//
you're reading...
Uncategorized

Reformed- Orthodox- Catholic- Current- 2013

Reformed- Orthodox- Catholic- current- 2013

 

2001

 

3-16-13

 

PAPA FRANCIS

 

 

 

 

 

Okay- we have a new Pope as of this post.

 

 

Yeah- it’s hard to write a journal and not post it- who knows- maybe none of this will ever be seen?

 

 

J.D. Salinger became sought after because of that very reason [he published a couple of hits- Catcher in the Rye- and then went into hiding].

 

 

So- let’s see what happens.

 

 

Now- I think Francis might become my favorite in recent history.

 

 

Why?

 

 

Francis [the name he took- from Francis of Assisi- also speaks about his character. St. Francis forsook family wealth to work in Gods field- he believed God called him to help restore the church to her original design].

 

 

So- Pope Francis lived the same type of calling.

 

 

He’s the first Pope from America [albeit Latin America].

 

 

He’s the first from the Jesuit order to hold the office- the Jesuits are my favorite Catholic order.

 

If you remember my church history section- I covered the Jesuits- and complimented them a lot.

 

 

The Jesuits are the intellectuals of the church- now- the Catholic Church as a whole is of course very intellectual.

 

 

But the Jesuits were very influential in the development of the scientific method.

 

 

As a percentage- there were more Jesuit leaders in science than any other group.

 

 

They also were missionary minded.

 

When I covered them in the past I showed how after the 16th century Protestant Reformation the Jesuits did a sort of Counter Reformation and evangelized Asia- an area where the Protestants fell short.

 

So- as you can see- I’m a fan of the Jesuits.

 

 

 

Francis- from Buenos Aires Argentina- lived among the poor- he cooked his own meals and rejected the perks that Cardinals/Arch Bishops get.

 

Yet- he was a ‘conservative’ in doctrine.

 

Huh?

 

 

How could he be a sort of Liberation theologian- and yet hold to conservative views?

 

 

Here’s where our modern news shows mess stuff up.

 

 

As an avid news watcher- the last few years one of the critiques I gave was the mistake of men like Glenn beck and others- who associated Liberation Theology with heresy.

 

Now- Beck and others meant well- they just made the mistake of demonizing people they don’t understand [remember the rampage against Van Jones?]

 

But that’s why we need to get our info from better informed folk.

 

 

Anyway- Liberation Theology is a form of Christian teaching that associates the ministry of Jesus to the poor- and seeks to impellent that- sometimes too far- with government programs.

 

So- in Latin America- you have had Catholic champions of the poor and down trodden- who advocated for the poor- and at the same time believed in the historic positions of the doctrines of the church.

 

 

For instance- some ‘liberal’ scholars reject the resurrection of Jesus- and other key teachings of the church.

 

 

These men [both Catholic and Protestant] are referred to as Liberal scholars.

 

 

Francis is not one of them- he’s ‘conservative’ when it comes to the historic faith.

 

 

Yet- in his actions [Orthopraxy] he is ‘liberal’ [that is if you think identifying with the poor is liberal].

 

 

So- Francis is a lot like me in my belief [I too am conservative in doctrine] and practice- I have lived with the poor and down and out for years.

 

 

So- he just might be my favorite.

 

 

Let’s wait and see.

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

1994

 

GOOD BYE MY FRIENDS- PLEASE PRAY FOR ME

 

3-3-13

 

 

I picked back up on the few books I was reading a while back.

 

 

I am still going thru the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

 

This is the official teaching of the church compiled into one volume.

 

It was put together after Vatican 2- the last church council that was held between 1962-65.

 

 

It is some what of a scholarly read- but it is intended for the average Catholic to read and understand it.

 

Being I have a lot of Catholic readers- I feel it’s my responsibility to be up on what the Church officially teaches.

 

 

I have found both Catholics and Protestants to be misinformed about the actual teaching of the church.

 

 

 

One time I was watching one of my favorite priests on EWTN.

 

He had on a Catholic author who wrote a book critiquing all the silliness you see in the so called End Times Teaching [the real nuttiness on all these types of teachings- which seem to fill the airwaves of ‘Christian TV’].

 

 

Though I agreed with the author’s approach- at one point he mentioned that the church does not believe in the Bodily return of Jesus to the earth- but only a sort of spiritual return.

 

 

Now- I am very familiar with the various views on this- as well as the actual teaching from scripture.

