Thursday, July 23, 2009
positive responses to the gospel
I am serving this week at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center and enjoying numerous outstanding contacts with the men.
Andrew was just transferred to work release but will be released this weekend. I am praying for his transition back to his wife and son. He is such a blessing to me as he constantly invited other men into Bible studies in the units where he was serving. He has a gift of inviting. He needs a solid men's group where he can exercise his gifting and be held accountable and encouraged.
Andrew and others like him will need to find a solid church, get established in a job, and stick to the expectations of the community corrections officer. Any alcohol will cause serious trouble.
Another contact is Jon, just 19, who should be released this weekend. He was brought back to the RJC for a first violation and will have spent 17 days at the RJC. We had an awesome visit on Wednesday about where he is really at with the Lord. He lives with his Mom who is struggling spiritually and in other ways. The only Bible he has is the one he will take with him from the RJC.
Charles Spurgeon, with his wonderful God-given combination of confidence in God and tender compassion for his sheep, put it like this:
I am occupied in my small way, as Mr. Great-heart was employed in Bunyan’s day. I do not compare myself with that champion, but I am in the same line of business.
I am engaged in personally-conducted tours to Heaven; and I have with me, at the present time, dear Old Father Honest: I am glad he is still alive and active. And there is Christiana, and there are her children.
It is my business, as best I can, to kill dragons, and cut off giants’ heads, and lead on the timid and trembling. I am often afraid of losing some of the weaklings. I have the heart-ache for them; but, by God’s grace, and your kind and generous help in looking after one another, I hope we shall all travel safely to the river’s edge.
Oh, how many have I had to part with there! I have stood on the brink, and I have heard them singing in the midst of the stream, and I have almost seen the shining ones lead them up the hill, and through the gates, into the Celestial City.
(from Spurgeon's Autobiography, II, 131)