Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More work on Restoration Ministries

I didn't go into the jail this past week, but eight men from various churches and ministries met this past Saturday to lay some more ground work on Restoration Ministries. The original vision for the idea can be found here. I'm really excited about this team of men: a guy who runs a Christian half-way house, another guy in the process of starting one, a man who was involved in organized crime decades ago before he got saved, a few of us who have been doing evangelism and Bible studies in jails and prison for a number of years, a guy who has a lot of experience in the real estate market in Rochester, etc. We met to begin work on a plan which we will eventually present to the city. We're hoping that one more 4-hour power session should be enough to get our basic plan finalized.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pray for a rekindling of the fire

Please pray for Rylie. After much initial promise that Ryan would be a leader in the jail, Dave noticed that he has become angry and unsettled about several things, and will not have anything to do with the advance of the Kingdom within the jail. However, he still has intentions of getting married this week to his fiancée while in the jail.

Pray that the Lord will restore Rylie to his first love, and that his fire for Jesus will not be snuffed out.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

More healings

Dave met Jerald a little over two weeks ago. They prayed together over a couple issues, and the Lord answered:

1. Jerald had a painful nerve condition in his arm that has now left. He still has some muscle weakness.

2. His son has slept peacefully for the last two weeks. The Lord healed Jerald's son of sickle-cell anemia. (The healing was confirmed by medical tests.)

Now able to sleep

I hung out with John again Thursday.

Before he was saved, he had a lot of difficulty sleeping. That was mostly due to the guilt feelings he carried. We prayed about his sleep situation last week. He is able to sleep very well now. He has had peace since giving his life to Christ last week. He plans on getting married to the woman he has lived with for 12 years. Another testimony: he reconciled with his fiancée’s mother. They had been at odds, but she drove over a thousand miles to visit him in jail. Before she was saved, she abused drugs and lived a wild lifestyle. During her visit, she repented to him for the bad example she was to his daughter.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

New Birth after a New Birth

I went back to jail yesterday for the first time after my son was born. I sat down with Angelo and John. I had met Angelo a few weeks before; he brought John to meet me.

"My little daughter goes to church with her grandma," John said. "She loves it. I never thought about going the right way until I got in here three weeks ago. I just want a second chance with my family."

"God wants to give you a second chance, John," I told him. "That's why He sent

"How come guys who do all these bad things get a second chance," John complained, "but those who don't do things which are that bad don't seem to get a second chance? I mean, I've never killed anybody or raped anybody, but I hear a lot of other guys talk about what they've done and they seem to get breaks."

I showed John Romans 3:10–12: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

"No one can claim to have any goodness in God's sight. All of us have fallen short, but God gives us an opportunity to be a new creation. It's not too late until you're six feet under."

"I just want to have a second chance."

"God is offering you an eternal plea bargain. Admit your guilt to him, confess your sin. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus and you will be declared innocent."

"I just want a second chance."

"John," I told him, "you don't have to ask God anymore to give you a second chance. He's already given it to you. The question is, will you take it?"

"Of course I'll take it."

"Do you know how to receive eternal life? Do you know how to receive your second chance?"


"Are you sorry for your sins?"


"You're half way there. Do you believe Jesus died for your sins and that He rose from the dead?"


"Are you ready to take your second chance right now?"


"Confess your sin to God, tell Him you're sorry."

With tears, John confessed his sin to God and told him he didn't want to do those things anymore. "Lord Jesus, I want you to take control of my life."

I assured him that his sins were forgiven. I then prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be empowered to live a righteous life, and to be a witness for Christ.

"Thank God for forgiving you, John." After he did that, I asked him how he felt.

"I feel like a ton of bricks was lifted off my back!" Laughing with him, I said, "I know the feeling, John."

"Now I want to get my family on track with God," he said.

Praise God for the new birth. Pray that John's whole family would be saved.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Thursday Night

Dave got to the correctional facility a little late last night, and the attending deputy was in the "yard" monitoring the inmates for their evening exercise. Dave was in the outside hallway looking to get authorization by the deputy to get in. Inmate Tom saw Dave at the hallway window and walked to the "yard" to inform the deputy that Dave needed entry to the unit. The deputy "buzzed" him in remotely from the yard.

As Dave was coming in, Tom and all the others came in from the yard. "Thanks for asking the deputy to let me in, Tom," Dave said. Tom immediately wanted to sit and talk with Dave. As the two of them talked, Tom repented of his sins, and received Jesus as his Savior and Lord! After this, they continued talking and praying. There were many other inmates around at the time. Pray that Tom grows in his faith, and that seeds would be planted in the other inmates who were listening in the conversation.

Dave continues:
Joe is a Christian whom I just met. He sat down with me and outright asked that we talk and pray about how he could be used of the Lord to lead others to the Lord. "I want to help my fellow inmates better their walk with the Lord. Can you help me?" I agreed to mentor him (as best the Lord allows) to be an effective witness.

Not long after that, I ran into that I had met before named Ken. He is an inmate who months ago wanted salvation, but didn't want Jesus as Lord in his life because he did not want to give up the life-style of a drug dealer after his release. Praise the Lord that changed last night! Ken made Jesus Lord of his life.

Not only that, but I set up Ken and Joe in a Life Transformation Group (LTG). (LTGs are accountability groups of two or three people who meet weekly for prayer, confession of sin, reporting on Bible reading, and praying for unsaved friends. Click here for more info on LTGs and here to order brochures. No, I don't get a commission!)

The "Joe LTG" was born last night. This is the first LTG for this unit, and the first for Joe. Pray for many more! Last year, there were 14 LTGs going at one time and some great inmate prayer meetings.

Keep praying for the move of the Lord on these guys.