Janaury / February 2016

Knowing God

One of my biggest concerns when teaching is that the courses are in God’s will. Recently, I felt God was affirming my choices while teaching lesson two of “Prayer” by R. C. Sproul. Sproul says “You want God to give you a prayer language. Immerse yourself in the Psalms” & “… that you think about the many excellencies of God. Think of His attributes.” This reminded me that, in other lessons, I am using Donald D. Whitney’s book, “Praying the Bible”, which focuses on praying the Psalms and part of a Ligonier teaching series “The Attributes of God” by Steven Lawson. Other resources I will be using is “The Attributes of God” and similar writings by various authors; Louis Berkhof, A. A. Hodge, A. W. Pink, John Piper, C. H. Spurgeon & more.

In my quest to teach theology and sound doctrine I am looking forward to teaching God’s attributes. I find many students, as do many Christians, only seem to have a misguided knowledge of the “feel good” attributes of God. There are many books about God’s attributes and a number of them include almighty, love, gracious, wise, and good. The attributes of God are many and a sound knowledge of those attributes is needed if a Christian is to know the depths of God and His character.

Despite what scripture says (1 Timothy 6:3-5, 2 Timothy 4:2-4, Titus 1:9, 2:1), I’ve been given quizzical looks when I tell people I teach doctrine and theology. I tell my students theology is the study of God. If you really desire to know someone wouldn’t you do all you could to know all you can about them? Then why wouldn’t you want to seek and know all you can about God?

My hope is that the students will come to know who God is and who they are and see that their only hope is the works of Jesus Christ, the Gospel which, I believe, will be a good lead into the next class, “A Soldiers Call to Know Jesus Christ” based on the Ligonier teaching series “What Did Jesus Do”, Deo volente (God willing).

Boned out- Chickened out Courtesy of Inside Prison

Sorry guys, I’m not Joel Osteen

On December 2nd I gave my second message at DeKalb County (IL) Jail and said at the end “Did I just make your day a bummer, sorry guys I’m not Joel Osteen, I’m not here to make you feel good I’m here to teach truth.” To those who are fans of Joel Osteen, I don’t mean to offend but I don’t know of or ever expect to know of a message by Joel Osteen on biblical repentance.

I began my message on repentance by saying repentance is not the same as turning over a new leaf in life simply by making a decision to give up gang banging, drug dealing and the like. It is as C. H. Spurgeon writes;

Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it. It is, in fact, a change of mind of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what once he hated, and hate what once he loved.

The basis of the message was based on “Five Marks of Repentance” by J. C. Ryle. Not wanting the men to think I was simply some guy trying to make them feel bad about their own “repentance” each person in attendance received a full printout of the message by J. C. Ryle with his supporting scripture.  I did have a majority of the 13 or so attending come up to me afterwards offering appreciation for my teaching which encourages me to continue to bring sound Bible teaching, to DeKalb County Jail. I’m not Joel Osteen who is gifted in speaking and being charismatic, nor will I ever be able to have the well groomed hair and awesome smile he possesses. If that is what someone wants in a teacher, so be it. When I apologized for not being a Joel Osteen kind of guy it was made in jest because I’m not sorry when it comes to teaching the truth that can possibly steer these men’s eternity to heaven or hell. Paul writes to Timothy in his 2nd pastoral letter

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV

If I’m rejected by some because of my passion to teach truth I’ll have a moment of feeling downtrodden, but knowing God has entrusted me to tell the truth words can't describe my willingness to endure being downtrodden for a day or two versus being be denied by Christ Jesus.

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV


125 - Number of certificates issued to SOCPM students in the fourth term 2015. Dixon: Renewing Fatherhood 17, Know How to Pray 37 (largest class ever) at Dixon to receive certificates) Sheridan: Renewing Fatherhood 21, Know How to Pray 23 & 27). Deo gloria (to God be the glory)

Planting Paroled Students Midwest

On Monday February 1st, I’ll be attending Plant Midwest Chicago and have an opportunity to ask churches throughout the Chicagoland to partner with SOCPM in opening up their church families to welcome paroling SOCPM students. One of the most vital, if not the most vital, keys for a paroled student is to be connected to a sound Bible teaching church. I’m targeting 2016 to be a key year in getting paroling SOCPM students connected to a home church at least 90 days prior to their parole. I hope to have more about this in the March/April 2016 issues of “The Barbed Wire”.



Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
P. O. Box 671
Cortland, IL 60112

I believe the Lord has many plans for SOCPM in 2016, but your financial and prayer support is a must. The expenses to accomplish the above will exceed SOCPM's current monthly giving. Additionally I've not paid myself any salary since SOCPM became my vocation in November 2009. I hope to begin
to pay myself a minimal monthly salary in 2015.

If you are a current monthly financial partner or
have given in the past, thank you! If you aren't
currently a monthly partner or have given a
one time gift before, would you please pray
about becoming a monthly financial partner?

Redeemer Fellowship
1125 Oak St.
St. Charles, IL 60174

Please note "Prison Ministry" in memo to direct
the gift to  Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries