Thursday, February 27, 2014


Yesterday I went to see Tennessee at the hospital.
I stopped by Charlie’s room first- he has been in for a few weeks- he’s doing ok- but was on a respirator at first.
I didn’t know if I would find Tennessee’s’ room- I mean I only know him by this name- his street name.
On the way up the elevator- I recognized a guy from the bluff ‘hey- do you know Tennessee’?
‘Yeah- he’s my brother- I’m going to his room right now’.
Cool- I’ll follow.

Tennessee is the friend I have been writing about- Dirk stabbed him last week.
Now- the first day I got the news- I heard it from the street ‘yeah- he’s dead- his Aorta was cut..’
But- I knew some of these reports were from street people- and I waited for a more reliable version.
Then the mission had someone call the hospital- and they said he was alright- expected to make it.
As a matter of fact- Henry- my buddy- said ‘Yeah- if his Aorta was cut- he would be dead’.
I worked EMS for 25 years- I have never heard of someone living with a wound like that.
So- as I head to the room- I go in and Tennessee is surprised to see me.
Lots of his friends said they would go- but many didn’t make it.
He’s lying here- on the bed- with a scar that you get when you have open heart surgery.

He looks good [I’ll post the pics] and he tells me that 2 major arteries to his heart were severed [his Aorta was severed].
And he had a punctured lung.

All week doctors came to see him- they never had a case- where someone in the field [not in a hospital setting where you can do this during open heart surgery] had a severed Aorta- and lived.

They said when he came in- his heart was still pumping- a medical miracle.

Of course I prayed for him- and my buddy who stabbed him- but this is really a miracle.

I prayed for him there in the bed- his brother was there.
I told Tennessee ‘you have been sober for a week now- why don’t you give it a shot- I’m 14 months sober- you can do it’.
To be honest- I don’t think he even thought of it.

His brother admitted something while I spoke- he told Tennessee that he ‘messed up’.
Tennessee thought he meant he went and drank- but his brother- without saying it- meant worse.

I told Tennessee ‘no- he means the ‘other stuff’.
His brother was clean for 6 years- and used some stuff right after Tennessee was stabbed.

Pops- who was waiting downstairs for me- he too relapsed after a relative was severely burned in the World Trade Center attacks on 911.

So- this does happen.
Tennessee told me ‘Yeah- I know Dirks out- on the street- I won’t press charges- I’m not a snitch’.
None of these guys trust the cops- even if one of them is on his death bed.

I went and got Pop’s downstairs- he was at the hospital visiting Charly- so I gave him a ride home- spent a couple of hours with him.

I have been very busy- and I needed to spend a little time on this side of town- where the halfway house and all this other stuff is going on.

I took Pop’s back to his house- he’s distraught over Charly- Pops has been a sort of surrogate father for Charly for many years.

Charly is a severe alcoholic- and Pop’s takes care of him.

Pop’s opened up- stuff I can’t say- but he told me stuff about his past that he never told anyone.
I’m not Pop’s ‘pastor’ so to speak- but I do pray for these guys- teach in my meetings- and they see me like that.

It’s kinda funny- Pop’s has some old friend Jimmy who just moved in from out of town.

Pop’s puts up guys in his spare rooms every so often- the apt. is a wreck- and in the middle of a drug area.

 Pop’s said ‘John- he won’t follow my rules- he brings hookers home- he doesn’t like me playing my gospel songs’.

I told Pop’s if he won’t abide by the rules- kick him out.

I asked pops’ about Jimmy- ‘is he helping with the bills and stuff’.

He tells me ‘when he came back to town- he was strapped out- had no cash’.
Kind of funny to hear the old man talking the street lingo.

Pop’s has a good heart- really an interesting guy.
As I left- prayed for him and stuff- Pop’s says ‘thanks John- I love you’.

‘Yeah Pop’s- I love you too’.

NOTE- As I’m writing the post- going back doing the spell check- I start laughing. Why? As I see the word AORTA- I remember about 25 years ago at the fire dept.- my captain- George Hubert- who died a few years ago. We were doing our EMT class- and after a course on the heart- going thru the circulatory system- the instructor asks us if we have any questions- you know- to see if we are grasping the material.
George asks ‘yeah- was does A-O-R-T-A stand for’?
It was written on the board- he thought it was some type of acronym/acrostic.
It was funny.
Either we had a bad instructor- or George just wasn’t getting it.

It was strange- in my time with Pop’s he brought up stuff that I have been writing about.
He talked- in anger- about ‘the system’.
He told me 2 stories about police abuse [he does not know I’m writing about this stuff].
A girl- friend of Charlie’s- was raped by a guard years ago- while in prison.
And another girl- a minor- was raped by a cop years ago [not sure where this took place- it has nothing to do with the stuff I’m dealing with- these were stories from years ago].
But the girl was raped- did have a son- Pops knows them.
And Pops was saying ‘that’s the system John- the system is supposed to protect people- see- the antichrist system is here –God’s going to judge it’.

I saw real anger in Pop’s- in a way- he was tapping into what I have been dealing with- though he does not read my site- or have access to a computer.
It was so strange to sort of see the same ‘rage’ in my friend- over these issues- like a prophetic sign in a way.

SATURDAY- got a call from Pop’s yesterday- Charly [who has been in the ICU for a month] was up and eating and doing well.
Pop’s was so happy.

One day I was walking in the area of our halfway house- this was last year when I was walking 10-12 miles every day.
I saw 2 ‘street girls’ heading my way.
There are lots of hookers in that area.
One was older [the mom?]- of course they wanted to see if I was interested- I told them we have a halfway house down the road- I am friends with Jackie [David’s girlfriend- who has a history of drug problems- and has worked the streets as well].
I mean it was like I was talking to old friends- all guards were down.
I talked to the girls- she asked for a dollar or 2- I gave her a 5.
As we talked for about 5 minutes- she said ‘could I have a hug’.
Sure hon- I hugged her.

People- especially in that type of work- don’t get hugs from strangers- a hug that a friend would give.
I told David later- he asked ‘did you make her pay you 10 for the hug’.
Yesterday I texted David [partner in the halfway house]
I told him I was going to spend some time in the area- if he wanted to hook up- talk business and stuff [we are in the middle of possibly getting a new place for the halfway house].
He didn’t text back.

He called me the day before- I was on the road to the Bishop meeting- I couldn’t take the call.

I texted him later- gave him the appraisal on the property [he has no computer- another thing I told him he needs to do- about a year ago].

So- David- he still has the ‘mentality’ of the days when he used- will not text- or answer the phone- because he has told me he does this to get the people to come to him.

He does this with his boys at times [Jesse and Travis].
So- I didn’t take it personal- I still texted him- kept him up to date on my schedule.

But I’m busy- if you don’t text me—I dont have time to play these types of games- I headed back to the Bluff and figured he’ll call me when he needs to get together.

He called the next day when I was at the mission.

I don’t play the game- so I took the call and he still had some stuff to do [it would have been better the day before!] but I went over anyway.

Now- I want to give you the feel of how we work- how I have been unconventional in the ministry- my guys are all ex street guys- David murdered his friend years ago.
In many ways- they are like the disciples Jesus had- rough and tumble fisherman- hanging out around the fire- probably dropping the ‘f- bomb’ every so often.

So- I go to the other side of town- Jackie’s outside and she lets me in.

