Posts tagged ‘christianity’

June 14, 2018

Street Youth Ministry as featured by Deidox Austin Vlog May 2018


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March 30, 2018

“John 3:16 — true story.”

I was leaving the drop-in after movie night when a 40-ish black man stopped me on a street corner. “I want that!” he said, pointing to my shirt. “You should give it to me.”

The words on the shirt said simply, “John 3:16 — true story.” I cracked a joke and resumed my walk. “No!” he insisted. “I really do want to talk to you.” He explained that he knew me and what I do, knew that I change lives and wanted that.

He then dropped a familiar name, a former client who had gotten sober, come to Jesus and turned his life around. “I want what he has,” he said. Of course, I told him that it was Jesus who had changed the client’s life and is responsible for anything that I ever accomplish.

He asked me to mentor him. As a first step, I asked him to find a church to worship in regularly and a Bible study to attend regularly. I cautioned him not to fall into the “fixer trap” – to attend not as a homeless man but as just another sinner seeking to find out how better to follow Jesus.

We prayed together on that street corner, asking Jesus to encourage him and to help his wife, who he told me is entangled deeply in denial and addiction.

I’ll be praying for this man and I am keeping in my heart the fact that people are always watching and we may never know who or when the spirit effects people through our actions.

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May 6, 2009

Don’t Want To Be Streeted Again

I recently spoke with “Jack” at the ministry trailer of Cream and Sugar. I’ve seen Jack around before but not lately. After some pleasant small talk, Jack told me that he had lost his job lately. It seems it was his own fault, and he accepts responsibility for this. However, it means that in about two weeks he will get kicked out of his apartment for not paying the rent.

Jack has been on the street before. So I figured that might not be a big deal to him. However, it is. Jack doesn’t want to be on the street again. He asked for some help to make sure he’s working as hard as possible to find a new job so he won’t be on the streets. I certainly offered him some help in the following ways:
  • Regular check-in with me on how many applications he has submitted since we last met
  • Making a resume together
  • Brushing up on his interview skills using questions common in interviews
  • Discussing the companies and jobs he looking for to find additional avenues of work.
Jack liked these ideas a lot. He said he has some problem getting going every morning. If he doesn’t get going soon enough, he finds that he wastes the rest of the day. Who doesn’t feel this? So I gave Jack a wrist watch with alarms on it. He had depended on a phone in the past but it got broken. He was very happy. I hope the watch will serve as a symbol that he’s looking for work and staying off the street.
I also challenged Jack in one more way. Jack was raised as a Catholic. He has turned to the Bible in times of trouble in the past. I challenged him to be turning to the Bible on a daily basis now, before the trouble comes. He liked the idea, but I’m not sure he had the means to do it. I’ll follow-up more on that next time I see him.
I asked Jack why he doesn’t want to be on the street again. (Several of his friends stated outright that they don’t mind being on the street.) Jack said he doesn’t like the way people look at you and judge you. He doesn’t like getting trapped by the booze and the drugs. It just doesn’t work for him anymore. Praise the Lord for this wisdom revealed to Jack! Now let us pray for Jack to discover the wisdom found in Proverbs (and throughout the Bible) of working diligently with your talents and gifts to be fruitful and prosperous — not for the sake of comfort but for the sake of the Kingdom and glory of God!
April 30, 2009

Hurts of the Heart

I met “Abel” this week. He was with a group of new folks. They were very friendly and all seemed to be having fun, or so it seemed. However, he hung back and then sat down. He obviously was not having fun.

Abel has travelled for some time. However, during that time he found stable work in an profession that he is really gifted and passionate about. He saved money and returned to Texas. However, he’s bringing more back to Texas than a new profession and some money.
While travelling, Able got very addicted to a common street drug. he has overdosed and required medical attention a dozen or more times. The last time was Father’s Day of last year. He stayed clean since then. This is a great achievement for him!
However, Abel wasn’t happy today. He was obviously worried. I asked him to share and he confessed, “I used today. I so pissed at myself. I can’t believe I did this. My girlfriend is going to freak out.” But the fact was he had used, and he was thinking of using again. I assured him that his actions today didn’t take away all that he had accomplished in the last 9 months. “What you choose to do next is critical. Will you use again and again, or will you walk away from it today?” He simply didn’t know the answer to this question.
I asked, “Is faith something that can help you through this?” He stated , “I was raised as an atheist.” I assured him that didn’t matter, “We are all raised as something, but we can become something else.” I asked him if he felt there was any higher power? “I don’t know. I don’t see evidence for anything. Christians are just brainwashed. They say one thing and act another way. There’s the whole anti-gay thing. I just can’t do any of that.” I explained that we all fall short. We all do things we shouldn’t. “The important thing is to make a relationship with the God of Christianity. The rules, ‘do’s‘ and ‘don’ts‘ are only a small part of Christianity. The big part is so want a relationship with the creator of the universe and to accept him as real and personal.” Abel had many concerns and doubts.
I wondered what was going on that had brought Abel to this crisis. “What have you noticed about your feelings? Is something going on?” “My friend overdosed yesterday. A close friend in [another Texas city.] I just can’t deal with it. It has left me feeling like a hole has been ripped out of me.” I told him, “We all have a hole in us. And you’re trying to fill it with [drugs]. Some try to fill it with money, some with other things. But this is where Christianity comes in. You can make a relationship with the God of Christianity and he can fill this void. The evidence you seek for God will be how changed you feel when you let that happen.”
Abel had a lot to think about. He told me honestly that he wanted to feel the rush of [drugs] and that he still desperately wanted to use right now. But maybe he would just go home. I asked if I could pray for him, and he said yes.
I pray that Able fails to find [drugs] today. I pray that Able remains safe today. I pray that Able asks God to fill the hole he finds in his life… to fix the hurt of the emptiness of living without God. I pray that Able will return to me or other Christians able to help him make a connection with Jesus. Amen.