Remember Jabez?

The prayer of Jabez was a hot topic some time ago. It was suggested that we pray this prayer daily. The prayer was based on this verse:

Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:10 NASB

I never really jumped on the Jabez band wagon. I think I’ve prayed this prayer maybe twice. My daily prayer is “Lord, I want to walk in Your will today.” I think when our desire is to walk in the Lord’s will – blessings are poured upon us.

In the last week, my prison ministry opportunities were expanded twice.

I got a call last week asking if I could fill in for the woman who normally does three jail services on Wednesdays. I was honored to fill in… and the first time experience of conducting three services in one night was awesome and humbling. The details all worked out… they dynamic of each service was unique and each service was blessed.

Last night I participated in our normal bi-monthly church service given by our church. Pat presented the message and I was in charge of the music. During worship, an officer came to the door and called me out. “Can you do a church service for Ward 14 also?”

I hesitated only because I knew doing two services would make it a late night for our women volunteers, and they are not used to staying out late. “Yes, we’d love too” I said.

Last night we gave a church service for two wards… it was again a wonderful experience….

I believe we had the opportunity – not because I asked God to expand my territory… but because of my desire to walk in His will, no matter where the journey might take me.

Learning from Jabez is a good thing… walking in the will of God is even better.

Love always,

Rachel

Letters from Prison…

So I asked Deb… “How are you really?”

… and her next letter proceeded to reveal the truth. It included words such as: discouraged, toxic, backsliding, hating, bitter, short-tempered, sad, depressed, disobedient, haughty and talking dirty.

“I never really knew how important fellowshipping with others is to me, personally. Without you all  I have almost lost my way. I am a baby – lost. I now know just how much I need my brothers & sisters to stay on the path.” She wrote from her heart.

Deb served several months at the county jail. She went through good times and very difficult times. She was eventually transported to Indiana Women’s Prison and processed into the Indiana Department of Corrections system. After a few weeks there, it was determined she would serve out her sentence at Rockville Correctional Facility.

Word on the street is the chaplain at her prison is gay. The chaplain never talks about Christ. The women there are so hungry for the Word. They are hungry for people who represent Jesus. They are hungry for fellowship.

My heart goes out to Deb. I will do my best to continually encourage her until she’s back on track. Her family may have forsaken her – I will not.

I searched the Bible for verses on God. Does He fail us? Did God just drop Deb into prison and leave her there to fend for herself?

Never.

I was drawn to Deuteronomy chapters 30 and 31. God and Moses were a team. They were very cexercise/>lose and Moses communicated well with God. Moses had no doubts about God’s strength and love for us.

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you;
He will be with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB

These are words from Moses to Joshua. Moses had already learned this lesson and now was passing it on to Joshua.

Later, Joshua learned for himself that the teachings of Moses were true.

“But you are to cling to the LORD your God,
as you have done to this day.”
Joshua 23:8 NASB

I believe that Deb is learning how to cling to the LORD and to hold onto His promises.

God has not failed Deb. I believe she will walk out of prison as a victorious and Godly woman. I dare to believe in her when others have turned their backs on her. I dare to look past her immediate circumstances and see the lovely woman God created her to be.

Love always,

Rachel