Time Alone With God

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Time alone with God is very important for the Christian. Every day we as Christians are faced with difficulties. Things in which we cannot approach by ourselves. Things in which will defeat us unless we are walking in the strength of our Father in heaven. Have we prepared ourselves? Have we spent time alone with God? Our excuses are often “But we don’t have enough time,” “I am just so busy” and “I will make time tomorrow” in which we know will never happen. Just our short “help me God” prayers are not what I am talking about. I am talking about withdrawing from our busy schedule and spending time by yourself with God. Time on your knees pleading for your family, your life, your neighbors and the unsaved in this world.

In Luke 5:16 it says that our Lord Jesus would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Why? What was the reason Jesus the Son of God needed to withdraw and pray? And by the way, wasn’t He also God himself? Jesus realized the importance of communication with the Father. You see the reason we so often stumble through our days is because we fail to communicate with our Father. The Father is our strength! We will never be able to bear the fruit that our Father desires if we forget the source of our strength. He never gives us more then we can handle but He desires for us to seek Him for our strength. He doesn’t want you to stumble through your day! He wants you to bear fruit, so all that you do and all the victories that you have may bring Him glory. Friends it is out of relationship, not routine life, that we are able to do the works of Him who sent us. Wouldn’t you rather spend alone time with God daily then to stumble through your day?

What Is Effective Ministry?

servantWhen I talk about effective ministry I like to refer to Romans 15 which gives us a look into what Paul’s ministry looked like. No one would argue that Paul was very successful in ministry and I believe there is a lot we can learn from Him. The key words that we find in Romans 15 are the words “minister” and “service” and if you read through this passage you’ll find that Paul had two different types of ministries. A ministry to unbelievers and a ministry to believers. His ministry to unbelievers is was to share the good news. He says, “My mission in life is to share the good news with as many people as possible.” Specifically it was to share it with the Gentiles. He also then had a ministry to believers. He tells us his ministry was to meet the needs of believers.

As believers on mission just like Paul we also have two different set of people that we minister too. Because of this I took some time studying this passage and have come up with seven keys that I believe are necessary for effective ministry.

  1. An effective ministry is based on God’s grace.

The first thing you have to realize is that you don’t deserve to be in the ministry. I don’t deserve to be a Christian, much less be in the ministry. I don’t deserve forgiveness, much less to be able to be used by God. That’s an extra, added privilege. Constantly, I need to remind myself, God is using me in this place of service simply because of His grace.

When you enter prison to minister, the inmates often can get a good sense what you believe about yourself and it often affects your testimony with them. Make sure my friend to remain humble and remember that you are not any greater than the men and women you are ministering to. Everything God does in your life, through your life, for your life He does by grace through faith. We are all on the road as maturing Christians. We’re not matured Christians. We’re maturing Christians. While we’re growing, we’re giving. While we’re growing, we’re serving. That’s the goal – grace.

  1. An effective ministry is built on God’s word.

Paul says in Romans 15, “I have the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God.” What is the gospel? The gospel is the good news of Jesus which is found in God’s written Word the Bible. This doesn’t mean that the only thing you can do in ministry is preaching and Bible studies. But it means that whatever you do should be built on God’s word. I have found that while serving inside of prison that sometimes more effective than just doing Bible studies are doing classes that address the issues that these men and women face. When in doing that make sure these classes are still built on God’s Word and not contrary to it.

  1. An effective ministry is done for Gods glory.

It’s not built to promote a personality. Paul wanted people to be more impressed with God than he wanted people to be impressed with himself. “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.” He says God did it through me. He serves in the ministry for the glory of God.

This is one of the things that really concerns me. I have encountered many who believe that they are super stars in ministry. They take great pleasure in sharing of all that they have accomplished in ministry rather than acknowledging that the accomplishment was actually the work of God. It’s very important that we realize that God does things through people. You may be gifted in a certain area and God is using that gift to accomplish His mission. Remember your gift is greater than you my friend!

