2039 FATHER OF LIGHTS?
JOURNAL- September- January- 2013
Note- every so often I get the sense that I might not post anymore.
When I ‘feel’ this- I seriously consider ‘going away’.
There are indeed times- strategic times- when it’s God’s purpose to GO AWAY.
Jesus said this- multiple times- to his disciples.
‘It is expedient for you- that I go away’
‘I go to prepare a place for you’ [the idea here is when he leaves- they will in a way be forced to pick up where he left off- you know- like the momma Eagle kicking her babies out of the nest type thing].
‘A little while- and the world sees me no more’.
‘Where I go- you cannot come’.
Okay- all these references are from John’s gospel- and I could do an entire study on this principle.
A few weeks back I picked up one of the classics that I never read.
Catcher in The Rye- a novel by J.D. Salinger.
I’m almost done with it- and to be quite honest- it’s not good at all.
I don’t say this for the usual reasons the book is rejected [lots of schools did not permit the book in their classes- because he uses God’s name in vain and the book is a little riske’ at times].
No- that stuff never bothers me.
The book is simply boring- and immature.
Ok- then why did I read it?
I always knew that Salinger became famous- because after he wrote his novel- he WENT AWAY.
He bought a secluded home in the North East- and never wrote again.
This created a mystique about the man- and in a way it propelled his book- even though it’s really not a good work.
So- this principle of ‘going away’ is biblical- often times it’s not easy to do- that’s why some writers- or rock singers- become famous after their deaths- because you now realize that what’s left is all you got.
Okay- I don’t see this as a game- I am simply trying to hear God about this.
When I was broadcasting on the Radio for 20 years- there were whole years when I never spoke.
I made radio tapes on a weekly basis- and had enough for years.
So- when I felt like taking time off- I would not teach for a whole year.
Blogging is a bit different- but the same principle applies.
By the way- I haven’t been on Facebook- or checked it for over 2 months [as of today- 12-2-13].
As of now- I’ll simply make this journal- and when/if I post it- then I’ll read/see any comments or messages.
I just want my friends to know I simply don’t check the site- unless I’m posting.
Ok- hope you enjoy this journal- that is if it ever gets posted!
FOR WHERE A TESTAMENT IS- THERE MUST ASLO BE THE DEATH [or going away] OF THE TESTATOR- Hebrews.
1st week of December -2013
Well- I have been back in Texas for a couple of months now.
Our little halfway house is doing good- the friend I started it with last year has had lots of physical problems and I thru myself into this ministry again.
I also re-connected with the street crew- my original ‘gang’ from Texas.
And this past week I also got back in touch with Cameron.
I posted about Cameron right before I left Texas in 2013.
He was a new kid at the halfway house- was on probation [10 years!] and tested dirty on a drug test.
So- when I left Texas- he was back in jail.
He was released [once again] to the halfway house- and I have been getting with him this past week.
Took him to Bay Area Fellowship yesterday-might take him for a city cruise [like the apostle Paul said in the book of Acts ‘let’s go and visit all the cities we preached the gospel in’] today.
Yeah- I need to take a ride to Kingsville- Bishop- and maybe even Rio Grande city.
I met a new guy this week- Albert.
He spent a week at our halfway house- and had some ministry background.
Whenever we get a new guy- and he has some bible background- David [the guy I started the halfway house with] always wants me to meet him.
I’m sort of the Pastor for the halfway house.
So- I got with Albert on his last day with us [he only spent a week].
He’s from Robstown [an area city that’s known for drug dealing].
His wife has a church right on the border of Texas/Mexico.
He asked me if I knew where Rio Grande City was.
Heck- I spent 2-3 nights there about 10 years ago [a Firefighter school I went to].
So- God willing- I might take a trip to the area.
Albert worked as a missionary in this region years ago- it’s where his wife grew up.
But even he told me it’s very dangerous now- the drug runners will kidnap/kill you in a second.
So- do me a favor and pray for our safety- I do want to make the trip.
Being I have not posted- or written any posts in 2 months- I want to give a brief update on the ‘North Bergen Crew’ [the street guys I befriended while in New Jersey].
The guys keep in touch with me regularly.
About 2 days ago Rick called [he’s the only one with a phone- or has my number [Nick too] - so the other guys ask how I’m doing and stuff- they were already asking when I’m coming back! Geez- not yet].
He gave me an update on the area- Rick moved to Hoboken about a month ago- but he still hangs out at the White Castle in North Bergen.
It’s funny- this spot became the meeting place for the crew- I used to eat at this restaurant when I was a kid.
Of course they rebuilt the thing- but it’s still in the exact spot.
Let me share one interesting story that happened the day before I left North Bergen.
During my 3 month trip- and before- the year was a year of Signs [dreams- visions- etc.]
Over the years I try not to talk too much about these experiences- because they are subjective- you never really know if the sign is ‘real’ or the person is simply wrong.
So- as those of you who read the site know- I try to teach in line with Historic Christianity.
Ok- when I ‘moved’ to North Bergen [the town I was raised in right across the Hudson River from New York City] I seriously thought I might move back for good.
The first 2 months back- I checked into housing- asked about the rents and all- and left the door open to stay.
In Texas I gave away/sold lots of my stuff.
I got rid of both my vehicles- and did the ‘sell what you have and come follow me’ thing.
As I sit here writing- I’m in an empty study- that used to be filled with my books.
I acquired- literally- thousands of dollars in books over the years.
I gave the majority of them away- to a church- before I left.
So yeah- I did leave the option open that I was leaving for good.
As time went on- I realized I will go back every year- for around 3 weeks [by the way- this year- 2014- my goal is to start some home bible studies- if anyone in the North Bergen/NYC area is interested- text me at 361-461-0588. My email never gets checked- so the best way is to message me].
Ok- because the rents were high- I wound up staying at my old house where I grew up as a kid.
My mom and sister still lived there.
I led my sister to the Lord many years ago- and she always viewed me as sort of her spiritual mentor.
When I told her I will be moving back to New Jersey- she was so happy!
The week before I flew back- she died.
So- for a few weeks I lived in her old downstairs apt- surrounded by all her little trinkets and stuff- and I would wake up early [around 3 or 4] and pray for about an hour or so in the yard.
Her cats [just like mine in Texas] knew what time I would be walking and praying- and they would wait for me in the yard- they love being petted when I do this. I pray with a stick in my hand- sort of a staff- and as they walk next to me I pet them. In Texas they follow me on the roof- it’s low- so I pet them right on the roof- they get so into it a few times they fell off trying to get noticed!]
There was a very real sense that the death of my sister would play a redemptive role in this whole journey.
It would take too much time to teach this now- but I felt she made a very real sacrifice as well as me- for the spiritual benefit of the town we grew up in.
When my friends die- I sort of include them in my payer time- not praying ‘to them’ but in a way ‘gathering’ all their prayers- and concerns- into one prayer community.
[Someday I will teach this entire theme from scripture- in Acts chapter10 it says the prayers of Cornelius came up as a ‘memorial before God’. In the book of Revelation we read about an Angel [messenger] casting a censor into the earth- and it was filled with the collected prayers of the people. These images speak of the spiritual reality of ‘collecting’ the prayers of others as you pray. Protestants are not very aware of this principle- Catholics are].
So- as you can imagine- the actual death of my sister- and me living in her apt. and driving her car [my mom gave me my sisters car- that is the car I’m driving right now in Texas- remember- I sold both my vehicles] were all giving me a real sense of the ‘partnership’ I had with my sister as we both were back in our old town- for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
So- one morning while I was going downstairs to the yard [I walked down thru an upstairs hallway- thru the old garage [which is now a finished apt.] where I kept many a dirt bike [and go cart!] back in the day- and down the alley into the yard.
This morning I had a sense of ‘what would you do if you saw your sister’.
It was eerie!
In the bible- there are just a few cases of ‘seeing dead people’ [not talking Bruce Willis and the 6th sense either].
One of the most famous is the story of the prophet Samuel during the time of King Saul.
In a scripture that’s been debated a lot- we read about a sort of soothsayer [Palm Reader type person] who brings back the dead prophet Samuel to appear to King Saul.
Obviously this can be used in many strange ways- some question the authenticity of whether the lady brought Samuel back.
As you read the account [off hand I forget the actual verse] it seems to say that she did indeed bring a dead guy back- not a raising from the dead- but an appearance of the soul/spirit of Samuel.
So- though I wouldn’t build a doctrine on the thing- yet stuff like this can happen.
After I had this experience- of sort of sensing ‘what if you see Laura- who died’.
I got a chill- but simply prepared myself for some type of sign- which has happened a lot this year.
But nothing happened- yet.
So- one day my mom [whose house I was staying at] said ‘ok John- today before you run out [yeah- I got up early- and would take off most of the day- either walking New York City- or North Bergen- Union City- etc.- I wanted to run into as many street guys as possible before I left] I have a job for you and Patrick to do.
Patrick was a good friend of mine for many years- used to date my sister- and in a way I used to see him as the street friends I have made over the years.
He is a recovering addict- and we went to a lot of the NA meetings together.
So- Pat lives at my mom’s house- uses a spare bedroom- and I see him like a brother.
But- my mom would ask us to both do some type of job together- fix the fence- move some furniture- whatever.
And I realized it would be better for her to just give me the job- everyone else go out- and I’ll do it alone [you know-the micro manager type thing was a problem].
Not to be mean- but trust me- it worked better that way.
So a few days before I left- she asked ‘ok- you and Patrick need to paint 2 walls in the living room today [today? It will take me less than an hour- I used to paint houses for a living].
So- Pat bought all those little paint devices you see on TV- you know- the stuff the pro’s NEVER USE [Edger’s- sponge type brushes- Tape for the edges- EEK!]
I told mom ‘Please- just get me one good paint brush- a roller and paint- I don’t need all of these other things- including the tape to ‘tape the corners’.
Not to be mean- but the best way to do this is to simply ‘cut’ the area with a brush.
Over the years you learn to use the paint brush without going over the edge.
Anyway- she had some cheap little brush- and the roller and paint.
What the heck- I told her ‘please- you and Pat go in the other room- I’ll be done in around 30 minutes’.
I was- moved the furniture- laid a drop cloth- rolled and cut- under an hour- done.
Ok- my mom had just printed new pictures of my sister- and the night before I left I hung them up on this freshly painted wall.
So- as mom’s go- she wanted to buy me stuff for the road trip back to Texas.
