I went to church last Sunday, I was surprised to learn that I
would be part of the team to visit you today from Harbor
Assemble of God. I had expected another member of our jail
ministry team to be here today with C.J.
couldn’t help but feel a little anxious.
I’m not a public speaker…words don’t just flow from
me. My knees turn
to water, I get cotton-mouthed, and my voice trembles.
stand in front of a group, even if it’s people I know, has
always affected me this way. I need time to think about what I want to say, to practice it
over and over to insure that I won’t just freeze up and stand
here before you with a closed mouth and a blank mind.
I left the church with my three grand-daughters, I mentioned
that I would be visiting with you ladies today, that I wasn’t
prepared….and didn’t have a clue as to what I needed to talk
10 year old grand-daughter, looked up at me with big,
sad, brown eyes and said, “Talk to them about how much it
hurts their kids when they have to go to jail.
Tell them to not do the things that make them have to go
to jail. You tell them that, Nana.”
girl’s daddy just got home from a 3 month stay here. During
that time, their mother also spent 3 days in Hoquiam jail.
(Driving On Suspended licenses; failure to appear charges)
the 30th of this month, their mother will be joining
you ladies for another week, to complete her sentencing...
know I don’t need to tell you how much your children….and
yes, your mothers, are hurt when your freedom to be with them is
already know how painful it is for your child to be separated
from you. You are their anchor, the source of stability in this
uncertain world. In most cases you are the one thing that they
feel they can always count on
You are not only the center of their world, you ARE their
Those of you that have children have experienced the
heart-breaking feeling of looking at your child through a glass
window, unable to touch or comfort them. You’ve seen them cry
because they don’t understand why you can’t come home.
You’ve known their anger because they feel deserted and
abandoned by you.
don’t need someone to tell you about that.
You already know it, feel it, and hurt from it
yourselves…here, in your heart.
them to not do the things that make them have to go to jail. You
tell them that, Nana.”
if it where only that easy, huh?
of you already know a little about me. You know that I have four
grown kids, and five grandkids.
You know that my oldest son is a heroin addict who has
spent half of his 41 years in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Both of my other sons have fought their battles with drug
mother is my youngest child…my only
daughter. I’ve watched and worried as I saw her personality
changing and her world crumbling around her during the past
I’ve watched as she changed from a loving mom whose children
always came first, into someone who didn’t seem to have the
ability to care about anything….including herself. I watched
her 8 and 9 year old daughters trying to care for their 2 year
old sister, as their mother lay sleeping all day.
listened as my daughter blamed everyone and everything for her
life falling to pieces and her “depression”.
cried for the neglect my precious grand-daughters were
suffering, and wrestled with the anguish of how best to protect
them not to do things that will make them have to go to jail,
have spent 40+ years
of my life telling my children to stay away from the things that
would cause problems in their lives.
they have tried to overcome that thing that keeps them
careening on a downhill path.
thing is, of course, Drug Addiction.
is most likely the reason that you do not have full control of
your life right now…either directly or indirectly.
daughter is not going to jail on a drug charge, but if it had
not been for the chaos that drugs has created in her life, she
probably would not be going to jail at all.
an ongoing debate. Some call alcoholism and drug addiction a
disease triggered by genetic disposition. Others brand it a
character defect or a moral failing--in other words, a sin. One
thing is clear: There's no disagreement over the effect of
substance abuse on the user and his or her family and friends.
seen strong men and women
whose lives unraveled, whose marriages crumbled, whose faith
could not hold them up under the frightful weight of their need
to numb their senses and drown their despair or insecurity in
drink or drugs.
I’ve seen the hopelessness in the eyes of their children and
loved ones that want so much to believe the promises they hear
that “Things will get better.”
had a front row seat to the devastating affect that believing
the lie “I don’t need help, I can whip this by myself”
causes. I’ve watched my sons and daughter tell themselves that
lie, and I have witnessed them lose another piece of themselves
with each failure.
also seen the miracle that can occur when an alcoholic or drug
abuser acknowledges his or her condition, realizes they can’t
do it on their own, and turns to God for help.
you are trapped in alcohol abuse, or if you love someone who is,
I have a word for you.
word is not "shame." It's not "sinner."