  1. An effective ministry is performed in God’s power.

In Romans 15 Paul says, “By the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit, I fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” In John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit. But apart from Me you can do nothing.” If you are not preparing yourself spiritually for the ministry that you’re in, then I would encourage you to do so. Every solider before he goes to the war zone has to prepare himself for combat. He will not and cannot be effective in battle if he is not prepared. So many I fear go into prison with last week’s sermon or an excerpt from a recent book that they read and spend little to no time to prepare for their chapel service or class. That is why so often these men feel unconnected with the teacher because the issues they face are never addressed. They feel as if they are not important enough to the teacher in order for him to study. Friends, don’t just do ministry in the power of your own personality. Always be mindful that your spiritual health is important, you will not be affective if you are unplugged from your power source whom is God. On my strength alone, I cannot do ministry. But on God’s strength “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  1. An effective ministry is planned according to God’s purpose.

Paul says, “It’s always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known. But now there is no more place for me to work in these regions. I plan to do so when I go to Spain.” Notice that Paul made plans.

Some of you may think you should just get up in the morning and say, “Lord, what do You want me to do today?” and kind of free-float through life. I have often heard this from men who are given the opportunity to share at a Chapel service. Often they will refer to scriptures that speak on the leading of the Holy Spirit. While some of that may is good we can see here in Romans 15 that Paul chose to still prepare. I believe life’s too important to go without a plan. I think we need to be strategic. If you read the book of Acts, Paul had a very clear strategy. His strategy was to go to the key cities in the Roman Empire and all the places he went — Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Colosse, all these major places were all trade centers, travel centers, crossroads in the Roman Empire. He said I know I can’t get everywhere so I’m going to go to the most strategic places I can and spread the Gospel there.

God has given me a tremendous privilege of being allowed to spend my work week inside of prison and in order to be the most effective that I can be I need to plan my days. I need to be strategic in where and who I spend my time with. Ministry is demanding and lots of things and people want your attention so not planning is devastating. When preparing a message I need to think through who I am trying to reach and what illustrations I may need to use in order for the audience to relate to what I’m saying.

  1. An effective ministry is backed by prayer.

Prayer is one of the most essential keys to effective ministry. In fact I believe it so important that you should do nothing without first going to prayer. Without consistent prayer, we have no direction or hope. If we are not praying, how can we be sure that we are following God’s path? How can we face our challenges? How can we receive God’s provision?

Working on your ministry is exciting as well as time consuming. As much as you want to spend time in prayer, it’s almost never enough. This is why having an intentional and activated prayer strategy, with an engaged prayer team, is critical. Your ministry must be covered by prayer if it is to be effective and protected from attack.

 

I believe there is more I can add to each one of these keys but I think you get where I’m going with this and will grasp that ministry is not about ourselves but about God. You are where you are at today because of God’s grace and that in itself should compel you to serve Him humbly!

Christian Leadership Part 2

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Last December we had our first ever all day Leadership Seminar inside the prison that I serve at. The day was focused in raising up Christian men as leaders, who will not be afraid of sharing the gospel around themselves inside of prison. Last week I shared my first blog post about this special time which you can read by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. This is the second blog post in the series of three blog posts that I am sharing with you about this event.

After spending some time in worship singing songs such as, I’m a Solider in the Army of the Lord, and Power in the Blood, our third speaker of the day began sharing his message titled, “Godly Character.” He started in by making the difference between subjective and objective views on character, saying, “Subjective character is only based on what people believe character should be , but objective character is what God tells us that character is.” He spoke out of Psalms 15 where it says, “O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He challenged the men by saying,” He continued by saying , “As believers we should be compassionate, humble, joyful and content. Even though we are locked up behind these fences we no excuse to not be joyful and content. Believers should also be holy, merciful, and pure in heart. These are some of the things that define the character of a Godly man.” He also touched on sonship and that we as Christians are all sons of God so as a son of God our lives should portray Him to those who are around us. In closing he called the men’s attention to several scriptures on abiding in Christ as well as Micah 6:8 which says, “O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” After the message the men spent several minutes discussing how as Christians they might maintain a Godly character while being locked up inside of prison. This time was well spent as these conversations led many to be challenged even in the simple things such as respecting those around them and those in authority over them.

