John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 13:36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
John 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Let me say- it’s actually Friday night- and I’m simply adding these verses in- not because I’m ‘obsessed’ with death- no- I’m simply doing my evening bible reading- and as I go thru John’s gospel- these themes jump out at you.
Just look at the role that the imminent death of Christ played in the conversation- Jesus uses language about his death in a major way- it’s not simply a side issue- and at times- it’s almost like he’s drawing his men into this challenge- Jesus says to Peter ‘Oh- you will lay down your life for me- ok big shot- here’s your chance- you will deny me 3 times before the rooster crows- because in fact you are still afraid to ‘follow me’ [in death].
Simply read the context of these verses ‘he knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world’ ‘where I go- you cannot come’ ‘love one another as I have loved you’ How did he love us? ‘Greater love has no man than this- that he die for his friends’.
Ok- that’s enough- I don’t want to be accused of being obsessed with this subject- the problem is- the bible is filled with this language- if you have a habit of reading the thing- it’s hard to not become ‘obsessed’.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
Luke 15:3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luke 15:5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luke 15:6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
Luke 15:9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Genesis 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Genesis 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
Genesis 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
TUESDAY- ONLY IF ZAVALA KNEW!
Went to the mission yesterday- and Cindy [the secretary] handed me a letter- from Whistler.
He’s been in jail for a few weeks- when I saw Dirk Sunday- he told me Whistler is still ‘off the wall’.
He told me they had to remove him from the population- put him in solitary confinement.
Ok- the letter addressed to Timons- said ‘Please give this to retired fireman John- we call him Preacher John- the guy with the long hair’.
It’s kind of funny- I guess I’ll post the stuff he wants me to ‘expose’- but Whistler is smart.
He reads my site [when not in jail] and he saw how I posted all types of stuff last year- talking openly about the cops- you know- even sending letters to the U.S. attorney General- yeah- I go for broke!
So- when he saw me doing this- he started doing it himself!
Taking phone pictures of Mark- the cook at Timons [by the way Mark and Whistler used to be good friends on the streets- Mark- like many- had a drug problem for many years.
He and Whistler were tight- Mark got off the stuff- and works a regular job at the mission].
So- being I hang out with Whistler- and am friends with Mark- I have asked them ‘what’s going on- why are you guys at each other’s throats’.
I got a few ideas.
So- Whistler wrote me some of the ‘abuse’ that’s going on in jail- for him- I’ll post a few-
‘4-11-14- 8:30 am- asked officer Zavala when I could shower- was told all bottom has to go first. Was told [quote] 'shut the fuck up’.
‘Picked up on bogus misdemeanor- won’t let me call or find your address- already been banged around and hit by guards in solitary since Sunday- 3-30-14’
Ok- he’s got a few more- but you get the gist of it.
Poor officer Zavala- if he only knew Whistlers buddy posts stuff like this- oh well.
It’s funny- I’ll show up at the mission- and I either get a letter from a friend in jail- or they tell me ‘John- Dirks lawyer was here looking for you’.
Today I’ll see the guy- he has some of Dirks stuff- I’ll get it.
Actually- this public defender is good- most would not run all over town- doing favors like this for one of their cases.
The guy has already come looking for me a few times- calling and stuff.
Dirk called yesterday while I was at the mission- will call today.
I’ll do him these few favors [getting his stuff out of hock] but he’s trying to ‘keep control’ of what life he has- worried about his stuff in storage- making plans on getting out- soon.
He needs to realize that his charge is serious- his lawyer tells me he will get anywhere from 5-99 years- and will have to serve at least half of what he gets before he comes up for parole.
I mean he almost killed Tennessee- he might have to do some time.
When I saw Dirk Sunday- we talked for about an hour- just like old times- I have spent many hours just listening to Dirk.
He’s one of the guys who talks- but it helps the guys when I just listen to their life story.
A lot of people don’t have the patience- or time for this- but its ok with me- it’s true ministry to me.
I told Dirk that Gunner- his dog- is doing fine.
My daughters gave him a bath- he lays next to me on my bed [actually I sleep on a couch- in my office- not too comfortable].
As I told Dirk how happy Gunner is [his dog knew me from the streets- Dirk used to say ‘Gunner likes you John’]
Dirk cried- he was worried about the dog- and to him- in a way- when you’re in jail you worry about how everything on the outside will go- and it was a relief to know the most important thing- Gunner- is ok.
