Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Here are a few of the personal responses I’ve received from the men who are in prison. 

However, before you read those, I want to share that I’m also trying to encourage some of their families, mainly their children. You see, I was a child while my dad was in prison the first time, and I remember receiving gifts from strangers on behalf of my dad. This included stamps so I could send my dad letters (something the prisoners really appreciate).

These are photos of a package I recently sent to a five-year-old girl by request of one of the prisoners for his daughter. He only asked if I could send her a little girl's Bible. I decided to send her a little more than that (one is a "big girl's" Bible for her mom to save for her until she's old enough; it's not shown here because her full name is on it and I don't want that to be seen). You can see the "little girl's" Bible I sent by viewing the pictures. According to my dad, this girl's dad is in for twenty years for selling drugs. That will take up his little daughter’s entire childhood, and it breaks my heart that she won’t ever grow up knowing the protection of her dad. The photo below is a picture of her little bible cover for her "Sweetest Story Bible." It was originally plain pink. That was boring, so I decorated it a bit. Her name is on the back, but I won't show that here. You see, the little girl Bible above will teach her the popular Bible stories, assuming she's never heard them. I also sent her a "Bible Promise Book" so she can "get to know" God a bit better by learning about his promises and how to trust in Him.

I also sent two "kids" Bibles to two other children: one boy age 8 and a girl age 10. This was not requested by this prisoner, but he did ask that I send them some "Bible studies." I'm sending them the materials I'm using in my Wednesday evening 4-5 grade classes as a "correspondence course" for these kids. I'm curious if they'll actually do them. I promised them a certificate if they complete the thirteen week "study." 

Below begin the “thank you’s” from the men, WRITTEN BY MY DAD who has access to a computer (I left out their last names). Under Kemph listed in number 2, I had to send this man a giant print Bible:

1. Dennis is standing right here and says, "Thank you very much for the books. Thanks to the lady who wrote me the letter. It was very much appreciated.

Sandi, Dennis is really coming alive in Christ. He's one of those four we burried with Christ. He loves the Lord. Pray for us all. Love you! Dad 

2.  Kemph is here and wants to tell you this. Firstly, both of us are blown away over his beautiful bible. He can read it!!! And he's sending in his bible study and says he wants to be baptized! I am so happy for him. Now here is what he wants to say:

"My handwriting isn't very good which you will see on my bible study. I can't tell you in words how much it means to have a nice bible like this. I'm willing to pay you for it, because I know they cost you all money. So, just tell your father and I'll be glad to send it. Because I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. And I will read it every day! And I won't forget where it came from. If there's anything I can do, please let me know or let your father know.

I'm looking forward to being baptized, more or less as soon as possible. I don't know how it is in here. [I'm going to study with him in the morning!] It's one of the nicest things that's ever been done, and I really appreciate it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I know the Lord will look out for you. Yours truly, Kemph."

Sandi, this is wonderful. I am so utterly happy for him and for all the people that have given to this. I have tears, because he is one I'd never have expected to respond!!! PRAISE GOD!!! He's about my age, has a long white beard and is tough as nails. He's a chiropractor has had a gazillion experiences in life and is an old rodeo bull rider. Not much on book learning, but very wise in the world. He’s in here on methamphetamines. PRAISE GOD!!!

Whoops he just came back and said, "And tell her how grateful I am for this bible!"

Whooooie! Please share this with all the folks who have given. Praise God. We'll surely baptize him soon. Praise God! I am ecstatic! Love, Dad

And lastly, a letter from Brian, which was sent to me via snail mail:

3. Thank you so much for your help in getting my Bible. As you can tell from your dad’s reaction, it is a great Bible. I just can’t thank you enough. And do not worry about the cover not being what I wanted, The Bible is what I wanted and more. I plan to use this Bible for years, and hopefully, I’ll be able to use it in school. It’s seeming impossible to find a Christian College that’s accredited and offers Christian Counseling or Psychology through correspondence. But even if not, your Dad and I are already putting our new Bibles to great use in one-on-one studies. Thank you again, Sandi, God has truly made you into a blessing.

In Christ’s name, Brian

P.S. If you ever need anything please let me know. Not sure what I can do from here, but I owe you a lot. Thanks!

Sandi here: Just so you all know, I don't want Kemph to "pay me back" for his Bible. I want him to have the experience of being GIVEN a GIFT. He owes me/us nothing. And so you can know what most of the prisoners are receiving, here's a photo of the Bibles I've been sending with their names engraved in gold on the lower right side. Here's where you can find it on Amazon.

Praising God for His blessings! Thank you ALL for making this possible!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Are Christians Bigots?

This recent picture found on a friend's Facebook page was rather disturbing. What is a "bigot" anyway? 

Here's how it's defined by the Webster's Dictionary: A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Okay, I'm for sure not "devoted" to my own "opinions."What I am devoted to is God and according to the Bully the Bullies Facebook page, that makes me a bigot.

Wow. Ouch. The only comfort I take in having stumbled upon this sign was that my friend did not "like" it.

So . . . this sign calls Christians "bigots," and yet their theme and name is "Bully the Bullies." 

Perhaps this person or these individuals have indeed been bullied by Christians, and as a Christian, I believe that kind of behavior is WRONG. But because I'm a Christian it also doesn't mean I was one of them! So . . . why lump all the Christians, who for the majority are peaceful, loving individuals, into this category? Are these people not being "bigots" as well by making such broad accusations?

This sign has served to make me fearful that I'm going to be bullied for being a Christian. And now, I'm becoming more fearful for my children and their futures as Christians. Is it possible that Christians will be next on the list of persecution?

I realized my unrest when we recently were able to buy a new car (new to us, anyway), and I thought how nice it would be to put the sign of a fish on the back. Then it occurred to me, what if someone attacked us because of that symbol of Christianity? Am I willing to put myself and my children in danger just for having the sign of a fish on our car? Wow. Would we even be in danger for wearing the sign of Christianity or am I just taking this "bully the bullies" site too literally? 

Of course, this made me think of the books I write, which are about the persecutions Christians have undergone in the past. What if the persecution of Christians is now a part of our future? Do I have the same courage and strength of my ancient brothers and sisters who paid the price for being followers of Christ?

Back to my question: Are Christians bigots because we believe what the Bible teaches is true? 

Here's how God defines a Christian and what we are to strive to be. I implore all Christians to ask yourselves if YOU are these things (what the Bible teaches us to be):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 

... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

And now I ask those non-Christians who want to bully us, is this the definition of a "bigot?"