In Loving Memory of My Kahoo Born March 17, 1992 and Died on September 15, 2002
He was one of God's most magnificent creatures and I am honored to have been so dearly loved and trusted by him.
He never raised a lip to me - and when his sister, the Alpha female of his litter, died, he became Pack leader. He loved Tillie's puppies and gladly offered them his food. Together, we stored up "all that was ever ours" and I thank God for my "Big Boy." I am a better person for having been his very own.
Kahoo at four weeks of age
Taking God for Granted
I just gave out beef bones to the kennel dogs and suddenly the sound of fury filled the area. Just a few minutes before they got their bones they had been happy campers. But now----bared teeth and snarls accompanied their "showing off" their trophies.
It is perfectly normal for dogs to behave in this manner. They all descended from wolves and each animal protects its "space." If they did not do this, many would starve.
But believe it or not, people also "snarl over their bones."
Just take a good look at those around you. Not a human being on earth is ever satisfied with what he has, much less thankful. And that, too, is "normal behavior." We were born out of Adam (though at one time Adam was made in the "image of God") and we react in the flesh. And who wants to let someone else have his trophy?
We live in a society where nothing is definite. People save their money and lose it. The economy goes bad. Wars are imminent. We don't want this kind of life, but that is all there is for us down here.
And so--from childhood, we begin to "collect our bones." Some people collect money and store it away and it is of no value at all to our God. Some people collect fame and sooner or later the fame is gone and a wretched, miserable life comes to an end. And people collect power. Why else would the Mafia exist? Men like to believe that people are afraid of them and they operate their enterprises through fear. But the Mafia Boss goes down to his grave, with no hope of a tomorrow and no one to bail him out. Some people collect friends. I know persons who will do anything just to have friends and again, the friends disappear at will, and the person is left alone, bereft of any comfort.
In our world, it is seldom that we ever see an individual who collects nothing for himself and rather, "lays up his store in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust can touch it." He gives everything to God by giving to others, and his rewards are waiting for him. But the person who gives "to get" will have nothing. Jesus said we had better have all we can get down here if we don't want HIM and nothing more, because such a person would have nothing in Heaven.
But who believes it? Anyone who takes God for granted believes it.
I was watching a minister on TV this morning and he preached a very good sermon. He spoke of how we are born in ADAM'S LIKENESS and so we act like Adam did, once he sinned through rebellion against God's rules. Of course he went on to say that when we are born again, we are born into the image of Christ who gives to us the Holy Spirit, to live within us and to guide us throughout our lives once we are saved.
He told his people that everyone in that huge congregation was going either to heaven or to hell. And that is what began to puzzle me. Such a Word spoken in God's anointing should have brought the people to their knees. But there they sat in their beautiful clothes and carefully made up faces, and nothing happened. And I wonder how this man accumulated a few thousand people and built a church that must have cost millions, and speaks God's Word, and nothing happens? Something is wrong.
I suspect that these people---though they might have at one time or another--been saved---have collected their treasures all of their lives and they are secure. They have jobs, money, savings, children in college, beautiful clothes, beautiful cars, and they "amount to something" in the community.
This is the worst condition that we can be in---"having it all." If we have it all, do we ever need God? Do we ever "examine ourselves, to see whether we are in the faith?" Do we ever give that offering to God, expecting nothing in return? Does a man ever preach without a hope of an offering? Does he ever tell his people the "whole truth and nothing but the truth" without making it up to them by some pleasant remark which sets them at ease?
Looking back across the years of my life I can see why God never permitted me to settle down in ease. Every time I thought maybe I could pay off my bills and have a little left over, He directed me to someone in need.
Because I had nothing to protect, I never took God for granted. Once my gold charm bracelet was stolen and taken to a shop where it was melted down and the person was paid for the weight of the gold. I had something on that bracelet that I loved dearly. It was a tiny gold baby ring which had been sent to me for him when I adopted him. It meant so much to me, that little ring. And I had a ten dollar gold coin which would probably be worth a lot today. It came from India and was very old and antique collectors will pay a lot for something like that. Each charm on the bracelet had been given to me by someone who loved me, and I treasured the love. But now it was gone.
I thought about it before I got the spiritual victory. I thought through on it and I remembered the words of Jesus who says, "To him that takes away your coat, give him your cloak also." And I gave my bracelet back to God and left the loss behind.
