January 1, 2002
A NEW YEAR
I begin this year, once again, with gratitude in my heart for all that
Messiah Jesus has done for me, and for all He will do in the days and months to come. I am believing Him for good spriritual
victories, and of course there will be plenty of trials and tribulations, too.
I've re-read my journal entries for the first several days of January 2000
and 2001. I must say that my feelings are pretty much the same as I have expressed in the previous entries for these "New
Yes, it is important to acknowledge the sins and mistakes of my past. I
know that my evil actions have affected others and hurt them. But at the same time, I am forbidden from beating myself up
over this. For God's word says that I am forgiven. He has removed my sins as far as the east is from the west, and this is
I once heard a minister say, "Letting the past swallow up the future is
an awful waste of a lifetime." Well there I go! I must say goodbye to the past and look with hopeful expectation to the future.
January 2, 2002
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
The Scripture which blessed me today is Philippians 1:6, "Being confident
of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ".
So being that I am still under construction, I know the Lord wants me to
keep growing in godly character and to mature in the "fruits of the Spirit" and in all areas of the Christian life. I have
a long ways to go but God is taking me there little by little.
My faith in Christ is strong. I know my life will continue to be a blessing
to many. thanks to the Lord, I have value and purpose. My best days, even in spite of incarceration, are yet ahead.
January 4, 2002
I wrote my journal for December 28th about a wonderful miracle that God
did. For the first time ever I got to speak with Neysa Moskowitz, whose daughter, Stacy, died in the last "Son of Sam" shooting
in 1977 (see Journal entry for December 8, 2001.)
The Lord repeated this miracle again on December 29th when I called Mrs.
Moskowitz a second time. She had asked me to do this, and I was able to wish her many blessings for the new year.
This time, however, we only spoke for about ten minutes. In all honesty,
while I am humbled at what is happening beween us, I still find it a little hard to talk with her.
Mrs. Moskowitz is a 68 year old widow who lives alone. Her life has been
a string of unending tragedies and losses. She is a wonam who is well acquainted with grief and sorrow, having lost her husband,
Jerry, as well as all three of her children, all daughters, to untimely deaths.
Plus her health is very bad and she has several serious medical problems.
Much of the time she is in excruciating pain because of her bad back.
I do believe, however, that Jesus the Messiah has chosen her for salvation.
I believe that her day to receive Jesus as her Savior will come soon.
All throughout the Bible there are examples of God's heart being moved
by the sufferings of widows. Mrs. Moskowitz is no exception. The God of Israel has a good plan for her, and it will come to
pass in due time.
There are so many things, circumstances and situations which a prisoner
has no control over that can so easily crush his spirit and cause him to sink into despair.
This morning in my cellblock, for example, another man came up to me and
told me about the news he just received for home. A family member informed him that his mother, who's been sick for awhile,
was given about a year to live.
He was very downcast, as would be expected upon hearing such news. He asked
me to pray for her.
After we prayed for his mom, I tried to encourage him not to lose faith
or give up hope.
This prisoner has a "life sentence" and a long time to do before he even
gets close to parole. However, I assured him that God specializes in handling the most seemingly hopeless of situations.
Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that
believeth." (Mark 9:23.) It doesn't get any clearer than this!
I told this man to give all his cares to the Lord. Later this evening I
will write out some Scripture passages for him to reflect on. I have no doubt that God will take care of the matter.
Meanwhile, I encouraged him to get stronger in his faith. Being in prison
is more difficult at times like this because he is far from home and cannot be by his mother's side.
It's difficult not being able to help one's family. But I told him that
he can help his mom by praying for her, and by writing her encourageing letters and by sharing God's word.
I also told him that prayer can move mountains, that prison walls do not
hinder the Lord.
January 12, 2002
It was music to my ears! Shortly after yesterday's lunch meal the corrections
officer in charge of the A-North cellblock came to my prison cell to tell me to "pack up" because I was moving to another
A number of hours later, at about 5:30 in the evening, I finished loading
up a moving car and I was on my way out of what had become a "spiritual war zone" for me. I was now on my way to another housing
unit at the opposite end of the facililty, and to a new ministry.
I said goodbye to my screaming neighbor, who actually seemed angry that
I was leaving. Now the devil will have to think up another strategy of harrassment. And until he catches up with me again,
I am now living in the D-North cellblock (aka "Housing Unit").
This move was truly by the hand of the Lord, for He is enlargeing my territory
once more. I am now living in the housing unit where the inmates who are 'sensorially disabled" (hearing impaired and/or visually
impaired) live. Not all of the men who live in this cellblock are handicapped, but some are. And this is where I will now
be ministering at.
I had been praying for awhile to be able to reach out to these handicapped
men more often. This, therefore, will be a great opportunity to make mew friends and to share the gospel.
Right now, however, my cell is in chaos. I still have to unpack my things.
This cell needs a lot of cleaning and I've been on my hands and knees scrubbing and disinfecting almost all day.
Next I will need another miracle, finding a can of paint. This move is
like a new begining for me.
January 13, 2002
I have been busy cleaning my new cell, putting things in place and settling
in. And although I've been at my new location for a little more than 24 hours, the Lord has already done another miracle.
I was given a can of white paint and a paint brush by another inmate who had these items in his "stash".
I shared in yesterday's journal entry how I had hoped to find some paint.
It is hard to come by. But here was a fresh can being handed to me.
Today is Sunday, and I was in the chapel this morning and then again in
the afternoon. Now with services over for today, I've alreay begun to paint my cell.
I'm also so glad to be away from that screaming neighbor and his antics.
I tried my best to make peace. However the Lord saw fit to relocate me (see Journal entries for December 25 and 26, 2001).
The timing for me to move was perfect. My former neighbor was becoming
more hostile, and I had already started my new job in E-North. So now I am closer ot my work assignment area. Plus the cellblock
I am now living in, D-North, is full of opportunites to share God's love and the gospel.