As the day went on we were challenged once again by another message titled “Prayer.”  The speaker who has been a pillar in our church inside of prison began his message by using examples of prayer throughout the Bible. He continued on in his message by asking the question, “What is prayer?” Answering his own question he said, “That prayer is a privilege conversation between me and my Daddy. It is about intimacy; it is about me telling my Daddy about my hurts and struggles. God is God to some but to you brothers who believe, God is our Daddy. If you are not talking to Him, praying to Him, then you are not seeking Him.” He also challenged the men that we are to abide in in the Word saying, “If you are not abiding in God’s Word but still want to dump your prayers on Him then you are like a hot air balloon crying out to God.  God hears the prayers of the righteous, not our righteousness, the things we do or have done but the righteousness of God in us through what His Son Jesus has done.”  He then spoke about what prayer should look like from Matthew 6 encouraging the men that through prayer we receive the courage and boldness to be a witness in this earth. As the message came to a close he challenged everybody to pray for the other men inside of prison and that through our prayers change will happen. After the message the men began singing softly, “He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.” After the course was sung the room became silent as the men quietly cried out to their Daddy in Heaven.

I will be posting next week part three of this first ever Leadership Seminar inside of the prison that I serve at. Thank you for reading these posts and I pray that you may be challenged by these words which were mostly spoken by men who were once known as murders, robbers, rapists, but now are known as faithful ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lifting The Church in Prayer

As we turn our calendars to a new year, we instinctively make plans to give attention to what matters. One of the things that matter to me is the church behind bars.  I would like to begin this next year with a prayer focus for those Christian men and women who are incarcerated. Here are 5 ways in that I will be praying and I would like to encourage you to join me and pray as well.

Pray for a Hunger for the Bible.

If the goal of the church is Christlikeness, then the diet for the church must be the Bible. After all, it is the Bible that God uses to make the child of God more like the Son of God (John 17:17). Therefore, we can pray that the church would be filled with people who hunger for hearing from God in their private devotions, chapel services, and conversations with other believers. Imagine the impact of a church inside of prison full of people who wake up eager to open the Bible each morning to discover anew the truth of God’s character and conquests. Imagine hearts so overflowing with the Bible that their conversations, letters to their families and meditations just drip with the Scriptures. Pray that God will give them an abiding delight for the Word.

Pray for Thankfulness.

The Apostle Paul identifies being unthankful as a footprint of unbelief (Rom. 1:21) while noting thankfulness as a mark of a believer (Col. 3:15–17). One way that we can be praying for the church inside of prison is to plead with God that they would be thankful. My prayer is that the church inside of prison be enveloped by a real joy in God because of what He has done for us in Christ. May God’s worth and work captivate the hearts, minds, and wills of the church inside of prison so that regardless of their circumstances they know for a fact that God is for them in Christ.

Pray for Gospel Growth.

The gospel is intended to advance. Jesus commissioned His disciples as missionaries (Matt. 28:19–21) and churches have been advancing the gospel ever since. This advancement of the Gospel does not exclude the church inside of prison but will not happen if the church is full of people unmoved by the gospel. The truth of the gospel must get down deep into the marrow of their beings, their very souls. It is a truth that must color every thought, action, and reaction. As these men grow in their understanding of the gospel (and its implications), they will find themselves growing in knowledge and application of the Bible. To grow in the gospel is to have one’s identity, mission, security, and hopes all built on what Christ has done. A church that is growing in the gospel is filled with people who are joyfully loving, serving, and sacrificing for one another as they demonstrate the gospel. They are also tactfully, winsomely, and zealously declaring the gospel to each other. Pray that God will strengthen them in the gospel. Draw them deeply into the glory of Christ. Make them more and more impressed with Him this very day. Cause them to grow in the gospel and walk in a manner worthy of it.

Pray for Holiness.

The Apostle Peter exhorts us to be holy because God Himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15–16). Before the church is anything else, she is set apart to holiness. Walking in holiness is a challenge for many inside of prison because they live in the midst of a community that is not holy. Because of this, we need to continually pray for our incarcerated brothers and sisters that they would be a holy people. Pray that God would strengthen their commitment and endurance to strive daily after holiness in their lives.

Pray for Unity.

