July 2016

Reaching Out @ Katie's Cup in Rockford

On May 12th I received an e-mail from John Evans, Executive Director of Rockford Reachout stating he had met with Jeremiah Griffin, Pastor of Living Stones Church in Rockford. I met Jeremiah in February at Plant Midwest Chicago (see The Barbed Wire March/April 2016).  Jeremiah shared with John about SOCPM’s mission and vision including the connecting of paroling SOCPM students to solid Bible teaching churches.

John, following his meeting with Jeremiah checked out the SOCPM website and after doing so, he was eager to meet me. My being familiar with Rockford Reachout (click link to learn more about Rockford Reachout) was eager to meet John as well. We agreed to meet on May24th at A Starbucks in Rockford. During out meeting e found that his and my vision for jail and prison ministry had some commonality. 

The primary one being continuous discipleship of the incarcerated from entry into Winnebago County Jail in Rockford, into and throughout their incarceration in IDOC and their eventual paroling back into Winnebago County Jail by connecting them to a church family. John and I agreed we will need to have further follow-up meetings to develop and implement a strategy that IDOC chaplains would agree to become involved with to bring the vision to fruition.

In addition to the continuous discipleship program, John told me of a weekly gathering Rockford pastors called ‘Pastor’s Corner’ on Tuesdays at Katie’s Cup a coffee shop in Rockford and invited me to attend. On June 7th Pastor’s Corner and met nine pastors from the Rockford area. I was humbled when they all expressed a strong interest in hearing about SOCPM and was blessed in my hearing their passion for the incarcerated upon parole.

I’ve since attended a second Pastor’s Corner meeting a few more pastors and looking forward to building relationships for fellowship but even more importantly working with the Rockford churches.

As of this newsletter one individual who came from Winnebago County Jail and was sent to Sheridan is now enrolled in SOCPM’s discipleship class.  There are seven men currently enrolled in a SOCPM class who are looking to parole to Winnebago County. Two of those men have already connected with Jeremiah Griffin. Five I’m working with the remaining five to hopefully get them to connect a Solid Bible Church in the Rockford.

Please pray for all of those coming and going through Rockford Reachout and IDOC to hear the Gospel, receive holistic disciples during their incarceration and then continue their holistic discipleship upon paroling to the Rockford area.

To Him be the glory.


Reaching Out in the World of Employment

I’m planning to do more reaching out, but this time to Christian Business owners by attending Christian Business Fellowship at Harvest Bible Chapel’s Elgin campus on July 20th.

With some of the pieces falling in place for forging connections with churches, I’m now looking to do connect to Christian business owners with the objective of them willing to employ paroling SOCPM students. SOCPM believes getting SOCPM students connected to a church upon the parole is the most critical need but another critical need is jobs.

Having listened to Christian business owners at various banquets and other prison ministry events a common statement has been that some of their best employees have been employees who had a felony conviction. A good number of those paroled know that their felony is a mark against them and that in a competitive job market it reduces their odds for being hired greatly and as such strive to excel to prove them selves worthy and express gratitude for the employer taking the risk in hiring them.

Please pray that as I venture into a adventure for to bring glory to God that God would bring forth Christian business owners who are willing to trust God in their hiring a person with a felony with the blessing of a great employee. Also, pray that the individuals these owners are stepping out in faith will indeed prove them selves worthy by glorifying God in there work ethic.


I gotta a Question?

Of the many tasks required as steward of SOCPM, one that has become most challenging, but most joyful, is answering questions submitted by SOCPM students related to theology.  The joy comes from the student’s growing interest in all things theology.  The questions vary from a proper interpretation of scripture to a doctrinal understanding on various topics.

Some questions are basic and aren’t too challenging and then there are others that are quite challenging. Regardless, I’ll go to various websites that I am quite confident will provide sound biblical answers. Monergism, Desiring God and CARM are a few to obtain essays, sermons, publications, etc., related to the question for the purpose of providing them in depth answers that go beyond what I can verbalize in few minutes.

Overtime I’ve accumulated a 1,000+ PDFs on numerous topics. I’m still in the process of entering and tagging them with keywords into a library module of the SOCPM dB.
With this issue of TBW, “Q & A on Theology” a new feature, featuring questions asked by SOCPM students with the articles the student was given. 

In this issue Sheridan Discipleship Matthew asks, “I’m wondering if I’m saved, how can I know for sure I’m saved?”

“How To Know if Your A Real Christian” by Jonathan Edwards

 

"A Believer's Assurance A Practical Guide to Victory over Doubt" by John MacArthur

"Can a Christian Lose His or Her Salvation?" by Greg Johnson

 

"How We Know We Know Christ" by John Gerstner

"How Can I Know If My Repentance Is Genuine" by John Piper


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SOCPM has many objectives it hopes to bring about for God's glory but your financial support is the means to make it possible.

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Contact

Soldiers of Christ Prison Ministries
P. O. Box 671
Cortland, IL 60112
socpm@socpm.org
http://www.socpm.org

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