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A visit to Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay harbor has left me with some stark and troubling images. Here on The Rock, men were known by their number and warehoused like hazardous material. Row after row of cramped, cage-like cells housed men who were told,

“You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege. You earn your privileges by conducting yourself properly.”

In the audio memoirs of former inmates there’s indication that when the wind was right prisoners could hear sounds and even faint voices from the city.

Saw the name “Jesus” scrawled on a cell wall. A Bible on a shelf.

Reminded me that, in spite of the inhumane conditions on The Rock, some of the most dangerous men in the world may have found a freedom they wouldn’t have traded for what most have on the outside.

Thought of Paul, whose letters from prison, have changed many of our lives. Chained up like a dangerous animal, he wrote to the family of Christ in Philippi,

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better.

Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live” (Philip 1:20-24).

Note:Visited Alcatraz on a rainy day that allowed us to see this rainbow from “The Rock.”

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40 Responses to “Alcatraz”

  1. Laurielee says:

    I think, especially as one gets older, some people finally get to a point in their lives when God can get their attention. Some have to go as far as prison. In Paul’s case, and still the case of many around the world, he was jailed for doing what the Lord called Him to do. I think that there are times in most Christian’s lives in which they feel that the Father & Son are the ONLY ones on their side, unfortunately, even sometimes among other Christians.
    How many of us have felt as Paul did? (Phil 1:20-24) Our timing is rarely God’s timing, and we never know what He has just around the corner for us.

    Mr. Mart, I’m thinking that the rainbow you saw, and the timing of it, was quite profound!

  2. poohpity says:

    I know that those who are truly close to the Lord as Paul was it is better that they live so that many can be touched in the name of our Savior. In this life it is so important as Paul says, “fruitful service for Christ”. We have so much work to do for the Kingdom of God. The more time we spend in the Lord’s presence and allow Him to live His life through us, the more people will truly desire to know Him.

  3. Uppie says:

    Many of the people in prison are there because they have followed “their god”. They don’t realize that Satan wants them to fail and has been working in their lives from a very early age. It is “our God” who then comes in with love to truely set the captives free. Our prayers should continuously go before the Father for the men and women in our prisons and jails all over this Country. BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I.

  4. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Have been to Alcatraz wonder if we saw the same Bible:) It has been years.

    I can relate well to Paul’s words for there have been times I have wanted Him to take me home. Unlike Paul I can’t say my desire to stay was to be able to share the Gospel I wish I could say it had been. Now as I have grown into a deeper relationship with God I can say that but it was not always the case. As I look back now over my life and my times of deep sin and times of deep sorrow I can see a shadow of why God did not take me when I so longed to go. He knew I would be able to serve Him. What a blessing!

    For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. These are my sentiments now.

    Pooh How is your Mom doing?

  5. poohpity says:

    The chemo has slowed the cancer and is shrinking some of the tumors. She is weak from the treatment but all in all is doing good. Thank you for asking. :) Thanks to all for the prayers.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    So very many of us are in prisons of our own making. We still are behind bars looking out the window and listening to the sounds of life going on elsewhere.

    But there is one who promises to set us free. And who the Son sets free is free indeed.

    Dying…..Matt asks for it dozens of times a day. I have been guilty of asking for it myself over my life. But not now. Matt needs me to be here, God wants me to be here, so here I am.

    It’s quite astounding, Matt will say to me, Dad I love you and want to be with you but, I don’t want to be here anymore. Yet a few years ago we discovered Matt had a 9 centimeter mass on his right adrenal glad. I was very worried and we had to go to University Hospital in VA, for tests. Matt could tell I was upset, and said to me ” Don’t worry Dad I won’t leave you.”

    Paul wanted to go home too, but he told his new children the fledgling churches, don’t worry I will live for you.

    Love…..What a power

  7. bretnb says:


    I had a tumor on my adrenal gland, it was found when I was 28, I am now 55. I will be praying for Matt I know that God is in control.