The gospel brings people together. What’s more, it brings sinful people with various backgrounds together. The gospel takes selfish people and causes them to love one another. However, we know from reading the New Testament and from experience that selfishness constantly attempts to overthrow unity and the church inside of prison is not exempt from this. In Eph. 4:2, we are told to preserve unity by walking in a manner that is worthy of the gospel. This is a humble, gentle, enduring, and loving walk. It tends toward preserving unity rather than fracturing it. As long as selfishness exists, we must find ourselves praying for unity. I want to encourage you to join with me as I pray for believers to walk this gospel walk, leaving footprints of humility. Pray that the Church inside of prison would be united in and through the Trinity so that they might be united together, as a church, in love.

Happy New Years!

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As we turn the page and begin a new year in our lives, I wonder, what this new year will hold. What new joys await us this next year? What challenges? What trials and heartaches? What new lessons? What dreams will come true, and what new ones will be birthed?

The great news is that God is the author of 2016! He knows each and every twist and turn that lay ahead both for you and for me. He has planned 2016 down to the tiniest detail—all with the goal of his glory and our good.

So when it comes to facing the new and unexpected, when the future seems frightening and uncertain, and when we come to a new and unfamiliar junction in the road of life, the best and greatest thing we can do is pray.

While the list of things we could pray for this year is endless, I’ve created a list to get us started. Will you join me in praying these things for ourselves and others?

  1. That we would know the love of Christ.This is one of Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians. It is a prayer that opens our eyes to seeing Christ’s love in new and fresh ways.

    “That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (3:17-19).

  2. That we would love God’s Word.It was God’s Word that started this blue marble that we call Earth spinning and twirling in the darkness. It is His Word that brings life and sustains life. It is His Word that decreed redemption was accomplished when Christ cried out on the cross, “It is finished!” And it is His written Word that shows us the path of life.Scripture tells us all we need to know about who God is and what He has done for us in Christ. It also His Word that changes us and sanctifies us.

    “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

    Let us pray this year for hearts that love God’s Word.

  3. That we would desire Christ above all else.We cannot love God on our own. Left to our own devices, we would only love ourselves. Only God can bring our dead hearts to life, giving us hearts that love and desire to obey Him.

    “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Eze. 36:36).

    Let us pray this year for hearts that love Christ above all else. Let us pray for hearts that are dissatisfied with the fast-food offerings of this world. Instead, let’s pray that we would develop a taste for the rich and deeply satisfying love of Christ.

  4. That God would show us the idols of our heart.All the things we bow down to in our heart—the things that we love more than Christ—are idols. Success, affection, affirmation, money, possessions, family, jobs, can all be idols of the heart. Pray that God would reveal what idols stand tall on the altar of your heart. Pray that He would help you remove them and put greater love for Christ in their place.
  5. That we would be quick to repent.Martin Luther described the Christian life as one of repentance. As long as we live in this sin-stained world, we will continue to sin. Let us pray for hearts that are quick to repent. May we readily turn to the cross and apply what Christ has done for us, washing ourselves anew in His forgiving grace.
  6. That we would think less about ourselves.Tim Keller says, “The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” This year, let us pray that we would spend less time consumed with ourselves and more time thinking about loving God and loving others.
  7. That we would have gospel joy.Gospel joy is the joy that anchors us in the midst of the ferocious storms of life. It is the constant steady horizon in the swells of life. It stays with us no matter our circumstances. This is something I pray for quite often because I tend to notice the storm clouds and forget the sun shining above them. Gospel joy comes from knowing what Christ has done for us, who we are because of Him, and the eternal hope we have through Him.
  8. That we would love like Christ.Just as we can’t love God on our own, we can’t love others on our own either. We need to pray that we would have a love like Christ—the kind of love that seeks the best in others, takes the last place, serves, and sacrifices. The apostle John said that we love because God first loved us. This year, may we focus on the love Christ has for us, and may it propel us to love others as He loves us.
  9. That God’s will would be done.In the fictional Mitford book series, Father Tim would tell others that he was “praying the prayer that never fails.” Praying that God’s will would be done is the prayer that never fails. May we submit all our prayers and desires to God’s will, trusting that His will is perfect, holy, righteous, and good.
Portions of this post were originally written by Christina Fox at reviveourhearts.com

Prayer, The Greater Work in Ministry

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“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” ― Martin Luther

