Prayer letter May 2018

Do All Things …

Phil 2:13-14 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

Notice the tension in thought in these two verses: 1) v. 14 … without murmurings and disputings, 2) v. 13 … his good pleasure. These bad reactions can arise from “doing” God’s will. Some things that God wills for us are not, on the surface, all that pleasurable to our natural way of thinking. It would do us well to take pleasure in God’s will and to resist our innate tendency to murmur and dispute against it. By faith, take heart that if God wills it, He takes good pleasure in us doing it. What could possibly be more beneficial for you than doing “… of his good pleasure”!

We know that it is always God’s good pleasure for sinners to “… come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). I have found a good “ice-breaker” to employ with someone I want to witness to. Simple, yet effective. Say this as you approach the person: “Amos 4:12, in the Bible, says this: ‘… prepare to meet thy God.’ Is there some way I could help you prepare to meet Him?” Even if your “divine appointment” isn’t interested, you have planted the seed of God’s Word in his heart! Who knows how God will use that encounter in days to come? It could become the catalyst that drives him to his knees one day!

We had revival and visitation meetings in Smith State Prison and Rogers State Prison that were greatly blessed by the Lord. We saw 31 men hopefully repent and trust the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving Him into their spirits. In one particular encounter, I was dealing with an inmate at his cell door. After twenty minutes or so, we knelt and he repented of his sin, and called on the Lord Jesus Christ to save him. I then gave him some tracts and booklets to help him get a good start in his Christian life. As I looked through the little window in his cell door, I noticed another inmate. I asked him if he was saved, and he said, “Yes. I just got saved!” That’s enough to make the dead smile! A lady inmate received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior at the Haralson County Jail after I preached and gave the invitation. Her response was priceless to me. She said that she had several times made profession of faith in Christ, but it was not until this night that I really understood the Gospel in its fullness. She said, “Thank you for making it so clear!” Little did she know, but it wasn’t me, but the Holy Spirit was is in me! We also had 6 men and 1 dear lady saved at Evans County Jail, in Claxton, GA. Please pray for these new converts.

Prayer Letter April 2018

Divine Appointment …

Acts 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went:

Any Divine Appointment begins with “Arise.” My old Christian colleague, Bro. John R., when calling me would usually begin by saying, “If you asked the Lord what He’d have you to do, He’d say, “Get out of bed.” Are you willing to arise when God says “Arise” even before you know for what reason? Or does your obedience depend on the reason for arising? In this case, God’s Divine Appointment would be in the desert. God made sure Philip knew this wouldn’t be easy. Most often God’s Divine Appointments take us out of our comfort zone. Are you willing to arise even so?

One of my Divine Appointments was in the desert call Eastern Region Diagnostic and Detention Center in Farmington, Missouri this month. Our Rock of Ages team was in the “10 House,” going from cell-to-cell soul-winning (“He that winneth souls is wise”). The cells in this unit are “open” in that there are 6-8 men in a cell, but no door for the cell. There is a red line on the floor over which we could not cross. I was witnessing with the Holy Spirit to 3 of the men at the far end of the unit. One of these men was already saved. When I extended the invitation to be saved, both of the other men hopefully trusted the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Of course, there were other inmates within ear-shot who heard me preaching to these men. Around 30 minutes later, our Regional Director David R. approached me. “I’m in trouble now,” I thought. He said that he was just down in the area where those two men called on the Lord, and asked a man whom I hadn’t even know if he had ever been saved. He replied that he was saved. David asked him, “When?” He replied, “When that bald headed fellow was praying with those two inmates. Sometimes it pays to have a big mouth! I suppose we might call that fruit from sowing by the wayside?

If you would, please pray for my dear wife, Linda. She is diabetic, and has been experiencing dizziness and high blood sugar, mainly early in the mornings. She became really concerned about it after two mornings, and called me home from Mt Vernon, GA, where we were to begin a 3-day revival at Montgomery State Prison. I took her to the emergency room. After a CT scan, they discovered that she has a bad sinus infection which could impact her inner ear, causing the dizziness and the high blood sugar. She is now on anti-biotics to stop the infection. She has been doing better, but her blood sugar count is still too high.

Prayer Letter March 2018

Flashlights With God …

Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

When penned by Isaiah, he probably did not fathom the depth of it. In John 1:9, we are told that Jesus (“the true Light”) lights every man that cometh into the world. And so it was with us. Jesus “lit us up” to expose the despicable nature of our sin. Did Isaiah know that he was prophesying about Jesus, the Light of the world? And then, what about those “that dwell in the land of the shadow of death?” That certainly describes the inmates we deal with, does it not? Nobody is more in the shadow of death than they! We need to be flashlights with God (not for God, but with God). He is the Light, we are the body through whom He shines. No more is this needed than in our county jails. Bro. Richard P. and I were in a county jail this month. We preached to 8 dormitories of men “out in the yard” in two different services. In each service, during the invitation, there were men on their knees calling out to The Light to be saved. Flashlights with God. That’s what we want to be. After speaking with some of the men, it was obvious that no preachers had been in that jail for over 6 months. To me, that is a crying shame when there are so many Baptist churches in the area. Perhaps your church could begin a jail ministry in your county jail. Be flashlights with God!

Bro. P. and I were at the Women’s Probation Detention Center in Claxton, Ga, this month. On the first night of the revival there, after I preached, an inmate asked me when we were at a certain county jail. I told her that it was actually just 24 hours before. She said that she had been praying with Linda (my wife) that night that her fiancé would be saved, and that he was in that jail. I asked for his name. She replied, “Kevin.” Well, 2 of the men that I led to Christ were named Kevin. I asked for his last name. She said, “Smith.” I pulled out the results card for that jail, and sure enough, Kevin Smith had made profession of faith the day before! What are the chances of that happening? Bro. Eddie Gordon, former Rock of Ages missionary, has a saying that covers it – “That’s not odd; that’s God!”

I sure do appreciate my wife travelling with me for meetings at the women’s facilities. She is a seasoned witness with Christ, and is able to deal effectively with the ladies at our services during the invitations and times of fellowship following. Also, when she is traveling with me, I can find my socks!

Please do pray for those who were newly born into God’s family, and for me that  I, the flashlight, will keep allowing The Light to shine through me to light up the inmates.