Posted by: Bro Jer | March 9, 2011

Prisoner to Prisoner Devotional 3-9-11

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9

Ash Wednesday

“…I will confess my transgression to the Lord and He shall forgive the iniquity of my sin.”

Psalm 32: 5b

We Are Forgiven

In today’s selected text we read that the Psalmist is extremely thankful that God has forgiven his transgression. This Psalm is often associated with Psalm 51 in which David confesses his sin before the Lord, as he was guilty of adultery and murder.

During Resurrection Season, and especially today on Ash Wednesday, I reflect not only on the Resurrection but also on Christ’s death on the Cross. In 1992, while I was housed at Bland C.C., I attended an Ash Wednesday service officiated by a young minister who was also a staff member. The minister preached on the resurrection and tied in the life and death of our Lord and Savior into the message. In his sermon he said that Christ’s birth, life and death are forever linked to His Resurrection. As he preached, this truth started to impact the congregation of about 30 men; as the minister preached, he began to weep as he explained the horrific death of Christ so that we might be forgiven and have life everlasting. I was personally struck by this truth as I had never been struck before. That sermon in the mess hall that evening changed my life forever.

Like King David the writer of today’s devotional text, we too, can experience the same joy he experienced when he confessed his sin and received the forgiveness of the Lord. Those of us who are in prison can rejoice in the fact forgiveness is available to us just as it is available to all. – D.S.H.

Psalm 32, 143 Jonah 3:1––4:11 Heb. 12:1-14 Luke 18:9-14

“Prisoner to Prisoner” is the only daily devotional that is written and edited…”by prisoners for prisoners”.

It also speaks to people in the free world. These devotionals are provided in the spirit and tradition of the Kairos Prison Ministries.

The ministry is SPONSORED by Marion Correctional Institution, Marion, Ohio and Kairos of Ohio Prison Ministry.

Please pray for the continued growth and outreach of the P2P Devotional!

Consider following P2P on FB.

The Lord Loves YOU!!

+++BroJer

“P2P” is mailed to over 200 prisons and jails in America. We need your support to keep this work going! P2P is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

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Posted by: Bro Jer | March 8, 2011

Pardon Me, you seem to have a spot on your forehead

Catholic Roundup

Musings on faith, life, and new media from a Catholic perspective

Pardon Me, you seem to have a spot on your forehead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Crossofashes.jpgTomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, our annual six weeks of prayer and penance in preparation for Easter.   At Wednesday Mass, the priest makes a cross of ashes on each person’s forehead and remarks,  ”Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”   The recipient of the ashes is supposed to wear them for the rest of the day as an outward sign of their repentance.

For years, I was not very comfortable with showing outward signs of my faith.  Not that I was embarassed by it, but my faith was ‘private‘ and ‘personal‘.  Indeed, my faith is very personal, but it should not be private.  As attributed to St. Francis, one should “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.”

Back to ashes.  For years, my modus operandi was to ‘rub them in‘ immediately after Ash Wednesday mass.  After all, they are a sacramental and we should dispose of them with reverence.  I think this was more about ‘rubbing them off’ for me than rubbing them in.   This year I am making a firm resolution to wear my ashes proudly and reflect on what they represent for the rest of the day  (It doesn’t hurt that I’m going to a late afternoon mass then home and I won’t likely be out with them in public, but hey– It’s the thought that counts).

 

So here’s your assignment for the first day of 40 Days of Catholic Media.   Take a picture of yourself adorned with your ashes.  Then head over to the Catholic Roundup Facebook Page and post it on the wall along with a brief introduction of yourself and your Catholic Media interests.

