Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord! From this time forth and forever more! From the rising of the sun to its going down, the Lord’s name is to be praised. (Psalms 113:1-3). Wouldn’t it be great if we just spoke to each other in Psalms! Have you noticed when a preacher is speaking and he starts speaking scripture, even though he hasn’t said where the chapter and verse is, your spirit stirs within you, because you recognize it as scripture? Psalm 42:7 says “Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls.” If you read that Psalm the writer was deeply distressed, he was desperately thirsty for a word from God. The Bible is a waterfall of God’s words, that pours out continually, that never runs dry. And just like a waterfall it’s always fresh. It quenches the dry places. It replenishes our soul. Something deep within us stirs when we get near it as we long for the water that only comes from the deep places of God. As you draw near to Him, as you go deeper, you’ll find the sweeter the water is. There’s life in His Word. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hands are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also.” (Psalm 95:1-4). Doesn’t that hit you like a shot of vitamin B12? His Word should energize us, it’s our bread of life and living water. Don’t just read it but swim in it. Splash it all over yourself and everything around you. Have you ever been in a catholic service? We were raised catholic. I remember for some reason the priests walked down the aisle and sprinkled “holy water” towards us, and also there was an incense holder that someone else was swinging back and forth, filling the air with fragrance. That’s what we should do with the Word. Sprinkle it all over your house. Swing it back and forth so its fragrance fills the air.
One thing that didn’t get put in either the May or June schedule was a prison that Patty and I went to in Atmore, Alabama, May 31-June 2. The reason I didn’t put it in either newsletter is that we did not know we were going until right after I wrote the June Newsletter at the end of May. Patty and I had given up on the idea of going because the warden wouldn’t clear us to go in this men’s prison. We’ve been in plenty of men’s prisons, but each one is different as to who they will or won’t let in and why. Never have we been cleared to go in a prison only 4 days before the event. So this was clearly the hand of God that got us in. We did dad’s seminar as dad is still unable to travel, which in itself is always a little bit intimidating to me. A lot of prisons we go into are just 1-day events, with a lot of different volunteers and everyone gives testimonies, singing between the testimonies and we move around the yard and pray with the men. With dad’s seminar it’s 2 to 3 days, with each session being 2 to 3 hours, and it’s teaching material to help them think about how they’re going to spiritually make it when they get out. It’s hard to fill your dad’s shoes. When it came to trying to figure out what I’d say each day to fill the allotted time we had with the men, I kept drawing a blank. Dad makes it look so easy. The difference between me and dad is very similar to Andy Griffith and Barney. God is so merciful, He gave me the key to success. Worship! Each morning I put on worship music, emptied my head of all thoughts, and spent 30-45 minutes telling God how wonderful He is. The sessions went great. It all came down to lining my heart up with my heavenly Father. I can’t even being to make an outline of what was said to prepare for another seminar, all I know is that God is faithful. He says He will never leave nor forsake us, and He meant it. When your goal is to glorify His name, you’ll be surprised at what comes out of your mouth and how long you can talk about Him.
This past weekend we were at the Madison Women’s Prison. There were 11 volunteers and myself that went in. We did a 2-day seminar on the Armor of God. Six of us all took a different part of the armor and spoke on it. We opened up with worship, gave the women candy bars, had the teaching, and ended the seminar with more worship and individual prayer with the women. The prayer is my favorite part. People need to know that God cares about their individual needs. It’s so sweet to see them receive the Father’s love as the tears roll down their faces and they realize He is a very personal God. We also had a special guest from Rwanda who shared what it was like to be a survivor of the Rwanda genocide that occurred in the mid 1990’s. It was very powerful. She spoke of how devastated the country was in the aftermath. And how hardened the people were afterward to believe that a loving God could possibly exist. They asked where was He when their families were being brutally murdered? It took a lot of years for the missionaries to love this people back to the realization that God is a good God. In the time since, God has done a great work of restoration among that people. When evil seems to be winning we have to remember that evil has never been God’s will. What looks impossible for restoration to us, is totally possible for God. His options never run out. His Power is never outnumbered. When you’re in a situation of trying to minister to someone and you think they’ll never turn to God, try anyway. Our responsibility is to share the word. It’s His responsibility to do the rest.
A young couple in my church that has overcome meth and heroin addiction, (who is also now doing ministry with us, thank You Jesus!) recently moved into their own trailer. The previous owner left a king-sized bed frame in the shed. Since they didn’t have a bed frame for their queen-sized mattress set, (and since the king-sized one was so fancy) they put it up in their bedroom and put slats on it to hold up their too small mattress. Two weeks ago they were given a king-sized mattress and box spring set. One day it occurred to me that God gives “king-sized” gifts. That same day I was getting my supplies together for the Madison Women’s Prison and pulled the boxes of candy bars out of my closet that were donated for the women. The candy bars were in smaller boxes inside of a big box so I had to open them and transfer them to a cooler to keep them from melting on the trip. Imagine my delight when I opened the smaller boxes only to discover that all the candy bars were king-sized! He is a good God and a great Father!
Please continue to pray for my parents as dad is still struggling with his health and this makes mom a full-time caretaker. Thank you for all the years you’ve stood beside them and lifted them and their needs up to the Father. Also thank you for your continued support of this ministry. As long as the Lord permits, there’s nothing else we’d rather do than to take His gospel into the prisons for the glory of His Name.
Be blessed in the Glorious Name of our Saviour and King, Jesus!
July 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31; Allen County Jail
July 8 & 22; Homeless feeding ministry, downtown Ft. Wayne
July 9; Allen County Work Release, Fort Wayne
July 15; Roederer Correctional (Men’s Prison) Lagrange, KY
July 29; Luther Luckett (men’s prison), Lagrange, KY