Joshua Kezer to talk about life as a free man Sunday at Centenary United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 10, 2010
By Erin Hevern ~ Southeast Missourian
Centenary United Methodist Church senior pastor Jeff Long wants to have a conversation with Joshua Kezer -- an Illinois man wrongly convicted of murder -- and is going to share the experience with his congregation.
Members of the public are also welcome to Centenary on Sunday for "Liberty for the Captives: A Conversation with Josh Kezer." Long plans to interview Kezer about being exonerated in the 1992 murder of Angela Mischelle Lawless and life as a free man.
"Every experience that we have has something to teach us," Long said. Kezer "is able to take his experience and, yes, see how terrible it was, but also look at it and say 'I would not be the person I am today if this had not happened to me.' He's able to see the good in it and how God's hand was in it."
Kezer first spoke at Centenary, at 300 N. Ellis St. in Cape Girardeau, in April 2009, just two months after his release from prison. Kezer, charged and convicted of murdering Lawless in 1994, spent 16 years in prison before being exonerated by a Cole County judge who said the prosecution kept key evidence from Kezer's defense attorney.
During his first visit to the church, Kezer spoke to the congregation about forgiveness. Long said many who attended worship that day were "very moved" by Kezer's message and his steadfast faith in God.
"It was clear that something had happened to him. He'd had an encounter with God that was powerful," Long said.
Kezer said he's been back to Cape Girardeau a few times since his release from prison, and it's almost always a "welcomed experience."
"I get a chance to show the community down there that witnessed the whole thing happen to me that it's not beating me. I'm living my life; I'm living with a purpose," Kezer said.
So, because he lent Kezer the pulpit during his last visit, Long wanted worship this time to be different. Long wants to hear what's happened since Kezer's been a free man and hopes to hear how his faith plays a part in his life now as a free man.
"It's an opportunity for us to continue our relationship with somebody, frankly, who had a grave injustice committed to him," Long said.
The conversation with Kezer will be at 8:45 a.m. Sunday in the church's sanctuary and at 11 a.m. in the Family Life Center. A question-and-answer session with the congregation will follow the 11 a.m. service, per Kezer's suggestion.
"I invite questions," he said. "I want people to ask questions, and I'll answer any questions regarding Christ, this case. I'll answer any question as long as it's asked respectfully."
300 N. Ellis St., Cape Girardeau, MO
© Copyright 2010 Southeast Missourian. All rights reserved.
This guy is making the MONEY. Once in prision now talking in churches, but church is the best place to make the MONEY. Pass that pan around. Throw a dollar in praise the lord. And let that precher drive that Benz with your money!!! Now kezer is sucking money from the church
-- Posted by hotdog13 on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 10:10 PM
OMG Really? Kezer deserves every penny he can get hotdog13, you moron! This man had injustice done to him and I pray that his life is being lived to the fullest right now. I waited so long for this man to be released. I would love to go, just for the sake of knowing (letting him know) his life is worth something now. Josh, we love you!!
-- Posted by BTW on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 10:32 PM
OH and another thing... this man has a lot to say and we all should listen. The same thing could happen to you tomorrow, hotdog. We should all be worried and cherish every moment of our lives and be relieved for Joshua.
-- Posted by BTW on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 10:35 PM
I actually have to agree with "Hotdog" on this one. You can rest assured, Kezer isn't doing this for free. God's will, God's message and his tale of woe comes with a price to be paid. Typical. I wouldn't be surprised if the Southeast Missourian doesn't pay for his tour as much as they've pimped his every move in their paper. No matter the degree of "injustice", it's getting old.
You can pray for this life, I'll pray that he gets a real job in society. Because his "I was a drug using, gang affiliated, worthless punk then I found God in prison and his powers got me free" story is played out and a dime a dozen.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 6:51 AM
Walk a mile in a man's shoes.... just one second. Hear the clink of the jailhouse doors.... and see if you don't have a diferent perspective, hotdog....
-- Posted by vincebrownkape1550 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 6:51 AM
Excuse me, but isn't public speaking a REAL job? There are many, many people that do it. I say, if he can make his living via public speaking.. go for it. Good luck!!
-- Posted by BTW on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 7:18 AM
I cannot believe people are bashing him. Josh deserves nothing but the best! I wish him luck and will pray for the idiots who have a problem with him earning money to speak. Hotdog,you make me sick. KDrury, the paper plays this out so much because this man spent 16 YEARS of his life behind bars for something he DIDN'T do. Wouldn't you want a little recognition if it happened to you? Thank God Josh became so spiritual! Now we will be able to pray for you two!
-- Posted by SCnative on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 7:47 AM
So what if he gets paid to speak at Churches. "hotdog13" and "KDrury61", you need to go and listen. It looks as though the Devil is in your heart. I agree with "BTW" and "VinceBrownkape1550". Until you have been in his shoes, don't you even judge him! I commend Josh for having faith in God and believing that all things are possible through Him. ...
-- Posted by sad1959 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:01 AM
HE was a punk member of one of the most violent street gangs in America!! I don't care what a judge said he was guilty of this crime and I'm sure alot of others. Hotdog and the others are right this story is old!
