation today for all who will seek Him. We all know that the world is messed up. We know that things are going to get worse. We also know that God will take us back inspite of all we have done to offend Him. Don't miss the point: Because making things right means making things over, let us brace ourselves for the change to come. Seek God out with me today, and do not allow yourself to be caught unprepared for the holiness of God to overtake you.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Floating around the Internet....

Ok, so floating around the internet, this is one thing I've found: Scott Biao is 45 and Single. This article is by a fellow blogger, and is pertinent. Firstly because my wife Lurves the Reality shows, so I know she'll get a little fix from it.
My thoughts to add in:
Oh, the price we pay to be in a covenant relationship with the Father! It's not always easy to be the Faithful Bride that Christ calls us to be! For one thing, we are forced to admit that we've been doing it all wrong. Second we may have to leave everything behind to follow him!
Sacrifice for the sake of knowing God?
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot loose" - Jim Elliot.
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:25-33

GB HOYT -- everyday I must do as Scott did to Johnny, kiss myself on the cheek and tell myself to give myself a break.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Downtown this Coming Sunday...

we are gettin' downtown this coming Sunday, to meet some needs, and also so I can scout out a community of homeless people near 50 and JYP. Supposedly there is a homeless camp somewhere around there. We shall see! I can't wait to have my new baby. This morning I am honestly excited about the prospect of having a tiny one again. Also, I can't wait for my KT to be a big sister.

So, anyway, back to reality,
If you want to come downtown with us, feel free. We could use some extra help sunday, meet up at Southeast Christian Church, just south of Goldenrod and Curry Ford at 3pm.
Sofar, the only people confirmed coming are James, "The Gravy", McCrickard, and me! I think Rafi just started school ('bout time) and he needs to get A's!!! That way he can make lots of money, get lots of land, and give that land to people to live on!!!
Everyone take care. Lemme know if you can make it downtown,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Wing and a Prayer.

So Sunday went well, the youth group from First Christian Church of Winter Park came along with some of our regulars from FCCWP. The weather fussed at us, showering us in some light ran, and forcing us to herd under the bus stop shelter. I briefly spoke about the woman caught in adultery in John chapter eight, and the kids wonderfully helped out and met some serious needs.
Here are the prayer requests we collected Sunday nite:

Debbie Czichos: to have a self life on my trips and journey one state to another
Larry McCoy: For a full time job
Leon Johnson: Pray for my soul to be free from demons and to do God's will
Alan Adkins: Yes have something wrong with both of my eyes.
Thersa McDonald: My brother Bob who was shot in hear Thursday night.
Mona Thomas: Lessen my burden I am not without grief for miscarriages due to untimely betrayal. I pray never to be without them in prayer.
Anthony Smith: Anthony
Campbell Ray: an apartment
Melanie Campbell: Apartment
Jean Weislogel: For everyone to have inner peace and a personal relationship with God.

We served about 26 people total. Many of them were new to me. I also saw some old faces if only briefly. I think the lightening we saw to the south of us was keeping some people away, but I expect we will start seeing more people in the near future.

That's BASIC in a nutshell... We are planning something for labor day weekend called "Labor day of Love" but it's still in the beginning stages, we'll let you know how things go with that.

In Christ,
G. Brandon Hoyt.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sunday Bloody Sunday....

No I'm not dead, and I haven't given up. I haven't committed to do anything in Lakeland yet, I have been doing things in Orlando...
Here's what's been going on:
In a nutshell.
In July the Family and I took a vacation to Cheneyville LA, that bustling little metropolis in central Louisiana that is the home of my roots. After that, we started going downtown almost every week. We're going (starting this week) to be meeting in a new spot. It's closer to downtown, and kinda already known by a lot of the homeless people. Come downtown and I'll show you where it is! It obeys the city's feeding ordinance, and is in a more public spot. I'll actually publish the prayer list Monday, because we haven't been seeing many people there really hasn't been much to report. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year. Kelly's going to have a baby, and the college kids I think will be good. A lot of the people who first started coming with Roland Howard's Intro to Evangelism class will be seniors this year, so I think we should be able to drum up some good support from the college kiddies...
that's me life fer now....
Take care,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Six People, Six Helper, make 12 Together for the Glory of God.

