THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
Let’s cover the chapters for the week.
Jesus sits with the 12 disciples and gives them an example- he washes their feet and tells them that he- as their Lord- is a servant.
He shares the meal with them- he tells them it is his broken Body- his death experiences- that are going to give life to them.
In chapter 14 he talks about coming to them- that first he must leave them- and they are sad about it.
The bible says that ‘he knew that his time had come that he should depart out of this world’.
THIS WORLD- he spent just enough time in his present location- with the guys he was working with- and he knew this period of time had come to an end.
And the bible says ‘sorrow filled their hearts’.
His men were upset- they were really his friends- remember the accusation the religious leaders made against Jesus?
THE FRIEND OF SINNERS.
He talks about the Spirit of Truth.
I find this interesting- the way he will reveal himself after he leaves them Bodily [in death] is by sending the Spirit of Truth [the Holy Spirit].
In chapter 14 the disciples are confused;
‘How will you show yourself to us- and not to the world’?
He says if a man loves him- he will KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS- and he and the Father [God] will come and manifest themselves unto those who do the will of God.
But the world- those who do not keep the word of God- Jesus will not manifest himself to them.
A key requirement of having God reveal himself to us- is we must keep his commands.
A few weeks back I had an interesting experience.
Today is the first day of May- and I can tell all my friends- I have been clean all year.
I told someone the other day- not in a boasting way- but I was ‘pissed off’ as they say [yeah- that’s the only sin I have committed in 5 months- I sill get mad.]
I told them ‘you know- I have been more ‘sin-less’ in the past 5 months than in the last 25 years!’
And yet- it seemed like my prayers were still getting about the same results [now- I’m a person who for whatever reason- prays for hours on end. As God is my witness- I got up today at 3 am- prayed for just under 2 hours- that’s normal for me- no bragging- that’s just my thing].
So- for someone who has been doing this for years- I always thought ‘geez- if I ever get clean- God’s gonna answer all these prayers’.
Yet it seemed like nothing really changed [by the way- I was wrong!].
So- maybe a good month or so now- one day I was doing the normal ministry routine- getting with the guys- dealing with those who ‘relapsed’ not being judgmental at all.
But I realized- some of my friends who are clean from some stuff- they are still messing up in other areas.
Lots of my friends think staying off the booze is the goal- and they sleep around- all the time.
Look- I told them I think that’s worse- and it destroys your ‘soul’.
But- I don’t judge- just saying.
And maybe some are on pills and stuff- things I just wont do.
So- after a few months of being in the mix- it hit me one day- that I was trying to show them some new things I was learning- new experiences with God.
And they just couldn’t get it- not that they did not want to- but as long as they ‘walked in the dark’ they were never going to walk this part of the road with me.
Then it hit me- Jesus is saying ‘the Spirit of Truth’.
Many of the guys were just not being honest- lots of the stuff I spoke about this last month or so- yeah- tough stuff- not easy to discuss- but I felt I had to be up-front- honest.
Then in chapter 15 [John’s gospel] Jesus says every branch that is not bearing fruit is cut off- taken away.
Jesus spent 3 years with his men- he taught them stuff- he modeled it for them- and he was brutally honest with them.
He was going to die- that was a fact.
He was going to leave them.
But- those who remembered what he said- and DID GODS WILL- they got real with themselves and others.
To these he would ‘come back’ [by the Holy Spirit- Comforter] and would walk with them again.
In a way that others- who did not choose to do God’s commands- would not be able to experience.
Yeah- I liked these chapters- it was like Jesus was speaking in code- he was dropping hints that some would see- others would not.
As I walk this new journey this year- new in a way that I have not experienced in a long time.
At times I see stuff- thru the Word- in daily experiences- things that I want to share with my friends.
But if I see them have a slip- you know- when they slip- they slip [Crack- meth- etc.]
I realize they have disqualified themselves from ‘seeing’ what I’m ‘seeing’ at that point of the journey.
It’s like the Spirit of Truth can only reveal things to those who are walking in truth.
If we lie- live a lie- to ourselves or others- God is still merciful- he still is patient.
But he can not manifest himself to us at that point- until we get real.
CHRISTIANS AND THE COURTS
I wanted to hit a few more verses from yesterdays post.
‘If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin- but now they have no cover for it’
‘You did not choose this, but I did- that you should go and bear fruit’
‘But this happened- so that the law would be fulfilled’
‘If you know these things, happy are you if you DO THEM’
Obviously Jesus is speaking about his life and ministry- because he walked among men sin-less- that left humanity with no more excuse.
But this year I applied some of this to my own situation- talking about things- sharing my struggles- so others too could face up to their own demons.
As I posted this past year- I spoke about open community- people being real about their trials and stuff.
A key verse from the start of the year was ‘God saw the light- that it was good- and he divided the light from the dark- and he called the light DAY’.
This is in Genesis chapter 1.
In a symbolic way I applied it to ‘walking in the light’.
That is- finally getting to a point in life where we hide no more.
Another verse says ‘God made the greater light to rule the day- and the lesser light to rule the night’.
For many years I felt like we- lots of us- people in ministry- we have walked- so to speak- in the Lesser Light.
That is God used us- in a limited way- but it was a ‘lesser light’.
I have had ministry friends over the years- who were embroiled with stuff much worse than my stuff.
I have also seen the familiar faces of high profile people- caught in scandals and stuff.
And some of these public cases were never really resolved- not in a biblical way.
Maybe they had ‘plea deals’ that never said ‘ok- did you do such and such’.
Or others outright lied- maybe they justified it by thinking ‘God forgives me- therefore I will not be ‘lying’ if I say ‘no- I am innocent of the charge’.
But- if they misled- in a court of law- or anywhere else- then they will have to some day give an account.
So- the biblical standard is you tell the truth.
Now- my stuff dealt with a situation where at times- like when you actually do have whats called blackouts [no lie- for real].
Then you do the best you can.
I’m proud that I at first said I was sorry- even though I truly did not know all the details- and there were things that later did seem to say some stuff [not all] was possibly made up.
But- all in all- from the start- I took the Sunlight approach.
The Apostle Paul says to the Corinthian church ‘why are you taking one another to court- are there no wise men among you who can judge these things’.
He was rebuking them because they did not practice open community with each other- because they wanted their rights- they were suing one another.
Now- in today’s world- I don’t fault people for going to the courts- the point I’m making is we often choose ‘lying’ as the first defense- even Christians!
That should not be so- regardless of the consequences- we should not do that.
Now- in some cases- I see how people might be tempted to lie- because there would be very serious consequences.
At the end of the day- It’s better for these things to come out now- then at the judgment.
Okay- I went a little long.
I did want to do a little week in review type thing- I want to mention the danger of the present Drum beats for involvement in Syria.
I fear we might be going down a bad road- again- with the way things are going.
Yes- Syria is bad- and we want the violence to end- but all the ‘limited’ actions being discussed [no fly zone- bomb this part but no more].
All these things are the same mistakes we have made- over and over again- yet we keep going down this same rabbit trail- sad- so sad.
Maybe I’ll hit on it tomorrow- but for today- try and read these 3 chapters in John’s gospel [13-15].
