Nancy’s Blog

April 30, 2016

Praying for family and friends of Albert Lee Thomas.  Untimely death is always a tragedy, but it is enhanced within prisons!

PARCHMAN, Mississippi — Officials continue to investigate the death of an inmate at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.  The Mississippi Department of Corrections says in a news release Friday that 35-year-old Albert Lee Thomas Jr. was pronounced dead after prison officials were unable to revive him.  He was in a Unit 29 cell alone when found April 19. Autopsy results are pending.  Thomas was serving a life sentence for homicide in Hinds County. He was sentenced on Dec. 1, 2004.

 

 

April 28, 2016

Joe and I were honored tonight to be chosen as Volunteers of the Year at Federal Correctional Complex Yazoo.  We have served in this facility for ten years, providing church services in the Camp, the Low and the Medium units.  We are scheduled to pick up a service in the penitentiary as soon as they work out a few kinks.

 

 

April 25. 2016

You know how you feel when you are wanting a letter, but when that bundle of pages arrive, your heart really falls?!?  Even in ministry this happens to us so I know it happens to family and friends of those incarcerated.  Trying to read what someone is thinking is almost impossible.  Your heart is there, but your mind does not seem to be able to connect.  There are many problems to be dealt with when your loved one is locked up.  The legal aspect is the most difficult to deal with.  Laws change, lawsuits are won and lost, DOC regulations are sometimes like God’s mercy – new every morning!  And when we are asked to follow up on these things, it can be overwhelming.  This is when you need to make the decision of what you can do and what you cannot do, what you are able to do and what you are unable to do.  Once you make these decisions you can be at peace when you are pushed to do more.  It takes a healthy mindset to not take on what is someone else’s problem.  Loving them does not obligate you to follow their instructions or their directions.

 

 

April 22, 2016

As you may see, I still struggle with the website.  I want it to be a site where you will feel love and comfort in the midst of your own troubles.  I think I will need to do what I preach – do what I know to do, and then ask God for wisdom in doing anything else.

This week I am reading a book by Ray McCollum, The Power of God-Given Imagination.  It has quickened my thinking and enlarged the vision of what God has placed in my heart.  One scripture resonates with me, and I shared it today with an old friend.  Acts 13:36 – For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep.  I know I have read this scripture many times, but it just grabbed me this time.  I am here to serve the purpose of God in my generation.  My generation will have a lot to answer for when we get to the other side.  I’m a 60’s girl and although I was on my own track of starting a family, my generation ushered in the feel good life style.  If it feels good, it’s okay to do it.  Well, it wasn’t okay, and now we have descended into a level of life I thought I would never see.  A world where sin is not only tolerated, but where we are to accept it as the norm.  It is not the norm, and it will never be the norm!

This week we had two church services, one Bible study and two life skill classes at our local prison.  Monday night one of the guys showed me a picture he has in his Bible.  It is from a newspaper article describing a meeting the task force had, and there I sat on the front row with my friend!  We try to keep ourselves informed as to what is going on in the world of incarceration in the state of Mississippi.  It is not always encouraging!

 

 

April 20, 2016

I received a letter this week from one of our inmates.  He reminded me that we originally met at one of our state prisons in 2007 when I was there with Bill Glass Champions for Life.  He said that he has moved to seven different prisons in the last few years but that I always kept up with him.  He is now in a state prison that has a seminary program.  He hopes to enroll in the fall semester.  New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary sponsors the classes in this prison.  I am so thankful for good programs within the prison system that allows inmates to improve themselves while doing their time.  He brought a smile to my face and peace in my heart.

 

 

January 5, 2015

After the last service at Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City MS last night one of my long time inmates was talking to me about some of the books he is reading and some of the gospel music he is listening to these days. I told him I was pleased with his spiritual growth and then asked him – are you spending time being totally quiet, totally removed from technology, in order to give God time to speak to you? He had that deer in the headlights look, but then he took up my challenge for the coming month. So enjoy watching these inmates grow in the Lord!

 

December 31, 2014

I am ending this year as I usually do—looking back to see what worked and what didn’t, and looking forward to see what is to be done in the new  year.  I feel satisfied with some things, and I feel frustrated with others.  I will be talking with the Lord about all of this over the coming days.

