Love Is All You Need

Writing for this blog has been both challenging and rewarding.  It started out as a suggestion by my sister and my wife as a therapeutic exercise for me.  I needed a way to work through many things like the impact of coming to prison, working more fully into my faith, and exorcising some demons from my past.  It has done all that and more.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have written for both myself and those reading my thoughts and experiences.

But things change

I believe the Holy Spirit talks to us in many ways.  Over the past three months the BOP has posted the policies covering use of social media by inmates and of course it is against policy.  (I didn’t know prior to these policy postings that having a blog was not allowed.)  Additionally, between these policy postings I inadvertently met an inmate that had gotten in trouble for having a blog.  So I figured that three times over the last three months the Holy Spirit has let me know that it is time to close this blog  And it’s not just for me that I close but also for my sister as the policy states that action can be taken against anyone facilitating use of social media.  There’s no reason to risk my sister’s peace.  My hope is that after my release date I can revive this blog, but it will depend upon the requirements of supervised release.

Some thanks…

To the readers:  You’ve been consistently here week after week.  You’ve been kind to my sister and that means a great deal to me.  You’ve also shared things that I’m sure has helped others.  You’re great. 

To my sister:  Your dedication to this effort has been immense and is greatly appreciated; from proofreading, editing and content checking, to typing, finding photos, and scheduling publication.  What a wonderful job you’ve done.  It’s demonstration of your heart, love, and support.  It says a great deal about the person you are.  Thank you and always remember I love you. 

To my wife:  So often you inspired me in my writing.  Sometimes it was with a suggested topic, sometimes a random comment and often through wisdom you shared.  You are a living example of God’s intention for a wife and partner and I thank Him for the grace and blessing you are.  I love you and can’t imagine a life without you.

To JMAaron:  Thank you for contributing your poetry.  You took the burden of writing for those postings, giving me a break.

Finally – To God our Father:  Thank you for the many blessings you’ve given.  Thank you for the new family you’ve created through this blog.  Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son, our Lord and Savior.

I was recently asked to briefly describe how I see the bible and my response was, “As the Word of God.”  That was not what the person meant; he was asking for a more personal, introspective response.  After thinking about it for a day I went back to him and told him that I see the Bible as a book that is about three main themes:  Wrong and right worship; eternal life; and infinite love.

The Old Testament is full of examples of ‘wrong’ worship which is then contrasted by the New Testament explaining ‘right’ worship and the offer of eternal life.  The ‘wrong’ worship is the laws we can’t achieve and the useless sacrifices for blood that cannot atone for our sins.  The ‘right’ worship is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, understating Jesus’ sacrifice in blood, being baptized for new birth, accepting the Holy Spirit, and being obedient to God’s commandments;  the greatest of which are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  Love you neighbor as yourself.” [Matt 22:37-39]

Is God’s love infinite?  “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  [John 3:16]

Love – God’s is infinite, and He asks for it in return and that we share it with each other.

What do we know about love?  In some of the most beautiful scripture written Paul explains love:  “If I speak in tongues of men or of angles, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, Love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” [1 Cor 13:1-8a] “And now these three remain: Faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.” [1 Cor 13:13]

Love – pass it around.

In closing, I’d like to say a prayer for all of you and those whom I love:

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” [Eph 3:14-19]

My love to you all

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

~jdoe

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