Guys, I know you have probably seen this post a few times now, but I am only $223 away from being able to pay for a full three week intensive rehabilitation program for this man. I know God has placed this desire on my heart for His purpose and reasoning, and have put $200 myself, and that is as far as my own personal finances can stretch. I am believing in faith to reach our final goal; and in order to do so, it’s only $223 more to go. If you would re-blog, share with your followers, your facebook friends etc, and perhaps even open your heart to consider donating. I would love for this to be a gift to him of love and of restoration for his faith in Gods people this Christmas. So please, join me in donation and in prayer. Thanks!! :)
steps to follow in order to donate can be found below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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Have you ever caught yourself glancing (and sometimes blatantly staring) around the church on a Sunday, or prayer meetings on a Wednesday evening, or a young adults or youth camp, at the existence of pairing? Have you ever noticed yourself analysing teen crushes, comparing young adult courtships, cringing at fresh engagements and judging new and lasting marriages?
Lets be honest, we catch ourselves considering, matching and comparing our own compatibility against their connections, relationships and affiliations with one another, and second guessing our own worth.. "Why do they get this God breathed and God blessed relationship, whilst I am still single..?" — "Doesn’t God see all the good things I do for Him!?" — "Why does God hear their cry for a partner and not mine?".. "Woe is me, I am going to be single FOREVER.." Yes, we have all been there, and we have all felt the pang, the longing and the desire to be noticed by that young man or woman we have been secretly (or not so secretly) eying off in the congregation, from the very first day we laid eyes on them. But lets just sit back and breathe for a moment, and think about what all of this is doing to our personal growth and development not only in ourselves, but also in the church, and in our relationship with God.
Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall reading in the bible "Compare yourselves to one another, judge what I will bless your sisters with, and be jealous of your brothers wife, of your friends beauty and of her courtship." Of course, it’s so much easier to line everyone up on the boardwalk of judgement (from tallest to shortest if you wish) and pick them apart, fault by tiny fault, until there’s nothing left but skin and bone. It’s so easy to sit back in your seat and harbour bitterness towards anthers blessing, rather than betterness towards your own attitude. (I know, I know ‘betterness’ isn’t really a word.) We know we are a generation of taking the easy route, the road more often travelled, rather than keeping to the straight and narrow.
It’s easy to write, not so easy to put into practice, but upon considering young people in the church (this is those between 15 - 35) and their incessant levels of negativity and envy towards the blessings of relationships for others, I sat down and began to consider what path I traveled on, to get to the season I am in now, where I can praise my singledom, rather than purse my lips. I have considered a great many things, and have listed 10 simple steps to overcoming bitterness towards Relationships and ‘The Single Life’ (or lack there of.)
1. Let Go / Let God
Are you God, and in control, ordaining relationships and the commitments between people? No, You’re not? Then do yourself the greatest favour you ever could, and let go. Let go of feeling that you are in control (or not). Let go of believing that you are ready and the idea that somehow you are being robbed of a blessing that is rightfully and relevantly yours. Believe it or not, God has the outpouring of His blessings to you, well and truly under control. He breathed life into you, and has many seasons to come, tucked away, just for you. Let Go, and Let God. Through prayer and perseverance, honesty and surrenderance.
2. Understand Your Wants VS God’s Will
"I want ……." is not in Gods vocabulary. We are often so caught up in seeing what everyone else has and desiring it for ourselves, that we forget God is not a vending machine, spitting out prizes to us based on the worth of our prayers to Him. It’s crazy to some, and to others it’s forgotten - but it’s important to remind yourself, that His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts are higher than ours. Whilst we are sitting at home watching soppy love movies, texting our friends and believing we are ready for a relationship - God may very well have other things in mind. Remember you are dealing with your Father, who adores and cherishes you, not in an earthly fashion, but in a Heavenly and sacred fashion - and in His storehouse, are pure blessings which you will see. Transfer selfish into selfless, “God, let your will be done and let your timing be prevalent in my life.”
3. See The Bigger Picture
Perhaps you’re studying, working full time, you’re going to school, you’re traveling, you’re looking for work, you’ve just started a new ministry or you’re just coming back to Him fully, and remembering what it’s like to have intimacy with Christ. Regardless of who you are, or where you are in your walk with God - there is a bigger picture that in the midst of our "I want" stage, we may not be able (or willing) to see clearly. This is a great time to consider (if you haven’t got one already) inviting a mature mentor into your life. An older male / female (same sex as yourself) in your Church and regular Christian life who can maintain your accountability, and assist you through times of ‘zone focus’ where all you see is what you want, (or what you’re not getting). If you are struggling to see the bigger picture, and understand why you don’t have something, and someone else does - seek wise counsel.
