Last night, I chose to sleep on the sidewalk on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California.
There are homeless people sleeping on the streets literally about every 10 – 15 feet. Why? It would be easy for those who haven’t experienced it to say they are lazy or they should all get jobs at McDonalds, but many hold that viewpoint because they’ve never experienced homelessness and lack compassion in their hearts – and the lack of compassion in our society is the true source of homelessness.
When we see a problem, why is it for many of us our initial response is to find who to blame? Let’s put aside that as it adds nothing to the solution. Let’s put on compassion, open our heart, open our home, open our wallet, and start making a difference in someone who is worth just as much as anyone else. See beyond the appearance. Love, – D.R>
Categories: Exploration News, Stories
Tags: adventure, california, charity, church, explore, giving, hollywood, homeles, ministry, missions, philanthropy, streets, travel, west coast
This morning I was in Monterey, California and chose to go to Big Sur. After spending the previous two nights at an open 24 hours Denny’s, sleeping for about 30 minutes on the beach of Monterrey, and being heavily caffeinated on Starbucks and Denny’s coffee, I needed a change in scenery.
I found the first bus leaving Monterrey headed south to Big Sur, and used my dwindling $4 for the ride (I now had about $5 left in total). If you’ve never heard of Big Sur, I suggest you search through images of Big Sur on Google. From all of my hiking up and down the west coast, Big Sur was certainly the most spectacular sight to behold.
I had been hiking through Big Sur for about 2 or 3 hours, when I came to a place of road construction. Because the road was closed to one lane, it made it impossible for me to continue hiking while cars were passing through. I stopped to wait. I was standing beside the road, when a streak of blue passed by with two young women in their mid-twenties. As they drove next to me, in their brand new Mustang, the young lady in the passenger yelld “Ya wanna hop in?”
My choice was obvious. I ran to catch up with them, literally “hopped in”, and we drove around the windy roads of magnificient Big Sur.
Like myself, the kind young women who had offered a ride to me didn’t have much of a plan. Eventually, they would make it to Los Angeles, hopefully before that evening to go to a concert in Long Beach. After asking me a couple of times if I were a serial killer, they offered for me to ride the entire way to LA with them, if I would like. Since I always like to go with the flow, that seemed to be where the flow was going.
Human sex trafficking is an issue that I’ve noticed is gaining quite a bit more exposure than it had in previous years, at least that has been my observation. Young woman are kidnapped and installed into the world of prostitution, living in extremely unhealthy and confined spaces with very little hope of escape. Men pay them nothing as they are their property and they are largely viewed as a tool to earn a profit. Which I think may potentially speak to the core issue here.
Certainly the lack of respect for other human beings and desensitization to sex are key elements, however; as people’s hearts have been formed by the evil in this world to pursue money, this becomes a pursuit that disconnects humanity from itself, thus enabling people to view other people, not as people at all but as tools to serve the great purpose of serving the god of money. We read a few places in the Bible where it talks about the two god’s a person can serve – God or money. The love of money is not loving a piece of paper, but the power that comes with it, and this is a spirit that is rampant globally. Many of us grow out of our indoctrination of religion and patriotism, but few seem to see that the indoctrination of money is the most deceptive influence that we are taught at birth and throughout our lives.
The only answer I can see to the issue of human sex trafficking is that of love. When we show others love and they experience it in it’s genuine grace-filled nature, they are empowered to change because they’ve found something real that is more powerful than anything prevalent in this world. If we can spread love into the darkest places we will see this issue eliminated. Many want to solve the problem through laws or simply getting the women out. However, I don’t believe either of these perspectives truly solves the problem which is found in the heart of people. We have to eliminate man’s desire of money, for power, and for control to eliminate this, and many other issues of injustice happening in the world.
Who’s passionate about this issue? WHo wants to see this be eliminated? We can do it if we come together in love putting aside judgement but taking with us our greatest weapons of love, joy, and peace which enable us to speak words of life even in the most deathly environments.
I firmly believe that within the heart of every child is pure, true, dream that is at the core of who that person was made to be. As kids we had things we enjoyed and were naturally adept to accomplish – and still not take it too seriously. But somewhere along the way we are given the understanding that we need to “grow up” and our lives from that point become about achieving a measure of security (I would call it false security) found in a good paying job that will provide for a comfortable life. A life that our parents can rest easy with knowing their child lives in a neighborhood with a low crime rate, “good” schools for their 2.6 children and is at least mildly successful according to the measures of success we are given by the business culture society which dominated the earthly mindset.
But what happened to that child’s dream? What happened to the time when all things were truly possible, albeit not without taking a chance and a risk. Taking chances doesn’t always workout, and can lead to being in less than what some would call “safe” places. But every chance we take has a tremendous value within in and even if taking that chance goes south, we learn so much about who we are and grow out of that with stories and experience to pass on to others.
I don’t remember exploring being a conscious goal of mine as a child, but I do remember being an explorer riding my bicycle with training wheels all over town, wishing to go beyond the confines of the city limits (“limits” is a word I don’t do well with).There have certainly been times in my life when “The American Dream” has attempted and nearly succeeded in restricting me from realizing that dream I held as a child. But all things work as they should. I encourage you to continue seeking your dreams no matter what the cost. You may be in a body right now but it is your spirit that is the real you. It is your spirit that is naturally bent toward the dreams placed within your heart. Follow that heart. Follow the spirit. Follow your dreams.
Categories: Money & Resources, Politics & Government, Religion & Philosophy, Writings
Tags: church, dreams, government, humanity, indoctrination, money, politics, religion
Improvisation is defined as being “a creation spoken or written or composed extemporaneously (without prior preparation).”
It is those created works which happen, unexpectedly, that truly excite the human spirit within me. When you have no expectations you will always live in a place of adventure and in a world where all things are possible. The only thing I do expect, is that life will continuously get better, because of the eternal gift of life I’ve received which only grows with fruit. This afternoon I was reading the book of Colossians which said “…the word of the truth of the gospel; which has come to you, as it is in all the world; and brings forth fruit, as it does also in you, since the day you heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.”
As I pondered this written word I began to consider that once truly knowing the grace of God, our lives begin to produce fruit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, etc. The relationship between grace and what we produce in our lives is of great interest to me. The system of this world behaves in a way that is opposing to grace in order to produce a good work. Many believe that if we punish bad behavior people will discontinue behaving badly. However, grace looks upon bad behavior not merely as a superficial action, but a symptom of something deeper within the heart – which only grace itself has the power to change.
I approached my campsite in Florence, Oregon and met a man in his 70′s with long, dazzling white hair, who was reading a book. He introduced himself as “Sky” and we began to get to know each other a bit.
Sky had traveled around the world 4 times, most often without any money. He was a street musician from the 60′s era who would go from place to place playing guitar on the streets to earn his food money for the day. I spent three days of time with this person and all he spoke of was the love and freedom of God. He presented truth in an incredibly simple and non-judgmental manner that was truly refreshing. He spoke of the Holy Spirit and the limitless possibilities of what He is capable. We shared stories of what we’ve seen God do in our lives and the lives of others, shared meals, and shared revelation we’ve both received. It was an incredible three days in Florence.
There was also a homeless man there. I say “also” because Sky wasn’t homeless, his home was the earth. It was interesting viewing these two different people, in seemingly similar living circumstances. Sky had no doubt that everything he needed was always provided for by God, and he spoke with confidence in the truth. The other man was bitter towards the world and spoke of the struggles and difficulties of being homeless. I am in now way meaning that being homeless on the streets cannot be a difficult way to live, but the interesting dynamic was that Sky greatly enjoyed life, while the other man was struggling through life.
Categories: Exploration News, Stories
Tags: adventure, christian, church, explore, God, hippy, holy spirit, jesus, ministry, missions, travel