See what a high standard Jesus puts on Truth- the Spirit of Truth.
In any of the above cases- men- well meaning men- that take the ‘less than honest’ route- and then later want to move ahead in ministry- in things that require Truth.
I think if we don’t get the foundation right- then the rest of the house is being built on sand.
Was thinking about the idea of Remnant last night.
Yeah- in scripture there is sort of a scarlet thread- a teaching- that runs thru both the Old and New testaments.
It goes like this;
There are times when there are bunches of people following God- on the Bandwagon so to speak.
Often times all is great- you know- ticker type parade in NY type stuff.
Then- lo and behold- stuff gets hard- and people bail out.
Okay- the Remnant are those who after the bailout- they are still standing in the rubble.
There are a few notable stories like this in the bible- Gideon’s ‘army’- etc.
Jesus taught this in his Parables-
He said the kingdom was like someone planting seeds- some fall on good ground- others- not so good.
He said some ‘endure for a while- but when tribulation arises because of the word they are offended and leave’.
The other day I taught a little form John’s gospel- chapters 13-15.
I didn’t’ hit on a conversation Jesus and Peter had.
Peter ‘why can’t I follow you now- I am willing to die for you’?
Jesus ‘’Willing to die? Before the rooster crows you will deny me 3 times’.
The very thing Peter stated as his mindset- being sold out to death- was in fact the actual thing that kept him form following to death- he was afraid to die.
We all know the story- he denies the Lord and falls hard.
Jesus told Peter ‘I have prayed for you- that your faith fail not- and after your are converted- strengthen your brothers’.
Converted?- after the change has come.
Peter was a type of the remnant- he told Jesus at one point- right after others walked away [John’s gospel chapter 6- because Jesus said unless you drink my Blood and eat my Flesh you have no life- The Jewish followers were forbidden to eat blood from the teachings of Moses- so after Jesus said this many left].
Jesus asked Peter ‘will you go too’?
Peter’s reply ‘where can we go- you have the Words of eternal life’.
In essence- even though things got very hard at that stage- Peter was around long enough to recognize that Jesus was speaking to them at a different level- he seemed to be ‘more real’ than the many preachers of the day.
So- Peter and a few others stayed.
The other day I mentioned my buddy Tim- the homeless friend who I have been running into on my walks.
I saw Tim a few weeks back- he stopped at ‘my camp’ [my spot by the water where I pray and hang out].
He was heading into town- he was gonna stop at my favorite spot- half price books- and get some stuff to read.
I had my Dylan book [Chronicles- came out in 2004- excellent book] in my Navy Sea Bag- and I asked him if he liked Dylan.
He told me he loves Dylan.
I gave him the book- he was grateful.
It was the 2nd time I read it- I have given away many of my books over the years- I see it as ministry.
One piece of advice I liked;
Dylan was asking a buddy about his move to NY city- he told Bob ‘get some good boots- you’ll be doing a lot of walking’.
I laughed- I have been walking in work boots for the past 4 months- I mean hundreds of miles [yeah- hundreds!- some days I do about 15- 20 in a single day].
As we all have our own journey to walk- I’m trying to document- and share relevant stuff- things that will last.
One of my favorite journalists of all time was Hunter Thompson.
He’s the character that Johnny Depp played in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- a Thompson book turned into a movie.
Hunter wrote for Rolling Stone back in the day- he covered politics and eventually wrote for ESPN.
He lost his edge as the years went by- and he knew it.
One day he had his family over- they enjoyed a good day together- after the many years of drugs and stuff he got into.
He was sick at the end- and he walked out of the house- his family heard a shot- Hunter took his life.
It was sad- but he felt like he had nothing left to give.
Yet he lives thru what he wrote.
Morrison [the Doors] was a student of philosophy and a smart guy [did you know that?]
That’s where he got the name for the group- Doors.
He said we only live on thru our songs and poems- sort of the legacy we leave behind.
It’s important to document stuff for the next generation- for the Remnant- if you will.
Sure- there will be some who walked with you for only parts of the journey.
And that’s fine- God had a purpose for you and them at that stage.
Hunter had a saying- he loved riding Harleys- and he said some times he would still get on his bike and head out late at night.
He would up the speed- to a point of No Return.
Sort of like that Runners High- you get to a point where you are feeling high [I get that in my walks- but only after hours of walking with no stopping].
Hunter said- when you reach that point- some slow down.
But he said others- they go past that point- and that’s where they see stuff that you can only see when you push past that point.
I feel like the Remnant- those who stick around like Peter- they have good stuff coming.
It just takes time to let the dust settle- to re-gain your equilibrium-
then get back on the bike.
Having taken about 3 months away from news watching- I mean I have watched/read some- but no where near the usual amount.
It has given me some time to sit back and observe the scene from a distance.
And what I have seen is sad- to be frank about it.
Our country has become polarized- in my view- like never before.
Now- we have always had haters on the extreme right and left- that’s not new.
But even if you watched the media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing- as the president spoke- you could tell that one of the main things on his mind was how fast he would call it ‘terror’.
Yeah- he seemed to be more worried about what the ‘right’ would say- then the actual bombing itself!
This past Sunday Israel hit Syria for the 2nd time in a couple of weeks- and the 3rd time this year.
They took out some long range rockets that Iran was supplying for Hezbollah- the group that has been operating out of Lebanon for years.
They are the ones who send rockets into Israel whenever things flare up on their mutual border.
So- it seems as if Syria [Iran] was possibly trying to expand the current war in Syria- and make it a broader ‘The West against the Arab world’ type thing.
Look- our strategy in the entire so called Arab Spring has not gone well.
There our nations/leaders who were at one time allies [Mubarak] – we sat with them and had peace agreements with them.
Then- after a short amount of time- we were siding with those who were going to hang them and their families.
Yes- this created a severe mistrust of the U.S. – the allies of the U.S. felt like we were throwing them under the bus.
Now- Assad- the leader in Syria- was called a reformer by Hilary Clinton.
A year or 2 later- we are on the verge of siding with groups who are affiliated with Al Qaeda- and basically backing those who are about to kill Assad- and more than likely his family as well.
So- if the leaders of these nations- who are just as bad as the ones we support.
Yes- we support the corrupt monarchy of Bahrain- and these guys are just as bad as Assad.
But we have a Naval Fleet stationed off the coast of Bahrain- se we overlook their oppressive rule.
But we side with those who are seeking the overthrow of other Arab nations- and our policy is simply inconsistent- to say the least.
So- what about Syria?
A few months ago Obama did draw a Red Line that he probably now regrets.
He said the use of Chemical Weapons would be a ‘game changer’.
So- there have been reports of them being used.
Some think the rebels themselves have used them- in order to ‘play us’ and get us involved.
Others reported the use of ‘Chlorine’- okay- this is a chemical- and Bob Shieffer even said this was ‘using Chemical weapons on HIS OWN PEOPLE’.
Did we describe the killing of one of the Boston Marathon guys as ‘the U.S. killed their own people’?
Look- Syria is in the midst of a brutal civil war- and I feel for the innocent ones caught in the middle.