We saw Six people this last sunday downtown. Not too many. We took the time to do a bible study on the book of John. It's three questions long, and you can participate by going to this website: The Pirate Preacher's Discussion on the Book of John Have fun answering the questions. If Orlando is going to change, it is going to change by the grace and power of God as God's people proclaim and act out the word of God.
Some prayer requests:
That we faithfully proclaim the word of God.
That the guys we saw last week get the work they need to find a place to live. Several had work, but needed it to not rain for a few days so they could do it!
Pray we can find a permanent place to meet downtown or in some area where there are homeless people. Also pray that we can find something to do with the homeless here in Lakeland, cause they be here too!!!
Thanks and God Bless,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Today and Last Week...

Ok, I feel like I can give an accurate account of my life last week and the few weeks before. On May 21st my wife and I got some scary news. She's pregnant and due early October, and the Dr. said the baby had fluid on her lungs. He said that this could be because of a hernia in her diaphram. Kelly (my wife) and I were scared. We were also prayerful. We decided to tell our family and friends, and soon a lot of people were praying for God's will to be done. I spent some time in God's word, and reviewed the story of the man born blind. The people in Jesus' day wondered at a person's maladies and thought many times that they were due to sin either in the life of the one who suffered or in the life of their parents. This is a common and typical response I think. I know I was kinda feelin' that way. You want to play the "if only" game. Well Jesus' response was interesting, he said that neither this man nor his parents sinned but it happened this way so that God could be glorified. I thought about that for a minute and remembered that in Romans we are promised that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8:29). These ideas floated around in my head, and I began to become confident that somehow God was going to get a lot of thanks for this, and even if we got bad news, God would work it out to be something good.

We were scheduled for an appointment to see a leading doctor in fetal surgery, and a lot of people were praying for us. Thursday, we went to Tampa to see this doctor, and they took a full sonogram. I didn't know what to expect but I was confident that God would be there, and that he would take care of things. For some reason I kept expecting them to say things looked fine, even though there was no reason for such an expectation, everything I had read about so far suggested that the problem our unborn child was having was a serious problem that would require surgery, and could have some grave consequences. The Doctor who saw us came in, and did little sonogramming. The head guy came in and looked over her shoulder, and then she gave us the good news. There is nothing wrong. There is no fluid on our baby's lungs. Everything is good.
Thank God that He is good!
Your question for the week is, Does God still work miracles?

G. Brandon, Kelly, Katie, and Emma (current working first name for lil' bit)
bid you grace and peace!

Friday, June 08, 2007

And Just like that...

The Doctor tells us nothing is wrong that they can see, see your doctor in a week!!
Praise the Lord!!!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Update from Tampa,

Kelly and I are having lunch right now at a place called NOLA's in Tampa. We are waiting to go to the Dr. Keep praying for us and our baby!! Hopefully everything will turn out ok. I am hoping for the doctor to look at the ultrasound and say "Now why exactly are you here, cause everything looks fine on this end."
GB and Kelly Hoyt, your worried warriors...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ok, Glad I got In on that...

Journey Christian Church has started an outreach program to downtown Orlando, and I'm glad I got to see part of what they do.I found out about the service through Ron Seiber, a student at Florida Christian College who was required to come downtown with BASIC about three years ago. Glad he remembered who I was.

The outreach Journey is doing is called Journey Downtown, and it seems to be aimed at reaching out to all the people downtown not just to homeless people. They served some pizza to the people at the corner of Jefferson and Magnolia and after that they gathered to worship and hear the word of God. I had to cut out just as they were starting the singing before I turned into a pumpkin. That was about eight o'clock. The funniest thing about going and sharing is that this was part three of a three part trial outreach. Apparently it's going well enough that they are going to continue the services starting in the fall on a weekly basis. At least they did something even if they can't return in the fall.