She bought me this nice little road light [as a side note- 2 nights ago I started our first home church- this year I want to start a few of them- Texas- New Jersey- Switzerland. There were 2 little 5 year old girls- real sweethearts- they were the kids of some of our new team of young leaders that I’m enlisting for this new mission- they somehow got a hold of this light- and they were having so much fun running thru the house- in the yard- flashing this light].
You know- if you get a flat the thing blinks and all- roadside emergency type light.
As we are sitting in the living room- I am opening up the package- trying to get the car packed before the morning [I left just a few hours after this].
And my mom walks into the living room and sees me with the light- and the batteries still in the package- unopened.
She says ‘Oh- the light works real nice- but how did you get it to work without the batteries’.
I said ‘what do you mean- it’s not on’.
She looked puzzled- she is standing in front of the wall with my sisters new pictures- and she says ‘John- your light is flashing- I’m looking at Laura’s picture- don’t you see it flashing’.
Ok- I knew this was the ‘sign’ I sensed a few nights earlier- a sort of Open Vision- where you see something while awake.
Now- as I convinced her the light was not on- she began to panic- she kept asking ‘don’t you see it flashing John- it’s so bright!
I sat her down and walked her through it.
I told her ‘mom- I don’t see it flashing- but if you do- I believe you’.
I told her it’s possible that Laura- in a way- is saying ‘John- I really was part of this whole adventure you just had- I’m up here- with your other friends who have died- the ones you ‘have gathered’ as a communion of Saints- I’m saying goodbye on your last night in North Bergen- OH- thanks for petting my cats’.
Now- I simply tried to explain to my mom that I felt God had told me a few days before that I would indeed see some type of sign from my sister.
Surely this must have been it.
[By the way- thanks for the car Laura- it’s truly the best running car I ever had. It drove back to Texas great- everyone compliments me on it].
NOTE- One of the bible verses that was impressed on my mind this year was from the book of James ‘Every good and perfect gift comes from above- from the FATHER OF LIGHTS’. If you remember- this year I posted about seeing a Supernova one morning while up praying in the yard- and later that day there was the most viewed meteor ever- it took place in Russia.
These of course were LIGHTS- the above sign from my sister was a blinking light.
And right after I got back to Texas I was walking home from the local street mission where I meet the homeless crew.
As I walked under the highway overpass- I saw a homeless guy- who I never met before.
He caught my attention because he had this paint brush hanging from his belt- and it was actually the one I needed when I painted the wall in New Jersey [the one where my mom saw the picture flashing].
I walked up to the brother and hung out with him for about 30 minutes- right there off the street.
In about 5 minutes we were talking like we knew each other for years.
That’s the way the street guys live.
He told me after a few minutes-
‘We can tell when someone’s for real- that he really cares for the homeless’
He was simply saying he knew I wasn’t a fake.
As I talked with him- he told me his name was Orville and he’s been around for years.
I asked him if he knew ‘so and so….’
I usually rack up a bunch of names so the guys know I’m not making stuff up- that I have been around a while.
He knew the names I mentioned.
He told me he also sings gospel songs- and he wrote one.
Sure enough- he started singing- pretty good- right there.
Geez- like angels songs!
I asked him if he needed a few dollars.
He said ‘sure’.
And as has happened before- I open my wallet and I only have a five- no big deal- he got the 5.
He tells me ‘wait- I have a gift for you’.
Right before I left North Bergen- I picked up a few things I thought I might need.
One was the little flashlight things that you hang on a key chain.
Every so often- you need a light to see where your stuff is when you’re parked on the side of the road- sleeping at the rest stops [I drove back and slept in the car overnight].
Sometimes when I need something- I try and wait a day or so before I buy it.
Because I either find I have an extra one laying around- or someone gives me one.
But- I bought a little Mag light- but it’s not too bright.
So- as I’m talking to this strange homeless brother- with ‘my’ paint brush on his belt.
He reaches under his shirt and pulls out a chain he has around his neck.
And he pulls off of the chain- you guessed it- one of the little lights I needed.
Man- the things is about 10 times brighter than the one I bought.
I take the gift- which was sort of strange- the street guys usually don’t give out gifts.
I finish our talk- and off I went.
The next few days I ask the local street crew ‘Hey- I met some guy named Orville- he said he knew you- do you know the guy’.
One by one- no one knew him.
Ok- in the book of Hebrews it says ‘be careful to help strangers- because some have helped angels and they didn’t even know it’.
After my buddies did not know the guy- I went home later in the day and double checked if that light was for real- still in my drawer.
Sure is- bright as a little Nova.
I don’t know if Orville- the drunk gospel singer- was an angel or not.
But this year one of the verses was ‘FATHER OF LIGHTS’.
Felt it was cool either way.
2040 STATE OF THE NATION [WORLD] AND THE JFK CONNECTION.
12-7/13- 2013 I want to cover the state of our nation/world this week.
Being I haven’t posted for 3 months- obviously a lot of news stories have gone by- and I simply can’t retrieve them all now.
But- the overall geo-political state of the world right now is an important thing for us to see.
‘Gee John- we all get the news- doesn’t that cover it’.
In a way- yeah.
But because the American Media is so skewed- we often simply get what that particular side wants you to hear- whether it be ‘the right’ or ‘the left’.
Ok- The Affordable Care act [ObamaCare] has been just about as bad as any roll out could get.
We all know the Web Site is/was a disaster.
Ok- here’s where you can’t just listen to the right or left- but both.
