Monday, June 28, 2010


Here is an article from Kitsap Counties homeless newspapers edited by Sally Santana. The article was written by Major Baker, a good friend who is the charge staff of Bremerton's Salvation Army.

From “Conan” as told to Major Baker

His parents were heavy drinkers and pill takers.
They abused him sexually, mostly through his
mother’s insistence and threatened to kill him if
he told authorities. His mother loved to manipulate
people. She would beat him with bamboo canes
until he was bruised from mid-back to his knees,
causing severe back problems. They made him feel worthless. He was terrified of authority because all authority was abusive in his eyes.
He began drinking at age 10 and got into drugs at age 12. He ran away from home
three times. When he was 15 his parents said if he tried it again he would be dead because he “embarrassed them.”
He was sexually molested by men when he was a 14-year-old runaway and again when
he was 23. At 18 he moved to Oak Harbor lived with a brother. He washed out of Navy boot camp because of a near nervous breakdown. Meanwhile his brother was trying to convert him to Christ through threats, manipulation and “holy roller” style preaching. He stayed four years trying to gain his brother’s approval and feeling brainwashed. He got married during that time but the relationship was mostly physical and immature. It ended when he discovered that she had been cheating.
At 23 he got deeper into drugs and alcohol. He would get jobs and then quit abruptly
and hitchhike to another town and another job. He drank and used drugs heavily for 30 years to medicate and quiet the memories.
As a homeless person he was constantly looking out for the cops and for the “jocks,” who liked to beat up “bums.” He has been shot at, robbed and molested. “The world is full of sharks,” he says. “[On the street] you cannot show any weakness. There is no security at all.” To survive he sold drugs or had a “sugar momma” or did fortune telling.
He learned how to set up a campsite from Vietnam vets. He kept his camp clean, had a
large backpack, 6’ x 6’ brown dome tent, fire pit, latrine and quicklime. He always bought food with his food stamps and never sold them for drugs. He only stayed in a campsite 3 weeks, because the cops would find it by that time.
His father died 5 ½ years ago and he was torn up. He loved his father because his
father taught him many work skills that enabled him to get jobs. But his preacher brother did not even call to tell him his father had died until two days before the funeral – not enough time to attend.
When his mother died of cancer, his only wish was that she had died more slowly.
“Conan” has made some good choices over the years. He used to steal but quit because
he knew it was wrong. Although he can’t hold a job he has never wanted to go on disability. He prefers to volunteer rather than ‘take.’ He has quit drinking and taking drugs because now he wants to face his demons instead of medicating them into oblivion. He is eating healthier and living better. And maybe, just maybe, he will be able to finally exorcise those demons.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

taste and see

On a closed road beside the Coffee Oasis drive-thru we hosted the first annual Coffee Oasis Block Party today! It was hugely successful. Beautiful people of all shapes, sizes, looks, and colors came and ate together, watched together (3-on-3 basketball), listened together (very gifted rap artist from Seattle), and played together (traditional street games). In the music and conversation I heard Jesus spoken of and shared. I would guess around 350 people tasted the delicious BBQ.

Here is a effort at hymnody that I wrote today:

Jesus, Savior of the trembling hearted
Needing to hear Thy voice again
Daylong nights and dirty passions
Left too weak to love renew

Jesus, God in flesh abiding
Walk not by my sinking heart
We hold dim vision of Thy coming
But what Thou has none other can impart

Jesus, insatiable joy of man’s desire
Creation groans to release Thy name
Infant laugh and aging fondness
Morning dawn to evening flame

Jesus, Savior of all who call upon Thee
These rescued now proclaim
Infinite praise to King Immortal
Be celebrated now into eternity!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

renew me

This life affords many strange feelings, strange experiences. One of those is the feeling of having to constantly catch-up, as if life has left you behind. Writing a blog affords that feeling. There are a thousand stories I have not spared the time to share and there is no way to regain them for you. Perhaps one day when someone goes through the scraps of our lives they will put the pieces together and tell the story, but no late night, sniffly nose, surveyed landscape, or humbled sinner waits for camera crews. Real life shared is irreplaceable. So I will try to share more with you, share with me.

The lesson of the past blog-less months has been: renewed holiness. Though I was an athlete my memories of high school are not lettermans jackets and American made muscle cars. I remember holiness. A commitment to keep myself from worldliness. I knew I could not invent holiness, I simply must obey. And I enjoyed it immensely. Renew to me joy, O Lord.

Upon his brothers voyage to Peru Jim Elliot wrote his mother: "Remember we have bargained with him who bore a cross....Our silken selves must know denial. Hear Amy Carmichael:

O Prince of Glory, who dost bring
Thy sons to gory through the Cross,
Let us not shrink from suffering,
Reproach or loss."

Monday, June 7, 2010

more again soon...

O blog how I miss thee!
Thou raiment is of threaded word,
and thy path along a pleasant brook.
Mayest I walk thine way again?

I am studying for a 15 page paper that is due in...11 hours! I must begin! Wanted to write and thank Mr. Lewis. I have read nearly 11 books and 7 journal articles--thousands of pages--for this paper and find in Jack's writing more clear thinking than most other Christian and non-Christian sources. God bless that man! I do not agree with everything and that is part of the beauty. We are both worshippers. That is evident in the way he writes and the way my minded-heart works.