  8. Laurielee says:

    SFBDWV, sometimes those prisons of our own making are the most confining and despairing. God bless Matt, you, and your whole family..and thank you for posting…many times your words have helped me. I wish I had the words I would like to say to you, but often our feelings don’t translate well into words,except with God…so your family is in my prayers.

    gr8granny, I’m also very glad YOU are here and I can read your posts. I’ve never met you, but you’ve helped me and don’t even know it. May God cause His face to shine upon you.
    p.s. A short time back, you recommended a ‘Day of Discovery’ for me to watch. I think it was about women serving or about doing what you were born to do…I couldn’t remember the name and went to find it, but there were so many! Could you tell me again, please? :)

  9. sjd says:

    The numbering of the men of Alcatraz brings to mind the fact that Jesus was numbered with the transgressors.(Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:28) It means Jesus was considered as and treated as a common criminal, a sinner. Jesus, the Lion of Judah, the perfect Lamb of God, bore our sin. He wore my number, so to speak, yours as well, so that you and I might be free. As our fellowship celebrates around the Lord’s Table in the morning, I will be reminded of this picture of our God, being “numbered” so that we might enjoy freedom in Christ.

    Thank you Mart for helping me remember the sacrifice our Lord made for you and me!

  10. daisymarygoldr says:

    “…some of the most dangerous men in the world found a freedom they wouldn’t have traded for what most have on the outside”-MDH

    The repentant thief on the cross must have sensed this profound truth with eyes of faith and this resonates with my story as well.

    As Steve (SFDBWV) said, whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Nothing can compare to the liberating power of knowing Jesus- The Truth! As a Christian I have been freed from the cruel bondage of sins… only to be shackled in chains for Christ. Hence, my love for Christ constrains me to exercise my freedom by serving God, not by breaking rules (1 Peter 2:16. The Msg.).

    Unlike the inmates of Alcatraz, Paul was a criminal for the sake of Jesus Christ. Although, he was in chains God’s word was not chained. So, instead of bemoaning his fate, Paul used it as an opportunity to witness Christ to others in the prison. Like Paul it is my desire that whether I live or die the sole purpose of my life is to bring glory to God!

    Loved the pic with the rainbow- it symbolizes the hope of freedom in Christ for the vilest sinner imprisoned to the seemingly unbreakable fetters of sin.

    sjd, good reminder…Jesus numbered with the transgressors on my behalf gives me every reason to celebrate my freedom from sin and eternal death.

  11. Romans838 says:

    thanks mart for this topic ” a Visit to Alcatraz…” it made me remember something i had been pondering about for some time now…

    Prison is unbearable even at this Modern age with water,electricity,gym and some other stuffs available to prisoners. I try to imagine Joseph,Jesus,Paul,peter in a crudely made holding cells in a basement no window,now lighting not even a comfortable bed to sleep on at night.

    Still they held on to their faith and strived toward fulfilling their purpose even though they were innocent. They were faithful to God even though their freedom was taken away because of their Faith in God.

    I wondered if for some reason at this present time how many Christians would still hold on just like this great men of old if their freedom is being threatened because of their faith in God… (as in; you will go to prison because you’re a christian and you will remain there as long as you are one)

  12. mgum1215 says:

    The Word of God left behind, the Word of God behind cell doors, the Word of God left in a cold dark room for only a few to see and a rainbow at the end of the days journey. We have a choice. Do we leave His word there or do we take it out of that cold, dark, behind the prison cell door and spread it to others so they have that choice to see that rainbow? What will we choose to do?

  13. SFDBWV says:

    Bret, Thank you for your concern, prayers and information. Because Matt had traumatic brain injuries, the doctors rarely see anything else except that whenever I have taken him to see specialists.

    As a way of showing God indeed is in control. When we discovered this tumor on Matt, it had been several years since his automobile accident. But because of the accident we had all the MRI images from the Hospital at the time of the wreck, to provide to the adrenal experts.

