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There was this Chapel Hill* policeman and his
deputy riding along
the small town. They spot
a car with out of town plates and decided
pull it over. The sheriff says "Where you
from boy?"

The man says Chicago. Sheriff says,
"Don't lie to me son, I saw
Illinois tags."

*Home of UNC...

Do Justice and Love Mercy
Living out Our Biblical Worldview

June 12, 2006

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley.

If I were to ask you to imagine what a typical U.S. marshal looks like, you might think of John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Or maybe Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive. Tough guys, gun in hand, pursuing justice with steely-eyed coolness.

This March, the U.S. Marshals Service appointed a new director—John Clark, a twenty-three-year veteran of the department. Like the other men and women of U.S. Marshals Service, Clark is an expert at protecting the public and chasing down the "bad guys." But a recent Chicago Tribune article reveals that there's something different about Clark—something you won't see in the movies.

You see, even though Clark spends most of his time bringing criminals to justice, he spends his Christmas holidays delivering presents to the children of these same "bad guys" through Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree® program.

Clark told the Chicago Tribune: "We see the individual going to jail and some heinous crime has been committed and we think that guy or gal deserves it. What we forget is at home there is a mom or son or daughter or youngsters that are the innocent victims of this person's criminal mindset."

So what could motivate a man like Clark—or anyone—to bring offenders to justice but, at the same time, to reach out in mercy? It's a biblical worldview: a worldview that takes seriously God's command through the prophet Micah to do justice and to love mercy—at the same time! And a worldview that sees each human being—criminals, their families, victims of crime—as created in the image of God.

Sadly, the American criminal justice system and our society as a whole see offenders solely as criminals who should be locked up and forgotten.

Don't get me wrong. As the former attorney general of Virginia, I know there are plenty of violent criminals whom we must incarcerate to protect the public. But I shake my head in sad wonder today that of our two million souls in prisons in America, nearly half are there for nonviolent offenses. Even more sobering is the fact that each year, some 600,000 men and women leave prison ill prepared to reenter society as productive citizens. In fact, nearly two-thirds of them will be rearrested within three years. That's not promoting public safety.

So, what's the Church to do? Simply this: Live out God's command to do justice and love mercy. How? Work to reform the criminal justice system in a way that holds offenders accountable by forcing them to pay restitution to their victims and by performing needed community service. We need to work to end the "one-size-fits-all" sentencing practices. We need to work to give crime victims a voice in the process.

At the same time, we need to bring the transforming power of the Gospel to prisoners. We need to meet prisoners at the gate when they leave prison, ready to draw them into our churches, to mentor them as they make the transition from confinement to freedom. And, like the head of the U.S. Marshal Service, we need to minister to the families of prisoners to ensure that they remain intact and that their children are not swept up into the generational cycle of crime.

Visit our websites at and We can show you how you and your church, like the head of the U.S. Marshall Service, can do justice and love mercy.

Get links to further information on today's topic

For printer-friendly version, simply visit and click on Today's Commentary. The printer-friendly link is on the left-hand column.
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Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone
who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He
rewards those who earnestly seek Him. --Hebrews 11


Depressed, Troubled, Worried???
Big Problems???
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Want to get REAL help???
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"How to Be Sure You're
a REAL Christian"
1-888-NEED-HIM (24/7 - free call)


If you look closely at the web of a giant golden orb spider
(Nephila edulis), you might see much smaller spiders on it. These
round, silvery nest parasites are droplet spiders (Argyrodes
antipodianus) waiting for small prey that their giant host ignores.

Small prey insects are not the droplet spiders' only food. These
crafty little thieves sometimes band together and carefully steal
large prey that the host spider has caught and wrapped, but not yet eaten.

One by one, they cut the lines between the catch and the main web,
carefully repairing damage by bridging the gap with their own webs.
Then they carry the prey off to a corner, where they can safely
consume it. What an Amazing Creator!!!

