Journey of Faith

Fed up!

When I became incarcerated, I vowed that I would bring to light misconceptions about the criminal justice system as well as incarceration. Once, I came home I joined different groups and follow different people on social media to become even more aware. It’s obvious that as I watch and listen, that many are FED UP! People are starting to realize that regardless of whatever crime you committed that you’re still a human being. You can be punished for a crime and still be treated humanely. One of my guilty pleasures is watching Tik Tok. I came across a vlogger recently @djwhatchusaid360. What caught my attention was that he was employed at the Beaver County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania. He was a Corrections Officer who while employed there, tried numerous times to report abuse, neglect, corruption by staff to no avail. The result of his persistence let to his dismissal from his job because he was unwilling to “play by their rules”. The way he explained it was that staff fit into categories. You cared but didn’t want to bring attention to yourself because you had a family and needed the job, or you were just holding on until retirement so you could cash in on your pension. You could also be one of the ones that neither cared one way or another and got off on being given the “authority” to do whatever you wanted to inmates because there would be no consequences for doing it. Who was going to tell? Admittingly, the cameras didn’t record. The only “eyes in the sky” was another officer who sat in the control booth, who could look away when necessary. Regardless of how someone might feel about an individual for a crime they committed doesn’t give us permission as society to allow the mistreatment of them at will. We can’t be in shock in awe on one side, but then consider it to be ok on this end. How doesn’t that even make sense? Have we lost all of our compassion or care for life in general? One of the things that was also shocking to me when I became incarcerated was the amount of people with mental disabilities being housed there. Many mental hospitals were closed many years ago because the abuse, neglect and illegal testing done on the patients. This left those needing special housing to go into group homes, back to family or if they were criminally insane-they’d be locked up in a prison. I can tell you that a prison facility has no care or ability to correctly care for these patients. Most of the time they can’t live with others because of safety concerns. Certain medications cannot be prescribed because of the risk of the meds leaking out into the prison population. Staff is not properly trained to handle these inmates. Many times, these inmates end up in the hole because of acting out or not being compliant. Even, those who aren’t a danger and can live with general population struggle. Their needs are different than other inmates. Unfortunately, they end up getting stuck there because they are viewed as a problem inmate. They aren’t so much as a “problem” as they aren’t able to cope or understand so they act out. They aren’t medicated properly, nor receiving the right care. Ironically, the men’s facilities in PA have specific prisons for those with mental disabilities. The women’s facilities have specific “units” for those needing different housing. While this might look good on the surface, I again assure you that it’s just for show. I applaud this gentleman for speaking his truth. There are many good corrections officer’s out there who realize that they can make a difference. They realize that part of their job is to be a mentor and to encourage those incarcerated to do better. They can either help or be part of the problem. Like I mentioned in my last post, what’s done in the dark does come to the light. People are fed up and speaking out, I pray the right people listen.

Photo by Anna Shvets:

Bible Study

Your Inner Voice

1 John 2:20-27 But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Some call it a gut feeling, intuition. Call it whatever you want, but I say it’s the Holy Spirit giving me unction to make a choice. Last night I taught an online Bible study and one of the things we talked about was choices. In fact, that was the theme. Making good choices. How do we know we’re making good choices or not? The first question I had to ask myself when preparing this Bible study, was, “who am I to be instructing someone how to make good choices when I didn’t do it myself?” The Holy Spirit quickly told me that I am the perfect person to teach others about making better choices. Sometimes we allow other things to influence our decisions. We don’t want to let someone down, we don’t want to look like a loser, or it quite frankly might be an easy out. Whatever our reason is, we should be consulting the Lord before we consult anyone else. Eventually, the decisions that we make will affect us now or later. It’ll just depend on who’s voice your listening to when you make it.

Luke 12:3

Bible Study

Happy Halloween

Halloween is a controversial holiday between Christians. I was raised that it was about having fun, trick or treating and that was about it. We never looked into any deeper meaning than what it was at face value. The history of Halloween goes back to ancient Ireland according the The History Channel (read more here: Halloween or All Hallows Eve was a festival to ward off evil spirits. I’m not sure where it came into play that it was a holiday to worship satan and his minions. We all do know, however that there are cults that so practice this as part of their beliefs. As Christians we sometimes get too caught up in details such as Halloween but fail to look around us at the satanic symbolism being put right out in the open. Even some of the phrases used every day, have roots in the occult. What we must ask ourselves, is this an accident or is there a more sinister reason that these symbols keep appearing. I want to share some with you, and you be the judge.

Diva: Maria Carey, Whitney Houston, and female artists of all genres have been called a DIVA. We should NOT be calling women or anyone a diva. I have read what I’m about to tell you many times, but I’ll reference “The Power of the Pen” – for further reading. Diva in Latin means “Deus”, which means devil. Diva is short for divination. You are asking to be worshipped and the Lord has specifically told us not to place any other gods before him.

So, you are probably thinking, “why do I need to know this?” The Bible tells us that we need to know who we are dealing with. In Mark 5:9- Jesus came across a demon and specifically asked it, “What is your name? The demon responded, I am Legion, for we are many.” In Luke, Chapter 11 we are introduced to “the strongman”. ( So, if we are to know who we are dealing with, and if we are to know their name, then shouldn’t we know who’s on the hitlist? If a specific person was bothering you, you would tell them, “Hey so and so, you’re bugging me-get away from me!”. We need to do the same thing when satan is attacking us, our loved ones, and our property. A book that I highly recommend is by John Eckhardt, “The Demon Hitlist”. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or your local bookstore. (I’ve read the hard copy, but I found this here: Dr. Jerry and Carol Robeson, also wrote a book called, “Strongman’s his name, what is his game”. ( Here is another book from John Eckhardt (file:///C:/Users/Jodie/Downloads/Prayers-That-Rout-Demons-John-Eckhardt-Christiandiet.com_.ng_.pdf).

