Friday, August 13, 2010

From Sam's MOM

This is a note to all you that follow and read my son's blog. I wanted everyone to know that Sam has been moved to a different facility. It is a bad place, but Sam is doing OK. It will probably be awhile before he can write any new blogs. It always takes time to adjust and re gain supplies. Please keep him in your prayers........

Monday, June 14, 2010

After reading, The Reflective Life by Ken Gire, I was moved to “retell” a special part of the book. Just for copyright’s sake.....these are my words, but Ken’s idea....but hey, it all comes from God anyway.

I want to be Christ-like. In fact I call myself a Christian. Yeah. That is right. This twenty-seven year old, locked up Dad......who has spent more time seeking self-centered pleasures then anything else.....still wants to be Christ like. Yep, but wait a minute. I don’t want to be the Christ that suffered up on the cross and hungered for 40 days in the wilderness. NO! I want to be the Christ that turned water to wine, the one who walked on water. I want to be the Christ that fed 5000 people and healed the sick, the one who gave life and forgiveness to the adulteress woman (John 8:1-9). But, I’ll sure pass on the Christ that was forsaken, whose garments were striped from his body, who was beaten till his mother could no longer recognize him. I want to be the Christ with the 12 disciples....not the Christ that was deserted by them.

See, I want to be the “Good Samaritan”, not the man who fell among thieves, who was robbed and beaten. see, if that man would have never fallen then the ‘Good’ in the Samaritan would have never emerged.

Unfortunately, this is what Ken Gire calls the Dark Side of Christianity. It’s the side we don’t sign up for.....but, if we want to be Christ like, we have to embrace both sides. Not only the love, but also the suffering. Truth is, how can we ever truly know men’s sorrow and grief.... if we ourselves have not known these same pains. This is how Christ grows in all of us. By sharing suffering and pain, we feel connected to one another. It is from all this suffering that many people come to know Christ as well. For some, For ME, it is the only way. I had to suffer in order to know God.....otherwise, I would never had bothered to seek him out.

And.....maybe......perhaps.....that explains, at least a little bit, why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Monday, May 17, 2010


This is a small farming community. So small, that everyone here attends the same church. The community was in the middle of a drought and all of the people were terribly worried. Taking the advice of the preacher, the Mayor called a town meeting one Friday afternoon. The meeting place was at the church and the Mayor intended to have the entire town pray with the preacher for rain.

It was an awful, hot and sticky summer day. The sun was high in the sky......not even a relief in sight. The heat was so intense it seeped through the church windows and walls. The men, women and children inside the church were wet with perspiration. Women tried to cool themselves with small fans. Men, whose custom it was to wear overalls, were in shorts and wiped beads of sweat from their foreheads. Even the preacher was not in his customary shirt and tie, but wore instead a polo shirt and shorts.

The Mayor called the town meeting to order and quieted the people down. Then the preacher took the pulpit and began to speak about the miracles of God. During his sermon, he noticed his young daughter get up and leave the chapel. Then, just as he was about to start the prayer asking for rain, the back door of the chapel slammed shut with a loud bang. Everyone turned to see who was late to such an important meeting. It was none other than the preacher’s daughter. What was even more odd was you could barely identify the child for she was covered from head to toe in a rain suit. It was clear she had found her father’s rain attire. A big, bright yellow hat, like one of those old fishing hats, adorned her head. The matching yellow rain slicker dropped down below her knees and the boots. Well, she apparently could not find her father’s matching rain boots, but wore instead her mother’s pink rubber boots instead.

The child was a ridiculous sight to see, especially in such heat. As the congregation began to chuckle, the preacher asked his daughter to explain exactly what she was trying to do here. Her reply was a simple one, “Well, Dad. If it is going to rain , then we better be ready.”. And, “Here , I brought you your umbrella and Dad, you had better tell these folks that they all left their car windows down!”. The girl had FAITH.....pure, plain, and simple.

As children of God, we must remember to have that child like faith in God in all things we do. So, remember, if you ask for prepared for rain.......

Monday, March 22, 2010

Story of Jonah

I recently was lead, through my daily Bible readings, to the short Book of Jonah. I had not read it before because I thought I already knew the story. Poor guy, gets eaten by a whale and God delivers him. HA! To say that is the story of Jonah is like saying I had a birthday and thats the story of my life. I had no idea how much more there was to Jonah’s story. I also learned another interesting fact. about the Book of Jonah. It is the only Book of a prophet that doesn’t tell of his prophesying.....instead it tells his story.

The story starts with a message form God to Jonah. God tells Jonah to go and preach before the wicked city of Nineveh. The problem is that the Jews hate Nineveh.....they are bitter enemies. So, Jonah, instead of going to the city of Nineveh, actually gets on a ship and heads in the opposite direction. HA! Talk about running from God! While Jonah is on the ship, a storm breaks and everyone begins to worry they will die. To make a long story short, Jonah tells the crew it is his fault that God is angry and they should just throw him overboard. The crew at first hesitates, but then.....fearing for their own lives....they toss him over....into the angry sea. Thus, Jonah, ends up in the belly of a “big fish”. Inside the “fish”, Jonah, finally gives in and prays .......asking God for deliverance and promises he will go to the city of Nineveh.

Jonah keeps his promise to God and does go to the city of Nineveh. He does not tell them to repent and to be saved, as God directed......he simply declares that in 40 days the Lord will make Nineveh no more! BUT, the city does repent and God shows his compassion and the city is saved. This makes Jonah angry. Jonah would have rather seen the city perish. This would have made his prophecies true. Instead, his enemies were saved and he is made to look the fool. Angry Jonah now wishes to die. This leads to a closing dialogue between he and God. God continues to be compassionate and forgiving, even toward this unruly servant.

Few Biblical personalities are as transparent as Jonah......fear, selfishness, spitefulness, proud, and hateful. For even when Jonah stopped physically running from God.....he was still resisting.....inside. He put on a show of obedience to cover his inner feelings. When he arrived in Nineveh, he declared God’s message as a summary are all screwed! He left no way out or any escape. When the city was saved.....he was angry and demanded comfort from the form of death. How self centered he was......with so little disregard for others.

How often I have suffered from the condition of “Jonah”. How often I ran from God and still demanded other things from him. Our God is truly a compassionate and caring put up with my petty self-centeredness.......A person can learn a lot from the “short” story of Jonah.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Recently I spoke with my mother about one of my blogs. This is not an uncommon occurrence because of my situation. As some of you know, I write this blog from jail by hand. I then forward it to my retired, traveling, mother....who then lovingly publishes it for me on the internet. My blogs get sent all over the US in paper form to get to her. It is by God’s blessing that it all comes together.

Anyway, my mother, had more than her usual “It sounds great, honey.” comment on one of my blogs the other day. She was agreeing with me how she feels that God will and does speak to us....whether it be in church by a sermon or in life through signs. It meant a lot to me that she agreed with me. She has always given me the impression that she believed in God......but, something about that that exact moment.....made me want to ask her if she believed not only in God, but in Jesus Christ. Jesus is so important, without him there is no salvation.....and if there is no salvation then knowing God doesn’t really matter much. The entire second half of the bible is about His teachings and Him. We are told that all things were created through Him, (John 1:3). In other places, He is referred to as “The Light”, “The Way”, and “The Truth”. Jesus Christ is clearly not only the rock of Christianity.....HE is Christianity.

Witnessing on a personal basis or on a one to one basis is or can be very difficult. Many times I don’t want to feel rejected or have to answer those ‘tough’ questions. What if I get stumped and look like a fool or worse make God and Jesus look like fools? know what? With it being Christmas..... what better gift could be given. Now that I have done all this talking.....I have a duty......