Pictures of Nephila and droplet spiders:

A spider enthusiast's observations of spiders, including Nephila:

{Double click on the web address above for additional information:}


One of the reasons for the success of the internet is its open,
peer-to-peer nature. All computers on the internet are equal,
and in the past it hasn't mattered whether your computer is
a 386 in Nguru on the end of a satellite phone or a big monster
in a New York rack. If that ever changes, I think we will lose
part of the essential, vital character of the internet. Doug Winter


An elderly patient needed a heart transplant and discussed his options
with his doctor. The doctor said, "We have 3 possible donors; the 1st is
a young, healthy athlete who died in an automobile accident, the 2nd is
a middle-aged businessman who never drank or smoked and who died
flying his private jet. The 3rd is an attorney who died after practicing law
for 30 years. Which do you want?" "I'll take the lawyer's heart",
said the patient. After a successful transplant, the doctor asked
the patient why he had chosen the donor he did. "It was easy,"
said the patient, "I wanted a heart that hadn't been used."


Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
--1 Thessalonians 5


A UNC student's English prof paid a visit to his house one day. When the
student opened the door, she asked "Are your father and mother in, Mr. Morton?"

"They was in, but they is out." he answered.

The UNC English prof. gasped, "Why, Mr. Morton, it is 'They were in,
they are out.' Where's your grammar?"

"She's upstairs taking her nap."


I believe an Englishman named Frances Thompson penned one of the most
profound poems ever written. Thompson was a genius, but he became a drug
addict and was on the run for many years of his life. Towards the later
part of his life he wrote that magnificent masterpiece he called "The
Hound of Heaven." The poem describes God as a persistent hound who, with
loving feet, follows and follows until he catches up with this person who
is trying to run and flee from him. He writes,

"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled him down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after."

As the poem comes to an end, Thompson depicts the persistent cry of God to
the one who flees his presence, the one He pursues to the end:

"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."

With the wisdom of one who had found himself chased after, Thompson notes
the heart of God and the contradiction of man. We run away, fearful that
if we have God, we might have nothing else beside. And God says, "You
were weak and blind and miserable when you were driving me away, because
you were actually driving love away from you. It is Me you seek."

The life and ministry of the prophet Hosea is a fascinating, mystifying
look at the love of God and man's readiness to push that love away. His
message will send a deep ray of hope into our hearts if we listen
carefully. Hosea was a prophet called by God to marry Gomer, a harlot who
continually left the loving home Hosea had provided to return to her life
of prostitution. We can almost hear the whispers among the people to whom
Hosea faithfully preached, until someone is brave enough to ask. "Hosea,
can you tell us how it is you continue to love this woman, a woman who has
so betrayed you and repeatedly abandoned her commitment to you? How can a
holy man of God like you be joined to a woman such as this?" And Hosea
says, "I will be delighted to answer your question if you will first
answer a question of mine. How can a holy God like this love such a
harlotrous people like us?"

The first thing about the nature of God's relationship with us is that He
gives to us a love that we do not deserve. We do not merit it. But not
only is the love of God unmerited; it is also a love that grows and is
sustained by relationship. The longer we walk with Him, the more we
understand how glorious this love is.

Through the prophet Hosea, God spoke graphically to a nation running from
His presence. As individuals, He chases after us, woos us into his arms,
pays the price to buy us back, cleans us up, and brings us home. Through
His Son, God has reached out His arms to pay the price for our sin, to
offer us new life, to give us fresh hope and meaning. Let us come to the
cross as we are: sinners needing mercy, children desiring love, souls sick
of running through our nights and days and ready to follow the One who
ordains them. Ravi Zacharias
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Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best of minds.
Men and women live on the brink of mysteries and harmonies
into which they never enter and with their hand on the doorlatch
they die outside. GK Chesterton


