Archive for the 'friends' Category

“Giving to the needy” – in secret?…Herman could use a chess set

Last Wednesday we went back to the Amtrak bridge and found Herman at the same corner we found him exactly a week earlier. Herman agreed to go to lunch with us. We went to our usual place – Benjamin’s on 10th. Man, we had a really fun lunch with Herman. The guy is so fun to be around. Here are a few interesting things we learned about Herman…

  • He’s on a waiting list to get an apartment from the Wilmington housing authority.
  • He could use a good pair of jeans (waist 32 to 36 – he said the size after looking at us and sizing us up)
  • A pair of jeans will only last him about 2 weeks before they’re too old and dirty and need to be thrown out. (The 2 week thing on the jeans surprised me)
  • He needs a tarp to cover up his stuff. (He showed us a makeshift pile of his belongings. It was raining and everything he had was wet)
  • He plays chess as a hobby. (Ben’s going to give him a chess set)

Ben and I have been doing a lot of hanging around with ‘the needy’ over the last 7 months. And along the way we’ve been able to help our new homeless friends with more than just encouraging words. We’ve been sharing our street stories with friends, hoping that we can encourage others to get involved – because the need is great.

I’m feeling pretty good about the work that Ben and I have gotten ourselves into. I’m proud of the risks we’ve taken and I’ve discovered that it’s a ton of fun hanging out with homeless people. But I think God was sensing my pride, because he brought me into this passage…

Matthew 6 – Giving to the Needy (TNIV)

1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The phrase ‘do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing’ really struck me. That’s an amazing statement that gets at the heart of how we should help people. I don’t always give in secret.

Maybe giving shouldn’t be something that we keep track of just so it can show up as a deduction on our taxes. I’m not saying we shouldn’t claim our charitable giving on our tax returns, but it is challenging to keep my left hand from knowing what my right hand is doing while working in TurboTax….

In the end, there is a healthy secretive aspect to giving. I’m glad God brought me to this passage – He reminded me that all the good I do is for His glory and not my own.

HBC – 25 years of worshiping together

worship confessional header

Libby and I started attending Hockessin Baptist church (HBC) in 1998. We’ve had such a great time worshiping there. The place is very alive to God. People are real, and it’s a place that real spiritual healing happens on a weekly basis.

I LOVE leading special services. I had the opportunity to help lead our 25 year anniversary service a few weeks ago. It was such a blast to be in the presence of God, celebrating what he’s done over the last 25 years – and looking ahead to what he will do through His little piece of the body @ HBC.

I believe He will do great things. Even this coming year I’m excited of what He will do. I’ve been talking to Jon and Rick about a worship idea I have. I have this vision of HBC getting together on a monthly basis to worship in an informal setting. Right now it’s called “Embers”….the idea is to have a place where we can come together and be free to worship God, practicing different elements of worship. I’m really excited about it. I’ll be talking more about my ideas later.

Here is the set list from the 25 year anniversary…

Set #1

  1. Here I Am to Worship (D)
  2. You Are My God (D) – I love this song, it proclaims that “early in the morning we will rise to meet him.”
  3. Ancient of Days (E) – I think I said something like “this is the song that helped us find our funkier side”.
  4. Great is Thy Faithfulness (C)

Set #2

Set #2 was neat because we started with How Great Thou Art, then ended with the chorus of How Great – “Then Sings My Soul…” by taging it to How Great Is Our God. The idea was to have book ends to the set. I love when things come full circle.

  1. How Great Thou Art (G)
  2. Blessed Be Your Name (A) – Joanna has a great post on this song here…read it!
  3. Jesus, All For Jesus (D) – Brett has a great post about this song here…read it too!
  4. How Great Is Our God (G) – resolved to “Then Sings My Soul” for the book end.

I love worshiping God with all my friends @ HBC. We have such a great group of people.

If you go to HBC, chime in on something you love about our body of believers….

sharing a meal with sonny, perk and ??? – a simple act of worship

Ben and I set out for our bi-weekly homeless lunch. It was a misty cold day with an overcast foggy skyline. We walked around Market and Rodney Square looking for Charlie or Eric or Donald, but we didn’t find any of them. But we did find 3 other guys.

Ben was up first this week, he asked me if he should go up to 3 guys standing together. I’m the skeptic cheap guy so I said to Ben, “Dude, you want to take 3 guys to lunch???” He said, “Yeah, good point”…then he proceeded to go up to them and ask if they were up for joining us for lunch. That’s so like Ben…

Well they were up for lunch. We met the coolest guys – Perk, Sonny and another guy who would not tell us his name for security reasons. He said he doesn’t give out his name to anyone. We were like, “Hey that’s cool – we don’t need your name, just come anyway.”

