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.

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