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Monthly Archives: December 2018

God is Good, God is Great – William Walker

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“God Is Good, God is Great”
By William Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

Dear brothers and sisters, I have a passion to share my spiritual gift. Perhaps you can share with everyone.

God is good, God is great. He increased my faith, gave me the utensils to create. Cultivating seeds spouting like a flower he remains the same in full power every hour.

God is good, God is great. He took a heart filled with hate transformed my mind state within a secluded place.

God is good, God is great. He gave me a vision so clear I can feel it in my spirit right here.

God is good, God is great. He gave me inspired ideas to generate positivity while Satan is busy trying to distract me. He’s watching over me ensuring that I grow up spiritually.

God is good, God is great. He provided encouragement to meditate on His word. Every day He responds by having something more valuable to say.

God is good, God is great. He sent Prophet Jeremiah to speak and the Holy Spirit revealed. Chapter 29 is concerning giving us a future and a hope. how come I couldn’t figure out how to cope instead of being lost selling coke.
God is good, God is great. Please turn your bibles to Job 22:28. It’s talking about a clear proclamation. The message travels to the book of Revelations. Regardless what problem that you are facing, He shields us in those complicated situations.

God is good, God is great. He changed my whole life around, gave me a safe haven when I am heaven bound plus the amazing things I have found within this place, swarming me with His forgiven grace.

God is good, God is great. He put spiritual food on my plate, showed me that staying disconnected from my loved ones was the wrong place to be. You need to address those issues effectively. That was my past mind state that kept me blinded.

God is good, God is great. He gave me a new identity so I could see what He did for me. Jesus died not only for my sins, compelling us to pick up our bibles again and again.

God is good, God is great. He blessed us with resources to further educate, especially extending our hands from the oldest to the least. Finally overcoming the inner beast, the antidote that I found is peace.

God is good, God is great. I am so grateful for Minister In Training, a training ground to further increase my faith. I realized through Sister Sue’s continuous sacrifice that God is good, God is great.

Christ-mas – George Walker

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“Christ-mas”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6.

I come to you this holiday to remind you that it does not matter what day Jesus was born. What does matter is that we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth and that His life was given to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ did what no one else could or wanted to do. He made a way for us (sinners) to be reconciled to The Father and have salvation. We live, move and have our being because of the blood that Jesus shed for us and I believe that is reason enough to celebrate His birth everyday by giving our life to Him in service.

So I wish you a very merry “CHRIST-mas”. Celebrate Christ’s birth by giving somebody love today that does not deserve it, that is what He did.

Thank You – Ronnie Travis

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“Thank You”
By Ronnie Travis
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, MI

Thank you Heavenly Father,
For awakening me each day,
Desiring Your will be done,
As you lead me on my way.

Thanks for your Son Jesus,
Who paid the ultimate price,
Carried the cross for my sin,
Then He laid down His life.

Even as I walked in sin,
You never gave up on me,
You looked beyond my faults,
Lord because you saw my need.

Thank you for my health,
And for the use of my limbs,
For all the times You stepped in,
When my whole life seemed dim.

Thank you Lord for all things,
For both bad and the good,
Thanks for coming in my life,
So I can live the life I should.

Teach Me Your Ways – Ronnie Travis

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“Teach Me Your Ways”
By Ronnie Travis
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, MI

Lord I humble my heart, asking You to come in.
Please forgive me dear God, for the wrong of my sin.
Take this old life of mine, Lord, and make it right.
Bring me out of the darkness into your marvelous light.

So my only purpose in life is to do Your will.
Grant me a clean spirit, one that’s Holy Ghost filled.
In You I find my strength, for the flesh is weak.
In the path of righteousness, Lord, guide my feet.

Let not my heart, Lord, be conceived of the world.
Place within me, God, Your compassion and love.
Teach me to meditate on Your Word each day.
And how to deny self, so You can have Your way.

Use me as Your vessel, mind, body, soul and heart,
So I can walk in the light and not stumble in the dark.
Please teach me, Lord, to bless all of my days,
As my new life in You begins taking on Your ways.

Prayer for a Friend – Ronnie Travis

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“Prayer for a Friend”
By Ronnie Travis
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, Ionia, MI

Lord I come to You in prayer
With a special friend in mind
They are heavily burdened down
And going through troubled times.

Let them know, Dear God,
That troubles don’t last always
And after the storm and pain
Will come much brighter days.

Like You watch over the sparrow
You watch over them, too
Let ’em know when all fails,
They can always count on you.

