Newcomer -Spiritual Sundays

The young faces were searched and were issued jail uniforms. In the holding cell, they kept on looking around, unfamiliar with the things or ways that occurred in the prison system.

They had different reasons why they were brought here. But it all came down to one: they committed a crime.

After being collected in a holding cell for a few hours, the jail’s classification system would try to house them in appropriate units, being careful not to place them where they could be hurt or where problems could arise if they were mistakenly housed with a wrong group of people.

If you have time, please silence my play list and watch this:





Romans 14:1-12 [The Message]:

1 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don't see things the way you do. And don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2-4For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ's table, wouldn't it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn't eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God's welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

5Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6-9What's important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God's sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you're a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It's God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That's why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10-12So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I'd say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we're all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture: "As I live and breathe," God says, "every knee will bow before me; Every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God."So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

For more of encouraging posts, please enter here to this special, welcoming place hosted by sisters Charlotte and Ginger.

32 comments:

  1. The Message makes these scriptures to easy to understand. The video is very interesting. People just don't know what they're getting themselves into when they commit a crime. Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

    ReplyDelete
  2. A GREAT BIG AMEN!!!

    I am glad my post comforted you, today. I was going to post something else and GOD impressed on my heart to use that picture from our trip and say those few simple words. Isn't it amazing how HE always knows each of our inner most needs.

    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,
    andrea

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, an elightening video for sure. It makes it so real. Interesting that the fist time prisoner said he was used to spending a lot of time alone. Exactly where the enemy wants us - isolated. Wonderful post. Blessings to you!
    Wylie

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is awesome sis, bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love The Message translation! It certainly makes it plain. No wiggle room. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. So true, so true! "Welcome with open arms fellow believers!" Thanks for posting this for Spiritual Sunday.


    Blessings,
    Jean

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really LOVED this. It is soo true. If everyone was concerned only about their own growth and less about everyone else. Thanks soo much for sharing this, I can't tell you how much it blessed me. Have a wonderful day. Blessings, Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Rosel,

    We have discussed the difference of The Message, and Bible versions based on the original manuscripts. I have always relied on the Word of God in the original texts, instead of the word of Eugene Peterson, in The Message.

    That said, having been on the receiving end of extremely critical and judgemental Christians, I got a thorough delight out of Romans 14:10-12 in The Message version posted above.

    While the attacker has gone on to other blogs for sympathetic martyrdom and rock throwing, I have firmly believed that silence will bring truth.
    For in front of the Lamb of God, motives, heart, truth, and accountability for every word uttered, will be done by us, before all.

    It was a most comforting two verses to me this evening, and though I will stick to my myriad collection of Bible versions, I shall take a second look at The Message for these types of conundrums in life....that I have personally experienced by folks who label themselves "Christians".
    So did the angel of light.
    And the deception goes on. I eagerly await the day of all truth for everybody, by everybody.

    The same label in your selection passage, is given to folks who lament "Lord, Lord Let us in. Don't you recognise us?" (These are "believers" for they call Him "Lord".)

    He responds: "Get away from me. I NEVER knew you", and slams the gate of heaven closed.

    This passage seems to have Peterson saying the same, as Christ will one day announce to folks kept OUT of heaven, after a lifetime of belief that they meet the test.

    I ask that if you have transcripts of your YouTube items that you post the words for those who do not hear, like me. Many bloggers are doing this since YouTube does not include Closed Caption. I am grateful for your help, wisdom, and courage.

    God bless you abundantly.
    Keystone

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've seen this one before. Love it... I watched the whole show one night with my husband. (There's about an hour-long program from which your video is excepted.) This was taped in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where my husband helps lead the Brothers in Blue ministry program.

    Great post, as usual, sister. *Thank you.*

    You make a difference. So blessed by you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rosel, This video made my heart cry. Young people who are different from others have such a hard time in this world. No where to fit. What I gleaned from the scripture and video is don't jump all over someone when they seem different in their opinions, but instead try to understand with compassion, believing, and praying they will be open to Christ.

    Love to you...robin

    ReplyDelete
  11. This video taught me alot and I feel sad. Your scriptures in the Message were powerful. Some very good teaching here. Thank you, my friend, and have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The video you posted, makes my heart sad for these young men, and all of those like them. If they only knew that there is a better way...

