Monday, December 17 2018 -
I woke up this morning to the first for me—a prison wide fog lockdown. It happens every time there is fog. I had a 9 o’clock “call out” to go get my blood pressure checked, the lockdown was lifted about 9 o’clock followed by a 9:10 “call out”. I was so glad I dressed except for socks and shoes and had brushed my teeth as soon as I woke at 7:20. I was the first or second to be called and got back before the move was ended. If you are caught out, you go to the “shoe”. I had a very good time in the Lord this morning. I am very grateful for the large print NASB version of the Bible Kathie found to send here. It is new and I'm enjoying underlining all the meaningful passages for what seems like the umpteenth time!
I'm right now reading through Acts, and what a blessing and constant to know they were going through much of the same things I am going through, back then. I pray, however for boldness to speak and preach the truth as they did. I do share as often as I can, but I'm not certain preaching is the best way to bring Christ to these men. It's got to be, I believe one on one. So please pray God will use me in this way. I want to be able to bring in my faith in the Lord into each conversation. The man next to me at lunch today, asked me how I was adjusting, and I said, “by the grace of God, fine”. He told me he'd already spent a 10-year sentence got out, and came back. I asked, “Did you have a probation violation?” He then volunteered, “No I robbed a bank”. I then told him why I was there, and that basically the courts were willing to allow the sexual abuse of a young girl in order to promote the homosexual agenda and he said, “Yeah I've heard of them doing such things. I’ve thought so many times how it could be so very much worse for me.
In Lystra, they stoned the Apostle Paul, dragging him out of the city, and leaving him for dead. But he got up, walked away, and then kept coming back to the same place! Amazing! Look what they did to the prophet! Look what they are doing to believers who are imprisoned in other parts of the world like Iran. Many believers are being executed still around the world. I have nothing to complain about. It's warm in my cell, relatively private, clean, and I get three meals daily if I want with plenty of food. I am not hungry. Today I walked two miles on the track they have for us at the recreation place, even without walking shoes (they don't have my size in the commissary). It was such a beautiful day and I got to pray about many things walking the track. This morning after I finished my Bible study and prayer time, I got the most wonderful email from Kathie, which was so very encouraging.
She is the most wonderful, loving wife any man could ever have! I'm so grateful for the 37 years I've had with her. She's been a terrific help-meet and support. I also read a few more chapters in the “Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life”. One chapter I read today was especially relevant, entitled “Is God Everything?”
Hannah Whitehall Smith says, “What is needed then is to see God in everything, and to receive everything directly from his hands, with no intervention of second causes; and it is to just this that we must be brought before we can know an abiding experience and entire abandonment and perfect trust.
Our abandonment must be to God not to man; and our trust must be in Him, not in any arm of the flesh, or we shall fail at the first trial.”
This is exactly what God seems to be showing me, over and over again. It is what I pray for each of my children. She then goes on with a most amazing summary of scripture: “Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father. The very hairs of our head are all numbered. We are not to be careful about anything, because our Father cares for us. We are not to avenge ourselves, because our Father has charged himself with our defense. We are not to fear, for the Lord is on our side. We shall not want for He is our Shepherd. When we pass through the rivers they shall not overflow us, and when we walk through the fire we shall not be burned, because He will be with us. He shuts the mouths of lions, that they cannot hurt us. He delivereth and rescue us. He changes the times and the seasons; He removeth
Kings and sets up Kings. A man's heart is in His hand, and as the rivers of water, he turneth whithersoever He will. He ruleth over all the kingdoms of the heathen; and in His hand there is power in might, so that none is able to withstand him. He rules the regions of the sea; when the waves thereof arrived he stilleth them. He bringeth the counsel of the heathen to not; He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. Whatsoever the Lord pleaseth, that doeth He in heaven and in Earth, in the seas and all deep places.
Lo these are parts of His ways; but how little a portion is heard of Him? But the thunder of His power, who can understand? Hast thou not known? Hast though not heard that the everlasting God the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.” And this is the very God who is declared to be our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. She uses the example of Joseph. “What could have seemed more apparently on the face of it to be the result of sin, and utterly contrary to the will of God, than the action of his brethren in selling him into slavery. And yet Joseph in speaking of it said, ‘As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it for good.’”
What they did to Joseph was undoubtedly sin, just as my imprisonment is, yet I am certain God will use it for good.
Even if it is to draw me closer to him. She goes on, “If our Father permits a trial to come it must be because the trial is the sweetest and best thing that could happen to us, and we must accept it with thanks from His dear hand”. Again I am reminded of what Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of me. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Then this evening, when I received my mail, there were some article sent to me by a friend of The Crackdown on Christians by President Xi in China. A staggering 100,000 or more Christians are estimated to have been arrested this year, compared to the 3700 in 2017. Thousands and thousands of churches are being shut down---10,000 in one providence alone. He sent a letter translated by Pastor Wang Yi, who was arrested on December 9th with 100 of his members. He wrote the letter in advance anticipating his arrest, he said, “I have no fear of any social or political power, for the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers not to terrorize doers of good. If Believers in Jesus do no wrong then they shouldn't be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the Gospel.” He goes on, “If I am in prison for a long or short amount of time, if I can help reduce the authorities fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the Church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.” But there's more, “Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed but I will not plead guilty.” Later in his letter he confesses, “I am his (Jesus) servant and I am in prison because of this, I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God's laws…I firmly believe that spiritual disobedience is an act of the last times; it is a witness to God's Eternal Kingdom in the tempered Kingdom of sin and evil. Disobedient Christians follow the example of the crucified Christ by walking the path of the Cross.” Boy can I relate to this. And what is happening in China will soon be happening in North America because the church and its Silence of the imprisonment of a few of us, charged falsely of crimes merely because we obey God's Word, has capitulated to Satan's desire to suppress the word of God and the influence of true Christianity in this nation and around the world.
Look at the churches reaction to the Supreme Court's Obergfell ruling, which should have resulted in a massive uproar by individual Christians and church leaders alike. Instead I was shocked to hear leader after leader and Christian politician after another say “same-sex marriage” is now the law of the land. There are a number of fundamental issues with this statement. First, the court cannot make law, and every state that had a marriage amendment in their constitution, should have fought back and merely ignored their false ruling and it would have fallen by the wayside. This has happened before. Secondly, biologically and sociology two people of the same sex cannot be married. They cannot consummate marriage nor can they bear children as a result of such a non-union, it is impossible. And the God-ordained purpose of marriage is for that very purpose, procreation. Thirdly, homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God, and no government or court can say otherwise. If a court can say homosexuality is okay then what about pedophilia, or bestiality, or euthanasia, or thievery, public nudity---when will we draw the line. We also merely, followed the court's denial of the humanity of the unborn, and are that much farther along down the road to total degradation incurring God's inevitable wrath. Yet the church is by-and-large silent saying it doesn't really affect them. Christians go on with their comfortable lives. Well I'm sitting here in prison telling you that it is me today, unless you Christians in the pews began to cry out the need for National repentance along with your leaders, you will be faced with the same decision: either deny Christ or go to prison. China today, is America tomorrow. Repent Christians for your silence! Repent America for this national sin! A repentance that must begin with individuals in the church.