February, 2003 Wingspread
A Special Kind of Love
By Billie Marie Zal
God's Spirit has placed a heavy burden upon my heart for all of you in prison. Sometimes it is so heavy that I feel as if lead weights are placed upon my body. It is not a hard burden, because I know it comes from my Father in Heaven so that I might somehow reach out HIS arms to all of you---good and bad, interested and uninterested, sincere and deceitful, angry and peaceful, and bring you in. There is an hold hymn I sang so long ago in the little Methodist Church in southern Arkansas when Mama and Daddy took me to church every Sunday. The name of the song was, BRING THEM IN. I loved it; the words gave me hope that we could all be brought in and as I sang, "Bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin. Bring them in, Bring them in, Bring the wandering ones to Jesus." I always felt this joy that God really did love all of us and we could somehow bring everyone into His family and live happily ever after.
I still believe it. Why else would I send out the Truth about life and death and morality and immorality and the effects of sin upon the human race each month (and sometimes each day of the month) if I did not have hope for each of you? I could not.
The burden I have for each of you to find this deliverance from sin and death comes directly from the Throne of our God. At His right hand, His Beloved Son sits, "ever living to make intercession for us." His Presence at the right hand of God the Father assures us that we are not forgotten. His Word tells us that He knows when a sparrow falls; and are we not of much more value than sparrows? Of course. And for His sake, because He cares about a fallen sparrow, I write of His Love, His forgiveness, His patience, His gift of eternal life if we truly want HIM. No mere man or woman can ever tell us that we are born of God. Not even the words in a book can give us this assurance--not UNTIL each of you have been alone with God, knowing that you are helpless, hopeless, in total bondage to the power of sin, and headed for hell. Even if you do not believe in hell, your belief does not change the reality that it is there. Jesus speaks often of it in His Word and Jesus cannot lie. And anyhow---we know it, instinctively, because of the conscience that God gives to every one of us when we are born into this world. We are born knowing that this world cannot last forever and one day we will face the end of our mortal lives and THEN we will live eternally, either in heaven or in hell.
So it is a spiritual revelation, then that assures us that we are born again, into a new life of power and peace and love and the reality that we belong to God, forever.
I was recently heart broken by an incident that has happened before, but this time it was something very close to my heart.
I had ministered God's pure love toward a prisoner in Colorado for many, many years. I believe he was only twenty three years old when he heard of me and began to correspond. God gave me much wisdom in my letters to Him---It is always God's wisdom, not man's wisdom that touches the heart of sinners and saints alike. But nothing had changed his mind about sin. He moved in with his aunt and after an argument about how much flavor she had used in the chili they were eating, he became infuriated and stabbed and shot her to death.
I do not believe that he "premeditated" his crime. He had found a benefactor who showered him with financial aid and he probably had no idea that this kind of rage lived within his heart. But God knew. Many times he would call me (he was permitted pre-paid phone calls at the Colorado prison where he was incarcerated) and we would talk at length about the anger that can take over our being and ruin our lives. He didn't like to hear it, but I always told him, "Richard, you don't have the right to hate the guards and the system; if you want to be healed of your rage, you begin with realizing that God can set your free from it, but He is going to use your circumstances to show you the depth of your wilfulness and then give you victory--if you want the victory. But it's your call, not God's."
This could be a lesson to any of you who have never "managed your anger." I know that before I was born again, of God's Spirit, my anger often vented itself on others. Not as a child, my Mother was a strict disciplinarian and if I had even looked as though I wanted to "talk back," I would "get it." (And I thank God I did). But once I had a new life and the Spirit of God actually lives within my heart, the victory of power over sin (and anger is murder, Jesus says so) was gone forever. Something hateful was replaced in my life with Something lovely.
I tell you this story about Richard because it can wake you up, if you are wasting your time in a prison cell with hateful thoughts, ideas, things that can only lead to destruction. Perhaps--during those 16 years or more in prison--my friend Richard never thought that he could do such a thing. Perhaps, this time, he might get serious with our God and begin again. There is still hope. But not if you delude yourselves into thinking that you can make it outside apart from the Spirit of our God indwelling your hearts and minds and giving you grace to defeat the devil as He goes about, roaring as a lion and seeking whom He may destroy. Richard is alive and so as long as there is life there is hope.
I will not leave you with a sad story. I am printing off a letter from a dear, dear brother we call, "P-Nut." He was once lost in sin; he heard of me; actually he knew me because he ran a "store" on a run once, at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. He saw the love of us, here on our mountain, as we displayed it among those who often abused this Love, and he knew that we never held it against those prisoners. God's Love cannot STOP....it is"forever." WE can leave such Love, and be lost. But His Love flows on, like a river and the devil Himself can never defeat that kind of Love.
