My Governor's Clemency Petition was accepted (meaning it was formatted correctly and arrived prior to the deadline) and now there will be a "Hearing" before the Prisoner Review Board in October.
Made it to the gym this morning. Now I'm spent. Missed 2 weeks of yard time and gym so I could focus on Court work. I'd like to do both, but my time available to "work" on legal stuff and use a typewriter is limited to when my cellie is not here. Between that and my own job at the Chapel I get a solid 2 hours per day for 3 days and 4 hours per day on 2 other days. Today (Monday) is one of my 4 hour days. My cellie, Bobby, goes to work at 7am. Breakfast is at 5:30am so from 6-7am I lay in my bunk, covered up, ear plugs in, turned toward the wall with a towel over my eyes to block the glow of Bobby's TV. One of the unwritten "codes of conduct" in prison is that one guy gives the 2nd guy in a cell enough time, with a sense of privacy, to wake up, shave, brush their teeth etc... It's very irritating if you're trying to get ready and make your bunk to have the other guy stepping all over your space. Or sitting to the side obviously "waiting" for you to get out of the way. A lot of fights begin with this type of friction.
The "military" life is VERY different. There is a comradery and brotherhood. I've lived in much tighter quarters like on ship, where 200 guys are sharing 6 sinks, 3 shower stalls and everyone has to get up and get ready in the same 1 hour period. It's just different.
Being stuck in an 8 x 15 foot cell (bathroom) with a total stranger "FORCES" you into a situation of very UNCOMFORTABLE intimacy. I've had a lot of angry words with people who don't comprehend healthy boundaries. I don't care how hot it is I don't want to see you walking around in nothing but your skivie drawers with your balls peeking out and shaking in my face. That's one reason I dislike the bottom bunk. If you're stuck with a knucklehead it's easy to be sitting there writing a letter or reading, and a guy walking, constantly, back and forth and whipping his prick out to use the pisser 2 feet from your face without even a warning.
Talk about fighting mad! Even living with my own wife for 10 years we never had to live 24/7 in a BATHROOM.
Okay, back to my main topic before that rant... Mondays a good work (legal) day for me. From 7-8 I'll spend time in prayer and Bible reading or study. BEST way to begin the day. Before this prison ordeal I was usually first up in the morning, and would have some private time to pray and read scripture usually with a cup of joe before going to work. Sometimes 15 or 30 minutes only, but again throughout the day in little segments. Try it sometime. There is great peace that comes with sincere prayer and spending time in conference with the God who created you and knew you before you were even born.
Gym is 8:30 - 9:30 and chow is 10am. Add to that the 10 minutes before and after to change, clean up and square away the room to be inspection ready at all times. They call it "compliance" checks. If I want to I can also go to the yard on Mondays for fresh air at 12:30. Somewhere in between I need 10 minutes for a shower and clothing change.
A lot of these prima-donnas can take 35-45 minutes in the shower so I have to time it right or I get stuck waiting for 20 minutes just to take a 10 minute shower.
Instead I might do a "Combat wash" (bird bath) out of the sink. "nuts-ass-fee" until I can get a thorough shower later.
Some prisons you only get a shower once a week so a bird bath is a daily necessity.
So I think you get the picture. It's too much of a pain to clean-up and break out a typewriter and stacks of paperwork unless you can use it for 2-4 hours. But to do that you have to skip gym, chow and yard.
Many of you may think, "oh that's good. It teaches people to be better organized". No, it is so frustrating 80-90% of the men simply give up and do NOTHING. In a house of 120 men I only know of 6 of us that are actually doing something. So let's be generous and say 20 are "organized and trying". And this is a "workers" house. A majority here are better "behaved" and "focused" and have "purpose" or "goals". Half of the camp (1900 men) are in what we call "The Projects". Not much energy is spent on useful purpose there. Fighting, hustling, gang-banging, advanced criminal training tactics, gambling and weight lifting. All in preparation to go back into the criminal enterprise with a "better game" to get rich and not get caught. What a waste of human potential.
