July 2008

The purpose of the Monthly View is to reach out to the world with the love of God. The Apostle Paul explained: “I try to find common ground with everyone so that I might bring them to Christ. I do all this to spread the Good News, and in doing so, I enjoy its blessings.” 1

Adopt A Stray Pet...

I think you realize my love for helpless pets with the “save a life and gain a buddy” link at the top if this website. I can’t adopt one for myself, but I can encourage you to save one of these suffering animals. I pray that your heart will be moved with compassion. 2

I grew up with my brother’s dog – Collie. My Mom used to tell people that I told him all my troubles. I can see her laughing about that now, but he was a good listener. I loved that dog, and we roamed all over town together. The day he died, I buried him under the big tree that my mom called “Charles’ tree” in our back yard.

I’m looking forward to a new series on July 10th, coming on CBS called the “Great American Dog.” You may want to watch it to build your compassion for your move towards adoption. It is only a click away to view a buddy in your area.

Loving The Unloving...

I’ve known people who loved their pets immensely, but were cantankerous when it came to human relationships. They ran everyone off with their crankiness except for their pets who loved them regardless. I was always drawn to these sorts of people only because I wanted to play with their pet.

Some of these people are very hard to love, unless we have experienced God’s love for ourselves. 3 I just met an ornery old man in a wheel chair named Lydell. He is overweight, resembling Santa Clause, swollen arms and hands, and feet with open sores. He has burnt his bridges with the staff and inmates, because of his angry demands for help that he believes he is owned. He would receive no compassion, without the unconditional love of God flowing from the hearts of those who God. Come to find out, even his own children has cut him loose.

Prisoners can’t have pets to love, but they recall clearly the ones from their past. They can share their love by adopting another inmate in their heart. Lydell had two Great Danes before his prison life, a faith in Catholicism, a family and career, but never came to know the unconditional love of God. He had to come to prison to experience it, and now that he has received Christ and the love of the brethren, he’s broken, recovering slowly and displaying a gleam in his eyes. When I come close to him, he reaches out for my hand.

Our Sister Susan...

Those who know Christ in prison have compassion for each other. Compassion means “suffering with another”. Susan Atkins is a former Manson family member, who is now diagnosed with brain cancer. I’m told by a friend that “…one leg is gone, and she can’t even sit up or even lift her head.” She is imprisoned at the California Institute for Women, where those Christian with her demonstrate compassion. She is a dear sister in the Lord.

There isn’t a lot of sympathy for her from the general public. After serving forty years in prison for her part in the Manson murders, she asked for a compassionate release, but was denied. The doctors give her only six months to live. She is one of those inmates, who has shown compassion to many undeserving women during her prison stay. It is her time to reap compassion and prayers from us who know God’s love.

My prayers go out to Susan, who came to Christ in 1974. Chaplin Ray Hoekstra came to see me in 1975, telling me of her salvation and how she wrote to Bruce Davis (another former Manson family member), who came to Christ as a result. Chaplin Ray wanted me to receive Christ, which I did a few months later in June 1975. The testimonies he shared and the love of God working through many others opened my heart to the Lord.

Judgment Day...

Those who do not hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ believe that one day justice will be served when murderers like Susan, Bruce and myself meet the Lord. To the contrary, justice was served when Jesus took our sins upon Himself on Calvary’s cross. 4 Our sins were placed upon Him in exchange for eternal life, because of God’s mercy upon the sinner. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s judgment.” 5

The believer will not face the Great White Throne judgment, but will go before the “Bema” Seat of Christ to give account of their works, such as feeding and clothing the poor and visiting those in prison. Jesus said: ”…when you do these things to the one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.” 6 Those who have done good works through the Holy Spirit will be awarded crowns, but those doing works through their own power will receive no reward. They will be saved, but as through a wall of flames. 7 Those who receive crowns will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of the Lord,” 8 but those who don’t “…shall be weeping and gnashing their teeth,” 9 because of losing their reward. Jesus said: “Look, I am coming quickly. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.”10

The unbeliever will have a rude awakening on judgment day. Those who have shown no mercy, will receive an appropriate justice.11 They have lived a very judgmental and vengeful life toward others. They have rejected the resurrection of Christ, not believing He took their judgment for sin, 12 they will take their own punishment at the Great White Throne, the judgment of the spiritual dead. Their name will not be found in the Book of Life, 13 so they will go into the lake of fire. 14 “They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever sepaeated from God’s glorious power.”15

Jesus Exhorts Us...

“Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying: “I am Messiah.” They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all these will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance to me, and many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But those who endure to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then, finally, the end will come.” 16

A Prayer For You:

Our Father in Heaven, you know the need we have for compassion and understanding. We lift up those who need to see the unlimited love you have for each of us. Your Son, Jesus, is the demonstration of Your love and compassion, in that He died in our place so we would never have to die. Help us, Father, to get this gospel to all in need, so they may see the love you have for them and may come to faith in the only Savior - Jesus Christ. May our fellow Christians realize the need to demonstrate Your love to those who need it most. May we be bold in answering Your call to love others as Christ has loved us. In the Name above all names, Jesus’ name. Amen.

And a prayer for Susan and those like her:

Compassionate Father, we also lift up to you Susan Atkins in this time of need. She needs healing, she needs compassion, and she needs love. Please put Your hand into the circumstances and let there be an outcome that is from you. For all the many sick, injured, elderly, and suffering prisoners, please bring relief in the knowledge that their Redeemer lives, a plan for good and not harm, a plan for hope and a future. May we be used to bring light where there is darkness and hope where there is only darkness. And Father, let those in authority over Susan see the need for her to be released at this time so she can be with her family. The heart of the king is in your hand; You turn it as you will. May Your will be done. In the name of Jesus. Amen

Scripture References:

1 1Cor. 9:22b-23
2 Mark 1:41
3 1John 3:16
4 2Cor. 5:21
5 Rom. 5:8,9
6 Matt. 25:35,36,40
7 1Cor. 3:13-15
8 Matt. 25:21,23
9 Matt. 25:30
10 Rev. 3:11
11 James 2:13
12 John 3:18
13 Rev. 20:11-13
14 Rev. 20:14,15
15 2Thes. 1:9
16 Matt. 24:4-14

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