| Freedom Within Index

Editor: Justin Martin - Asst. Editor: Phil Smith - Asst. Editor: Robin Johnson


Ten Iron Bars
Ten iron bars lock me in,
  A cell of stone and steel,
Fourty-eight square feet of room;
  Fear is what I feel.

I see the hurt and all the pain
  In this place each day.
So why can I smile?
  What took my fear away?

Yes I am a prisoner in this jail,
  But not in my heart you see;

Because there is someone special,
  Who is always here with me.

So do not feel bad because I am here,
  You see there is a good part.
I have my bible and my faith
  And Jesus in my heart.

He gives me strength to hang on
  Hope to face each day.
When things get rough I close
  my eyes and pray.

Issue No. 3 Cover

"The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail" Isaiah 51:14

THIS LETTER was designed to let prisoners who have accepted the Lord into their hearts, share with the world and other Christians, their testimonials of how the Lord has worked His miracles in their lives.

I've noticed the poem "God's Little Ones", featured in our first issue, not only touched those on the street, but it also had a tremendous effect on prisoners here too. Too often you would catch a tear in a prisoner's eye when he sees a child.

What a beautiful miracle - our Lord and all His creations. A child's life is that which should be treasured as well as protected.

As to the response I received from Sally, I am very much against abortion and I am disgusted at the way parents verbally, mentally, and physically abuse their children. I hope to hear from you again very soon. I am very interested in your views toward the sanctity of "God's Wonderful Little Ones".

Freedom Within would not be successful if I had not had the guidance given to me by the Lord. He has made it possible to work around the many obstacles here in prison. But I truly believe this newsletter would not be as successful if I had not had help. The Lord gave me the message, and the means to share that message with you. I am thankful that God opened a new door in a place that is filled with many. They work hard to bring "Freedom Within" to you, and all who need a view into our lives here in prison.

If you have any comments or ideas that may help me with this newsletter or if you have any questions, I look forward to hearing from you.

"Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, It would have been that I should be born blind? ...Because When I get to Heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Saviour!"
Fanny Crosby 1820-1915

Justin L. Martin

OVER A five week period, from May to July, four groceries and a bakery near Kingwood were the center of terror as four masked assailants pointed rifles and used strong language towards petrified cashiers in a string of "take down" armed robberies. What is so bizarre about this case is that the suspects, Lisa Warzeka 17, Michells Morneau 18, Katie Dunn 17, and Krystal Maddox 16, were four young bright teenage girls. One a popular volleyball star, hoping for a college athletic scholarship. Another a member of their high school drill team.

Lisa Warzeka told police the foul language caught on the surveilance tapes, was intended to make the clerks "give me more money". As for the girls M.O, she said, "Oh we got it off T.V".

As in a lot of cases, TV and other forms of entertainment are not the only things which effect a child's influence. In this case the girls needed money for drugs.

"The girls slept until 2-3 pm", says D.W. Smith, a Houston undercover investigator. "Around 6-7 they would hit the streets, and would ride and party until 1-2 am. They often bought marijuana and cocaine," police say, "and sometimes, they didn't go home."
She indicated the night prior to this taking place. In actuality early this morning. 12/1/95 - just after midnight. ...and watched a video tape. ...and felt this may be an interesting point concerning this bank robbery. She said the movie they watched was the movie 'Point Break'. Which is about a take down robbery of a bank. Very similar to the way that this bank robbery was done. She sat and watched part of the movie with the three. Hopwever went in the other room and watched another one after seeing a bit of this movie.

Drugs are a cause of violence throughout the world, and we're starting to see more and more cases as the popularity of drugs amongst children rises.

It's almost impossible to stop all sales of harmful drugs to kids. It's a losing battle with you on one team, and the smooth taking drug dealer waving money and drugs on the other. Usually, in high school, this dealer is the guy or girl your child sits across from in homeroom class. My message deals with the restoration of our future. Too many times we hear about children and violence.

What does the future hold for the generations to come? I strongly feel violence on T.V., and in other forms of entertainment play a big role in the violence that is played out from our streets, and our children's classroom. At some point someone's child watched a show, heard a song, or read some underground newsletter, that inspired him or her to do a minor, and in most cases, very violent crime.

What I'm asking from you is to share with myself and others, cases you know of where the media (i.e music-TV-literature etc...) has played a part in your sons or daughters, or friends' crimes ...or even your own. Knowledge is our tool against this rising epidemic. We need to teach our children the difference between fantasy and reality ...before it's too late!

God Bless
Justin L. Martin
Arizona State Prison

This is a clipping taken from my own police report. As you can see, I know first hand how TV influences those who would never have thought of it on their own.

Self Forgiveness

FORGIVENESS. What a wonderful word. Full of liberty, packed with grace, and sealed with love. To be forgiven is one of the most precious privileges a person can be given. But what about 'Self-Forgiveness?' You cannot experience the Almighty's forgiveness until you understand what it is - and that starts with forgiving yourself.

If God Almighty can forgive us for all our sins, then who are we not to forgive ourselves. Have you been dealing with an unforgiving feeling? I have. Most of my life has been spent in self condemnation. There was only one way to get rid of that feeling.

I have blown many golden opportunities with work, relationships, and with society. These are just a few - the list could go on. Jesus Christ, God's Holy Son, gave His life for a backslider such as myself. Why? I surely don't deserve it, can never earn it, but by the grace of God, His gift to me, Jesus Christ, came down and covered me in His life's blood to reedem me - to save me, and to change me.

He gave a sinner - deserving total rejection - total acceptance; total love; total mercy; and complete forgiveness. God sees His children as acceptable, lovable, worthy and eternal. The cross proves it! God's word, the Bible, is full of scriptures that let you know how God sees you. Join me in the true liberty of the forgiveness of the Lord. So forgive yourself and all who do wrong to you, it will open a whole new spiritual life for you.

Tom D.
Arizona State Prison

A Story... "The Unconditional Sacrificing Love"

A LITTLE boy was told by his doctor that he could save his sister's life by giving her some blood. The six year old girl was near death. A victim of disease from which the boy had made a marvelous recovery two years earlier. Her only chance for restoration was a blood transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the illness. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor. "Johnny would you like to give your blood for Mary?" the doctor asked. The boy hesitated, his lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled, and said, "Sure doc, I'll give my blood for my sister."

Soon the two children were wheeled into the operating room - Mary pale and thin; Johnny, robust and the picture of health. Neither spoke, but when their eye's met, Johnny grinned, as his blood siphoned into Mary's veins. One could almost see new life come into her tired body. The ordeal was almost over when Johnny's brave little voice broke the silence, "say doc, when do I die?" It ws only then that the doctor realized what the boy's moment of hesitation, the trembling of the lip had meant earlier. Little Johnny actually thought that in giving his blood to his sister, he was giving up his life!

And in that brief and final moment, the final decision that he made was the greatest love of all...

...The Unconditional Sacrificing Love.

"Chains in Christ"

These poems are from inmates who wrote them to their families
and loved ones, or they describe how they are feeling inside.

Be Faithful Where You Are

Look not for greener pastures,
  Look not to feilds afar;
Before your heart has been faithful,
  In the place just where you are.

Work out each God given duty,
  So faithful among the least;
And God, who sees you in secret,
  Will all your labours increase.

He sees your heart and each motive,
  He'll honor the good and true;
And faithfulness in the small thing,
  Brings the greater task to do!

'Tis true God has greener pastures,
  'Tis true He has fields afar;
But, first prove to Him you are faithful,
  In the place just where you are!

Don M.
(A.S.P.C. Winslow)

Thank You

As I lay here in my prison bunk,
  Thinking of days gone past;
I thank the Lord for saving me,
  My troubles on Him I cast.

I used to be such an evil man,
  But now that I am saved;
I try to walk each and every day,
  Down on the path that God has paved.

Yes, I thank the Lord for saving me,
  He blesses me everyday;
And every morning when I rise,
  I get on my knees and pray. Amen

J. Hodgkins
(F.P.C. Greenville, IL)

Thank You!
Dear Friends,

I came into contact with Justin almost two years ago through Prison Fellowship, the prison ministry of Chuck Colson. We began corresponding, and since then, we have come to have a great deal of mutual respect for each other. I was thrilled when he began to work on a newsletter, and my husband and I were determined to help him any way we could.

I would like to thank all of you who have sent email to Justin encouraging him to "press on" in that which God has called him to do. Surely those of us who have "Freedom Without", have come to undestand how hard it must be to maintain that "Freedom Within" I also would like to thank those who pray tirelessly and faithfully for Justin and this newsletter that God has entrusted to him.

Prayer and encouragement move mountains and help us to continue on in the face of opposition and many obstacles. Also dear friends I would ask that you pray specifically and ask God to supply Justin's financial need while he is incarcerated. There is much need for financing him so as he may through your generous offers purchase paper, stamps and such resources. He also is in great need of a personal typewriter which would make his job a lot easier. Friends you have given so much already in your support of letters and prayers but I would ask that those of you who can, as God lays it upon your heart, give more that you normally would, as many of these newsletters are sent to prison inmates who are very limited, and in doing so God will bless you in return. Surely He gives back to us more abundantly that we ever give to His children and His ministry.

My husband and I not only have "Freedom Within" on the net but have now launched it in magazine form. If you would like a copy sent to you, please do not hesitate to email or write us, and we will make sure you obtain it. This service is free of charge but should the Lord lay upon your heart to make a donation towards mailing/printing cost it would be much appreciated with thanks.

For the time that we have been corresponding with Justin and endevouring to be of service and help to him with "Freedom Within", I have been touched by the many articles he and others have written. In this issue I was touched by the article written by Tom D. on 'Self-Forgiveness'. What a great little article this is and so true. Please read it and reflect on the truths that are there and be blessed. Praise God!

