One stone can change the world

12/12/13
david-and-goliath

Someone must be reading my grievances; yesterday I noticed that the air was warmer while still blowing with so much force. They must have raised the temp just a few degrees, which makes a big difference for us.

God spoke to me while I was listening to a preacher speak about David and Goliath, and it came to me that often-heard story is meant as to explain the coming of Christ; that Jesus was the stone in David’s sling that would defeat sin. David didn’t worry about manmade armor or a large weapon; his only concern was the protection of his people against an enemy. Even as Saul’s men trembled, David went to the stream bed and picked out a perfect assortment of rocks. They laughed at this young man, standing confident with no armor or expensive gear; just a simple peasant. But, David’s faith was so strong that he let God lead his arm, so that the stone brought him down, and David cut of Goliath’s head with his own sword.

See how this is Christ coming to change the world? He came to do away with sin that has separated us from our heavenly Father. God was showing the world that one stone can change the world.

Don’t be afraid to praise God! Rejoice in the Lord and proclaim His work to all. Yes, we all fail at times, but draw on the strength of God. My heart was hardened with so many years of abuse, but in His light, you always shined! God knew it would take a strong woman to break me down for Him to begin working on me! Praise God! Let others know that it is Jesus’ love for them; to have hope – many have suffered but you are not alone! We have to take it on faith! Even in such a place as this I can love the Lord! I feel secure in God’s hands, something I’ve never felt before. He will never make us come to Him.
I just want to convey my joy in God to be released from bondage that I alone had put myself in, as sin no longer controls me. Know the Lord is with you! With faith are we made free!

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I wonder if they miss us

I truly miss our family. Even with all of the problems.

I had a dream last night that I was out of seg and had a visitor.

I entered the busy visitation room with all of the noise and bustle, and looked all around for you.

Then I heard, “Daddy”! I turned around and there she was, even though I knew immediately.

She had that same squeal just as she used to when I came home from work.

It seemed so real to see her, and she had brought a young man with her, as well.

I wonder if she was thinking about me; if she and my other two sons miss all of the things we used to do as a family, all of the trips and soccer games and wrestling with her brothers and riding her horse, the trips to the beach you’d save up for so we could all go, the times we’d drive to the mountains of NC and cut down our own Christmas tree and drink hot cider and spend the night. It all seems so far away and dreamlike, now.

I miss my children, Shel. All of them. Even after all of the trouble, hurt and pain they have caused; they have been through so much. When I would throw them all around in the pool, she would do the same thing.

It is so hard to be in this position, of hurt, anger and love, and then the misery of being here, the alienation of it all. I wonder if the nightmare will ever end.

I got a copy of the two grievances you wrote and posted to each of the administrative emails, as well as the governor today.

I know I have to keep writing these sick calls, and these requests for my long johns, but it feels so hopeless. The requests never go anywhere. I can’t even have a chair, for Pete’s sake. Would that be so hard to do? I am not violent. The throbbing doesn’t ever go fully away, and the pain is still too sharp after I start to stretch or do any exercise. And, now, in addition to all of my clothes I am lying under seven sheets and 2 blankets. I still haven’t gotten any help with the sick call from November 14th. So, they say I must write another request. I filled out another 490 for the long johns.

Well, later they led me out of here in hand cuffs, a belly chain and foot shackles to medical tonight just before 10 p.m. They took my blood pressure through 2 shirt jackets, 3 shirts, and I wonder how accurate that will be! The lead nurse started asking questions about my level of pain, which I said changes depending on whether or not I try to move. All they do is have me to lie down and mash a little around the now closed incision, and tell me that I am fine. They are doing no internal diagnostics.

I couldn’t believe they were doing anything at all, so I asked if they were seeing me because of a letter that had been written on my behalf. Of course they say, ‘no’.  If so, why was I being seen this late at night, and not by the regular day shift? I asked to see my blood work results, but all they say is that it was ‘fine’.  I asked how I could still be this cold, but they never have and answer.

