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Tag Archives: friends

a shelter in the time of storm

yesterday we had a downpour in orlando. there was thunder and the skies just let loose buckets upon buckets of rain.

i was with my clients to do community service as we typically do on tuesday evenings. after arriving a bit early, the kids met up with some of the other clients and were talking and throwing around a football when we heard that first clap of thunder. a couple of the kids didn’t like it – saying they didn’t feel safe, but most of them just stopped for a brief moment before resuming their play.

before long, the first drops of rain began to fall. other volunteers began to arrive as the rain began to fall heavier by the moment. pj, the director of straight street orlando arrived and i was not surprised that he wanted to carry on as normal to tend to our friends. so we braved the rain and made our way to the back lot of the church where we set up. not surprising was the lack of people there – both the homeless and the volunteers.

someone found a tarp that was held up by some of the volunteers while the rest huddled underneath the tarp and began to dish out meals into take out containers, placing them into plastic shopping bags. then someone would dash out into the rain and find a friend to hand out a meal to. i went around with a bag filled with fresh oranges, handing them out to our friends. it was the least i could do.

(this is a photo posted on straight street orlando’s facebook page from last night)

in the meantime, umbrellas and such became pretty useless. a hoodie my one client borrowed from me was soaked and very heavy so she took it off and i got the pleasure of hanging onto it, feeling it grow heavier by the minute as the rain continued to cascade over us. i had a large umbrella – it was pointless. my shoes were so wet that my feet were sliding in them – i finally took them off – it was easier to walk barefooted than to slide around in my shoes. my clothes – well – i don’t think there was one dry spot on them. even with an umbrella to “shield” me, water just ran down my back. as i stood leaning up against the window ledge with water pouring down my back, thoughts of warm, dry shelter crossed my mind. but not for me.

  (an image i found on the web)

i had a dry car to go to. eventually i would arrive home where i could change into dry clothing and wrap a blanket around me until i was no longer cold. but what about the friends we minister to here in downtown orlando? chances are, on a night like this was, if they were able to get to the nearest homeless shelter, there wouldn’t be any room because others got there well in advance of this storm. where were they going to go? when i eventually did leave, i saw people huddled in doorways of the church where we always meet. their backs were turned to try to shield them from the deluge falling around them. there were people gathered together on the steps outside of the church in the front. there they found some respite but it was windy so i would imagine it wasn’t totally secure from the weather. as i sat in my car with my clients, trying to warm up as fast as we could with the heater turned up high, all i could think about was how there were probably thousands who would be wishing deep down inside for a small corner to sit down in that was dry.

we went to get something to eat in the hopes that it would warm us up a little. we looked like drowned rats. while paying for our meal, an elderly man asked me if i had a dollar. as soon as i received my change, i immediately put it into the cup he held out and smiled at him. while the kids and i were enjoying our fried chicken and potato wedges, a young lady asked if i could help get her something to eat. i quickly fished out a five dollar bill and told her to get herself a meal. when we were leaving, another man approached me, holding a sign asking for help. i was out of small bills, but i did have a box with some leftovers. i told him to take the box, explaining what was inside. he thanked me several times. i just told him to enjoy and to have a blessed night.

i wish i had enough money to tend to everyone that night. feed them a meal. offer love in a world that has none to offer. and most of all, last night, i wish i could have offered them a shelter in the time of storm.

isaiah 25:4

to learn more about straight street orlando, visit them at their facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Straight-Street-Orlando/122504469134 or their website at http://www.straightstorlando.com/

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a slice of pizza

tonight, i attended an orientation for the z88.3 dream team. we’re a group of volunteers for our local Christian radio station. we help out at various events in the central florida area, answer phones during their share-athons, and other activities as needed. you can attend the orientation as often as they offer it – so there were people there that have been doing this for years. i joined the dream team back in november of 2013 when i was part of the phone crew for the fall fundraiser. this station is fully listener supported and commercial free. i have been a faithful listener for 8 of the 9 years i’ve been in orlando.

anyhow, they served us pizza and cookies. being a little bit of a pizza snob – growing up in the new york/new jersey area, you get some of the best pizza on the face of the earth and it’s a bit difficult to find really good pizza in orlando – i had to admit that the pizza they brought in was pretty good.