 

 

And when I heard this- from an ‘official’ Catholic writer- I immediately knew he was misinformed.

 

 

A few seconds later- the priest who hosts the show had to correct him- in a nice way.

 

So- you do have people- often times well meaning- who get it wrong every now and then.

 

 

Okay- being this post is part of an unposted journal for the year 2013- I really have not covered current events that much.

 

 

But I probably should mention the very surprising retirement of Pope Benedict.

 

 

Yes- as most of you know- the Pope stepped down- as of today the church has not installed a new one yet.

 

 

Now- I must say- Benedict [now back to Joseph Ratzinger] was actually one of my favorite Christian leaders over these last few years.

 

 

I read- and liked his book ‘Jesus of Nazareth’.

 

And even though he became Pope after a very popular figure who held the office before him- John Paul the 2nd.

 

 

Yet- I liked Benedict.

 

 

A few years ago I was watching him on TV- he was embroiled in some media scandal- they like reading more into stuff- especially when it concerns the church.

 

This past week NBC has been doing all sorts of coverage about how he stepped down because of some hidden scandal- and that the church [insiders] all knew he was going to step down- but they are hiding it from the public.

 

 

I knew the reporting was false- How?

 

I follow the weekly news about the Catholic church- I listen to men like George Weigle and others who report on the church.

 

They were all surprised- some shocked- that the Pope stepped down.

 

 

Anyway- a few years ago I was watching him on TV and I mentioned to my wife that I felt bad for him.

 

 

I knew that when he was chosen to be the next Pope- he did not want the job.

 

 

Before he became pope he held the title as the official defender of the doctrine of the church.

 

 

He kind of had a reputation as a hard line conservative.

 

 

And he wanted- at that time- to retire and simply write.

 

He was [is] a prolific Christian author [I think he was written more than any other Pope?]

 

 

And his desire was to go away and write [Ah- how I can understand this feeling right now!]

 

 

 

So- he did not turn down the job [which he could have] and he felt the Lord wanted him to ‘bear his Cross’.

 

 

So when I heard his retirement speech- he basically voiced the same sentiments.

 

 

I just clipped out his short speech yesterday and pasted it to my journal.

 

 

I’ll do a quick ad lib summary

 

‘Dear friends- I am so happy to be with you- thank you for your support and affection- it means so much to me- I no longer hold the title/position I once had- I am going away- I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his journey on earth- I would still- with all my heart and desire- like to work for the common good of the church and humanity- I feel very supported by your sympathy- let us go forward with the lord for the good of the church and the world- thank you- bless you in the name of the Father- Son- and Holy Spirit’.

 

 

Ahh- couldn’t have said it better my self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1992

 

3-1-2013

 

 

  1. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL- DEFEND US IN BATTLE

 

 

Yesterday I spent a little time with Bret- one of our first halfway house friends.

 

 

He came in a few months ago- left us for a little while and they came back.

 

I like Bret- sort of like the buddies I have made over the years.

 

Bret’s my age- 50.

 

 

Some of the guys are older- others younger.

 

 

A few months ago I had a dream- now- sometimes they mean something- other times they don’t.

 

 

As soon as I had this dream- I knew it meant something- even though I did not like what I thought it meant.

 

 

As a Protestant- no- not gonna say that any more.

 

 

As a Christian- the past few years I have incorporated some Catholic prayers into my prayer time.

 

One that I like is the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.

 

I memorized it a while back and pray it weekly.

 

 

So-  one day while I was at the mall I saw a small statue of Michael- with his foot on satan.

 

 

This image is famous in religious art- you see prayer cards and stuff with the same thing on it.

 

 

 

It actually comes from the book of Revelation- it depicts Michael with a chain around the neck of the dragon [satan].

 

 

So- I have this little statue in my yard- when I pray the prayer- I see the statue sitting there on my a.c. [yeah- not too spiritual].

 

 

So- right before I woke up one morning I had a short dream/vision of this statue being struck and falling down.

 

 

I knew this meant our protection was down- somehow I opened a door to the enemy- and it would not be shut until something happened.

 

 

This was one time that I wish the vision/dream was a fluke- but somehow I knew it was not.

 

 

Within a few days- the proverbial stuff hit the fan- and the rest is history.

 

 

Now- when Bret first came to our little group- I took him to the hospital one day- he was one of those guys who was on the verge of death due to withdrawals.

