Saturday, September 23, 2017

Through Prison to Prominence

A 1972 Washington hotel break-in required police to attend. A routine call, until they detected illegal phone-taps into the National Democratic Committee’s rooms.

 A complicated trail ensued, leading investigators and journalists all the way to the White House, ensnaring forty three officials en route and ultimately forcing Richard Nixon to resign.

One of those officials was Charles Colson, Nixon’s “hatchet man,” who had once bragged that he “would walk over his grandmother for Richard Nixon.”

Sentenced to prison, Colson was dismayed to see other co-conspirators pardoned, but he found that God’s acceptance offered far more than a comfort for self-pity. No longer licensed to practise the law, he directed his skills and disappointment into a positive, credible direction.

His book, Born Again, became a worldwide best-seller. Instead of pleading against critics of his “knee-jerk escape into faith,” this book revealed his passion for justice, and an embryonic vision that is still being fulfilled.”

Starting with a trial furlough program for prisoners at a Christian retreat house, Colson formed Prison Fellowship in 1976. This Fellowship has now spread into more than one hundred and fifty countries, offering personal support for prisoners and their families. Its reform agenda even includes running prisons which have the lowest “return-visit” figures in the world!

Though Colson recently died, his legacy continues, for his faith was not a private change in attitude. It motivated him to form a world-wide movement that’s bringing social change on behalf of those who have been written off for their wrongs.

Noel Mitaxa

On behalf of a church near you,

Inviting you to explore God’s love

 

Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996.

Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs.

He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren.

His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

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