I get asked all the time why I do what I do…
Perhaps there are a few reasons…
My parents always cared for people in need…
In college I had a "younger brother" Leon Hyatt from the town…
He lived in poverty unlike I had ever seen. But we skateboarded every Saturday and Sunday… I took him to Bancroft Bible Camp in the summer and my roommates and I clothed him in new and used clothing.
For the first time in my life i realized how well off I was…
and how the things I took for granted were unreachable for most poor people…
College - Cars - Owning your own home - Food in the house - Air conditioning - Heat in the winter - and the money to pay for those high utility bills - Eating out - Going on vacation - A family Beach House - Computers - iPhones(6+ is awesome) - and on and on…
There is one man who would stand out as the one who pushed me to get my hands dirty.
He was Carl Carlson Founder of Men-of-Valorb Prison Ministry.
I remember the day in 2003 that he called me and said…
"JR! it's time that you start working with me in Men-of-Valor!"
My first thought was…
I don't have time - I'm so busy - I don't have time…
Did I already say that?
Yes - I DIDN'T HAVE TIME - MY PLATE WAS FULL - I BARELY HAD TIME FOR MY OWN FAMILY - I HAD A NEW BUSINESS - I WAS SWAMPED!!!
I meekly answered "OK".
The years that followed, Carl mentored me, was a spiritual advisor to me, he helped me when I down… He called me often to encourage me and gave me the opportunity to grow mentoring inmates and men released from prison.
Yes it is Carl Carlson who encouraged me to get active in helping people.
In his last test to me he wrote…
"Key verse for today. John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have eternal life!
Take serious time with God today.
I love you JR Davis!
Carl Love you too my friend…
You are a blessing to me my friend.
Never doubt the hand of God that rests on your shoulder.
He wrote back:
As I do you! :)
Pray for me, my good friend.
Praying for you this Sat morning
just read 1 Kings Chapter 8 verse 56.
God keeps his word.
I have to constantly remind myself of that truth.
His last words to me:
We all do. :)
God is faithful.
Look at your sons.
And that was the last time I talked to this great man.
Carl went to sleep monday night and passed from this earth into God's world.
The legacy he left is monumental.
Men of valor was three years old when I first met him.
Today the ministry continues to mentor inmates in three of Nashville's prisons. They have a huge family ministry for the wives and children of inmates. The MOV after care program houses men in apartments all over town and the Every Day Dependable Service lawn care employs men who otherwise can't get a job. MOV has mentors for Men in and out of prison and mentors for the wives and children.
Carl Carlson left his mark on this earth and it started by listening to the voice of God and doing instead of simply dreaming and talking about it.
He will be missed… and already is.
The moment I got the call of his passing - I thought…
It's time for me to grown up!
I realized that there is more we all can do…
More help for the needy -
More compassion -
More action and less trying to figure out if we are enabling…
If you see a person in need -
That is what Carl Carlson did.
and that is what we all need to do.
Look for the book soon to come out on the life of this great man.
and Blessings to you all.
Activists for homeless - inmates and the poor of this world.