1957 TODAY I HAVE TO GO- DON’T WORRY.
Which way to go?
Yeah- today I have lots of things to write about- but must pick one or 2.
Yesterday I spent the day with David- my buddy who started the halfway house.
I picked up Henry in the morning- he was at a weekly breakfast that a local church sponsors.
I actually posted the pic yesterday- the plate looked like a Denny’s thing!
I don’t eat breakfast or lunch- though I’m regularly at these spots- because that’s where I have met lots of street guys in the past.
Me and Henry stopped at brother Rey's [pastor of church without walls] and he donated a couple of real nice cots to the halfway house.
At the halfway house we took in a new guy- John.
Yeah- I was with John David- I took John Henry- and we added another John.
That has come up a lot these last few months.
I also posted his pic on Facebook.
Please pray for him- he has liver cancer real bad- has been sober for a while- but he might die while at the house.
Okay- I really did not plan on spending the whole day helping with the halfway house- but once we started- I felt that was the plan for the day.
As we left the halfway house and headed back to David’s little apt. - he wanted to stop at McDonalds- the one close to the area where all this is happening.
As we sat inside- I relayed to David and Henry that the last time I was here was about 8 months ago.
It was the beginning of my involvement in this area of town [downtown Corpus- most of my homeless/street friends live on the south side].
I told the guys that I took a ride one morning- prayed for the Lord to open some doors- and stopped right here.
There were 2 homeless guys sleeping on the bus benches outside.
It was early- about 6:30 in the morning.
I bought a couple of breakfasts and woke the guys up- they were grateful for the meal.
I spent about 4 hours with the guys- hanging out- telling them about the ministry and all.
I never saw them again.
I did go back to look for them- but like many others- they just moved on.
But- thru a series of events- we are now doing the halfway house right in the area- and sitting at the same McDonalds that I bought the breakfasts from.
So yes- God did open some doors- in ways that I did not see in the beginning.
Yesterday as I was reading the paper I came across a sad story.
When I read my papers every morning- I glean from the both current events- which I write about lots.
But I also write the names of severe crime cases- people being sent to prison for life- or upcoming death penalty guys.
I write the date of their execution on my calendar- I pray for them thru out the months [along with lots of others].
And if I remember- I pray for them on the day of execution [I’m not praying for them to get ‘spared’ though that did happen one day- but for them to die ‘well’. If they are indeed guilty- to ask forgiveness from their victim’s families if they have not done this. Or if they have denied the crime- to confess- to go out well- and to ask God for forgiveness].
I started this a few years ago- I felt the Lord leading me into this strange type of prayer group- you know- people who are now dead.
Almost seemed like a waste of time- I mean who 'collects’ these dead ones?
Anyway- in yesterday’s paper I read about Niko [the San Antonio news].
They had a picture of him sitting on the beach- by a pier.
He is [was] 11 years old.
Niko was an ambitious young kid- smart- and had big plans.
He liked soccer- and wanted to attend Harvard one day.
But Niko was diagnosed with cancer- and died.
The story went on.
His family were visiting him at the hospital once again.
And he said to them ‘Today is the day- today I have to go’.
He died later that day.
As I read Niko’s words- it was so sad.
The end of the story said his last words were ‘don’t worry about me’.
I have Nikos story right here- when I’m done typing I will post it here in my study- along with the names of my ‘prisoners’ who have died.
Yeah- in some way I feel like this little community that I live amongst- homeless buddies- friends in prison- and some who have died.
That they are all part of this group.
I have had many confirmations about this over the years.
I’ll end with just one.
A few years back I did an on-line teaching about the other books that never made it into the bible.
Many years ago I bought some of these- and when you study church history and theology- well- these are an aspect of that type of teaching.
So I commented on them- gave the reasons why we don’t have them in our bibles.
But I also said that when I read some of them- I have found some are actually quite good.
One of my favorites is called the Epistle of Barnabus.
But there are others as well.
Some in the early church actually had a couple of these that were included in some of the early bibles- others were never given a 2nd thought.
By the way- in this field of study- I come down of the conservative side.
That is I don’t hold to the ideas of men like Bart Ehrman- the more liberal scholars.
They seem to give more credence to the books that never made it into the canon- and cast too much doubt on the bible we have today.
Anyway- the few that I do lile- when I re-read them as the years go by- there have been times when God did speak to me.
As my prayer time developed into this inclusion of dead folk [above].
I felt much more awareness of my friends who have died- as being amongst us during prayer.
Now- I don’t ‘pray to them’ but I have a greater sense of praying ‘with them’. I mention their kids and all- because these guys- some- were actually friends of mine- who came to my church meetings I started years ago.
So- I painted a spot on my wall- it was dedicated to this group.
I simply wrote a few things- stuff that reminded me that these were those who have gone on- and are yet ‘here’.
Sort of like my ‘friends in prison’ type of thing.
Prison represents those who have died- and we are not so sure where they are- to be honest.
I’ll explain it in a moment.
So- right after I painted this little altar area- I read in one of the ‘lost books of the bible’ [I think it was in the Revelation of St. Peter?].
It said ‘have you preached to the spirits in prison yet’.
Meaning- have you included those who have died yet- have you yet ‘learned this’ son?
That was the type of sense I got.
As I read the verse- I simply said ‘yes’.
Now- I do know the source is from one of the early books that is not in the bible.
But this reference- even if it is a copy- or a fake- does come from our bibles as well.
It’s in the letter of Peter [I think 1st Peter 3?]
And it’s one those texts that scholars haggle over.
But Peter is speaking about some who died before the days of the world wide flood [Genesis 6].
And he refers to these dead people hearing the gospel- by Christ himself- after he died and rose again.
And they are called ‘the spirits in prison’.
So- that’s the same thing I felt/understood as I began seeing those who have gone on- well- they are still with us in a way.
Yeah- in a few minutes I will post little Niko’s picture up on my wall.
I’ll look at it as time goes by- as I see all my friends- both living and dead- and I will read his words.
‘Today I have to go- don’t worry’.
Yes- Jesus said out of the mouths of babies thou hast perfected praise.
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.