Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Ever heard the old rumors of how divided a church can become over the color of new carpeting? As a recent helper with some church remodeling, I can confirm truth in those stories. It seems renovation project team volunteers are bound to meet with resistance, frustration, and hard feelings on many levels – but why? Why is consensus so elusive when it comes to interior decorating? Why are opinions and style choices held so strongly? Why does it become so personal?
Certainly more important than the final product are the attitudes of and relationships between everyone involved. We could achieve the most prestigious look for our gathering place, but at what cost? Jesus was keenly aware of our human nature and continually reminded us throughout His teachings of the importance of getting along.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”(John 13:35)
Being a peacemaker doesn’t require 100% agreement, but it does require thinking of others with kindness and humility – in other words, love. Three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) record Jesus telling us the two most important things to get right in life.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Then Paul helps us understand what it means to love our neighbor.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
God the Father loves us so much He sent Jesus. Jesus loves us so much He went to the cross to pay our sin penalty. The Holy Spirit loves us so much He guides us in all truth, reminding us of the Father and Son’s love, and expects us to practice the same. Our wonderful chaplains within Chester County prison remind inmates and staff daily of the love of God in word and action. And it’s your support that keeps it all going, so thank you. Have a spectacular week and surprise someone with love when they least expect it. It will change you both.
Grace and Peace,
Prayer Requests from Chaplain Heinrich:
P.S.- His father passed away suddenly, and he received final divorce papers around the same time he learned of his father’s death…all while incarcerated.
Ramadan began on Wednesday 22 March, following the sighting of the moon over Mecca and ends on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Ramadan (and Passover) generates much zealous religiosity. This has in the past lead to hostility. Pray that the message of “saved by grace alone” will dawn on all inmates and staff during this time.
A Mother’s cry: My son N.H. is back at Chester county prison. Would it be possible for you to go in and visit him again? We feel he desperately needs some spiritual healing and deliverance”.
R.P.- “Thank you for the Word of God. It has inspired me so“
A.T.- Former Muslim from Albania, now Christian and ostracized by his wife and only family members in the USA. He fell into sin and crime. Thank the Lord for a repentant heart and for full restoration.
Prayers from Onesimus Ministries
Please keep Chaplain Rhonda and Chaplain Heinrich in prayer for continued strength, endurance, compassion, and wisdom as they minister to many residents, staff, and family members connected through the prison.
Pray with us that prison doors would open again to volunteers to minster in-person to inmates, and that God would restore the ability for inmates to gathering for sharing, study, and worship.
We are so thankful that prison leadership holds our Chaplains and religious programming in high regard, may that continue and may they be blessed because of it.
Pray for peace among the prison population, and healing mercies for all forms of illness within the prison.
Keep in prayer the prison aftercare programs throughout Chester County – may more churches and organizations become active partners, and more volunteers hear the call to action in discipling men and women coming out of prison. And may all involved with these programs – mentors and clients alike -experience the greatest spiritual growth of their lives.
Want to know more about being a mentor, and discipling a man or woman coming out of prison? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.