"An Inside Perspective"

June 2007

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ! By the grace of God, I am now able to workout almost everyday to one degree or another. Considering that I am fifty years old, I am not seeking to be full of muscles. I just want to stay in shape and be healthy, honoring the Lordís temple.

Here in Rahway, we have lots of yard time. I can go outside three times a day in the summer and twice in the winter. I have the option to go out at 8:00am and stay out until 3:30pm, or I can come back in if I choose. Then after the count, I can go right back out from 4:30pm to 8:00pm.

The yard has a full softball field with leagues. The men take all the leagues real serious. Cleats, gloves, bats, full catchers gear, jokers riding around on tractors and men with rakes making the field all nice! Itís crazy I tell you! There is also a huge soccer field and two full basketball courts with leagues. They have horseshoes, bocce-ball, a huge weight-pile and eight handball courts. Iím telling you, itís off the hook!! As if thatís not enough, surrounding the whole yard is an asphalt track for jogging. Finally, to top it all off, there are showers in the yard for when I am done working out!

I have always been very sports oriented, but I love basketball the most. When I left Trenton, we were only getting one and one half hour of recreation every three days, and that in a small chained in cage on concrete. So needless to say, with all these things going on there, I now have to discipline myself. When I first got here, I woke up so sore everyday that I had to be pried out of my bed. My cellie Kyle laughs at me. He says I am making up for all that lost time in Trenton. To be honest though, I have been having a ball since getting to Rahway, no pun intended! (smile)

Please do not worry. In my fun I have not lost my focus. The yard is filled with hundreds of men that know not the King and Iím "oníem" like white on rice! (smile) The yard is as a lake, full of fish of very sort. Above all things, fishing daily with the King is my greatest joy! They even sell fishing hats in the store! Iím telling you, I canít make this stuff up! God has also provided me with a wonderful tackle-box, yes; I am even allowed to bring my Bible to the yard!

I am not used to being able to have a Bible with me when I witness because for these last sixteen years I have not been able to carry one around. King David said, "I have hidden Thy Word in my heart . . ." and that has been a very valuable principle to me. Stop and think - - -could you lead someone to Christ without your Bible? One day you may need to, so be sure to hide that Word in your heart! My brother and friend, Tommy Sloan always says, "If it ainít in the well - - -you canít bring it up in the bucket!" (smile) Hello somebody!

This prison is also a haven for Canadian geese. They are everywhere and they are not afraid of people. Honestly, they parade around here as if they own the place. They are on the track when we are running and all over the softball field, even while the men play their games. They are in the weight-pile, on the sidewalks, literally, everywhere we go. Need I say that the evidence of their presence is everywhere also? (smile)

One day while I was jogging, I observed a family of geese. There was the gander (the husband), a goose (the wife, they mate for life) and a gosling (the youngster). I watched them closely as I jogged around the track. The goose and the gosling were sleeping but the gander was not. He appeared to be sleeping, but upon closer observation, I noticed his one eye was open and attentive, focused up off in the distance. It took me a minute to gather in what was really going on. Then, as I looked up to where he was looking, far away up in the sky, squinting I saw it---a hawk was circling!

Thatís right, this gander was on his post. The hawk was soaring around seeking which gosling he may devour. Yet, the gander was a watch goose, thinking only for the like of his family. The hawk is the only natural enemy of the geese in this prison. It was barely visible to the naked eye; yet, I marveled that the gander knew right where that hawk was, and also, what he was doing. All the while, the ganderís family slept safely.

It is written, "Be self-controlled and alert for your enemy the devil prows around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." Are you the head of a household? Then you are a watchman, responsible for your family. Just like that gander, you had better have your spiritual eyes peeled on your one natural enemy, the devil. He is full of lies and schemes. He cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet squinting, he can be seen prowling . . .



Joyfully in Jesus,

Fisherman Philip