But- there are many ‘terror’ splinter groups in this thing- and some are indeed ‘home grown’.
So yes- if you want to call Syria’s action ‘against his own people’
Then fine- but that’s simply a propaganda tool for U.S. involvement.
And if you say using Chlorine is crossing a red line for war- then what about outright bullets in the heads of ‘your own people’.
Yes- many in the media think the killing of people is legitimate- that is actual killing in war is ‘ok’.
But- using Chlorine- well now- that has to stop!
Do you see how the media can manipulate the public here?
I don’t know what the answer is in Syria- but U.S. military intervention is not the solution- period.
We are going to have hearings in a few days on the Benghazi debacle.
And we should.
But understand- the group that killed our ambassador- we enabled them to operate out of Libya because we sided with those who killed Gadhaffi- who by the way was another so called ally of the U.S. [like Mubarak].
So- we want peace- we abhor killing- on all sides.
But- we are a divided people- we are polarized- we can’t seem to function as a nation- as a governmental entity any more.
I don’t know what the answer is- but we as a people are heading for trouble.
One short example;
The other day I was talking to a friend- he was surprised to hear my views on stuff like this.
In my part of the world it’s rare for a blogger- a Christian ‘web site’ to hold to these more liberal views.
I gave him the example of the ‘low’ level of education that our present media has been pumping out to the public on a daily basis.
One day I was watching Glen Beck.
He was hailed as a great historian by one of the guys on the show.
And during the show- some one gave a quote ‘A NATION DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CAN NOT STAND’.
The person said this quote came from a contemporary source.
Beck was quick to correct the man.
‘So and so did not say this- but Lincoln did!’
The guests were dumb founded- they were corrected- on national TV- by the ‘historian’ on the set.
Yeah- they submitted like one of Pavlov’s dogs- tail between their legs.
One thing- Lincoln didn’t coin this phrase either.
It came from Jesus Christ- it’s in the New Testament for heavens sake.
So- the current state of Western media has been held hostage by a sort of media fantasy land.
Our media is based on what the public wants to hear- what the ratings are.
When we allow national media figures to be so misinformed- and to have forums on a national set- then yes-
Just like Lincoln- and Jesus- and the other guy said
A NATION DIVIDED CAN NOT STAND.
I fear they did get that one right.
Thanks for all the great comments guys- I’m still trying to get my stuff resolved and close this chapter.
Yesterday I did my ‘darndest’ to settle the thing.
Broke all the rules- dropped the lawyer- and told them the whole truth- like I have been saying all along!
My lawyer led me to believe I might have to do a year in jail and pay a 4 thousand dollar fine.
This was months ago.
I took out 4 grand from my retirement- and told them if I can do the ‘time’ in New Jersey- lets go!
They had no idea what I what talking about [yeah- maybe I am nuts?]
Anyway- the reason I flipped out yesterday was because I told my lawyer months ago- lets just do a plea- get me the best deal you can- and where done.
She was out of the country and just got back yesterday- then called me and told me we won’t have the trial till July.
I was fuming.
I said ‘let just plea- cant we just do a plea’.
She told me that prosecutors are busy people- on and on.
I walked down to the courthouse [got a ride half way].
Went to the court- asked some lady in the hall how to do the deal myself.
She was the judge!
She tells me go in and sign the paper that your dropping your lawyer.
Then I sat with 2 prosecutors and old them the TRUTH- everything- what ever will be will be.
They asked me if I actually flashed the girl.
I told them no- but I don’t care- lets do a plea.
They said it will be on your record.
I DON’T CARE!!
I got warned for using the F word one time.
As I recounted the story- for the umpteenth time in these past months.
They seemed fixed on a certain statement.
I told them that as the months went by- we came to believe Shelby was lying about the flashing part itself.
I told them I really didn’t care- I was still going to plead guilty.
Then I told them Nicolle called my daughter- told her the mom asked her to lie- the whole thing.
I said at that point I was mad- I wanted to find out what she asked her to lie about.
Then I told them it wasn’t what I thought.
But she asked her to lie about Chris breaking my van window.
That I didn’t care about that- I was never going to report it- I felt like it would be ‘playing dirty’ and all.
But- I think I just reported it to them [without realizing it].
They asked me if I saw my window broken.
I told them after I got home- of course- I fixed the darn thing!
Anyway they seemed to think this was important- I don’t know why for sure- I never lied about anything from day 1.
At this point they seemed to not want me to take the plea.
He told me it would be unethical for me to plead guilty to something I did not do.
I told him I don’t care- I’ll do the year in jail right now if they can transfer the thing to N.J.
They had no idea what I was talking about.
I told them that’s what my lawyer had me believing this whole time.
I said ‘what’s the best deal you can give me’.
He said 6 months in jail.
I told them could I start right now.
They kind of laughed- like they were just telling me 6 months because they didn’t want me to plea.
Then they said they could give me 30 days in jail or 40 days in a work program.
My lawyer was going to delay this for months- maybe next year- and this is all I wanted from the start.
I told them I’m going to take this deal right now!
I think because they wanted to do something about the broken window- maybe press charges- that they convinced me to do a bench trial next Tuesday- we will all be there.
I asked him if I lose- will the deal be off.
He said no- if you lose the trial- the deals the same.
They simply did not want me to plea to something I did not do.
I was on the verge of taking the deal- I need to leave Texas and start over.
But I did always want to see the people in this case before I left.
Not to get even- but I don’t want everybody mad- I want it over for all of us.
Trust me- I did not even want to report that the kid broke the window!
It came out while I was spilling the whole thing- I was mad- not at the kids- but that my lawyer was making it sound like it would take month’s to even get a plea.
Geez- I got a deal that I would have taken if the prosecutor accepted it- he was the one who convinced me to do the bench trial!
So- to all the ‘kids’ reading this- to the mom- don’t worry- please.
We will all go to court next Tuesday- just tell the truth- that’s all.
If I lose- that’s fine- I was going to take the same deal yesterday- it’s really no big deal.
The thing that upset me was my lawyer putting this off for months- who knows- maybe years!
The county is doing a ‘2 for 1’ deal right now [yeah- sounded strange to me too?]
If I take the 30 days- I only do 15 in jail- great!
Or if I take the 40 work days- I only do 20.
That’s fine- I’m thinking of doing the county time- and maybe start a little group bible thing- I have done this before.
So- that’s it for now- all this will be settled by next Tuesday- I always felt like I needed to see all the people in this before I left.
I want to apologize for the part I did play- even though the whole charge was not true.
And I did not want to leave without telling the people I was sorry.
Now I’m sorry for Chris- the kid that broke the window on the van.
Trust me- I could have reported that long ago- I never did.
It just slipped out when I was talking to them.
Lets just end this-
Talk to you later- John
THE WIDOW AND HER KID
I want to write a little bit on perspective- how we should view ourselves- and others- when going thru difficult times.
For those who have been following the posts- you will know what I’m talking about- for others- you might still get something out of this.
One of the main things I have emphasized about ‘ministry’ and ‘church’ over the years is that God’s main concern is not how religious we are- or pretend to be.
But God’s concern is how we treat our brother- the poor- our neighbor.
