Homelessness in our Community

Gardner News Article for February 4, 2017

I went to seminary just outside of Philadelphia. It was great to be so close to a large city because there was always something for my family to do. We could walk to the train station, and within 15 minutes we could be most any place in the city.

On one of my frequent trips into the city I was running late and I arrived at the train stop with only about five minutes to catch the next train. I knew that if I was late it would be at least 30 minutes until the next train came.

I ran to the ticket counter and I stood in line. It went pretty quickly but as I got to the top of the steps to go to the platform I saw my train pull away.

To make the best of a bad situation I looked around for something to do, it was around lunch time so I made my way to a small pizza shop. As I walked there my eyes caught the glance of an older man who appeared to be homeless. I quickly looked away because I did not want him to think I was staring at him.

But while in line at the pizza shop he approached me and said “Excuse me sir.” I turned and saw a man who was most likely younger than he looked, who smelled like he has not showered in weeks and his cheeks were sunk in because he most likely has not eaten for a while.

“Yes?” I replied. “I was wondering if you could buy me a slice of pizza, I have not eaten for days.”

I looked at the cash I had in my hand and I looked in my wallet and at the menu. I realized I could buy a medium pizza so he could have plenty. I turned to him and I said “Only if I can join you for lunch.”

Surprised and excited he said “Yes.” I bought the pizza and we grabbed a table. He ate like he has not eaten in days and he did not talk much but he did answer a few of my questions. I found out his name was Derek and he lived his whole life in Philadelphia and he has been homeless for almost 10 years.

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My Manifesto

Day 1 of Intentional Blogging with Jeff Goins

I became a follower of Jeff Goins after I read his book Art of Work. I listen to his podcast, I read his blog and subscribe to his mailing list. Jeff provides great value for anyone who follows him like I do. He has started a 7 Day Blog Like a Pro Challenge.

I have not blogged recently because much of my time has been focused on getting the 2 Bald Pastors Podcast up and running. I have found so much joy in podcasting and this love is multiplying as my children are showing their interest in creating media content to share.

The challenge for the first day is to create a manifesto. Jeff writes “What’s your worldview? What gets under your skin? What wrecks you? These are the questions great writers, and incidentally great bloggers, must ask themselves…And once you’ve identified it, that thing you’re writing about, you’ve created something powerful for your readers to connect with.”

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5 Questions to Find The Meaning of Life

When I as a teenager I wanted to be an architect.  My parents supported this and they bought me a drafting table and watched as I drew day and night.  I was creating plans for houses and schools, playgrounds and zoos.  Then after a few years I realized I no longer wanted to be an architect because I stopped enjoying straight lines. 🙂

For a long time after that I did not know what I wanted to do with my life.  I went to college to study music but I realized that it was something I enjoyed doing not something I wanted to do for a profession.  But during my time of discernment I realized that I was surrounded by students who declared specific majors – but many of us were unsure what we wanted to do with our lives.

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G is for Generous

There are many words in the Christian faith that begin with the letter G — Genesis, grace, Goliath, and God just to name a few.  These are important words to the life of faith.  However, it is also important to be generous.

I love spending time with generous people. There is something magical about being with someone whose energy elevates my own and who inspires me by their giving.  As much as I try to be generous with my time, talents and treasures I know that I fall short of where I want to be.

While it is typically the high-profile people who are recognized for their generosity, anyone can become more generous by thinking about eight simple actions.

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F is for Forgiveness

Forgiveness is something we desperately need in our lives.  By nature we tend to hurt each other and our selves by the decisions that we make.  We are at the same time both saints and sinners.  To understand what we are doing and why is important to be able to connect with one another and with God.

Author Phillip Yancey writes in his book What’s So Amazing about Grace a story about a prostitute who went to a counselor for help. The counselor and the prostitute talk about her needs and then the counselor asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. The counselor said “I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that crossed her face. ‘Church!’ she cried. ‘Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself.  They’d just make me feel worse!'”

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8 Things I Hope for My 8 Year Old

Dear Addyson, You turn 8 years old tomorrow. I can’t believe my baby girl is getting so old!  You are becoming so independent it scares me sometimes.  But you have promised that you still will dance with me when you are 18 and I will hold you to that promise.  You are walking that fine line of still coloring pictures of kittens and talking about how boys are falling in love with you.  There are a few things that I hope you know as you continue to grow up.

I hope you know that…..

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