David is in his bedroom [remember- ex- Meth head alcoholic- known in the bluff as a killer].
He’s on his knees by his bed- praying.

Looked so sweet. I say ‘hey Boy- I’m here’. [Davids 62]

He turns around- scared ‘F—k- you scared the shit out of me- never walk up to someone behind their back’.

Now- this is normal- I even kidded him- I mean it wasn’t a serious thing- but I did scare the guy.

My time with these guys- seeing things that I don’t like [he’s not married to Jackie- but he tells me time and again God sent her to him].
At first I did tell him ‘you need to get married bro- you can’t just do the common law thing’

He’s been married about 3 or 4 times before- and the last ex [who lives in my neighborhood] won’t give him a divorce- she won’t sign the papers- though she too has another ‘husband’.

So- I at least tell the guys in these situations the best they can do.

I tell them ‘then- make sure it’s the only one- if you think God gave her to you- and for all these reasons you can’t do it legally- then don’t have any other ‘wives’ on the side’.

Now- I know all the scriptures on this- that is on marriage.

And I would not give this advice to the ‘normal’ person- but these guys are not normal.
And I try and do the best.

I was talking to a girl at the mission- one of the girls that I feel does want to hear the stuff I’m teaching- so I talk there at the mission.

She is a cute girl- so the other guys are trying to sit next to her and stuff.

But I was talking about co-dependence.
How some people are too dependent on others- especially in relationships.

Last year- when I left Texas- I thought I might live back north- for good.

I did check out the rents and stuff- they were high.

I was trying to hear God- I read the gospels again- and noticed the words of Jesus- especially about moving on.

He did say ‘except a man leave his father- wife- family- and follow me- he can’t be my disciple’.

Now- I know people can [and have] misread these things.
But I felt there was a sense of what I was going thru.
My wife knew I always wanted to go to N.J. and do street ministry- I told her now was the time.
The kids are older- I’m retired- the ‘s—t’ has hit the fan- what the hell- might as well give it a shot.

I told her ‘One thing God told me was- if I go [and don’t come back]- I am not to hook up with anyone else’.
That is- I’m going to finish the journey- single. [we were going thru lots of stuff at the time- and we did not know how things would work out].

I’ll come back to Texas- see everyone- but I’m not going to ‘find’ someone.

Now- these discussions were honest- and my wife knew I always wanted to go back north.

While I was there- I told someone else the same thing- that at this stage [at the time I thought I was not coming back to Texas] that from now on- I’m single.

The point I was making- and trying to share with some of the friends- is we often mistake [replace] the dependence we should have in God- with people.
Paul the apostle was single- and told the Corinthians that he would prefer them to do the same.

Then he made one of those comments that gets him in hot water- he said ‘but- if you can’t do it- it’s better to marry- then burn’.
He meant ‘burn in lust’.

Ok- marriage s honorable- a God ordained institution.

But being single is too and many in the modern Evangelical church miss this- especially when we teach so much on relationships in the church- we often leave a negative view of those called to be single.

So- in David’s case- I bend the rules- I see where he was- where he is now- and I try not to compromise- but I try and do my best.

Plus- I owe him one- I did scare the hell out of the big baby- when he was kneeling by his bed- in prayer.

NOTE- Christians have a history of going to extremes- either falling into the proverbial ditch on the left or right.
For instance- the bible speaks of the church as a Body [of people].
We need one another to fulfill Gods purpose- we are a corporate community of people.
Yet- many of the famous people in the bible did ‘go it alone’.
John the Baptist- whom Jesus said was the greatest prophet born [besides himself] was called ‘the voice of one crying in the wildernes’.
 The bible speaks about finding our identity in God- not in people- spouses- girl/boyfriends- not even in ministry [many Pastors operate out of a bad self-image- and seek to find identity in ‘church’ stuff].
In order for any marriage/relationship to make it- both partners can’t see the other one as their sense of purpose.
No- we first find our identity in God- and if you are in a relationship- then you have common ground- God coming first.
The media- soap operas- commercials- even the songs I like [classic rock] often speak about the other person as the reason for their existence.
Even some Christian teaching holds the same view- which is wrong.
If any person sees the other one as ‘the reason for their fulfillment’ in life- then it won’t work.
No other person can fulfill that role- and when we in society fall for that- then it leads to bad relationships- or abusive ones.
That’s a root that leads to jealousy- which is the cause for many of the cases of domestic violence.
Even if a person’s calling in life is not be single [though some are called to be single] yet those relationships need to be grounded first in God- then you love your mate as a result of your love for God.
Paul talks about marriage ‘Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church- and gave himself for it’.
If you’re seeking to find happiness- or fulfilment- in the other person- then you will be let down- in time.

There is indeed a Romantic theme in scripture- the Song of Solomon is the closest you get to an erotic book of the bible [if you read it carefully].
Some think that King Solomon- who penned it- was talking about his one true love [he had many wives and concubines].
In the New Testament we read of the relationship between Christ and the Church- also called the Bride and the Bridegroom.
So- true romance and deep love for your wife/husband is biblical- but it can only operate when we are grounded in God.

Getting ready to go to church- then to Alice [City here in Texas] to do some house shopping with my daughter Becky.
My kids came over yesterday to work on the real estate business we are getting into- looking into incorporating and stuff.
I figured it was time to give a heads up to my North Bergen crew- I told the boys I’d be coming back this year.
Now- let me tell a little story- how God kind of has to work behind the scenes- and some times you don’t know what’s going on- till after the fact.
Last year- I was on the streets with these guys- and sure- they are living the rough life- like my Texas crew.
Over time- we became good friends- even though they were a little hesitant at first.
So- as I hung out with the guys- for 3 months- I did Blog and post pictures of the whole thing.
One of my buddies [like one in Texas as well] did not like me taking their pictures.
But- I took them anyway- I had to- to be able to tell the story- and Blog as well.

So- I did realize that they probably would be pissed off if they realized what I was doing- but I did not try and hide the thing- I told them what I was doing.
I also told them the web site and all- at the start.
But- I usually hand out my ministry card that has the site on it- and I would have given them to the boys- but before I left Texas- I burned about 500 cards.

I went thru a stage of starting over- I thought I was leaving everything behind- and starting new.
I had no plans on doing any ‘big’ ministry stuff anymore- and was going to finish the journey- doing what I love most- reaching out to the street guys- and doing it where I grew up.

So- I didn’t have any cards- and most of the guys never read the sight- because of this.

But- near the end of my 3 month journey- some of the ‘normal’ guys – I call them the senior crowd- they too hung out at White Castle- and they saw me with these street boys for the past 3 months.
I’m sure they thought I was one of them [and in a way I was- but I was the only one not using].
So- one day the senior crew were talking about the bible and stuff- and for the first time- I budded in- and corrected some stuff they had wrong [the time of the writing of the New Testament].
I think they were intrigued a bit- thinking I was a user [drugs].
That’s when I started a little ‘group’ with these older guys.
One was an atheist- but I get along with these guys.
He did the standard thing they do- he was nice- but used some ‘big’ curse words and all- thinking that would rile me up [heck- I use them myself every so often].
So- we had some good talks- to be honest- I had read more of the books by atheists then he had.
The top 3 atheists in the last 10 years are Sam Harris- Christopher Hitchens [who died] and Richard Dawkins.
He was not even familiar with them [showing me he was really not up to our debates- fine with me- I knew I would 'win’ the argument- in a nice way].
I became buddies with these guys too- as a matter of fact- one day when I was not around- the atheist told Rick [the street crew] ‘hey- that guy knows his stuff’.
Now- at the end of my trip- I told the senior crew ‘just Google Corpus Christi Outreach Ministries- and you’ll find my site.’
I thought later- well- I’m sure the street boys will eventually read the site- and I’ll just let the chips fall.