They asked us why we would take them to lunch. Ben gave this awesome response of why we’re doing this, I’m sure he’ll mention it on his blog – check it out here.

I can’t even begin to describe our lunch, but fun is a good word to start with. We threw together our $$ and had just enough to pay for all five lunches. I think we had $3 dollars left. The small restaurant we go to is called Benjamin’s on 10th, at 204 West 10th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. The place is great, one person behind the cash register, and one cook. They only take cash. I got a BLT, Ben got ham & cheese, ??? got a BLT, and Perk and Sunny got large cheese steaks with everything.

Sonny is a blues man. He is definitely a believer in Jesus. We started talking about worship and he said so many wise things. He said he follows a hard Jesus (as opposed to an easy Jesus) and that Jesus has always given him a door to take out of bad situations (like Vietnam). He travels from city to city and apparently plays a lot of blues. He said he worships through the blues, because God sees his heart.

But one thing he said in particular really hit me. He said that no matter what we sing, we need to “Lift Him”. Maybe it was his deep raspy bluesy voice, but for whatever reason there was a lot of weight and honesty behind his words. He kept saying “Lift Him” over and over again when he described how to worship. I told him that when I lead worship sometimes it seems that people are not really worshiping like they could. He said that whatever song we sing, no matter how we sing it we need to “Lift Him”. And he said maybe we’re not “Lifting Him“. I need to give his words time to sink in. Especially “Lift Him”.

Another highlight was when Sonny started chatting with the waitress and all of a sudden he had his harmonica out and he was singing her a bluesy love song. It was so awesome, I wish you all could’ve been there.

I learned so much today. Here are a couple of pics from Ben’s phone to prove we’re not making these lunches up…

me sonny and perk…

terry sunny and perk

sonny…

sunny

sharing a meal with “charlie” – a simple act of worship

Ben and I set out for our bi-weekly homeless lunch again today, walking Market Street and Rodney Square in Wilmington. You can read Ben’s account here.

I was up first, I went up to a guy and asked if he wanted to join us for lunch. He said he had some important business to take care of. As we were walking away, Ben had the wisdom to go back and make sure he knew who we were in case we ran into him again. Once we talked to him a little more, he basically said – “Hey I changed my mind, I will come to lunch with you today.”

We shared a meal with Aubrey Willis, a.k.a. “Charlie”. Charlie moved to Delaware when he was 5 or 6 (in the 1950’s) and has been in Delaware ever since, although I get the idea he doesn’t like it that much. He couldn’t understand why Ben moved here from Texas, Charlie is a Dallas Cowboy’s fan and he especially likes the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

What struck me about Charlie is how average and ordinary he seemed. He seemed to have a clear mind, and he had an even temperament. He didn’t seem eccentric. He is a regular guy.

Charlie was different than Eric. Eric had grandiose (though somewhat delusional) thoughts about how he was going to start a real estate business and become wealthy again. When we asked if Charlie had any hopes or plans, he said he didn’t have any.

When we asked Eric what he needed most, he said cash. When we asked Charlie what he needed most, he said a warm jacket and some work shoes. Jackets and shoes are something Ben and I can help with. Our plan is to take Charlie a new jacket and a new pair of shoes next Monday.

Here are some random thoughts from today:

  • even homeless men have normalcy and routine in their lives
  • some of them really are hopeless, and others just have unrealized dreams just like me
  • everyone has their own unique story
  • everyone needs some compassion in their lives
  • no one person is above any other, though we like to put ourselves above others – that’s not really the way it is

sharing a meal with eric – part 2

Ben and I had lunch with Eric for the second time. Eric is homeless. You can read about our first lunch here. Or you can read a better account from Ben here.

We found Eric on the same bench we found him last time. And he was drinking a pint of whole milk, just like he was last time. It’s as if not much had changed since we met him over a month ago.

Today was like meeting an old friend for lunch. We talked about old times, like the time Eric told us that Bob Dylan’s wife is from Wilmington Delaware. Ben mentioned how that’s his go to now, for random facts about Delaware. We heard Eric has been in the hospital since we last met, because of his diabetes. He’s doing better now, but we had to walk SLOW as we walked to the restaurant.

We were able to go a little deeper with Eric, trying to get a feel for how we can help this guy.

I’ve realized it’s hard to take homeless people to lunch, on many levels. First, it’s hard to find someone willing to take a risk and share a meal with you. But beyond that, it’s hard to know how to help. I felt helpless just being with Eric. I also felt the eyes of those around us, people looking at us probably wondering why we were together. Maybe I’ve had a small taste of what it’s like to be in his shoes. Hard. And a lot of hardness surrounds him.