 

 

Yeah- Bret just had a seizure the other day walking back from the bus stop and woke up in the ambulance.

 

 

 

So- when I sat with him at the doctor- this was the same time I began seeing the significance of the St. Michael prayer.

 

 

I’m sitting there next to Bret- he has tattoos from head to toe.

 

 

And his right leg is right in front of me- and it’s hard to make out all the tattoos- there are so many.

 

 

As I look at the one staring me in the face- it’s this huge depiction of St. Michael with his foot on the head of the dragon.

 

Yeah- I knew God was speaking to us.

 

 

 

As I get ready to leave Texas- I’m almost at my 60 days of no drinking [or any other addictions!]

 

 

Bret had the same amount of ‘clean time’ as me- but he messed up and is back on the first few days.

 

 

I told Bret to not give up- I’m not sure when I will leave- but I hope to see him back at 30- 60 days clean before I go.

 

 

 

 

If I remember- when I post this whole journal- I’ll also post the picture of Bret’s Tattoo- you’ll have to look for it- it will be somewhere on my Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

I love Ole Bret like a brother.

 

 

He told me some tales about his years living the Hobo life.

 

 

A few years ago he was right where I’m going to move- he was hanging out by the G.W. bridge in NYC.

 

He told me how he took a ride from some cabbie- then I guess he didn’t have the cash- and the guy took out a hammer and tried to kill him!

 

 

He told me how he got some job doing squeegee work- there were a bunch of Black guys competing- but he muscled himself in and hung with them.

 

 

When he was living in Cali- I think Ventura- he lived with a bunch of homeless guys- he was designated to make the store run once a week.

 

 

He took the shopping cart and went up the hill and hit the stores [ legally- for food and stuff].

 

 

All the other guys had warrants- Bret was clean.

 

 

As he told me the story- living right by some river bank- I could see the scene in my mind.

 

 

Somehow it was like watching a vivid movie on the big screen- yeah- it ‘looked’ cool.

 

 

Then he told me one day he challenged the ‘president’ of this little hippie commune.

 

 

Bret’s job was treasurer- but the president- Kenny Riley- well he earned the top spot.

 

 

You got the job by getting in the pit [like an MMA octagon type thing].

 

And you went at it- for real.

 

 

You know ‘2 men enter- one man leaves’ type thing.

 

 

Bret was honest- he told me Ole Kenny didn’t have the title for nothing- he choked Bret out- for real.

 

 

 

I would kid Bret after he told me this- you know ‘be careful- someone might pull a Kenny Riley on you’.

 

 

He got a kick out of that.

 

 

 

Bret is just one of the many friends- brothers- I have made over the years.

 

 

On this next stop of the journey [of life] I’m sure I will make some more.

 

 

Maybe next year you will see some new pics- of my new ‘crew’ from NYC.

 

 

Or maybe right in the old town- North Bergen [Steve Winwood- Back in the High life again!]

 

 

Yeah- this has been my life for many years- I love helping the guys.

 

 

Now that I’m ‘clean’ as they say- I feel much better doing it.

 

 

 

O- Bret if you’re reading this- I will visit you some day again- hope you make it my friend- you almost died on us a few times.

 

 

May Michael ‘on the leg’- war over you in heaven- God bless my friend- God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1991  2-28-2013

 

 

‘WHERE A TESTAMENT IS- THERE MUST ALSO BE THE DEATH OF THE TESTATOR’

 

 

I have this verse hanging up here in my office.

 

 

 

 

It comes from the letter to the Hebrews [New Testament] and it speaks about the New Covenant.

 

 

The writer is saying that just like the first law/covenant God gave under Moses- it was sealed by the blood of animals.

 

 

So the New Covenant- our partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ- has been sealed by the death of Christ on the Cross.

 

 

I have this verse hanging right next to the mesquite wood sculpture of Christ that I bought last year.

 

 

 

As I have blogged very honestly this year- I felt like God was saying this can be for the salvation of many people.

 

 

There is a prophecy in the bible about the Virgin Mary- it says ‘a sword will pierce thru your own heart also- so that the thoughts of many hearts can be revealed’.

 

 

Mary went thru brokenness- she lost her Son to a cruel death- but God said her own torment would benefit others.

 

 

Now- I want to be careful here- the apostle Peter tells us we should not suffer as a killer- or wrongdoer- etc.

