A Father's Call

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Letter To Death-Row Inmate

A letter written to a person on death row by the father of the man whom the
person on death row had killed:

You are probably surprised that I, of all people, am writing a letter to you, but I ask you to read it in its entirety and consider its request seriously. As the father of the man whom you took part in murdering, I have something very important to say to you. I forgive you. With all my heart, I forgive you. I realize it may be hard for you to believe, but I really do.

At your trial, when you confessed to your part in the events that cost my son his life and asked for my forgiveness, I immediately granted you that forgiving love from my heart.

I can only hope you believe me and will accept my forgiveness. But this is not all I have to say to you. I want to make you an offer: I want you to become my adopted child. You see, my son who died was my only child, and I now want to share my life with you and leave my riches to you.

This may not make sense to you or anyone else, but I believe you are worth
the offer.

I have arranged matters so that if you will receive my offer of forgiveness, not only will you be pardoned for your crime, but you also will be set free from your imprisonment, and your sentence of death will be dismissed. At that point, you will become my adopted child and heir to all my riches.

I realize this is a risky offer for me to make to you -- you might be tempted to reject my offer completely -- but I make it to you without reservation. Also, I realize it may seem foolish to make such an offer to one who cost my son his life, but I have a great love and an unchangeable forgiveness in my heart for you.

Finally, you may be concerned that once you accept my offer you may do something to cause you to be denied your rights as an heir to my wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I can forgive you for your part in my son's death, I can forgive you for anything. I know you never will be perfect, but you do not have to be perfect to receive my offer.

Besides, I believe that once you have accepted my offer and begin to experience the riches that will come to you from me, that your primary (though not always) response will be gratitude and loyalty. Some would call me foolish for my offer to you, but I wish for you to call me your father.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What side of the Cross are you on?

Last week we began a series at our Men's meeting which included a message by Neal Jeffery. He encouraged us with a "pep talk" about the importance of standing tall and proclaiming the name of Jesus to our families and using His leading Holy Spirit in our lives. It was a powerful message of the role that Men play in the lives of their children. We must not falter from the course, we must show them in both actions and words that we "Believe."

This week we will continue the Men at the Cross series and be blessed by a message from Joe White. He speaks of the day our Lord died on that Cross between two criminals. I listened to the message several times over the last two days and cannot get past the insight that Joe provides.

Picture three crosses;

In the center is Jesus, the perfect lamb, not deserving to be on that cross, and with the ability at any moment to stop what was happening. He was the ultimate sacrifice, He was taking on my sin, my shame, my punishment. He was showing me the ultimate Love. He endured that which I could not.

On the left there was a loud and viscous man. He was angry, and mocking. He knew who Jesus was but he mocked Him, he told him if he were who Jesus said he was then he should get down off that cross and save Himself. Even in the last moments of life this criminal refused to see Jesus for who He really is. He was looking at the opportunity for redemption and peace, but his eyes were so clouded with anger that he failed to trust. He must have seen the miracles, or at least heard of them, or perhaps he was too busy to notice.

On the right was a man who accepted his punishment, rebuking the man on the left saying "we deserve this punishment, we are guilty, but Jesus is innocent." He realized his shame and guilt and sought forgiveness. He was not loud, he was ready to trust. Was he weak? Absolutely not! He defended Jesus with his words as the crowd around them hurled insults. This man finally got it, in the midst of his pain he found peace.

Two very different points of view, one loud and mocking, and one humble and seeking forgiveness and peace. As Joe White states, there are only two sides, either you are on the right side seeking Jesus and Forgiveness, or you are on the left side trying to do it all alone. If you are not seeking Jesus and on the right side then you are on the other side. There is but two choices.

Now I ask you to take a moment and consider which side you are on.

If you say that you are on the right side, do you actions show it. Are you doing the things that shed a good light on being a follower of Jesus?

I can speak for myself, I have fallen short.

Praise Jesus for his long suffering, bearing mercy for my inadequacies.

Tonight we will be meeting at the Krassons at 6:30 and listening to the message from Joe White, if you are able we would sure enjoy your company at the meeting. If anyone is in need of a ride, please email me at cbeecham@misericordia.edu

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Value of Children

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read the story below thought I would share it here. I am not the author, the story was online and was listed as author unknown. I just think that it is wonderful that someone took the time to point out the priceless gift that our children are. I am sure more that one of you can relate to this story.

