Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Year - 2018

We spent a very relaxing Christmas break (we kept the store closed so we could rest).  We took down the Christmas decorations by January 1st and changed over the windows.   We got new artwork in (sent home some of the old), and William finished making the sign for above the door.
Our storefront

On January 10th, I spoke at the Coquille Rotery meeting on homelessness.   I thought it went real well;  however, only 1 person came up to talk with me afterward and only 2 people put their name on my list of people who want to help next time we go out to feed/minister to them.  I spoke first, then I showed our ministry PowerPoint (also found on YouTube:  I also handed out a 3 page paper of a powerful prayer I found online, along with some basic facts, as well as what they can do to help:

Pray for those who are homeless:
  • Men, women, and children
         --fastest rising populous are the elderly and children         --statistics differ from state to state, but the average states that:
         --20% are the drug/alcohol afflicted, choose to be homeless, scam the populous, and cause     
            the ‘bad’ stigma to be on all homeless
         --80% are those who didn’t choose to be homeless and don’t, for the most part, cause trouble
  • Safety and legal issues regarding where they sleep:
         --In the city/suburbs: under bridges, on park benches, in doorways, bus stations, in cardboard   
            boxes on sidewalks, along bike/park paths, etc.
         --In rural areas: hidden in the trees/forests, in the parks
         --City/state/federal parks allow up to 10-14 day stays at prices ranging from $10-$20 a day
         --Bike/hiker parks allow for 3 days at $3-$5 a day
         --Sleeping in cars/vans/RV’s
         --Not allowed by law in cars/vans in most cities
         --None are allowed to park on city streets
         --Limited places to park, like Walmart, allow for free, limited stay
         --“couch-hoppers”, those who have limited stay from family/friends
         --Missions: most city missions are dirty, bug infested, limited beds
                  -Usually ‘men’ (leaving out men who have children) only or ‘women/children’ only   
                   (even more limited in number), families have to spit apart
         --Churches: very few open their doors to the homeless; and those that do, offer showers,
            laundry facilities, meals, etc., but are harassed by government officials and local businesses
         --Half-way houses/homeless programs cater to drug, alcohol, abuse recovery only, leaving  
            out the ‘clean’ clients (of which 70-80% of the homeless are)
  • For those who find shelter at night, have to wander during the days with limited places to go
         --Families broken when they can no longer pay the rent, many having no family or friends to   
           take them in or help when times ($$) gets tough
         --The emotional/mental strain on those who lose everything (possessions, family, friends)  
             they’ve gained in life – they lose a sense of who they are/were
         --Fear and hopelessness takes over
         --Believe that society has failed them, the so-called societal safety-nets are not there for them
         --Ostracized from society – are today’s lepers (lack of understanding, education, and
            compassion from the ‘normal’ society)

Anyone can become homeless with just one change in finances, fire/weather related events, domestic unrest, etc.  Those who have warm homes, daily meals, and a comfortable bed need to guard themselves from becoming complacent, forgetful, and hard-hearted due to lack of education/understanding.  The homeless need compassion, justice, and empowerment from those who are Christ’s disciples with words of encouragement and be given hope through word and deed.  They need to see the Peace of Christ in and on us.  Just find one person a day to encourage and help.  Even just having a bottle of water, a sandwich, a baggie with basic needs (snacks, socks, toothbrush/paste, soap, etc.) would be a great help.  Then pray with them.  There are over 600 verses in the bible dealing with the poor and how they are close to God’s heart.
Psalm 126, Matthew 25:34-40, Psalm 19:1-2,7-10, Isaiah 59:1, Psalm 139:1-2, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 26:11, Isaiah 58:7,10-11, Job 1:10, Isaiah 43:19, Matthew 9:38, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 89:8, Psalm 89:7, Amos 9:6, Job 36:5

Righteous Father, we thank You for being a God of grace and mercy.  Thank You for knowing each homeless person and family intimately. Thank You for being their protection, shelter, hope and help. The heavens proclaim Your Glory, Lord.  The skies display Your craftsmanship.  Day after day they continue to speak; night after night You are made known.  Father, Your instructions are perfect, reviving the soul.  Your decrees are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Your commandments are right, bringing joy to the heart.  Your commands are clear, giving insight for living.  Reverencing You is pure, lasting forever.  Your laws are true; each one is fair.  They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.  They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.   

