|Vol. 2000 No. 9 September 2000
BE AN ORGAN DONOR - "GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS"Someone Cares Home Page
I DOUBLE DARE YOU
Remember that as a kid? I dare you, I double dare you? I was nineteen and had the world by the tail. Going to college, had a neat girl and a heavy ride (car). Went to a party and got really blasted (high). We were at a lake and had been in and out of the water.
"I dare you to swim to the other side," I challenged a friend. "I double dare you."
Off he went, but he did not make it. The death of a friend is terrible. Even though it was my dare, I was not charged. Inside of me I cried all the time, and to cover the pain I went to drugs. Almost in the blink of an eye my grades went from A to D. My straight friends stayed away from me, leaving me with the dregs.
Another party and we were in the mountains. At dusk, high on speed, a rifle in hand. A deer came to the edge of the camp. Someone said "I dare you to shoot it." In a rage, I turned and fired 4 shots into a young boy. My sentence was rehab. Don asked me to write this for the young people, telling them to stay away from drugs. I wish I had. A boy might be alive and I would not have caused the grief I did.
THE BUCK STOPS HERE
I guess I was an average kid from and average home with an average life until I got into drugs. I lived to be high and I stayed high. I stole from my folks, my grandparents, and anyone else I could. I had a $200 dollar a day habit. Of course I got caught (we all do) and sent to prison, we all do. I was not prepared for the reality of what prison is. I went through the humility of delous-ing, a complete body search and being assigned to a cell with a man I knew I was not going to like. Now the rest is a real nightmare. My folks sent me money and going to canteen for the first time was a treat, it would not be again. I bought all I could and started back to my cell when I was stopped by some black gang members, could have been white or Mexican. The leader of the group thanked me for his stuff. What stuff? "Your canteen is now mine," he said. I looked around, seeing no escape, and I handed over my things.
Later I was told by another group I had to settle the score. What score? The name of the game is pay back. If you don't, they will own you. No way. A couple of days later they stopped me again and told me they wanted sex by me. Whoa. I turned and ran, but were could I go? I looked up a gang member and asked for help. He told me the only thing I could do was kill him to settle the score. This is the code of the prison system, and has been for years. Kill a man over a bunch of canteen! Did I? Well...
GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE.
I had been told all the horror stories before I was sentenced to prison. Give in or give up. How bad is bad? I arrived at Soledad a skinny 20 years old. I went through all to be assigned a cell. My cell-mate was a young man also, and a Christian. He told me right away to be careful or the gangs would be after me. Careful? What did that mean?
I was out on the yard watching a basketball game when three inmates approached. They jumped right to the point; I could pay money for protection or pay by giving oral or anal sex. I told them no way and they told me I had no choice. They gave me a day to think about it. I told my cell-mate and he told me to go to the Chaplain. I did and was advised to go into protective housing. He also said to get there I would have to give up the names of the men who threatened me. That was a death sentence. Heading back to certain doom, I was again stopped, this time by another gang member. He told me a man had offered to protect me from all the gangs if I would give him sexual favors once in a while. I was in prison for bad checks, lots of them, facing this kind of a life. I got a shank (prison knife), and nearly killed two of the men who threatened me, now everyone leaves me alone. I only have eleven more years to watch my back.
I am writing this as we prepare to leave for Camp Meeting. This is a blessing we receive every year where we fellowship and enjoy the company of friends and new acquaintances.
It was at a Camp Meeting in the Santa Cruz Mountains years ago when I saw what Christian fellowship was. We have shared camp meeting with many an inmate trying to share the love and joy this can be. The biggest high ever is when we meet on the Moun-tain top with Jesus and fellow Christians. The mountains keep away the world that wants to devour us all. No guns, no shanks, no hate, no abuse, just Jesus. Next year, like 1985, we are going to take several ex-cons and have them enjoy the experience. God is so good. Now there will be a delay in mail, so it may come in bunches, but it will get to you. If you don't write an inmate, get in touch-we will hook you up. Yvonne always reminds me of the Camp Meeting we are going to have when we all get to heaven. Then when we come back to the New Earth, with God among us, wow!
