"An Inside Perspective"

May 2008

My dear family in Christ,

Ever-precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ! By the grace of God, I have finally been given a job. I now work in the Greenhouse here in scenic Rahway. It is part of the Education Department's Horticultural branch.

I have always loved working with my hands. I not only work inside of the Greenhouse, but I also have grounds outside that I take care of. As many of you may know, onions are one of my favorite vegetables. They are pretty rare in prison. Normally, we can only get onions twice a year when we order a "food-package." Now by the grace of God, my fellow-workers and I will have our own garden!

I am also now minimum custody which affords me many privileges and trusts. I now have the daily responsibility for a tool crib containing all we need to do our daily chores. Within a year the Lord has brought me from the Maximum custody tyranny of Trenton State Prison to a place where my fellow-workers and I can grow onions with our own tools! I receive it by faith as a sweet foretaste, Lord willing, of what God has in store for my future. Yes, my own back-yard garden and my own tool crib! Hallelujah! What a day that will be. It is written, "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouths filled with laughter and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, 'The Lord has done great things for them.' "

I also have a new friend in the Greenhouse named Tony. He is very experienced in Horticulture and has been teaching me all the tricks of the trade. Part of Tony's job description is to determine what our supply needs are for the coming season, and then to order them. In the course of this normal procedure there was a problem in the business office. The check for our garden seeds did not go out. Those of you who know anything about gardening, know that spring-time seeds and a good harvest go hand in hand. To have an abundant harvest in the fall, you must have properly prepared, nurtured, and watered your seeds. During that period when we had no seeds for outside, we were not able to do much. We putzed around with the Greenhouse plants and tried to stay busy, but with no seeds we couldn't get anything started. I learned one gardening principle very quickly, "no seeds---no fruit." Finally the check was cleared and soon after the seeds arrived. In a few days we were nurturing many varieties of new seedlings to life.

During the course of that waiting time, I observed that almost every morning when I came into the Greenhouse something new had bloomed overnight. Things were taking place at night and I knew not how. I was fascinated. One morning it would be a beautiful new red Hibiscus flower. The next day it would be a lovely white Gardenia flower with the sweetest fragrance. On another day there would be a Heavenly smelling Jasmine flower.

It is written, "So is the Kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep and rise night and day and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, and after that, the full cord in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle because the harvest is come."

I have observed over my many years of sharing the Word of God with people that, more often than not, the work of God is progressive. Paul said, "I have planted, Apollo's watered, but God gave the increase." Yes, sometimes you can share Christ with someone and they will "fall right off the tree" as it were and be saved immediately. Others receive the Word, often without even knowing it, and then months or perhaps even years later, God will quicken them to Life. I had learned one Heavenly principle very quickly though, "no seeds---no fruit."

God's Word is the seed. We are responsible to sow it into the hearts of those around us. It is no wonder why so many Christians have so little fruit in their lives. They do not bother to sow. They are lazy, expecting other to do it. It has become the norm for Christians to watch others preach the gospel on TV while sitting on the couch critiquing them. Beloved, preaching the gospel is not entertainment that needs our critique! Life and death are in the balance. We are to plant the living seeds, not watch others do it.

Everyday when I come back from the Greenhouse I am filthy from laboring. I am often very sore. I deem it necessary though for I seek a harvest. Much of my work there is done on my knees.

It is our Christian duty to labor in the fields planting the seed of God's Word. Expect to get filthy and to be sore. Deem it your "reasonable service" to be in the fields seeking a harvest by faith. Push through, faint not, and pray hard. Know in your heart beloved that much of your work will be . . .


Joyfully in Jesus,