Thursday, December 24, 2009

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" which means."God with us." Matt.1:23 NIV

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him IMMANUEL. Isa.7:14 NIV

Christmas was a special time of the year in my younger life. Decorating the tree was always a fun time. The tree used then was a skinny tree, you could see right through it. They had few branches and the limbs had a small amount of needles on them. Most of the time they would be dry and the needles would fall on the floor. The first thing we would do is get a bucket full of sand and use it for a tree stand. The trunk of the trees were small so it was easy to stick in the sand.

Next was decorating the tree. We would pop some popcorn and get a darning needle and some heavy thread so we could string the pop corn and cranberries and place it on the tree. It was generally long enough to circle the tree five or six times. Then we would make a paper chain out of 8" X 1" strips of colored paper, or sometimes we used leftover wall paper with flowers on it, and placed it on the tree. Mom had some glass balls and it seemed like one would get dropped and it would break. We always had icicles and most of the time we would put too many on. We didn't have lights when I was young. We had no electricity. When we finally got electricity mom got some lights that looked like a small candle. They had a small ball which had a bulb in it and a small candle filled with liquid on top of the ball. When they were turned on the liquid would get hot and bubbles would rise in them.

The week before Christmas was the longest week of the year because presents started showing up under the tree and we tried to guess whose they were and what was in them. Presents are good because they reminds us of what the Father gave us.

Midnight Mass was a BIG thing. Mom would make us go to bed early. She would say "you will be tired for midnight mass and I want you to stay awake". So we would go to bed but wouldn't go to sleep until about a hour before time to get ready and go. We had three churches that were 10 miles from us, so we would have to choose which one we would go to. So when it was time to go mom would start trying to get us up and we were sleepy and the bed felt so good. Our room had no heat, sometimes snow would sift in through the north window, and the floor was cold but we finally got up. On the way to church we would fall to sleep again so mom would use a strong word to get us in church. We would fight off sleep during mass but finally when the smell of incense came we would know it was about over. There was something special about midnight mass. It was the same people that met there on Sunday but I think it was because it was night time, we were all together as a family, the dark shut out the world and we were centered on the Lord's birthday. IMMANUEL, God with us. He was truly with us.

When we got home we would ask mom if we could open one present. Most of the time she would let us open a small one then she would say get to bed so Santa can bring some presents.

The Father gave us the ultimate present, His son. "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John.3:16 NIV He gave us an example that we should love, and give the love, that He gave us. But in John,1:11 "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him". The word receive means to take, you have to take a gift to have received it. I'm afraid that nowadays we are always looking for another present, thinking it will fulfill our needs, but it never will. This Christmas season, if you have not taken the gift from the Father, I would ask you to consider doing just that. THE GIFT IS JESUS.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


New Jail
Ground breaking and old jail in background

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Lk.4:18-19 NIV

After twenty years of planning the construction of a new detention center in our county we opened a new center that has offices for the sheriff and his deputies, a control center for the dispatchers and guards, plus a kitchen and laundry. This facility has 65 beds and has no bars but has 8 lock down cells that holds two men each. We house prisoners from Kansas City, Wichita and surrounding counties.

With the new facility things changed as to how we had Bible study and getting to take men out for revivals and baptisms. Thursday night was Bible study night. Some nights I would have to have two or three classes because the booking room where we met wouldn't hold them. Then we would have to keep some of them separated for various reasons. It became quite a challenge when I was used to ministering to four to eight, and now a possible sixty five. Most of the time Bible study would have twenty or more. Then there were times that inmates would put in a request for a one on one.
These are some of the things that happened at the new facility.