A few people at the mission have told me- ‘we don’t care about Dirk- just the dog’.
I also notice how to many people- when the guys get in trouble- jail- whatever- it doesn’t bother them- life goes on.
I of course love the dog- but in the mind of God people have much more value- they were created in the image of God.
So- I realize that the street crew don’t care much about Dirk- but I see these things in a different way- I too am an advocate for these people- so I take the person more serious than the dog.
Sad to say- I’ve been in this jail [County] and believe it or not- the first night there- I told the guys [there were about 15-20 guys in one cell- the conditions were deplorable- I slept on the floor- no bedding or anything- under the toilet bowl- I mean I was shocked that it was like this].
I actually held a meeting in there- told the guys ‘I pray for you guys every week’- I quoted the verse ‘let the sighing of the prisoners come before you’ and the cell went silent.
I talked about the ministry and stuff- and the guys had questions about the bible.
Some guy asked about Gabriel the angel- and another older Mexican brother answered!
I mean it was cool- a few of the guys showed me their cases- asked some questions [these were serious cases- armed robbery- kidnapping- etc.].
I did my best- read the wording- they had some confusion- I told them what it meant.
As I slept- under the toilet- did I pray ‘Lord- get me out!’.
No- I prayed the verses I use for the prisoner- this time sitting in a cell with them.
As I get ready to back North- the last few weeks I have reconnected with 3 of the main guys form the Kingsville years.
I always felt these 3 were to still be involved with this journey- and on my way back out- I thank God that we got back together before I go.
The bible says a 3-fold cord is not easily broken.
Now- they can- and do break- but it ‘takes effort’ [you know- we do burn bridges- especially when you’re drunk].
But over time- the cords can be fixed.
I ran into Steve the other day- I have only talked to Steve a few times over the last few years.
He comes from Cali- and was [is] an alcoholic.
Yet- we became friends in a way.
I haven’t seen him in a while [year?] and when he showed up at Church Without Walls- he said ‘John- great to see you- your one of my few- real- friends. You Know- I have acquaintances- but few friends’.
It reminded me of Nick- from North Bergen.
When I first met these guys- I mean they are all in the same situation as my Texas friends- Nick would tell me ‘John- you refer to us as your friends- I don’t have friends- I have acquaintances’.
After 3 months with these guys- who I will see soon- Nick started referring to me as his friend.
I see ministry as a brotherhood- Proverbs says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
Yeah- to be honest- doing all these errands for Dirk- at this time [I’m very busy] is a bit of a pain ‘in the ass’- but- he’s my friend.
Sometimes you get into it with your friends- and yeah- at times you ‘fight’ with your brothers.
But if it’s a brotherhood- you ‘mend’ the cords- over time.
Sometimes things happen to us- in the case of Joseph [above] he recognized that even though people thought to ‘harm’ him- yet what they meant for evil- God used for good.
The ‘Baptism of John’ [by fire- if you will] was it from heaven- or from men?
It was ‘from heaven’ that is- God was behind it.
Often times God allows you to be rejected- go thru stuff- so at the end you might be able to help more people.
In Jesus case- he became the corner stone- in the end- he was the man who held the Plumb line [a prophecy from Zechariah].
He gained influence with God and men- because of the fire he went thru.
At these times- it’s important to see that your ‘baptism’ might have been ordered by men- but if it came from God [permitted- read Job chapter 1] then in the end- it will work for the salvation of many.
WEDNESDAY- DEEP WATER
Had a good meeting in Bishop yesterday- I was worried that I didn’t have enough room in the car- had more people than usual who wanted to make the drive.
Then Andy showed up at the mission- with the van that I sold to him last year.
We traded vehicles for the day- worked out well.
As I get ready to ready to go back to North Bergen- I want to cover a few things.
One of my new friends- an older guy- John.
The past few months I have had him and some new friends come over- use the shower- attend some meetings.
I usually sit with John in his car at the mission- have spent some time with him.
But- his days are consumed with his ‘on line’ relationships.
He has cried- moaned- complained about why one girl wont text him- the other gets mad- his whole day is spent consumed with this stuff.
I had to stop sitting in the car with him- or having him at the house too much.
To be honest- he brings me down.