    It turned out he had the tumor then as well, just not as big. So that ruled out a malignancy. Which was of course my major concern.

    They opted to not do surgery because of the life threatnening possibilities, due to Matt’s history of head injuries. However his tests showed that the tumor was borderline for imitating the adrenal gland. And producing other problems.

    I do hope you suffer no side effects from your tumor.

  14. BruceC says:

    At the start of my career in law enforcement(sheriff’s dept.) I had to start at the bottom in the jail. I later became Sgt. and then went out into the road patrol for almost twenty years. Those pics bring back memories. Took a lot of men to Attica and other places. You really have to be “inside” to appreciate how bad things can get. Friday night on one of the Christian TV stations I watched The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir perform at Angola in Louisianna. The testimonies of those who came to Christ; our brothers; was awesome. These men are freer than most the people who live in the other prison;- this sin racked world.
    To see the honesty, and the joy was beyond words to describe. In our little jail there were about three of us guards that were Christians and we had to put up with “stuff” from the inmates, some of the other guards, and the sheriff at the time. We had some that made a profession in jail, but not alot. It was a short term deal as we could not hold anyone for over one year.(8 months with good time)
    Our brothers and sisters on the inside had to hit the bottom before that could look up. What a shame it is to see many on the outside go through life thinking they are good and do not need saving. Listening to those Angola inmates reminded me that freedom isn’t a place or a physical state; it’s knowing that God loves you, has forgiven you through Christ, and has given you eternal life.

  15. soloyo says:

    We met a preacher who was once in jail, he was drug addict and traded it also, thats why he was caught, there in jail, Santa Marta Acatitla, a place less hard than Alcatraz, I don’t know how he got a New Testament, he was in a cell alone (also curious) and kept reading it, so he said that through “Romans way”, he fell down and asked Jesus to get into his heart and forgive him, peace came inmediately, he read every day, then found some more christians for his own surprise, gathered with them to praise and read, he said they were special for all aother prisioners, there were violence but not for christians, everybody knew they have something special, and so, God’s protection! yes, unbelievers really believed God protecs His sons. He grew up in the Word becoming preacher. then, out of jail, he said the prosecuting started, first from the family then from others, he said he wondered where he was a prisioner! But he kept being a preacher living for Christ, being His happy prisioner. Hope he does as well by now.

    Then, you see, he prision he got his freedom.

    Steve, I pray God for you and Matt, hope you and your family go through in peace, and every thing redound in God’s glory,

  16. soloyo says:

    may He provide all good for you.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t know how many readers can identify with actualy losing there freedom and being locked away in a jail cell.
    Surounded by people who have been removed from society because of their violent nature.

    It is a very sobering moment in ones life.

    Either one becomes hardened and bitter and blames everyone except themselves for their fate. Or one becomes remorseful and is sorry for their actions that has brought them to such a fate.

    It is one or the other.

    God gives us the same future. But gives us a “Get out of jail free card”

    We all face an eternity of either being thrown into prison, or being pardoned.

    God gives us the freedom to make our own eternal fate.

    If there is anyone, “undecided” or hasn’t made that “personal” surrender to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. And recieved a full and eternal pardon from prison. I beg that you not waste another moment, but do so now.

  18. ytalk says:

    God my Father reminded me this morning that no man, from the least to the greatest, is without a prison. We all covet and deal falsely with the world “prisons” that we are in (Jeremiah 8:10). He also reminded me that daily repentance sought from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is my key to the freedom that God our Father desires for us.
    It at times take extenuating circumstances to get a man to acknowledge the “pearls” that God has given us (Mathews 7:6). Whatever that prison is, alcoholism, other additions, and/or physical imprisonment etc., that we rejoice in the fact that God has gone the extra mile “for our salvation” because of His Love for us! Still learning, still growing, ever blessed as a prisoner!

  19. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    soloyo Was glad to hear from you. I was missing your happy self and your stories :) I hope you are feeling better.

