I saw Jesus in Overton Park

26 11 2011

I saw Jesus in Overton Park

by Glenn Roseberry on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 8:49am

I was jogging through Overton Park this afternoon in the 92F heat longing for the next stop at the water fountain on my 10K run. I glanced to the right and there stood, Jesus. I did not recognize him at first since he was behind the jungle gym near the water fountain. As I approached the other side of the playground and I got a clear view, sure enough it was him. He had on a headset kind of like the ear things you have in your ear for an IPOD only bigger. He had a back pack, glasses on and a big beautiful smile. When I finally got right up to him I confirmed it. There he was, Jesus, disguised, as usual as the least of these. He smelled of beer, maybe from yesterday. He was glad to see me. We speak almost every day at the park. But today I decided that I could not pass Jesus by. I ask him his name and he said he was Willie. He told me he was going to a secret spot to get ready to hide out so he could sleep near the park tonight. He said he was hungry and I could tell he was very hot. He admitted he had been living on the street for some time. I told him where my car was parked and asked him to meet me there in 10 minutes. He said he would try but his feet really hurt and he had to walk real slow. Willie is 58 but moves like he is 78. I jogged off on a less direct route confident that Willie would meet me shortly. As I lost sight of him the Holy Spirit washed over me like a cool breeze. I lifted my hands in praise and continued to run.

We hung out at my car, got him an apple out of my front seat, drank some water together and talked about options for him. He liked living on the street. I ask him if he needed anything and he said that yes he really wanted a haircut. So we loaded up and went to his favorite place. On the way I told him what Jesus meant to me. I wish I had prayed with him before he left, but in a hurry to get to the barber before 5 he rushed out mentioning that he sure hated to leave my air conditioned car. We agreed to speak again when I run tomorrow or the next day. You see Jesus is almost always around. Especially when you look. He is all over mostly disguised as the hungry, the lonely, the poor the orphan, the forgotten widow and the prisoner behind bars. He is named Willie, Joe, Brenda, Malcome and sometimes even goes by foreign names I find hard to pronounce. Heck sometimes we don’t even speak the same language. Most of the time I notice that Jesus smells funny and he is almost never very neat or clean. But I know it is Him because He told me so. “I tell you the truth, when ever you did unto the least of these you did unto me”.

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The Tale of Two Joe’s

26 11 2011

The Tale of Two Joe’s

by Glenn Roseberry on Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 5:52am

Well since it has happened twice I will share it here. I work with a group of men in a discipleship class in Frazier. They are the working poor and the disabled. At least to me. To most of my unsaved white friends they are free loaders and all that is wrong with our society. And yes some of my Christian friends as well. Every man in my group has either been shot, in prison and or had an immediate family member murdered. All but two have their GED as opposed to their high school diploma. They are mostly the recently saved and all over 30. Two of them are named Joe. A few weeks back “little” Joe, was going to be unable to attend our weekly meeting. He kindly called and alerted me to the fact since I pick these guys up to take them to the meeting. He did not want me to waste a trip. A friend had stranded him in another part of town. He could not get back home in time for his weekly ride. We hung up. Less than 10 minutes later he called back and told me he had to say something. He wanted me to know that he really wanted to be in the meeting and that he loved me and would miss me. He wanted me to tell the guys that as well. My group is changing before my eyes. Last week “old ” Joe, came to the door to tell me he was sick with high blood sugar and could not come. “Old” Joe is not really that old. He is a couple of years older than me but looks 75. He has lived a hard life. He would have called to alert me but his government supplied cell phone had been stolen by a drug selling nephew and the youth used up his minutes. He only gets 225 a month. Two old gun shot wounds are visible from his neck. His health is terrible. All of my men have various life threatening diseases due to past life styles and heredity. After apologizing ‘Old” Joe told me he loved me and would miss the meeting. We all missed Joe and prayed for him that night as we held hands. Almost half of my men miss at least one or two meetings a month due to health. They never miss for any other reason. If any miss we immediately are alarmed. It means something bad could have happened. We buried one earlier this year. I gave his testimony at his funeral. Those that work seem to all have large families. If they are laid off they are literally in danger of having to send the children to live with other family members. One had to move to a homeless shelter. Then we lost track of him. We are worried. Due to the kindness of other Christians I was able to give them some work book studies to learn to share their faith. They were so excited. We are memorizing scriptures to share and making a covenant to begin to chose people in their lives to pray for in the coming weeks as we learn to share about what Jesus has done in our lives. The Kingdom has come. The gospel is being preached to the poor. And perhaps some day very soon the gospel will be preached “by” the poor to their neighbors. I believe that we are changing culture. That is always what true Christianity has done. I love my Joe’s. Both of them. And they love me. We are the church. and the Church is triumphant. Praise to the King.

 





Post from an Communist

26 11 2011

The following statement was read by Billy Graham who came under much criticism for it’s obvious source.

 

“We Communists have a high casualty rate. We’re the ones who get slandered and ridiculed and fired from our jobs and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the Party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive. We Communists don’t have time or the money for many movies or concerts or T-bone steaks or decent homes and new cars. We’ve been described as fanatics. We are fanatics! Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor – the struggle for World Communism.

“We Communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money could buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty, personal selves into a great movement of humanity. And if our personal lives seem hard or our egos appear to suffer through subordination to the Party, then we are adequately compensated by the fact that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind. The Communist cause is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife and mistress, my bread and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens, as time goes on. Therefore, I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating it to this force which both guides and drives my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas, and actions according to how they affect the Communist cause and by their attitude toward it. I’ve already been in jail because of my ideas, and if necessary, I’m ready to go before a firing squad.”

 





A Post from an Atheist

26 11 2011

The following statement was made by an atheist.  Words to live by:

“If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings and vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be:

‘WHAT SHALL PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?’”