STEEL AND CONCRETE, December 2000
THE STEEL AND CONCRETE
MISSION FIELD NEWSLETTER
Merry Christmas from Blessed Hope Ministries
Bro. Gregory Wamsley
This has been one very fast-paced year; one filled with many blessings. There's been far too many professions of salvation and rededication to Christ to even list.
A special thanks to our biggest financial sponsor, Sister D. Wischnowski, as well as our three ministry sponsors: Bishop Kneessi and Barbara K. Timm of Blessed Hope Ministries and Rev. B. Murray of R.O.A.D. Ministries. I'm truly thankful for my three proof readers: Sister Toni L. Morgan, Bro. R. Bennett, and Bro. W. Parham. To all of you who wrote to give input and assistance you are not forgotten.
I'm often told how much a blessing this newsletter has been to citizens and inmates alike, but in all actuality I've been the one blessed the most. I now encourage inmates everywhere to take up the pen for the cause of Christ and share in this blessing.
It is my prayer that our Lord will bless you and yours as only he can. In concerning Prison Ministry, this month's article, "Treasures" by Bro. Bill Yount, says it best. Prison Ministry introduced me to Christ and has changed my life forever. I have an address list of all the ministries that have blessed me over the years for those who desire to donate to worthy ministries.
May we all reach deep into that special place within our heart and spirit that makes us all warm and teary-eyed: keeping it in the front of our lives where all can benefit and in God's love be all that he's created us to be!
Brother Gregory Wamsley
by Bro. Bill Yount
It was late and I was tired. I wanted to go to sleep but God wanted to talk. It was about midnight, but it dawned on me that God doesn't sleep. His questions made me restless: "Bill, where on earth does man keep his most priceless treasures and valuables?"
I said, "Lord, usually these treasures, like gold, silver, diamonds and precious jewels, are kept under lock and key."
God spoke, "Like man, My most valuable treasures on earth are also locked up."
I then saw Jesus standing in front of seemingly thousands of prisons and jails. The Lord said, "These have almost been destroyed by the enemy, but these ones have the greatest potential to be used to bring forth glory to My name. Tell my people I am going this hour to the prisons to activate the gifts and callings that lie dormant in these lives which were given before the foundation of the earth. Out from these walls will come an army of spiritual giants who will have power to literally kick down the gates of Hell and overcome satanic posers that are holding many of My people bound in My own house. Tell my people that great treasures are behind these walls in these forgotten vessels. My people must come forth and touch these ones, for a mighty anointing will be unleashed upon these for future victory in my Kingdom. THEY MUST BE RESTORED!"
I then saw the Lord step up to the prison doors with a key. One key fit every lock and the gates began to open. I then heard and saw great explosions which sounded like dynamite going off behind the walls. It sounded like all-out spiritual warfare. Jesus turned and said, "Tell My people to come in now and pick up the spoils and rescue these."
Jesus then began walking in and touching inmates who were thronging to Him. Many being touched instantly began to have a golden glow come over them. God spoke to me again: "There's the gold!" Others had a silver glow around them. God then said, "There's the silver!"
Like slow motion, they began to grow into what appeared to be giant knights in warriors' armor. They had on the full armor of God and every piece was solid, pure gold! Even golden shields! When I saw the golden shields, I heard God say to these warriors of the cross, "Now go and take what Satan has taught you and use it all against him. Go and pull down the strongholds coming against My Church."
These spiritual giants then started stepping over prison walls with no one to resist them and went immediately to the very front line of the battle with the enemy. I saw them walk right past the Church, and big name ministers known for their power with God were surpassed by these giant warriors, like David going after Goliath! They crossed the enemy's line and started delivering many of God's people from the clutches of Satan while demons trembled and flew out of sight at their presence.
No one, not even the Church, seemed to know who these spiritual giants were or where they came from. All one could see was the golden armor of God and shields from head to foot. The shields of Faith were being restored to God's house and there was great victory and rejoicing. I also saw diamonds, precious jewels, and vessels being brought in. These valuables were people that nobody knew: rejects of society, street people, the outcasts, the poor, and the despised. These were the treasures that were missing from His house.
In closing the Lord said, "If My people want to know where they are needed, tell them they are needed in the streets, the hospitals, the missions, and the prisons. When they come, there they will find Me and the next move of My Spirit or they will be judged by My word:"
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:41-46)
The Lord is doing some "severe pruning." Ministries and lives appearing to be fruitful trees are about to look like crosses as He prunes us back to bring forth the "fruit of servant-hood." Many think they are at some kind of crossroad in their life, family, ministry and gifting. I sense we are instead at the cross! It's a season to die to self, our ambitions, and even our Isaac's God has promised us that while we seek renewal, but God is sending "removal." We will know Him best through our losses more than our gains. Crosses and Churches just seem to go together. Many are running from one Church to another, trying to escape their cross inside their own Church. Don't run. If you miss your crucifixion, you'll miss your resurrection.
