Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  The brand new year is only 3 days old and I want to let you know what's in store for 2014.  Here are some big events for New Life Prison Community early in 2014.

January - On the 3rd Thursday of the month, New Life will host a worship service in the prison gym.  This worship service will focus on the Word of God.  The text is from Romans 10.  Part of our emphasis that evening will be to give testimony to the Word of God.  Inmate-members and volunteers will share their testimonies of what God is doing in their lives.

February - Lynnville Friends church will return to the Newton Prison to lead praise & worship music.  Also Lynnville's Pastor Mark Porter will give the message.  Mark was once a prisoner but now he's free to shepherd God's flock.

March - Piercing the Darkness returns to the Newton Prison.  This Christian rock band will visit the prison for the third time.  If it's anything like the first two Saturday night events, it will be spectacular!

April - In the early spring, Newton will host Brothers-in-Blue.  This four day spiritual retreat was incredible in 2013.  We can't wait to see what God will do at the 2014 B.I.B.  The men at the prison are already asking about this awesome event focused on spiritual transformation.

Not a Fan

We just finished up the 6th session of the 6 part DVD series - Not a Fan.  Not a Fan is a book by Kyle Idleman emphasizing that every believer needs to move from being a fan of Jesus to becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus.  Kyle informs us: "It's the cross that separates fans from followers."  Becoming a follower is not a human work; instead, God transforms us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Not a Fan was a great Thursday night study and the guys at the prison really appreciated this series.  It was inspirational to say the least.  A typical Thursday started by singing a few songs together that emphasized surrender to Christ or the Lordship of Christ.  After the singing was finished, we would move into a time of prayer.  Then we would watch the DVD and discuss what we learned together.  One of the men at the prison has read Kyle's book THREE times.  Needless to say, he loved the book and found it beneficial to his life.  He also loved the Thursday night DVD study.  In fact, I don't think he missed a single session!  Here are some of his comments.  "I love the chapter in Kyle's book called The Unedited Version.  The unedited version is that you have to die daily.  This is not the watered down version of the gospel that some churches present.  I'm the 'anyone' that's mentioned in Luke 9:23 - Then Jesus said to them all, 'If anyone wants to become my follower, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'  I qualify because I'm anyone - and that makes me special.  I can follow too!"  Overall, Not a Fan was a great study - next week Thursday we'll continue by watching the feature film - A Follower's Story.  Then we'll move on to whatever "next-step" God has in store for us...

- written by Pastor Rick on the 3rd day of 2014.