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2006-01-15

Hello everyone and happy new year!

I hope that you've all had a wonderful Holiday, filled with memories and awesome times with those who are dear to you. It's a brand new year, and, of course, that means there's a lot of time to set goals and to look ahead to the new year and make resolutions about how we're going to live. I'm sure that many of you set out to live this year differently than last, but at the same time, we're 2 weeks into this year, and I'm curious how you're doing. Maybe go back and revisit that list of resolutions sometime this week, and see how you're progressing. Don't be discouraged if things aren't going well. Change is, of course, a process that takes time. If you're resolutions are going well, congratulations. Help the rest of us out.

Just as food for thought, though, I'd like to throw out a few of the question-based resolutions my wife Danae and I are working through. We just got married in August, and so these first few months of marriage have been spent figuring out a lot about ourselves, about one another, and about how we feel called to live this life responsibly, using the gifts, opportunities, and resources we've been given to the utmost for God's glory.

The idea of living below our means is a challenging idea that we just can't really get away from. Nae and I are just starting out, and of course that means that there isn't a whole lot to go around, but the bottom line is that we have the luxury of being in the top few percent of the world's population as far as economic standing goes. If you're reading this and you live in America, we are in the upper echelons of the world's economic scales.

What responsibilities do we as upper class, American, educated, working Christians have to be generous with the time and the financial resources that we have, to be open to serving others, to be willing to make sacrifices in order to bless other people? The idea of sacrifice is resonating with us too. Just because we have the luxury of doing something, of enjoying something, of buying something, doesn't mean that we should. Opportunity is not synonymous with need, though I think we sometimes get that confused. What does it mean to practice modesty? In the food we eat, in the entertainment we enjoy, in the way we spend our time? GK Chesterton once wrote ?Economy is far more romantic than extravagance.?

Time and money are limited for all of us, and so there is a direct connection between what we choose not to use our money and time doing, and how we choose to give. Every decision to do one thing is a decision to not do something else. Though we could spend this Thursday night hanging around our apartment or going out to a movie, we've decided to make a spaghetti dinner for some of the local homeless guys here in Santa Barbara and take it down to them. It's not going to be gourmet (trust me, I'm still learning to cook) but I'm sure that it will be a gesture that helps to encourage someone and improve their day.

I don't think that there are any one-size-fits-all answers to these questions. Nor do I think that we all should be making spaghetti for the homeless. What is the Lord asking you to do? How does He want to use YOU to be an indication to someone today of His infinite love? It may very well be that one of the most important aspects of this walk as followers of Christ is to be always asking questions, seeking and striving to become more like Him, and as Paul puts it, testing ourselves. In doing so, we will, ever so slightly, be narrowing in on the lifestyle that God is calling us towards.

Have an awesome day, and thanks for reading!





Comment Author Comment Text
negerard

Member Since:
2006-01-16

Hi Mike and Danae!!!

I have so many things to say that I'm unsure of where to begin. Mike, I read your book over Christmas, enough said. I knew of your story before, but reading through your journey stopped my life in its tracks. As you both probably have experienced in some fashion, the first half of my twenties seem to be one whirlwind after another trying to discern what God-given gifts I can give back the world to further His kingdom most. In all of those efforts to figure out what God's "calling", "purpose", or "plan" (you choose the Christian jargon), I've ended up stunting my faith put into action. It was nearly 2 years out of Westmont, that God pushed me towards your book, and I sat there mezmorized by the epiphane it gave me. Although I'd nodded my head to its powerful message many times before and done nothing that it said, James 2:14-26 sums it up better than I ever could. Mike, I wept over story after story's like you and Sam sleeping on a church doorstep and waking to find that the entire congregation had used a backdoor to avoid being disturbed by you two. Story after story. Of course I was weeping not only because I ached for you guys, but because I knew that at my core I am everyone of those hypocrytical Christians that you encountered. Wow.

So, now although I am still unsure as to where God is taking me in this life that he's given me, my prayers are different. I now pray that I would not miss "appointments" that the Lord puts in front of me. I pray that I become a doer of His word, and never forget the incredible lessons that I learned through your story. Currently, Gib and I live in Simi Valley area. We are volunteering at Food Banks and rescue missions for now, and trying to expand. I don't know where God is taking us but am elated to find out. I want to thank you and all that were a part of your 6 month journey, for listening to God and DOING what he said, so that some of us comfortable Christians could be awoken from our dead slumber and join God's incredible call to our lives, whatever it ends up being!
Do you have any suggestions of other things to do in S. Cal. while were still living here? Thank you over and over again, and HI DANAE!!
Love,
Ne (Andre) Gerard

Posted: 2006-01-16 13:04:00
Lizzyphoo02

Member Since:
2006-01-17

Hey Mike,
Well i know about you and this site because you came to my school New life Academy in Mn,
and because of that i had to read your book,
and it is the most inspiring and well, interesting book, and stroy. I just want to thankyou. You made me and my friends want to go out and help. God Bless
love
liz Brumley

Posted: 2006-01-17 19:54:00
johneumurian

Member Since:
2005-12-05

Mike,
Thank you for the book. I am amazed at what Sam and you went through, and am infinitely glad that you found the means to share it with us.

I recently heard a segment on Focus on the Family and then bought several of the books so I could give them out at the Orange County Rescue Mission where I started working in August, 2005.

I'd love to give a copy to everyone in the mission, but I'll have to do it a bit at a time or loan my copies out as there are 60 staff here. I think it's a message we all need to hear, to be reminded of the lives were responsible for, and to maintain a perspective on how much Christ loves them - as much as he loves us.

Even though we work at a mission, it's still possible to lose focus on the importance of "being" with them, as opposed to "doing" for them. Each time I hear about a changed life, it's often tied to an individual in our organization who has come alongside one of our homeless folks and works with them. Our staff encourages them to keep going, to not give up, to trust Christ, to stay the path, and gives them every resource along the way to equip them.