~ GOOD NEWS ~
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I pray that you will do so now. Do the following four things in prayer to God in the name of Jesus:
1. Admit that you are a sinner, and in need of a Savior.
2. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord into your heart.
3. Live the rest of your life getting to know your Savior in Bible study and prayer.
4. Seek fellowship as the Spirit leads you and fellowship with those fellow believers.
Just pray these things in your own words. God isn't into big fancy prayers, but He is into sincerity. Pray to Him now!
"I KNEW YOU WOULD COME"
by Elizabeth King English
Herman and I locked our general store and dragged ourselves home. It was 11:00 P.M., Christmas Eve of 1949. We were dog tired. We had sold almost all of our toys; and all the layaways, except one package, had been picked up.
Usually we kept the store open until everything had been claimed. We wouldn't have woken up happy on Christmas knowing that some child's gift was still on the layaway shelf. But the person who had put a dollar down on that package never returned.
Early Christmas morning we and our twelve-year-old son, Tom, opened gifts. But I'll tell you, there was something humdrum about this Christmas. Tom was growing up; I missed his childish exuberance of past years.
As soon as breakfast was over Tom left to visit his friend next door. Herman mumbled, "I'm going back to sleep. There's nothing left to stay up for." So there I was alone, feeling let down.
And then it began. A strange, persistent urge. It seemed to be telling me to go to the store. I looked a the sleet and icy sidewalk outside. THAT'S CRAZY, I said to myself. I tried dismissing the urge, but it wouldn't leave me alone. In fact, it was getting stronger. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer, and I got dressed.
Outside, the wind cut right through me and the sleet stung my cheeks. I groped my way to the store, slipping and sliding. In front stood two boys, one about nine, and the other six. WHAT IN THE WORLD?
"See, I told you she would come!" the older boy said jubilantly. The younger one's face was wet with tears, but when he saw me, his sobbing stopped.
"What are you two doing out here?" I scolded, hurrying them into the store. "You should be at home on a day like this!"
They were poorly dressed. They had no hats or gloves, and their shoes barely held together. I rubbed their icy hands, and got them up close to the heater.
"We've been waiting for you," replied the older boy. "My little brother Jimmy didn't get any Christmas." He touched Jimmy's shoulder. "We want to buy some skates. That's what he wants. We have these three dollars," he said, pulling the bills from his pocket.
I looked at the money. I looked at their expectant faces. And then I looked around the store. "I'm sorry," I said, "but we have no--" Then my eye caught sight of the layaway shelf with its one package. "Wait a minute," I told the boys. I walked over, picked up the package, unwrapped it and, miracle of miracles, there was a pair of skates!
Jimmy reached for them. LORD, LET THEM BE HIS SIZE. And miracle added upon miracle, there WERE his size.
The older boy presented the dollars to me. "No," I told him, "I want you to have these skates, and I want you to use your money to get some gloves." The boys just blinked at first. Then their eyes became like saucers, and their grins stretched wide when they understood I was giving them the skates. What I saw in Jimmy's eyes was a blessing. It was pure joy, and it was beautiful. My spirits rose.
We walked out together, and as I locked the door, I turned to the older brother and said, "How did you know I would come?"
I wasn't prepared for his reply. His gaze was steady, and he answered my softly. "I asked Jesus to send you."
The tingles in my spine weren't from the cold. God had planned this. As we waved good-bye, I turned home to a brighter Christmas.
"SAY YES AT CHRISTMAS"
by Gina Bridgeman
And Mary said "Yes" when the angel of the lord came, not knowing what all it would mean.
For "yes" was only the beginning. YES to giving birth in a cold, dark stable while cows and sheep look on. YES to a sword that pierced her soul, as her Son died on a cross while she looked on.
And Mary said, "yes, let it be." But do I? Do I say, "yes" when God calls on me?
Oh, not through an angel who comes in the night necessarily, but through a pastor who asks if I'll lead Sunday school class. Or maybe a friend who needs to mend a broken relationship. Or maybe even a stranger who wonders if I might spare some change for food.
And for a moment as I ponder what to say, does God's purpose flicker like a flame in a sudden breeze to be snuffed out by "NO" or to burn even brighter with the power of "YES"? For YES is only the beginning. YES I'll give my time by sharing God's Word. YES I'll share what I have with someone in need.
For somehow I know that even to the small questions God needs to hear my answer of YES as much as He needed to hear Mary's.
Perhaps that's why Jesus comes to the world a baby. A baby full of questions, needs and desires. When He asks to come into my heart this Christmas, will I say "yes"?
~ HOMOR AND GIGGLES ~
"Old Folks Are Worth a Fortune"
submitted by Min. Phyllis Freberger
Old folks are worth a fortune, with silver in their hair, gold in their teeth, stones in their kidneys, lead in their feet, and gas in their stomachs.