And let them know in You
They have a friend who cares
One who will not deny
And will always be there.

That when trouble’s rolling high
And everything’s going wrong
You will give them determination
And the strength to carry on.

Trust God – Matthew Nawrocki

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“Trust God”
By Matthew Nawrocki
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

I wanted to share another personal journal entry. For those who may be struggling with uncertainty and confusion regarding God’s will, God’s plans, and God’s ways; I hope this may be of some encouragement to you, and I am praying that you may be able to come to trust God in your own situation.

This post is from July 8, 2018, two days before the day I had prepared to walk out of prison and be back with my family. God had other plans. In a place like this it was very difficult being asked daily when I was going home and having to figure out how to answer. I was in a bit of a rut; and for me, when my mind is moving a million miles per hour I grab a pen and slow my mind down by writing (this may be a helpful tool for you as well).

If I could tell you of all the things that have happened; the people met, the lessons learned, the intimacy gained through these last 5 months I didn’t plan on being here, you would be amazed. I say that as a message of hope. God is a good God and it is important we remember that regardless what our circumstances may try to convince us of. This is why we “walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith tells me God has a plan and that it is good! Let us trust Him.
Anyways, here is that entry:

I feel unsure about what to do right now. I wrestled, and have been wrestling, with myself to read God’s word lately. Right now I’ve opened to Genesis 1:1 as a default of aimless wondering of what I should read. Here it reads, “In the beginning God…” and I think to myself, and simultaneously ask God, “when does my next chapter begin?” I’m two days away from my original ERD of July 10, I had such an expectation for that day and yet I guess there’s another plan. What is it all for Lord? What is it that I am in need of learning through this?

I was fine if the plan was to go to this program but I didn’t pack up today, which I was expecting if I was to start my parole down there. I know this for certain: You are well aware, God, of where I stand and what I desire. I’ve been fighting hard through this time of being asked countless times daily when I’m leaving. It’s been difficult to answer and yet You’ve given me the strength to face each day. I haven’t been the most faithful, or had the right attitude through this whole process, but I know that is not the reason for this. I just have to trust You through the emotions like David went through in Psalm 73.

I’ve wondered how it is that I’m the one that didn’t get a nice, easy, straight parole. I’ve wondered, “why me?”countless times, as I watched men, day after day, who haven’t even changed, get paroles like they’re coupons. Then, recently, I thought that maybe it is because You have such greater things in store that I need to endure through this time of testing to cause my faith to grow as You are preparing me and strengthening me for the roads and battles ahead. I’m a whole lot closer to that bend than the first time I saw it, and “…the waaaaiting is (still) the hardest part,” but I still don’t know what lies ahead of me. You do, though, and I trust You are readying me for that journey or keeping me and protecting me from unseen danger or complacency.

I feel like You’ve continued to put Psalm 73 on my heart over the past weeks and, as sad as this is, I’ve yet to read it until now. Asaph actually wrote this, not David, and he goes through his frustrations of seeing the wicked prospering and having things go their way all the time while his road and the road of the people of God seeming to be difficult and full of hardships. He mentions something powerful in verses 16-17, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me – until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.” How important for me to stay in God’s presence, to keep seeking, stay alert and sensitive to His leading so that I can finally understand it all when He chooses to reveal it to me.

I love how his whole attitude changes once He got into God’s presence and saw it from His perspective. This is why I was supposed to have read this earlier: “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works” (Ps. 73:21-28).

Wow! So much to agree with for me personally in those 8 verses. It is good for me to draw near to God! If pain and trials, sorrows or troubles come my way, and they certainly will, I can trust that He is the God who works all things together for good to those who love Him. My heart and my flesh may fail, BUT GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! Do I want to be past this test? Do I want to know the next step? Do I want to see around the bend? Of course! But my God is infinite in His wisdom. He is all-powerful and completely capable and well able to get me out, if that was His plan. I’ve done all I could do, and now I must trust Him to do what He knows is best for me and those around me. I (me, myself) want to be home; but God, that is just my desire and I need Your help in accepting Your will and Your plan for my life even if it makes no sense to me or those who are around me. There’s greater in store, help me to be faithful and to endure through it with joy until it comes. Thank You for Your plan, for it has my best in mind, whether it appears so at the forefront or not. You are the God of hindsight and one day I’ll understand it all!

Merry Christmas – Todd Ender

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“Merry Christmas”
By Todd Ender
Oaks Correctional Facility, Manistee, MI

Merry, Merry Christmas.
Our Savior is born. He comes to save us this Christmas Morn.
We Celebrate Christmas, we celebrate his birth. Because without Jesus, we could not be saved.
The Love of God sent his only son, showed his love, who died for us.

