Sunday, September 04, 2011

David's mailing address

August 12, 2013

Several months ago, David's address changed to the following:

David Gray
A3-15006 low
PO Box 5248
Corcoran, CA 93212

If you would like to write to David his current address is:

David Gray
3C02-216 L
P.O. Box 3471
Corcoran, California

Note: (7.1.10) This post has been backdated in order to keep it at the top for convenience. Scroll down to see any new posts from David. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Journal: June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011

Dear Friends,

I trust you had a blessed Memorial Day weekend. We were blessed with yard time, a nice Sunday worship service—afternoon and evening, great fellowship, and we even got to go to the yard on Memorial Day. I continue to preach each evening (that we have yard) through the book of Galatians. I am fortunate to have Pastor MacArthur’s commentary on Galatians to aid me.

One of the men in our group asked me for help concerning the personality of the Holy Spirit because he is being swayed by the heresy that the Spirit is just a force and not a person. So I have been preparing a detailed paper on this for him and anyone else here who might be interested. I am grateful for the textbooks (theologies, Greek text and lexicons, commentaries) I have for my use. Pray I would properly defend the Truth.

We continue to get printed sermons by John MacArthur and we are very grateful. Thanks to RB, I have his complete set of commentaries. For June, our fellowship is offering classes in 1 Timothy, Revelation, James, beginning and advanced Greek, with preaching on Matthew, Galatians, and various topical messages. Myself and several other men will be doing the teaching/preaching. Please pray we would be faithful in presenting the Word of God. WE also formed a Saturday afternoon prayer group/time where we pray for you, our families, our authorities, the lost, missions, VOM martyrs and families, looking forward in faith to God’s gracious and merciful answers. All of you who pray, write, bless us with books and packages and visits, are a great encouragement to us and you have a big part in the ministry here. May the Lord richly bless you.

Our fellowship here has tried to follow the practice of Acts 2:42: “They were continually devoting themselves to the Apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” We are committed to the preaching of the Word, regular gathering for fellowship, communion once a month, and regular prayer in meetings, and using prayer lists to remind us of all the requests. There is a growing (but small) list of those who want to get baptized. When this list gets larger we will asks the administration to allow us to use the horse trough for baptisms.

Journal: May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011

Dear Friends,

It has been a month since I last wrote but lots has happened. There was an escape from this prison which we learned from the TV news. I’m sure you heard about it too. They locked us down for about a day. Our group continues to meet and the Lord is blessing it. In addition to holding services several times a week, we are teaching classes in James, 1 Timothy, Greek, and I just started (May 9) preaching through the book of Galatians every evening that we are let out. I’m going verse-by-verse and the men seem to appreciate it. My goal is that they are fed and the Lord is glorified. We manage to hold communion once a month using crackers and Kool-Aid. There are several who want to get baptized so we will apply to get use of the horse trough for the baptisms.

I’m getting more students to tutor in GED. Many of them are Hispanic men who want to learn English. So, I’m learning some Spanish in the process. I’m still working on my book on suffering and God’s will in devotion form. Friends are translating it in Spanish and German. I do appreciate my Puritan books some of you have sent me. They are so rich and full of insight. The Lord is keeping me in excellent health—no aches or pains and all. I know the Lord has me in here to grow and to serve, so by His grace I shall do so. Two days ago I had a great visit from K and C. I was treated to some great food and fellowship. Thank you for the visit! Since I got some negative comment on one of my blogs, I am going to use initials to protect my friends. Today I was able to go to the prison store and busy some ice cream (Rocky Road), cold sodas, chips—you know, the basic food groups. :-) What I really miss is Chinese food. Haven’t had any for 6 years. Please keep praying for the ministry here. God bless.