Anyhow, "P-Nut" wrote to me a few years ago (maybe two or three) and he was actually dying of cancer. As we corresponded, I reminded him of God's almighty love and His ability to save us and cleanse us and prepare us for His Glory. P-Nut became very, very weak and sick and one day I had this burden come upon me, that P-Nut must be healed as a testimony to the reality of God to all of you in prison who seldom see His Life where you are. I laid my hands on his letter, and on the letter I had written to him, and I covered my head (because of the Angels, we are to cover our heads when we pray to our Father),. And I said, "Oh, Father, P-Nut needs your healing. He is such a dear one to us, and in my heart I believe that You have a purpose in leaving him here as a testimony to Your reality. I claim his healing now, in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who bore all of our sins and our sicknesses in His body on the tree."
As I prayed, little "electric shocks" ran up and down my arms and I knew that God had heard and answered.
You can imagine my joy when I received P-Nut's answer! He had been so weak and sick and was going to go for more chemotherapy but when he read my letter about my prayer, he said he was saved...and healed....and the pain disappeared. When he went to his doctor there at the prison hospital, the doctor was puzzled. He said, "I don't understand this. We don't need to give you any chemo treatment today...." And P-Nut rejoiced that not only had God healed him of cancer's power, but also had given him a brand new life. He was born again. I am going to put down our prayer requests now, and P-Nut's letter (just the way he wrote it to us) will be at the end of Wingspread.
PRAY FOR: Dale Shelton, our precious brother at a camp at Holdenville, Ok., who has been very sick. Dale was one of my first prisoners when God called me in 1986 and he and Don "Bubba" Hawkins were the first two who wrote to me. They are "Charter Members" of God's "Wingspread." Get well soon, Dale. P-Nut's letter will encourage you, we know.
FOR: Please continue to pray for our dear brother James Walker at OSP, McAlester, Ok. He sends good news about his precious new grand daughter, "Alicia Denise," who was born with birth defects. She is so beautiful, and her tiny life has brought new hope into her grand daddy's life and we rejoice with him for her healing. James has let her be my grand baby, too!!!!!!
FOR: Willie Scott, our brother at Tucker, Ark., for God's favor as he goes to court. Willie is always a blessing to us here, Margaret and I met him personally the one time we were permitted to minister at Tucker. I'll never forget his smile, and his graciousness to us.
FOR: Our brother, Anthony Grayson recently transferred to Sullivan C.F. at Fallsburg, N.Y. as he finds an opportunity to prove his innocence through DNA.
FOR: Our dear brother, David Berkowitz, who is also at Fallsburg, New York, as he ministers to those in desperate need of mental healing. David is a true lover of our Lord Jesus Christ.
FOR: Joe Buckaloo, our little brother at OSP, Ok., that he will be well; Joe suffers from seizures and we ask our Father for his deliverance from them. He's been with us for many years and is well beloved by our family here on Baca Mountain.
FOR: A neighbor's healing from cancer, Jerry Brock. He and his wife and family have been so kind to us here, and we thank God for their friendship and love. Also pray for "Sandra's" complete healing. She is a member of Jerry's family.
FOR: Tony Trevino to get his good time; Tony is at Abilene, Texas (Flower Mound Road camp) and our brother, Tommy Hayes, is also there so please pray for Tommy, too.
FOR: Isaac Douglas at a camp in Canton, Illinois, that God will show him favor at the hearing on March 10th. Isaac is a faithful witness to the love of God, so please pray with us for him.
For: Eric Daniels, at a camp in Trenton, New Jersey, that he will be able to teach as a calling of God. Eric longs to lead others into an obedient walk with our God and show them the Way.
FOR: A very dear brother, Edward Ellis, as he awaits the governor's signature on his parole papers. He has been a faithful friend and brother and it is our hope that he never forgets us.
FOR: Richard Bruestle, in jail awaiting trial in St. Paul, Minnesota. I spoke of him in the above Wingspread issue, so please pray that he will be granted the grace of confession and repentance from our God and be born again.
FOR: My son Richard in Illinois that his life will count for Christ's kingdom, and for Mark, in California (Marg's son). Neither of them have committed their lives to God and walked in the Light of His will. But God is faithful and He will save them.
FOR: John Boltz, a dear brother at OSP, Ok., that favor will be shown in an upcoming case review. John has been with us in Spirit for many, many years and we thank God for him.
FOR: Clay Huff: for his total healing. He is dear to us, and has been in our hearts for many years. Clay is at Angola, Louisiana. Please spend special time asking our Father for his healing.
FOR: Steven Orr, Diamondback C.F., Watonga, Oklahome, for God's favor concerning a parole.
FOR: Bob Quatman, a Christian brother who was just diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Our brother David Berkowitz at Fallsburg sends this special prayer request to all of us.
FOR: Judy Oakley, my "little girl" who goes in for surgery March 10 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Judy and her husband Steve live down the highway from us; she has been "my little girl" since the first time her Mom, Dorothy brought her by to see me when she was just seven years old. Please pray for her complete recovery.
AND pray for us, as we labor long hours in God's vineyard; we have no thought of "retiring."
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