Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Salute To 3 Military Chaplain Bloggers

To each of these three Military Chaplains, we salute you for your efforts and strength. Thank you for your service to both our country, but more importantly your service to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chaplain Jerry - Deployed to Iraq in 2008. His last blog post is as follows:

I wanted to give this update knowing that I might not be able to write once deployed. We covet your prayers and thank the many people who are already part of the support. May the Lord continue to bless your lives and shine down upon you and those you love.

Chaplain Jon Fisher - Started a blog to keep his friends and family informed about his life as an Army Chaplain. His last post was in September of 2008 where he said:

I started the blog in an effort to keep my family and friends informed about my new life as an Army chaplain. Back then, everything was amazing and new, fascinating and weird - the whole Army experience was changing who I was at the core and I wanted everyone I knew to be aware of it. Now, I'm thoroughly a soldier, professional clergy (as they say) and nothing much about it is new anymore. I find that the things I want to write about would be inappropriate fodder for a site that is so foundationally a site about an Army chaplain... I'm just kinda done writing for awhile. I've been fighting it before I went to Iraq for the second time and since then its just been like pulling teeth to put anything on the page.

Chaplain Ken - A former pastor turned Military Chaplain, Ken blogged about his training and duties.
I am a former pastor. I am trading in my suits for ACU's and become a Chaplain in the Army. I will be going to chaplain basic training (CHOBC) in June 2007 and leaving my beautiful precious family for three months. I have been married for almost 17 years to my best friend, and we have three great kids: 14, 8, and 5 (boys on either end with a girl in the middle).

A Prayer for these Military Chaplains

May God grant each of these servants Grace, strength, boldness, humility, and continued discipline as each one serves the Lord Jesus Christ day by day. May the Lord grant them mercy and hearts to love others despite overwhelming sins committed against them. Let their walk be sweet to the Lord and as new challenges arise, may God grant them grace upon grace. May their fruit be bountiful and sweet unto the Lord. In Christ's Name and for His Glory, Amen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Up To 20 Dead in Mexican Prison Riot

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, up to 20 Imates and federal police died in a prison riot this last weekend. Ciudad Juarez is just across the US Border south of El Paso and is home of a two year old drug war with some of the largest drug cartels fighting over smuggling territories.

See the Video Here

See the Article

We should pray for any of our Christian brothers in this situation and all who are involved.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brother Curley Testimony

Brother Curley gives a testimony about being in prison ministry. He says it is a joy to serve and to tell prisoners about living the life in Christ.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Bill Dallas, a real estate investor in Northern California was completely transformed through prison inmates in San Quentin, California's only Death Row prison. After living a larger than life dream, Bill's bubble burst along with the Dot-com bubble. The recession of the early 90's brought Bill to a place of fraud and lies as he tried to maintain his investments, which landed him in a 5 year prison sentence.

In his interviews, Bill has stated that he ended up curled up on the floor wanting to die when a Christian brother lifted him up and began to disciple him. Over the next two years, Bill learned what being a Christian was and how to live a true Christian life, in the middle of murderers and thieves.

Today, after having served 2 1/2 years, Bill is in media and currently touring the country with his book "Lessons From San Quentin".

You can find out more about bill at his site:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Christian Chaplains Wimping Out?

There are certain careers in this country that should be held in the highest honor and respect. Fire fighters, police officers, and Military officers are at the top of this list. Why? Because often times they risk their own lives to serve each of us. There is another career that should be held in an even higher esteem... The office of the Chaplain.

In high risk careers, death becomes a part of life. In that, Chaplains play a vital role in helping men and women deal with life and death issues. Their responsibility involves anything from dealing with family issues to helping men who are on the verge of suicide to recover. They are crucial for helping men and women in these high stress jobs stay focused at the job at hand and to serve boldly.

In prison ministry, Chaplains also have the responsibilities to shepherd inmates who are looking to truly reform their ways. They are called to disciple and teach them so that when their release time comes up, they will no longer involve themselves in illegal activities.

However today many Christian Chaplains are quickly losing their first love and compromising to the pressures of society. Recently in Virginia a court case involving Police Chaplains being able to pray in the name of Jesus was held. The decision was that Chaplains could continue ministering in their specific faith, despite pressures from outside.

In a recent Article, Michael A. Gorman tries to share why it is wrong to pray in "your way", and in so doing shows that he is no more of a devout Christian than Ghandi. But the article brings up a crucial issue in faith and specifically with Christianity.

Why would a Christian Chaplain Not pray and minister according to his faith?

