Robert A. Russell V35292
CSP SQ 3-N-17 Low
San Quentin, CA 94974
There is much I've kept to myself that I am lead to share.
Today is the beginning of a brand new portion of my journey. All
of my life has lead me here, now. I have been keeping a journal
for about five years now. Let me start this post by transcribing
a portion of yesterdays entry.
"Significant counsel from God today during my mediations.
It was revealed to me that I live on one side of a great divide.
I exist, at least in my own mind, in "The Land of Poverty".
Life in this land is one of struggle. It's a land of need,
desparation, dependence, and dispair at one end of the spectrum.
A land of 15% above minimum wage, RV living, and hopelessness
on the other. Fact is, that's where I am at realistically.
God has shown me that there exist another land. It's right
on the other side of that divide. It's "A Land of True and Realistic Opportunity".
He showed me how He has lead me from one end of the spectrum
to the other over here in the land of poverty. And That alone
was His work and a miracle! But I now stand on the precipice
of that divide. In order to continue on my journey a bridge
must be built. He showed me how those S.M.A.R.T. goals He
gave me last month, covering the last of my time incarcerated,
Is the blueprint for that bridge! That document He helped me
create is the framework upon which the bridge will be built.
The individual goals are the building blocks of the road-
way across the divide. That I must work, being careful to
focus only on the work so that the bridge carries not only
myself across, but also all those He plans to lead across
it through me. It is so tempting to gaze across to the other
side now, to dream and plan, but He tells me all of that belongs
to Him and is not my business. My business is to obey and
to WORK! The work, that's mine, and He has spent a decade
preparing and equipping me for this work. His command and my
duty is to focus on the work, to do it carefully and diligently
so that the bridge will stand.
So, that is my mandate. Be careful to stay focused
and to not give into temptation to micromanage the job at hand-
He's already given me the blueprint, The Work is mine to do,"
The meaning of all this will become clearer as I continue.
Now if all of this was about me, it's value, even to me, would
be negligible. But it is not. Here's some background for you.
Two years back, after a true night of the soul experiance,
God gave me three legs to stand on, three mandates for my life:
#1 - Praise, worship, and honor Him with all my being. #2 - Show
everyone how much He loves them. #3 - I am to work with my hands
to provide for my own needs and the needs of others.
The true depth of these mandates continues to be revealed.
The bridge will be built because I need to know how it is done
so I can go and teach others. The wealth will be created because
it is sorely needed for "the least of these". (As the world lables
the destitute and homeless) Men, women, and children are out
there right this minute! They're sitting on sidewalks, without hope,
filthy, and truly experiencing a HELL only those who have been
there can even begin to imagine! Guess what? I've BEEN THERE!
ENOUGH! Nothing will stop Us, me and Him, from going to them!
Nothing! People think addiction is the problem, and it is.
Fact: Poverty Breeds Addiction!
Now I can and will do the work-diligently, conscientiously,
and thoroughly. But although I have the ability to do the work
and the blue print needed to get it done, I've about run out of
materials. At this point it is about tution and books. Please
pray with me that my trust that materials will materialize continues
in the face of overwhelming facts to the contrary. It seems so so
impossible. But then again, my whole life today is about impossibility.
The fact that I am clean and sober and so full of joy I can nearly
stand it is impossible. With man. Amen.
In faith I submitted my application to Adams State University in Colorado.
I am able to transfer with 90 of the units I have already completed,
meaning that I only lack 30 units for that Bachelor of Science
Degree in Business Adminstration, with an emphasis in Real Estate.
My academic plan also has me, as part of those same 30 units, earning
my paralegal certification.
You see the vision of my life is, in Many ways, all about
housing. The actual Business plan is about real estate development,
refurbishing homes to sell, bringing value to the market place
while generating wealth to fund the non-profit called "No Conditions",
a homeless outreach center and ministry whose mission will be to
escort others over the divide. My absolute passion for this is
beyond measure! The ultimate goal of the business end will be to
acquire rental properties which will become the property of "No
Conditions", used to fund the center. This is to be a model for
replication in other urban certers around the country and world.
Are you thinking "ridiculous pipedream'? I smile big as I tell you
that's exactly what I been telling Him! :) But He has this thing
He does, He Smiles Back! Truth be told I have oft found this to
I have not, mostly do not, discuss this vision with those
in my life because it's scoffed at, if not straight ridiculed.
Just recently I've been told "You can't expect anything more than
a minimum wage job at best". That is absolutely reasonable. It
just as happens that God is quite often unreasonable. I am troubled
by the thought of going forward, leaving those who can't
get on board behind. I, at times lately, feel so all alone, but
then God...amen. Those people on the sidewalk, existing in their
own filth in a unimaginable HELL? NO MORE! GET BEHIND ME!!
Now I have spent this last ten years or so, since He gave me
the full "No Conditions" concept, explaining to HIM how it can't
work. Didn't He know I was broken, deeply and profoundly? That
I was a three time loser, and an addict? That I had nightmares
surrounding the loss of my family that had me waking to a lava
bath many times each month? I was not the one! He smiled.
I made my RV plans and brought them to Him. He smiled. I worked
a plan where I could live on nothing much, save for a plot of
land to park my RV on and still be able to purchase peanutbutter
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