Ministry Insights

"We read through the 23rd Psalm recently at a prison Bible study. I asked the guys what thoughts came to their minds as they read those words. One man said, “I look at the part where it says, ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,’ and I’m hearing God invite me to take my eyes off my enemies, and instead focus on the ways he’s showing me love – the ‘table prepared for me’”. I realized what a big deal this was for this man: he’d lived most of his life keeping his guard up, watching for violence and launching preemptive strikes. And now he was “taking his eyes off his enemies”, and seeing how loved he is.  Chaplain Merten "
"There were five at the Huber Bible study (four men and one woman) last week, and we studied the eighth commandment dealing with our neighbor's reputation. Everyone was really into the subject matter of how we use our tongues, and the discussions and comments were resonating with the entire group. The talk was enthusiastic and every one present seemed to have enough Bible knowledge and life experience to contribute some thought provoking observations.  Dan (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"When we finished our Bible study at the prison yesterday, one of my guys said, "Thanks Pastor, this was good stuff, just what I needed to hear." His comment brought to mind God's promise through the prophet Isaiah, "...so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." It is always a joy to observe God's Word in action, as He fills the needs of His people, whatever that need may be.  Chaplain Radsek "
"A woman in group today shared that she was both amazed and touched when her mother came to visit over the weekend (Her mom had just undergone a heart surgery and still had staples in). Her mom had said matter-of-factly, "Of course I came!"  Chaplain Guenther "
"A woman in group today shared that she was both amazed and touched when her mother came to visit over the weekend (Her mom had just undergone a heart surgery and still had staples in). Her mom had said matter-of-factly, "Of course I came!"  Chaplain Guenther "
"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) "