Saturday, January 17, 2015

Doing Time 3

This is the third installment of Spark's notes titled Why is Jesus Doing Time?
Since I've been involved with Berean Ministries it's been awesome to get to meet and work with the volunteers.  They have such hearts for Jesus, inmates, and for each other.  (some of our volunteers have wound up marrying) Many of the inmates have been so deprived of someone that cares about them, that the love shown to them from a volunteer is enough to get them into the Word.
The dinner we try to have once a year for the volunteers can't begin to express how valuable they are.  God Bless THEM!
Some of my favorite audience participation's:
   "I said all that to say this."
For quite a while we had an inmate (I'll call him Kenny) that would get up every week during the audience time and tell of an experience in his life.  The story would go on in great detail and about the time that uncle Ed would poke me in the back and tell me that I was going to have to tell Kenny to sit down and leave some time for the preacher, Kenny would say these words, "I said all that to say this." Then he would make sense of it all with a closing sentence.
   Let me give some examples without all the details since I hate to type.  "I live down by the bakery" he said, "it smells so good down there by the bread factory". "I go behind the building to the dumpster every day. Even their dumpster smells good.  When I look in there I can find bread that they have thrown away just because it has some green stuff on it.  I pick off the green stuff and the bread is good. I said all that to say this.  I've got green stuff on me but God is picking it off and there is some good left when He is done with me.
  Another time it was a story about when their truck got stuck in the mud and they tried to pull it out with their huge draft horse.  The horse could not budge the truck and Kenny's dad told him to go get the mule.  Kenny argued with his dad that the mule was much smaller and would have no chance of pulling the truck out, but his dad insisted.  He then proceeded to tell how the mule leaned so far forward when he was pulling that his knees would hit the ground the truck would move a few inches at a time until the truck came loose.  About this time Uncle Ed is poking me and Kenny says "I said all that to say this."  "Till you hit your knees you ain't really trying and nothing is going to get done."
   One Sunday, before Kenny could get his hand up, another inmate was first to volunteer for audience time.  He got up and said that he was 46 years old and didn't know why God had made him.  This was the 6th time he was in the Peoria County Jail. Then he sat down and Kenny raised his hand. I didn't think we had time for one of Kenny's long stories but didn't know what to say. Kenny came up to the podium. Here we go, I thought. Kenny said, "As to why that other man was made.  If you look at the last chapter of Ecclesiastes in the 13th verse it stays, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Then Kenny looked up at the ceiling of gym B at the Peoria County Jail and said. "The Holy Spirit just told me to sit down and shut up." and he did.

I wish the hairs on the back of my neck would go down!

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