Saturday, March 2, 2019 -
Today, I can say I have had a truly blessed day. And, at least according to the call-out sheet, today is my last day having to get up at 4:20 am to work in the dining room. Thanks to Ray, the man who’d heard my story on the Tom Roten radio program. He left for home on Wednesday evening after a ten-year sentence and suggested I pursue his job, which for 2 ½ years has been little if anything – sweep up any trash on the sidewalk outside our unit – a job for which numerous people have been assigned. I praise the Lord I received the signature of the three prison officials needed to make that happen!
Kathie is still not feeling well, and her pneumonia seems to be relapsing, so I persuaded her not to come for a visit. She was going to come with William and Josiah, whose 25th birthday was yesterday. I was very sorry to not have gotten to see them – especially Kathie since it’s been three weeks since they’ve been here due to sickness. But Kathie’s health is the most important thing for me.
I came back from work, slept a couple of hours, got up, and continued to read through Exodus until lunch. Then I spent a little time with “C,” and God used him to speak to me what our Bible study needed to be about.
There were four of us today, including “JE,” who came for the first time. God has been dealing in an amazing way in his life, and he believes now that God sent him back to prison just so he’d get his life right with the Lord. The police, he claims, planted evidence that sent him back to prison on a parole violation. But now he knows it was a God thing.
God also spoke to “C” in a very real way today, that he needs to stop worrying about being abandoned by his natural family and put his confidence and trust completely in God, and that God has surrounded him with me and other men here in prison that have become his family.
I came back after an amazing study and reviewed all the Scriptures God has given me that promise His victory. I read and marked them all in my prison Bible with a big V to bring them to my attention later, as these are God’s promises.
I just had a wonderful time studying God’s word, like Peter’s deliverance from prison in Acts 12, and the story of how God annihilated the armies of Amman and Moab after Jahaziel prayed and prophesied over King Jehoshaphat, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (II Chronicles 20:15). Here again, just like the Israelites watching the Egyptians be slaughtered in the Sea, God told the Judean army to just “station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf” (II Chronicles 20:17). God destroyed them completely (II Chronicles 20:23). God made me realize that I am truly blessed, as difficult as it is to be away from my wife, my family, my church, and my business, to be able to be used to speak into the lives of these men. I feel very unworthy and unqualified, but it does seem as though God is using me as a catalyst for change in a number of lives here – and they are telling me so.
Thursday I ran into “CJ” very briefly in the chow hall, and he was taken yesterday to Indiana to be arraigned on an additional state charge. I pray that the admonition I gave, which challenged him to give his life to God, takes root in his heart. Pray for “CJ,” for “JS,” for “R,” who have all left since I’ve been here, that God will bring into their lives other believers who can help sprout the seeds that God has used me to plant in them.
God, through these men today, made me recognize why I am here, and that I need to make every moment count for Him. It makes me wonder if I haven’t been delivered thus far by God, who I know will in His time deliver me, how awesome must be His plans for each of these men for the kingdom of God. I pray the domino effect generation after generation might have a lasting impression on multitudes upon multitudes of people for Christ’s namesake! God truly has a purpose for everything!