-- Posted by ifurlucky on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:13 AM
hotdog13 and KDrury61, I suggust you go and litsen to the man and try to follow his path. Perhaps it's not too late to turn your lives around.
-- Posted by newman90 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:25 AM
I'll make one reply to the various posters because it's obvious, as with any article regarding this former gangster, one person is posting several times under different names. Your posting time, punctuation, repeated spacing errors and constant religious spin is telling. Pathetic.
If his work in in service to the "Lord", why is he accepting money? Hasn't this unseen spirit done enough for him and now is his turn to repay the debt? What a scam. A sucker born every minute and they are lining up. If Josh wants to serve his "Lord", he should return payment to the Church on Sunday. Is "greed" still a sin? You mentioned he wants "recognition" for his situation. Is "pride" still the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins?
Yeah, yeah, the "devil is in my heart" and "all things are possible" just as long as I belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie, who was his own father, can make you live forever if I symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul - that is present in humanity - because a woman was convinced by talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Works for me. How funny, out of twelve classic world religions and over 4,200 identified faiths, in a world that's 4.5 billion years old, YOURS in the only RIGHT one and EVERYONE else is going to hell. I know, I know, I'm the "Devil".
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:36 AM
Is this the venue for men to attribute quotations to me that have been falsified and twisted for their own purpose? Is this the place to assume I'm not a hard working apprentice painter?
I don't drive a Benz. I drive a Buick with almost 130,000 miles on it. I don't always charge a fee to speak. In full disclosure though, I am this time. Traveling around from state to state to place to place costs money. Rent and utilities cost money.
My formative years, 18 through 34, were spent incarcerated as an innocent man when I would rather have built a career and/or attended college. I appreciate that this story helps provide for the lost chance to educate and train myself in a separate profession. I'm thankful.
I know who I am, what I've been through and the message of grace and forgiveness I now have to share. I know the horrors and nightmares of spending 10 years (of the 16 total) in what was once deemed by Time magazine "The bloodiest 47 acres in America". And now I know the dream of freedom. Only a selfish man would pass up the opportunity to share such a knowing with others.
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:38 AM
KDrury61, you are pathetic!
-- Posted by sad1959 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 8:43 AM
Godspeed to Josh Kezer! God Bless you!
-- Posted by c'monnowppl on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:08 AM
kdury & hotdog, you are ignorant. He has a story to tell that people are lined up wanting to hear. I doubt there are many people who could say they would not pursue earning a living as a public speaker if you had organization after organization wanting to pay you to come and speak. Get real. I would much rather hear about this man's story over and over again and his adjustments to life outside prison rather than the unimportant items that commonly end up in the paper to fill up space. I would like to know how many preachers, priests, elders etc.. in the various churchs actually do it for absolutely no pay. That would be interesting to know. According to you, all of these people should be devoting all of their time to the church for free and working a full-time job also in order to pay the bills. That's not how life works. Sorry.
-- Posted by whatever24 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:27 AM
I think this young man has been through enough injustice and that as a result he has turned to God for his guidance through this horrific adventure. There are many other avenues Mr. Kezer could have turned to out of anger from what our justice system has done to him. Please don't judge him!
-- Posted by Nancy Hess on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:28 AM
Well, the man of the hour himself. Through your travels of telling your tale, avoid that whole "formative years" line. Per published accounts, your drug use and gang affiliation wasn't conducive for entry into career building or college attendance. Don't kid yourself.
You said, "Only a selfish man would pass up the opportunity to share such a knowing with others." Tell me what a selfish man would do in terms of filing a lawsuit. Then tell us what a selfish man would do with that lawsuit money after a good length of time was spent getting paid to tell your story. What's the name of that deadly sin? Greed? How is that lawsuit coming? How much are you asking for?
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:50 AM
Jeez, KDrury61. No one thinks you're the Devil. But you do seem like a supremely unhappy and angry person. Of course, I'm sure being right all the time and bullying participants on a message board helps you to feel pretty good about yourself.
-- Posted by hillbillyj on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:13 AM
Josh, I wish you the best. You are truly an inspiration for many people. If I was in Mr. Kezer's position, I would be suing the pants off of Scott County and the state of Missouri.
-- Posted by Semopupil on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:29 AM
Kdrury, are you going to tell me that if you had spent 16 years in prison for something you didn't do that you wouldn't be filing a lawsuit? C'mon, get real. You set yourself up to be judge over us, so let us look into your past and see what we can judge about you. Hmmm, you think it would be just a sparkling jewel of pristine living? I think that anyone with the kind of anger you have within you is in a prison themselves, so you, of all people, should know what he has been through and have great empathy for him. Or perhaps you are jealous because he has been released from his prison and you are still in yours.
-- Posted by stardog on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:50 AM
Don't feed the troll, people. All they want is the attention and a fight. Miserable people will always be miserable as long as it garners them some attention.
-- Posted by xXAngelicEvilXx on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:00 AM
... KDRURY61, .... would you be able to get past the severe trauma of that experience? I wish I could be half the person Josh is. Based on your posts, I'd say you wish that too.