I look forward to seeing your words, planted by the Spirit, continue to change lives in a profound way.
John

Posted: 2006-01-23 16:07:00
sunrisehaven

Member Since:
2006-01-24

Hi Mike I saw you on Nite Lite and would have loved to talk to you I would really love to have a copy of your book but have no way to pay for it right now as i am living with friends. Thank you so much Sue

Posted: 2006-01-24 03:03:00
aimk

Member Since:
2006-02-01

i lived on the streets for 6 months and am now beginning to be involved in street ministry with my church. i have just entered my second semester of seminary and remember every day i lived on the street. i lived in a warehouse for three months and lived in a shelter for a couple months. those experiences will last me a life time. my pastor is setting me up for something grand. God's path is definitely laid out before me and i'm looking forward to what lies ahead. your experiences have helped me along my pathway. they brought to mind all the little things i don't think about very often, like sleeping on the banks of cherry creek in denver. i even hopped a freight train from denver to amarillo. i now have a tramp-daddy in amarillo. all the people i met were great and helped me out when i needed it most. may God bless you.
Amy

Posted: 2006-02-01 23:25:00
taralynee

Member Since:
2006-01-03

Hi :) I read your book over Christmas break... I checked it out from our church library after hearing about your story through k-love radio. I absolutely loved it... one of the best books I have ever come across. I ended up getting it for my birthday in January because it is one of those books that I just had to add to my shelf. :) Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have told many people about it and recommended it to more than I can mention..
I have kind of a weird question... Danae Jacobson... Is this the same one who wrote "Things I've Learned Lately"? :) That one is also a favorite of mine, also on my shelf. :)
Thanks again for your incredible book and for listening to God. :)
~ Tara
*Ps.118:24*

Posted: 2006-02-02 14:15:00
Bert Callender

Member Since:
2006-02-04

Dear Mike,
I would like to thank you for your book. It has inspired and convicted me into action. I had long pushed away the Lord's call to serve the homeless and the poor. My wife bought me your book after seeing the fire rekindled in me during an encounter with a homeless man.
Heeding your warning of not giving them money that could be misused, I prayed for another way to help. In mid-Aug. of 05 I started by handing out food cards worth $5 from Jack in the Box and McDonald's. I have also enjoyed the time spent in conversation with each person. My Mazda pickup I now call my "Mazda Emporium." The Lord has made available 2-man pop-up tents, camouflage tarps, blankets, warm socks, gloves, and Bibles. I have been able to touch over 90 lives with the love of God from Aug. thru Dec. 31 of 05, and I am continuing on.
I am not an avid reader, and definitely not a person who likes to write. However, this ministry has so moved me that I have kept a journal of "Moments in His Time."
At the urging of my wife and friends, I have been led to turn my journal into a book. The sole purpose of this book is to inspire others to listen to the Lord's call, just as your book inspired me to actively be His instrument of peace, love, joy, healing, and a bite to eat.
I would consider it a privilege to send you a copy so you can see what the Lord and you have enabled one man to achieve. Please let me know how I can get a copy to you.
Thanks again and God bless you.
Bert Callender


Posted: 2006-02-06 00:07:00
KJB

Member Since:
2006-02-08

Hi Mike,
I stumbled upon this site through the World Vision web site.
Your book really strikes a cord with me. I look forward to reading it .
My 19 year old son is "Homeless" by choice. He will always have a home with his family. He chose this life style after being discouraged at our churches youth group. Seems like all they did was fun activites and welcomed only those kids who fit the norm.
My son would invite kids with alternative life styles to church. those hungry for love, from broken homes, those with drug problems etc. He fed homeless people in town every Saturday and invited the youth group to help but no one ever did. He was told by the youth pastor that his friends were not welcome. At that point my son stopped attending church and stopped following Christ.
At 18, with only 3 credits to graduate, he dropped out of high school and jumped a freight train.
He has been from one side of America to another by freight car.
He lives out of dumpsters, all of his clothing,food and other necessities he gets from the garbage. He keeps in contact with me through Christian soup kitchens and youth drop in shelters.
Sometimes he will shower in those places, and sleep if it is too cold outside.
Otherwise he lives on the street or in the woods.
He carries very little money and no identification, he goes by an alias. He does have a travel companion now, a woman in her 20's who is really homeless. Both parents have passed over.
We love her dearly and she will always have a home with us.
In the year that he has been doing this he has seen the good and bad in all people. As I read in your book review, Christians have either totally rejected him or been very giving towards him.
They are in Ashville NC now, he tells me there are many homeless people there. Bikers for Jesus have been really great with them. Praise God for those willing to work with street kids.
While traveling this summer, they have been run out of towns , stopped by police and have had to be searched for drugs ( they are not drug users)
accusesd of stealing and selling drugs, asked to leave stores etc.
But, they have also received kindness at the hands of Christians.
One pastor in Iowa, put them up for the night, fed them dinner and breakfast and gave them bibles.
I do not worry about them, they are in God's hands. I pray that God would continue to bring kindness to them through other Christians.
I pray for my son's heart to be softened towards God, I have faith that he will return to his faith and serve God .
His companion does not know anything about Christianity but the Holy Spirit has been ministering to her and she has been writting me letters asking many questions regarding my faith in Jesus, Praise God.
Thankyou for this web site, I would love to read postings from other parents who have children in this life style.
kjb


Posted: 2006-02-08 08:36:00
pool99212

Member Since:
2006-02-08

hi my name is dennis
you went to some easy places
try auburn wa.
i am homeless right now and have been for 3 yrs
to contact me e-mail me at pool99212@yahoo.com

