Last night the BuildUP! Prison Ministry Team wrapped up another awesome year of service with our annual Christmas Celebration to remind a gymnasium full of ladies that JESUS is the reason for the season! With the belief and support of Hunter Hill Cafe, Walmart, Target, The Cheesecake Factory, Sara Lee and Sheryl Brady Ministries, we put not a ring, but a bow on the Celebration for Jesus! We allowed the anointed festivities to remind them that God has not forgotten them that their every confessed sin is forgiven and their true repentance is received for the blood still washes.
When asked by the RIGHTEOUS, "Lord when did we come to You in the prison?" Jesus answers without reservation, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me (Matt 25:35-46).” So many people care absolutely NOTHING for people who are incarcerated. Truthfully they see all incarcerated people as the dregs of society not worthy of anything. They give no consideration of what MIGHT have been the incarceration precursors such as environmental shaping, childhood tragedy, mental illness, or even generational curses. They cannot see past their personal "conviction" that if the courts found them guilty and locked them up they must be guilty. Many have deemed incarcerated persons not deserving to ever reenter society. I am aware that there are millions who are indeed guilty and should be serving their time. I am aware that many will never change even if they are given a second chance. I am also aware that statistically "More than 2,000 people have been exonerated of serious crimes since 1989 in the United States, according to a report by college researchers who have established the first national registry of exonerations." I'm also aware that I've watched that Holy Spirit usher in salvation/deliverance in the prison system for 16 consecutive years.
We understand that there are far more guilty than innocent however, we don't have a hell or a heaven to put prisoners in... that's an assignment for God. All we know is that JESUS SAID... "Somebody needs to go see about them." Since He has chosen and "anointed us to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound(Isa 61:1)" we respond to our monthly mandate to call them forth out of the caves and teach them HOW TO dig their way out of the dungeons.
Thankfully there are those who understand that everybody's not looking for a hand out ... some just need a hand UP in life. Thankfully there are those who never forget that quicker than you can blink - if not for the grace of God through Jesus Christ - a person could easily find themselves exchanging that expensive Sunday go-to-meeting church suit for state issued scrubs that ain't nowhere near new! Thankfully there are some who realize that just one wrong alphabet or social security number miscalculated can cause that Pandora bracelet to be replaced by a shiny pair of silver bracelets that I promise... cannot be traced to Jared's!
Saturday we put up Christmas decorations & they are so pretty! Today my beloved son who is a TV/movie fanatic was trying to adjust the DVD player and did the unthinkable.... he knocked over and BROKE MY MAMA's SNOW GLOBE! Mind you my Mom's been enjoying heaven for 6 years now but when she was here with us she loved, loved, loved decorating for Christmas. Out of all her decorations that were left somehow I have cherished that big, beautiful nativity snow globe most of all. Every time I look at it each Christmas, I see my Mom smiling back at me and it brought me comfort me because I still miss her so. When my son walked into my office this evening to beat around a "confession" of having knocked it over I had just one quiet question, "Is it broken?"
I walked downstairs to see that it indeed was broken and I could not say a single word.
More unusual, I didn't scream or yell but simply picked it up and put it in the trash. I turned and walked back upstairs and when I sat down I felt absolutely no anger but a tear very slowly trickled down my face, then another and another. I silently asked myself, "Why are you really crying?" I felt within myself that the reason for these tears was bigger than the connection to the snow globe. SO I continued to sit and as I sat I realized they were a needed trigger for that lasttt little bit of residual hurt, pain and discouragement of the past 18 months to be washed away on THIS SIDE of 2012. Why? Because 2013 is GOING TO BE INCREDIBLE and has no room for "yesterday's sorrows." Even as I write this, I feel the Comforter drawing me close saying, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55: 8-9). It is well with my soul. Selah.
"Don’t Miss the Drippings!”(Psalm 133:2) It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.
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"Don’t Miss the Drippings!”
Thinking about Christmas ought to draw up thoughts of unity. The sweet spirit of Christmas unity is likened unto the fragrant oil that was poured down Aaron’s beard and then flowed down his robe. The costly oil represented the unity spoken of in verse 1: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
This Christmas falls on a Sunday which only occurs every 7 years, I’m told. Go ahead and cast down the notion of just staying home and enjoying the family. The ham will be there when you get back! The oil of Our Risen Savior is dripping upon us that we become DRIPPERS. Let’s not be so distracted and entangled in "stuff" this week that we miss the drippings that will be waiting in Sunday worship service. Selah.