THE STEEL AND CONCRETE MISSION FIELD NEWSLETTER March 2005
The Infant Jesus Distributing Bread to Pilgrims
by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1678
"A PILGRIM IN PROGRESS"
by Brother Tom Horvat
This first article is a short introduction and devotional thought for the month.
I am a fellow sojourner with all of those who have been enabled by God’s powerful grace to believe that Jesus is the Christ and they’ve been regenerated with new life from above. I am writing this article and ones that follow more as a learner than that as a teacher. I don’t claim to have all the answers but point to the One who does. He has been my Shepherd and Teacher for thirty years and my desire is to pass on to fellow pilgrims some lessons that have encouraged me in my journey. I know through eleven years of ministry among the incarcerated that there are many of God’s precious saints that need to be strengthened and encouraged to persevere.
I have been discouraged many times to write anything at all because of such an abundance of spiritual and devotional material available to Christians today. Yet my hope is that one more seed planted, in the right soil, will be used by the Holy Spirit to bring forth fruit unto God’s own glory. With this hope I write. . .
“WHAT ARE THEY AMONG SO MANY?”
By Brother Tom Horvat
Our text is John 6:9 where we find the question, “What are they among so many?” The question was posed by Andrew when Jesus had put the disciples to a “Test of faith” to provide food for the multitude before them. What a multitude it was! At least 5000 men! They have five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? The answer was obvious in Andrew’s mind as he compared the ratio of fish and bread with the multitude. Even two hundred pennyworth of bread was not sufficient to allow a little for everyone. What we have is nothing among so many. The disciples were about to learn an amazing truth that would be demonstrated time and again later in their ministries. That is that when little is put into the hands of the Lord is becomes sufficient. In fact, it is for that very reason that God chooses the small, unnoticed and despised things to use rather than the great.
In God’s economy there are no little people or ministries. When we place ourselves into the hands of a sovereign Creator to be used for His own purposes then we’re no longer insignificant.
God never compares the righteous with the wicked and asks, “What are they among so many?” Rather, He takes the five and the two and multiplies the blessings through them. The key is whether or not that which is available is consecrated in the present place God has placed it. If we are, then it may be said of us, “These are they which have turned the world upside down!”
BREAD OF LIFE by Corbert Gauthier
ATTENTION ALL INMATE READERS
Effective as of February 15, 2005 direct correspondence between inmates in other institutions is prohibited. Therefore any contact with the editor must be done via the base ministry.
A WHISPER OR A BRICK? -Author Unknown-
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.
As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and spun the car back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
He jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid who was standing there and pushed him against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about, and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?” Building up a head of steam he went on, "That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money! Why did you do it?"
The boy replied, "Please Mister, please. I'm sorry. I didn't know what else to do. I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." Tears were running down the boy's face as he pointed around the man’s car saying, "It's my brother, sir, he rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the man, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay.
"Thank you and may God bless you, sir," the grateful child said to him. The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long walk back to his Jaguar... a long slow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention.
God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a spiritual brick at you. It's always our choice. Do we listen to the whisper, or wait for the brick.
THE POEM PAGE
STONE COLD PEAS Author Unknown
Oh, Momma, please! Don’t make me eat those stone cold peas!
They have grown eyes and they are looking at me.
I love to eat strawberries, oranges, and broccoli with cheese,
Or apples and pears that hang on a tree.
Corn on the cob is really a treat,
But peas on the plate are not good to eat!
I’ve grown attached to these peas. We’ve both been here so long,
Would setting them free be so terribly wrong?
Just look at them now so green and so lowly,
They’ll just sit there and wrinkle up slowly.
If you listen carefully you’ll hear their pleas,
“Please, oh please let us be free!”
So, Momma, things will be just fine,
If you don’t make me eat these friends of mine!
MY MARCH By Bro. Gregory Wamsley
The third month of the year is here and they call it March,
I sit here folding my unstiff clothes because the prison doesn’t use starch.
It’s true that I never worry, nor do I question why,
My Lord isn’t far away, he always hears my cry.
Day in and day out I travel the prison walk,
So many cults I see, their “Religion” is only talk.
I witness quite sincerely, in hope to strike a chord,
I’m glad I serve a risen Savior, Jesus Christ my Lord!
WISDOM IN MARRIAGE Author unknown
To keep a marriage brimming,
With Love in a Loving cup.
HUMOR AND GIGGLES PAGE
All the following humor is by Michael Hodgin
BEE MY HONEY!
Honey bees fly thousands of miles to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey. Then as soon as all their hard work is done, someone comes along and steals it from them. Maybe that explains why bees have such lousy dispositions.
Live as though you would have no problem having your pet talking parrot all of a sudden begin to live with the town gossip.
IT WON’T HAPPEN? (Little did they know)
A statement from The Quarterly Review, 1825, said about SPEED: "What can be more absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?"
A statement from Lee Deforest, scientist and inventor, 1926 said about TELEVISION: "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development in which we need not waste time dreaming."
A statement from William Baxter Jr. in Popular Science, 1901 said about TRANSPORTATION: "As a means of rapid transit, aerial navigation could not begin to compete with the railroad."
A statement in The Literary Digest, 1889 said about AUTOMOBILES: "The ordinary 'Horseless Carriage' is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the near future, it will never, of course come into as common use as the bicycle."
HELP YOU HONK
A man's car stalled in heavy traffic on his way back from church one Sunday morning. As the light turned green, the chorus of honking cars behind him made the matters worse. He finally got out of his car, walked back to the first honking car behind him and said, "I'm sorry but I can't seem to get my car started. If you'll go up there and give it a try, I'll stay here and blow your horn for you!"
GOD WILL MAKE A WAY
God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me
He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way He will make a way
By a roadway in the wilderness
He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert will I see
Heaven and earth will fade
But His word will still remain
He will do something new today.