HERE AM I SEND ME!
That's what the Bible says. We have found in prison, and Church, men and women looking for a calling. Jesus tells us to GO! Where? To our knees and pray. HE will show you the way. There are many things for us to do. My suggestion is do what I did. Try anything for Jesus and if you don't fit, move on. Betty tells us "I'm just not a writer. I tried and it did not work."
Never give up. Jesus is coming no matter what we do, but doing something makes it all worth while.
WE ARE JOHN AND JUDY
Many years ago you and Yvonne spoke at our church in Kentucky and we made a commitment to write and support your ministry. We did both for a brief time, but the inmate we just could not handle. We stopped writing and supporting. About two years ago we got a letter from the inmate you matched us with, after eight years. He came right on, telling us how sorry he had been and how roughly he had treated us. He got another Pen Friend through you, who led him to Christ!! She was killed in a car crash and he was devastated. We had, wrongfully, written him using our address, against your advice. This letter was so kind we decided to write him and it has been great. We asked our pastor how to get in touch with you and he gave us your web page. We will write this friend and would like one more. Also coming will be a check for the $5.00 a month we promised long ago with a little interest. God Bless you.
Yvonne and I are so blessed when these thing happen. The funny thing is, somehow they disappeared from our computer or I would have sent a note on not writing. Did we send you a name and you didn't write? Will you do it now? It would please Jesus so much.
SUPPORTING SOMEONE CARES
God placed a great burden for Prison Ministry on us a long time ago. He has seen to it that we have run the gamut. It is hard to work in prison, do the Pen Friend Program, not do the Dress Outs because we have to raise funds. We are a 501c Non Profit Organization, so any donations are tax deductible. We work by God's plan, and because of you Someone does care. Try it for awhile, and enjoy the blessings God wants to pour out on you. Not everyone can visit a prisoner, write letters, gather clothes, do Bible studies, teach remedial reading, or provide much-needed financial support to a work Jesus considers very important. But even the poor, humble widow lovingly cast all she had into the temple treasury - two little copper coins - and Jesus gave her credit in heaven for more than the whole crowd had given in pompous arrogance. Your mite does count!
It is camp meeting for so many of us who have had the privilege of being raised with it all our lives. Some of you may never have had that blessing, so I will try to give you an idea of what it is. It is a religious retreat, great for spiritual restoration which we all need, though sometimes we just don't want to admit it. The first camp meeting that I remember was the summer of 1944 in Linwood, California. My father was attending La Sierra College to become a minister, and my mother was a beautician (now they're called hair stylists).
Everybody stayed in tents that were pitched ahead of time; some would even share a tent. It did get crowed but we all went to meetings and managed to find family at meal time, and there was something so special about the great-tasting food. Some day I'll tell you about Don's first Camp meeting. Little did I realize that at the young age of four, it would become a life style for me forever. Now it is much easier with the modern conveniences that we have, yet I still recall how hot it could get in Fresno or Lodi when there was not a fan to be found unless it was one you were holding. Now, at a much older age, I am so very thank-ful for having the privilege of looking forward to camp meet-ing every summer. It is a blessing that I pray each of you can experience some time in your life!
I am so very thankful for God-fearing parents that made it possible for me to enjoy my summers, whether it be at summer camp, or time with Grandparents, or camp meeting and for me it was usually all of the above. It is a time of fellowship, praying together, singing praises to God together, and learning more of God's word. A time out from the everyday ho hum and just enjoy God without worldly disturbances.
that at every ball game, graduation, prom, etc., someone has enough of stupid, anti-Christian court decisions and has the guts to recite the Lord's Prayer loudly. Others join in, then more, and more, until hundreds participate.