Puzzle: Books of the Bible
Can you find the names of 25 books of the Bible in this paragraph?
This is a most remarkable puzzle. Someone found it in the seat
pocket on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping himself
occupied for hours. One man from Illinois worked on this while
fishing from his john boat. Roy Clark studied it while playing his
banjo. Elaine Victs mentioned it in her column once. One woman
judges the job to be so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help
calm her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to
spot...that's a fact. Some people will soon find themselves in a
jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily
capitalized. The truth is, from answers we get, we are forced to
admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at
the worst. Something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty
we have. Those able to find all of them will hear great
lamentations from those who have t! o be shown. One revelation may
help, books like! Timothy and Samuel may occur without their
numbers. And punctuation or spaces in the middle are normal. A
chipper attitude will help you compete. Remember, there are 25
books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph.

Happy Hunting

(Send your answer to Howdy so that we can place your
name & school/company/State/Country in the next issue)


Who is Jesus?


It's amazing, but you will understand the above word by the end of the
conversation. Read aloud for best results.

Be warned, you're going to find yourself talking funny for a while
after reading this #1 rated e-mail joke of 1999.

The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and
room-service at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in
the Far East Economic Review.....

Room Service (RS): "Morny. Ruin sorbees"
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service"
RS: "Rye..Ruin sorbees..morny! Djewish to odor sunteen??"
G : "Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs"
RS: "Ow July den?"
G : "What??"
RS: "Ow July den?...pry, boy, pooch?"
G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."RS:
"Ow July dee bayhcem...crease?"
G : "Crisp will be fine."
RS : "Hokay. An San tos?"
G : "What?"
RS:"San tos. July San tos?"
G : "I don't think so"
RS: "No? Judo one toes??"
G : "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo one
toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...why djew Don Juan toes? Ow bow singlish mopping we
G : "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes,
an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bother?"
G : "No..just put the bother on the side."
RS: "Wad?"
G : "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
RS: "Copy?"
G : "Sorry?"
RS: "Copy...tea...mill?"
G : "Yes. Coffee please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Asss ruin torino fee, strangle ache, crease baychem,
tossy singlish mopping we bother honey sigh,and copy....rye??"
G : "Whatever you say"
RS: "Tendjewberrymud"
G : "You're welcome"
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God Bless The USA


State-of-the-art - Any computer you can't afford.

Obsolete - Any computer you own.

Microsecond - The time it takes for your state-of-the-art
computer to become obsolete.
  .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
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* * * Great Archives Here - - - - "Music That Howdy Enjoys" Below * * *

February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   December 2007  

How Can I Know God???

Tales of Narnia

Answering Islam

The Da Vinci Code

A Short Look At Six World Religions

Bible - God's Word in different languages...

My Heart Christ's Home

Big John's America

Not Garbage

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See The Word

Bible Study Info

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For The University Students & Faculty

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Great For Kids

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Who Is Jesus???

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Christian Web Info

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Dr. Ben Haden

Bible Search Tools

Kids For Truth

Lincoln - A Christian

Mission To America

One Place For Learning

President Lincoln

Purgatory, Heaven Or Hell?

Intellectual Takeout

Evangelical Viewpoint

Dr. John Vernon McGee

Insight For Living

Turning Point

Outstanding Bible Teacher

Dr. Tony Evans

Listen To The Bible

Is Jesus God?


Great Bible Teaching

America - Why I Love Her

How To Become A Christian

*Watch The Jesus Movie*


Your very own library

Muhammad or Jesus???

Why The U.S.A. Is At War - 1

Why The U.S.A. Is At War - 2

Christian Women

Politics & Religion

Is Jesus God?

Statement Of What Howdy Believes!!!

