We recently completed a study on the principles on Courage. We had four separate class times with approximately 8-10 guys in each class. We studied the principle of direction, conflict, criticism, confrontation, morality, correction, pressure, judgement, forgiveness, and ownership. At the end of the class I asked each man to write a report on how this study had affected them. The following is a summary of what they wrote.

Lamond-This study of Courage has allowed me to rethink how I approach people and to always think before I speak and to listen to the other side because to every action there is a reaction with consequences.

Terrance-This study of Courage has broken everything down for me that I didn’t know about others and myself, it has had an effect on my life to change band be a better person. I look over these principles daily!

Leonardo-This study on Courage has helped me in many aspects of my thinking and planning. It has given me a sense of direction when it comes to handling and reacting to the many situations and circumstances that life brings. As a result of my continuing study of this book, I’m able to deal with confrontation, criticism, judgement, pressure, and forgiveness a lot better and I think it shows in my behavior. 

Levi-Courage to me is not the absence of fear but the ability and wisdom to respond appropriately even in the presence of fear.

Roland-Courage has affected me in my decision to not finish the Therapeutic Community Program. It has showed me how not to look for the bad in things but instead to concentrate on the good and to complete the task that is before me. Courage to me is to complete something that you don’t want to do and be proud of what you do.

Andrew-Courage to me is taking a strong stand despite difficultly and adversity.

Robert-This study has affected my thinking on the way I look at courage. At first I thought courage was part of confronting what you are afraid of but this study has taught me there is more to it. It has taught me to look at myself and how to handle pressure and take criticism.

Wendell-I believe this study of Courage has taught me to be a lot more tolerant and patient when it comes to dealing with others. As a result of this study, my behavior has changed when it comes to controlling my temper and my need to respond. This has helped me a lot because it was always those negative ways that had led me to unacceptable behaviors and landed me in messed up situations, facing harsh consequences in this life.

Willie-I have learned that courage is best identified in the way you carry yourself and respect others.

Elijah-This study on courage has affected my life, showing how courage is something that I must have in order to survive not only in prison but also in life because we must display courage in order to make right decisions in life.

Thomas-Courage has changed my life. Jesus is the best representation of courage. I am thankful for His courage in enduring the cross on behalf of me and my goal is to walk in that same courage, doing for others what I would like done for me.

Levi-Studying Courage has enlightened me to some characteristics and traits that I needed to strengthen in. It has taught me to identify and respond to core issues and conflict with a greater sense of awareness and responsibility. It has taught me to take ownership of my thinking errors, to confront them, to accept criticism and to raise the standards of my morality. My overall judgement is affected by this study of courage!

I thank God for this group of men and all those who have been lifting us up in prayer through this course of study.

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7/27/15 Prayer Update

Posted: July 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5

Let’s pray this week for the men that meet weekly in LifeLink round tables. Pray that as they study principles from the Book of Proverbs that their hearts would turn towards Jesus. Pray that they would turn their ear to wisdom, apply their heart to understanding, call out for insight and understanding, be convicted of their sin and repent, surrendering their lives to the lordship of Jesus. Pray that these 40 men would not meet in vain, but would be serious about life change. Pray that Jeremy would remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading as he facilitates these round tables.  

The Down Spiral to Coming Up

Posted: July 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:8-13

This following post was written by a man that is currently serving a Life Without Parole sentence at the prison that I serve at. I pray that you are challenged as he shares his heart through these words.

Even in my early thirties, I wasn’t much of a man or a father. At least not until I finally was able to get beyond my corrosive pride and submitted to the one who could actually teach me how to be the things that I surely was not. For me it took a capital murder charge and the degrading life of an inmate to open my eyes. Unfortunately, I was a stubborn extremist, so it took extreme measures to reach me. I pray to God that your eyes are opened with much less effort. 

Once I had landed on rock bottom, and all of the addictions and distractions were out of the equation, I was in a position to receive the things that I was too stubborn to hear before. Some may call this being humbled…that being said, I say this in truth, it was amazing what I learned once I truly begin to listen. 

Part of my problem was that I was listening to, and running with, the (bad) advice from men that were still trying to figure out manhood and fatherhood themselves. How stupid is that? In all of my self-imposed wisdom and knowledge, I could not figure out that if I was truly committed to becoming a good man or father, I needed instructions from the ultimate Father and from the perfect man. This combination cannot be found anywhere else, but in God. Be not deceived, this is not segregated to gender, it is just as true for the female as it is for the male. 