It’s obvious that your calls and letters/emails are making them very uncomfortable. I just want you to know that what you are doing is great. Don’t lose heart…

Good morning. Well, I was taken once more to medical, at 9 a.m. and they wouldn’t allow me to wear my shirt jackets to walk through the prison. Another new, arbitrary rule to keep us confused, I guess. My temperature is again below normal, 97.5. I told the doctor that I still had odd swelling, and he says I could have issues for up to six months. This makes no sense. I told him that it was nothing like this before, and the pain seems to be coming from all over.

I asked him for help with the long johns, as medical has to write them up, and he said there would not be any coming from medical. I looked at the nurse who knew that she had just told you recently that the 490 had to be written from medical and then the doctor said medical was not in the business of handing out thermals. I guess this is retaliation for your writing the medical grievance. Even the CO couldn’t believe it. So, here I am, back in my cell, cold, and there are other inmates with 490s for thermals.

Well, I didn’t get my package so   tried to sleep, but couldn’t. The guys were all opening their food packages, and the ones that didn’t have them were trying to trade with the others.  I received your card and letters. They make me cry. It’s been s hard to be away from you. I have been so emotional. You have been such a blessing.

Be Encouraged to see how how far We’ve Come

Repenting helps us stay aligned in times of trouble, before we 'wreck' from poor choices.

Repenting helps us stay aligned in times of trouble, before we ‘wreck’ from poor choices.

You don’t need to expect anything. God will provide if it is truly a door opening for you.

Focus on your healing work only. Praise God for the opportunity to do the work. This will be an exciting time for you to connect with others who are opening to the word of Jesus so long ago, encouraging us to do good works in His name. You have always had a warmness about you that calms people.

It stays so cold in here. Today I’m wearing two pairs of socks, 2 shirts, 2 shirt jackets, and my pants. I can’t seem to get any help requesting long johns.

They brought someone new in to seg today. He said he was just sitting in his chair in the t.v. room and watching t.v. and someone came up behind him and hit him on the side of the head near his eye. He doesn’t even know who hit him. It was most likely someone doing a ‘check off’. Someone owed this guy  some of his package or food and the other didn’t want to share what this one had paid for, so he gets him locked up and this guy can’t get what he had paid the one who hit for. It will be gone before that guy gets out. It is very rough in here.

11/18/13

I am listening to ‘Focus on the Family’, and they are talking about strong willed children. I want you to go to their website and see if any of their materials will help you with the boys, and look for Dr. Leman’s book, “Parenting Your Powerful Child”.

A nurse came to see me today because of my sick call. I asked for a way to purchase vitamins, fish oil, but she said she could only approve it after blood work. I told her that they were supposed to be checking it for low iron, but that no one had. Then she told me to use the canteen, but, of course, in seg we are not allowed to purchase ANY food related items. When she was done this time, she didn’t charge me for the sick call. I was very surprised.

This has to be due to your calls to the prison’s Medical and Assistant Superintendent. They now know that someone is watching them. Praise God!

Well, I didn’t get a Saturday paper, I guess one of the guards got it, courtesy of you, but I did get a Sunday one. The pain comes and goes still, like a nerve that gets hit, but I just deal with it. When it does hit me, it’s rough, though.

The food was better today, but it’s a shame that we can’t even get any ketchup, mustard or mayo. Haven’t had that in months, and it is almost nuts to some, I guess, just how important small things like this become when you have nothing except what another allows you to have.

The nurse came by tonight and told me not to eat anything after midnight because there will be blood drawn.  I listened to the game, so GREAT that the Panthers won, 24-20–Woo woo!! I just wish I could sleep, but the light came on at 5 a.m., with breakfast served at 5:30 a.m. I couldn’t eat it, of course, and they came around to ask about outside rec at 6:30 a.m, and of course the nurse came right after the guard and said 7 a.m. would be the time to draw my blood, so no food or once weekly cage exercise. I waited and waited because she said they would be there, but no one showed up until 8:15 a.m. She said they would only check my platelets. I guess I fasted for nothing if no cholesterol check?

They did bring me the prison hygiene pack which was one use of body wash, their toothpaste, a small deodorant, lotion, and a small toothbrush.

11/21/13

It was so good to see you yesterday. I stay so clouded with these walls closing me down. I’ve decided that nothing will keep me apart from Jesus as a son of God. It is difficult to stay focused on what it is I want to do when I get out of here so that I can fulfill my purpose for enduring the suffering, as well as what I have learned so that I can help others. I just feel like I have to wait for God’s will to be made clear to me. For now, He is still working on me. I still need confidence to be able to go forth and help others, to talk to those I don’t know and do His will through my life.

Be encouraged to see how far we have come. God is working through us both separately. Use what God has brought you, and revealed to you to bring glory to Him. You were correct, dear, when you said my shame from my past hurts in life is holding me back. I have done nothing to be ashamed of, and this pain that I am enduring is for His Glory in His time. Past pains should be laid down as I continue to be strengthened by His words.

Reading Jeremiah has helped me to see my own arrogance, thinking being a good person was mostly what I needed to do to go to Heaven. This was such a misconception.  I was sometimes selfish with my resources, and my time. I had become content with my plans, and not God’s. repentance   means so much more than just to admit one has sinned.

Repentance means to admit to God that you’re not aligned with Him.

People become prideful, though, and think their small sins don’t hurt. But, look at it this way: if your car is out of alignment and you release the steering wheel, it will veer off of the road; sometimes very fast, and it will get worse if you don’t get your wheels realigned, causing you to wreck. Repenting gives us a chance to get realigned, when we stp by the garage, or checking in with God, keeping us safe.

Getting Drunk is not a mating call, men – single men, take note

10/7/13

Dear Chicano,

I am going to start sending you some random posts to comment on that I find interesting and timely,

men, women, relationships

Men, they REALLY want you to get ‘it’ – intimacy first…

because you have so much wisdom hiding behind those big, brown eyes.

I also want to help keep you sane while being locked away in your little egg,

as I will refer to your seg cell from now on. I think if we refer to these horrors

with a more positive energy, then we can begin to transmute some of the punitive aspects of being wrongly imprisioned, and turn this into a wonderful teaching opportunity.

I feel that we have an obligation to ‘pay it forward’ to humanity, to take this as an opportunity instead of a disaster. So, I look forward to your replies to some of these things, even though I don’t like being vulnerable when you use our relationship as examples, I know that the only way to make a true difference is to be ‘real’.

Too many ‘Christians’ do not understand that when a person comes to you asking for food when they are starving that we need to do that, give them food, feed their souls with kindness and support, instead of giving them cruel words or turning them away with a scorpion, back into the darkness.

So, here is response number 1…

Thoughts from a Chicano man who loves women…

(this is a discussion on drinking in a bar, and then bringing home or going home with a lady…if you were my son…)

******

I would like to say that I appreciate your candor.

It is obvious that you are working towards understanding men/women to be a better man.

That is the first step. As a man in his forties, I would like to give you a key bit of advice, it that’s OK,

as you seem to be asking the universe for direction here…

the incident above where the lady gave you a ‘hand job’ could have been a much better scene had you been more in tune.

This is a key disfunction of most men. There is a complete lack of communication due to a lack of intimacy. Before we jump in the sack with a woman, if you want it to mean something, you have to be in tune to her body.

She asked you to stop, yet you didn’t, which tells me that you use drinking as an excuse to do what you want, or to attempt to do what you want with women. This is why you feel “like a creep” afterwards.

The fact that she allowed you to come home with her suggested that she was interested; however, you did not take the time to tune in to her needs, so she was obviously turned off. She was smart enough to keep herself from a possible rape scenario by ‘performing’ in a way that would keep her ‘safe’, as you were obviously not making her feel that way.

I see this a lot in younger men, and the issue here is ‘wanting’ a woman, not really ‘looking for’ a woman. This causes a great deal of distress for today’s single woman, because men do not ‘see’ the true value of a woman beyond a hook up.

