Daniel has had a difficult life. When he was a child he was removed from his parents’ house and placed in a group home, where he was molested by one or more of the employees. He aged out of the foster system and developed serious mental disorders, including chronic depression and paranoid schizophrenia. He receives … Continue reading Pain and the Peace of Christ
I read this passage in the book of James the other day and, naturally, it scared the hell out of me: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will … Continue reading Five Simple Ways to Help the Poor in 2018
Matt and I walked to a popular spot on Vincennes street – a stoop that sits in front of an empty lot. An abandoned house once stood on the lot before homeless squatters burned it down. They were trying to stay warm in the winter. Several of our homeless friends still hang out at the … Continue reading An Odd, Yet Hopeful, Prayer Meeting
Several years ago, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book called The Cost of Discipleship. The overarching theme of the book was that the grace of God is costly, demanding everything from the Christian disciple. He contrasts this costly grace with cheap grace, the type of grace that doesn’t transform the disciple, but allows the “Christian" to … Continue reading The Cost of Discipleship – Pt. 1
I’ve invited more homeless people to church than I can count. On a few occasions, the person I invited showed up. Most often, however, the person gladly accepted the invitation and later apologized for not making it. There were also a couple of times when the person showed up an hour and half late, as … Continue reading What Does “Homeless Church” Look Like?
In the last two posts, I’ve been pondering the meaning of suffering in the Christian life – just reflecting on some stories and personal experiences, and allowing scripture to speak into those events. In Part One, I wrote about vicarious trauma and the ways in which Christian workers should engage the inevitable suffering in this … Continue reading Why Suffering Matters – Pt. 3
A handful of people have recently asked me how they should approach ministry to the poor. Specifically, they want to know how to get started. I used to tell people, "Pray and do what Jesus tells you." While this is still the best approach, I’ve realized it’s not the most helpful advice. Ministry to the … Continue reading Loving the Poor – “How Do I Get Started?”
I’ve known Trevor and Karen for a couple of years. They aren’t married, but they have two children together. Karen was adopted from the foster system when she was ten years old. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t struggle with alcohol or substance abuse. Trevor, on the other hand, is the youngest of … Continue reading “If It Cries” – Why Jesus Doesn’t Abandon the Lost