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Keystone: Just got home from work and just having a blast reading all of your encouraging comments here. Yes, I do remember that you did say something about your preference with the version of the Word from original manuscripts vs. The Message. But I'm glad that you were delighted in verse 10-12 from Romans 14.
    Thank you for your suggestion of posting the words to the video. It was about young, repeat offenders who were jailed again except for one particular young man "Bugs" who was new and he threatened someone with a knife after being fired from his job. He was saying that he liked to be isolated [his nature] most of the time. He befriended that guy [Ben]with the glasses in order for him to survive. So Ben was telling Bugs the lay-out of the prison [where the library was, etc] while walking in that prison yard. But those old timers were sizing them up as they were walking. They arrived during chow time [meal being served]. And most of the old timers were checking them out. The taunting of some, Bugs unfortunately mistakenly took it for friendliness. The last part ended with one inmate asking him, "Do you know that girl, Brittany?" He said, "I don't think so" still smiling thinking that they were being nice to him. But Brittany was prison slang for a "coward".
    I thought of how it was the same with new believers in Christ. They might not understand some of the things we do or say like sanctification, edification, etc. but we must not forget that we, too, came from being babies in the faith, drinking milk before being able to chew some meat [I still consider myself a big work in this aspect]...We must be accepting of them, loving them, the way Christ accepts and loves us all.
    I value your wise stories, comments, etc. You bless me since meeting you at the glasshouse. Praying that the Lord will inspire you to write for Him. May the Lord bless you more!

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ sister Jennifer: How great to hear that it was filmed from that prison where your husband had the ministry. So, you can relate!!! It is sad though as there are so many of them, so young...already incarcerated. Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you to all of you for visiting me and always leaving me beautiful "footprints" I treasure in this life's journey. I am so glad that I am not alone walking on this narrow road "off the beaten trek". And I'm glad we are all following the One Who is the only way, truth and life. To God be the glory! God bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rosel,

    I just have so much Compassion for these young men. As I read these posts that is what I hear in most of your commenters hearts. Compassion. None of us have any idea of these young mens life, their background. Their story. But the Lord does and I pray the He would lead these men and others like them to HIM ! Right there where they are may they find AND accept HIM! Bless you Rosel for being a light in the darkness!

    I love you so very much my friend

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Rosel,
    Thank you for your post; very good advice! My hubby had a jail ministry many years ago and some did come to know Christ as their Saviour before the Lord moved him into another ministry. Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy my visit with you. Have a beautiful Sunday.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  18. This video made me sad. I guess I'm just naive.
    Thank-you for these Scriptures.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Rosel,

    Thank you for the play-by-play in words as requested. YouTube does not Close Caption.

    I have a Catholic Deacon friend whose primary mission is in a juvenile detention center of young men. He tells me the "gentle" stories, but holds in the frightening details of many events he sees.

    On another occasion, a Life Group member that rarely spoke as we gathered to sing praises, study Bible, and eat like crazy, came to me and asked to meet privately.
    I asked "Why?" and he replied simply :
    "You're different".

    "Fred" picked me up in a Ford pickup truck and we headed down the highway, to a restaurant to talk. He handed me his wallet and asked me to open it up. I did.

    There was a Correctional Inmate card at one of our most violent prisons, and Fred as a member apparently at some point. The Life Group host often came to me and told me privately that Fred gives her the creeps, and did not know why. I advised her that all people give someone the creeps, and she is safe in her home. Fred never talked; his wife more than made up for his silence however.

    "Whadja do Fred?", I inquired.

    "I killed a man", he replied in monotone.

    At once, I realized I was alone in a truck, on an Interstate, and no one knew where I was, or that I was alone with a man, who had killed a fellow human being.

    "What happened?", I asked.

    "I went into a Convenience Store to rob it when I was 16. It was almost a prank. The man at the counter panicked, and I got confused and shot him. I didn't mean to kill anyone. They put me in that jail (referring to his wallet card in my hand)"

    Knowing what happens to young men in jail, I asked: "How did you survive, and how did you get out?"

    He advised me of the first attempt at sodomy on him. As the attacker moved in, Fred reached underneath and almost removed the man's key parts by twisting violently. He stood naked and acted "crazy". Word got around, and all stayed away from the new kid.
    (He was 18).

    He served time and was released, due to youth, and a review of his case, and good behavior, though I am sure overcrowding at the facility came into play.

    "Why are you telling me all this privately Fred?"

    "I want to stand before the church and tell them what I did", he replied in all sincerity.

    "But Fred, you have been a model citizen since release, married to the same woman for 25 years, never violated any law since, and run a wonderful business in town. Since you paid for your crime, I see no reason to pay again.

