Something incredible has happened in my neighborhood over the past few years: It has gotten better. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, but I’m here every day and I see it and feel it. The local churches are actively ministering to the poor on a relational level. The city has invested in … Continue reading The Good News of God’s Faithfulness in My Neighborhood
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
My friend Julie has lived a hard life. She’s in her mid-forties, but has the mental capacity of a twelve-year-old. I’m not sure if she was born this way, or if her trauma-filled life caused it. Usually, Julie is full of positive energy. She comes to our ministry building to shoot pool, drink coffee, and … Continue reading Why Suffering Matters – Pt 2
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
Last week, I shared that mine and Rachel's bikes and tools were stolen from our garage. A couple hours after posting that blog, a brother and sister in Christ generously gave us their very nice bikes. As Rachel road her new bike around the block she said, “This is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.” On … Continue reading How to Become Fabulously Rich
As I approached Greg’s house, I noticed a pile of shoes sitting by the curb. I stepped onto the porch and was greeted by Adam, Greg’s brother. “Hey Adam,” I said, “is Greg home?” He replied, “You didn’t hear? They moved back to Philadelphia.” By “they” Adam was referring to Greg and his daughter Cara, … Continue reading A Hard Prayer to Pray
Mark stormed into our office. He was breathing heavily and smelled like alcohol. “What’s the problem, Mark?” Jeff asked. “You call the housing authority and tell them to forget it,” Mark replied in anger. “I’m tired of being on the streets. Tired of waiting. If they’re going to be this way about it, I don’t … Continue reading Why Friendship Matters
While I was at work the other day, I pulled out a giant flip chart, grabbed a Sharpie, and started writing down questions. A smart guy once said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” In a neighborhood like mine, defining reality involves asking a lot of questions. I wrote things like … Continue reading What Is Church?
I’ve had one of those weeks where God has shown me something and I have to do something about it. A friend of mine recommended the book The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson, an older book about spiritual warfare. It’s not silly or over the top. It doesn’t encourage exorcisms or power encounters. Instead, the … Continue reading Are We Wrestling With Flesh and Blood?