Saturday, April 8, 2004

May 8, 2004

9:30 PM I haven’t forgotten about John Kerry and communion. I plan to write a couple of new installments next week. 9:29 PM Following up on the spirit of our Friday night adventure, I’ve found a new restaurant for Mother’s Day. It just opened today. It’s not easy to find a restaurant where you can get in and out quickly on Mother’s Day—but I think I’ve found one. Details tomorrow. 9:28 PM Bike riding: 954 miles YTD. 12:05 PM For the last seven years we’ve been sending copies of my books to prisoners across America. It all started when Seth Grotelueschen asked me about getting my books into prisons. He followed up with Prison Fellowship and so we sent out almost 8,000 copies of What a Christian Believes (in cooperation with Crossway Books). Later (with the support of Moody Publishers and with the invaluable help of Cliff Raad and the Calvary Golden Heirs who handled the mailing) we distributed almost 10,000 copies of Keep Believing. Since 2000 almost 400,000 copies of An Anchor for the Soul have been printed—with over 50% of those going into various prisons. We have received over 10,000 letters from prisoners—and they continue to arrive daily. At one point we had boxes and boxes of letters that if stacked, would go from the floor to the ceiling. I try to write to each prisoner who reads one of my books and then writes me personally. After 9/11, we shipped over 10,000 copies of Anchor to New York for ministry near Ground Zero. And we continue to send copies to NYC almost three years later. Several years ago our people at Calvary gave over $50,000 to finance a special printing of An Anchor for the Soul (with the help of Moody Publishers) in an inexpensive format. Last summer we reprinted 150,000 copies–100,000 were shipped to Good News Jail and Prison Ministries in Richmond, VA. We kept 50,000 copies in a storage facility near Oak Park. We now have an Anchor Distribution Team at Calvary that handles the shipping of those copies. Just this week we agreed to send 3000 copies for use in Word of Life Kenya (under the leadership of Peter Odanga) We’re also sending 1000 more copies for street evangelism in New York City. And when I preach around the country, I tell people that we’re happy to donate copies to prison ministries anywhere. We also donate copies to missionaries, and also to those working with the Armed Forces, and also for certain disaster relief needs. We pray and ask the Lord to lead us to the right people and the right needs that we can help meet. What made me think about all this was this article called “Breaking into Prison,” the story of how the gospel has spread in the Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. Two years ago a Calvary team delivered 5000 copies to this prison for distribution at Easter as part of a Prison Fellowship outreach. 11:37 AM This e-mail arrived last night:

Pastor Ray, From an old friend from Redeemer Covenant in CA days. I just borrowed some of your sermon thoughts for Mother’s Day to share this coming weekend in Japan. I just wanted to say hello and thanks. Blessings to you, Chaplain Ray Bailey Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka Japan

During my days at Redeemer Covenant Church (1978-1983), Ray Bailey attended Talbot Theological Seminary and worked with our youth ministry. Wonderful to continue our partnership via the Internet. 9:47 AM Marvin Olasky explains why we’re winning the abortion war. 9:44 AM Doug Giles says Bravery is back:

The greatest commodity our nation has is the original spirit of our Nation’s framers. The greatest threat to our nation doesn’t come so much from Iraq or Iran or North Korea; it doesn’t come from Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and their terrorist freak posses. No, the ultimate threat is from those of our fellow citizens who would seek to separate the hardy, righteous, and sacrificial spirit of our forefathers from the heart of this generation. Because it is that courage, commitment and energy that will securely propel our country forward in victorious righteousness the true blessing of any nation.

9:43 AM Final Notice, Men: Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.

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