One of the parables of Jesus- sometimes called the parable of the unjust judge- goes like this.
This was in a certain city a woman- and she had a complaint- a legitimate issue- that she wanted justice on.
So she goes to the judge [the cops- law- etc.] and she says ‘avenge me of my adversary’.
She wants justice- which is a good thing.
Now- the judge does not really care about God- or the woman.
But the bible says she keeps coming to the system- because she wants justice.
Finally- the story says- that even though the judge did not really care about the case- he helped her- because she was persistent.
The moral of the story at the end is Jesus says ‘how much more will God help his own people who call unto him day and night’.
Now- in all the verses about helping the poor- meeting the needs of people.
The main verses I have always believed were the important themes of Christianity.
These same verses also speak about treating the ‘widow and orphan’ well.
Okay- in the bible- widow does not just mean a lady whose husband died.
It also can mean the single mom- and her daughter.
Now do you see?
God defends the mom- who comes to the system- and wants what’s right for her kid.
And often times the system treats the lady bad.
God is just as concerned about her- and her daughter- as he is about the poor.
Lincoln once said ‘it’s not whose side God is on- but our we on his side’.
We often pray about the best outcome for us- for ‘our side’.
We see things thru the perspective of ‘God will help me’.
But Gods is concerned with everyone in his court- in his world.
In the last post I mentioned how I spoke with the prosecutors about my situation.
Trust me- I did indeed tell them everything- all that I honestly knew.
At this stage- I’m ready to end this thing.
At one point he asked ‘are you saying you were just an innocent guy …’.
No way- I told him everything- but in all honesty- that one part never happened [at least what I do honestly remember].
So- I am not covering up anything [for those aware of this situation].
At one point- one of the prosecuters said ‘say if I put it like this- say if you did not actually have to do the offense- actually flash someone- in order for the charge to still hold’.
I told him at that point ‘that’s great- lets sign right now- I’m ready’.
I want the ‘other side’ to see- for real- I’m not making stuff up- God’s concerned for your side too.
At that point- the younger prosecutor said ‘wait- I think he actually had to do it in order for the charge to stand’.
They had some confusion- they looked in the law book right there- and the first guy said he was sorry- he was mistaken.
In order for the charge to be true- you actually have to have done it [in the way most people understand it].
I was upset- once again.
I said ‘I thought you said it does not actually have to happen- in that way- in order to plead guilty’.
I wanted him to have been right- because I wanted to settle the thing- and be honest- for real.
Then he said no- in order for this charge to be true- it didn’t fit what I had done.
I was upset- and said ‘you know- it doesn’t make a difference any more- I’ll plead guilty anyway- that’s okay’.
He did not want me to do it- he asked ‘did you do it- do you remember actually doing it’.
I told him- in all clear conscience- no.
Not that part.
Why is this so hard- for everyone?
When I pray- I realize that God is concerned for the single mom- and for her kid.
That’s the ‘widow and child’ in the story.
And God wants her to have justice- for the daughter who was wronged.
That’s God’s concern- not mans.
So- at times- I thought ‘maybe it would be better to just plea to something- though that aspect actually did not happen’.
To me- at various times- it was no big deal.
But as I sat with the prosecutors- I even said the same thing- enough did happen that to me its okay to say- to just plead guilty.
They did not want it.
Maybe all this will help the ‘widow’ maybe she does not know this.
I’m not trying to persuade anybody- trust me.
I know I have had very bad mood swings- and some days I’ll post and be mad.
I’m going to try very hard not to do that.
I’m okay with where we are at- that we can finish this by Tuesday.
Some days I feel very bad for the ‘widow and daughter’.
There is a young girl that helps us at the halfway house.
She has had lots of problems in the past.
I guess she’s in her young 20’s.
As I was talking with the guys I asked her of she had any questions- about the bible- stuff she wanted to ask.
She did- she picked up the bible the guys had there- and she opened up to a chapter.
She said she was reading it the other day- she felt God lead her to it.
I tried to tell her what it meant- and I felt so bad for her.
The bible is real small print- and the poor kid was doing her best to hear God.
So- I made it a point to buy her a bible the next week.
I stopped at Wal Mart and could not find a simple girls bible.
The only one was a new moms bible- it was pink- and I liked the notes- it was nice- a bit more expensive than I was looking for [about 25 bucks].
So I looked at the others- but kept coming back to the moms one.
Just last week- when at the halfway house- the guys told me ‘so and so went down to have an abortion’.
She has no kids- got pregnant- and went to abort the baby.
So- as you can see- buying the ‘new moms’ bible might not be the best.
Heck- I liked it- I bought it for her.
I gave her the bible- she loved it.
She never got the abortion- so- she will be a new mom soon.
She told me she felt like that was a sign from God.
This is so sad.
See- God really cares about the ‘widow- and her kid’.
I CAN’T DIG- OR BEG
Okay- let me do my best to try- really try- to end this chapter.
As much as I want to not talk about this any more- I just can’t seem to get past it.
About a year ago I was accused of flashing a girl while very drunk.
Drunk to the point where you don’t even know if you did it.
I was what you would call a black out drinker- which is very bad.
At the time- I simply confessed- sort of- on face book- said I did not remember doing it- but if I did- I was vey sorry.
As the months rolled by- my wife and daughter- and their friends [who all knew each other] were reading this on-line.
They thought the flashing charge was made up.
I did not want to hear that- because I was resigned to just go thru and plead guilty.
As time went on- my wife would say ‘she said you stopped the van here- opened the door- etc’.
That part I remembered- and I knew that here- at least- this was not true.
There were 2 other kids [young 20’s] who were there too.
I always said ‘just ask them- they know I did not flash their friend’.
But- I never knew what they said.
Maybe they said- yeah- he did.
So finally the last few weeks I did hear what they said.
The boy made no statement.
And the other girl- who I’m sure is a very nice girl.
She said she ‘turned her head’ [did not see].
I knew they lied when I heard this.
She did not want to lie outright- and say ‘no- my friend is wrong’.
So- she said this.
Okay- this is where we now realize the girl lied.
This girl should not have said this.
Not asking you to lie- but to have said the truth- at least about the part where we were all there at one time.
So- the last few weeks- I saw that more than likely the charge was false.
Okay- was I totally innocent?
And yes- I could come on today and write- and manipulate- and ‘shape’ the story to make it look like I’m better than I am.
But there are about 5 or so people who would say ‘see- this guy claims to be a Christian- helping the homeless guys- and look- he’s a liar’.
Should I just ‘sacrifice’- that is not care about that small inside group- and heck- lie.
Then these ‘kids’ will live the rest of their life knowing we are all the same- we all lie to make ourselves look good.
And that would be wrong.
No- there were things that did come up- things that I forgot [not real bad- but things you that are not real good].
And when I heard about them- I once again was confronted with the past.
So- yes- I put this in for you guys- the small group- who also knows this.
I want you all to see I have tried so hard in this thing- and at times questioned so much- and don’t want to leave Texas this way.
Okay- I did a no contest plea and will do a 40 day work period [actually 20].
I wish I could start today and work straight thru- but it will take a month to finish.
Why am I leaving?
Isn’t it obvious?
