Fat Beggars School of Prophets is where I stand. George Barnwell is to the left. (My prison ministry friend of many years.)

Fat Beggars is nation-wide, ya’ll

Hard Times Ministries

Tom%George_HDR

View original post

Advertisements

He Calls Me Daddy

I didn’t teach him to call me “Daddy”.  It’s not a name I ever used.  I never imagined myself being referred to with it.  But one of the first discernable words to come from his mouth was “Daddy”, and it is definitely his most frequent word.

I hear the word “Daddy” playfully uttered with delight.  He wants me to watch him prance through the house in his rain boots while he wears my hat, and he calls out for Daddy.  He wakes up in his bed alone and scared and he cries out for Daddy.  And if I get ready to leave the house, if he is observing, he calls out to me, “Daddy”, and holds out his arms because he wants to go with me where ever I go.

The boy loves me.  He seeks my attention, my affection, and wants to play with me, to be WITH me.  He wants to give me kisses.  He wants to GO with me.  He imitates me.  He wants to be just like me.

When I lay down my shovel, in a split second, he drops the toy he is playing with and toddles over to the shovel and attempts to dig with it.  If I water the plants, he tries to get his hands on the hose.  If I type on the computer, he wants to mash the buttons.  He thinks I am cool.

I think about my Dad, about seeking his attention, about seeking his approval, about seeking his affection and wanting to go with him.  I see myself in the OTHER role as this little one calls me “Daddy”.  I think I know the excitement he feels, the joy, the hope, the comfort, and conversely the fear.  I see and feel the bond in several dimensions at once.  His little life finds orientation in me, and that feels so important.

I think about God, about seeking his attention, about seeking his approval, about seeking his affection and wanting to go with him.  I see myself and God in a NEW LIGHT as this little one calls me “Daddy”.  I know new dimensions of excitement we share, of joy, hope, comfort, and fear too.  My new life finds orientation in him, as this little one calls me “Daddy”, and that feels so important.

My boy is God’s gift to me.

 

He is not from my lineage.  He is not of my ethnicity.  He does not LOOK like me.  He did not come to my world “in the usual way”.  He was a surprise, but not the usual kind.  No.  God brought us together in all the unlikely ways that bear his brand of serendipity.

The day he was born, the Great State of Texas, in it’s infinite wisdom, saw fit to put this boy into foster care.  The next night, I came home from work and he was waiting for me.  A handsome, fragile, tiny little sojourner wrapped up in a little cloth, his eyes closed tight against the world as he slept.  I didn’t know then if he would be here to stay or if he was passing through, but I held him in my arms and thanked God for coming into my house.  He chose my door to knock, and I chose to answer.

My boy is not the only child under this roof, nor the only one to come here in foster care.  But he is the first one I adopted.  And currently he is the only one here on that permanent basis.  He is God’s gift to me.  He is my son.  I love him, and he loves me, and he calls me Daddy.

My heart is full of joy with this boy.  My life is full of hope for him.  I believe God’s world needs more of this gift, and it will be a much better place!

It is good that he calls me Daddy.

Happy Father’s Day.

 

Oh… and if you want to open your home to God’s gift, let me encourage you to do so.  There is no shortage of homeless children flooding the system looking for a home and someone to call Daddy.

Romans 13:1, Republicans, Context (and Children and Homelessness)

So our AG justifies a policy of splitting up children from parents when caught illegally seeking refuge in the arms of America by quoting Romans 13:1.  You already know this.  I am not breaking the news.  But I wonder about it.  I wonder and I invite you to think critically about it.

Submission to the Authorities
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

What is the context in which St. Paul pens these words?

I wonder if Hillary Clinton had won the election and quoted that verse in support of AG Sessions’s submission to her “liberal” and “big government” policies if he would see her policies as instituted by God.  I wonder if she instituted pro-abortion policies if he would see the same connection.

I have my doubts, actually.

(Hear me carefully here: I am not in support of Hillary Clinton by saying that.  But then I am not a Democrat or Republican, nor a supporter of the Trump brand.)  I just really hate to see Scripture twisted to political ends so blatantly, and I think my conservative, Bible-believing friends need to think critically about this opportunistic, narrow-minded, even blasphemous twist of God’s Word used to support and/or defend a policy that breaks up families.