I have become a lot more social with the passing of the years. Some might even call me a frivolous old gal. I am seeing five gentlemen a day. As sooon as I wake, Will power helps me get out of bed. Then I'm off to see John. Then along comes Charlie Horse who takes up a lot of my time and attention. As soon as he leaves, Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn't like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a day I'm happy to end up back in bed with Ben Gay. What a life!
The preacher came to call just the other day and told me that, at my age, I should be thinking of the hereafter. I told him I do all the time. No matter where I am, in the parlor, upstairs, kitchen or down in the basement, I ask myself, "Now what am I here after?"
"Just For Fun"
submitted by Min. Phyllis Freberger
The following are actual bloopers that were found on church announcement boards:
1. Don't Let Worry Kill You ~ Let The Church Help
2. Thursday Night ~ Pot Luck Supper ~ Prayer and Medication To follow
3. Remember In Prayer The Many Who Are Sick Of Our Church And Community
4. For Those Of You Who Have Children And Don't Know It, We Have A Nursery Down Stairs
5. The Rosebud On The Altar This Morning Is To Announce The Birth Of David Allen Bilger, The Sin Of Rev. And Mrs. John Bilger
6. This Afternoon There Will Be A Meeting In The South And North Ends Of The Church. Children Will Be Baptized At Both Ends.
7. Tuesday At 4:00 PM, There Will Be An Ice Cream Social. All Ladies Giving Milk Come Early.
~ POEM PAGE ~
"LITTLE DRUMMER BOY DRUMMING HIS DRUM"
by Brother Robert Bennett
He heard the drumming of one that he called The Little Drummer Boy'
Who said, "On Christmas morning, it became my favorite toy."
Boom, Boom, BOOM! was the sound of his beat.
The rhythmic tune as soldiers stomping their feet.
He first began to play his drum without fear.
Others were attracted with the intent to only hear.
Soon there became a slowing silence of The Little Drummer Boy's beat.
No longer did the ears of others it come to meet.
Now he no longer beat his drum,
To him he said, "It was repetitious and dumb."
He now awaits another holiday,
For some new toy for which to play.
"THE WORLD NEED MEN"
by Josiah Holland
submitted by Brother Leonard Wagner
Who cannot be bought
Whose word is their bond
Who puts character above wealth
Who are larger than their vocations
Who does not hesitate to take chances
Who will not lose their identity in a crowd
Who will make no compromise with wrong
Whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires
Who will not say, "Because everyone else does it"
Who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity
Who do not believe that shrewdness and cunning are the best qualities for winning success
Who are not ashamed to stand for truth when it is unpopular
Who can say "NO" with emphasis, although the rest of the world says "yes"
God, make us this kind of man!
"BIBLE BOOK SEARCH"
submitted by Min. Lynn Singleton
rewritten by Bro. Gregory Wamsley
This puzzle will tease your brain a little. Hidden among the words in the puzzled statement below are 30 book titles from the Bible. They're not capitalized, and you might have to use portions of two or three words together to find some titles. These books are from both the old and new testaments. Although the book titles are listed upside down at the bottom of the page, try to see how many you can find without reading which 30 titles are hidden.
I made some remarks about hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu – kept people looking so hard for facts and a deeper revelation. They were in a jam, especially so until the truth was finally recognized by numbers of my class. To others it was a difficult job. May this be a most fascinating puzzle for you. Yes, there will be books that are hard to find. Others may require judges to decide. I admit it usually takes a few minutes to find one, but loud lamentations may follow at your work's end. Don't ask your pet. Erase all error. No need to use a CD Rom. Answer them all. It might be EZ! Radicals can fly through the puzzle like a Serengeti moth. Yes, it's OK to get helps, alms, or assistance. Two gave up – Jan and Dan. I elect you to be successful. Jane says she brews coffee while solving the puzzle. Joe looks for a gimmick – he's quite a comic. Ah, it can even be done while listening to WHAG. Gain may come slowly like peeling a banana. Hum a tune while working. Several chronicles of people have located all 30 books. If it's hard, too bad! I, ahem, am sure you don't need the right gene. Sister or brother should do well. Novice or pro; verbs, nouns, and all words are there. You won't need to use a graph. I, lemons make lemonaide so celebrate your victory with a glass!
Scroll down for answers
The following books are the ones hidden in the puzzle: Mark, Revelation, Genesis, James, Ruth, Proverbs, Numbers, Job, Peter, Judges, Lamentations, Romans, Joel, Micah, Ezra, Haggai, Nahum, Psalms, Chronicles, Timothy, Kings, Acts, Obadiah, Hebrews, Philemon, Amos, Titus, Daniel, Luke, and Esther.
"He Ain't Heavy"
by the Hollies
The road is long with many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where, who know where.
But I'm strong, strong enough to carry him.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
So on we go.
His welfare is of my concern.
No burden is he to bear, we'll get there.
For I know he would not encumber me.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
If I'm laden at all, I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another.
It's a long, long road from which there is no return.
While we're on the way to there, why not share?
And the load doesn't weigh me down at all.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
He's my brother.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother...
Graphics by Acacia Victorian