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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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Journal: August 6, 2010

The Lord answered my prayer for stamps. Sister Charlene sent me 38 stamps. I had not asked her but the Lord.

I was able to teach a brother more concerning eschatology, at his request. We are making headway and he will be strong in this area of theology. I also was able to counsel/disciple brother Samuel from Guatemala, in the Word. He admits being a mocker of Christ, living in sin, before coming to prison where he surrendered his life to Jesus.

The Lord heard my prayer and allowed us to go to the prison store for food. We may go once a month.

I was expecting not to be allowed to go to the guitar class where I practice the violin. But the Lord the Lord had mercy and my door opened with the officer barking “go to guitar class.” I did not have to compete for a practice room either.

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