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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Unseen Danger – Terri N. Reese-Green

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“Unseen Danger”
By Terri N. Reese-Green
Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Psalm 118:18-24 says, “The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open the gates of righteousness that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous shall enter in. I thank that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; I shall rejoice and be glad in it.”

Now if my child ran out into the street and did it often, I would severely discipline him by placing a gate around the house where he could not get out. For one, he has no idea of the danger he is running into but God wants to put him in the gate of righteousness, God has a plan for him and his life. A lot of times, we sit in the gates of righteousness and cannot see it but God has a plan. We have rejected his plan over and over, not seeing the danger we are in. today God wants us to know that nothing else is promised to us, but he knows what today will bring. Rejoice in it!

Tied Up – Terri N. Reese-Green

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“Tied Up”
By Terri N. Reese-Green
Women’s Huron Valley Correctional, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Today’s sermon will be called “Tied Up.” Praise the Lord. As I studied this sermon so many ideas came into my mind. Let us go to the scripture Matthew 11:28-30. Verse 28 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Verse 29 says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Here Jesus said take my offer to be tied up with me, side by side. Walk with me, talk with me, let us become one as myself and the Father are one. And the last verse, verse 30 says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I asked the Lord how is being tied up easy? And He said being tied up is light. Take this gift.

The Journey – Dana Tate

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“The Journey”
By Dana Tate
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.

All my life I went to church, but at a young age I didn’t understand what church or God meant to me in my life. When I was 13 years old, I started playing the drums for my church. I really didn’t like to play at first but I was getting paid every Sunday and at 13, 14, and 15 getting my own money was good for me. I was at church every Sunday and whenever I had to play during the week, but that’s all I was there for. When I left church I was back running the streets. Now, one night I was out stealing cards with my so called friends and I got in a police chase and got into a seven car crash. God put his arms around me because I walked away with no injuries. I got locked up Nov. 15, 2006 and was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison at 16 years old. All I did was blame God for letting this happen to me. When I got to prison at first I didn’t go to church, but when I got a prison that had drums, I wanted to play. I was going to church but only to play the drums. I would listen to the speaker but I would never read my Bible, I could never understand it. So I just gave up on that part; I said in my mind that playing the drums was good enough. But God didn’t think so. Every time I would play, something happened to where I would have to step down. So I began to think that God don’t love me.

Just as I was thinking about giving up, God stepped in my life and changed it and not for the good (or so I thought). I got in a situation that put me in the hole for 6 months. There I’m thinking this can’t be real, so now I’m thinking about all the other times when something bad happened and what I always did, give up, but not this time! I put my hands up and said Lord, “my life is in your hands, I give my soul and heart to you.” I prayed everyday asking God to forgive me and show me his will in my life. God told me that everything I went through in my life was all him, just to get me to this point. So that when I look back over my life it will make sense and moving forward, I will trust him. He has shown me how to read the Bible and understand it and he did that by putting people around that are of him. Now after serving 10 years in prison, God is closing this chapter of my life and opening a new one. I will be released from prison Nov. 15, 2016, with God for me who can be against me. Keep me in your prayers!

What is Fellowship? – George K. Walker

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“What is Fellowship?”
by George K. Walker
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 John 1:7.

There are many ways to fellowship. We are going to look at some today in hopes of us all learning to be better at it.

1) We (believers) share fellowship in the Gospel. “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you” 1 Corinthians 9:23. Paul is saying that all believers participate together in the saving power and message of the good news.
2) Believers have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:14. This is important for unity in the church.
3) We are called to fellowship with Jesus Christ. “God is faithful by whom ye were called unto fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” 1 Corinthians 1:9.

These are just three examples of fellowship. There are many more in the Bible: Fellowship with each other in the church – Acts 2:36-46, Fellowship with God and not the devil – 1 Corinthians 10:18-21, Ministering to the saints – 2 Corinthians 8:4, The right hand of fellowship – Galatians 2:9, Fellowship of His suffering – Philippians 3:10, and being thankful for fellowship with the brethren – Philippians 1:3-6.

Fellowship is essential in our knowing and fulfilling the purpose God has for us. There are three things that we must spend time doing: Reading HIS word, Praying, and Being with the brethren. Fellowship is about believers growing together in the Word of God so that we can be unified in delivering the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the best ways to do this is by spending time with each other.

God Chose You! – George K. Walker

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“God Chose You!”
by George K. Walker
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” Jeremiah 1:5.

There are many stories in the Bible that show God’s forgiveness but Paul, whose Jewish name was Saul, is the one I want to write about today. If you ever thought that God could not or would not use you because of something you did, I believe this will challenge that thought.

