Helping and Enriching Lives Through Prison Ministry

phone icon904.631.0351



It is not only in the matter of material things that we are to be content…


This quarter has really had its ups and downs. I guess that could be said of any three-month period in our lives. A friend of mine once said that in life you are either just finishing up a trial or about to start a new one. It seems that’s how the writer of Ecclesiastes saw things.

I found out yesterday that a brother who had come through our program a couple of years ago, Gary L., died. He went missing under mysterious circumstances in January and only recently was his body found. He was living with a girl at the time who said he had taken her vehicle in the middle of the night never to return. I last heard from Gary back in November when he told me he would not be returning to the transition house after completing a six month drug rehab that we had helped him get into. Gary was such a good Bible student while in prison. He wanted to know the truth. It was his eighth time in prison. He said he wanted to preach the gospel full time one day, but he never lived a godly life long enough after release for that to be a possibility. He told me one time after release that he never could get past the fact that things were difficult. He felt life should be easier, and he got discouraged easily when obstacles came even though his actions from the past often created the obstacles. A lot of men didn’t like Gary because he believed in holding others accountable. He could be Pharisaical at times, but he could also show humility when it was pointed out to him. The pull of the world and the offer of “easy” and “free” are the lies of Satan that kept whispering in his ear. At the same time God’s word would say “difficult” and “costly.” When he relapsed the first time I remember going and talking to him with a couple of other men and he admitted he had stop reading his Bible. He turned off the voice of truth so he only heard a lie.

Gary’s death saddens me deeply, but it was good to have known him and to have the chance to share the gospel with him. Whatever happened in his death, Gary at least knew at one time that God loved him and died for him. I am glad he heard the gospel. Teaching the truth is valuable no matter what happens after that – mourning or joy.

Ken was released a month ago. He is in the program and doing well. He just got a job last week. Curtis was released three months ago. I had to ask him to leave the house because his desires had turned back to the world. Tony was just released last week and is starting his new life at the transition house. Steven gets out tomorrow after being in prison eight times. Keith gets out in July. I think they are all going to make it. They have all decided to surrender their lives to the King. My experience tells me some, and possibly all, won’t stay faithful. Their outcomes don’t determine our mission. It matters that we have offered them redemption. That is what God has called us to do. I think that

is what Paul meant…Philippians 4:11-13

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 

It is not only in the matter of material things that we are to be content, but in everything that we depend on God to supply and have rule over in our lives, including the outcomes of our work in the gospel.