If you notice- the left leaning media did report that Obama was too ‘insular’ that he was not open to real criticism within the White House.
There was an entire book [or 2] written about the Presidents real lack of any management skills.
A year or 2 ago- one of his top financial guys- Larry Lindsey- said the same thing.
It was insider language that was leaked to the press- but they were saying at the time ‘no one is in charge here’.
So- this was the view from his own people- not Hannity or Rush.
So- the roll out of ObamaCare was bad- and the insiders say that in a normal functioning team- after the political part [of passing the law] was over.
You would then hire an outside team of the best [Google- or any other number of top guys] and let them do the job.
The President simply did not know- or have the desire to do this- this basic function of management.
So- instead- the people who built the site were people with ties to the president- people who did not have the skills to produce a final product [the web site- I have heard other tech experts say this. So- this critique I just gave you seems to be the real story. And whether you support the President or not- the fact is he really dropped the ball by not having the management skills for this- see?]
What about Foreign policy?
Again- the left/right will focus on what they want [He got Osama!! Yes- but that is not even 1% of what falls under foreign policy].
After 5 years in office- the world is much more unstable than it has been in many years.
Now- whoever is to blame- you judge.
I’m just stating fact.
The President talked about ‘re-setting’ relations with Russia.
That failed- Russia has even gained a degree of ‘one upmanship’ in the Syria situation.
What they said/wanted all along- they got [possible future talks between Assad and the rebels- the U.S. strongly opposed this- yet at this point we would be lucky to get it. It looks like Assad is going to win this war- and Russia comes out on top. With Putin even rebuking Obama in a New York Times article that slammed him for talking about American Exceptionalism].
The president talked about a new focus on Asia [because all the other areas were going so bad!].
For many years now- China- Japan- Korea- etc.- have been existing with a degree of tension and an occasional rocket launch [or sinking of a ship!- North Korea- South Korea].
But the various actors in the Pacific theater have existed- and functioned- with the tension there.
So- after the President spoke about a new focus on that area- it has grown markedly worse.
A few weeks ago China unilaterally extended its airspace- and warned the surrounding countries to get permission before they fly thru that space.
The air space has been disputed for a while- but normally they would not have the bravado to do this.
Ok- some in the media tried to ‘spin’ this story- that it had nothing to do with a new view of American weakness in the world [Our backing down on Syrian president Assad was indeed a major blow to U.S. authority. I was [am] not in favor of military action in Syria- but when a U.S. President says he will act ‘if a line is crossed’ and then he doesn’t- that looks very bad]
So- China [and Russia] do indeed see these things as weakness- and without a doubt China did this act because they felt they could get away with it.
The tensions in the region are higher than they have been in years.
As the year ends- Iran- Egypt- The entire continent of Africa [Libya- Egypt- etc.] are very unstable- in reality- worse than 5 years ago [when the President took office].
I do not place the blame entirely on him- but he does indeed bare some of it.
Both President Obama- and John Kerry- have made public statements- off the cuff [or without thinking them thru- the drawing of a red line in Syria- and Kerry’s off the cuff remark about not following thru on the threat of military force if Syria starts getting rid of their weapons- which was a public statement by the Secretary of state that blatantly contradicted the Presidents statement that he would indeed hit Syria if they used chemical weapons- which they did].
Ok- these public mistakes- which can of course be forgiven- are indeed factors that have led to the instability of the region.
This week Saudi Arabia sent a delegation to Israel- which is amazing- Both Saudi Arabia and Israel are against Obama’s stance with Iran.
Like some Democrats [Schumer] and Republicans- they feel the 6 month backing off of sanctions on Iran- while they continue to develop Enriched Uranium- was a very bad deal.
The surprise is that Saudi Arabia would have talks with Israel- it is likely that Israel will hit Iran regardless of what the U.S. does- if they deem the threat of an actual Nuclear rocket to be close.
So- lots of instability- and some of it is a direct result of blunders- statements made by the President and his top people.
In my view- ‘Obamacare’ is simply not going to work.
A few years back- while working at the Fire Dept. - we had a ‘new policy’ that was going to be implemented.
It had to do with the way you attack a structure fire.
I was the Senior Engineer/Driver at the time [I made the position very young- I think I was the youngest engineer ever to make that rank up to that time- around 23-4]
So- as someone with lots of experience- not just ‘head knowledge’ I sat and listened to these new ‘wonderful changes’ that were being made.
During the meeting- I spoke up and told the Fire Chief- and the Captains- that this new policy- though well meaning- is not for a small dept. like ours.
In Layman’s terms- we were changing the attack strategy in such a way that the first fire truck at the scene was going to by-pass the fire- if need be- so he could get to the Hydrant first- and then go back to the fire.
In a big dept. - you can get away with this- because you have multiple fire trucks to work with- and the first truck can still stop at the house fire- without trying to find the Hydrant first.
Our Dept. basically had 2 attack pumpers- if we did the policy 100% as it was told to us- we would have had scenarios where you might have people in the house- that’s on fire- and the fire truck would actually drive past the house- if the hydrant was on a different street. I told the Captains that the danger of this- never mind the liability to the dept. - was not good. People will be watching us drive past the house- having no idea what the ‘heck’ we are doing!
[note- in some cases- if the hydrant is on the way to the house- then ok- you stop for a few seconds- which in my mind is still not good- because you are cutting down the response time by the initial truck]
Simply put- I told our chief that we were not ready to implement this policy that fast- that even if he insisted on changing the tactic [called Forward lay and Reverse lay] we still needed some attachments for the intakes on the truck and stuff like that.