Late one afternoon as I was walking down the sidewalk, intent in completing my errands for the day a young man yelled out “Chap, pray for me!” As I heard him, I quickly gave him my usual response “I will.” He responded just as quickly as I had, with a question that made me stop in my tracks, “How are you going to pray for me, you don’t even know my name?” I looked up at him and realized that I had become too busy with all the things that Chaplaincy brings and had failed at the most important part of ministry. This young man had a need and wanted someone to pray, but my errands had taken priority. Embarrassingly enough he was right, if he hadn’t stopped me his request for a prayer would’ve probably went unsaid that day. Instead I apologized to him, asked what his name was and what some of his prayer needs were and there on the sidewalk I prayed for him. Praying with someone is the one of the greatest privileges we have, yet it can often be our greatest neglect. We so often become busy doing the work of ministry when in reality the real work is prayer.  I love what Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” I was challenged that day to make an effort in making prayer for others a priority in my daily routine.

The Lord Is Faithful

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Last week makes it four years that I have served as a We Care Chaplain at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama.  The Lord has provided resources to hold many classes and activities, to have worship services and revivals, and to fellowship and build friendships across a broad spectrum of people.  I feel truly blessed to have been granted this opportunity. Over these four years, I have been blessed to meet and minister to many incarcerated men and staff.  I have also had the privilege to serve under two State Chaplains and two Wardens.

I must say that although there were struggles and hardships at times, the Lord was always there and He kept both me and my family, providing for each and every need, and helping us to overcome each and every trial.  There were some valleys, but for every valley, Praise the Lord, there was a mountaintop.  Men have gotten saved; our church has grown; the young in the Lord are being discipled and mentored; people are being called into the ministry; preachers, teacher, elders, and pastors are being raised up; prayers are being answered; and the Lord is moving at St. Clair.  I am encouraged each and every day by the progress being made, the lives being changed, and the hope being fostered.

Your contribution, your prayers, your support, your encouragement, and your commitment have made many of these things possible.  I thank the Lord every day for your steadfastness.  I praise Him for raising up men and women and even entire churches who support our ministry to the prisoners.  You have provided hope and healing to so many.  I wish it were possible for you to meet these men whom you have blessed.  I wish you could hear their testimonies, listen to their songs and sermons, worship with them, and pray with them.  There is so much light here, so much love for Jesus.  The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever.  These men are a testimony of that.  For those of you who may have come into St. Clair for a ReNew Hope Event over the last few years and met these men, you know what I am talking about first-hand.  Jesus is here in this place.

 

Is Our Prayer Desperate

We are living in desperate times, with the recent changes in our society such as the redefining of marriage and the break down of family! We have an enemy that is working overtime to destroy what God has created, this enemy is attacking the foundations of our spiritual heritage.

This world is filled with leaders in positions of responsibility who do not fear God, and have rather chose to follow what man decides is politically correct. This deceit is not just among our government but it has crept into our churches and our homes. Today we have pastors who believe that they should follow the laws that our Supreme Court decide on and neglect the written Word of God our Bible. It breaks my heart when I see a pastor or congregation make statements as “Our Bible is outdated” or “Does God really care about this, wasn’t the Bible written thousands of years ago.” My heart breaks even more when I see christian families crumbling under the pressure of this world, and marriages break up. We are not only in a fight for traditional marriage we are in a fight to preserve the traditional family that has been the foundation for our society for generations. It is the fight to give every child the opportunity to be raised in a home with a mom and dad, learning the invaluable life lessons that come from each. According to statistics the single greatest factor contributing to the exploding rate of deviant behavior in our country is that of children being raised in fatherless homes. Violent crime, substance abuse, unwed mothers, chronic depression, and an abundance of other social ills, including poverty, can be traced back to children having an absent or abusive father. Children who grow up apart from their biological fathers are disadvantaged across the board. They are twice as likely to drop out of school and as adults they end up having much higher rates of divorce. The great majority of our incarcerated criminals grew up either in a fatherless home or in a home where the father was abusive.