  20. drkennyg says:

    I lived in the Bay Area for 12 years and never “toured” Alcatraz. It sorta scared me because I was still not saved and a nonbeliever during the time. Totally ignorant of the Word. Now it is different – I can think of the prisoners around the world who are there for Christ in many parts of the world as well as those in prison here on their guilt for breaking the laws of our land.

    Some do find Christ while confined and others have a deepening belief in Christ as their reward for being faithful to Him. Still others remain lost. I’m glad that some are allowed to witness to the lost while there and thus 1 by 1 more get saved.
    A friend of mine is in prison in TX and will soon be up for parole. I am to write what know of her before they review her case again. Hoping that her strengthen Christianity will continue to pull her free.

  21. rokdude5 says:

    Ive worked in a Level IV prison (the most harden criminals are incarcerated there). Conditions are stark and barely tolerable. Due to overcrowding, the gymnasium has been converted to a triple bed bunk ward for those who are compliance with their programs. One of the biggest threat to any prisoner is the peer pressure to join an ethnic prison gang for refusing to join one will bring severe retaliaton later by another inmate.

    Keep in mind that there are Christians there!! Many found Jesus while there and others knew Him before their sentences but fell into temptation. Please pray for these folks.

    An irony I found in the Bible is that Paul, innocent of any moral wrongdoings, was imprisoned yet the “man after God’s heart”, David, never spent a day behind bars. This show that God COULD PUT us where He wants us whether we like it or not for His purpose. No matter which way we choose, we are a slave to one of two masters. I would rather spend a day in God’s court than a thousand elsewhere.

  22. ubert says:

    I agree with much of what has been written here about many of us having to go to prison in order for God to get our attention and become willing to change our sinful ways. I also agree that our prison can be the prison of our mind and to me that is just as bad as Alcatrez. I believe all of what God’s Word says about if the Son sets you free, than you are free indeed; and that Jesus died to set me free from the sins of this world. But, those words seem to have little meaning when looking out from the dark, lonely “prison of my mind” of not being wanted or acceptable by anyone of this world. I see no rainbow as I look out from my prison. I too, have often desired to depart from this world and go be with Jesus where I believe I will be acceptable and wanted. But, God has left me here for a reason, of which I am not at all sure of. I believe it must be so He can set me free from the torment that I have put myself into by believing that I am unacceptable

  23. sjd says:

    I obviously do not know exactly where you are coming from. But your words bring back strong memories for me. I have already been praying for you. For some reason I spent years of my life in chains, so fearful of what others thought of me, so scared of not being accepted, thinking that I was constatnly making a fool of myself. I spent hours and hours pleading with God that He would take away the thoughts and fears I had. Locking myself in the bathroom at work as an adult, and crying over my condition was a reality I hated.
    I had received Christ at a younger age, believing thoroughly in my sin and condemnation but I also believed in the finished work of Jesus, and I gladly received Him. But it wasn’t until I was 30 that something finally clicked. It finally hit me that I had a relationship with the Creator God, that no one could take from me. The fact that God demonstrated His love for me in that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me, has made all the difference in the world. Nothing about me caused Him to love me, nothing I could do would change His mind. Instead of continuing to pray for Him to change me into someone that I thought would be easily loved and accepted by those around me, I thanked Him for making me the way I was. If I had not been so insecure, I would probably be far from Him living in my own sufficiency which is no sufficiency at all. So now I find comfort in the fact that if everyone else in the world would reject me, I still have God Almighty, living in me, His Spirit giving me Life. The promise of “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, is firmly embedded in my mind. I can not say that I never struggle with those old feelings. But as I grow I am learning more and more to be available for all that God wants to do in this body, finding comfort in His love.

