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  • PhilipZ

Day 51

Thursday, January 24, 2019 -

Kathie emailed me this morning very excited that a friend of ours had a friend who is very close to someone who apparently knows President Trump fairly well. I’ve been down this road, but you never know what God might do. There were some who are quite close to President Trump who promised me they would try to convince him to pardon me and the others involved in this case, but I have no idea whether they ever got around to doing that, or forgot, or did not get a positive response from the President. While I’d love to go home to my wife tomorrow, I know God put me here for a purpose, and I’m trying to make the best of it and to be a light shining in darkness. It’s difficult when you have a charge like kidnapping because immediately people come to the conclusion you are a sex offender. So I have to go explain the whole scenario and provide articles showing them proof that I’m not. Fortunately, when this happens, there are other inmates who’ll come to my rescue, as well.

Today the guard came to go through the lockers of anyone who works at Unicor, a government furniture company, tearing out any wooden shelves that had been smuggled out of their factory. The Unicor guys go to work at 6:45 am, and except for meals and breaks for count, don’t come back till 8:30 at night. For that, they earn less than a dollar an hour. It’s really slave labor, but the men are very grateful they can work those hours 7 days a week and actually save some money or send some home. My cellmate just found out he had been hired after waiting a year to get on with them.

I’ve been reading a new book by Erwin Lutzer called “The Church in Babylon” that Keith and Jan Jones sent me. It’s a treatise on how to faithfully live in our culture today where they call evil good and good evil. In one part, he tells about a woman who, as a child, had a pedophile abuse her and in turn, destroy her self-worth. She worked at the WMCA and was fired for not endorsing a new policy that would open their locker rooms and bathrooms on the basis of “gender identity” rather than biological sex.

Soon, she went to work for an organization working to repeal the statewide law in her state. She knew she’d need the help of churches, but of the 150 churches contacted, only seven said yes. All the others had the same response, “We don’t want to be perceived as being unloving to the broken.” When she made this known, hundreds of women with similar stories told her the same story, “When I asked the church to help me, no one would.”

Frankly, except for a few, that’s exactly the way I feel. There’s plenty that pastors and churches could do to mobilize people to action!

Lutzer later tells of “a story about a man who dreamt he was carrying a heavy cross on his shoulder. He was exhausted; he wished that his cross was lighter. In the dream he saw a woodsman with an axe, so he asked that a good part of his cross be chopped off. After that, the man happily resumed his journey, thankful that his cross was so much lighter.

“On his journey, he came to a chasm between two mountains. He wanted to continue, but found he couldn’t bridge the gap; if only his cross had been longer, he could have laid it down and used it as a bridge. But the cross was short – by just the length that had been chopped off.

“When the man awoke, he was glad this was only a dream. He now realized that only those who are willing to carry a heavy cross are able to scale the next mountain. Those who are constantly in search of a mightier cross will never go far in claiming territory for Christ. At some point, they will conclude that the price of obedience is too high. The obstacles too formidable.” Lutzer concludes, “Have we, as Christians, forgotten that we are asked to gladly bear the full weight of the offense of the cross?”

But I have learned, many times in my life, God will always give us the grace to deal with any situation, as long as we make the right decisions. I haven’t always made the right choices, and for those instances, I must repent, and at times have had to ask forgiveness. It is why we must depend on God alone, and not ourselves, to provide us with the faith, strength, and endurance to get us through any trials or tribulations. If we try to do it on our own, we will fail miserably.

Today at lunch, “E” came into the room where I was to ask me some more questions about the Bible, which I was happy to comply with.

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