I never hid the site from them- I just didn’t have the cards- and those guys were not going to Google it- they are on the streets for heaven’s sake!

So- after I got back to Texas- they kept in touch- but the only guys who have my phone number- are the street crew.
So- when the senior crowd [who were more interested in what was going on- they read the site- they would go thru Rick because they knew he was in touch].
So anyway- I finally figured I’d better call the North Bergen boys- give them a heads up on when I’m coming back.

I texted them- Rick called back- and my other buddy Nick.

Rick knew it was me- we had a good talk- he tells me the boys are asking all the time when John’s coming back. As a matter of fact he texted me back at 5 [when the senior crew get to White Castle] and he asked if I was coming before the end of the year- I said yes- I’m sure the senior crew wanted more info.

Now- Nick- who I knew would be the most pissed about me posting all their stories- he just saw the text ‘hey you boys still around’ I guess he didn’t know it was me.
So- I see the call come in- it says Nick [I’m glad these guys keep the same phone numbers- in Texas they get new numbers and I lose touch].

So- incoming call- NICK.

I get it- he says ‘whose this’- ‘John- from Texas- hey buddy- what’s up’.


The phone goes dead.

I figured he read the site.
A few minutes after he does call back- but I was working on some stuff- and figured I’ll give him some time to cool off.

But he does text me twice ‘John- the phone cut off- I tried to call- you didn’t answer’.

I think he probably cooled off- when he first realized I was posting the stuff [like I did tell them].

And I texted him- told him no problem- I’ll get with him later.

Rick called back- told me how they are all waiting for me [for real- I know it’s not a set-up- I have been around the block- I can tell].
Rick says ‘yeah John- there are no more ‘regrets’- the guys want to see you again’.

He meant ‘no more hard feelings’- even though no one has said anything- I could pick up on what he meant.

Now- if I never burned the cards- things might have not gone too well.

Because I’m sure they would have gotten into it with me- not real bad- but we probably would have gotten into a little argument- maybe a ‘small’ fight or something- but this has happened over the years- and you do your best- make up later- stuff like that.

NOTE- When I was in New Jersey last year- I didn’t pray for the guys- or really do any meetings- but became friends [this year I’ll start the meetings].
But right before I left- I was sitting with Rick and his wife Stacy- right at the entrance of Hudson County Park- on the rocks.
We were saying our goodbyes and all- Rick and Stacy both drink- and do other stuff.
They were crying about stuff and all- I told them I have been clean for 9 months [at that time] and I told them I was going to the NA meetings too. I asked them ‘let me pray for you guys’.
We sat there – I prayed with them- talked about change.
Rick told me he was going to start going to AA- they wanted to make a change.
I don’t know if he went or what- but the other day he told me Stacy has been sober for 5 months [right at the time I prayed with her and had this talk].
You make friends with people- you love them thru the good and bad- and every now and then you see results.

The other week I was at the mission- and I was sitting in my spot- I always wear those sunglasses you see in my pics- I got them in New Jersey last year- and they are my only prescription glasses.

So I wear them- even at night [you know how it is- when I got the glasses- my first prescriptions in about 10 years- I picked the frames I liked- and these only came in sunglasses- so who thinks ahead?]

So- as I get up at the mission- some kid [25 year old?] is sitting right behind me- with a hat and shades on.
Staring at the back of my head.
I couldn’t care less- you know- you do make enemies over time- I didn’t recognize him- but over the years- when I was drinking- I didn’t even remember where I would park the truck [or how I even got home- bad].
So- I thought maybe it was some kid from that time- knowing where I was.
One day at the mission- from the crowd I heard ‘f—k you John’.
I didn’t see who it was- but I did say- ‘who said it!’
No one answered.

So- after a while the kid left.

Now- here’s the funny thing.

As I left the mission about a half hour later- I had no meetings to do- and as I was leaving I thought ‘you know Lord- let me do my Ayres walk today’.
Last year I walked all over the city- and there’s a street all the way on the other side of town- so I drove to a parking lot- got out- put on some classic rock with the cell phone- and off I went.

Sure enough- as I’m walking- the kid is coming the other way- he was on this street.

Now- he wasn’t following me- I was 'following’ him.
He must have thought ‘how the hell did this guy know where to find me’?
I didn’t!

It was funny in a way.

I mean he just walked right past me- but must have thought I’m some under cover guy with a tracking device- heck- I just wanted to do my walk! [It was the first time in about 7 months that I did this walk].

So- God has ways of working stuff out- he knows what’s going on- even when we don’t

In 2nd Kings chapter 6 we read the story of Elisha- and how God used him to reveal the plans of the king of Syria- ahead of time- it says ‘Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing [someone was spilling the beans on the king] and he called his servants and said unto them ‘will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel [he thought someone from his team was ratting him out] and one of his servants said ‘none my lord, but Elisha the prophet that is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber’ verses 11-12.

I have had other experiences like the few I mentioned above- where I felt the Lord wanted me to do outreach in another area- for months.
Then later found out that it was ‘good’ that I was not in a certain place for that time.
I always wondered if others thought ‘how the hell did he know not to be here!’
I didn’t!

These things are actually funny to me- because I realize- like the king of Syria- these people probably think someone ratted them out [because I know all the guys/gals on the streets- and yes- they have told me stuff before].
 But when you do ministry like this- of course you take chances- but if it’s really your purpose- God has your back.

