The Man Under the Bridge

Last week a group of people from our church took a trip to the Los Angeles Dream Center.

Founded in 1994, The Dream Center is a volunteer driven organization that finds and fills the needs of over 80,000 individuals and families each month.

Their men’s and women’s discipleship programs offer a free opportunity for people to get clean and sober. Participants live on site at the former Queen of Angels hospital near Echo Park and serve in various capacities as they relearn what it means to be human again.

They also provide housing for emancipated youth, victims of sex trafficking and for families with nowhere else to stay.

Our team from NWLife served for a week with the Dream Center crew and had the opportunity to work with them as they loved, fed, and ministered to their city.

We loaded food trucks, distributed food in neighborhoods, cleaned dirty streets, and served hot dogs on skid row (a five block area of downtown LA where 5,000+ sleep each night).

I’ve been to the Dream Center many times over the last 12 years and every time I walk away inspired to love people in practical and meaningful ways.

underOn our last day at the Dream Center our team had the opportunity to clean the streets surrounding the Dream Center. As we walked through the disheveled city blocks we met a man who moved to Los Angeles from Wichita, KS named Bill.

Bill lives under a bridge a couple blocks from the Dream Center. The area where he slept was neat and tidy, but there was a lot of trash nearby that needed to be cleaned. He was excited when we offered to do it for him. He even loaned us his broom to help out.

Bill gives a name and face to homelessness. He’s more than a number. He’s more than another statistic. Bill matters to God. Jesus gave his life for him and loves him dearly.

It was an honor and privilege to serve Bill. We got to be “Jesus with skin on” and show Bill that love.

Hey, next time we go to the Dream Center, you should totally come.

Last Day

What would you do if you knew you only had one day left on earth?

It’s a question you’ve probably thought about before.

Although it’s morbid and uncomfortable to talk about most people have a preferred way to die.

Most would choose to spend it with friends and family doing something they love.

Some long for adventure and are willing to try for one more adrenaline rush before cashing in their chips.
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Relax & Receive

I love what I do for a living.

For the past 11 years I’ve been working in the church I grew up in as the youth pastor.

It really is a dream job.

I got married and am raising my family right where I grew up.

Some people can’t wait to move out and see the world, but I’ve enjoyed growing deep roots right here in Unincorporated South King County, WA (AKA Fairwood).

Serving God and people at NWLife Church is second nature really. I don’t know anything different.

Then I read John 13 again and had to rethink the whole thing.
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Lessons from Ricky Bobby

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.”

Those words don’t make sense but they were the motivating force that drove fictional NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) to achieve greatness.

His dad told him that at an early age and it shaped how he lived his life.

He pushed others down in order to maintain his place as number one.

Even his best bud, Cal (John C. Reilly) was only there to slingshot him to victory and keep Ricky number one.

When Ricky Bobby’s world comes crashing down he is forced to see what life would like outside the winner’s circle.

He must deal with those mysterious and nonsensical words from his father, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.”
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