I’ll start.  I’m Sean McGaughey from catholicroundup.com .  I initially got involved in Catholic podcasting as an avid listener and serial sender of silly feedback.  I initially started my blog “A Catholic Canadian”–  (hence cc.ductapeguy.net)  just as a way to participate in the online Catholic community.  I did not at that time feel a vocational “call” to do a Catholic podcast.  But over many months, as I was doing more and more short audio and video podcasts shining a spotlight on great Catholic resources online, I began to discern a call to help support and promote others who were spreading the Good News online.   For me, “The Call” to evangelize was not an event, but an ongoing and gradual process of discernment and awakening which led 2 years later to my wife assisting me in drafting our formal vision statement for the Catholic Roundup, “To support and encourage those using new media to spread the Good News”.

How did you begin your journey to share your faith online?  How has that developed over time? Let us know over on the Catholic Roundup Facebook Page.

One more request. I have done only the bare minimum of promotion for this project. If you know other online Catholics who would like to join us on this journey, please invite them. And feel free to blog, podcast, tweet, plurk or Facebook it as well.

Many thanks to Sean for all the efforts in helping to build real community through new media! I hope some of you may join us.

+++BroJer

Posted by: Bro Jer | March 8, 2011

Prisoner to Prisoner Devotional 3-8-11

TUESDAY, MARCH 8

“Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted Him in Massah.”

Deuteronomy 6: 16

Blessings vs. Complaints

 

When I first thought of this Verse, I said to myself it’s so foolish to try to tempt God especially when we know how powerful He is. Then I think about everyday life and the things that I allow to cloud my judgment, the things that I do that are not of God.

Since coming here, I’ve learned that blessings come in many different forms. Now you’re probably wondering what’s the connection between tempting God and blessings. Well, just like the Children of Israel, we at times complain constantly even though we’ve been blessed. God delivers us from an addiction and reunites us with family, and we complain about how the changes came about, missing the forest for the trees. Here at Marion C.I., we have many things that are put in place to help us better ourselves.  Our mindset determines whether we see the blessing set before us by God.

At times our flesh does flare up, making us think that it’s easier to go back to our old ways, but if it were, we wouldn’t be where we are today. So the next time you want to tempt God, look up at the sky on a clear night. Look into the eyes of your children or your loved ones in whom God reconciled your relationship, and if that doesn’t work, think of some of the craziest stuff we’ve done in which we were spared and given a second chance. Not everyone gets that. God is love and blesses us beyond measure. Enjoy it! – L.G.

Psalm 26, 28           Deut. 6:16-25           Heb. 2:1-10           John 1:19-28

“Prisoner to Prisoner” is the only daily devotional that is written and edited…”by prisoners for prisoners”.

It also speaks to people in the free world. These devotionals are provided in the spirit and tradition of the Kairos Prison Ministries.

The ministry is SPONSORED by Marion Correctional Institution, Marion, Ohio and Kairos of Ohio Prison Ministry.

Please pray for the continued growth and outreach of the P2P Devotional!

Consider following  P2P on FB.

The Lord Loves YOU!!

+++BroJer

“P2P” is mailed to over 200 prisons and jails in America. We need your support to keep this work going! P2P is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Posted by: Bro Jer | March 7, 2011

Prisoner to Prisoner Devotional 3-7-11

MONDAY, MARCH 7

“Are they not all ministering spirits,sent forth to minister

for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Hebrews 1: 14

Angels

Angels are mentioned numerous times in the New and Old Testaments. We do not know a lot about them, but some Scriptures let us know they are in existence to help us and to be messengers for God.

At confession one day the father asked me if I asked my guardian angel for help very often. My answer was, “No, hardly ever.” The father said that he rarely did either, but recently he was very tired and had to be somewhere in an hour and a half. He knew the drive would take 30 minutes, so he would love to take an hour nap to regain his strength. He asked his guardian angel to wake him up in one hour and went to sleep. A short time later, he heard, “father,” woke up, and answered the voice. To his surprise, there was no one in the rectory but him, and it was exactly one hour since he had fallen asleep! After hearing this, the next day I had a load of work to do and not enough time to get it done. I asked my guardian angel to help me, and I finished everything with time to spare!

