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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A word to my Church family

I have debated many times regarding how much I should write, but I wanted to once again thank EVERYONE for their prayers and words of encouragement. We had a court date on Monday, and as I sat in the courtroom, there were so many things that raced through my mind, and hopefully one day I can share them with you. You see, there are many things that I am not able to share until everything is over.

It was difficult sitting in a crowded courtroom waiting for our moment to stand before the judge. Since there are four people involved in this case, we couldn't start until each lawyer was present. We waited and watched for several hours as our judge handled case after case of those who were also present with their own set of problems. As I watched, I learned so much about the judge himself. He was a fair, courteous, kind, and most of all, helpful man.

It's strange, as I always thought of a judge as someone who was TOUGH and MEAN, but our judge was just the opposite. Yes, he was fair, but as I watched everyone who went before him, HIS ONLY DESIRE was to help each person under the letter of the law. Whatever his decision, it was always in the best interest of the person he was judging. It wasn't about him lording over people, it was about him using his authority to actually help the accused.

Finally, it came time for the four young men to stand before this judge. Never in a second did I think this judge would be anything BUT fair to those who stood before him. It was such a reassuring fact.

When it came time to make a decision, the judge basically delayed the case for 30 more days to allow all the young men to get a probation report, which is basically a report that allows the court to see the background of all the men. This is actually a good thing because I believe the background of all these young men will help the judge deliver a fair verdict.

Now, the news media continues to highlight the fact that one of these boys is the "Coach's son" and the other is the "Pastor's son," and what they fail to report are many of the facts. For that reason, I want to share just a few of the facts that the newspaper/TV will never report.

First of all, FULL restitution was made. You say, "What does that mean?" That means that BEFORE the newspaper EVER reported this story, FULL restitution had been made. Everything was returned, and a check was written to make them FLUSH. I wish the paper would have revealed this fact just ONCE.

Secondly, each of the young men are sorry for what they did. I am NOT allowed to really talk about the facts of the case, but I assure you that if they had it all to do again, they would NEVER make this mistake again. I know some of you may doubt that, but THAT is the truth. I know each of the people involved, and they are good kids who made a bad mistake. They have learned lessons of a life time.

They will have to let the courts make their ruling. We know it will be right and fair. The young men will all learn from these wrongdoings and become better people as they grow and mature. It is my prayer that YOU will continue to pray for them, that they would learn what God wants them to learn. I want to thank each of you for standing with me during this difficult time.


Aiden's Mommy said...

I'm so glad that the experience today was positive and productive. We all make mistakes and no one I know would judge you, your son, or his friends for whatever went on. The media is never fair nor does it shed light on the whole story, that's just the way it is! Still praying for you and your son that everything will be resolved in 30 days! :)

Lloyd said...

Pastor Dudley:

Thank you for sharing your heart and we have been and will continue to keep all of you in our prayers.

I enjoyed your sermon this past weekend and as usual you spoke to my heart. I thank God for His mercy to me and the discipline and pruning He has performed. Be strong and courageous.

Lesley, Frank, and Jimmy Clack said...

I remembered reading that the court date was going to be January 26, and I prayed for each & every one of you that were involved that day, throughout most of the day. I praise God that he blessed you with a good and decent judge (not all are that fair!), and pray that the Lord will continue to be glorified through all of this. There are still some bumps ahead, I'm sure, and we will still be praying for all of you then, too--and, as you well know, the Lord will carry all of you through this. May He bless you mightily today and always...

Cathie said...

Pastor Dudley,

We continue to pray for all involved. We have no doubt that this experience will be used for the good of many, even though it's painful at the moment.

Genny said...

Jaelyn's mom said..
I will continue to pray for those boys because we all do make mistakes in our time and I am sure those boys have learned a valuable lesson.
I am a single mom with a three year old daughter and I sure that she will make her own share of mistakes throughout her lifetime but all I can do is to continue to pray for the Lord for guidance and strength for all of us.