Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Praise God! 2 men make decision for Jesus

God is so amazing. It's always amazing how the simple act of sharing God's Word with others can change their lives. Case in point. On Wednesday nights we hold Bible studies at the Love In Action warehouse for the homeless and anyone else who wants to join us. A week ago, a friend at church who brings men from the Houston County Community Corrections to church every Sunday asked if he could bring them to our Wednesday night Bible study. Of course I said yes!

Tonight was the first time they came. There were 19 of us in the Bible study; our largest yet. The theme of tonight's Bible study was "The Scriptures." We focused on how we need to be grounded in the Word. How God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105) Other verses were Psalm chapter 1, Psalm 119:130 and 165, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and James 1:19-27. Some of the men shared what these verses meant to them and shared some examples of how God's Word has changed their lives. It was great!

After the study, two men who were quiet throughout the entire Bible study - a homeless man and a man from Community Corrections - asked Jesus into their hearts. Praise Jesus! That's what it's all about. I never get tired of leading people to Jesus and seeing people get saved. Those men not only have a new life, but their eternal destiny just changed tonight! I'm about to start shouting I'm so excited. If you can't get excited about people getting saved then your exciter is broken and you need to check your own salvation.

I want to thank our great friends Mike and Laurie Shroades for joining us tonight. Martha and I love y'all very much. I think we've seen each other more this month than all of last year. The fellowship is always great.

OK, I need to try to get some sleep. I've been invited to speak at a weekly Bible study tomorrow at 7 a.m. at the Dothan Train Depot. I was at my favorite lunch spot - The Blues Kitchen on Foster Street in downtown Dothan - the other day and Pa and Ma started talking about this Bible study they attend on Thursday mornings and the guy who heads it up was in there. I told him about Love In Action and he asked if I would come speak to them about it. Plus, they will serve breakfast. I can't pass up that offer.

Please keep our Wednesday night Bible studies in your prayers. Please keep the warehouse in your prayers. There is still a long ways to go to get everything done. God has given us a great vision for it, so we know he will provide all of the finances and laborers to get it all done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Praise God!

I have some awesome news to share. One of the homeless couples we have been working with just got a blessing today. Below I wrote about "Homeless with cancer." Well, the husband, David, just got a job today. He took his welding test for the company he turned in an application with and they hired him on the spot. He begins tomorrow. Praise God!

He came to my work place this afternoon to tell me. He is very excited to have a full time, steady job with a regular income. He's already planning his budget, which includes tithing to their church. He asked me about tithing to make sure he was doing it right. God is blessing them.

The next miracle they need is for Teresa to be healed from cancer. She's in a lot of pain. She has a doctor's appointment in late February. Please keep praying for her, and praise God with us about David's new job. This is a big step to them no longer being homeless.

Homeless count

The homeless count has begun. This is an effort to get a better idea of how many homeless people are in Dothan, Ala. Our numbers will be added to the national figures for a better idea of the homeless situation nationwide. While we don't know the numbers right now, I know they have increased. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. With millions of people losing jobs and houses due to our nation's economic recession, that means a lot more people have become homeless. The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that 1.5 million additional Americans could become homeless over the next two years due to the recession.

Martha and I filled out survey forms on 13 homeless people last night. The main needs are housing, jobs, food, transportation and medical assistance. We met a young family of seven last night. There's another family of six that we're helping as well. The others we're working with are three couples and a father and son.

We will be filling out more surveys, along with volunteers from other organizations and agencies. These counts give us a better idea, but they never provide the total numbers. It's hard to get that.

We're looking forward to the Homeless Connect event this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at United Christian Fellowship Church, located at 208 E. Lafayette St. in Dothan. This event will help the homeless with warm clothing, food, blankets, sleeping bags, personal hygiene items, referrals to needed services and a hot meal. Love In Action will be giving out the personal hygiene items.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My wife is awesome!