Women are worth so much more,  repeat,

WOMEN ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE,

and I think, once you begin to understand, if you choose to, your own value, and raise your own self esteem, you will then be able to treat women with dignity, and then have much better sexual experiences all around.

In other words, you are only treating women with the same care you have for yourself.

Something to think about…

My First Instinct was to try and help

10/8/13

Dear Chicano,

It has begun. A new chicken legacy.

Who ever heard of chicks hatching in October?

You know my 85 year old mother…she said to keep the eggs collected and not allow that sad hen

men, women, hope, relationships

First chick, and egg that is struggling to hatch.

to lay this late. I prayed about this ever since ‘Laura’ was found on the eggs three weeks ago.

I had watched this young hen over the  summer when she hatched three chicks, only to lose two while running them around the yard. Your oldest, the chicken whisperer, and myself, would run outside in rainstorms and catch her and the one chick, who would be soaking wet and hiding under a bush, and corner them so we could put them in the shed to dry.

She had tried earlier in the spring to hatch a group of eight, but ended up abandoning the nest for whatever reason, and ran around broody and forlorn until this little group hatched in June. Her one biddie, Peeper, is still very attached to her mother.

Well, I thought about this, and I prayed some more, and I left Laura alone on the nest. I’m no dummy when it comes to chickens, so I knew we could put her up in the garage in a box with a lamp over the winter, and your oldest would tend to them, so I just let her be. I knew, in my heart, that she needed a way to get over the grieving, and that this was really important to her. So, I let her be.

How often in life, do older, or more respected  folk do their best to impart or push their wisdom on others, emasculating young men, or dis-empowering young women who have an inner knowing but continue to be beat down for going against the grain? Unless we have a deep, spiritual well-spring to draw from during the dry times, we can become worn out, dried up like old shoe leather. We find it hard to give back because we are give out. I pray that never happens to me.

I went to gather eggs yesterday, and could hear Laura talking to her eggs. It is so amazing to me that people cry for miracles yet turn away from the multitude of gifts that God offers daily, as few are brave enough to open their eyes are receive.

How is it that a simple year old chicken can sit on 14 eggs, and know who is getting ready to hatch, and begin to coax them into the world? She knows if one is too hot or cold, and will turn either them or herself to adjust to their needs.

I was nervous when I saw two eggs sticking out from under her, as she is a banty, and was worried that there were too many eggs for her to cover. But, I also trusted Creator through Nature to take care of it. Perhaps she knew they weren’t healthy, or maybe they were too hot?

Today when I entered, I heard the inquiring ‘peep peep’ that let me know they were beginning to arrive. How exciting! And, her little Peeper was in the nest box with her! I think she decided to be a second incubator, so the chicks and the eggs would be warm, and Laura wouldn’t have to stress to handle the large load by herself. This can also be a dangerous time, as rats will quickly steal away chicks from under the momma hen at night while she is on the ground with the nest.

I was very excited, and just lifted a wing so that a fat little chick rolled out. The proud momma pecked her on the head so she could sit still for me to gently pet and talk to the little one. There were actually three, with another egg trying desperately to  hatch. My first instinct was to help it, but I know, as a farmer, that one has to let the birthing process come in its own way.

I feel that this is where God spoke to me today, as He finds a way to, everyday, if I just listen…

living things must suffer if they are to survive in this world. The ones that struggle from eggs and capsules(like butterflies), are very soft and wet. It is crucial that they continue to draw from the valuable nutrients inside their particular casing. During this time, they stretch, strain and push their various body parts to and fro, strengthening, drying, working their bodies so they will be able to function once out of the shell. I left everyone alone, but came back a few hours later with your chicken whisperer, (CW, for short).

“Oh mom,” he sighs, as if I should know better. “You just need to open this up a little bit here, and loosen the membrane up there…” and he worked while talking, and then stuck the little fella back under the worried Laura. Just a few small cracks near the place where the beak had made its first hole, nothing more.

