Category Archives: Lessons

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The Storm – Gabriel McCullum

“The Storm”
By Gabriel McCullum
Parnall Correctional Facility, Jackson, MI

Hello saints of God. This is my first time writing and as embarrassing as it is, it’s also just as much of a great and blessed opportunity. I’m currently incarcerated within the Michigan DOC. It’s bad because I feel I was railroaded by our criminal justice system and for safe-keeping and out of fear, I took a plea deal.

It’s great because I’m learning how to trust God even more, something I didn’t know how to do quite well prior to coming to prison for the first time. In addition to that, I noticed that when the disciples were at sea and a storm had occurred, if you thought the storm occurring was bad, the next part of the text states, the water of the storm had started filling in the boat.

Thought of the day: What do you do, not only when a storm occurs, but when the storm starts getting inside of you? I have really learned that the Bible must come alive in us; be living examples; you know – testimony.

It’s important that we learn through experience to be effective and efficient for God’s kingdom and work. Therefore, i have really begun to not only call on the name of the Lord even more, but, since I have been incarcerated for two years now, Romans 8:28 has become very important to me, my healing, my deliverance, my trust and dependency in and with God.

Living God’s Way, Day By Day – Todd Ender

“Living God’s Way, Day By Day”
By Todd Ender
Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee, MI

  1. Keep your word. Be honest.
  2. Be a Person of excellence. Follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  3. Be careful about judging.
  4. Be quick to forgive.
  5. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
  6. Be the first one to say sorry.
  7. Just agree not to fight, or just be quiet.
  8. Believe the best, not the worst in people.
  9. Make every day the happiest, no matter the situation.
  10. Every day tell yourself you’re going to be at peace, joy, and smile and laugh as much as your heart can take. When you’re getting down, tell yourself God wants you to laugh and smile to enjoy life.
  11. Pray for strength.
  12. Pray for courage.
  13. You are blessed, don’t forget it.
  14. I am a person of discipline and self-control.
  15. I love God and know there will or might be a time between when you ask God for something. (Have patience) I am a believer.
  16. Plus He might just show you what to do.
  17. Replace negative talk with talk from God.
  18. Care for others and help them when possible.
  19. God says you’re very important.
  20. Pray for peace, and for everyone you know or don’t
    know.

Living God’s Way, Day By Day – Todd Enders

“Living God’s Way, Day By Day”
By Todd Enders
Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee, MI

  1. Keep your word. Be Honest.
  2. Be a person of excellence. Follow the Golden Rule. Do
    unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  3. Be careful about judging.
  4. Be quick to forgive.
  5. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
  6. Be the first one to say sorry.
  7. Just agree not to fight, or just be quiet.
  8. Believe the best, not the worst in people.
  9. Make every day the happiest, no matter the situation.
  10. Every day tell yourself you’re going to be at peace, joy, and smile and laugh as much as your heart can take. When you’re getting down, tell yourself God wants you to laugh and smile to enjoy life.
  11. Pray for strength.
  12. Pray for courage.
  13. You are blessed, don’t forget it.
  14. I am a person of discipline and self-control.
  15. I love God and know there will or might be a time between when you ask God for something. Have patience. I am a believer.
  16. Plus he might just show you what to do.
  17. Replace negative talk with talk from God.
  18. Care for others and help them when possible.
  19. God says you’re very important.
  20. Pray for peace and for everyone you know or don’t know.

Keep Going – Raymond Carr

“Keep Going”
By Raymond Carr
Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater, MI

Early one Sunday morning, I felt a pull that lured me out of bed, So, out of bed I am, but I didn’t stop there. This pull, pulled me to the kitchen, where I ate breakfast for the first time in years. It’s something, this pull has been tugging at me for some time now.

But, on this Sunday, I didn’t pull back and this pull, pulled me to church, but I didn’t stop there.

The pastor seemed as if he was preaching specifically to me. Then, the pastor opened the doors of the church and that pull tugged at my heart. This pull, pulled me to the front of the church, where I was Saved By Grace and received the gift of eternal life, but I didn’t stop there.

Now that I have been saved and blessed with salvation, I know that I had to keep going because this pull is pulling at my spirit. Then, I heard a voice say, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” And in my study, I found in II Peter 1:5 that Peter told us to be diligent in adding to our faith virtue and to virtue knowledge. When we give our life to God, it doesn’t stop at the altar. We are children of God now, and we must go from glory to glory.

So, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and forever. Amen. Keep going.

II Timothy 2:15 & II Peter 1:5, 3:18

The Stock Market – Raymond L. Carr Jr.

