Foster Parenting and Homeless Ministry

Foster homes need a few good men

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

It’s been three months since I last posted anything about foster children.  Foster care is homeless ministry, the kind I am currently MOST involved in, actually.  But it is so highly regulated and every case is a matter for the courts, so I have to be so careful to guard confidentiality that I play it safe and don’t write much about it.  To the extent that I do write about it, I try to write in generalities rather than specifics, which always feels like shortchanging the story.  (I could tell stories!)

Mrs. Agent X and I have been official foster parents for four years now (unofficial for many years before that).  During that time, our home has hosted a lot of little homeless people – most of them knee high or not even walking.  Some of these needy people stay here long term and others brief visits.  Some stay permanently…

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Poor People Can’t Afford Church

The cost is going up!

Hard Times Ministries

Anything in America costs money.  The same is true for church.  Aside from tithes, just about any event in church costs money.  Family night suppers are not free, and most activities involving kids are also costly.

It would seem that the poor, above any other group would be served by the church, but in reality the truth is that it is simply too costly.

Anyone who has ever lived out on the streets knows that your clothes get tattered, smelly and dirty and while one might shave in a restroom at McDonald’s, there is still the bath that is lacking.

Some churches seem to boast their services as a fashion show.  This is in conflict with the poor who are doing good to wear blue jeans and a t-shirt.

So then, whenever one might wonder why the poor fail to show up at church services, it may be that they…

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Some Antics With Semantics

I resemble that remark. So watch what you don’t say.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

One of the features I find to be a fairly common issue with blogging is disagreement on the fine points.  It is always a concern for me.  This is not always due to lack of shared etiquette, though it can be often enough, but also due to misunderstanding (very frequently) or sometimes outright disagreement.  It can be hard to tell where the breakdown in agreement happens and to what extent.  After all, I am not best or clearest writer of blogs, nor is my blog the friendliest.

The world of social media is notorious about hurting people’s feelings.  Funny that such a forum can be so addictive.  But the last 20 years have proven that we are much more willing to speak frankly and even in hurtful terms online than face-to-face.

It’s my own opinion that it’s not so much the face-to-face aspect that inhibits this as it is…

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This is a probable win for the Homeless in Central Florida

Yes, even Marion county will eventually get it right when it comes to the homeless. Presently, open lodging is against the law except for those who possess homes. (They call it camping)

A federal lawsuit will settle the issue:

And while this is probable good news in reference to government, how will they fare against the churches?

Get this now: the homeless will likely become victorious in regards to being discriminated against by the police, but their issue with the churches will remain.

They still will not be welcome on church property.

Thus, back out on the street sidewalks and alleyways they’ll go and at least pretty soon, they’ll be able to do so in Ocala, Fl without fear of imprisonment from city and county officials.

The constant shame of this is that we will not be able to say the same about their harassment from the churches, as true-to-form, they will not be welcome there.

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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