… the world we live in …

.. we have a house guest. our guest came in on the ‘noon’ train last Friday.IMG_0032

… as with any guest in your house, there is an original awkward unfamiliarity with environments, personalities, schedules, and routines.  with some guests, that  awkwardness lasts for the entire visit.  with close friends and some family members, that discomfort leaves as soon as they find out that there is an ample supply of their favorite snack item.

… we once had a man who stayed with us who was from India.  prior to his visit with us, we had stayed with his family a number of times in their home in one of the many slums of Chennai.  when our friend from Chennai stayed with us, we needed to provide things to make him feel comfortable.  for instance, in Chennai, it seemed everyone made their coffee with hot milk and instant coffee.  to someone used to coffee made that way, our drip coffee maker just ‘would not do’.   lol.  😉

… our friend from Columbia, (South Carolina that is), was a bit nervous for his first weekend with us.  i mean, after all, we had only actually met on Friday afternoon, but by Monday, our guest had fit comfortably into our routine.

… as we are in America, our routines revolve around the need to gain barter points, exchanged primarily in the form of ‘green backs’ or ‘money’, which we need to give to billionaires for the privilege of living with a roof over our heads.  this routine, in our household, revolves around a typical 9:00 to 5:00 Mon thru Fri ‘situation’.

… on Tuesday, we rode our bikes to a park not far from the house.  near the back entrance to the park, there is a bridge that a homeless man lives under.  i don’t usually see this man, and when i do it’s from a distance, but his camp is a familiar sight.  on this day he was standing down on the road so i stopped to talk.

IMG_0015… “the buttercups are beautiful today.  the fields are full of them.  you gotta see the buttercups,” said the man who lives under the bridge.

… i found out that the man’s name is Scott and that he has been on the streets on and off for 30 yrs.  as we chatted, he noticed that my guest had a shirt on that says ‘Homeless Helping Homeless’, and he asks, ‘is he homeless?’

… i told him that our guest was, in fact, homeless, and that he was visiting from out of town to let his body heal, and to work on ways to end the homeless situation in his area.

 

… Scott then says something that caused me to write this little piece.  Scott says, “he can’t be homeless, he has a camera.”

… i explained to him that it was our camera and that he was using it to take pictures of our area, for inspiration and ideas, as well as for memories sake; but it made me think of all the things my homeless friends don’t have anymore.

… and then i think of the judgmental people who make comments about a homeless person with a phone, or a person using an EBT card to get a piece of candy for their child that just brought home a good report card ….   and i start to cry .

Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:21, NKJV)

… back when i was a child, one of my favorite bible stories about Jesus was His most esteemed ‘Sermon on the Mount‘™©® 30AD, Matthew 5:3-7:27.  a lot less talked about or even know about, is His ‘Sermon on the Plain’™©®, Luke 6:17-49.  although the sermons are very similar, it is in the Sermon on the Plain that it is recorded that Jesus said things like : “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God.” (not ‘poor in spirit’ like the Sermon on the Mount, just plain poor) and “Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.”

… it took me a long, long time to understand those words – blessed are you who weep now.  i mean, how contrary a statement is that?

… but now i understand.

… how can you be aware of the condition of the world and not cry?

… “Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan Urban Institute and Northeastern University.” Slave labor in America.

…””Millions of workers in Pakistan are held in contemporary forms of slavery. Throughout the country employers forcibly extract labor from adults and children, restrict their freedom of movement, and deny them the right to negotiate the terms of their employment. Employers coerce such workers into servitude through physical abuse, forced confinement, and debt-bondage. The state offers these workers no effective protection from this exploitation. Although slavery is unconstitutional in Pakistan and violates various national and international laws, state practices support its existence. The state rarely prosecutes or punishes employers who hold workers in servitude. Moreover, workers who contest their exploitation are invariably confronted with police harassment, often leading to imprisonment under false charges.” – child slavery in Pakistan.

…”We think of slavery as a practice of the past, an image from Roman colonies or 18th-century American plantations, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists. There are 29.8 million people living as slaves right now, according to a comprehensive new report  issued by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation.” – 30,000,000 slaves in the world – 60,000 in usa alone ..

 

…”It’s been a week of goodbyes at the Homeless Voice in Hollywood, Fla. For nearly 13 years, this rundown, 22-room hotel operated as a homeless shelter.  On most nights, hotel manager Christine Jordan says, more than 200 homeless men and women stayed here, some sleeping on mats in the cafeteria.  “We called this the emergency level … almost 40 people in here every night,” she says. Some stayed for free and others paid on a sliding scale. “[Now], everything’s gone. I can’t cry anymore.” – illegal to be homeless.

… “In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, released Friday, the State Department acknowledged that trafficking and forced labor still exist in America.”  –  article

Britain sees a hike in the number of its citizens in need of food banks. UK’s biggest provider of food banks, the Trussell Trust, says the number of people relying on food banks is expected to soon pass the one million mark. It reveals that delays in receiving state benefits have caused citizens’ reliance on food banks, adding Britons hold Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party responsible. Trussell Trust says families on low incomes are not sharing in the benefits of economic recovery. The opposition Labour Party is expected to use the figures published by the Trussell Trust in the run up to general elections next month.” Youtube

 

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.” (Luke 11:35, NLT)

…and i think, ‘where is the ‘church’?’

… it’s not that i can’t hear ‘the church’ – as they have thousands of watts of power around the globe broadcasting their messages.  now they even have ‘reality tv-shows‘.

“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders. I know that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some men from your own group will rise up and distort the truth in order to draw a following. Watch out! Remember the three years I was with you—my constant watch and care over you night and day, and my many tears for you.” (Acts 20:28–31, NLT)

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.” (2 Peter 2:1–3, NLT)

… we live in a world where millionaires and billionaires who own huge corporations that make their money off of exploited labor in the worlds poorest nations, are called “christians”.  as people seem to forget what words actually mean, let’s look up the word “Christian”:

  Chris•tian \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\ noun
[Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos] 1526
1      a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

Frederick C. Mish, “Preface,” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

… so, if a ‘christian’ believes in what Jesus taught, they would do what He said to do.  right?

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.” – Jesus (Luke 6:30, NLT)

… “Worldwide 600 million children are living in extreme poverty. The cost of eradicating world poverty is estimated at 1 percent of global income. Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income.” – article

… with all the needs of the world,  people believe that ‘christians’ are building a $800,000,000 Bible Museum.  a billionaire who claims to follow the homeless man, Jesus, the Christ, actually has people who believe he is a ‘christian’.

… the apostate church of the world serves money.  they worship it, and those who have it.

..

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… Scott was right, the buttercups were beautiful.

.. and i thought of the promise :

For there shall be a new heaven and a new earth: and they shall not at all remember the former, neither shall they at all come into their mind. But they shall find in her joy and exultation; for, behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and will be glad in my people: and there shall no more be heard in her the voice of weeping, or the voice of crying.” (Isaiah 65:17–19, Brenton LXX En)

 

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Author: orland

.. i was born into an average family in the mid-west of the United States of America. my parents were divorced when i was young. ... i have been fortunate to have experienced many things that only the rich get to see. i once stayed in the Presidential Suite of the Lai Lai Sheraton Hotel, in Taipei, Taiwan. this suite composed the top two floors of the Lai Lai, where my private room overlooked the city of Taipai. ... and i have spent time in the Federal Prison System of this country as well. ... i had a construction company on the road to 'success and prosperity' and fell pray to the lures of the American Christianity Syndrome. but thank the good LORD, He allowed it all to crash around me. ... now i am quite happy to be poor, relying only on Him ....