4. Bite Your Tongue And Clear Your Mind
Jealousy, anger, frustration, judgement, criticism, gossip and slander. We are all guilty of each and every one of these things. Not one of us holds a "get out of jail free" card in this instance, and overcoming bitterness is a proactive choice which is relevant to the entire body. Ask yourself in regards to your attitude in your every day life
A. Do my words reflect a Christlike attitude
B. Do my thoughts reflect a Christlike attitude
C. Do my actions reflect a Christlike attitude
If your answer is anything but yes, (we can all use some improving) then be proactive in choosing to consciously make an effort to change this. Be real with your support networks, with your friends, with your family, and your mentors and pastors. Be real and ask to be held responsible for your words, thoughts and actions. Allow others the permission in your life, to call you out when they note you being bitter, gossiping or judging. Keeping your network clued in is a great way to keep you on your toes. It’s easy to sit in your own negativity, when no one else knows how great your battle is.
5. Get The Right Idea
Many people consider ‘single season’ as a ‘waiting period’, like it’s a season you’re in where you’re just kind of sitting around, hoping for the next season to quickly come along and blow your single one out of the water, and sweep you off your feet on the back of a white horse into that lovely land of relationships, marriage and children. (Insert long groan here) NO. Your time of being single is not a waiting period, it’s not a ‘half-way-there’ season, and it’s definitely not a time where you should be sitting back and coasting your way through, waiting it out. Your season of being single is just as great a blessing as your season of finding a relationship will be. (if this is Gods will for your life). I have heard every cliché under the sun about “in Gods perfect timing” etc. Let me tell you, Gods perfect timing to challenge you, grow you, develop you and anoint you, is now. It’s every day. Focusing on your ‘single status’ is doing nothing more than hindering the great adventures that God has set aside for you in this season. Get the right idea, you are not disabled, you are anointed; take this time where you are considering yourself and God to
A. Learn about yourself and your relationship with God
B. Develop your character
C. Embrace solo adventures and opportunities
D. Grow, grow and grow some more
E. Serve others, the church and your community
F. Build solid and God honouring friendships with members of the opposite sex
G. Solidify your foundations of who you are in Him
6. Value ‘Alone Time’ and ‘Quiet Time’
Moses, David, Elijah, Mary and Jesus are all examples from His word of why and how spending time alone in His presence is not only healthy, but it is beneficial and productive. It is often in the quiet and stillness of His presence that you hear His voice clearly without question. It is all well and good to excite and hype your way through conferences, services and camps with hundreds of others throwing their arms in the air and praising Him - You know you feel God in situations like that, and you know His presence is there. But when you go home, and you fall to your knees, or you sit silently, do you feel Him? Alone time, silent time, without speaking, praying, humming, singing or any worship music — just pure, alone, time. It is in moments like this that God can reveal the very depths of His heart and desire for you, and heal your emotional needs. Valuing alone time allows you to sit and be real, vulnerable and open to His leading; often alone time can see great transformations of attitudes and hearts.
7. Ignore The humanised ‘Social Norm’ and ‘Church Standards’.
Someone is always going to have an opinion on you, on your life, on your relationship status, on where you are going, what you are doing, and who is doing it with you. Humans are conditioned to have misplaced and unconsidered opinions. We are also conditioned with emotions - and when these two conditions collide, we find our self worth dropping, and it seems we’re the only one left, we are the only single person in the world, we are the only lonely one, we are the only one without a boyfriend or girlfriend to worship beside us on a sunday, or come to prayer meetings with. Looking through the word, there are people who received blessings at incredibly young ages; such as Gideon, Isaac, Samuel, Joseph and Daniel. Sure, they were kings, they had incredible encounters with God at young ages; now I am sure people would have looked upon them prior to these commitments they made, and their willingness to serve God and would label or judge them. But remaining in the faith, and ignoring the humanised standard, allowed these young men in the bible to rise up and demolish pre-conceived ideas. Humanised standards are what cause us to lack hope, to lose faith and to doubt ourselves. But thankfully, we do not compare ourselves to others, but to the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ.
