Tuesday, December 11 –
I slept well last night, from about 11:00 till 8:45. “J” woke me for breakfast, but I didn’t go. He also woke me sometime before eight and told me I’d better make my bed and get on top of it, covering myself with the 2nd blanket. You see, our beds must be made up by 8:00. “J” had gone back to bed. He seems to stay up late and sleep a lot in the day. I read my daily proverb and was amazed the applications to this place.
1. Be fair and don’t try to cheat people (v.1)
2. Don’t be prideful, but humble (v.2)
3. Be honest and act with integrity because the liars will be destroyed (v.3)
4. It is our righteousness through Christ that will deliver us and make it easier for us, for the wicked and evil ones will fall by their own doing – and will be caught by their greed (v.5-8)—boy do I see the truth in these verses here!
5. Don’t bad mouth anyone – instead rely on God’s wisdom (v.9) – again, I see this very evidently here!
6. Overall, I think the good guys here are well liked and desired for cell mates. The really bad, mean ones (bullies) are despised by most (v.10-11). This also means the bad ones destroy the whole community for all. EG, I even had one guy who refused to allow me to watch his chess game. James says he is bad news.
7. This struck me more than anything; we shouldn’t despise (at least outwardly) anyone. That doesn’t make sense. We (I) should just keep quiet about it (v.12).
8. Don’t rat on anyone (v.13) – I didn’t realize this was a Biblical principle!
9. I must be righteous in everything – not compromising in any way, and there will be a sure reward; the evil will destroy themselves (this is very evident here)! (v.18-23).
10. Be merciful, and it’ll be good for me. If I’m not merciful it will only harm me (v.17). I see this very evidently in the lives of all of these men. The majority I have spoken to have been over-sentenced or done wrong by the criminal justice system, although I’m only hearing one side of their story.
11. Expect good to come out of my circumstances, God has this, if I just submit myself to Him. However an evil person can only expect the wrath of God (v.23).
12. I need to be a generous, altruistic person, helping those in need, and God will in turn bless and prosper me (v.24-26).
13. I need to fear the Lord and turn away from evil (Prov. 3:7), seeking after the righteousness that only comes through Christ and the Holy Spirit’s work in us. Evil is all around, and if we look for it we will find it, but it won’t help us at all! (v.27)
14. Life will follow a righteous life, and if we are wise we will bring others into His kingdom – that’s what this is all about. That’s what life is all about, and that’s why God put us here (v.30). 15. Our righteousness will be rewarded in the earth, and the wicked and sinner will get what is coming to them (v.31). Not to mention the eternal rewards or damnation. Our righteousness comes only from Christ’s shed blood on the cross, who died in my place. But we must repent of our sin, accept his death for me. Turn from our sin, and make Him Lord of our lives. In other words, not a superficial Christianity, but a life of being totally sold out to God.
I realized God gave me this and I should share it with others. Pray I will have the opportunity. After I wrote it here, I wrote it down so I could remember it and share it as the opportunity arises. After I wrote this, right after, “J” came in, right before we go to lunch at around 10:30. I told him to look what the Lord game me (I made notes for myself), if he could read my writing. He’s already eaten, when I came back he told me he couldn’t read my writing, so I sat down with him and we went through the whole thing together. He had just told me someone reported him for having a cell phone because he had lent his calculator to someone and they had thought it to be a phone. I had told him it says right there in Prov. 11 we shouldn’t snitch on others, and he was blown away that all the things we’d been talking about as to how to deal with the rough characters in here is right there in Proverbs 11. Pray I’ll be able to share it with others.
I then went downstairs and asked the secretary how much was on my account, and she told me $310. (YEAH!) She was able to look it up (Yeah, I bought coffee). I owed James for a bunch of stuff, I bought a radio off him for $12 (including ear buds), sweat pants and a sweatshirt he was able to find for $6 each, and a watch (brand new) that has a light and alarm clock (so I don’t have to buy an alarm clock) for $40, which is less than what the charge for the inferior watches they sell now. I paid him back with stuff from the commissary. I was able to get with the money you sent the basics I need for hygiene and snacks, although some stuff they did not have, like the Prilosec I take, and tennis shoes (the boots here I have are very hot and uncomfortable – I would like to start walking every day, but not in these shoes! They didn’t have my size. I was so grateful to give the men back what I borrowed, though, and get the things I really need. Yeah! I now have a comb! My hair’s really grown out. Eventually I can get a haircut, which I don’t think costs much.
Everything costs money here, except our meals and apparently the education classes and recreation. There was a new lady downstairs, a “case manager” who hadn’t been there till today (she’d been on vacation), so I went and asked to look up my PAC#. This lady was nice enough to do it, and “J” helped me get on the system. I was thrilled! However, the phone system would not let me set it up. I went back to that lady twice, and she emailed an “Adr.” and said she would get an answer by noon what was going on. So I pray I can call tomorrow. In the meanwhile, I sent William a long email (Kathie hasn’t yet accepted me). I came upstairs and finished this, so I hopefully can mail it tonight or in the morning. I also got the package from the Millers today. A note from Linda saying people are praying (hundreds, if not thousands, all over the world), that I am suffering for righteousness sake, I’m bless, so be strong in the Lord. Jesus went the way before me, bearing the cross, so I should follow him without flinching – Amen!
More to come… Love to all!