Yesterday he walked up to me and again had a sob story about one of the girls.
It was funny in a way- Art- who has been to the meetings a few times- said ‘Hate to say I told you so John [not me] but she’s using you for your money’.
Actually John has no money- but I remembered when we were at the house a few weeks ago- John was going thru his story- again- and Art gave him some advice- that he needs to wake up and live in the real world- and break this obsession with these women [3 at this time!].
Yeah- Art- who has his own troubles with addiction- was right.
Ok- my friend Lance- going thru the same thing with his girl- she broke up with him- he has been on the verge of wanting to beat the hell out of some guy who has been sitting next to her at the mission- the same thing.
I’ll be doing a meeting tonight at Angels- a girl I have known for years- she has been asking me for a while to help her- she runs a little halfway house in the Bluff.
She tells me ‘Just don’t bring any girls’.
I had no plans on bringing any girls.
She said ‘yeah John- girls are trouble- the guys are all fighting- stabbing each other- over Clare’
Clare is one of the girls who lives on the streets with the guys- and yes- lots of the guys get in fights- get thrown in jail- over her- just to impress her I guess.
Clare comes up to me often- gives me a big hug- actually got a kiss on the cheek the other day.
I ‘kidded’ her- told her ‘only one kiss a day- don’t want to get into the cycle’.
Now- Clare's not ‘my type’ but- that’s her thing- she wants the attention.
This- the whole ‘girl/boy’ thing- takes place in the middle of all these guys doing Meth- getting drunk- and it’s almost as in if the drug addiction and the codependency thing- go hand in hand.
All people want to be ‘wanted’ it’s in our nature.
We do things so others will ‘want us’- it comes from a basic need to be loved- which is not wrong.
A few weeks ago I posted about relationship- how co-dependent ones [I can’t live without you type things] are dangerous.
But- interdependent ones are good- meaning when we are grounded in a ‘higher power’ [God] then we can have true love for people- without the sense of having to do things to try and get others to love us.
In reality these types of relationships are much stronger- because the love comes from a mature mind- not out of a need to seek the attention of someone.
As we drove back from Bishop- I took a new road that was built a few years back- the Joe Fulton corridor.
It gives you a great view of all the big ships [tankers] that come thru the Port.
Lance and Matt were sleeping in the back of the van- me and Whistler were up front.
OH yeah- almost forgot.
Whistler just mailed me the letter from jail- I was on my way to get an envelope and stamp to write him back.
Sure enough- I saw him walking!
He got out of jail- great- didn’t have to get the stamp.
So as we rode the street right off the Port- we got to see all the ships that were docked form various parts of the world.
At the Bishop meeting I talked about when I swam out into the deep water many years ago- and almost never made it back to shore.
Whistler recounted a story- one night he was on the harbor bridge- a famous suicide bridge for our town.
He was hanging under the bridge- and jumped on some ships pole- went into the harbor- and the tide was carrying him out- he was at the point of drowning- and something bumped him from under the water- the next thing you know he was on shore.
He told me he thinks it was a dolphin- I told him it might have been an angel.
He brought up the incident because he said when he heard me tell my story- it was the same thing.
I’m glad Whistler is back- I’ll be heading out soon- and wanted to ‘run’ with him the last week before I go.
Tonight I will talk about my story some more- and talk about the dangers of Meth.
Most of the guys who will be there use Meth.
I have been warning the guys all year- time is short- some of you will die if you don’t get right now.
These guys tonight are the younger crowd- but I know the older crowd well.
The other day a friend- from the older crowd- tipped me off about another long time Bluff guy.
He just got out of jail- went to do some Meth- and killed himself.
Ok- can’t give names here- but this is the warning- if you ride the edge too long- you might wind up- in water too deep- and you might make it back to shore once- or even twice- but the 3rd time might kill you.
Yeah- tonight I will talk serious- no ‘preaching’ games- but real life issues- the type of ‘preaching’ Jesus is famous for.
‘I TELL YOU THE TRUTH- SOME OF YOU STANDING HERE WILL NOT SEE DEATH- UNTIL THE KINGDOM COMES’.
Some- not all.
In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway american dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
And strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
Well run till we drop, baby well never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
`cause baby Im just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, girl I want to know if love is real
Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss
The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybodys out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide
Together wendy well live with the sadness
Ill love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when were gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and well walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run