Archive for the 'inspire' 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.

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james part 3 – no james, but sonny found us

Ben and I set out to meet James as planned. He didn’t show – but we’re hopeful to find him again. Ben left a note for him at the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

We walked around the train station area a bit. We were walking along and Sonny recognized us! Sonny is the blues man that we took to lunch a month ago. I thought it was interesting that he noticed us, I guess we do stick out a bit. We were able to reconnect with Sonny. He asked how we were doing financially, then he asked for some cash. Instead, we offered to walk him to the convenience store to get him “something he needed.”

When we walked into the store, Ben noticed some packages of socks and thought that might be something Sonny could use. Ben turned to Sonny to ask him, but Sonny walked right to the snack isle. Smart man. He picked out some candy orange slices (I love those things – even though they stick in your teeth) and some caramel candy. He also asked for some cigarettes. So that’s what we bought him….

orange-slices.jpg

It was interesting to talk to Sonny again. He asked us if we knew anyone that needed a carpenter, because he needs work. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about our homeless lunches is meeting the same guys several times. It’s funny how after 2 encounters someone can become a friend.

Please pray for Sonny and James. They could both use our prayers and our help…

james part 2 – to trust? or play the skeptic?

Ben and I set out on our homeless lunch thing again today. We had an appointment to pick up James, our lunch was on all our calendars. Ben and I had a little wager going on whether James would show or stand us up (like Donald did). Ben was right, James did follow through on his word. James was waiting on the corner for us – hands crossed, bright yellow gloves + military green trench coat.

We had a great lunch with James. We learned more about his complex story. Her are some random bullets…

  • Today was the first day in 2 years that James has had a cheese steak.
  • He was able to get his medication from the VA.
  • He’s about to get his “daddy’s” house in Laurel. He’s waiting on all the legal stuff to go through.
  • His dad died last year, right before Christmas.
  • He’s going down to Georgetown today, to get his birth certificate.
  • He likes jazz and gospel.
  • He gets help from the friendship house.
  • He wants to buy my kids some Christmas presents. (I’m all for that!)
  • He is a lieutenant, and was a sniper in the marines.
  • He sweeps the parking lot of the Hertz rental place near the Wilmington train station. And they let him sleep in the garage there.
  • He has seizures.
  • He has cancer.
  • He has no family in the area.
  • He holds honor in a high place in his life.
  • He likes to salute….

lieutinant-james-2.jpg

In all of these details, James is a really likable guy. Our biggest challenge with James is trust. He’s given little reason not to trust him. So far, he’s been a man of his word. Still, his story has holes. And it’s outrageous on many levels. It’s easy to play the skeptic and point to the inconsistencies.

Ben and I both agreed that we are rooting for James, and we’ll do what we can to help him. We have another appointment on Wednesday, to take James to the DMV so he can get his ID. The plot may thicken yet!…

Teach us to love like you love, Jesus – unbiased perfect love, selfless perfect love

Trying to see past circumstance…

one clear choice

Here is the prayer God gave me today…

God, give me one clear choice – that is awesome.  And help me to follow.  Amen.

This was spurred on by two things:

  1.  A breakfast meeting with Jon (who totally spurs me on, & maybe instigates a bit too).
  2. And by the lyrics of James Blunt.  (God can work mysteriously, right?)

On Blunt’s new album there’s a song called “Same Mistake“.  I don’t completely understand the song, and I don’t necessarily think it’s theological.  But the lyrics do capture my prayer to God right now…

I’m not calling for a second chance,
I’m screaming at the top of my voice.
Give me reason but don’t give me choice.
‘Cause I’ll just make the same mistake again.

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

freerice.com

a good cause and a fun way to see how bad your vocab is…

free-rice-125_125_banner_a.jpg

here’s my freebe: tintinnabulation = ringing

based on my research, this site is legit. look at their faq and do your own research, please let me know if you find otherwise because i’m a skeptic…


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

Greylias Worship
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