My Family in North Carolina
These are the leaders of the Shepherds Heart Prison Ministry at Southern Correctional Institute in Troy, North Carolina
Just yesterday I discovered that I have family in North Carolina that I never knew about before. It all happened so suddenly, and all because of an email. Let me explain. Three of our Disciplers classes take place behind prison walls. The classes are possible by the grace of God because precious, godly, selfless women give of their time, energy, and hearts to go to the correctional facilities each week and provide a Bible study class using Disciplers materials. They are the faithful women of Shepherds Heart Prison Ministry.
Several weeks ago here at Disciplers, we received a donation from one of those prison classes. It was a relatively small donation, but it was a love gift from the Shepherd’s Heart leaders of that class. Those leaders are not paid, and of course the inmates are unable to make donations. But in addition to paying for the printing of lessons for about two hundred inmates and fundraising in order provide them with gifts at Christmas, they sent money to Disciplers.
The Lord spoke to my heart about receiving this gift and I immediately felt that Disciplers should not be receiving the donation, but making one instead. I immediately sent a note and an email to the leader of the group, telling her of my thoughts and of the burden God had placed upon my heart to pray for the women of Shepherds Heart and the precious ones they serve.
Not long afterwards, I received an email saying that what I had written had been shared with the inmates. And suddenly and gloriously I was given family in North Carolina. I am praising the Lord and praying for these precious women. I would like to share with you parts of the email I received from the dear woman who is the teaching leader of this Shepherds Heart class at Southern Correctional Institute in Troy, North Carolina. Here it is. It will explain about my new family.
Oh, how I wish you ladies of Disciplers could have been present at the prison when I read your note to the ladies! As I read them your promise to provide their lessons and your promise to keep them covered in prayer they were so humbled and so joyful and so appreciative. Then I read them your email where you said that you wanted to help the next time we fundraised. That took them over the edge! It’s like your generosity to them was just never going to stop! Many of our beloveds shed tears of gratitude while at the same time giving all the Disciplers team and God a shout of praise and thanksgiving! Your gracious and loving generosity just overwhelmed these women who often feel forgotten and unloved.
Your note and email was an expression of God’s love to them. Through you He lavished His love on them! THANK YOU!!! Thank you so much!
I wish I could send you a picture of God’s imprisoned Beloveds at Southern Correctional Institute. They are so radiant with the Spirit of Christ! In their eyes you can see a deep hunger for God’s Word. I wish you could hear the in-depth answers these women share on the Disciplers Bible Studies questions! Wow! They sometimes spend hours on just one question!
These women are not just prisoners, they are Prisoners of Hope. They are Worship Warriors who have accepted God’s call to use their “time” as His time, regardless of the consequences they may face from other prisoners! Their walk is so vibrant and victorious that they’ve acquired a nickname in the NC Correctional System; they are called The Jesus Camp! Oh, how I wish you could meet them.
Even though you may never meet them face to face, we are united through Christ and these women see Disciplers as Family. And these women PRAY over their family members! Already they’re asking, “How can we pray for our Family at Disciplers?” And know this, when these Warrior Women commit to pray, they truly commit to pray! You have a team of Worship Warriors storming the Throne of God on your behalf!
Thanks be to God for His unifying Spirit who unites us in prayer, even when we are miles and miles apart!
Did this touch your heart as it has touched mine. If so, I hope you will remember to pray for the Shepherds Heart Prison Ministry in North Carolina and for those beloved women to whom they minister the word of God. They are my family.
From my heart
For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
God speaks through His word, the Holy Bible, and here is proof of that. The seventy women of Wednesday Girls Bible Study in Huntsville, Alabama studied the Book of Hebrews this year. On their final night together, each one was asked to write down what God had said to her as she studied Hebrews. We are privileged to share some of their responses with you. I wish we had room to share them all.