Everyone who knows my precious wife knows that she is one special woman. I've never known anyone so caring, loving, and compassionate as my Martha. God blessed me with the perfect wife. She's as sweet as she is beautiful, and she loves helping others.

Today we celebrated her 40th birthday with family. We all had a great time and it was a special night for Martha. We are blessed with an awesome family, and Martha certainly deserves a special day. She's always giving of herself to others, so it was great for all of us to give to her today.

Here's how awesome Martha is. Wednesday was her actual birthday. After work I took her out to eat at our favorite Japanese restaurant. Afterward there was a need that needed taken care of. A homeless married couple that Love In Action got off the streets and into a hotel needed coats, hygiene items and clothes. So, after we finished eating we went to the Love In Action warehouse to get those items.

We then found out they needed food too, so we went to Wal-Mart to purchase some food for them. After delivering the food and praying with them, we took their dirty clothes home to wash. They had 98 cents to their name and it costs a dollar to wash one load of clothes at the laundromat and a dollar to dry them. Well, if you've ever used a dryer at a laundromat you know clothes never get dried during one cycle.

So, on her birthday night she washed the clothes of a precious homeless couple. She cried as she put their clothes in the washing machine. Her tears were tears of compassion. It hurts to see people hurting and not having anything. I hugged her and told her that God has blessed us with the opportunity to see hurting people and with the ability to help them. It is a blessing, because Jesus loves everyone, and we want everyone to know that. God wants us tell them and show them. We do that through acts of compassion, and nobody is more compassionate than Martha.

Today we celebrated Martha's birthday and you know what we did first? Go pick up food from Angel Food Ministries at Memphis Baptist Church in Dothan, and take it to the warehouse where we put it in the refrigerator and freezer. That food will be given to the homeless. It is perfect for the ones in hotels who have microwaves.

As we headed home Martha smiled and said "I wouldn't have it any other way." She's a very special lady. I love you beautiful. You are the greatest. And, Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Homeless with cancer

Being homeless in freezing weather would be terrible. Living that way while fighting cancer would be unthinkable. However, that is reality for one homeless woman in Dothan, Ala.

Love In Action board member Brian Turner called me a couple of weeks ago and told me about a married couple who were homeless and that the wife had cancer. I told Brian to call David and Teresa and tell them that Love In Action would put them up in a hotel room.

They came to Dothan from Panama City, Fla., in hopes of receiving quality medical care as Dothan is known for its outstanding medical facilities. Teresa has an appointment toward the end of February. Hopefully that will lead to the proper treatment she needs.

David has been pounding the streets daily looking for work. He has raked leaves, trimmed shrubbery ... doing anything and everything he can do to earn a living. He is a hard-working man with some great skills. It's just work is hard to come by these days. He's an experienced welder and heavy equipment operator. He can also do carpentry work. He's applying tomorrow morning with a company that is hiring welders. We're praying that he gets that job. It would mean a regular income for him and Teresa. She's applied for work as well.

They are very involved in church. They both want to be in church every time the doors open. Their pastor has really done a good job of ministering to them and helping them the best his small church can. They have great hearts and I know God will bless them. Their pastor picks them up in the church van and brings them back to the hotel.

The amazing thing about Teresa is you would never know she has cancer. She has a great attitude. She's always upbeat and laughing. She doesn't have a "feel sorrow for me" attitude. She knows God is in control. She's a strong woman.

They are determined to make it, and they know Jesus is the One who will lead them through everything.

Thanks to those who support Love In Action, we have been able to help them with their hotel rent, food and clothes. We've also been helping them look for work. It was someone on our ministry's e-mail list who gave us the tip about the welder's job. Thanks Todd.

Please keep David and Teresa in your prayers. Pray for Teresa's healing and for David's job. Once David starts working, then the next goal will be to help them find permanent housing and to purchase them a vehicle. Right now they walk everywhere they go.

If anyone wants to donate a vehicle, they could certainly use it.

Please give to Love In Action. It's your donations that make it possible for us to help people like David and Teresa; good, hard-working people who are struggling right now.