I also got to ride my bike around a little bit, and that was refreshing. Downtown is changing faster than I can keep up with it seems, and it's getting me a little crazy!
Our summer-through-the-new-year plans will be as follows: Get downtown 2 times month, the idea being that we've got to stay as close into contact with people as possible to hope at having a chance to get people what they need. We're going to raise $6000 for the first twenty weeks of 2008. The idea being starting with the first weekend in the new year, going downtown each sunday for the first twenty weeks without having to worry about having money, raising money, or getting supplies. It's kinda a test. If we can't raise the $6k by the new year, that may change our plans. It's something to pray about. Also keep praying for my wife's pregnancy. Yesterday we found out we're having another little girl, and there seem to be some complications. We go to see a specialist June 7th (unless we can wrangle an earlier date out of them!!) for some more testing and a consultation. Please pray for us, and our baby. There is no feeling quite like the helplessness of not being able to do anything about a problem your child is having. We'll have more updates as they are available.
Thanks and God Bless!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Against the Flow

Action against Orlando's Homeless continues. Consider Jackie's account of a recent attempt to get the mayor's attention. Things ought to be interesting for me this sunday. I hope it goes well. I've been keeping my eye out in Lakeland, looking for random chance encounters with homeless people. They seem a little more scattered out here, but maybe that's because It's a smaller area, and I'm just not seeing as many in general. I know a lot of guys in Orlando have been to Lakeland, but I repeat myself. I'm also looking for a second job! Maybe a local Christian book store.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Weekend Plans and Prayer Requests...

Got a weekend of downtown activity coming up. I plan on coordinating with Journey Christian Church. They apparently have been doing a once a month thing with homeless people. I didn't know about it, so we will have to see how things are going. Please pray that this will be a chance to learn and to also show what we have been doing.
Also, I've been doing a little websurfing and found a local guy that is off beat to say the least: Captain Lamewad is worth checking out. He is apparently pretty know to the blogosphere, but I think he wants to be a force for good in the local area. Looking at some of his links, I wonder if I know the man, cause we share some similar interests... We will let him remain anonymous for now... I'm not going to look too hard...


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Breakin' it Down Oldschool...

AH Yes,
I remember going downtown for the first time and seeing a guy named Joe on a steam grate.

I remember asking him if he wanted some raisins...
Crazy what can happen in such a short time.
Still lotsa homeless people in Lakeland.
I hope everyone had a good mothers day.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

GASP!!! a new Post!!

Pardon my slacking, I haven't known what to say.
Sundays have been weird. The city of Orlando has pretty much determined that we will always have a hard time getting some consistancy in the lives of the homeless because they will always be hurried off when they inconviniance the city council. I don't know what it will take in that regard, other than a permanent meeting space. Until they get their act together though, I'm considering a change of venue so to speak. There are homeless people here in Lakeland where I live, and I think we'll start doing some work with them. I can invest a lot more time with a lot less effort, and if there is one thing that I know makes a difference it is the amount of time you spend with people that matters. The congregation where my wife and I currently worship has a youth minister that seems to be willing to see what happens in Orlando so we can start sometime here in Lakeland, I will keep you posted.

Until then,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Great Experiences this Last Sunday...

Hello Everybody!
We had a good experience last nite, partially due to the great help we had, mostly to do with the goodness of God. Three groups participated with BASIC in a coordinated effort to meet the needs of Orlando's homeless. Randy Patterson led his small group,
Roland Howard brough a group of Spanish Speakers from Poinciana Christian Church, and some students from his Missions and Evangelism class came as well.
Students lead the worship time, and one of the students (Matt) gave the word. I was grateful to have the Poinciana group as well, because there are usually 4-6 guys downtown and that's all they really speak. Felix Estrada (Rafi's uncle) translated for a couple of guys from Hondouras. We received many prayer requests.

BASIC is hard to describe sometimes, but sometimes things just work. This was one of those nite when things just worked. Thank you Lord for success!

