"An Inside Perspective"

January 2012


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I bet you didn’t know that we have our own dog on the Greenhouse grounds, did you? We have had him for about a year now; I must have forgotten to share with you.

Let me tell you a little about him. He looks a little like a German Shepherd but I think that he’s really just a mutt. It’s hard to tell. He doesn’t bark, although his mouth hangs open all the time. Day and night he stands guard in front of the Greenhouse. He’s always on his post, rain or shine.

When we first got him, people walked by daily always having something to say about him. Such as, “Brother Philip, it looks like Spike is hungry today,” or perhaps, “Spike needs some water, it’s awful hot out.” Now, after a year has passed, they walk right by, seemingly not even noticing him anymore. I get the occasional wisecrack concerning him, but that’s it; people are just used to him now.

You may remember me telling you in months past that we have a plague of geese on the prison grounds. They and, for lack of a better term, their “left behinds” are everywhere. Walking on the prison grounds is a little like navigating a mine field! But more to my point, the geese think the Greenhouse grounds are a salad bar, especially in the spring and summer. It is a daily battle, me against them!

At one point, I had them conquered. I had devised an elaborate series of chicken wire fences of which they would not breach. You see, geese will not land where they cannot again take back off. They need to be able to have a little running area for takeoff or they can’t get up. So with the chicken wire strategically placed, they never landed on the grounds. I joyfully had them under my direct superintendence for a couple years.

Also, the chicken wire was only about a foot high and for some reason when the geese were walking, they simply would not cross it. I was ecstatic, albeit, for a hot minute. The authorities that be were suddenly changed and I was again affected. The grounds were reviewed and my anti-goose chicken-wire labyrinth was declared to be a security threat! Threat to who or what, I don’t know, only the geese as far as I could tell?!?

So they took the chicken wire and gave me Spike. Far be it from me to buck against the wisdom of authority; submission is my calling. This is the world that I live in, no common sense, reason or logic. Don’t laugh, we are “State run.”

Let’s be honest, we all know how many people have been assaulted by the dreaded chicken-wire bandit, right? In fact, Homeland security has recently posted a new page on their website noting the new wave of chicken-wire capers sweeping the nation. Indeed, one bank robber was said to have been brandishing a three foot piece of chicken wire, with which he threatened the poor teller while demanding money! It is said she couldn’t get the money in the bag fast enough because she was laughing so hard! ?

All jokes aside, Spike is made out of wood. The original purpose for Spike was to scare the geese away. A Scaregoose, as it were. He is mounted on a swivel pole and moves in accordance with the wind. The authorities thought the geese would be intimidated by Spike. They were not. The geese surrounded him the first day, tested him, and found him to be a hypocrite. They then proceeded to eat all the plants around him, publicly exposing him, finally, napping quite peacefully right underneath him.

It is written, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.” (Mt.23:25)

Hypocrisy and its variants are mentioned no less than forty times in the Scriptures. The Lord was swift to rebuke those in authority of such because they were living an unspoken lie. Likewise, Spike is a hypocrite, intended to deceive. At a distance he looks to be one thing, but upon close inspection, he is another. The Lord is a close inspector, you know, very close. Be reminded: He hears your thoughts and sees your motives.

Maybe you too are on your post at church every Sunday, rain or shine. Perhaps your mouth is also hanging open all the time with Christian platitudes, but you have no bark because of inward impurity. People may be so used to your “position” that you aren’t challenged anymore. Bad spot to be in, beloved, they are just used to you.

Precious one, be assured that if you are a hypocrite, “...you have sinned against the Lord and your sin will find you out.” (Num. 32:23) Satan will surround you, test you, and find you to be a hypocrite. He will then publicly expose you, finally, napping quite peacefully right underneath you! Right now God has an anti-satan chicken-wire labyrinth of protection around you. Don’t laugh, He may yet lift it! Never forget, beloved, that Christians are . . .