I also lost a diamond wrist watch; when God brought me out of His spiritual training in that one room basement in Northlake, Illinois, He could trust me with a few things which made my life easier. He gave me a lovely new "used" car that actually worked and I didn't have to push it to start it. He gave me a home to rent in south Arkansas, and I could see out, all around me. In the basement I could see nothing but ground outside the tiny window. This, then, was a wonderful blessing. He also gave me decent clothes and most precious of all, he gave me enough money to buy my son Richard nice clothes when school started. BUT I was reminded of how easy it is for us to accumulate and then we want to protect what we've accumulated. And so I made a vow to God that I would keep nothing for myself except His daily provision and let Him guide me where everything else was to go.
It was a wonderful kind of life, really. We think we need so much and we go into the stores and the beautiful things reach out to us and seduce us. But if we are protected by the Holy Spirit after we make our vows (and we are) then nothing means much to us. Sometimes I miss the excitement of a Christmas when we all had a huge get together and gave gifts. But the day came when we realized that Christmas was not for getting, but for giving. And we never again took God's love for granted.
Going back to the minister whom I heard speak today----perhaps his people had never done without. Or, if they had, they might have vowed that they would never do without again, once they got going. And the things we own and keep can actually harden our hearts until we believe we "deserve" all that we have.
Human beings deserve nothing. Jesus Christ deserves ALL. But for His grace, we might even be in hell today. And yet, day by day, we live out the wonder of life itself without giving Him so much as a thought.
One of the things which I do first when I get up is to thank God for LIFE. I thank Him for a home and a place to sleep because I know that "the Son of man had no place to lay His head." Where were all the people whom He had healed and fed? Why didn't He have a "place to lay His head?" It was because people took Him for granted and this is perilous to the soul. Another thing I do is thank Him for a hot cup of coffee (I remember once going to minister in a church in southern Mississippi and I was so sleepy, having gotten up very early to drive there in my old car) and I decided to stop for a cup of coffee. But when I checked out my coin purse and wallet, I didn't have a dime to buy a cup of coffee. But I got to the church and these country people of their own will gave me a love offering and I could buy coffee on the way home!!
When we are trained in this manner, we never believe we deserve anything and we do not intrude into God's presence demanding that we should "get the sinners' wealth". The Body of Christ today has members who have no idea of what His claims are upon a life, once He has given us the new birth. The Church is asleep and the fact that a minister can preach a wonderful message on how little we are and how great God is, and the people do not shed a tear is proof that the Church is asleep today.
Another thing that I do when I get up is thank God for the ministry He gave to me. Margaret and I were talking the other day and she said, "You were being trained all of your life to minister to prisoners." And she is right. I learned to love those who had troubled minds and broken hearts and who took it out on me. I knew if I did not love them, then who would? I learned the sorrow of loss, the pain of rejection, the hopelessness of a life down here on earth unless there is certain life in Heaven. And I saw all of the things that God has given us, in order to teach us to become like His Son.
This is why He took me through the bewildering events throughout the years and now I can see clearly what I never saw before. I was "born to die." Not necessarily to die physically. We all must do that. But I was born to die to myself---give up every hope, every joy, every dear one, everything in order to have Jesus Christ's Light shining within me. And then---individuals will see HIM and if they seek Him, they find Him.
We can't hold on to anything and be a true messenger of God. If you study the letters of the Apostle Paul you will understand how God feels about His Church and how much lack of love for Him is present in the Church.
I was in a place recently where a young woman was hostess. The moment she saw me, she began to talk with me and there was instant love for one another. She told me that she felt so insecure, but as we talked, she began to feel a peace, and a hope. And this was the moment I began to tell her of my life, how God had found me and made me whole. It isn't hard to "witness" when the ONE who is our WITNESS lives within us. This woman came back to talk with me time and again and as she was leaving, she almost cried. She asked if I would remember her. I have prayed for her daily ever since, and she will get one of my books and copies of Wingspread. She is ready for salvation and God's Love within me touched her and she will be made whole. But what if I had been too interested in my "evening out"? What if I had determined to have at least ONE dinner and time out with no interruptions? I could never have been a vessel of God's Love to this young woman and she might never have heard how much He loves her.
