Tag Archive: 2 Corinthians

Lean On Me

https://www.pexels.com/photo/hand-with-oil-pastel-draws-the-heart-6333/Romans 5:1-5  “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Dearly Beloved:  May God’s peace, grace, mercy and love be ever upon you and may you share it with one another.  Oh boy, what a month!  My dear friend, Erica, died and now my beautiful and precious Goddaughter and niece, Kyrah, is fighting for her life.  She has been med-flighted to Boston by helicopter and as I am writing this, she is on life support and in a coma.  Kyrah was born with a heart defect where only one side of her heart works.  She has been a miracle child since she was born.  She is only sixteen and she has had more than five open heart surgeries.  People with her condition usually don’t live past thirteen years old.  Ever the fighter, Kyrah has defied the odds.  Throughout her life, doctors have been stunned at the level of energy Kyrah has.  Most kids with her condition are weak and tired all the time.  Not Kyrah.  If you didn’t see her scars or heard her story, you would never know that she has a heart condition.  Her strength and energy are remarkable even for a healthy person.  Kyrah has always been an inspiration to all of us who know and love her.  I believe that that is exactly what God intended her to be. (more…)

Suicide Is Never The Answer

II Corinthians 4:8-10  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Dearly Beloved:  May the blessings of the Lord be upon you.  This post, I am sad to say, was inspired by a very tragic event – suicide.  A few days ago, a man killed himself in the next cell block over from mine.  I did not know him, but his death never-the-less has deeply affected me.  All life matters to God.  This man’s death has hit home for me as an incarcerated man.  You see, it was the despair over his circumstances and the gloominess of confinement which swallowed that man’s life.  He allowed it to consume him.  He succumbed to his suffering and the brutally unjust nature of this world.  It was satan who caused him to destroy himself.  He manipulated him into doing the unthinkable.  We (all of us) are in danger of succumbing to the despair and suffering we face in this world.   (more…)

I Am Just A Man

https://unsplash.com/photos/xz4KUoOElToActs 23:11-12  But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”  And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.

Dearly Beloved,
May the peace, love, joy and grace of our Lord be ever upon you.  Times have been rough for me spiritually and emotionally lately.  I have been struggling with doubt – not of God, but of man.  Those of you who have been following my situation have heard that I have been wrongfully convicted of horrific and tragic crimes.  Race was injected into my trial.  I was stereotyped and mislabeled.  The prosecutors and police tampered with evidence and witnesses.  I filed for a mistrial and the courts stalled me for over a year.  Now, all of a sudden, they are rushing my appeal.  To my knowledge, they only rush an appeal when they intend to deny it.  Such usually happens when a person or persons with great political power pulls strings.  Now, I’m no martyr; nor am I seeking sympathy by claiming to be a victim.  The facts are the facts.  What took place during my trial was nothing short of a modern day lynching.  Questions like, what color the people are where I am from, had no relevance whatsoever.  They were posed solely to prejudice the jury.  The suggestion, that a white man wouldn’t need to carry a gun because he is white and around white people, is also clearly and undeniably racist and meant to prejudice the jury.  Yet, I was denied a motion for a mistrial and by the looks of it, I may be on the fast track to being railroaded on my appeal.  Notice I said, “by the looks of it.”  The truth is, I have no way of knowing what the outcome may be.  My fears, though based on experience, are not necessarily valid.

Now, you would think that after all that God has done for me, after the miracles I witnessed and prayers He has answered, that my faith would be bulletproof.  Paul actually witnessed and spoke to Christ, yet he continued to question the Lord.  Why, he doubted whether or not he would even live moment to moment.  The Lord constantly had to remind Paul that He was with him, that Paul had a purpose to fulfill and his time to die had not yet come.   (more…)

The Power Of Joy And Laughter

https://unsplash.com/photos/yvx7LSZSzeoJames 1:2-3  “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Dear Readers,  When I think of the passage above, I see an even deeper meaning, especially due to my current circumstances.  Now James is telling us that when we suffer for Christ, we should take pleasure in it.  He is explaining that it is wonderful and honorable to suffer on earth for the Lord.  But, I believe there is more to it.

I am now in my fifth month of solitary confinement.  The S.M.U. [Supermax Unit] is divided into sections.  I am housed on what is known as the programs corridor.  There are 14 men altogether on this corridor.  Seven on one side and seven on the other.  Our cells face each other, so we can yell through the cracks of our cell doors and conversate.  Every day, I find a way to make these men laugh. (more…)

The Humble Servant

thecomingkingfoundation.org/images/Sculptures/DS/DivineServantSculpture.JPGJohn 13:12-17  So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Dear Readers, As you have read from the scripture at the beginning of this post, we are called to serve.  Even the mighty King of Kings bowed down and humbled Himself in service.  One of the lowliest jobs a servant or slave could perform at the time John 13 was written was the washing of guests feet.  People wore sandals then and their feet were often filthy from walking.  When the guest was considered important or honored, the lady of the house would humble herself and do the task herself as a sign of great respect.  It was unheard of for a King to perform such a task, let alone the King of all Kings, the Lord God.  Jesus has always led by example.  He came to earth – not with a crown of gold, dressed in fine linen.  No sir!  He was incarnated as an ordinary human being.  He grew up as a common laborer.  He was born in an animal pen, not a palace.  The most powerful being in existence lived a humble life as a lesson to us.  There was nothing remarkable about Jesus, the fleshly man; but spiritually, He was and is beyond measure.

