You Mean “I” Can Give God a Gift?

Boat_LandJust as the cartoon above gives us a great example that perspective means a great deal.

 

Being an ex-offender and now one who works in Prison Ministry, I’m finding it hard to come up with a term to call someone like me. Creating terminology to describe a person with similar facts about their past is not easy. First, let us identify two things.

  1. I am responsible for my actions and it was deemed necessary for me to be incarcerated.
  2. I do claim Jesus as my LORD and Savior. I was baptized and now walk in newness of life according to what God has done and not of any merit of my own.  Romans 6:4

 

If I am indeed walking in this newness of life; how then can I be identified in the unique needs, struggles, and strongholds with these two things being true? The need for this term is for us to identify the recipients and hold classes, workshops, and facilitate the extremely specific needs that the general public may not understand.

 

The label “Felon” is simply condemning.

The word “Parolee” is as if a millstone be hung around their necks.

Even the term “Ex-offender” may sound the least offensive (pun intended) but still is anchoring to the past.

When posing this question, I can tell it makes people uncomfortable. Here is a usual response I get.

Well, all of us in some way are offenders, I just didn’t get caught. I’m no different than you.

May I just be honest with you, I mean can we still be friends after this, can’t we? That is still offensive. This is the same as if I told an ex-marine from Afghanistan, “Well, I’ve been in a dust storm and I’ve been shot at once, I can relate.” We can just imagine the internal response of that soldier. (yes, you can pause here to contemplate that uncomfortable silence)

 

One of the first concepts that we learn in Barabbas Freedom is to be okay in silence. Our culture is noisy, fast paced, and pretty hectic. When there is silence, we have such a fast paced life we feel the silence needs to be filled. Sometimes we fill it with the wrong things. Sometimes we even fill that silence with our words. This goes deeper in meaning to reveal our hearts, rather than simply being politically correct. You are reading this blog for a reason. You or your loved one is or has suffered a great and powerful experience. Embrace the silence after their testimony. They have just trusted you in being vulnerable. Be okay with not knowing what to say. You may just give them the gift of being heard.

Do you know that we have the potential to give God that same gift? I can’t tell you how many times I have given Him my laundry list of “to do” things and not been okay with the silence. Just to hear His heart, would be a life moving thing. Do this daily and we just may receive more than daily bread.

Comments 3

    1. Hello Kyle, it is a pleasure to meet you via G3 Prison Ministry. I was an inmate at Woodman State Jail for possession of controlled substance felony 1 and felony 2 unlawful absence from a correctional facility. While I received Christ in my heart at 7 years old I rebelled my parents authority and God’s discipline for most of 40 years. I am 53 and have had brief intervals of recommitting to Christ, however, I returned to a destructive lifestyle. While in prison I read the book “The Key to my Expected End” written by an ex-offender. I heard God call me to ministry and gave me a name to call it. I have been out since 1/16/14..and will appreciate any encouragement, advice and prayer for ministering to prisoners and their families to impact this community for life and heart change. God changed my life. I think, feel and act obediently. Christ gave me hope for today and the future with a vision to work with others in love, compassion and understanding the struggles inside and upon release. The start date of the ministry “Jailbreak Ministrie” is 10-18-14. I am currently designing a website. GOD spoke to me about partnering with G3 $100 /mo..sowing seed into a ministry exalting Jesus Christ.

  1. i am so greatfull to God for my new life in Christ. I give thanks for all the men, my new brothers, who have accepted me, are supporting me, who keep reminding me, and are holding me accountable for my works. I Love you all, your brother in Christ, john kulikowski

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