Inside Persective - April 2014

My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

You may not know this, but most things in the prison system happen on a "knee-jerk" basis. What I mean is there is very little forethought concerning things that need regular maintenance. Basically, there is no routine upkeep on anything; the powers that be just wait until things break. Then, if possible, they fix it.

There is one huge exception to this general rule, and that is when we hear that the "bigwig" from "downtown" Trenton is coming for an inspection. He does not come here that often, but supervises from a distance. When we hear that he is coming, the whole prison is abuzz! Sometimes, the Administrator will know a couple weeks ahead of time that the "bigwig" is coming. That gives him plenty of time to prepare the prison. And prepare he does! First, he himself will walk the grounds, tour the shops, and inspect the wings, to assess any and all potential problem areas. A problem area may be defined as, an area that would not pass the inspection of the "bigwig", which in turn reflects badly on the Administrator.

As a rule, problems here roll downhill. Once the Administrator knows the "bigwig" is coming, then custody (the police) will soon know that the Administrator is coming, which means we, the prisoners, will all soon know that the “bigwig” is coming! It is then time for us to "set our house in order!"

What happened with our Chapel is a fine example. It was in serious disrepair for many years. Numerous work orders were submitted, but to no avail. For example, the roof leaked, causing the interior plaster walls to fall, thus leading to electrical problems, which then fostered electronic equipment issues, etc. You get the picture.

The Administrator came to the Chapel, and the next thing we knew, all the work crews were on the move-one right after the other- fixing this and fixing that! Things that Rev. Akins had been trying to get done for years were suddenly all getting fixed, and a good job was done at that! It was a miracle!

The walls and electric were fixed, new speakers and wires were installed and the whole chapel was painted a pure bright white! It was beaming! The Greenhouse crew was even ordered to bring in a batch of fresh plants to liven up the place. Finally, and to my great joy, they even installed a new blackboard for the area where I teach my Bible studies. I was thrilled!

All of this activity was because the "bigwig" was coming to have a meeting in the Chapel. The rest of the prison was filled with similar stories, but nothing in comparison to what happened with the Chapel! Of course we believers saw the hand of the Lord in the whole thing!

It is written, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh...the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Mt. 24:44, 50-51)

We as Christians cannot live our lives on a “knee-jerk” basis, waiting for things to break down before we act. We have to practice forethought, even godly wisdom. Wisdom simply gives us the ability to live life skillfully for the glory of God. Regular maintenance of our spiritual lives should be our habit.

Beloved, we are “His Chapel”; the Holy Spirit is “the Administrator”! We are His Chapels who, the God of glory has chosen to dwell in. Is His Chapel- your spirit, soul and body- in a state of disrepair? Sin brings a man low; it rolls downhill snowballing by natural consequence. Turn from it now as the Administrator directs!

It is written, "Thus saith the Lord, set thine house in order, for thou shall die and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall and prayed unto the Lord." (Isa. 38:1b-2)

Beloved, now is the time to set your house in order. The Holy Spirit has a “work crew” that operates according to the Book and He delights to fix all things. He will freshly paint your heart a pure bright white. Indeed, His goal is that, when "The Bigwig" (and I say that with all reverence!) comes and observes your life He will say, "That one is beaming!"

Right now, our precious "Bigwig" is supervising from a distance, but one day soon, He is coming to your Chapel from "downtown" -Heaven! You get the picture!

For now, the Administrator-the Holy Spirit- is in the Chapel. It is my personal prayer, that when "The Bigwig" does come, He finds me teaching Bible studies at the new blackboard! How about you? Are you following the Holy Spirit's lead? Is your life abuzz with thoughts of Christ's coming? Can you see the hand of the Lord in all things in your life? Is it time for "you," like Hezekiah, to...