Count Every Blessing

2nd Thessalonians 1:3  “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other”

Dearly beloved: May GOD’s grace, peace, love and joy be ever upon you.  WOW!  Lots going on here in America.  A lot of civil unrest over the election of Donald Trump.  It is sad.  I, for one, am waiting and watching.  It is too early to say if Trump will be good for us, but I can tell you that I like some of what I see.  I am hope-full.  Well, it has been a very busy time for me. I got a job working in the prison kitchen.  I load trays.  It is menial work, but it is fulfilling none-the-less.  I am not in my cell too much because I work six and a half hours, six days a week.  The downside is, I have to wake up at 4:30am.  It will take getting used to.  Other than that, I gotta tell you that I very much enjoy working.  It feels good to work an honest job.  Plus, it has given me access to more prisoners.  That means more opportunities to spread the gospel.  Please pray for me.  The other day I debated with a fellow who claims he is a satanist.  He has “satan’s minion” tattooed on his face.  I found myself defending my faith in our Lord.  I stood my ground and I may have even planted a few seeds.

GOD has been good to me.  He has supplied me with enough strength and resolve to fend off the enemy of light.  I also received a new typewriter which was provided through charitable donations from Christian brothers and sisters.  I am putting it to great use writing the book, typing letters and of course these posts which I share with all of you.  Thank you, JESUS!  And, thank you donors for doing GOD’s work.  Just last week I received forty dollars unexpectedly at a time that I really needed it to put on my phone account in order to speak to my children.  I don’t often have much money to talk to them.  So, I prayed and prayed and believed.  And, wouldn’t you know, the LORD provided.  Praise GOD for the wonderful people He uses to help me.  To the anonymous donor who helped me in my time of need, I just want to thank you in the name of JESUS!  I just know that the LORD will return your blessing ten fold.  AMEN!

You know, sometimes it is the smallest blessings that mean so much.  For instance, yesterday I was feeling a little low.  I decided to call my friend, Katie, and she began telling me a story about a wonderful single mother who had donated a car to her.  Katie was struggling.  She is in recovery and getting her life back together.  I prayed for her and it was wonderful to hear that some random Christian stranger helped her in her time of need.  It lifted my spirits.  GOD is so amazing.  He uses people to bless us and in so doing, teaches us the importance of being charitable.  When you stop and think about all the threads that GOD weaves together, it is mind-blowing.  You can see Him everywhere.  His hand is over everything.  I have been used by Him to bless others.  All of us have, in one way or another.  And, we too are blessed in return.  Look around you and you can see His marvelous plan working.

Count all the blessings you see even in the midst of darkness.  Even in my situation, there are bountiful blessings.  You just have to remember to count all of them.  There is none too small.  Even a single snowflake can be the beginning of an avalanche.  A single drop of water can be the beginning of an ocean.  They all add up, just like blessings do.  It all works together toward the greater good.  Even the worst tragedies can contain blessings.  Some are blessings in disguise.  And, sometimes things that we mistake for blessings are really disasters in disguise.  For instance, there was a man here recently.  He was awaiting trial for being accused of having an automatic gun illegally.  Due to the severity of his prior record, he was held here at the max instead of county.  He was a very charming and funny man.  He was also a professional armed robber by trade.  He was in his late forties and said he had been a stick-up guy his whole life.  He was funny and had charisma.  He could have been a entertainer or salesman.  He didn’t realize how talented he was.  He had robbed a lot of dangerous street guys in his life.  There were lots of very bad men who wanted him dead.  It is very rare to see a stick-up man still breathing at his age on the street.  Well, the only witness against him in his case died.  So the state was forced to drop the charges.  So, the fellow got released and went home two months ago.  To him it seemed like a blessing.  It is with a very burdened and heavy heart that I report to you that his past finally caught up to him.  He was murdered in cold blood, no doubt by one of the dangerous individuals he had robbed.  He won his freedom, but he lost his life as a result.  What he thought was a blessing was really a curse.  All of us who knew him were saddened by the news of his death.

I can tell you that the fact that I have been wrongfully convicted has revealed wonderful blessings such as this blog and the spreading of the gospel.  Two things which I may have never done without this experience.  I am writing a book which I probably never would have as well and I met my dear friends, Tom and Terry Shuford.  I have been able to touch thousands of lives.  I truly doubt I would even still be alive were it not for this situation.  There are blessings everywhere in everything.  You just have to learn to see them.  Sometimes it is not apparent right away, but later down the road there is a connection to be made.  You see the ripple effect as you connect the dots. Pay attention.  But, also be careful of desire.  Often times, desire leads to calamity when we desire the wrong things.  Be mindful and aware of what it is you truly need.  Pray for it and have faith.  Also remember to bless others.  Bless and ye shall be blessed.
May God BLESS and keep you!

2nd Peter 1:1-8  “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Love in Christ!
(A man who counts and appreciates his blessings.  Amen!)