The Fat Beggars’ Spot: Dear Pastor Bates

Before there was a Fat Beggars blog, there was a Fat Beggars “rag” – a little “news paper” or better yet a church bulletin for homeless street people – that circulated the streets of Lubbock. Here is one copied onto the blog for just a taste of those old circulars. Enjoy

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

(What follows is a slightly edited copy of one of my street bulletins that I used to circulate among the homeless and stash in songbooks at various churches, stash in cases of beer at the liquor store, stash in library books and in books on the shelves at religious bookstores.  And since last night marked the first real seasonal cold front of this Fall, it seems reprinting this copy here now would be timely.)

Year 2                                                      April 21, 2015                                                  Vol. 43

The Fat Beggars’ Spot

A Revolutionary Rag



Dear Pastor Bates,

In this letter, I want to tell you how I really feel.


That whipping wind last night had a bite in it.

Man, you are the pastor of the church. You know, the Body of Christ – my best friend! (Jesus is my best friend, right?)


So, you are the pastor, the head of…

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Jesus and Riots

Let’s rumble…

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Somewhere in the massive sea of N.T. Wright writings, Wright said, “Wherever St. Paul went there was a riot.  Wherever I go, they serve tea.” 

I remember coming across that line in one of his books a few years ago and thinking it was a great quote.  According to my recollection, he was quoting someone else (from Oxford, I believe).  But when I searched for the quote on-line, I found it credited to Wright.  Either way, he is the one to make it famous.


A couple of years ago, I found a great little book, an exposition of the book of Acts, called How To Start a Riot by Jonathan Storment.  I highly recommend this easy-to-read book!  And it seems that Storment found the same quote by N.T. Wright and then used it as the basis for his title and subsequent lens with which to examine the Acts of the…

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Jesus Cliques

Is this YOUR story too?

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I figure nearly 100% of my readers went to high school, and 99% went to different schools than me.  But the experience of most of high schools has enough commonality for my readers to understand what I am about to say.

If you walked into the lunch room at my old school back in about 1984, you would find kids gathered in groups we called “cliques”.  Nerds, jocks, band-fags, preppies, skaters, and North-Gaters.  Yeah, we had a gate in the fence along the North side of the complex (out back) where “stoners” and “rejects” hung out, and so we called them “North-Gaters”.  My observation here is not so different from your school whether in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, and I seriously doubt much has changed in that regard to this day.

When I was there, the movie The Breakfast Club came out and seemed to expose and…

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Getting Baby Jesus Off His Meth Addiction

Not your usual Nativity Scene

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I am pleased to announce that the diaper rash is now under control.  This baby that has come into this house (when we asked God to come make his HOME here) seems to be growing and adjusting fine.  He is getting plump!  His little cheeks and tummy are round; his eyes are wide and sometimes focus on me; and he is so very handsome!

We attend to his every need as best we can.  And I think he feels welcome here.  He does not get illicit drugs through an umbilical cord; he gets all the love and attention a baby can handle.

I hope he stays here with us and never experiences drug abuse again.  I hope he grows strong in the grace of God.  I hope he grows “in wisdom and stature and in favor of God and [people]” (Luke 2:52), and then makes a difference in our troubled world.

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3 Blog Posts I Wish Had Got More Attention

For those few following this blog as it unwinds: I have ONE MORE trick up my sleeve to save it. I am not a tech savvy type, so no doubt there are ways of fixing this which I just do not know. Over the course of time, I find the tech problem getting worse, actually. But I have one more trick to try, and I hope to do that this weekend. If that doesn’t work, then I expect we are nearing the final goodbye for this blog. Thanx for keeping up with me here! God bless you.

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Some of the things I write and post here are more important than others for various reasons.  And there are at least 3 posts from the last year on this blog that I wish had gotten more attention.  If you are a new reader here, I invite you to check them out.  They help to engage your imagination in what this ministry does – We go to the places of shame, pain, and despair in Lubbock, Texas, and bear the image of God there – an idea we got from Jesus at Golgotha.

Click the titles below for linked viewing:


Walk A Block In Their Shoes

The Fat Beggars School of Prophets?

Thanks for reading here.