8. Be Content With Who You Are
You are on a journey towards loving yourself. Not one of us could raise our hand and state that we are 100% satisfied with who we are, and how we look, or sound, or seem. Rather than focusing on relationships of others, focus on your relationship with yourself. Fall in love with the lines on your face as you smile with joy, and the way your hair falls naturally after you brush it. Embrace the way your skin develops freckles in the sun, and how it seems one arm is longer than the other, or one eye opens more than its partner. The reality is, we are all our own physical form of God’s idea of perfection. We exist in His knitting, His planning, His sewing and His creating all from the depths of His heart and love for us; in which we were formed. Learn and take time to develop an unrequited love for the things you’ve always claimed to hate, and embrace the woman or man that you are.
9. Celebrate Relationships And Connections
When you feel a sense of bitterness or jealousy arise within you, pray. It’s simple. Pray, pray and pray again. Pray for love, peace, and that God would assist you in altering your mind set. For every negative moment you have towards a relationship, a couple, or perhaps even someone who questions you about your relationship life, such as aunties and uncles who attend every family function and without fail raise the point “OH YOU’RE NOT STILL SINGLE, ARE YOU? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?” - For every moment, every phrase, every judgement. Write, draw, text, call or give face to face encouragement. For every negative emotion, find a positive point regarding them, individually or together. Train yourself to focus on kindness and love, rather than envy and jealousy. Through constant reminding and a conscious decision to celebrate relationships and connections, you will find yourself being less of a ‘hater’ and more of a ‘celebrator’.
10. Find Comfort and Be Content In God
It is okay to break down, to get emotional, to have enough, to plead with God and to just plain and simply throw a tantrum. It’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to fall, it’s okay to be jealous and it’s okay to feel frustration. But, it is not okay to stand in that, dwell in that and live in that. It is not okay to make this a ‘normal’ occurrence, and it’s not okay to allow your emotions and your personal situation to dictate who you are and who you become. Until you find complete solace and comfort in God, and until He is all you need, and all you require to get by; you will find yourself searching and seeking for something that does not exist. Until you rest in Him, find yourself completed in Him in every way, and find your heart safely stored within His hands, you will find yourself struggling to see the joy in others relationships, let alone, your own. Finding yourself to be content in God is a journey you need to allow yourself to travel along a road you need to walk, and it will require sacrifice, time and time again, until you are found with nothing personally, but are relying on Him for everything.
So find yourself and your satisfaction in Him. Trust your heart and your emotions into His hands. Ask for help and let those around you support you. Keep yourself accountable. Love yourself and love others. Find comfort and solace in Him. Take time to be alone. Be quiet in Him. Ignore standards and social ‘norms’. But most importantly, remember… You are not defined by your thoughts or your relationship status; but by The King who loves you, without question.
Jacinta / hope-movement.tumblr.com
You, yes you. Wow, look at you!
You have come so far over the last few years, it’s incredible to look upon your journey both within yourself and within life, and see the positive changes and growth you have allowed yourself and your heart to make and embrace.
Now, the most incredible part of this, is that your story book is only just beginning, and so many more empty pages lie before you, waiting to be filled, drawn upon, sketched and covered with every piece of your life experiences.
So my message to you this day, is write your story from your heart.
Take time to quote others, but always come back to your purpose.
Let your voice be heard and exercise the sounds you were born to make.
Let life brush against you, and feel it’s coolness and heat upon your face.
Let life effect you, but remember you are in control.
Allow people to come and go, try not to hold them too tightly.
Give your friends the room to dance and play their role in your story,
Perhaps they will stay for chapters upon chapters, whilst others may only visit briefly.
Smell all the roses, read others stories, take chances, be brave and don’t look back.
Sing loudly, pray often, tell yourself you’re beautiful, cuddle courageously, care sensitively and listen intently.
Laugh without nervousness, love without fear, and give grace without hesitation.
Lay on the grass in the sunshine, pick daisies and wrap them sweetly around your head.
Trust your instincts, live by faith, give of your heart and share your dreams.
Let life kiss your forehead, close your eyes, use your imagination, and remember to say thank you.
Life is beautiful, and it’s not over yet —
So breathe in, breathe out, smile often and above all else..
Make your story count!
Jacinta / hope-movement.
Today is a good day to recover. Today you open your eyes, stretch a little, and begin to lift your head, and as you do so, your worries from yesterday are left behind. You sit up and slide your feet out from underneath the covers of all that is warm and safe, and perch yourself on the edge of your bed — on the edge of the unknown. And there, you realise you’re feeling lighter than usual, moving more freely than you normally do, and your breathing is more calm, gentle and peaceful. You’re seeing yourself and feeling yourself in a more positive light, and it doesn’t feel too burdensome to stand. You feel surprised and you feel intrigued. Today is a good day to recover.
