This is a blog about Jesus' love and faithfulness and I just pray that what you see in this blog will encourage and bless you about the unconditional love and grace of God for you in His Son Jesus Christ. He really wants you to know that He loves you. You are His beloved, and nothing can change that. Just believe and trust Jesus. Things are greater and better than you once thought.
2013, though you are on your last lap, I believe that you are still getting better.
Judah Smith, Jesus Is _______.
I noticed that I’d been playing the same songs over and over again during my quiet times in the past two weeks. I’d want to share them with you; so here they are!
Not all of these songs are new, but it didn’t hurt for me to listen to them again and again—not just listen to the melody, but really dwell on their lyrics. This has been how Holy Spirit minister to me during the long bus rides home and when I’m in solitude. It’s amazing how God speaks to us through songs written by people whom we have never met.
Anyway, I really hope that Father will use these songs to reveal to you deeper how much He loves you, and how great He is, beloved— because He did for me.
You are not the horrible child. You are more than just the second choice. You are not a ‘leftover’ or a ‘last resort.’ You are not stupid. You are more than your body size. You are not ‘talentless.’ There are people who want you here. There are people who are glad you are here, alive.
You have a purpose, a calling, a gift. You are special, wonderfully and fearfully made, and unique. Don’t look down on yourself. Don’t look at yourself the way people tell you. Don’t think that you are alone, because you are not. There are people who love you. Most importantly, God loves you. He wants you just the way you are; He accepts you wholly. He is unlike any person you have met. He is more. He is perfect. He created you because He loves you. He wants you to enjoy this life with Him.
I recently had the honour and blessing of crossing paths with an 82 year old homeless man, named Louie. Louie is originally from Italy, and has been living on the streets of Melbourne, in and out of shelters and protective housing for the last 27 years. Every day he walks the same route throughout Melbourne, and he passes the home where his daughter and family now live and reside; though he has never met his daughter. He makes his way to Princes Park in Carlton North, where he finds food in the 8 designated bins around the outskirts of the park.
Louie and I have shared fruit, sandwiches and as of last Friday, a meal, a coffee, a new outfit from the op shop and an incredible conversation about his life, and about God together. Louie shared his story with me, and I shared my story with Him, my story of how my life was drastically changed through the incredible power and love of Jesus Christ.
His words were as follows; (I asked him if I could write them down in my phone, because I felt the power of what was coming from his mouth was precisely the truth as to why so many people feel unloved, and uncared for.) Louie said to me upon me finishing my story of how Christ radically altered my circumstances:
"You see all the people who do go into the churches, you see them. You see their children and their families and their nicely shined shoes. You see their hair is done and their faces are happy, because they know that they have much. But they see me, and they tell me that they do not have time to talk, they do not have the money to give me that I can have a warm drink. They do not see that I am homeless. They think maybe that I am blind? That I cannot see they can help me just a little? I love Jesus because He keeps me warm in my heart but, I do not like His followers. And people ask me why I do not? And I say because Jesus is about love and He is about giving to those who need His blessings, and His people… They are not."
And so, on this note, I decided to share with Louie about my church, and about my blog. I shared with Him that I have followers on here who would love the opportunity to show Him kindness, and also in my church. He said to me "If God can show me through you that He can love me practically and He see my need, then maybe I can come to Him?"
This is where YOU GUYS come in, I would LOVE to raise some money to pay for Louie to stay in a rehabilitation clinic here in Melbourne for a three week intensive rehabilitation course for Alcoholics, which has the potential to lead into some community work, which then has the potential to lead into part time work for him, depending on his progress in the rehabilitation program.
In the long run, my desire out of this is to see Louie come to know the love of God, and to; through the love of His people, and the support of His people, see His circumstances radically changed! I KNOW the power of love and giving, and invite you to be a part of this incredible opportunity…
HOW DO I DONATE?
- On the left hand side of my page, you will see a 'Donate Now' button, through PayPal, which I will be accepting donations towards fully funding Louie through this program. Alternatively, YOU CAN ALSO CLICK HERE TO DONATE if you don’t want to go to my original blog page.
CAN I LEAVE ENCOURAGEMENT/A NOTE FOR LOUIE WHEN I DONATE?
- Yes, you absolutely can, you can email email@example.com
IS THERE A SPECIFIC AMOUNT I HAVE TO DONATE?