I'm going to blog about other homeless people God has led us to, so you can read how real people are facing real serious issues. My prayer is it will lead more people to help. This is what Love In Action is all about ... Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through acts of compassion.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

300 hygiene kits



We had a great afternoon yesterday at the Love In Action warehouse. Love In Action board members Brian Turner and my mom, Susie Tuck, helped Martha and me put together 300 hygiene kits for the homeless.

Go to our Web site at www.loveinactionministries.com for more information and for a photo slide show.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Great conference

The men's conference at Harvest Church in Dothan, Ala., went great this weekend. I don't know how many were in attendance, but Friday night the church was packed, and probably two-thirds filled this morning. The chicken biscuits from Willie T's in Dothan were mighty good this morning too.

It's always great hearing Brad McClain. He always brings a challenging word. He taught on the five challenges men face - eternity, mind, body, family and harvest. We all broke into small groups for "huddles" after each lesson.

Two of the guys we've been working with attended the conference. One couldn't attend today, because he had to work, but he was there Friday night. It's great seeing what God is doing in these men's lives.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Men's conference at Harvest

Harvest Church will host a men's conference this Friday from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. Breakfast will start at 7:40 a.m. Brad McClain will be the speaker, and he is a powerful speaker. It's a great investment of your time to attend this conference.

Some of the men Love In Action has been working with will be in attendance. If you are mentoring anyone, or know of some men who could really use a good conference, invite them to this one. All of us could use it.

Harvest is located at 2727 Fortner St., Dothan, Ala.

Thank you Ridgecrest

I want to say "thank you" to Lance Griffin and the folks at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Dothan for inviting me to speak to the college and career singles class last night. It was a great night, and Martha and I really enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone. Lance, you have a great group of young people. And, those young people have a great teacher in Lance. He is indeed a man of integrity.

The class meets in Ridgecrest's Acts 29 Coffee House. Talk about a cool setting. They have couches and chairs in the coffee house, and of course plenty of coffee. After an excellent time of praise and worship, I shared Matthew 25:31-46, Mark 12:28-33, and Psalm 41:1-3. Afterward, Martha and I enjoyed sitting at a table talking. Several folks were very interested in the ministry.

Again, thanks for the opportunity and for the hospitality. May God bless you as you continue living for Jesus, and may God bless you as you reach out to those who live in Martin Homes. We are planning to join you on one of those outreaches.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Work day this Saturday

If you are looking for something to do this Saturday afternoon, or better yet, looking for some ministry to do, then come on out to the Love In Action warehouse at 1 p.m. There is plenty to do. We will be putting together hygiene packets for the Homeless Connect event in Dothan, Ala., on Jan. 31, that we will be part of. See our Web site at www.loveinactionministries.com for more information.

We also have clothes to organize, and we may do more work on the restroom we have been constructing at the warehouse.

The warehouse is located at 1140 Montgomery Hwy. (next to the Piggly Wiggly) in Dothan. We need your help.

Thanks and God bless.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Get others invovled with Love In Action

Hey everyone. I hope your week is off to a great start.

We have been staying extra busy this month. God has really opened a lot of opportunities to help the homeless here in Dothan, Ala. We currently have taken five people off the streets and have them in hotels. We are helping them get back on the feet so they can support themselves again. Most importantly, we are reaching them with the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ.

One of the men we have been working with since Thanksgiving is joining our home church of Harvest Church as he attended the membership class this past Sunday night. His son is in church every Sunday as well. Another man we’ve been working with since Thanksgiving isn’t homeless any longer. He is doing great. He’s at church every Sunday morning and Monday night, and he is helping at the Love In Action warehouse. He is working regularly now and God is even restoring his family to him.
Every Wednesday night we have Bible study at the warehouse, so they are all being taught the Word of God and mentored. They all see God doing great things in their lives.

We are helping a married couple now who don’t have anything. The economy has taken its toll on them. They were living in their pickup truck, but now we have them in a hotel where they can stay warm and get good night rests. He’s a tree cutter, so if you know of anyone who needs trees and limbs cut please let me know.

