Allow God to work in your life, to be in control…

listentogod1

1/28/14
I just got another SAT book, this one from Barron’s, but the Black book says these books don’t help much. I think though that this book will help more with the concepts I need to study and get more practice with, mainly because I haven’t done work like this in 20 years. Man, I’m old!

I’m still working out, but my back hurts; I would give anything to see a chiropractor. It is like I have a pinched nerve. I know an adjustment would take care of it. I got my grievance back today, and they said they asked the officers to consider turning off the light at a decent hour from now on, but their excuse is that the inmates need to shave or to move around after 10. But, they should start this earlier in the evening. It’s not like we’re doing anything else, anyway.

You are so beautiful, and I miss you so! You mean so much to my well being! Thank the Lord for your presence in my life. Things will become easier as we learn God’s will for our lives. I love your enthusiasm! You help me keep my excitement up while I focus more on reading and studying more.

The heat issue just can’t get resolved. They won’t repair this heating system, and sometimes it works, and sometimes not. Now that I had to turn in my extra clothes I about have to stay under the covers all day to stay warm with only one pair of socks and a shirt. I’m so afraid of getting sick, and I can only work out for a little while and then sometimes I start to hurt. It has been such a blessing to keep the health I do have. An extra mat to sleep on would sure help my back; heaven forbid I ever get to feel a real mattress again…

1/30/14
Don’t worry so much about the move; you are making too much of it, and not trusting God enough. Bring yourself back to God so he can guide you down the correct path.

I’m not sure about this lawyer either. They should be answering us sooner, but often work on their own time, not our. I’m not disagreeing with you about the investigator either, but remember everyone wants as much money as they can get. Pray about this, and don’t allow others to influence you by getting you all riled up. Calm down and talk to God. I do believe things should be moving quicker, but God is in control, so wait on Him!

2/1/14
Every aspect of our life should be spent thanking God for all He has created. I am so blessed He sent me a friend like you, who takes such good care of our children. It was such a blessing to be allowed to go outside today, around 7:20 a.m. The CO’s didn’t make fun of us as they usually do. Praise God for changing their hearts! It was around 35 degrees, so not too bad, and I got to talk to some of the guys out here today. They let us stay outside for about an hour and a half; my toes were numb, but it was worth it! We should be getting our reviews soon, someone said, and that some of us could be shipped out.

It was so great to get a shower tonight. I didn’t notice the time, but they were sort of rushing everyone, and the shower were finished by 9 p.m. Normally it would be after 10:30, leaving most of us to wait 20 or 30 minute. And, they turned out the lights – Praise God! It is so great to rest without all of the blaring lights.

2/3/2014
Good day, Rochelle. How are things at home? I hope they are well. If not, tell me about it. May God’s peace be with you at home and in your hearts. Every day poses these problems, but each day Jesus gives His love to me to comfort my despair. Sorry for not writing more. I’ve been trying to listen to God more, an staying still. God doesn’t make mistakes, so when are you going to see your worth? You are so valuable for His work on Earth. Kneel down and ask for guidance, for your head to stop spinning. You are not taking enough time for God.
Slow down!
Get off of that computer more, and listen to God! Read His word. I’ve been a very stubborn man, and am finally ready to listen to His guidance and to hear His voice! I had allowed my life experiences to harden my heart, and now the Holy Spirit continues to break the outer man and to see how the world had me in its grip. Allow God to work in your life. When you allow God to be in control, then your life can truly begin.

Little Victories

 

1/27/14

One need not always trust in the 'large' things -  Isaiah 31  King James Version (KJV) 31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

One need not always trust in the ‘large’ things –
Isaiah 31
King James Version (KJV)
31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

I’m reading your letter to be about how you feel imprisoned, somewhat like  I am experiencing, although our prisons are different. No matter what either of us does, we can’t escape. This is God, working on our outer selves, which is essential to allow God’s Spirit to be released. Praise God for how you’ve been able to surrender to this discipline, and for learning patience with our children. I’m so glad to hear the boys are branching out, and aren’t so afraid to do their own things. I’m so proud of their growth amid all of the things they’ve been through. I just pray they see how loved they are by God, and are being taught by Him in so many ways. God is working on Nate so he can learn to discern who his real friends are, and to not feel ashamed for speaking out against injustice at school. God is using my suffering to teach them, to reach others, as well who need to realize the anguish and injustice in their own backyards.