The other part of my problem was the doubt I had in my learning curve, and not being able to overcome my deep feelings of unworthiness. If I was to deal effectively with these issues, I had to be willing to change my thinking. That was a big deal for me, because I didn’t enjoy change or starting over. That would mean being a student, a disciple – in essence, a child to be taught. 

Now, as a grown male with a fully developed ego and filled with pride and arrogance, the idea of lowering myself in any way is unappealing. Nonetheless, if I wanted to progress from the place I had fallen, I had to admit I was already lower than low, and in need. I bet you know how difficult it is for a proud person to ask for help. Sometimes circumstances will change your direction for you. 

The choices for me were to stay where I was (on rock bottom), or to look up like a child to my Heavenly Father and receive the help he has been offering me all of my life. It was evident to me that at this point, He was the only one able to raise me up.

Most people may think that repenting is telling the Lord about the sins that we have committed and asking Him for forgiveness. However, telling the Lord about our sins and asking for forgiveness is actually called, “Confessing.” Whereas, repenting is a reversal, or the changing of direction in our thinking and behavior due to a change in how we feel about our wrongs.

Before I was able to begin the climb upward in the Lord, I needed to repent – I had to change my downward spiral and unrighteous descent, then be willing to travel according to the ways of the Lord. 

The first step to success, manhood, fatherhood, or any other place in the Lord is discovering that we are headed in the wrong direction (physically and mentally); and then submitting to the Lord as the leader of our life. For any of this to work…Jesus must be Lord and we must repent.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Co 5:16–19)

Over this last year, there has been violence where I serve at against both inmates and Correctional Officers. This has resulted in a many lockdowns and controlled movement. During these times men are locked into their cells for longer then they usually are and often the riot team is present. The riot team always brings a sense of tension to the inmates and at a glance, it often seems chaotic. Nevertheless, I have learned that order comes out of chaos. In one of these recent situations one of the inmates wrote this below letter and shared it with me. 

This entire situation has me thinking about my family; how I miss them, and how impossible it seems that I will ever be with them again – without prison between us. I guess with all of what’s going on, it becomes hard to see beyond the present. I am so glad that despite what is in front of me, I know that I serve a God that can accomplish the impossible, and deliver anyone, from any prison. That being said, I do my best to see beyond what I’ve been sentenced. 

I look to a day of being reunited with family, and operating in my purpose beyond prison walls. If nothing else, it has been proven to me that no matter how long, or how aggressively my body is locked down, no one but me, can lockdown what’s inside of me. I for one chose to be free. The fact is, I was in bondage long before I was ever subjected to a jail cell. The sad thing was that (like many others) I didn’t even realized it. I guess we really don’t miss the water until the well runs dry. 

My bondage was to things that dictated my behavior, and my behavior in turn dictated my positioning in life, and my positioning put me in the wrong places, at the wrong time. No matter the circumstances – for me – a mental attachment to bondage soon materialized into my physical placement in captivity. Ironically, I was able to see my condition for what it was; when I became physically locked down. I guess I was moving too fast out there, and was too distracted to realize this before. I figure if it happened to me, it can happen to you. 

I am not alone in this, I talk to men everyday who have shared a similar experience, some worse, and some less than my own. The Bible has helped me discover that my bondage, my being out of position, and even my behavior is all the result of a problem man had been wrestling with since “The Garden of Eden.” Whatever your take on this is, I simply refer to one aspect: Whenever man or woman rebel against the directions that are given by God – they will soon find themselves evicted from paradise. 

I am not a scientist, but I do understand the scientific method. Scientist perform an experiment repeatedly, and if they get the same results, they take that to mean, something has been actually proven. 

For a longtime, I’ve tried things my way, and each time, in some form or another, my way seemed to repeatedly lead me into some type of bondage, (bad habits, rebellious thinking, or growing addictions – just to name a few). 

In my case, the bondage first formed mentally, before finally manifesting physically. It’s true that some never end up in a Correctional Facility, but that does not mean they are not bound up inside (while still sitting in their own living rooms). For some time now, I have been following the directions from that book I spoke of, and like a scientific experiment, I have repeatedly received the results it promises. 

