Quietly Changing Lives
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS:
Each year we pray the next year we’ll all be in our new home in Heaven. This year we wanted to send each of you a Christmas card, but being good stewards we will say it here.
The first Christmas I remember was in a boarding home. We got together to decorate a scrawny tree we dug up - mostly with popcorn balls and candy canes. The lady read from a book and we sang a bit. In the morning we all had one present and later a neat meal. Then down came the tree and we were off to bed.
It is a shame that Christ so often is left out of Christmas. The birth of Jesus, HIS 33 years, and HIS death are vital to us today. World events should bring a smile to all our hearts as again HIS word is telling of HIS soon return. HIS birth led to our re-birth.
BUT WHAT ABOUT the friends and neighbors, the folks we know, the folks we do not know? How about the inmates Jesus tells us to remember “as if chained with them”? How many of us have kin who have left the Church for so many different reasons. We try to do something about bringing them back to the Church instead of building a relationship with Jesus. The Bible says to be free in Jesus is to be free indeed! The thief on the cross was not promised Church, he was promised Glory.
Say this could happen - on a tour of heaven we were shown all the glory God had promised us, love, peace, the tree of life, Yvonne sliding down a giraffe’s neck. As we all entered a certain area we were asked to be quiet and the tour director said, “Those Church folks think they are here by themselves.”
“Believe in me”. I still remember with a smile in my heart when I accepted Jesus. I belonged to no Church but the world. Now I knew nothing about religion, but I was Born Again. At 40 I went to work learning the Bible and its truth, and soon started teaching what I learned in prison. I found a Church that followed these teachings and joined it. Then I started hearing from men from all sorts of Churches those dreadful words. “But my Church says the Bible says thus and so”.
Do not let doctrine be a barrier, but a Bridge to Jesus. What says the Bible to me, Words of men so often mislead us. What says the Bible to me. If I was asked a question I could not answer I told who ever asked it that I would find the answer. We knew an inmate that had memorized the whole Bible but knew not Jesus. I must admit at Christmas I do get confused a LOT. The word Christmas came from Christ Mass. Jesus, I do not think, was born on December 25th. I know HE did not want people getting drunk celebrating HIS Birth. In a time where things are tough HE did not want us going into debt to buy presents.
Last year a friend got His family together and said “ How about all of us pooling our money that we were going to spend on each other and give it to folks who have little.”
Another found a retirement home and got gifts for all who had no family. Yvonne and I, through many of you years ago gave one dollar and a book to over 5,000 inmates at San Quentin. Church there was pretty full for quite awhile. It took a gift to find the giver.
Those of us who have spent quality time in the Bible see more and more signs of HIS return. Are there members of your family who have left the Church but not God? Or they left the church because of someone’s interaction with one or the other? We all need to be “Bringing in the Sheep”!
IT IS FINISHED:
I am sure that before Jesus said those words HE looked into our eyes and hearts and thought, “Only with your help”. Now in your minds eye look into HIS eyes and ask “Show me the way”.
OH HOLY NIGHT:
I was an inmate at Eddyville when you and Yvonne went there. I was not interested in Church but was interested in counseling. Seems with you it is one and the same. I had grown up in a family that went to Church often. We had family Bible study and my folks drank a lot... I got beat a lot. For the next year hearing you preach I learned being a Christian is simply being as Christ-like as we could. I was stunned when I went to Church one Sunday and my Mom and Dad were there. We all came forward and gave our lives to Christ. As you know I’m out and married and my family and I are close. I’m sending this e-mail to ask those reading this to give all you can to this very Christian Ministry who walk the walk and talk the talk.
I was lying in my bunk reflecting on the mess I had made of my life and flashed back to Christmas past. All of a sudden I heard singing - Christmas singing. Except for TV, this was new. I was in the hole with the worst of the worst - wait inmates were joining in. Not me I did not want them to see me break, wiping a tear from my cheek.
“I have an invitation from Jesus” a voice said.
I reached for my shank (prison knife). The cell door started to open, I hid the shank as a guard opened the door for a well dressed dude. The guard closed the cell door and locked it?
“My name is Don and you are Jose, right?”
“What do you want?”
“Well,” he told me, “about a year ago my wife and I came here, and she met you in the hospital after you were stabbed in the yard.”
We talked for a long time and soon I listened to the singers’ voices fade away. You said “Jesus sent you”?