Here are the Prayer requests:

Michael Johnson: To get out of the streets
William Joseph: Pray for that I get right!
James Bell: Home
Telani Ward: Yes medically, spiritually needs, Ronnie Rubin Pray for him.
Ernest Owens: My beloved family
Yvette Gully-Murray: Thanks for being a spiritual force in the homeless lifes Jesus
bless your ministry, please continue to pray for our leadership for the Lord,
Amen: Love Yvette
Fred Halcomb: Pray to get better, Amen
Alex Noble: For me and my friends
Krystal Coleman: Peace
John Johnson: yes
Dannie: Prayer stay off drugs
David Walker: That we can get a place to live.
Jorge Zelaya: Mother in Honduras
Luis Mendoza: My family
Lynn Brannum: safe to California
Edmond Gray: Help get off drugs
Jimmy Gates: Yes Health Issues
Dee: Yes- I pray for porsperity

Thanks for your prayers,
GB HOYT- Your Positive Activist.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Back Downtown...

Well guys,
Strange things happened in the last week. I anticipated going to the office and downtown to do a little work, but that didn't work, Kelly's Uncle Don passed away last Thursday, and we went to the funeral. It's been hard on Kelly's family, especially her mom. Uncle Don was her only brother...
... so I didn't get downtown last weekend as I planned.
Sometimes I feel like I'm flying blind. I know that prayer helps, and I need yours.

So the plan for now is to do our thing on sunday, got some students from Florida Christian College coming.

Ought to be fun,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All that you Can't Leave Behind...

According to U2, the answer to the thing you can't leave behind is love. While most people treat love as a trite thing that is solved by some mysterious feeling, a quiver in your liver as it were, I want you to think about something...
God commands us to love...
Why would He tell us to feel anything?
My point:
There is a choice in love! Who do you choose to love?

I have a couple of challenges, then we'll get to the homeless news:
Challenge number one: Find the homeless people in your community. No seriously, do nothing but find one homeless camp, or one street corner where you know homeless people congregate to fly signs or whatever.

Challenge number two: Find somebody to love!
Not the "I need romance " type, but make a conscious decision to love someone you don't know. Maybe you do know them, but you've had a strained relationship.
Post your resutls in the comments sections.

Ok, BASIC is changing things up a little bit. God willing, we will start a small group in March, and that will be our main focus. We will meet the needs of the people more intensely at the small group. We will continue going downtown on a monthly basis, but not weekly. God willing this will enable us to have more pants and things like that to hand out to everyone. Two weeks ago we went downtown to serve the homeless, and it went well. We had our usual group of Winter Parkians (if that's a real word) and also four young men from Florida Christian College. It was a great group.

Have fun with your assignments!
Next week Corey, Rafi and I are going to be getting el offico better organized. Man it would make a great community service opportunity to have someone who could get there a couple of times a week to make sure clothes were sorted...
hint, hint...

GB HOYT - your tardy positive activist...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Prayer Requests, Update on People, Future Plans

Interesting Sunday this last week.
Everything went pretty much the same as it's gone since we moved to the general location we are at right now. Only differences, we started a little earlier, and we were back under the bridge and not in the fenced in area. Rafi and I travelled seperately, Rafi to First Christian Winter Park to get our helpers for the week, and I directly to downtown so as to find out where we are meeting. I was on my way to a potential spot, when I thought, "why don't i swing by the old haunts, just for kicks?" Low and behold, there were people there!
For the time being, OPD is letting people sleep there as long as they get out by the morning. We'll see how long that lasts. Something that disturbed me was someone (homeless or not I don't know) had graffitied one of the poles with a phrase that said "We shall not be governed" I don't know what that means... And that bothers me... Does it bother you?

Ok, we served about 50 people.
Here are the prayer requests.

