For many of us, the very thought of only seeing the sun for an hour a day for 30 years has never crossed our minds – in fact, it would horrify most of us if this actually happened to us.
It had never crossed Anthony Ray Hinton’s mind either, who as a young 29-year-old man had only known living life as a sheltered and marginalized black man, having grown up in the sunbelt of a little small Alabama town outside of Montgomery.
Hinton served 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. He only saw the sun for an hour a day and never knew or even at times believed that he would see the sun as a free man again.
The best-selling author shared in his book that when his mom came to visit him, she would ask him if his prison cell had windows so that he could see the sun rise and fall. To comfort her, Hinton would tell his mom that it did, while in reality, it did not.
In an interview with Christian Headlines, Hinton details his life on death row and what he learned about God and mankind during his 30-year prison sentence.
He came to realize that although he didn’t deserve to be on death row, he knew that God had called him there to minister to others.
Hinton came to believe that even though he was sentenced to death row for a crime that he didn’t commit, he still had freedom in God behind bars and with his life hanging in the balance. Hinton believes that the 30 years that he served for murder wasn’t wasted. The now free man said his time behind bars made him a better man and noted that he now knows that God called him to be in that prison to share the gospel.
Hear Hinton’s whole story by watching the full two-part interview here: Part 1, Part 2.
Photo courtesy: Screenshot/Settle Video Productions
Originally posted on Write Along with Me: I had a health scare last week that slapped me, once again, into awareness that I’m alone. I no longer have a husband; I no longer am married. After 56 years, I no longer have someone at home who’s there for me the minute something goes wrong. There…
Elephants. Pad Thai. Ornate temples. Exotic spa resorts. These are just a few things that come to mind when one thinks of Thailand. Although most may seem happy in the nation known as “Land of the Smiles,” underneath their rich fabrics and deep traditions, there’s more than what meets the eye.
On Sunday, the final night of the two-day Amazing Love Festival in Bangkok, Franklin Graham shared how every human has a soul.
The 23,000-plus souls in the one-level room fixated their attention on Franklin as he explained no one can have peace with God until their sins have been forgiven.
“There are many of you here tonight who are in danger of losing your soul,” Franklin said, aware that 95 percent of the country does not claim Jesus as Lord.
Speaking from Luke 19, he shared about Jesus’ invitation to all people, including Zacchaeus, a corrupt public official who overcame obstacles to see Christ.
“Jesus is the only one in history to take all our sins. No [other] person or religion has ever done that,” Franklin said. “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.”
Surrounded by a culture that harnesses respect for authority and thinks of Buddhism as a way of life, many in the audience took Franklin’s words to heart: “Jesus Christ came to take all the spirits. He has the power of all the darkness.”
Overhead, giant screens gave everyone in the seemingly endless line of rows the opportunity to have a closeup view of what God was doing. They didn’t have to climb a tree like Zacchaeus did to see Jesus pass by; instead, they could witness the presence of His Holy Spirit right there.
This Holy Spirit is able to overcome any other spirit in the world. The Bible says God alone has the ability to rescue people from their wrongdoings—something other religions don’t offer.
“Come quickly to Jesus tonight,” Franklin said as the floor flooded with masses of people responding to the Gospel. “Be set free.”
And thousands were freed indeed, enlightened not by their own self-awakening, but by the saving grace of Christ.
Moving with anticipation, those responding to the Gospel message gathered in front of the stage to meet with prayer volunteers, who also offered them materials to help them grow in their faith.
Circled up, two middle-aged women and a prayer volunteer stood near the center of the crowd.
Rut came to the Festival after her neighbor Manewa invited her. She really just wanted to hear the music and expected to receive a blessing from Franklin’s sermon, too.
But with a soft smile on her face, she gained more than she ever hoped.
Leaving her family ties to Buddhism, she decided to follow Christ, becoming the first Christian in her family. She was drawn to come forward after hearing that when people are in trouble, God can help.
Rut decided to rely on Him for protection and guidance instead of looking to herself or spirits. Through her newfound relationship with Jesus, she’s fully protected by a greater Spirit living inside her than any she’ll face on this earth—the Spirit of God—and promised eternal life in heaven.
Herod the Great achieved power in Judea with Roman backing; he brutally suppressed all opposition. Herod was a friend of Marc Antony but, unfortunately, an enemy of Antony’s mistress Cleopatra. When Octavian (Augustus) Caesar defeated Antony and Cleopatra, Herod submitted to him. Noting that he had been a loyal friend to Antony until the end, Herod promised that he would now be no less loyal to Caesar, and Caesar accepted this promise. Herod named cities for Caesar and built temples in his honor.
Ethnically Herod was an Idumean (an Edomite); his ancestors had been forcibly converted to Judaism, and he built for Jerusalem’s God the ancient world’s largest and most magnificent temple. Politically astute, however, Herod also built temples honoring the divine emperor Augustus and made lavish contributions to Gentile cities in or near his territory. Among his other reported politically savvy acts was the execution of members of the old Sanhedrin who opposed him; he replaced those council members instead with his own political supporters. He did not usually tolerate dissent. When some young disciples of religious teachers took down the golden eagle that Herod had erected on the temple, he had them executed.
Most of our sources about Herod focus on his acts in Jerusalem, but the character of Herod that they reveal fits what Matthew says about him. So protective was Herod of his power and so jealous of potential rivals that his more popular brother-in-law, a very young high priest, had a drowning “accident”—in a pool that archaeology shows was very shallow. When his favorite wife Mariamne, a Maccabean princess, was falsely accused of adultery he had her strangled, though he later named a tower in his palace in her honor. He executed two of his sons who were falsely accused of plotting against him. Five days before he died he executed another son (the one who had falsely framed the other two). So much did Herod crave honor it is said that when he was on his deathbed he ordered many nobles arrested. He thought that if many people were executed on the day that he died, he could ensure that there would be mourning rather than celebration at the time of his death. When he died, however, the nobles were released and the people celebrated.