Friday, 01 April 2005 13:47

Pastor's Corner Pastor Larry April 2005

Written by  Lorsen Koo
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Pastor's Corner

April, 2005


This is an amazing story that seems only possible as a movie script: By now most of you should have heard about the twenty-six hours of terror that haunted Atlanta beginning shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday (3/11). A prisoner named Brian Nichols was about to be retried on charges including false imprisonment and rape in a case involving his former girlfriend. While his handcuffs were removed, he overpowered a lone female deputy sheriff in the holding cell. He took her gun from a lockbox where it was stored, changed into civilian clothes, and walked away. Instead of escaping, he headed towards the private chambers of Judge Barnes who was the presiding judge of his first trial. He shot and killed the judge, and along with the court reporter.


He then began a rampage of carjacking and killing two more innocent people. Somehow he eluded the police and seemed to have vanished into thin air despite a massive manhunt. To make a long story short, his life came to a sudden change when he met 26-year-old Ashley Smith about 2:30 am Saturday morning. He forced his way into her apartment at gunpoint when she returned from a store. He bound her hands and feet with masking tape, a curtain and electrical cord. During the next six hours, there was an amazing turn-of-an-events inside the apartment. Though afraid to be harmed or killed, she was able to talk to Nichols throughout that time. She talked to him about her family—her husband died in her arms four years ago after he was stabbed, and they have a five-year-old girl to whom she promised to visit the next morning. She talked to him about God and about the purpose of life. She was even able to read part of the book The Purpose Driven Life to him. She asked him whether he knew his purpose on earth. She asked him whether he believed in miracles. She said, “You know, your miracle could be that you need to be caught for this. You need to go to prison and you need to share the Word of God with them, with all the prisoners there.” She asked him to give himself up peacefully so that no more lives would be lost. He said that he would in a few days. She asked him to allow her to visit her daughter in the morning as planned. In those few hours, the response was from “no” to “maybe” to “okay.” According to Smith, he probably knew she was going to call the police because he allowed her to keep her cell-phone. To the surprise of those who didn’t know what had happened inside the apartment, the ordeal ended with a peaceful surrender of an alleged rapist and murderer.


I’m amazed with the calmness, strength and clear-mindedness of Ashley Smith throughout this ordeal. I can’t answer questions like “Why didn’t God intervene before Nichols went on a killing spree?” I do, however, think that even though God didn’t plan to have these killings happen, He intervened to make something positive out of a totally negative situation. Regardless of how pious Smith is, God helped her call to mind the purpose of everything that happens, good or bad. It is my prayer, then, for all of you to call to mind God’s purpose in your lives, in good times and in bad. If we allow God’s words to permeate our thinking, miracles happen. They don’t only appear on movie screens, they happen in our daily living.


Pastor Larry
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