Monday, January 6, 2020

Monthly Update - December 2019

Making a difference update, from the recovery field – December 2019 edition… Below are some bullet points of the highlights that happened in the Life Issues ministry over the last month:

· Life Issues was able to give out over 25 boxes of food in 2019, to the hungry in our community, via our Morsels for Many food pantry!

· Jim has been writing to multiple incarcerated men in December, which has been a blessing.

· Kevin Frost became a peer specialist thru Missouri Credentialing Board on 12-9!

· Life Issues helped one of our men with a car part and repair bill on 12-10, to enable him to get to work and church, PTL!

· HBF helped one of our folks with their electric bill on 12-12!

· One of our ladies got full custody of her son in court on 12-19!

· HBF assembled several Christmas boxes of food, which benefited several of our Life Issues folks, so it was a blessing to see folks giving and receiving with thankfulness!

· We worked with a local business to give two faithful students $290 for Christmas, to help with their bills! This married couple let me know that they have their bills paid up for the first time in a few years; I’m so thankful for this businesses’ desire to help the less fortunate in our community!

· I celebrated 34 years at my job on 12-23, and started number 35!

· We gave away a box of Bibles in 12-29, along with some John and Romans, to a women’s shelter for distribution!

· On 12-20 we celebrated Christmas by having one of the ladies from Lily’s House give her testimony, it was amazing and an 18 minute video of it can be found on our website; It was a big night for us; one of our men played Santa Claus and we gave out gifts, took pictures, and enjoyed pizza together after the testimony! There were over 70 adults and 15 children at this event, and a couple of people professed Christ, it was an amazing night, thanks to all who helped!

· One of the men that we’ve worked with and written to while incarcerated, has been released for about a month now, and was accepted into Joshua House on 12-30, here is his testimony… 

“I used to ask the man in the mirror to change his ways. Those unknown ways that continued to tilt my behavior had me condemned, and lost, without hope, on my way to hell, and I was in Adam. Not only was I in a physical prison, but I was in the devil's prison, controlled and in bondage by my sinful nature (Eph. 2:12; 4:18, 19; Romans 5:12; Galatians 5:19-21).

· I thank God that I found the gospel; as I continued to make bad choices, and hit my rock bottom, and look for help. I found Life Issues and a church (Heartland Baptist Fellowship), a group of men and women who will look in the mirror with me and help me address my sin and behaviors with a spiritual stand point. With my new brothers and sisters in Christ cramming the gospel down my throat, and encouraging me to read my Bible, I decided to real all of the New Testament, it changed my life. It was a point in my life where I was still fighting a war within myself, still holding onto some sin, in a mental prison, that’s the condition God found me in!!

· The New Testament had me realize that I no longer had to fight this war myself, that I couldn’t win the war by myself, that I couldn’t win the war by myself anyways. That’s when I gave it all to God, every single little thing I asked God to release me from the bondage of sin that controlled my life. I asked God to come into my life and I repented sincerely for all my sins.

· A new freedom came over me, I could feel the Holy Spirit, and even though I was in a physical prison it doesn’t really matter anymore, because I was free on the inside!!! And I was not alone anymore, God took me out of Adam and placed me in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11)! I thanked God that he sent his son to die for my sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

· As I kept reading my Bible, I prayed and thanked God for his grace and for helping me to be the new man that I am still working on today (Ephesians 4:20). I cannot self-correct problems before they even happen. The Holy Spirit speaks to me and tells me not to do certain things. It’s a process and because of my new gratitude and love for the Lord, I’m more obedient, my language is cleaned up too. I’m not sinless, but I do sin less. I have new hangouts, I go to cleaner places, and talk to Godly people. My relationships are built around Christ, his word and the church. There’s great fellowship and supernatural love for my brothers in Christ, and for the brothers that mentored me, or had my back when I was at the lowest point in my life. As the new creature, I stopped running my own life and let God, the Holy Spirit direct me (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Romans 8:14).

· I surrender everything to him, and the new man and new Journey and adventure begins to happen. This is the new life and journey I am working on still today. I have only got started - Jason

Sincerely, Steve Fleshman – Life Issues pastor and founder, Proverbs 4:23…

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