The Contender
A Cry from Jack's Heart

May 2024

“Coram Deo” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the presence of God.” As a Bible-believing, follower of Christ, we ought to live our lives Coram Deo: in the presence of God and under the authority of God, for the glory of God.”

Psalms 116:19 “I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”

2 Corinthians 3:18-4:7 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed from the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.”

 

We Faint Not

“As we have received mercy, we faint not.” O, what a sobering exhortation to my own frail and brief life: as I have received His mercies, may I faint not!

Amos, the early prophet of Israel writes of the resistance against the word of the LORD and its proclamation: “Prophesy not! (Amos 2:11-16)

Amos then declares the result of being silent: “…he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away in that day, saith the LORD.”

In Amos 7:10,13, it was said of Amos: “the land is not able to bear all his words…prophesy not again any more.”

O, the urgency and need for wisdom and courage in this present day! Amos 8:11,12: “Behold the days come, saith the LORD God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

 

Open Doors

 

The most recent weeks have been physically, emotionally, and spiritually consuming in wonderful ways! God has graciously and mercifully given us so many opportunities to bring encouragement and hope into the present, increasing spiritual darkness of this world.

We never take ‘open doors’ for granted! I stand in awe of the costly service of the work within the prison and in the reflected, urgent heart cries of children, youth, and families in our communities. O, what an honor to bring some great hope to the prisoner, law enforcement and to ‘those who are ready to perish.’ (Proverbs 24:11,12)

Hopefully, most of all we do is in obedience to Philippians 2:15,16 “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.”

 

Building Legacy

One of our ministry partners, Dhati Lewis, recently interviewed Josh and I to talk about what it means to build a legacy where you live, work, and worship.

We shared about our call to serve the local community of Coatesville and to establish ministries like City Gate Mission and the prison outreach.

We discussed “the journey” of what it has meant to “live local” over the decades and pursue strategic partnerships with others to reach those in need.

 

Please Join Us in Prayer

 

Bridge Academy Community Center, Providence Church of Coatesville, recent initiatives with Pointman Leadership Institute and the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial in Washington, DC overwhelm my heart’s ability to embrace it all.

We are preparing for a busy summer of camps that all reflect the precious lives and concerns of the criminal justice system.

Please never forget that our ‘camp’ is clearly dedicated to embracing the reflected, urgent, heart-cries of the prison and the myriad of real needs and concerns it mirrors daily, both locally and throughout this frail and tested nation. Our main focus: the family! Sadly, in so many cases, the struggling, ‘broken’ family. Our goal: to see the fullest working of God in the midst of each life and situation.

 

Summer Sunday Meetings

 

PLEASE NOTE: THE FIRST OF OUR 2024 SUMMER SUNDAY MEETINGS WILL BE ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY: JUNE 30, FROM 6 – 7:30 PM AT THE CAMP AT OLD MILL.

 

Dr. Peter Lillback, President of Westminister Theological Seminary will be the speaker while Michael Faircloth will lead the worship.

The Sunday Night Solemn Assemblies in July and August will be on the fourth Sundays as we usually do.

 

 

 

O, That God Mercifully Grant Us Wisdom and Courage!

Jack Crans

Debtor and Thankful, Unworthy Servant of the Most High

 

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