Glorious Father, we confess that Your arm is not too weak to save the homeless, neither is Your ear deaf to hear their calls.  Lord, You know each of them and call them by name.  You know everything about them, when they sit down and when they stand up. You know their thoughts even when they are far away. We rejoice Mighty King, because You said You will never fail nor abandon them.  Lord, You said that the poor will always be among us, but You also mandated that we take care of them.  You said that we are to share our food with the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, and give clothes to those who need them and to not hide from our relatives who need our help.  We declare that, as a Church Family, we will commit to feeding the hungry and helping those who are in trouble.  Lord, then You will guide us continually, give us water when we are dry and restore our strength. 

Holy Spirit, we ask that You would be a wall of protection and deliverance around the homeless daily. Watch over them while they sleep and protect them from violence, abuse, and theft. Lord, many of them have jobs, but cannot afford housing. We ask that You make a pathway through the wilderness and make a pathway in this wasteland of their lives and lead them to affordable housing so that they can have a safe, warm place to call home.  We cry out on behalf of the children whose families are living on the streets.  Lord, help them to overcome their bleak beginnings and show them how precious they are in Your sight. Help them to focus and study so that they will excel in school. Encourage them when other children say mean things about them because of their circumstances.  Holy Spirit, change the hearts of the leaders of our country who continue to ignore the plight of the homeless, yet they pursue greed and avarice. Lord, for those who are homeless because of an addiction or mental illness, please help them to find the help they need so that they can get their lives back in order and begin to rebuild. Holy Spirit, please send more laborers into the vineyard.  Father, bless our Pastors and each member of our Global/Local Missions and Outreach ministries as they serve those in need.  Please continue to empower and provide for our Church Family financially so that we have the resources to battle this cultural atrocity.

Merciful Father, forgive those homeless persons whose poor decisions have led to their current situation.  Forgive those who are homeless due to drugs, alcohol, gambling, addictions, or poor work habits. Forgive those people who would seek to take advantage of the homeless.  Forgive those who look down upon the homeless.  Forgive those of us who have resources to give to the homeless but refuse to give.  Forgive those agencies who claim to be advocates for the homeless, but misappropriate the resources.  Forgive our nation for creating systems that produce a homeless population. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind the homeless of those they need to forgive and help them to be quick to forgive.  As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to show you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive.  As He shows you, say aloud, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)  Holy Spirit, help the homeless to not yield to temptation; but deliver them from the evil one.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, where is there anyone as mighty as You?  You are entirely faithful. You are far more awesome than all who surround Your throne.  Your home reaches up to the heavens, while its foundation is on the earth. You draw water up from the oceans and pour it down as rain on the land. The Lord is Your Name!  You are mighty, but You do not despise anyone! You are mighty in both power and understanding.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Lower Sign

William and I had a powerful time in the Lord today AND we had an awesome vision – the both of us at the same time, a shared vision as we were praying.  The last time William and I had this experience was when we were in Colorado right before we got our ministry house there.  While we were praying together, this is the vision we saw:  

there was this river of water in front of our building, leading to a large waterfall and we were standing below, looking up at it.  It slowed down to a trickle and almost stopped.  We noticed activity above and saw 3 dark, shadow figures (backside only) hold 3 large, flat rocks, pushing large rocks and boulders into the river, creating a dam in order to stop the flow.  As we continued praying, they let go of the rocks, freaked out when we spoke Jesus’ name, and fled out the front of our building and down the street, out of town.  We saw these rocks and boulders start to crumble and fall away, while a great flow of water rushed through, pushing them like they were nothing, rolling away, some down the waterfall, all to disappear.  The blockage was gone.  We felt a release and saw the waterfall flow freely.  While we were watching, it divided into two large waterfalls.
Silver Falls

We looked at each other in amazement and started talking about what we were seeing.  God gave William the interpretation:

Since people were speaking to us this past month about “watch out for January, the money will stop flowing in”, we started to worry too much about finances, thus taking on doubt (thus the demons blocking the flow).  The 3 dark figures represented the spirits of doubt, fear, and lack.    They were trying to stop what God was trying to do in here by us speaking of lack.  As we prayed, God released the waters, scattered the enemy and their plots, releasing a double-flow into our ministry.  We won’t see it right away, but it is coming.  We are to walk in faith, believing what God said at the beginning, that He started this business and that He will provide all that we need, an abundance – double portion.  A double-portion means:  Deut. 21:17 (the right of Christ (right-hand) is ours!), 2nd Kings 2:9.  God blessed the earth – we have a double-portion of what is here – we believe without seeing (Heb. 11:1) what He is doing in our lives.  Is. 61:6-8.

William standing under Silver Falls

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