General

11 Nov 2019

MEET HUYEN NGUYEN FROM VIETNAM

By |2019-11-16T17:56:38-06:00November 11th, 2019|General|0 Comments

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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 1970’s 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.

28 Oct 2019

MEET DAWSON: MY FRIEND

By |2019-10-28T19:21:42-06:00October 28th, 2019|General|0 Comments

HE’S GOT SOME WORDS OF WISDOM FOR US ALL!

Here’s my friend, Dawson Keyes.  Many of our staff members at CCO and members of our JPUSA community have known Dawson for about ten years.  He’s stayed at our shelter and our place for seniors, Friendly Towers.  “God has used you guys (CCO and JPUSA) in so many ways throughout these last few years of my life,” he said.  “You’ve literally helped me to hang in there.”

He told me that he’s had so many health issues to face including various surgeries and cataracts.   “We’re all getting older,” he said. “And we’ve got to take care of ourselves.  But I also know that God’s not done with me yet.”

I then asked Dawson what is his advice to those still living in shelters.  Like how should they face each day?  He thought for a moment then he offered his “words of wisdom.”

“First of all, when you wake up, “Thank God,” he said.  “Then after that do something positive for yourself, like connect with as many folks as you can that can help you.  Like seeing folks, and getting on waiting lists for housing.”

And then there was a final word of encouragement, which had the “ring of truth” for us all.  “And if you can’t do anything else, well then, just simply be kind to someone.  For God will be doing his work, but you’ve got to trust and have faith, and you’ve got to do your work, too.”

Thanks, Dawson.  And I thank God for friends like Dawson… for they help me to see a little more of Jesus at work in our world.

Chris

17 Oct 2019

MEET KEVVIN FROM GARY, IND.

By |2019-10-23T06:53:04-06:00October 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.