"An Inside Perspective"

June 2005

My dear family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ! It is a sunny afternoon at about 5:30 p.m. and I am sitting outside in the weight-pile of the Big Yard. There are four pods (sections) in the Big Yard, each day we have a different pod, but only one of them contains the free weights. That pod is called the ‘‘weight—pile.’’

I can remember when I first got to this prison in the early nineties. I went out to the Big Yard, it was not sectioned off back then, and I saw men working out in the weight-pile. I saw men so big that I was afraid to look them in the eye! As far as I was concerned, being a “new-jack” and all, there were giants in the land and nobody was gonna tell me different!

On this particular day, I was sitting in the middle of the weight-pile, reclining on a bench. I now know all the giants personally and I am friends with most of them. They have names like Big-Dee, J-Means, Snot, Rock, Daddy’O, D-Nice, Porky, Assassin and such. You get the picture, right?

I am an observer. I like to watch people and things to see how they tick. I enjoy taking things apart to study how they work. I think that is why I like Systematic Theology so much. It is simply an orderly study of the things of God. It is what I like to call the “mechanics~~ of salvation; the “hows and whys” of God Himself and His creation.

In my observation of the weight-pile giants I have noticed that they are very well disciplined in regard their schedules. They have preset work-out agendas. They know a week ahead of time what they will be doing on any given day and they stick to it, rain or shine. Each day they work a different part of their anatomy. One day they bench-press. The next day they may do curls. Leg lifts are on Tuesdays and squats are for Thursdays. Sunday they rest. They aim at a goal; to be giants, therefore, commanding respect. They also have individual steps to reach that goal. In prison, the bigger you are and the better shape you are in, the more respect you are afforded. Respect in prison is everything for the unbeliever.

I also noticed that they are all in different stages of their growth. There are aspiring giants---babes in the pile. They are just getting started and looking unto the mature giants to guide them. There are half-grown giants---young men in the pile. Standing on their own and challenging the giants already in the promised land of peer worship. Then, there are the full-grown men, the leaders---giants in the pile. They are complete in stature, discipline and standing. They are known through out the whole jail and, not quite unlike E. F. Hutton, when they attempt a new weight record, the whole of the weight-pile stops to watch. As everyone looks on, there is heard various primitive grunts, and then, with much whooping and hollering, a new goal is met.

It is written, “Bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and that which is to come.”

I do not think that the Lord is, in this verse, making light of the value of bodily exercise. He is just putting it in perspective for us. I work-out myself, although, I am not a giant, nor, do I aspire to be one (smile). However, I do know where my real strength lies. It lies in a daily disciplined spiritual exercise. It should be our hearts desire to be a giant in pleasing God, each, in our own respective callings.

A giant in God’s sight is not always a giant in our sight. God saw a giant in David, the young shepherd boy. Israel saw Goliath as the giant and feared. David saw God as giant and therefore, slew Goliath while declaring, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God...come to me and I will give your flesh to the fowls of heaven!” When we have a giant God, and we do, our enemies will fall!

I want to be humble and contrite of heart, even, servant minded, how about you? God’s promise is that he will dwell with just such a man. That man is a giant, in whom, God dwells.

The spiritual weight-pile for Christians is the Word of God. Everyone is at a different stage of growth. There are aspiring giants in Christ---babes in the spiritual pile. They are just getting started and looking unto Jesus, the Giant of giants. Let us come alongside them. There are half-grown men---young men in the spiritual pile. They are running as if to attain. Let us encourage them. Finally, there are full-grown men, leaders---giants in the spiritual pile. They are laborers in the fields. Let us pray for and with them. As the leaders go, so goes the people.

“Have you curled the book of Romans lately?”