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  • PhilipZ

Day 80

Friday, February 22, 2019

Before the count last night at 9 pm, I was by myself in my cell, on my bunk, trying to pray to God to save the life of my wife, who has Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency and had just been diagnosed with pneumonia. This, for someone with Alpha-1, could be a death sentence! Satan kept putting thoughts in my mind that I’d never see Kathie again. I was angry at this new attack by Satan. I was upset that God would allow this. I tried to think about why God would allow this, and tears began to flow.

Just then “C” knocked on the door, turned on the light, and I could hardly speak to him. But he became the encouragement to me that I have been in recent weeks to him. He asked me where my faith was! He told me over and over again Kathie was going to be alright. Again Satan would give me thoughts like, how would he know? After count, I debated whether or not to go to the group prayer, but I went, and “C” prayed for us. I went back to my cell and realized the best way to confront Satan was with the Scriptures, so I turned to Psalms, and David had very similar situations. I also knew that Satan was using Kathie’s sickness as a diversion tactic to keep me and others from praying for the U.S. Supreme Court conference today about whether or not to grant my case or accept my certiorari petition.

I read many Psalms about the victory of the Lord, how He watches over us, how we have nothing to fear. Shortly after 10 pm, I turned off the light, prayed some more, and greatly calmed and reassured, fell asleep till about midnight, when I woke up praying for Kathie. I laid awake till about 3 am, pleading for Kathie’s life in prayer.

This morning, I woke up around 7:30, grabbed my Bible, and opened the devotional “The Daily Bread.” It told me to read Isaiah 41:10-13: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous hand; behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish. You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent. For I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand, who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” Is that not an awesome, applicable Scripture just for me today! God was speaking directly to me! Some great promises are here for me, and I can’t help but relate these to the Supreme Court decision today and Kathie’s illness. I am not to worry, I must trust God completely. He will help me!

That set the tone for my whole day! I continued to pray, but now with confidence, and with tremendous praise for my Lord and Savior Who is sovereign no matter His ultimate plan!

I’ve been also concerned about the number of books accumulating in my locker, and one of the guards warned me about it. So I gave some books away and put together a bunch I’d read to send home. I’d been told by the Unit Counselor that we had to mail books first class, but got contrary advice from others. So I went to speak to him again about it. He said the policy was changed so we can now send them media mail and was very cordial in helping me work it out. He also at one point asked if I was related to Spiros, and I told him yes. He said he uses several of his reference books regularly. Anyway, it was the first cordial conversation I’d had with him. I even encouraged him to look up something about my case on the internet and told him the Supreme Court was making a decision today about whether or not to hear my case, and I’d appreciate a prayer from him. Since he usually has a Bible on his desk, I’ve been praying he would learn about my case on his own as he’d shown very little interest about it other than the charge of what I was convicted. The Lord continues to show me favor here. I believe the unit counselor could be very instrumental in getting the “greatest severity” label removed from my case, making me eligible for a camp, and perhaps early release for home confinement.

Today I also received an answer to prayer and got to speak with “J” about the Lord, and he told me he’d gone forward in a “biker church” not long before coming to prison and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior then. I began talking about the Supreme Court conference today and told him that I believe in miracles and have seen them in my life. He told me that he believes in miracles as well. As a marine, in Iraq, he was the only survivor of a roadside bomb that killed everyone in the humvee he was riding in, but him! When a helicopter he was in was hit with rocket fire, he jumped out of the back without a parachute, at a height of about 30 feet, and was another survivor while others perished. Then, after his wife committed suicide and he was not allowed to fly back for her funeral, he attempted suicide (actually on two occasions) but was not successful. He has suffered depression since then, and now I know why Kathie sent me the book on depression that she did last week! “J” gladly accepted it to read. I invited him to pray with us and study the Bible with us.

This afternoon, I finally heard from Kathie, and she is still coughing up blood, but she says she’s feeling slightly better. Praise the Lord. Please keep praying for both of us, as I believe we are in an intense spiritual battle, and your prayers are making a huge difference!

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