Monthly Archives: November 2019

27 Nov 2019

MEET ALEX FROM ROMANIA

By |2019-11-27T11:13:51-06:00November 27th, 2019|General|0 Comments

HIS ADVICE: “Don’t hide under an umbrella!”

I’m pleased to introduce to you, Alex from Romania.  He came to Chicago about 30 years ago, when his native country was under communist rule.  And because of this fact, he tells me that even with all the problems that the United States has it’s still the best place to live by far.  “I really appreciate my freedom,” he says.

For about 25 years he was employed by the Salvation Army, as the assistant to their ministry officers’ team.  He told me that he really enjoyed sharing his faith during those years, particularly in nursing homes.  

“And how would describe your relationship with God now?”  I asked.  

“Oh, I feel him every day,” he said.  “He guides me all the time, and I’m still serving him on a daily basis.  Sometimes I run into some of my old friends from the Salvation Army, and we just give each other a big hug.

Our conversation then turned towards his thoughts on God’s provision.  “You know, God wants to shower his blessings down on us, but many times we kind of hide under an umbrella,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.  

“Oh, really,” I reacted, not quite sure what he was getting at.  “Could you explain a little more just what you mean by that?”

“Sure,” he said. “You see, many times we simply refuse to prepare for the blessings. We refuse to be thankful during our “hard times, and so we’re not ready or appreciative of the good things he does send our way.”  

At this time in his life (the past five years) Alex told me that he’s going through a lot of physical health issues including brain surgery, kidney transplant, strokes, and blood clotting.  Still, he tells me this with a smile on his face.  

I’ve just  learned to accept my life however it goes,” he says.  “I’ve just learned not to get discouraged, and to surround myself with positive things… and to get away from the negative things and people in life.”

Although I had noticed Alex before at our soup kitchen and pantry, I had never sat down to talk with him like this.  There was just something “special” about how God had brought us together on a recent Sat. afternoon.  And I told him that I was so blessed just getting to hear his story, and him allowing me to share it with my readers.  (Indeed, I was so blessed that I had nervouslyextended my out-stretched my hand to him a few times during our conversation.)  

Alex just smiled and shook my hand a final time and said, “Yeah, I never expected to talk with you todayeither… and shake your hand four times!”    

Thanks for stopping by.  Chris.  

11 Nov 2019

MEET HUYEN NGUYEN FROM VIETNAM

By |2019-12-10T21:05:41-06:00November 11th, 2019|General|0 Comments

SHE’S GOT ONE WORD FOR US: “HALLELUJAH”

This wonderful lady, Huyen Nguyen, has been a kind-hearted soul towards Cornerstone for many years. She tells me that she appreciates so much all the food she receives from our food pantry and soup kitchen.

She came to Chicago in 1995, and has lived here ever since. She says she has some family back in Vietnam, but that she has only been back to visit once since she arrived in Chicago.

Huyen does not speak much English, so it is not easy to communicate with her. But her smile and her sincerity spoke volumes. And when I asked her about her faith, her first response was to raise her hands and unashamedly proclaim, “Hallelujah!”

She then showed me pictures of her with her church choir.

Now most of us have heard the word, Hallelujah, before. It’s meaning being, “Praise (ye) the Lord—used to express praise, joy, or thanks.”

And many of us will be familiar with Handel’s Messiah. And particularly the “Hallelujah Chorus” when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords finally gets his due. The lyrics soar when any choir sings, “And He shall reign forever and ever Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle-lujah!

And as we look into God’s word (Revelation 19:1-9) we discover that there is a “great multitude in heaven” who are rejoicing so exuberantly that they include three “Hallelujahs!” in the space of nine verses!

And why is this multitude so radiant with praise and thanksgiving? It’s because what they’ve waited for for so long has now come to pass. “For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (Rev. 19: 6b-7)

And I’d like to make just one, simple observation. It seems to me that this sister has no problem with getting a “head start” on the multitudes.

And why is this? It seems she already knows her “Jesus” is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And because of this assurance, she does not hesitate to express her thanks to her Lord… right now, right here on earth.

The only question is,“Are we joining in with her… now?” If we are not, maybe we ought to ask ourselves, what’s holding us back?

Hallelujah!

Thanks for stopping by. Chris

A younger, long-haired me in the late 1970s worshipping Jesus at a Resurrection Band concert. Hallelujah!

 

5 Nov 2019

MY FRIEND, CURT , ON THE STREETS OF UPTOWN

By |2019-11-05T19:37:57-06:00November 5th, 2019|General|0 Comments

 

 

A CLASH OF CULTURES…OR THE LANGUAGE OF HEAD-GEAR?

 

Hello all my Jesus in the Least friends:  Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  But here is a poem by my late friend Curt Mortimer, who went home to be with Jesus in November 2016.

Check out his poem which paints a beautiful picture of how the  “interaction” between the cultures of Uptown, Chicago CAN go.

 

THE HAT

B y Curt Mortimer

 

My hat and me was simply

Walking down Wilson Avenue

Minding my own business

When my hat said…

Well, now you gotta know

My hat ain’t got no mouth

So it looked like I said

Cause it was movin my lips , you see

 

Well it said… Aaah…I said

Howdy Pardner

To a big brother

With a dew rag

Sup, he said

 

What is sup? asked the hat

Hangin, said the dew rag

Hanging who

Wha’d the cowpoke do?, The hat

Ain’t no cows in Uptown, man, said dew

Ain’t no trees either, pardner, said the hat

How yagonna hang the outlaw?

 

We’all is gangstas, said dew

You want a death play,

We got a way

Just stand on down there on the corner

 

And then I grabbed my hat

Wait, wait, I said

This thing is gonna get me dead

My friend, I’m sure you see

That I don’t wear the hat,

The hat wears me.

 

Yo man, said the brother

I got the same kind of bother

Every time I doff my dew

You know what I’m sayin?

I feel like a gang banger

Out lookin for danger

Ah’m just a nice young homie

That loves ta write poetry

 

I knew, says I, I knew

By that “doff my dew” line

Fine poetry

 

So off we went

Up there on Broadway

To the Chicago Coffee House

Poetry slam

Just across from Blockbuster

Ah-ite, said my brother

All right , said I.

 

 

This poem was reprinted from Curt Mortimer’s collection of poetry entitled, Mudblood. Copyright 2010.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Chris.