-- Posted by wolph on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:41 AM
Don't matter much what he was, just what he is.
-- Posted by Alt Ctrl Del on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:52 AM
WOW sounds like some of you really need to get a life and worry about your own problems. I bet if you put as half as much effort into your problems as you are into these comments you might just live a happier life style.
-- Posted by Mom 01 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 12:01 PM
I will agree that most people who go to prison "find" God while there. But most of those once out of prison forget that wonderful God that saved them in prison. If Josh Kezer still has a message that God wants him to give and he is still following God's plan in his life I say more power to him- even if he does get paid....Not very many people these days do ANYTHING for free so who are we to judge????
-- Posted by mom4 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 12:09 PM
Hotdog13 and KDrury61, you try to discredit Josh for what took place in his life. Why? You need to check yourselves. Can you possibly imagine the horrors this man endured for 16 years? No. Not unless you've lived in his shoes, you cannot.
What do you benefit by defaming his character? Instead of seeing this man as someone that beat the odds and did not let this turn him into a bitter vendictive person, you would rather see him as some kind of greedy opportunist, and that is just plain ignorant.
I don't know what has happened in your lives, Hotdog13 and KDrury61, to cause you to be so blind to the truth and to mock Josh's beliefs (which by the way you are also mocking many others and mine as well), but it is obvious to me that what Josh went through humbled him and made him into the person he is today. Maybe instead of making fun of him and his faith, you should open your heart to the One in whom he gives credit to for his life's transformation. What Christ has done in him, in me, in thousands of others, He can do also in you.
-- Posted by Celeste O'Neill on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 1:12 PM
What if he did do it?
-- Posted by manwithaplan on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 2:53 PM
This man could of taken a very different path for all the pain he has endured over the years. Every person deserves the chance to redeem themselves. He is doing something positive to better the community and himself. Isn't that why God put us on this earth? I am happy for you Josh and wish you the best. You don't have to explain yourself to those who choose to down you!
-- Posted by MINT4U on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 3:43 PM
KDrury61, hotdog13 and ifurlucky, you are all idiots! ... ifurlucky posts, "HE was a punk member of one of the most violent street gangs in America!! I don't care what a judge said. he was guilty of this crime and I'm sure alot of others. Hotdog and the others are right. this story is old!".
You must be friends with the former scott county crooked sheriff. If you have read/watched/listen to any of the information you would realize it is obvious that he didn't do it. Who cares how much he is suing for? He DESERVES EVERY PENNY from the crooked people who put him in prison for a crime he didn't commit!I am not going to focus on you morons any more. It is obvious YOU are the type who think YOU are right and everyone else is wrong!
Josh, I am intrigued by your journey and life experiences. I wish you the best of luck! Do not feel bad for what some say you are "taking" from people. You have had enough taken from you. I grew up in Benton and have always been fascinated with this case. I always remember hearing people say that they "got the wrong guy".
-- Posted by ksynergy on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 3:52 PM
KDrury, hotdog, manwithaplan...you guys need a hug.
One other thing.... (deleted vulgarity)
Sorry Josh. I tried to be nice. Just couldn't do it.
-- Posted by davereynolds on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 4:45 PM
You too, ifurlucky.....
-- Posted by davereynolds on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 4:51 PM
I just simply asked a question. People get out of prison for crimes they actually have committed all the time too. It's hard to doubt he didn't do it just looking at his past. Saying that, I hope he didn't and he lives the rest of his life with joy. The way the world is these days it's just hard to not have questions like mine in the back of your head. davereynolds is obviously a friend of Mr. Kezer so he will be 100% biased towards him. I on the other hand, coming from a neutral position, have questions.
-- Posted by manwithaplan on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:36 PM
@ KDrury61 and any other who has chosen to speak so hatefully and arrogantly in this forum...
You are hereby invited to visit the engagement this Sunday at the methodist church and show yourselves and introduce yourselves. Just as the articles said, I welcome all respectful questions. Though I'm sure none of you will show.
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:49 PM
Let this be a metaphor for the small minded people on this forum...LOL
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:19 PM
It's certainly good to know that speaking a personal opinion and illustrating a different belief than the popular perception results in so many replies. Not to mention being able to prompt so many people to create multiple accounts and post, oddly enough, in support of themselves. Funny. Just like so many other things in real Christian circles, if someone speaks or acts in a way not deemed acceptable by the flock, that person must be filled with _________.(insert choice of drug / demon)
By all means, Josh, don't think for a minute I harbor any hate for you. Nor should you interpret my posts as arrogant. I'm simply aware of your scam and willing to ignore your sheepish following to illustrate the double standard / hypocritical path your taking. Speaking to Churches for money (GREED). Wow. Targeting that all trusting crowd that line up just wanting to hear tales that possibly someone, something is tending the light at the end of the tunnel. Couple this with an obvious refusal to comment about the lawsuit (WRATH) and your plans for the winnings, speaks loudly.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:15 AM
Josh, I want to apologize to you for the horrible rude remarks of some of these people. You notice that they come on these blogs with fictious names? I think that gives them the power to speak without thinking of how their remarks can hurt others. I wish you only the best!!!