I have to admit, I’ve been under attack now for over a week. I’ve not been happy with what God is allowing to happen in my life. I stay confused and blocked from understanding what is happening to me. I know I have to work through it, and am battling this selfish outer man. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole ordeal, and  know your love for me is real. I just feel so weakened and alone lately, and have to just give it to God…

I’ve noticed my eyes become blurry after reading awhile.  I have to pull the book or paper away from my face to be able to ready clearly. I used to have 20-15 vision, but only God knows what being in isolation has done…

I’m watching 60 minutes and listening to how there is such a shortage of psych0logists and therapists across the nati0n; and stories like what you’ve been through recently with our boys. Then they talked about how there are lack of beds in the institutions for the extreme behavior needs like what we experienced with my two children that led us to end up like this, due to not having adequate care in the mental health fields. If you can google this, maybe you will find some support sites so you have other people to talk to, and can maybe even get some help with our case. Isn’t it amazing how much has to happen before things like this come to the light?

Speaking of lights, this crew tonight is the one that often leaves our lights on until midnight, which was the main reason I wrote the grievance about not having any relief from the lighting. Tonight, though, they went out at 10:38 p.m., which is so wonderful! Even the little things feel like big victories!

 

I’m starting to feel more value and worth…

1/24/14

They posted here recently that if any inmate is found with extra clothing, he will be subject to disciplinary action.

So my request has gotten some attention along with your past emails.

The heat has also been adjusted now to be more comfortable, I’m not currently freezing.

So, God is moving these people to do more right for us. But, I had to put my extra clothes in the dirty clothes pickup, so as not to get a false ‘charge’, except for my extra sheets. This is yet another form of God getting me to further trust Him for all of my needs. As I’m writing, I’m only in boxers and a t-shirt. That is a first here for the winter. I did take a shower, and I feel fine, even though it is supposed to get down to 5 degrees tonight. Normally the cold would be unbearable.

I received your letter today, and I rejoice in the Lord for all that He has done, using you to help so many of us here through your letters and blog posts. I’ve continued to struggle to work out, and am up to 3 sets of 35 pushups, squats, 75 toe touches, crunches, leg lifts, and some planks. I used to do so much more, but it is a start; even 3 months later, but praise God! The biggest thing is the jump from numbness to sharp pains and back, even below the bend in my leg all the way up to my groin. I’ve written a grievance, but nothing is done. They don’t care…what are you spraying on these letters, it’s driving me crazy! I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again. I miss your cooking…I want to hold you so badly…My heart longs for you day and night…why won’t you write me some of your poetry, you are so good at putting your heart into words on the page?

Thank you so much again for the SAT prep black book. It’s so full of wonderful help. Giving me a better understanding keeps me from being so scared. All my life I’ve been scared of taking tests. Mostly because I never could grasp concepts the teachers were teaching. I wasn’t favored by any of my teachers in either middle or high school. I guess I just assumed I didn’t have the brains to be in school. It kept me fearful of further education;  I just worked with my hands. The hands-on learning gave me better understanding of concepts that I’m currently learning. For the first time I’m excited to have this chance to learn, and to start a new chapter in my life. Maybe this will help my children to see the importance of continuing their education if I can be successful. Image

 Hebrews 12:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Hebrews 12:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

1/23/14

I received the Black SAT Prep book yesterday and began reading it.

