That’s the Word for me. I stand, not alone, on the Word of God, the B.I.B.L.E. What says the BIBLE, the Bible to me? The words of men so often deceive us, what says the Bible to me?
Someone Cares has been blessed to have every known religion involved with us. Most of you know we try to hold to the philosophy, “Don’t let your doctrine be a barrier, but a bridge to Jesus.
HE IS GUILTY!
The guards sprang forward and tightened the bonds of the condemned man. They led Him to a cold, dark cell on Death Row. They ripped off HIS clothes and beat HIM with nail-studded whips until his back was a mass of bloody flesh. Then they made Him carry HIS cross to Calvary. They laid Jesus’ blood-soaked body on the cross and added torture by nailing Him there with spikes; again, ripping flesh. They raised that cross toward the sky, then dropped it with a brutal thud into the hole prepared for it.
From that cross, Jesus looked down through time and wept for you and me. Then, thinking of us, HE stopped dying to save a convict beside Him who asked forgiveness, then gave up His own life.
Through the apostle Paul, He wrote: “Remember the prisoner as if chained with them.” Hebrews 13:3
In Mark, He wrote to us, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.”
In Matthew, He wrote, “I was in prison and YOU visited me not.”
The Great Commission should be written on all our hearts.
JESUS IS THE REASON
God’s Word tells us to teach others about His grace:
not what we as members of various churches believe. The thief on the cross knew nothing about doctrine, but he knew the MAN. This ministry, with Paper Sunshine, is a friendship ministry to lead men and women, boys and girls, to Jesus. If they join your church or my church, or start one of their own, Praise God.
PLEASE SAVE ME FROM BEING SAVED!
Don, when I met you and Yvonne at Eddyville (Kentucky) you told me about Jesus. You told me of the things He would do if I let Him in. I did, and He did. I was truly a Babe in Christ. I did study to show myself approved and grew.
I was transferred to a prison that had a lot of Volunteers. One group told me I had to speak in tongues to get to Heaven. Another taught me if I believed, I would have eternal salvation. Another taught me what I ate would get me into Heaven.
I stopped going to church, and wrote you. You told me you believed in tongues, but hadn’t been given the gift. You said you believed in “once saved, sort of always saved.” You said you had never danced in the Spirit, but the Spirit danced in you. You explained the diet of the Bible and the choices God offered.
The Sword of the Lord (the B.I.B.L.E.) Was my answer again. You taught me how to search out the Bible truths and claim all the Bible’s promises. I am blessed and again attend services. Listen, check it out in the BOOK and enjoy the fellowship of believers.
BEHIND THE WALLS OF JACKSON, Michigan’s walled prison.
Peter was a bright young man. Helping the Lord lead him to Jesus was easy. One morning he contacted us and we went to his cell. He looked like death warmed over.
“What is the matter with you,” I asked.
“Well,” he said, “I went to a Bible study last night and the leaders told us if we did not speak in tongues we would all go to hell. Then he spent the rest of the night trying to teach us to speak in tongues.”
How do you teach a gift! Believing his salvation depended on it, he spent all night and nothing happened.
My friends, we have many a Pentecostal brother and sister writing inmates. In no way do I want to offend. If God needs me to speak in an unknown language, He will, when needed, give me the blessing. We have had more than one chance, minutes before execution, to have men accept Christ, knowing nothing about the Word but a little about the MAN. Believe and Receive.
Many years ago, on a very cold, wet day, we were passing out books and stuff in “C” section of San Quentin. For a change, we were working on the same run [row of cells]. I asked a young man if he would like a Bible. He said, “Sure.”
I handed him a New King James version; he took it and tore it in three sections. I guess the look on my face caused him to say, “be cool.” He then handed part of the Bible to a man on each side of him. (Later we got all three of them Bibles.)
The phone rang today and a voice asked, “Passed out a million Bibles yet?”
“Yes,” I answered, “who is this?” His name is Tim and it was he who tore up the Bible. He was serving life; today he is out, married, and owns an ice cream truck with a bell. The other two men who got pieces of that Bible, also serving life, are out; both are also married, all have a child, all attend church, three different faiths.
EACH ONE TEACH ONE:
Almost everything we do is to try to get others to reach out to Jesus. Barbara is a girl we have never met. We visited a Florida prison and she was a friend of an inmate we met there.
Barbara had been sexually abused by... (you would not believe it if we told you) from the time she was six. She ran away with a trucker at 15, had a child at 16, and went to prison at 18 for murder. This gal was so full of hate it was hard to believe she was alive.
I got a letter from a guard in Administrative Segregation, a rare occasion. I wrote her and got no answer, wrote again and got no answer. Asked a pastor friend to visit, and a trip on Glory Road started.
Pastor Jim got through to the girl as a friend. He talked her into a Pen Friend and the Holy Spirit jumped in. God matched her with an older couple, from Florida!
COME BY HERE, MY LORD
Men and women, boys and girls locked up are look-ing for a change. Youth homes, jails and prisons are cutting back all programs. Volunteer groups all over the nation, wanting to help, are being sent home. Working conditions are so bad that many get discouraged and just give up. But Paper “Son” Shine brings Jesus everywhere.
