Ministry Insights

"I asked a prison inmate I was visiting with how he was doing, and he told me, “Well, I’m sore. I just started working out yesterday…” and then he stopped himself. “No. That’s not how I want to say it. I’ll put it this way: ‘I worked out yesterday.’ I’m not going to say, ‘I started…’ I don’t know what the future holds. I need to stay in the present.” I said, “You mean, like how Jesus says, ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself’, and James says, ‘You do not even know what will happen tomorrow’?” He said, “Exactly. I’m not going to set myself up for failure any more. I’m going to stay in the present, where Jesus is.”  Chaplain Merten "
"I had 9 at Huber this week (3 ladies and 6 men). We studied "let your light shine" which gave us practical applications on living our lives as Christians. It also gave us awesome examples in the Bible of the most unlikely people who let their light shine amidst overwhelming push-back from society. Many of the inmates offered the group inspiring ways to let their light shine. It was so fun to be with a group that was really interested in following their LORD.  Phil (Adult Correctional Volunteer). "
"As we gather together, I usually ask the group to introduce themselves, answer a random question and share a prayer request. The question for today was "Share a time when you were proud of an accomplishment." All of the ladies had something to share (often about their children), but one of the ladies had this to say. "Since I have become part of God's family, I'd have to say, that being His child is what I am most proud of." Having been recently baptized (in the jail), Jesus was on this woman's heart and mind, and she continues to testify to what God has done (and continues to do), to the other women in the jail.  Chaplain Guenther "
"We were listening to some music at the jail when one of the ladies commented "I just can't praise God right now. I can't really have my heart be happy." Earlier in group she had revealed that she really was missing family and her loved ones. Lamentations (a book I had read in the past) came to mind. In that book, the author proposed that lamenting to God, truly coming to Him with our pain, entrusting to Him our raw hurt and sorrow is a true act of worship. I expressed those thoughts to the woman who then thanked me for sharing, and her face showed a bit of relief.  Chaplain Guenther "
"We talked about repentance today in our Bible study (Luke 7: 36-50 & Psalm 51). The ladies showed a fair amount of insight as to what constitutes real repentance, and how this translates into our ongoing need for forgiveness, as well as the necessity of forgiving others. Like so many of the lessons in the Bible, there are so many layers of truth that can be explored, and the time went fast. They all expressed interest in reading the Word, and in supporting each other. Please join me in praying that the Holy Spirit will help them in this.  Nadine (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"One of the guys at my prison group told me he'd been challenged by a Muslim fellow inmate: 'How do you know Christianity is the right religion?' His response: 'Well, I don't know about Christianity... But I do know Jesus is the Higher Power that I need in my life.'  Chaplain Merten "
"So what do you do when you're asked to explain a paradoxical mystery of Scripture (e.g. the doctrine of election, or freewill)? How do you help a maturing Christian, who's struggling to move on from the 'milk' of Scripture, to 'solid food'? I find myself repeatedly bringing them back to a mystery (e.g. the Trinity), that the Spirit has already led them to believe and cherish. And I encourage them to be patient, as the Spirit (once again), leads them to cherish the 'foolishness of God' through the study of His Word.  Chaplain Radsek "
"For Bible study at the jail today, I sat at the table with five hurting, searching women. One of the women asked quietly, 'Are there any verses for forgiveness?' When I inquired what she meant, I discovered that she was looking for words of comfort and reassurance. Chaplain Guenther "
"I had the privilege of spending time studying God's Word with two men at the county jail. We studied 'Heaven' and it is amazing how much confusion there is on this topic. We've all heard the false notions filling people's heads, but what did Jesus have to say about it? He gave us great visuals of heaven, calling it Paradise, and likening it to a wedding banquet. Isaiah described it as a feast of the best meats and wine. This study helped these men at the jail (and 13 other men and women in Huber), who are running their race to this most perfect place. But we dare not stop till everyone knows 'the Way' there. Thomas said 'We don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way' and in the next sentence Jesus gives the answer that we all need. 'I AM'. Let us continue to pray for those in our jails who truly desire to meet their LORD in Paradise.  Phil (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"'If I look at my prison time with shame I’m guaranteed not to learn and benefit from it' – An inmate in my prison addiction recovery group.  Chaplain Merten "