REFLECTIONS
KEEP LOOKING UP! ONE DAY WE’LL UNDERSTAND The letters we receive from inmates and their families can be placed in two stacks. One stack will be encouraging, uplifting, praise-type letters. The other stack will contain despondent, defeated and frustrated letters. What is amazing about these letters, especially the "downers," is that those who claim to trust Jesus Christ as Saviour write many of them. In theology, it is often easy to acclaim Him as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but in our daily life we may view Him as One Who does not care or as One Who can do nothing about our situation. It is not unusual for us to confess on the one hand that He created the heavens and earth, while worrying if this same God can pay the water bill! LIFE CAN BE A BUMMER Not for a moment would I make light of the grief and suffering many of our families have to endure. We can accuse the inmate of making bad choices, getting what he deserves, paying the fiddler, and suffering the consequences of his actions, and this may be true. But, it is not true for his children, his mother or his wife. Another truth we all know is that many are doing well while living bad, while others are doing bad while living good. Things happen to people, both bad and good, over which they have no control. This is NOT a cop-out for the guilty. No, you didn't inherit your drug use. No, it is not a genetic problem. No, it is not your parents' fault. No, you did not receive some germ that caused you to steal. All of us are sinners and the only thing hereditary is the sinful nature with which we were born. At the same time, everyone can point to someone who did something worse and is paying less. If you doubt that, look at the leaders of our country who have broken law after law, then lied under oath to cover it up. Had a poor kid with a court appointed attorney done that they would still be getting "set-offs!” Let's face it, life gets pretty twisted. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. Life is often frustrating and, at times, hardly seems worth the effort. This is not a new dilemma for the new millennium. It plagued David, frustrated Job and cause Paul to search for truth. LIFE IS NOT FAIR David, the sweet psalmist of Israel and the one of whom God said was "a man after Mine own heart" (Acts 13:22,) still went through some hard trials trying to understand life: "Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; UNTIL I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." Psalms 73:12-17 (caps mine) Nothing makes any sense without viewing it from God's viewpoint. Job, the man whom God said to Satan: "Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1:8 The same man lost all that he had, buried all ten of his children on the same day and still praised God! That was not enough, for no apparent reason, he lost his friends and loved ones, he suffered physically and lost his testimony. When this man stood in the presence of God, his testimony was: "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." Job 40:4 What about Paul, the great theologian, did he always have it together, was everyday a holiday, could he accept all of life's circumstances with a grin? When writing that great chapter on the resurrection, Paul makes a tremendous statement: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." 1 Corinthians 15:19 IT'S ALRIGHT TO CRY There is a difference between crying and whining. There is a difference in accepting our circumstances and blaming God for them. There is a difference between expressing our heartaches and feeling sorry for ourselves. We as Christians can LOOK UP. There is a better day coming. We can have JOY, without experiencing ENJOYMENT. Those praise letters I mentioned are not from someone hurting any less, but from those who understand the end, the resurrection, eternity, if you will. Listen again to Paul: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 Keep Looking Up! In loving memory of Leland Maples
Loved Ones Of Prisoners

About Us

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John Gaddesden

Job Position

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Mark Xara

Job Position

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Jane Smith

Job Position

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KEEP LOOKING UP! ONE DAY WE’LL UNDERSTAND The letters we receive from inmates and their families can be placed in two stacks. One stack will be encouraging, uplifting, praise-type letters. The other stack will contain despondent, defeated and frustrated letters. What is amazing about these letters, especially the "downers," is that those who claim to trust Jesus Christ as Saviour write many of them. In theology, it is often easy to acclaim Him as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but in our daily life we may view Him as One Who does not care or as One Who can do nothing about our situation. It is not unusual for us to confess on the one hand that He created the heavens and earth, while worrying if this same God can pay the water bill! LIFE CAN BE A BUMMER Not for a moment would I make light of the grief and suffering many of our families have to endure. We can accuse the inmate of making bad choices, getting what he deserves, paying the fiddler, and suffering the consequences of his actions, and this may be true. But, it is not true for his children, his mother or his wife. Another truth we all know is that many are doing well while living bad, while others are doing bad while living good. Things happen to people, both bad and good, over which they have no control. This is NOT a cop-out for the guilty. No, you didn't inherit your drug use. No, it is not a genetic problem. No, it is not your parents' fault. No, you did not receive some germ that caused you to steal. All of us are sinners and the only thing hereditary is the sinful nature with which we were born. At the same time, everyone can point to someone who did something worse and is paying less. If you doubt that, look at the leaders of our country who have broken law after law, then lied under oath to cover it up. Had a poor kid with a court appointed attorney done that they would still be getting "set-offs!” Let's face it, life gets pretty twisted. Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. Life is often frustrating and, at times, hardly seems worth the effort. This is not a new dilemma for the new millennium. It plagued David, frustrated Job and cause Paul to search for truth. LIFE IS NOT FAIR David, the sweet psalmist of Israel and the one of whom God said was "a man after Mine own heart" (Acts 13:22,) still went through some hard trials trying to understand life: "Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; UNTIL I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." Psalms 73:12-17 (caps mine) Nothing makes any sense without viewing it from God's viewpoint. Job, the man whom God said to Satan: "Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" Job 1:8 The same man lost all that he had, buried all ten of his children on the same day and still praised God! That was not enough, for no apparent reason, he lost his friends and loved ones, he suffered physically and lost his testimony. When this man stood in the presence of God, his testimony was: "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth." Job 40:4 What about Paul, the great theologian, did he always have it together, was everyday a holiday, could he accept all of life's circumstances with a grin? When writing that great chapter on the resurrection, Paul makes a tremendous statement: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." 1 Corinthians 15:19 IT'S ALRIGHT TO CRY There is a difference between crying and whining. There is a difference in accepting our circumstances and blaming God for them. There is a difference between expressing our heartaches and feeling sorry for ourselves. We as Christians can LOOK UP. There is a better day coming. We can have JOY, without experiencing ENJOYMENT. Those praise letters I mentioned are not from someone hurting any less, but from those who understand the end, the resurrection, eternity, if you will. Listen again to Paul: "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 Keep Looking Up! In loving memory of Leland Maples
REFLECTIONS