Everyday People

17 Oct 2019

MEET KEVVIN FROM GARY, IND.

By |2019-10-23T06:53:04-05:00October 17th, 2019|Everyday People, General, Quotes|0 Comments

Kevvin in the Chicago Uptown neighborhood

JESUS; “HE’S A LOT BETTER THAN I DESERVE!”

I was on my way home one afternoon last week when I ran into Kevvin.  He, too, had just exited our Sylvia building when I struck up a conversation with him.

It was only a minute or two before his strong belief in Jesus emerged seemingly out if nowhere.  “ When we see the depths of his unconditional love for us, then we’’ll learn to trust him more,”  he remarked.

I was a bit taken aback.  “Yeah, whoa, that sounds real good,” I said. “But that’s not easy to grasp, is it?”

“No, it’s not,” he said.  “But God wants treat us all as his children, and he’ll work with each one of his children in a different way.  Say, you’re a father who’s got ten children.  Well then, you’re going to relate to each one differently, according to where each one is at.”

“Yeah, that makes good sense,” I responded.

“Yeah, because that’s how God shapes us, each one of us, he loves us so much,” he said.  And another thing, it’s all about relationship.  It’s like, ‘If you don’t go through something, how can God show you his faithfulness?’”

“Yeah, that’s true,” I said.

Kevvin went on to tell me that he had worked all his life, but that now he was down on his luck, but he wasn’t going to let that get him down.  He said that he was blessed to attend the “House of Prayer” church in our Uptown neighborhood.

We chatted a little more, and I told him that he had just blessed me with his heart for God, and I asked him if I could share a few of his words with my blog audience.

He readily agreed.

“You know, God said, “The just will walk by faith, not by sight.”  And to me, that means that if  the Holy Spirit and the word of God give you peace about something, then either you do it or you don’t do it.”

Now that sounded good to me.  How about you?

“And there’s one more thing I’d like to share,” he said.

“Yeah, sure, go on ahead,” I said.

“You know how you hear people say, “God is good…. all the time!”  Well, all I know is that He’s a lot better than I deserve.”

Thanks Kevvin for sharing your heart with me and all of my readers.  It sounds a lot like God’s heart towards us all.

Thanks for stopping by, Chris.

5 Aug 2019

THE DEVIL IS A LIAR 

By |2019-08-05T08:59:38-05:00August 5th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

AND WHAT IS ONE OF HIS BIGGEST LIES?  

IT’S THE FACT THAT HE PREACHES THAT HE DOESN’T EXIST!   

I LEARNED THAT FROM MY FRIEND WOODY.  

BUT THINK ABOUT IT ?   COULD IT BE A VERY REAL DEVIL THAT IS INSPIRING ALL THESE VERY REAL MASS MURDERS WE SEE MOST EVERY DAY… AND THROUGHOUT  HISTORY .  

JESUS BELIEVED SO.  AND SO DO I.    

Woody is an acquaintance that I’ve known for many years.   He’s been up on the Northside for about the last 13 years. He immigrated up from the Southside, where he grew up in President Obama’s neighborhood.  He came up “north” because there were more opportunities to better himself.  

Woody is an easy-going, faith-filled guy, who likes to lend a hand to whoever is need.  On a recent Saturday afternoon, serving our neighborhood a hot meal, I was in definite need of an extra hand.

“Hey Chris,” he said.  “Do you need some help?  It sure does look like it.”  

“Yeah, you’re right,” I said.  

“Well, why didn’t you ask me earlier?” he said.  “You know I would have helped.”  

“Ok, go wash up,” I said.  

Woody was a great help, and we had a good time serving together.  And we got to talking about our God and how we each viewed our present-day world.  

“Chris, do you know what I believe is the biggest trick that the Devil plays on humanity?” he asked. 

“No, I don’t,” I respond.  “What is it?” 

“It’s the belief that he doesn’t exist,” he said.   

“Hmmm, yeah, that’s pretty good,” I said. 

And then Woody went on a little more.  He talked about how Dr. King used to preach how poverty breeds violence, and the observation that if the Devil did not exist, then there wouldn’t be all these drive-by shootings.  “Because you see,” he said. “The Devil simply encourages you to do what he does.”   