I have been reversed engineered – where my inner captivity was dealt with first. Today, it is my hope that this will eventually result in my “Physical positioning.” I say this because once my inner bondage was dealt with, it didn’t matter that I was physically in a Correctional Facility. Now, no matter where I am, I am free.

So now, as I focus on my “Physical positioning” it is not for the purpose of obtaining my physical freedom; it is to be in a specific, and physical position with my family. Once there, I am hoping to have an impact; I’m hoping to break any cycle of bondage; and establish a Godly foundation of freedom. I want to give the ones I love most, the gift that was given to me. So instead of focusing on the current chaos looming in front of me, I am here thinking of family. 

Although I have many needs, I would ask, only this one thing of you. Whenever I happen to cross your mind…please send up a prayer. A prayer for my health, for my release, and for my physical positioning. I thank you in advance for that.

In closing, no matter how the court records, or history ends up portraying me, I would have you know from my own hand…I am a changed man, and that change was for the better.

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36

Everybody loves freedom. Everybody wants it. At least, that is a common assumption. But a lot of questions need to be answered. For example: What is freedom exactly, and can it be accurately defined? Is freedom the same as democracy? Is freedom the right to do anything I want – regardless of the impact on anyone else? What really is freedom? 

We hear the word spoken often in our world, most people seem to make their decisions based on freedom. Nearly every political faction says it is for freedom, yet they disagree on the particulars. Just what is freedom, anyway? The dictionary defines freedom as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved, and the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken. Is this really what freedom is? Is it all about our physical state or is there more to freedom? 

When I think of freedom and our country my mind goes to the most familiar speech that was delivered at the Virginia Convention in 1775, at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. “Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry evidently placed a high value on freedom and I believe so should we! But friend, there is more to freedom than simply civil laws protecting such. There are some freedoms that civil law cannot give and armies cannot secure. We have to look elsewhere for certain freedoms, and they are extremely important ones. Freedom from sin, freedom from sin’s eternal consequences, freedom from hopelessness and despair, and ultimately, freedom from death.

I work daily with men who are imprisoned physically but are some of the most free men that I know! Though bars surround them, they have found what it means to be free in Christ! This is true freedom! Jesus talked often about this freedom when he walked this earth. In John 8 Jesus told the Jews “know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” What did Jesus mean? In the context of Jesus’ promise to “know the truth and the truth shall make you free” is an objection of some who heard Him. They countered that they had never been enslaved to anyone. Besides being historically inaccurate (they had, indeed, served as slaves in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and many Jews were slaves in Rome as they spoke), they were missing the point. Jesus explained He was talking about their being enslaved to sin.

There was pride and pretentiousness; hypocrisy and greed; hatred and selfishness. They held to outward religious form, self glory and human tradition, often setting aside God’s commandment in favor of their traditions. They were self-righteous and often hard-hearted. Jesus came to free them from such, and us as well. He was the only One who could do so. We could not free ourselves, neither could any other force in heaven or on earth. It had to be Jesus. In Him we are set free! Freedom is not a physical liberty you may have but to be free from sin, hopelessness, despair and death. Freedom is knowing that in Christ Jesus, he has set us free and completely liberated us from the clutches of sin. We no longer need to live under the bondage of sin and religion. Friend may we today claim the freedom we have in Christ and stand firm in it. Standing firm in the freedom of Christ, brings wholeness and liberty to our lives.  

Secure Hope

Posted: June 28, 2015 in Uncategorized
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My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name. When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand! —Edward Mote (1797-1874)

I’m back! My absence from weekly blogging was due to a crazy last couple weeks. There are a lot of thoughts running through my head as I sit here this morning and ponder what to say. These last couple weeks have been disappointing, discouraging at times, and not expected. But God in His sovereignty was in control! When the situations seemed to much to bare, God was there! And when the diagnosis seemed hopeless, God was still in control! 

This all began with a phone call from my brother late on a Thursday night several weeks ago. He called asking me to pray because my father had been hospitalized and wasn’t expected to make it through the night. Though my father made it through the night, we had several weeks of disappointments from the doctors concerning his condition. But through all the disappointments, there is still hope, God is in control! We as Christians can have hope regardless of what the doctors say, regardless of what society or those around us say, because our hope rests in God and not in the ability of others! As Christians our hope is an guaranteed hope not subject to change, but rather anchored in our unchangeable Savior and Lord. Unlike the hope of this world, this hope is secure! 

A hope secure in God’s unchanging values, (Psalm 119:160, 165) “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.… Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” 

A hope secure in God’s unchanging justice, (Deuteronomy 32:4) “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” 

A hope secure in God’s unchanging promises, (2 Timothy 2:13) “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”  

A hope secure in God’s unchanging integrity and righteousness, (Psalm 36:5–6) “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.”

 A hope secure in God’s unchanging wisdom and understanding, (Jeremiah 51:15) “He made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.” 

A hope secure in God’s unchanging purpose for your life, (Psalm 57:2,10) “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.… For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

 A hope secure in God’s unchanging abilities, (2 Corinthians 9:8) “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 

A hope secure in God’s unchanging financial provision, (1 Timothy 6:17) “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 

A hope secure in God’s plans for your future, (1 Corinthians 15:42,44) “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable … it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” 

If there is one thing I have learned from these last few weeks, it would be, that nothing is secure outside of God! God knows our needs, my fathers condition is in His hands! We can rest assured in a world that is in a sense of hopelessness, where it’s knowledge is limited, and there is knows no certainty! Friends regardless of what your going through don’t be discouraged, there is hope and as Christians our commitment should be this: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)  

Change

Posted: June 14, 2015 in Uncategorized
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But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8

In life, the only thing that is constant is change. This quote by Heraclitus has been on mind a lot recently. I used to despise that saying because I hated the disruption that change always brings. When my wife would want to reorganize the living room, I would hate it! Why because it would disrupt a perfect but dull room. Yeah, I would rather live in the boring and mundane than have change in my life.

Change is hard. No one ever said life was easy; and if they did, they lied. Change is hard, and nothing about it is comfortable or smooth. Being a Christian, we are called to change, our lives should daily reflect change as we daily strive to follow Christ! As a Christian, God is always at work in us, shaping us and conforming us to His character. He wants us to become more like Him in every way. God is the potter and we are the clay that He shapes to His own purposes, making us into worthy vessels to be filled with His Holy Spirit. This growth and change as God molds us is a process that is on-going, so we do not need to be discouraged along the way.

It’s rough to walk along the narrow road. It can mean your family distances themselves from you. It can mean you are all lonely in that journey. But, embracing life means a new path to salvation. It means that one may find a peace. And honestly, it can mean a lot of wonderful things if the right attitude is present. For many that I minister to on a daily basis, prison played a role in their lives changing! For many it was that very low time in their life where they cried out to God! One man told me of how one evening being discouraged, realizing what had become of his life, he contemplated suicide but before he mustered the nerve he cried out to God, ” If you are real save me!” His cry was heard and in that little cell God spoke to him! Change happened in his life as he surrendered his messed up life to God that night and received from God a new life! 

Even though we as Christians hate change and often resist it, God is in the changing business! As a Christian I have come to learn that change is inevitable, in fact I now welcome it in my life! I have no desire to be the same man today as I was yesterday! I have come to learn, that with each growing pain or new dilemma, and for every mountain climbed and valley realized, there is a certain level of familiarity that I feel. My situations are not always new, but I can see how God is moving in and through them to mold me more into His image! 

Friends, however much you like change in your life, God has promised that he would never change. The good news is He has the power to change any situation, any person and any thing. The only thing constant in life is God’s unchanging hand; we can rest assured that change in us is a sign of God’s work in progress. Change is what makes our lives full, rich and ripe with godly substance. 

Real Men, Love God

Posted: June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Satan has bewitched most men of today. Through sin, husbands and fathers are forfeiting their position of authority, leaving their entire household vulnerable and expose to enemy. The enemy has slipped in undetected and is nibbling away at the very fabric of our society—the family structure. What has happened in today’s time is that men have become self-centered, lusting after everything the world has to offer: money, fame, sex, drugs, and etc. (I John 2:15-16). The enemy has entrapped them through their ungodly desires, and now the wives are left suffering, trying to fill the void of an absentee father. Our children are struggling to navigate their way through a dark world and find their place in society. How can our children succeed when fathers have left them vulnerable and exposed to the deadly trap of the enemy? The enemy has been waging war against fathers from the beginning of creation, bounding them through, leaving the home defenseless (Mark 3:27). John Bevere once said, “If you do not walk in your God-given authority, someone will take it from you, and use it against you!”

