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Monthly Archives: May 2019

What Does God Say About Mothers? – George Walker

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“What does God say about mothers?”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus” Luke 1:30-31.

Dear family,
How are you this purposeful day that the Lord has made? Thankful and grateful I hope. I am very appreciative for the breath of life that the Father has given me. I have been meditating on how our Daddy views women or to be specific, mothers. I was pondering this because I have been thinking a lot about my own mother, my grandmother and three of my aunts, who have all gone home to be with the Lord. My whole family is struggling with all of them being gone. We all know that they are present with the Lord and we take solace in that as He strengthens us for His journey.

Here are a few scriptures:

Genesis 2:24 says: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Genesis 3:20 says: “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she was the mother of all living.”

Exodus 20:12 says: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Ezekiel 16:44 says: “Behold, everyone that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is the daughter”.

John 19:27 says: “Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home”.

In these verses we see and hear that the Father also gave the mother authority, made her the vessel that all human life comes through, that she is to be honoured so that your days will be long, he made her an example for her daughters, and Jesus made provisions for His mother while dying on the cross for the sins of the world. The Father loves all mothers and He gave them honour and favor. So I encourage you to honor not only your mother but all mothers by giving them an encouraging word for being the carrier of all human life. Serve them unconditionally today and everyday because they deserve it.

Furthermore if you know someone who has lost their mother pray for them, their family and for all living mothers. Pray: “Father we thank you for you are the alpha and omega, the author and finisher of our faith, and we love you. Father we thank you for our mother and for all mothers because they are a precious gift from You and we pray for continuous healing, favor, honour, and provisions to be made for them and for the families that have lost a mother, Father comfort them so that they can comfort others, heal their broken hearts so that they will testify to your tender caressing hand upon their lives. And Father we shout hallelujah because You deserve all our praise for being so forgiving and merciful in Jesus name. Amen.

Fear – Thomas Chapman

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“Fear”
By Thomas Chapman

Life is the most subtle illusion we all must face. Yes, we often mess things up for ourselves, but it is the unseen side effects that get us that we don’t see that creep up on us while we are preoccupied trying to satisfy ourselves. At the time we do things that seem right, but we go left. We try for one outcome and life lets us see just that which we want to see, while in reality, life is ready to give us a kick in the butt. Now that is not to say that when we try to do right and stay right that things won’t go smoothly because they will. It is when we put ourselves before others and the truth that life slaps us with our own follies.

So why did I do this to myself? Well, mainly due to fear. Fear of letting someone help, fear of opening up our fault to others, fear of seeing my own faults, fear of appearing weak, and the fear of myself. I had everything under control I keep telling myself. Life was just waiting for me to be so self-confident that I did not see it coming. The things I was doing felt so good and so right at the time because they became so routine that I ignored that little voice. I feared losing the happiness that felt so real. I grew so comfortable in this I did not see that my road was curving away from my family and the true happiness that I truly needed. Now that I am in prison, I see what I left due to my own actions. Much of which I won’t get back but can only pray to get some back and move forward to earn new true happiness.

Since finding the reality of this truth, I have been able to move forward and correct many of the issues that led me here. Now this is not to say that I have reached my goal; by no means have I gotten there. No addict can say that they have fully recovered. What I can say is that I am recovering. Now I must also say that the fears are not gone either, but through friends and family to support me, the fears are manageable as well as the other issues I am working on clearing out.

Thomas was in Carson City Correctional Facility. He recently passed away. This is his last testimony. God bless.

Book of History – Loren Slough

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“Book of History”
By Loren Slough
Gus Harrison Correctional Facility, Adrian, MI

Clash of the titans, can you hear their roar,
Scar’s of eternity, and all the pain they boar,
Wonder what they seen, that pleased them on this earth,
Was it the seas, mountains, or seeing a virgin give birth,
Slashes large, and small, mark their path,
Stories of love, and death rest with them in the crimson bath,
Driven to their knees, with nowhere else to go,
No swords, or shields can protect them, not even the might bow,
Cracking of timber, is what the sky speaks,
Portraying the pain and death to come, within the coming weeks,
yet One Mortal Being stands, to protect the rest,
Shedding tears, asking why, yet gives his very best,
Life and death calmed that day on that tree,
Willing to give it all, just so the Universe could be free,
Jesus the Immortal, the Man, the Son,
Will someday come and ask, are you the one,
Place you bookmark, in this life of misery,
What will you be remembered for, in this book of history.

