We do a fair amount of farming at Honey Lake and we generally plant soybeans as our main crop. We chose them because they are high in protein, which is good for our wildlife, and soybeans are easy to plant, harvest, and yield a fair price at the mill. Any good farmer will tell you though that crops must be periodically rotated and soybeans cannot be indefinitely planted year after year; so last year we switched to peanuts.
Peanuts are also high in protein so the whitetail and quail population love them too, but they are much more difficult to raise than soybeans. They are tricky to plant; we have to apply herbicide numerous times; and the harvest requires that we first plow them up and then allow them to dry out for a few days before we can combine them, plus the extra step of rolling up the peanut hay bales afterwards.
Peanuts “ain’t easy” but…. we made a great deal more money on peanuts last year than any other crop than we’ve ever planted and the extra effort paid big dividends in greenbacks.
Last week some friends came by for a visit that are with the Bill Glass Champions for Life Prison Ministry. We were talking about the meager charitable contributions that their ministry receives and how difficult it is to convince people to donate their hard earned money to prison ministry efforts. They mentioned that in all of charitable giving, prison ministries rank dead last, (children’s causes are first).
I think it’s fairly easy to understand why; I mean no one wants to give scarce money to help a bunch of violent thugs and druggies. People don’t like criminals; they are a scourge to society and many of us have been touched by their vicious crimes and have suffered terribly because of them. Indeed on two separate occasions I’ve had huge amounts of money embezzled and assets stolen by employee thieves, and one of them nearly put me into bankruptcy.
I believe in consequences for crime, (which by the way is sin). I want to see criminals go to prison to pay for those crimes and I want to see them on the side of the road weed-eating and picking up trash in shackles, working their tails off in the hot sun wearing black and white striped outfits or orange jump suits .
I’m a staunch supporter of the death penalty for certain heinous crimes and I very strongly believe that it is a deterrent. I don’t believe in turning prisons into country clubs for prisoners and coddling them with amenities. Prison life should be harsh, and after a stay in one, ex cons should not want to return anytime soon. Indeed I spent some time in Parrish Prison in New Orleans which to this day remains as one of the worst prisons in America and over four decades after being incarcerated there I vividly remember it as a horrid place in which I would not want to spend five minutes, much less five years.
With that said, I realize that the men and women incarcerated in them are human beings with souls and many of them didn’t have a chance to amount to much of anything in life other than criminals due to their dark childhoods, extreme poverty, bad parents, (or lack of them), and other factors beyond their control. Of course some of them had good, God fearing, parents, nice homes, and were just “bad seeds” and/or were born to be mean, but God loves them all and so should we. Much is written in the Bible concerning prisoners and how we should view them, including in the Old and New Testaments.
Why do you suppose God devoted so much attention to this subject in His Holy Bible?
One reason might be that many of the prophets of old such as Jeremiah and Daniel, and of course Jesus and His disciples spent time in the slammer themselves. Most suffered greatly while incarcerated, and were starved, beaten and scourged; Paul received “forty lashes less one” on five separate occasions. These holy and righteous men experienced first-hand what prison was like and much of the Bible was written while they were in prison. Is it any wonder that in Hebrews 13:1 it states: “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them”?
They were incarcerated for their belief system in God; however they were locked up with a variety of common criminals and often developed loving spiritual relationships and ministered to them. These holy men wrote about what our relationship towards these wretched souls should be like, and not surprisingly their plea was not condemnation, rather that we should demonstrate a spirit of compassion and forgiveness towards them.
The most touching and poignant of these was when Jesus told the thief on the cross who demonstrated faith in Him in Luke 22:43, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” His was the ultimate act of forgiveness and compassion and it set an example of what Godly love really should be like for all of mankind. (I know this ex-con will be eternally grateful for what He did for me.)
It’s easy to have compassion for children, widows, injured veterans, victims of disasters, and the like, and many, (including me), rightly contribute to those causes and without question God rewards those who do. But the thought that I’ve been pondering lately is how much greater reward could be forthcoming if we donated some of our hard earned dollars to the downright despicable among us in the hopes that they might be transformed by Jesus and find everlasting life in paradise right alongside us.
I’ve received countless letters from inmates who are finding hope in Jesus Christ through reading my book. In fact I wrote about one such letter last week in WFTD in which an inmate who was serving six consecutive life sentences wrote: “Just as your hard story works to get the attention of hard people, I too shall have a testimony…” and he added that it had a “powerful impact” on his life and that my book offered him hope in Jesus Christ.
After intense prayer and seeking God’s will in this matter I’ve decided to launch a major initiative to place my book, Miracle on Luckie Street, free of any charge in every prison library in America in the hopes of reaching the lost for Christ. If you would like to be a part of this ministry and contribute to this cause, you can send your tax deductible donation, (until Obama does away with them), of any amount to:
The Williamson Family Foundation – 1290 NW Honey Lake Rd. – Greenville FL 32331
I personally guarantee that 100% of your donation will go towards printing and distributing the books. There are no paid employees in our foundation, no expensive marketing campaigns, no profit of any kind, and ALL donations will go directly to this cause.
If you don’t like that choice then you might consider donating to:
Bill Glass Champions for Life – P.O. Box 761101 – Dallas TX 75376-1101
Bill’s ministry is the ultimate in prison ministry and last year a staggering 28,194 decisions were made for Christ in 127 prisons with 130,954 inmates reached by 5232 teammate volunteers.
If you don’t have cash to contribute but still want to help, then volunteer some time on the weekends. Contact WWW.BillGlass.org and volunteer to be one of those teammates that go into the prisons to spiritually encourage and witness to inmates, or join up with the many jail and prison ministries all over the country; (most every church has one.)
I think giving to causes that are fashionable versus giving to the wretched might be like going with “easy soybeans” or “difficult peanuts”. Peanuts ain’t easy, but yield the bigger payday.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?