Category Archives: Prison

Blood in, blood out

The creed of the gang
Blood in, blood out.

Identity
Attention
Insecurity
Acceptance
Significance
All gifted at the place of blood.

Slash a face
Forget any grace
Stab an enemy
A day in infamy
At the gang’s entrance
A deceiving sentence.

Only way out
Prove you can fight
Kick some butt
Spill more blood
Roll the dice
Pay the price.

The gang demanded the same cost
Blood to spill from His cross
The same blood to bring them in
In exchange for the gang’s sin
Opportunity to be bought out
Of darkness into the light.

The creed of the Godhead
Blood in, blood out.

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the creed of gang life is that you have to spill blood to get in, and the only way out is to spill more blood; even your own by death !.

So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified. (Mark 15:13-15 NKJV)…blood bought us into His Kingdom, and takes us out of “the gang” !.

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The eyes begin to change

If you look at his face
You will see a smile
But look into his eyes
And see the emptiness
His soul is numb
Not even a crumb
From life’s table
Left for the dog.

Without hope
Anesthetic emotions take control
Put out the fire
Numb the dream
That filled the pupil of the eye
Suboxon prescribed just narrows the pupil
Until the only thing seen
Is the next meal and prescription…

Nothing else.

The chaplain comes into his sight
Looks at the eyes and not the smile
Relationship established inside emotional bars
The chaplain begins to open some doors
Says “you have some intelligence and an ability to discern”
The surprised prisoner says “no ever told me that before”
The pupils begin to widen and the whites turn a little red
The eyes begin to change.

* Suboxone is prescribed to prisoners. You can tell they have been prescribed this because their pupils narrows dramatically.

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Mind Engraver

The deathly cry comes loud
The man is broken
On his knees
Eyes clenched tight
But tears still escape…
Then the volcano erupts
“God please help” !
“I’m wicked” !. “I’m lost” !. “I’m sorry” !.

His eyes open again
His heart now marshmellowed
Still on his knees
Humbled yet strong
Faith floods in: hope buds out
Change in focus from self to God
Life engraved into the heart and mind
Exchanged heart, exchanged life.

PS. One definition for the Greek word for “teacher” is “mind engraver”.

“I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people”. (Hebrews 8:10 NKJV)

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“Faith” (straight from the cell)

This poem is not mine.

It was written by a prisoner.

This prisoner has met Jesus in his cell. As his chaplain, I prayed with him and he began to weep in his cell. He has a real revelation of forgiveness; out of God’s forgiveness to him, has come his ability to forgive himself for his crime.

This prisoner was himself abused and neglected and didn’t know how to cope with it all. In his anger, he finds himself in jail, and now also finds himself in Christ !.

This is a song he wrote, so it may not make perfect rhyming sense. In fact, it has spelling errors, and theological errors. But remember, he has no church background and has known Christ for only 3 months.

The pen in the photo is one of the most precious things I own. In their cell, prisoners have their toiletries, a bed, a towel, a bible, a TV, and a pad of paper. most of these things are bought from their prison wage. Prisoners earn £2 per week. These pens are £1. That’s half a weeks wage.

After he sang me his song, and after I prayed for him, he gave me this pen !. Half a weeks wage !. It was like he was sharing communion with me. It was his way of giving me, and God thanks !.

This poem/song is an expression of a changed heart. Don’t just look at the words, look at the pen !.

“I’ve never seen you
But I no (sic) your beautiful”

“Now my time is all going well
I give you my life from my cell”

…now that’s a “sweet smelling savour” to The Lord !.

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When all is said and done

Did you help a prisoner be set free ?
Was life imparted when you preached ?
Have you given people the correct tree ?
When all is said and done.

Was your behaviour fitting a new creation ?
Was it persperation or revelation ?
Did your life reflect your Divine nature ?
When all is said and done.

Whose will did you finally obey ?
Was His Life within the thing you craved ?
Did your mind change to what God had changed ?
When all is said and done.

Was the Shepherd’s voice the voice you honed ?
In whose image was your life a clone ?
Have you left gold, silver & precious stones ?
When all is said and done.