- No, you can donate as you feel led. $5, $10, $20, $30, $50, $80, $100 or more, or less. Whatever your heart feels inclined to give.
Please know ALL DONATIONS will go towards bettering Louie’s situation.
I know God has orchestrated and blessed me to be in this position, where I have the reach of thousands of people from all across the world to partner with me in this opportunity to bless a mans life, and allow him to receive a second chance, and to potentially come to know His maker intimately through a random act of kindness through strangers.
Thank you all in advance for your willingness to pray, read, love, listen, understand and of course, donate. I know God has great plans for this situation, and I know His favour is upon Louie’s life… We did not cross paths by chance, God does NOT do ‘coincidences’.
The following is a brief history of Louies life, which I was blessed to hear him share over an evening meal in a local café near the park he passes daily.
Louie is 82 years old, he was born on the 7th of September 1931, in Italy. Louie had a fantastic life in Italy, though lost his father at the age of 11 due to a heart condition, and his mother at the age of 13 due to cancer. Louie cared for and raised his two younger siblings Anna Maria and Katterina until they were old enough to find work. He then at the age of 24, met his wife Mabel — a beautiful woman from England with a love and desire to travel. Mabel had family wealth, a healthy career and as Louie says ‘She was more beautiful than the flowers of spring time.’ Four months later, they were married, and Mabels family purchased a small home for them in Italy, where they lived for many years happily together. Louie was working for a leather company producing footwear, and mabel had plans to travel. Louie never imagined himself living in another country, and without a word of english before meeting Mabel, the idea was very scary. However as Louie put it “Love will always find a way to give the best to others in need.” — and so, they moved to Australia.
Louie and Mabel had the support of Mabels’ family, but struggled to make Australia ‘home’ for quite some time. Louie was blessed to work on the tram lines; a steady income with a little work each week - leaving mabel to be a stay at home housewife. Years went by, and it seemed life was settling well for them. Until one evening when Louie returned home from work to find an empty home. Thinking perhaps that Mabel had gone travelling as she often would, he waited patiently for her return, going to work for first one week, then the second week passed by and still no word from Mabel. He waited, and waited, and waited for her. She never returned, which Louie described as ‘The most painful beat of my heart.’ Several months following, Louie lost his position working on the tram lines, and decided to open himself up to the ways of the world.
He sold their family home, and moved from bed to bed, eventually settling in the small town of Yallourn, where Louie began working in the coal industry, drinking excessively and smoking excessively. For years Louie went on like this, until his body decided it had had enough. Louie was diagnosed with a rare alcohol induced liver disorder, as well as lung cancer. Having no family and few friends to support him through this time, he put off the treatment, and continued smoking and drinking, until he could no longer function at work, losing his position, no longer being able to afford his lifestyle, and rendering himself without a choice, he took himself in for medical treatment. His second nurse tending to him the third night of his stay in hospital, was none other than his estranged wife, Mabel. After some time of talking, Mabel admitted she left because she fell pregnant, and that he was the father of a little girl. Mabel no longer desired a marriage with Louie and had already begun another relationship with another man. Louie says “It was this moment that you can feel your heart does truly break, you know? She tell me I cannot see this little one too.” Mabel had made it clear Louie was not welcome to see their daughter, and that she did not want him to request her while he was in care either. His heart was broken.
Louie later went on to (and to this day still does) suffer from severe depression, loneliness, alcoholism, regret, heartbreak and severely retracted from social situations and society. Louie since being discharged from treatment has been living on the streets of Melbourne, in and out of emergency accommodation, shelters and hostels for the past 27 years. He knows the name, and address of his daughter, thanks to brief contact with Mabels parents fourteen years ago. She currently resides in Carlton North, with her family. Louie walks through this area every day on his way to the dog park (where he and I crossed paths) and passes her home, in the hope that someday perhaps, somehow, they too, will cross paths and he will catch just a small glimpse of his daughter. But as he says "I believe I will see her and she will know who I am, I do not know when, but I do know this in my heart, that someday she will know me."
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I just found out that my 25-year-old uncle(my mother’s cousin) passed away this morning. He died of cardiac arrest in his sleep. Please pray for my grandmother and his family. I do believe though that they’ll get through this. God is the One taking care of them right now. It’s just shocking and saddening. Thank you!