Inmate Poetry “A Changed Man”

Alex M Woolner pg 2

Alex M Woolner pg 2

Alex M Woolner pg 1

Alex M Woolner pg 1

We are always blessed to receive letters, most especially ones that share poetry.

Please keep them coming!

 

Thank you, Alex for blessing us with your work. God bless and keep you, brother.

 

“A Changed Man”
By Alex M Woolner

How shall I tell my story, without it causing tears
Or share with you my sorrows, and my triumph over fears

My tale is not just mine you see, it’s owned by many men
Those deceived by strength of pride, who turned from God to sin

I hope that as you listen, you’ll recognize in me
A goodness that is possible, in all of those you see

It started very slowly, I listened to a sound
That whispered: “It’s okay to do it”, there is no one around

And as I followed pleasures, that subtle voice was there
To drown away my conscience, and soon I didn’t care

Oh! What a trap that had been laid, by him who seeks the dark
That devil of a prince, who always leaves his mark

That dark one then sits laughing, he cares not for my pain
Delighting in my misery, another soul to gain

He crafts, he lures, he tempts, he blinds, I see not his true face
Until it’s well beyond the start, of running in life’s race

I’m tired, I’m sore, I seek to rest, but now he drives me forth
Promising a grand reward while draining all I’m worth

At last I’m spent and without hope, and to my knees I fall
Somehow I hear a different voice, a quiet peaceful call

It beckons me to listen, then speaks to heart and mind
“Find rest all ye who weary, seek and ye shall find”

But blackness it surrounds me, I’m tainted by its touch
How can I be rescued, when I have done so much?

“Worry not” the voice replies, “for I have paid your debt”
How can this be? I ask myself, for have we not just met?

“I’ve known you long and sought you out, you are my long lost sheep
And I am thy Good Shepherd, that calls you to His keep

“Living water, Bread of life, partake of what I give
No thirst or hunger ye shall know, partake that you may live”

What must I do? What must I pay? To earn this offered gift
For even now I feel thy strength, the weight begins to lift

He tells me of His coming, and of His foretold birth
Planned by our heavenly Father, that sent Him to the earth

At all of this I marvel, but still know not His name
For I desire to share with all, this joy I must proclaim!

“Master” I ask “please share your name, that I may have your light”
“I am the truth, I am the way, my name is Jesus Christ

“I am the light and life of all, my well it runneth deep
Come unto me my precious son, no longer shall ye weep”

So now I live that I may share, and help my fellow man
I tell them of our Savior, and of our Father’s plan

The storm clouds they still gather, temptations do abound
But Christ is my protector, His shelter I have found

Peace, sweet peace I now enjoy, and I’ll do all I can
To follow my Redeemer, for He has changed this man

(Published by request and permission of the author. Copyright is reserved.)

Agenda for Saturday’s CRI Quarterly.. 3/11/17 OneDay discount available

Happy New Year friends,

Weather has moderated and we’re having the Quarterly meeting as scheduled this Saturday (Jan. 10th) at 10am. We’re aware that the weather has been very cold & snow is flying in certain areas, but here in Beaverton everything is clear today, we’re praying for God’s mercy that it will hold through Saturday!

Some, because of where you live, may choose to not try to drive over & we totally respect your decision, we’ll be having another Quarterly in April that will be better weather-wise.

Please reach out & invite someone you know would be interested to attend with you.. newcomers & any who would like to learn about what we do in CR Inside are welcome.. there is going to be a special training that all CR leaders, TEAM members especially, will really enjoy & benefit from.. please announce this meeting at your CR this week if you haven’t had it yet & show this attached flyer & agenda.. we look forward to meeting with you Saturday.

NOTE: CR state reps will be at the Quarterly & can register you, & your group members, for a 10% discount over & above the Early Bird & Group discount rates.. payment for all registrants is required when you register so come prepared!