We will be meeting at the Krasson's on Wednesday September 23 at 6:30. If you are able please come out and join us. I have been blessed to have attended a meeting of Men at the Cross last weekend and we will be listening to a portion of that meeting. For those who may not know what Men t the Cross actually is, it is a Christian Men's movement that began last year. They instruct on the importance of empowering men to be the Fathers, Husbands and Leaders that God has called them to be. There were 5 speakers at the meeting and we will begin week one listening to one of the speakers. I must tell you that no matter where you are in your walk with Jesus, be it before you have made the commitment or several years into it, you will not be bored. You will be encouraged! You will walk away a better Man from listening to it!

If you have any questions in regards to the meeting please let me know. I would encourage all who are able to attend. If someone has a need for a ride please let me know.

The Cost of Having Kids

I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice, really nice!

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years old, and came up $160,140! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert your child's name here).

For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a day!
Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich".

It is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140?

Naming rights. First, middle, and last
Glimpses of God every day.
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and
skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how
your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to keep: reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watch Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck.

You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins, but always treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal.

You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

Now think again………..Would you rather have the money or all this?

Monday, November 17, 2008

God the Provider

I am amazed to hear of all the stories in which Jesus has taken care of the various needs of His children. Often times the delivery of the blessing takes a different route than the obvious. We look at these needs and fulfillment from the human perspective, we cannot see the beginning and the end as Jesus does. He shows us that He is ultimately in control and we must believe in Him for the provision. We must have Faith and Trust. Faith that He will answer the prayer in His time and in His way, and Trust in that He will always do what is best for us, even if it is not the outcome that we had asked for. All prayers are answered. How many times have you made a request unto the Lord and afterward saw the error in your request going the way that you wanted. Jesus Loves you and He knows what is best for you. Trust Him.

Below is a story of which I cannot verify the author, I found it on the web and was encouraged by it. I think you will be encouraged as well.


He was driving home one evening, on a two lane country road. Work in this small Midwestern community, was almost as slow as his beat up Pontiac, but he never quit looking. Ever since the factory closed, he'd been unemployed,and with winter raging on, the chill had finally hit home.

It was a lonely road. Not very many people had a reason to be on it, unless they were leaving town. Most of his friends had already left. They had families to feed and dreams to fulfill. But he stayed on. After all, this was where he buried his mother and father. He was born here and he knew the country.

He could go down this road blind, and tell you what was on either side, and with his lights not working, which came in handy. It was starting to get dark and light snow flurries were coming down. He'd better get a move on.

You know, he almost didn't see the old lady, stranded on the side of the road. But even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her.

Even with the smile on his face, she was worried. No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe, he looked poor and hungry. He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold.

He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you. He said, "I'm here to help you ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan,"

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two.

Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt. As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough for coming to her aid. Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk.

She asked him how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She had already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about the money. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.

He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way. He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance that they needed, and Bryan added, "And think of me." He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The cash register was like the telephone of an out of work actor, it didn't ring much.

Her waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase. The lady noticed that the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a
stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, and the waitress went to get change for her hundred-dollar bill, the lady slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. She wondered where the lady could be, then she noticed something written on the napkin under which was four 100 bills.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote. It said: "You don't owe me anything, I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you,"

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but she never stopped thinking about the lady. That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what
the lady had written.

How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's gonna be all right. I love you, Bryan."

We are never prepared for what we expect.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Your Tongue, Is It An Encourager Or A Deflator?

The Lord has Blessed us all with a wonderful gift. The gift of communication. Just imagine what it would be like if you could not communicate. You could not tell your child "I Love You". Think about that! Never hearing it spoken to you, "I Love You". Close you eyes for a moment and think about softly telling someone that you love, I Love You. It brings a tear to my eye to think of what life would be like without communication.

Now imagine what it would be like to have never been belittled, or made fun of. The ill feeling as a child of being the brunt of someone's joke. Of course that we could do without.

We have been truely Blessed with the gift of communication. God has given us a tongue which can be an encourager or a deflator. You have the freedom to choose. Do you wish to show Love or Hate. Scripture reminds us of the evil that can be done with the tongue. For this reason we must keep a constant check on our Tongues. Please remember when you speak to you children you must always be an encourager, their skin is not as thick as you might think.

Here is a story that is eye opening, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

A Little Boys Temper

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the
next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of
nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said "you have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one."