Friends we are in desperate times! We can not shrink back ! We must stand! We must go to God in desperate prayer! All throughout the Bible we see desperate people in desperate times, confronted by feelings of hopelessness. What do they do, they go to God in desperate prayer!Jesus spoke of desperate prayer in Luke 18 in the parable of the persistent widow. In Luke 18:1 it says,  “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (give up, or despair). Are we praying and not losing heart, or are we in despair of all that’s happening around you?  Are we praying with confidence, is our prayer desperate and persistent? Do we have confidence in our Sovereign Lord, or have we given up all hope and given in to the lie of the devil, our enemy?

Let’s stand up fellow Christians our hope is found in Jesus. It’s because of His work on the cross that we can approach God’s throne and know that He hears us. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 promises, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Fellow Christians we must humble ourselves before God and pray with an earnest desire to be heard and answered! Are we praying half-hearted, mumbly prayers? Or do we recognize the need, the helplessness, do we recognize our inability to meet this crushing need? We are in desperate times in need of desperate prayer are you willing to join me and stand up for God and His Word or will you crumble under the pressure as so many have done?

 

Prayer Request 10/22/13

Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need. E.M. Bounds

Let’s lift up Derrick in our prayers this week. Derrick is currently serving a Life Without Parole Sentence inside of prison. Derrick told me yesterday that he has hurt his family immensely and that the last six years being incarcerated have affected his children negatively. Derrick loves God and there is no doubt that he has been saved, but he has been struggling to keep his family together and prove his trust to them. He asked that we pray for reconciliation of his children, and for their Salvation. Pray that they will have an acceptance toward one another, and walk in forgiveness toward each other and him. Pray that total deliverance and healing will take place in their lives and that God will give them peace, joy, and faith to overcome any doubts, fears, and condemnation. Pray that God will show them His plan for each of their lives.

After spending some time talking, Derrick handed me the above prayer request s written on a note and below them he wrote these words, “I appreciate everyone who will join me and my wife in crying out to our God for the best for our children. Thanks.”

The least or may I say the most that we can do as fellow believers is to join in prayer with Derrick and his wife on behalf of their broken family.

Octobers Ministry Update

Matthew 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

I want to thank all of you that have invested in this ministry either through your prayers and or fiances and would ask you to remember our family in prayer as we continue pursuing God’s direction in our lives. Below are several updates of what God has had me do inside of the prison ministering to the least of these.

In the last few months I believe God has been shifting my focus of ministry from doing a lot of classes and programs to mostly one on one discipleship. It is kind of ironic that I say that when the last few months I have found myself in the chapel office in more of an administrative role due to the head Chaplain’s increased military responsibilities. But I believe it was in this role that I found more time for personal one on one discipleship and less time for leading classes. One day while in the office working on some memos a younger man that I have known for a long time came in and sat down. We engaged in a conversation about his absence in our chapel services and his struggle of being consistent in studying his Bible. While talking I felt led to ask if he would be interested in meeting once a week to study the Bible together. He was overjoyed with the offer and since than we have been meeting once a week studying our Bibles. Two weeks ago I was speaking to another man that had asked me on several occasions for prayer, during our conversation he told me of his struggle at being faithful and asked if I would keep him accountable. We also meet once or twice a week to pray, study the Bible, or sometimes just talk. I currently meet with four different men weekly, and have noticed and have been told that God is working in their lives. My experience these last few weeks with these men has also quickened my faith and renewed a passion inside of me for the ministry that Christ has purposed.

A few weeks ago while in the chapel I received a call from a local drug rehab ministry, where one of the inmates daughter was currently going through their program. Her father was housed in our infirmary, and was only given a few days to live due to his struggle of cancer. The drug counselor requested that I would join the daughter while she visited her father for the last time, stating that it had been 15 years since they had seen each other. The next morning I met the daughter in the infirmary as she spent time with her father for the last time. There were many tears shed as her dad wasn’t responding very well and had changed immensely since she had last seen him. She was very concerned of her father’s salvation and I was grateful to share with her that he had chosen to follow Christ. I struggled through our 2 hours that day as part of me wanted to be angry at her for abandoning her father in prison until he was dying, and also wondering about the hurt she must of felt for him abandoning her at an early age and going to prison. I believe there was a lot of forgiveness that happened that morning as her father tightly gripped her hand and we spent time reading the Bible and praying. A few hours after her visit, her father went on peacefully to be with his Lord.