Monday, June 29, 2009


Our first night serving at City Gate went very well. Most of the group was there before the scheduled time, so we were able to go over things well ahead of schedule. I only knew a few of the people that showed up, the majority of the group came as a family, but not directly from our church.

I'm not so good at opening up to new people, so it was a little awkward for me getting started. Pastor Bob stepped up and spoke, which helped my silence, and then I was good. I shared with the group as much as I could about working there, and then David, who runs the kitchen, came out and spoke some more about his plans for the night. Once we got everyone organized, we settled in to wait for the doors to open.

I had been down there once before, so I knew right away what was needed, and once David spoke and said a prayer, we were open to serving the food. This shelter is unlike the other ones I had served at before, instead of serving them via a food line, we go up to each table and serve them as though they were in a restaurant. We are encouraged to talk with them, and their expectations are high, because they are used to being served right away.

There was 3 of us working the floor, bringing food and drinks to the homeless who came in to eat. It took the other 2 a while to get a rhythm going, so I paid closer attention to those who looked like they were still waiting to be served. I love how gracious and thankful these people are, knowing this may be the one meal they get that day. Some of them seemed like they lived a really hard life, and others didn't seem like they should even be there, but it's not for us to know why they are there, just to serve them.

I really love going down and serving the homeless, so I just sort of float on air when I'm down there. I move quickly to make sure they all have what they need, and then quickly go back to make sure they don't need anything else. I think we moved people through for just over an hour, before it slowed down. It could have been 60 or 70 people, maybe more, maybe less, all I know is we were really busy for that first hour.

Once it started to slow down a little, I took time to get some food and sit down and chat with one of the gentleman that I had been serving that night. He really didn't seem like he should be there, so I just started asking him questions, trying to get some insight into what this person was doing out on the streets. He was very clean, well dressed, and his teeth were very nice, which is unusual for street people. He was very particular about what he ate, and only wanted the healthy food, so I served him several plates of salad. He spoke about living in a homemade shelter, in a back yard of what could have been an abandoned home. I talked about his work, what he done in the past, and whether or not he desired to be working or not. He talked of working to help others, but not of the kind of work that pays money, and yet, he didn't seem to be without, or needing of anything. We talked about Germany, a place that we both had lived at one time, but for different reasons, and different seasons of time. He shared with me how unhealthy the foods I liked to eat were, and I shared with him that I was working on eating healthier, because my son was not a healthy eater, and tended to be a little overweight, so for him to eat better, so must I. I told him the story of how I used to be overweight in my teenage years, until some people I considered "parental figures" shared with me that I was overweight. I took it to heart, and changed my habits that very day. I've never been over weight like that again. I was very blessed to be able to sit and have this wonderful conversation with this man, as though we were friends sharing a cup of coffee and talking about old times. We reached a point when they were closing down to clean, so I had to end my conversation and thank him for his time and start cleaning up.

Now that it had slowed down, I was able to see how everyone else was doing, and the feel in the air was that everyone had had a wonderful evening. We were all blessed by being there that night. I didn't get out of there until well after 9 as I stayed and shared my "flier" that I was passing out to get donations of clothing for the homeless later in the year. I look forward to whatever God has planned for this ministry, serving at City Gate, as well as being able to provide clothes and blankets when the cold weather arrives.

Friday, June 26, 2009


My newest Flyer: God has really been providing me new ways to reach others, that I would have never thought of without Him. My newest Flyer was made to pass out to others in an effort to network "the homeless ministry" that I am working on right now. I put this together yesterday and on my way home, passed it out to several people who ride the bus with me. One lady let me know that as soon as she had sorted out her stuff at home, that she would bring the items she had to our bus stop, and I could load them directly into my vehicle, without having to worry about carrying them home on the bus. Plus I got to share the story of why I am doing this, and what God has been doing to promote this ministry, with another lady on the bus just that morning. The cool part is knowing others are hearing you tell your story and in that small space of time, they are being ministered to without them even realizing it. Who knows what God might do with this little piece of paper,l if its shared with others. I kept it simple enough to be able to post it at work, but also added the part about possibly using some of the donations, as part of the City Gate ministry at my church. 2 Flyer's, with 2 separate purposes, and the thought that God can do wonderful things, with something as simple as a piece of paper. I am going to make more copies to pass out along the way as I go to yard sales over the weekend. If they see that their left over goods will be put to a good purpose, and they can get me to come and pick them up, then it will make the donation all the better for the person donating it. God is really stepping up my boldness, as I submitted a letter to our mayor yesterday with a request to be able to share this with departments in the city. I'm hoping to promote other departments desires to give back to the city, and in turn, help those in need when they need it the most. I know the email was read, but have yet to get a response, so I guess only time will tell. Knowing God is in control of this ministry helps me to be more patient, knowing He can open doors if He wants them opened!! In the meantime, I will continue to share my flyers with others around me, and wait to see what happens.... God is Good!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tomorrow is our "first big day" for serving down at City Gate. I'm excited and yet, very anxious, all at the same time. I know in my heart God has big plans for me, as well as my church, in regards to this ministry and that all of this is in His plan and in His hands. God has gotten me off to a great start with a "very large" donation of used clothing and blankets that will be given out in the up coming fall and winter months, and I am very gracious for the giving that has taken place so far. I am in the process of putting together a flyer that I hope can be distributed to area offices where I work, as well as any places I may go along the way this summer. Only God knows what direction He wants this ministry to go, and if what I feel in my heart says anything, then the sky is the limit...Because with God, there are "NO LIMITATIONS". Thank you Father for all you have done and plan to do with this ministry!!! PRAISE GOD!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I took the time to go back to Montana this Fathers Day to spend it with my dad. In my normal busy, chaotic world, I never seem to make the time for things like that. I think this is the first time I've ever gone back to just spend a day like that with my dad.