Later that day, I felt led to look up some Scriptures and some commentary on the Devil, evil, murder, temptation.  And here’s what I discovered.  

 In John 8:44, we discover Jesus’ portrait of the devil. …”He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”      

And in John 10:10 we hear Jesus saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”    

Then I turned to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.  And this is where I stumbled on some poignant truth that everyone of us need to ponder: “Satan is not simply the personification of evil influences in the heart, for he tempted Christ, in whose heart no evil thought could have ever arisen (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15); moreover his personality is asserted in both the O.T. and the N. T. , and especially in the latter, whereas if the O.T. language was intended to be figurative, the N.T. would have made this evident.”   

And so, I guess we can think about “the Devil” however we want … or not.    

But whenever we are confronted with all these “mass shootings,” I believe that it’s not ”a stretch” to believe that  there’s “a real Devil” behind it all.   

How about you?  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Chris

 

30 Jul 2019

Uptown’s Gangster History

By |2019-08-05T09:04:10-05:00July 30th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

Uptown is full of gangster-related history.

John Dillinger’s body was on 4506 N. Sheridan Rd. in 1934.
Now it’s time for some life-giving history!
I was walking around my Uptown neighborhood on a recent evening, praying some, and inviting a few folks to our new Uptown Church on 939 W. Wilson Ave.  On my journey, I made a stop outside the large dwelling located at 4506 N. Sheridan Rd. This was the building where John Dillinger’s (the notorious bank-robber) body was available for public viewing, a few days after he was gunned down by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934.
I had been aware of this building’s morbid history for at least the last 20 years.  (Note: Unless one had been knowledgeable about Chicago’s crime history, one would never know this house’s ghoulish past.  There are no historical markers of any kind.)  I had even convinced the one-time landlord to let a friend and I view the basement room where Dillinger’s body had laid.  And as I recall the room did seem to engulf us in a rather macabre, sickening atmosphere.
Well enough of that. But there is a quote of Dillinger’s that indicates that he knew “his luck” could not last.  “I’m traveling a one-way road, and I’m not fooling myself as what the end will be,” he said. “If I surrender, I know it means the electric chair.  If I go on, it’s a question of how much time I have left.”
So that is a part of Chicago history.  Now it’s time for Uptown to become known for something that’s life-giving.  And Uptown Church, just a block away for where Dillinger’s body once was laid, is now offering a place where one can find hope, deepen relationships, and discover the love of Jesus and a few of his followers.
Everyone is welcome. Sundays.  10 am.
Thanks for stopping by.
Chris.
17 Jul 2019

Down But Not Out in Montpelier, VT 

By |2019-08-05T08:59:10-05:00July 17th, 2019|Everyday People|0 Comments

Meet Nic, Jay, and Robby

I was visiting my wonderful relatives in Montpelier, VT in late June 2019.  My cousin Larry took my wife Sandy and I on a little downtown tour of the State’s capitol.  We wandered the streets taking in the old, historic buildings as well as the blend of hip, welcoming cafes, bars, restaurants, vintage and book stores.  And along the way, we ran into Nic, Jay, and Robby.  They were just hanging out on the streets, with a sign that said they would tell a joke for a quarter.

I stopped for a few minutes to chat with them while Larry and Sandy continued on down the street. I discovered that Nic was from Houston TX, Jay was from Gooding, ID, and Robby was from Memphis, TN.  Nic told us he’d been living the life of a modern-day vagabond, traveling all the country for the past couple of years.

I asked him what was his experience of choosing that type of lifestyle.  He thought for a moment, and then said, “Things are sometimes good . . .  and then there’s times when things are not so good.”

We chatted a little more, talked about Jesus a bit.  And then they OK’d me sharing their pic on my blog.  And then I made a small contribution to their cause, which was to simply carry on another day.

Please say a prayer for these beggars, bums, hobos, panhandlers, wanderers, outcasts, and anything else you can think of to label them. There’s a lot of folks just living from day to day to see what might come their way.

And I believe God is not looking down on them.  But he is looking at how we treat folks such as these.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chris