Matt Brooks is an inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections. I was introduced to Matt by my good friend, Josh Monk. Matt had an experience with Jesus Christ while in a local county jail. He and I have been corresponding ever since that time.
While in prison, Matt reads, writes, exercises, and tries to be a positive influence to others. This section of Matt’s writings concern the famed outlaw, Jesse James.
Why is a ruthless criminal famous?
Bang Bang! rang the sound from Jesse’s revolver, “Yah! Yah!,” yelled his brother Frank as they barreled around the corner to ride out on the plains.
“We’d better skedaddle out of here if we wanna get a jump on that Pinkerton bunch,” Jesse James said urgently. “You know they’ll have every law dog in this neck of Clay County on our heals, once they find we plugged one of their own!”
Every time I hear mention of the name Jesse James I’m reminded of the unbalanced justice system in place today. Portrayed as a dapper, chivalrous gentlemen during his robberies, was only to sell the nickel and dime novels he so proudly helped usher into the 20th century. They say money is the root of all evil, sitting right there central to, was Jesse James. Raised by a Baptist minister, I guess the goodness of the truth from the gospel would pass him by. He was set up on high as some sort of myth, or legend, when in all actuality he was savage, cold blooded, killer.
As I sit reflecting on my life, I visualize myself sitting at my house in Kearney Missouri watching Jesse’s parade and procession passing me by. Why? after exhuming his grave in the 21st century to relocate him to a new resting place he was honored as a folk hero. Not to mention the statue sitting so boldly in Clay County’s square in the town of Liberty. Isn’t that the word to signify freedom? Well a bell is sounding right now, however it isn’t ringing freedom for me. Didn’t he kill countless innocent people while robbing and pillaging banks, trains, and only God knows what else? Then to get a parade before he’s laid to rest? I’m fairly certain only a fraction of his victims, if any, were honored with a parade before they were laid to rest. As a matter of fact, I can only recall the names of a few.
What is the meaning of this message, the mixed message they are sending to our youth? Not to mention and hopefully not forgetting yours truly! It amazes me we are supposed to be a civilized nation under God, yet we condone and worst off, reward the antics of this killer by labeling him as a hero. He went so far as to kill, steal, and destroy the lives of law enforcement officials, and their families; whom God placed in their positions.
Titus says in the New Testament: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities to be obedient to be ready to do whatever is good-to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate to show true humility toward all men (Titus 3.1). I guess ole Jess must have missed the sermon that his beloved father preached on this one. I’m also fairly certain the authorities and many others around these parts of Missouri and beyond; must not have paid any attention to the late Frank James quotes. “It’s injurious to the youth of the country,” Frank told the Kansas City Star, “What will the effects be on these young men to see train robbers and outlaws glorified?”
Now how is it just that Jesse was honored with a parade and procession while the only honor in my near future is “your honor,” when he sentences me to prison? My crimes are far less severe in comparison to the great Jesse James. It seems to me that we the people are being played a motion picture. However, the motion is a slight of hand and the picture is silent so we can’t hear its message. Hence the silent moving pictures of Jesse James time. Do you think maybe the idea to enslave us was hatched back then? When the reality of abolishing slavery set in, so the man set out to set up a new master plan being the sleight of hand.
Inequities and a form of slavery
Whoever is at the helm won’t stop until this world is their realm and were just here to serve them. It sounds far fetched I know, though if I can imagine it so can they. Who? Someone is behind the scene pulling all the strings although now they don’t even try to hide it. I get the feeling rules don’t apply anymore at the top as the privileged have been given carte Blanche. Now that their plot is in place its to late for us to do anything about it, so they think. We could see it for what it is as we come together in love leaving no man, woman or child left behind. Meaning asking God to come back to the helm-this country is lost if we continue to leave the Lord out of the picture. They say history always repeats itself in this case. If you look closely you’ll see the parallels to the Old Testament. As the Israelites stay in line with their destiny to reach the land flowing with milk and honey promised by God, they’re good. When they sway from the plan and follow their own device, while excluding him from the picture, disaster strikes.
This is what’s happening today to our society as the powers that be set out to rule the world by taking the place of the almighty God. It breaks down like this. The United States was founded by our fore-fathers as one nation under God. Now that everyone is turning their backs on him, he is allowing us our free will by way of for a lack of better word staying, silent. He is still there however he won’t force himself on us, he’ll just let us implode, knowing we will be back-I pray. The negative influence stemming from this spills over into the justice system where God once was but now is silent.
Meaning, his influence is no longer there so who is pulling the strings? The corrupt officials claiming lip service to God, however it’s all a sleight of hand to further the own master plan. That of which is slavery in its finest form to date, being corrections. This I know is the politically correct term used, notice the IONS is silent. Allow me to define politically correct for you. Conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated. Corrections does leave a much more savory taste in our mouth than slavery-correct? In the final summation of my message, I would like to paint a more clear and concise picture of Jesse James exploits as a BUSHWHACKER. Allow me to expound my point in detail. A bushwhacker is a guerrilla sympathetic to the confederate cause during the American Civil War. A guerrilla is a soldier who is not part of a country’s regular army and who fights using small surprise attacks rather than large battles.
VIGILANTES are people who take the law into their own hands, the hands of namely Bloody Bill Anderson’s army of guerrillas that would savagely murder and rob while opposing Honest Abe’s union army. The same army put in place to uphold his decision to abolish slavery. I’m fairly certain Jesse James would have proudly taken the place of John Wilkes Booth when he assassinated the great president on April 14th of 1865. However as fate would have it he only partook in the murder of the commanding officer of the union army after he witnessed 125 of his men being executed during an ambush.
They sure know how to repay a fella for attempting to uphold the law. With this profound revelation I’ve been given, I’m starting to believe there is still hope that I can one day be honored with a parade and statue. Although if their gaging these things off of the crimes one has committed I have a lot of catching up to do. At least that’s what I though as a youth because that’s what they taught us in school. And the bullet hits its mark….Bullseye!!!
Thoughts from Bob
The systems of this world are very complicated and frequently unfair. As Matt has written about Jesse James and his current situation, there are clear areas of unfairness. Jesus did not attempt to correct the Roman Empire of his day. Rather, he brought another kingdom – the kingdom of God. Within the prison system, Matt is attempting to live by the rules of God’s kingdom. You can read about Starr Daily, another offender, who lived abundantly in prison and without because he followed the principles of God’s kingdom.
Prayers for Sunday, June 25, 2017
Dear God, may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth, just as it is done in heaven.