It didn’t make a difference- they still changed the policy very quickly- and I let the Captains know what they needed if their new- more inexperienced drivers were going to do this [the senior Captain listened to me- and delayed the new policy until we ordered the new attachments].
The newer drivers simply did not foresee some of the problems- because on paper it looked good- but from experience I knew it was not good.
Eventually the Dept. made the changes that I mentioned- and we managed to not get anybody killed because of it.
About a year or 2 ago- as I watched the whole Obama Care scenario being explained by the proponents- I told some one ‘even though I am not against helping people get insurance- the more I see this- the more I get a sense that it will simply never work’.
The same feeling I had when the Chief was explaining the new changes at the fire house.
So as we end the year- it has not been a good year- politically- or in my view- globally.
There is still much work to be done- and it seems as if the old Medical dictum might be wise to follow- when you’re trying to help someone- do what you can- but make sure you don’t cause more harm in the process.
I think that what started with good intentions- Obamacare- is going to do more harm than if they left the thing alone- or made smaller changes- without trying to do a complete overhaul of 1/6th of the economy overnight.
Today I was gonna write on Pope Francis- update how his Pontificate has been going- some of the recent criticism he has gotten and all- but I think I’ll do the ‘KENNEDY CONNECTION’.
Yeah- you heard me!
Ok- for those who do think ‘Poor John- he was such a nice kid when we knew him in high school- but he seems to have gone nuts’.
Yeah- for you guys- I do very much realize these posts don’t help much [Ok- this is a joke- not the actual post that follows- but this line. I hope most of my old friends can tell- but when writing on-line- Facebook- etc. - people can’t always tell].
Ok- what Kennedy are you talking about John?
Yeah- the big one- JFK.
These past few years- writing about the Halfway house- talking about my street friends.
I have told the story of John David- multiple times.
I knew him- and his 2 brothers [Hugh and Andy] from the streets- good ole boys- but yeah- like my new North Bergen buddies- they are in some ways- well- criminals.
Now- do I approve of it?
But that’s who we are sent to help- Jesus said the whole [healed] don’t need a doctor- but the sick.
Over time John David- who is guilty of killing his best friend many years ago [shot him with a shotgun] got clean [was an alcoholic and Meth addict for years].
In 2012 he asked me to help him start a Halfway House.
The way he got off the murder wrap was his mom got the actual lawyer that Jack Ruby had [Rudy shot Oswald- who killed JFK].
So- it’s just interesting that he had this connection- living now in Corpus Christi.
Ok- one day David had a drunk- Charlie- living in his apt.
If David finds a new prospect for the Halfway House he’ll put him up in his own place until he sobers up for at least a week.
I usually go over David’s at this stage and meet the guys- pray for them- and become friends.
If they eventually make it into the halfway house- then I get with the guys while I’m doing ministry stuff [like this year I have just started going to different cites- Bishop the other day- to open up home groups].
So I talked to Charlie for an hour or 2- became good friends- and about a week later David kicked him out.
He snuck a beer- and David tells the guys no drinking at the house.
So- being I never met Charlie before- he lives on the other side of town- I figured that was that.
So- about a week later I’m at the mission where I work with the street guys [my ministry is separate from the halfway house- I help with the halfway house- but that’s just a part of the overall calling].
And sure enough- I run into Charlie!
Now- when I first got into AA [I am no longer with AA- I have been sober for just under a year- but that was just not my calling- maybe for others it is- but I had a different path].
I heard [from the street- I do respect the Anonymous part of AA- so I will only tell the stories that were told to me by friends- outside sources- that’s part of my calling- to tell these guys stories].
About someone who was sober for many years and had a relative severely burned in the 9-11 attacks and he went ‘back out’ [drank].
This story was kind of used- by more than one person- as an example of the dangers of taking that one drink.
The story said the guy became a drunk again for many years [in his 70’s] and finally made it back- after a long struggle.
For this post I won’t use his real name- but we call him Pop’s.
I never met the man- just heard his story.
Ok- when I ran into Charlie at the mission- he was so happy to see me.
He had a friend with him- an old guy- who could not stop telling me how highly Charlie thinks of me- and how well he has spoken about me.
I did appreciate the compliment- and it was from a nice old guy.
So I told them I would give them a ride back to their house [they came on bus to the mission this day- and they live about 3 blocks from the halfway house- close to where David lives- you know- the guy who got Jack Ruby’s lawyer- see- I told you this post would not help in my effort to proclaim I’m not nuts].
As I talked with Pop’s- I began to realize he’s the guy that people told me about- the one who went back to drinking after a relative was burned in the 9-11 attacks.
Pops began telling me his story over the next few weeks- and when I told him I did a Web Site he asked for me to write his story.
To be honest- Pop’s likes to talk- lots.
Not saying he’s lying- no- he’s honest- just lots of info!
So- the part’s that can be told- [without going too long] are in this post.
As I talked with the Old Man- at one point he mentioned how he knew Oswald as a kid.
Yeah- Lee Harvey.
Pop’s told me they were kids- sort of from the same block.
You know- as a kid in the good Old Days you might play street football or something with the kids on another block.
That’s how pop’s knew Oswald.
