THE LORD SAID TO ME- TAKE A GREAT SCROLL AND WRITE IN IT WITH A MANS HAND- Isaiah 8:1
This week I want to cover some of the gaps in our recent study called ‘Abrahams kid’.
I tried to give a brief overview of the whole bible story in a few posts- to make it easier for people to get a grasp of the main theme of the bible.
But- we skipped a lot of good stories- practical things- at the time.
I have been covering the ‘skipped things’ in our house meetings- and want to do a little for our on-line community.
If you remember- I talked about God making promises to people [Abraham and his descendants- the Jewish people].
The promises centered on them having a huge family of people- so many- that you would never be able to count them.
But- if you read this story in the bible- the main characters- are mostly barren [can’t get pregnant].
Sarah- and the other women whom this promise is connected to- are not having kids at the normal time when women have kids.
Sarah was about 90 years old when she gave birth to Isaac.
Even as the promise continues into the New Testament- Elizabeth- the mother of John the Baptist [a key figure in the story- John was a prophet that was to come before the Messiah].
Elizabeth’s husband- Zechariah the priest- was praying for a son, because his wife too was barren [not able to get pregnant].
If you remember- this is a famous story in the gospel- the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah while he is doing his priestly duties in the Temple.
And the angel tells him that his wife Elizabeth will have a child in her old age [much like the story of Abraham and Isaac].
Now- it almost seems like a contradiction that many of the key players to a promise- that ‘your wives will have millions of kids’.
That most of these wives- were not able to get pregnant!
Why did God do this?
God often makes promises to his people- calls them to various purposes/ministries- that in the natural- they can’t perform.
There’s a verse in the book of Zechariah ‘not by might- nor by power- but by my Spirit saith the Lord’.
God calls people to tasks- that when the mission comes to pass- we can’t say ‘see- look what WE did’.
He often gives us assignments that do indeed look impossible.
He also rarely gives you all the details at the start.
Even though he knows them.
The prophet Isaiah says ‘God knows the end [outcome] of a thing from the start’.
Again ‘ I HAVE DECLARED THE FORMER THINGS FROM THE BEGINNING AND THEY WENT FORTH OUT OF MY MOUTH AND I SHOWED YOU THEM- I DID THEM SUDDENLY- AND THEY CAME TO PASS’.
Ephesians says ‘God chose us- from before the world was made- to believe in him- and to do a specific task in life’.
God ordained you to fulfill this purpose from day one.
It’s interesting- both John the Baptist- and Jesus- were given their names by the angel Gabriel.
‘You will name him Jesus- for he will save his people from their sins’.
Zechariah- John’s dad- was told ‘his name will be John’.
The bible says the people were surprised that he named him John- because there were no other John’s in the family.
The names denote their purpose [John means beloved].
In a way- God was saying ‘I have set purposes for these children- they have now come [been born] at this time- for a purpose I ordained before I made the world’.
FOR THE LORD HEARETH THE POOR AND DESPISETH NOT HIS PRISONERS
2- Had a real good meeting at Pop’s house yesterday.
Pop’s [Bobby] used to sing and play piano for some famous old time gospel groups- The Gaithers- Imperials- etc. he even played a CD for us where he was playing piano in the background- not a homemade CD- but discs that were released professionally.
I have been holding home church meetings just about every day now- in different cities- spots around town.
I have been surprised that many of my street friends have been interested in attending the meetings.
And some of the guys- so far- have quit drugs.
For many years- I too was an alcoholic- but I’m in my 2nd year sober- and this needed to happen to get results.
Jesus said ‘a bad tree can’t produce good fruit’.
If you’re not clean yourself- you really can’t help others.
I have so many interesting stories/prophetic things [dreams- visions] that have happened this last year- it would be impossible to tell them all.
Let me give you just one.
Over the years I have learned to ‘see’ my buddies- who have died- as still being in our group.
In the mornings- when I pray- and work with the guys on the street- I keep the old timers who have died ‘with me’ in this community.