As we get older, and our parents get older, for some of us (like me), I think it occurs to us that time is running out. My dad will be 76 this year, and although his health is still pretty good, it puts things in perspective.

I took off a few hours early on Friday afternoon, but didn't get out of town until 5 p.m. I ended up driving halfway there, and then stopping for the night and sleeping in my truck at a rest stop. I woke up at 430 their time, 330 our time, and knew I couldn't go back to sleep so I headed out again. I did take time to do some photography, and managed to get to my dads about 11 that morning. He was not aware that I was showing up, so when I got there, he wasn't home. When I called him and asked where he was, it quickly dawned on him that he needed to be home. Surprises like that are so much fun.

We spent the afternoon just chatting about different things, and then I took him and his wife out for dinner. The food was wonderful and I was completely exhausted by the time we got back. I slept until almost 9 that next morning, and only woke up because he needed help with my animals. I always sleep so well at his house, because the air is cooler, and the elevation is much higher, so I go right to sleep and will get a good 8 hours or more before I get up. I spent the morning with them at church and then had lunch and headed home. It was about 8 that night when I got home, but even with all the driving, it was worth every bit of the trip. I hope I can find the time next year to do this again, as it was a trip well spent.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


This is Lady, who came to our home as a new member just yesterday..... I fell in love with her before I even saw her in person, and knew she was supposed to come home to live with me, my son, and "all the other animals" that we have at home.

(We now have: Baby (healer, Australian Sheppard mix), Rex (mutt…poodle, schnauzer, terrier etc.), Lacy (my princess cat who runs the house) and Rosco (king of the property, also known as the Old cat, because he is 14+ years in age)

I was looking through Craig's List yesterday on my work break and while browsing through the ads, just happened upon the ad for her. As soon as I saw her picture I got that feeling inside me that I get when God wants me to do something and I need to be paying attention. It wasn't like I needed or wanted another animal in my home, I just felt called to pick up the phone right then and there and ask if she was still available.

The gentleman who answered the phone seemed a little apprehensive about who might want to take her, so I gave him information that would reassure him that I am really wanting to inquire about her, and that I would provide her a good home.

She was located in an office that just happens to be right around the corner from where I work in a business that deals with the work I do, so the man who answered was wondering why our office was calling his office. God works in mysterious ways, and this was just one of those ways in which I get to see him work. I told the man on the phone that I would stop by after work on my way to catch the bus home, and would check her out and see what I thought of her.

As soon as I entered the door I could tell this was going to be hard on the person who had her. He didn't want to let her go, and the story she comes with speaks loudly how hard this was on him...... Lady is just over a year old, and her original family was a homeless couple who had her when she was just a small puppy. I guess the recent owner had seen her with this couple and told them that if they ever wanted to get rid of her, that he was interested in her and would take her should they decide they couldn't keep her. Well months later they showed up at his office and dropped her off, telling him that they were heading elsewhere and couldn't take her with them. That was January when he acquired her, and she was living with his girlfriend who had a home, until more recently when the girlfriend moved into other living quarters and could no longer accommodate Lady. So her next move would be to stay at the business he owns, but that lasted only as long as it became harder to take care of her, because he was trying to deal with her while running the business, and she has a lot of energy and needs to be out and about moving and playing. He was unable to keep up walks etc while trying to work. This is where I come in and take over.

