Tuesday, November 20, 2012


These past few weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind.

Every so often in life you hit a stage when multiple things come together.

Over time- as you get older- you learn to take these times with a grain of salt.

That is- you don’t get overly excited about them.

Yet- you see ‘oh yea- this is one of those times’.

There are usually lots of signs that accompany these moments in life.

Let’s name a few.

A couple of months back I went to a part of town that I usually don’t go to.

I wrote a few posts on it- met a few homeless guys- and felt like we needed to do some type of ministry in this area.

Then within a few days one of my good friends wound up in the hospital for triple bypass surgery.

I have known John David and both of his brothers for years- Andy and Huey- they are all street guys where I live.

So- we went to see John David in the hospital- come to find out they thought he was going to die after the surgery.

They had to resuscitate him once.

So- John David has asked me- a few years back- if I would help him do a halfway house.

Now- over all the years of ministry- I have worked with ministries like this.

And I was interested- but really did not know if it would fly.

John David is a very smart guy- he once owned one of the biggest concrete businesses in the area.

Made tons of money over the years.

He lost it all when he became a hardcore addict.

So- I knew he had the smarts for the business aspect- but John is sort of new to the faith.

It’s been a couple of years and he has that new excitement that young Christians have.

So- I just tried to encourage him- and when he gets too many ideas I realize he’s like a lot of us- we sometimes over do it.

But since he had the surgery- he called me the other day and that was the first day of the new halfway house ministry.

Okay- some signs.

I did not realize that the first house [there are now 2] was only a few blocks from my original foray into that part of town.

I met the homeless guys on Morgan and Cross-town [you locals know the spot] and John David opened up the first room at Mary and 20th st.

Walking distance from the spot.

I only realized it later [you take different routes to get there- it never dawned on me that the day I spent with the homeless guys was right there- when we left John David’s house the other day- I realized that was the same spot where I hung out].

That was the first ‘sign’.

 I have been praying for years here in my yard- it’s really like a prayer garden- I walk the yard and have all types of prayer markers.

Facing certain ways- praying for the nations that are in that direction- recognizing the star clusters each time of the year.

When you pray early like this- you see lots of shooting stars and come to familiarize yourself with the ‘heavens and earth’.

Anyway- I have this gazebo with hundreds of painted names of prisoners I have collected over the years.

These are cases where people got sent to prison for long periods of time.

So- being I work with street guys- they are sort of my collection- I might run into them some day on the street.

So- this gazebo is like a prayer spot- it represents a community of people.

I also have lots of verses on it.

Over the years I have collected street signs.

Yeah- you’re not supposed to pick them up- but I have.

These are various signs that I found along the road [on the ground or in the trash]- my daughter came home one year with one- she’s like ‘hey dad- we found you one’.

So- I have about 3 or 4 like this.

I have them hanging on this gazebo thing.

Yesterday as I was walking and praying- praying about the halfway house- seeing how the location was ‘prophetic’.

As I’m walking past this gazebo- early in the morning- I must have walked it 30 thousand times before.

I look up- right there- one of the signs says ‘STAPLES AND MARY’.

That’s the actual street that the halfway house is on.

That street is also the connecting street to the second house [on Laredo].

Yeah- Staples and Mary is the main connection for the homes.

Now- Corpus is big- to ‘accidently’ have that sign- that crosses right there- well that’s a bit much.

Last but not least.

Right when I got back from my Jersey trip- the first chapter I read/studied was Luke 15.

For some reason the story about the father putting a ring on the son- it got me to thinking about getting a ring.

Now- I am not a jewelry type of guy.

I have lost multiple wedding rings over the years.

And at the fire house we would take them off.

Yeah- they are a hazard.

There are many stories about guys getting their fingers pulled off when the ring catches something.

So- I haven’t had a ring in years.

But- it’s in my head- so I’m on the hunt.

I stopped at the local pawn shop- I had a homeless friend who died years ago- Bill.

One day I was in there with Bill- and he spotted this ring that he liked a lot.

It had a horse on it.

Personally- I didn’t like it that much- but I thought ‘hey- if that ring is there- I’ll get it’.

Sort of like a reminder of my friend.

It was long gone.

So I hit Wal Mart [yeah- the last resort spot].

They had 2 nice gold rings- with Crosses.

But they wanted a couple of hundred for them- I wasn’t gonna go for that [heck- what if we go over the fiscal cliff!]

About 2 weeks before I mentioned to the street guys ‘hey- I’m looking for a ring- with a Cross on it- if you find one- I’ll buy it’.

Now- I let them know I don’t not want a ‘hot’ ring.

I have had guys wanting to sell me stuff at a cheap rate- stolen stuff.

I told them I would never do that.

So- the next day- after my failed venture at obtaining the ring.

I am getting ready to go to the mission.

I’m in the bathroom and my cell phone rings.

My daughter says ‘dad- your phone is ringing’.

I ask ‘who is it’?

She says ‘it says Martin’.

Martin is the last name of the 3 amigos- John David- Andy and Huey.

I ask ‘which one’?

She says ‘H martin’.

‘O- That’s Huey- just leave it- I’m gonna see him in a minute’.

So- I leave the house- don’t check the message [I never check my messages].

And as I head out I think ‘geez- maybe I should hit the other pawn shop- right passed the mission’.

I’m kinda praying about it.

Then I feel like the Lord is saying ‘son- in Luke 15- the father gave the son a ring- wait till I give you one’.

Right then I make the turn into the mission.

Huey says ‘hey- did you get my message’.

I told him no- I figured I’d see him right now.

He says ‘I got your ring’.

Yeah- I gave 12 bucks for the thing.

But it’s a nice ring- a copper stress ring.

It says ‘TRUST GOD’.

It has 2 Crosses on it.

Probably a 35-50 dollar ring.

[It wasn’t stolen- the guy who owned it was right there- Huey talked him into selling the thing for quick cash].

Yeah- as I have grown older I try not to overdo the sign thing.

But- at the same time- I also try not to ‘under do’ them.

The bible says God is in control of the affairs of men.

Nothing happens without his permission.

Yeah- I guess you can even say- He’s


NOTE- As a side note- the ring was given to me by Huey- John David’s brother.

Rings denote partnership in scripture.

It was interesting that John David’s brother was the one who gave me the ring- I would be ‘partnering’ with him in just a few more days.

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.

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