-- Posted by Nancy Hess on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:52 AM
Maybe KDrury61 is a direct relative of Hulschoff, Ferrell, or Abbott?
-- Posted by freefaller on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:55 AM
I want to thank those of you who have been supportive. The support has far outweighed the negativity.
I do think that anger is an easy emotion though. It's weak. The greater and more courageous of the emotions, in the face of the ignorance of others, are kindness and love.
KDrury61 is cut from the same cloth as anyone who cowers behind fake names and allegiances with the people that did this to me. KDrury61 doesn't care if he or she is wrong or being foolish. There is no need to go back and forth with a person, such as KDrury61, who has no desire to grasp truth or constitution.
I am a Christian and know my heart is right with God. KDrury61 also knows his or her heart is not.
Anyway...until this person, or any like him or her, stands up and lets his or her identity be known and has the willingness to approach me or say such things to me directly, there is no to pay them any attention.
I again restate my invitation to any who oppose me to attend this Sundays meeting at the methodist church. God is good. I hope I see you.
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 2:29 PM
If any of you, and I mean any of you, wish to continue this conversation outside of this forum, I invite you to email me at email@example.com.
You may also be interested in visiting my blog at http://joshuakezer.blogspot.com/
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 2:31 PM
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 3:01 PM
Ahh, yes. That's right. No more replies, do not exercise your free will to speak, move along as Josh says. I agree. It's best to no longer reply when you cannot formulate a simple answer to questions asked of you and opinions stated about you. Ignore, deny, make counter accusations and run. Typical. Sheep.
Sorry, but I have no agenda or affiliation with law enforcement, the victim's family, prosecutors, etc, etc. As I said before, I'm simply a person who sees the bigger picture and is able to ignore the fluff. I see the hypocritical irony of being a product of "God's plan" then charging money to "believers" to speak about it. And I see the lawsuit, and his repeated refusal to speak about it, as pure Wrath. "All things possible", "God's plan at work", "I experienced a miracle".....but now let me sue because of it." Allow me to reap vast rewards, for being a part of "God's Plan", which will ultimately come in the form of your tax dollars.
Enjoy preaching to the masses while your hands reach into both (attendance fee & lawsuit settlement from tax dollars) pockets.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 5:13 PM
I invited Josh to Centenary this Sunday. He has not charged us a dime. We have offered him financial help. The last time he was here - to speak to our youth - he received nothing. Maybe certain bloggers do not know that it is a courtesy in churches to offer an honorarium (or a love offering) to every outside speaker. I'm not sure where the animosity is coming from here - whether it is suspicion of the church or of Josh or something else. I agree that every person has the right to speak his/her mind; this is what blogs are for. It is a free country. You have the right to say what you think - and it is my right to respectfully disagree with certain bloggers. And I do.
-- Posted by reformationboy on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:07 PM
Centenary services replay daily on cable channel 993.
View the full schedule...
10am - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
5:30pm - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Submit your video and notices to the City of Cape Girardeau public access channel via email...
-- Posted by The Nici on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:03 PM
You don't see the "big picture." And we're all smart enough to know better than to mistake your pompousness for intelligence. I agree with others who have respectfully commented that you have the right to say what you think, and I will certainly defend any person's freedom of speech. In our society, even hateful and completely misinformed speech -- such as yours -- is constitutionally protected.
Set aside your religious views, since that seems to be the only issue you assert credibility on. I'll try to talk to you like I would to my preschool-aged daughter. Maybe that will help you. Let's move on to your unfounded, ridiculous points of complaint.
First, "do not exercise your free will to speak. . . Typical. Sheep. " The other people here have spoken over and over on this forum, and many with their full names. They are saying things they know they will be criticized for (i.e., "radical Christians"), but they are exercising their freedom of speech that so many before them have died fighting for. Josh himself invited you and all others to email him or discuss this with him IN PERSON. You refuse to have this discussion using any other means of communication. You will do only what you know; only as you know. Who, we might ask, is the sheep? They have encouraged you several times to reveal your identity. Who, you should ask yourself, is the coward?
Second, the other thing you keep whining about: the lawsuit. Really? "And I see the lawsuit, and his repeated refusal to speak about it, as pure Wrath." Anyone educated in the law would tell you that this has everything to do with confidentially, court procedure, and trial strategy. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand the general idea. Many others would say this is just Josh's prerogative. Just as you proclaim your freedom of speech, Josh is proclaiming his right NOT to speak about this private matter at this time. Again, you should read about it. Ask, and I'll give you citations to articles or textbooks. Right now Josh is not on a mission to talk about his lawsuit. He is on a personal mission to tell people about his experience. His experience is deeply intertwined with his faith. Oh, no: freedom of RELIGION. Those pesky freedoms again.