I knew as soon as I saw her that I would take her and so I took the bus home and drove back down town to pick her up. He quickly gathered up all her stuff while I played with her for a few minutes, just to get her more comfortable with me. Outside it was pouring down rain, so I quickly ran to my vehicle and opened the doors and jumped inside and turned around to the back seat to help get her situated. He put all her stuff in the vehicle with her, closed the door and turned around and walked away without looking back. It broke my heart to see this big man be so broken hearted by this dog, so I sat there with her for a few minutes just in case something else might come up. When I felt it was OK I drove out of there and headed north to my house.

I called my son and told him what I had just done, and his first question was "what are you going to do with your dog" as if I was trading my mutt up for another dog. He knows I'm not a big fan of dogs, so he couldn't understand why I would get another one, when I never wanted one in the house to begin with. It was something I just couldn't explain to him, that I felt God sending me over there to get the dog and so I did.

I knew it would be chaos with all the other animals, bringing in one more to add to the already large pack of them. I got home and let her out in my back yard to check things out, and the first thing I noticed was how laid back and shy she really was. Considering her breed of "beagle/Rottweiler" I thought she would come across more aggressive than she did, but she was really docile, almost to the point of being a "scaredy cat".

Once we went around the yard a little bit, I took her inside and introduced her to my other animals. They already new something strange was going on, and they were barking really loudly downstairs waiting to be turned loose to see what all the commotion was.

My "mutt" is all bark, but not too much bite, so he acted all aggressive and such and just scared her more than anything, and my healer, well....she wouldn't stop sniffing her and that didn't go over to well either. Once we got past this part though, I took them outside and let them check things out by letting the two bigger ones go run (the mutt is a runner so he only gets to see things from the end of his chain). Once again we had to go through the initial meeting process on my dogs turf and then they just took off playing. I had to do some encouraging, but once she got comfortable, it was all OK.

In the meantime, I had to find a place for this dog to sleep, and I knew it needed to be in my room so she would feel safe. Well, my room was full of stuff left over from a trip we took a month ago, and I just hadn't had time to arrange things and put them away, so now I had to take the time to do it. Once I got that squared away and had a place to put her bed, blanket and of course her favorite stuffed dog, then I brought them back in to finish out the night. I took tons of pictures so that I could go back to the business tomorrow and let them know all was well.

I got up early the next morning to make sure I could take care of any extra needs that might arise due to her being new in the house. I let them all back outside and they just had a blast running and playing all around the yard. So far so good.... We will see tonight how well they fared being left to play together in my basement all day.

I went over during my first break at work to share my pictures and was totally unprepared for what happened once I got there. The man who gave her to me was not there, but the lady who works in the office ( His mother I think???) was there and she was and older lady. As soon as I told her who I was down came the tears.... She was so overwhelmed with having to give up her beloved dog, and it was hard for me not to cry. I showed her the pictures and even took the time to download them onto her computer for her so she could see that it was going to be OK. The more we talked the more she cried, but she also let me know it was OK, because she could see that Lady was going to a good home and would be well taken care of. I found it hard to focus at work when I got back because I knew on one hand that I had done a good thing, but on the other hand, I know how hard it is to give up a pet, because those who own animals know that they are just like your kids, and having to give one away is not an easy thing to do no matter how you feel about the animal.

I know she is meant to be with us, and She is a welcome addition to our family. Now I just have to figure out where I am going to live in my house, as it's over come with animals, and we only have 850 square feet to live in. Oh well.... God is good and He knows what He is doing!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Recently I got an email from a friend from my High School years that said she was bringing her family out to where I live for their vacation. We try and catch up via email and occasional brief visits when I go back home, but we've never gotten the chance to just sit down and enjoy time together.

This past week I started to plan for the get together and having this family over for a barbecue. I don't normally have large groups of people at my home, mainly because I'm not that social when it comes to large groups of people. This was something I was not prepared for, but I knew once I got it planned out, it would be a lot of fun.

I didn't have a barbecue, but had wanted one, so I headed out Friday night after work to see what it would cost me to purchase a nice gas grill... I was prepared and yet not prepared for what it would cost me to buy one, just to have it for the weekend. I spent almost 2 hours looking, and then decided I would wait a day to make sure I made the right decision, because I knew it was going to cost quit a bit. Needless to say, I didn't get home until really late, and still had things to do so that we could get up early the next morning and head out to meet them over in Idaho.

I had hoped to be able to spend a leisurely drive going over to meet them, and perhaps be able to take photos along the way, but when I found out they were staying close to my house, I knew that would not happen. We would end up meeting them and driving the hour or so it took to get to Idaho together.

I woke up extremely tired, and neither me or my son were in the mood to get going so early. I have been putting in long days for several weeks and was running on very limited sleep, and both of us woke up extremely tired and not wanting to go anywhere. Our laundry was still dirty from the previous weekends trip, and so we had no clothes ready, which didn't help the situation at all. My son got grumpy because I wouldn't let him wear dirty clothes, and that started off our first day of fun in a not so good way.