“The Stock Market”
By Raymond L. Carr Jr.
Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater, MI

At the busy pace of the stock market, the stock exchange is pushed to the limit. This is the place where stocks, bonds, and other securities are bought and sold. Stockholders hold shares and have stock in companies. They can do whatever they wish with their shares. However, they have to be careful that they don’t go into debt or go bankrupt.

In the stock market of life, the spiritual obligations are far greater than any financial obligations that have entered in the balance sheet of a business. You are the stockholder of your own soul, so don’t sell yourself short. Know you are valuable.

And if you feel your life losing value, know you can turn a liability into an asset in Christ Jesus. Give all of yourself to God. God doesn’t want shares of your life, He wants the controlling interest.

Paid In Full – Raymond L. Carr, Jr.

“Paid In Full”
By Raymond L. Carr, Jr.
Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater, MI

In this thing called life, we work for a wage, and paid in full we would like to be. In this pay scale there are highs and lows. But don’t worry, everyone on this payroll of life will get a check for their wages earned.

Thoughts of getting paid in full fill your mind. Don’t worry your little head, you’re going to get paid. However, know this, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The wage is based on how we live this life. Either we are going to be dead to sin and alive to God, or dead as a door knob in sin.

Wages of righteousness is life according to His riches and glory. So, let’s get paid in full, in Jesus’ name.

Romans 6:23

Courageously Delivered – George Walker

“Courageously Delivered”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

Like a thief in the night, the Covid-19 virus has filled the world with fright. But equipping us with courage, the Bible reminds us in 1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”

Undoubtedly there is a problem in the world today when people are losing family members to the pandemic. They are humbled by these horrifying happenings. But God, Hallelujah, He gives us the strength to stand and face any triad of trials, tribulations or trickery that the enemy selfishly throws our way. When we call on the name of Jesus, everything everywhere must bow down, submit or scamper off and try to hide because there is no greater name. In a flurry, you will witness healing, deliverance and restoration because this, too, meaning Covid-19, shall pass in the name of Jesus.

The Father calls to our remembrance Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

The Father reminds us of His orders to be powerful and exercise our favorable fortitude to be fearless instead of fearful. Faith without works is dead which means if we are not confessing God’s Word, (there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling, Psalm 91:10), then what are we believing?

In conclusion, Daniel gives us an example of courage when he told king Nebuchadnezzar “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace,” Daniel proclaimed his faith in God to the king and to the fiery furnace and we have to proclaim ours to this pestilence. And just like God courageously delivered Daniel, He will do it for us as well.

Amen!

Perseverance – Roy Anklam

“Perseverance”
By Roy Anklam
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

P: PAIN: Without pain there is no reason for growth. In order to get stronger physically, mentally – and above all else – spiritually, one must be presented with the challenge of pain. Pain=Growth.

E: ENDURANCE: The key to finding the reason behind the pain you are experiencing is only possible when you endure long enough to free your mind to a point where you can reason with logical thinking.

R: RELIANCE: Now that you have endured long enough to logically process the hurt you are feeling, you must now seek Jesus and rely on Him and the word of God to see you through. This is called faith.

S: STRENGTH: When a human experiences pain they experience weakness through trauma. After you have showed your endurance to survive this immediate trauma, and you are now relying on your faith that is possible only through Jesus, it is time to evaluate who you really are in Christ, and what should your next move be.

E: EVALUATION: Now that Jesus has aided you through your pain, and your faith in Him has not wavered any, you must self-evaluate to find the direction Jesus would have you go toward, so that new growth can develop in your life. When you evaluate yourself, compare the good in your life with the bad. Always remember to seek Jesus through one-on-one prayer, totally giving Him all of your feelings. Ask for direction. You will get a response. Maybe not the answer you want, but guidance is going to come.

V: VALOR: Begin accepting what you cannot change and move forward with courage and bravery, because through your faith in Jesus and prayer, you know you’re stronger than any pain this world can throw at you.

E: EMPATHY: Always remember your pain is not yours alone. Put yourself in your loved ones’ shoes! Be strong for yourself and for those you hurt with you.

R: REAP: You are a stronger person because of your ability to accept and endure. Harvest the fruits of your newborn growth.

A: ALLOW: You must allow yourself to move forward in your newfound growth. For sure enough pain always returns.

N: NAVIGATE: Each time pain attacks it has a purpose, perseverance is navigating through each painful storm.

C: CLAIM: Your identity is in Christ and this will see you through your pain.

E: EDUCATE: Help others by sharing your testimony with them. Showing them how Christ always sees you through your painful moments.

