The Contender – A Cry From Jack’s Heart

November 2017

Thank God

Jack Crans

Psalms 2: 1-9 “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron: thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever…

A Glorious High Throne

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

In the October edition of The Contender I urged you to read excerpts from The Crises of the Christ, written by G. Campbell Morgan. Today, just days from Thanksgiving, I beckon you to hear the great sermon of Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God; Our Sanctuary, fully proclaimed from one of my most favorite scriptures, Jeremiah 17:12 “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” (Sermon inserted below)

 

Oh, dearest ones, there is a balm (Jeremiah 8: 20-9:3) for this sin-sick world and it’s found in the precious word of God! Just take a moment and read the two texts quoted above and be refreshed by the power and glory of Him who so wants to ‘sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the word, that he might present us to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing, but that we should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5: 26, 27) 

I am not able to speak for your heart and your mind, but I am deeply refreshed, comforted and empowered when realizing such powerful truths ‘in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.’ (Philippians. 2:15,16).  Soon we shall hear that great refrain: “And He shall reign for ever and ever.

Pointman Leadership Institute

Sheriff Carolyn Welsh, Dr Gary Welsh, Jack Crans

Photos will soon be posted on our website of the recent Train-the-Trainer course Pointman Leadership Institute (PLI) hosted at the Camp at Old Mill from November 12th – 16th. Graduates included some of our own staff, Jason Jarvis and Joshua Crans, but also others, such as Lt. Norman Davenport (Philadelphia Police Dept.) and Dr. Gary Welsh (Commander of Jamaica’s Constabulary Police). Carolyn Welsh, Sheriff of Chester County, also spent precious time attending and encouraging the graduates. As I write, PLI seminars are reaching leaders in central African nations, and shall soon impact our own region as well.

In fact, I’ve ordered 300 copies of  “Leadership: The Power of Character” by Robert L Vernon (President and Founder of Pointman Leadership Institute) and an accompanying Six-Day Devotional that will soon be distributed to staff throughout Chester County Prison and the Office of the Sheriff. These books are especially being printed for our use and will be offered to our local police chiefs, sheriffs and correctional leaders prior to the celebration of Christmas. If you’d like to help with this powerful initiative, the cost of printing and shipping will exceed $2,300.00. Perhaps you needed an idea for what to do for Christmas? Well, here is a chance for many of you to put the gospel into the hands of core leadership in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Thank God

I continue to serve as the Administrative Chaplain of the Chester County Prison (since 1973) and am simultaneously responsible for County Corrections Gospel Mission, established in 1985 “to address the national spiritual crisis that is now reflected in and through America’s Criminal Justice Systems”. Our aim remains “the burden and development of a local, national and international strategy that biblically focuses on the people groups most affected by family breakdown, poverty and crime.” We continue to flesh-this-out from day-to-day!

Take a moment and just look back to 1973 when at the age of 23, I entered Chester County Prison with a passion to reach my own, loved friends from the city of Coatesville. The City Gate Mission followed in 1980, ministry to prison leaders and police emerged through such initiatives as the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO) and Pointman Leadership Institute (PLI) and Children’s Bible Clubs targeting precious, broken families were born. God miraculously provided facilities such as the Coatesville mission and the Camp at Old Mill.

Coatesville

City of Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Today, at this very moment, God is raising up a new church-plant: Providence of Coatesville, at the dedicated facilities of the Bridge Academy Community Center and for my own heart’s peace, this is the greatest blessing of all! Oh, what joy is mine to see the effective work of a Bible-believing church in the midst of a precious community! My heart weeps for our son, Joshua and his wife, Jordan…it weeps with joy and with concern that God will supply all their needs according to His most holy callings! My heart is so full of praise and great anticipation as I’ve now reached my 67th birthday!  God has been faithful to us and so many of you reading all of this know the story from the very beginning! It is you who have made it all possible and you who kneel to ask God for His continued outpouring upon our weak and willing hearts!

ReTURNing Hearts

Jack Crans and Pastor Eric McAdams, of Coatesville Bible Fellowship

I’m soon going to invite a few pastors to go with me to the prison to meet with Warden McFadden and ask him to share his heart. In all of my 40+ years in the criminal justice system, I’ve never witnessed a more urgent hour when the household of faith ought to rise up and embrace the heart-cries so clearly reflected in this perishing Republic. How many more opioid-related deaths do we need in our own county? How many more fatherless children will it take to call us to vigilance? How much longer do you believe our nation will exist when the ‘swamp’ is revealing the sinful heart of our entire culture of godlessness?

It is my prayer and hope that my appeal to these faithful pastors will bear much fruit! God is at work across this region and already the Coatesville Bible Fellowship Church and the New Life in Christ Fellowship Church have opened their doors to the increasing cry for receiving returning citizens from our prison. The emerging theme: “ReTURNing Hearts” must echo throughout our region! Oh, that hearts would TURN from sin to the living God!

My Heart Overflows and yet, My Words Never Will Capture My Heart!

Jack Crans, Director  

Isaiah 35:4 – 10  “… Behold, your God will come with vengeance.”                                    

PS. A special word of “Thanks” to my wife, Sue, and all who served so faithfully with her during the Pointman Train-The-Trainer Course!

 

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