American Evangelical Church Buildings & The Exclusion of the Homeless

Outside the building and inside the mind and heart of Christ: we come to the poor in order to be with Christ. Amen

Éclipsé par la Gloire

Lack of distinction between “church” and The Church has led to the idolization of a building and the exclusion of homeless persons within the American Evangelical Christian Church. When the true definition of The Church is understood, Evangelical Christians will seek to abide in Christ and thus include the homeless in sacrificial living that is unrestricted by church walls upholding a technical society.

The definition of the Church has been reduced and distorted to mean a church building within the American Evangelical church. Scripture defines The Church, however, as the Body of Christ. Colossians 1:18 says of Christ, He is the head of the body, the church.” A conceptual rather than literal interpretation of this Truth has allowed for “church” to be loosely applied to specific entities that The Church may utilize, such as a building or the specific Sunday gathering that occurs for just a few hours on…

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One More Cup of Coffee, Please (Revisiting Complimentary Coffee)

Heartburn from too much Coffee

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

(This post is prompted and born out of my response to the comment on a previous post.)

As I pointed out in my discussion of R. Lupton’s book, especially the part I reviewed from chapter 8, there are a number of observations we can make from that material.  I could have gone in several different directions with that post based on the material presented there – any of which would be worthwhile.

Yes, I could chase after “corporate welfare” which is some low hanging fruit for discussion.  I could talk about bums abusing the privilege of having “complimentary coffee” way more than I did.  There is a lot more to all that I could go after and be fully justified and make a fairly standard case for this or that based on them.  Part of the reason I went the way I did was because I wanted to take the…

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Complimentary Coffee

One More Cup of Coffee before I go

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I was 18 and working as a sacker at our local grocery store when I first encountered “complimentary coffee.”  It wasn’t a complicated idea at all, I thought; it gets cold in Colorado during the winter, and when you go out shopping for food, you might want to warm up with a cup of joe.  As it turns out, there were two other grocery stores in our small town to choose from.  If you came to ours, you were greeted with “complimentary coffee.”

That’s what the little sign next to the styrofoam cups called it.

They could have called it “free” instead.  That, however, would not have been quite accurate.

Oh sure, there was no charge for the stuff.  And in fact, I am sure that if a person walked in off the street, grabbed a cup, filled it with “complimentary coffee” and walked out, there might be a grumble…

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Asleep Under The Sign II

Ban the bombs….oh, rather…the Bums

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

For those of you who read yesterday’s post (Asleep Under The Sign), allow me to RESTATE the matter a bit more bluntly.  (For those who have not read it yet, go read it now and then come back so this makes better sense.  It’s a brief post, shouldn’t take that long…)

So, in that post I show a picture of a bum sleeping under the “No Loitering” sign at the gas station.  The rule of law is said to be enforced by the police department.  Obey or pay the price.

And so we have a picture of the scourge of society – so very much of what’s wrong captured in a single photo there.

But what does God see?

Is God upset with the bum?  Got a passage you can show me where Jesus throws the book at a bum for breaking such a rule?

What about the business owner? …

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Asleep Under The Sign

In case you can’t read: There is nothing like a good old-fashioned parking ticket to get a man down. Nothing to complain about once again.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

(Disclaimer/Apologies: I find my photography to be lacking in skill.  A little like capturing a grainy image of big foot, nevertheless, the meaning should be clear.)

The signs of society enduring homeless fatigue in east slope Colorado were overwhelming to me on my recent trip.  I snapped a few pictures on the go hoping to capture the distress for this blog.  Have a look:

Of course taking quick snap shots with my phone on the fly means you will need to concentrate if you are going to read the sign carefully.  So let me help you with it.  It says, “City Ordinance 11-1-202”, “No Loitering”, and “Enforced by PPD”.

Here, allow me to crop the shot and zoom in on it for you.  I really don’t want you to miss the signs.

Got it?

Yes.  I think you do.

So isn’t it odd to find a man sleeping under that…

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Second Responders (and Other Thankless Jobs)

A time to respond and a time to heal

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

This is one of those posts where I feel compelled to break with the norm (of subject matter anyway).  This post probably impinges on homeless matters in a round about way, but not directly, thus I am going off script….

