Pastor Jeff’s Full Blog Posts
Laying the foundations for a new work in Southeast Portland. Testing the waters for a possible shelter for the Saint John’s folk. Spending time with family and hanging out with and old friend and having a *proper talk* filled with catching up and the Kingdom of God.
Then on the way home a “rescue”.
I was driving down Lombard and just as I was approaching North Greeley, on the North side of the street in a Parking lot on the west end was this person in a wheel chair doubled over and waving a scarf. In my heart of hearts I knew they were in trouble and so just before the light changed to green for the east/west traffic I pulled a highly illegal U Turn cutting off a couple of cars and getting honked at and probably cursed.
I went down half a block took a couple of right turns and was in the parking lot next to Molly.
Molly the Quadriplegic, whose assigned helper had abandoned her, had her control wand jarred out of the reach of her mouth when she had hit a pot hole in the pavement of the parking lot. Turns out she wasn’t waving the scarf it was just fluttering in the breeze.
She had been in the parking lot for about 3 hours before I should up.
Now I was about to call 911, when an ambulance was driving by and I called out and they came to help and then they made a couple of calls and things started happening. I found had a water bottle on the back of her chair and was able to give her a drink.
Molly thanked God for my being observant. I just thank God for the Angel who was waving the scarf…….
So the newspaper headlines say after the findings of a Federal review that Portland Police tactics with the mentally ill are too harsh and will have to change. Unfortunately they haven’t started enforcing the changes yet.
When Anawim on SE 39th was in operation there was a guy named Larry. As long as Larry was on his meds he was a really nice guy. But if he forgot to take them even once he would become belligerent and antagonistic and a general pain in the tush.
I had heard that Portland Foursquare had a new pastor and that this guy had a heart for the Homeless and the Poor in general and I was urged to seek him out. Which I did today, but he was busy having a chat with a number on like-minded ministry leaders from other countries. So I left a card and a message that I’d like to have a meeting and left. Their church is nestled in one of those unique border areas between the middle to lower classes and the upper to flat-out rich class of people and they have a desire to unite them both with them being ground zero. Very cool and very courageous.
So then I was heading off another journey (errand) and I chose to meander through the houses and neighborhoods of the rich for they have these mini-mansions and I was envisioning them as Community Houses and it was really quiet with just the squirrels and the crows playing with the nuts……..then a police car swooshes by and another from a side street and still another and their lights are flashing but their sirens are silent. As I come around the bend of the street they are gathered to form a large circle and they are shouting the command for the individual to get on the ground and the individual was shouting back in defiance.
That voice…..screaming in defiance…….I knew that voice. I stopped. I got out of the truck and advanced along the sidewalk until one of the officers ordered me to stop. I said, I know him his name is Larry and he is mentally ill and I am his Pastor. The officer spoke into his radio and then I was allowed to go forward.
“LARRY,” I said in a voice loud enough for the police to hear but not to appear to be yelling at Larry. Larry looks at me for a moment and then smiles. “Larry,” I said again, “can we stop with the yelling?”
Larry grins and says loudly but not yelling, “Well, they started it by yelling at me”.
“I know, but they don’t know any better. They don’t know how to talk normal.” Larry digested that for a moment and then chuckles. “Larry, are you on your meds?”
“Naw, I ran out.”
“Do you have your doctor’s phone number?” He holds out his wrist and on the medical emergency bracelet is his doctors phone number. I call. The doc talks to Larry and then to me and I agree to give Larry a ride to the pharmacy at Providence where a nurse will administer the medication in a shot form and then give him some more pills to hold him over till the end of the month.
I then go and talk to the head officer who was up for this and then said, “I wish there were more pastors like you around.”
I winked and said, “There are. All ya gotta do is ask. I’ll get you a list.”
The police departed and Larry climbs into my truck and off we went and he got his shot and his pills and a free lunch and a ride to Mt Scott’s rec area so he could use his voucher for a shower (Which he really really REALLY needed). Half a can of Lysol later and the truck smelled normal again.
Ya know, It is said, that there is no greater gift than the laying down of one’s life for another. And this is true, but I would say there is no greater reward than the giving away of your life for one another.
Did not Jesus say, He who seeks to save his life will lose it and he who loses his life for My sake will have eternal life. So if you are going to spend your life doing something make that something and eternal something.
It was a curious thing that I was allowed to watch today. A young crow launched himself from the arm of a street light and was I believe attempting to land on a patch of lawn on the other side of Division across from the Dairy Queen on 56th street. However the young crow misjudged the distance and kind of had a hard landing in the middle of the east bound lane on Division.The young crow was having some problems reorienting himself and getting back onto his feet.
