Monday, April 29, 2013



The other day I was taking one of my ‘midnight’ walks across the bridge.

These past few months I started a new thing- I walk for miles on end!

Yeah- it started as a spur of the moment thing- just put the CD player on- listened to some favorite classic rock- and made the walk.

It has since become somewhat of an obsession.

For you locals- I have walked to Ayers and back- from the bluff.

Walked to the city hall area of town.

And I walk across the Oso bridge early in the morning- while it’s dark.

It feels great.

Sometimes I’ll run into another ‘wanderer’ and of course when your on the bridge- mano e mano- sometimes the other walker gets a little nervous.

I’m carrying my old Navy sea bag at times- and do indeed pass for a real homeless guy!

Yesterday- or the day before- my path met with a real illegal immigrant.


Yea- lots of the guys from Mexico- well they are what most of us think when talking aliens.

But no- this brother was from South/Central America- you could tell.

And they do from time to time come thru the area.

So- it was about 5 am- dark- on top of the bridge.

He looked a little suspicious to be honest.

Gave me the quick ‘heah’ look.

And you know me- I have to get in the mix.

So I stop him for a second- he looks a little worried- I tell him ‘hey bro- you need a few bucks’.

Yeah- I saw it as a chance to help the guy.

He shook his head and couldn’t wait to go.

Oh well- your loss.

So yeah- it’s been fun- a little different.

One day when I was coming over the bridge I saw Guitar Jason.

I’ve known him for years- anyone from the area- he’s the guy who plays his guitar on the streets- he’s been at it for 25 years now.

He spots me ‘hey preacher John’- so I spent a little time with him by the bay- where he has a camp.

He asked me to pray the Our Father with him- sure.

Then he must see I’ve lost a lot of weight- and he offers me a few dollars.

I told him ‘no thanks Bro’.

All my buddies know the scoop- that there old friend has run into some hard times- and to be honest- they feel bad for me.

It’s kinda funny to be honest.

Jason insisted- as I walked away he gave me 2 bucks [he’s homeless!] and told me to get a beer.

I took the dough- but never bought the beer.

Then the next day or so- I run into Old Tim on the walk- He needed 2 bucks- I gave him the money Jason gave me.

Yeah- I told him where it came from- he thought that was so cool.

That’s life on the streets- to be honest- I’m very comfortable with the street bro’s- they are like family.

I told Tim I’ve been walking the bridge- late at night- some think it dangerous- geez- if some one wanted to ‘get me’- all you have to do is swerve the car for heavens sake!

But Tim said ‘well John- no one will mess with you- your one of us’.

Ahh- got the best compliment of the year.


A few weeks back I read a verse that caught my eye- psalms 88.


I was also reading Luke’s gospel.

And Jesus is talking about the resurrection form the dead.

He says ‘those who are accounted worthy of that world [age] neither marry nor are given in marriage- but are as the angels’.

He also says ‘they die no more’.

Now- I don’t want to over spiritualize this passage.

But the word AGE can refer to this new age- this new covenant era that we are in now.

So- if you apply it that way- Jesus is saying ‘those of you who have died- you die no more’.

Who has died?

In baptism we die to our old life- we live a life now where we carry the Cross.

Many of us have had ‘death experiences’ we no longer live for the praise of men.

I also recently read where Jesus said ‘you seek the approval of men- you can not please God’.

So- to sum it up- we- those who have died to the life of creating an image- of trying to impress people- we die no more.
Why- because we have now learned that if people want to accept us- then we have become an open book- they have seen us- both the good and the bad.

There is no more hiding- w have died once- we are now FREE AMONG THE DEAD.

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 [Face  book] - I have posted lots.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Today is really my first day back- real time [I’m posting this right after I write it].

I have been journaling for the past 3 months- but that’s a little different.

Okay- out of all the news events- Boston marathon bombing- Ricin letters [by the way- last I saw they seem to have arrested the wrong guy].

Out of these events- a smaller one stands out in my mind.

The handling of the debt crisis in Cyprus.

A few weeks back Cyprus- one of the very small states that’s involved with the E.U. debt crisis- did a surprising move and simply confiscated the money of private citizens from the banks and used that to pay off debt.

Now- they took what was over and above there form of FDIC insurance for the depositors.

In essence- they looted the accounts of their customers.

Now- this simply shows us how bad the EU debt crisis is- and that things have not actually improved- but gotten worse.

So- how has the global market reacted?

This is what’s funny [or sad?] it seems as if some are in denial- while others are simply hedging their bets.

There is a huge amount of money in the system [what we look at when the dow goes up- or down] that simply is looking at the numbers- sort of like a bookie would look at the odds on a game.

Some of this money is simply there because- for various reasons- they think more money might be coming into the system.

That is some investors are not investing because they think the global market is sound- some invest because they think the situation is so bad that it merits a bailout.

I read an article on Egypt- how Morsi [the president] believes that the western nations will bail him out- give him loans that are above what they should get- and he believes this because he thinks they are ‘too big to fail’.

That is- he is expecting the loan not because they are stable- Egypt used to have a good economy- but since the ‘revolution’ it has been a real mess.

So- as a direct result of their Arab Spring- they need much more cash than before.

And Morsi thinks they will get it- even though- economically they probably don’t deserve it [not to mention some real ideological problems with the new leadership- like very anti Semitic statements that the leader holds to].

So- overall- we are in April of 2013- and the European debt crisis is not over- but probably getting worse.

These last few months I have been reading more of the gospels- and have cut down on the news a lot.

I still read the headlines- and catch a few news shows- but not nearly as much as before.

I was what you would consider a news addict- for real.