Bible Crosswords

Los Angeles

Bible Search Tool

Great Bible Teacher

All About Cults

Religion Comparison

The Relationship of the Church to Israel

Just For Guys

Church History

***Watch The Jesus Movie***
{Many Languages}

Howdy's Blog #2

Howdy's Blog #3

Music That Howdy Enjoys

Military Music

Blueberry Hill

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring


A Taste Of Honey - clip

(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco - clip

Take The 'A' Train - clip

Hello, Dolly! - clip

Peggy Sue - clip

Theme From Peter Gunn - clip

Song from Moulin Rouge


Ebb Tide

Tara's Theme from Gone with the Wind

Around the World in 80 Days

Breakfast at Tiffany's


The Way We Were

You Do Something to Me



A Foggy Day



Arrivederci Roma

Theme from Moulin Rouge II

Stardust - Big Band



Rhapsody in Blue

Sleepy Lagoon

My Foolish Heart

Lisbon Antigua

La Mer

April in Portugal

Because of You

Poor People of Paris

Unchained Melody

Stranger on the Shore


Maple Leaf Rag

Voices of Spring

Radetzky March

Water Music (Excerpt) George Frideric Handel

Finale - William Tell Overture

Overture - My Fair Lady

The Rain in Spain

The Lonely Bull - Herb Alpert

Tijuana Taxi - Herb Alpert

The Happy Whistler

So Rare

Mona Lisa

Ghost Riders in the Sky

Walk, Don't Run

Wonderland by Night

Canadian Sunset

Blue Tango

The Happy Wanderer

Down Yonder

Midnight in Moscow

Crazy Medley


That's for Me

Quiet Village

Harbor Lights

Dueling Banjoes II

Autumn Leaves

My Foolish Heart

Don't Know Much





Close To You

Rainy Days & Mondays

Sing A Song

Yesterday Once More

We've Only Just Begun

Goodbye To Love

Only You

As Time Goes By

As Time Goes By II

As Time Goes By - Original

After Loving

San Francisco

Stranger In Paradise

Mrs. Howdy

Rags To Riches

The Good Life

Hello Dolly

All Of Me

Thank Heaven For Little Girls

Beyond The Sea

Everybody Loves

Return To Me

That's Amore

Autumn Leaves

Love Me With All Your Heart

If I Give My Heart To You

Autumn Leaves II

Autumn Leaves III

See The USA

My Prayer

You Always Hurt

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Love Me Tender

Its Now Or Never

Old Shep

Dont Be Cruel

When I Fall In Love

When I Fall In Love II

When I Fall In Love III

A Fool Such As I

You'll Never Know


I'm Yours

Wish You Were Here

Lady Of Spain


It's Magic

Secret Love

This Magic Moment

My Prayer

Twilight Time

Great Pretender

Harbor Lights

Little Darlin'


No Other Love

Magic Moments

Till The End Of Time

Dont Let The Stars

Overture - Barber of Seville

Back In The Saddle

You Always Hurt

When I Fall

When A Man

True Love



In The Mood

A Taste Of Honey

The Lonely Bull

Lollipops And Roses

This Guys In Love With You

What Now My Love

Three Coins In The Fountain

You've Gotta Have Heart


Stranger In Paradise II

Love Is...


Georgia On My Mind

Sentimental Over You

Thanks For The Memories

Too Young


Never On Sunday

Yellow Rose Of Texas


My Little Corner

Speak Low

Moments To Remember


Be My Love

Embassy Waltz


A Certain Smile

Chances Are

Not For Me To Say

Stranger On The Shore

I'll Be Seeing You

Cherry Pink


Moonlight Serenade

Last Date

Naughty Lady

Til I Kissed You

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Dixie Land Band

Ghost Riders In The Sky

The Happy Wanderer


Santa Catalina

Band Of Gold

Auld Lang Syne

The Wayward Wind

P.S. I Love You

Harbor Lights

Ebb Tide

Lime Light

Green Door

My Heart Cries

Down Yonder

Silvana Mangano Anna

Does Your Chewing Gum?