The Lord has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. I think most of the time we just take them for granted or do not even remember we are blessed in this manner. Let’s all try to acknowledge God’s presence with us more throughout our days and try to remember He has guardian angels watching over us to help, protect and minister to us. – J.H.

Psalm 25             Deut. 6:10-15             Heb. 1:1-14             John 1:1-18

“Prisoner to Prisoner” is the only daily devotional that is written and edited…”by prisoners for prisoners”.

It also speaks to people in the free world. These devotionals are provided in the spirit and tradition of the Kairos Prison Ministries.

The ministry is SPONSORED by Marion Correctional Institution, Marion, Ohio and Kairos of Ohio Prison Ministry.

Please pray for the continued growth and outreach of the P2P Devotional!

Consider following  P2P on FB.

The Lord Loves YOU!!

+++BroJer

“P2P” is mailed to over 200 prisons and jails in America. We need your support to keep this work going! P2P is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

 

Posted by: Bro Jer | March 6, 2011

Prisoner to Prisoner Devotional 3-6-11

SUNDAY, MARCH 6

“Hear, O Israel:  The Lord is our God…love the Lord God with all your heart.”

Deuteronomy 6: 4-5

Praise In The Morning

Psalms 148-150 are the crowning chapters of the Psalter.  They are called the “Laudatory Psalms,” and it is from them that we get the name of the morning service of Lauds, a service focused on the praise of God.  We lift our voices each morning, filled with the love of God just as the above Verses from Deuteronomy ask us to do.

Ten days ago we celebrated the graduation of Kairos #26.  It was a great weekend and an amazing closing service.  Over 250 people from the inside and outside communities crowded into the visiting room.  Together we listened to the testimonies, the fourth-day speaker, and sang praises.  The next morning the institution went on lockdown, a harsh one with a strike force of over 55 guards tearing through our meager possessions.  But, as a Benedictine, I still read the service for Lauds every morning.  Even on lockdown I took time to read, study, and pray.  Each morning as I lifted my voice with these Psalms, it lifted my heart.

The celebrations of Kairos were a mountaintop experience.  But the God of the mountaintop is also the God of the valley.  The promises of God that were true on Sunday night at the closing were also true on Wednesday afternoon during the searches.  Prison life has been a constant cycle of a few ups and a lot of downs, but God has carried me through it all; and I turn to praise God again and again.- M.B.H.

Psalm 148, 149, 150       Deut. 6:1-9       Heb. 12:18-29       John 12:24-32 

Please pray for the continued growth and outreach of the P2P Devotional!

Consider following  P2P on FB.

The Lord Loves YOU!!

+++BroJer

“P2P” is mailed to over 200 prisons and jails in America. We need your support to keep this work going! P2P is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Posted by: Bro Jer | March 5, 2011

Prisoner to Prisoner Devotional 3-5-11

I have been working on this project since 2003. How kewl to be workin with prisoners, who have had a real conversion and are sharing their faith, through this devotional.

“Prisoner to Prisoner” is the only daily devotional that is written and edited…”by prisoners for prisoners”.

It also speaks to people in the free world. These devotionals are provided in the spirit and tradition of the Kairos Prison Ministries.

The ministry is SPONSORED by Marion Correctional Institution, Marion, Ohio and Kairos of Ohio Prison Ministry.

 

Saturday March 5

“…Be perfect, be of good comfort,

be of one mind, live in peace…”

2 Corinthians 13: 11a

Perfect Peace

The Verse I am led to write on is from the conclusion and benediction to Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul is reminding the Corinthians and us how we should live to please God. My prayer is that everyone who reads this devotion can learn to live by Paul’s words. Amen.