The first year there were four men that were serious about seeking the Lord. I had a twelve lesson video series that is great but I had no way to play them. So I went to the sheriff and told him I would like to show this series to four men. He said if you trust them you can take the men to the deputy's office and use their T.V. and VCR. That meant I would have to take them out of security. The first night I was real nervous. They were all from Kansas City and I hadn't told them that we were going to leave security, I just told them when the time came. They came to the booking room as usual and I told them to follow me. When I opened the front security door they could not believe it. One man who had been locked up for several months said, as he looked out the windows in the lobby, "there's a tree!". He hadn't seen one for a long time. We went through the teaching and they proved to be trust worthy. One of the men really blessed me. He called his girl friend and told her to buy a television with a VCR in it and bring it when she came to visit. That next week Larry gave me a new TV to use at Bible study. That way we could have our class in the Bible study room. That was ten years ago. I left it with the man that took over the Bible study when I quit.

One night I was having Bible study and after it was over I was leaving to go home. As I was shutting the door one of the inmates hollered at me and said "here is your knife. I found it on the floor". I had forgotten to take my pocket knife out of my pocket! Not all prisoner are bad, he could have got me in big trouble.

There was a inmate named Matt he was from Kansas City. He had a long list of charges on his record sheets. He said he was a Christian. He attended Bible study every week faithfully and he knew his Bible fairly good. His family tried to get him to go to some program but it didn't work out. I work with a program called Teen Challenge. He said he was interested in the program. His family made arrangements for him to go when he was released and he agreed to go. He was released and the day he was supposed to go he changed his mind and went to a crack house in down town Kansas City. About a week later his mom called and told me what he had done. I asked her if there was any way I could talk with him and she gave me a telephone number. So I called it and he answered the phone, he said he was not interested in going to T. C.

That next day a young pastor that went with me to the county jail for several years was having meetings at a local church. So I went to hear him and see what he had to say. He was speaking on II Kings 6 and 7 where Israel was being attacked by Aram and there was a famine in the land.

Elijah, the Prophet told the King of Israel basically that 'tomorrow things will be different'. I heard the Lord tell me that 'about this time tomorrow things will be different', and for me to claim that for Matthew. The next morning Matt's mother called me and told me that Matt called her at 3 a.m. and asked her to come get him. When she got there he was sitting out on the curb crying and he told her he wanted to go to Teen Challenge. He went to T.C. in San Antonio and was the Praise and Worship leader at the Center. They were invited to appear on PTL TV and sing and give their testimonies. No one, not even his parents, knew he could sing until they saw the program. After graduation from the Center he got married, has a family and was doing well the last we heard.
Critics say inmates get 'jail house religion' just to get out, and that is so with some. But I have heard that at a Billy Graham crusade, six months after people go forward and make a profession of faith only 5% are still walking with the Lord. It is about the same in jail.

I could write a book on things that has happened at Bible study at the jail.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This cross was made and given to me by a friend.
It is made of bars from the 'old' jail which operated from 1916 to 1997


1973 was the first time for me to be locked behind bars. I had 'visited' the booking room when I was in high school by request of the sheriff for speeding around the square at Delphos. He lectured us and let us go. This time I was invited by a young pastor to go with him to our county jail to visit the inmates and have Bible study. Our jail was small. The first door opened into an exercise area. It was a four foot wide corridor around the cells. The next door opened into a larger room with a large table where the inmates could eat and play cards This door would be locked behind us when we went in. That is where we would sit at the table to have Bible study and visit. Most of the cells were unlocked so if the inmates wanted to visit or come to Bible study they could. Some would come and visit but when Bible study started they would go back to their cell. Others would stand at their cell door and listen but most of the time after a few weeks of listening they would come and join us. A few times there would be someone that didn't want us in there and they would interrupt by turning their radio high or get some one to play cards with them.

After a year the pastor got moved so I continued to go every Thursday night. There have been several men that have gone with me. Most would go for one to six months and decide that wasn't for them. I had a neighbor that went with me for about five years. He was good, he had a heart for the prisoners and was good for me. He was a young man that had a family and he had a call on his life to be a pastor. A small country church in Oklahoma asked him to come and pastor them. He accepted the call even though he had no schooling. Today he is the pastor of a large church in Enid, Oklahoma.

Some of the things that happened while ministering at the jail: I always had a good working relationship with the Sheriff. When there was a revival in town, or some other town close by, he would let me take the prisoners that I trusted to the revival. We had several baptisms. The Sheriff also let us take them out to a swimming pool, stock tank or church baptismal. Several came to know the Lord. Some would accept Him there and some later on. After several years I still hear of someone that is away from here who had accepted the Lord at the jail and told no one. I just heard about one man that was in jail here for a DUI twenty five years ago. A man from the local AA chapter told me that he was at a regional meeting and this man was sharing his testimony and said that twenty five years ago he was at a Bible study, led by a farmer, in our county jail. He accepted the Lord in his life that night and had not taken a drink since that day. He asked the AA man to let me know this.

In the 1960's one of our local churches had a young pastor on fire for the Lord that stirred up this community. He is in Iowa now pastoring and also ministering in a prison there. Ed asked one of the prisoners there where he got saved. He told Ed in Kansas but 'you probably never heard of it'. He said 'I got saved in jail at a Bible study at the Ottawa county jail'. Ed said 'that is where the first church I pastored is and I know the farmer that has the Bible study there'.

One day a highway patrolman brought a young couple in that he arrested for having a stolen vehicle. After investigation they found out that he was the head of a gang in Wichita called the 'crips' and she was one of his prostitutes. The first night we had Bible study that he was there he stayed in his cell and never said a word. The Sheriff told me later that Jack told him not to let me come in there, that he didn't want any Bible study going on around him. The Sheriff told him that he was running the jail and I could come in anytime I wanted to. He stayed in his cell or stood at the door for about six weeks, then he started asking questions from his door. Eventually he came and sat at the table with us. A short time later he asked Jesus in his life. He started studying his Bible and reading Christian books. He was on fire for the Lord. Then about a month before he was to get out he started pulling back, not even reading his Bible, he stopped praying and eventually he didn't even come out to the Bible study the last two weeks. I thought to my self another jail house conversion "when you see a little freedom we don't need Jesus". Six month later the telephone rang and a voice said this Jack and I said Jack who? He said 'Jack from Wichita and I want to see you and the jail will not give me your address'. I told him 'I will come to town and visit you', because you never give your address out. When I got to the jail I could not believe my eyes. This guy looked like a new man, smiling as you would say, "from ear to ear". "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" 1Cor.5:17 NIV I asked him why he pulled back the last two weeks from Bible study. He said he knew it was going to cost him something and he didn't know if he could pay the price. He knew that the gang would demand something and he didn't know what. He said when he got out he went back to the gang. He was there for three days and didn't tell them about accepting Jesus. That evening he told them that he was a Christian and he wanted out of the gang immediately. His body guard beat him up big time. He left the gang that night. He never went back and the gang has left him alone. I wish they all turned out to the good but they don't. Later he invited me to his wedding and it was awesome. A street ministry preacher married them. The gang and the street people were there right along with the church people.

This jail is old and the state of Kansas was on us all the time to make inprovements so I will share some funny thing that happend because of the age of the jail. I shared about the exercise corridor. In the evenings they would let the prisoners out in the exercise area. All they could do was walk or run as it was only four feet wide. On the outside wall there were windows covered with bars about six inches apart. In the summer they would open the windows to let air come in because we had no air conditioning. They let the prisoners have transistor radios and it was hard to get good reception in the jail because of all the iron so they would put their radio in the window. One night someone was walking by the jail and stole the radio. (That's a switch!!) Nowadays most of our prisoners are drug related charges and their girl friends, or someone else, was supplying them through the bars so we put up a fence around the jail. We had the oldest operating jail in the state of Kansas. In 1997 we moved into a new jail. (to be continued)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

free counters

Friday, November 13, 2009

And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." Gen.1:20 NIV


I can not remember who it was that took me pheasant hunting for the first time. I was seven or eight I know I had a 400-10 shot gun that took the small 2 1/2 inch shell. My dad never went pheasant hunting that I can remember but he hunted coyotes and rabbits. We hunted in sunflower fields, draws in fields, stubble fields, pastures and hay meadows. Sunflower fields were the best. Farmers used to leave some fields with wheat stubble. Over the summer sunflowers would be plentiful and the pheasants liked the seed. After soil conservation was started things changed. Now we have water ways, CRP grass, milo and bean fields. Most of the farm land is leased so it is harder to find a place to hunt. There is a program that is called "walk-in hunting". It is funded by the soil conservation district so city people can hunt. If you are travelling on the highway the night before the first weekend of the season you will notice a solid line of head lights coming from the big cities so they can start hunting early the next morning.