Journal: April 24, 2011

April 24, 2011

Today is Resurrection Sunday. We were blessed to get outside because we were locked up on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. It was a good day of fellowship. I was able to teach Greek at 9am and 1 Timothy at 10:30am. Then at 1pm the Lord allowed me to preach at our outdoor Easter service. My sermon was on the appearance of Christ after He rose from the dead, and their application to us. WE had chicken for dinner and I got a shower after 3 ½ days! That evening we met for prayer and we all prayed for our families. I really miss my kids.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Journal: December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010

Dear Friends,

As I write this journal entry on Christmas morning, I reflect on thd Scripture “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken way; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). As a prisoner for Christ, I see that it is God’s hand that gave me my family, children, and all that I had in freedom, but it is also His hand that has taken away these things in His wisdom and for His purposes. Though I sit in a cell, separated from family and friends and facing a day without any access to the phone, a shower, the yard where I could fellowship with brothers in Christ, I still am praising the Lord for His great salvation He has given me in His Son and all of the blessings He has poured out on me both in the past and in the present. I thank Him for the Bible education He gave me through Dallas Theological Seminary, allowing me to serve Him here in prison more effectively. I thank Him for the wonderful memories of the years I had with my wife and children, though His hand took them away. I thank Him for my brother Don and all my faithful friend at Grace Church including my Pastor, John MacArthur. All these He has not taken away. There are loving brothers and sisters in Christ in other states and countries whom He has given to me as special gifts, and I am thankful. I am grateful for the joy He puts in my heart despite severe trials, and this joy He doesn’t take away.

We must remember, dear friends, that whenever the Lord takes away, He will also give. Job received wisdom, insight, refining, comfort, a deeper understanding of God, and twice what he had including children. In my case, I humbly offer the following:

He took my freedom, but gave me a ministry to inmates whom I could otherwise never reach.

He took a life of busy activities, but gave me more time with Him, to dig into the riches of His Word and to gaze upon His beauty.

He took my children, but not my memories of them nor my prayers for them.

He took my comforts, to give me a refiner’s hot fire.

He took my wife, but gave me a broken heart so I could be more sensitive to the tragedies of others.

He took my reputation, to let me share in Christ’s sufferings and with all believers in history who have been falsely accused.

He took my happiness based on circumstances, to teach me contentment and to find my joy in Christ alone.

Finally, He will someday take me from this earthly home, but will give me a Heavenly home with no more tears, trials, losses or sorrows. Therefore, blessed be the name of the Lord!

Merry Christmas,


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Letter: December 2010

December 2010

Dear Friends,

It has been some time since my last communication. There have been many trials in my life here in prison which is the Lord’s divine providence to conform me to the image of His dear Son, and for this I am thankful. I have heard from many faithful saints and received some wonderful visits. Thank you!

I have tried to carry on the work of the ministry here despite the continuing loss of opportunity due to prison cutbacks. Four out of five of our chaplains have quit and there is no chapel ministry at all. Our ministry relies on meeting on our prison yard for services and Bible classes. So please pray that our yard will remain open.

The men will testify that they are growing in the Lord, as they work hard at their studies (I give them homework in their Bible classes and Greek classes). Some are faithful to our Quarterly Bible Study goals which include Scripture reading and memory, reading and listening to sermons, reading a Christian biography, regular prayer time, to name a few. I praise God for these men and their growth.

I am grateful for recent visits by Deanna, Charlene and Randy, Mike O’Neill and Carlos Whitfield, and Harout; my brother, Don, Jeff Barnett all the way from Idaho, Nick from Idaho too, Helen Hofawger and her husband Jim from West Virginia. I am very grateful to the Stepanians for their gift which made these weeks a blessing. I am grateful to all of you for taking my phone calls, sending packages and stamps. You are a wonderful blessing. I am grateful for the kind counsel of Mr. Elwood Hale as well.

I am greatly sorrowed by the fact that I cannot celebrate my daughter’s birthday with her this month. Since I am not allowed to contact her I can’t even send a card. My prayers are with her though.

My friends in Germany continue to be a wonderful encouragement through their prayers and letters and example of faithfulness in ministry in the face of discouraging circumstances. Pastor Goetzen is to be commended for his diligence and persistence as he tries to spread the seed of the Gospel among a spiritually dark Germany.

This Christmas in prison there are no decorations, no trees or presents, no parties, nothing except the perfect opportunity to focus purely on Jesus Christ, His birth and His salvation He brings to all who trust in Him. I also reflected back to the Grace Church concerts I had been a part of for so many years. These were good memories. I was able to play three “concerts” here, one for the Lifers group, and two for the Protestant chapel inmates, for which I am grateful.