as i was noshing on a slice of pizza and enjoying the fellowship with the other dream team members, i couldn’t help but stop for a moment and think about the men and women in the central florida area who would be wondering if they were going to get anything to eat tonight. the weather had been pretty bad today and i didn’t know if the group i volunteer with most tuesdays would still have their weekly food share in downtown orlando. would these special friends get to eat? would someone see them and have compassion, either buying them a meal or sandwich, give them a little money to get a bite to eat or maybe give them whatever food they happened to have on them at the time? or would they have to forage through the many trash cans that line the sidewalks in the city? would they wait behind a local eatery, hoping to find some scraps that were tossed away but yet still edible? here i was, sitting inside a warm, dry building….eating some pizza that was warm and flavorful, ending the meal with a nice little treat of soft cookies. looking back, i wish i had thought to ask if i could grab some of the remaining slices to keep in the refrigerator until i went to see my friends on friday evening. ask if i could have the leftover cookies to share. they say that hindsight is 20/20.

i’ll be going to a food share on friday evening. i’ll take a couple of bags of fruit that i’ll pick up from the local produce market. i know that the recipients will be thankful. but i bet they would love to have that wonderful slice of pizza.

 

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july photo a day – day 30

day 30 – friendship – i thought i would do my own spin on this subject today. i don’t take the word “friend” lightly. it has a deep meaning to me and for me to call someone my friend, you have had to have made an impact on me and as such, you have found a place in my heart that is permanent. so instead of trying to piece together some photos with me and my friends, i thought i’d piece together the letters together that make up the word “friendship”.

friendship

 
 

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july photo a day – day 23

day 23 – i drew this – i was part of a fb game called (fluff)friends that is no longer. while the game was still very active, i tried my hand at drawing a couple of the fluff pets that were part of the game. the large purple one is a “pila” and the little green thing is a “ya-blobbly”. the ya-blobbly was my little pet whose name was “blob-o” (in all lower case letters) and he loved pie and his friends

i drew this

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july photo a day – day 17

day 17 – inspirational – these are just some of the people in my life that inspire me to be who i am. clockwise from top left:
anna – a missionary in togo, west africa. you are a sweet friend and one of the finest examples of how to dedicate your life to serving God.
cheryl – my little sister – despite all of your health problems, you still find a way to touch others’ lives with love and kindness.
mrs. riggs – you are the truest example of what a Christian wife should be.
pastor riggs – a man of God, who truly loves God. words can’t begin to express how you have inspired me over the last 8 years.
cj – you are one of the sweetest young ladies i’ve met through the youth department at starlight baptist church. i see how you inspire others in the youth department to get involved with music and drama. ❤
mom – words will never express what you mean to me. you are an inspiration beyond what i can measure. i love you. ❤
brother tim – if everyone had a heart to reach others for Christ’s sake the way you do, the world would be a better place.
xavier – i’ve watched you mature into a tremendous young man whose first desires are to serve God. you have a special place in my heart and always will. ❤
brianna – you are another young lady who i’ve watched grow from the youth department at starlight. you are an example of a Godly young lady and i know that God has much in store for you.
bro mike – a dear friend who i am blessed to have in my life. your dedication to God and your family and to the youth department at starlight only scratch the surface of how you inspire me. thank you for all that you do.
sandy – you have such talent and such a beautiful spirit. you reach out to those that don’t seem to fit in and you make them feel so special. ❤
johnny pope – a man of God that inspires so many young people and adults alike. i have been so blessed to hear you preach on many occasions and just to have a chance to talk to you is special in itself.
my sweet david – i love you. God gave me a wonderful gift the day i became your wife. your kindness and caring ways, along with your silliness, inspire me to be the best wife i can be. ❤

inspiration

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june photo a day – day 9

day 9 – from down low – this is my friend marvin from church. he is super tall – about 6-1/2 feet tall. i’m only 5 feet short. i sat down on the pew and pointed the camera upward to get the worm’s eye view of marvin
from down low
 
 

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may photo a day – day 8

day 8 – shape – the many shapes used by my friend Julie to make me this card
shape
 

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