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Monthly Archives: June 2020

Happy Mother’s Day – George Walker

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“Happy Mother’s Day”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

The dictionary describes mother as a female parent who carries, gives birth to, and cares for a child. I agree with this but some vital information is left out, like selfless, strong and stern. Those words remind me of the women in my family, my grandmother, aunts, sisters, daughter, sister-in-law, nieces, cousins, granddaughter, and my mother.

Thankfully I can remember my mom working two jobs, going to school, cooking, cleaning, spanking, and tenderly spending time with each child. She used to be so fatigued when she came in from work that she would fall asleep on the living room couch. Despite being tired, she still encouraged me by telling me that I would be the first football playing architect.

When I got older, I gave her a father’s day card and told her “you are my mother and father!” Smiling, she told me “No son, you have a Father” and pointed me to Jesus. Today that brings to mind how important her relationship with God was and I thought of Matthew 12:46-50, please read. Raising four children my mother knew that only her reliance and relationship with God would enable her to do it so she looked to Him for everything.

A dictionary does not define the intricate details of my mother but my heavenly Father’s Word does. Here are some of the things He says concerning mothers:

Mothers have the same right to obedience and respect as fathers. In support of this claim the text tells us in Exodus 20:12: “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Our heavenly father commands that mothers are obeyed and respected.

Mothers are natural nurturers, who faithfully demonstrate compassion for their children. According to the book of Isaiah 49th chapter, 15th verse, he says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yeah, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” It is extremely abnormal for a woman to not be deeply moved by her child.

Then in the book of Isaiah chapter 66, verse 13 we read that a mother comforts her child when he says: “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Also Jeremiah tells us that a mother displays sorrow for her child when in chapter 31, verse 15 he says: “Thus saith the LORD: a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahal weeping for her children, because they were not.” According to Jeremiah a mother weeps and mourns for her child.

Finally we read how God bestowed upon women their greatest honor when He chose Mary to bring His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. The gospel of Luke, chapter one, verses thirty-one and thirty-two, which foretold the birth of Jesus, says: “But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” The angel told Mary that “God favored her” meaning that God Almighty chose her and bestowed upon her the privilege to carry and give birth to the only one who could save the world.

What an honor to all women and for this I hold you all in high esteem as today we celebrate you.

Children of God are Peacemakers – George Walker

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“Children of God are Peacemakers”
By George Walker
Muskegon Correctional Facility

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9.

Do you want to be called a child of God? Then seek to make peace and not destruction. The dictionary defines peacemaker this way, “those who actively work to bring about peace and reconciliation where there is hatred and enmity.” God not only blesses peacemakers but declares them His children according to Matthew 5:9. And those who work toward peace are laboring with Jesus Christ and His ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation to a sin-filled world.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, puts it this way in the book of Colossians 1:20: “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Paul also instructs us in Ephesians 6:15, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” This is a part of the armour that God gives us for His ministry. Our feet are covered with the peace of God as we walk in Him.

So be a peacemaker today while it is still today. Amen.

Free in Christ – Valroy Smith

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“Free in Christ”
By Valroy Smith
Carson City Correctional Facility, Carson City, MI

I am free in Christ.
Yes you heard me right.
I am no longer held captive.
Only in Him, my salvation active.
God is my salvation.
God is my restoration.
Are you, too, ready to be free.
I am, for in heaven I want to be.
Come follow me.
And it is Jesus we will see.
He is my shelter and my rock.
He’s my safe, the key to my heart’s lock.
He’s my safe tower in the storm.
I’m safe no matter the darkness that is form.
His path is better.
No matter the weather.
I hear and follow his voice.
He’s my God and the best choice.

By God’s Permission – Nathaniel Smith

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“By God’s Permission”
By Nathaniel Smith
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

Hello my brothers in Christ. I pray that God is working in your favor and keeping you safe during this covid-19 pandemic

I pray that these few words give you much comfort. Everything happens by God’s permission. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity, all occur to test the limits of your being. Without these small struggles and tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere.

Without struggle you cannot bring out in yourself that which God had deposited within you. There isn’t any life form that comes into existence without struggle. The success and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences you can learn from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

God bless you all and I hope I helped someone somewhere to move forward in life.

What is Justice? – Earlando Carter

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“What is Justice?”
By Earlando Carter
Muskegon Correctional Facility, Muskegon, MI

I was thinking about some of the topics of conversation on the TV about the George Floyd case, and a few are talking about abuse of authority and what the true definition of justice is. It is equated with revenge. To truly seek justice is to also find a means to correct the behavior of the offender.

The dilemma is healing without being vengeful and be content that the officer will get what he needs to be a whole person, not what he deserves for being incomplete. That requires a great deal of mercy and grace and forgiveness, which our country has very little of. It is big on revenge in the name of justice.

It is very interesting how this country can believe in God, and the love He gives when we are wrong, and believe they are doing the will of God, even saying justice, yet not ever consider the word forgiveness, which is the root of justice and the halls of mercy that allows the human family to exist is completely ignored. How dare we think that we deserve to use such language in the name of God.

However, let us think long and hard on what it is we truly want in terms of justice, for justice is not giving a person what they deserve for what they did wrong but what they need to be whole, which is to forgive and restore. Our society needs restoration of the heart toward humanity. Let this be the focus of our conversation, how we as individuals shall collectively bind together the quality of love, wholeness and forgiveness.

The Old Rugged Bible – Robert Burlingame

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“The Old Rugged Bible”
By Robert Burlingame
Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI

During these unprecedented times, God still speaks to all of us in unique and surprising ways. I am a prisoner at Macomb Correctional Facility and the last 18 months have been especially rough, but God graciously has given me some relief. I have been moved to quarantine as a precaution due to my asthma and diabetes.

Anyone who has been in prison can tell you it’s always nice to have your own room. As I was moving, I packed all my belongings in a green burlap bag. It was heavy and there was no cart around, so I had to drag it on the concrete some distance before finally finding a cart. Once I arrived at my new cell and began to unpack I discovered that my very nice study Bible, which I had packed at the bottom of the bag, had been drug across the concrete and the bag had big holes in it. I was understandably upset to see my very nice Bible now had mangled edges. The entire bottom half of the binding had been scraped away, leaving pages entirely exposed and dirty.

But as I lamented the condition of my previously very nice Bible, God spoke to me and said, “This Bible is a representation of you, my son. You have been through a difficult situation and have been beaten down, dragged and made rugged, just like this Bible, but have come through intact. Your now rugged Bible has been through something. Now it has character and so do you for going through this trying time.”

I now cherish my rugged Bible. It will always remind me that no matter how rough I look, how many new lives have drawn themselves on my face, it’s what is on the inside that counts.

I thank Kyle for his continued prison ministries and Larry for giving me my beautiful Bible.

Testimony on Grace – Amy Black

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“Testimony on Grace”
By Amy Black
Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, MI

I thank you so much for the prayer and support I found in the V4C family. I received the card that was sent to me and I loved it and I want to give all honor and glory to the Father of all fathers and report that I am now covid-19 negative.

I’m sure God and only God is the reason for my healing. I didn’t mention this at first because I like to speak life to every end I am able to. I will now, however. I am now and have been a person with a compromised immune system, as I take chemotherapy every week on Fridays. Yet through the abundant grace of God I was able to make it through the pandemic having been a victim of the virus myself and even during the times when I actually was sick or in the most amount of pain and in a unit surrounded by friends it was in these times that my Father carried me. I was never afraid and I was never alone because I always knew my God was there in control of all circumstances.

Thank you God and thank you V4C family.