Ignorance - It could be that the Chaplain is ignorant. He simply does not know the bible or it's doctrine well enough to understand that to denying Jesus here on Earth will have the consequences of Jesus denying him in heaven. He may not know that the bible commands him to be hot or cold, but not lukewarm, or the Lord will spit him out of his mouth. He may not know that the ax is at the root of the tree of his life, and if it does not bear good fruits, it will be chopped down and cast into the fire.

But with law, ignorance is no excuse. Moreover ignorance from a trained Chaplain is completely unacceptable. Worse yet, if that chaplain is only a chaplain for the check or for a good feeling of making other people feel better, he should be thrown out. Christian Chaplains should be about Christ, and Christ alone. Otherwise lose the title "Christian".

Wolf in sheep's clothing - There's another possibility as to why a Chaplain would not minister according to his faith. Put simply, he's a hypocrite (knowing or unknowing). He's one of the ones that Jesus and the Apostles warned about many times over. That ravenous wolves would enter the flock, seeking to devour. They play into the game of atheistic counseling methodologies, fooling themselves and others. They are as much God-hating in their practices and advice as they are God-loving in the boasting of their lips.

The Chaplaincy is no place for such destructive individuals. They give empty hollow advice that only serves to bring more pain and trouble. Then they seek to solve the problem with psychiatric advice and drugs. Stay away from such men.

Fear - Often times a Christian will be afraid to share his faith. This comes because he is afraid of man and what man can do to him. He is afraid he may lose his job, or get sued, or that someone will look down upon him. However Jesus said specifically to not fear man.
  • Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Unbelief - The core issue and answer is unbelief. The Chaplain simply does not believe scripture. If he is ignorant, he doesn't know the scripture to believe it. If he is a wolf, he takes scripture and twists it to his liking, making a lie into his own truth. The wolf will never believe scripture as it is written. And for the fearful, they simply don't believe the word, or otherwise they would fear God more than men, because the bible promises that the cowardly will have their part in a lake of fire.

What are the consequences of unbelief?

How he is viewed - A Christian chaplain who does not believe in the bible will be seen by the world as a double minded man. The world will simply use him like they use other non-believers for its purposes, then throw them out like used toilet paper. Even the Muslim or Jew can respect a man for standing up for his beliefs, but to one who compromises, they'll give him no respect outside of ear-tingling encouragements. The Christian chaplain who does not confess Christ will not be trusted by true believers, because he is not standing for Christ. He will be seen as a baby Christian at best, and an unbeliever at worst. He is like a man who builds his house on shifting sand. One day when the storm of judgment comes, it will be blown away.

It's ironic. The compromise that a Christian Chaplain makes to try to get respect is the very thing that will bring him disrespect and mistrust in the long run. Popularity is a fading glory. Truth lasts forever.

He dishonors the very God he claims to honor - The bible makes this issue so clear. Deny Christ, he'll deny you. Fiery trials will come, but count it all joy when people speak evil about you. Jesus said "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

By wavering and not presenting a true biblical view, you are bringing dishonor to God. In fact you are making an idol of who you think God should be and telling others "this is God" when in fact God hates that very thought. How can you love the one and only true God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, when you do not honor him. You are exchanging the truth of God for a lie, which leads to all kinds of corruption.

Souls will end up in hell, and you will be responsible - Jesus Christ provided the one and only means by which a man can be saved. He says to all men... Come. To the Muslim, Jesus says, Come to me. To the Jew, who he loves and weeps for, he says come. To the atheist, he says come. To the gentile, Jesus says come.

As a Christian Chaplain, you are in a position of spiritual authority over the souls of men. Many will believe what you say, and if you say to the Jew that his belief will grant him eternal life, His blood will be on Your hands on the day of Judgment. You will be responsible for that person being cast into a lake of fire for all eternity. You have a duty as a Christian to proclaim Christ. Just as the officers you serve have a duty to save lives, you have a duty to save souls, first and foremost.

Practical Steps

Sharing Jesus does not have to be a bible bashing situation, especially if you are lead by the spirit. Here are some thoughts for standing Boldly for Christ.
  • Be gentle, yet completely truthful - Listen a lot, speak little, and when you speak, make sure it's biblical. Find out where someone is spiritually by asking questions. For example you can ask "If what you believed about God were not true, would you want someone to tell you?" This will give you an idea of how open they are to truth.
  • The bible says - Many times when expressing truth, people will be offended or disagree with what you say. Sometimes they may even have weird beliefs that the come to you with to disagree with what you have to say. In these situations, remember, you are the messenger. The bible is what says the truth. So it is often helpful to say something like "The bible says..." or "I believe the bible and it says ..." or "Hmm, that's interesting. Where did you find that in the bible?"
  • Explain who God is - When you stand for Christ people don't hate you, they hate Jesus, who you are representing. Often times they do not understand who Jesus is or the significance of His death on the cross. Many times when you share with a person to get their eyes off the situation, you need to give them a mental picture of the Glory of God so that they understand the might, power, control and goodness of God. Knowing this will help them to learn to trust God through all the situations they come across.