JUST SUPPOSE this spreads all over our land until this becomes standard practice in hundreds of schools...then thousands...then tens of thousands. What would local school boards do? Expel half the student body? They need their jobs and federal funding far too much to do that. What would a Federal district court do? Order hundreds or thousands of nonviolent, decent minors jailed? What would the Supreme Court do about this, issue more edicts? What if millions decided the Supreme Court was out of its league and said, "So what?"
JUST SUPPOSE hundreds of brave school board members, local judges, prosecutors, and leaders, each in his own area of authority, refused to intervene.
JUST SUPPOSE this spread next into classroom after classroom, and a brave student or teacher started the Lord's Prayer (or Psalm 100, or a Bible reading, etc.) each morning, until hundreds of thousands stood up and did their part and stopped cowering before the destructive, God-hating secular attitudes of the pagan minority who parrot the media line.
JUST SUPPOSE every God-fearing Christian participated peacefully, nonviolently, but firmly and continually. Where would they get enough jails to hold us all? How would they prosecute us? It is far more than the government can do to even stop the flow of illegal drugs, despite their best efforts, and overcrowded jails. Hardened criminals walk after doing only half of their sentence to ease jail crowding. Even if they try to pick on a handful to make examples of them, what if hundreds of thousands stood up to the tyranny of the minority and demanded back their freedom of religion?
During the Civil Rights battles of the 60's, some of the black people decided they had enough and stood up to the system. Eventually the whole country heard, repented and changed. Racial repression was an evil whose time was over.
But now there is another battle and the stakes are even higher. The future of all people of every color is at stake. No other country on earth allows a tiny minority of impractical anti-religious bigots to censor their people's right to free religious expression. Even Russian public schools show videos of the life and teachings of Jesus now.
We choose the government we deserve. If you draw a time line you will see that the exponen-tial increase in public school violence, pregnancy, and foul language all started at exactly the time the Supreme Court banned prayer and Bible read-ing from our schools. We told God we did not need Him, and the results spoke for them-selves.
JUST SUPPOSE hundreds of Christians passed this message on to their friends, leaders, and contacts. JUST SUPPOSE hundreds of churches, organizations and ministries passed this message on to their constituencies with a request to reprint, re-post, and repeat it wherever possible.
Once upon a time the Church was the moral conscience and spiritual lighthouse of the nation. Now, most congre-gations are impotent, pusillanimous minor-league social welfare agencies or mutual comfort societies with no impact on the world around their little enclave.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? Rejoice in the wonders we are provided, spread the word as we were meant to do.
Matthew 6: 9-13 And Jesus said to pray like this:
"Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen."
Pass this on ... and let's cover America and the world with the Lord's prayer....
Don't be afraid of it... it unites people of every denomination.
Every one knows it... and Jesus is the one who taught us the Word. Let us all challenge the world of darkness and spread light!
National FFA Organization
6060 FFA Drive,
PO Box 68960
Indianapolis, IN 46268
Many thanks to Don and Yvonne, who arranged for me to be an observer on 3ABN's satellite broadcast trailer during ten wonderful days at Michigan camp meeting. Scott Grady, the Director, is the son of one of our Board members.
What a contrast to the school I attended earlier. Scott is very quiet, never raised his voice at the crew, who worked well to-gether, including the volunteers.
The atmosphere was Christ-centered, calmly accomplished, and it was fun to be able to watch all the speakers close up as the camera saw them. There was so much musical talent in the main programs with inspirational speakers. This, I knew, was what Christian broadcasting was all about! It made the worldly alternative look so ugly by comparison.
I had an opportunity to work for a pastoral team, learning to be a Power Point operator. The pastor and his wife had so much to do, preparing the slides for song service, and presenting a seminar in another building as well, so they entrusted me to run some of the song service programs, that were sent from the trailer to the auditorium, so the audience could watch the screen and sing the hymns.
God is now opening other doors in the business. He Leadeth me. Praise His Name!