Thanksgiving – Carl Nunnery

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“Thanksgiving”
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Facility, Farmington, MO

If someone said to you “Happy Thanksgiving,” what is the first thought that comes to your mind? Family, food, off work, football game, parades, vacations, hunting, resting. Trust me, I’m not against any one of these, but we must remember that Thanksgiving is a day for giving thanks.

Let’s look more closely at the word “thanks, which means, “a prayer or to express gratitude,” which could be for something that was given to you or that was done for you. That being said, it is not hard to think of one special gift that was given to us.

In 2nd Cor. 9:15, it says, “thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” That gift is when God gave us his own son, Jesus (john 3:16). So how do we give thanks to God for his gift? It is done through prayer, which is man’s communion with God. This means you are speaking directly to God.

Do you remember your Thanksgiving dinner when all have been seated around the table, then the head of the household stood and led in a prayer or giving thanks, (this was usually done by the father).This was an important duty by him to ask God to bless the food they were about to receive.

In Neh. 11:17, it says,” the leader began giving Thanksgiving in it, and prayer.” Then in 2nd Sam 22:50 it says, “I will give thanks unto the lord.”

I bet if you took a paper and pen, and you started writing a list of all the things that you are thankful for, the list could be enormous, which points us to who we have to thank for all that was on that list – God our Creator and His Son, Jesus our Savior.

Here is a neat little piece of work I did on the word thankful. First the word thankful has eight letters in it, and by using a list called “numbers in the Bible and their meaning,” the number eight means, “a new beginning or new birth.” This is exactly what you have when you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. You are raised to a new life on Christ which leads us back to 2nd Cor. 9:15 where it says “thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.” Jesus.

Second, I thought of giving a word to each letter that spells out thankful to show what we can be thankful for: T for being our teacher, “teach me thy way of the Lord (Ps. 27:11). H for being our hope, “our hope in God” (Ps. 78:7). A for giving us an advocate, “He shall give you an advocate” ( John 14:16 ). N for your promise of a new Jerusalem, “I saw a new Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2 ). K for being the king of kings, (The King Of Kings, 1 Tim 6:15 ). F for being our friend, “a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). U for your understanding,” the almighty gives understanding (Job 32:8). L for being our Lord of Love, “The God of Love” (2nd Cor. 13:11).

My friends, we truly have so much to be thankful for, so in closing let me share this scripture with you. “Cease not to give thanks” (Eph.1:16).

The Cost of Freedom – Matthew Nawrocki

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“The Cost of Freedom”
By Matthew Nawrocki
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Freedom ain’t free, at least that’s what they say
Ain’t it funny how we want it, but we never want to pay?
We’re fickle little creatures, always tryna play it safe
Cuz inside we’re not sure that we have what it takes

But in steps Divinity, humbling Himself
The Word wrapped in flesh, the ultimate stealth
Yeah, the Rich became poor so that we could have wealth
But I’m not talkin bout bills that you stack on your shelf

See, freedom costs you everything, just like it cost Him
He laid down His life, so He could call you His friend
You were bought at a price, and forgiven of sin
Now a cross stands before us, yet a battle within

Do I try to save my life, and lose in the end?
Or lose it right now, to gain it instead?
Can we trust what He says is up around the bend?
Or will we continue to march to the latest new trend?

In awe of the new fad, consumed by it all
Tossed to and fro by the waves of applause
Blown in the wind to the next best cause
Instead of firmly planted at the foot of the cross

And the further we distance, the more we abuse
We fail to embrace, what we’re not close enough to
So relationships suffer, and all that we do
Cuz where proximity lacks, it all falls through

So we’re called to the cross, to give up our lives
To consider all loss, for the sake of the prize
Failure to come to Him will be our demise
But true life is found as we gaze in His eyes

One thing I desire, and that will I seek
To know You more deeply, and be all that I see
May Your living water, be all that I drink
For freedom You freed me, but that freedom wasn’t free

Testimony – Matthew Nawrocki

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“Testimony”
By Matthew Nawrocki
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

I have not posted anything in quite some time and I suppose there are many reasons for that; but I want to send some of the journey as I’ve written it down over these months. As I said, there has been a lot happening but God has been faithful and, in my next few submissions, my desire is to give a very personal look into some of the raw feelings and emotions I’ve been dealing with. This is not easy, however I believe this is necessary and will help others to realize they are not alone in what they are facing.

