Today Is The Bridge Between Your Past and Future!

Are You Fully Present Today?

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Life of Worship

I admit, living in the present is sometimes so, so very hard.  When my mind is exhausted from this tug of war delivered from both the fear and shame in not being good enough that the unknown presents and the excitement in seeing what God is actually doing is overwhelming. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes living in the future with all its anticipation and excitement can rob us of God’s blessings here and now because He lives in the “today.”  We forget what we receive “today” is preparing us for tomorrow’s blessings, so we would bode well to embrace this scenic route bridging our pasts and futures.

I have found myself becoming somewhat resentful as to what God has called me to at this particular point in time because He is opening up all these other doors that I thought were forever closed and I’m stinkin’ excited. 

Because of this, I have found myself living buried underneath the weight of anger and discouragement because I’m ready to move on; thereby, consuming my thoughts and interfering with time I usually am spent in His presence. 

Time spent with our Lord empowers us to walk out each day faithfully with joy and trust. 

How many gifts of today do we pass by, neglecting to pick up or even open up because we’re so preoccupied with thoughts, anxieties and/or fears in our future?

There’s no room living in that bad neighborhood (mindset) to be present for today.

The enemy gets worked up for good reason when we’re doing what the Lord wants and attacks our beautiful hearts and minds with flaming arrows and emotional darts filled with the venom and sting that doubt and confusion delivers. 

These tidbits of insecurities, fears and indiscretions are trying to completely wipe me out and keep me from focusing on the Lord and on today; thereby, nearly robbing me of all these amazing blessings the Lord is ushering me to receive.

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If you’re anything like me, sweet friend, planning for tomorrow is exciting and time well spent, but when we become preoccupied with worry and control about tomorrow, time is not only being wasted, but we’re robbing ourselves and others of being present for this day. 

If our Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23), then why do we deviate and fill our hearts and minds with preoccupation and the opinions of others, forgetting life is about the journey and not the destination?

Guilty as charged…

When walking out our callings, and I’m not just talking about my nonprofit organization dealing with the homeless, we can be consumed with both fear and excitement. 

Isaiah 61:1 (AMP) reminds me, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners…”

Remembering to be fully present enables me to receive the comfort through trust that the Lord promises in bringing deliverance through His timing.  It is up to me to be present so I can hear and receive His guidance filled with treasures that are right around the corner.  If I’m not present, then I’ll walk right past His blessings (peace/perseverance/strength) and wonder what happened causing me to forfeit His gifts for today. 

So recognizing that planning for our futures can alleviate much of our anxiety and worry, when we become obsessed worriers, we become so consumed, forgetting to trust in God’s provision, therefore running ahead of His timetable, we become tripped up. 

The worst part of all of this is denying Jesus’ invitation for help through an intimate and loving relationship with Him. 

So… if the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in Love (Psalm 103:8), this should illustrate to us a picture of God’s nature and will, worthy of His trust, commitment and timing!

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So I hope you’ll join me in sojourning this side of heaven living under the umbrella of God’s Great Love and promises that offers peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7) while being reminded that today is the bridge between your past and future.  Live in this moment.  This way we can embrace the invitation that our Beautiful Jesus is extending only if we’re fully present.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

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Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

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Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

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I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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