You question his motive for filing the lawsuit. This most plainly demonstrates your naiveté. You say a lawsuit can only be to "reap vast rewards." I encourage you to do a study on the amount of damages that is typical in this type of case in the state of Missouri. Go ahead. Then divide that by how much a person is expected to earn each year of his/her life without living below the poverty level. Then multiply that times 16. Then consider the possibility of college. Josh has a lot of time to make up for. You criticize him for receiving profits from speaking, but he is not on a level playing field with others his age. He hasn't already received an education or other training, so it is more difficult to get a decent job, especially in this economy. He hasn't had the extra 16 years of income to put toward a down payment on a house. ...
And lawsuits are NOT just about making money. Look into why we permit lawsuits in the United States. Ask yourself: why do people in this country have the constitutional right to sue people? Have you ever heard of "injunctions" or "nominal damages?" ... It's not just about money. It's about principle and standing up for individual rights and liberties. What happened to Josh was not an accident. It was a malicious taking of his freedom, and it could happen to you if people like Josh don't take steps to protect those freedoms.
And now, "the taxpayers' pockets." Come ON! Who pays to house inmates in prison? "The cost per inmate is now $16,456 per year or about $45.00 per day. The total appropriation to the Department of Corrections in 1994 was $216 million. Now it is over $670 million -- more than a 300 percent increase." That average includes nonviolent offenders who are not in maximum security prisons. It costs much more to house others. http://www.columbiamissourian.com/storie...
We need to create an incentive for government officials to NOT CONVICT INNOCENT PEOPLE. If money (not innocence) is what gets them to pay attention -- hey, it's what got you to pay attention -- then that's what it takes. Not only does Josh deserve some level of compensation, it makes sense. And I guarantee he will never be compensated the amount he deserves, because the state simply does not have that amount of money. Nobody does. It is NOT just about money.
I could go on. I'd love to meet you in person. I wouldn't just pray for you. I would educate you. Anyone who lives and votes in this country ... should be able to have a reasonable dialogue about this topic without resorting to the simple slander of religion. Be proud of our constitutional rights. Josh is. These people are.
-- Posted by Justine on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:58 PM
Once again, it's impressive to see someone feeding off of their emotions, rambling from paragraph to paragraph, over an opposing opinion. I merely scanned it and could predict the direction it would take. The hypocrisy in denouncing a person as pompous, unintelligent, hateful then addressing them in the same dialect warms my heart. It reaffirms and strengthens the baseline of my whole point.
I'll summarize your reply by saying my points, opinions and statements still stand. Disclosing my identity, within a forum of roughly 98% factitious identities, is careless at best. Would knowing my name, which is pretty obvious, make you feel better? It doesn't change my opinion or yours. If you think it would add credibility, that's something I'm not seeking. Why would I? Look at your 8 paragraph reply, complete with link. Ha!
He doesn't have to speak about the lawsuit for the "wrath" to come shinning through. A private matter indeed. Besides, speaking about seeking financial gain and achieving punishment against others tends to distract from the "miracle glory" in his tale of woe and triumph. Yet possibly deducting a cool million or two from the State budget will deter a witness from lying and a jury to convict. Implausible. Wrath! Romans 12:19-21
I don't need your prayer or your offers of bias education. Your platform is predictable, blatantly bias, blindly defending and pointless. You'd be better served by not drinking the kool-aid and spending time with your child. But you won't, and I welcome it.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 8:01 AM
Hey KDrury61....2 things are obvious here. #1 being that you are extremely jealous over the fact that he might end up with alot of money from this law suit, but I would bet anything that if he had a choice to a) spend all his young adult years in prison facing unimaginable horrors every single day but become wealthy many years later from that or b) never had to be imprisoned for something he didnt do and just "get by" financially, I bet he would choose the latter. That experience will change a person forever, no money in the world can take away the trauma of that, which he will carry with him for the rest of his life.
And the # 2 obvious thing is that you must be very lonely and require alot of attention from others, whether its positive or negative attention.
And let me clarify one thing...I do not know Josh, infact I live 2000 miles away from where this happened.
-- Posted by wolph on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 9:43 AM
KDrury61, to simplify this whole thing, you are in the (less than) 5% minority of people who are wrong about this whole case. That is a FACT, not opinion. The evidence has proven he was NOT guilty. If you think otherwise, that just goes to show your lack of intelligence. This is a simple, black & white case. There are no shades of gray. Bottom line.
-- Posted by ksynergy on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 9:45 AM
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 10:06 AM
and again i ask.... what IF he did do it?
There is a reason he was in prison.
-- Posted by manwithaplan on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 11:46 AM
To reformationboy, Justine, wolph, ksynergy, and crsty, all of you that have spoken in defense of Josh, well said! Justine, I really appreciate the way that you broke those things down, some of which I did not know, and it shows that wisdom and knowledge, if shared and recieved with the right motives such as you have done, is something we can never get enough of.
The Nici, I don't have cable but I do appreciate you posting the schedule, I CAN pass it on to others that do, I want to share with as many people as possible Josh's story. I love testimonies and those such as what took place with him are powerful and can make a difference in the lives of those that have gone through similiar situations, and also for those that need a message of how the power of the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ can make a difference.