As I sit here on my 40th day in state prison (all of which has been spent in solitary confinement) and I read how humble the Lord is, I feel compelled to serve Him even more.  I have been teaching what I can out in the recreation cages which I am allowed in for one hour a day.  I have also been spreading the gospel through my cell door and of course, writing this blog, but it is not enough.  Indeed, the worst part about being in solitary is not being able to help more inmates; not being able to fellowship and attend church.  It has caused me great despair and sadness.   (more…)

Created To Love And Worship

Randall Daluz - Cloud Of LightRomans 8:18-21  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Dear Readers,  We were created out of love.  We were made to love our Creator and each other.  We are meant to worship our Father, GOD, Who is the Creator of the entire universe.  We were meant to be one with God and each other, but our choice to sin created a schism that caused us to be separated from the Lord.  Some of you may be on the fence when it comes to God and Christianity.  In fact, some of you who are reading this may not believe at all.  Perhaps you are just curious and that curiosity brought you here.  Curiosity is good.  God gave it to us to inspire us to seek and find the truth.  Like any loving parent, He enjoys watching us discover.  You may be skeptical and think it quixotic to ponder God or His purpose for us. (more…)

I Am Not Perfect, I Am Forgiven

Randall Daluz - Let Jesus Have The Final WordII Corinthians 4:5-6  For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Dear Readers,  It is not easy being a Christian, which is why it is such a narrow path to walk.  None of us are Jesus Christ, though some people expect us to be.  It’s like – all of a sudden, now that we’re saved, we’re expected to be perfect.  I am just a man.  I am not worthy of the Lord’s salvation, but He has given it to me never-the-less.  Praise You, Lord!  THANK YOU, JESUS!

Recently, I have had a couple of incidents where people have called the validity of my faith into question.  Boy, does it hurt when that happens.  It stings like vinegar on an open wound with salt on top.  Painful stuff.  Not long after my last post, “A Stress-Free Life“, I was put into a situation where I momentarily let stress get the best of me.  Now, I did employ the techniques that I wrote about and they did work like they almost always do.  None-the-less, I felt convicted.  The devil clouded my mind with doubt that night.  He made me feel like I let God and all the folks who look up to me down.  I tossed and turned on my pillow, feeling shame.  I wrote a letter of apology to the person I had a disagreement with that night.  My conscience would not rest until I did.  That person had made a comment to me stating, “I thought you were supposed to be a man of God.”  Man, that hurt.  When I was done with the letter, I fell to my knees and cried, “Lord, forgive me, for I have misrepresented You, my King.” and I prayed for His peace and strength.  The Lord spoke to my heart.   (more…)

Jeromy C. Merchant

This is Part 5 of our 6-part interview series.  Please pray for Jeromy as he continues to grow in the Lord.

I grew up in a small town, named Livermore Falls, in the state of Maine since I was about seven years old.  Before that most stuff is a blur so I am not sure the order of it or if some of it is even real.  I have an older sister by two years.  We had a rocky relationship growing up and still have not mended it.  My mother was a stay at home mom that ran a bakery business out of the house and occasionally worked at restaurants as the cook.  My biological father and mother got divorced when I was about one.  I have a step father that has been there since and I consider him to be my dad.  He worked a steady job all my life to support our family.  He is and always has been the essence of a REAL man.  I suffered a great deal of bullying while growing up in Livermore Falls.  Around the age of thirteen, I finally started to fight back and I had a real “knack” for it.  So, naturally, I ended up getting into trouble ’cause of it.

I was never incarcerated until I was eighteen.  Now I am thirty-four and still in lock-up.  I served about a total of twelve years for an assortment of crimes ranging from simple assault to elevated aggravated assault.  I have gun charges, thefts, burglary, domestic violence and even a kidnapping charge.  I have served a sentence in Texas Penitentiary and been locked up in all of the Maine DOC facilities. (more…)



Dear Readers:

I want to talk to you about Grace.  We are saved by the grace of the Lord.
[2 Corinthians 8:9]  Praise Jesus!  He became poor so that we could become rich.  The Son of God, one-third of the Trinity, humbled Himself and live in poverty so that we can be rich; so that we can inherit His kingdom and rule with Him.  He doesn’t want us to just be servants, He wants us to rule with Him.  Hallelujah!  [John 17:20-22]  He wants us to be one with Him and the Father – “And the glory which you gave me, I have given them.”  God the Father gave Him glory and He gave that glory to us. (more…)

Love, Not Hate

heartondarkrainywindowDear Readers:
Being in the situation I am in, I have come face to face with hate. There are a lot of wayward souls who spew misguided anger at me. They assume the worst about me without really knowing me or the true facts about my situation. Some hate me because I am biracial. Others believe I am some ignorant, uneducated loser from some ghetto. Still others hate just to hate. There was One who came long before anyone ever hated me and He was spit on, whipped, beaten, persecuted and crucified. His name is Jesus Christ. I will never pretend to compare myself to my Lord, but going though this has brought me closer to Him and helped me identify with Him. Jesus endured all that suffering… for me, the people who hate me and even for the ones who hate Him. (more…)