NOTE- The story of Elisha and the spy thing is found in 2nd Kings 6-7. The king of Syria is setting up an ambush for the king of Israel. But every time he sets it up- the king of Israel finds out- because the prophet Elisha knows everything the king ‘says in his bed’. Prophetic gifts don’t just ‘predict’ the future- they can even know what the enemy is thinking. Now- the chapter says this happened ‘not once- or twice’ meaning it happened so many times that the authorities got paranoid- they did think they had a snitch in the camp.
So- the king of Syria targets Elisha- and sends his troops to surround the city- Dothan- and get the guy.
In the morning when Elisha’s servant gets up- he sees the city surrounded by soldiers and chariots- the servant panics.
Elisha is calm- he says ‘there are more with us- then with them’. He then prays for God to open the eyes of his servant- and in heaven- over the area where all this is playing out- there is an angelic host of angels and chariots waiting for the word of Elisha- it seems as if Elisha was now in charge [the stone that the builders rejected- targeted- has now become the head of the corner- he is now calling the shots].
So- instead of telling the angels and chariots to wipe out the army. He asks for God to blind them- that is for them not to recognize him. He then goes down to the army [he is right in the middle of it all] and tells them ‘hey boys- you got the wrong city- come- follow me- I’ll show you where to go’.
He leads the entire Syrian army right into the middle of Samaria- the home base of Israel.
They then realize they were set up- by this lone prophet- and they are scared.
The king of Israel asks ‘Father [he calls Elisha dad] should we kill them all now’?
Elisha says no- but FEED THEM.
Jesus- in the New Testament said when your enemy is hungry feed him- in doing this you ‘heap coals of fire on his head’.
So- the king makes a huge feast for the enemy- and sends them on their way packing.
After a while they come back [see- they had a chance to leave them alone- but like Pharaoh- they had to pursue one last time].
They do it again- surround the city and ‘lay it to siege’- back in those days the cities had walls for protection- they would open the gates for trade and supplies- but if an enemy surrounds you- they just let the city go to ruin over time- because no supplies get in. Like what we do today- in Iran we have had economic sanctions going for a long time- hoping to crumble the ruling Mullahs.
So- the king of Israel is mad- he had the chance to wipe them out- but Elisha said let them go.
The king is walking thru town one day and a woman from the wall yells ‘king- king- help me’.
He says ‘what could I do- we are all going to hell in a hand basket’ [my paraphrase].
The woman says ‘I had a deal with this other lady- we agreed that if we cooked my son one day- that the next day we would cook hers’.
They were starving.
So she tells the king they ate hers- but now the other lady hid her son.
The king hears this- he rents his clothes [a sign of mourning] and says ‘so be it to me if I don’t chop the head of Elisha off this day’.
Elisha not only has to watch out for the enemy- now he has the actual authorities pissed off too.
So the king sends a messenger to take the message to Elisha.
Elisha is sitting with some elders in his house- and before the messenger gets there- he says ‘look- this son of a murderer is now coming to kill me’.
Sure enough the messenger arrives and they stop him at the door.
Now- Elisha gives a prophetic word- he says ‘by this time tomorrow there will be so much food- it will be sold for practically nothing’.
One of the other guys says ‘even if God opened the windows of heaven- this could not happen so fast’.
Elisha tells the guy ‘you will see it with your eyes- but never taste a bite’- Elisha pronounced a prophetic judgment on the guy.
The next day- in 2nd Kings chapter 7 we find the story- there are 4 Lepers sitting at the gate- they say ‘why sit we here till we die- if we go back into the city- we will starve- if we sit here we will die- what the hell- let’s just go to the Syrians- what else could happen- if they kill us- they kill us’.
You will never believe what happened next!
Now- for the rest of the story- go read the chapter- 2nd Kings 7 [John- are you trying to trick us to read the bible? Yes].

NOTE- I want to do something here that I normally would not.
If the CCPD are still reading these posts- let me give you guys a hand- for real.
This past week I talked to both Dirk and Tennessee [Dirk stabbed him last week].
When Dirk first told me what he told you guys- I did not believe the story- like you.
When I talked to Tennessee- he did indeed tell me he was on top of Dirk beating the shit out of him when it happened.
I did not think Tennessee had it in him to be honest- Dirks a big boy.
But-that’s what he says.
He didn’t say if he ‘fell on the knife’ [I frankly don’t believe that he did].
But it does look like Dirk was justified- a self-defense thing seems pretty plausible.
I know the state can pick up the charges- but from what I heard- it seems like it was self-defense.
I told Dirk that I talked with Tennessee- and that he is not talking to the cops- but told me he was getting the best of him when it happened- Dirk said yeah- like I told you.

So- I normally wouldn’t post stuff like this- I know most of the witnesses are not talking- so- if this helps- good.

TUESDAY- Got up at 3- normal for me-  I did about an hour of prayer/meditation- then about an hour of listening to some classic rock on my phone [Hootie and the Blowfish- few others].

About 5 my wife comes looking for me- she just heard on the news that they found a body under the bridge at 4 am- the spot where I walk- sometimes- at 4 am.
She said ‘I wanted to see if it was you’.
Not yet- I’m on a roll right now- let’s see how long it lasts?

Ok- just a note. Someone told me once ‘John- you are trying to get shot’.
Am I?
Honestly- no- at least I don’t think so.
Many years ago- in the early days of ministry- I had 2 occasions where it came very close.
At that time- I still remember them- I had a choice- run- fight- or do nothing and make a decision now that if you want to do this type of ministry- you will have to take risks.

I didn’t run- or fight- I stuck it out.

Both of these guys are now dead- long ago.
But since that time- to be honest- I never think about it.

Ok- yesterday at the mission John [new guy] told me ‘they arrested Don [aka Metal head] at the park Saturday’.
Dave- a guy who feeds the street people- feeds them on Saturday- right by the police station.
Now- Don has come to the mission stumbling drunk- he gets drunk early- and is wasted.
So- John told me he was there in the street- falling down drunk.
He said the cops went out of their way to be nice- they weren’t even going to arrest him- they offered to take him to the ‘drunk tank’ [sit in jail till you sober up].
But Don got rowdy- and swung at them.

Of course they arrested him then.
I wanted to say I’m sure the chief has tried to improve the situation that I have been writing on- and from all accounts- I think they are trying.
It was described to me that the cops went out of their way to be nice- and do right.
They did right.

Yesterday I told a few of the street crew that if they wanted to kick back at the house- watch a movie- come on over [watched Apocalypse now- Redux]

I gave one a ride- but he wanted to stop down the block real fast.
I told him ‘as long as you don’t pick anything up’ [Meth].

He said no.
Then I said ‘or drop anything off’.

He looked at me- called the other guy [I know them all].
And said ‘John wont drive me there- come over here’ [the mission].

They did their stuff- I said hi to the crew- and then took my buddy to the house.

Now- I said that to say this.
My policy has always been ‘no drugs in the car- or at my house’.
But I know these guys are on the streets- and if they have stuff- they carry it.
But this year I’m making sure they follow the rule- and they know it.

The street ministries who feed the guys- they need to tell them ‘if you show up drunk – falling down drunk- you can’t eat’.
If we want the cops to do right- and you have guys showing up- about 100 yards from the P.D. - falling down drunk- that’s illegal.

Then- if they go out of their way to do the right thing- and you swing at them- that makes it harder for them to do the right thing the next time.

Let me tell a story.
About 20 years ago- at the Fire House- we got a call- some gang kid got into trouble.
We also did the ambulance- went to shootings at times and stuff like that.
So- that day I went on the ambulance with another EMT and responded to the call- the cops were there.

I went to check the kid- and he swung at me.
Normally the cops jump on him right there.
But they didn’t have time- I lost it- I grabbed the kid- drug him out of the house- and threw him in the back seat of the cop car.

Got back to the station- went upstairs to watch the fights [I liked boxing] and the guys called up stairs ‘Hey John P.D. called [P.D. - Police Dept.].
They said ‘Send that guy on all the runs’.

So- even I have done this stuff.

This stuff works both ways- we can’t have the homeless population walking around drunk- falling down drunk.
If the ministries that are trying to help them let this go on- then they are at fault.

Set some guidelines- and abide by them.
If we want the P.D. to do right- then we have to do right as well.