 

 

That is- any ‘suffering’ or stuff I go thru- as a result of sin- that’s different than the type of suffering Mary and Jesus went thru.

 

But I’m applying the principle of the ‘death of the writer of the testament’.

 

 

See?

 

 

That is- if the things you read- if my on-line community benefits from any of this- it is because of this principle.

 

 

There is another verse that says ‘some men’s sins are revealed before hand- others follow them later on’.

 

 

This means God wants believers to deal with things in this life- not wait for the final judgment to get them out in the open.

 

 

The apostle Paul says the same thing to the Corinthians ‘for this cause many are weak and sick among you- you are being judged now [in this life] so you will not be judged at the end’.

 

 

I could give you a few more quotes like this- but I think you get the idea.

 

 

This principle- of open confession to one another- is a biblical one.

 

But it’s very hard to do.

 

 

Our Catholic friends practice this better than Protestants.

 

 

Protestants don’t practice confession- Catholics do.

 

 

Now- I know some say ‘no- I confess my sins to God- I don’t need any man for that’.

 

Actually- The book of James says we should confess our faults one to another and pray one for another that we may be healed.

 

 

I think in a way- this journal that I’m doing for 2013 might be of more benefit than all the other stuff I have taught over the years.

 

 

 

These past few months I noticed that when I openly talked about this whole thing- and even though there were some real questions about this case- yet the openness of saying stuff like this- and talking about addictions.

 

I noticed after I spoke openly- others began being open too.

 

 

Some would say ‘I’m finally free from the obsession of addiction’ [after a few weeks of talking openly about it- some struggled for years thinking they were alone in their trials- then they heard me talk about stuff- and that helped them].

 

 

I have had some friends really see God at work in the area of sex addiction- because they were never really open about this stuff- until I went thru my difficulty- and openly discussed it.

 

 

So- where a testament is [any testimony that we give- preaching- blogging- etc.] There MUST ALSO be the death of the testator [the writer].

 

 

Yeah- it doesn’t feel good at all- but greater love has no man than this- that he lay down his life for his friends.

 

 

Sometimes that means being willing to admit/talk about stuff that you normally would not discus- yes- there is a sense of death that takes place- a ‘sword piercing thru your heart’ type thing- but it’s so the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1982

 

 

2-13-2013

 

 

 

NOBLEMAN RETURNS?

 

In Luke chapter 19 Jesus gives the parable of the money [talents].

 

He says a certain nobleman went into a FAR country to get a kingdom- AND RETURN.

 

 

Before he left he called his servants and gave them money [gifts- talents].

 

 

He told them to stay busy- use it for good- until he comes back.

 

 

After a LONG TIME the nobleman returns and calls the servants.

 

 

He asks them how they did- how much did they gain with what he gave them.

 

2 of the men doubled their money.

 

 

The last one says he hid the money in the ground.

 

 

The nobleman asks him why he did this.

 

 

He said because he had fear- he was always in fear of what the master would do.

 

So he hid it.

 

 

This last servant receives a harsh judgment because of this.

 

 

The king takes away his one piece of money and gives it to the guy who had 10 pieces.

 

 

Then we read the famous verse ‘whoever has- to him will be given. But to him who has not- to him will be taken away what he thinks he has’.

 

 

 

These last few weeks I have been asking the Lord what the next step in my journey is.

 

 

I came to Texas 33 years ago.

 

 

I started our ministry in 1987- as a church in Kingsville.

 

 

I launched our radio program around 1990.

 

I started an outreach to the street guys around 1992.

 

 

And- as I started this year- with many trials- I began asking ‘what’s up’?

 

 

 

One day one of the homeless friends stopped by to see how I was doing.

 

 

I met Eddie a few years ago- he and Walden are more like ‘winter Texans’ than street guys.

 

 

But they became good friends and whenever they are in town they see me.

 

 

 

 

I was painting the outside of my house and told Eddie I’m thinking of selling it and getting a place in the country.

 

He asks me about N.Y. – N.J.

 

 

If there are spots up there that are cheap too.

 

 

I told him not really- not where I was raised [right across from NYC]

 

 

But I did say as a kid I used to go to a hunting trailer that one of the firefighters had.

 

 

My dad was a Captain with the North Bergen F.D. – he retired many years ago.

 

 

But another firefighter- Dave Holling- had a hunting club that was made up of a few of the firefighters.

 

 

I went every year and did the weekly hunt- in a real out of the place city/county called Schoharie.

