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

Meal:

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


https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/nine-blocks-of-jacksonvilles-largest-church-up-for-sale-congregation-can-no-longer-afford-it/77-b77034a6-c494-46ab-841a-2360117db75c

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.

STREET MINISTRY STORIES

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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What Would A Good Shepherd Do? (WWAGSD?)


Trying not to beat a light. Yep, it beat me.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

The excuses first:

So I am part of what they call the “sandwich generation.”  I care for small children AND my parents.  Putting it that way is a bit overly dramatic, but it’s true enough, and there are moments when the pinch is on.

Tonight I had toddlers to get to bed, and when dear old Agent Dad reached out letting me know he was hungry, I had to put him off until I got the kids to sleep.  Then I prepared a bowl of the gruel we were eating for supper, and raced over to his place with it.  Also, I had already apologized to him that I had not spent more time talking and checking on him today, so I really wanted to sit and visit a few minutes with him while I had the chance.

He is not bedridden or destitute.  He lives on his own and…

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Seven Letters to the Church in Lubbock


Hold your fire on the firing line. All the churches fail and there is no cigar.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Intro

The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-slaves, the things which are taking place right under your nose, which he sent and signified by His angel to His bond-slave Agent X, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to seven churches in the city of Lubbock.  Blessed are those who read and those who are linked to the words of prophecy, and heed the things which are written in this post, for Jesus is near, right beneath your contempt.  Yes, that man, that lowly Jewish peasant from a backwater part of the north country in a backwater part of the Roman Empire, who was crucified like a criminal – yet the first-century disciples with faith, repentance, and enabling from the Holy Spirit found the image of God – has come to us again in the…

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Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain (the church is dead)


After dodging a major bullet from Hurricane Dorian, it is evident we were blessed by God but not by His church for none of the churches here in Jacksonville serviced God’s people during the storm as they were CLOSED.

How can this be?

How can a church that preaches about faith, a faith emphasized by the story of Peter and other disciples who experienced a calm from the storm illustrated by the actions of Jesus on the sea of Galilee? How can we preach about faith when we turn the duties of relief from disaster over to the powers of Caesar?

Closed? We are to believe that God is closed during a storm—that His church is closed and that no one can enter and that we instead are to turn to government for assistance?

This is madness.

No wonder society as a whole ignores the message of the church for there is no power, no logos of the church except to pray in air conditioned buildings, flushed with carpet and music.

The Kingdom of God availed via His church can not have its door closed, shut during moments of peril and crises. The opposite should be true as during calamities– those times are when God and His church are needed most.

Naturally, during a fable such as the story of the Wizard of Oz we expect a charlatan to be hiding behind a blanketed closet and barking out edicts to an unsuspecting audience. However, this is not the case with the church.

The expectations of the church are the same as the message of Christ and that message is one of giving and of love. The key word here is openness and not one behind a closet or shut-in, slammed behind closed doors.

Jesus was always open to the needs of others: he was a friend to the homeless, the imprisoned, the sick and injured and those who were despaired and in need. And finally, of all things, Jesus was genuine and real and available. He was NOT some phony hiding behind a curtain. In the case of Hurricane Dorian, the churches as a whole were all phony—all fakes within Jesus and were absent from duty, away and unreal to a world that expects affirmation in the actions among the living. Instead, the whole of Florida saw that the Church was dead…it was away and its doors closed to the testimony and to the detriment of the entire world once again—the church was not there during a time of need.

Pretend Church (Playing House… of god)


Timmy’s in a Well (And it wasn’t in Lassie)

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I grew up with a baby sister, and Mom and Dad bought her a play kitchen and dinette set.  These toys were a hit, a feature of many an hour spent in play time.  The reason I mention it is because sometimes Sis would ask me to “play house” with her.  It always involved setting her little table with the little plastic plates and pretend silverware, maybe cooking a pretend pie.

Today, we have small foster and adopted children living with us.  We have provided them with all the kitchenette toys money can buy, alright.  The stuff these kids play with today is even more “realistic” than the toys of my youth.  It’s so sophisticated that it almost looks and feels like it’s not even pretend.

It’s all lots of fun, of course, but not one ounce of it is REAL.

And that has me thinking of “church” as I…

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Nathan and David: The Untold Story


“God said to Abraham, kill me a son….and this is all out on Highway 61.” Bob Dylan
There is nothing like having a pain in the butt prophet on your ass and Nathan was no exception. For as much as we all love these guys, yes,they can really be a gadfly at times. Agent X is so with the church organization when it comes to the homeless and so too for the legacy of the least of these. A great post and fitting for today, even. Nothing has changed only the names are different, but we still bow to the king. Sorry, I forgot. Actually, we now bow to the color of green represented by the almighty dollar. Back in the profit.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Nathan was a prophet of God.

He was a trusted prophet, on the king’s payroll no less, or so it appears.  King David’s payroll, to be exact.  Yes, the David who was a “man after [God’s] heart” and secretly (and especially) anointed by God to be king.  Yeah, that one.

Nathan is known as a good prophet, one who speaks accurately the message from God to the king.  And that is a correct assessment, but not exactly the whole story.

David, this shepherd-boy who is especially anointed to be King of the Jews, consults Nathan in II Samuel 7, just as soon as he has conquered all the nation’s enemies and God has given him rest.  It is David’s first order of domestic business.  His first action item as king, barring only establishing his crown.

What is this important business?

(Glad you asked.)

David, the especially anointed one of God…

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