Saturday, May 29, 2004

May 29, 2004

7:37 PM Counting down … 8 days until the Family Fun Fest—June 6, 12:30-2:30 PM 14 days until the Faith and Freedom Concert—June 12, 7 PM 7:31 PM A Letter From “Moe” This is one of the more unusual prison letters we have received. I usually write back to all the prisoners who write to me. Along with the letter, we also send a printed copy of one of my recent sermons. Prisoners often write again to tell me that they use the printed sermons to do Bible study with other inmates.

Mr. Ray Pritchard, God bless you. God is good! I come to you a sinner. In jail, confused and lonely. I really enjoyed your book, An Anchor for the Soul. It has really enlightened me. It’s the only comfort I have right now in this jail besides my Bible and Daily Bread. First of all, I’m a 35-year-old black male. I go by the nickname “Moe.” A name I wish I could rid myself of. I’m incarcerated now for possession of cocaine with intent. I have not been to court yet. I have been in and out of jail since I was 14. My first trip to prison came when I was 21. I received 9 years for shooting someone. I did 3 years and was released. At which time I was out 6 months before my life reached its all time low. I was once again accused of shooting someone. Only this time the victims happened to be rappers. The one who sell many CDs and make videos. From this time on, I heard my name on CDs and I listened to the shooting being relived every day of my life. I seen other rappers shot and killed due to the uproar in the industry, and basically my life was confused and frustrated. I couldn’t find God and I was all alone in this cold world. I went to jail and did another 3 years, but I didn’t find God and I let all the confusion frustrate my life more and more. Family disputes, I was a loner who didn’t want no friends, all I wanted was an explanation. Why me? After being free for 2 years, once again I was returned to prison, where I found God this time. I did 3 years and I really found fellowship and peace with God. I was released from prison and my life couldn’t have been better. Until I was charged with murder 18 months after I was free from prison. I was acquitted for the murder in December 2003. And now I’m back. As you can see, my life is everywhere but where it needs to be. I long for an answer. Fellowship. Basically have faith in God that he’ll see me through this situation. And all my past failures. I pray that you receive this letter and that you respond. Your response will go a long way with me and how my life will transcend in the next few years. God bless you and I hope to hear from you soon. I hope and pray to get out soon. Keep me in your prayers as I will do the same for you and your family. Thank you for your time. ”Moe”

2:55 PM Random thoughts while lounging in front of the TV with my family on Saturday afternoon. 1) We’re presently watching three or four programs at once. Nick has the remote control, which means we’re flipping from one thing to another. But mostly we’re watching “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks, which we’ve all seen four or five times. At this moment the astronauts about about to attempt re-entry. A few minutes ago they jettisoned the lunar module. Tom Hanks just said to the other two, “Gentlemen, it’s been a privilege flying with you.” I predict they will make it back safely. This is a great movie for Memorial Day weekend. 2) Here are a few other personal favorites—”The Dirty Dozen,” “Kelly’s Heroes,” “In Harm’s Way,” “Where Eagles Dare,” “The Longest Day,” and “The Great Escape.” And “Patton,” of course. 3) Mark and Nick introduced me last night to a program called American Chopper. It’s a reality show about a father and his two sons who run a shop that builds custom motorcycles. To summarize: They make great bikes and the father and his sons shout at each other—a lot. Pretty funny—a lot better than exploitive shows like “The Swan.” 4) Apollo 13 just landed. I knew those guys would make it back. 5) I performed a wedding earlier today for Cisco Cotto and Anna Watson. I’ve learned over the years to expect the unexpected. Today was no exception. Just before the wedding was set to begin, Cisco told me his parents had not arrived. They were 90 minutes late and he had no idea where they were. “We’re waiting ten minutes,” Cisco said, “and then we’re starting.” They arrived with two minutes to spare. Cisco is an on-air personality at WLS, one of the largest radio stations in Chicago. That meant the church was filled with first-time visitors. Cisco and Anna asked me to make the gospel clear:

We have many family and friends who will be at the ceremony. We would like the gospel message shared through talking about the lives Anna and I are leading (and the life we are beginning together). We realize more everyday just how amazing God’s love is and how wonderful it is to enjoy the salvation brought on by Christ’s death. We are training at Moody to enter into ministry and are looking forward to seeing how God will use us together for Him.

It’s a pleasure to take part in a wedding like this. One other note: Cisco and Anna are a bit older—in their late 20s or early 30s, I think. That’s definitely the trend nowadays. I used to do lots of weddings for kids in their late teens. But not so much anymore. 6) I agree with Neil Cavuto about the loss of good manners in our society. 7) Here’s a brand-new resource about same-sex marriage from Erwin Lutzer: Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Need to Know. If you are concerned about the traditional view of marriage and want to know how to defend it, read this book. We’re planning on buying quantities of this book for the congregation. It’s short—only 109 pages, easy to read, biblical and balanced. Highly recommended. Buy two copies—one to read and one to give to a friend.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?