So- I have focused more on the gospels and less on world events [though they are still very much a part of what we are called to impact as the church].

As I finished the gospel of Luke the other week- I noticed a verse that I have read many times before.

But it hit me in a new way.

It says ‘all things that were written had to be fulfilled- in the Law and the Psalms and the Prophets’.

It’s talking about all the Messianic portions of the Old testament- the bible passages that speak about Christ.

Then of course he enters into the final stages of his earthly life- and is Crucified.

Over the years- as a bible reader- I noticed how lots of us tend to gravitate towards the ‘flashier’ parts of the bible.

I have many Psalms and Prophets that I quote from- there are portions of Isaiah [what would be called ‘the prophets’] that I have memorized for years.

I am reading thru the Psalms right now- they are great stuff.

But when I read the above verse- which was said by Christ himself- he said ‘ALL THINGS’ had to be fulfilled- not just the ‘flashy’ portions of scripture [Psalms- Prophets].

But the hard stuff too- Law.

Then at the crucifixion scene- he’s on this Cross- this place of public humiliation- and the people watching are sort of in shock.

He has become what the scripture said ‘a stone that the builders rejected’.

His friends have gone- his poor mom is seeing all this play out- and the others are there- almost to see what else could go wrong with him.

Then- in the middle of it all- don’t forget his family earlier thought he was ‘beside himself’ he looks up to God- and he makes a few statements.

He asks ‘why did you leave me’.

He says ‘father- forgive the ones who hate me- and want me gone- they don’t know what they do’.

Then- as the Roman gaurd looks on- he says ‘into your hands I commit my Spirit’.

And in Old King James language- he ‘gave up the ghost’- that is- he died.

As I read this account recently- and the statement from Christ about all things being fulfilled.

I saw what Jesus was saying ‘look- I have been with you for 3 years- doing ministry- teaching you stuff- how to forgive- don’t hold grudges- carry your Cross every day’.

Then- HE DID IT- he showed them how to ‘die well’.

Yeah- all things had to be fulfilled- all things had to be modeled.

He had to demonstrate- in real time- what he taught them.

Oh- now I get it- I really do.

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 [Face  book] - I have posted lots.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Today I begin the 2nd quarterly journal of 2013.

When I did the first- I had no idea that this might be a new format from now on.

As of today- I’m not dead set on it- but I think the format  is beneficial.

Okay- I went to Easter service yesterday- I visited a Catholic church in the area that I never went to before [I attend both Catholic and Protestant churches on and off- but I have been making the Mass pretty regularly the last few weeks].

I also watched a few of the services from Rome- being its Holy Week.

It would be too much to try and cover each chapter that was referenced- but maybe I can hit a few high points.

About a month ago I read Zechariah chapter 12.

It’s what we call a Messianic prophecy- which speaks of Christ.

A famous line ‘they shall look upon him whom they have pierced’.

The apostle Paul alludes to this in his letter to the Romans- chapters 11-12.

He speaks about the Jewish nation- and how at the return of Christ they will mourn for Jesus- they will recognize that he was the Messiah they were waiting for.

Now- as I also read the book of Luke this past month- I focused in on the Passion chapters during Holy Week.

Out of the 4 gospels the church has- 3 are fairly similar- but the gospel of John stands alone.

The majority of John’s gospel focuses in on the last week of Christ’s earthly life- the others cover a broader time period.

In the crucifixion accounts we see Jesus realizing that what’s happening is the fore ordained hand of God.

It’s sort of like he’s  ‘in charge’ [well- he is!] but in a way that even confounds the authorities.

Pilate says ‘don’t you know I have the power to take your life’?

Jesus  ‘you have no power- except what God gave you’.

You see this ‘in between the lines’ sense of Jesus saying ‘do what you have to do- lets get this thing over with’.

He knew it had to happen.

In one of the Masses from Rome- the English interpreter used a word I though was strange.

I’m not sure if she was using the right word- even though it ‘fit’.

The new Pope- Francis- was speaking Latin.

And the interpreter was saying ‘immolation’.

Talking about Christ’s passion.

Now- the word immolation means burning- if you remember my political posts of a couple years back.

When I covered the Arab Spring- the first nation to rebel was Tunisia.

In the streets of Tunis a merchant ‘self immolated’- burned himself to death- as a sign of protest against oppressive govt.

This sparked the Arab Spring.

So- how cold this fit in with the Passion of Christ?

In the Old Testament we have a system of sacrifices- animals being sacrificed- as a sign of the future sacrifice of Christ.

One of the notable ones is the Burnt Offering.

Jesus- according to the book of Hebrews- fulfilled the sacrificial system by his death on the Cross.

During his earthly ministry he spoke about fire- baptism.

He says to the disciples one time ‘can you be baptized with my baptism’?

They answer yes.

Jesus says they will indeed be baptized with it- but not in the way they think.

He was talking about the ‘baptism of fire’.

The suffering they would have to face in the coming days.

He in essence was saying ‘you too must pass thru the fire- like me’.

Jesus said at one time ‘I have come to set fire on the earth- and how I wish it were already started’.



Self immolation- what’s your point.

Jesus was talking about himself- he was going to be the ‘brunt offering’ the ‘self immolation’ that would spark the ‘Kingdom spring’- see?

In Zechariah 12 it speaks about those who fight- war against Jerusalem- Gods people.

One of the images is those who set themselves against it will get burned.

That the governors of Judah [the elders]- they are like ‘sheaf’s of fire’ In the midst of the wood- all who lay hold of it get burned.

Yes- Jesus was the ultimate sheaf- they lit he torch- so to speak- at Calvary.

They did not realize what they were doing.

They started a fire that they could not put out.

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 [Face- book] - I have posted lots.