In addition to getting the homeless off the streets, we are also helping them with clothing, hygiene items and food. Those aren’t the only homeless we have been helping, but those five are the ones we are able to provide shelter for. We also provided shelter for a homeless woman we found at the Dothan post office on a rainy, stormy night last week. There are others we help with hygiene items, blankets and clothes. We need more non-perishable food items, so we can help more with food.

Many of you support Love In Action financially and that’s why we can help the homeless. We can’t thank you enough for all of your support. You are making a difference for the kingdom of God and helping to change lives. You are letting the homeless know that people love them and care about what happens to them.

If you would like to help even more, here’s a project idea to get others involved. The hotel rooms right now are costing a total of more than $500 a week. Ask your Sunday school class, small Bible study group, office at work, school class, civic group, etc., to sponsor hotel rooms for the homeless. This will get more people involved, and you will help them to “consider the homeless” (Psalm 41:1). It will help us to continue helping those we’re currently keeping off the streets, and will help us help even more of the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:40)

The goal is to show them the love of Jesus Christ, which gives them hope and helps them to come off the streets and live productive lives for God. They become self-supportive and most of them will end up “loving God with all of their heart, soul and mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

As we mentioned earlier, one man is already off the streets living a productive life for Jesus. Another man has a very promising job opportunity, so he should soon be off the streets as well. The father and son we’re helping will be well on their way once the father lands a job. He has many job applications out there, so keep praying for him.

Thank you again for all of your prayers and financial support, and for helping us get others involved in the ministry with this new project of sponsoring hotel rooms for the homeless.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Don't be afraid

Why is it that people are afraid of homeless people? I asked Martha that question after witnessing one person after another fearfully look upon a homeless woman (Sabrina) inside the Dothan Post Office Tuesday night.

They walked into the post office like usual, but once they saw Sabrina, they stared at her and quickly walked on by. One woman was so scared that as she walked out the door she kept looking back at Sabrina. She didn't see me walking up to the door. By the time she turned around I was opening the door and she jumped and said that I scared her. She was already scared.

Not one person stopped to see if Sabrina needed help. They just walked past her, mailed their letters and checked their P.O. boxes.

Martha anwswered my question very wisely. She said people are afraid of homeless people because they are afraid of the unknown. That made perfect sense, and I can understand that. Still, it breaks my heart to see the homeless ignored. God loves them just as much as He loves everyone else.

What do you do when you see a homeless person?

Brandon Heath's song "Give Me Your Eyes" has been on my heart for weeks, and I included his video in a previous blog. It's such a great song with a strong message that I wanted to include it again.

God bless.


Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes from Brandon Heath on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pray for Sabrina

Tonight after work I went to the post office as I do most evenings. As I walked through the doors to check Love In Action's P.O. Box, I saw a baby stroller and someone sitting on the floor on the other side of the stroller. Upon closer examination I saw there wasn't a baby in the stroller. Instead a suitcase was in it, a long with a broom and a large drink bottle. I knew what was going on. It was a rainy night and a homeless person was seeking refuge in the post office.

I looked around the stroller and saw an unkempt woman sitting on a sleeping bag rubbing her eyes. I asked her if she was OK and if she needed some help. She said "I'm homeless," with a shaky voice due to her being scared. I chatted with her to let her know I meant her no harm. I asked if she was hungry and she was. I told her that I would go get her some food.

I came back and she was very appreciative for the food. She arrived in Dothan on a bus. Her name is Sabrina. She's not mentally retarded, but she would be what society would classify as "special." She was very polite and talked a lot about Jesus.

I called Martha and asked her to meet me at the post office. She did, then we took Sabrina to a hotel. Strong storms are in the forecast for tonight, and I knew it was only a matter of time before Sabrina was kicked out of the post office and back on the streets. I couldn't stand the thought of Sabrina being out in the weather. She looked very tired and a good night's rest would do her good.

