The Contender – A Cry From Jack’s Heart

June 2017

The Urgent Need Of The Hour: Repentant Leadership

Song of Songs 1:7a “Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.”

C.H.Spurgeon opened his sermon titled “Love to Jesus” on September 30, 1860 with the following words: “If the life of a Christian may be compared to a sacrifice, then humility digs the foundation for the altar, prayer brings the unhewn stones and piles them one upon the other; penitence fills the trench round about the altar with water; obedience lays the wood in order; faith pleads for Jehovah-jireh, and places the victim upon the altar; but the sacrifice even then is incomplete, for where is the fire?…..

Sometimes as I look upon the world at large, and the Church which lies too much in its bosom, I am apt to think that the Church has ‘light’, but lacks ‘fire’; that she has some degree of true faith, clear knowledge, and much beside which is precious, but she lacks to a great extent, the fires of martyrdom, when she showed to him her undefiled, unquenchable love..”

I remember addressing a conservative, Christian, political meeting just prior to the 2008 Presidential Election. There were two distinct ‘heart-cries’ I made to all who assembled: (1) the urgency for true repentance and (2) the urgency of prayer. I recommended to everyone who listened: “Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel” by Pastor Richard Owen Roberts and “George Washington’s Sacred Fire” by Dr. Peter Lillback. Both of these books are excellent in giving stirring testimony of  each these distinct urgencies within all nations.

Just days ago, I listened to the hour-long speech of President Trump that he had given for the “Faith and Freedom Coalition”. Though not in opposition to what he spoke, I still longed for what is unquestionably the urgent need of the hour: ‘repentant leadership’ and affection for the Gospel of Jesus Christ across this great land!

I’m fully convinced that our hope as a nation, if there is yet one to be apprehended, must be found in both our repentance and in our affection for Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

I Repent

I just recommended to some friends who influence the ‘National Prayer Breakfast’ each February, that they consider featuring “I Repent” as sung by Steve Green at the 2018 event. Listen to the song while reading the lyrics:

I regret the hours I have wasted

And the pleasures I have tasted

That you were never in

And I confess that though your love is in me

It doesn’t always win me

When competing with my sin


I lament the idols I’ve accepted

The commandments I’ve rejected

To pursue my selfish end

And I confess I need you to revive me

Put selfishness behind me

And take up my cross again


And I repent

Making no excuses, I repent

No one else to blame

And I return

To fall in love with Jesus

I bow down on my knees

And I repent

Sunday, June 25

As every summer since almost 1993, we will once again desire to see you at Camp at Old Mill on Sunday, June 25th at 6:00 pm as we gather for another ‘Fourth Sunday Night’s Solemn Assembly’. It is in this setting where I’ll clearly update our ministries and most importantly host both Chaplain Kevin Williams and Tim Maurer (NYPD, retired) vocalist.

I can guarantee you the ‘urgency’ noted above in this letter and I ask that supporting friends and churches make this a priority. If not assembling in your own church on this night, what prevents you from making this a priority ‘for such a time as this?’


My life has never been more overwhelmed than it is at this very moment! While we have experienced God’s most gracious hand of blessing; yet, we sense a heaviness and warfare most unprecedented in our lifetime. Just days ago at the ‘Wagontown Chapel’ I was preparing to preach on behalf of my son, when the organist kindly played my most favorite hymn of all: “There Is A Balm In Gilead”.

Take the time to read Jeremiah 8:20-9:3 and you’ll quickly learn where my heart ‘rests’ today! Tears flowed from my heart as I listened to this beautiful, comforting song. Oh, dearest ones, let us all better learn to cry out: “Oh, you whom my soul loves!”

Heart Attack Update

Thank you for all of your visits, cards, prayers, phone calls and emails during my recent recovery from my heart attack of May 2nd. Now, we need your prayers and great encouragement for the pressing weeks of summer camps and prison cries.

Finally, for all who embrace us through prayers and much sacrifice, I lift unquenchable thanksgivings to God!

To HIM Be All Praise!

Jack Crans   1 John 4:19

Fourth Sunday Night Solemn Assembly Series

I am rejoicing to share with you the upcoming Fourth Sunday Night Meetings at Camp at Old Mill at 6:00 pm on June 25 July 23 and August 27. Our speakers include (in order):

What a joy it would be if many of our supporting churches and friends would plan now to make these evenings a special focus and fellowship night for the summer of 2017!

Prayer Concerns

  • Camp at the Old Mill’s Spring Upgrades and Summer Programs impacting marginalized children, youth and families. (A $20,000 challenge!)
  • Pray for Joshua and Jordan as they continue forward in the difficult task of the new, church plant: “Providence/Coatesville”. I’m sure that many of them will be joining us on June 25th.
  • Lift up Sue, Jason, Leon, Mary, Grant, David, Heinrich, Susan and scores of volunteers and friends who will take up this ministry’s labors throughout the summer.
  • I will undergo another surgery for my heart on July 7th and am trusting God for His eventual provision of a ‘strategic retreat’ sometime in the months ahead. 

Mark Your Calendar

The following dates are of particular importance, especially for your prayers on our behalf:

  • June 19 – 30: Summer Camp at Camp at Old Mill. We need counselors and volunteers to serve in the kitchen. Contact Jason with questions and offers to assist.
  • June 25: Fourth Sunday Night Solemn Assembly Series. 6pm at Camp at Old Mill. Rain or Shine.

Dusty Archives

“The Contender”, the official newsletter of County Corrections Gospel Mission, was for many years printed and mailed to supporters of the ministry. This became a very expensive undertaking which was eventually stopped and replaced with modern electronic communication methods.

Register on the home page to receive newsletters of County Corrections Gospel Mission by email. You can also read older and archived newsletters below.

You can read copies of The Contender from as far back as April 1985 when you click on this link.

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