Sunday, August 30, 2009


One of the Ten Commandments is " You shall not steal". What I will share with you I believe is physical, mental and spiritual. One Saturday night my brother LaRoy and I were in Delphos with some friends at the park. Delphos had a park in the middle of the town square. When the weather was good it was a place where the young people hung out. It had a band stand and a water fountain and play ground equipment, all the things that goes with a park. Most nights were peaceable but once in a while some one would think they were a bad ass but found out they weren't so bad after all. This night was about the same time of the year as now, watermelon time. Some one was talking about stealing watermelons so that led into the planning of how we could "swipe" (not as bad a word as steal) some melons. There was a farmer east of town that always had a big patch of melons. People from all around would come and buy his melons. When the melons were ready he kept a watchful eye on the patch. He would even sleep out in the patch. So five of us decided to go and see if we could get some of his melons. We parked our car about 3/4 mile away from the back side of his patch. Only one problem, there is a creek we had to cross. It was dark, no bright moon, and we couldn't use a flashlight because he would see us so it took some time to get there. We had decided to each get a big melon and meet back at the car. We hadn't been there five minutes when a shot gun went off and he said 'GET OUT OF MY MELONS'!! So we grabbed as big a melon as we could and took off for the car. As we were crossing the creek someone fell in and got wet. I didn't think I would ever make it back to the car with that big melon. We finally got back to the car and four of us had big melons. My brother had a small melon and we all gave him a bad time about it. Someone said 'let's open one and eat it'. We cut one of the big ones and it was green so we cut another one. Finally we had cut all the big ones and they were all green. Then we cut my brother's little one and it was perfect so we had watermelon and stopped giving him a bad time.

When I was county commissioner we had an elderly man come to our office. He said 'I owe you some money' so we asked him what for? He started telling us "Back in 1936 the county had some steel posts by my place to barricade the road and I needed some to fix my fence so I took three of them. Then in 1937 you were building a bridge by my place and there were some planks so I took some to fix my feed bunk". This was in 1995, 69 years later. He was in his ninety's. We tried to tell him that was long ago but he said 'no I need to pay for them'. So we said $5.00 and he paid us and was set free from what had happened years ago.
Thirteen years later the Holy Spirit brought to my mind that I needed to confess to something that happened 46 years ago. It was when I was driving a truck hauling cattle for Morton truck line. We were hauling cattle to St. Joe, Missouri. There were two of us that night and on the way back we stopped at a small road side park to rest. There was a new picnic table in the park. I said 'I could use that table'. My trailer had the tallest gate so we put it in my trailer.

In 2008 the Holy Spirit said 'you have to make that right'. I said to my self 'That was before I was a Christan. It is all under the blood of Christ now so that must be the devil telling me that'. I tried to make all kinds of excuses not to confess my sin. I would think 'I'm a Christan now, I have a church that meets in my home, I had a jail ministry for 35 years and was a county commissioner for 24 years'. I tried every thing to tell my self not to do it. The Holy Spirit kept reminding me 'you tell them'. Finally I couldn't make any more excuses. So I called the state and told the person what I was calling about. He said you will have to speak with this other person. I told him my story and he said 'that is too long ago, just forget it'.

The moral to these stories is " YOU SHALL NOT STEAL" and you won't have to have something on your conscience for 69 or 46 years.

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