KDrury61, you have voiced your opinions as have so many others including myself. You stand firm by your opinion? Great, so do I. I have never met Josh. Like so many others, I saw his story on TV. What I saw intrigued me to the point of finding out more about him. Why? Because of his faith. In the world we live in today, we could all use as much spiritual encouragment as we can get. His faith is what got him through this ordeal. He NEVER said it was easy on him. He even stated some of the things that he endured during the time that he was in that hellhole.
Regardless of what he endured, he did not come out of it bitter with a vengeful heart.
He even OPENLY and in PERSON forgave one of those who's testimony put him in prison in the first place. Can you do that, can you honestly from your heart forgive ANYONE that would wrong you to the place of imprisonment to the degree that Josh had to suffer through?
I don't want to know who you really are. I don't need to know that. What I do see ... is someone that has dealt with his or her share of hurts and or disappointments of some kind, the type that has left you bitter. You won't recognize the fact that in the mist of all that Josh endured, it WAS the strength of God that brought him through. All you seem to focus on through your bitter statements is the "money" that he has, is making, or possibly will make by sharing his testimony. He has opened himself up, posted his email address, invited you to speak to him privately but it seems to be something you do not want to do.
You have made it very clear as to what you believe to be facts concerning him, his story, his motives and what you believe he is really after. Now, I'll you what I believe is the truth. I don't believe he is after anything other than sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as He has called us all to do, if we truly believe in Him, though I do believe that he has every right to sue the pants off of those that had him wrongfully imprisoned. I believe that others that have seen his story and those that know him personally have seen the transformation of his life and desire to know the same God that changed him. I believe that many INCLUDING MYSELF have seen what the power of forgiveness can do to a person and those that were the offenders. Josh has sought out to walk in that same forgiveness through the ONE who who taught us that very forgiveness where HE hung dying on the Cross. And I believe that Josh is the real deal, no pretense, no phoniness, no lies, no ulterior motives, but all about doing the will of God.
Is he perfect? No. Neither am I, nor you, nor any person, but his life (Josh's) has shown what can happen when the Perfect One is allowed to come in and bring forth a change. We have seen your beliefs concerning his "motives" and believe me I am sure there are others that have "tested" his story, but now that you have shared your opionion on what you believe Josh is really after, maybe now would be a good time to look at the Josh that so many see, not the man, but the One who transformed him into the person that he is today, the One you believe is a fraud. Get to know Him from your heart, the One who we all know as Jesus Christ, that resides in Josh; then take a step back and look at him (Josh) again. And btw, you may not want our prayers, but your gonna get them anyway, because that is what a true servant of Christ does ... love those that hate us, and pray for those that persecute us.
-- Posted by Celeste O'Neill on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 11:51 AM
manwithaplan, you ask, 'what if he did do it', and you say, 'there is a reason that he was in prison'. "If he did do it?" Look at the evidence that cleared him. Do your research and ask that question again. ... is there any reason you want to believe he did it?
Yes, there was a reason that he was in prison, to fullfill the purpose and plan of God for his life. Why was Joseph falsely imprisoned? His story is in the Bible. Why was Jesus arrested, spit on, flogged, beat, and crucified? What did He do? What did Joseph do? ... What was the outcome? Joseph forgave those who sold him into slavery and was made a prince and a king among men. Jesus resurrected and forgives! The outcome of Jesus' sufferings saves mankind from eternal damnation.
Josh's story is similar.
-- Posted by Celeste O'Neill on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 12:07 PM
My husband and I visited Centenary church today because we had read in the paper that Josh Kezer would be guest speaking on forgiveness. We learned of this blog from the service.
We found Centenary Church to be very welcoming and full of kind people. They offered open communion to all.
Josh seemed like a Christian who was grateful for a chance to do God's work.
My husband and I are avid sports fans,and found only one flaw in Josh's message.....Josh is a Cubs Fan.We feel that is forgiveable.
Thank you Centenary for hosting this inspiring speaker.Thank you Josh for sharing your story.
-- Posted by VanderFeen on Sun, Jun 13, 2010, at 11:50 AM
I generally don't reply to these things, but today I'm making an acceptation
I can't help but think; perhaps you are so concerned about being "taken in" that you're missing something incredible God might be offering? Have you ever read the "The Last Battle" by C.S. Lewis? The Last Battle is a book about the end times of Narnia and does go into a little of what heaven shall be like. In one chapter, there are a group of dwarfs that are so concerned with being fooled by a fake Aslan, that when the real one comes, they completely fail to see it. Could it be possible that you're so worried about being taken in by a fake story that you fail to see what could be a real example of God's awesomeness set before you? Much like the political and religious leaders in the times of Jesus were so concerned with being taken in by Jesus that they didn't stop to take the tools God had given them (an entire Old Testament of prophecy) and use that to "measure" Jesus.
(Fun Fact: the Old Testament has over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah. The probability of one man being able to fulfill eight of the prophesies has a one in ten to the seventeenth power chance of happening. Jesus Christ was able to fulfill every single one!- from the book Science Speaks by Prof. Peter Stoner).