As always Justin's 'Editor's Letter' is full of the realities that plague all our lives. Violence on television and many other forms of the media that sometimes glorify this most destructive of behaviour. I think we do well to heed his warnings here, because he speaks from the heart and from experience rather than from those institutions that only look at this problem from a detached view. Sure it is good to have statistics, but it is even better to have it relayed to us from someone who has lived it and been through it and known it.

May God bless you all through "Freedom Within"
In Christ's Service and Yours

Letters to Justin

The following letters were sent since the second issue of this newsletter.

Just read this in a devotional Justin:
The heroes of scripture are really only ordinary human beings who became heroes because God uses all of us, despite our flaws. Stay strong in your prayer life Justin, and I wish all the best for you.

I read the letters that were offered on your site and I was touched. I go into a women's correctional facility here in Hawaii once a week so your poems and thoughts touched me.
I am always looking for poems and songs that inmates write to share with the girls, it seems to mean more to them when it was written by someone that is going through what they are.

God Bless you and be encouraged because God is using you right where you are. I'm sure that you have seen how He blesses the inmates that come to him with a true heart.
It always amazes me to see the move of God behind Bars. He truly loves those in prison and it pleases me to see that you are sharing that love. That is what it's all about no matter where you are.
God Bless You and be With You,
A Sister in Christ

I just came across your site as I was working on a new page for myself. I too have been involved with helping a former inmate, in much the same way. He is now out of prison and has been for 1 year now. By helping him and answering God's call, that has led to a prison ministry and now the starting of a chaplain's program with the sheriff's dept. I would like to hear more and share experiences with you. I look forward to your reply.
God Bless.
Sincerely, Chaplain Marvin Daniels

I was very encouraged by your story, and I am so happy that you have finally found the ever present love of Jesus Christ. Isn't it so great to know that even when we mess up and do the wrong thing that God is always there and he loves us. I just wanted to encourage you to press on and always be faithful to the One that is in you. Proverbs 3: 5,6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." I am certain that God has a plan for you, and whatever it is, that you will be faithful to that calling.
God bless

Dear Justin:
Just a note to tell you that I read your two newsletters and I think you have the beginnings of a great ministry! I will be praying that God will guard and guide you in the days ahead and that He will use you for His glory more and more as you yield your life to Him. You are never alone, for He is the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. I will be praying for you.
In Him,

In search for information on the Prison Fellowship Christmas Angels project, I stumbled upon Freedom Within. It is wonderful that the Lord is using Justin in such a way, and we can all learn and be humbled by their expressions of faith. A firm believer that all things really do work together for good (Romans 8:28). I will be honored to remember them in my prayers....and also those of you who are dedicated to taking the gospel to them. God bless you, one and all.
In Jesus' name.

Hey Justin
Just wanted to say to you keep on keeping on. I once was lost but now I'm found. In 1982 I too accepted Christ as my Savior and my life has never been the same. In and out of jail and trouble, but you know what? the Lord has a plan for your life. I am now the prison director from our Church and I was offered a job full time in February of next year in the local State prison. Praise His Holy name. I pray that God would continue to use you in a mighty way, even while your are on the inside. God has a plan for your life too and I think you know what it is.
God Bless You
Love Rev Guy Giordano

After reading the newspapers I was really blesssed and I have been using them as part of my devotional everyday for the last few days. You must have a lot of people writing you, but I will put you on my prayer list and pray for you every morning at 5:00 a.m. mtn time starting 1/25/00. My name is Rich O'Brien and I will drop you a line some how. God Bless You

Dear Friends,
I read the online newsletters today and was very much impressed with Justin's sincerity. He is right in what he has to say. The only link with reality that is dependable and lasting, and that will lead to true freedom (whether remaining behind the walls or without) is our link with Christ. In fact, the only way any person can truly be "turned around" is by giving ourselves over to the spirit-filled life. Justin and the rest have my prayers.
John J.

Dear Justin,
I stumbled across your newsletter today. I brought both tears and a sense of awe to my heart. You see, we have a teenaged son that was very close to being in serious trouble for awhile. It was the scariest and saddest time of our family's lives. He had been brought up correctly, with much love and guidance, and was taught about Christ. But even with all of that, he fell into a group of very bad peers. But now, after lots and lots of pray, he has given his heart back to God. We are so proud of him. He has become a very good young man. We love him so much. I truly believe that good people can end up in a world of hurt by making a wrong choices. I think that your newsletter will reach some of them. I am sure it will also help parents, by giving them hope and also a tool to teach their children with. I am so glad that you have found your way. And although you may not be in a desirable place right now, God is watching over you, and I am sure that he is very pleased with you. I wish you the best of all blessings,
Your friend in Christ,
Mrs. R.Hoon | Freedom Within Index