Had a good meeting in Bishop yesterday- talked about the story I mentioned above- 2nd Kings 6-7.
I guess I’ll finish it.
We left off when the 4 lepers decided to go for broke- ‘if we sit here- we die- if we go back into the city we die- what the hell- lets go to the Syrians- if they kill us- we shall but die’.
I like these boys- they gave it a shot- took some risks- but in the end it turned out well.
They go to the Syrian camp- and it’s empty- the Syrian army fled the night before- and left all their goods- for the taking.
God caused them to hear the noise of the chariots- the heavenly host that Elisha saw in chapter 6.
It seems as if Elisha had power over this angelic army- he made them blind the Syrians in chapter 6.
Then he made their sound heard by the Syrians.
So- the 4 lepers begin hoarding all the goods for themselves- and one of them says ‘we do not good- this day we have an opportunity like no other- all this stuff- and we are keeping it for ourselves’.
So- they decide to go back to the city of Samaria and tell their king what happened.
At first he is skeptical- remember- the city was under siege for months.
When we feel like the world is closing in around us- we get paranoid- we don’t see life for what it is- our view becomes jaded.
So- the king decides to send a couple of chariots and some men to see if it’s true- he thought it was a trap.
The men come back and tell him ‘yeah- we checked it out- and the Syrians fled- they even dropped all their goods right on the road’.
So the king sends his people to get all the stuff- it was a mad rush- like a Black Friday shopping day at Wal Mart- you know- we have even had people die at the doors- getting trampled for big screen TV’s and stuff.
Now- remember the prophecy Elisha gave to the guy who said ‘how can God turn this around- even if the windows of heaven were opened- he couldn’t turn it around so fast’.
Elisha said ‘you will see it with your eyes- but not partake’.
That guy was put in charge of the city gate- and when the people rushed back with the stuff- he was trampled in the gate and killed.
He saw the goods- like Elisha said- but never partook.

Ok- lets wrap up this week- lots of stuff going on.
Yesterday before I went to Bishop- I talked with my buddies at the mission.
Dirk sat outside next to me- I listened for a while- talked about life- and it reminded me of the many years when we had these talks.
I told him I was telling one of the girls at the mission how in life- we need to come to a place where we are accepted- where we know that God accepts us- we are ok- nothing wrong with us.

Now- even though we struggle- the point I was making is God makes us well- and we don’t live for the approval of men.
Many of us struggle with insecurity- and in God we find our rest.

Dirk and I talked for a while- just like the old days.
Even though there’s still a chance that he might get arrested for the stabbing- the root need- the basic thing- has not changed.
We spoke about the same things we have discussed over the years- and sometimes the best thing I could do for my friends is just listen- lots of people simply need someone to hear them.

I’ll be heading to Alice soon- to look at a house with my daughter Becky- Jeremy- the firefighter from Dallas who owns the property where we do the halfway house- he texted me last night- got back in town- wants to check out my house- I’m selling it soon- I told him if he wants he can take a look at it before I list it.
So- that’s it for this week- talk to you later.

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 [FaceBookl] - I have posted lots.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2053 GROUND TO DUST? [you’ll need to read it all- sorry]


 Last night I went to see Gordon Lightfoot- I knew he was older [obviously] but he still sounded good- played the hits [Sundown- If you could read my mind love- Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald].

I had a blast.
We even launched another home group earlier in the day- we do this one at Coffee Waves- at the corner of Flour Bluff Dr. and Waldron road.

Today we do another Bluff meeting at Don’s Pier- off the Laguna Madre.

I’m grateful that I have been spending most of the day with the guys- Cameron is the young kid [26] who I always wanted to be in the meetings.

He moved about 2 blocks away from my house- he meets me every day at Timons- we do a meeting [here- or in various towns] and he hangs with me for the day.

Let me tell a little story.

Cameron is a good kid- a Christian- as a matter of fact one day- last year- when I went to the halfway house- he was on the verge of getting kicked out [I don’t do that- but John David is the main director- and he does get upset- in Cameron’s case he was using-[Legal weed]- but that stuff is bad- I have had friends who have done everything- heroin- meth- you name it.

They tell me the Legal messed them up.

But a day or 2 before the Kid was gonna get kicked out- I saw he had an old bible of mine that I left for the guys- it was opened to the Psalms- and it was a strange feeling- it had all the notes and stuff that I wrote in it years earlier at the Fire Dept.

So I knew he was one of the few guys that got up early- read the word- and was trying.

After Cameron left- I kept I touch with him.

He has no dad- a step dad that he doesn’t get along with.

They live on Padre Island- and it’s sad that they don’t let their son live with them.

I let Cameron do the laundry at my place- he took a shower yesterday- he was in Flour Bluff high school when my kids went there.

One day Andy- who used to be the house manager for the halfway house, told me ‘John- I think the Kid is gay’.

Cameron was just getting ready to go back to jail for violating probation- and he had his short hair dyed blonde and all.

I kinda got the same feeling- but it didn’t bother me- the kid needed acceptance because of his background.

One day a few weeks ago when I told him he was always welcome to keep in touch [when the guys leave the halfway house- David kind of holds grudges- and cuts the guys off- I don’t like that- I keep in touch with Steve and the others after they leave- try and do stuff with them- involve them in my meetings].

So one day Cameron texted me ‘Yeah John- I would like to do the ministry stuff with you- with me and my partner Larry’.

I knew Cameron took a risk when he texted me this- to see if I would still accept him.

Of course I did- I texted him back and said I would love for you guys to be involved.

Now- most of my friends know my position on these things- I take the classical Christian view- I am not ‘pro-gay’.

But- I am also not ‘anti-people’.

While Cameron was here the other day- ironing his clothes- I lent him some stuff- he was talking about some of his friends- I don’t know if they are all gay or what- but a Christian song came on- Cameron says ‘Yeah- Larry plays that one all day’.

He told me how his friends are into a certain church [not the MCC church either] - passing out Christian stuff.

I mean I saw how these kids are for real- with all their struggles and things.
As a matter of fact- when one of his friends came to drop off some clothes for him here- he came back in with a few little Christian cards that his friends make up- we used to call them tracks- Cameron says ‘yeah- they wanted me to leave these for you John’.

These guys remind me of the old days- when I used to go to a Baptist church- passing out tracks and all that kind of stuff.

I looked at one of the home made cards- with a few bible verses on it- I told Cameron I stuck that one on my wall- it had the same verses I just had been using.

He thought that was so cool.

In our first meeting at the Coffee House- I spoke a little about Social justice - the stuff I have been posting on [but not that strong of course].

I mentioned how the Pope got into hot water these last few months on some of his comments- one being that if gay people are seeking God- who was he ‘to judge’.

Now- I can go into the way both sides took it [Conservative Catholics versus Liberal] - but I don’t want to.

I just felt like in my own experience- I wanted to be more gracious- more accepting.

I felt the Lord telling me this about a year ago- on this specific issue.

Where our halfway house is located- there is also a Metropolitan Community Church- for those who don’t know- that’s a church denomination that was started by a Gay Christian [for gay people].

I have studied church movements over the years- and did read about this church at the time [what I’m doing now- with our home churches- is actually what you would call the beginning stages of a church planting movement].

But the MCC churches are known for this.

They give out food weekly- like other ministries.

The guys from the halfway house go on that day and stock up.

I picked up Pop’s there last week- the old man I have written about- I went to see him- I do a meeting at Pop’s house too- and gave him a ride back.

When I got to Pop’s house on Waco Street- his friend invited me to wait- I called Pop’s [from his house] and he was at the MCC church- a few blocks away.

But he had 2 big bags of food- So I picked him up.

He told me God was on time- he needed the ride.

I’m glad I didn’t reject Cameron that day when he texted me about ‘me and my partner Larry’.

Yesterday- after our meeting at the coffee shop- I took him back to the house- let him take a shower- use the laundry.

Had Henry and Whistler here too- some of the main crew for our meetings.

As Cameron was excited about all that’s happening- his new job as a waiter- his trailer- he said ‘John- you’re a real Christian’.