As I also grow a year older and seem to be approaching the end of this life as I know it, I am taking a moment to review my life.  Please don’t think that I am being morbid or that I am depressed.  I am most certainly not!  I just feel the shortness of time, and I want to be sure that I make the most of it.  If I could have done one thing differently though, it would be that I would have studied the Bible more.  I can see many decisions that I made that are contrary to the principles in the Bible.  I can see many mistakes that I made because I did not know what God has already said.  I can see that I have not thought about myself as God thinks about me.  While I cannot do anything about the past, I can do something about the future.  I am determining to read my Bible more, to study the principles I find there, and to begin to put into practice what I learn each and every day.  It won’t be long until I see Him face to face, and I desire to be the best that I can be.  The Word is the way that I can do this.  2 Timothy 2:15—Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

November 4, 2014

This year has been a challenge for me in the area of technology.  When my computer crashed this summer I purchased Microsoft Office for my laptop through a discount site that I thought was reliable.  They serve teachers and students alike.  Unknown to me that when I downloaded this program, one and one half MILLION temporary files also downloaded with a virus behind it.  I have received a stern warning from my sons and the computer guy to be more careful on what I download.  Even now, I don’t see how I could have known what would have happened.  The good news is that I am up and running again at a good speed.

We had 3 services at Federal in Yazoo City Sunday and today I travel south with a ministry friend for service at South MS Correctional Facility, aka Greene County, aka the throw away prison.  I love these guys, or I would not make this trip down.  I leave around noon and won’t return until close to midnight.  It is a long hard day, but prison ministry is where my heart is.

Joe and I have recently visited San Francisco for a time of fellowship, fun, and food!  We had a great time together seeing things we had never seen, eating fresh seafood and real Chinese food, and riding the cable car throughout the city.  We get away very often, but we had so much fun that we want to do another trip soon.

 

August 4, 2014

Yesterday Joe and I were in Yazoo City for three church services at the Federal Correctional Complex.  We were a little early so we stopped to freshen up at a local restaurant.  A little old lady seemed to be trying to place me so she asked where I lived.  I told her we are from Clinton and that we were in town for church service at the federal prison.  She blinked and said she didn’t know they have church at the prison.  We travel to get to our mission field, and she lives next to it but doesn’t know it’s there.  Sad but true that the church, as a whole, has abandoned our fallen brothers and sisters.

I was watching a program recently that showed Eskimos who were in the lower 48 for the first time.  As they walked by the homeless laying on the sidewalks, one said – “this would never be allowed in our village.  We help each other!”  If the church, as a whole, would go into our jails and prisons, we could take back what the enemy has stolen!

 

July 21, 2014

We are rejoicing this week at In Him Ministries!  In March the state of Mississippi set an execution date on one of my Death Row inmates.  She spent about 4 weeks believing the state would execute her.  She prepared to leave this world and meet Jesus.  The execution date came and went with no information given to her.  Days after the Mississippi Supreme court overturned her conviction.  My inmate was told then to get ready to be moved back to her county.  She packed up, gave things away, and said her goodbyes to inmates around her. Then, she sat and she sat and she sat.  This past Sunday, after 3 1/2 months,  they swooped in under the cover of night and moved her back to her county jail.  She will sit there until her county district attorney decides if he still has enough evidence to take her back to trial. We are praising God she is one step closer to her freedom!

 

July 18, 2014

It has been a roller coaster week at In Him Ministries!  Joe and I are back from the Southwest Believers Convention in Ft. Worth, and as always, we are fired up!  God has shown Himself strong, and we were much blessed by the people and by the Word that was preached.  Back in the swing of things, I experienced an attack in my body and missed two services in the prison.  Just because I am healed by the stripes of Jesus does not mean sickness never attacks me.  It means I have to stand against the sickness, and I have to believe God for my healing.

I have a new group of inmates in my 1A classes.  The 1A Program is part of the mental health department for women at Central MS Correctional Facility in Pearl, MS.  I have just finished my 4th year working in this program, and it is so fulfilling to me.  We have a small group of inmates that must first of all qualify for the program.  Upon interviewing and acceptance, each much sign a contract to commit to the 6 month program.  I provide a study of the book, Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend, and a study of Joyce Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind.

Boundaries has given me understanding of my life – why I am the way I am, why I made choices that I made, and how I can make changes that need to be made for the future I desire.  When you don’t have healthy boundaries, you turn control of your life over to someone else which was never intended by God.  I also learned that there is a difference in the daily loads we all must carry and the burdens of life.  The daily loads are my own responsibility to take before the Lord, and I should not pass them onto others to deal with. Burdens of life come from time to time, and we are to ask our brothers and sisters for assistance in dealing with them.