I promise to be more faithful and regular in my journal updates. The Lord be with you.

In Christ,

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Journal: October 9-11, 2010

This was a very stressful day. Everything seemed to be going fine with the morning yard until about 10:20am when the tower yelled, “get down!” We immediately fell to the dirt on our stomachs wondering the reason. IN the distance we could see a number of inmates still standing. This later turned out to be a large fight which didn’t get to its fullness. Later, we learned there was a disagreement over the football game. So they locked the whole yard down and began sending many in the fight group to the hole. I shall try to redeem the time with study, prayer and letter-writing.

Still locked down all day. No showers or phone calls. They are allowing visits. I wrote letters, studied, prayed, practiced some violin and watched the 49ers lose.

Still locked down. Did get a shower—thank you, Lord. Began quiet time at 5:30am.

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Journal: October 8, 2010

This morning on the year (9:00-11:30), we had our small group study in I Timothy. It was a rich study and the men read their word studies they did for homework. Friday evening I substituted for the brother who was supposed to preach, and I preached on Col 1:10-14. I am always grateful for the opportunities the Lord gives me.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Journal: October 7, 2010

This morning I arose at 5:20am to spend time with the Lord in His Word and prayer. Our breakfast was disposable but I had coffee. Today, Lord willing, I shall get much done in reading (Bible, Mueller, Culver, MacArthur), letter writing, prayer (always for my dear children), and perhaps get to go outside in the afternoon because the weather is so nice—cool and cloudy.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Journal: October 6, 2010


I enjoyed a wonderful morning walk outside while working on my memory verses. This quarter I am working on 12 verses with the topic of suffering. In the afternoon I was able to write four letters and begin preparing for my I Timothy class I shall teach Friday morning. Joseph preached in the evening on spiritual fruit vs. a barren fig tree. It was a powerful message and very convicting. I spent the evening hours (8-11) finishing my expositional work on I Timothy. Before going to sleep, I read out of Pilgrim’s Progress.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Letter: October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010

Dear Friends,

Forgive me for not writing for awhile. I have been so busy I have had barely time to write this journal and to write the many letters which I need to. Also I must share with you some very sad news. A godly man from Grace Church, Jerry Dandurand, went to be with the Lord. He was a friend of mine and the father of my faithful secretary, Jenny. Please pray for the Dandurand family.
There is a verse in Ephesians (3:20) that says “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within me.” This is what God is now doing here at Corcoran prison. Since we started meeting on the yard in the evenings each night of the week, and preaching sound doctrine, not trying to put on a “show” but offering solid spiritual food to those who are hungry for God’s Word, He has blessed this ministry greatly. The men who come are hungry for the Word. We sing a little but most of the time is preaching. We have a consistent 23 men who attend, most saved and wanting to grow. Tonight we had 35 and the other night we had the Lord’s’ Table, there were about 30. It is God working in their hearts because all we have to offer is the Word. During the week in the day and on the weekends, we have small group Bible studies on the yard where the men study a book of the Bible in-depth. I am teaching I Timothy, while another is teaching James and another Acts. The men are digging deep into the Word, doing word studies, papers on theology and making observations on each chapter. I can tell they are excited about the treasures they themselves are finding their studies. They are also growing in their spiritual life.

The group of speakers (nine of us) meet once a week for training. Brother Joseph and I are helping these men prepare their sermons and go over different aspects of leadership. We are using John MacArthur’s book The Book on Leadership. Many of these men will go to other prisons and have ministries there. So Corcoran is sort of a training center. Brother Joseph’s Spanish flock is growing too. They hear two sermons every day and they are hungry for them. Many of these Spanish brothers will someday be released back to their home countries and towns and will take the Gospel to perhaps a town where there has not been a Gospel witness. They are in training, too.

