Earthly fathers and our heavenly Father

By Raymond Smith

Children born to loving and caring parents have a security that many do not know. Those parents provide not only food, clothing and shelter, but also they teach their children social graces, morals, self-reliance, duty and family heritage. Such children are well suited to face the world and survive in times of trouble.

Unfortunately, there are many today who come from a dysfunctional family or a family without a father. They have little instruction in morality and teaching on how to live in an ordered society. In their situation, they will try to find a family connection (gang), set their own rules of behavior and try to ignore the demands made on them by society.

A few will, by the grace of God, come into contact with a person of faith who will give them understanding and show them the security of the fatherhood of God. This God, like an earthly father, who has already provided food, clothing and shelter, will teach them how to live, get along with others, give them dignity, purpose, self discipline, peace, hope and forgiveness. They will understand the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:19: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."

As you read this, four men from our church will be in prisons in the Huntsville area with the Bill Glass Prison Ministry. The event is called Weekend of Champions. There will be testimonial talks from several sports heroes, High wire artist Tino Wallenda will give an inspiring talk 25 feet in the air standing on a chair. The Daytona 500 race car will be there and even a former cruise ship captain, along with about 25 bikers ready to share the gospel. One thousand men and 100 women will mix with the inmates and share their testimony and God's plan of salvation. Bill Glass has written a book on the importance of fathers.

The Weekend of Champions is well received in prisons across the country because of the changed lives it produces and the calming effect it has on the inmates.

While it does put an extra burden on the prison staff, they are more than ready to cooperate because of the phenomenal results. The beauty of this operation is that it connects with hundreds of disillusioned men and women who have had a chance to think things over and are ready for a change. For many, the change will be significant. Some of the best teammates for Bill Glass' ministry will be those who came out of prison.

Nothing can beat the testimony of one whose life was going nowhere, but somehow discovered the love and forgiveness of the Savior. Read the 15th chapter of the gospel of Luke and Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son.

Bill Glass can always use "a few good men" (and women). A good number of young people are starting to turn out. For new teammates, training is provided. Go to billglass.org for more information.

Raymond F. Smith is a deacon at Fellowship Bible Church in Victoria.