Monday, January 21, 2019 -
Today has been a pretty good day, except on the coldest night of the winter so far (single digits), the heat went out in our unit. I wore a sweat suit to bed (we only have two thin blankets) and socks! I never sleep in socks, and I was still cold! It was very cold in the unit in the morning, and there was talk they might have to move us into the gym.
When I went to work at 9am, the chow hall seemed almost as cold. I was so very grateful they put me on the food line dishing out baked beans – because it was warm!
Back in the unit, I stayed bundled up with whatever I could find. I turned on the radio to listen while I worked on writing a FAQ page for our businesses web site, and listened to the end of a message by Chuck Swindoll called “Watching Those Walls Come Tumbling Down.” It seemed directed right at me. He said the victory you get is because of God, not you! If we could explain it, God did it, God picks people like us to do the impossible, because He wants our faith to shift from the horizontal to the vertical. I wished I had heard the whole message – but you can download the podcast at insight.org/app.
After count at 4pm, I decide to write some letters, but “K” came and knocked on my door and said the men are no longer using the “library/card room” to play poker, so he was going in there to write some letters, if I wanted to come. I knew this was a subtle way of saying, hey, I’d love to talk with you some more. So I said, “Well, I just started writing a letter, so I’ll come.” I was in there until almost 7pm talking with him mostly about Christian life and his search for the Lord, and how he’s been a Bible correspondence course for almost a year, and it has changed his life. Even his fiancée has noticed how different he’s become. I told him, “You know, I’ve noticed. You’re one of the few men in here from whose mouth I’ve never heard a curse word.” He said God had convicted him of that, and except on a very seldom occasion, he doesn’t curse anymore. He later said we should start a Bible study. I told him we already had, and he should come join us on Saturdays at noon, and come pray with us every night after count. He seemed very thrilled. I know now, all the questions for the past month or so, may also have been a test of me.
I finally had to say, “You know, I’m really hungry, I need to eat something.” But as soon as I came out of the room, “C” hollered at me to come to his cell. He had some questions for me in his study of Ecclesiastes. I finally got to eat my supper around 8pm.
I had also spoken to “C” pretty extensively about how to be a missionary to the other inmates here. He said, “When you become a Christian in prison, you’ve got to be really serious about becoming a new person, because everyone is watching you – there is no way to get away from people. They will know if you aren’t serious.” I can definitely see that.
It is truly what being in the world, but not part of the world means. It is so very important the Lord fill me with His Spirit each and every day so that the fruit of the Spirit is evident in my life. That’s the very best way to be a witness for the Lord in prison. People will test you and question you to see if you are genuine, as “K” has done with me. I believe he’s now ready to surrender his life fully to the Lord, if he hasn’t already!