Posted: 2006-02-08 16:54:00
lmculler1978

Member Since:
2006-02-08

Mike,

You really never know what being homeless is like until you have been there yourself. I have been homeless on and off for 9 years and not by choice. This last time it was to get away form my abusive husband and to get off dope. I was homeless in San Diego, CA and now in Auburn, WA. There are no shelters close and almost no were to get hot meals. I have started a club on yahoo called Homeless_helping_homeless_help
_themselves@yahoo.groups.com. Hoping to be able to help psople for all walks of life all over. But it is hard. The cities that you went to were easy living. Try a city that has no shelters and the mayor says there are no homeless. THERE ARE OVER 800 HOMELESS PEOPLE IN AUBURN WASHINGTON ALONE LIVING IN TENTS IN THE WOODS OR UNDER BRIDGES WITH VWRY FEW BLANKETS TO KEEP WARM AT NIGHT. There is no help not even churches are there to help. Any help is at least a two hour bus ride away, with no money for the buses because you can't get a job because there is no where to shower. I mean who wants to hire a stinky homeless person. Homeless people are accused of ALL being acoholics, drugies, theives ect. I have now decited to get off dope once again because of a relaps after my husband found me and helped me to start again. But to go to NA meeting can be embarrasing because of the lack of shower facilities here in Auburn. The can be very discouraging to alot of people trying to get clean that are on the streets. I do comend you for trying out the homeless situation but try it without the help of shelters or anything else. Thank you for your time and am hoping that you contact me regarding this post.

lmculler1978@yahoo.com

Posted: 2006-02-08 17:21:00
Melchizedek

Member Since:
2006-01-25

Mikey! Hey brother, I tried sending you a comment on this site about a month ago maybe but I don't see it anywhere. I'm guessing you didn't get it cause I haven't heard from you. This is Seth, your brother in Christ from the "good ole days" if you want to call it that. Anyway, heard you had a book out, didn't think much of it until I stumbled across it at a C28 store in Anahiem so, of course I bought it. I've had the opportunity to read it in between classes at Saddleback College in OC, where I"ve just begun school. I got out of the Marine Corps. in August and now a youth leader at a local church. I'm actully just really interested in getting in touch with you. If you get this, hit me up by email. deityswad9@yahoo.com . I love you man and I look forward to hearing from you. God Bless.
By His Blood,
Seth A. Conner Sgt./USMC

Posted: 2006-02-16 13:34:00
wwjdcr

Member Since:
2006-02-22

I am not even half way thru the book and am so very inspired and just love your story. I emailed Oprah today and hope she has you on her show soon. I have recommended the book to soooo many people already!! You will be in Chico, Ca. in April and I hope to chat with you...not sure if I can attend your talk but I am trying to work it out!! It is too easy for us all to pass by on the other side when we see anyone of questionable "outside appearance"!! By doing this we miss opportunities to learn so much and we never know who that person may really be...an angel, Jesus himself for that matter!! Email me if you need any info on Chico....we have a beautiful natural park here and it is one of ther biggest in the US. It runs thru most of this little college town...just amazing and great for hikes,biking, golf, swimming etc.!! Another fun place in Chico is S&S Produce and Natural food...great barbeque and fun people...it is well known by most locals and travelers as well...hope to see you there!! Again THANKS for you story and GOD BLESS YOUR JOURNEY,Claudette Ritter Chico Ca

Posted: 2006-02-22 20:52:00
shadowdancer

Member Since:
2006-03-03

Hello: What a blessing it was to read your book. And what a confirmation that the things I have done over my lifetime for others in the name of Jesus has also been a blessing. I believe I have often met angels in disguise. The Holy Spirit used me to minister to them, and through His Power I was ministering unto the Lord. I am 58 yrs. old, a wife of 39 yrs., a mother of 3 daughters and a grandmother to 4 grandsons. I have loved Jesus since I accepted Him into my heart at the age of 20; however, I was raised in a Christian home for which I am most grateful. I can see how that molded my life and the purpose for which God put me on this earth.
There was a post made here on 2/8/2006 by a member with the initials KJB. I wish to address him and tell him to continue to pray for his son and his son's companion. I could identify with KJB because when my eldest daughter was 18, she chose to live on the street for almost 2 years. She was a drug abuser as well. Oh how my heart hurt, and how my prayers went up as incense! She, too, was raised in the church and accepted Jesus into her heart at age 8. The Lord watched over her, protected her, and brought her home. She is now married with 2 sons and looks back in horror and amazement at the way she lived her life. Praise the Lord that God's unending Grace is sufficient for all of us. And Praise Him that when we can no longer walk, HE will carry us. "Oh, how I love Jesus" the song goes, "because He first loved me". May all who read your book be richly blessed. May you and your new wife follow Him in all you do, and may the Holy Spirit lead you into rich fields of harvest. God Bless you and all who read this!!

Posted: 2006-03-03 17:01:00
CalgaryMom

Member Since:
2006-03-04

Praise the LORD.

Mike I think it is awesome that you felt you needed to get real with your faith.

My friend / mentor (we match up mature and not so mature Christain women at my church), gave me a copy of your book to read. I couldn't put it down.

I worked at a homeless shelter here for 6 months in 2003, about the same time frame you were living on the streets in the US. It changed me but not as much as your experience changed you.

I have helped several homeless teens (friends of my son who were kicked out). I am currently making blankets to give away (along with others from my church). I want to do more and your book is inspiring.

Your suggestions and other comments give me real ideas.

I came to Christ through Friendship Evangelism (as a teen before there was such a term). When I saw a video series on this subject several years ago I really connected with it. The homeless need Christ and need us to be the hands and feet of Christ. The unsaved need relationships with the saved and as a result of these real relationships with other humans they can venture to trust and realize they need a personal relationship with our LORD Jesus Christ.

May the LORD bless and keep you and Danae.

S

Posted: 2006-03-04 21:42:00
karen11_23

Member Since:
2006-03-08

It's not very ofen that I find a book that I can read and finish within 24 hours. What an amazing journey and learning experience. It has changed my perception of the homeless and will do what I can to always help a beggar from now on.

Thank you for doing this. It was quite an eye opener.

I am struggling with religions and their rules right now. Too many rules and not enough of who or what Jesus is or is about.

May God continue to bless you. . .