Battlefield of the Mind is a comprehensive study of the renewal of the mind.  Once you are saved, born again, a Christian, you are to proceed to Romans 12:1-2.  These verses tell you what your next steps should be.  1.  You should present your body a living sacrifice.  Stop living after the flesh, satisfying those carnal desires.  2.  Stop looking like the world.  Don’t dress like the world and don’t conform to the world’s standards.  3.  Renew your mind to the Word of God.  Get the world’s thinking out of your mind, and put the Word of God into your mind.  Meditation on God’s Word is the only way you can successively live in the world we call Today!

My confession today – I expect my greatest blessing ever because great grace is upon me and abounding abilitites are within me!

 

February 14, 2014

Today is a special day for me, and I guess it will always be.  Last year, Valentine’s Day, my mother left this world and moved to heaven.  I had the privilege of her living with us for the last 8 years of her life, and I will always be thankful for that time.  We had some special moments over those years that keep my heart warm as I remember.  Caregiving is a difficult task, and I could not have done it without Joe.  When I was at my end, he would step in and take over.  When he could no longer manage, I would step back in.  We were able to provide this care only by working together.

This year we will celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner out and then the MS Symphony Orchestra, Oh, What A Night!  Sixties music that will bring many memories back as we travel through time to the days of dating, marriage, and babies.  I am so thankful that my memories are good and bring a smile to my face.  After 19 years of prison ministry, I realize that not everyone has good memories.  Many are still struggling to overcome events that seek to destroy them.  Some started life as a rape baby, some were abused by the ones that should have been protecting them, some were tossed out like the daily garbage.  The pain I experience as I minister to incarcerated men and women is sometimes overwhelming.  I have to do what I teach them to do.  I have to take it to the Lord, and I have to leave it there.  I cannot pick it back up, because if I do, I cannot effectively minister to the hurting, walking wounded.

Thankful this year, and especially this day, that I serve a risen Savior!

 

 

January 26, 2014

We have recently returned from the Kenneth Copeland Ministries annual ministers conference.  I am stirred up in my spirit – fifteen messages over three days from great men of God!  We are so privileged to be ministered to by these great leaders.

It’s impossible to share everything that God talked to me about while I was there, but I will go over some of them.  I am not posting these for debate but for your consideration.

Rejoice, every thing is looking up!

He who commanded light on the earth, commanded glory in me!  2 Corinthians 4

His grace moves with His instruction.  When you ignore His instruction, His grace is no longer with you, and you will miss what God wants to do through you.

Patience is the art of living unresponsive to pressure.

The first rule of holes is that if you are in one, stop digging!

What dominates your thoughts – God’s word or your circumstances?

Activate our altars like never before!

When you pray are you saying a prayer or talking to a person?

Your greatest responsibility is becoming more skillful in the ways of God.

These thoughts are only part of the sprinkles – on the icing – on the cake!  I feel so built up in my spirit that I am receiving instructions from God on what to do and what not to do.  There is so much that needs to be done in the realm of incarceration, but I must be diligent to do only my part.  At the moment, I cannot minister to released inmates personally.  I cannot be an advocate for prisoner’s rights.  I cannot speak about what needs to be done to fix a broken justice system.  What I can continue to do is take God’s love to those incarcerated through church services, Bible studies, and life skill classes.

 

November 6, 2014

I want to personally welcome you to our website.  And also ask for your patience as I learn to build and maintain the content over the coming days, weeks, months, but, hopefully not, years!  I have determined if my grandchildren can do this, so can I!

In Him Ministries is a prison ministry operating in the state of Mississippi, but also reaching out to inmates from Georgia’s Death Row to San Quentin.  I began ministry in 1995 with one inmate, and now minister to hundreds personally each year.  I provide church services, Bible studies, and life skill classes to inmates on the federal, state and county levels. Recently, I publish my first book, I Believe in You!  This book was written primarily for inmates coming into the prison system, but it is a book that will help every Christian grow spiritually.

As our site develops, I hope to share the letters of encouragement that I send out each month to inmates, inmate families, and our contributors.  As the Lord puts something on my heart, or as I learn something new from the Bible, I share these things with those who need an extra touch from God.  I dream of one day posting videos that released inmates can access to continue following the things I am teaching and preaching in the prisons.

For now, thanks again for visiting our site!

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