In fact, one of the things I traditionally appreciate about Republicans and conservatives is the emphasis they have historically placed on “family values”, and it occurs to me that Mr. Sessions is not only turning his back on the Love of God with his twisted use of Scripture but also on this long held ideal about family values, all for a bit of political expediency.

When those people of distant lands look to America as the Shining City Set on the Hill (another Scripture twisted by President Reagan many years ago) and come here seeking mercy only to be met by officials who tear their children from their arms – perhaps never to be seen or heard from again – I think AG Sessions should consider the very stern words of Jesus who said, “Who ever receives one of these little children receives me, and anyone who causes one of these little ones to stumble… well, it would be better for him if with a heavy were tied to his neck he were thrown into the sea” (Matt. 18:5-6).

I applaud AG Sessions for seeking guidance from God’s Word.  America needs more of that, not less.  But abusing your authority and trying to legitimate it with God’s Word is a very dangerous path to take.  It is entirely the wrong context.  And when you look at the damage you are doing with it (breaking up families is a fairly easy litmus test), you can KNOW you have over stepped your authority.

This post might seem a bit off the subject for this blog, but I would ask you to consider how much the phenom of “broken homes” has contributed to homelessness in our world.  And as Christians, many of us so seduced by the current political winds, really can think more critically about how God ordains governing authorities and our submission to them.

I mean, what if this was Nazi Germany?  Would we consider that government God ordained just because it is a governing authority?

I don’t have to settle those deeper questions to your liking necessarily, but pointing out the political expedience with which Romans 13 has been pushed into the national spotlight this week, provides a good opportunity to get that critical thinking started.

I hope you will engage it.

Dear Church,

SLAAAAAAAAAM! What a find? Please, readers of Fat Beggars School of Prophets, read this post, reblog it, post it to your Facebook, and get this letter circulating around the capital C Church. Thanx.

Like Cows

I was on the way to a late night coffee house to do a bible study and prayer time with a friend. The coffee house is a pretty dark place, and is in a sketchy part of Minneapolis. We did studies there often to build relationships and be witnesses. This time, we accidentally missed our exit twice despite having been to this coffee shop numerous times. We got off on a different exit to turn around when we spotted a homeless man on the side of the road. There was nothing particularly special about his appearance – he looked like any other homeless person that most people would write off as a drug addict or lazy. But the Lord saw a specific person “named Andrew but whose friends called him Drew.” That night Jesus showed us His heart for this man, a man whom he loved, and God chose to…

View original post 637 more words

Little Man, little Woman what you do is IMPORTANT!

Let these words sink in…

Hard Times Ministries

For those of you who think your words, blogs, efforts, prophecies are to no effect and unimportant: nothing could be further from the truth.  What you do is important!

Some think they are so small relative to others and their contributions that they berate themselves, feeling useless and void. I don’t believe for a moment Christ would ever agree to that.

Man, woman:  you are NOT that little either for there is POWER in your words and deeds.

And for those of us who believe in the Butterfly or Ripple Effect, we know how one small ripple can change the course of the entire world.

Think about it for a moment.  Many of you provide words of encouragement and wisdom.  You bring joy to others about messages from our Lord, Jesus and about Jesus.

Thus, don’t judge yourself by the standards of the world that would insist on vast numbers…

View original post 222 more words

The Disastrous Message from the Lupton Center on Poverty and Homelessness

Michael W takes it to the next level! Check out this post.

Thoughts on culture, politics and more

There is a disastrous message being promoted to churches and people of faith. It is destructive and the exact opposite of what Jesus wants us to do. It is dangerous! The Lupton Center seems to be a part of a non-profit in Atlanta  “Focused Community Strategies”. They are relatively small but their founder has a loud megaphone. He writes books and sells them for a living. They have seminars that churches participate in that teach followers of Jesus not to directly help the poor and homeless.

Jesus is weeping. This is wrong and will lead to eternal destruction for participants in this heresy. See what Jesus says below.

View original post 1,934 more words

Paranoid??? Or Just Burdened With Taboo?

I went walking around seeking street friends to connect with (or to reconnect with) yesterday, and it has been so long since I was out there that I felt out of place.  I was a bit bewildered thinking: Where do I start?  Will I meet new people?  Will I meet old friends?  Will they be friendly?

But there was another deeper dread haunting me as I went.  And I ran into Walmart to use their bathroom and purchase some smokes to share, and as I went in I felt a heavy feeling like I was being watched.

