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March 2018 Newsletter
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” John 3:3-7
Last month was an amazing month for me. I was blessed to have my second grandchild and my first grandson! Everett James Jones was born on February 21 at 5:28 AM PST. He weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz, 21 1/2 inches long, and is healthy as can be!
I couldn’t help but think about this beautiful baby boy and contrast and compare him to the kids we serve. Everett has two loving, Christian parents. Dad has a good job and will be an excellent role model for his son. Both parents are relatively mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. He and his older sister will grow up in a church family surrounded by other Christian children and adults.
And then there are the young men and women we serve. Few know and have a relationship with both parents. Most view incarceration as a “NORMAL“ way of life. They may have been visiting jails and prisons since they were babies. One or both parents may have been addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and many of them were born addicted. A criminal lifestyle may very well have been the norm for them. The concept of graduating high school, going to college, and then getting a job to support themselves and their family might possibly be a foreign concept. Jesus probably plays no role in their lives.
So, there are many different ways our youth need to be “born again.” They need a new “NORMAL”. That starts with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe our kids will likely never be able to just “follow the rules.” Their lives are, for the most part, simply a by-product of their upbringing. Until their identity changes from criminal, or drug addict, or gang member to follower of Christ I believe there is very little hope.
That’s why we do what we do. The needs of our kids are overwhelming. But we need to remember you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. And I am CONVINCED that the first bite needs to start with Jesus. I heard someone say this week that the “The Kingdom of Heaven is bound up in the hearts of these kids.” I believe that to be completely accurate. The witness our kids can bring will be powerful and effective. And they can literally snatch others from the gates of Hell.
Thank you for all you do to see LifeQuest continue to bring a message of hope to our young people. Your prayers and gifts keep us going. Without you, we cease to exist. I pray that you and yours are blessed as we rapidly approach Easter. May you experience Jesus anew this season.