In other news, our Christian softball team lost most of our games but we had fun and maintained a good testimony. I had a nice visit with the Altmans and Jones’ who were very gracious to spend their day with me, Seth, and Tom. Our prison fellowship continues to pray for Pastor Goetzen’s ministry and family in Germany. They had a great summer of ministry and we praise the Lord with them. We have also been praying for sister Simone’s exams. Please pray for the health needs of Deanna, Myriam, and Cheryl. I continue to teach the Word, Greek, Hebrew, and leadership, along with preaching and discipling. I’m trying to find time to work on my book on suffering, and write a ton of letters to folks who write. Keeping busy helps me not to dwell on my trials and sorrows—missing my family, kids, and friends. I am amazed at all God is doing here for His glory. I hope this updates you; I will try to be more diligent in writing. May the Lord bless you.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Letter: August 21, 2010

Dear Friends,

I trust the Lord is giving you a blessed summer and causing everything in your life to work together for good. Recently the Lord has been doing wonderful work here in our prison and we marvel as we watch Him work. He is blessing our evening yard instead of being locked up; second, He is bringing more and more inmates to hear the Word; and third, He is bringing more commitment and spiritual growth in the men’s lives (we observe). There are some of the speakers whom I have invited to participate in a leadership class using John MacArthurs’s book on leadership. I was also able to teach three night in a row on “radical discipleship” exhorting the men to better use their prison time to seek and serve the Lord.

I pointed out to them that if they were to watch 39 hours of TV a week (that’s turning it on at 6PM and off at 11PM with a few additional hours on the weekend), and spent just two hours a day on the yard in sports and tow hours walking and talking, they would spend a total of 34,840 hours over ten years involve din these things. I said, “Do you want to walk out of the gate after ten years having watched 21,000 hours of TV or having spent that time in the Word of God?” So I laid out a plan for them for one, three, five, and ten years in prison. I shall give you an example:

In one year in prison, you could:
a. have a daily, personal one-on-one time with the Lord.
b. Read completely through the Bible once.
c. Memorize 50 verses (one per week)
d. Study 4 books of the Bible (one per quarter) in depth
e. Complete several Bible study pamphlets or booklets
f. Read 2 books on the spiritual life and one missionary biography.
g. Start a prayer list and pray regularly (daily)
h. Regularly listen to expository sermons on Christina radio or tapes.

In TEN years in prison, you could:
a. have personal time with the Lord daily
b. Read through the Bible 6 times
c. Study 40 books or the Bible in depth (one per quarter)
d. Memorize 500 verses
e. Have regular prayer
f. Read 15 books on spiritual life, 6 missionary biographies, and 3 different systematic theologies
g. Complete 3 years of Greek plus translate the new Testament (reading Greek to English). (I have several Greek students who have been studying for two years and will be read to translate the New Testament in about two more years.)
h. Complete 1 years of Hebrew
i. Complete a B.A. in Biblical studies
j. Listen to hundreds of good sermons

So as I told them, how do you want to walk out of prison? It’s up to you. They could still watch some TV, do some sports, etc. Many or most of the guys received this well and are starting to list out which books they are going to read and which verse they will memorize. Many need materials and books but don’t have them. Please pray. All of this is to God’s glory. Praying I will be a faithful servant. God bless you.

In Christ,


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Journal: August 17, 2010

I prepared all morning to preach in the afternoon Chapel. However it was not opened because the Muslim chaplain who usually opens it for the Protestants did not come. So I was able to preach on the yard to both the Spanish brothers and the English brothers. My theme was “Radical Discipleship.” My goal is to encourage us all to greater commitment to Christ. The heat was very hot (103 F) and in the direct sun it was almost 115 F. But the Lord brought a nice breeze and sustained us all. Then brother Frank preached for about an hour on the security of our salvation. We were very enriched with the Word.

In the last day, I have been planning to offer and teach a class on leadership to some of the men I think have potential. We would use John MacArthur’s book, The Book on Leadership. I would also require the men to read a volume on Christian theology because nay leader must understand theology and be able to defend the truth. I will hold a teacher’s meeting soon and tell them about the class. I know the Lord would greatly use this book in these men’s lives. Some will parole and some will transfer to other prisons and be used b the Lord there.