You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

That which we should never forget

We have been Blessed at the Cherry Street Bible Church to have the opportunity to gain insight from fellow Brothers in Christ each Wednesday evening. Often we learn great lessons from those who have walked the Earth a few more years than ourselves. Experience along with Wisdom granted from God is a great combination to look for when seeking help making a decision. However there are times that we must look to children to remind us of the most important things in life. Take a moment to read the following passage it is truely inspiring.

A Little Boy's Heart

It was one of the hottest days of the dry season. We had not seen rain in almost a month. The crops were dying. Cows had stopped giving milk. The creeks and streams were long gone back into the earth. It was a dry season that would bankrupt seven farmers before it was through.

Every day, my husband and his brothers would go about the arduous process of trying to get water to the fields. Lately this process had involved taking a truck to the local water rendering plant and filling it up with water.

But severe rationing had cut everyone off. If we didn't see some rain soon... we would lose everything. It was on this day that I learned the true lesson of sharing and witnessed the only miracle I have seen with my own eyes.

I was in the kitchen making lunch for my husband and his brothers when I saw my six-year old son, Billy, walking toward the woods. He wasn't walking with the usual carefree abandon of a youth but with a serious purpose. I could only see his back. He was obviously walking with a great effort...trying to be as still as possible.

Minutes after he disappeared into the woods, he came running out again, toward the house. I went back to making sandwiches; thinking that whatever task he had been doing was completed. Moments later, however, he was once again walking in that slow purposeful stride toward the woods. This activity went on for an hour: walk carefully to the woods, run back to the house.

Finally I couldn't take it any longer and I crept out of the house and followed him on his journey (being very careful not to be seen...as he was obviously doing important work and didn't need his Mommy checking up on him). He was cupping both hands in front of him as he walked; being very careful not to spill the water he held in them...maybe two or three tablespoons were held in his tiny hands. I sneaked close as he went into the woods.

Branches and thorns slapped his little face but he did not try to avoid them. He had a much higher purpose. As I leaned in to spy on him, I saw the most amazing site. Several large deer loomed in front of him.

Billy walked right up to them. I almost screamed for him to get away. A huge buck with elaborate antlers was dangerously close. But the buck did not threaten him...he didn't even move as Billy knelt down. And I saw a tiny fawn laying on the ground, obviously suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, lift its head with great effort to lap up the water cupped in my beautiful boy's hand.

When the water was gone, Billy jumped up to run back to the house and I hid behind a tree. I followed him back to the house; to a spigot that we had shut off the water to. Billy opened it all the way up and a small trickle began to creep out. He knelt there, letting the drip drip slowly fill up his makeshift "cup", as the sun beat down on his little back.

And it came clear to me. The trouble he had gotten into for playing with the hose the week before. The lecture he had received about the importance of not wasting water. The reason he didn't ask me to help him. It took almost twenty minutes for the drops to fill his hands.

When he stood up and began the trek back, I was there in front of him. His little eyes just filled with tears. "I'm not wasting", was all he said. As he began his walk, I joined him...with a small pot of water from the kitchen. I let him tend to the fawn. I stayed away. It was his job. I stood on the edge of the woods watching the most beautiful heart I have ever known working so hard to save another life. As the tears that rolled down my face began to hit the ground, they were suddenly joined by other drops...and more drops...and more. I looked up at the sky. It was as if God, himself, was weeping with pride.

Some will probably say that this was all just a huge coincidence. That miracles don't really exist. That it was bound to rain sometime. And I can't argue with that...I'm not going to try. All I can say is that the rain that came that day saved our farm...just like that actions of one little boy saved another.

Author Unknown

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Seeing Beneath The Surface

On Wednesday February 6, 2008 we met once again for a night of fellowship and study.

We finished up a series on Adolph Coors IV. His testimony is truely inspiring. Mr. Coors has attained that which so many are searching for. The special something that would fill the void in his heart that is available to all who ask. That which I am writing about, amazingly is something that even a wealthy, powerful, influential man like Mr. Coors could not work for or buy.

The idea that we all have the capabilities to fill this void just by merely asking the Lord Jesus Christ to come into our hearts, becomes a stumbling block for many. I myself am guilty of stumbling for a period of time.
I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for filling my void and for granting me the peace in the knowledge that one day I will see His face.

All I had to do was STOP and be still and know that Jesus is God.

Take a moment and meditate on the scripture "Be still and know that I am God.

Friends I tell you it is true, Jesus is Lord.

