Saturday, June 20, 2009


As a follower of Christ and as an embedded undercover missionary within the poverty culture, I’ve always sought the balance between wealth and poverty. Between enjoying what you have and giving what you have. Between the words of Jesus and the nonsense of North American middle-class culture.

My friend The Shaman (formerly of Chickasha, OK and now of the Rocky Mountains in CO) recently wrote of Ecclesiastes in his daily on-line journal. His mention of Eccl. chapter 9 verse 7 and onward in defense of enjoying what the CEO of the universe has given us makes sense. The Shaman uses this verse to follow his words “When we have a real empathy for the needs of others, especially the misfortunate and poor, there is a tendency to have guilt about our own personal blessings and provisions”.

Basic gist: have care for those without. But enjoy your bread & wine. Enjoy your wife. Keep yourself clean, and work with all your might.

Oddly enough, I’ve always tended to agree with this. I surely enjoy my wife. And wine. And Golden Monkey Belgian triple ale.

But I still scratch my head over followers of Christ spending vast resources on gawdy property when the local poor go without.

In the local news this week, a local church bought the legendary mansion on Buffalo Gap road with hopes of turning it into a public event center and church function shin-dig house. This 12,000 sq foot monstrosity is in grave disrepair so this church is also raising funds to fix it up, under a non-prof outfit. So it goes.

This house is so bloated and asinine that even its builders/original owners back in 1983 couldn’t keep it after a few years.

The OLD Agent B would have lambasted this church’s purchase without question.

The NEW Agent B questions the comparison of enjoying ones wine from god with buying ridiculous property on the hopeful nickel of generous others for repair.

And the local poor still get nothing.

So it goes.

* photo by Kevin Halliburton

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Forty-Nine Cent

There is a new character working in the remodeling outfit along side myself, Chuckie, and The Jedi Master.

Forty-Nine Cent hails from Flint, Michigan but has been in the west Texas region for a good while. He claims to now be clean from a serious drug past that landed him in prison for five years. The prison-made mural tattooed across his body tells the tale of the snitch who sent him away, while the grim reaper lorded his life over specific years.

Admittedly, I never understood the gangster wanna-be attitude and culture. Even the baggy pants/boxer shorts uniform seems so impractical for a lifestyle that ends up on-the-run in a moments notice. Although cops have told me that they love this fashion when things digress into a foot chase. Baggy pants guys are easy to catch.

Forty-Nine Cent & I worked together this week and I’m glad to get to know him. He’s newly married and making a sincere effort to “settle down” and so forth.

Of course, the real beauty here is the redemption path that The Jedi Master is allowing Forty-Nine Cent to take. He worked for JM years ago and quit just as he stole a few hundred dollars in tools for a high. JM recently allowed him to work off that debt and start fresh.