"An Inside Perspective"

October 2006

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ!
Recently, I again moved into a new cell. Like moving into a new house out there in the world, moving in prison is at times traumatizing. I have to adjust to a new area, new neighbors and new officers in charge of me.

I pack up everything that I call mine, and then, move to the new cell. The first thing that I check is the sink and the toilet. Are there leaks? Is it big enough to wash clothes in? Is there a toilet seat? That's always a bonus in here. (smile)

Then, I check out the ant and roach population. I set out a jellybean in a likely spot and lay back quietly to watch. Just like me, they cannot control themselves when it comes to jelly beans. Ants and roaches are drawn to them like white on rice. As I lay and watch, I can see where their entry holes are. Then, I plug up the holes with soap.

Next, I hang up clothes lines to dry my laundry on. I do laundry daily. Generally, what I wear that day, I wash that day. So the lines are in constant use. I then find a good spot for the cooler and my new homemade oven. I would like to give you the details of my latest cooking device, necessity, of course, being the mother of invention, but there are to many spies in this prison who read these missives. I do not want to have to go to all the trouble of getting a patent on it! Ha!!

Finally, I set up my radio. A little thirty-dollar box that would probably be laughable to you on the street, but it is as gold to me. I now try to find a spot for the radio that is next to my bed where I lay, while also, getting all my stations. This, I know from experience, is a major project.

Remember now, I do not have a TV, therefore my radio is my lifeline to the outside world. Not to mention my Christian stations with the worship music that I love so much. Worship songs help draw my sometimes weary heart into the Presence of the Lord. Needless to say, the positioning of my radio and antenna is crucial. I cannot fully voice to you my radio's value to me. I spend the next ten days trying to find, what is termed, "the sweet spot," the perfect placement of radio, antenna and bed. Sound trivial to you? It is huge to me. I am up one side of the cell and down the other for days. The ceiling is about twenty feet high, so, I have lots of room to work with. Thankfully, my bed in this cell is not bolted down, therefore, it doubles as a ladder to reach, otherwise, inaccessible areas on the ceiling. Idea after idea comes but nothing works --- just false hope. It is written, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." I concur. I must get my stations! I plead, "Carlos, hold it here, hold it there. Move it up, move it down, no, no, not there, yea yea, right there!" He is holding the antenna patiently as the symptoms of A.M.D.D. (Amplitude Modulation Deficiency Disorder) becomes increasingly apparent within me! For days, I am in and out of depression seeking "the sweet spot."

Carlos is convinced I am about to also acquire F.M.D.D. That would be "Frequency Modulation Deficiency Disorder." It is the sister syndrome to A.M.D.D. which I already have. Yes, in acute cases, you can have them both at the same time. (smile) Finally, after about ten days, I have an epiphany: "the sweet spot" is found and my reception is perfect! Hallelujah!

At last, I lay on my bed with a big smile on my face and thank God for His patience with me. Surely, I have issues. I think to myself, "Most people would have given up days ago and would have simply believed there was no reception to be had in this cell. They would have gone on in life without reception, because they did not press through hard when the going got tough."

It is written, "One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up." I wonder, "To what extent do you seek the Lord in answer to your prayers? Have you been all over the room, up one side and down the other seeking Him?" Prayer is your lifeline to Heaven, you know? There with the Father, is "the sweet spot", the world knows not of. Did you know that fasting is a spiritual antenna? Have you gotten on your knees of late, next to your bed, and used it as a ladder to reach Heaven? Maybe you're suffering from F.P.D.D., you know, "Fervent Prayer Deficiency Disorder." It's called laziness, the sin of sloth. If so, repent and confess it as such.

God does answer prayer. If we were really wise, we would praise God for all our prayers He has "not" granted! So, when the going gets tough, you must press through hard! Then, when God does finally answer your specific prayer, you will, like me, lay on your bed with a big smile on your face, having truly found . . .


Joyfully in Jesus
Love Philip