Is there a legacy you’ve left behind ?
Is it spiritual or of fleshly kind ?
Does it show you’ve lived from a spiritual mind ?
When all is said and done.

Can you really say “I’ve done my part” ?
Can you say you’ve left behind your mark ?
Does your platform you’ve left give others the right start ?
When all is said and done.

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The prisoner’s new identity

The prisoners eyes open
To the man he has become,
No longer from the past
But a grace-fathered son,
Identity restored
No longer alienated,
From life fully available
No longer feels rejected.

He starts to feel different
To the man God ex-changed,
Effortless transformation
He knows he’s not the same,
Truth replacing lies
Begins to set him free,
That started with revelation
Of his new identity.

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Sea-sick punk

Why do people laugh at jokes
About getting rolling drunk,
Why does a smile come on a face
Thinking of a sea-sick punk ?

There’s something wrong with our values
That esteems the money spent,
On fermented rocket fuel
That blasts a soul to hell.

Think of accidents on the road
And innocent loss of life,
Let alone descending relationships
And the bruised and tearful wife.

Hospitals full of patients
With bodies that survive unwell,
Brains that are cooked forever
Locked in emotional cells.

There is no positive argument
That esteems a person drinking,
Lets value what gives life
It’s time for a different thinking.

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I am glad I am here

It seems that free verse poetry is the most common form of poetry now. Whilst I don’t like it because of the “odd” rhymes and rhythms, I thought I would give it a go. Here is a poetry account of a prison cell visit this morning (11.2.2013).

The cry of death rings out from his cell
The insecure prisoner sees the darkness he is in
No identity
No hope
No future
No idea
“Please help me” comes through a nervous smile
Through a mask well worn in time
“My da’ used to always laugh at me
But when I had a gun, the laughing stopped
I even got to be liked through an armed robbery
But that all changed to guilt and shame”

I said “lets exchange the lies for the truth
Who are you really ?
Do you believe the emotional lies
Or who God made you when you were born again
Belief in what Jesus did is the key
That will open new doors to a new identity”

The prisoner’s smile is now real
I think he is seeing what he hasn’t seen before
The Holy Spirit is now working
I am glad I am here.

(Note: “da’ ” is the Scots word for Father. It is pronounced “dar”)

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A bridge too far

“I want to keep dealing in drugs”
The prisoner said to me,
“So I can look after myself
I have no skills to be clean”

I said “when you give Him your life
He takes away that pressure
For He takes care of you
Because He has become your possessor”.

The prisoner then said to me
“I don’t think I could give him my heart
What about what I would lose ?
To me that is a big ask”.

“And I don’t think I could please Him
For my sin is seriously bad
This is all a bridge too far
I am happy not being too glad”.

I explained that He gives new desires
You change from the inside out,
He gives new perspectives and thoughts
Respond to that voice crying aloud.

It was time to lock up his cell
So I prayed God would give a new heart,
And show him there’s nothing to fear
And that He isn’t a bridge too far.

Note : this is a true story. As a prison chaplain, I visited a drug dealer who was fearful of becoming a Christian because he would not be able to look after himself. He was also worried that he wouldn’t be able to live to God. So I had to show him that God would look after him, give him new desires and change him from the inside out. This was all a bridge to far for him. He has asked me to him once a week…To be continued.

(This showed me how that Kingdom living is very radical indeed. We don’t look after ourselves, we change from the inside, we are empowered to live…this is all very unusual for those who live in the other Kingdom).

(This also showed me that it’s the sick need that need a physician, and showed me how much in church life we are catering to the healthy. I think we need a change in thinking).

The real prison cell

Jesus said He came to set the prisoner free
But is that only prisoners who sit behind bars ?,
For many are not prisoners and yet they cannot see
It’s like they’re in a cell and cannot see the stars.

And yet I have known prisoners who are locked in a cell
And know within the grace of Jesus Christ,
They have no fear of sin and have no fear of hell
For they know and experience Who is life.

A prisoner is not one who is locked up every night
But one who is in bondage to himself,
A prisoner depends really on who you are within
For that determines the bars and the cell.