I used to spank my children even when I recognized repentance. I thought the spanking was necessary to help them remember. I failed to see that Jesus taught me to recognize repentance and skip the punishment, sometime we punish ourselves and that's all it takes.
John 8 has the woman caught in adultery. Jesus recognized repentance and said go and sin, no more. Our earlier courts responded by allowing a man to "throw himself onto the mercy of the court." That is long gone. I forgot to follow Christ and not the courts of today. There were many times I should have told my children the same. He never recovered from my lack of mercy; I never skipped the punishment for the repentance. I later apologized but will never know if it got to him. I sent the apology from a prison cell to his sister. I was in the cell for lack of mercy.
Every time I wanted to give up the battle and do what everyone else does, when it comes to bringing about change in the prisons, I was reminded of Jake? I would think of him passing through Oregon and a local Cop being chewed out for low performance. He goes into the evidence room and takes out a bag of crack and pulls my son over to drop it in his car. I would think of him eating what I was being fed and it turned my insides out. I can put up with anything but someone mistreating someone I love. The face of my son got a lot of relief for a lot of prisoners and it will bring about more soon.
Another issue that I believe greatly affected Jake. We were doing well and I passed out at work. I got to the hospital and they told me that I have to remember that, with asthma, a person not only has a hard time getting oxygen in, but also poisons out. We exhale poisons. I was welding in a semi-ventilated area. This got me Voc Rehab. I went back to school. We were going to make it because I had a tax return coming. The tax return disappeared to the state because my wife had taken my child support, yet told the state I was not paying. This was back when the court stayed out of payments and I paid directly to my ex-wife.
I had the choice of providing proof of payments and getting back my tax refund. This would have put my ex-wife in jail. I can't do that.
I go to the elders of the church in which I pay healthy tithes and offerings. I tell them what happened and show them proof. I tell them I have only so much time to get the right assistance applications filled out and turned in to keep my electricity on. They promise to get back with me in time to prevent the cut off. It was more important than normal to prevent a cut off. We were on a 5 acre farm and no power no water, it was well only. No water no flush, shower, cooking, you get the picture.
So the elders, which I knew were going to help us, came back with their answer a day late. They felt that I got myself into this problem and they would do me harm by helping me?
Now I had the double trouble of coming up with the payment and a new deposit and a charge for reinstating power. We had to go into town and shower at a friend's house, for a month; carry water from the creek nearby to take care of everything else. Thank God our fencing allowed our goats and horse access to the creek.
How do we keep people connected to the one True source of all good when so many of those that say they are connected to do so much evil?
I miss him. Always will. Just before I was notified of my son's death I had agreed to attend a retreat out at the Washington Family Ranch in Antelope Oregon. I don't do retreats because so many spend so much time retreating and I do no retreating. But I agreed since I had spent 12 years in prison which is a long time with no break. It is non-stop survival mode for someone like me who can't lay down and watch the evil go on. I also wanted badly to ride in the country. The day after I was notified of my son's death the Lord told me: "Jake is a casualty of war." This is some comfort to me since all warriors have losses. When I got to the retreat I learned that the theme of the retreat was to attempt to get the men to quit retreating. I loved that. Then, on the second day, one of the teachers talked about one of the reasons men are retreating. War is messy and it comes with casualties. So many TV preachers are teaching that being a child of God is to be free of messes and casualties. This could not be farther from the truth. So, in our culture a messy life is equated with a Godless life. Godless people have completely different messes from completely different causes. Yet we are not trained to recognize the differences.
I went up to give the teacher my thanks and started balling half way through. I was beatup/beatdown and all around. But I could not be more relieved. My family and I paid the ultimate price for the ultimate reward. "To live is Christ; to die is gain," the apostle Paul recorded. We win, satan loses and all we have to do is finish the race to get the reward. I can barely wait. In case you haven't heard, salvation is not complete at baptism, that just the beginning of the race. Salvation comes at the end of the line. Rom 12:11
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