I’m leaving because of this- not what others said about me- but because of this whole thing.
Make no mistake- it’s not some great ‘call from God to go save the bums in New York’.
No- I feel like my life is over- that’s how I have felt from day one.
When people drink- are actively drinking- you don’t ‘feel’ the consequences of stuff.
The bible even says this ‘when a drunk wakes up- he goes right back to it’.
But- when I quit [since Jan. 3rd] I ‘feel’ all the consequences- in a big way.
So- make no mistake about it- yes- I’m running from my past- I’m going to ‘hide’ in a crowd up north.
Yes- all the things you would do if this happened to you.
I was talking to my wife last night- telling her I’m glad it’s going to be over- I’m so ready to leave.
Of course my family is staying in Texas.
As I was talking- she was crying.
‘What’s wrong now!’
As you can imagine- there has been a ton of friction since this happened.
She just said something like ‘don’t you know’.
I realized she has been hoping I was going to change my mind as the weeks- months went by.
That I would stay.
I just can’t.
One day not too long after this happened.
I was reading the parable of the unjust steward.
Some guy is the money manager for some rich man.
He gets caught stealing- and the boss hauls him on the carpet to give an account.
He does not try and hide the wrong doing.
But- he quickly analyzes his situation and comes up with a plan.
Jesus is telling the story- it’s a parable.
The guy says ‘what should I do- I won’t beg- I can’t dig ditches’.
And he goes on and makes a plan and God commends him for being wise.
The part of the story that caught my eye was he immediately knew his options.
He eliminated some things right from the start.
About a month after this incident- I knew it was ‘over’ for me.
It took a while before I quit the homeless ministry here in the Bluff.
But it’s been 6 months now- and I haven’t seen the guys.
I took all the ad’s I was running in the papers down.
I knew there were some things that would ‘be no more’.
In essence ‘I won’t dig- or beg’.
And I’m sorry to my dear wife- I know she was hoping I would change my mind.
I just can’t.
I’m not mad.
It’s just over- this whole chapter is over.
For those that I did wrong to- the parts that were indeed wrong.
I’m so sorry- you have no idea.
To all the people- I don’t do anything in the Bluff any more- please don’t be worried about running into me.
I am going to move as soon as the punishment is done.
And to all my friends on line- thanks for the support.
I’m so sorry you had to see all this.
A GAY WITCH?
There are things that I want to cover- stuff that pertains to the recent stuff- but some of this will take time to develop.
I want to be careful- for all involved- when we talk about it.
In this recent case- the stuff I have been blogging on- I ‘see’ everyone involved thru the lens of ‘what’s Gods’ ultimate will for all’.
For instance- I don’t view this as ‘me against them’.
Or ‘let me use the blog/face book to my advantage’.
No- I see everyone as people caught up in something- that was instigated by my very bad choices [drving for years drunk- and at times black out drunk].
Now- everyone will also be held accountable for the wrong they did after the fact.
At the start of this- I posted- in a very serious way- that it’s not a joke- to law enforcement- to lie in a criminal case- or to ask others to lie.
As time went on- I [as well as both sides of the case] did see that yes- the person lied- about the most ‘important’ thing.
As I recounted the story- many times- I would say ‘look- most of this is my fault- I’m no ‘innocent man’ who got framed’.
But- the actual charge- well yes- that’s false.
It took time for me to see it- because the girl gave her self away- when she herself said it happened- when there were 2 other people there.
That’s when I knew- for a fact- that she made that up.
Then- when I saw the actual statements- I knew she lied.
Over the next week or 2- I’m going to tell another true story- something that makes this look like ‘child’s play’.
It has to do with a former church member from a church I started years ago.
He was involved in sorcery and witchcraft- and he also was involved with ministry.
This person- who in the coming days I will reveal- had an all out assault against me and my family in Kingsville.
Yeah- it was very bad.
When this person joined the little church I started- I was warned that he was really an ‘undercover sorcerer’ who just joined churches to ruin them.
Okay- I thought maybe the person- who was my age [we were both in our 20’s] was dabbling in bad stuff- but who knows- maybe God had a purpose for him.
Okay- to cut to the short of it.
Over time- one of my friends told me ‘John- you would not believe what so and so is saying about you’.
He started a rumor- that we were gay lovers.
Okay- as you can see- I really did not want to get into this- now.
But- as I was praying this morning- I felt God wanted me to tell it- because in the coming weeks- there’s much more to this story than meets the eye.
Okay- at this point- I have no reason to lie about anything- I have already been very open with all.
The fact is- this guy lied.
Now- I have friends who are gay- I know there are very good people who are gay- and I try not to ‘judge’ people.
But- this has never been ‘my thing’.
My temptation has always been the classic one- going back to the garden.
Yes- the simple reality that women are attractive- so that’s it.
Now- the way I dealt with the guy who said we were gay- is I took a mutual friend with me one night and we drove to Manuel’s house.
The friend in the car was the guy Manuel told this to.
His name is Emmet.
I knocked on Manuel’s door- and I confronted him about the story.
Emmet was in the car- hearing.
I told Manual ‘Emmet said you told him we were gay lovers- is this true’.
He acted shocked- and of course denied it.
Then Emmet got out- he knew he was busted.
This began a couple of years of an all out assault against me and my family by Manuel.
I worked at the fire house- he sent people to my house [while I was at work] at 2 am to harass my family.
He broke the window of my car while parked at the fire house.
He set fires in abandoned buildings- and when I got there he was watching.
This never stopped..
He had a friend call the fire house and threaten me- I was pissed- I told him to come down right now- I was waiting outside.
The guys at the station knew I was mad- it was funny- they shut all the blinds and stuff- they thought someone was gonna do a drive by!
Had the tries slashed to my car- etc.- etc.
Eventually I moved to Corpus- because of this.
So- as you can see- any false charge does affect me.
Now- to be very clear- I do not see any one in this recent case like this.
What happened in this case is some girl was indeed offended- and in her way- to get justice- she lied about being flashed.
That’s what happened.
At first I thought the mom knew- but then later was not sure.
I know the girl knows- and her 2 friends.
So yeah- I get it.
What maybe added to ‘the lie’ was the very real fact that I was so drunk that I made a confession to the girl on face book and said- even though I don’t remember- that I’m sorry.
At that point they must have thought ‘wow- this guy does not even know’!
So- trying my best to be honest added to it.
Okay- that’s why I’m really not that mad at the people.
Because my past experience- with the really terrible false charge- makes this look like nothing.
One of the things I want to cover in the coming weeks is unjust scales.
And the biblical teaching on how- at times- justice is not even.
For instance- I think the girl- maybe felt like in order to get justice- they needed to make up the charge.
Okay- I actually do see that- for real.
So- while in a normal case maybe the person accused would be very mad- it is after all not a good thing to say- especially when it’s not true.
But- compared to the other situation- I don’t see the accuser’s in this case as bad people at all.
So- maybe this will give everyone some perspective.
In the coming days- I’ll cover a very serious thing that happened these past months- and it is directly related to this whole experience.
There are many verses in the bible that talk about false accusations- and how there is a severe penalty on those who make them.