The first man, Adam, found this out the hard way. Through sin, he forfeited his position of authority, leaving his entire household vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy (Romans 5:12). The result of sin is death and those that partake in it, exposes everyone underneath their authority (Joshua 7). For instance, the life of King David is a perfect illustration to the effects of sin and its deadly consequences (2 Samuel 12:1-15).  

David was a shepherd of sheep made king of Israel. The Bible describes David “As a man after God’s own heart.” God established David’s kingdom and under his leadership it was strong and secure. God blessed David with several sons and daughters, but David wanted what God did not give him permission to have. David took a man’s wife and slept with her and she became pregnant with his child. However to complicate matters, her husband was away at war, defending David’s kingdom. David sends for him, hoping to trick him into sleeping with her, appearing to father the child. The plan failed, so David came up with another brilliant idea. He sent the husband back to the battlefront, carrying his own death warrant. The husband was killed and David became guilty of murder (2 Samuel 11).

Sin is a trap the enemy uses to rob you of everything that’s precious and dear to you! When King David realized his plan was on the verge of being exposed, he immediately resorted to deception, lying, and then murder. The most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witness is men willingness to offend a holy God, because they fear the consequences that man can inflict (Matthew 10:28). Regardless of how David tried to cover his sins, God exposed them. However, God did forgive David but the consequences remained (Romans 6:23).

The consequences that followed David’s sins were great. Through sin, the door was opened for the enemy to enter David’s house and demised everything underneath his authority. His first child with Bathsheba died. His eldest son, Amnon, raped the daughter Tamar. His other son, Absalom, took revenge on Amnon and killed him. He then led a rebellion against King David and seized his throne. Now, David fled the city in fear of his life. Afterward Absalom dishonored his father by sleeping with his concubines in public. Absalom also sent men out to hunt down and kill David. The plot failed, and Absalom was killed by David’s general.  

If you bring a snake into your house, expect to suffer a gruesome death from the effects of the venom. Sin is as deadly as venom. And when you allow it to enter into your house, expect death to slowly eat away at everything that’s precious and dear to you. King David’s lost three sons, because he exposed his family to the enemy through his sins. So who is really suffering from our selfish acts? “Is it our homes?” “Is it our wives?” or “Does our children suffer?” But can I tell that ultimately we suffer! In Malachi 4:5-6, God said, “Unless the fathers’ hearts turn to the children and the children’s heart to the fathers, He would strike the earth with a curse.” God is calling every husband and father to repentance and is commanding them to step up and be the man He’s created you to be. Stop cheating yourself! Stop cheating your family! Stop cheating God! Stop cheating…!

Follow this link to join us in praying for the billions of Muslims who are celebrating Ramadan next week, 

Ministry Update

Posted: May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized
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I want to share with you about a man that currently resides in the Faith Based Honor Dorm at St. Clair. Earnest is 58 years old and has been in prison for 8 years now and I have known him for quite some time. He never comes to any chapel services but normally keeps to himself, either reading his Bible or writing letters. The other day as I was making my normal rounds walking through the dorm, I felt God leading me to take several minutes and sit down next to him. At first our conversation was focused on the prison and the things happening there and then as time went on he begun sharing about himself. Earnest shared about his life on the outside of prison as a Baptist pastor for 30 years and how him and his wife would travel on mission trips every year for their vacations. He continued talking about how God used him in many ways and how those memories are what give him hope while in prison. I sat there and wondered how a man like Earnest, someone so in love with God, so willing to serve Him would ever end up in prison. I asked him why he never came to the chapel and why he chose to stay to himself all the time. He responded saying “I feel like I have left God down, I am here for the death of my wife, which I never did, but somehow I must of left God down to send me to this place, I don’t understand.” Earnest was sentenced for the murder of his wife, which happened during an invasion at their home. The DA convicted him due to phone numbers on his phone and the testimony of a lady in his church that he and his wife had been counseling. The lady’s claim to an affair with Earnest was considered motive which landed him in prison on a plea bargain of 20years. I felt extremely remorseful as he cried his heart out to me, saying ” I still love God, but I just have a lot of questions for Him?” He shared with me that he had never shared this with anyone before, and how good it felt to share it now. I encouraged him to continue talking about his past, and to start getting involved with the church at St. Clair. 