It is no breaking news at this point to inform you that down here in Texas the last few weeks, we have had our share of “active shooter” situations.  All of that made national headlines that even competed with a major hurricane!  However, those of you not local will be pardoned for not having familiarity with the smaller/spin-off stories which have developed in their wake.

Midland/Odessa are West Texas neighbors to Lubbock where I live.  El Paso might be a distant neighbor, but they are too.  We know people from these communities; we have ties to them – some quite personal.

The thing I learned last night is that Lubbock’s…

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3 Simple Ideas for Street Ministry

How to live like a bum without really trying and enjoy yourself as well.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets


Take a meal to the streets.  I am not saying food distribution here; I am saying a meal (like a picnic) that you share with others, if they accept your invitation.

You have heard it said: Don’t give money; give a sandwich.  I am saying: Share the sandwich.

You might not find anyone to share it with.  Sometimes I don’t.  If that happens, take your meal to the corner of a busy intersection (think: 50 & Slide, Ave Q & Broadway, 82nd & Quaker) – somewhere a picnic normally does not belong and yet is highly visible to the public.  Then sit down on the curb, offer a prayer of thanks, and eat.

photo (1)

You will wonder why you are doing that.  So will the public that sees you.  Some will mistake you for homeless and give you money.  Some will mistake you for homeless and sneer.  Most will not…

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I don’t know

At least one aspect about people is that for most things, they claim a special insight or knowledge. In fact, when it comes to most things, people say that they ‘know’.

This phenomena is amazing true when it comes either to politics or religion. In fact, some are so arrogant you’d believe they had an inside approach to God and that the rest of us need THEM to tell us about Him.

Yet, for all these so-called experts out here who say that they know, ask one of them when:

Your child unexpectedly dies. Or when your wife or husband leaves you or your business fails, or else say you funk a major test that you studied for so very hard.

No, they don’t have words for those of us when sickness or death arrives.

They have tons of wealth of knowledge when it comes to making money, or psychological advantages or sports such as football or baseball.

But, when it comes to real things that matter; man as a whole knows nothing!

So then, rather saying that we know, we should be affirming the fact that indeed, we don’t know. In fact,there is very little we know at all.

Thus, our conclusions should be based on the concept that God knows more and this means we should be relying on HIM.

And so in all honestly, if you ask me: I don’t know. You want to know more, rely on God. “Trust not unto your own understanding. Rely on Him in all your ways and He will set your path.”

The Life and Times of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida

The real shame in the selling off of this church is that if you and I were to go to this church right at this minute, you’d find it CLOSED.

That’s right, it would be closed. Imagine that. That’s 10 square blocks occupied by a church with empty buildings.

The very element that gave this church a kick-start to fame was that in the turbulent 60s, this church was open at ALL hours ministering to needy people. Yet, for at least the past 40 years, the church, in all it’s greatness has been closed. Sure it has. With property worth that much you must protect it from unwanted elements.

Now, understand this: at present the building(sa) require over 5 million dollars worth of service. Can you picture all that money instead going to deserving people in need? And yes, the Baptists are known for their buildings and proverbial ‘building fund.’

However, if this situation is not an illustration of a negative when ti comes to a building, then I guess we’ll never learn. And no, I’m not trying to paint a bad or negative picture of First Baptist Church here in Jacksonville. What I’m attempting to point out are those values which are not only relevant but important. And I’m saying that people are more important than buildings and that First Baptist now has a real chance to go back to their roots that made them so big to begin with.

The body of Christ

Just a little clearing of heads: one at a time.


The body of Christ

Sally, Jerry, and Maggie
are on the sidewalk sleeping. It’s 10 p.m. and a beautiful, quiet night. They
tell us things have calmed down since the meth users have left. Jerry is
partially deaf from serving in the military. Multiple tours of duty overseas
have left their mark. He can read lips and tells me how he escaped from prison
eight years ago. I smile, knowing he is full of beans. It’s fun to indulge him,
so I do. “Oh, wow, you really just walked out of prison—what an adventure!” As
we talk, he is thrown into a violent seizure. His friends explain his history
with epilepsy, and care for him by laying their bodies under him so he doesn’t
get hurt. After five minutes, his seizure stops, and he’s worn out. I share how
my son had epilepsy and Jerry’s face brightens. “Get your son…

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