It's not even "stop"--because on your own, you
probably can't or won't.
word is "trust."
encourage you to trust that God and His people will offer
you the hand of friendship and, where necessary, forgiveness.
that God, in his grace, will give you the strength to say
"No" to any addiction that enslaves you and diminishes
that God will provide someone in your life to help you in
efforts to accept healing and hope through Jesus.
trust me when I tell you that it is Jesus who is the
source of life's truest high.
is one best answer to all of life’s challenges. It will not
solve all your problems immediately, but it is the one best way
to face them in this life, and give you hope for afterwards.
is a wonderful book which contains everything we need to know
to live our lives in peace and harmony the way our Creator
are countless truths to live by found in this book, God's
message to mankind, but if we were to boil everything down to
its most basic message, this book, The Bible, makes three
the Bible says that mankind has a problem, and that problem is
called sin. Sin is any action or attitude that falls short of
God's perfect standard. Every one of us has the problem of sin
(Romans 3:23… for all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God,). And the Bible teaches us there is a
consequence to sin - sin separates us from God.
fact, the Bible tells us that end result of sin is death and
that there is nothing that we ourselves can do to solve the
problem of sin.
the Bible says that there is a solution to the problem of sin,
and that solution is the person of Jesus Christ (Romans
6:23) "For the wages of
sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord."
Bible tells us that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus, His
only Son, to die in our place (John 3:16 )
"For God so loved the world that
he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life. "
God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world
paid the penalty of your sin so that you would not have to
be forever separated from God.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the only solution
for our sin problem (John 14:6)
Jesus answered, "I am
the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father
except through me."
the Bible demands a decision. It is not enough to just know
about Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for you. You must
choose to put your trust in Christ, to receive this free gift of
salvation that God offers (John 1:12)
to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he
gave the right to become children of God."
of us have the problem of sin. There is only one solution to the
problem - the person of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross
for us. Every one of us must decide What we want to do about
must make a decision, and you only have three options?
are only three possible answers to this question:
say yes, to accept God's free gift of salvation by putting your
trust in Jesus Christ.
say no, to reject God's offer of salvation. The Bible says that
those who make this choice will spend eternity separated from
God in a place called Hell.
say maybe, to try to put off the decision to a more convenient
Bible does say that God is patient, wanting everyone to
come to the point of accepting His gift of salvation (II
Peter 3:9) "The
Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand
slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to
perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
none of us is promised that we will be here tomorrow, and
because of this "x-factor" of death, trying to put
off our decision by saying “maybe”, automatically puts us
in the "no" category.
in reality, there are only two answers to the question,
"What will you do with Jesus Christ?" To accept His
free gift of salvation or to reject that gift.
me ask you, "What have You done with Jesus
Christ?" If you have never accepted God's offer of
eternal life, I can think of no better time than right now
have all made mistakes and done things we regret. If we
claim to be without sin, we are in denial, for the Bible says
that ALL have sinned. But what a joy to know that God does
not leave us with the guilt of our mistakes! Instead, he
offers us grace and forgiveness bought for us with Christ's
blood. And that grace brings us freedom -- freedom to walk
without shame as beloved, if imperfect, children of God.
Accept that grace today, know that you are loved despite your
sins, and commit yourself to follow closely the One who took
invitation is open - you can accept the gift of salvation and
get rid of the sin in your life. It doesn't matter what you're
doing or what you've done. The offer is open to everyone.
YOU WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST RIGHT
NOW, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE, YOU NEED ONLY ASK HIM...
said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and
I will give you rest." He also said, "whoever comes to
me I will never drive away."
if you ask Him, you will be accepted.
way to talk to the Lord is through prayer. Your prayer should be
your own, from your own heart to His. If you're not in the habit
of praying, though, you may need an example.
example of such a prayer may go something like this:
in Heaven, I know that I am a sinner
and need forgiveness. I believe that Your Son Jesus died in my
place, to pay the penalty for my sin, and rose again for my
salvation. I want to turn from my sinful ways, so I now ask you,
Lord Jesus, to come into my life as my Savior and my Lord.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Bible says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved." So if you have asked Him into your
life, and believe He died to save you, you are a Christian,
bound for Heaven.
difficulties of living as a Christian in a sinful world are
many. Therefore it is essential that you immediately seek other
sincere, Bible-believing Christians to help you sustain your
resolve. Both individual Christian friends and a solidly
Bible-based Christian church are essential.
you forever know His Peace. God Bless and Keep You.