There are many more men like Earnest at St. Clair and I encounter them everyday. Not all the men at St.Clair come from broken homes and bad lifestyles some are Christian men that have made mistakes in their lives that have brought them here. They are filled with brokenness, despair, and like Earnest have many questions for God. My goal as I serve there is to get these men talking about their past and no longer be held captive to it. Pray that God would continue using me to be the sounding board for these men.

 Since long-term ministry at St. Clair is what we believe God has called us to, and in order to be able to serve in the capacity that we do now, we need the financial partnership of individuals like you. We pray that you may consider partnering with us. You can do so either by a one-time financial gift or a monthly recurring financial gift. If you feel God leading you in that way follow this link “We Care Program” and follow the instruction in making a donation to Jeremy Miller!

Thank you, without God, your prayers, and monthly financial support this ministry would not be possible.

“If you had slept in the same house or field with Jesus, awakened with him, eaten with him and helped him, what would you have observed? One thing we always think of is that Jesus gave himself almost entirely to what we would consider interruptions. Most of the teaching, healing and wonders we see in his life were responsive…seemingly unplanned. He trusted that what the Father allowed to cross his path was exactly that…from the Father. Jesus always seemed willing for things to get messy” ― Marcia Lebhar

This last month my usual schedule came to a halt when some unexpected things came up in my life. The usual weekly routine came second to the issues at hand and my focus was directed more toward the problem at hand! Sadly, I don’t always handle these interruptions in my life correctly. I often react with frustration, stress, and worry. “How much money will this cost?” “God I can’t handle this!” Often doubting the intent of these situations and why God allows them to happen. 

Though these interruptions are unexpected and catch me off guard, they do not catch God off guard. They are not random, meaningless events. In fact, these interruptions are divinely placed in my path for a reason. God uses these interruptions to change me to be more like Christ. Stressing out and being irritated is only a waste of precious time. In these recent weeks I was reminded to stop and listen to God, rather than to doubt him. I was reminded that God is never far away, even though we feel all alone! It is in these times when we really do need him so often we find ourselves pulling away from Him! It is not that He has abandoned us, but that we walk away from Him. It is when we need His power the most that we unplug from the source that gives us that power. It is in these vulnerable times that the enemy’s tool of doubt enters into our minds and continues to question God! 

It is these interruptions that often tell us the true intend of our heart! Are we more concerned about our schedule then what God is trying to teach us? Slow traffic, a sick child, or a costly home repair may not seem like important tools in our sanctification, but they are. We often overlook these interruptions and inconveniences and instead expect God to work in our lives through huge life-changing circumstances. But the reality is, we won’t often have major events in our life that cause us to trust God and obey him in some deeply profound way. Paul Tripp writes in his book (Whiter Than Snow) “that the character of a life is set in ten thousand little moments of everyday life. It’s the themes of struggles that emerge from those little moments that reveal what’s really going on in our hearts.” 

In Philippians 1:20, Paul says “It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” At this very time Paul was facing many interruptions, he was wrongfully incarcerated and had been beaten and ridiculed for his faith. Yet through it all his expectation and hope was that Christ would be honored and glorified! That should be our hearts desire! When God interrupts your schedule or day with the unexpected, stop and listen to God, drop to your knees and pray that God would be honored through your crisis! Our lives are like a telescope, people are watching you! For many Christ is only a misty figure who lived centuries ago. In fact Jesus isn’t very big in their lives, others and other things are far more important! As Christians our bodies are to be a telescope that brings Jesus Christ close to people. It is when we are interrupted and go through hard times in our lives, that unbelievers should be able to see how big Jesus Christ really is. Our bodies should be the “lens” that makes a “little Christ” look very big, and a “distant Christ” come very close.

I have been challenged this month that interruptions as frustrating that they are are used by our Great Shepherd to push us to the cross of Christ where we must remember the gospel and receive his grace and forgiveness. We can not do life on our own and in our own time, God is in control! It’s hard to see all the little frustrating events and interruptions in our day as divinely placed opportunities to grow in grace, but they are. And seeing them as such helps us take our eyes off ourselves and put them on Christ, who cares more about our transformation than about our daily comfort. Instead of doubting the one who causes the interruptions we should glorify Him!

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