While scrolling through Facebook posts, I came upon a post by Jesse. Jesse is a former Sheridan SOCPM, now discharged, sitting next to a familiar face watching a White Sox game. I thought recognized another person to be Glen Fitzjerrel. I know Glen from I role as Founder and President of Mission USA. I replied to the post asking Jesse, ‘Is that Glen Fitzerrel you are with?’ Yes was, the reply and with a few more exchanges I came to know Jesse is now part of the Mission USA team that host ‘The Bridge’ and was invited with a slight command insinuated, ‘You need to join us, bro!’
I explained I was still recovering from recent surgery (see story below), but once I’m able I would’ That able date was July 11th and I was very much looking forward to reuniting, in the flesh, with one of my former students
Whenever I start a new class I tell the SOCPM students, ‘You will be a part of my life until my life here ends. For those of you who truly are a child of God, you will be a part of my life for all eternity.’ See ‘I’m Tracking You’ below for what that is all about.
Being one of those who prefers being early than late, I arrived about a half hour ahead of Jesse, allowing me to be warmly welcomed by the Mission USA staff, volunteers and other Bridge attendees. But, it was upon Jesse’s arrival my night began.
I plan to meet up with Jesse again. Hopefully when I meet with Peter, a member of Mission USA’s staff later in this month. SOCPM in talking with Peter hopes to see how Mission USA and SOCPM can partner in serving the Kingdom for God’s glory. One plan is to have Peter join me at Sheridan or Dixon to share what Mission USA is all about. And hopefully, Jesse will be able to join us and share his testimony and how God has used Mission USA and SOCPM in his walk with Christ.
Hope to have more in future issues of ‘The Barbed Wire’
I apologize for the very lateness of ‘The Barbed Wire.’ Though I planned my May 23rd prostate surgery, the surgery didn’t quite go as planned. I planned to return to Dixon on June 7th and Sheridan June 9th, God’s plan and my differed. As such, I did not go back to Dixon and Sheridan until July 5th & 7th respectively. Only to have complications resulting in my missing the week of July 17th.
Praise God; all seems well now. But being laid up since the end of May, and for almost all of June, I've been using my wellness to catch up on so many other tasks, that I've had no time to focus on the writing of newsletter, but then again there has been little to write for the newsletter.
In The Classroom
The start of SOCPM's 2017 3rd term, was frustrating, to say the lease. My missing longer than planned resulted in some students to miss the first week. Some even though they received a pass were uncertain I was back. Some did not get a pass causing more uncertainty. Nonetheless, the 2017 3rd term began at Sheridan on July 7th and July 12th at Dixon.
At Sheridan’s we launched into the ‘The Heart of a Man’ book three of of four in Awana Lifeline’s Malachi Dads program. At Dixon, we Started ‘The Heart of a Father’ book two of the same four. Both books teach the need for a man/father to have a heart that is shaped by God’s Word. When we were still doing the second book at Sheridan, several of the dads who would be paroling before the class ended, asked if they could get the remaining two books to continue their study. Book four, ‘Family Restoration’ as the title suggests deals with family reconciliation. Reconciling with families is one of the hardest things SOCPM students will face. SOCPM was more than willing to oblige.
In SOCPM’s Discipleship program got cracking on Ligonier Ministries’ ‘The Parables of Jesus’ by R. C. Sproul. The 12 part DVD course offers a teaching on eleven of Jesus’ parables. On an additional note, Moody Publishers has donated seventy-five copies of‘The Parables of Jesus’ by James Montgomery Boice.
SOCPM will be joining New Life Corrections on September 5th and 6th to assist in the teaching of 'Freedom From Fear' a two-day seminar that focuses on overcoming the fear of failure, rejection, guilt, and shame.
SOCPM has also agreed to be a team headed up by Kent Hadraba, a volunteer for New Life Corrections, to teach a Saturday morning Bible study at Dixon. Though a start date of late September is not definite, the decision on the curriculum has, 'Manhood Restored' by Eric Mason.
It was Kent's passion for prison ministry that led me to help Kent and the group of volunteers he recruited, to launch their first Saturday morning Bible study ‘Stepping Up’ at Dixon this past spring.
It is a joy working with Kent, his passion for prison ministry has been a personal encouragement to me.
Projects in Progress
SOCPM is being kept busy outside the classroom with two projects. One is fun; one isn’t so much fun.
The fun one changes to the SOCPM website. The ‘Curriculum’ page is now the Library. Formerly it was divided into two pages. Discipleship listed courses intended for Discipleship classes and Christian Living listed courses designed for Christian Living classes. With SOCOM's commitment to the reoccurring teaching of Malachi Dads’ a year long program, left no time for other‘Christian Living’ classes.
All SOCPM classes are now listed under 'Course Library,' allowing me to offer a broader range of material. Under the Discipleship program. Christian Living is now 'Fatherhood.'
Two new pages are 'Special Programming Library' and 'student Book Library.' The former consists of material that are too short or long in content for a 10-week class, but best suited for in part on its own in one or two weeks.
The not so fun is developing a presentation for fund raising appeals. In short seeking support is my least favored things of stewarding SOPCM, but it is something that I must do. Maybe more on this next time.