"An Inside Perspective"

February 2003


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Saturday is the day that we prisoners, here in Trenton State Prison, are allowed to receive what are called "Incentive Visits". They are called incentive visits because we must be charge free (no tickets, smile) for at least 90 days to be able to participate. Contact means that your visitor may enter the institution and actually meet with you, hug you, sit and share with you for 11/2 hours.

Saturday is also the main day that this Ministry, OFPLM, has designated for its visit program. We are told the dates when the visitors are coming and who will be visiting with us; it is our duty and responsibility to be prepared for that visit day. About 1 month ago, my cell-mate Carlos, was expecting a visit. I observed the whole process of Carlos being told by Sister Debbie, 3 weeks in advance, that he was scheduled for a visit. He began, way ahead of time, to make his preparations for that visit. He started by praying that he would "glorify God in the day of visitation." He made sure that his clothes were cleaned and pressed. He made an appointment with Big-D, the barber, to get his hair cut so that he would look sharp to represent the Lord in all ways. Carlos made sure that all the approval slips were in place. He then confirmed with Sister Debbie that all was go for that day! His heart’s desire was to "glorify God in the day of visitation." On that great day Carlos was up at 6 am getting showered and shaved. He knew that his visitor was coming and he was preparing for it by faith. After all, Sister Debbie had said so and her word is gold to us in prison.

We are usually notified of our visits by the Officer about 5 to 30 minutes before the actual visit time, confirming that indeed our visitor has arrived. Carlos was completely prepared, he sat on the edge of his bed, dressed, shoes-shined and ready to go. He was anxiously awaiting the word from the Officer that his visitor had arrived, he was ready to "glorify God in the day of visitation." The time came and went, yet he continued to sit, waiting patiently, after all, sometimes the paperwork gets messed up and we are not called until the last minute. When the call does come you must be ready, for you only have one chance to get out of your cell! He waited and waited, but no visit came.

I felt sorry for Carlos, he was expectant and joyfully awaiting the call. Everything was decent and in order, he was prepared to "glorify God in the day of visitation." I thought to myself, "What a wonderful illustration of how we as Christians ought to be anxiously awaiting for the return of our Lord!"

The return of the Lord will be our first "contact" visit with Him! It is written, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." The question is, are we prepared? The Lord said, "...occupy till I come." Have we? Have we had our spiritual haircuts so that we are sharp in the Word? It is written, “...look up, lift up your heads, your redemption draweth nigh." Are we freshly showered and washed by the blood of the Lamb that we may be clean to "glorify God in the day of visitation."

Are we clean-shaven in our walk, representing the Lord in all of our ways? Are all of our spiritual clothes pressed with all the creases crisp, standing clothed with the robe of righteousness? It is written, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints." Are your spiritual shoes shined and shod with the gospel of peace? Are you sitting on the edge of your spiritual bed, ready and waiting for that great day, that you may "glorify God in the day of visitation."

Are you expectant and joyfully awaiting the call of the King? The call is coming! Sister Debbie’s word is good but how much more the Word of the Lord? It is written, "For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Let us not be as the "scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of His coming?" We are hearing of wars and rumors of wars, indeed famine and pestilence abounds. Let us not be alarmed as those who have no hope, our Bible has told us the end from the beginning. We know that when the smoke all clears, no matter what, we win in Christ! Therefore, we need to be walking by faith, serving, witnessing, ministering and holding out the Word of Life to everyone! Christ is not like Carlos’ visitor who was sick and could not come. Christ is coming! Let us live as such, that people may "...by your good works, which they shall behold...glorify God in the day of visitation."

Joyfully in Jesus,