I will admit that mail takes a day longer here, and as much as two weeks getting out and into the prison. Have your friend date their letter. Unless we have a problem, I turn all mail in 48 hours. The challenge before us is really hard, as conditions are really rotten. The State of the Nation is in a state none of us is proud of. The ground our Savior walked is being covered in blood. How long will He wait? Are we ready? Have we done (in our homes our churches, our schools, our jobs,) enough to have Jesus “Come By There?”
VIDEO LENDING LIBRARY
For years, we have provided quality videos to prisons–music, good movies and all the Christian programs we can get. If you have videos you don’t use or are a little worn, we can put them to good use.
Several prisons will not let groups in, but one person can show a video to a crowd. One weekend we announced Jesus Christ, Super Star (I’m ducking). The chapel was crowded. I
forgot the video. We showed The Robe, I made an altar call, and 22 men came to Christ.
It’s a day we will all remember. Many took heed and warning, and put together a relationship with God. Being a Christian cannot be part time; not a partial commitment. The Bible tells us, warns us, and prayerfully commits us to do Something for God while doing something for ourselves.
Many remember all the wars and the loved ones we have just heard about who died. In Korea, I did not believe in God, but saw the total damage done to men. Nor just death or being maimed, but the permanent damage done to our thought process. So very many turned to drugs or alcohol to try to make it all go away.
If only all had turned to God and prayer and had that peace that passes all understanding. Prisons are full of those veterans who, as youth, were trained to kill; it became a way of life. When the war was over, except in their minds, the killing was over. Again, due to cutbacks, men who should be in mental hospitals are in prison, or walking our streets.
Please, either through us or anyone else, get your church involved with the work of Jesus.
WE THANK THE KELPS FAMILY FOR THE ORGAN (musical) THEY DONATED.
She had been in prison for 37 years. Forgotten by all, except God, she withered and died. Few even remembered why she went to prison; few talked to her. Her mind went before her body.
Folks, there are just too many like her. When she died no one even wanted to claim her remains. There were family members, but they all said, “Let the State care for her.” She is buried in a potter’s grave with no stone to mark where she is. But like the sparrow, God knows. We try so hard to reach these folks.
Ask your Pen Friend if they know of someone in prison no one cares about. Let Someone Cares care. With the Pen Friend program, they can have a Friend who Cares.
His name was George. When he died I contacted all family members. No one cared. We had the chance to tell him of Jesus, tell him about Heaven, and I think he accepted Christ. I did that funeral in Kentucky, in a potter’s field. No one cared. After his death I went through his records and found the name of a relative. God helped us find that person, in an area so bad it is hard to believe people in this day and age in America, could live, we found a broth-er. A real shack, no electricity, an outhouse, rats. This is where George came from. His brother just barely remembered George, and did not know Jesus. There was little we could do! Now we know why Jesus wept.
As I was out watering some flowers this morning, I marveled at how big they had grown, as in the spring I’d purchased the six-pack of very small plants, wondering how they would do with bugs, weather and such. They are beautiful and very colorful.
They reminded me of a man at Soledad Prison, at South Facility where I was the Chaplain. His name was Don; he was such a nice fellow. I invited him to chapel services all the time, but he never came. I wondered why but never asked, just became friends with him and usually talked with him on a daily basis.
About a year went by; now Don and I both were friends with him, but still he would not come to the service.
We were contacted by church members in our area, asking if we would like a video for our Prison Ministry. We gladly accepted the video, but we were warned that they did not think it good enough to be played in our churches. So, after watching it ourselves, we took it to Prison to show it. It was called Gospel Roads by Johnny Cash and June Carter. We made and put up posters in all the dorms, an-nouncing when it would be shown in the Chapel. Our Chapel was full and people were standing around the outside, looking in doors and windows. One of them was Don! The video touched him, and he re-established his relationship with Jesus!!
If you have any videos around that you don’t watch any more or would like to donate, we would be happy to receive them and place them where they may be used. Music is a universal language that all understand and can relate to, and there is very little music in prison which praises God.
Do you go to a football game to watch the huddle? No, we want a piece of the action. That, friends, is what God wants from us. Wheth-er it’s writing inmates, being a Volunteer, or supporting the ministry, He wants a piece of the action. Unlike a regular game, He can’t resist helping those who ask for it.
It reminds me of the parable of the two sons in Mat-thew 21:28-31. When the father asked the first son to work in the field, the answer was a snarky “I will not!” But then he thought better of it and went to work. The second son’s sweet “I go, sir,” follow-ed by inaction, was like sitting around watching the huddle. Get in motion, guys!
The same principle applies to those of us who promise to write an inmate and don’t. Whose will are we doing, then? Many times, when we write a letter, a word of en-couragement pops into our heads, and we wonder where that came from, only to find later that it was just what our friend needed to hear. Sometimes, an inmate will sense our need of a kind word, and it will arrive on the very day we need it.
As Volunteers planning a service, we go where we’re led by the Spirit, and it always works out to be something an inmate needed to hear that day, even to the music. These inmates love to sing, and God multiplies the voices that are raised in praise to Him. We have had such a lift when we become aware that there are more voices in the room than just ours (maybe others don’t hear what we do). We’re so blessed to be part of God’s family, whether it’s behind an instrument at church, or behind razor wire at a prison.