1950 LORD OF THE RINGS
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
THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
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.