I knew- from the beginning [because of the above situation] that some of the ‘kids’ in this case did not realize what they were getting into.
That is- there would be a high price to pay- simply because this was being put in ‘Gods court’.
It will take some time over the next few weeks to explain this- but it has to do with Gods desire to purge all of us- yes both those who make false accusations- and those who are falsely charged.
So- over time- hopefully we will get to it.
So- for today- understand that in Gods’ dealings- false accusations carry with them a very high price.
In some cases- like the one that happened years ago- the price is high.
In the recent case- I already know that the people involved had no idea it would be like this- but I did know.
I had past experience with it- I almost felt like ‘no- don’t make a false charge like this- it’s gonna come back and bite you’.
[It looks like charges are already being filed- not by me- on the ‘other side’]
I knew this from day one.
So- to be clear- I do not see these 2 cases as the same.
I see the recent case as good people- yeah- all of those involved.
And that in some type of way to try and get justice [what they felt like was right- but- when you lie about a charge- then you corrupt the system- and justice can’t happen] well yes- they made up something that did not happen.
That even the other witnesses- who were the accusers friends- they basically backed up my story.
So yeah- over time- everyone knew the actual charge- the worst charge- was indeed false.
At times- even those in the system that seemed to know the girl made that part up.
They would say things to me like ‘John- the system is not concerned with whether or not you did it- that’s not their job’.
I was shocked.
One investigator told me ‘oh yeah- even if the person goes down to the police station and says she’s sorry- she made it up- they will threaten her to not change her story and tell her if she does they will file a charge against her for making a false report’.
So- along the way- I learned some bad things about ‘the system’.
Okay- that’s it for now.
For you bible studiers- look up what the bible says about false accusation.
It’s vey harsh.
In the end- God’s not vindictive- but he purges us- he puts ‘pressure’ on us- to get us clean.
He does this with everyone in ‘his court’.
He’s not about getting even- or ‘siding’ with one side against the other.
He’s about creating truth in all of us.
That’s the proper perspective.
NOTE- Then why did I plea No Contest?
From the start- I told everyone- even the prosecutors- that I was very drunk- black out drunk.
Yes- I took a huge risk by dropping my lawyer- and telling the prosecutors this.
They could have stacked multiple DUI’s on me- and that could have been jail time in Texas.
But- I let the chips fall.
But- over time- because of what I explained above- I realized- to my surprise- that yeah- the girl made the flashing charge up.
Who’d a thunk it?
But- the prosecutor- who seemed to believe me- also said ‘how can you defend yourself when you’re admitting you don’t remember half of the event’?
So- that’s the reality.
Yeah- maybe if I lied from the start- the outcome would have been different- but that’s how this turned out.
MY FRIEND- THE WITCHDOCTOR
Let’s pick up where we left off last.
First- this situation with my friend- the ‘Christian witchdoctor’ is rare.
For the most part- when you hear stories of Christian leaders who are entangled in some sin- for the most part- they are true.
For instance- over the years- I would see/read a case where some famous leader is caught with a girl.
Maybe in a motel room- then some of my friends- who were followers of the leader would say ‘wait- I heard he was just witnessing to the prostitute’.
IN A MOTEL ROOM?
So- I’m not the type that fell for stories like that.
In my situation- the person who made up the charge [years ago] was dabbling in both the occult world- as well as Christian ministry.
So- I think he really was lost- confused.
And it is true that there were strategies- by occult followers- to make up charges against people [talking about the gay relationship charge- last post].
But- for the most part- I am not into the whole ‘spiritual warfare’ scene- where there is a demon- or satan worshipper behind every bush.
Okay- when I moved my family to Corpus- I still worked at the Kingsville Fire Dept- and finished my 25 years.
Manuel came by over the years- admitted what he did- yes- he told me he was sorry for making the charge up- and I forgave him.
He eventually came by with his boy- who came to my little church when he was young.
He was older now- his dad loved him and was proud of him.
I’ll never forget- one day they both came by the station.
Manuel asked me to pray for them.
Of course I did.
As I prayed- his boy started crying uncontrollably.
I knew God was working.
As the years went by- I would see Manuel off and on.
One time I showed up at work and the guys told me ‘hey John- we picked up some guy who had his throat slashed- he was asking for you- he said you were his pastor’.
That was Manuel.
His boyfriend cut his throat and almost killed him.
Yes- Manuel was gay and lived out the lifestyle.
I felt bad for him over the years.
Others never knew I forgave him- and we became friends again.
He did threaten my family- and I never told my wife I forgave him.
Now- this is the hard part.
It was during that time that I learned to ‘put things in Gods court’.
There are verses in the Psalms- called Imprecatory Psalms.
Those are the verses where king David is praying for God to ‘get his enemies’.
Christians have different ideas about these passages.
Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies- not to try and get even.
Yet these portions of the Psalms seem to say the opposite.
Over the years- I have come to the understanding that all God’s wrath is redemptive- in the end.
Now- this gets into a heavy theological discussion- that we don’t have time to get into now.
But basically it means- when we pray these verses that seem to ask God to ‘get our enemies’.
What we are really praying is for Gods wrath- his ‘pressure’ to be on everyone in ‘his court’ and for it to produce righteousness.
So- I learned to pray this way back then.
Okay- you pray like this whenever there are people accusing you- falsely- of anything.
It seems to bring everyone into Gods court- you in essence are saying ‘okay God- come and work in all of us- what ever will be will be’.
Now- this can get serious- very serious.
The bible talks about believers having authority from God
‘Whoever’s sins you forgive- they are forgiven’
‘Whoever’s sins you retain- they are retained’.
The long and short of it is this- when you pray in this way- you have no control over the outcome.
When I went thru the situation with Manuel- I prayed like this.
This last 6 months- I had to do it again.
Not to get even- but some who did indeed make false charges- after I tried my best to do what was right- they saw it as a game.
At one point- in the beginning- the girl put on face book ‘wow- this is so cool- I’m at a real line up’.
I guess she was at the police station and looking at pictures [note- my wife told me this- I have never read any of this on line].
Now- when you falsely charge someone- and think it’s a game- that’s very serious.
I think the girl just did not realize that this is not a joke.
So- I simply brought us all into Gods court- I placed us all under this umbrella.
Okay- now pay close attention- this is the scary part.
Over the last 6 months- during my long walks- I stopped at a McDonalds and would sit and have coffee and pray.
One day- March 29th to be exact.
I brought an old bible I had for years.
I noticed on the front page- I wrote some notes and stuff.
One of the notes said I had a meeting with ‘Pastor Don’ that day.
It was strange- because I had written that note in 1992- and I was to meet him- at this exact location where I was sitting.
It was sort of a sign in a way.
To see that note all those years later- in the meeting spot.
I also saw another note I wrote.
It was a License plate.
It was the LP of Manuel.
Yeah- years earlier when I went thru the problems- I too was going to retaliate at one time- and I got his car License plate.
When I saw it- I told the Lord I was sorry.
That I too have tried to get even- or have lied about people that wronged me- it was a moment of true repentance.
I wrote the date in a little journal I have been making this year.
That’s why I remember the date- 3-29-13.