Karen

Posted: 2006-03-08 13:07:00
nicolefreckles

Member Since:
2006-02-24

Greetings Mike and Sam,

My name is Nicole and I live in Portland.

I was having on ongoing conversation with my spiritual dad from Salem via email. Out of nowhere he tells me about your book and your amazing journey. This was maybe 3 weeks ago. I immediatly went to Google and did a search for your book, or a website. That's how I came to this site. What I read in the website that you were "homeless" (my spiritual dad, Doug didn't tell me that part), I knew I had to read Under the Overpass.

See, I was homless about a year ago and before that I was living a life of all kinds of sin and shame. I was "seeing" others of the same sex, smoking marijuana, stealing, lying.....need I say more? At the same time, I was also attending the church I'd gone to for 2 years in Salem.

I continued church for many reasons; some of them were for the wrong reasons, but mostly, I KNEW I was in sin and wanted for someone, anyone to approach me and say that nomatter what choices I was or wasn't making in my life, that Christ loved me just the same......even though I already had known this. I wanted proof. And that proof I thought would have been someone actually doing more than shaking my hand when I went to a service.

I felt ashamed, but even so, I brought "Destine" with me to church. Sometimes I wanted to flaunt my sin in my churches face, and other times I just wanted to leave my relationship of sin and go down the straight and narrow...(no pun intended). I was in deliberate sin. Looking back at it now, I think to myself that deliberate sin is worse than any other sins because you just simply stop caring. It was the lowest feeling I had ever experienced in that 5-6 month period.

So much has happened since and God has raised me up.....almost literally. Anyhow, I am employed, have a roof over my head, and am now into my bible and praying and seking the LORD. At the same time, I'm trying to spread His message of hope and love to everyone I encounter. Right now my biggest emphasis is my roommate, Hollie. I know she believes, but there is something deep and comsuming in her eyes. Maybe fear, maybe a ton of questions. I don't really know what it is.

The other night, I was lying in bed making a list of what I'd be making with my job (I just started it this week). I wanted her to see it. As she looked it over, she turned to me and asked, "Where in the Bible does it say to tithe 10 percent of your money?" I honestly answered that I didn't know but would find out. I did just that. I presented the information to her along with a letter I wrote, folded up nicely and put into an envelope. It's still sitting on the counter. I don't know if she's just not big on reading, or what, but I followed through when I gave her the envelope.

This is all very new to me: the honesty, the reading of the Bible and/or other christian books, the talking to God. At the same time, as

Posted: 2006-03-10 17:14:00
nicolefreckles

Member Since:
2006-02-24

Greetings Mike and Sam,

I was having on ongoing conversation with my spiritual dad from Salem via email. Out of nowhere he tells me about your book and your amazing journey. This was maybe 3 weeks ago. I immediatly went to Google and did a search for your book, or a website. That's how I came to this site. What I read in the website that you were "homeless" (my spiritual dad, Doug didn't tell me that part), I knew I had to read Under the Overpass.

See, I was homless about a year ago and before that I was living a life of all kinds of sin and shame. I was "seeing" others of the same sex, smoking marijuana, stealing, lying.....need I say more? At the same time, I was also attending the church I'd gone to for 2 years in Salem.

I continued church for many reasons; some of them were for the wrong reasons, but mostly, I KNEW I was in sin.

I felt ashamed, but even so, I brought "Destine" with me to church. Sometimes I wanted to flaunt my sin in my churches face, and other times I just wanted to leave my relationship of sin and go down the straight and narrow...(no pun intended). I was in deliberate sin. Looking back at it now, I think to myself that deliberate sin is worse than any other sins because you just simply stop caring. It was the lowest feeling I had ever experienced in that 5-6 month period.

So much has happened since and God has raised me up.....almost literally. Anyhow, I am employed, have a roof over my head, and am now into my bible and praying and seking the LORD. At the same time, I'm trying to spread His message of hope and love to everyone I encounter. Right now my biggest emphasis is my roommate, Hollie. I know she believes, but there is something deep and comsuming in her eyes. Maybe fear, maybe a ton of questions. I don't really know what it is.

The other night, I was lying in bed making a list of what I'd be making with my job (I just started it this week). I wanted her to see it. As she looked it over, she turned to me and asked, "Where in the Bible does it say to tithe 10 percent of your money?" I honestly answered that I didn't know but would find out. I did just that. I presented the information to her along with a letter I wrote, folded up nicely and put into an envelope. It's still sitting on the counter. I don't know if she's just not big on reading, or what, but I followed through when I gave her the envelope.

This is all very new to me: the honesty, the reading of the Bible and/or other christian books, the talking to God. At the same time, as each day goes by, I can't help but thank God for all He's done for me. I have an online journal and a myspace account in which I post lyrics to songs I've heard on KLOVE and tell people about what I'm reading. (I have told many about your book and I just got it today.)

Congragulations Sam and Mike on this book; also, thank you for your inspiration, and for your

Posted: 2006-03-10 17:18:00
i love God!

Member Since:
2005-10-29

hey every one-
this is the best book i have ever read. it has beenn such a eye opener. i always thought that i had a bad life...intill i read the book. i always thought my house was not big enough or i never had enough money. i always comppared my self to people that have more than me. i never thought about people that have less then me. i want to thank God for bring this weaird idea in to his head, to a book. to the book store, to my mom's friend, to my brother to me and to my friends. i would have never even dreamed of reading a book like this berfore. thank you for every thing you have done.
In christ
love,
Kara (which means pure christion!)

Posted: 2006-03-11 14:14:00
Bronzett

Member Since:
2006-03-16

This book was a blessing in due time. I have worked with the homeless for some years now and God has blessed me richly with such wonderful people. They stretch and grow my faith in ways that I never thought possible. I wanted to do so much more then what I was doing, and God was more then glad to let me. So at the age of 37 I found myself in Christian college this year, thanks be to God, working on my bachelors in missions.
It has not been an easy semester with classes like physiology, and interpersonal communications. These two classes as much as I hate to admit it make me want to run back to a safe place to be alone with God. They are filled with all kinds of secular theory, but I have to remember that this too is a stretching of my faith. Being in school give me little time to be in the soup kitchen or stopping to visit them on the street. As you could image it is easy for me to lose sight of why I am in school if I can't be with homeless every day.
So, to have a book that validates what I knew to be true about the treatment of the homeless is so valuable to me. It has renewed my zeal for my passion to reach out to God's homeless. I truly believe that these men and women are highly favored of God and it is our responsibility as bothers and sisters in Christ to user them into our Fathers open arms.
I love the way God keeps saving me at the last minute to push me forward. It is truly by His strength and not my own.
This week started our Lenten season and on Thursday night on my way to midweek serves I finished reading the book out loud to my friend who was driving. As I entered the back of a dark sanctuary that glowed in candle light, sitting in the back pew was one of God's beloved homeless. I walked over and gave him a big hug and whispered I miss you. I sat down by him and as the people raised their voices in praise to God I started to pray. As emotion welled up inside me, I prayed that God would continue to us Mike and Sam to talk out about how god longs for his homeless just as bad as he longs for us (the people who call them selves Christians who are equally as homeless in the eyes of God.) I prayed that people who would reach out would be as blessed as I have been by men just like the one I was sitting next to. No sooner did I release my prayer and the homeless man reached over and grabbed my hand. The tears ran down my checks as I begged God that one day He would tell my dear homeless friend how at that moment I need him, I need his strength. That he too was part of Gods great plane to bless people like me.
As the book talked about I have never meet a homeless person that was not mentally ill or had an addiction. I don't feel at liberty to fully express what they have meant to me for fear that they might misunderstand my passion. So I have faith that God will tell them face to face one day!! Thank You, Michelle

Posted: 2006-03-16 20:18:00
guyoncouch9

Member Since:
2006-03-19

hey mike, my mom had called me and said that you were on the radio she said at least it sounds like you she somehow remembered your voice from the dominican videos. so i hastily turned on the radio to focus on the family and sure enough it was you. needless to say i started grinning from ear to ear listening to you brought back numerous memories of us in the dominican republic the talks that we shared in the small groups, the concrete that we poured, the games of basketball, the worship time together, and of course how could i forget the singing in the shower that became a staple of events year after year and i think that everyone enjoyed. anyway i purchased your book and dug in. everything i read was everything that i remembered about my friend that i had first met on a mission trip in a foriegn land. i want to thank you for putting your faith to the test in in turn challenging everyone that has read your book giving us something to think about and strive for, that deeper walk with christ. and for showing us that God will take care of us when we put our trust in him and follow here he has called us. that is something that i have struggled to do over the years since the dr. but through God's grace i have started turning back to the foot of the cross. thanks again mike for being a Godly man and great friend. tony filer

Posted: 2006-03-19 15:23:00
Kfeher2000

Member Since:
2006-03-19

Awesome book, I read the whole thing in one day. Well written and easy to read, I'm going to pass it around to my family and church family.
It really makes me want to get more serious about how I'm living for God. My wife and I have been involved with WWW.Someonecares.org and writing letters to prisoners (I highly recommend). God has really given me a heart for people that society has considered throw away and I hope more Christians will too because of your book.
I admire your courage!

I also found out in your bios that Sam goes to our sister church Imago Dei,
check out www.RedSeaChurch.com

GOd Bless

-=Keith

Posted: 2006-03-19 21:48:00
rrpowers

Member Since:
2006-03-27

Hi Mike,
I recently read your book........ and I have to say it really changed my life! You are a true disciple to have done what you did. It was great to hear what you had to say but more importantly what the homeless people had to say......... about what they wanted us as christians to tell them, and how they were really treated by the majority of christians. It's sad really.. but not beyond change! My husband has always had a strong burden for the homeless and the lack of housing; I however had had more of a burden for overseas orphans (we have an adopted boy from South Africa), but after reading your book, God has really broken my heart for the homeless people here in our city!! God bless you for your obedience, thanks so much, Roxanne

Posted: 2006-03-27 14:06:00
MattY42193

Member Since:
2006-04-03

Hi mike,


Posted: 2006-04-04 17:57:00
MattY42193

Member Since:
2006-04-03

Hi mike

I just wanted to start things off and say the book changed my life. Even though i am only thirteen, i thought that this book was god sent. I think god led me to read under the overpass. It changed my life. I have read the books by rick waren (the 40 days of purpose) and my church is in the middle of the 40 days of community. his books are good, and i enjoy them but yours is in a different setting it shows that faith can be shown in people that dont have all the luxurys that we do. In your book you could see that people do care. I am glad that i red that book and it changed my life. god bless you


Posted: 2006-04-04 18:07:00
texjan8

Member Since:
2006-04-09

Wow! I am only half way through your book and I feel like God put it in my hands at the right time.
I had just made my largest tithe to date. I have had God speak to me about this as a way for me to get some control on my terrible budgeting and spending habits. So, I went to church and dropped it off. It felt so good to do and I know the Lord will bless me. I have also been praying about serving. To be totally honest, I am scared of serving. How will it change me? How will I feel? Can I handle all the emotions that will surface? Do I know people I can talk to when this happens? And will I be appreciated or looked upon as a haughty, do-gooder? All I want is for God to erase this fear because I know that Satan will keep it there so that I will never serve His kingdom.
I had just gone to the bookstore and was browsing around, not looking for anything in particular. Your book was on the shelf and out of place. I was just sitting there in my point of view. I picked it up and was mesmerized by the first chapter that I read standing in the aisle. I can't tell you all the thoughts that have been going through my head about it.
What a courageous thing you and Sam did! I really do admire how you went about seeing if you were really the Christian you say you are.
I have not been a believer or follower of Christ for very long. I was led to Christ in 2003 and baptized in 2004. My husband wants no part of this "spiritual stuff".
I know I have a long journey and that God never says it will be easy. Because of you I have signed up for a mission. It's a small place to start but it is a start.
Isn't it Amazing, Grace???
Janet Rabig

Posted: 2006-04-09 20:30:00
Kimberleyinco

Member Since:
2006-04-11

I finished your book last night. Thank you for having the courage of your convictions and saying the things that needed to be said about they way the " Church" treated you many times. My question is:

How did you, or how DO you, deal with the inevitable disapointment, discouragemnet, and resentment that you must have experienced by the lack of concern and giving from the established and wealthy " church in America? How do you continue to identify with a mostly wealthy Christian culture/college without SCREAMING?????


Posted: 2006-04-11 15:19:00
dfinch

Member Since:
2006-04-16

Thank you for providing insight into this world that most of us know nothing about. I enjoyed your book immensely. I loved how you wrote in a simple fashion about crazy events. It gave us (my wife and I both read the book) a renewed passion to be more than a mouth for people who need our help.

Your final chapter wrapped up the experience so well. You brought up so many thoughts and emotions. But you channeled all of that into digestible chunks so that what I 'learned from the book won't be lost once I set it back on the bookshelf. That action will be taken by me. In fact, my wife and daughter have already visited our local downtown library and handed out home made sandwiches to those we otherwise didn't make eye contact with.

I could go on and on. Youre book was fantastic. It should be required reading for every church member in this country. Perhaps then, if we all acted 1% more like Christ made us to be, and said hello to one untouchable each week, maybe the famous words of Ghandi would no longer ring so valid, "I'd follow Christ if it weren't for Christians".

Congrats on getting married, and on a fantastic book. I would love to hear you speak. I had a hard time finding your speaking schedule on-line.

In Him.

Darin Finch
Las Vegas, NV

Posted: 2006-04-16 02:19:00
not for me

Member Since:
2006-04-16

Hey Mike and Danae!
I just finished reading "Under the Overpass" and I wanted to share. I first heard about it from a man named Brett Ullman who came to my highschool and spoke briefly about it. I was shocked, I was disturbed, I was impressed, and I was challenged. Your whole story brought me so many questions I don't know how to answer. With each of your encounters with churches along the way I kept coming back to the question of who are we living for? We need to stop living for ourselves, especially in the church. It shouldn't be about us trying to live without doing wrong. It should be more about what good are we doing? The church should be the one showing love. I know I'm priviledged to be living my current lifestyle, so what am I doing for the underpriviledged?

When it comes to your decision to go to the streets, I feel inspired. I don't have any way of knowing if I'm truly dependent on God and have faith in Him, because our world is full of distractions. Life is too much about me right now and I can't wait to find MY leap of faith, whatever it may be.
Thank you Mike for making me think- no, for making me take action. I know God is trying to speak to me.

I love what you said about those who say they'll pray for you, and those who actually do something to help. I want to be that second person.

Evette

Posted: 2006-04-16 15:55:00
thehomelessguy

Member Since:
2006-04-21

Hello Mike,
I just finished reading your book, and I wanted to thank you for it. As long as there are homeless people, your book will be needed - especially, but not exclusively, for Christians. (I've known people who were not Christians but started living like Christians, and in the process became Christians.)

back in 2002 I started a blog about my homeless experiences called, The Homeless Guy - http://thehomelessguy.blogspot.com. Every once in a while I get an email from someone saying that they are interested in doing what you did, (and wrote about), and asking for advice/info. And I was just curious if you happened to be one of those folks. If so, I probably tried to discourage you - as I usually do these days to young folks.

Anyway, thanks again for the book. I've already started recommending it.

God Bless your future endeavors.

Kevin Barbieux

Posted: 2006-04-21 18:20:00
reneee

Member Since:
2006-04-24

okay.. this is a message for sam and mike.
I noticed that sam is neglected a lot in the comments and even in the book. I know its written from mike's perspective and all, but i just want to point out that I admire both of you equally.
In reading the book, I found that many of the concepts were extreemly interesting and actually encouraged me. I gained a lot of courage in facing many of the weathered, hungry, homeless men and women I see each day when walking through downtown Ottawa. I also have high respect for what you guys did out on the streets of America.
I reserve, however, one reproach with regards to the novel. I don't know if it was just my personal interpretation, but I found some irony in the situations that occured that made me ponder the authenticity of the narrator. I realize that this adventure made you notice the hipocrisy of the christian church in that it was not doing what Jesus intended it to do. I find it incredibly difficult as well to find that although your goal was to experience homelessness and life without the comforts of material excess and yet you write about it with such advanced knowledge and arrogance. Let me explain, because my purpous is not to point the finger and call you names, although clearly i have done this. I didn't enjoy the fact that in your book, you added things such as comments and anecdotes that were irrelevant to life on the streets and homelessness (which was the initial goal) to elevate yourself and make you seem better for it. For example :at one point you make it a point to say that you refused to smoke marijuana when someone invited you to. It sounded to me like ( and i'm paraphrasing here) Our friend asked us if we wanted a drag but we said no thanks man we don't do that . I don't know why you had to add that in . Like " i'm a good guy and good people like me don't smoke". And I'd like to add that you point the finger at all the other christians around you like you know all the answers and frankly i don't find that cool at all. And what's worse! you point out a lot of things that sam did wrong on the trip and nothing you did. Or, when you did make mistakes, its okay, because you realized it afterward. Where's the transition? where's the reality? where's the transparency. It takes a lot of courage to write a book, and it takes even more courage to write about oneself and be objective. I'm sorry to say that although i respect your decisions and agree with you on many of the points you've made in your work of litterature. It was constantly disturbed and almost cancled out by your naive, un authentic, style of writting. If this story would have been told in a way that didn't elevate you so much, readers would have gotten much more out of it than thinking your a cool christian guy who knows everything there is to know about living on the streets ( that was sarcastic by the way) . Alright I know i've had a major bashing fest but i

Posted: 2006-04-24 21:46:00
1nChr15t1L1v3

Member Since:
2006-04-24

Hi Mike

Just yesterday you came to talk at our church, Grace Church in San Luis Obispo, CA. I was totally in awe of what you had to say. You made crystal clear how often I have snuggled deep in the comfort of Christ's love for me, like an ego-centric infant focused only on my needs (or needs important to me). Like many of the younger people in the group, I was inspired to grow beyond such spiritual infancy, but I must confess--I would have thought, at 56, I would have had my eyes opened sooner.

Nightly, my wife and I have prayed over each meal thanking God for blessing us and prayed that God would see that the less fortunate have food to eat and shelter from the cold. In the back of my mind, I've heard a whisper, "Careful what you pray for."

Now, after finishing your book, the whisper isn't so quiet. In fact, Mike, it's quite disturbing. I was distracted, today, at my desk wondering how to maximize my time and finances if I were to try to help the homeless. And how do I do so in a way that wouldn't negate or wouldn't be negated by the efforts of other organized efforts in our small community? Clearly I'm preparing for something. I hope I figure it out soon.

In the meantime, I'll take the tips from the back of your book to start with.

I pray for God's blessing for you, Danae, and Sam.
Thank you.
C.

Posted: 2006-04-25 00:03:00
joyous153

Member Since:
2006-04-19

Hi Mike and Danae,

I love your phrase living below your means. I too do that, and it seems easier, and I get further below, as time passes. It is amazing what money you can find left in your piggybank at the end of a month when a heart hungers to feed the hungry :)

There is a small corner to be cut out of any budget. The most amazing thing to me is the blessing of peace I get when I "deny" myself something I don't need, and use the money for the sake of others instead.

I pray that Jesus will continue to touch your hearts, and bless you with the means to keep spreading His love to others.

Love,

Leslie




Posted: 2006-04-26 15:56:00
KarleeRose

Member Since:
2006-04-28

Hey Mike...I'm from Westside/Oneighty..you came to our Church in December of 2005..Well I just finished reading your book and it has changed my life...It's amazing to me what one book can do. I can't even look at another homeless person the same and it was really amazing. And I just wanted to thank you for that. So thanks!
Love,
Karlee Rose

Posted: 2006-04-29 12:34:00
valoraptorr

Member Since:
2006-05-02

Dear M and D
I'm still homeless after four months; I have fallen through the gaps. I know that there is hope but I just haven't seen it for four months. Was being evicted from my home; so relocated to see if family would assist well that isn't going to happen. Instead, I had no phone and they wouldn't even give me messages. Sometimes people acting in ministry are the hands and ears and eyes of Christ. The real issue is this; when church people abuse the power because someone is vulnerable due to their homeless state; this is blastephamy against the Good Lord. Please tell me how I may someday remedy my situation. I was in a homeless shelter in January and a gentleman died of pneumonia only three cots away from me. I feel like I'm next. Got medicines sitting at pharmacy, medical supplies at medical supply house, and I'm caught up in a Hearing and Appeals Office without insurance; This state right now is not even honoring the McKinney Act; which basically states that a homeless person in the state of Maryland shall not be denied medical attention. I'm still awaiting my medical assistance authorization card; no children won't help. So the stress of being homeless is compounded. Family is all lost; never want to be found in the word; other persons just want me to die so they can make a profit on life insurance. Maryland has no reprive. The final solution is this ---- in MY FATHERS HOUSE THERE ARE MANY MANSIONS; IF I GO I WILL PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU; AND .... Therefore, even homeless we have a place in heaven. thanks rs.

Posted: 2006-05-02 18:43:00
Jim Lewis

Member Since:
2006-05-04

Mike,

I met you at the Grizzard Getaway Conference in Oxnard, CA . Your testimony was inspirational and challenging. When I spoke to you after you shared, I expressed a desire to have you come to the Old Savannah City Mission in Savannah, GA. Thank you for accepting the invitation. It is on our calendar for Thursday, September 28, 2006. Our hearts and doors are always open to anyone. We extend an invitation to all to attend this event with Mike. It can be a life-changing experience. The venue has not been finalized. When it is it will be posted on www.oscm.org.

Please continue to allow the Lord to use you in calling His people to a Luke 4:18 ministry.

Sincerely,
Jim Lewis
Executive Director
Old Savannah City Mission
www.oscm.org

Posted: 2006-05-04 10:39:00
Thor

Member Since:
2006-05-04

Hi Mike. I accually just got your book today, I'm halfway threw it and it has already changed the way I think about my christianity and I've been trying to change the way i treat people i meet every day. Just wanted to let you know. Thanks

Posted: 2006-05-04 20:36:00
cortezcutie102

Member Since:
2006-05-16

Hey dude,
I just finished your book a few hours ago in another class (I'm in school), and I just wanted to applaud you on a job well done. Yes, I know that the glory goes to God, not to you, but you had to accept the calling first, and to me, that is super awesome. My youth group and I have been participating in the 30 Hour Famine and I got a preview of how it feels to go without food for a period of time. However, that was only for a day and you went for five months (not without food, but humbling yourself).
Wow.
Your book was a gift to me from my brother Mike Gonzalez (evening announcer on KBJS 90.3 FM or www.KBJS.org) and I believe it was God tugging on my heart because Mike gave it to me right before I did this year's 30 Hour Famine. It's hard to focus on the reason why youre doing it when youre sacrificing your needs (or wants, rather). It takes dedication to do one day, so it's phenominal that you sacrificed so much of your time and comfort for the glory of God.

Thanks for giving others the opportunity to read about your life-changing journey.

Your sister in Christ,
Felicia Gonzalez

Posted: 2006-05-17 14:00:00
houseofwaltz

Member Since:
2006-05-15

Mike, thank you for your gift.... I finished your book in one sitting, I just could not put it down... I regularly support our local shelter, Union Mission in Norfolk (who have been having trouble finding a permanent home because the land it a valuable site for condos) and also the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. I just cannot imagine what it would be like to live day in and day out with no home and often little hope.
I can say I do know what it is like to not have a church welcome you... we left a church over a year ago... the "me" syndrome had enveloped a larger part of the congregation. They chased not only me and my family, but a promising young Pastor who had brought a shining light of hope, faith and promise of what it is like to be a servant and follower of Jesus.
The journey that you and Sam endured is a true and shining example of faith in action... I only hope I can risk more and more.... and be all I can for the glory of God.

Peace!

Doug Waltz
Norfolk, VA USA

Posted: 2006-05-17 21:37:00
i love God!

Member Since:
2005-10-29

Hey~
I LOVE GOD! if you are reading this you should say this out loud..please try it. if you said it you felt weird cause you never say it. think if we all went around saying " I LOVE GOD" how many people would give thier lives to God. but the problem is we don't want people to think we are weird. but think what would happen if no one cared about what other people thought of them? would it be easyer to live? Ya! cause when you get dressed in the moring what you you ask your self? if you are like most people you ask..what will other people think if i were this? because that is what we are taught to think. but i chalange you to be different today. and LIVE FOR GOD!
it is all for jesus
~I really do.. LOVE GOD!

Posted: 2006-06-07 13:51:00
i love God!

Member Since:
2005-10-29

I really do.......................
LOVE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted: 2006-06-07 18:05:00
xxhaeunxx

Member Since:
2005-08-06

Hey Mike! i've commented you like last year and talked about me going to a San Francisco Mission Trip. Well I stayed at a homless shelter with a pastor named Evan. I've learned so many things from the expierance of helping out homless people. A lot of the places you have gone in the book were the places where I have also visited. I've also made a lot of homless friends there. They aren't the people that I actually thought they were. I though that they were rude and unkind people, but actually i was completely wrong. They are actually the nicest people I have ever met. That reminds me Before my youth group and I went on the plane the teachers asked to take out all our money and that she'll hold on to it until the end of the mission. Eventually I had no money, but we had a thing called Hamburstry, where he have like a barbeque for the homless people at a park. There I met a homless man with one of my youth friends, Paul. We met a homless guy and he said he used to be at the Vietnam War but somehow he got kicked out then he had no cash with him. Later he is with his mom homless and poor. He also explains that he tries to save up the money to buy a house and all but somhow he uses it on drugs. My hands were cold so i put my hand it my pocket but randomly I found a dollar!... but I remembered that I gave al lthe money to the teachers so I gave him the dollar and told him to give it to his mom, and he said that he would go right away. I just hope that, that one dollar will change his life. Also at the hamburstry we got around 3 homeless people recieving christ. It was the last day and I started to tear because I just wanted to be with them and spend more time with them. Homeless people actually changed my life. Then we had a retreat after the mission trip and our youth group had a blessng expierance! This year our youth group are going to a mexico mission trip. This guy we know is starting a village there so we are going to go help. Please pray for us, Jesus Village Church. Oh yeah by the way I'm in 7th grade from New Jersey. *Also please email me back.* I forgot to tell you but congratulation on your marriage=]
-haeun kim-

Posted: 2006-06-09 12:54:00
wontonjon89

Member Since:
2006-06-15

Hey Mike,



Posted: 2006-06-15 11:33:00
wontonjon89

Member Since:
2006-06-15

Hey Mike,

I read your book about two weeks ago and i just want to thank you for showing the world what it means to live for Christ. Your book totally warped my veiw of people (homeless or not) and has helpped show me the worlds needs. Ive been working hard to love all people with the love of Christ since I read your book.Once again I just wanna say thatnk you.
In Him,
John Whitfield

Posted: 2006-06-15 11:39:00
sojo21

Member Since:
2006-06-21

I'll be honest, I'm trying to get in touch (at least by email) with Mike or Sam. It's a long shot, but it's worth it in my mind.

I met the two of you during your first couple of weeks being homeless. I was a "Servant Corps" Summer Intern with the Denver Rescue Mission in the summer of 2003 while you were staying at DRML and The Farm. I remember meeting Mike first (and thinking you had awesome hair!) and meeting Sam a week or two later (and thinking your hair was pretty sweet, too) when we took a tour of the farm.

There were three of us girls who worked at DRML that summer for 3-4 days a week. I worked with Caroline in Client Services ... My office was downstairs off the cafeteria area where the bread was stored and where the payphones were. Random information.

Anyway, ... that was the summer after I graduated from college, and I was an intern looking to kill some time until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I still haven't figured that out, but I'm working on it. Currently, I'm living on the east coast working in another Rescue Mission full-time.

So, I'm looking to get in touch to ask some questions and *deep breath* see if either of you might be interested in visiting the Carolina's in 2007 to attend our Mission's annual banquet. It's a long shot, I know, but as I said before - It's worth a shot.

My email is sojo21@aim.com if either of you are ever able to make contact. It would be a huge blessing even just to hear "no" from you. "Yes" or even "Maybe" would be a greated blessing, but ... yeah.

peace out.

Posted: 2006-06-21 07:25:00
Lonnie

Member Since:
2008-06-11

In response to Renee, I see things a bit differently, but it's good to look through other eyes. Discernment is critical. May I share my thoughts next to yours?



I guess I didn't see Mike elevating himself above Sam -- pointing out faults and not recognizing his own. It seemed to me that he was being careful to do just the opposite. However, I would love to hear more about Sam -- how the 5 months has changed his life. Perhaps Sam chooses to step out of the public eye. Or not . . . no way to know.



I, for one, believe that it was important for Mike to say that he didn't accept marijuana to let us know that he maintained his Christian principles during a very difficult time.



I would encourage you to read other comments to journal entries. Many lives have been changed. Many eyes are opened. Many predjudices, diluted.



Don't believe everything you read and see -- good idea. But be careful to not be overly critical either.



God bless you.

Lonnie

Posted: 2008-07-05 11:36:10
 








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