Lest anyone think I have "pride" in my heart I want each of you to know what the Apostle Paul said, "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing." I am totally hopelessly ineffective in my own flesh and personality. There would be far too much rubbish and prisoners especially know when a person is a phony.
I am humbled to the dust to think that such a person as myself could ever have been saved, let alone given a ministry to men and women who have been deeply hurt most of their lives. My words would have no effect and you would all go away empty.
But I thank God that one snowy night in Chicago, He showed me a glimpse of what I really was----good for nothing, lost, selfish, seeking things which I knew God never meant for me to have---I was nothing, nothing, nothing. And THEN He showed me His Son and suddenly I was SOMETHING. It happened in seconds and don't ask how it happened, I just know beyond any doubt that it did. I was suddenly all new. I was made whole. And I had no right to continue in sin and forget that God visited me that night, and His presence is continually with me, showing me His righteousness, convincing me of daily sin (left overs from the Adamic nature) and convincing me of certain judgment of this world.
Why did God give to me this "unspeakable Gift of His precious Son?" Because His Love covers us all. His Son's blood saved ANYONE who would "call upon His Name." And He saved me because I had gotten so sick of my self and wanted deliverance from the penalty, from the guilt, and very importantly---FROM THE POWER OF SIN.
Who else but God could have done such a thing? We hear about other "religions" and yet, I don't know of any other religion which has a God Almighty. A God whose infinite mind created the heavens and the earth. A God who was lonely for human beings who would love Him without limit, and so He designed the Plan of Salvation. And we as Christians have the empty Tomb of Christ to substantiate this claim that we have a risen Savior. He has given me new life and He doesn't have any favorites.
If you believe that you can live your life without His Love, then that is your choice. God will never coerce anyone to become His child. He doesn't have to; but He can and will save you from death and hell. I won't argue the issue because the Bible says there is no use in arguing. But I know what happened to me, and to those who minister with me, and believe me---we have something that binds us together during these dark times of history, and we have no intention of ever turning away from the Only One who ever loved us. I pray that He might become your Father, too, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant. And you will reflect His love and glory to those around you---even in a prison cell. And you will never take God for granted again.
PRAYER REQUESTS; For: Michael Kinley's health, his heart is giving him trouble. He is at OSP in McAlester, Ok. FOR; Continue to pray for Sandra, who is being treated for cancer. She needs your prayers. FOR; Victor Dillon's dad, who is 91 and still hunting and fishing; that he will be strong when Victor discharges. Victor is at Diamondback, Watonga, Ok; FOR; Nolan Francis Holland, who at Tucker, Ark., that he will get a Clemency hearing and God will show him favor with the Court. FOR: A new brother, Brian Waltermeyer, at Frackville, Pa., that he will continue to receive God's blessings and go home soon. FOR;
Isaac Douglas, who is at a camp in Canton, Illinois, as he faithfully tithes to our work so that others can know God's Word and be saved. FOR; A new brother in a camp at Canton, Ill. He asks our prayers for a dear friend in Chicago who has cancer. Her name is Mrs. Sherry L. Bogan, so let us ask our Father to bring total healing to Sherry. Our new brother's name is Timothy Jones. FOR; Steven Orr, to be transferred to a work release camp. Steven is at Diamondback, Watonga, Ok. FOR; John Lemmon, OSP, to grow up in Christ and find that peace and joy he seeks. FOR; Willie Scott, that God will give him favor with his court case. Willie is at Tucker, Ark. FOR: Our dear brother, Raymond "P-Nut" Sanders, as he gives testimony to God's glory in healing his cancer. P-Nut is at Tennessee Colony, Texas.
FOR: Anthony Grayson, my little brother in Christ at Clinton CC in Dannemaro, New York, that he can get a transfer. Anthony has been with me via letters since 1991. He is a blessing to all of us here. FOR: James Walker, OSP, who needs complete healing and just as we believe for P-Nut's healing and it was done, so can God touch James' body and make him whole. Let us take James Walker to the Throne of Grace and then marvel at seeing answered prayer!! FOR: Our new website on the internet as my messages will be available to seeking souls all over the world.
This is the new website:
AND one last request: pray for my Carmelite Sisters as they minister pure Love to our Lord Jesus both at Covington, Louisiana and at Little Rock, Arkansas. May our Father give special beauty to their lives as we approach the Christmas Season.
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