1901 SURROUNDED BY CRIMINALS?
A few years ago [well- 1992] when we moved to Corpus we really never shopped around for the neighborhood we would live in.
We simply needed a 4 bedroom [preferably with a study] and there was only one on the market- we bought it.
But after moving in- I told my wife ‘wow- can you believe the luck- all the bums and criminals live right around here!’
Now- to me this was music to my ears- to my wife it was ‘here we go again’.
When we first started our ‘church’ in Kingsville we rented an old hospital building.
Eventually I fixed up my 2 garage and we used that.
But- the ‘members’ of the church were made up- 99%- of crooks- thieves- and stuff much worse.
I met these guys thru a bible study I did at the jail- and many would get sent off to prison and when they got out they came to the church [their wives too].
So- this was our cool little church- many of the guys knew each other from the streets.
They often ‘reminisced’ about the old days [not good].
Elias [long dead now] was my song leader- and filled in for me when I had to work- but he was one of the ‘gang leaders’ if you will- that is they all were drug addicts- all knew the places to rob- and sell the stuff.
Now- because these guys were my friends- they would often offer their ‘services’ to me.
‘Hey John- you need a very cheap flat screen- it’s a steal’ [literally].
I would tell them ‘no way brother- I don’t want you guys to keep doing this @$#’
They would tell me that it’s no big deal- they sell the stuff to their family- and even to one of the local city commissioners [who I knew].
I was mad- I told them if I buy the stuff- even if it’s a good deal- it will simply encourage them to go out and steal more.
And I was really mad that one of their moms was buying the stuff from her son.
So- that’s the way our little church was.
I remember one time one of the guys pawned my weed eater.
I lent it to him- but he never brought it back.
So one day when I needed to cut the grass I went over.
‘C-mon Johhny- I know you pawned it- lets go get it- I’m not mad- I forgive you bro- but I need to cut the damn grass’.
Yeah- we went and got it.
So- I have had my buddies- all used to living life like this- offer me their services at various times- thinking they were helping me out.
If I walk out of my study right now- I could throw a rock and probably hit one of the guys right now- sleeping under the overpass [right by Floyd’s restaurant].
A few blocks over- they are in the streets- brush- broken down trailers- they ‘reside’ all around me.
I have a good friend- Dave- who lives right across the street.
He has lived his entire life in ’the bluff’.
After he moved across the street- we became good friends.
But he realized that the guys who were coming over to visit me- well- they were all criminals- people he knew for years- and he was shocked.
Dave has a jewelry business that he runs out of his house.
He started putting in all this extra security- he would come over and keep showing me all the stuff he was putting in.
Electric shock stuff- showing me the new gun he bought for protection.
I finally caught on- Dave was afraid that my buddies might ply their trade- at his house!
See- they actually think that they are helping when they do stuff like this- but they are not.
I was glad when I found out that all these guys hang out all thru out these streets.
If I go out right now [just was outside by the way] and walk 15 blocks- they are all over the place.
Maybe a few are up right now at Floyds- or down at Whataburger.
They fill the streets.
When they offer me their services I say ‘no- there’s a better way’.
Paul told the Corinthians ‘some of you were thieves and killers’ all types of stuff- but then he said ‘you are now washed- clean- thru the Blood of Christ’.
It’s easy for these guys to resort to tactics they used their whole lives- but by grace they [we] can learn better ways.
Yes- at the end of the day- that’s what we want- all of us.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.