We finally managed to get ready and out of the house, and then found out my friends were not doing to good with the directions we gave them, and they were lost, and working their way back towards town, so it ended up we weren't so far behind after all.... We finally caught up with them, and my friend rode with me and Tyler, and the rest of her family followed. We took back roads through the mountains to get over to Coeurdalene, and talked the whole way about "old times" and such. It was a wonderful way to start the visit and we really enjoyed the road trip...

more to come....

finishing up the story:

I have had so much going on in my life lately, that I have not had time to write at all. I have tons of titles, but have yet to put the stories in there.....

The weekend that my friends came to visit was so much fun, once we weeded out all of the junk that Satan brings to us to ruin the fun. Once we got on the road heading to Coeurdalene, my friend Veva and I had so much to talk about. So many things have happened in the years since school and even since we last saw each other. For one thing, both of our children have grown alot more since we last saw each other. My son Tyler has never been really tall, but now is about 5-5 which for him, means he has grown "alot" in the last year. Her boys, which were tall when I last saw them are now.... Well, its almost hard to explain. Her oldest, Bobby, is 6-7 and will be a Senior in High School this coming fall. Now, I don't believe that Zach is that tall "yet", because he is around the same age as my son, and still has a few years to grow....however, I do believe he is pushing right around 6 foot, or close to it anyways. They take after their moms side of the family, as Veva and her sister Jo were both 5-9?? or so in High School. We were very close friends, and you can only imagine the jokes that came with their "very short" friend, and two vey tall sisters. They were tall and very skinny, I was short and pudgy, not a good combination.. LOL LOL (And just as a side note, Bobby's girlfriend of several years is about 4-11 and maybe 90 pounds, although I doubt she ways that much.. LOL LOL)

Anways, we headed over to drop the kids off at a place called "triple play" which has water slides, go karts, miniature golf etc.... I don't normally spend money on this kind of stuff, but since friends were in town, I knew it would be fun for all of them to get together and spend the day, plus it would give us time to visit while the kids went and had fun. As we would find out later, Zach and Tyler hit it off right away, and they both left the weekend having found a new friend in the process. That is exciting, considering all the years I have been friends with Veva!!!

Once we dropped them off, and I got over all of my fears of leaving the kids near water without a parent ( a whole other story) we went to go look for quilting material for Veva, since the stock is better here in the "big city area". It's not something I would consider fun, but hey, it was time spent with friends, and I did enjoy looking at all the different patterns. They did have some made specifically from my home state of Montana, and those were really cool. Her husband had done this enough times that he knew the routine...Find a corner chair, and take a nap while waiting. I guess the sales lady told him that guys tended to fall asleep in the chairs, because they are very comfortable; I guess they must have been, because he fell asleep talking to another guy who was sitting there.

Once we were done there we went to Olive Garden and had lunch. Its one of my favorite places to eat, and I really enjoyed it. Having gone back to check on the kids who were bowling and wanting nothing to do with parents, we went down town and looked at some Antique stores. I had been to them last year, and they came with some personal stories attached to my visits, so it was wierd going back to them, but also worth the time, because we all found some fun things to take home with us. I always look for things that might be of interest to other people, and I came home with several gifts to give away. The joy of giving is always better than recieving, and I was able to share with a couple of people and bring home a gift for myself.

It was late afternoon when we finally finished up and started to head home. While we were heading home, I was busy thinking about a barbecue that I was going to have tomorrow afternoon, and knowing I still had a house to clean, purchase a barbecue, and buy enough food to feed about 15 people. I never do these sorts of things, so it was a big deal for me to make it right.

We ended up skipping church the next morning to get my house clean and make sure there was room enough for everyone to hang out. Then we had to go into town and buy all the food and the barbecue and get it set up before everyone showed up. We ended up with about an hour to spare to get things set up before people started coming over. I tried to match up my Christian friends in such a way that I knew they would get along with my friends family.

It turned out to be a wonderful time. Everyone got along, the men managed to find things to talk about for several hours, and the kids ran all over the place wearing themselves out as they went. My friend Tammies husband Mike cooked the hamburbers and hot dogs so I didn't have to do all the work myself, and we just sat out by the car port and just talked about whatever came to mind. I think everyone left around 830 or so, and I went in to tackle the kitchen clean up...... What a wonderful blessing it is when you can have old friends become new friends all over again, and then share them with others to allow them the friendship also..... Tyler is invited to go stay with them when he goes to his grandpa's this summer, and it sounds like both him and Zach are looking forward to getting back together to visit again. Life is good!!!!