On March 1st I wrote about a time of change that began
to happen in my life.
Several people whom I had been close to for many years, have discontinued their
relationship with me. From the human standpoint I do not know why. However, I
have begun to see God's hand in this, and I am thankful and grateful for what He
Christian growth can be an enigma. There are times when things seem to be
going smoothly and I sense myself growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord
Then, at other times, disruption occurs. Hindrances happen. Changes take
place; some rapidly, some slowly.
Such changes often seem at their beginning to be unseattling. But the Lord
says to never allow my heart to be troubled; I'm to trust in Him always.
The Lord, you see, is the Master Builder. He's the caretaker of the vineyard
with all its trees and branches. And as a Christian, I am a branch.
Now, although I did not understand it at first, God
has blessed me with good
changes. But at the start I was confused.
I was fearful of being abandoned by
others. Deep-seated feelings of rejection and abandomnent began to surface.
Over time, however, God's peace filled my heart. He has everything under
control. He always has, and He always will.
As the Bible says,
"And we know that all things work togeher for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according dto His purpose." (Romans
So then, even the painful periods of pruning are for
a good purpose. At the
hands of a loving Shepherd such purging and purifying means He is perparing me to
bear even more fruit. This is all God's doing, and it is wonderful. The Father
Furthermore, during this particular time, I began to
realize that I had to
learn how to relinqish the control other people were having over me.
Although I love them dearly, and perhaps one day the
Lord will allow them to
come back into my life, for now it is best that they're gone.
Emotional attachments are difficult to break. So God had to come and do a
work inside my soul to help me to understand this.
Now, though, it is as if blinders have been lifted
from around my eyes.
The ones whom God has removed from my life, maybe for
a period of time, or
perhaps permanently, were controlling me emotionally. Probably without
realizing it, they were placing soulish and carnal roots inme that were not good.
But at some point in our respective relationships,
each of them began to be
constant complainers and fault-finders who tried to steer me in the directions
they wanted me to go. The Lord would not allow this.
The Lord is so faithful to remind me that my labor
for Him is never in vain.
It was a month ago that my testimony was aired on the
Focus on the Family
radio program. Yesterday I received a wonderful letter as a result of
program. I will quote it here with the hope that the readers of my journal
be encouraged to continue serving Jesus Christ:
"Dear David, May God's presence
be there with you in a special way this
Easter time. I know you are are rejoicing in Him for what He has done
life, and in the lives of all of us who have accepted Him. He is no respecter
persons, and, praise God He makes us a new person--'old things are passed away,
and behold all things are new.'
"I recently received
a copy of the tape of your interview on focus on
the Family, which was done last year, I believe. It was played on Dr.
program a couple of weeks ago.
"As I listened, tears came to my eyes again to hear what God has done,
and is doing in your life. I continue to pray for you and to give out
of your testimony.
"You have encouraged
me to continue my jail and prison ministry. At my
age of 82, and 12 years in prison work, I sometimes feel it may be time to lay it
aside. But when I hear testimonies like yours it makes me realize that's
heart is and where God has called me. So I am encouraged to continue on.
Mrs. H.W., Mission Viejo, California"
April 9, 2004
It's Saturday evening. Right now I'm in
my little prison cell basking in the
afterglow of this afternoon's worship service.
While the sunshine and warm temperatures tempted and beckoned many
the recreation yard, about fifty of us went to the chapel instead. For
us we had a 20-member choir who came from the City of Poughkeepsie,
There is something wonderful about praising the Lord with men and
these prison walls who have the anointing of God upon their lives, and who
With the acoustics in our house of worship it often sounds as if
people in the building that are actually present.
Approximately fifty inmates and 20 guests made for seventy people. Yet as we
began to sing, and when I closed my eyes, it seemed as if five hundred were
And as tears flowed down my face, and as I lifted my hands into
the eair, it
as if my soul was being cleansed.
This group calls themselves "HIS Choir." Then as we sang and clapped our
in adoration for Jesus Christ, the time flew by so fast.
The brothers and my chaplain spent two hours with these Christians. I wanted the worship to go on forever.
April 17, 2004