    People can take sitting next to someone who had an abortion, lies, cheats, steals, and more.....every Sunday at church. But I think they would find it difficult to sit next to you, with knowledge that you murdered. I see no valid reason to tell the church membership now. Have you talked to anyone else?"

    "The pastor".

    "What's he say", I asked as we travelled downstate.

    "He doesn't think it is a good idea".

    "Well, I agree with the pastor. What you did was wrong, you paid a price as demanded here, and will meet God on any other requirement.
    But since God wipes away any recall of forgiven sin, I do not expect this conversation to even come up with him".

    Fred smiled for the first time, put on his turn signal at the next exit, and headed us home with a turn around there. We never ate.

    He needed someome to talk to about a youthful disaster decision. I thought of him for the first time in over a decade, as I read your story and description of the film.

    Regrettably my ears do not work now, and I can not hear. But I listen impeccably instead.

    The times in my life like these described above, when I come in contact with folks in prison, or who work with inmates, makes me always pray for you....especially protection and discernment.

    The film showed "punishment" and boredom, but does not show rehabilitation anywhere there.

    That is where YOU come in, and may be the only rehabilitation these folks get.

    Keep sharing your love.
    It is a new taste for many of these men.
    And your love.....is God's love.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I do like to read The Message; it sometimes puts things so much clearer. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. @ Keystone: You may not have the ability to hear but your heart still does...Thanks be to God for the redemptive power of the cross to all of us who are broken...Like that man you shared. There are many more to the story he told you. A lot untold behind those prison walls.
    Thank you for your prayers. I am deeply grateful to be used by the Lord. May I truly reflect His love and light in that dark place. To God be the glory!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello Sweet Sister. Those kids in that video look like babies. So sad.

    Thanks for sharing the Word with us!

    Love,
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love reading the Psalms, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow that video really leaves you thinking. How sad to land yourself in a position like that. I don't think I would handle it very well.

    "If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help." This is sometimes a hard learn.

    ReplyDelete
  25. A great post, Dear ~That young man reminded me of someone I used to work with. Some employees in personnel played a mean joke on him and got fired for it. Good advice, thanks, sweet sister.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is so sad. I hope and pray that these young men will repent and surrender their lives to Christ. They desperately need the Lord!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for a wonderful Post. The Message is good for a quick overall understanding of passages .
    Thanks for reminding us to pray for those in prison.They are probably the most forgotten segment of society, because a lot of them have been given up on . But we must remember that Jesus died for them & He will never give up on them while they yet live . I am glad he never gave up on me .
    Have a Blessed Week,
    ~Myrna

    ReplyDelete
  28. Rosel,
    Last night at our church our youth went down to the front of our church. They poured their hearts out to the people in the congregation. My heart is so burdened for these young people. Some of the young men (14 - 18 years old) have had so many bad things happen to them at young tender ages. They really were asking for the church to accept them, pray for them and support them in their walk with Jesus.
    This morning as I watched the video of the young guys in prison I felt God tugging on my heart. We need to pray for these young guys; to find Jesus.
    Thank you my friend for sharing such a powerful post. I now know our young people need our prayers and the love that we have received from our HOLY SAVIOR. I have committed to the Lord to support/help/pray for our young people however the Lord leads me.
    Again Rosel thank you for allowing God to use you to get this message out.
    I love you, my sister in Christ.
    Bren

    ReplyDelete
  29. Rosel,
    The video you posted is so sad. It just makes me want to cry in knowing that so much bondage is prevalent when freedom is so available.

    I have an award for you! Please stop by and pick it up when you get a chance.
    Christy

    ReplyDelete
  30. Praying with you sister Bren...They are the most vulnerable to the enemies' attacks when they are lonely, feeling unloved, minds corrupted with illegal substances...There is victory in the Lord Jesus...Love you sister Bren and praying for the Lord to guide all of us, His children, with His divine wisdom, protect us and fill us all with His Holy Spirit. To God be the glory.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Sister Christy: Thank you so much for always thinking of me...I will head over to your "home" to see the blessing you want to share with me. But right back to the Lord for this is His glory, not mine...Thank you sister for your friendship. Love to you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Adore the way that passage reads in the message. "don't jump all over them every time they do or say something you don't agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with" - How more clear can it get?! I pray that every day, in every encounter, I would extend to others from the overflowing grace I've received.

    The video was interesting; seems a scary place. Especially for somone like that young man who has a poor grasp on social cues; may God keep him, and others like him, safe.

    ReplyDelete

"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends