Meeting Hal~



Over the past few months, either by watching the news or hearing conversations taking place around me, I recognize that so many people are stressed, fearful, and sometimes even expressing hopelessness. I KNOW that I cannot even begin to attempt to meet the needs they are facing or fix the world they live in……but I can choose to be intentionally kind. I can try to situate my day so that my schedule isn’t so incredibly tight that when an opportunity to stop and be kind arrives I can respond well.

His name was Hal, which I didn’t know until he introduced me to himself later in our conversation but while grocery shopping I saw Hal out of the corner of my eye.   Seeing him, I kinda sized him up right away ~ homeless, toothless, possibly a little mental illness, outgoing, and kindhearted.

Now, I must insert that even though my heart hurts for those I see begging on the street expressing the need for funds due to being jobless and homeless, I am also careful so that I don’t help them perpetuate a lifestyle that will ultimately keep them in the life position they are in;  I support quality programs that help those that are homeless to get off the street, get training or education, and an opportunity to build self-esteem and a legacy for their lives.

As I walked out to my car I could see Hal standing in front of the Taco stand near my car; he was looking at the few coins in his hand, looking at the Taco stand, then back to his hand. It was then that the two of our eyes connected and he walked my way. “Would you consider buying me a taco?” he said.   I reached in my purse and took out a bill larger than he had anticipated and his eyes got really wide! “Oh Lady, I’m going to get the biggest burrito in the joint!!”

He smiled, thanked me, and began to walk away. Hal looked back and headed, again, in my direction. “Lady, do you read “The Book”? I told him “Yes, I read “The Book” every day!” Hal’s eyes got bigger “ Well, then you must know “The Man”!” I told him “Yes, I surely do know “The Man”!   Hal told me that “The Man” was his best friend.

Then Hal walked away as I proceeded to put my groceries into the back of the car. With a tap on my shoulder I saw Hal’s toothless grin as he asked me, “have you ever read Psalm 41:1?, because that’s what you did, that’s what you did today!” Then Hal and I introduced ourselves to one another and shook hands. For a moment time stood still and two human beings connected at the heart; both of us were encouraged in a unique and meaningful way.

When I arrived home I looked up Psalm 41:1 which read   “Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him.”

I guess Hal really did read “The Book” and he really did  know “The Man”!

I challenge you as I challenge myself ~ let’s slow down and see if we can’t tangibly encourage someone in a special way this coming week, you just might walk away with a blessing yourself! 🙂

Sometimes we just need something Sweet~


Last week my heart felt so heavy as I watched and heard about so many devastating events that caused death and sadness to countless people in many parts of the world. I watched the news in the morning and listened to the news while in my car while out doing a few errands. I could feel the weight of the concern on my heart.  I prayed. I cried. I prayed again.

Sitting at a traffic light a young Jr. High boy, riding on a scooter, stopped at a cross walk, he pushed the button and when he did he noticed an older homeless man a little way up the sidewalk.  Without hesitating, this young man pulled out his wallet, grabbed $20.00 dollar bill and handed it to the homeless man.  He turned, jumped on his scooter and headed across the street to the other side.

That little sweetness lifted my heavy heart.

I like to treasure hunt, when I can, at our local Goodwill.  This particular day I heard one of the employees loudly say ” Hey, there’s the birdman.” Then I watched a wonderfully kind interaction between them.  The “Birdman” was a tiny, hunched over, toothless man who comes into Goodwill to find bird houses.  In his hand was his treasure for the day ~ a bird house made completely out of rocks~ he was beaming!

As I made my way through the store I looked up and only the “birdman” and I were alone in the  same aisle.  He walks my way, puts his hand on my shoulder and says “honey, have you ever imagine the stories that the old items in this store could tell?  Stories of joys, memories, sadness, and celebrations?  Isn’t life precious?”   and he walked away.

That little bit of sweetness lifted my heavy heart!

Sometimes we just need something sweet, something precious, to remind us to appreciate our lives and the people in it.  I was grateful to have experienced these “sacred moments”.

In the midst of reports that break our hearts let’s not forget that there are still multitudes of precious, good people! 🙂

I wish you “sweetness” today.

The Weather is Changing~

It was during my Junior year of college, summertime, that my view of the world was completely rocked!  I spent 3 months serving on a ministry team in Calcutta, India. My life had always been filled with blessing; faithful parents who loved God and provided well for our family of eight.  I enjoyed a good education, warm home, good food, nice clothes, and people who cared for me.  Imagine the shock to my senses as I walked along the streets of Calcutta seeing single mothers caring for their young children under cardboard boxes leaning against a dirty cement walls! I watched elderly people sitting in the same spot for days and days because they simply had nowhere to go; no place to call their own. This was the first time I had come face to face with real poverty, real homelessness.

Why do I choose to write about this today? Well, the weather is changing.  It is in the cold Winter months that those who live in poverty; those without homes, feel the sting of their situation the most. Poverty is not just in India; poverty is in my own town. My sister is a principal in our neighboring community; her school serves numerous families living in poverty, some even living in their cars.  These little children come to school cold, hungry, and tired.

Today I listened to an interview on Focus on the Family with Richard Stearns, the head of World Vision ( an organization the reaches out to meet the need of those in poverty around the world).  In the interview he shared about what it “feels” like to be homeless.  He expressed it this way:

“Imagine that you had only one set of clothing that you had to wear every single day.  Imagine you had no access to electricity; no lights, washer and dryer, no computer or phone.  Imagine you had no fresh water to drink or to wash with; your only way of getting clean would be a lake or pond somewhere.  Imagine you had no access to food; all you have is food you had to forage for.   Imagine you had no access to any medical care; no doctor, Tylenol, cough medicine, etc.  Imagine you had no place to call home; no bed, couch, bathroom, or private space of your own. Imagine experiencing all of this while thousands of people around you are enjoying all those elements of life.

How would you feel?  I imagine I would feel ashamed and hopeless.  I imagine I would wonder if I was invisible to the people around me.

I can hear some of you saying ” but there are people who make choices that cause them to be in a state of poverty”~~ I have said that myself.  But, everyone has a story to tell about how they became homeless; challenges they faced, and I know God’s heart is a heart of compassion.

Well, the weather is changing; snow and frigid temperatures are right around the corner.  How can we help the homeless in this Winter season?  Every town has a shelter that would love your support.  Ours is Bethlehem Inn,  There are worldwide organizations such as World Vision to which you can give.

There is one need that I am particularly aware of and would like to tell you about:


Rev. Rick Cole of the Capital Christian Center in Sacramento plans to leave his wallet behind, pick up his sleeping bag and ride light rail to downtown Sacramento. Pastor Cole said he feels his quest might have been divinely inspired. It popped into his head a few weeks ago while he was brainstorming with others about how to fund a program that buses about 100 homeless people on winter nights to area churches and synagogues, where they eat and sleep and get help finding work and more-permanent shelter. Pastor Cole plans to live on the streets of Sacramento until enough funding is raised to meet the incredible need of shelter and food in the winter months! Greg and I have known this pastor for well over ten years and can vouch for his authenticity;  he is not a mere attention-getter.  He sincerely wants to understand what it feels like to be homeless, he sincerely wants to get out of his comfort zone to make a difference in his community!  If you want to learn more go to #revonthestreets

As the weather changes and we nestle by the fire with a hot cup of Starbucks ,let’s ask God to show us ways that we can help those who are in need.

1 John 3:17 says; But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Matt 25:35-40 says; “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Be well.