"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 "
"There were two ladies who joined me for Bible study on Sunday, one of which is still struggling with her faith, so please pray for her. She has suffered some major losses and is feeling discouraged. She will be released today, so we won't likely see her again. We studied "A Christian's Power against Temptation" both ladies took turns reading and one was able to answer quite a few of the questions. Nancy (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "
"We studied Paul's weakness in 2 Corinthians today. When I asked what God meant by saying to Paul, 'My grace is sufficient for you', one of the ladies answered, 'It's enough'. Another said, 'It will get you through.' Such amazing answers of hope from women who are struggling with much pain (physically and emotionally). As we looked at Psalm 91, we all took comfort in the fact that God really is our Rock when all else is sinking sand. Chaplain Guenther "
"We went through the IM lesson Driving the Snakes Out of Your Life. It was a session that had lots of conversation as we recalled the serpent in the garden of Eden, and then the snakes that God set upon the children of Israel in the desert as a judgment for their complaining. There was a real “AHA” moment when we brought the conversation full circle to Jesus comparison (in John 3) of Moses lifting up the bronze snake in the wilderness, and the Son of Man being lifted up on the cross. One man broke into a spontaneous and delightful laugh of joy and surprise as that connection was made. He had always wondered about the connection between Jesus and Moses. He had previously found the passage promising a prophet 'like Moses' to come which was Jesus, but this second passage was further confirmation of Moses as a type of Christ. After that, we compared several other types of Christ in the OT with Jesus, confirming the tightly knit and remarkable continuity of the Bible, and how it was all about Jesus. Pastor Koelpin (Adult Correctional Volunteer) "