Category Archives: MAD story (MAD-Make A. Difference Story

Learning is good even though we forget

Listen to a radio commentary by Dr. James Dobson.

Justice Declaration Calling the Church to Action

( Here is the Breakpoint radio commentary from yesterday. )

A declaration is being released today that would have been near and dear to Chuck Colson’s heart. Stay tuned to BreakPoint.

 

Reflecting on his seven-month stint at the Maxwell Federal Prison in Alabama, Chuck Colson wrote in “Born Again,” “I found myself increasingly drawn to the idea that God had put me in prison for a purpose, and that I should do something for those I had left behind.”

And so, for the next four decades, that “something” turned into something(s), under the auspices of Prison Fellowship, the organization he founded to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to men and women behind bars.

But Chuck, in his thorough study of Christian theology and worldview believed there was more to living out the faith than evangelizing the lost, as important as that is, of course. And so he also committed time, energy and thought leadership to criminal justice reform. Chuck knew from experience that prison often amounted to little more than warehousing offenders, which left them completely unprepared for the day they were released, which is why three-quarters of those released from state prisons are re-arrested within five years.

Twenty-years ago, when America went on a prison-building/lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key frenzy, Chuck forcefully criticized this approach and began developing and advocating the biblical idea of Restorative Justice.

Whereas our criminal justice system views crime as an offense against the state, restorative justice insists that there are three parties to the crime: the offender, the victim, and the community, which includes the offender’s family.

While protecting the community is the first goal of restorative justice, it isn’t the only goal. The ultimate goal is the restoration of all relationships broken by crime.

And so Chuck advocated for alternatives to incarceration for less-dangerous offenders. In addition to being less expensive than incarceration, these alternatives help maintain ties to the community, including Christians in the community.

And of course, Chuck insisted that victims must be treated with respect and dignity. Where possible, they should receive restitution and be kept abreast of the developments in their case. Chuck also advocated for what are known as “Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs,” where offenders learn how their actions affected their victims. While not for everyone or in every case of crime, this process can bring a measure of healing and even forgiveness where before there was only brokenness.

While Chuck’s commitment to criminal justice reform may have been occasioned by his stay in prison, his ideas and beliefs about the need for reform grew out of his Christian worldview, especially his beliefs about the imago dei and the responsibility of the church to engage the brokenness in the world.

The church, Chuck knew, possessed resources the state did not, And thus there’s a unique role for the church, particularly in the task of moral formation. The lack of moral formation in communities, especially connected to broken families, was another chief factor, Chuck believed, contributing to the explosion in the prison population during his lifetime.

And so the Colson Center has joined with Prison Fellowship, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the National Association of Evangelicals to sponsor “The Justice Declaration,” which is being released today at a press conference in Washington, D. C. The Declaration calls on Christians and churches to create a “justice system that is fair and redemptive for all.”

While Christians can and will differ on how best to accomplish this and other goals, what we can’t differ on is the need to emulate Chuck Colson in his desire to “do something” about the situation in our prisons and in our communities. Which is why nearly 100 Christian leaders have signed the Justice Declaration.

Please come to BreakPoint.org and click on this commentary to read the Justice Declaration. And please, consider adding your name.

Young man, young lady you are grounded ( a thought on the Bible for young people )

Listen to a thought on the Bible or read it below.

Teens, and pre-teens what are you doing this Summer ? I have an idea of something to do that might you better teens, and pre-teens.
Hi I am Billy David Dickson with a thought on the Bible for young people.
What happens when you get in trouble with your parents, or with anyone who is in charge of you. Perhaps you got in trouble at school, or you came home after your curfew, or you talked back to your folks. What might happen to you.
Well your dad, or mom, or your legal guardian might say those deadly words you are grounded young man, young lady. What if I encouraged you to go get grounded this Summer.
No, I am not talking about a punishment. I am talking about getting closer to God, by becoming spirituality grounded.
The Bible in the book of James says ( James 4:8English Standard Version )
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
So how do we draw near to God, or get grounded in spiritual things.
First off we spend time in the Bible. God’s book not onły tells us what behavior is wrong. It also tells us what to do when we do wrong.Just like a football team needs to read and follow their playbook. We need to follow the playbook for life,which is the Bible.
Then we need to talk to God daily. It is called prayer. You, or I would not go a day without talking to our friends.Same goes for our relationship with the Savior.
We also should tell others about having a relationship with God, by putting one’s faith in Christ.Too many folks are trying to get right with God, and get into heaven by doing good works. It doesn’t matter if we are doing Catholic works, or Protestant works, or Jewish works they won’t make us right with the Lord, or get us into heaven when our life here on earth ends.
So to be grounded in a good way we need to spend time in the Bible, we need to talk to God, and we need to tell others about their need for a relationship with God by way of Jesus.
Ok young friends go get grounded. It is a cool thing.
That is a thought on the Bible for young people.
Until next time,
I’m Billy David Dickson

All Rights Reserved, 2017
This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Billy or read more commentary on https://billydteacher.wordpress.com/.