    Again I do not know the pain that you have gone through or are going through but please know that you are loved. I just read these words in
    1 Thessalonians 1:4-5:
    4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you……..

    ubert, if you are in Christ, know that you are loved by God, that you are chosen by Him! Truths that are helping me right now are: In Him you now are righteous, His child, living with a new heart, and God Himself resides in you. You are a new creation, a saint, a priest, the temple of the Holy Spirit, a living stone……… never to be rejected. I pray that in the days ahead you will find Jesus to be your “Rock”, and that others will see Christ in you! You and I are broken clay pots meant to allow the treasure of Christ to be seen in us.
    (2 Corinthians 4:7)

  24. SFDBWV says:

    ubert, You listen to sjd, he has spoken very well. If it is friends you seek you have come to the right place.


  25. daisymarygoldr says:

    ubert, So sorry about how you are feeling within the “prison of your mind”. Loneliness is a torment and feeling unacceptable or unwanted alleviates the haunting pain. You said you do not see the rainbow. The rainbow is there, believe me…all you have to do is wait for the storm to pass and the dark clouds to part. No Family? No friends? No job? No good health? No matter what your dark clouds are, God is there with you. You sound like someone who already knows God’s love and also loves the Lord. Remember, God is not man and does not lie. The rainbow is God’s promise- for hope, love, joy and peace. Just trust Him and accept His Freedom by faith. And when it comes to faith, it has to be followed by works. ubert, you have rightly acknowledged “…I have put myself into by believing that I am unacceptable”. By saying that, you have already taken the first bold step towards healing. Next, the action…it may require pulling down the barriers and breaking down the walls you may have built around yourself, for self-protection. I’m sure, with God by your side you will certainly make it through! Praying for you…

  26. SFDBWV says:

    This is one of the reasons. why our experiance with Christ is deeply personal. Only God knows the heart and circumstance of an individual. If trapped in a nightmare, there is a straight and narrow pathway out. Christ both provides the way and the comfort. In spite of all the struggle. Christ has given us a companion in the presence of the Holy Spirit. That will never leave us nor forsake us.
    But we are to also reach out and comfort one another. We must offer frienship to believers and encourage them along their way.
    Matthew though trapped in his nightmare, thinks too that no one cares,that he has no purpose. But Matt is wrong. All who know him care, and even if he doesn’t recognize his purpose yet. Someday he will.
    Through the struggles Matthew has suffered, he continues to touch hearts. Many eyes are upon him,and many are encouraged by him.

    This is true of us all. we do not know who or how we have been used for God today. But if we stay the course, quietly showing the light and face of Christ. We will have purpose and meaning and acomplishment. even when we don’t realize it.

    ubert, if you would be unacceptable then none of us are. But Christ accepted you and I long ago, even before we were born.

  27. pegramsdell says:

    ubert, you are loved and befriended right here with us.
    I can so relate to what you are saying. And you are right, sometimes the prison really is our own doing. Or listening to satan tell us we are worthless and that no one loves us cause we’re not accepted. big huge lie..(btw)
    Because no matter who accepts you or says they love you, you know that Jesus loves you. Who else matters? He is the only One we should be pleasing anyway.
    And you are not only accepted by God, but adopted. That means even more….you cannot disown those you adopted.

  28. BruceC says:


    I have prayed for you buddy. I know the feeling. I have felt that way often since I’ve retired; and especially since I’ve been sick of sorts. It can be a real downslide if you let it. It can effect your health and worst of all your spiritual life. If you’re not careful you may find yourself in an un-ending pity-party which is exactly where I was for a while. Just realize that God doesn’t make junk, Christ didn’t die for junk, and in God’s eyes we are special and unique. Or maybe have a good chat with a pastor. Just fight to look up all the time and realize that many here are sending prayers to the Father on your behalf.

  29. BruceC says:


    Forgot to ask. Where do you live. No exact address; just area and state.

  30. TennesseeNana says:

    Dear friends in Christ, this is my first time visiting this site and I am so blessed to read all your concerns and encouragement for ubert.

