Lectionary: Proper 22C / Ordinary 27C / Pentecost +20

by AMN

Lamentations 3:19-26

One of the lowest experiences in my life is the day that I got found guilty in September of 2002. I had just went through an unjust legal process and just like Jeremiah, all my strength and hope was gone. I wanted to just crawl into a corner and die.

Who would’ve thought that I would still be here fourteen years later, let alone be productive for God’s sake? The verse that rings true the most in my heart is verse 22: “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” Verse 23 goes on to say,”they are new every morning.”

I have faced many more obstacles on this track we call life and there’s one thing for sure, God is always there. When I think about all my troubles and fears and how I thought I would not make it, I realize that God had my back all along.

There’s going to be pain and there’s going to be anguish during the course of your life; but you don’t have to go through it alone. Trusting, hoping, and faithfully waiting on the LORD will get you through those hard times. If God call allow me to flourish behind concrete walls and steel bars, he can do wonders for you.

Thank you, heavenly father, your everlasting mercy and compassions are upon me daily. Please allow me to use them to bring about the praise and glory that you deserve. Amen.  

Essay: A Fear in the Dark

by Dean Faiello

attica-1As I lined up with other prisoners in a brick passageway, six Attica guards huddled in a group, wearing blue latex gloves and gripping wooden clubs. They stared at us as we waIked in pairs through the sepulchral corridor without speaking, like Franciscan monks on their way to vespers. Heading to a Quaker meeting in the school building, I looked forward to talking with the Quaker volunteers, witnessing their compassion, learning more about Quaker tenets.

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Reflection: Isaiah 26:3

by Jessica McGee

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV)

A lot of people think that being in prison is easy. You don’t have to worry about bills, or politics. They think our daily life consists of standing behind bars and watching television, but they are wrong. Continue reading

Essay: “Where there is no vision…” (Prov 29:18)

This scripture reminds me of faith and the works that follow. Vision is defined as “the ability to perceive something not actually visible.” Being incarcerated with no programs on reform or education, how can one perceive hope of a better life? This is a question that is in the forefront of my mind daily.

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Lectionary: Proper 20C / Ordinary 25C / Pentecost +18

by LA

Hebrews 10 CMLuke 16:1-13

When I read Luke 16:1-13, I am forced to think about the state of American politics today, where we find certain political families who have never once planted a crop, offered a legitimate service, traded a single good at market nor invented or assembled one widget. Yet somehow they were able to amass a fortune worth hundreds of millions of dollars. An impossibility for a career in public service, making it more than obvious that they are selling the favors of their positions much like the steward in this reading. These sorts are always in the press, going form one scandal to the next, lying their way to higher and higher offices, with no end in sight.

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Essay: Insights, 17 Years in Prison

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INSIGHTS, 17 YEARS IN PRISON
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by Matthew B. Harper Different Shoes

A month ago I met with two wonderful clergy, and our conversation meandered into fruitful territory. An important conversation, it was also the kind you can’t prepare for. So when our wandering words brought us to an important precipice, and I was invited to jump off, I quailed. Seventeen years of incarceration and over thinking about my crimes has led me to an untold number of insights and revelations so imagine my regret when, after being invited to share some, I failed at the task.

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Lectionary: Proper 18C / Ordinary 23C / Pentecost +16

prison-Bible

Jeremiah 18:1-11

“Broken, but not Shattered”

by AMN

One of the most overlooked descriptions of our thrice holy God is that of a potter working with freshly-made clay. In the beginning of Jeremiah 19, the prophet is sent to a potter’s house to watch the craftsman work with the raw material. As Jeremiah watches the potter, he notices that it takes a second effort before the potter is satisfied with the vessel’s form. Continue reading