Here are the Agenda and Poster:

QuarterlyAgenda 1:7:17.pdf

Quarterly, 1-7-17.pdf

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW TeamLead
Oregon CRI Rep

503-789-3756

CRI Quarterly:
Saturday, 1/7/2017
SW Bible Church
14605 SW Weir Road
Beaverton, OR 07007

CR OneDay Seminars:
SanFrancisco, CA 1/28/2017
Austin, TX 2/11/2017
Williamsburg, VA 2/25/2017
Portland, OR 3/11/2017
DesMoines, IA 4/29/2017
Denver, CO 5/20/2017

East Coast Summit 7/12-14/2017
West Coast CR Summit 8/9-11/2017

Event Registration, Tools & Group Finder:
www.celebraterecovery.com

CR Inside Information & Group Finder:
www.cr-inside.org
www.nwcrinewsletter.us
www.facebook.com/crioregon

 

Will weather to affect travel Jan. 7th? What about the CRI Quarterly?

Just a quick update — Extended weather forecasts for the weekend of January 7th seem likely to to produce conditions that will interfere with travel.

Hazardous road conditions and even requests by authorities to avoid travel seem almost certain.

What are your thoughts? Feedback welcome!

 

2016 CR Inside Updates. 2017, Just around the corner…

Merry Christmas Forever Family,

I can hardly believe that today is December 17th, around the corner is Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & a brand new year! What I’m really excited for, is spending time in the midst of it all abiding with the Christmas child Himself, Jesus is the reason for all of it & He chose to spend time with each of us. I’ve come to know that He has purpose for everything happening in my life, He doesn’t spare attention to any detail, God leads me back each year to celebrate His birth & then welcome a new year of life. I pray each of us will enjoy this special time with family & friends, that we will be safe & healthy, & that we remember to care for one another.

In 2017 we will see amazing growth in our CR Inside ministry, Danny Duchene has begun the processing of new CRI Reps, new volunteers are hearing our Lord’s call into service, & new inside CR groups are in the works. Also in 2017, an increased involvement by volunteers at the community CR group will take place: CRI Coordinators, Welcome Home Partners & CRI Mentors. At our Quarterly meeting on January 7th we will be going over all things CRI, both about the inside CR groups & about the CRI Team in the community CR group. The Quarterly is free & open to anyone with an interest to learn or become part of this ministry. I’ve attached a nice flyer of which copies can be put on your groups literature table, it’s a 2-sided flyer with info on the January 28th HGO mentor training on the flip side. Please promote both of these events during the announcements in large group, CR Inside is a great way to serve as a CR leader & faithful follower of Christ.

Feel free to contact myself or Nicole Davis with questions, our info is on the flyer & in this email signature.
In Christ,

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW TeamLead
Oregon CRI Rep
503-789-3756
kentw

Nicole Davis
Washington CRI Rep
(503) 793-2177
girl4godonly

CRI Quarterly:
Saturday, 1/7/2017
SW Bible Church
14605 SW Weir Road
Beaverton, OR 07007

CR OneDay Seminars:
SanFrancisco, CA 1/28/2017
Austin, TX 2/11/2017
Williamsburg, VA 2/25/2017
Portland, OR 3/11/2017
DesMoines, IA 4/29/2017
Denver, CO 5/20/2017

East Coast Summit 7/12-14/2017
West Coast CR Summit 8/9-11/2017

Event Registration, Tools & Group Finder:
www.celebraterecovery.com

CR Inside Information & Group Finder:
www.cr-inside.org
www.nwcrinewsletter.us
www.facebook.com/crioregon

CRI-Q 1-7, HGO 1-28-17.pdf

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A New Chapel For Christmas at SCCI

How God steered one State Prison to create a space for Himself. Just in time for Christmas.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

When the CRI Group I serve began (2013), we met in a multi-purpose classroom. Classes for Fire Fighter training have been held there, departmental meetings, etc. Some of the walls are covered with bookcases holding Educational / GED texts. I quickly learned to arrive early to move furniture. Sometimes it was a few tables and chairs, other times I needed help from inmates as they arrived. We have been bumped out by circumstances into other spaces. We’ve hauled gear up and down flights of stairs, down long corridors, and between buildings in the rain. Sometimes inmates declined to attend simply because they didn’t want to get wet. (It rains here a lot.)

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner, but early this year I thought: “Why don’t we have a Chapel?” So I prayed.