    I pray he is encouraged to know that he is not alone. I too have gone through that time of darkness, thinking no one cares, wishing I could just go home and be with the Lord. My eyes were opened when my own son thought I really wanted to die and he was willing to help me do it. At that time a new journey began for me. Building a relationship with Jesus. He became my rock, my stronghold, my shelter.

    I am blessed to have Christian friends who prayed for me and with me. Encouraged me and pointed me to books that help me understand who I am in Christ.

    ubert….you are not alone. I already see many friends that care for you and are praying for you right now and I am one of them. We are a family and when one of our family hurts, we all hurt. You are so important to God that He was willing to die for you. To me that is so awesome. No one I know cares that much for me. Hang in there and let God restore your joy. You will soon see that rainbow and be able to rejoice with us.

  31. pegramsdell says:

    TennesseeNana, I’m glad your eyes were opened in time. Christian friends help a lot. It is so hard not to have anyone to talk to and to feel all alone. How nice it would be to have that special someone to share everything with. But, till then, we can help each other and remember that Jesus loves us.

  32. poohpity says:

    There are no prisons whether formed by man or any other unseen factor that Jesus is unable to penetrate. There are also those who take something as beautiful and wonderfully made as a human being and abusive them to the point of destruction whether from others or self.

    We hold structures as beautiful or interesting yet we turn people into the objects of scorn, ridicule, disrespect, worthlessness, and dehumanization. I wish one could see the damages done to humans as the utmost in priorities to nurture. God sees that and in His loving hands is the only one that can take something so damaged and restore it’s beauty because He knows the worth of each human and gives us something to live for, Him. He will never abuse the love we have for Him.

  33. wretch-like-me says:

    Hello, Friends, I have returned and am glad to report that the last couple weeks away have been a blessing. The time spent reuniting my wife with her estranged father of 50+ yrs was a glory to God. He is a troubled man in failing health and our task from God is to ‘love him unconditionally’. He,too, feels rejected after several failed marriages and the ‘fallout’ of confused relationships with exwives, children, and inlaws. He is a brilliant man with the ability to understand Quantum Theory but unable to understand simple human interaction beyond a textbook explanation. He wants the simplest of human needs (acceptance, understanding, love); yet, he fails to see the connection between giving and receiving.

    So many of us are not much different. We see and feel our own needs; yet, we fail to make the connection that comes with Christ. We love because He first loved us. To receive love and acceptance, we must love and accept others. Unconditional love and acceptance is what we have from God, Our Father thru Jesus Christ, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, The Comforter, Teacher, Enlightener.

    I appreciate all that has been said here. I would just like to add that I used to ask the same question “why can’t I go home, yet? I want to be with Jesus in heaven!” Then I began to see how the answer comes from learning to be most comfortable in the ‘hand of God’.

    I want to be a ‘well-worn’ tool shaped by the hand of the Master as He uses me to do His work in this world. I want to know His touch and ‘giggle’ as I make beautiful long curls of ‘wood’ while planing the rough edges of fellow christians with love and acceptance.

    I have learned that I am happiest when I am too busy to think of myself and my shortcomings or ‘false ideas’ of my needs and desires. I want to draw closer everyday to the hand that made me, holds me, shapes me, uses me to shape the lives of others, and one day I will know His words of Joy and Excitement when He says to me (face to face) “Well Done, My Good and Faithful (Tool) Servant!”

    This is my Hope and My wish for all of you, as well.

    This includes you, Ubert! God has blessed you and led you to this site for a purpose. It is part of His plan for your life and the special ‘tooling’ He has in mind for you. Praise God!!!

    Final Comment: So Glad to be Back in Touch with all of you! I have missed our interaction. Triple Huggs OOO

  34. drkennyg says:

    A few more thoughts. Satan only knows how to lie and he is always on the prowl for those humans who are the easiest targets. These are almost always the ones who have periods of doubt regarding our faith. He picks on new Christians whom he once had and is angry that he may be losing them, Please resist these times and draw closer to Christ and not only will He draw closer to you but the devil will flee.