Now- this is all happening at a time when I- in a sense ‘re-opened’ the court.
Are you getting this?
I know I might be losing some of you- but this is the best I can do.
I ‘released’ Manuel in a new way- even though I had forgiven him- for a very bad accusation- yet I had to also repent of my anger towards him.
I did this repenting some 23 years after the fact.
Less than a month later- I was driving with my wife.
She says ‘oh- by the way- your old friend was killed’.
Yeah- I think his name was Manuel.
Juan Manuel Garza was stabbed to death on April 25th– 2013 [look it up if you want- Kingsville Texas]
Less than a month after I repented of any wrong I had done towards him.
I felt God was telling me that ‘this court’ was very serious.
That the bar has been raised very high.
I don’t want any one to miss read this.
We [Christians] are not in the business of praying for the deaths of ‘our enemies’.
Jesus told us to pray for those who wrong us.
But he said- when we do really forgive- and release them- we are ‘pouring hot coals on their heads’
This releases the redemptive judgment of God on all in ‘the court’.
Manuel was killed by his lover- the same man who stabbed him years earlier.
His name is Barbour- I have him on my prayer list- with all the other prisoners I pray for.
The reason I bring this up now is because we- all of us- don’t realize the seriousness of false accusation.
I’ll admit- in the case with Manuel- that’s about as bad as it gets.
As a young Pastor- it was a miracle that I didn’t just quit the ministry all together.
But when I moved to Corpus I started an outreach to the homeless guys- and this in a way was my salvation.
So- once again- I’m in transition.
I do believe God still has a purpose for all of us- but a lot has changed- things have changed for good.
I mourned the death of Manuel for a few days.
I think my wife was surprised- she knew what he had done.
I told her I had forgiven him- and I still felt responsible for him in a way- that he still saw me as his Pastor.
Yeah- she was surprised- me too.
‘If you have faith- just like a mustard seed- the smallest of all seeds [less than zero?] you would say to THIS MOUNTAIN ‘be removed and be cast into the sea’ and it would do it’!
Jesus says lots of neat stuff ‘I am the door of the sheep- by me- if any man enter in he shall be saved’.
You mean hinges and stuff?
Well- not really- you’ll see soon.
The other day I caught an interview with Julian Assange.
He’s the WikiLeaks founder who has been hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy.
The U.S. is hunting him down- and he’s staying there as a shelter.
Why are we hunting him?
He was the recipient [not the leaker!] of thousands of emails and texts that Bradley Manning ‘illegally’ downloaded to his computer disk- and gave them to WikiLeaks [a site that exposes the secrets of corrupt governments].
Now- I am not saying I agree with all the leaks he did- but some were exposing corruption.
The most damaging of the leaks showed secret recordings between the U.S. and other govts- things that are indeed bad- some real bad.
The worst thing leaked was the video of a U.S. chopper killing civilian reporters [by accident].
There were kids in the van- and we kept shooting!
On the video- you hear our guys realizing there were kids that we might have shot.
Our guys say ‘that’s what they get for bringing there kids’.
These were civilian reporters for heavens sake!
Okay- that’s the worst of what Assange REPORTED.
The U.S. govt. is trying to catch the guy- if we do- he will never see the light of day.
We tried Manning on charges that could have merited the death penalty.
National security secrets?
No- for what I just told you.
So- we are trying to execute- imprison- and stop folk- who exposed some bad stuff.
Yeah- now your ‘getting’ it.
I was reading the book of Revelation the other day.
I like the imagery of the powerful angels.
They are putting chains on satan- casting great stones into the water.
These images show us stuff.
Stones into the water?
Yeah- one angel cast a great millstone- ‘like a mountain- into the sea’.
Sounds like the verse at the top.
Mountains represent kingdoms- power structures.
When these ‘mountains’ become corrupt- they are ripe for getting thrown into the sea.
So- in Jesus day they had this custom.
We read in the bible [Acts] that there were those who made/worshipped idols at the time of Jesus.
You could have your own little idol statue made- for a price.
Those who renounced these practices- after becoming Christ followers- they would take these idols and throw them into the sea.
Yeah- like casting a stone into the water.
Now- the bigger the rock- the bigger the splash.
One day Jesus was walking with his men- rumor has it that they were right next to a spot where you would take these statues- stones- and cast them into the water.
Right up the trail there was this strange sight.
It’s still there today.
There are these 2 mountains.
But one of the mountains has its ‘top’ cut off- and the other mountain has ‘extra’ on top.
The story goes that king Herod- a corrupt king who ruled Palestine at the time of Christ.
He had the slaves literally cut the top of one mountain off- and put it on top of the other.
Yeah ‘king of the hill’ type thing.
He built this palace/penthouse on top- so all the world could see who was the king of the hill.
Now- you have this radical revolutionary- Jesus- who has come in the footsteps of John the Baptist.
John was a mad man- dressed in loin cloths and ate grasshoppers!
One time Herod had John put in jail- but John couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
He kept yelling ‘Herod- you took your brothers wife- your committing adultery!’
Herod was afraid of John- but the misses- well now that’s another story.
You could imagine the anger- she had to hear this rugged prophet- day in and day out- telling everyone what she did [John was the original WikiLeaker!]
So- one day Herod’s wife’s daughter dances this sensual dance for the king.
The king says ‘wow babe- that was the best lap dance ever- name your price’.
She asks her mom ‘what should I ask for’?
Now- the mom is sneaky- and she says ‘tell him you want John’s head- on a platter’.
Yeah- the deed is done.
So- that’s the Herod that Jesus knows- the one who beheaded his friend/cousin.
So- one day Jesus is walking with his men- they know the scoop- that these stones- when you cast them into the sea- well- it’s representing a kingdom- an idol- coming down.
Now- in this context- standing right by Herods Mountain top Villa.
Jesus says ‘IF YOU HAVE FAITH- YOU CAN SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN- GO- AND IT WILL’
Well you know the story- Jesus gets crucified- there are various Roman Emperors who will come after and destroy Gods people.
There was this general by the name of Constantine- a great military ruler.
In the 4th century he comes to fight for the rule of Rome- he wants to consolidate the Roman Empire under one rule.
He has this dream before the big battle.
In the dream he sees a vision of a Cross in the sky.
He hears a voice ‘in this sign conquer’.
The next day he paints this Cross on the shields of his men.
He wins the battle- becomes the new emperor- and in a short time he will declare Christianity the new religion of the realm.
Yeah- even this mountain fell- just like Jesus said.
Note- Door of the sheep.
In Jesus day you had these circular walls- they were stone sheep pens- in a circle.
They had no gate- no door.
When the sheep would enter in and bed down for the night- the Shepherd himself would lie down in the entrance.
He became the door.
No sheep could leave- or wolves enter- unless they passed over the door.
That’s what Jesus meant when he said HE was the door of the sheep- he would lie down [in death] for his sheep- friends.
It has been 6 months since I started our little program [how to get free from addictions].
I am happy to say- at least for me- it has indeed worked.
Yes- I have not acted out- not a single time- since we started.
There are many reasons- as a Christian I of course credit God.