I don’t know at times if I always feel that way to be honest- but I was grateful for the comment- and grateful that I accepted ‘the kid’ where he is at in life- he has taught me too- and his friends.

FRIDAY- Went to the mission today- not a good day.

I met Dirk about 25 years ago- he has been a good friend for many years. Dirk had a history of violence- he was very possessive of his girlfriends.

I never saw him hit them- but I could tell he probably did- just how a couple of them acted at times.

The other week I heard he hit some guy with a bone- in the camp. Lots of the guys get into fights- they are using drugs- meth has overtaken the Bluff these last few years.

A new guy I meant to write about last week goes by Tennessee- some of the guys use the names of their states to identify them- when I was in New York I was called Texas- I guess it just goes with the territory.

Tennessee drinks- I have a few friends who are just out and out drunks- I saw him holding a sign [cardboard thing] begging for cash- the other day.

Just last week I became somewhat of a friend with him.

He was telling me how came from a long line of Moonshiners- he went into all the right materials to use and stuff.

He said had a little one in the camp- he was telling me how he does it and all.

As we talked he asked if I ever went to some of the famous spots in Tennessee.
I told him I have driven thru lots over the years- went to Victoria Falls one year- and I asked him if he knew about Tennessee Temple University.

Sure did!

I told him many years ago when I was going to a Fundamental Baptist Church- I stopped at the University.

It’s famous in those circles.
Lee Roberson was the founder.

He told me he cut Lee’s grass- and he would give him a hundred bucks.
Actually this is the 2nd time in the last few months that some street drunk told me how real some of the famous Baptist preachers were.

I met a street guy when I got back from Jersey- he shared the same type of story about Brother Rolloff- a famous Baptist preacher here in Corpus.

They both said how these old time preachers were their friends- they saw the street guys as friends- that’s why their ministries did so well- they really loved these guys.

The last few years I have seen Dirk going downhill- he started getting into some of the bad stuff- drinking too.

He was never really a big drinker.

He lost his van about 6 months ago- he had that thing for years.

Just last week his camp caught fire- burned himself pretty bad.

I was talking to Timothy the other day- Dirk started yelling at him.

Lots of the homeless crew simply do not like Dirk- dare to say I might be the guys only friend.

Actually one of his girlfriends- Julie- a nice Christian girl- trying to do real ministry.

Dirk told me she was always texting him bible verses and stuff- I could see she really was into God.

One day Julie told me ‘Dirk idolizes you- says you’re the only real ‘preacher’ he has met’.

I never knew he looked up to me like that- but I think it was simply because I spent time with him over the years.

Got to know his story- he loved camping at Sam Rayburn national forest in Texas.

He used to show me the collection of arrow heads he would find over the years- he gave me one of the best ones he ever found.

Grew up in Michigan- one of the city’s famous for building Travel Trailers.

His son committed suicide many years ago- his ex-wife as well.

Yesterday- as I showed up at the mission- the story was

Dirk killed Tennessee.

I heard lots of various accounts- but Tennessee was stabbed- he is in serious condition- expected to survive.

As of last night- he’s still on the run.
I will check the dog pound- Dirk had a nice dog- Gunner.
If no one takes it [some of the other street people did say they would get him- they have done stuff like this before. Many of the street people have dogs that all the others know and love- and they take care of their dogs when something like this happens].

I will try and visit Dirk in jail- I’m not sure what the outcome will be- I don’t know if they caught him yet.

I had a little falling out with Dirk when I got back from New Jersey- nothing real big.

I didn’t talk too much to him after that- but felt bad- and the last few weeks have talked with him again.

I invited him to some of the meetings- he never made it.

As I write in defense of the homeless- I do not intend to justify the stuff they do.

These guys living in camps- it is illegal.

The problem here needs to be fixed.

Homelessness is a problem all across the nation.

Please pray for Dirk- and Tennessee.

I’ll try and find out more later- thanks.



This chapter contains the famous verse that the religious leaders used when King Herod asked where the King of the Jews would be born [Matt-2].

The wise men came from the east- and Herod gave them the city- Bethlehem.

If you read the chapter you will see a key theme about the ministry of Jesus.

It says when the enemy oppresses a people- at a set time the oppressor will be driven to ‘take the bait’.

He will- at God’s appointed time- oppress the last one.

In 1st Corinthians 2- we read that if ‘the princes of this world [legal authorities] knew what was really going on- they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’.

In John chapter 11 we read an interesting thing- as the authorities are coming down on the Judean area- the religious leaders have a meeting- they say ‘what shall we do- indeed Jesus is for real- he does many miracles [like raising the dead] if we let him alone the Romans will come and take away our position [they were given authority by Rome to have local jurisdiction over certain legal stuff].’

Then- the high priest- Caiaphas- says ‘you know nothing at all- it is expedient that one man die for the people [scapegoat- also scandalon- rock of offence] - so the whole nation perish not’.

The writer of the gospel- John- goes on to say that the priest did not really know what he was saying- but because he was the high priest- he prophesied- not knowing it.

I find this interesting- even though they had a scheme against him- they did not see that God was behind the whole thing [if the princes knew what was really going on- they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory- knowing that in reality- by getting him- it would put an end to the cycle].

Ok- in Romans 9 we read that when Pharaoh was oppressing God’s people- God hardened his heart- caused him to continue to ‘go after’ the people- because in the end God would get glory by showing that he alone is God- and rules in the affairs of men.

In Exodus 9 we read the story.

Moses confronts Pharaoh- and time after time Pharaoh goes back to his old ways- and refuses to leave the people alone [to let them leave Egypt and worship God].

At one point- later in the story- Moses confronts him face to face- and the bible says he left in great anger.

Moses was irate.

So- plague after plague comes upon Pharaoh- and God was the one making Pharaoh so hard hearted.

Finally God does deliver the people- but God was actually behind the vindictive nature of pharaoh- because he had a bigger plan in mind.




In the gospels we read the interaction of Jesus with his men- you always get the sense that the guys have some idea of the ministry of Jesus- but don’t yet fully see the end result.

He tells them one time ‘The son of man must go to Jerusalem and be delivered into the hands of men- AND THEY WILL CRUCIFY HIM’ [he will die].

Now- Peter responds ‘no- no way- we won’t let this happen’.

Jesus says ‘get thee behind me satan- for you are not concerned with the Kingdom of God- but of men’.

Jesus was the prince spoken about in Micah 5- it said ‘They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek’.

The oppressors of the people- both Rome- and in a sense the religious authorities HAD TO DO WHAT THEY DID.

It’s sort of like when a nation- say the Black people- when they were living under slavery for a long time- many of them became used to it.

But over time- the abolitionists [at first White men] began seeing the wrong that was being done.

 Loyd Garrison- one of the most prominent- began a paper that he circulated thru out the country- in hopes that he could turn the tide.

He was a devout Christian- yet zealous for the freedom of the slaves.

He even burned the constitution at one point- saying it was founded by those who approved of slavery.

Frederick Douglas- the great emancipated slave- read the papers of Garrison- and that’s how the fire started.

Jesus himself was the bait- the authorities got used to Crucifying men- at times for wrong reasons.

Then one day the time was fulfilled- the time the prophet spoke about centuries before.

Yeah- Pilate questioned this young zealot- wondering why he was different than the others.

Jesus knew- that once they crucified him- it would be the end of it all.

It was.