I reminded him that Yvonne had come to the hospital to tell you your brother was killed in a gang war. She had told me tears filled your eyes as your muscles flexed. Your mother had called the prison and asked Yvonne to please see if she could help you.
(For security reasons and gang ties, he was shipped away - until tonight. I asked the Watch Commander if I could see him, I think the singers helped.) About that time the inmates started singing some of the songs they had listened to earlier and we joined them…
…In that cell that night a hard con accepted Christ. We kept in touch through the Pen Friend program but we eventually lost track and do pray that a few volunteers singing praises and God giving us the chance to be in the right place at the right time will let us see him in Heaven.
The thing I miss about Christmas is family. Not our family but the family we have in prison. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God. Sure we miss our kids, but nothing will ever replace the smiling faces on a Christmas Eve or Christmas day in Prison. One year we arrived at prison on Christmas Eve and got caroled to the Chapel... Inside was a Christmas card that surrounded the walls. I have asked if funds are available to do a special Video to play in Prison or Church over the Holidays doing the things we have done in prison for all these years. We know you all will put Christ in Christmas and may God Bless each of you and your families. Join us Christmas Eve. Double trouble, Yvonne
THE BABY BORN FOR ALL:
It is impossible to go anywhere without being touched by crime. We also do not like crime but that Baby was sent to us to try to lead all to him. Yvonne and I have spent many a Christmas with many a hardened criminal. I have preached in over-flowing chapels where officers broke the rules to let so many in. There was always an alter call and many stood at the foot of The Cross.
Getting men and women to Christ is not hard, what is hard is getting to them.
Paper Sunshine has gone in almost every Prison in the U.S but not to every prisoner. As a Gift to The Giver might you close the year helping us help HIM.
The world affairs have made us cut a few corners but Jesus said “ASK IN MY NAME” and we just did.
NOW YOU TAKE MY WIFE PLEASE:
Yvonne has been attacked by Satan a bunch in the last two years - the automobile accident that put a plate in her hand and arm, and her kidney failure, which your prayers cured - a real Miracle. As I write this she is recovering from knee replacement which may have come from the accident.
After recovery she said “I can still read mail”. Our Ministry keeps growing and we will soon make some changes when God tells us what and when.
WE ASK EACH OF YOU ON CHRISTMAS EVE AT SEVEN, INDIANA TIME, TO JOIN US IN PRAYER - FOR THE COUNTRY, FOR THE FOLKS IN DIRE STRAIGHTS BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY BECAUSE SATAN WILL SOON BE SHOOTING BLANKS; BUT BEFORE HE RUNS OUT, HE NEEDS TO TAKE MORE - BUT WE CLAIM THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD FOR ALL. AFTER PRAYER GIVE A STRANGER A HUG!
Include Dale Alber
BLESS YOU DON & YVONNE
The name of a book on my life. I seem to be writing in all newsletters. As we finish these very successful years and start yet another, I pray to deal with care some problems and answer some questions. I have a stack of mail waiting for someone. If you are a new Pen Friend, and you wrote an inmate, a blue form which gives us all information may not have been sent to us. We are not writing the inmate, you or your Pen name is. Someone Cares should not be anywhere in the return address to inmate. Please, if you are a new Pen Friend re-send us your name and Pen name and to whom you wrote.
One lady did not like her Pen Name and changed it and neglected to let us know. Please keep us informed of any changes. Also send your phone number so we can chat if there is a problem. Three Prison Ministries closed up and all names were referred to us. Please Pray. We have been asked by many about starting a Ministry in Prison. Go and work with the Chaplain first.
We thank the hundreds of Prison Chaplains especially Bill Moors for years of help. Work with us via phone or e-mail and we will help. Ask the question my bride asked, who is going to pay us? We have worked all these years never being paid by Church, State, Prison or Grants. V.O.P God Bless all of you for your Free-will offerings, Love offerings, sacrificial offerings; also, when speaking at Churches the exit offering after Church offerings. But, as always, because of you, Someone Cares. Men and women have been changed through The Blood Of Christ before returning to where they came from. AMEN!
The God Squad is big and will get bigger because of a Baby.
Overwhelmed by problems
and lacking peace?
Has your busy schedule cut short your devotions?
Has the noisy world dulled your ability to hear Gods Voice?
More than anything you need the nearness of Jesus.
He alone will handle
any dilemma and grant you inner peace.
God's love is a constant Hug.