Thursday, February 27, 2014


I have decided to share with you a note to a dear member of the Memorial Drive church that has found herself, due to breaking the law, incarcerated for seven months.  While you may surely see ways to have worded this note better; I just want you to see where I live and how one part of it goes.  I offer a copy of this morning's note (I email her everyday) to her that it might open a needed awareness for some of you as to the power of your words which are needed....nearly everywhere you turn.  Words are creative to they can give life to many who would rather give up.

My Friend,

I want you to know that I pray for you every morning before I eat.  I think about you constantly as you are in a place you rightly detest.  I do not want you to be alone.

Thank you for being my friend.  Thank you.  I know you see the weaknesses and flaws that I have.  I work to correct them and to adjust them and to improve them; yet while I'm trying to get me lined out I need His special ones to hold on to me so that I don't unravel.  I'm not complaining about my life; it is wonderful.  But I'm just saying you do so much for me for I am a devastating sinner who needs His grace and His good ones to hold me up.

I'm going through a really hard time of pain.  It pulls at me.  But, as is God's presence, I feel even more up.  It isn't psychological positive thinking; but something better.  It is assurance that God does not waste one crumb of our crummy lives.  Wouldn't that be a good book title?

I am concerned that after March 10 I may not be able to be in touch with you for awhile as I may be out of pocket due to neck surgery on the 11th.  I just don't know.  So WOULD YOU PLEASE BE ASSURED that if there is a span of time when you are not hearing from me, I am silently yearning for your communication and rooting for your well-being?

Friend, I want you to know how much I believe in you.  Don't let this sound harsh or offensive, but I have learned from experience that our hardest days turn out to be some of the most valuable.  I'm your personal trainer.  Be assured for now that this seven month seminar is not being used to put you down; but to drive you to your most profound destination.  

I first began to learn this in 1979.  I was very sick; in/out of the hospital twice and could not preach for seven weeks.  Toward the end of that time, I came to church in a wheelchair.  I was very sick and being pushed in a wheelchair, having to look up at everyone who spoke to me, was embarrassing and humiliating.

This was some of the best seven weeks of my life as I learned ministry from the cross; not from a book.  Yours is similar in seven months rather than weeks.  But I promise--I'm not guessing or wishing--that you will hear from God during this time in ways and ideas that you would have never guessed had you not suffered this huge setback.

I cling to Isaiah 55:8-9.  I read it again and again.  To this date the best of the church thinkers have yet to discover a wide range of God's greatest secrets.  I pray for Him to let me in on some of them....and He does.

So...dear one...sight would cause you to believe you are in a hell-hole.  Faith, though, raises the bar on what your eyes can see and you can believe with great assurance that wonder is popping in your life....not just someday...but right now!!!

How I love my sweet friend,

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