Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord
spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
Moses’ my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan,
thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give them,
even to the children of Israel.
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that I have
given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river,
the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the
great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life:
as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee:
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee…
Have I not commanded thee?
Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the Lord thy God is with thee whitersoever thou goest.
My good and dear friends:
Peace and blessings be with each of you…in the name of Jesus I do humble myself
and again I ask for His grace and blessing to be able to speak and may all that I have to say be
to the great glory of Christ, Jesus.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever.” –Isaiah 40:8
Often, I think of a young man named James and each time I do, my eyes fill with tears.
It is so strange to me that something that happened so many years ago still has a strong
emotional pull on me.
The year was 2000 and I was doing my third year apprenticeship with Chaplain Dr. Tilman
at the Maryland State Prison. In 2000 I was blessed to be a much sought after speaker at
many houses of worship in the great city of Baltimore.
At this time I was married and my wife’s sister had asked me on numerous occasions to come and
visit her church. I kept putting her off and then one day I could put her off no more.
I promised her that the following Sunday I would indeed come to her church.
It was a very gray and overcast Sunday in Autumn my wife and I arrived early and were quickly greeted by her sister who was waiting. The service began and the preacher was a very portly man and he moved slow and he also spoke in a slow and careful manner too.
To me the pastor was rather dry in his delivery of the gospel.
I prefer to see passion in a preacher when he’s talking about my Lord, Jesus Christ.
I hasten to add however, I was very impressed with the organization of the church…it was nothing short of stellar!
At the end of the service the pastor asked the whole church if any one had anything they needed to say and if so, now was the time to walk up to the front of the church and speak what is on your heart and mind.
A young man stood slowly and he walked slowly and carefully to the front of the church and he slowly
spoke into the microphone and there was a tremble in his voice.
“My name is James… I, uhh, just…, just, got out of PRISON… and, ummmm, I, I,
been tryin’ to find a JOB, but nobody won’t hire me.
I’m stayin’ wit my sister… and she done tole me, I ain’t got long to stay wit her.
I really need to find me a JOB…I got to git me some kinda work, so I can take care of myself.
I swear! I don’t want to ever go back to prison.
If anybody, knows somebody to work, I’m available.
I’ll do anything!
I really needs me a job right now.
I will work real hard too.
Thank You, everybody”
Five people quickly stood up…five business owners stood up to help save this young man’s life.
My wife had tears running down her cheeks and she took hold of my hand and squeezed it hard.
A white haired gentleman blurted loudly:
Can you start on Monday?”
How that experience still excites me.
I close with the wonderful words of the great Victor Hugo:
“CONSCIENCE IS GOD PRESENT IN MAN.”
And this is the story of James.