People Come Together

Being homeless can be tough, all the reason why the fighting between some members of this community needs to stop. People in this situation need to work together to help one another, as iron sharpens iron. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17 

I recently learned that two people who are homeless in Allentown, PA have trouble getting necessary items to their camp site, which entails a long, tough haul, including a trek over an abandoned railroad trestle and up a slippery, leaf covered hill. One has broken ribs as a result of another homeless guy he was trying to help and another who was briefly hospitalized for exhaustion and malnutrition.  

Back in lower Bucks County, PA, there have been some scraps. At a recently homeless meal, there was a fight between two guys who were homeless. The host, using good judgement to keep the peace, threw one of them out. He had caused problems before. The other was penalized in a different way. Because this behavior was not tolerated, the meals for the homeless and needy continue to be a peaceful place where people can get a good meal and enjoy socializing with friends.  

Being homeless does not define your character. It doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to the law of the jungle. “The law of the jungle” is an expression that means “every man for himself,” “anything goes,” “survival of the strongest,” “survival of the fittest,” “kill or be killed,” “dog eat dog” and “eat or be eaten.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines the Law of the Jungle as “the code of survival in jungle life, now usually with reference to the superiority of brute force or self-interest in the struggle for survival.” -from Expedia 

One trouble maker was put at bay and now Lying Larry, the loud, belligerent guy who disturbed the meals hasn’t been coming. Caveman Club, by Sancho Panza, was recently given the Lying Larry seal of approval.  A recent ad for Caveman Club: Are women you are trying to pick up at homeless meals getting too difficult to catch? Did another guy take your gal you used to take there? Is the gang of girls you are trying to collect, like Charles Manson, nothing more than a dream?  

Well, do as Lying Larry does. He uses Caveman Club to catch his prey.   

As Lying Larry says, women don’t have any sense in choosing the guy they want to hang with. Women are incapable of making decisions on their own. They need guidance and persuasion.   

Caveman Club also serves to keep the competition away; to keep the gals from making the wrong choice.  

Caveman Club.  Don’t go to a homeless meal without one!  

Caveman Club, by Sancho Panza.   

Seriously folks, the homeless really need to love and care for one another. We should have the peace of Christmas that has been the case at the homeless meals all year round. Everyday people should reach out and help the homeless, both morally and physically. Peace on earth and good will to men! 

To learn more about the homeless, there’s a book, by yours truly, “There are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless, available: https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs 

A Homeless Oasis

The modern-day money changers were quite conspicuous this Christmas season, hawking their goods to go with your Christmas, the way Burger King used to ask if you want cheese with your burger. Yet, I did an engine search for the annual Marrazzo Brothers Homeless Christmas meal in Penndel, PA and I couldn’t find any coverage for this year.  

The Marrazzo’s and company taking the time in effort to serve those less fortunate is what Christmas is really about.  I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Marrazzo and many other gracious hosts who made us feel welcome at the meal.  

The food was excellent, with a good variety of foods, such as lasagna, and of course desserts. But the best part was getting together with friends, and making new friends –people I had seen at other homeless meals and at other venues – and got to know them.  

The meal was an oasis in a desert of incessant ads and jingles, clichés that wear on the nerves. It’s good to know that beyond the surface glitter there is something noble. 

Christ was born in Bethlehem to save us from sin and to show us the way – to become more like him. Jesus healed the sick and lame and helped the downtrodden, accepting them for whom they are, a creature made in the image of God. 

Christmas is not about a baby in the manger. It’s about Jesus coming to earth, being one of us, suffering like humans, being tempted but, being perfect, he had victory over sins on our behalf. It was the gift given graciously out of mercy for our fallen state. 

Columnist Cal Thomas puts Christmas in perspective: 

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/12/24/true-meaning-christmas.html 

Christmas is not just a one-time celebration, but a reminder of why Christ came to earth that we should hold dear all year long. It’s not just an isolated moment. To adapt lines from an old love song, Christmas is not just a moment’s pleasure, but a lifelong treasure. God is not a distant concept; he is ever present. 