This journey as a Christian is not easy, it is full of pain and hardship, yet our hope remains as an anchor for our souls. I’ve come to realize that this internal, spiritual, warfare is only a sign of a true pursuit to know God on a deeper level. Let’s be honest here, intimacy is a scary thing in our superficial culture; and it is difficult to gain, especially when we are seeking an intimacy with a God we cannot see. Yet He does speak to us, and I believe if we will learn how to listen, and in faith receive those words, we will see mountains move. Remember, he told us that His sheep “know His voice,” “hear His voice,” and “follow Him….”

Here is a word I received during a time of great difficulty back in April. I wrote this down as I felt God encouraging me and teaching me in that moment. I recognized it as His voice because I was certainly incapable of encouraging myself with those words in that moment and knew the words to line up with Scripture and with the things I was personally dealing with. Then I responded in praise for what He was doing in me. Here is that journal entry:

“The pressure is not on you, son … let it go. You don’t need to be strong for everyone else, you need to let Me be strong; let me be the refuge, the fortress, the rock in your life. Lead others to Me so I can be there for them. Release your desire to be in control, to have the answers, to have it all together all the time; you can’t. I love you, son, and I just want to spend time with you. Learn to let go, don’t fear letting people see inside; if it’s broken I’ll heal it, if it’s torn I’ll mend it back together. Come to Me if you are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest. My yoke is easy and My burden is light. You’re not in this alone … I’m right here with you each and every step. Take hold of My hand as I lead you in My will for your life. Let Me carry you when you lack the strength to fight. We will make it to the destination, we have already won the victory together. Stand by Me and you cannot lose.”

Thank you Lord, I needed to cry, I needed a release. I don’t care if it had to happen in the middle of the TV room, I believe my healing was in those tears; that you’ve collected each one in a bottle and that you care about each and every one, every word they speak. Maybe a tear is worth a thousand words and I thank You for hearing each one of them. In Your infinite wisdom, God, show me where to go; show me the next step to take, how to rest in your arms and live a life that’s truly connected to You. Thank You for confronting my pride, for showing me that pride falls into every category, it isn’t a one issue thing. I always feel like I need to be strong for everyone else, like I have to help everyone and be there for everyone, and if I miss this or that I’m not being faithful or responsible. But more than all that “stuff,” I need to be present with You. When I feel distant, I need to draw near to You, so that You can draw near to me. I need You more than anyone or anything, more than any Bible study or worship song or church service. I need You… I can’t just continue to know more about You and yet still not really know You. I can’t just desire to run away from my problems, and wish them away. I need to face my fears, confront my sin, and let You do a work in my life. Only You can change me. Only You can quicken a word in my heart and cause it to grow. “You are the potter/I am the clay/ Mold me and shape me/This is what I pray”

I have so much going on and I’ve been trying to run from it and avoid it and I thank You for stopping me in my tracks. I think that, right now, leadership and these responsibilities are becoming a temptation for me to burrow into more stuff at the expense of truly drawing from God for the strength to endure this season. It’s truly all about Jesus. In my own strength I’ve come to the end of myself. I had a long run, but it’s over now; I’ve worn too thin, I’ve taken too many hits, I can’t get up on my own from this one, I need You to pick me up now. My life must totally rely on You; no more of me, not even a little. I am not strong enough, wise enough, smart enough, disciplined enough, or joyful enough on my own. I am nothing; but in Christ I can do all things. In Him I’m strong; in Him I’m more than a conqueror; in Him I am wise; in Him is my true joy and pleasures forevermore! Rest in Him.

Thank You for the struggle, for it teaches me to rely on You. I hated every second of the anguish, but I felt it lift off of me and I feel free. The truth has set me free, so I am free indeed. Free me from all my burdens, all my fear, all my doubt, all my pride, all myself! I’m not going anywhere Lord. I have a great cloud of witnesses cheering me on, so I just need to look to Jesus; He already ran my race, I just need to grab hold of Him and I’ll make it victoriously. He always causes me to triumph; He fought the good fight; He endured hostility; He suffered the cross; He defeated death and sin. So the only way I can fight, endure, suffer, and defeat anything in my life is through Him, not on my own. Apart from Him I can do nothing!

This is why God has told me to hide the word in my heart, because right now I’m drawing strength from what He’s already said and I’ve already read. Thank You for carrying me through this trial and those to come. Help me to let people help me, to let people be there for me. I can’t always be strong, it’s all about You, Lord, it’s all about You. 4/25/18