OUR FATHER'S PERSISTENT LOVE MINISTRIES, INC.





"An Inside Perspective"

April 2012


                           


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I know that I have shared with you in the past about how good my mother’s cooking is. Honestly though, I cannot give her enough praise! My house was “the house” when I was growing up and my friends always wanted to come over because they knew Mom always had sweets laid out enticingly on the kitchen table.

She had this giant cookie jar that was made to look like a strawberry. The bottom was red with dimples on it, and the top, which pulled off, was green and shaped like the leaves. I zoomed home from school on my bike, and later in high school on my motorcycle with my palate fixated on that cookie jar.

I punished those cookies with great joy! I would go straight to the refrigerator and grab the half gallon of icy cold milk, then I would sit down at the kitchen table and do work! Mom would watch me with a loving smile wondering how I could eat so many. Then with youthful energy, I went surfing. I had and still have the best mother in all the world, and to my constant wonderment of God’s grace, she is now my sister, too! Hallelujah!

On Sunday, Mom always cooked an especially big meal and all were expected to be there, and trust me, you didn’t have to tell me twice! ? It’s hard for me to even describe what the table looked like; it was just covered with food from one end to the other, and it was every man for himself! Never did anyone have to be told to finish what was on their plate. You could not out-eat my Mom’s cooking; there was always more.

My favorite meal was stuffed cabbages. I thought she made them in Heaven and surely they were manna to me; they were to die for! She had this way of glazing them with brown sugar or some motherly secret sauce that I could not resist. When I grew older and moved about ten miles away into my own house, it seemed I could still smell them!

Well, need I remind you that times have changed for me. Truly my life is still awesome now “in Christ” except for this minor incarceration problem. The chances of me getting a stuffed cabbage in here are zero to none. It had become impossible for me to have a stuffed cabbage; now there was hope!

I still have the memory of them, though, and I still talk to Mom about her cooking them for me when I get out. She’s a bit resistant in her golden years, preferring to be cooked for now, and deservedly so, but I know that she’ll do it for me on that glorious day. She’s forever mommy and she can’t help herself; she must feed her son!

Here at Rahway State Seminary, we have coolers in our cell to keep our food fresh. Every day at 4:30, the ice man cometh and fills our buckets with ice. Last week, as is my daily habit, the door buzzed open and I went out to get my ice. Lo and behold, as from the Angel of the Lord Himself, there in my ice bucket were two neatly wrapped stuffed cabbages!! At first I thought I was dreaming or perhaps having a flashback from my drug days, but against all hope, there they were right in “my” bucket!

I ushered them into our cell with great fanfare as Carlos looked on curiously. After being in the same cell together for so long, he was well aware of my weakness toward said sacred cabbages. I later found out that a man I had been witnessing to received special kosher diet meals and that he regularly got the cabbages and did not really care for them. My Lord, Thine hand is never far! Now that it was impossible; there was hope!

Contextually referring to salvation, but I believe also as a general principle, it is written, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Lk. 18:27)

Remember when Adam fell into sin and it became impossible for him to save himself and all mankind? Now that it was impossible; there was hope! God intervened with coats of skin and the first of many Messianic promises. It was impossible for Enoch to be translated that he should not see death. Now that it was impossible; there was hope! God intervened and Enoch “was not, for God took him.” It was impossible for Abraham and Sarah to have a child in their old age. Now that it was impossible; there was hope! God intervened and at 100 years old, Abraham had Isaac, the son of promise.

Later, God delivered the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt by the blood of a lamb. They were pursued to the edge of the Red Sea and it was impossible for them to escape. Now that it was impossible; there was hope! God intervened and divided the water. The Israelites went over on dry ground and Pharaoh and his army were drowned. The very same water that saved God’s people also drowned His enemies! Hello, somebody!

I know that there is one special thing or person in your life that has wearied you, and finally, you have put it in the impossible column. Well, beloved, look by faith unto your King, because now that it is impossible; there is hope!

“STUFFED CABBAGE ANYONE?”

JOYFULLY IN JESUS,
LOVE, PHILIP