Once again, it’s the time of year that many of you will celebrate Easter by attending a local congregation. The history of Easter, and how it became the day to recognize the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is explained in the March 2005 view. Our prayer is that every day will be a day of rejoicing for you in Christ’s victory. As the chorus goes: “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
The door is open for you to contact our web administrator with your praise reports and prayer requests. People contact us from all walks of life. We realize that you may desire to share your excitement concerning what God had done. It’s healthy to share your thoughts and feelings.
It helps to read portions of the website before contacting us, especially “Manson’s Right Hand Man Speaks Out!” This book provides answers to over two-hundred questions that you will not have to ask again. As you search the web site, you’ll uncover answers to many questions. We choose not to share any information on the personal lives of my family, but when appropriate, personal things are shared on the web site as well.
There is one thing that I can confirm, since many of you ask about my wife. Kristin faithfully supported our prison ministry, and our marriage was sound for 24 years. Being married to a prisoner is a relationship with a lot of difficulties. Kristin eventually chose a more normal life, resulting in her divorcing me in 2003. We remain friends and are dedicated parents to our four children. Our Lord has given our family favor with many friends and strong family help. Our children are succeeding in marvelous ways, and we are grateful to God and those He has put in our paths.
It Is All About Love
This outreach is all about the love of God finding us, so that His love can flow freely through our lives to others. It is the condition of our heart that causes our inability to experience and express God’s love. Just as we must be born through childbirth to experience physical life, our hearts must be born of God to experience Spiritual life. His life enables us to express His love to others. “Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God – for God is love.” 1
My live was in turmoil before God’s love came into my heart. While searching for love and acceptance, I chose physical love from illicit sex. My parents loved me unconditionally, but I didn’t realize it. I became fearful of failure and of not being accepted. I fled to California, thinking a change of location could fulfill me. I was unwilling to face the real problem – my fearful heart. I wasn’t born of the Spirit, so I was ignorant of God’s love that casts out fear. 2 God hadn’t given me the spirit of fear, but He made the provision for the Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline through a new life in Christ. 3 The same is true of everyone.
This miraculous rebirth happens when you believe that Jesus died for your sins, and rose from the dead to give you everlasting life. You are forgiven because of the blood of Jesus Christ, and you are cleansed from all unrighteousness by God’s power. 4 Jesus gives us His righteousness and life, and “… since Christ lives in you, your spirit is alive, because you have been made right with God.”5 As a result, the Holy Spirit give you the ability to experience God’s love, freedom from fear and the ability to express “… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”6
Let’s Shift Gears
Our hearts were saddened as we hear about a new wave of violence in the schools. There were five separate shootings in seven days. People are looking for answers and asking “Why?” The girlfriend of the shooter said: “This was not the man I knew, who was not a monster, but a caring person.” In all humility, if we would just learn to humble ourselves, seek the Lord and Pay “It” Forward, this world would be a better place.
All of us have a responsibility to respond to God, and He gives us the ability to respond. We cannot win the war against violence without the power of God. “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.”7
God’s mighty weapons knock down the Devil’s stronghold [fortresses] and break down every proud argument those every argument that keeps people from knowing God. These arguments, thoughts, ideas, speculations, reasoning’s, philosophies and false religions. They are ideological forts that become strongholds in which individuals barricade themselves against God. The shooter of these latest killings allowed a stronghold of demonic reasoning to inhabit his mind in the past 6 months. He became a “cutter”, cutting himself and filling his arms with satanic tattoos, such as a pentagram.
The total destruction of these fortresses of human and demonic wisdom and the rescuing of those captive from the damning lies that enslave them, takes place through the finished work of Christ. It is up to us to share His love with everyone we meet. The Lord makes us aware of those in trouble and uses us to rescue a tormented soul from becoming the next fatality. The answer is believing, receiving, knowing and sharing the power of God’s love to save the lost. And prayer is the key to success.
I rarely recommend books, but The Shack is an interesting novel. It is the fictional story of Mackenzie Allen Phillips. His youngest daughter, Missy, is abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note apparently from God, inviting him back to the shack for the weekend.
Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.
In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answer Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book (click here!)
Pray out loud:
Our loving heavenly Father, all that is righteous, all that is holy, comes only through you. You have provided the answer to our troubles. All that hurts us, all that has injured us, all in this world that confuses us, has been overcome by Your Son, Jesus Christ. We believe in your salvation and the prosperity that comes through Jesus alone. Tear down those strongholds that resist Your will. Strengthen our faith to boldly proclaim to this lost world Your plan for righteousness and peace. Jesus is Lord and it is in His name we pray, Amen!”
1 1 John 4:7, 8
2 1 John 4:18
3 2 Tim 1:7
4 1 John 1:9
5 Rom. 3:25, 8:10
6 Gal. 5:22
7 2 Cor. 10:3-5