We gave her a blanket and a small box filled with hygiene items, gloves, and other items that will be useful to her. Tomorrow she will go to Mama Tina's Mission House for a good lunch.

Please pray for Sabrina. Pray for her safety and that she will be able to get the help she needs.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A great weekend



Since the weekend of Thanksgiving 2008, Martha and I have been working with three men in Dothan, Ala., (Russ, Dave and Bryan) who found themselves homeless and needing the hope of Jesus Christ in their lives. It's been a good, and at times tough, six weeks. This weekend was a very good time as we all enjoyed great times of fellowship together.

Martha and I worked at the warehouse painting and getting the conference room completed. This room will be used for Bible studies and meetings. Martha did a great job painting. The room looks great. Our friend Franklin Moore had already cleaned the carpet and floor, so the room is now ready to use. Praise God!

Saturday afternoon Russ called me and said, "I promised you that I would help you frame walls for the bathroom at the warehouse." We had talked throughout the week about doing that. We picked him up and went to Lowe's to pick up some supplies. There isn't a bathroom at the warehouse, so one is badly needed.

We got the walls framed and put up Saturday afternoon. Well, it was mostly Russ. He's an outstanding carpenter. I told him to tell me what to do and I'll stay out of the way the rest of the time. :-)

Sunday morning all three of the men were once again in church. The praise and worship was great as always, and Pastor Ralph really brought a great message, which happens every week. This week his message was about the new year and what will we do with our time. Russ enjoyed it so much he got a copy of the message.

Sunday afternoon Russ and Bryan joined Martha and me at the warehouse. We put up sheet rock and got all the tape and mud on it. Dave came by as well. We got a lot accomplished, but what I enjoyed the most was the fellowship.

We all need good Christian fellowship and they experienced that this weekend, and they enjoyed it. Bryan told me as he was leaving, "I really enjoyed that." He hasn't had much to smile about for a long time, so to see him smile and say that he enjoyed the fellowship and ministry was awesome! I explained to them that what they did this weekend was ministry. It isn't all about preaching and teaching. A lot of ministry happens behind the scenes. They thought that was pretty cool and were thankful that they did indeed do a lot of ministry this weekend.

Russ told me, "I really enjoyed this weekend. This is what I need."

I see God working in all of their lives. They each are hungry for God and I know God is working miracles in their lives. They still have a ways to go to get back on their feet, but they are progressing.

Keep them in your prayers. Keep all of the homeless in your prayers. God loves them just as much as He loves everyone else. We're all equal in His sight.

Go to our Web site at www.loveinactionministries.com for a photo slideshow from this weekend.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Helping in Africa



God has opened yet another door for Love In Action to help the needy in another country.

Our good friend and ministry partner in Atlanta, Pastor Larry Arnold of Eagle's Nest Ministry, ministered in Africa, specially the countries of the Sudan and Uganda, on two different trips in 2008. He will be heading back to Africa this spring.

Pastor Larry shared with me about his trips to Africa on the video above. He talked about the needs and how his heart goes out to the children. He said the hospitals have very little to nothing to work with. He wants to take supplies with him when he goes back. That's where Love In Action comes in.

We're going to get supplies for Pastor Larry to take to Africa. They need things that we can purchase at Wal-Mart, Walgreens or wherever we shop. Here is a list of suggested items to donate:

Peroxide, bandages, baby aspirin, Tylenol (tablets and liquid), cotton swabs, gauze, diapers and baby wipes.

Anything that can be used for simple medical care and for sterilizing injuries and equipment.

If you live in the Dothan, Ala., area please bring your donated items to our warehouse at 1140 Montgomery Hwy. in Dothan (next to the Piggly Wiggly), but call me at 334-494-4995 before going to the warehouse, so I can meet you there.

If you would rather send a financial donation so we can purchase the items you can mail your tax deductible donation to: Love In Action, P.O. Box 85, Dothan, AL 36302.

Thanks and God bless.