April 11th, 2015

I was thinking today that it has been quite a while since I have written about what is going on here in prison.

A lot of stuff has happened in the last couple weeks.  I was asked to lead a praise song on Easter.  The song was “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.  I found out 2 weeks prior to Easter.  The first thing I did when I found out was pray.  I prayed that God would use me and my voice to relay his message to the congregation.  I also asked if he would calm my nerves and fill me with the Holy Spirit.  I wanted this song to be spiritual, about him and not about me.

I prayed many times before the 1st practice and the 2nd practice.  Then on Easter Sunday I led the song.  During the intro, I prayed my singing would be pleasing to God and for him.  After I finished, there were quite a few grown inmates crying.  It was a very spiritual moment for everyone.  My prayers were answered and the message for the song reached the very core of their hearts.  Throughout the week, inmates were commenting on how the song touched them and they enjoyed listening to me sing.  I am glad that people were blessed!  God was present that day!

Then the next day at 4 a.m. we were woken up to a “shakedown.”  A shakedown is when a whole team of people come in and search your cells.  A deep search!  They strip search you, handcuff you and make you sit down looking into your room while they tear your room apart.  They told me I had too many books and my OPVS # wasn’t etched into my radio.  I explained to them that I bought it at Central Prison and they didn’t put my number on it.  They decided not to confiscate it.  Thank Goodness!  No one in our block got a write up!

From what I hear, this wasn’t a real shakedown. During a real one, they take all your stuff out of your room and throw it in a pile on your mattress outside in the dayroom.  I heard that someone got a hold of a cell phone.  That is why they had a shake down.  Who knows if that is true!  Then that night I was asked to sing and lead another song for April 12th.  The Chaplain is coming to me more to help lead songs and teach harmony parts.  God gave me the gift of singing, and He wants me to spread His messages through singing!  I am so excited!  Then I talked to my Mom on Wednesday and got an update on Mark’s hand.  I found out the week before that he messed up his hand working on the lawn mower.  During surgery he coded, flat lined.  Please pray for him.  Pray that his hand will heal properly and quickly.

I also got a bunch of letters and cards and that was awesome.  I even got a funny comic from my cousin Allyson.  Maybe my Mom can put it on the blog.  I don’t know if she can.  I am sending it with this blog post!  I couldn’t stop laughing!  comic (1)I finished the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” by Hanna Hurnard.  I recommend reading it.  It is an amazing interpretation of the author’s journey to be close to Jesus.  Awesome!

Update on my exercise program.  I have been doing well and have lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks.  I feel better, and I am finding it harder and harder to eat sweets and junk.  It is easy for me to not eat them.  Yay!  I faced the inner temptation and asked God to take it away.  I am still not 100% there yet, but I will be.  Working at the Sewing Plant is good.  I put belt loops and reinforced the fly, 2 front pockets and back pocket on 1,536 pairs of pants this week.  Haha.  I just laughed, because I realized that, that is a lot of pants!  Oh yea, one more thing . . . . . wait for it.  I shaved my head completely bald!  I love it except I have a red head from being outside for 3 hours today!  Haha.

I love you all!


Exercise Program – March 28th

Last night at Bible Study I was talking to Jason about losing weight.  Another one of my brothers gave me a 10 minute exercise program out of Men’s Health that I can do in my cell.  Well… another brother turned around and offered to help me get on an exercise and diet program.  I was stubborn and said I have lost weight before.  I know how to do it.

Well, the Chaplain had a message I needed to hear about choices and perceptions.  I have heard this message before, but I am no different than anyone else. I am human and sometimes I need a reminder.  After the study, I went up to that brother and said, “I would like to give it a try.  I apologized for being slightly defensive and not listening.  Come to find out that he was 315 pounds when he came to prison and now he is skinny and buff at 215 pounds.  He is tall, probably 6’ 3”.

We talked for about 45 minutes. I am to write everything down that I eat for the next 7 days.  Then I have to give him a budget of what I can spend in the canteen.  He told me less bread, sweets, junk and more protein.  My Mom has been preaching this to me for the last 2 months.  He knows what I can get in the Canteen that will help.  Then he is going to put me on an exercise plant that will burn fat and build muscle.

Well, today it was 31° outside, and I went outside to start my exercise.  My buddy walked with me around a huge track, about 1/3 of a mile.  Then we jumped into a 2 on 2 basketball game with two other of my Brothers in Christ.  If the other team scored, you had to do 10 push-ups or 10 squats.  Come to find out I am a beast at defense in basketball.  I figured that if I didn’t let them score I didn’t have to do push-ups.  My strategy worked.  I still ended up doing about 50 push-ups and 10 squats.  It was an excellent 45 minute work-out.  What was even more great, was my Brothers’ encouragement.  I am not in the best f shape but they kept encouraging me, saying “You can do it, Ed”, “Good job,” “Keep going” and even “I’m proud of you.”  Instead of tearing me down for being overweight, they lifted me up and encouraged me.

Even the inmates on the sidelines.  My perception was that people would make fun of me… not the case.  Now I feel encouraged and very very sore!  Haha.  I will keep you all updated on my progress.