God is found in all creation. He didn’t make the earth and people then go off to a distant cloud like the pagan gods of old, but he is alive. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
 the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
 no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
 their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
 like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
 and makes its circuit to the other;
  nothing is deprived of its warmth. 

The law of the Lord is perfect,
 refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
 making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
 giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
 giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
 enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
 and all of them are righteous. 

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression. 

 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
 be pleasing in your sight,
 Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” 

-Psalm 19 

Just as the homeless Christmas meal was an oasis, so are the churches who host the regular homeless meals and others who genuinely reach out to the homeless a welcome spring in the desert of those who consider a homeless person a persona non-grata.  A recently published book, by yours truly, illustrates the role of the homeless in society, and focuses on lower Bucks County, PA, where I’ve hung out with and got to know the local homeless.  

The book is available on Amazon.com.    

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs  

Free Homeless Christmas Florida Vacation

Different institutions in Bucks County, PA have teamed up to sponsor a free trip for the homeless to Disneyland Florida. The county will charter a special Amtrak train, The Disoriented Express, to take them to Florida. Once there, a chartered bus, To Serve Man, will take them to the Seven Seas Lagoon, where alligators have been known to attack children. Bucks County spokesperson, R.I. Diculous, said this is the county’s Christmas gift to the local homeless. 

At Disney, they will be given a meal – a picnic at The Seven Seas Lagoon. To allay any fears, signs warning about alligators will be taken down. The only signs posted at the time will be “Reserved for The Homeless.” Once the alligators chop down on homeless sitting on the edge of the lagoon, Disney will flash notifications all over the park: “Seven Seas Lagoon is now open.  It’s safe there now; the alligators have eaten and are full.” 

The Soylent Green plant, slated to be built on the site where Stand Down, an annual event for homeless and needy veterans used to be held, will not be ready for Christmas, so to not welsh on a homeless Christmas present, the Disney vacation will replace the Green gift to the homeless. http://levittownnow.com/2016/09/10/program-helps-veterans-need-kicks-off-last-year-current-site/ 

The gift of the plant, the Soylent Green initiative, will give the homeless the honor of keeping Bucks County Green. In this program, the homeless will be allowed to camp, virtually in pristine woods, as they are carried along conveyor belts, past the rotating knives, in extreme comfort, where their mangled flesh is ground into wafers, just like in the movie. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green   

In the funhouse, the homeless pass through a diorama of pristine forests, a homeless paradise. Just before they get to the rotating knives, a giant neon sign will flash “THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO KEEP BUCKS COUNTY GREEN.” 

Disclaimer: The Free Homeless Florida vacation and Soylent Green Plant stories are satires in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, a satire to criticize the heartless, utilitarian attitude towards the poor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal 

People should not be made into Soylent Green. We should be just as shocked at the attitude towards the homeless in places like Bucks County as was Detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) in Soylent Green: “SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!” 

Like everyone else, the homeless have value; they are made in the image of God. 

“And the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” -Genesis 2:7 

In my recently published book, “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, I discuss attitudes about the homeless in Bucks County, PA.  I focus on my experience hanging out with the homeless in lower Bucks County, particularly with Sandi, who walked alongside me on my homeless journey for almost three years after I became homeless. The book is available on Amazon.com.   

https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs 

A Homeless Christmas

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In tune to the true Christmas spirit, again this year, the Marrazzo family will serve the homeless on Christmas day. People who have nowhere to go for Christmas will have a place to go where they can get a good Christmas meal and fellowship with others.

Showing compassion for the homeless and others is what Christmas is about. It is about reflecting Jesus, who came to earth to sacrifice Himself to save us from the consequences of sin and damnation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son.” John 3:16-18

Acts such as the annual Marrazzo family Christmas meal shows the love of Jesus, the reason for the season. He suffered like humans, was tempted, but being perfect, had victory over sin and died for you and me and conquered death. It was the perfect gift, given graciously to us to redeem us sinners from our fallen state. 