Final Thoughts

Is God not in control of everything? Does Jesus not have all power and authority both in Heaven and on Earth? Then why would you not believe? Why would you not trust? Can you trust your job security to Jesus? Can you trust your family's welfare to Jesus? Can you trust a possible lawsuit to Jesus? If you are doing what is right, what power has the authority to stop you? Only God can remove you from where you are, and if He does, it is for your own Good, if you are a believer.

So trust in Christ no matter what. Abandon all for Him, the savior of your soul. Trust in Him and Share Jesus with conviction, passion, patience, and love.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can Inmates Reform?

There is an old saying that goes "There are no atheists in fox-holes". The same is often true the first night of prison for a new inmate. After the shock wears off men are confronted with the cold, hard reality that they are no longer in control of their life. Often times a person ends up in jail suddenly and without warning.

The first few days away from drugs, friends, and family really makes a person think deeply about their life, how they got into that situation, and what could have happened. During these times of being sorry for their actions, often times God and the Bible comes to mind.

In some cases God uses these situations to change a person's heart. Through the bible, preaching of Jesus Christ, and prayer, God can change a criminal to an ex-criminal and grant him complete forgiveness of sins. God will establish a deep desire to read the bible and obey it. This type of reform is what it is called to be born again, and the prisoner is changed for life.

In other cases, there seems to be a change in a person's attitude. Many times he will profess Christ, read the bible, and even pray. However, he is not truly sorrowful for his actions, and has never repented. Though he may have a vast head knowledge and bible understanding, without repentance of sin, no conversion can take place. This prisoner is one to leave his bible at the door when he is released from prison.

In the rest of the cases, criminals simply get harder and harder while behind bars. They have no remorse and glory in their evil, all-the-while proclaiming their own goodness. This is the fast track to destruction and death. Like a hired mobster, the criminal's heart grows harder and harder with each compromise of his conscience. But even for the worst of cases, there is always hope.

Put simply, most inmates end up in prison more than once, and each time, it gets a little more familiar and a little easier. No one wants to go to jail, but a second-timer will already know people, already know the routine, and can easily adapt to the conditions.

So how can an inmate reform? Does education work? The culture will say so. It will say to get on a 10 step program, take these classes and get a job, or go back to school. What do you get then? You get a drug addict who can afford his addiction. you get a thief who does more intelligent crimes. Giving a criminal education will only make a smarter criminal.

What about responsibilities and life training? Some programs will claim that if you simply retrain the inmate and give him social skills and techniques to deal with his feelings and guilt, he will be reformed. This may work, for a while, but those reformed men and women still have the same desires, cravings, lusts, and greed. They have just trained themselves to hide it better.

Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous claim to help, but they also claim that there is no cure for alcoholism, and once you are an alcoholic, you will always be an alcoholic. Their techniques are only a poor substitute for replacing the addiction with a 'higher power' and a friend to call on.

Statistics always show that programs that are not Jesus-centered simply will not work effectively. Why? Because only with Jesus Christ can a man be completely be forgiven of all of his sins, and adopted into God's family as a son. Jesus suffered and died on a cross two thousand years ago to pay for the crimes that every person has ever committed, and according to the bible, there is forgiveness of sin to all who truly repent (turn from their sins) and put their trust in Jesus' work on the cross. When they can look to and depend on Jesus' death, burial and resurrection for their eternal hope, God will supernaturally change their heart. The evil they formerly desired they will hate, and they will start loving good.

Often times this is a process and takes time, however many times a person's major sin falls away like a leaf to the ground within a short amount of time. Once a person is born again, they have started the process of personal reformation. God himself steps in and begins to take sins away, and change habits.

Who better to understand Justice than a person locked up in prison. Good judges are bound by law to put criminals away into jail. In the same way sins like lying to your boss or family member, hating others, lusting, fornication, envy, bitterness, and greed make you an enemy to God's society. God as the Good Judge of all the Universe must punish lawbreakers. Lying lips are an abomination to God. He judges far more strict and harsh than human laws.

When a person in jail realizes that God's jail is a place called hell and that we all are guilty criminals in His site, then he will understand why hell is so sever. The fear of God is clean and endures forever, and it is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.

