And now for the final installment of our brother’s God-story. Part 1 begins on October 21:

continually reaching higher

“My trust in Him is complete. Don’t get me wrong, the me in me comes to the surface often. But at the start of each day I give it all to Him, throughout the day I thank and praise His awesome providence and forethought. And by the end of each day I am thrilled to release: ‘cast all my cares upon Him’ (1 Peter 5:7).
“I had to ask Him to help me get this story out. To set out the story that glorifies Him, and not the me in me that’s always trying to vie for some of that attention.
“For the sake of keeping this a reasonable length I have given you only the essential facts. I’ve not come close to relating how I have witnessed God’s great power at work everywhere I go (and for a guy who is ‘locked up’ I seem to get around a bit!) and the struggles and victories my family and friends are experiencing. Many ministries have affected my thinking and given me opportunities to grow and understand His love. And just when I think I get it, I realize His is so much more than I can understand.
“I can tell you my mental health issues are completely non-existent. I experienced a healing of spirit and mind that is absolutely unexplainable and real. God brought me into His peace in that moment [in a dream from God described in his letter] and I have rarely been anxious since.
“I celebrate sobriety and recovery every day since Christmas of 2012. This has been an incredible period of growth and change in which He overcame my psychological, emotional, and spiritual imbalance. The filthy language and thought patterns I was accustomed to using, the insatiable lust I developed over a lifetime of debauchery, my need and desire to control and manipulate circumstances, situations, and individuals, my substance abuse issues, and other destructive habits.
“I also distinctly ‘felt’ the Lord say ‘Welcome home son,’ the first time I took communion at our chapel service near Easter of 2012.
“I spent nearly twelve months in jails on the north Oregon coast between May 2013 and April 2014. Most of you have probably never been provided with an opportunity quite like this. I was given a whole year of near complete solitude. Every care I had was carefully and lovingly lifted from my clinging grasp, forever.
“I spent that year immersed in God’s Word, and in conversation with Him, sharing His love and His hope with inmates, visitors, and through my correspondence with friends and family. Communicating in this new language with the support He provided. A major lesson I learned through this period is ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ Whatever you put in your body, mind, or spirit is what you are going to get out.
“Today He continues to encourage me in ways that mean so much to me. His work is obviously prevalent everywhere I go. I fall short every day and He puts me back on my feet. My goal is to glorify God by growing into the example of consistent integrity He showed us through my Savior Jesus Christ.
“The most recent development is that God has created the opportunity for several of us men here to publicly proclaim His Sovereign power in our lives through baptism. There is a huge movement of the Holy Spirit here. Prayer works!
“He can and will heal, simplify, and bring peace into each and every one of your lives. He asks only for us to look to Him first and foremost. Accept and immerse yourself in the abundance of His blessings. They are immeasurable.”
“Come Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen’ (Revelation 22:20-21).


My list of Must Reads:

The Secret Things of God by Dr. Henry Cloud

Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralic
The Shack by W.M. Paul Young
Wild at Heartby John Eldredge
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

 

Next in the One of the Cloud Series: the story of an English parlor maid who wouldn’t take no for an answer. 

#heroesofthefaith #mygodstory #praisingGodfromprison #mentalhealthandsobriety #prisonbaptism