As most of us inmates know prison is a very hard place to find perfect peace. It is a daily struggle just to find a place to yourself. Whether in a cell or a dorm it makes no difference. Only one prison I know of in the State of Ohio still has single man cells. There is just no room for all of these men. Yet we can find peace, even in this situation. We can have the peace that passes all understanding. The secret to this peace is the part of the Verse above that says, “be of one mind.” That means to be of one mind in Christ Jesus. When we focus completely on the Lord Jesus, we can have peace. Amen. Yes, even in this prison situation, we can have perfect peace in Jesus Christ. Then we can strive to be perfect and be of good comfort knowing that Jesus will always be there for us. I have lived this for ten years now and I trust Christ completely.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ live as it says above, “and the God of peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13: 11b). – J.D.S.

 

Psalm 20, 21          Deut. 5:22-33          2 Cor. 13:1-14          Matt. 7:22-29

 

Please pray for the continued growth and outreach of the P2P Devotional!

Consider following  P2P on FB.

The Lord Loves YOU!!

+++BroJer

“P2P” is mailed to over 200 prisons and jails in America. We need your support to keep this work going! P2P is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop
Nazareth 25922

From: Jordan Management Consultants

Dear Sir:
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.

As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance. This additional insight is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.

It is our opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
Sincerely,

Jordan Management Consultants

Is my understanding, Jesus is hiring NOW!

Do YOU have the right “callifications”? 😉

+++BroJer

Posted by: Bro Jer | February 27, 2011

A “Keyboard Conversion”

By Judy Ferguson

For many of my 65 years my “life” verse was this:

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28 NAB) Until almost five years ago, I never thought “good” could mean my becoming a Catholic.

I was raised as an Anglican (Episcopalian), and eventually found myself in the PAOC (Canadian counterpart of the Assemblies of God). But still something wasn’t sitting quite right.

About five years ago I began buying things on eBay for our children’s ministry and through that was invited to join a prayer group called Christian Sellers United. Because of this I met Jerry Kohlbrand, (BroJer) who printed a daily devotional for Catholics and sent me some books to give out. I didn’t know any Catholics to give them to but decided to take them to a Catholic book store which I knew was located in the Procathedral, handed them to the woman in the store, told her they were devotionals for Catholics and I wasn’t Catholic, then beat a hasty retreat.

In the meantime Jerry would send out some quotes from the devotional to our eBay prayer group which really spoke to me, and somewhat in spite of myself I started reading this book every day. Often it seemed to be addressed, “Dear Judy”! Jerry had also talked about Fr. Al Lauer’s influence on his life and I started listening to Fr. Al’s radio broadcasts on the website, then downloading some of his brochures and found myself emailing Jerry with question after question. After more emails, IM’s, Skype calls, than I care to count, and infinite patience on the part of Jerry, he suggested I read Scott Hahn’s book, “Rome Sweet Home”.

In it I saw myself again and again, so closed to Catholicism that I never checked out what Catholics really believed, and until I started reading the devotional, believing that Catholics never read the Bible, just believed what the church hierarchy told them to believe.

Well, I went back to the bookstore for a catechism and a rosary. I asked the woman if she knew a Catholic Church I could go to and she invited me to St. Alphonsus Liguori in Callander where she (Alana) and her husband (Kas) attend. I went to my first Mass there and found myself in tears because I felt that in not being able to take part in the Eucharist I was missing the purpose for which God had drawn me there. I went to see Fr. Jim who was leaving to go to the military as a chaplain in a few weeks and explained my situation.  He began to ask me many questions about Catholicism and I had been so deep into reading and researching I was able to answer all of them. Because I had been baptized in the Anglican church it was just a question of confirmation and he told me that if I was sure, he would confirm me on the last Sunday in May, his last Sunday in the church.

So on May 28th, 2006 I became a Catholic and for the first time was able to take part in the Eucharist. There are no words to express how much that meant to me! I KNEW that this was the real presence of Jesus!

I am forever grateful for all the emails, IMs, Skype calls, and that box of devotionals that BroJer sent, that literally opened the door of the Catholic Church for me.