But- because this program has been based on some simple studies I did on addictive behavior- the simple reality is the brain/mind of the addict WILL INDEED change after a short period of not acting out.
These truths work for anyone- Muslim, Christian, Jew- even the Atheist!
So- just wanted to do this annual update- to keep myself- as well as you guys- honest.
One note I wanted to add.
I don’t remember if I shared this in the study- but it came to my mind recently.
I read a book by Victor Frankl- the famous Psychologist who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during WW2.
The book is famous- Mans Search for Meaning.
I liked one of the observations he made- it pertains to this study.
He said because the Nazi’s had them on a very low food intake- and a very high energy output- they had NO desire to think or engage in sex.
One of the habits I formed over the past year has been to walk- for miles on end!
I have always been a very low intake eater- for years I have only eaten one main meal a day [and maybe a snack before bed].
So- for the most part- I was a one meal a day person- for many years.
When I quit drinking- I lost about 50 pounds in a couple of months- yeah- that’s how much I was drinking.
I did not increase my food intake- so- I in a way did what the concentration camp guys did.
In the bible- Jesus and his men practiced fasting- Jesus even said some ‘unclean’ spirits only come out in this way.
They also WALKED all over the area where Jesus ministered.
In essence- they too practiced a low food intake [called fasting] and a high energy output.
The bible also puts gluttony and laziness in the category of sin.
The point being- for those of us who have struggled with addictive behavior- try these tools- simple as they are- but proven.
I do not see one particular ‘trick’ that does it [like some of the material I read- some think ‘aha’ this is the trick!].
No- over all- the simple forming of new healthy habits- to re-place bad ones- does work.
The replacing of sinful situations- what you view- where you go-etc.
These basic things will work over time.
‘My’ above program is really not mine- but it’s a compilation of the most recent data on addictive behavior.
Many of my friends swear by older type programs- which have played a role in the past.
But- many see ‘their program’ as THE answer- almost in a cultic way- I think that’s a major problem in today’s recovery movement.
Okay- that’s it- God bless you all.
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.
THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE- EVEN IF SOMEOME CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD
As I get ready for my final departure- what I would like to do is tell a couple of the ‘best of the best’ type stories on my way out.
Many years ago- in the early 80’s- I was going to a Fundamental Baptist church- I was the youth leader and filled in for the preacher at times.
Good church- great people.
But- this style of Christianity looks down upon what the bible refers to as the Charisms- or the gifts of the Spirit.
Now- as a teacher for many years- one who tries to ground himself in the historic church.
The main teaching- by most of the churches- is the gifts do indeed still operate today.
But- you have lots of ‘silliness’ in some of the expressions of them- and of course- you have out and out charlatans too.
So- during this time- I was a young believer- just got kicked out of the Navy [maybe will tell that one next?] and was painting houses for a contractor [right before I got hired at the Fire Dept.].
One day we were painting this dentists house- Charles Clements- and I’ll never forget.
I was downstairs in a room- and I thought I heard a bloodcurdling scream!
I went to the spot where I thought the scream came from- and sure enough- the mother of the kids had pulled her young boy out form the bottom of the pool- he drowned to death.
My job foremen- Randy Maltby- started doing CPR- well- he actually just tried to do mouth to mouth- and water was coming out of the boy.
Now- I worked 25 years at the Fire Dept.- I have seen lots of dead folk- this kid was dead.
But- at this time- I did not have the experience and simply asked the mom ‘do you want me to pray’?
She was hysterical- and screamed YES!!
I will never forget the prayer- I was very calm- and simply started praying for God to raise the boy from the dead- for God to put the boy’s spirit back in him.
As I prayed- I heard the boy cough- and in a short time he was awake.
Now- the ambulance came and took him to the ER.
About a week later the news paper came to interview me and the other carpenters- they did a front page story about the boy.
It read ‘CHILD SAYS HE SAW THE LORD’.
The boy was around 3-5 years old- but he made- what the doctors called- a miraculous recovery.
He recounted the story to them.
He said when he as at the bottom of the pool- Jesus came to him and told him he was going to bring him back to life.
The paper [Kingsville Record- early 80’s- maybe you can find it on line?] ran a full story on it- they did say ‘Chiarello was in the room- praying’.
As you can imagine- this was somewhat of a shock for the Baptist Church I was going to.
And the story was the talk of the town.
To be honest- I didn’t see what all the fuss was about- I thought everyone believed God could do stuff like this.
But as the years went by- I realized lots of people- some more Charismatic types- they talk a lot about this stuff- but in actuality- it rarely happens.
In Luke chapter 16 Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
The rich man had it made- all the stuff you ever could want- a ‘more than enough’ mentality for sure!
The poor man was begging every day at the gate- the dogs came and licked his sores.
One day the rich man dies- goes to hell.
Lazarus dies- goes to heaven.
The rich man sees Lazarus with Abraham- and asks father Abraham to send Lazarus with some water- the rich man is hot!
Abraham says he cant- there is this gulf- and you can’t pass over.
The rich man says ‘well- at least let Lazarus go back to my brothers who are still alive- maybe he can warn them’.
Jesus says ‘they have Moses and the Prophets [their writings] let them get warned by that’.
The rich man says ‘no- but if one comes back from the dead- they will listen’.
Jesus says ‘if they won’t be convinced by the Old Testament writings- then neither will they believe if one rose from the dead’.
The boy in the above story is Andrew Clements- his dad is a famous dentist here in South Texas- he runs an ad every week in the paper.
Some might think ‘gee John- how do we know your not making this stuff up’.
Look- I take no money- have nothing to sell- and to be honest- at this point- have no reputation to defend.
Why the heck would I make this stuff up?
Yeah- some of you will believe- but some wont- even if one Rose from the Dead.
I got a text yesterday- it read ‘Laura was deadwdrunk- got run over’.
I texted David back ‘I’ll be praying for her’.
I thought he meant she was ‘dead drunk’ and was hit by a car.
Later I realized he said ‘she was run over- while drunk- and killed’.
I wrote about Laura a couple of months ago.
She was dating my friend David- and was really into the New Age stuff- crystals- the whole 9 yards.
I must have talked with her for about 8 hours- in 2 days.
She was very intelligent- and I have studied lots of world history and Apologetics [Greek thought- etc].
So- in a way- I was able to present the Christian faith as the final answer- that at the end of the day- it wins the argument among various World Views- Jesus is really the answer.
When I met Laura- she reminded me of my sister- Laura.
After all I’ll be moving to N.J. in about 10 days- and my sister Laura was one of the first people I ‘led’ to the Lord.
She has struggled with drug addiction her whole life- but has also been an open Christian- she learned and grew a lot over the years.
When I got up this morning- I felt like I should write about Laura- the girl who was run over.
But- I wanted to not post anymore in Texas- I’m tired of it all- and wanted to ‘go away’ for a long time- maybe for good?
My phone just rang- it never rings this early- I never have it on this early!
It was Patrick- from New Jersey.
I knew something was up- he told me to call back [he left a message].
My sister Laura just passed away.
I told him to tell my mom I wont make the funeral- because I already have the plane ticket for the following week.
Yeah- I felt like my friends girlfriend was a sign in a way- I guess so.