Now- Pop’s lives about 7 blocks from my buddy John David [you know- Ruby’s lawyer..]
They both know each other- there stories are kind of famous in the regional AA meetings.
Now- Both David and Pop’s want their stories to be told- publicly [Pop’s actually asked me to write it].
So- when I told Pop’s ‘did you know John David had Ruby’s Lawyer..’
He didn’t know.
I don’t think I even mentioned the Oswald thing to David yet.
But as I sat with Pop’s this day- in his run down Apt. [worse than Oscar Madison from the Odd Couple- he lets Charlie live there- and Charlie is always drunk- it is a bad situation and I have offered- more than once- to get Charlie out- into a program- Pop’s has known Charlie since he was a kid and he refuses to ‘kick’ him out].
I thought how strange this is- I’m sitting in Texas- and during the 50th memorial of the Killing of JFK [it was all over the news- by the way- one of the pictures they show from the footage- has Pop’s in it. He’s a young kid being interviewed in a Navy Uniform from one of the News Reels].
And 2 of the guys I’m working with in ministry have real connections to this story.
And they don’t even know they both have this connection.
Ok- I think I’ll end this week’s posts here.
I now realize I will post this journal in January- 2014.
As you guys read it- remember- this year we are starting some home bible studies.
I had the first one the other night with some of the younger group I’m working with- New Blood if you will.
People who can carry the message- be used of God to expand the work in future generations.
Sort of looking at a Movement Type thing.
I have been at this a long time- ministry- outreach- all the stuff you guys have been reading these past few years.
This year I want to start making preparations for the ministry to go on without me.
Not that I plan on dying any time soon- but taking steps to pass some of this stuff off to some of our younger group.
Ok- that’s it for this week.
See you later.
3rd week of December.
These past few months I have re-connected with a lot of the old street crew.
Its funny- when I ran into them this past year- told them I might be moving to the NYC area- those guys were the most gracious out of everyone.
‘John- we hate to lose you!’
‘Can I go with you?’
They really see me like family- it’s a blast!
So- since I’ve been back I have run into them on the street circuit.
Yeah- there are particular spots- Crossroads [literally!] where you see the bro’s.
Tim [AKA Carpenter Tim- most of the guys are known by some sort of nickname that you attach to their first name- just like in the bible- you don’t get last names- and you get nick names. Jesus gave the best nick names to James and John ‘Sons of Thunder’]
Yeah- I ran into Tim the other day while I walked the Oso Bridge to my prayer spot.
It’s right off the bay- an old concrete landing- on the weekends you see guys fishing from it- but during the week- or when I’m walking early in the dark- its empty- so I use it as a prayer spot.
The beginning of this year I ran into Tim on these walks.
I have known old Tim for about 25 years- I used to visit him in his make shift camp sites.
He always built the best ones- made a bunk bed type thing- off the ground.
I would have to navigate paths- walk over a creek- on boards- but yeah- back in the brush- Tim had his Condo.
He would cook me some camp Coffee- instant Folgers.
One time he was treating a litter of Puppies- his old female dog- who he loved a lot- had some pups.
He was giving them baths- treating them with flee powder- and was going to take them to Wal Mart and give them away.
Most street guys would not go that far out of the way- they would just leave them alone.
Not Tim- he loved his animals.
One day I ran into Tim- he was all broken up.
He told me his dog- a female mutt- named ‘Varmint’- died.
The guys told me later Tim cried for days.
So the other day I ran into him at my spot- he’d ride his bike into town just about every day- and that’s how I re-connected with him.
Until this last year I haven’t seen him in years.
He lays low- avoids the spots where you see the other street guys- so I haven’t seen him in years.
But as fate would have it- when I started doing my long walks- I started running into him.
I told him I had a few of the guys over the other night- over the years have cooked at the house- had a sort of home fellowship thing going on.
So I told Tim the next time I have one- I’ll let him know.
But wait- no phone?
I told Tim I’ll pin a note on the tree by the spot- and he can get notified that way.
He was real careful to ask the exact spot.
Cool- a sort of Email for the homeless.
Before I left Texas- I saw Tim one day on the walk- to be honest- we are such good friends- I think Tim made it a point to take the bike rides after he realized we were running into each other.
He even used to listen to me on the radio- geez- I gave him my new ministry card [had some old one that needed to be updated].
He still had the one I gave him about 15 years ago!
Yeah- he followed the ministry and all.
Anyway- one day on my walk- I had my back pack with me- and ran into Tim.
Tim’s a smart- talented guy.
He was telling me about the books he read recently- we were reminiscing about old times.
I had my Bob Dylan book in the bag- Chronicles- I asked him if he liked Dylan.
Yeah! I gave him the book.
When I saw him this week- he told me he loved it- read it thru in a few days.
Yeah- the boys are glad to see me back- I’m glad to see them to.
2042- Abrahams’ kid.
Yesterday I held the first ‘official’ home group meeting at our halfway house.
There are different ways to relate to people when doing ministry stuff.
Most of the times I simply listen to people- befriend them- and over time you do influence people that way [my 3 month North Bergen stay would be a good example].
But I also realize it can help to have a format.
So I spoke for about 15 minutes [I find that it’s easier for people to remember what you say if you don’t go to long]- prayed for one another- and a few people talked about there journey in life.
Let me share some of the stuff I’m teaching.
I’m talking about the main theme of the bible- Old Testament.
