Friday, February 8, 2013

Baptism Coming!

On February 20, New Life will have the first of four baptism classes.  Please pray for us as we start these sessions to prepare the men for baptism during our Easter Celebration at the prison.  Although this is the first baptism class of 2013, we had three class sessions in 2012.  February, June, and November were times of preparation for baptism services.  If guys have already been baptized they have the opportunity to profess their faith in Jesus Christ.  The four sessions include these critical topics: Knowing God, God's Story, the Meaning of Baptism, and the Christian Life.  May God bless our time together as we prepare on 4 Wednesdays for the big day.  May many men step forward to get drenched in God's Grace!

Incredible Concert

God blessed the Newton Prison with an incredible concert Saturday Night!  On the evening of February 2, Piercing the Darkness set the prison on fire (not literally).  No, it was the fire of the Spirit!  Overall it was so much more than mere entertainment. The band brought music with a message!  The message was truly Good News for those in attendance.  We had a great big crowd - 165 inmates showed up that night!  Some were men who regularly attend Bible study, prayer group, and worship services.  Familiar faces.  But many of the men were new.  They were curious and wanted to find out more.  Seekers.  Some of the guys were nominal Christians but there were a handful of guys who practice other religions.  Regardless of who showed up, everyone heard music with a message - the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  By faith you can be set free from this prison of sin, darkness, guilt, and death.  Jesus will carry your burden and give you a New Life!  The concert was a combination of original songs by P.T.D. and also praise & worship songs.  The Lead singer of Piercing the Darkness, Steve Shettler gives these reflections: "We've played at a wide variety of places over the last six years but never a prison.  It's a little intimidating when you pull up to the prison and there's razor-lined barbed-wire lining the top of the fence.  Long story short: we got to lead these guys in singing, clapping, laughing and having a great time for an hour and a half...all in the name of Jesus.  Nothing sounded sweeter than hearing the prisoners singing holy, holy, holy at the top of their lungs during Open the Eyes of my Heart.  To top it off, we've been invited back in the fall to play again.  God is good!"

It was a great time in the prison gym: fun but also inspirational and encouraging.  We can wait until Piercing the Darkness returns!  May God bless the band members as the continue to make music for the Lord.


During their concert at the Newton Prison, Piercing the Darkness played this song by Big Daddy Weave.  It struck a chord.  The lyrics seemed to fit the environment.  Listen to the words - "Bound up in shackles of all my failures."  "You look at this prisoner and say, stop fighting a fight that's already been won."  "So I'll shake off these heavy chains."  "I'm not who I used to be - I am redeemed!"

Great I Am

This song by New Life Worship is one of my favorites.   It helps me to focus on the One who is the Greatest.  I hope you enjoy this worship song too.