Jack Bishop: "Yes Prayer for an opportunity."
Vincent * : "Strength, Power, Love for God!"
Thomas Tugman : "For Good Health"
Krystal Coleman: "Peace"
Sherri Phillips: "That my husband gets his promotion next month at work."
herbert Freeman: "Yes to lvoe Jesus"
Leon Stephene: "for a job"
Denise Henn: "my health"
John Mizell: "Pray that I have a better life with my new job."
Samantha Howell: "Get off the street."
Dee: "Wealth, Prosperity, Distinctfulness, Knowledge"

BASIC is going to change format soon! It was nice to have almost enough of the most needed things (Pants, socks, hygeine kits) for a change, and even a few shoes. The biggest reason why that was possible was because it's been 3 weeks since we last trekked downtown. That means we had enough time to collect things. Rafi and I have talked about starting a small group, all we have to do is put it together. If you are willing to have your home be opened to such a prospect, lemme know!

Your myspace lamewad (again) positive activist,

Friday, January 12, 2007

On the Necessasity of Gettin' it Right the First Time...

This article is a brief foray into the topic of "unspoiled", "perfect", "sinless". It stems in part from a desire to understand life, the universe, and everything, and more specifically, to be able to intelligently answer and understand questions like, why is there evil and sufferring in the world?
This is a broad subject and I take a very analytical approach to it. I like to see how all the dots connect to make the big picture, and I believe that an answer to suffering is contained in the fundamental essence of "The Way Things Are"(TWTA. One part of TWTA is to understand how Everything is put together. By Everything, I mean Everything, every rock, every galaxy every moment of history, every moment of present (and possible presents) and every moment of futures (and possible futures). Everything... (*Just for arguments sake, for now, let's consider the reality of everything possible as being different from the concept something possible.*) Check out this link if you are having a hard time thinking about Everything, I think it makes it crystal clear (if you are looking through an amythest at least...)
Everything is put together in such a fashion that we cannot see Everything. We can't see even the past, we experience it as it is. We cannot, but that doesn't mean that SomeOne isn't watching Everything right now. I believe God sees Everything. That's important because unless you see Everything, you can't understand TWTA.
See where this is going? We see TWTA in a fixed dimension, namely 4th dimensionally, We don't see things that happen in dimesions above and below. We can represent something 2 dimensional by drawing a line on a sheet of paper, but in reality, the line has length, width and depth. The closest one could come is the computer screen you are looking at right now, but once again, there is nothing two dimensional about the images on the screen, they don't even really exist! Light is emmanated from the screen from particles that have four dimensions, and without that critical fourth dimension, you couldn't see things change.
So God see Everything, so only He can Understand TWTA.
something to consider next time I think about blaming Him for something....


Saturday, January 06, 2007

First New Post of the Year??

Man am I slackin'!
I know there are just tonnes of people out there waitin' to hear what's newz.
here's the Newz:
BASIC once again is mobile. The City Beautiful has regulated us out of our old spot, so now we must make choices, find a new spot (Brian Nichols has given me a possible site) or change our strategy a little bit.
Rafi and I are gonna visit a "new spot" Sunday. Ought to be interesting. Rumor has it that OPD can't bother anyone there, we shall see.
Plan B (*I'm favoring as a more Plan A kinda option though...*)involves starting a small group and intensely meeting the needs of say, 5 homeless people over a period of 6 months, and limiting our larger feedings and clothing distributions to once a month.
We shall see about that too...
Jackie's post breaks my heart, but I will love mercy. Well, I don't know that it's merciful to lock someone up for life or not, I haven't thought about it deeply enough, seems to me that's it perpetuates Injustice to pay for a murderer to stay alive. Curiously enough though, God does seem to choose certain murderers to perform his will, even while smiting down (love that phrase!) others.
IN the end, we all need to learn what is good...
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? " Micah 6:8 ESV.
That is after all, why Jesus didn't stone the woman caught in adultery in John 8.
Think about that.
Clearly if we acted justly, these three boys would die, a life is the only thing that can pay for a life...
...but if we love kindness (other translations say "mercy")perhaps we can learn to be glad when "people get away with it".
Doing so requires that humble walk....
Also check out Jackie's post on what St. Pete is planning on doing.
Why the heck does Government always have to come up with the solution?