Today is a good day to recover. Today you leave your bedroom confidently, perhaps you do so quietly, but in a quiet happiness, with a sprinkle of pride and a hint of joy, that you made it through the night, without tearing yourself apart. You make your way to the kitchen, your least favourite room - because you generally skip breakfast. You skip breakfast because calories on a bad day, are not a source of energy and stamina to achieve, but a source of fats and weight gain. You see sugars, carbohydrates, salts and vitamins as a form of excess baggage that force you to grow in size, allowing people to see you, and feel you more. Normally you prefer to shrink yourself down, so much so that you can slink past people without them noticing you. So you can slip through the cracks, without your bones rubbing against their skin. But not today, today you reach for the cupboard, and bring down a bag of cereal. Today you pour freely, generously, willingly; with enough milk to fill your stomach to the point of satisfaction and happiness. You are comfortable with yourself today; and you realise that a number on a scale no more defines you than an apple defines an orange. You feel good and you feel fulfilled. Today is a good day to recover.
Today is a good day to recover. Today you remind yourself that you are okay, and that you don’t have to avoid the bathroom mirror until it is covered with a towel, or cloudiness from your overheated shower. You realise in a brief moment of routine, that you have the ability to drastically change your circumstances, and empower yourself unintentionally. Normally you retreat from the heat of your shower, and as you dry yourself, you write the word ‘imperfect’ in the condensation built up across your mirror. But today is a good day, and today you catch yourself making use of punctuation, standing back in disbelief, but a sense of accomplishment and self worth, you read the statement “I’m Perfect”. A small adjustment, and already your heart is beating stronger than the days fallen before you. You feel capable and you feel independent. Today is a good day to recover.
Today is a good day to recover. Today you open your closet, your drawers and your robe, and your heart rate doesn’t elevate at the thought of all those who might catch a small glimpse of you and your attire. You don’t discount every colour and find yourself wearing all black, because you find yourself invisible wearing shadows upon shadows. You don’t shy away from clothing that kisses your skin gently, because it’s the right size for your frame. Today you find the items you own, that compliment the colours in your skin, and the tones in your hair. You choose piece by piece, the items that perfectly match the person you have desired to be, but always feared would be swallowed up and consumed by society and judgement. Today you wear happiness on the outside, because it’s how you feel on the inside. You feel positive and you feel motivated. Today is a good day to recover.
Today is a good day recover. Today you are you. Today you realise there is nothing more beautiful than kicking stereotypes and social expectations in the teeth. Today you are surprised and intrigued with yourself and your abilities, you are good and healthy in your mind, and your body is fulfilled. Today you are more than capable of growth and change, and you are highly independent. You are in charge of your thought patterns. You are positive in every way possible, and you are motivated to find new ways to love yourself. You are empowered, enlightened and you are in control of your own choices, your own emotions and your own experiences. You are you, and you are okay. Why? Because your illness does not define you, your category does not contain you, and it certainly does not describe you. You are okay, because today you woke up, and told yourself the truth. That today is a good day to recover.
By Jacinta / Hope-Movement
Remember the moment that Christ pulled strings in your heart, taught you to dance over your past, instead of drown in your mistakes.
Remember the moment He took your hand and invited you to walk with Him, and to experience what it is to know integrity and peace, instead of falling in love with emptiness each morning.
Remember the way He brushed the hair from your eyes, tilted your head to see His promise of joy and hope, instead of swallowing the lies of fear and failure.
Remember the way He assured you that your life was precious and your heart was treasured, instead of tradable and replaceable.
Remember the way it felt like you were breathing for the very first time when He saved you, instead of the heaviness that weighed upon your chest for years prior.
Remember the life He breathed into the depths of your body, and the living water He flooded your bones with, instead of the dry scattered dirt and sand that they once came from.
Remember the way His love is enough for you, at all times; instead of longing for something more — nothing compares… I promise.
Remember to be content in His presence and swallow it whole; instead of sitting and pondering of what or where you need to go.
Remember to remember
to be enveloped
to be tended
to be mended
to be healed
Remember what it feels like to be captivated by Him. Like the very first day He stole you from the mud and clay, and set your feet on His solid, firm and found rock — the day He paved the way for you, set a place for you, and called you.
Live in that, dwell in that, breathe, sleep and eat in that.
Be found in that, be found in Him.