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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Setting the Captives Free

During the course of the past week, God has placed several women in my life. He has given me an opportunity to serve Him in a unique way.

A friend of mine from our church often writes letters to women in prison. She encourages them through writing.  The women in the prison have started writing a newsletter telling others of the goodness of God. The newsletter is an outlet for their voice to be heard and their stories to be known.

This week I had a chance to transcribe those writings for the newsletter.
All I can say is that I was humbled.

I had to hold back tears as I read about the stories of these women. Many had endured rape and incest. Some had been abandoned by their mothers.

Thier stories are gory. They talk about shame and regret..
I read about one woman's struggle with drug abuse. She talks about how she sought a high to escape the realities of her life. She had been abandoned by her mother as a child and turned to drugs. She spoke of how she didn't really care about anything. She talked about how she would pray to simply die.

I'm so sad thinking of the plight of these women, but at the same time, I rejoice at the chance to help them in any way that I can.

We are called to reach out to the people in prison. Remember the story in the Bible about the sheep and the  goats?
Their lives are dark.

While I was typing and transcribing this newsletter, do you know what happened to me?

I felt a heaviness on my chest that felt crushing. I felt a physical force literally trying to crush me.
It was the enemy.
He was not pleased and rightly so.
The newsletter is giving out messages of hope and freedom.

Of course the enemy is angry. Imagine a jail full of downtrodden sinners and hurting people..realizing that freedom is something from  within.  Freedom comes from Christ and if people locked behind bars only realized that..imagine what a difference that would make.
Imagine the healing that would take place.

I know that a lot of people don't have much sympathy for people in prison. I don't justify the sins they committed and I hurt at the idea that they may have hurt others ...
But at some point, the cycle of hurting has to stop.
That's what Christ does.
He breaks the cycle. He snaps it in half.
He gives hope the weary and heals the wounds of the broken.

Here is an excerpt from the newsletter.

"No Time for Joking"

I have set my spirit to dancing among you. Will you not receive the spirit of joy? Will you not allow yourself to become engulfed in my joy and my presence? Lo, I say unto you now, will you not receive what I am giving you? How long do you intend to tarry? Many of you are looking for a free ride. I will take you up with me, but only if you diligently seek me. I am not present for one moment and gone the next. I am continually pouring out myself on all who will receive. I ache with a love for you, My people!

Look closely at yourselves and one another; what do you see? What are your actions, and how do you present yourselves? I am a loving and kind God, but I will not allow my temple to be defiled. And if I must move away form you in order to bring about my will, I will move from you.

These are not times for joking and merriment, but times for battle! The time draws nearer, and I must have a people who are prepared. No longer will I tolerate complacency among you; but I will now require militant and steadfast unity between you for one cause - to bring in the harvest, which is against the floodgates.

Do you hear me? Do you care? What must I do so that you might have a hearing ear? Those of you who wish to be counted, say, "Amen." For I will not wait any longer for you to state your position and then act upon it. The angels in Heaven rejoice with you Lord and Savior, and they all say, "Amen."

Love, God

This was written by a woman who endured rape as a child. She lost a son and became addicted to pain pills. Such an addiction led to an accident. She was the driver and she took the life of another person.
Sadness all around.
I pray for the family who has endured grief and I pray for healing for all involved.
Her name is Anje. I don't know the name of the one who died as a result of the accident, but if I did, I would post it.. His name is worth mentioned. 

"His Presence"

I am the one you count on. When all others fail, I will prevail.
Oh, How I hunger for you!
I choose to inhabit in the very midst of your worship of me.
How I long for the day that we will be together face to face.
Oh, how I long for you!

Tell others what I am telling you, that they might know.
For mine is a love of weightlessness; it is a love of uplifting compassion.
This I am freely giving to you. All you need to do is receive.
So I ask today - Will you receive me?

Love, Jesus

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