Friday, December 16, 2011
What does God want?
This will be a busy day. Lord willing I plan to visit the Lynaugh prison this evening. These Friday Prayer and Share events make for a long day. It’s almost a two hour drive there, which of course makes it a two hour drive back so by the time I get home it is midnight. Then tomorrow I go to the Smith Unit prison in Lamesa. That is much closer and we can better afford the fuel to go there. At fifty dollars in gas to get to Fort Stockton prisons and back I wouldn’t be able to go if it wasn’t for hitching a ride with other Kairos ministry members. God always provides.
The visit’s to the Stanton jail have been productive. I worry about and pray for the young man who accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior 2 weeks ago for he has been released and I have no contact with him. There is a responsibility that comes with representing God here on earth. Jesus said “Go out and make disciples” not go out and get as many people “saved” as possible and then leave them on their own. Making a disciple requires that sacrifice so few seem to be willing to make, a sacrifice of your personal time and effort. That is not convenient you know, and here in America we have developed a “convenient” Christianity that requires only as much as one is willing to give and little sacrifice at all. Many churches have made things as easy as possible for their members, often just asking for money and saying thus they have fulfilled their duty.
At the Stanton jail I have been asked again what church I have or go to. Many incarcerated there presume I am a pastor with a church. But I am detecting something else in their questions. They want to come to my church and one specifically asked if I would be willing to spend time teaching him more about this Jesus I believe in. In Kairos there is a rule that you do not reveal your home address or any personal information for fear it will be used by those who desire to take advantage of others. I understand the Kairos policy for it is also the policy of the Texas Department of Corrections as well. However here at home I find a great need for the bible to be taught clearly, not with a denominational slant or the ulterior motives too often found in those who desire to be ministers of Christ.
As I talked with the guys in the jail they brought up their experiences in churches, both here and abroad. There was a general consensus of a lack of acceptance found, a lack of that most integral foundation of our faith, Love. They spoke of judgmental attitudes, gossip, and one said “I went to several churches, and there was nothing there”. I avoided telling of my experiences in the two churches we attended in Stanton because I didn’t want to reinforce their negative feelings. But I did turn to Mathew 24 and Mathew 7 and read the words of Jesus, of His predictions regarding the church and the problems that would be a part of it. “Watch out for false prophets, for they come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”. When you understand that the definition of a prophet involves anyone who speaks for or represents God, anyone who is a pastor or preacher falls into that category.
So I recognize a need in this area, a need for a place without judgment where all the rejected and looked down on can come and feel welcome. These are the people Jesus came for, the ones He was gossiped about for associating with. Read what Jesus did and said in Mathew 9 “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Who does God love? All of us. Who did Jesus die for? THE WHOLE WORLD, everyone, no exceptions. Who did Jesus have the greatest problem with? The religious people who thought they were better than others. What did Jesus say about that?
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18)
So I am seeing more and more a need for balanced teaching, and for someone to reach out to those whom others seem to think not a whole lot of. Is God moving me in this direction? I have lots of questions don’t I. If this is what God wants then doors will open. Pray with me about it would you? Time to go things to do.
Been working on getting the tractor to run. Put air in the tires that had gotten low, then went and got diesel fuel for it. Without a fuel gauge that works and unable to remember what I put in before nor how long it was run, plus because running a diesel out of fuel can cause some real problems, I figured it safer to put some in. So I got 5 gallons of diesel for about twenty bucks and put it in. Filled the tank up before I ran out so it wasn’t bad on fuel. I checked the oil and found it was fine so tried to start it. Not a bit of spark left in the battery so I put jumper cables on from my truck. Let it charge for an hour but that still wasn’t enough so I drug out the 100 foot extension cord and hooked up the battery charger. An hour later and it still won’t start. Nuts. Hope the battery hasn’t gone bad because we sure can’t afford a new one. I don’t even have money to get some anti-freeze and that could be a serious problem should we get a hard freeze. Last thing I need is a cracked block. There was anti-freeze in it but the tractor loses a gallon or two of water every time I run it so by this time it is pretty thinned out.
I sure want to plow the furrows we need to install the drip irrigation lines in preparation for growing some serious melons come spring. When I dug the grave for Buddy, whom I miss constantly, I found that the ground was wet a good 18 inches deep. Considering it gets rock hard and the plow won’t dig deep when it is dry this is a good time to do it.
But I will be leaving for the prison at 4 or 4:30 so am running out of time for that. Perhaps I can get it running and at least attach the plow. But tomorrow I go to the Lamesa prison and we also want to go help the widow out. Gonna be tight.