Love Can Build a Bridge – Carl Nunnery

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“Love Can Build a Bridge”
By Carl Nunnery
Farmington Correctional Facility, Farmington, MO

What do you see when you notice several people who have joined
their arms together? They are showing support, a joyful gathering, a show of strength, a show of love.

It could very well be all of them right? They all seem to be in harmony
and happiness, no matter of the size, age, color, this is what love can do.

Love is a show of strength to overcome obstacles in your life, love can build relationships, love can teach you who God is and what God does, love can direct your path, love can enable you to reach out to others, love can build that bridge that goes beyond skin color, wealth, education level and language barriers.

Did you know that even a smile can display the love that is in your
heart? The truth is, it takes more muscles in your face to frown than
it does to smile, so let’s turn that frown upside down. Remember, God
wants you to love one another (John 15:12). Don’t let your own
selfishness stop you from telling others you love them. Why? Here are
a few good reasons: above all it’s Gods command to us, it shows them they are loved, it gives them a warm heart, it lets them know you care.

So many people put their own selfish needs and wants first, this is
not the kind of love God wants us to have, that being the love of self.
In Matt 6:33 it tells us,” seek ye first the kingdom of God.” That means
to put God and your love for God above all. When we do this, it’s Gods
love that fills your heart and it’s that kind of love that makes you put
others first above yourself, just as Jesus did on the cross. Jesus put
our lives above his own.

What happens to the person when they are not either told or shown
that they are loved? They could feel unloved, forgotten, disliked, shunned and feel like they don’t belong.

My point is this, tell someone you love them, show someone you
love them, it could mean so much to that person and make a huge
difference in their lives.

In John 3:16 it tells us, “for God so lived the world that He gave
his only son.” Fact: God loves us and God showed us his love, and
through that love changed a multitude of people’s lives. Can you
imagine where we would be if God had not told us or shown us he
loves us? Shouldn’t we reflect that same love to others? They say that
a picture speaks a thousand words, but love speaks volumes more.
Do you know what the most amazing thing about telling or showing
someone that you love them is? It’s how it makes you feel inside and
it doesn’t cost you anything in comparison of what it cost Jesus to do
for us.

Let me ask you something, when you were a young child, do you
recall hearing your mom and dad say to you, “I love you”? My
question is this, at what age do we think it is not necessary to say
I love you anymore? At what age do you feel that it is not important
to feel loved or to hear that you are loved? What it comes down to
my friends is this, when it comes to love, how will they hear it, if you don’t say it? How will they see it, if you don’t show it? Remember, by telling or showing others that you love them can and does change lives.

In closing, let me say that God has given us all the power to love. Use this power of love to God’s glory by sharing it with others.

Let’s build that bridge of love together.

Created to Create – Matthew Nawrocki

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“Created to Create”
By Matthew Nawrocki
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

I am an artist.

How can I be so sure, since I have no degree, since I probably could not paint a picture which would sell at an art show?

Well, I was created in the very image of The Artist who created the sun and the moon, the stars and the clouds and all that surrounds. I have the DNA of an artist. It’s in my blood. It’s part of who I am.

Every rhythm of my heart, every fiber of my being, every blink of an eye or breath that I breath reveals my Maker; and every sound my voice echoes, every thought my pen captures, every stroke through the water or slope that I ski is a form of my artistic expression; synonymously screaming how I’ve been created, while simultaneously revealing the gift to create.

So you see, I’m an artist, no different from you; both made uniquely in His image with something to offer this world. May He show you your paintbrush, and lead you to your canvas; and may you pour yourself out upon it the way only you are capable of. Created to create. Imagined to imagine. May you love because you’ve been loved, and may you lead those you encounter to realize they are artists because they are made in the image of One. They have the DNA of an artist. It’s in their blood. It is a part of who they are.

