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NEWSLETTER VOL. 1 No 3.
Ten Iron Bars
"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!"
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."
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!
Justin L. Martin
Arizona State Prison
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.
|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"
and loved ones, or they describe how they are feeling inside.
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"
The following letters were sent since the second issue of this newsletter.
Just read this in a devotional Justin:
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 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.
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.
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