Some things I remember about pheasants and pheasant hunting. One Saturday our neighbors, the Casey boys, came over to hunt rabbits. We were walking along the road about a 1/2 mile from home looking for rabbits and flushed out a cock pheasant. Don Casey had a 22 special rifle and he just automatically shot at it while it was flying. It dropped out of the sky like a rock. We all stood there shocked. We went over and picked it up. He had hit it in the head. Unbelievable! I don't know what the odds would be.

Some neighbors from up north came down to go hunting. There were 4 or 5 of them. We decided to go over east a couple of miles to hunt. So we all piled in one car like sardines (three of us and all of them) and headed east of home. The road is just a trail and it is pretty rough. We hit a hole in the road. Someone's gun went off and made a hole in the roof of the car. He had his gun loaded and didn't have the safety on. It was just a miracle someone didn't get shot.

My brother and his brother-in-law would come down and go pheasant hunting. Pete had two bird dogs. It was entertaining just to go hunting with him. Vicki, our daughter, was in grade school and she always wanted to go because his dogs weren't well trained. They would run way out in front of them and scare the birds up too soon. He would call them all kind of names, some good and some bad. He would threaten them that he was going to shoot them if they wouldn't come back, but he never did. He is a frenchman and it would keep you laughing just to hear him talk to his dogs

Two couples, friends of ours, decided to go out to western Kansas and hunt. Their wives decided to go with them and make a trip out of it. They got up in the middle of the night so they would be there at sunrise. After they got there they had a hard time finding a place to hunt but finally they shot one pheasant and threw it in the trunk. After hunting all day and not doing any good they decided not to stay and hunt on Sunday so they headed home with their one bird in the trunk. They got back about 1:00 a.m. in the morning and when they opened the trunk to get the bird it flew off into the night.

Probably the high light of pheasant hunting is an 80 acre field that we own. It has more pheasants on it than any place I have seen, and several deer and quail. It is planted to grass under the CRP program. It has a creek along the west side, a small ravine on the south, and grain fields on the east and north. There have been many years that hunters have taken over 100 cocks from this field.

For more than 30 years a group of men and some of their children have been coming and staying with us for the first weekend of hunting season. Most of them are from a church in Paola, Kansas. They just make theirselves at home and we just stay out of their way. They bring their groceries and fix their own meals. The older ones get the beds until they run out. They don't even mess up the beds, they just throw their sleeping bag on top and crawl in. The rest use the sofas, cots, or sleeping bags on the floor. We have made some good friends and each year there is someone new. Some of the kids that came in the beginning are bringing their kids now. It's always fun on Saturday evening. One of the men is an avid sportsman. He brings fish, wild turkey and all kinds of wild game. He has a deep fat fryer and cooks us up a feast. After supper we do some singing and sharing which is always good. I save all of our hunting ground for them. They get the first chance at the birds.

One time they brought a new man with them. I thought he looked familiar and he told the other men that he knew me from some where. We found out later that we had met 10 years earlier. I was driving a truck hauling hominy from Atchison, Kansas to a feed yard in Pratt, Kansas. It was about 2:30 in the morning and I had finished unloading so I went over to a building that had a small break room for employees. There was a young man in there and I could tell he was in trouble. He had been drinking and was talking about suicide because his wife had just taken off with another man and she wanted a divorce. I prayed for him and shared Jesus with him and he accepted the Lord in his life. He told me that he had not had a drink from that day. He got re-married, has a family and attends church regularly. It always amazes me what the Lord Jesus can do, like bring a man to your house 10 years later that is still walking with the Lord. All He asks us to do is share His love and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.