 

 

So- I told him yeah- you could live cheap in a spot like this.

 

 

 

Now- I’m asking the Lord if I should move- maybe back home to N.J.

 

 

The next day or 2 I’m checking out the free movies I get with a Netflix type deal.

 

 

 

I pick one of the independent movies about over eaters.

 

 

Why?

 

 

Have no idea!

 

 

As the movie starts- the guy has to get away from home [It’s filmed in Jersey!] and he moves to a trailer- of all places- in Schoharie! [I kid you not].

 

 

The whole movie is scenes from N.J. and Schoharie.

 

 

I laughed- like wow- I just talked about this yesterday with Eddie- and I have never seen a ‘scene’ with Schoharie in it- till now.

 

 

 

I really never gave it a 2nd thought.

 

 

 

Then- as I’m praying about moving- I watch one of my favorite Catholic shows on EWTN [the Catholic station].

 

 

 

Now- obviously they are not going to have anything about moving to Jersey on this show- right?

 

 

 

The guy on the show for this day is a former Protestant who became Catholic.

 

 

He says- quote ‘after being away from New Jersey for 20 years- I went back home’.

 

Yes- he not only returned to the Church- but moved back to N.J.

 

 

 

Oaky- maybe Gods telling me something.

 

 

 

No wait- maybe I’m jumping the gun- you know- when you are going thru stuff you don’t always think clearly.

 

 

 

So- we go to church.

 

 

The message comes from the above parable I just mentioned.

 

 

As the Pastor is preaching- I follow with the notes and write down ‘a nobleman went into a far country [Texas?]…and to RETURN [N.J. ?]’.

 

 

I SORT OF FELT LIKE THIS MIGHT BE A SIGN FROM GOD.

 

 

I get home and the next day I turn to the chapter to read it on my own.

 

 

 

 

When I get to this part- I had already written- years ago- RETURN- NEW JERSEY.

 

 

 

Yeah- I felt like God was talking to me.

 

 

 

Another verse popped into my head at the moment.

 

 

‘After so long a time- today if you hear my voice [again] then listen to it’.

 

 

 

I felt like God was speaking to me in stereo.

 

 

 

 

As of today- I think that’s the direction I’m getting from God.

 

 

 

Let’s see what happens next.

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979

 

WHO SAYS YOU CANT GO HOME [Bon Jovi]

 

2-10-13

 

 

 

Yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble.

 

A book title kept popping into my mind these past few days.

 

 

It’s by Victor Frankl- Mans search for meaning.

 

 

I heard of it years ago by Stephen Covey.

 

I liked Covey [who passed away this past year] and read his best seller ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ a few times.

 

 

I also had the audio tapes and listened to them at work.

 

 

I remembered that he recommended Frankl- so I picked a copy up at the store.

 

 

 

I also asked the customer service girl where the AA stuff is.

 

 

 

She walked me over to the section- they had lots of updated studies and bests sellers on addictions.

 

I told her I just started getting into AA and I noticed that there was a real need for us to have more than the Big Book.

 

 

She made a face- like ‘you aint kidding brother’ I got the feeling that she has some experience in this field.

 

 

 

As I perused the shelves- I decided instead to get a book on Sex Addicts.

 

 

 

I bought one years ago- just recently re-read it and lent it to a friend.

 

 

 

I read about 60 pages or so of this new one- and it’s excellent.

 

 

The title is Out of the Shadows- by Patrick Carnes.

 

 

 

He confirms some of the stuff I seemed to see also.

 

 

 

He says that many times alcohol and sex addiction go together- but the stronger addiction is the sex addiction.

 

 

He also says it’s important to see that the sex addiction is not simply a result of the drinking- but a separate issue.

 

Sort of like we should be aware that when a person struggles with acting out in a sexual way- we should not simply blame it on our drinking.

 

 

I did like that- I feel at times we do use that as a form of denial.

 

 

 

I never intended for this journal to be so focused on addictions- but for now I think we will stick with it for a while.

 

 

 

 

Okay- on this journey [my year in AA- etc.] I thought about documenting the good and the bad for the benefit of all.

 

 

When I was in Barnes and Noble- I also noticed some material on the entire Rehab and Detox industry in the U.S.

 

 

 

I also read some stuff on-line that is very critical of this industry.

 

 

As of now- I’m right in the mix of all of this.

