We Are Sheep… That’s NOT A Compliment!

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I just finished putting together a study for jail that includes John 10:1-21, where Jesus gives an illustration using sheep and shepherds.   God’s intent was for the shepherds (religious leaders) to feed the people with the truth of God’s Word, provide spiritual nourishment, care for them, help them when they are sick or injured, and warn and safeguard them from danger.  The word pastor is related to the word pasture (pastoral), and means “to feed and care for”.  Pastors are to shepherd the people.  God’s design is that the religious leaders are to be like good shepherds, who care for the sheep, love the sheep, and put the best interests of the sheep above their own needs. Continue reading

Letters to God #10 by Dana – “Forgiveness for 4 counts of attempted murder”

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Dana has written several “letters to God” – you can see them here

Dear God,

Thank you for another beautiful day in such an ugly place.  How ironic that I had to come to the “concrete jungle” of chaos and noise to find joy and inner peace.  Because it’s true, O Lord, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long while in one of the most unhappy places on earth.  For I laugh more than I have in years.  I smile almost constantly, and I wake up without guilt or sadness from the turmoil of my once lethal life.  Don’t misunderstand me Lord Jesus.  I know why I’m here and I haven’t forgotten my journey or just how many miles I need to go on my road trip to eternal life.  I just mean that finding You, the peace of the Holy Spirit, and accepting You as my Lord and Savior has done wonders for my soul and has made it easier to enjoy the simple things, see the big things and know what’s important.  So even though I’m fully aware that I’m incarcerated facing 40+ years, housed with other women deemed dangers to society just like me, I can appreciate that I’m happily sober, relieved to be safe and alive and sometimes overwhelmed with the beauty of Your love and enduring forgiveness for sinners like me.  So as my pod-mate says, “Lord, you really do have a sense of humor, and You work in mysterious ways.”  Praise God! Continue reading

Letters to God #9 by Dana – “Winner At Losing”

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Dana has written several “letters to God” – you can see them here.

Dear God,

Lord, first and foremost I want to thank You for this day.  Lord, the last few days have been a little trialsome, but I’ve learned to appreciate the hardships regardless of how painful, due to the knowledge of Your wondrous Word that You continue to bless me with.  For I’ve learned that as long as I continue to have faith in You O Lord, that You will answer my prayers and never give me more than I can carry.  As it tells me in Matthew 24:13, “But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.”  So praise God that I continue to grow strong in faith and spirituality with each passing day.

Continue reading

Dirty Tables by Erika

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This was written by one of “my girls” who gave her life to Jesus Christ while she was in jail.  You can read her testimony here.  I love this story, because of her humble heart and willingness to be obedient in a situation where most of us would have probably ignored God’s prompting and had a long list of rationalizations.  I am so blessed to count this beautiful young woman as a friend.


DIRTY TABLES

I was working as a hostess at a restaurant.  It was late, and we had three tired servers and one sleepy hostess, me.  We were just finishing up with the late night rush, and we were relieved that the flow of people was finally over.

Then a large group walked in. They pointed to a large, round booth that they wanted to sit at.  It was open and clean, so I had no reason to object.  I seated them and let them know their server would be with them shortly. Continue reading

Erika’s Testimony – All Things Are New

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My name is Erika.  I was born to a single mother in Texas.  Growing up, my childhood was very difficult for me.  Roughly from the age of two to eight years old my mom had a live in boyfriend that would regularly molest me.  I reached out to my mom, but she was unable to help.  He would physically beat her, and I think out of fear she felt powerless to do anything.

Continue reading

A New Year… A New Beginning by Christina M.

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“A New Year… A New Blessing”
By Christina M  01/2015

I woke up in this freezing cold prison cell, socks to my knees, and a rough wool blanket issued to me by the New Mexico Department of Corrections.  I can hear the sound of other female prisoners hollering crude obscenities to one another, cell doors being slammed shut, and a grumpy, round, pink skinned prison guard announcing that it’s time to “eat chow”.  There were no big, shiny balloons.  There weren’t any party whistles being blown.  I didn’t have a sparkling Happy new Year headband on my head.  There was no champagne.  No New Year’s kiss.  When I really think about all that glitz and glam… I can’t help but acknowledge how over rated all that show girl stuff truly is.  God knows I’ve had my fair share of wild festivities! Continue reading

God Doesn’t Like Boxes

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I have written before that “I have a box, and I like my box”.  But God is not a God of boxes.  He seems quite persistent about dragging us outside of our boxes on a regular basis!

A few months ago I was asked by a dear friend to teach at a small women’s retreat.  She insisted that this was God’s idea, and not hers.  And I do believe her, and I do sense God’s calling to do this, and I do want to be obedient… but this is seriously outside my box!  I have never even BEEN to a women’s retreat.  I have never taught Bible study outside jail.  And this is going to be a 4 day retreat – eight Bible study sessions.  Goodbye box! Continue reading

The Honored Woman At The Well

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My partner Terry and I are teaching through the Gospel of John for our studies in jail.  We are doing 2-3 chapters at a time, and showing the corresponding sections of the movie “The Gospel Of John“.  The women seem to really be enjoying it.

I taught on John 4 a couple weeks ago, and as I prepared the lesson it really struck me that the FIRST person Jesus chose to reveal Himself to as Messiah was the woman at the well. Continue reading

Letters To God #7 – “Ointment for My Wounded Heart” by Dana

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A woman named Dana has been sharing her spiritual journey through a series of “Letters to God”.  You can find her first letter to God here.

December 2014

Dear God,

Lord, I still painfully walk through my days with so much baggage still attached that I don’t know how to shed.  It weighs me down and makes it hard for me to walk my spiritual path with a genuine and pure heart.  I pray that with the guidance from the Holy Spirit and the help and counsel of spiritual mentors this will lead me to break these chains of sin and free me from my pain. Continue reading

Letters to God #8 – “My Inception” by Dana

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A woman named Dana has been sharing her spiritual journey through a series of “Letters to God”.  You can find her first letter to God here.

December 14, 2014

Dear God,

Hello my Lord.  Thank You for this day.  I can’t help but notice that Christmas Day is closing in and I have to admit that the closer it gets the more depressed I feel.  But please let me explain, although I’m happy and filled with the Holy Spirit.  With the birth of my Lord and Savior drawing near, I’m disappointed that I’m going to miss my infant son’s first Christmas morning as well as his first birthday two days after Christ’s birth.  I’m sad that the choices I made have taken this season of “firsts” away from me. Continue reading