Then when that person realizes that God Himself became the man Jesus Christ, and walked a perfect innocent life, then died for criminals, what more can one do than be heartbroken? How else should the guilty one react to the news that the innocent was killed to free the guilty? Should he not love that Lamb who was slaughtered? Would he not owe God everything for dieing to free a criminal such as himself? Should that news not want a criminal to reform his ways, because eternal life has been promised?

Yes, inmates can reform. And so can other criminals. Like you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why is Prison Ministry different than Institutional Programs?

Why is Prison Ministry different than Institutional Programs?

Many prisons have educational programs with the intent to re-educate prisoners in order to accomplish two major purposes. First, they want to prevent repeat offenders. Each time a prisoner goes to jail, it gets easier and more familiar which make the consequences for crime bearable. The second goal for institutional programs is to help prisoners adapt and fit back into society and to have them be productive and reformed individuals.

One program uses dogs to teach prisoners how to care for others. As they say, having a pet will fill that void the inmates were trying to fill with drugs, violence, and alcohol. Another program uses education and help groups to encourage prisoners to deal with their issues by talking to one another rather than getting angry. But what happens if the dog dies, or the group is no longer there?

Prison MinistryUnlike institutional programs, prison ministry does not, or should not serve as a way to get out of prison earlier. It should never offer any other tools than a pillow for praying knees, and it should promise nothing but persecution and war on personal sin. It should not give steps to fit into society better, but rather a changed life from the inside, out. It should not present itself as a means to better humanity, but it should do all things for the Glory of God, no matter what.

Prison ministry works on a volunteer basis. There are no program costs, nor are there any incentives to go outside of complete reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ. Prisoners need to be taught and discipled in complete Christian doctrine. They need to learn to submit to the authority of God, and in doing so recognize that authorities they are under are appointed by God.

There can be no comparison between prison ministry and man-made programs. Although man made programs can accomplish their goals of re-educating a prisoner, and they can even do so effectively so that the prisoner never ends up in jail again, and does become a productive part of society; there is one thing that institutional programs can never offer inmates. Complete forgiveness of sins and a promise of eternity with Christ in heaven. There is no comparison.

One focuses on man, the other focuses on God. God uses faithful volunteers in prison ministries to point hardened and broken men and women to Jesus Christ. God works amazing miracles within the lives of inmates, so much so that they will never again fit into society, but rather they will serve in humility and love all people for the sake of their savior, Christ Jesus.

Compare the fruits of the program. What institutional program graduate became a missionary and risked his life to save people's souls? On the other hand, how many men and women have had their lives touched by the testimonies of former drug addicts who become pastors and evangelists?

How does this happen?

Prisoners, better than anyone, know all about Justice. They know all about the old saying, "If you do the crime, you do the time!" What prisoners learn is that God too has a Justice system, but God's justice scale is much higher than ours. God sees lying lips as an abomination, and says that every idol word will be taken into account. God will judge the actions, intents, even the thoughts of men.

God will punish murderers, rapists, and thieves. Those behind bars learn that human punishment is not nearly comparable to Gods punishment which is a lake of fire. And they understand their guilt even more when they learn that the cowardly, sexually immoral, and all liars will have their part in that lake of fire.

Empty Prison CellWhen a man realizes to the core of his being that he stands guilty before a Holy and Good judge who will let NO criminals go free, he is truly without hope, but then comes the good news.

Two thousand years ago, God made a way so that the criminal could go free from his day in court. To show His mercy and love, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and lived the only perfect, sinless life. Jesus went to the cross willingly to pay for the sins of the whole world, yours, mine, and those in prison. He completely died, was buried, and on the third day, rose again. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Coming to this realization in the heart, an man is broken and undone before the loving kindness of God. When he realizes his crimes and realizes that Jesus took the punishment that he deserves on that cross, he is changed. No longer will that former criminal live for himself, but he will repent of his crimes against God, not do them any more and trust in that sin payment on the cross as his only hope in life and in death.

Jesus said he is not coming to those who are well, but those who are sick. He is a friend to the broken hearted, and he is the gentle shepherd. Promises eternal life to all who repent and trust in Him with all of their might. He promises to keep those who turn from their sin and cleanse their hearts and consciences, giving the power to overcome this wicked world.

Those in prison know their crimes, and so often they are the most serious about following Jesus, because they have been forgiven much. What fruit comes from this? Murderers are no longer murders, but become peace makers. Thieves are no longer thieves, but become givers. Drug addicts no longer desire the hit, but become passionate for seeking God.

May God bless each and every bible-believing prison ministry volunteer who sacrifices their time and money to share and love men and women behind bars. Their work is beyond anything that the outside world can compare to and they surely will reap eternal rewards.