It’s easier to grasp the story if you follow a main theme.
In the bible we follow the story of creation- Gods intent for man to ‘be with him’- to have fellowship with God as his kids.
Man sins- this breaks that primary relationship- and God begins a dialogue with a man.
He tells him if he goes on this journey [where?] that God will bless him- make him into a great nation of people.
Wow- sounds great!
God tells him to go out into a place that he won’t even know where he is going.
Basically he has to go out By Faith- and as he begins the process- God will show him the next step.
So- he begins the journey- believing the promise ‘your seed [kids] will be like the stars of heaven- like the sand by the shore’.
As he journeys [in the Promised Land- the future land of Israel] Abraham and his wife are not having any kids.
They are getting older- and Abraham comes up with a plan [he tries to figure out a way to make Gods promise work- and of course he messes things up].
He at first says ‘you know what God- my wife Sarah is childless- how bout we count this servant who has worked for me for years- maybe we will just say he’s the kid’?
Back in bible days- you could sort of do this- use a trusted servant- and simply give the inheritance to him.
But God had another plan.
Then a few more years go by- and once again he comes up with another plan.
‘I know- I’ll sleep with the maid [Hagar] and her kid will be the one’.
He gets permission from the wife- and Hagar has a kid from Abraham.
His name is Ishmael [who becomes the Father of the Arab people].
Ahh- we did it God!
God tells Abraham ‘no- your wife will have a child- this time next year [the bible says God set a specific time for the promise- Abraham waited his whole life- he was 100 years old- Sarah 90].
Sure enough- she has a kid at her old age- Isaac- and he’s the ONE.
Ok- this story- found in Genesis-is the beginning of the Promise.
I didn’t quote the key verses- they are found in Genesis 12- 15- 17- 22.
A few things.
God tells Abraham that the whole world will be blessed thru this promised kid.
The apostle Paul tells us in the letter to the Galatians- that this specific promise was ultimately fulfilled thru Christ.
I’ll explain that in the next few days.
For today- remember these key points.
God made a promise to a man- Abraham.
He told him he would bless him and make him into a huge nation of people [the nation of Israel- later on in the New Testament the Apostle Paul will say ‘they that are simply born Jewsih are not the ones the promise was made to- but to ‘all the kids’ both Jewsih people who believe in Christ as well as non Jews’.
Abraham [and by the way- Sarah too] had to Walk by Faith.
They had to go on this faith journey- or else the promise would never get fulfilled.
That’s the same with us- often times God gives us a mission- a specific purpose in life.
You might have friends- other people- who will join you on parts of the journey.
Some stay- some are only there for a season.
But in the end- it’s up to you to keep the original purpose in mind [the Prophet Isaiah says ‘I told you the mission from the start- but it is now coming to pass’].
Don’t get sidetracked- don’t get involved in too may different tasks [it’s ok to multi-task- as long as its part of the main mission- see?]
Abraham grasped the promise- had a tough walk [which we will see in the next few posts].
And completed the mission.
How bout you?
Yesterday I ran into Andy- a good friend- brother from the streets.
Known him for many years.
Last year I sold the van to Andy- he was doing well- working at a good job and was the house manager for our halfway house.
A few months back he relapsed- it was an open thing.
We all knew he was struggling again.
But I of course have stayed in touch with him- he has been in the home groups I’ve been doing.
Anyway- I needed to pick up a desk and wasn’t sure how to carry the thing- it was at some apartment and I don’t have a truck anymore.
But I ran into Andy at the street mission and put 10 dollars of gas in the van for him.
We picked it up and dropped it off at my house.
Andy told me he was having problems with the Van [I sold it for 1800- he only paid about 700- lost his job. When I was in North Bergen he called and was willing to bring it back to my house in Texas. I told him take the van- use it for your boy- his boy Craig- who I wrote about last year is being treated for brain cancer as I speak. He’s in Houston doing Radiation.
I told Andy not to worry about the payments- the van is his- just try and get clean again].
He did ask me if I had problems with it shutting off or not starting.
I told him- honestly- no.
But my wife had said this happened to her a few times.
So this year Andy did a bunch of work on it- he really tore into.
Finally the other day- after messing with t a lot- he found the problem.
As I drove with Andy- he was frustrated- tired- living a rough life right now- and it showed.
I told him that I actually shared a story like his at the meeting I held at the halfway house.
From the life of Abraham.
When God told him to ‘go out into a country that you will receive for an inheritance’.
The bible says ‘he went out- not knowing where he was going’.
By faith Abraham simply started a journey.
I’m sure he had lots of questions- doubts.
But he went anyway.
In the meeting I shared an example from my own life.
Many times over the years- fixing up an old beat up used car- needing it for work the next morning and stuff [one time I spent all night fixing my car because I had to go to work the next day- we even pulled a motor out of an old Datsun and stuck it in my car- using a bumper jack and a makeshift Motor Pulley attached to my open garage door jamb- Yeah- the bumper jack attached to a chain- wrapped around the engine- a homeless friend knew how to do it- at first I never thought we would actually put the old motor in- and have it running. In a couple of days it was done- it actually ran!]
So- in my little bible study I said often times life is like that.
You really don’t know the answer to the problem- but when you start going out- you go out to a place that you don’t ‘know of yet’.
Then then pieces come together.
Andy messed with that van all this year.
In time- thru much frustration- he got it.
NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD
Yesterday I hung out at the street mission for a bit.
I sat with the old crew- Buck [1 arm] - Roger [good friend for many years- went to prison for 4 years a while ago. Roger is harmless- a local drunk- the cops know him well. One day he was in HEB and told Tommy Nichols ‘I am gonna f.. kill you’. Or something to that effect. Nichols charged him with a terroristic threat and Roger did 4 years.]
The mission was doing communion this day- and some of the guys went inside to partake- it was right before they serve the free lunch [which I never eat at- it’s not for me].
One of the guys asked about communion- what it means.
I of course quoted a verse or 2- Buck jumped in with some other bible quotes- asking me to finish.
Before you knew it- every one of the guys was bringing up bible stuff- asking questions- and they really wanted to know stuff.
As I started our home groups this month- I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to all work out.
But I knew I needed to start a few- it’s been in the works for years.
Just been putting it off.
Anyway- I asked the street guys the other day ‘you want to take a ride with me to the halfway house- I’ll be holding a meeting- no food- just a bible study?’
I packed the car!
I never push ‘religion’ on the guys- they know I see my time with them as street ministry.
But I was surprised to see their interest in the home group.
Shrek [yeah- that’s his nickname] and Tammy- been together for years-
When I got back from North Bergen- I ran it them at the mission.
I’ve known them for years.
They were upset- more than usual.
They went to Houston a few months back- and got busted selling pot to an undercover cop.
They got 3 years’ Probation.
They are from Corpus- not Houston.
They were having a hard time getting the probation transferred.
Tammy was crying for days- she didn’t know where she would stay if they didn’t transfer the probation.
She kept calling the office in Houston- I told her-
‘Tammy- let me call for you’.
The guy would not return her call- and his in box was full- you could not leave a message.
He basically ignored people like Tammy.
She’s a ‘street’ girl of sorts- and it’s easy to just ignore the girl.
I guess he sees her number [as well as others like her] and he simply won’t answer- you know- I’m sure he has his own life to live [I’m being sarcastic- in the system this happens lots- People often ignore- or violate the rights of the poor and uneducated.]
So I called from my phone [he sees a new number- from Corpus? Right after he sees Tammys call?]
He called her right back [maybe saw a Corpus number- different from the one he’s been ignoring for weeks. And thought he’d better get it?]
I got on the phone- her probation was transferred in about 1 second.
The guy just needs to say ‘ok’.
I told Tammy it was transferred - she started crying.
I did offer to pay half for the round trip bus ticket- even though I didn’t have the money.
That was a mistake.
Shrek and Tammy have been calling a lot since then- I told Shrek he had to have someone else pay the other half.
Then he would call- he would tell me ‘I have someone that will buy the ticket- but I’ll use the 60 dollars [my half of the ticket] for this or that’.
He started seeing it like I just had 60 for anything.
He asked another street pastor [who brings in lots of money- has a big street ministry- but brings in a lot- his house- salary- everything is paid by the money he brings in- he is a friend- but he has taken money from the ministry- and others. Last year he stole some money from a cop. He managed the rent houses for the guy- and he scalped some rent money].
Rey- the pastor- made a public confession at the Tent service he holds- and said ‘I am a thief..’
He confessed to all- and this wasn’t the first time this happened.
Last year- before I left to N.J.
I gave my library of books to Brother Rey.
I also attached a 50 dollar check for Henry.
A street friend.
I made out the check to Henry- I wrote a nice goodbye letter.
Said in the letter ‘Henry- treat Rey to dinner with the $50- God bless you guys- love you all’
Remember- I thought I was leaving for good.
I said this in the letter [HMM- Mistake?]
I dropped the books- the 50 dollar check- and the letter at Rey’s house.
When I got back to Texas- I ran into Henry.
He never got the letter- or the 50 dollars [let me add- I’m not sure Rey kept the money. It is possible that the check/letter was taken by someone else. But the check was attached to the letter- and the letter- written to Henry and Rey said ‘share the books with the guys- tell Henry by- and please give him the check- Thanks’. Henry told me Rey did share the books with him- it looked like he got the letter- and the check. I don’t know- or really care. I have given Rey an offering or 2 over the years. It’s between him and God.]
Anyway- I told Shrek ‘Shrek- I don’t have ministry money- like other ministries. I simply offered to buy you half the ticket- but I pay for all this out of my retirement check- and I’m already 300 in the hole right now- paid the bail for someone else in trouble].
So- I would have bought the ticket- but another friend [rich guy- owns a paint store] bought it.
Shrek and Tammy were in the meeting I held at the halfway house.
Whistler came too!
After I post this journal- I’ll post all the pics.
‘C-mon John- do you really think God can speak thru these street guys- drunks- hookers- Meth heads’?
As I drove to the mission in the morning- I simply tried to ‘hear God’ for his word of the day.
The verse that came to mind ‘Now are we the Sons of God’.
Whenever I do this- try and wait- no radio on- and get my ‘Daily Bread’ [a bible verse that pops into mind for the day].
The way I know it’s a Word- is it will be confirmed some other way before the day is out.
As I sat with Buck- and the other guys at the mission.
Buck kept bringing up a verse- asking me to finish it.
The others were listening- they were interested.
Buck brings up- you guessed it ‘we are the Sons of God’.
Yeah- God does speak thru them.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [FaceBoook] - I have posted lots.