_______________________________________________________________

Never, ever, underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit. He can, and will, use us in new media, old media, anything He chooses, to lead people to Him and to the Catholic Church! Anyone who knows me, KNOWS, I hate typing! Yet, the Lord used me to help lead Judy “home”. HOW WICKED BAD KEWL AWESOME IS THAT!

Give every keystroke to Jesus! Dedicate everything you do to Jesus. Allow Him to use you any way He chooses and you will see the power of the Holy Spirit in everything you do!

Jesus! Loves! YOU!!

+++BroJer

Posted by: Bro Jer | February 26, 2011

We desperatly need…the power of the Holy Spirit

Reflection on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Fr Stefan

I was asked recently, “What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” My earlier blog on the Baptism of Jesus began the answer to this question. To help explain further, I will post a series of blogs from a theological point of view. For now, I would like to share my personal experience of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

I first learned about Baptism in the Holy Spirit while reading a book by Ralph Martin titled, The Catholic Church at the End of an Era: What the Spirit is Saying. I read this book two weeks before my ordination to the priesthood. Although I had attended Catholic elementary school, Catholic high school, Catholic college, and Catholic Seminary, and I had never once in my entire life heard anyone use the term Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

One of the things that intrigued me about this book written by Ralph Martin was the number of credible Catholic sources, mainly bishops and cardinals, that were quoted. One priest in particular, Raniero Cantalamessa, was quoted extensively. Cantalamessa, a Franciscan Capuchin Catholic Priest, was the personal preacher to Pope John Paul II for 17 years and has continued as the personal preacher to Pope Benedict XVI for the last 6 years. A priest serving in this capacity for this time frame is noteworthy, because traditionally the pope selects a priest to preach to the entire papal audience every week during Advent and Lent for only 1 year.

Fr. Cantalamessa is also a card-carrying Charismatic. I thought, “If I can’t trust the man who the pope chooses to preach to him, whom can I trust?” Before Fr. Cantalamessa served as preacher to the pope, he was head of the Patristic Deptarment of the Catholic University of Milan. Patristic is the study of the church fathers. What warmed me up to the Charismatic Movement was discovering how Fr. Cantalamessa described the early church fathers speaking about people’s experiences of the Holy Spirit.

On May 18, 1996, I was at my ordination. Laying prostrate before the bishop, I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I’m going to be a priest in the sacramental sense, but I want to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit in the Evangelical, Pentecostal sense, too. I need this Holy Spirit.

Two days after my ordination, I went to St. Charles Parish in Clarendon, Va, where Fr. Richard McAlear was leading a prayer service. I walked into the little chapel, and Fr. McAlear put his hands on my head. Then he did something that I had never heard before: He prayed in tongues.

I remember feeling the Holy Spirit go through me from my head to my toes. I felt a power go thru me. I was filled with the greatest joy I had ever known. I was forever changed.  I had personally experienced Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. I knew that what I experienced was no less than what the disciples experienced at Pentecost. I cocelebrated the Mass that night with Father MaAlear, and the first reading was St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. St. Paul asked the people in Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became a believer?” They answered, “We didn’t even know that there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit.” Then St. Paul laid his hands on the people, and they prophesied and prayed in tongues.

I began my homily that night by saying, “Twenty minutes ago, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit.” What I meant is that I could have explained the Holy Spirit from a theological point of view, but now I knew the Holy Spirit as a Person. I can have a relationship with the Holy Spirit.  We can know the Holy Spirit personally. The Holy Spirit is our friend that never leaves us.

I remember feeling like all of heaven was open and poured into me. I knew in my heart that I was forever changed, and that God had anointed me for spreading the Kingdom of God.

Come Holy Spirit and Renew the Face of the Earth

Fr Stefan

Thank you, Fr, for your YES to the Holy Spirit!!

+++BroJer

Posted by: Bro Jer | February 25, 2011

A Simple Believer – Fr. Solanus Casey

If we could only be more child like and take God at His WORD!

What is stopping us??

+++BroJer

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