A Thought – Nathaniel Smith

“A Thought”
By Nathaniel Smith
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

Oranges still grow in the frost. God created it that way because He knows we need the vitamin C to help us heal during a season of cold weather.

Are you in a season where you need a nutritional touch? Both physically and spiritually? Do you find yourself in a season of frost? Then reach for your “vitamin C” (God).

God is good.

Inspirational Thoughts – Michael Rasmussen

“Inspirational Thoughts”
By Michael Rasmussen
Kinross Correctional Facility, Kincheloe, MI

Here are some more inspirational words to share with others.

“Intention” – Growing up and dating, I was asked by many of the parents of the girls whom I dated, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” And then I would lay it all out in front of them with their daughter present. Their parents would love me for my truthfulness, which was to love their daughter the best way that I knew how, treat them with the utmost respect, be a true gentleman to them, propose to them after graduation and get married roughly three years after that. Unfortunately, girls at that time were not thinking that far in advance as I was and they usually broke up with me shortly thereafter.

Some girls and their parents took my intentions the wrong way after reading a letter that I wrote and instead of giving me the chance to explain myself, they decided not to listen to me and called it quits. Most guys back then had the wrong intentions when they dated a girl. They were always after “one thing,” but that wasn’t me. Some of those guys, married or not, are still after “one thing,” but me, I stay true to my intentions. I want to love a woman the best way that I know how, to treat her with the utmost respect, to be a true gentleman to her, propose to her and be married to her for the rest of our lives together. If that “one thing” comes into play, then it only comes into play because of her intentions and not mine.

Now, how about our spiritual intentions? Are they focused on God and the things of heaven or are they focused on things of the world? If our intentions are not focused on heavenly things, spiritual things, good things, then we need to change them and quick with repentance and prayer! So, what’s your intention?”

“Pray for others” – This is also known as intercessory prayer, which is the strongest form of prayer. Why is that? It’s because we are putting other people’s needs above our own. Some Christians are so Pharisaical when it comes to their prayers that they only focus on themselves. “I do this. I do that. And at least I’m not like that tax collector over there.” At least the tax collector admitted that he was a sinner. So, who do you pray for? Your family, your friends and their families? Your Christian brothers and sisters? For Israel? For Jerusalem? For those who are sick? For those who are in your life? If you don’t know who to pray for, then ask God and listen and He’ll tell you. Pray for your enemies. Pray for the fatherless. Pray for the widowed. Pray for those in prison. Pray for the sick. Pray for those in need. Pray for those who are in leadership. Pray for those who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pray for others because I’m praying for you!”

“Release” – Release me from sin. Release me from this world. Release me from here. I could go on and on about what to be released from, starting from aches and pains, to releasing the anger and hate that is inside of me, and ending it with releasing everything into God’s hands. When we release ourselves from the cares of this world and stay focused on God, we hear God say, “That’s My child,” and smile. Calmness, peace and rest are ours at this release. But He releases us into the world to be a testimony to Him, for Christ, walking in the Spirit and preaching the gospel! Release me, Father, and return back home so I can carry out Your will. Amen.

“Commit” – We make a lot of commitments in life, and some of them are lifelong. When we buy a house or a car, we’re committed to make monthly payments (along with all the other bills that go with them). When we get a job, we’re supposed to commit ourselves into doing our best at it. When we find that significant other of the opposite sex that we’re with, we commit ourselves to them (especially in marriage, which is a lifelong commitment). And when we have children with that person, we have another lifelong commitment to being a parent. When you have a membership to some place, you’re supposed to have a loyalty commitment to that place (like a gym or golf course). But what about God? We’re supposed to be committed, as Christians, for life to God. Not to a god, but to the God, the Father of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, the Creator of heaven and earth. A commitment to our faith, a walking testimony, proclaiming what Christ has done for us and what He can still do for others. A commitment to the body of Christ, the church, fellow Christians, who are not just Sunday Christians, or the ones that just play church, but full-time, God-honoring, God-fearing, God-loving Christians. Be committed to eternal life. Be committed to God’s word. Be committed to the gospel of Christ! Commit yourself today. Amen.

“Mindfulness” – Are we mindful of all the things that we do and say? Are we mindful of those that are around us? Are we mindful of God? As Christians, we’re supposed to be mindful of all of these things. The things that we do and say reflect who we are in Christ. Being mindful of those who are around us shows the Christ-likeness in us. And being mindful of God makes us aware of not just ourselves and others, but of sin, repentance, grace, mercy, peace, rest, love, kindness, gentleness, righteousness, pureness, holiness, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, keeping us on our toes and always walking with the Spirit of truth. Be mindful of everything.