Last year- before I went to New Jersey- I made a journal- with verses- pictures- and little art things- things I found on the streets of N.J. and Texas while I was doing my long walks [If I remember I’ll post pics of the journal on Facebook].
Before I left- I found just one actual picture of Bill.
Bill died a few years back- many of the guys I’m working with now never met Bill.
A couple of them do.
Bill had a severe limp- and walked in a unique way- you could recognize him from a mile away.
So- I have this photo of Bill in my journal- it was hanging up on the bulletin board at the mission- I ‘acquired’ it for my journal.
The last few weeks- as I was praying- I had a sense of Bill ‘walking and leaping and praising God’ [Acts]
On my long walks- I started running into an old street friend- Carpenter Tim.
Tim, Bill and I go back for 25 years.
Tim was part of the original crew.
But many of the guys now don’t even know Tim.
He has a homeless camp in the Bluff- works- does his routine- and you don’t see him on the streets.
He’ll ride his bike into town- and that’s when I have been running into him.
I have a prayer spot off the Oso bay- he’ll catch me there every so often.
The other day I ran into Tim at the store.
He pulled up in the parking lot and tells me-
‘Hey John- I had this strange dream about Bill the other day- it was so weird’
‘Bill was running and jumping at the Wal Mart parking lot- there was an oil rig right there [I actually doodle pictures of oil rigs when I do my little art stuff- to me it’s an image of a Well- not the type you read about in the bible- but that’s why I do use this image- you know ‘Texas well’ thing]
I told Tim- it was a prophetic dream- because I just recently was ‘seeing’ this same image in my prayer time [Not the exact image- but an image of Bill healed- and rejoicing about what we were doing in the Bluff].
The next day I ran into Michael at the mission.
Mike has been on the streets for many years.
Works multiple jobs- just bought a nice van- and will be getting an apartment soon.
Mike is a talented artist- he has painted a couple of pictures for me- for the ministry.
[I consider him as the artist for the ministry]
One is hanging up on the wall of my partner at the halfway house [by the way- Mike just met him yesterday].
So when I saw Mike- I asked him ‘I want you to do another painting for me- I’ll explain it to you when we sit down’.
[I posted the pictures of Bill on Facebook- you can see Mike making the sketch]
We went back to the house and I shared the dream Tim had.
As Mike was making the sketch- I thought ‘geez- maybe I’ll just have him sign the sketch- and keep that’ [I’ll also post the sketch].
It was so cool- all these signs and stuff- from my street friends.
BEHOLD- I- AND THE CHILDREN THAT THE LORD HAS GIVEN ME ARE FOR SIGNS AND FOR WONDERS. Isaiah 8:18
HE THAT TOUCHES YOU [The poor- homeless] TOUCHES THE APPLE OF MY EYE [GOD].
Yesterday I had about 12 of the street crew at the house.
Not a bible study- per se- but sort of a fellowship.
Lots of these guys are using [drugs- etc.] but at the house it’s a drug/alcohol fee zone.
So- they are learning how to get together- [I bought some chips and stuff] hang out- and have fun- all without having to use.
I told Arthur ‘hey- check out my room- I have the pictures hanging up from my New York [N.J.] trip I made last year’.
I printed the phone pictures from my journey- have the ‘street crew’ [the guys I befriended from North Bergen- Rick, Nick and Billy] hanging on the wall.
Huey was crashed out on the spare bed- and Art and Timothy checked out the room.
Pops called me- Pops is sort of an elder.
He has been in town most of his life- was an alcoholic for many years- has lots of very interesting stories.
He lives in a very run down Apt. in a drug area of town, a few blocks away from the halfway house.
He is one of the most famous AA people in South Texas.
He sang- wrote- played piano with famous old time gospel groups [Gaithers, Imperials- wrote some of Dottie Rambo’s famous songs].
I have made it a habit to answer the phone when Pop’s calls.
He just wants to talk- he does ramble on some times- but I see it as ministry.
Often time’s people feel better when someone simply listens to them.
I have a few friends like this- the other guys often say ‘I don’t like so and so- he talks nonstop’.