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This Is Why We Don’t Have NICE THINGS

The good book says to the door keeper, STAY ALERT! You do not know the day or hour when the MASTER of the house will return. You would think doorkeepers in the church would heed that. Here’s one of my experiences with door keeping…

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

When I was young, I bought a small Chevy Chevette.  Young people today, won’t know what that was.  You don’t see them on the road anymore.  But the one I got had survived a fire!  And it looked like it didn’t really survive it.  But what can I say?  The thing ran!  So…(for $300) I drove it.  Even used a large screw driver to shift the gears.

And when I was out driving across the Indian Reservations of Arizona or New Mexico, I picked up a lot of hitchhikers.  Bums on the side of the road.  And often I apologized for the mess.  It became my habit.  But then I bought a new car, my first real car loan.  And the new car had gadgets, options, zip, AND SHINE!  It had “that new car smell”!

Wow!  I drove that car with my head held high.  I felt like I had joined…

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Remembering Special Agent Alcoholica

No doubt I could have, should have, written a better post, but the warm thoughts and feelings for the people featured in it are worth the trouble reading it. I wish I could introduce you to this couple, and I am hopeful that when we all gather in the Age to Come after the resurrection and judgment of God, I still might!

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

It is with caution in regard to “rumors of my demise” (think Mark Twain, Abe Vigoda, and not least Johnny Schizo), I want very much to remember my friend and colleague, Special Agent Alcoholica.  I have heard the rumors of his demise more than once, but a couple of months ago, I heard them from some reasonably reliable sources.  And in that time, he has not resurfaced alive to counteract them.

I don’t like associating him too closely with alcohol, but I cannot imagine remembering him without reference to it.  In some regards, SA Alcoholica was the worst-case-scenario.  He was an unrepentant, alcoholic, homeless man living in alleys around the downtown area of Lubbock for years.  I only knew of one time that he was not drunk or searching for a drink over the years, but he was my friend and a fellow missionary.  I miss him.

He is…

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I Washed Dishes With Just One Hand

Change of gears with this one…

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I grew up thinking my mom’s house was the model for clean.  I recall her doing house chores when I was a rug-rat.  I remember my parents telling me to go clean my room and make my bed.  I recollect my dad’s concern that the inside of the dish be as clean as the outside.

Yeah.  We were clean-livin’ people.

I am the clean-freak in my family now.  Not that we live all that clean, really, but I am sure all those living in this house would agree that I am the main driving force for cleanliness and neatness.  And I think of my mom as my role model.  She kept a clean home, and now I strive for that too.

Yeah.  We are clean-livin’ people.

But I did dishes with a 4-month-old in one arm the other night.  Now, that’s a trick!  But our house is bombed out in…

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A partial list of what I came up with pursuing my Bible.

If my blog can point you to another, here is one I definitely encourage readers to check out. I find blessing here every time I visit. Surprising blessings… unexpected, unanticipated. Don’t miss out.

Is it just me, or is the world insane?

We can use it in many ways: prayers, petitions, supplications, meditation on God’s word.

The possibilities are endless, I think. 🤔

It’s just a partial list of what God’s Holy Scriptures have to say regarding the treatment of the poor. So here we go…

1. Defraud not the poor.

2. Be a helper to the other, the poor.

3. Love the poor.

4. Satisfy the afflicted soul.

5. Draw out thy soul to the hungry.

6. Deal your bread to the hungry.

7. Bring the poor that are cast out to thy house.

8. Cloth the poor.

9. Be strength to the poor.

10. Be a strength to the needy in their affliction.

11. Be a refuge from the storm to the poor.

12. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor, and needy.

13. Considerthe cause of the poor.

14. Rob not the…

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His Name Was Robert Paulson

One more personal story. I have sooooooo many. But a few on the way out will do. We can find Jesus in “the least of these” if we will only look. And when we find him there, we find him here (in us too). How can I make it any clearer???

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

I used to work in a psych unit.  I don’t talk about work on the internet, largely because I could cause my employer distress.  But also because of my need for confidentiality.  Fat Beggars School of Prophets operates largely in anonymity.

That said, I encountered a lot of street-homeless people in the psych hospital.  A lot!  But we had one of them develop physical illness and die after a few weeks in the ICU.  That patient had no next of kin.  That patient had no home.  And yet, that patient was beloved by our staff.  I will not give the name or even the gender of the patient away on the internet, not even in death.  (My apologies to Project Mayhem.)  Instead, I will call this prophet: Agent Deep Cover – Jesus moved into a difficult skin!

Agent Deep Cover was one of the most mentally afflicted people I ever met. …

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