Hey! COLIN POWELL (Army General - Iraq Gulf War 91) just published a book, "It worked for me: In life and leadership". I do wish he could have run for president. I think all the real LEADERS in America are afraid of "politics", and who can blame them. Can anyone out there send me his book? It doesn't even have to be new, and hard-back is okay to ship here.
That's one book I'd love to read! Then I will share it with other veterans here and eventually get it to the library for general distribution. Unless it's so good of course, which I would not doubt, I may hang onto it for encouragement in my dark days.
A few weeks ago I heard a teaching from "Perry Stone" which helped me tremendously. For 18 years in my Christian walk it never seemed to sit well in my spirit that all my "sins" are equal. I totally agree that in God's view ALL sin is sin. No sin is "less than" any other. In other words if I lied to my boss about being late to work, that's not as bad as that other guy who shot his co-worker dead in front of the Empire State Building. right?? Wrong. "God" views any sin as "sin". Every human being alive on earth with unrepentant sins are destined to be judged by a righteous creator and "just" God. But those of us who are now "forgiven" through the actions of God's Messiah, JESUS THE CHRIST (Jeshua, "Yeh-shoo-ah" in Hebrew) Who are made "right" before God ... still sin?
Every day we strive not to "sin" but it keeps happening. The tug-of-war between my body's wants and desires (food, drugs, sex, power) or lusts and what I KNOW is in my heart is the proper and right desires which God himself outlined both in my heart and in the Bible. I don't need a Bible, a law, a book or a priest to tell me that KILLING is wrong. My heart tells me this. Sometimes "killing" is a necessity in our world, but it is "MURDER" that God has pointed out to us specifically in the (His) 10-Commands. We KNOW it, but we choose to ignore it. In God's eyes murder is a sin. Whether we stick a blade in a persons heart to steal their wallet... or knowingly allow a co-worker to fail on a project, because we want them to fail, to suffer, to lose their job. This is MURDER equally in God's view and we already KNOW this in our heart.
So specifically Perry Stone pointed out:
After hearing how each one of these breaks down specifically it made so much more sense. The light bulb went on, "ping", and now reading various scriptures in the Bible makes so much more sense to me. I wish I had learned this 15 years ago so that's why I'm sharing it here, partial explanation, with you.
TO SIN (Psalm 51:4 Matthew 18:21)
Is to "miss the mark" from the Greek definition. Like an archer is missing the bullseye. Even while trying to do your best each time, you don't always get it right, or in the 10-ring.
TO TRESPASS (MATTHEW 6:9,14 LORD'S PRAYER LUKE 17:3 EPHESIANS 2:1 COLOSSIONS 2:13
Whether accidental or intentional, to "cross the line" of right and wrong as you know it to be. Maybe losing your temper or gossiping or laughing at a crude joke or another's suffering.
TRANSGRESSION (Psalm 51: 1,3 Psalm 51:13 Isiah 53:5)
To knowingly and willfully "crossing the line". Getting "drunk" or having sex with my girlfriend as a mature Christian who KNOWS better are examples.
This is tough, because our culture, and any non-believing Christians or simply "religious" don't see these everyday practices as beign "against God".
As we CHOOSE to continue in behaviour that is clearly against God's plan for us in life then our heart becomes dull, or hardened, to the "wrongfulness" of our sins. Continued INTENTIONAL rebellion leads to:
INIQUITY (Psalm 28:3 Psalms 66:18 2 Timothy 2:19)
Is when we don't care anymore. We turn away from God completely and say "I'm through with You God!". "I do what I want!" which is something like the devil (Lucifer, Satan) said to God and fell from glory.
Then God says, "when the cup of iniquity is full, judgement will come". Think Sodom and Gomora as classic examples.
When iniquity becomes so great a person becomes "REPROBATE". They no longer have it within themselves to call upon God for forgiveness. I think of Hitler and Stalin as possible examples.
Romans Chapter One in the Bible is a good description of this kind of spiralling fall away from God. Also 2 Corinthians 13:3-5.
The bottom line is that God is real and just and loving. Like any parent to their children we NEED guidance, discipline and structure. When MAN tries to control other and be God, it never works.
Be blessed (and pray) (Psalms 66:19, 20)
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