Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Clean Heart...and Tongue

Dave reports:

Last night, Ralph sat down with me and after introductions he was asking all kinds of questions about what the Lord thought about cursing and swearing. Ralph focused on that because he said he did not smoke, drink, do drugs, and he wanted to try and keep his life clean.

I shared with him that what came out of his mouth is a reflection of the heart. I shared with him Matthew 12:34-37 and it hit him like a ton of bricks. All this led to me presenting the gospel to him. Ralph was eager to make a decision to repent, get his heart (and mouth) straight and receive the Lord Jesus.

Before we prayed, I recapped what he was about to do, and he said "Stop, I have some more questions that need to be cleared up!" So for the next half hour Ralph wanted to know why Jesus should be the "choice" for salvation, when there are the Muslims that also have their own sincere "choice" to get right with God (Allah) via the prophet Mohammad? Wow, I was delighted to answer that question! After all this, the Lord convinced and satisfied Ralph about his choice and committment to Jesus. Ralph received Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life. I gave him a Good News bible study unit and by the grace of God, Ralph will move forward with the Lord.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Don't end up like me!"

I sat with Landon and Drey at a table today. (BTW, many names and some details in this and other posts have been changed.) Drey is 41 and a grandfather. He should be getting out tomorrow. Landon, 24, has about four more months to go.

"Let me ask you a question," Landon said to me. "I've got two women on the outside. One is my daughter's mother, but we're not getting along. We've been together for 5 years. The other is one I've been with for two years and we get along great. Which one should I pick?"

This led to a long three-way conversation about what it means to be a man—a man that honors God. I told him how a godly man does not look for a woman to take care of him ("that's what your mama's for"), but is looking to take care of his wife. He loves her the way Christ loved the church and gave His life for the church (Eph. 5:25). This is the kind of husband a wife will gladly submit to (Eph. 5:22).

These two guys sit together often. As Landon put it to Drey, "Everybody else is talking about how they're not going to get caught next time. But you (Drey) help me along the right path."

Drey seems to be sort of a father figure to Landon. He gives him straight advice, mostly right on. Drey has a Christian background and knows the truth, but is not following what he knows. "Don't end up like me, Landon. You need to get grounded in God."

Pray that Landon and Drey surrender fully to Jesus and get connected with men in a church when they get out.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


I finally got a chance to talk to Donald. He is a believer with a zeal for the Lord. He asked for prayer for his wife and children who are struggling because he is in jail.

I had been wanting to talk to Donald for a while now. I had seen him a few times carrying out his ministry. About 15-20 guys gather every day in a section of the pod near the laundry facilities. They gather there because it's away from distractions and temptations. (Poker, trash TV and conversations filled with "darkness" draw in many.)

Donald leads this group of men. He preaches with a passion. He stands in the middle with a Bible in one hand, while emphasizing his points with the other hand. He addresses the group and individuals. Nobody is dozing off; they're following along in their Bibles. Every once in a while a newcomer will meander his way over to the group. Later, people share their experiences, insights from the Word, and difficulties. They close in prayer.

They don't pass a plate. They don't have a choir. But this truly is "church." And as one excited inmate told me, "God is working here!" Indeed He is. Pray that these men get grounded in the faith and find solid churches when they get out.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Tragic Loss

Dave reports:

Our brother in the Lord, Tom, was called "Doc" because he really was a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic.
He had a good medical practice, nice family, and home in the area. As a person to meet, he had a sweet, compassionate heart. Unfortunately, he also had a deep seated problem with alcohol and drugs. I am nearly convinced that even Tom did not know the depth of his addictions.

According to my records I met Tom on 01/13/05 and he received the Lord on that evening in Monroe County Jail. I remember most clearly that on 04/18/05, Tom and I prayed that when he was released from jail he would have the strength to avoid alcohol and drugs, and be focused completely on the Lord Jesus. Several times we prayed; and I shared with him (cautioning him) about the dangers of not focusing on the Lord continuously (even hour by hour)—especially when his release date came closer.

Unfortunately Tom died on 05/02/2005 of an overdose of drugs less than two hours after being released from jail.
I could say more but I am at loss, disappointed, and sad that our dear brother ended as he did but a good lesson for us all can be found in Prov. 16:25. May we always be focused on the Lord and what he has for us (I Cor. 15:58).

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Excited New Believer

Charles prayed to receive Christ two weeks ago. He said to me today, "I’m so full of Jesus, I feel like I’m going to explode! I just want to tell everyone about Him.” I asked him if he had a church to attend. He said that he did not. I encouraged him to quickly find a church to get plugged in to. I invited him to try the church I pastor. Pray that Charles' fire will continue to burn. Pray that he gets connected with other brothers in Christ. Pray that his family comes to Christ as well.