Awe of Beauty – Matthew Nawrocki

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“Awe of Beauty”
By Matthew Nawrocki
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

I imagine a world outside of these fences
Where the trees, now distant, are available for touch
Standing before them, beside, and beneath
Enamored with beauty, they lead me to trust

Losing sight of the forest, if but for a moment
My focus intently upon this one tree
Every leaf and each branch, its bark and its sap
Years ago buried as only a seed

Oh this is love, it awakens my heart
Tears at its seams and rips me apart
Something so small, once delicate and fine
Speaks, though unspokenly, of the Divine

Standing erect it points to its Maker
Up towards the heavens, right to my Savior
From the roots below arose the branches above
And deep from within I, too, do rise up

A wellspring of life from down in my soul
Oh what a beauty for me to behold
Oh what treasures are ahead as I wait
To explore and to capture what lies behind these gates

Victory Over Death – David Kurbaba

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“Victory Over Death”
By David Kurbaba
Kinross Correctional Facility, Kincheloe, MI

Today we celebrate our Savior’s victory over death. He spent three days in the depths of hell for me, for you, for all. He took my punishment upon Himself. He endured ridicule, slander, torment, beatings, complete disrespect, for me, for you, for all. He spoke not one word against these deplorable actions against Him, for He knew this was the only way to save humanity from itself.

Wow, who do I know that would do that for me, who do you know would do that for you? Honestly, I can think of no one who would be willing to do all that Jesus did for me, for you, for all.

I can in no way even begin to thank Him for what He did. However, I can try. By trying it shows Him that I care, that I love Him. He does not expect me to be perfect, for He knows I am flawed.

As long as I keep trying, as long as I keep looking towards Him, as long as I keep my eyes upon His scars I will show Him honor and glory. The next right thing to do, the next kind word to another, the next effort to lift another from the mire, these are the things I can do to show Him glory, to show Him I care.

As I sit and ponder Jesus’ actions and words, I find myself in utter shame for the things I have done in my lifetime. But then I think about what today is. It’s Easter, it’s the day my Savior, your Savior, the world’s Savior concurred the sins of the world. He beat death’s grip on our souls. Today is the day He paid in full the price for our freedom.

Today is Easter. It’s a day the Lord has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad. I wish you and yours a blessed and fruitful year.

Integrity – Lonnie Jones

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“Integrity”
By Lonnie Jones
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

The Hebrew word for integrity is “tummah” (Job 2:3 and 9 and Prov. 11:3). This word only appears in form in Job and Proverbs. The Lord boasts about Job for “he holdeth fast to his integrity” despite Satan’s attacks. The word implies a sense of completeness, that there is no division between eternal appearances and internal spiritual reality.

According to the scriptures, we see the difference between the two characters. Men of darkness (Job 24:13-25) or integrity and righteousness (Job 27:1-12).

Let’s discuss the two issues of life we face daily. What are the main differences between the two? See Matt. 15:17-29. Why are these mirroring one other? See Gen. 3:1-13 (key verse 6). There is a thin line between faith and unbelief. See Prov. 23. Two examples of these types are David and Uriah. See II Sam. 11.

In conclusion, see Joshua 24:14-155, also Prov. 24:1-6.

Study and grow in His integrity.

My Life Verse – Josephy Jones

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“My Life Verse”
By Joseph Jones
Newberry Correctional Facility, Newberry, MI

Last month during service the preacher, in the middle of his sermon, had to stop because while he was in the Bible he came to his “life verse” and wanted to share and explain it. That made me think, I wanted to find mine and share it.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the Faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen. 1Peter 5:6-11

This is why these verses mean so much to me. I have to say in a humble state of mind, because I am prideful. He will lift me up in due time, a reminder to be patient, I’m always in a rush, and His time not mine. At times my anxiety goes through the roof and I take it personally and try to manage it on my own and not give it over to Him. Being alert and of sober mind is a reminder that I am a recovering addict, and I cannot become self-absorbed. To look out for the devil, evil spirits, negative people who don’t want the best for me, and my own personal demons. To fight them I need to live in faith and walk with Jesus. Being reminded that I have a family of believers that relate to my struggles makes it easier on my walk because at times I feel alone and abandoned, or the whole world is out to get me, that no one understands what I’m going though. I know that I am special in that I am a believer, but I am not a unique snowflake. That Jesus called me to Him, and to help others in my ministry of recovery. I lost everything to gain everything. That this is my suffering, and I take full responsible for my actions, but he will restore me to the person I was and should be. I should be strong, firm, and steadfast in the Lord, my ministry, my sobriety, my treating all people with respect and dignity.