While Josh Kezer is no messiah (God only knows how far he is from that!) Jesus did give us a standard (the Bible) that we can measure Josh against. Is Josh showing what God defines as love (1 Cor. 13)? Is he showing the fruits of the spirit (Gal. 5)? Is he armored with the armor of Christ? (Eph. 6). Measuring Josh up to any standard that is not found in the Bible is to measure him by the standard of the world, something God specifically told us as Christians not to do (Colossians 2). I do applaud you for having the discretion to measure Josh, but you may want to double check your standard.
I'm not saying you should close your eyes and jump off the boon dock concerning Josh's story. Just stop and consider. To be honest, I am so incredibly sad for you. I truly do know where you come from. To be that hurt and to be that untrusting that you feel you can't trust anything. I know how terrible that feeling is. Don't think I won't be praying for you for a very long time, that God will protect your hearts from those who want to "take you in" and that He will open them to those you can trust.
As for Josh Kezer not disclosing information about his private legal matters. They're just those..."private legal matters". He might be a bit more in the public eye then the average person, but that doesn't mean that his medical records, legal matters, or anything else that requires confidentiality is anymore public than anyone else. In fact, most lawyers in any legal matter whether it's a custody battle, law suit, or even filing for a business license, usually ask their clients not to discuss the details with others.
As for Josh Kezer seeking justice for what happened; seeking justice for the family members who had to figure out for 16 years how to get along without him, when he had done nothing wrong; wanting to be sure that this does not happen to another man and another family; having enough compassion for the Lawless family, who now not only have to deal with the fact that the real murder is out there, but also that an innocent man was put in prison for her murder instead. I don't think I'll ever be able to understand what they went through or are going through. Jesus may have preached against vengeance, but I don't recall Him asking us not to seek justice for those who have been wronged.
On the subject of questioning those who come before you to "preach" a message... I do have to ask, have you ever heard Josh speak before? I have and he was as open and honest as he could be regarding the case, his feelings towards those who had wronged him, and even the legal matters afterwards. He might have changed dramatically since I last heard him talk, but he also might not have...
-- Posted by C.C., J.O.C, & D.J.C.G. on Sun, Jun 13, 2010, at 11:53 AM
I simply love to see how these "Christian" minds works when their belief (what ever it is they are told) is questioned or an opposing comment is made. Undoubtedly, their view is the person must be ignorant, lonely, bitter, pompous, arrogant, rude and completely wrong. Why? Because their opinion conflicts with their own and truly considering a different view is uncomfortable. It's easier to discount someone's points if we deem them odd, unfit or undesirable. I guess this couldn't surprise me when considering all the other logical things that must be ignored to be a good follower.
Celeste....I liked your reply minus the preaching and will comment on those few lines. You denounce me for not applauding the "strength of God and his faith" that brought him through this ordeal. I'll bore you with a little history about myself. I've traveled this world several times over. I've lived in seven foreign countries, many of which where Christianity was not the predominant religion. I've seen my share of people praying to their "gods", all convinced they were right and actually accomplishing something beyond satisfying their own needs. Most, just like you, merely follow the predominate religion they were simply born into. We've all seen horrific acts (Sept 11, Iraq War, US Soldier beheadings, suicide bombers) performed while people shout the exact same token quotes people have used in this forum. (God is great, All things are possible through God, Praise God, etc, etc) Now factoring, as I posted before, out of twelve classic world religions and over 4,200 identified faiths, in a world that's 4.5 billion years old, YOURS in the only RIGHT one and EVERYONE else is going to hell. I will only admit that his faith in a God and self induced mindset is noteworthy.
The contradictions in your post are so obvious and glaring, but I'm sure as a good follower you have been trained to ignore it. You know, as well as I do, the Bible is full of them. I will address only one for now. You post that "there was a reason that he was in prison, to fullfill the purpose and plan of God for his life." Ok. But you then post "I believe that he has every right to sue the pants off of those that had him wrongfully imprisoned." Wait a sec. If him being in prison was the work of God and a part of his master plan, why is it acceptable for him to seek a lawsuit / punishment (wrath) against those that (according to your own words) were acting in conjunction with God's plan? And don't say to protect our freedoms or so it doesn't happen again, because as you said -- that's a part of God's plan. Honestly, do you see how you manifest this nonsense in your mind? Really, do you?
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Sun, Jun 13, 2010, at 12:47 PM
Gotta love freedom of speech, don't you? And thank you for "boring" me with your background, it's very non impressive to me. See I have heard that which you bored me with before, from many others, others who have told me that "my faith" was the wrong one, my "beliefs" the wrong ones, all the while applauding suicide bombers and such as that, even those that allegedly have the same beliefs as I, totally contradicting the things they SAY they believe in with their actions, those I'll call modern day Pharisees.
You have a right to your opinion as does everyone else and you vocalized it just as much as everyone else. Don't talk down to me about who I choose to follow. I don't know who you believe in or if you believe in anything....
In this case, it is the faith of the victim that helped him through all of this. THAT is something I will NEVER question or deny. I have suffered in many ways but never to the level that Josh has, and yes, I admire THIS man for beating the odds, not quitting, not plotting revenge, and not becoming a bitter man because of the acts perpetrated against him...