Like other community meals hosted by local churches in Bucks County, they are more than just a meal. Man does not live by bread alone. The meals are a place for the homeless and those in need to feel welcomed and where they can socialize with friends. 

The Christmas meal will be held on December 25, Christmas Day from 3 until 4:30 p.m. at 125 Lincoln Avenue, Penndel, PA. 

To learn more about the homeless in Bucks County, PA , the meals and a closer look into who the homeless really are, read “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless”, by yours truly. Free shipping through Amazon.com until Christmas. https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs 

Christmas is about light, the light the apostle John wrote about where Jesus took humans out of the dark, clueless world and into His light of righteousness. The light leads us to a life centered on God and his ways. Those who follow Christ become more like him, not thinking of self but of others, putting their interests above theirs, sacrificing the way people do to provide a Christmas meal for the homeless and needy. 

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 

 

Christmas Comes Once A Year

Christmas comes once a year” 

“And every man must have his share” 

 “Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer” 

-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime 

This is the worse time of year, with people running around like the White Rabbit and acting like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, getting caught up in the hype and the materialism of worldly Christmas. I think I’d rather be in a jail in Guyana hanging out with Poor Willy rather than being accosted by the incessant ads and other claptrap during the commercial Christmas season. That is, if the jail does not subject its inmates to Christmas hype. That would be cruel and unusual punishment!  

I’d gladly swap sour ginger beer with phony Christmas cheer! 

Last year I camped out at the nursing home at my dear Sandi’s bedside last Christmas season until the Lord took her home December 4, 2017.  No more sorrow, no more pain, and no more Christmas hype coming from Sandi’s roommates’ TV’s.   

Visiting Sandi at the nursing home, where I camped out from late summer to late fall, I learned a lot about what is important in life and about the true meaning of Christmas. I witnessed a change in Sandi, who not only loathed the idea of going to a nursing home, but was tired of being tired. She just did not want to go on.  

After having been in the hospital a few weeks, Sandi was taken to the nursing home. She was taken at night, too late I was told for me to visit her there (I later learned that I was lied to about visiting hours, probably an attempt to keep me from seeing her senile roommates and selecting a new place). When I visited Sandi the next morning, I asked her for the remote so she could select a station. She snapped that there is no remote. I thought she was just being cross, but there was no remote and you just had to change channels on the TV. I asked her if she was angry at me. “Yes”, she said. One day shortly before this, when there was talk about sending Sandi to the nursing home, Sandi quipped “you’re not going to get rid of me that easy!”  

I explained to Sandi it was not my decision to put her in the nursing home; we were not married, yet.  It was a good idea, however, as at that point I wasn’t equipped to properly care for her. 

There were times when I, physically and mentally fatigued with caring for Sandi, I considered putting her in a nursing home. But thanks to our pastor, Abie, with whom I shared my struggle in taking care of Sandi, I decided to devote myself fully to her. Abie asked me, “either be all the way in, or all the way out.” Next time I talked with him I said “Abie, I’m all the way in!” 

And Sandi reciprocated in her attitude. She had the will to live, and reflected Jesus. While other residents in hospice, who had more freedom than she did, were bitter, Sandi was cheerful. You might say she was full of genuine Christmas cheer! It also brought us closer together. I learned the importance of commitment and loyalty, holiday ingredients better than any ginger bread man, the right ingredients to keep man and woman together in peaceful harmony. 

I wrote much of my recently published book “There Are Homeless in Bucks County; A Journey With The Homeless” while camped out with Sandi at the nursing home. I learned a lot about life over the static of the commercial Christmas claptrap while visiting the home.  

One thing I learned is how people abandon their loved ones when they are in the nursing home. I expressed my opinion in an article I wrote while in the nursing home on faithwriters.com.  Someone commented on my piece that he was reluctant to visit someone in the nursing home. He explained that the person didn’t return his calls and did not think he would even recognize him. But after reading my article on Faith Writers, he said he was going to go visit the person in the nursing home and leave it all in God’s hands. This is why I like using my God-given gift to write. 

My book is available:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs