Thursday, January 29, 2009

The end of bread

As we've recently revealed that we have decided to end our 6 year run of handing out bread in 2 city parks on Thursday afternoons...we have gotten a lot of questions about the why and how we came to this decision. This was a response to a good friend's question and I thought I'd post it in part here with some pictures from today, our last Thursday community bread share. It was a great day full of appreciation and blessing...

We inherited the bread line from New Hope Chruch around 5 years ago...until then it was kind of a loose association of friends that we participated in, before that, it was officially run by New Hope church. When it fell to us, we just kinda unquestioningly took it on and stewarded it...thinking it was a good thing for the community. And it has been.

Last year we considered dropping it as it really is the thing in our week that is least in line with our stated values of being relationship focused. As we took inventory we realized that not one of our long lasting relationships (like our kids club, girls on 9th St, etc)...which is what we feel strongly called to, have come from the bread line. As it is a bread line...people stand in line, we manage the line, they get what they want and leave, unless you have a ton of volunteers, there is not that personal connection.

We didn't drop it last year as we felt through prayer to stay the course. This year, we asked the question again and discerned together that it was time to give it up. Among other issues was that the bread donations from the stores have dramatically decreased due to the economic turn and we have been having trouble just servicing both parks.

Since managing a bread line or "food program" is not in our corporate values, it's not something we are invested in with our passion fueled by a strong sense of calling. We are called to focus on the kids and south 9th street and a freedom to be faithful to relationships in a more sufficient way.

This week, Aaron and Jimmy and I helped our handicapped, alcohol addicted, lonely friend James (who lives in utter filth) clean out his apartment and we got him a new bed and prayed with him and are in his life. That's what we want to do more have more time to really be in people's lives. We found that keeping the bread truck going was working against that on Thursdays instead of supporting it.

Please do pray for us...we're still here doing what we do and in a way that is more in line with our calling.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

From the Modesto Bee's "Every Monday Matters"

by Matthew Emerzian


61 percent of low-income families have no books in their homes.

43 percent of adults with the lowest level of literacy proficiency live in poverty.

Only 4 percent of adults with strong literacy skills live in poverty.

55 percent of children have an increased interest in reading when given books at an early age.

Children with a greater variety of reading material in the home are more creative, imaginative, and proficient in reading. They are also on a better path toward educational growth and development.

There is only one age-appropriate book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods, compared to 13 books per child in middle-income neighborhoods.


1. Go through your bookshelves...

Read more here

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Some pics from South 9th St.

Every Friday we spend the morning on South 9th Street in Modesto. Well, it's actually between Modesto and Ceres in a kind of no man's land. 9th Street used to be Hwy 99 and the little motels there used to actually host travelers. When the freeway was built, this stretch of street in our town became dilapidated with junk yards, little mechanic shops, industrial supply warehouses and the motels are still there, but they are now residential rooms for the addicted, prostitutes, handicapped, alone and stuck. It's a kind of catch all for those who fall through the cracks.

We go down, set up and hang out. People come by for something to eat, a hot drink, company, prayer, whatever. There are others there other days of the week. It has become one of my favorite times of the week. Here's some pictures from a couple of Fridays...

This past week, it rained the whole time. We set up a little covering and huddled under there all morning. It was cold but folks still came out for a great bowl of beans (Arlie's recipe - chorizo, ground beef, beans, onion and garlic...mmm!)

This is "Arrow"...a dog that belongs to nobody. We think she is an angel. She just belongs to 9th Street. Everybody feeds her and loves on her and she just brings a bit of peace in a hard place. She often comes by to say "hi" while we're there.

This was a couple of weeks ago. We presented our visitors with a little challenge. An old, stale bagel, a metal folding chair - instant 9th St. ring toss. This is Jimmy trying.

Bob gave it a try and came in second only to...

Jeff who was the first to ring the bagel around the chair leg! Congratulations Jeff.

Pray for 9th Street. Pray for us and others who regularly go to 9th Street. Sometimes a listening ear, a bowl of beans or a silly game can make all the difference.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You should get this book.

If you have never heard of Andrew Peterson, you need to get to know him. He is a singer/songwriter from the Nashville area who has been hailed as the heir apparent to Rich Mullins. His music is some of my favorite being produced in these days of homogeneous Christian pop. He brings the depth of good theology and a wistfulness that is impossible to fake. His latest CD is called "Resurrection Letters Vol. 2" (Volume 1 is forthcoming) and would be well worth checking out.

He has also published a great first novel called "On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness." This is a work of fantasy that kids and adults will enjoy. A great story wrapped in an imaginative world. It's very funny and made me cry...on an airplane to a very prim and proper older Canadian lady. I didn't want to make a fool of myself but I couldn't put it down.

Well, the audio book is on sale right now in itunes for a whopping $3.95. Just thought I'd let you know. You can get to know Andrew and the creative community around him at the Rabbit Room blog or at

This Sunday Night!

Calling all Modesto locals...

We are hosting a band called "The Experience" on Sunday night...this Sunday night!!!, Jan 25, 7 pm at New Hope Church's Brunswick Hall (4204 Dale Rd, behind the new bank). This band's music and message is all about the human trafficking issue and how the Body of Christ can respond. Please come and bring some young people if you can. You can hear some of the music HERE. A love offering will be taken.

Come on out and bring some friends.

Chris M. Whiter
YWAM Modesto

Monday, January 19, 2009

Luke 15

Howdy folks, this is me sharing at our church yesterday. You can listen to it right here or download the MP3 directly at the bottom of THIS PAGE. Enjoy!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Things overheard on our recent trip to L.A. to go to the Bonnie Hunt Show

To Amie at Trader Joe's: "Are you a casting director?"


While standing in line to get in to the show: "Oh, look, it's the guy who's always Adam Sandler's friend in his movies...what's his name?" (We think it actually was Allen Covert.)


Also standing in line waiting to get in: "I've moved half-way across the country and have gone through all of this, I'm so lonely all I do is drink."


Guy getting out of his car on a cell phone: "OK, you gotta tell me what you you want just like, you know, regular people or do you want 'model hot' people? Cause we can separate them and give you what you want..."


People walking by our breakfast table at Pann's: "Well, if the script calls for it then that's what you have to do..."


Bonnie Hunt
, standing 6 inches away from me, looking right at me, making eye contact: "Thanks for coming to the show!"

Me and Amie: (stunned silence)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

One last word on "Christmas all year long"...

“Let no pleasure tempt thee, no profit allure thee, no persuasion move thee, to do anything which thou knowest to be evil; so shalt thou always live jollity; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas.” - Ben Franklin