Prisonist.org: Faith & Dignity
for the Days Ahead
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Truth or Consequences:
We met John online and invited him
to write about his powerful faith
journey for prisonist.org.
On the morning of May 26, 2011, I walked into a courtroom for what I believed to be a sentencing to determine the amount of restitution I owed as a first-time offender for a white collar crime. The day ended with my immediate incarceration in the county jail. The judge ordered me to spend my two year sentence in the least restrictive facility as close to my family as possible. Instead I was sent 750 miles from home to a high security prison where I would spend a year, much of the time locked in a 6 x 10 cell.
I had been a Christian most of my life. Trouble started when I began living half in the world the other half in the Word. The half in the world was an open invitation for the devil to come in.
In the story about Jesus walking on the water, Peter asked Jesus if he could join Him and Jesus replied, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water. Then Matthew tells us, “When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him.
Peter sank because he focused on the wind and the waves instead of the one who created them. I was in the same boat as Peter. I took my eyes off of Jesus.
For years I had lived with an unconfessed sin. I took something that did not belong to me. In the words of the prodigal son, “I had sinned against Heaven and I sinned against man.” If you swim in sin long enough you eventually drowned. Sin has consequences. I cried out to Jesus and just like Peter, He reached out His hand and took hold of me.
I knew God was the only way my family and I were going to get through this. I also knew God was the only way we were going to make it once I was released. I decided to devote my time of incarceration to getting to know God better. Like the prodigal son, I decided it was time for me to come to my senses.
On June 18, 2013 I headed home after 25 months of separation from my wife and two sons. The Bible assures us when we repent that God will forgive us for our sins. Unfortunately the remnant of those sins may last a lot longer.
Watching those who you love struggle is heartbreaking. The consequences of my crime handcuffed my family financially. Unfortunately, I know the helplessness of being handcuffed. Relationships were fractured. The remnant of sin can lead to deep despair and into a valley and that is right where the devil wants you.
Over the past couple of years I have seen God resurrect many of the relationships that were broken by my sin. The healing continues. As our faith increases so does our joy.
In Tony Evans’s book ‘No More Excuses’ he wrote:
“Sometimes God must lead you downhill to take you uphill; He must take you to the bottom in order to get you to the top. The problem comes when we’re at the bottom, because we tend to assume that it’s the end of the trip. But when the Lord is with you, something is going to happen.”
If you are going through a trial keep the faith, because God will bring you out of the valley to the top of the mountain. God has a plan for every one of us and can break the chains that bind us. Pray and then pray some more and hold fast to His promises.
We are grateful for all donations this past year to our Ministries. These donations enable us to grow, reach out and serve this community for which there is far too little understanding, compassion, empathy and accurate information. Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is a CT Religious Corp. with 501c3 status –
all donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. We hope you will consider making a donation to our appeal this year. Donations can be made by credit card/PayPal here, at the “Donate” button on on our site, prisonist.org or by sending your check payable to: “Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.” P.O. Box 1232, Weston, Connecticut 06883. We have enclosed an addressed envelope for your use. Thank you.
The darkest days of a person’s life can be a
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, Minister/Director
Jim Gabal, Development
Babz Rawls Ivy, Media Contact