 

 

 

Another co-worker with me in the halfway house is a good friend by the name of Andy.

 

 

 

Andy is the brother of John David- who I wrote about the other day.

 

 

 

Andy started with us from day 1- he was actually recommended by me- I told John David I thought we needed Andy to be the house manager for a while.

 

 

 

David took my advice and Andy has been at the halfway house ever since.

 

 

 

He also got a good job working at the Detox center that many of our guys went thru.

 

 

Charlie’s Place.

 

 

So- I have dropped Andy off there many times- been there a couple of times with David- I am in the mix of one of the most popular Detox centers in the area.

 

 

 

I also see how many friends of mine have been in and out- sort of like a revolving door.

 

 

 

I see the danger of the industry becoming focused on the bottom line [how many go thru each month- with Medicaid funding- etc.] and how this could be a problem.

 

 

But I’m also aware of friends who have gone thru the program and have indeed become clean.

 

 

 

So I want to be careful when I read the critical views of both AA and the Detox industry- because I do know of people who have made a tremendous change in their lives thru these tools.

 

 

 

As a matter of fact- the book I mentioned above is very supportive of the 12 step movement- and he speaks about the sex addicts 12 step recovery movement in a very supportive way.

 

 

 

Okay- as I continue to journal every day now- which I did not plan at the beginning.

 

 

 

As of now- I think I will probably post this journal in a month or so.

 

 

If I wait too long- like a year- then it will be too long for first time readers to the blog/Facebook sites.

 

 

I thought about the meetings I have attended so far- and I said the other day I have been to around 20.

 

 

Actually- more like 10.

 

 

 

 

The reason I say this is because I consider my Home Group to be a meeting called Humility.

 

 

 

This group meets in an area that I feel comfortable with.

 

 

 

Over the years- doing street ministry- I have been with the street guys many times in what you would call the older Barrios- the older areas of town.

 

 

Places where drugs and prostitution take place.

 

 

So this meeting is right off Leopard Street- one of those famous spots.

 

 

 

 

The day before I leave to N.J. – I plan on posting this journal and letting my home group know I’m leaving Texas.

 

 

For how long?

 

 

I really don’t know.

 

 

I think for a year or so [maybe for good].

 

 

I always felt like I needed to go back north- but when my kids were young I never wanted to make the move.

 

 

But now they are really on their own- they are all grown up- so I think it’s time to make the move.

 

 

So- to my Humility friends- I love you all- thanks for all the support you have given me- I know I don’t talk much in the meetings- but I hope you keep in touch with me thru these sites.

 

 

 

I of course will visit you when I make trips back to Texas.

 

 

 

As of today- our little halfway house is still going ‘strong’.

 

 

Well- we have survived.

 

 

 

I told my friend John David that for so many years I always wanted to start one with my original ‘gang’ of hoodlums- the guys I started my first church with in Kingsville.

 

 

And we finally did it- Hoorah!

 

 

Our halfway house is right down the block from another Christian based one that I used to bring drug addicts to years ago.

 

 

Victory Outreach.

 

 

 

So when I’m sitting on the top floor at our building- I look out the window- see the old area- and sort of reminisce.

 

 

One of my good friends who was an original addict turned clean was Elias Alvarado.

 

 

He was a founding member of the little church I started in 1987.

 

 

I used to preach to him at the jail.

 

 

He eventually got clean [with the victory outreach] and joined my little church.

 

 

He died many years ago- but as I sit in our NeWay [the name of our halfway house]- I see him looking down and saying ‘I like it John- I really do’.

 

 

So- I’m happy that the Lord gave me this little gift before I leave Texas.

 

 

 

I’m happy for all the years I spent with my friends- my street friends- I love them all like brothers.

 

 

 

And when you guys read this- it looks like I’ll be back in N.J. – going back to the first AA meeting I ever attended.

 

 

In North Bergen- N.J.

 

 

At my Old Catholic church on Kennedy Blvd- Our Lady of Fatima.

 

[Who knows- I might just cross the Tiber?  Look it up.]

 

 

Where I went to CCD classes as a kid.

 

 

Attended midnight mass with Billy one year [old buddies].

 

 

Yeah- I think I’m ready for the next stop on this strange and exciting journey I have been on.

 

 

 

See you tomorrow.

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977  CONFESSION  .

 

 

2-8-13

 

Just started studying the 1st letter of the apostle John.