Tonight, late, around 11:30, I woke up, worried. That little chick could be dying, or dead, all because I didn’t bring it in and help it out, or wet the shell, or, well, I don’t know…something. CW was dead asleep. Forget it. So, I went to the baby boy, who grumbled and whined a little, but got up and grabbed his .22 and the little miner flashlight that sticks on your forehead, and off we went in the dark, cold night.

Maxi snuffled inside the shed, too, getting the chickens a little excited, but they’re used to the corgi sticking his nose around. There was Peeper, next to Laura, a little agitated by the light and such. I couldn’t find the egg at first, then, I saw it, half the shell was gone! It was still wrapped in some membrane, but much progress had been made. The shell was no where to be found. Apparently the siblings and momma had worked to get the chick out by themselves? I had put some scratch in the box so they eat when ready, and not be starving while waiting for everyone to hatch, so it looks like they were definitely trying to help, not eat it!

Wow. I asked the baby brain if he thought it was OK, and he said, (surprise), “Yes, mom, it is fine. Can we go to bed now?” From the mouths of babes….

chickens, spirituality, faith

Egg, with a little help, closer to being born.

Because Jesus taught in parables, I think the Father does, as well. You had to be put into the tiny egg, Chicano, so that you would be so close to God that there was no way to keep escaping in the daily distraction of life, the doing that you and I were so famous for. Even in regular population, you were teaching, working with others, going to choir, whatever, and still didn’t make time to grieve and heal your childhood, as well as the loss of the nucleus of our family. It has been horrible to have the children torn apart, with no way to make amends, to give them all therapy, or for all of us to heal. We both have to grieve in our separate ways, and I have to sit back and allow Divine Intervention to take place, to allow Creator to free you from your egg into new life.

I love you.

Letters from Isolation, p.3

September 8, 2013

No, I’ve never doubted how much you and the boys loved me.

It’s just part of my inner child’s abandonment issues.

Over so many years I’ve always pushed away so not to get hurt so bad.

I could always find replacements or drink it away.

Now, I’ve been forced to feel and realize how much it truly hurts.

Letting you go was so hard and I’ve really never been able to…

injustice, Latino, prison, solitude, sadness, alone, fear

I know you loved me unconditionally now more than ever.

I couldn’t see past my own issues. And I’ve learned that  I also love you unconditionally.

I don’t want you to change who you are or what you have to do to survive.

You writing those naughty things don’t frustrate me, it just reminds me of what I’m missing.

I would love to life there, skin on skin, sweat sticking from making love.

Licking you all over, not stopping until you squirm to get away.

I’ve got to stop my self pity workshop and have more faith in God.

I’m going to need so much help when I get out of here to overcome all the things from my childhood.

Yes, I do want to get out of here as soon as possible, I just know how slow other people work, and I don’t want to put pressure on anything so that something gets missed.

Today I’m going to listen to the Carolina Panthers play the Seattle Sea Hawks. Do the boys ever watch football like we used to?

I’m listening to Billy Graham right now, he is talking about the Prodigal Son. He doesn’t sound like the other preachers.

I love you so much and miss you each and every day that I’m away from you.

Let the boys know I love and miss them, too.

Chicano

Just Call me 113: Life in Max Security

I can’t tell you where I’m at, but I’m here. Trust me.

wrongly accused, prison, justice

This is where I spend most of my time. Thinking. Praying. Writing.

Behind cement, rebar and steel. The strip searches,

room searches, cooks in a trash bag, counting days between visits,

stealing stamps, standing in line to make that one call home.

They gave me 113 years, all told. Why?

 

I’ve been asking that one myself, since January 2011.

There’s no evidence, forensic report was clean, no priors.

They threatened to throw my wife in jail if she testified on my behalf.

I wasn’t even given a foresnsic expert for my defense.

I’m here because of my last name, but I can’t tell you that.

Hispanics are guilty until proven innocent, even if they were born in the US.

 

Would you –

plead ‘guilty’ to one count of rape, with a term of one year, or

plead ‘not guilty’ and take your 113 years for terrible crimes you never committed?

Just call me ‘113’ for short.