>Memories…the old days of school assembly travel…

>Just got a facebook message from an old friend (Randy Shepherd)…he and I were on what was then known as Kansas City Youth For Christ staff a million years ago (or so it seems)…here is Randy’s note:

“Hey Jack, I found an old newsletter of mine and guess what you and I were doing May 20-23, 1980?   We flew to Lima, Ohio where I booked you in 13 meetings in 3 days!  12 of those were in public schools where I estimated that you addressed over 4,000 teenagers with your personal testimony and a brief declaration of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  Incredible!  Remember those days?”

The reality is I don’t really remember that trip, from 1978 to about 1986 that’s pretty much all I did…school assemblies around the country (mostly the midwest). Sad that “Reverend Hager” couldn’t get into public schools, but ex-con Hager could!

Message was (and is, I’m still open to doing school programs) stressing personal responsibility. I did not go to prison because I was white, or because my parents were divorced, or because I watched bad tv, or because I was poorly potty-trained…I went to the joint because I made bad decisions.

Which is why, for my money, the worst thing about the “system” is that well-meaning people give inmates excuses for their behavior. The system told me, after the in-processing period, that I committed crime because of my “bad-attitude toward the country because of my service in Vietnam.” Could they not look in my file and see I had juvenile convictions long before Nam?

Nope..the “system” starts from the premise that man is “good,” so if man goes “bad” they have to find a reason and “fix” it.

Sadly, over the years the famine of personal responsibility has infiltrated the church…

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

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