Monday, October 31, 2011


In 1975, I received a Bad Conduct Discharge from the U. S. Marines because of some crimes that I had committed. As a result, I was not eligible to receive any government benefits. In 1991, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, walked away from my criminal lifestyle, and moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Although I was trying to do what was right, my discharge was hurting me. I couldn’t apply for certain jobs. I couldn’t afford to go back to school. I didn’t have health insurance and I didn’t meet the qualifications for buying a house. All because I didn’t have any benefits.

After I wrote my first book, The Hoodlum Preacher, some Hollywood producers talked to me about making it into a movie. But, to avoid future embarrassment, they wanted me to verify the things that I had written. So I got copies of my criminal records from Illinois and Missouri. I was even able to get a copy of one of my mug shots. But when I received a copy of my military records, I got the shock of my life. Although it listed my many court-martials and convictions, it listed my discharge as, “Honorable Conditions.”

I found out that the Appellate Court had overturned my major convictions and upgraded my discharge in 1979. I never received the letter that they sent informing me of the outcome. Therefore, for more than thirty years, I thought I had a Bad Conduct Discharge. More importantly, for more than thirty years, I had benefits that I was not aware of.

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He became our lawyer in the court of appeals. And because of what He accomplished on Calvary, the sins that we committed and were convicted of were overturned. But some of us are still beating ourselves up because of things that we did in the past. Some of us are not aware of the benefits that we have been given. We don’t have to wait until we die to have joy. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Serving God has benefits.

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


When I was a child, we had a family dog named Rex. Although Rex was kind of temperamental, I loved playing with him. There were two things that Rex did not allow anyone to do, no matter who they were. First of all, he didn’t let anyone stick his or her hand in his doghouse while he was in there. The other thing was, he didn’t want anyone to touch his food while he was eating. Everyone in our family knew this, and my parents constantly warned my little brother, Ralph, and me not to go near Rex’s house or his food.

One day, Ralph and I were playing with a stick on our back porch and we accidentally dropped it. It fell off of the porch and landed in the middle of some food that Rex was eating. Ralph thought he could grab the stick before Rex could grab his hand. Bad move. Rex had Ralph’s hand before he even got close to the stick.

Ralph ran away crying, so I tried to comfort him. I told him that he went at it the wrong way. I told him to stand back and watch me get the stick. I knew better than to put my hand near Rex’s food, so I decided to kick the stick away and then pick it up. Another bad move. Rex had my foot before it got close to the stick. Both of us went in the house, crying, while Rex finished his meal.

We sometimes do things that we know we shouldn’t. Maybe we think we can get away with it or it might be to impress someone. If we do what God told us to and stay away from the things we should avoid, it could spare us a lot of pain in the end.

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Cave

Because of his age, a lion was unable to provide food for himself like he had done in the pass. Therefore, he decided to resort to trickery. He stayed in his cave, day after day, pretending to be sick. One by one, other animals went to his cave to express their sorrow. When they did, the lion quickly devoured them.

One day, a fox went to the lion’s cave, but refused to go inside. Standing at a respectful distance, the fox asked the lion how he was doing. “I’m feeling a little weak today, “replied the lion. “But why are you standing out there? Come on in and let’s talk for a while,” he said. “No, thank you,” said the fox. “I see a lot of foot prints going into your cave. But I don’t see any coming out”

A lot of people have done things that ruined their lives, damaged their health or destroyed their careers. They saw what drugs, alcohol, gang activity and reckless living did to others, but they still tried it. In other words, they saw the footprints that led to the cave of misery and pain, but they walked in anyway. They thought they could handle it. But before they knew it, they were trapped.

Everyone has been trapped in one cave or another. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). It is like quicksand. The more you struggle, the deeper you sink. There is only one way out. His name is Jesus.

Rev. Burton Barr's Trilogy on KINDLE Now!!!