 

 

John- the disciple of Jesus- wrote the gospel that bears his name.

 

 

He also wrote the 3 short letters- 1st, 2nd and 3rd John.

 

 

And the book of Revelation [some scholars think another John might have written Revelation].

 

 

Now- 1st John fits in well with the current study we are doing on addictions.

 

Over the years I have read the letter lots- and as somewhat of a student- I’m aware of the various schools of thought on John.

 

 

For instance- he says- alot- things like;

 

 

‘Those who are born of God do not commit sin’

 

‘By this we know the children of God and the devil- those who sin are not of God- those who keep his commandments are of God’

 

 

 

John uses language like this all thru out the letter.

 

 

So- this has caused some teachers thru the centuries to try and ‘water’ down what John said [meant?]

 

 

Why?

 

Because the human experience seems to tell us that humans- while in the flesh- will never be totally ‘sinless’.

 

Okay- but there are those who say yes- we- as humans- can reach a point of being ‘sinless’.

 

Others say that John was just saying ‘constant sin’.

 

Sort of like these statements that those who are of God CANNOT SIN- that it really means ‘they don’t do it all the time’.

 

 

Okay- what one is it?

 

 

I have sided with those who have said John is not saying we can achieve perfection- total perfection- in this life.

 

 

Yet- I also think others [in this group of thinking it does not mean sinless] have kind of used this as an excuse.

 

That is- John is clearly saying that when we are united with God- we will reach a point of overcoming sin- addictions- and that we can live without actually being addicted.

 

 

 

Okay- a few points.

 

 

How do we achieve this state?

 

 

 

Both John- and James [the letter in the New Testament that I covered last] give us biblical principles that help.

 

 

 

One of the reasons the 12 step movement does indeed work- is because they practice the biblical principle of what I call OPEN COMMUNITY.

 

 

Huh- what’s that?

 

 

In these letters- as well as the whole bible- we as believers are told to CONFESS our faults one to another.

 

Yes- after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century- many Protestants [of which I am] abandoned this practice.

 

 

For 15 hundred years most Christians practiced Confession- yes- to a Priest.

 

 

Now- the original reformers [Luther- Calvin- etc.] did not reject confession to a priest.

 

It’s important to know this- because many Protestants seem to equate their protest against the Catholic Church along with the idea ‘I don’t need to confess to any man- Jesus is my Priest’.

 

 

True as that is- yet the New Testament does indeed tell us to confess our faults [which does include sin] to one another.

 

 

 

Okay- this practice- of Open Community- of having others that your are accountable to- is practiced in 12 step groups.

 

 

You tell others- openly ‘I have been clean so many days’.

 

 

Others ask you [whether sponsors or fellow AA’ers] ‘are you clean’?

 

 

 

I have told a good friend- a few times already ‘yeah- my Birthday has not changed’.

 

 

 

See- this is a biblical thing- a practice that is often not practiced in protestant churches because of what I just explained.

 

 

 

So- how do we apply the teaching of the Apostle John- he did say that ‘by this we know we are the children of God- everyone that does what is right- who keeps God’s commands- who DOES NOT SIN- these are of God’.

 

 

 

I think a key is this Open Community ideal- we admit to each other our faults.

 

 

 

Now- in this journal I’m doing- I have been more open than many about addictions that most of us hide.

 

 

 

Let’s be real- It’s easier to say ‘my name is so and so and I’m an alcoholic’.

 

 

Than to say ‘I have an addiction to porn’.

 

 

See?

 

 

So- as we move forward with this journal- as God leads- maybe this will be an opportunity for others to ‘sign on’ so to speak.

 

 

 

 

Okay- that’s it for today- remember- the bible teaches us to be open with each other- of course you need to also be careful with whom you choose to ‘confess’ to.

 

 

 

AA does teach that there are some things that you need to share with at least one other person.

 

 

 

But to be careful not to cast your Pearls before swine.

 

 

That is- sometimes it’s not helpful to tell too many others about your hidden sins.

 

 

 

So- let God lead.

 

 

 

 

Also- the 1st letter of John is indeed calling all of us to live free from habitual patterns of sin.

 

 

It is not simply saying we have been forgiven [which is true].

 

 

But John is saying if we are of God- born of him- then we will eventually show it by keeping his commands and ‘not sinning’ any more.

 

 

That is- we can indeed overcome our addictions- all of them.

 

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

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 [Facebook] – I have posted lots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: