November 24, 2002
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Once again the Lord reminded me that my strength must come
from Him. In and of myself I have nothing: I am nothing. But In Christ I have the victory.
Today I was my usual "busy" self. We had our morning worship
service followed by the afternoon Bible class. Now it's evening and I am wrilting some letters.
In a letter I received form a friend who has a prison ministry,
she told me how inadequate she feels for what she is doing, and to do what God has called her to do.
In responding to her letter, the Holy Spirit immediately brought
to mind the above verse from Second Corinthians. I then told her that I "jumped for joy" when I read about her sense of complete
She saw this as something bad, but I see it is something that's
good. For the fact is, we are "inadequate." And this is nothing to be ashamed of.
Flesh and blood and human effort cannot accomplish anything
for God. It is only when we are completely empty of "self", and are totally dependant upon the Lord, that He has us where
He wants us (Philippians 2:13).
I told this minister to continue to allow herself to feel very
inadequate. I'm convinced that this is the ideal place for a Christian to be at.
When we feel strong, confident and capable, look out! It's
just the rotten flesh doing its religious thing. We're bettter off feeling weak and inadequate so that we have no recourse
but to cry to the Lord for help each day.
Being "weak" in ourselves is the way to win with God.
November 28 2002
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts
My Thanksgiving was uneventful and quiet. I had to work a short
while this morning to escort a sight impaired man to the infirmary for his medications. Then I had the rest of today for just
me and Jesus.
I was up long before sunrise to go into a deep time of prayer.
I wasn't expecting to get up so early. But the Holy Spirit alerted me that it was time to pray.
After breakfast I was able to stay in my cell enjoying a respite
from the usual daily routine. I was also able to do some extra Scripture reading.
Most of all, however, I was in the mood to give God a lot of
thanks. And this was not because today is the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving. I was simply in the mood to give
the Lord much praise.
At noon we had our meal. It was humbling as we had nothing
special, just processed turkey roll. There was mashed potatoes and green peas. A tablespoon of cranberry sauce got doled out
to each man who went through the chow line. And then there was a small wedge of pumpkin pie. We were given the usual 15 to
20 minutes to consume this bland meal and then return to our cells.
I spent the afternoon typing letters. During the early evening
I was back into the Scriptures, especially reading portions of the beloved book of Revelation in which the saints are seen
around God's throne giving Him the glory and honor due His beautiful Name.
In my mind I put myself before this glorious throne. In fact,
one day I will truly be there, right in God's presence beholding his lovely face.
My heart yearns for this day.
November 29, 2002
BRIDGETTE AND COMPANY
The suffering I underwent during the month of October has been
more than compensated for. Within the past month the Lord has brought many loving Christians into my life, and He has expanded
the outreach of my testimony. Today I had a great visit with Bridgette, an "on fire for the Lord" twenty-four year old. She
wrote to me because she is doing a college paper on the subject of forgiveness. She is from South Africa and is currently
an exchange student going to school in New York City.
Normally I try to discourage visits except for a very narrow
group of close friends. However after prayer the Lord told me that this one will be okay. It was.
We had a good time fellowshipping and talking about the Lord.
I was so encouraged in my own faith to find such a fine young lady so sold-out to God.
Bridgette's love for Jesus Christ was so evident, and her face
simply glowed as she told me what the Lord means to her and how her life has changed.
It was nice to be around someone who is so energetic, and so
filled with joy. I felt as if I were spending time with my own daughter. I am twice her age.
Bridgette's paper is due December 7th. She first heard about
my story while she was sitting in her church. The pastor was using me as an example of God's mercy. I was humbled and honored
to learn this. For I have no idea who this man is. But I praise God that other Christians are finding my story worthy to be
used to encourage others about the grace of God.
I truly am a blessed man. Christ touched me today through this
young woman who loves Him with all her heart and mind.
November 30, 2002
As this month comes to a close I thank the Lord for all He
has done, and for all He will continue to do.
Wonderful things happened in November. On November 3rd I wrote
in this Journal about several men who received Jesus as their Savior. One is a Jew, the other was a Muslim. A third man, who
is a Gentile, has since transferred after spending about two weeks here.
As for the Jewish man and the one who was a Muslim, the Jewish
fellow (I'll call him Horace--not his real name) is growing spiritually. He is reading the Bible and enjoying it. He is asking
a lot of questions about the Scriptures and has been bold to discuss his new faith with others.
But as for the man who was a Muslim (I'll call him Abdullah),
he has not been back to the chapel since that day he publicly professed faith in Christ. There is a reason for this, however.
It is called "persecution".
I know that the members of the mosque he attended were not
pleased that he went to church. He is of small stature, only about 5' tall. He's a quiet person who mainly follows the crowd,
so to speak. This it is not surprising that, because of words said to him, he has not attended our services since.
We Christians are praying for both these men. God's word never
returns back to Him without accomplishing the pupose for which it was sent.
I believe by faith that Abdullah will come around in due time.
He may remain a "secret believer" for a long while. We don't push anyone to follow Jesus. But he is going thorugh a struggle.
I have seen this happen before with men who were Muslims, but who heard the Gospel and placed their faith in Jesus.
God has His strong hands around both of them.