Paul was a well-educated man trained under a Jewish Rabbi. Paul tells us in Acts 22:3 “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.” In Acts 7:-8:3 first Stephen was killed and then Paul began causing havoc to the church. Paul in Acts 9:1-2 (paraphrasing) was so zealous for his Jewish beliefs that he began a persecution campaign against anyone who believed in Christ (“belonged to the Way”). Paul was arresting believers who preached the Gospel, he was persecuting them for believing in Jesus Christ. In Acts 9:3-6 (paraphrasing) as Paul was on a journey to capture Christians and lock them up, he was confronted by the risen Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the Gospel. Jesus asked Paul “why persecutest thou me?” Paul said, who art thou? The Lord said I am Jesus whom thou persecutes. And Paul, trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Paul refers to this experience as “being called by God’s grace to reveal his Son in me to preach among the heathen” Galatians 1:15-16. Paul acknowledged Jesus as Lord, confessed his sins, surrendered his life to Christ, and agreed to obey Him. This personal encounter with Jesus changed Paul forever.

You, too, can have a changed life by accepting the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross for you. Just like Paul was chosen by God to spread the Gospel, you too are chosen by God. think of the worst thing you have done and know that if you confess it to God in prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart and make you new, God will forgive you and make you a new creation. Jesus came so that the world will be saved through Him. God chose you, all you have to do is come to Him.

Lucifer – Todd Graham

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“Lucifer”
By Todd Graham
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, Michigan

You’re like a viper along my path
Always biting around my heels
Striking at me with your evil wrath
Thinking that my fate you have sealed

A lone, snarling and ravenous wolf
Wanting to devour me for prey
Down my throat you try to push your filth
Working to force me into your way

The pain you inflict is like a
Landscape with its own dimensions
“Look over the horizon” you say
“And join my land of confusion”

You want me to remain sightless
Running through a tunnel of noise
Faith teaches me I am blameless
But you treat my mind and soul like toys

Mans True Destiny you may have moved
And you stalk the earth braging you’re clever
As your star fell from heaven you proved
The brightest shine but not forever

You are ruler here on this earth
But only for just a short time
And when I receive my New Birth
Through my Savior, victory is mine

Set Free – Todd Graham

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“Set Free”
By Todd Graham
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, Michigan
Everybody has got their demons
I can hear mine screaming
Their hands around my throat
See them smile, see them gloat
As we meet each other eye to eye
Feel the flames begin to fry
They say they’re gonna steal my soul
The Truth is that’s not possible
It already belongs to a higher power
My whole life’s been lived in the last hour
The other twenty three don’t matter
As all fear and doubt has scattered
They collapse into their shadows
To the origin point no one knows
Just when I feel life’s at its darkest
I’m rescued by a Holy Kiss
Pulled free from the quagmire
Sacrificial blood quenches the fire
My demons shriek as they’re cast away
Forced to find somewhere else to play
Warmth of a new light is over me
No condemnation, I’m set free

Grammar 101 – Raymond Carr

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“Grammar 101”
By Raymond Carr
Lakeland Correctional Facility, Coldwater, MI

The study of language is a systematically composed body of words with discernible regularity of structure which are arranged into sentences. What is a sentence, you ask? A sentence is a group of words that contain at least one subject, but what is a sentence without a word? In life, we come across many sentences, some with no structure, some negative, and some are just rambling sentences with too many words saying nothing. But, it is important that we make sense of each sentence, because some sentences may have misplaced and dangling parts. And this is where the basic writing skills kick in. A misplaced part must be given a place and a dangling part a clear subject. In every sentence there is structure of correct spelling and punctuation, and a subject. In the sentence of life, the devil may try to be a comma, but never let him be the period. And don’t put a question mark where GOD has put a period! GOD has the First and the Last WORD!

One Day – Todd Graham

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“One Day”
By Todd Graham
Bellamy Creek Correctional, Ionia, MI

One day we’ll be caught up in the air
Taken away to a place of Your care
Protected from all Tribulation
As we await You in great expectation
The world will be on the eve of destruction
But You stand ready to offer redemption
You spread Your arms and took the nails
To ensure the Father’s plan would not fail
The first Son of God to be resurrected
Creating a path so humanity won’t be rejected
Glorified in death so that we may live
Shed Your Blood and stated, “Father forgive”
One day soon most will come to repent
Standing before Your White Throne of Judgment

Sea of Despair – Todd Graham

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“Sea of Despair”
By Todd Graham
Bellamy Creek Correctional, Ionia, MI

Living in my citadel
Never knowing the cost
Standing in paradise
Then paradise was lost
Walk the edge of my life
Blackened beach quicksands my feet
I look out to the ocean
And my heart skips a beat
Heading away from the shore
A ship with sails furled high
Need to call out to her
But my throat won’t let me try
On the bow I can see you
Turning your back towards me
Forced to watch my love
Sailing off into the sea
The horizon glows ahead
Setting sun illuminates
The outline of your body
And your new shipmates
Water rises around me
The moon begs in the tide
As you sail into sunset
Our future quickly died
Good luck on the journey
I’ll pray God calms your seas
Tears mix with the ocean
As I fall down to my knees
High tide washes overhead
I can no longer reach the air
Unable to rescue myself
Give up to die right there
Just before unconsciousness
I feel a hand in mine
Descending from Heaven above
My saviors hand divine
Feeling new life surge through
As He pulls me to safety
I look towards the beach and
Two sandy footprints I see
In my time of deep despair
To myself unforgiving
But Jesus stood by my side
Giving me purpose for living