President Bush thoughts on shot congressman

Read the post.

Grade school along with middle school kids working together to save bats

Middle school students don’t usually mix with elementary kids – especially in the summer. The recipe works for this group of 8 as they hike the grounds at Arrowhead Park in Neola, Iowa.

The subject that has brought the 8th graders and 4th graders together is bats.

“The one we are researching is called the little brown bat,” said Michael Denning.

“It was cool, but kind of creepy,” said Brant Freeberg.

“There’s nothing cute about them at all,” said Olivia Matson.

“[The bats] get themselves under the loose bark,” said Olivia Matson. “And then they follow the path of the sun as the day goes on to keep warm.”

The park ranger told the youngsters about a problem.

“White Nose Syndrome is a fungus that grows on bat’s noses and on their wings and they can’t fly to get water,” said Brant Freeberg. “And they die.”

In spite of the creepiness, the students understood the importance of a bat.
( More )

 

 

The greatest gift you can give another soul

 

I met this intriguing guy. He’s a recently retired Marine who had the great privilege of working security for George W. Bush when he was President of the United States. He’s even worked as President Bush’s spotter when he was in the weight room working out! On a couple of occasions, my friend had the opportunity to tell the President something that was very much on his heart. He said, “Mr. President, the folks from my church wanted me to tell you that we’re praying for you all the time.” At that point, the President turned to my friend, looked him straight in the eye, and said, “Then, would you please give them a message for me? Tell them the President is deeply grateful. There’s nothing greater they could do for me.”

I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Greatest Gift You Can Give.”

The most powerful man in the world realized the most powerful thing you can do for a person-even for him-especially for him…pray for him. At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Bush talked about working the rope lines at events and being stopped often by people who told him they were praying for him. He said, “I tell them this is the greatest gift you can give a person.” He’s right. It’s a gift I hope you’re giving to people every day, with all your heart.

Our word for today from the Word of God, here’s a revealing picture of what really happens when you pray for someone. It’s found in Exodus 17, beginning with verse 10. The Jewish General, Joshua, has led his troops into battle against the brutal Amalekites. And old Moses goes to fight the real battle. The Bible says, “Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning… Aaron and Hur held his hands up-one on one side, one on the other-so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So, Joshua overcame the Amalekite army.”

Just in case someone wondered what this “holding up his hands” business was all about, Moses explained it. He said, “Hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord.” Moses made it very clear he was praying up on that hill. And notice how the battle was decided. Not by what the warriors on the battlefield were doing, but by what the prayer warrior on the hill was doing! That’s always where the battles are decided-in the Throne Room of the Most High God as someone intercedes there for someone or something they care about.

God must get tired of us saying, “Well, I guess all we can do is pray.” What? All I can do is go to the One who rules a hundred billion galaxies and focus on His love and power and aim it at some person or situation or need? There’s nothing else you can do that is even remotely as powerful as that! So who are the people that you pray for on a regular basis?

Commit yourself to be the Moses for some folks you know, and for some servants of God who are fighting on the front lines. There’s no greater gift people can ever give to me, to the people on our ministry team than to say, “I pray for you every day.” I just praise God for those people. And I hope there’s some lost people for whom maybe no one else may have ever prayed that you’re praying for.

Let me tell you, as one person who’s trying to serve the Most High God, there is nothing more decisive you can do than to be a regular prayer warrior as we fight for some of those lost people.

Let people know you’re fighting for them in the Throne Room of God. Find out what they need you to be praying for. You’ll be their Moses, praying down victory for their battle. You’ll be their Aaron or Hur, holding up their arms when they can’t go another step. When you pray fervently for someone, you are playing a vital part in guarding their life, in meeting their need, in changing their heart, in winning their battle. You are praying for them, you are going to the Throne Room of God for them. You are indeed, giving them the greatest gift anyone can give!

Surviving Scientolgy : Cathy Schenkelberg shares her story

Read the column.

How to witness to Muslims

Listen to a radio commentary
or read it here.

Young girl kidnapped by ISIS three years ago reunited with family

Read this amazing answer to prayer by clicking here.

Middle school dance

 

 

In recent years the popularity of high school Show Choir competitions have sky rocketed in popularity but now middle school students are getting in on the action.( More )