Then this marvelous thing happened. Four large adult cows landed and surrounded the younger crow. They even held their ground against a very large dump truck. Even when the driver of the truck honked his air horn the crows would not abandon the young crow. When the young crow finally got himself together and launched himself with a flutter of wings and was clear of the street and actually on the lawn did the four older crows relinquish their claim on the street, and flutter over to join the younger crow.It is said that Creation is the reflection of God’s glory and power. It is also said that the chief cornerstone of that power is Love.
So if the Elders of a flock of Crows deems the value of the Life of their young at a level worthy of the sacrifice of their own lives how much more should we be willing to sacrifice our lives for our brethren and our children.
Today I was helping a neighbor with a project. After awhile he took a break and I wandered into backyard/ forest to see how my grapes were ripening.
So I picked a small cluster and began to munch on them. as I was gazing at the yard I became aware of a bit of scurrying in the deep shadows of my forest. And then out came a nice plump grey squirrel. He did not show any fear at all and came up to with in 6 inches of me. I plucked a grape of my cluster and held it out and Mr’ squirrel placed his left fore paw upon my knee and reached over and took the grape.
Now I should mention that I was sitting on the back steps when this all transpired. So Mr. squirrel turned the grape over a couple of times sniffing it and then stuffed it into his mouth chewed and swallowed. I offered another and the same procedure repeated itself again and for three more grapes. Then Mr.Squirrel turned and scampered off back into the trees and then up the maple.
I was about to get up when Mr. Squirrel showed up again. This time though he came baring gifts. Well a gift. I was presented with a green Walnut. He came right up to my lap and deposited it and then step back about 5 feet to see what I would do. I took the nut and turned it over in my hands and then put it in my Pocket. Then the squirrel turned and went back into the tree.
There is crying and then there is crying. Some is as a result of unspeakable joy and others are unspeakable sorrow. Some cries are in desperation and some in intercession.Jesus said, “Let him who has ears hear.” He would also tell His disciples that the reason he told stories was because the people didn’t have the ears to hear the truth and be set free. They also lack the eyes to see the truth or to discern the deception.
Today I was out and about collecting money from customers who had been on vacation. At one location I spotted and old friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we were gabbing and remembering our last adventure together and we decided to go grab some coffee and a munchie. As we were approaching this eatery that neither of us had been in before there was this young man in his twenties digging through a garbage can unwrapping things and eating them. I said “Hey bud, let me buy you some food in here.”
The young man erupted into screams of; “Get away from me! this mine! go find your own!!!” He could not hear us. His eyes were glazed in fury and hate and bitterness.
“Yup!” I said.I had a plan. I went in and bought the biggest Cheese Burger they had and the largest order of fries and a huge Cup of Ice Tea.
The manager said, “You are going to give this to that guy out there aren’t you?”
I said, “Yup!”
She said “We have a few burgers here that didn’t turn out the way we wanted…” and so she added them to the very big bag.
Now the trick was how to get them into the can which the twenty something was guarding like a junk yard dog. So one of the girls behind the counter took off her apron picked up the bag and went out the back way and walked up to the can and just stuffed it in and then walked back the way she came. The kid opens up the bag and just stares. You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven. And we were in the store behind tinted glass high fiving ourselves over our cleverness when there was another eruption and the guy was screaming profanities concerning the girl who had delivered the package and he dumped out the Ice tea and tore up all the burgers and fries and then urinated in the can and stormed away.
I thanked the manager for her generosity. The server and the manger were under the opinion that this guy was possessed and Fr. Bob and I were in full agreement.
The ability of our enemy the devil to blind the eyes and ears is sometimes beyond words. His ability to deceive and enslave the heart of man is much greater than we give him credit for. This young man would have at one time, just a few years ago, be an extreme example. However not today, their numbers are ever increasing.
Now some of you might ask why we did not cast out the demon?
We did not because if we had and the young man refused to give his life to Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit, the demon, according to scripture, would have roamed the area for a while come back found the vessel (the man) clean gone out and gotten 7 spirits worse than himself and returned and taken over and then the condition of the young man would have been worse.
Jesus looked unto the people and said that the field is ripe for harvest but the laborers are few. Pray for more laborers. Better yet be a laborer. The devil is working very hard to enslave as many as he can and as it is said: Idle hands is the Devils work shop. There are many Idle hands even in the Kingdom of God so it is time to go to work and let your light shine.