The old is gone - the new has come! “There is grace for that!” The victory is simply being at the throne of Grace. Evaluate: Practice the Throne of grace. Faith activates grace. Make yourself at home in the love of God! See to it that I do not refuse Him who speaks! Make time for the things that renew you. Disgrace disappears in grace. The supremacy of Christ! Amen! - - -
It takes no effort to drift. The people of faith in Hebrews were always moving, always growing. And once they left their spiritual milk for solid food, they did not turn back to the baby bottle. We have to do the same. Move forward and let our hurts and mistakes work for God. - - -
Depression, despondence, desperation and discouragement speak very loud in our minds. If we listen in our “desert” times, God is whispering. The desert times are not designed to cause us to disbelieve God, they are designed to cause us to depend on God. He wants to comfort and encourage. Take the time to listen and have ears to hear Him. - - -
What encouragement this study of Hebrews has been. Hebrews truly connects the Old and New Testament. Thank you Father for Your sovereign plan - we have Jesus and His new Covenant - we don’t have to walk in the Law - we have the privilege of walking in His Spirit - Amen! - - -
Although I will never fully comprehend Christ’s finished and complete work on the Cross, I have the privilege to spend my life cultivating a legacy to help others know the saving grace of our great High Priest. Furthermore, in spite of hardship, I am called as His daughter to teach truth and lead others and fight the good fight NO MATTER WHAT! - - -
He will provide me better rest and help for today. He will provide His mercy and grace when I need it most. He expects me to give mercy and grace to others. He expects me to feed, not just be fed. He is interceding on my behalf now! Thank you Lord! - - -
God has spoken to me in such a big way throughout this study. I gained so much insight into the Old Covenant that I was not aware of before and the way it fit into God’s perfect plan for Christ to be the ultimate sacrifice. All of this has been so meaningful to me. To know that God loves us this much that He would sacrifice His perfect Lamb for us. This Easter weekend will be the most meaningful one ever for me because of this study. - - -
Jesus is our High Priest and superior to any other. Better than angels and Moses. Better promises and better rest. He is the Radiance of God’s glory. Always remember, His Sovereignty makes the impossible possible. - - -
Approach the throne of grace with confidence to help in the time of need. Nothing is hidden from God. Nothing. Everything, I mean everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of God. Always remember, there is grace for that. - - -
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! He is my everything! He is God’s gift to me, my Creator, Prophet, High Priest and King! I can trust God and Jesus! My faith in Jesus saves me. My trust and hope is in Him. - - -
The contrast between the old and the new:
- old priesthood - replaced by our high priest forever
- the continual sacrifices replaced by the perfect sacrifice
- the blood of animals replaced by the precious blood of Christ
- repetition replaced by eternity
- Be content that God is enough. Is God my ultimate reality to be desired? - - -
The study of Hebrews has helped me focus my mind on Christ and move towards spiritual maturity.
Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King and the final sacrifice for our sin - once and for all. - - -
In Hebrews God asks me to believe that Christ has saved me completely. I may never fully grasp all He has done for me and yet He wants me to have faith - that is enough. God wants me to rest in Him daily and come to Him daily. He will supply abundant grace to help me run the unique race that He has set out before my life to finish. - - -
It takes no effort whatsoever to drift and go with the current of this world, but as Christians we are called to so much more. We must dig deeper into God’s Word and not rely on others for our “spiritual food” and by doing so He promises to fill us with His Spirit, which will result in changed lives - ours and those around us! - - -
The Lord has shown me the magnitude of His New Covenant and I am truly free. Free from the letter of the law, because it is fulfilled in Him. He is the author and finisher of my faith and as I look to the unseen, He is there to equip me for the race. I can praise His excellent name for saving me and making me holy. - - -
Through this study of Hebrews, God has drawn me closer to Him. My hunger and thirst to KNOW Him has become almost unquenchable! He has pushed me to the end of myself, and convicted me to get out and serve. I have grown so much over these 13 weeks. I have learned “there is grace for that,” “use God’s tools,” “the devil has nothing in me,” “get off my spiritual baby bottle,” “KNOW Him, don’t just work for Him,” “do something,” “pour into others.” - - -
For me, the book of Hebrews has reminded me that my walk with Jesus is intentional. Receiving His grace, demonstrating it to others “there is grace for that.” The warnings to stand firm, know the truth, recognize my sinfulness and that God works in me and through me in my weakness! Jesus is enough. All sufficient, superior to all else, the only one worthy of all glory and honor and praise. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the Lord, worship His holy name, sing like never before, oh my soul, worship His holy name. - - -
It is ok. You will always be ok because God will always be with you. Even when you feel alone, God is with you. - - -
Hebrews 12:20-21 spoke to me:
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the new covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. - - -
Thank you, ladies for studying the Book of Hebrews with open hearts, and thank you for listening to God’s voice --
(Hebrews 12:25). He has poured His blessings out upon us through you.
I have been involved in Disciplers since 1987, as a discussion leader, teacher, writer, and now as director. I am profoundly committed to the stewardship of this ministry which God has entrusted to me for a time. God’s word is the chief joy of my life. I cherish my personal time in the word, and I am filled with gratitude to be able to share His word with you, my fellow disciples in Christ.