But there is hope for Eric, even though I don’t see much right now. Maybe we’ll meet him again.

These are the lyrics that come to mind. Lyrics I’ve sung before. I know they’re true – but this would be really really hard for Eric to sing.

There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary,
and love for the broken hearts.
There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are.

From “Cry out to Jesus”, written by Brad Avery, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, & Tai Anderson

brothers of influence

In reflecting on this past year, I realized that some of my brothers have really helped me along on my journey of life and faith.

My friend Jimmy encouraged me yesterday that things will happen for me in God’s time, and that I don’t need to worry about my resume looking good because that’s not what it’s about. He’s a good friend. He is always there for me and has so much compassion.

I was sharing some fears to my friend Ben the other day, about how I have this fear that I lack some technical abilities in leading worship, and that I have some doubts about going after that as a vision for my life. I loved his response – he said that what I lack in technical skill I make up for in awesomeness. That really encouraged me. Ben has a way of inspiring me to do odd things, like taking homeless guys out for lunch. He’s a source of light for people.

Rick has been a great listener to my ideas this past year. We’ve spent hours sharing with each other, and he is awesome at listening and giving good advise. One of the things he said awhile back was to start taking small steps of action, testing the waters so I can hang some of these thoughts on something tangible. That has proven to be good advise. I feel like I can tell him anything, and he’s my pastor – that’s just pretty cool.

Jon just generally fires me up whenever we meet, I can’t get enough of that. He’s an amazing story teller and visionary. It’s been fun to get each other fired up with Frank Sinatra playing in the background at Fa So Latte. And he also got me back into the Beatles, added bonus.

Brett has taught me not to be afraid to be open about my faith at work, and reminded me that if you ask them, they will come. He also reminded me that brothers are really important. REAL brothers are awesome because you don’t have to prove anything to each other, and you can always count on your brother. I’m glad Eli has a little bro too.

Ryan has reminded me that believing in God is a journey, and that families can grow together. He also has some amazing ideas on how to reach those who don’t believe – like meeting them @ a British Pub for darts and drafts. He has also shown me how to serve unselfishly.

Bryan has reminded me to go after the Kingdom work, and he has never doubted me. That’s been a huge source of encouragement for me to keep pushing. He also taught me that we can recover from the hard things.

Vinnie has reminded me that running a business can be a Godly accomplishment. And that the inner faith in God is more important than looking like a good Christian to those in the church.

Who has influenced you this past year?

lightning & plans (it’s OK not to be safe part 3 of 5)

Tonight was “daddy night.”

Here’s the official Foester Family definition of “daddy night” – Lib goes out for the night and leaves the 3 little ones to me, it’s that simple. I look forward to daddy night. My kids are fun and I love to hang with them. And they still think I’m cool, which is an added bonus.

Being the thinker, I usually have a plan for “daddy night”.

Here was tonight’s plan

  • dinner
  • building block lesson (Eli the little engineer gives me a lesson)

    eli’s wall

  • wrestling
  • movie time (Toy Story 2)
  • bed time routine of brushing teeth and reading books and prayers

THEN, it’s time for daddy to get out his guitar and record some music with the Presonus Inspire Firewire recording thingy. At least that was the plan.

But here’s how it went down…

Silas (5 months) was being a stinker so he didn’t go down ’till 9. I had planned for him to go down at 7. That didn’t happen, but he’s cute so he can get away with it.

I finally got Eli and Eden down a little after 9 and I was getting set up to play some music.

Then the storm came.

Eli and Eden sleep on our third floor so they can hear the rain and thunder pretty clearly in their room. I wasn’t surprised to see them standing outside my door, almost hugging each other in fear.

So I took action, I unplugged the computer and TV and turned all the lights off in our room. We all hopped into our bed and cuddled during the storm. It was one of those loud storms with lot’s of lightning. They had lots of questions about lightning that I couldn’t really answer, like how does lightning come into the TV and computer?

Then we prayed. Eden prayed for our computer which I thought was funny. Eli prayed for his mommy’s safe trip home.

Man, I was floored with the power of God tonight. I actually got a little afraid of Him during the storm. I was reminded how powerful He is and how little control I have over the way I plan things out.

I was reminded tonight that I’m trying to force some things in my life, and trying to make them happen on my plan instead of trusting in God and having true faith that he will see things through.

So I’ll try to keep having true faith and not get too caught up in my plans.

What plan are you holding onto too tightly?


author – Terry Foester

I'm a family man at heart. I admit my world revolves around my wife Libby and our 3 hooligans...Eli, Eden and Silas. They are easy to love. I'm trying to learn to love the rest of you. I also like to ask questions.

Give Herman One Dollar

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