Part of it is the guys do suffer from metal stuff- Bi-Polar- etc.
And that’s part of it.
But it’s therapeutic to let them talk- and at times they do have beneficial stuff to say.
Anyway- when Pops called- we were all watching The Apostle [Duval].
It’s one of my favorites.
I just recently have had an old friend actually start coming to the meetings.
I have known him for years- he always politely told me he can’t be one of those ‘phony’ type Christians.
Always smiling- quoting the bible.
I have told him ‘trust me- I’m not like that either’.
But he sat thru a teaching I did.
I never read from the bible- or make notes.
I just talk from memory and quote stuff- more of an informal format.
Mike had some good questions at the end.
[Mike is the artist for my ministry- I just posted some of his stuff on Facebook].
He also told me [this was a meeting from the other day] that some of the things Pop’s said really helped him a lot.
I kind of had the feeling when Pop’s was ‘rambling’ that God was going to use it.
I knew both of their backgrounds.
Pops told us that when he was a baby- his father beat him and rolled him in a blanket and threw him out of a window.
They revived him at the hospital.
His dad was an alcoholic.
Over the years- he had many experiences of being rejected by is family.
It was a situation where he was raised by an aunt- as he grew up they never told him that his real mother had a bad background- and he always thought his aunt was his mom.
Yet the ‘step mom’ favored her real boys- and Pop’s always felt rejection.
His mom was also addicted to heroin- and used- when she was pregnant.
Pop’s was a heroin Baby.
He told me of times when he was around 5-6 years old- and he helped himself to some type of strong drug that was around the home.
It was in one of those bottles like where you pinch the little plastic syringe- and the drops come out.
He was an addict from a young child.
He served in WW2- was a corpsman [like me] and eventually became a registered nurse.
Got a job in a Dallas hospital- and wound up at one point working the nursery- treating the Crack babies.
Yeah- he came full circle.
I practice the habit of not only reading the bible thru- but also trying to ‘hear’ what God is saying for each day.
Sometimes a friend will mention a bible chapter- or a key phrase.
I’ll try and read that chapter later when I get home.
When I was in North Bergen last year- a funny thing happened.
I hung out a lot at the White Castle restaurant that I used to eat at when I had the Munchies as a kid.
And I would meet the guys there.
There were a few of the senior crowd- not street guys- who hung out there too.
And my street friends all knew them.
They were all friends- sort of like the ‘White Castle Crew’.
Rick got a kick out of Tony, an older guy who served in the war.
He was retired- and drank every day.
He’d sneak a bottle in- and sip it during the day.
He would sing the song ‘You are the sunshine of my life…’.
But he changed the words- it went like this
‘You are the Apple of my Eye..’
To the tune of ‘you are the Sunshine..’.
Rick got a kick out of that.
When he called me up- I would kid him- and sing the tune.
He would crack up.
I guess you could say it’s the theme song for my North Bergen crew.
So- last week I was reading Proverbs.
In chapter 7 I read ‘the law is the Apple of Gods eye’.
Kinda fits- in a way.
Then I’m with Henry- a homeless friend.
He mentions Zechariah chapter 2.
I read it the next day- it says
‘He that touches you- touches the Apple of my Eye’.
Yeah- that fit better.
BLESSED IS HE THAT CONSIDERETH THE POOR- THE LORD WILL DELIVER HIM IN TIME OF TROUBLE- PRESERVE HIM AND KEEP HIM ALIVE- HE WILL BE BLESSED IN THE EARTH.
[God will bring into judgment those] BECAUSE HE REMEMBERED NOT TO SHOW MERCY, BUT PERSECUTED THE POOR AND NEEDY MAN, THAT HE MIGHT SLAY THE BROKEN IN HEART.
FOR HE SHALL STAND AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE POOR, TO SAVE HIM FROM THOSE THAT CONDEMN HIS SOUL.
BEHOLD- WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS- KNOW THAT IT IS HERE- EVEN AT THE DOORS [Jesus Christ]
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 [FaceBoook] - I have posted lots.