Thursday, October 22, 2009


"Community" is a group of people living together and having common interests, work, and social life, sometimes described as 'common unity'. Our community was Grover which was named after our country school. The communities that I know about were called by the name of the school, or the school was named after the community.

Maybe we would go to town once a week on Saturday evening. The stores stayed open late in the summer, so people would shop and visit until midnight. If you would tell someone you were from the Grover community, they could identify with that. They would say, 'Oh, that's northeast of town isn't it'.

I would like to share some things about our community that I can remember. The first thing that comes to mind is the dancing in homes. We had a neighbor that lived just across the section that played the fiddle and another one that played the guitar. I was small and it was before I started school that they came over to our house. They moved the furniture to one side of the room so they would have room to dance. We had a rock house made from the sandstone quarried from the pasture just east of the house next to a spring they used in the early days. The house had three rooms on the ground level, a kitchen, living room and bed room, and they danced in all three. They danced several times in the house where the fiddler lived. There were barn dances but they drew people from a larger area. Just four miles west of us there was a very large barn where they had several dances. One of our neighbors was moving away so the other neighbors got together and had a supper and dance in their barn for them. That was the first barn dance I can remember. It was a good time.

The spring I spoke of above was used in early days to keep food, expecially dairy products, cool. You can also still see ruts in the pasture which indicate wagon trains stopped there for good spring water.

Another thing that brought us together was listening to boxing on the radio. The neighbors would gather together to listen to the fight. Dad would shut it off as soon as the fight was over. We had no electricity so the radio was only used for certain thing, like the early markets and other farm related things, because dad would say 'we don't want to run the battery down'.

Card parties were another thing that brought us together. This card party group was made up of people from two communities. We lived right on the line that divided two school districts so it was Grover and Hall community people who participated. Sometimes we would meet in the school house but most of the time they would be held in someone's home. They would take turns hosting the party. This continued for several years. We played 10 point Pitch. It was always fun because every one acts different. Some would cheat, some took it very serious, some just played to have fun. You would know if you got a partner that always cheated. One man, when he had the deuce, would always try to play it twice, another man would put his discards on top of the deck so the other couple would get his discards. Two of the women would kick you when they wanted a certain card played, or they would pass a card under the table, or wink. The hostess would buy four prizes, two for men and womens high score and two for men and womens low score (booby prizes). The ones that were serious wanted that top prize and we had some ornery men that would bid too high for their hand just to 'set' the serious one. The young kids always had a good time playing hide and seek or some other game.

A couple of times, I remember, the people of the community would put on a play at the schoolhouse. Kids would be a part of it also. They would also auction off 'box suppers' to raise money for the schools. The ladies would prepare a supper and put it in a decorated box. The men would bid on the boxes and then eat with the one who had prepared the one they bought. They didn't know until after the auction whose box they had bought.

Life in rural America was a much slower pace and you knew your neighbors. Our rural telephone was the first "Face Book". Instead of clicking your mouse you picked up the telephone receiver and got all the news in the community. We had twelve on our party line and someone was almost always on the line giving out the latest information.

Monday, October 12, 2009












First Communion



MAX Eighth grade graduation from
country school




Eighth grade graduation and





Memorial Day Aunt Emma's roses

DARLENE senior picture

MAX senior picture


MAX & DARENE Lawton, Okla.

Stevie's baptism day


Donna Max Sr. Max Eva La Roy

Easter sunrise service on a hill in our pasture

"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord." Proverbs 18:22 NIV

FAMILY PICTURE Thanksgiving 2008


(Little, Tiny, House on the Prairie)

GEORGE & MAX Ft. Sill, Oklahoma


"Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." Psalm 128:3 NIV


(and the cat excaping!)


(Vicki's Baptism day)

(Tiger in mom's doll buggy)






VICKI Sr. pic


US & OUR KIDS 2008









On September 23, 1952 Darlene and I made our vows to each other at the Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Kansas. Before God, our friends, and our relatives, never thinking of breaking them. Even though we have had some real rough times over the years it has never entered our minds to give up.
"Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things come and for whom we live; and there us but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things come and through whom we live." I Cor. 8:6 NIV