  35. kaliko88 says:

    ubert, seeing your comment was like looking in a mirror, a mirror that talked back. And you were right in that it is a prison of the mind. How many times have I hidden away in my own prison? Too many, and the sad thing is the door is not locked. Sometimes it’s even been open leaving me free to walk out, and still I hid. Feeling unacceptable? Yep, have that torture, too. It’s increased dramatically in just the last week with the spectre of divorce creeping round. It makes me feel like a failure, so why should I bother denying the lies that I’m not good enough?

    But am reminded of the movie, “The Shawshank Redemption.” One of the biggest lies prisons of any kind push on you is to have no hope. But as the main character said in his letter to his friend, “Remember, hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things.” And we who believe have the best of hopes.

    My favorite place to pray is the front porch. On a nice evening, I can sit there and watch the sun set, hear the wind in the trees, quietly rest my mind while I sip at a drink, and either pray or listen. And the view in front of me is a prison. A women’s prison. I see them every day, doing chores, having visitors, walking and exercising. This article reminds me that I need to pray more, reminds me that my own prison is just a shadow, and that there is a purpose for my own gift of freedom. I’m not good at prayer, been asking to learn how to pray, been trying more. I certainly need more prayer, and have finally started asking for it. I think the prison of my mind just might fade away if I simply stop thinking of myself so much. And I think I should do more than reach out to that prison with more than just prayers. I’m going to go see what kind of outreach and volunteer programs they have.

    I might even tell them you sent me, Mart. :)

  36. pegramsdell says:

    welcome back wlm. glad you had a good visit with your father-in-law. reuniting is good.

    one of my sons is in jail right now. he is looking at maybe 1-1/2 to 2 yrs in prison. he’s never been there. however, he has been to jail a number of times. for driving with suspended license or drugs. he knows better, but here he is again. he said he needs to get his life straightened out. he stopped going to church a while ago. he only goes once in a while with me, but he does go to church in jail. go figure….

    anyway, i’d appreciate prayers for him. his name is edward and he’s 28 years old.

  37. daisymarygoldr says:

    wretch-like-me, welcome back! You and your detailed comments were greatly missed. Also, wanted to let you know that since yesterday it has been raining here and the rains remind me of you…did pray for you and its nice to know that everything is fine at your end!
    kaliko88, my heart goes out to you. You are in my prayers…
    pegramsdell, sometimes it takes prison bars to lock us out from everything that is not good and false… in order to draw us closer to God and experience the true freedom in Christ. Glad that Edward is going to church. Will surely pray for him…

    drkennyg, You are so right about Satan’s deception. If Jesus Himself was not spared of temptations, we are no exception. Each one of us (new or old) is vulnerable to his subtle tactics of planting seeds of doubt. That is why we are called: to be on guard, always…to put on the whole armor of God, to meditate on God’s words and to hide it within our hearts and most importantly… to not forsake fellowshipping with other believers. And then, regardless of the worst dejection by the whole world, we will find strength to survive and complete our earthly journeys.

  38. daisymarygoldr says:

    Personally, I do not believe in such oft repeated irresponsible phrases quoted by Christians, about the church: “Christians shoot their wounded” or “self-righteous and super Christians make others stumble” or “it is Christians and not the world that hurt others Christians”. I believe these are also lies fueled by the enemy to keep people away from going to church.

    No matter what people say about the church, I am thoroughly convinced that we are being prepared as the perfect body of Christ…pure, undefiled and faultless and in spite of the false allegations (which may be true sometimes), I firmly believe that it is the church which ultimately provides a safe haven for the poor, destitute, hungry, hurting, needy, and sick people of this world. It is sad that many believe the lies and don’t even realize the importance of the study of sound Biblical doctrines, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. It not only enables us to remain steadfast and abiding in Him but also helps us overcome loneliness, depression and every other thing that imprisons us… to captivate and cripple our Christian walks. Just my thoughts…

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