Yeah.  Spooky feeling.  I looked up, but I did not see any spy satellites or black helicopters, so I kept on going.  I was serving God, right?  Nothing will stop that – surely!  And just then I looked over to my right and saw the security vehicle parked there, and the guard monitoring all the people passing by.  I felt sure I would fall under his scrutiny.

As sooooooooo often happens when I enter a Walmart, the bathrooms at the front were barricaded for cleaning.  Glad I wasn’t hurtin’ for it.  I made my way to the back restroom.  I “did my business”, which I wouldn’t normally publish (and thus spare my readers the mental image), but as I moved to the sink to wash my hands (YES, I wash my hands!), an employee entered suddenly.

Now this should be rather unremarkable, and really, maybe I was just being paranoid, but when the employee saw me, he suddenly turned to wash his hands too (he never did his business).  Without a word spoken, he finished before me (I did tarry a bit), and walked out.  Shortly after that, I followed, and as I exited the restroom, I saw the man standing in the doorway to the backroom glancing back my way as I came out.

Hmmm…

Surely there is NO WAY this guy thinks I was stealing.  Roll footage!  I never even stopped to touch any merchandise on my way in.  Surely there is no way this guy knows my agenda, to minister to the homeless that mob this particular store daily – many of whom this guy and his colleagues monitor closely and sometimes run off the property or call law enforcement to tend to.  Surely (I know, leave Shirley out of this) he just happened by me, and didn’t even notice me at all!

As I left the store with my purchase, I reflected on my creepy feelings a bit.  I am mindful that I am down in the district where the Premier Homeless Pseudo Church (not it’s real name) does most of their work.  There is a sense in which I was on their turf!  And even though I was not on their property, I am certain that anyone I minister to down there also utilizes their ministry as well.  And, well, the thing is, I am unwelcome there – officially banned!  They don’t like the service I bring for Jesus!  And just the mere sight of me in that neighborhood would speak volumes.

I felt scrutiny with every step.  Judgement against me.  And when I met Agent Tex on the corner, as we stood there talking, I recognized that the difference between panhandling and talking on that street corner will be a judgment call, the difference between loitering and talking there will be a judgement call, and I must work hard to be “above reproach” as I do these things.  I will not be welcome to take this conversation back down to the church – they have it locked up, and if I take it there, we will be trespassing!

Yeah.

Scrutiny.

I was feeling it.

But then you gotta face it if you are going to love the poor and homeless at all.  There is always some monkey out there saying not to.  Not to give your money, not to give your time, not to care.  These bums aren’t worth it.  Or maybe all the care for them should be left up to the professionals, and you could send them your money instead.

Whatever the case, you know…, don’t serve these people.  Keep them in their place, and you stay in yours.  If somebody sees you caring, there will be scrutiny.  You might be breaking a law.  You might be breaking a norm.  You might be breaking a taboo.

Agent Tex

Yesterday was one of those blessed days when Mrs. Agent X suggested I get out for a while.  She would handle the kids on her own and give me a little freedom to do my own thing.  Though this kind of thing is rare, it seems to follow a pattern.  These moments come suddenly, and I am unprepared for them.

I did what I usually do, at such times; I hit the streets.

I went down by the Walmart on Marsha Sharp Freeway and quickly made a circuit walking the sidewalks in the area.  I approached a man on a corner with a bike and a wagon.  He appeared friendly, and I was ready to offer a smoke and make chit chat.

We didn’t talk more than 30 seconds before the guy recognized me and asked my name trying to place me.  I, on the other hand, completely failed to recognize him.  But as we sorted through the possibilities, he shared his name with me: Tex.

Tex!

Oh yeah!  Of course!  I haven’t seen Tex in years, but I do have a special memory of meeting him with Agent Matt (RIP), and getting a group rounded up in my car and taking us all down to eat at Asbury Methodist one night.

AND…

And after that, I put Tex on my prayer list, which you can see I posted again recently here.  Yeah, follow the link and read through it; you will see.

And this, of course, segued into me informing this brother that I have prayed for him daily ever since we last met.  And he informed me that he needed those prayers because he had been in jail for two years, but he is blessed that during that time he kicked is main addiction.

Wow!

I could tell more, but since I am using his name, I think I will leave the rest of it private, but I want to share this serendipity.  It is good to be in the hand of God, in his will, and connecting with others in his care.