February 1, 2001
I thank the Lord that through my dear Christian brother, Jesse, he has provided me with
a simple Brother brand “standard” electric typewriter to work with. I
have had the machine I am now using since June 2000. The previous one,
which was the exact same model, burned out after several years and thousands of hours of intense use. I probably typed about ten thousand letters and many spiritual messages on it.
The typewriter I use is the most basic of models with no memory or “Spell-check”
I don’t think there’s anyone but prison inmates who use these anymore. They’re
so obsolete. As a prison inmate in Mew York State, I am not allowed access to
E-mail, and I am not allowed to have a personal computer. I wish these things
were available, and maybe one day they will be.
But if the apostle Paul could write his anointed epistles to the churches on crude pieces
of parchment with only God knows what for a pen, I can surely manage with my outmoded machine.
February 10, 2001
FORMER MAYOR ABE BEAM
Today I was listening to an “all news” station on my radio which comes out
of New York City, when the story broke about the passing for former Mayor Abraham Beame.
I felt sadness to hear this. I did not know much about him, but he was
serving in the office of the Mayor of the City of New York, when I was on the outside back in l977.
Hearing the news of his passing caused me to think about that period of time which was
for me a time of despair, torment and pain. It also made me realize just how
little I remember of the years past when the crime spree was going on and when I was out of control.
I thank the Lord for healing my mind and for a giving me a new life of hope and peace. I do not have to live in the past anymore.
But it was extremely unpleasant to hear the “Son of Sam” case mentioned repeatedly throughout the day,
as the radio announcer discussed Mr. Beame and some of the notable events which occurred during his term.
Thinking about Mr. Beame, it made me recall something he often told to the media which
I know was incorrect. He said that he had shaken my hand by mistake on the day
I was inside of the Police Headquarters in lower Manhattan.
I know his story sounded colorful. But it
could not have possibly been true since I was always handcuffed behind my back when I was escorted into the building itself,
and then into various rooms. I was always surrounded by police officials. Surely I was in no position to go around shaking hands.
Mr. Beame had obviously shaken the hand of another police detective. But because of the crowds, even inside of the building, he somehow mistakenly thought it was my hand.
February 12, 2001
ENNIS COSBY’S KILLER CONFESSES
It’s been on the news all Saturday and Sunday, and the newspapers. I just finished reading the story myself. That the young man
who was convicted of killing comedian Bill Cosby’s son, Ennis (age 27,) in 1997, in Los Angeles, had made a confession
that he is indeed guilty of the crime. Michael Markhasev, now 22 years old and
doing life without possibility of parole for the slaying wrote a letter on his own volition, asking that his appeal be stopped.
The news reports I had heard plus what I just finished reading, all say that the folks
from the District Attorney’s office in this California city were ‘stunned’ by this turn of events, and by
Mr. Markhasev’s obvious genuinely repentant confession and actions.
Well I am not stunned at all. For this once
again, a splendid example of what Jesus Christ can do in a person’s life. The
article which I read from Long Island’s NEWSDAY newspaper, quoted a portion of Mr. Marhhasev’s letter as follow: “More than anything I want to apologize to the victim’s family. It is my duty as a Christian and is the least I can do after the great wickedness for which I am responsible.”
I remember this tragic case. The slaying
if Ennis Cosby was a terrible loss. He was a talented and beautiful human being. Surely his family misses him more than words could ever express.
But what is evident is that, while in prison, thanks to some caring Christian who is
unknown to the public—perhaps it was another inmate or a chaplain, not only did Michael ask for forgiveness for his
sins, but stepped forward in holy boldness and courage to, as he wrote in is letter, to “do the right thing” and contact to the District
Attorney as well as apologize
to the Cosby family.
And thanks to Jesus Christ and Michael Markhasev, the Cosby family can now get on with
their lives and put this behind them. The Court of Appeals can now take a major
case off their overloaded calendar, and the taxes in the State of California will save perhaps tens of thousands of dollars
or more on legal costs, having to fight against Mr. Marhhasev’s appeal..
Plain and simple, this was a miracle! While
the District Attorney’s staff were left puzzled, all this should be easy
to understand of one is a Christian. God
reached down and touched the heart of a troubled young man in maximum security, and He made Michael’s heart brand new.
I am proud to call Michael Markhasev my brother.
He did do the right thing. And Christians everywhere need to pray for
NEWSDAY, Saturday, February
February 16, 2001
Today I ran into Stu* in the infirmary. He’s one of these “thin men” who have the AIDS virus. Called “HIV” or by its uglier name, “AIDS”, it really means the same to me. It is the equivalent of living with the death sentence, ands there’s no wad
to get around this truth.
I only got to speak with Stu for a few minutes because he was in “keeplock”
status. This means he was given disciplinary infraction for a rule violation. A guard was escorting him. So the policy
is that Stu has to walk with his hands in his pockets while the guard walks beside him.
While he was at the medication window to get his HIV fighting drugs, I saw what he looked
like. Prior to this I had not seen Stu in about two months. When I saw him this time he had lost a lot of weight. A bad
Stu is about thirty years old. The last
time I saw him, he looked healthy and somewhat muscular. He always likes to do
a lot of push-ups and sit ups in his cell, more from nervous energy and hyperactivity that actually trying to build himself
up. Before his sudden weight loss
one would never think he was sick.
Seeing what he looked like today, I know what this means.
He’s deteriorating. When he and I were living in the cellblock I
had had many discussions with him about Jesus Christ and the Bible. Quite frankly,
while he loved to talk about religious issues, he was not open to the gospel.
Stu often told me that
he thinks---. He’s one of these guys who likes to read the Bible, with
no clue to the correct interpretation. This can only be done through the Holy
Spirit. Those who do not have the Spirit of God dwelling inside them, can only
get the wrong message.
If one would just spend five minutes listening to Steward talk about his beliefs, you
would see how far off course he is. It’s the typical, what I call, “religious
mishmash” that I hear so often. A blend of everything. One minute he’s reading the Bible, then he reaches to
the Koran. Later I would see him engrossed in his “New Age” swami
stuff, his collection of different books by various gurus. My heart is grieved
when I see him searching yet going down the wrong paths. I desperately want him
to come to Christ. What a confused “god” poor Stewart is.
But getting back to my seeing Stu this morning in the two or so minutes we had to converse,
I told him that I missed our talks, and that I was still praying for him. I
asked him to make sure he ate more food and to please remember to take his vitamins.
I don’t know when he will be getting out of “keeplock” and cell confinement. I may not get to see him for more months. But
I pray the Lord will give me another chance to talk with him.
February 14, 2001
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
As I have said many times, it often takes a little word from the Lord to give me a big
dose of encouragement, hope and strength.
Lately I’ve been neglecting my Journal because of the endless battles and high
intensity spiritual warfare that’s been going on around me. It seems that
in the past two weeks or so, the devil is back with his old tactic. Working overtime to try to damage my testimony. “May the Lord rebuke that old serpent!.”
Nevertheless, I am learning to trust in the Lord more to depend solely upon Him for even
my smallest needs. I know that I am in victory through Christ.
The above Scripture from the ninth Psalm blessed me this morning. Many times a simple verse is all the Lord needs to minister to one of His children. He has been showing me of late what a wonderful and faithful refuge He has been from all the storms and
trials, and from all the burdens and cares of this life.
I found myself having to sidetrack a bit this past week in order to attend to some “urgent”
matters. But I know that all things will work together for the good. I love the Lord and I know His love for me. Jesus can turn
bad things and situations around and bring good out of them all. Amen!
February 15, 2001
“THERE IS A HARVEST---”
I can truly rejoice with all my heart for moments like this. Earlier today I received a letter from a minister from the State of Virginia. He and members of his church have outreach to a local prison, a jail, and two juvenile facilities where
they share the gospel. His letter was so positive, I can tell he loves the prisoners.
This Christian, Rick, came across my testimony
on the website and wrote to tell me he has been using it to minister to the men and women at these facilities. He also told me about the “Son of Hope” video and how it is being used. I am so happy! Glory to God!
Let me quote word for word a portion of Rick’s letter: “David…I wanted to take the time to thank you for the video, SON OF HOPE. I can’t tell you how it has helped us in ministering, especially to the youth in Bon Air Juvenile
Correctional Center. We showed the movie many times, and had the young boys step
forward for salvation.”
He went on to say, “There is a harvest, which you probably didn’t even know
about. I know in due time God will reward you for your faithful work and testimony
of His saving grace. We are blessed to see how God had used you to reach out
behind the prison walls to set young people free from Satan’s control…”
I’ve already written back to thank him for taking the time to write. I told him how greatly I was encouraged by what he shared. I
am thankful to God, for he has truly blessed me.
February 17, 2001
Earlier this morning I had a handful of chores to do such as cleaning my prison cell
and washing a pile of shirts. Like many inmates, I have to wash most of my clothes
by hand in a small bucket, wring out each item, and then find a way to dry each piece, all inside of my little cell.
At 10 AM I went to the recreation yard to get some fresh air. While I was in the yard I teamed up with two other inmates to do some ice breaking. The guards who are stationed in the yard have a small utility room with snow shoves and ice breakers. We got what we needed.
It felt good to be working and scraping up the ice while my friend, Billy, shoveled away
the ice I broke up. Then the other man, James, and I took turns throwing down
fresh rock salt. After more than an hour of doing this I returned to my cell
at 11:45 feeling invigorated and refreshed. It was about fifteen degrees outside!
Later after lunch I read Colossians Chapter
4. Verse 17 really impressed something in my spirit: “And say to Archippus, take heed to the ministry which thou has received in the Lord, that
thou fulfill it.”
I could just as well put my name in Archippus’ place as an admonishment and exhortation
from the Lord for me to fulfill all that He has called me to do, to stay faithful to my ministry, and to make sure I do now
slack off. Instead I am to complete it.
The apostle Paul was encouraging this disciple to get back on track and stay there. We Christians likewise need to fulfill our God-given ministries and not neglect them. It felt as is Paul was saying the same thing.
February 21, 2001
JESUS’ LOST SHEEP
During this morning’s prayer meeting in the chapel, the Lord quietly showed me
that He loves His children far to much to ever let any of us go. Even in His
word the Lord says that, if necessary, He will leave the “ninety-nine” sheep in a safe pasture, and then He goes
off to seek for the one who is lost. Every one of His little lambs means something
Meditating on Luke 15:1-10 really touched me today.
Christ is burdened for the lost and backslidden ones. He is grieved when
one of His children wanders off. And not only is He sad, but He does something
about it. Our lostness stirs Him into action.
He begins to earnestly seek those who’ve strayed away. Jesus does
not rest until He finds them.
And when He finds them, He doesn’t make them walk back to safe pasture on their
own strength. Instead He carries them back Himself to make sure they make it
back to fellowship with the rest of the flock.
Also during the prayer meeting I did a lot of crying.
Lately this seems to be happening every time I get on my knees. I am amazed
at the contrast one finds in this Christian life. Weeping and rejoicing, joy
and pain, are all intertwined together. Our lives have a mixture of all things. What a mystery!
February 22, 2001
The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will
bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11
During my time of prayer this morning the Lord reminded me to keep loving and serving
Him, even when things don’t seem to be going my way. The Christian’s
faith is established in adversity. Our faith is strengthened, and it grows and
matures during the trials and difficulties of life.
The Lord spoke to my heart that the adverse circumstances and situations which pound
against our inner spirits, actually serves to keep us humble and broken before the Lord.
Humbled and broken people are the only ones God can truly use and speak to. The proud and the stubborn get set aside. It is the meek who
shall inherit the earth. For their dependence is totally upon Him. And it is only those who truly “mourn”,
they are the ones who will be comforted by Christ.
The Lord reminded me to trust in Him for everything.
To never doubt. To obey Him and to rest in His love. Jesus assured me that He will strengthen me as needed, and that my life shall always be overshadowed by
February 26, 2001
LOVE LETTERS FROM TENNESSEE
I am always thanking the Lord for allowing my life to be a blessing and a source of encouragement
to others, especially young people.
I am thankful for the amazing ways the Lord has used the various testimony pamphlets
which have been published by an assortment of different ministries. I am likewise
thankful for the radio interviews the Lord permitted me to give, and for the videos that were made. God had His hands upon all of this, and He did all of this.
The responses I have received over the years, many hundreds and perhaps more than a thousand,
have brought me so much joy. I bow my heart in deepest humility for all He has
done with my life.
So here I would like to share some of the letters I received from twenty-five students
at a Christian high school in Nashville, Tennessee. Their letters were placed
in two large envelopes and forwarded by their teacher.
They were inspired to write after watching one of the testimony videos. I will share must a few, although all of them were great. I
felt their love. I also burst into tears when I opened the envelopes and read
“I just wanted to write and say that we prayed for
you today. We watched your video in class and it really encouraged me. I can see how God is working in your life and He has used your ministry to speak to other people. You are a true servant of the Lord
and I hope that one day I can reach other people like you have. May God continue
to bless you.
“I think it’s so awesome the way God has changed your life around the way
that He has. People have always told me that God takes the bad and uses it for
good. That is so true.
“You have touched so may lives and given so many people hope. You are a living example of how God can change a person. Thank
you so much for your video testimony…”
“I am proud at your change in your life.
You will be in my prayers every day…”
“I want you to know that your testimony really encouraged me! Keep up the awesome outreach! Just remember you may be the
only Jesus that those inmates will ever see. Have a great day!…
“We watched your video in our Bible class and it was very encouraging. I really admire your strength of character and the way you have hope even in prison. Your life is a great example of the way God can change people’s lives. We are praying for you. Catie
“I heard the news that you were feelin’ the blues when you found the Lord
that loved you all I got to say is I hope you have a great conversion ministry
in prison…I hope that many turn to the Lord because He is the only one who can save them.
February 27, 2001
MORE LOVE LETTERS
Yesterday I shared a handful of some of the most touching and tenderhearted letters that
I received from students at a Christian school in Tennessee.
Today I want to share a few more of these letters.
They’re to good to store away in a box under my bunk and not share them with others who will be reading this
Journal. I thank God these students took the time to write, and these words of
love have given me so much encouragement.
And surely if I do not share some of these letters then no one else will ever get to
enjoy their godly beauty. For I can bet you the secular media with all their
emphasis on the crimes that happened and on their oftentimes twisted and inaccurate accounts of my life, will absolutely never
allow such lovely gems to be seen. The media, for the most part, loves the darkness
and they work so desperately to hide the light.
“When I heard about how much you’ve changed it really inspired me to change
my ways and bad habits. To me just thinking about all you’ve been through
and done, but now you’ve come to know God… I just want to encourage
you to keep it up because as of yesterday you have made a significant change
in my life.”
“My Bible class watched your video the other day and many were touched by it. You were once a confused and lost man, but now you have found the Lord and there is
such a peace about you.”
February 28, 2001
I want to end this month with another encouraging
thought. I want to briefly talk about a special book which touched my
heat and has given me a great deal of inspiration.. I read it through two times, and I occasionally open it at random to read
The name of the book is RACHEL’S TEARS: The
Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott. (Thomas Nelson Publishers,
Nashville, Tennessee, ©2000).
This book was written by Rachel’s parents,
Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott. And as most people probably know, she was a young woman who was one of thirteen people
who lost their lives when two other students entered the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, and opened fire on
their classmates. Both of the gunmen also died.
This happened on April 29, 1999. Almost
everyone knows the facts. I don’t think anyone knows all the ( ). It
was a tragedy.
But once again, God’s hands of love have moved in the situation and He has already
brought many good things out of this sad event.
Rachel’s parents have, with God’s gentle guidance turned their grief into
positive channels. It was also so obvious to me that Rachel’s writings
are anointed by the Holy Spirit.
From the outset of this tragedy may other students at Columbine plus people all over
the world have come to Christ for salvation as a result of all the sermons that have been preached.
This book in my opinion is one of the most important books to be published. I would encourage others to read it. And there is also a website
which was given at the back of the book. www.racheljoyscott.com