Looking over all of this material makes me scared; it’s been a long time since ’91 when I graduated high school, and I can’t get any extra study guides off of the internet. I haven’t seen algebra in almost twenty years, and I never had Geometry! I know this is going to be tough, but God has a plan for me to succeed. I’m just not sure how to get help. I will check in the library here to see if there are any text books, but I doubt it, and the GED teacher is not friendly. But, it could be due to some of her students…

Didn’t you take this in 1989? What was your score? I need help with passage-based reading, sentence completion, all of the math…they are recommending a ‘Blue Book’, and it references this other book a lot. I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:11, so knowing this isn’t going to be joyful right now, I will endure the training, because of the importance of the end results.

I’ve been so lonely, and just gave my heart to the Lord

Sorry, I took a few days off and listened to football games.

Carolina lost, but they played hard for the first half, just seemed to lose focus. We do that, forget to keep our eyes on God.

God has to be centered in all that we do, so that we can truly come to know His power. Once it becomes about ourselves, the God is lost to us. We have to surrender ourselves to God, so that the fight comes through Him. This will be the only way that our truth can be revealed, by how we speak, live our lives, and surrendering to what ‘is’. When we rush things, we hinder God’s plan.

These past few days have been so cold, with the men complaining, but doing nothing in writing. I am amazed by how cold it is for us in here. I miss you so much. I’ve had to wear all of my clothes, and it’s gotten down to 0 degrees in the night.  I hope to get some more coffee in a couple of days to help ease it off a little.

Thank you so much for sharing with me what is going on at home; I so miss being a family. Even the little things about washing dishes with you after you made a mess all over the kitchen from one of your great, home cooked meals, the faces the boys make, their shenanigans, and excuses at bedtime and running all over the house.

I did finally get the new diet today. They kept trying to give me a regular one, but I sent it back. I’m not going to give them something to cancel it for, when I’ve worked so hard to get it! I got some exercise in today, and that helped warm me a little.  No pain today, which is a good sign.

I want you to calm down about the lawyer; I think you’ve scared them, I know how you can be. Be patient, I’m sure they have many cases, and God is working things out as He sees fit. Take some deep breaths and stay calm. Nothing much rattles your cage, except maybe a horse falling in the pool with the cover on it, or a nest of wound up yellow jackets..lol, but we all have different skill sets and abilities, and can then draw a complement in a mate.

I hope to see you on Wednesday, it was such a blessing to see the boys! It caught me off guard and was such a surprise. If you can’t make it this week, I understand. …

1/15/14

You are so beautiful today, you walked in with such confidence. You have been a great example for our children.

I got back to my cell and there were some papers by my door. Someone had tried to set up a visit but forgot to add a driver’s license copy, so it was good that I had not quite finished the letter to my friend. Now I am able to request new forms, and explain what happened in this letter and mail them together. God created a way for me to save a stamp, which is always good to do in here. He always keeps our circumstances in mind.

I’ve been so lonely, and I just gave my heart to the Lord and cried for a long time, my heart is just so sick from this isolation and separation. When I calmed down, I opened my devotional to Psalms 4, and cried even more, it was entitled, “Sweet Rest”. I feel he answered my prayer with your visit. He gave me sweet mercy, and also you enough gas to make the visit. My heart is filled with joy.

 Psalm 4  King James Version (KJV) 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.


Psalm 4
King James Version (KJV)
4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

You are like Ruth, you never turn back…

Hey, look – do you hear me? That’s what they yell in here all day long. I hope to never hear that again when I get out…

I got an orange today for the first time since September. It was so good! The things we take for granted…

Today around 2 pm it got so cold. I wonder if they are turning on the air conditioner? My hands and legs were freezing. I did get a shower today, and that warmed me up some…I also did some push-ups; only two sets of 35, and toe touches. I noticed I’m losing some muscle mass as I don’t well enough to exercise fully.

1/10/14
I received your letters today, and your card. It reminded me so much of that one property we were looking to buy in the mountains before all of this happened.

Hey, I finally got a new battery for my radio! It takes about 3 weeks to get when you’re in ICON and indigent. But, they did put fish oil on the list of the limited things we can order.

I am reading on Ruth today. She is like you; you never turn back. You will only press forward, knowing God has a plan for your life. She worked so diligently and then became one of Jesus’ grandmothers. You, like Ruth, have courage and are a child of God.
ruth_bible__image_2_sjpg1152

1/11/14
I was up late last night and couldn’t sleep. I started humming this little tune, and it got louder and louder, and then I looked at my watch and saw the date- it was the tune I’d sing to Alex when he was bouncing on my leg or when I would hold him when he couldn’t sleep when he was so small, so long ago!
Happy Birthday Big Bear! God is so great to put that tune in my head to remember you! That became a special tune for when I was with him, but I still don’t know where it came from! It made him laugh and coo, and thinking of that is refreshing to my spirit. God wants to remember all of the little things that bless us, but we never thank Him for. I love you, Alex!

It is good to see the sun, even if it is too cold here to feel it

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1/6/14
It has been a difficult day; so cold that I had to wear 3 pairs of socks, 3 each of shirt jackets and undershirts, and 1 pr of pants.

It’s going to perhaps even get to 0 degrees F tonight. I have written grievances to the Sgt, Unit Manager, the Cpt. and to the assistant superintendent. It is a request for a work order for the heat to be fixed. I know nothing will be done, but it does give you a path when writing an injunction against the treatment in isolation.

I have been working on my letter to CPS and I’ve gone through 100 sheets of paper trying to hand write this grievance, but I can’t get it right. I only have two sheets of paper left now, and one has a stain on it.

I’m so hungry. I think from being so cold that my body has used all of its resources to stay warm. I haven’t had any coffee today, either. It’s pretty bad. I’m having a lot of back pain too, and had to take some naproxen for it. Does your back hurt lately? I am so tuned in to you still that I can feel your different body aches and pains.

1/8/14

I saw the psychologist lady again today; she is no help whatsoever. All she asks is, “How can I help you?”, and then she interrupts you before you finish, and she interrupts saying she can’t do that. I told her again that I wanted a psychological eval and she says that there isn’t any evidence to suggest that I need one. Her response is, ” You should have stayed out of trouble so you wouldn’t be put in isolation,” as if she could stand the heat from being locked in a cell with no moving air in August. It’s no wonder the people go crazy – there is no rationale in a place like this. The lack of compassion by those who work here is alarming, as we are seen than less than human. She ended the ‘visit’ saying that if I needed her to let her know. Wow; as if she has done anything so far.   I told her that I would have to get my wife to call Raleigh to get any help, and she answered, “You just do that”.  Such is the attitude here in general.

The nurse came by to have me sign for a new diet that  I asked for, which should include wheat bread, and more fruit instead of all of the straight starch we are forced to eat now. There may actually be some ‘real’ meat.

It is nice to see the sun on the wall, at least, even if it is too cold to warm my room.  I am doing my best to surrender to the fact that God is in control, and it’s been so hard to let go of that need to fix things on my own. I try to be content and not look to man to meet my needs. The lessons are becoming easier to understand, but I must still the drive to want more.

I will be strictly monitored on this new diet that took several months of requesting to get on; my canteen – once I can order from it again, my weight will be checked each month and if I gain any weight I will be taken off of it, as well. It is not practical but I will try to earn this better grade of food.

The lights have been staying on past 11 or even 11:30 p.m., but 10 p.m. is the policy, even though they have the lame excuse that the lights are on so the men can shave, some times until 12 a.m.? We didn’t even get showers tonight, when there’s no reason not to, other than they don’t follow their own policies, yet expect us to. The Sgt. says there’s no policy in seg about turning off the lights, as long as the guards are working on things for the men. I find this very hard to believe.

I waited until 2 a.m. for grievance forms about this, but none came, so I finally laid down. I know I need to stand up for these things as long as it isn’t about pride, as I want to do things for God’s glory. When we delay obedience to God, by doing things on my own, it makes it more difficult to receive further instructions. The more our faith grows the easier it becomes to wait on God’s timing.