Friday, March 20, 2009

Go Mocs!

Okay, I don't know how many people even check this blog any more, but this was something I had to post. Jimmy Fallon is showing some love to my school, UT-Chattanooga on his show before the Big Dance. UCONN, of course, drubbed the old Mocs, but this is good nonetheless.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ministering to the homeless this Christmas season

Guys I know many of you are like me and have a heart for helping the homeless. It can be especially hard for these men and women this time of year, because not only is it cold, but it's the holiday season and many of these people are away from their families; many do not have families, and others are alienated from their families by their choice or otherwise. Please remember that these people are people, and not "worthless or trash." My uncle Gerald was one of these people. If you feel led, please donate coats through the Deo Clinic in Dalton or at any of the local missions this season. The Salvation Army always needs clothing, food, and other supplies. Do not think they have enough, because they never do. Shoes are also a big deal for a homeless person. Most of all, pray for these people and their families. Believe me, some of these people have family members somewhere who are worried about them. If you feel led, buy someone a meal and give it to them in person. Many of these people live amongst us, but feel invisible, and alienated from the rest of the world. Below are some steps for helping the homeless this holiday season.


Eight Ways to Truly Help the Homeless (From the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions)

What do you do when you see someone holding up a sign, "Will Work for Food"? Do you roll down your window and give them money? Do you pretend you didn't see them?

Nobody likes to be confronted by the homeless - their needs often seem too overwhelming - but we all want to treat them fairly and justly.

Here are some simple guidelines to equip you to truly help the homeless people you meet:

1. Never give cash to a homeless person
Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol - even when the "hard luck" stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage.

2. Talk to the person with respect.
Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

3. Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same.
The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be a battered women, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills...the list goes on.

4. Share God's love whenever you can.
If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly spend time with the homeless. He would speak with them, heal them, and help them. Today, Jesus chooses to work through those who believe and follow Him.

5. Pray for the homeless.
Exposure to the elements, dirt, occasional violence, and lack of purpose all drain years from a person's life. God can use your prayers and the brutality and the futility of life of the street to bring many of the broken to Himself.

6. Take precautions for your own safety.
Some living on the streets are criminals and fugitives running from the law. Always be prudent while talking with street people. Stay in areas where other people can see you. Don't take unnecessary chances.

7. Encourage the homeless to get help through your local Mission.
Rescue missions that are members of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions offer immediate food and shelter to the homelessness through their emergency shelters. Many offer long-term rehabilitation programs that deal with the root causes of homeless. Many also offer "tickets" that can be given to homeless people which can be exchanged at the Mission for a nutritious meal, safe overnight lodging, and the option of participating in a rehab program.

8. Support your local Mission.
Most AGRM member missions receive little or no government funding. They are supported by caring individuals, churches, businesses, and civic groups who see the value of sharing their resources with the less fortunate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's so terrible...but I cannot stop laughing

Okay, so at age 30 my body is falling apart right before your very eyes. The doc said my cholesterol and trigliceride levels are too high; I more than likely have type 2 diabetes, and today the sleep lab called and said I have severe sleep apnea, which left un-treated could kill me in my sleep. No wonder I feel like Rip Van Winkle all day long. Oh well, at least most of my body parts still work. I mean it does not take a Harvard grad to figure out that being overweight is causing all this. If only I could just stop eating, or maybe if I just ate Jello from now on. And even though these things are severe, I am not getting down about it. I have been down about stupid things my entire life. I know that these things can be treated, but most of all I know God is in control. If I didn't have that hope, I would be in a bad place right now. I lived through most of my 20s (almost all of them) in a bad place away from God, hopeless and afraid, but not any more. God will see me through.

Well, back to trying to stay awake ha-ha. Love you guys!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My day

Guys if you don't believe that God is working in our lives every day, let me tell you a quick story about my day so far. As soon as my wife and I got in the car this morning, and I cranked the engine, our theme song from weekend 31 began playing, as if it had been cued up for that exact moment. The sky was a beautiful brush stroke of red and orange, and I looked at my wife and said, "He's telling us something today, isn't He?"
If you don't know, I work at a school and I am in charge of In-School Suspension (it's like having detention all day), and this year has been particularly difficult. One teacher told me yesterday that the 10th grade class this year is the worst she's seen in 40 years. I believe it. Of the 243 different kids I've had in ISS this year, 139 have been 10th graders or kids who are one or two credits from being 10th graders. So today as I was taking the kids to lunch they were just irritating me, and I felt like snapping. We eat lunch at the same time as the severly special ed. class, and one of the students in that class asked me how I was doing. I said, "I can't complain, how about you?" She looked me square in the eye and said, "At least we have Jesus." Wow! I was like, "Yes, we do young lady. I needed that. Thank you!" It's amazing how God reveals himself in "the least of these."

Have a great one guys!
De Colores,

Friday, October 17, 2008

From the One campaign

Even in tough economic times, we want to make sure the next president, no matter who that is, keeps his commitment to fighting global poverty.

The total spent on all poverty-fighting programs make up less than one percent of the entire U.S. budget, yet we are saving millions of lives and helping the world's poorest people break free from crippling poverty. These efforts will be even more critical as the effects of any global economic slowdown are magnified in already struggling countries.

I just took action with ONE to tell my leaders to keep their promises to the world's poor, and you can too, here:

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

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