A few points;
 Micah says ‘and this man shall be the peace [Jesus] when the enemy shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, THEN shall we raise against him 7 shepherds- and 8 principal men’ [princes]. Micah 5:5

This deliverance required the enemy to tread in their palaces- meaning it had to come ‘to the doors’ so to speak.  When Peter rebuked Jesus- because Jesus said he had to go to Jerusalem and be rejected- and finally delivered to Rome [who alone had the power to execute- the religious leaders had so much they could do regarding the law- but they could not put someone to death- they had to ‘trick’ or manipulate the system to do it. If you read the Crucifixion story carefully- that’s what happened. As a boy I always viewed Pontius Pilate as the bad guy [by the way- when we confess the Nicene Creed in Church- Pilate is the only name mentioned from a secular view] But in reality you see that he was manipulated by the religious authorities to Crucify Jesus.
Peter did not understand that in order for the deliverance to take place- the enemy had to ‘tread in their palaces’ meaning- he had to actually have a degree of destruction that succeeded [Jesus was indeed killed].
 Jesus is called the Rock of Offence- he is the Rock of our salvation too.
There is a verse that says ‘whoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken- but whoever the Stone falls on- it will grind him to powder’.
Meaning- if people humble themselves in this life and accept Christ- they will be broken [by submitting to his Lordship].
But- those who fight against him- he will ‘fall on them in judgment’ and that will grind him to ‘powder’ [those will taste the full wrath of God].
In Micah 5- we read ‘and those that remain [after the judgment] shall be like the dew of the Lord- like lions in a field- who- if he go thru- both treadeth down- and teareth- and none can deliver’.
After God delivers the people- they themselves are like lions [they now have a defense- they are feared].
‘And it will come to pass in that day that I will cut off the horses and destroy the chariots’ [the instruments used to go after the people].
‘And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen- such as they have not heard’.

Of course you know- that after the authorities ‘went after’ Jesus- the Rock of offence- they seemed to succeed in their plan.
Yet- he came back- he rose from the dead.
Eventually the kingdom was delivered over to the people of God [in the 4th century- some 300 years later- Constantine declares Christianity as the religion of the empire- and till this day- the church remains].
The only lasting memory of Pilate is recited in Churches world over every Sunday ‘Crucified under Pontius Pilate’. [recited by the way- under a church full of people- looking at a Crucifix!]
Not such a great epithet.


Amen- the prophecy has been fulfilled.

Note- another word for offence in the New Testament is scandalon. It is a warning to us- not to take the bait that satan lays out- to hold offenses. But Jesus too is called the rock of offence- not in a negative way [that is for those who believe] but for those who hated him- and his followers [how can you say that you love God- who you don’t see- when you hate your brother who you do see- 1st John] they were caught in their own trap so to speak. They pursued Jesus out of hatred- like they pursued others before him. But they didn’t know that this was the final one. In 1st Corinthians 2- quoted above- it says ‘if the princes of this world knew- they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’.
It says in that chapter that the princes of this world COME TO NAUGHT [nothing].
In the end- it was that very thing that caught them- the thing they used to catch others. satan uses offence- to hinder the people of God [in Job chapter one- he accuses Job to God].
Yet- in the ultimate battle- they went after Christ with a vengeance [he offended them because he was sinless- and spoke the truth].
And it was this offence- scandalon- Rock of offence- that ‘got’ them- ground them to powder- so to speak.

TUESDAY- ‘The True Bread’

Had a busy day yesterday-well to be honest every day is now very busy.
Cameron came over early- I was finishing up some final repairs to the house- getting ready to list it.
I took Cameron to his probation meeting- then ran over and met David at the new building we are looking at for the halfway house. [I posted the pics to facebook]
Another guy who works with homeless vets met us- David has a homeless vet [Doc] living with him- and the VA has asked us if we could take homeless vets.
So David wants to open up this 2nd spot for them.
Fred- the guy who works with the vets- asked about our other halfway house on King street.
He knew the property- asked if I knew the new owner of it- sure did.
Jeremy was a firefighter in Dallas- he cashed out his retirement and became an investor.
We hit it off good- I even gave Fred Jeremy’s phone number- he lost it.

I then drove to the mission- and sure enough on my way to the door- you’ll never guess who I saw?


Yeah- my friend who stabbed my other buddy- Tennessee.

He was sitting outside the fence [of course the other guys at the mission are mad at him].

He had Gunner [I’ll post the pic] the dog I was gonna bail out of the pound [I thought Dirk was in jail].

The cops took him in for questioning- and they let him go.

Dirk of course told me his story- what he told the cops.

How Tennessee ‘fell’ on him- twice- while Dirk was holding the knife up.

By the way- this is not the first time- over the years- that I have heard this.

So- I listened.

‘John- do you believe it’?


But- that’s the scoop.

I walked over to the main area of the mission- and some of the people who were witnesses told me how the cops came to the camp- wanting to talk to them.

They did not want to talk to them- like I said in these last few posts- if your history with them is one of them goes after them- tells them the stuff I have been posting.
Of course they don’t want to talk- they don’t trust them.

Tammy and Shrek have been calling from Houston- they are trying to get back to Corpus- have their probation moved.

Shrek wants to try and get in our halfway house- maybe that will help.

I was on the phone with Justin- the kid I wrote about the other day.

I’m gonna pick him up in Robstown later- for our Bishop meeting.

I mean it was like I was talking to his dad- 25 years ago.

Same voice- everything- even shouting at this kid ‘hey come here Angel- don’t go by the street’!
I told him I’ll get him today- he tells me he wants to go.

He says ‘Brother John- you have been helping my family for 30 years- you have been doing this a long time- ministry- if no one ever told you- thank you’.

This coming from a kid [25 year old] who was shooting Heroin 3 months ago.

He told me he was on the streets of Robstown- a city known for drugs.
And he cried out to Jesus one day ‘please help me- I don’t know what to do’.

As we drove out of town last week- I saw some of the spots that I remember- yes- times [many years ago] where I was not in the best of times- and remembered some bad stuff too.

As I was on the phone with Justin- thinking of how it’s like I’m talking with his dad- sure enough another call comes in.

Yeah- it’s his dad- on the other line.

I call back- again- it’s like I’m talking to Justin- just an older version.

I’ll get with his dad- Emit- in about an hour.

He’s going thru lots of stuff as well- I told him I’ll help him move to another place today.

But I can only go for a couple of hours- then back to the mission- then do our Bishop meeting.

Ok- let me talk about the ‘other side’ of the homeless problem.

I have- honestly- written about police abuse- which is indeed wrong.

But there is also a problem with this whole situation- people on the streets- at times stabbing each other.

Living on the streets- using drugs- drinking- all of this too needs to change.

One of the reasons we opened the halfway house was we needed to see some type of change with the people.

Many soup kitchens- homeless missions- many of them do enable this lifestyle.

To be honest- some of them do it because of what they get out of it.

Over the years I have helped unload the food trucks for the mission.

Lots of the more expensive food is never served- the guys know the workers take that food home.

Some ministries bring in money- other things- and the people running those ministries do get kickbacks.

So- many of these missions are not really trying to get the people off the street- and some are enabling them to stay there.

One time Jesus had the people following him- he multiplied the bread and fish and they all ate [John’s gospel].

He then moved on to another spot.

And the crowd followed.

He said ‘you seek me because I gave you bread to eat- don’t seek me for that- but seek for the true bread- the bread that comes down from heaven’.

