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Chapter 6

Determination is Essential

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Chapter 6 pages 117-118

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 & Philippians 4:13

As a teen without transportation, I learned how to hitch-hike rides. I would often visit a girlfriend who lived twenty miles away. I was successful half the time recalling the frigid winter nights along the narrows, and the long, dark, winding roads I walked and jogged, especially around Lake Winola. I was motivated by love and determined to get there – no matter what it took. Ten years into my incarceration I became a follower of Christ. Motivated by His love I was determined to live for Him. I knew Jesus died for me, so I would live for Him.

 

Some of the ways I did this were:

I was determined to read my Bible and Pray.

I was determined to walk in fellowship with other believers.

I was determined to run to the cross with every failure and not live in guilt.

I was determined to lift my voice, softly and other time loudly, to worship in spite of my circumstances.

I was determined to tell others what Jesus had done for me.

I was determined to disciple other men.

I was determined to listen to the Holy Spirit whose ministry is to lead and guide us.

 

I hope they encourage you as you determine to serve Jesus where you’re at. Have a great week and share this with anyone you desire. If you wish to purchase a copy of Unshackled, you can go to my website www.genemcguire.org or at Amazon.com

Making a Difference

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Chapter 6 pages 110-117

Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:23; John 3:3

Could one person make a difference in our society? With total confidence, I say, “YES!” When God started humanity He created Adam. When He re-started humanity, He chose Noah. When God started the nations, He chose elderly Abram. When redeeming mankind from the work of the devil, He sent the God-man, Jesus Christ. Jesus brought the nature and power of heaven to earth and gave it to us and has been transforming lives ever since.

In chapter six of my book Unshackled, Joyce, a medical secretary at the prison in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, encouraged me towards a relationship with the Savior. She influenced my life towards eternity. Jesus Christ transformed my life and throughout the years of my incarceration, many others have been influenced by His love. The Apostle Paul lays out this beautiful plan to know God’s will for our lives. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the Word of God. Transformation (metamorphosis) has to do with a process that literally changes our nature from the inside out, thus the meaning You must be Born Again. So relax and allow the power of God’s Word to work.

The Word of God changes our nature and through this metamorphosis process, and we can know His will. The Word will teach you His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 Join me in spite of this busy week, spending time reading our Bibles. I’m totally confident that you will discover not only His will but, you will influence those around you to do likewise. If you want to purchase a copy of Unshackled you can from Amazon.com or from www.genemcguire.org

Relationships are better than Religion

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Chapter 6 pages 105-110

Romans 8:1-4

I think you’d agree that only a handful of people make a lifetime impression on us. My Mother was one of these people in my life. Her relationship with Jesus brought much joy and purpose to her life. “From pain to praise” would best describe her life after meeting Jesus. In chapter six of my book “Unshackled,” I shared some thoughts about the impression she left on me.

The first time mom met Warner, aka Big Moses, she told him, “you could easily be my son.” That may seem like a routine statement to many of you, but to Big Moses, it meant the world. He probably hadn’t heard words of affirmation like this in a very long time, if ever. She said it with some honesty and conviction and he believed it. She treated him as her own son for the rest of her earthly life.

I remember the time she listened to my friend Ricky, a fellow lifer, confessed he was struggling with “religion” and the “whole God thing.” She looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Ricky, it’s not about religion! It’s all about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s only through Him that you will find the greatest joy and purpose for your life.” Mom always had a way of speaking truth that never came off as self-righteous. A year later Ricky informed me that he had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He shared that the words my mom spoke to him were instrumental in his decision.

When I was a young believer my mother said to me, “Eugene, every experience you go through is not about YOUR sin. Jesus died once and for all so you could enjoy His life in you and walk in victory.” From that point on, the condemnation I had lived with was replaced with God’s acceptance. Her time with Jesus still influences my life today. God was glorified through her remaining years, leaving a beautiful testimony of God’s love to those who knew her.

Isaiah 43:7 says we were created for God’s glory. There is no better place to be today than in God’s will. I pray you have a blessed week and know our words or encouragement and truth have a long lasting impression on the people the Lord puts in our path. God Bless you.

Somebody robbed the prison

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Chapter 6 pages 103-105

Jeremiah 17:9

2 Corinthians 5:21

Like you, I’ve watched hundreds of movies and have heard numerous accounts of robberies that have taken place and as you know by now, I had shamefully participated in one myself as a teen.

In my book “Unshackled,” I mention the inmates at the SCI Camp Hill Prison who broke through a concrete wall and robbed the prison Commissary. Many of us stood scratching our heads in disbelief just like the authorities at how they could have done it. After a quick investigation, the few inmates suspected were dealt with and held accountable.

It wasn’t until some years later, and after hearing another crazy story of a guy who lost both arms attempting to steal glass insulators off high voltage power lines that I understood it was the condition of our hearts. It was told to me that while recovering in a hospital bed, he asked a visiting friend to steal the medical equipment being used to aid his recovery. It was then that I began to understand the real issue. It’s SIN.

“When the thousand years are up, Satan will be let out of his cell, and will launch again his old work of deceiving the nations.”
Revelation 20:7

A thousand years under lock and key may have contained the the devil but not the will. I heard someone say correctly, “Bars and chains have never changed a soul.”

Jeremiah writes, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” So, is there a cure or remedy? YES! Jesus, who knew no sin became a sin offering for us so that the righteousness of God could be ours.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 This is exciting news. When I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to be the LORD of my life, it was the best decision I have ever made. It wasn’t the 34 years nine months and 15 days I spent incarcerated that change my life, it was a relationship with Jesus my Savior! Be encouraged today and share this with someone you know.