We distributed prayer cards to pray for sister Simone’s exams in Germany which will last about an entire month. There are ten of us praying of her. Also we have been praying for the Goetzen’s summer ministries and have been getting back information that the Lord has been blessing it. It is exciting when God answers prayer.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Journal: August 15-16, 2010

August 15, 2010

Our Christian softball team (Team Redeemed) won its first game today. I played first base and did very little to contribute to the win. I made some outs but hit into a double play. We won 5 to 4. Our biggest victory was having a godly attitude through the game. Still no one came to visit. Perhaps next week. I was greatly blessed to receive a quarterly package today from the brothers and sisters at Grace Church. Thank you, Mike! You are very kind. The Lord bless you!

August 16, 2010

This being Monday, I was able to practice the violin! Our days are hot but not as they could be. This evening we had the yard service and brother Seth brought the message from Romans 12:9-21. This afternoon we had a food sale delivery of chicken hot wings. This was a great blessing. These sales happen only a few times a year and offer different kinds of food. I waited four years to taste KFC again! I’ve had pizza only twice in five years. But it is such a blessing when it comes.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Journal: August 14, 2010

Today is Saturday and it is the day our dear Russian brothers from Sacramento come to minister in Chapel. They are very kind (they gave me big Russian bear hugs, saying, “How are you, Daveed?” We are always blessed to hear them.

No one came to visit me. Perhaps tomorrow.

Journal: August 13, 2010

I was able to get a lot of Greek done. Practiced violin for an upcoming recital. The Lord answered my prayer in allowing me time in the chapel to practice. I hope someone comes to visit me tomorrow, being Saturday.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Journal: August 12, 2010

This is Thursday and the Lord has given a truly blessed day to me. After morning devotions and hearing Pastor MacArthur on the radio preaching about heaven, the Lord let us outside to the yard where many of the Spanish brothers were gathered. This is the group of men who are being discipled by brother Joseph Torres, an inmate who was a pastor in the L.A. area. I was allowed to preach to them so I taught on the doctrine of reconciliation for about an hour. Brother Torres translated. Then brother Damian taught on true Christianity as opposed to easy believeism. Thus, the whole mourning was saturated with the Word of God, and this is a gift form God because ewe might not have been able to come outside today at all. This evening at our evening yard devotional, brother Mario brought a strong message on the need to study to show oneself approved. There were about 18 men in attendance. Afterward, in the building, we had a prayer session during which we prayed for our wives (and former wives). Brother David S.’s wife is still with him, but brother Joseph’s and mine are not.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Journal: August 11, 2010

This was a very blessed day I did Greek with brother Seth in the morning, after my personal devotions. In the afternoon, I was able to disciple brother Samuel, then preach to the Spanish brothers who are being discipled by brother Torres. I taught on Acts 10:34-48. Tomorrow I will again have the privilege of addressing them with the Word. My sermon will be on the doctrine of reconciliation.

Tonight we had nearly 20 men at our yard service. Brother Joseph taught on being in the (spiritual) battle. We battle constantly the flesh, the world and the devil, he taught. Please pray for the lost here as there are many who need Christ.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Journal; August 10, 2010

Today was a day of rejoicing because we were persecuted for righteousness’ sake. I am not able to give the details. I stayed in the Psalms for several days for encouragement. I also receive a letter from Pastor Tolopilo of Grace Church kindly offering to help our Spanish brothers with books. We are very grateful. I also received two books of stamps from brother Ed for which I am very grateful. The Lord knows and meets all our needs.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Journal: August 7, 2010

This morning, I was able to counsel a brother in the Word. He is very zealous for the Lord and is growing in Christ. He writes ladies who are in a Tijuana jail and shared Christ and the Gospel with them. There are a few who are saved and he writes words of encouragement. Their jail time is far worse than hours. They only get a few hours of yard once a week, and have many other hardships. I think it is a wonderful thing that God has led this man, who is serving 40 years to life, to write other sin jail and encourage them. Only the grace of God could bring this about in a life.

This afternoon about seven of the brothers met for prayer lifting up our families, the Lost, our friends outside, and praising and thanking God for all His blessings He has showered upon us. We remembered the Goetzens in Germany and their faithful ministry.

For an unknown reason, we were locked up early, not allowed to go out in the evening. Tomorrow we may be locked down all day. I shall seek the Lord in prayer and His Word and write some much needed letters. The Lord be with you.

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