Those thoughts continued, to the point that a while later, I took precious time from my very irregular contact with the Chaplain to ask about the lack of “Church” space. His response was an eye-opener.

Many years before, when he first arrived to serve, implementing a Chapel was an item on his Goals List. Over the years he’d simply given up asking because the suggestion had been denied so many times. I volunteered to suggest the matter to the Superintendent, all the while understanding that the Chaplain felt it would be a wasted effort, and worse: that he would have to answer extra questions about why I was writing.

So I prayed a lot more. I had my wife join me. We concluded that I had to write the letter. I kept it extremely brief. The body of the text was only 160 words. And then?

Silence. Months went by. I finally phoned to ask the Chaplain what had happened and got an earful. My letter had started a process that forced him to move his office so that he could be near a space that was at that very moment being remodeled to become the new SCCI Chapel. I was, like… Wow! The Chaplain, on the other hand, was feeling less than cheerful. Don’t get me wrong, he and I have a wonderful relationship, but my letter resulted in him  being pressed into activities that only complicated his heavy schedule.

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Church Pew, waiting to be picked up and relocated to it’s new home at Shutter Creek Correctional Institute, North Bend Oregon.

Some weeks after that, I was doing chores in our yard, just enjoying what God had done at the prison. And then I saw them: three church pews we discovered in a storage shed when we bought the place in 2011. We have no idea how they got there, where they came from or anything. They were just sitting there… heavy, 10 feet long, with mildewing orange upholstery. Kristin suggested that we give them to the Shutter Creek Chapel. So I asked the Chaplain about the pews, sort of expecting a less than enthusiastic response. Was it a silly waste of his time again? But he promised to bring the donation up in his Staff meeting.

Well, the answer came back YES!  — which left us with how to move them, as we live an hour away, and church pews don’t exactly fit in the back of our Scion XB. There is also the issue of paperwork, i.e. how to actually get them past control and into the prison. A few more weeks passed and one day I got a call from the Deputy Superintendent: Do I still want to donate the furnishings? Would I be home that day? Could he come by right now to pick them up?

A longer story made short: In a matter of a few hours, those pews were out of storage and on the way to serving inmates in their new Chapel. First they went to the prison wood shop for refinishing and then …who knows what good will come of them?  (God does!)

As of this writing, we haven’t yet been able to use the new Chapel. I was hoping we could decorate the altar for Christmas (IS there an altar, even?) but God is gracious and really patient. He gets things done His own way. Perhaps the important thing to know is that when we ask the Lord for things that are important to Him, He will deliver them.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

Jesus impressed on our hearts the need for a Chapel. It was prayer that revealed the manner of the letter. It was the Holy Spirit that moved the Prison Administration to act.

Praise God!

CRI Quarterly January 7th 2017

CRI Quarterly January 7th 2017.

Meeting will be held at the SW Bible Church, 14605 SW Weir Road, Beaverton, OR 97007.

The meeting commences promptly at 10am and will finish at 2:30pm. There is a light lunch served at noon.

Come early for coffee & pastries to network and fellowship. Be prepared for learning all about the CR Inside ministry from the men and women who volunteer both on the inside of our correctional system and out in the community CR groups they attend.

Press Release: Open Call for Sponsors – North Bend Celebrate Recovery

Shutter Creek CRI would be hugely blessed to have this meeting in North Bend. Prayers needed!

North Bend Celebrate Recovery

Attached (below.) For immediate release;

Local Celebrate Recovery (CR) organizers have received permission to commence Group Meetings sometime after the Holiday Season at a church in North Bend.

We are making a call for men and women (especially mature Christian couples in “recovery”) who are interested in being sponsors and / or volunteers, perhaps taking leadership roles.

Others are welcome who have a basic interest and want to participate generally, or any who want to learn more about CR.

“Founders” meetings will commence November 1 in preparation for launching CR Groups in January. (See the attached press release.)

Connect / Follow the NBendCR group:

https://nbendcr.wordpress.com and https://www.facebook.com/nbendcr

Please feel welcome to circulate this news as you might wish. Please include us in your announcements?

CR Press Release 10-24-2016.pdf

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