He wanted them to change- not to just keep coming for the meal- see?

Don’t get me wrong- I am an advocate for the poor- and I don’t take offerings- I pay for the stuff I do out of pocket [nor do I claim any write off on my income tax].

So- I try to practice this.

But- we want the street people to see change this year.

Some are not breaking the law- or using- so that’s good.

But many are- not good.

This year we are trying to follow the Lord’s example- we are trying to tell the people ‘yes- we are here to help- we are here to meet needs- loaves and fishes- but don’t just seek for that- but for the true bread- that came down from heaven’.

Had a good meeting in Bishop yesterday- just a few guys- I spoke about Micah 5- the stuff I wrote about above.
This year has been a very busy year for me- I do have a lot of irons on the stove.
As I talked in Bishop we covered a little bit about God’s manifold wisdom/gifts.
In the corporate world you call it multitasking.
In the parable of the Sower of seed- Jesus said the sower [seed caster] throws the seed in different spots- some fall on hard ground, they never produce.
Some in the weeds- the same thing.
But over time- some do fall on good ground and bring forth.
I like this- part of our calling in life is there will be some things that don’t work- they don’t become successful.
That’s alright- if you never throw the seed- the few that do make it- they would never have had the chance.
Today I will visit Tennessee, the friend that Dirk- my other friend got into a fight with and he was stabbed twice.
I think visiting and praying for the guys in the hospital is going to be another ministry thing.
A few weeks ago I prayed for Chris- I mean he was on a respirator- he looked gone- the type of look when you see someone who is dead- but the only thing keeping him alive is the machine.
I prayed for him- but did not think he would make it.
David calls me the other day- Chris wanted him to take him to get some shirts- because he’s back out- in the halfway house- and wants to get back to selling the water filter things that he is known for.
He was a top seller for his company.
I thought the guy was dead!

So- I guess I’ll believe God a little more when I pray for them.

Both of these guys are my friends [Dirk and Tennessee]. I made it a point not to take sides.

I might do a meeting in that area- these meetings are ‘floaters’ that is I do some at the halfway house- or at David’s- or at Pops place.

There all within a 3 mile radius of downtown Corpus.

I’ll be heading to the mission today- I figured a good way to kind of include some of the girls in our meetings- I’ll just basically teach the same stuff- while sitting at the mission- drinking coffee.

My meetings are informal- sort of like a college brain storming get together.
I do talk about the bible- and mix it in with stuff that some of the college types would discuss as well.
Lots of these kids are smart- and they have some background in many of the arguments for/against the Christian faith.
But it’s really not hard to present the other side- quoting some of the famous philosophers and other intellectuals that these kids are familiar with.

That kind of ‘cuts the rug’ out from under these arguments against the faith.

So- it’s a teaching environment that I am comfortable with- and some of the girls can get in on the meetings- without having to be there.

Ok- that’s it for this week- I’ll post/comment on some pictures tonight- and talk to you all next week.

By the way- when I make my North Bergen visit this year- I’ll be holding meetings every day [except Sunday]- at 12:15 pm at the White Castle on Bergenline Ave- Nungessers.

I’ll post that on Facebook before I come.

God bless.

THURSDAY MORNING- [Sponsors- the danger of co-dependency]
We had a change of plans yesterday- Mike [my artist] stopped by around 9 am- he asked if I would do a meeting.
His friend saw him last night- and was suicidal.
Mike- who has been a friend for many years- but has just recently been in my meetings- told his friend that we do a sort of Christian based AA/NA meeting.
So- I grabbed a few guys and did a meeting here in the Bluff.
It went well- I talked about how Christ re-established our relationship with God- as our Father.
I spoke about the danger of co-dependence.
When I was in New Jersey last year for 3 months- I met some real good people in the NA meetings.
But during my year in AA- I saw things that from a Christian perspective- were not compatible with healthy living.
I did write about it- in a gracious way [it’s on my blog- under the section ‘Christian addiction recovery’.
But one of the things I never hit on was the teaching on Sponsors.
I wrote a book years ago- part of it dealt with the Shepherding/discipleship movement back in the 70’s.
This was a movement within the church that had ‘shepherds’ who were sort of like Sponsors in AA.
The problem with that movement was it created a co-dependency - people became too dependent on another person.
In scripture the concept of Sponsor- Mentor- is there- but the biblical view is- it’s only for a period of time.
There must be a breaking away from that relationship over time.
The Shepherding movement made the mistake of trying to control people- for life.
Jesus discipled his men for 3 years- then told them it was needful for him to leave.
At first- they didn’t want that- but he said ‘I go to prepare a place for you’
We often read that as ‘I’m going to get heaven ready for you’.
Actually- in context [it’s in John’s gospel] he was saying-
‘I go- to make room for you [here on earth]’
Sort of like ‘when I leave- the Spirit will come- and the works that I did- now you will do them’.

He had to leave- so they would grow in their own relationship with God.

In my meeting yesterday I spoke about how we- people- become co-dependent on girlfriends- sponsors- etc.
There must come a time where we move on.

In New Jersey- I met a guy at one of the meetings- don’t remember his name- but we talked a bit.
He told another person next to him ‘I have not only done the 12 steps- but 13’.
Now- he was nice- talking to some friends- The lady asked ‘what do you mean’.

You could tell he was hesitant to sound critical of NA- he must have been in it for around 20 years or so.
He was clean- doing well.
But he said he got a new sponsor a few years ago- and he made him do the steps all over- over a period of years.

He said he didn’t think he needed to- but he had to obey the sponsor- so he spent a few more years- doing something- that he felt was a waste- but if he didn’t do it- he was fearful that he was not obeying the sponsor.

I didn’t say anything- but of course I saw the same danger in this- that I actually had written about years before.

Any movement- or group- that creates this sort of co- dependency - can be dangerous.

So- we talked in our meeting about eventually moving beyond that initial relationship [I think Sponsors are ok- just at the start- maybe even a year- but over time it would be better to move on].

Stephen Covey- in his best seller ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ talked about 3 types- stages- of personal growth.

1-      Independent
2-      Co-dependent
3-      Interdependent

Independent is the mindset of ‘I don’t need anyone else’.

Co-dependent is ‘I can’t live without you’.

Interdependent is ‘I don’t ‘need’ you to survive- to make it- but I see the value of our relationship- and we can go further together- as co-equals- than alone’.

I think that’s the proper view.

I have a friend who is dating a local girl.
Her ex-boyfriend is also my friend.
They are both at the street mission every week.
Then- her ex-husband now shows up [he got out of prison recently].

When she’s there- she has these 3 guys ‘fighting’ over her.

One actually stabbed the other one a few years ago- over this.

My closet friend [out of the 3] said ‘John- she just loves the attention- she wants us to fight over her’.
He was right.

Part of overcoming addictions- is also becoming interdependent.
Recognizing the value of others- but being mature enough to say ‘Brother/sponsor- I know you think I need to do this [whether it’s redoing the steps- over a few years- or whatever] - but I am maturing in this initial relationship- and I’m moving on’.

In my year in AA- I never had a sponsor- But boy was there pressure to get one- almost to the point of ‘we are waiting for you to re-lapse- so you will see your in rebellion’ [I was actually told this by a good friend].
This is a very important aspect- in my view- of becoming a well-rounded person.

Ok- that’s it- see you next week.

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 [FaceBookl] - I have posted lots.