Sunday, October 18, 2015

God... and Chili Dogs

This past Monday, I was determined to start my week off right - up and at 'em early and time spent with God.

I felt a little twinge of guilt as I checked Facebook real quick - but alas, God was ready to meet me even there.

The first post I came across that morning was from that of a friend of mine from high school. And after reading what he posted, that was all I needed to read that morning. And I was ready to get up and face the day in praise!

Below is that post.
Read and be blessed.  :)


I have been living in Dallas Texas for the last 5 months. During this time I have been fortunate enough to witness the blessings of my Creator, not only through His impact on my life, but through the faithfulness and obedience of some truly spectacular young men. (Yes I am officially old enough to say that)

Four months ago I was called to head to downtown Dallas and feed the homeless. I had never done anything like this before and had no idea where to go. I went to Home Depot and bought a small gas grill, then headed to Kroger and bought hotdogs and all the fixings. I Googled homeless shelters in the area and decided where I was going to make my triumphant debut to save the less fortunate, or at least give them a hotdog. When I arrived at my destination I was disappointed to see that there were no homeless in sight. I sat in my truck and wondered what I was doing there. I had already spent this money and it appeared that it may have all been in vain. As I sat there and began to grow more and more discouraged it finally dawned on me. I had been obedient to God's call by getting up and moving, but had decided not to take him on the journey with me. You see, once I has succumbed to the initial urge I took off without asking God about step two, the execution of His plan. When I finally stopped and asked for guidance God took me on a journey that would change my life forever. 

When I left the first location, I drove for about 5 minutes while praying that God would guide me to the location of His choosing. After a few turns I drove down a street that was packed with people in need. I found two parking spaces on a side road and setup my makeshift kitchen there. As I fired up the grill and began to organize the food, a few people started to form a line in anticipation of the delicious hotdogs that were about to be served. While the hotdogs were cooking, I was asked if I had any cold water. I am in downtown Dallas Texas, in the middle of the summer, preparing hotdogs on a day when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees and I didn't bring any cold water! How could anyone be so stupid!? Within 60 seconds of the first request for cold water a man and women pulled up and asked if they could park next to me. I had no idea what they were there for but told them to feel free. When they exited their SUV the man opened the back and pulled out two coolers full of cold water. I WAS STUNNED! I asked him how often they came down and he told me it was their first time! That fast God had answered a need that I didn't plan for, with people who had never done this before and were guided to my exact location! That my friends was a humbling and exciting moment in my life. 

Shortly after I started handing out hotdogs, I began to feel like it wasn't enough. The people were very appreciative of my efforts but I couldn't shake the feeling that I should have prepared more. At that exact moment a convoy of vehicles pulled up and a man named Jeff Polk stepped out with his army of God's servants. The location that God had guided me to turned out to be an area where Jeff's team served at regularly. On this day they happened to be serving chili. I'll say it again, they were serving chili! Who doesn't love a chili dog? Jeff came over to me and asked if I would be interested in teaming up with them for the day to provide a real treat for the people waiting in line. I responded with a YES! What a mighty God we serve! 

As things began to wind down for the day Jeff introduced me to a friend of his named Sven Nickerson. It turned out that both of these young men had founded organizations with the explicit purpose of taking Christ's love to the streets. God had dropped me right in the middle of a movement lead by some very faithful and obedient young men who have gotten in on the ground floor of something spectacular. I knew right then that these were some true Kingdom Men!

Over the last few months I have witnessed Jeff Polk, Sven Nickerson, Chris Rogers, Taurayon Henderson and a host of others, take the words of the Bible and apply them in a way that impacts not only their community, but the people serving along with them. I have watched these men take money from their own pockets and purchase food for the homeless, when the donations ran out, just so no one went away without a meal. I have seen them take shoe strings out of their personal shoes so that someone could lace their sneakers up. I have seen these men put their arms around people who have not showered in weeks just to let them know they are loved. I have participated in prayers with these men that have meant more to me on any given day than these fellas will ever know. I have seen Christ in these men.

I have told you all of this because I want you to know that these men are the real thing. They are not doing this for the recognition, they are not doing this to make a name for themselves and they are not doing this to become rich in this world. They are doing this because they know that it is their destiny to show the world Christ's love.

Please pray for these men and their organizations. While you are praying please ask God if you should support these men with financial contributions to their cause. It's not often that I can confidently say your offerings will be used to advance God's Kingdom, but I can assure you these guys are legit. Below are the Facebook pages for their ministries. Please look through their posts and message them if you feel compelled to help. I am truly going to miss these guys when I head back to Louisville this week, but they have inspired me to carry this movement home. I can't wait to see what God has planned for us all!

Faithwalkers Charities
Rest Eazy feeding the homeless 

God bless!
(courtesy of Chris Caldwell)

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Chris!
Can't wait to see how He continues to move through you, brother!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


I don't consider myself a crazy cat lady.
I'm sure there are others who would disagree. 
But, as I so often defend: I care for cats, but neither inclusively nor exclusively. In other words, I don't only care for cats. And I don't care for all cats. There have been several I couldn't stand, actually.
And I only have one under my roof with me.

It just so happens that cats are the ones who tend to show up on your doorstep. And if they have a sweet disposition or have a look on their face like "What am I doing out here on my own? Please take me in!" - then I cave. 

Two to three months ago, I had a sweet one show up outside my balcony who looked like she could use a meal, so I came in and got a handful of cat food and gently tossed it down to her. This often ends up scaring most of them away, but after having stepped back, she came back up to check it out and then ate her little heart out.

After that, it became our routine. If I saw her coming down the sidewalk (which was every couple days or so), I would gently call her over, she would come just far enough to check things out, I would toss some down and she would then procede to eat. 

Then, several weeks ago, I tossed a couple handfuls down to her and as she started to dig in, she started shaking her head. Uh, oh... Ants. 

Sure enough. From the nights that I was a little too generous, the excess food on the ground had attracted ants. And it seemed that I had lured her in just to get eaten up in ants.

Broke my heart. It saddened me to watch her, knowing she was so hungy (and around this same time, had actually just delivered a litter), taking a bite then shaking her head. Trying to get in there again and take another bite, then shaking her head. Finally, to walk away after only managing a few bites.

I felt so bad. I wanted to tell her 'That was not from me. I had only wanted to care for you.'

I didn't see her again after that - until this afternoon. Nearly a month later.
I had actually begun to think that something had either happened to her or perhaps (and hopefully) someone had kindly taken her in to care for her.

But, she is still out there. On her own. Looking for food. Fending for herself. But, I didn't see her outside my balcony. She was looking elsewhere to be fed. 

And it's not for my lack of looking out for her. I have stepped out onto that balcony countless times over these last weeks, looking for her. Hoping to see her. Worrying about her. Longing to care for her once again.

But, now I can't help but think that she hasn't been back, by choice. Because she was hurt last time. That trust broken. Even though she had been provided for time and time again leading up to the ants; watched over and spoken tenderly over... She was willing to just walk away over one painful moment.

And tonight, as I looked out there once again, with no sign of her in sight, I thought - 

How many times have I been the same way? 

I have had a Provider, tending to my needs, speaking gently over me, reassuring me, caring for me in an unpredictable world. And yet I'm prone to walk away from the very One who cares for me, due to some uncomfortable moments. 

And all the while, He keeps looking... scanning the horizon... waiting expectantly to care for me once again.