Tag Along With Me to Jail

I have been involved in local jail ministry for the most part of thirty years. It is not glorious work. It is not scary as some might think. I have never felt threatened and most of the guys are usually respectable and appreciative.

The jail we visit is set up like a dormitory with bunks on two sides and tables in the middle. Lately, our jail ministry team has been alternating weeks and I have been going alone twice per month.

There is nothing fancy of what we do. No fanfare, no bells and whistles. Just an old buzzard of a preacher telling the story of Jesus to a bunch of jail birds.

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Arrogance of Mankind

We find ourselves attracted to confident people but at the same time appalled at arrogance. It is a thin line from one to the other. As a person of faith, I find it unthinkable and sickening to see a person being arrogant toward God.

Recently when I was praying, in my prayer I was praising God for Who He Is. I almost became convicted with the absurdity of my prayer. How could I even imagine who God really is? His greatness is so beyond me.

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If Tombs Could Talk!

So I began as a large outcropping of bedrock, just outside of the ancient city of Jerusalem near the place called Golgotha. As a huge rock, I often wondered what I would eventually become.  Maybe I would be hewn into stones for a great building. Perhaps, I would become a monument for a great king. I could be cut into pieces and used as a fortress wall. My mass may be chipped into pavement for a king’s highway or perhaps small stones for a fancy garden wall.

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The Executioner’s Dream

A Story of the Executioner at Golgotha by Harry L. Whitt

After their scourging, we herded the three men through the jeering streets to Golgotha. The citizens of Jerusalem hate us only a bit less than we hate them. Being assigned to the occupation force of Judea is a good point for a possible promotion but today the city is set on edge. One of the three is a popular prophet to the common people but hated by the elites of their counsel.

Finally, we are out of the bustle of the city streets and bring the three miserable souls to the top of the hill, the place of the skull. The rock outcropping resembles a skull, and today it the place of execution for all to see.

The schemer who devised the crucifixion is to be congratulated. Nothing puts the fear and dread in occupied people as the crucifixion. It is an agonizing death to endure and to witness. I have killed countless men in warfare with sword and spear, but this is the most gruesome of all.

The poor creatures are hammered on the cross with hand forged spikes which tear flesh and sinew. We set their knees at a bend, so they can push up to catch a breath of air, and then hang by their arms until they began to smother. This reeling up and down until their last life fades from their bodies takes sometimes days. It is a wretched sight for wretched souls.

We put the so-called prophet in the middle as he is the most renown. The other two are common thieves. The middle one gets the most attention as some of his mourners are at the foot of his cross. Some say his mother is present along with mostly women and a few men. Why do they come to see? I do not know.

His scourging left his back nothing but ribbons of flesh with clotted blood. He cried out as we laid him on the splintered wood. Then we raised his cross and the jar of the upright going from empty hole to solid earth left him with a quiver in his body that took some time cease.

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Above Ground and Limber (Be Thankful)

Some years back, I called to check on a longtime friend; he answered the phone and I asked him how he was doing. His answer, “Well brother, I’m above ground and limber!” [Thanks Bro. William Borden for that one-liner; I have often used it since that day.] After the two years we all have been through, if you are reading this—you got through it. Yep, you are “above ground and limber!” Be Thankful!

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Right Side Up!

We often hear people say they want to make a difference in the world. Most who say that usually have a motivation toward a positive difference even though their idea of change may not result in a positive difference. Many people have a world view based on an incorrect assumption rooted in falsehood. They operate on ideas that are counter to the truth.

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