On Wednesday February 13, 2008 we will once again meet at 6:30 at the Krasson's. We will be sharing the testimony of Serge LeClair. It is a thought provoking story of his life and how he came to the be saved.Take a moment and read the story below. It is a common story of someone like Serge, a kid who grew up on the street.

The Tattooed Stranger

He was kind of scary. He sat there on the grass with his cardboard sign, his dog (actually his dog was adorable) and tattoos running up and down both arms and even on his neck. His sign proclaimed him to be "stuck and hungry" and to please help. I'm a sucker for anyone needing help. My husband both hates and loves this quality in me.

I pulled the van over and in my rearview mirror, contemplated this man, tattoos and all. He was youngish, maybe forty. He wore one of those bandannas tied over his head, biker/pirate style. Anyone could see he was dirty and had a scraggly beard. But if you looked closer, you could see that he had neatly tucked in the black T-shirt, and his things were in a small, tidy bundle. Nobody was stopping for him. I could see the other drivers take one look and immediately focus on something else - anything else. It was so hot out. I could see in the man's very blue eyes how dejected and tired and worn-out he felt.

The sweat was trickling down his face. As I sat with the air-conditioning blowing, the scripture suddenly popped into my head. "In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, so ye have done it unto me." I reached down into my purse and extracted a ten dollar bill. My twelve-year old son, Nick knew right away what I was doing. "Can I take it to him, Mom?" "Be careful, honey." I warned and handed him the money. I watched in the mirror as he rushed over to the man, and with a shy smile, handed it to him. I saw the man, startled, stand and take the money, putting it into his back pocket. "Good," I thought to myself, "now he will at least have a hot meal tonight."

I felt satisfied, proud of myself. I had made a sacrifice and now I could go on with my errands. When Nick got back into the car, he looked at me with sad, pleading eyes. "Mom, his dog looks so hot and the man is really nice." I knew I had to do more. "Go back and tell him to stay there, that we will be back in fifteen minutes," I told Nick. He bounded out of the car and ran to tell the tattooed stranger.

We then ran to the nearest store and bought our gifts carefully. "It can't be too heavy," I explained to the children. "He has to be able to carry it around with him."

We finally settled on our purchases. A bag of "Ol' Roy" (I hoped it was good - it looked good enough for me to eat! How do they make dog food look that way?); a flavored chew-toy shaped like a bone; a water dish, bacon flavored snacks (for the dog); two bottles of water (one for the dog, one for Mr.Tattoos); and some people snacks for the man.

We rushed back to the spot where we had left him, and there he was, still waiting. And still nobody else was stopping for him. With hands shaking, I grabbed our bags and climbed out of the car, all four of my children following me, each carrying gifts.

As we walked up to him, I had a fleeting moment of fear, hoping he wasn't a serial killer. I looked into his eyes and saw something that startled me and made me ashamed of my judgment. I saw tears. He was fighting like a little boy to hold back his tears.

How long had it been since someone showed this man kindness? I told him I hoped it wasn't too heavy for him to carry and showed him what we had brought. He stood there, like a child at Christmas, and I felt like my small contributions were so inadequate.

When I took out the water dish, he snatched it out of my hands as if it were solid gold and told me he had had no way to give his dog water. He gingerly set it down, filled it with the bottled water we brought, and stood up to look directly into my eyes. His were so blue, so intense and my own filled with tears as he said "Ma'am, I don't know what to say."

He then put both hands on his bandanna clad head and just started to cry. This man, this "scary" man, was so gentle, so sweet, so humble. I smiled through my tears and said "Don't say anything."

Then I noticed the tattoo on his neck. It said "Mama tried."

As we all piled into the van and drove away, he was on his knees,
arms around his dog, kissing his nose and smiling. I waved cheerfully and
then fully broke down in tears. I have so much. My worries seem so trivial and petty now. I have a home, a loving husband, four beautiful children.
I have a bed. I wondered where he would sleep tonight.

My step-daughter, Brandie turned to me and said in the sweetest little- girl voice, "I feel so good."

Although it seemed as if we had helped him, the man with the tattoos gave us a gift that I will never forget. He taught that no matter what the outside looks like, inside each of us is a human being deserving of kindness, of compassion, of acceptance. He opened my heart. Tonight and every night I will pray for the gentleman with the tattoos and his dog.

And I will hope that God will send more people like him into my life to remind me what's really important.

Copyright 1999 by Susan Fahncke
E-mail - Susan@2theheart.com

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