Reaching out to a Man that was Homeless

My book One Yes is going on sale at a discount price Friday August 29th – Sunday August 31st.  Over the next week I am doing videos and written stories that are straight from the book.

Here is a story from my book. Joel, My husband and I were hitting the streets every Friday night between 10:30pm and 1 am to pass out goodie bags of candy, cookies, make-up and hygiene products all to share God’s love.

This story was an interaction we had with a homeless man one of those nights:

One of my favorite memories I have of a Friday night was when we ran into a homeless man. Joel and I had been going hard that day and the next morning I had a women’s conference I was speaking at. I usually didn’t say yes to anything on Saturdays because I was so exhausted from working the whole week. But I felt God tell me to say yes to the speaking engagement and so there I was worried we would be out super late on a Friday night. We ran into the homeless man half way into the route. He was sitting on a curb near some bushes. We offered him a goodie bag and he took it. Joel asked if he could pray for him but the man declined.

Then the homeless man opened up and said his bike was stolen and he was too tired to finish his journey to the men’s shelter that was on the other side of town. Out of my mouth came “We can give you a ride to the shelter.” What the heck? Joel and I never offer rides. It is too dangerous and it makes us too vulnerable in a closed environment with someone we don’t know. I couldn’t believe what just popped out of my mouth. Joel didn’t even blink. And the man asked if we were sure. Once again my mouth spoke without me wanting it to “Sure we can take you.” He jumped up and went behind the bushes to retrieve a grocery bag of his belongings and the three of us headed to the car. It was about a 5 minute walk to where we parked and the whole way I was praying, “God if this man desires to kill us, stab us, or shoot us I ask that you change his mind. I have seen you change other people’s mind that wanted to harm us. I know you can do that with this man if that is his desire.”

We put the goodie bags we were carrying in the trunk and all three of us climbed into the car. The man sat in the back seat and Joel drove while I was in the passenger’s seat. I had learned to always carry small bills on me for people that were truly in need. One time we ran into a lady I just adored who needed 10 dollars for medicine. She did not have a penny to her name. So in desperation she prostituted herself. She had been on the street for 2 hours trying to get customers but was unsuccessful. I had no money on me at the time to give her. I also know that I had never seen her sell her body before. She was so desperate for the medicine she needed that she was willing to do whatever it took to get it. It broke my heart. God convicted me after that night to carry small bills.

So that night we were driving the homeless man to the shelter I had a 5 dollar bill in one pocket and a 10 dollar bill in the other pocket.

God to me – “Give him the 5 dollars.”
Me – “Lord how about the 10 dollars?”
God – “No the 5 dollars.”
Me – “God how about the 5 and the 10?”
God – “No the 5 dollars.”
Me – “Do I do it now or when we park at the shelter?”
God – “Now.”

I reach in my pocket and pulled out the 5 and said to the man – “Sir here is 5 dollars. For whatever you want. If you want to get food tomorrow or whatever. I felt the Lord wanted me to give it to you.” You could feel a shift in the atmosphere.

Man – “No, no, no you don’t have to do that.”
Me – “I want to.” The man took the money and sat there thinking for a while.
Man – “Yesterday a woman asked me for a dollar for food and I gave her my last 5 dollars. You are restoring my faith in God.”

Joel and I sat for a moment in shock and awe of God. Then we started to minister to him. I can’t remember all that was said but it was beautiful as the man opened up and we shared about the ways of Jesus. When we got to the shelter and parked Joel asked if he could pray for the man. This time the man said yes. Joel prayed a simple prayer but with such sincere beauty like he always does. When Joel got done praying the man sat for a moment.

Man – “I feel like I am in paradise. I have never felt this way before.” I remembered instantly when Jesus said to the criminal that was on the cross next to him and said “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Me – “That is heaven invading the car, invading earth. You are feeling heaven.”
Man – “I feel like I am in paradise.” The man got out and we said our good-byes As we drove away the Lord spoke and told me that he purposely shortened our night so I could get sleep for the next day. That He cut our Friday night in half and we didn’t have to go back and finish the rest of the route. God was truly looking out for us and set everything up perfectly. I don’t know how He does it but His ways are truly wonderful!

book sale

Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

Not only is it a common saying in the Christian community to state Nothing Can Separate us from God’s Love, but it is also scriptural:

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:38-39

But just because we hear it and know it doesn’t mean deep down we always believe it.  Today as I was spending time with the Lord I was talking to Him about my struggles with liking myself.  I said something like, “God just change me, operate on me, do whatever it takes but help me to love myself.”  The Lord then replied, “You have to mediate on what I say about you, what the word says about you.”

Scriptures started running through my head, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, when God was done He looked at his creation and said it is good, Nothing can separate us from God’s love”  I started to think that if I really believed God loves me, like I know in my head He does, then how could I not love myself like I should.

So I began to question God see if He really did love me.
“Daddy if I murdered someone would you still love me?””Dess do you love your son?”
“Yes Lord.”
“Would you love him if he murdered someone”
“I would be super sad but I would still love him.”
I knew God was pointing out that I loved my son the way He loved me.  So there went that question.
“Daddy if I slept with many many people and committed adultery by doing so would you still love me?”
God then flashed through my head the book of Hosea.  Hosea is written by a prophet who God told to marry a prostitute.  He obeyed and had children with her but some time later she left him and started being a prostitute again.  The Lord told Hosea to go after her and take her back into his home. By doing so it was a representation of how God loved Israel and even though they were prostituting themselves to other gods the Lord still loved them and wanted to take them back.  So that answered that question.
“Daddy if I worshiped other gods and sacrificed offering to Baal would you still love me?”
God flashed an image of me at a Bible time altar sacrificing an animal to Baal. I saw him standing next to me heart broken but still loving me without wavering.  He never left my side the whole time.

After that vision I had no more questions. I knew God loved me. And I knew I have to keep speaking scripture over me and the truth of God’s love and who He sees me in order for me to fully believe and be more than a conqueror in this journey I was on, to love myself and not care what any one says about me.

It is hard to believe God’s love is really unconditional.  When we do good God’s love doesn’t increase and when we do wrong God’s love doesn’t decrease.  He loves us so much. Do you truly know deep deep deep down how much God loves you? If you don’t what do you think it would change if you really grasped a hold of that concept?

For me when I truly get it and love myself I won’t care what people think or say any more about me.  I long for that so bad. I am willing to press through and do whatever it takes to get to that point.

Nothing, NO NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God!God's love for us

When I said Yes to God

I thought being a good Christian meant reading my Bible 5 minutes a day and going to church.  It wasn’t until I asked God what college He wanted me to go to that I realized He has a plan and purpose for my life, all I needed to do was ask.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
-Ephesians 2:10