Friday, October 28, 2005

Profile change coming

My profile states that I have two kids. I'm happy to announce that God has another child on the way for us! Junior is due in April 2006. Just wanted to share a little of my joy with all of you.

Be blessed.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

No More Dead Ends

As I peered through the window in the door leading into the jail pod, I saw a familiar face: the deputy on duty was a Christian whom I had met a while back. Seeing him there, gave me an added sense of faith and peace as I walked onto the floor.

"Hey, Joe, how's it going?"
"Good, Brian. I haven't seen you in a while. Where have you been?"
"I've been going to different floors."

While we were chatting, I happened to notice another familiar face out of the corner of my eye: Tim was an inmate I had met over a year ago. I had had some interesting conversations with him in the past, so I decided to go spend some time with him and the young man he was with.

I greeted Tim and his friend Stan. "When I saw you walk in," Tim said, "I was hoping you wouldn't see me. They had released me since the last time I saw you. I was out for about a year, but then I got picked up for something else." He was lamenting the fact that he found himself back in the same place.

"It's sort of like driving a car trying to find a particular destination," I explained to him. "Oftentimes we run into dead end streets and start to head in a different direction. But then something comes over us and we try to go down the same street again. We think to ourselves, Maybe this time the street won't be a dead end. Of course it is--and we wonder why things haven't changed."

I told both of them, "The devil is going to hell and he's trying to drag both of you with him. Jesus came to give you a full life." I didn't know if Tim was registering all this, but I could see that Stan was. I asked him if anyone had ever told him how he could have the assurance of eternal life. He hadn't heard the gospel so I explained it to him.

"You can trust Jesus with your life because He died for you. It's like He jumped in front of you and took a bullet for you. That's a Person you can trust." The Lord was opening Stan's eyes. I continued, "You can be saved today, Stan--right now. You don't need to wait until you get out and go to church."

"How can I do that?" he asked.

"Be sincerely sorry for the sins you have committed, and tell God so. Ask Jesus to be Lord of your life. Get out of the driver seat and let Jesus drive. I'll lead you in a prayer and you pray out loud after me."

As I began the prayer, both Tim and Stan prayed to receive Christ. I was really happy for the two of them. Praise God for saving them and encouraging me in the process. I'm hoping to do a Bible study with them soon. Pray that they would get grounded in the Word and prayer. Pray that Tim's pregnant girlfriend, who's also in jail, will come to Christ as well.

Friday, October 21, 2005


You know how you go through some dry periods. It's been a little dry for me lately. I go to the jail because I feel a deep sense of duty, but it hasn't been all it's cracked up to be lately. I don't know what exactly I'm looking for, but, as U2 sings, I still haven't found it.

It may be a season I'm going through. Maybe there's a need to focus on stuff at church, give less attention to actively being involved in this ministry and pray for others to be raised up to do this. Maybe I need a heart check and ask myself why I'm doing this. Maybe it's spiritual attack from the devil because he doesn't like what's going on in the jail. At any rate, I'd appreciate any prayers and thoughts that are out there.

On the other hand, I'm very encouraged by what God is doing through my friend Dave. Dave generally goes three nights a week to the correctional facility when he can. Dave was born for this. He loves it; I think he would sleep over if the deputies didn't kick him out at night! And God is drawing many men to Himself through Dave. For that I rejoice. Maybe the Lord just wants to remind me that it's not all about me. As long as His Kingdom advances, I can celebrate.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Two Hungry Men

Eric approached Dave last night wanting to talk about his spiritual life. "I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church, but I was never confirmed. In fact, after I was baptized, I never went to a Catholic mass or went to confession."

Eric was curious and open about what the Word had to say about Jesus and salvation. Dave told him the good news about Jesus. Eric believed it and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Later, a man named Sam sat down and looked Dave right in the eyes: "I want to get these bad thoughts out of my mind and life. How do I do that and how do I get 'better' with God?"

Dave was excited about the opportunity to talk to a man so hungry for God. Just as Dave began to talk with Sam, an announcement came about a bible study taking place. Sam said that he wanted to attend that class. Dave agreed it was good for him to check out the class, and off went Sam.

Praise God for His amazing love! Pray that Eric gets grounded in his new faith. Pray that the Lord will continue to draw Sam to Himself. Pray that the inmates would not be distracted by things that will take their focus off God.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Gladness instead of mourning

Mike approached my friend Dave one evening this week and silently pointed to a calendar on the table that he wanted. (Calendars are a popular item in the jails because the inmates can keep track of how much time they have left.) Dave interacted with Mike for a while, but the whole time Mike did not even look up. It was obvious that Mike was depressed. Dave invited him to sit down and talk.

"Jesus loves you very much," Dave told Mike, "and there is no way that you could run or escape from the Lord's love for you. There is hope and a future in God for you, Mike."

Well, that got Mike's attention. He finally lifted his head and made eye contact with Dave. The conversation got right to the point: "Mike, you're on a path that is not the best for you. You are doing your own thing just like so many. God demands that you repent and turn to Him. You will be forgiven, be made totally clean and have hope." Dave shared many Scripture passages with Mike to back up what he was saying.

The Lord showed Mike that he needed to choose to turn around, and that Jesus wanted the best for him. Mike finally received fully what the Bible said about becoming a new person in Jesus. Mike gave his life to Christ. There was quite a transformation when Mike understood his opportunity and received the Lord. He went from somber and expressionless to smiling and beaming. Keep praying for Mike that he would find his joy and strength in the Lord.