"An Inside Perspective"

August 2016

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In the summer, we have many opportunities to go to the yard. Every other day, we may go outside twice, if we so choose, Morning yard is from 8:30am- 11:00am, and then, evening yard is from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. We have showers in our yard and sometimes it is just so brutally hot in our cells that we just go outside to cool off. It is a blessing to be able to close our yard time with a wonderfully refreshing cool shower before we come back in to our sweltering cage.

In the yard, we believers hang-out in what we call Christian Corner. There, I know I can always find another brother for fellowship. I can also find prayer and encouragement there. It is in our Christian Corner that I hear the Word of God. It is our outdoor church. Sometimes, we bring out our players sitting quietly together, lost in worship, as we enjoy creation.

In Christian Corner we all share a small Gideon New Testament. It is transported to the yard daily by one of the brothers. We have a “game” that we love to play called preaching around the horn. It goes like this, if there are five of us, we will take five blades of grass, drawing grass as it were, exactly as one would draw straws. Whoever gets the smallest blade has to preach first. The man to his right must quickly pick a single verse from which he must preach. The chosen one will then have three minutes to preach Christ to the rest of the brothers from that particular verse.

In Christian Corner He is also required to preach the whole gospel, and time permitting, to give an altar call, all within those three minutes. Three minutes may not seem like that much time, but let me tell you, when everybody else is standing there staring at you- - -it can be an eternity.

The “game” fosters fellowship, while at the same time, challenging us to stay sharp in the Word. It stretches us out biblically, helping us learn to speak the Word better publicly. Our time in Christian Corner is a big blessing to all of us and we really enjoy our Lord’s manifest Presence when we are there. We go in order, preaching around the horn, until the powers that be call us in.

It has been my recent observation though that we can just sit there calmly watching the yard full of rascals going about their daily routines, all the while seemingly not bothered a bit that they are all on their way - - - straight to hell!

It is written, “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

I laid on my bunk recently and reflected on our precious Christian Corner. I pondered the blessing that our bible “game” has been and how we enjoy it so much. Honestly, sometimes I just come in from the yard filled with the joy of fellowship and feeling I have been in the Lord’s Presence through His people. It is wonderful, but it is not the proper biblical model.

The biblical model is to be built up and edified by each other in Christian Corner, and then to go out and reach the lost. Yes, the unsaved - - -our yard is full of them and so is yours if you have eyes to see. Unbelievers are not in Christian Corner. They are lost sheep and they stink. Maybe we do not want to be around them. We stunk once, yet Christ came to us. Did He not take on flesh and dwell among us, smelly sinful sheep, that He may redeem us from our sin? Jesus did not stay in His Christian Corner either. Contrarily, He came to earth and went straight to the synagogues, the Hebrew Christian Corner. It was their safe place where they set up their judgment seat to lord over the people. The Lord challenged the Pharisees by correcting their self-centered theology. He stood truth up against their ever erring traditions, and then, slew them quite decisively with their very own words!

Lost sheep will not come to us. We must leave our comfort zones, yes, our personal Christian Corner and go into all the world. We all have a world. Perhaps, your world is the PTA meeting where you can share the gospel with a lost and struggling single mother. Maybe, your world is the beach where you can share the Word with the alcoholic, looking for hope, on the blanket right next to you. Unbeknownst to you, she may be “without hope and without God in the world”.

Maybe you are like us and just sit back listening to your worship music while the world is going to hell. They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. What “game” are you playing while sinners march to hell? Maybe your Christian Corner is your home church and you do not even realize it? Do you go there weekly from home, and then, home from there- - -never encountering an unbeliever? Maybe you should come and sit with us in our Christian Corner; you would fit right in. Your church may indeed have wonderful fellowship. You may even play a Bible “game” there, but, if it does not send you to the lost, you have missed the mark. Beloved, leave your Christian Corner because preaching the gospel is surely not a . . .