Grand Night For Singing

Purple People Eater

Orange Blossom Special

I'll Get By

'Til Then

Katie At UNC

Love Letters

As Time Goes By

Cheek To Cheek

Mission Impossible

The Way You Look Tonight


Glad To Be An American

Battle Hymn Of The Republic

How Great Thou Art

Have Thine Own Way

Beyond The Sunset

Amazing Grace

He's Got The Whole World

Peace In The Valley

How Great Thou Art II

Stars & Stripes Forever

Tennessee Waltz

Beverly Hillbillies Theme

El Paso

Happy Trails

Big John

Sixteen Tons

Which Doctor?

Wonderful! Wonderful!




Daniel Boone

Davy Crockett

Dick VanDyke

Donna Reed

Father Knows Best


Gomer Pile


Have Gun

Hawaii Five-O

Hogans Heroes







Law & Order

Lone Ranger

Magnificent 7


Man From Uncle




Mission I

Mr. Ed

My 3 Sons

Raw Hide

Real McCoys

Rifle Man

Secret Agent

Simon & Simon




Super Man














Victory I


The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Mr. Sandman

Only The Lonely

Beyond The Sea


Magnificent 7

Magnificent 7 - II


I Walk The Line

God loves you so much that He died for you!!!


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Verse of the Day

* * * Four Important Things To KNOW: #1) For ALL (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. #2) For the wages of above (see #1) are DEATH (Hell, eternal separation from God, & damnation) but the Gift (free & at no charge to you) of God (Creator, Jehovah, & Trinity) is Eternal Life (Heaven) through (in union with) Jesus Christ (God, Lord, 2nd Person of The Trinity, Messiah, Prince of Peace & Savior of the World). #3) For God so greatly loved & dearly prized the world (Americans, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Hindus, Buddhist, Asians, Presbyterians, Europeans, Baptist, Brazilians, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc.) that He even gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, that whosoever (anyone, anywhere, anytime - while still living) believes (trust in, relies on, clings to, depends completely on) Him shall have eternal (everlasting) life (heaven). #4) Jesus said: "I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, & THE LIFE. No one (male/female - American, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, Asian, Presbyterian, European, Baptist, Brazilian, Mormons, Methodist, French, etc. ) comes (arrives) to the Father (with GOD in Heaven) EXCEPT BY (through) ME (no other name). *** This wonderful loving GOD gives you the choice - - - (Rev. 3:20) {Please note that church membership, baptism, doing good things, etc. are not requirements for becoming a Christian - however they are great afterwards!!!} *** Jesus said, "Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction (Hell, damnation, eternal punishment), and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life (Heaven, eternal happiness, forever with God), and only a few find it.

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But these are written so that you may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the
Son of God, and that by believing in
Him you will have life. Jn 20:31

Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call on Him while He is near. Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil
man his thoughts. Let him turn to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for He will freely
pardon. "For My thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways
My ways," declares the Lord. "As the
heavens are higher than the earth, so
are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down
from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making
it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed
for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My
mouth: It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire and
achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth
in peace; the mountains and hills will
burst into song before you, and all the
trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the
pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle
will grow. This will be for the Lord's
renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed." Is 55

O Lord, you have searched me and you
know me. You know when I sit and when
I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know
it completely, O Lord. You hem me in -
behind and before; you have laid your
hand upon me. Such knowledge is too
wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where
can I flee from your presence? If I go up
to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide
me and the light become night around
me," even the darkness will not be dark
to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you
created my inmost being; you knit me
together in my mother's womb. I praise
you because I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; your works are wonderful, I know
that full well. My frame was not hidden
from you when I was made in the secret
place. When I was woven together in the
depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before
one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,
O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would
outnumber the grains of sand. When
I awake, I am still with you. Search me,
O God, and know my heart; test me
and know my anxious thoughts. See
if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ps 139

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up,
that I may show My power in you, and that My
Name may be declared in all the earth. Ex 9:16

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
- - Isaac Watts

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