My Mother means the world to me, “ you know that.... right Mom?”. (“Yes, I know that, Son.) One day you are going to pass away....probably before me. I need to know that I did everything I could do to tell you about the one Man you can count on in death. His name is Jesus and He walked the earth some 2000 years ago. He came so that one day, after you are gone, and after I am gone.......we can be together again. Sounds like something you would want, right? (”Right!“) I worry I sound like a fruitcake right now and if I’m wrong.......(”You are not wrong and you are certainly not a fruitcake“). I believe that Jesus gives every human being enough spiritual experience in their life to know that there is something more beyond these little years now. So, with that in mind, I beg you to stop buying me Bibles and get yourself one. Read John and look up this guy named, Louie Giglio. He’s made some powerful speeches about the universe that Dad would even enjoy. This is my Christmas Gift to you, Mom......the road map to everlasting is more than God.......Love, Your Son, Samuel
(”Thank you, Sam. I love you more than you can imagine......I look forward to the day when you and I can read the Bible together.“)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Why are We Not?

But if we are the body,
Why are not His arms reaching....
Why are not His hands healing....
Why are not His words teaching....
And if we are the body
Why are not His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way....

Jesus is the way

These are the words to the chorus of a song we sang in worship a few weeks ago. Sadly I can’t share the tune with you, but the words themselves are still moving. God has a purpose for us all. As Romans 12:6-8 confirms: “God has given us all a gift and we have a responsibility to use it wisely and well”. I believe that goes to the very heart of this song. God has literally chosen us to be His arms, hands, feet......WE are the body. Christ is the head. How would you feel if your body did not do what your mind ask or told it to do? How many times have you made a limb suffer to accomplish a greater task?

God will preform all the miracles in the world, but if we are not there to point out these miracles and carry them forward......then God’s efforts are in vein.

When the day comes that I go to meet God, I know I don’t want to have the feet that did not walk or the hand that did not heal. I hope and pray that whatever God has made me to be that I now do it well and that I do it humbly.

In closing, I ask you to ask yourself....“What is my gift from God and how can I best use it?”. When will you use the gift and to whom will you share this gift..........W

Friday, December 4, 2009

Many Meanings.....

Once again I must apologize to my readers and God for my laziness. Unfortunately, when I’m lazy it also shows that I am ungrateful. In order for the words that I write to get to this screen for you to read.....many things have to fall into place.....but it all starts with me.

So often, I sit back at night with my bible and begin to read. It is never long before my mind is spinning with topics and scripture that I want to write about and share with you. But, it is always late and I work the next day, and , and, and it doesn’t get done........that topic or idea is lost by morning.

On one special morning; however, I woke to read my “Daily Bread” and it discussed the same scripture I had chosen to read last night. How amazing, right? I love God’s little signs that he is listening. It let’s me know that I’m right where I’m suppose to be.....he left that little ‘treat’ for me so that I would know I’m doing good. But, there was something else.......if I had chosen to write about this particular scripture, I would have taken a different meaning from the one I read on my “Daily Bread”.

I was once told by my dear friend, a story of how her pastor used the same scripture three weeks in a row at church. Each week the minister started his sermon with the same scripture, but each week there was a different message or meaning. That is how awesome our God is. So many people call the Bible a “book of stories”. That, to me, does not ring true. A story has a plot and if you miss it then really the book means little to you. God uses the Bible to speak to everyone on all occasions. Sure the new testament plot might be that Jesus gave his life so that we could go to heaven. But the Bible contains so much more. There are so many life lessons to be learned inside the Bible’s pages. To say that the Bible is just a “book of stories” is to say that the US Constitution is just a piece of paper. NO! The Constitution is a living, breathing, word of the people. Well, the Bible is the living, breathing word of God! God uses it to speak to each of us differently as we need to hear it in our lives. For this I am thankful. As the only species on the planet that can read his word, it is proof to me that we are truly God’s chosen creation.