I will stand firm on what I said. I believe that if Josh so desires to sue the pants off of those that were responsible for his wrongful incarceration, he has that right.
I may not have your vast intellect, wisdom, and knowledge, but I have my faith. I am flawed just like most people that I know. There is no perfection in this person, but it is a joy for me to know that I do have someone to believe in, to turn to, and to rely on for strength, that being God Almighty. Call it what you want, make fun, poke holes, do whatever you feel is necessary for you to get your point across and feel bigger than this mere person such as I am, but that will NOT change my belief in Josh's innocence, nor in the God we serve. My faith in the judicial system? That's another story there.
As you toss insults my way, i.e. the "nonsense" that I speak, the "good follower" that I am and other little hints that speak of (suggest) your "superiority" over me, just be aware of one thing, regardless of WHAT you think about me or Josh or anyone else that have taken a stand on what we believe, he was set free from the charges that had been set against him. THAT IS A FACT and yes I DO thank God for that.
I wish you a blessed and prosperous life, KDrury61. I hold no annimosity against you, your opinions, nor your beliefs. What has happened to Josh is a wonderful thing, in his exhonoration and his faith, and I will continue to support him and trust in the God that we believe in, regardless if you do not. That, is your choice. God bless you.
-- Posted by Celeste O'Neill on Sun, Jun 13, 2010, at 2:59 PM
Celeste....Please don't retort as if this is actually a valid arena for you to be persecuted because of your faith and therefore a platform to preach. It's not. I asked you to explain a few contradictions in your own words. Rather than answering, which you might not be able to do, you ramble reaffirming your belief.
You said something very telling in your forth paragraph. You said, "I may not have your vast intellect, wisdom, and knowledge, but I have my faith." And for you that might be enough to live a fulfilling life. Here is where we fundamentally differ. As for me, I would like to have all of those traits as well as a sense of individuality and have them direct me toward my own choice of faith. Not a faith that I fell into by birth, peer / parental pressure or community acceptance. Those individuals you mentioned such as the suicide bombers are also ignoring intellect, wisdom and knowledge and relying on blind faith. I cannot use "faith" and all of it's catch phrases to discount basic logic when it's asked of me. I cannot bring myself to answer all questions in life, good or bad, with some "Because God made it so" belief. Your reply to this, rather than actually intellectually considering it without risk to yourself, I bet, is to say I'm just the "devil".
You also said you take joy in having someone to believe in, turn to and rely on for strength. I'm saying the strength you feel isn't from some "God" telepathically assisting you. It is the power of the human mind and your own personal strength. Some people need that belief in a higher power to ultimately place their earthly concerns and troubles with. I submit to you that some don't.
The questions in my previous post still stand unanswered regarding his financial gain, lawsuit and wrath against those responsible for, as you said, God's plan for him.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Sun, Jun 13, 2010, at 7:48 PM
I'm going to ask those who are discussing faith and the issues of faith in this forum to be polite and be patient with each other.
In the end...it doesn't really matter what people believe about me. It matters what people believe about Christ. It's not about "me".
KDrury61, you're not a devil and I haven't heard anyone accuse you of that.
You have some knowledge and intellect on the backgrounds of faith because you've traveled the world. I'm also educated in world religions and their cultures, (obviously) not from living across the globe but from reading literature and knowing people that have been raised in several other religions in other parts of the world. I learn about their religions through discussions and interaction, often through people who are loyal to the religions of their youth but predominantly through others who have turned away from their roots and turned to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Your intellect doesn't impress me though. I've known brilliant men. I've meet with various leaders of this state and country. I've discussed religion and faith with leading Christian men, average hard working Americans and even a Nigerian prince. A childhood friend of mine is a statesmen. Men much smarted than us have found their knowledge and reasoning wanting when confronted with and challenged by faith in Jesus Christ (The Lord).
Jesus is Lord.
C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Ravi Zacharias...look them up.
Watch this link and give your honest feedback.
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Mon, Jun 14, 2010, at 12:00 AM
Rest assured, Josh, there isn't a bone in my body that cares if I impress you or not. I merely would like to know the answers to such contradicting issues. Shall I list famous and our intelligent Atheists? I know I haven't been addressed as the devil. My goal was to illustrate the "default response" exhibited by so many Christians when the contradictions and logical questions are presented. Denounce, discredit, reaffirm, leave. Muslims share the same tactic but consolidate the response mostly to a single word. "Inshallah"
I'll watch your hour long video and report back as time permits this week. Meanwhile, you are welcome to answer some of the questions Celeste failed to address.
-- Posted by KDrury61 on Mon, Jun 14, 2010, at 8:30 AM
KDrury61, I would be willing to address some of these issues in a private conversation.
I'm not going to continue a public dialog with you on these issues though. I presented you and the rest of those involved in this conversation with my personal email address. I'll present it again. If you so choose, write me and ask what you will.
If I hear from you, we can move on from there and discuss faith and Christianity in regards to any issue you choose. I only ask one thing from you...
-- Posted by Josh Kezer on Mon, Jun 14, 2010, at 11:20 AM