I Corinthians 12:1 tells us not to be ignorant of spiritual things. 2 Corinthians 2:11 also tells us to not be ignorant of satan’s schemes so that he can’t have any advantage over us. I know this isn’t a subject people like to discuss. The world is getting uglier and uglier. As Christians, we need to be on guard and put on our full armor. I pray that each of you reading this will take the time to read the links that I’ve shared. Investigate on your own. Pray Psalms 91 over you and your loved ones daily. Be wise to the schemes of the enemy.

Photo by Alexa Popovich:

Journey of Faith

Trust and Obey

Growing up I remember a song that we used to sing in Sunday school. It was called “Trust and Obey”. The lyrics went something like, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way. To be happy in Jesus is to trust and obey”. When life hits you sideways like it did for me, that was the only choice that I saw. I needed to completely trust in my Lord and Savior, as well as obey what he was instructing me to do. Romans 4:20 tell us “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” When the Lord repeatedly showed me and told me that I was coming home, I had to be obedient in believing that what I was hearing was from the Lord. He does deserve all of the glory for everything good in my life. I sometimes look in the mirror, hard to believe that I’m actually home. Living in MY HOME. In the book of Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment, discipline seems painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I believe that to be true, at least in my case. The Lord has put a calling on my life. I definitely wasn’t meant to “fit in”. If everything that I have been through in my life has been for his glory, well I’m ok with that. If every day that I get up, I can be an example to everyone that I encounter, then I’m ok with that too. I can only hope that others will then be their own examples to others, knowing that you never know who might be watching. Ask the Lord today, what his purpose is for your life and how he can use you to advance his Kingdom.

Photo by Kevin Malik:

Journey of Faith

Ray of light


I picked up these prayer cards at Dollar Tree several weeks back. I was excited when I found them, but unsure what exactly I would do with them. I figured for a dollar; I’d figure something out. I put them away because of moving and sort of forgot about them. Yesterday, I was looking for something in my office and there they were. The Lord has a way of doing things like that, showing you things when you need to see them. As I shuffled through the cards, the one with Matthew 5:14 jumped out at me immediately. That’s when I knew the Lord was putting it on my heart to share with you. My great uncle loved lighthouses. Some may not know that many times people will use a lighthouse when referring to verses in the Bible. My great uncle loved the Lord. I grew my love for the Lord from both sides of my family. When my uncle passed away several years ago, A lot of people attended his funeral. I was surprised how many got up to share stories about how he affected their lives one way or another. The repeating theme was that he loved talking about the Lord, and that he would share that love with you any chance he got. He wanted to know if you were saved, if you loved the Lord like he did. If you didn’t, he wanted to try to change that. My great grandparents were the same way from things my mom told me about them. I knew them both but didn’t get to understand them on a deeper level because I was 7 when my great grandma passed away and 16 when my great grandpa died. The reason that this verse struck me was because not only did he have a love for lighthouses, but he was the light that stood at the top of the hill leading lost souls to the Lord that he loved so much. That’s the purpose of a lighthouse, to help guide lost ships. His light shined so bright that admittingly, his friends and coworkers couldn’t ignore it. It was almost infectious. Perhaps that is why my great grandma named him Ray. His name wasn’t Raymond, but Ray. I felt that even 9+ years after my uncle’s passing, that he would still want us to share his Ray of hope, his Ray of sunshine, and ask each of us to be the Ray of light of the world. A town built on a hill that cannot be hidden.

Journey of Faith

Life on the outside

Adjusting to everyday life on the outside wasn’t a huge adjustment for me, but things were definitely different. It was strange for me to see people still walking around with mask on, since we all had to wear them as well as the staff. I also didn’t really take notice to places that closed as a result of covid since I didn’t return to where I was technically from. Everything where I now was, is new to me in some ways. This actually helped and I believe the Lord knew this was needed for all of us. It was nice to be able to be in a new place, starting a new chapter without every turn being a reminder of the past. I had family in the area, friends and family close by in Maryland, as well as family that still lived in the county where I was exiled from that lived close to the border of where I’m currently living. There is an exception to a few folks that mean a lot to us that live in the area where our home was. We had to make a decision on where we wanted to buy a new home. The housing market has been very tough, and the interest rates didn’t make it any more appealing. The realtor that we were working with, had been our realtor through the sale of a prior home we sold when this all started. She also helped my husband purchase the house we were now having to sell again if there were any hopes of us living together soon. We had no real focus on what we HAD to buy as our next home. We knew what we didn’t want but were considering all options. There were a few that we almost pulled the trigger to buy and then after giving it to the Lord, we knew it wasn’t the right one. We even talked about the possibility of moving out of state to be with my parents and sister/brother-in-law. That was a short conversation because there was too much involved right now in all of that, as well as others to consider. Being a Seer and having empath abilities, it also helps with the process of finding the right home. Luckily, I never got the feeling that anything evil was lurking around like I have in past homes we looked at. After several showings of homes that just weren’t for us, we finally find the cutest gem that we now call home. It’s all one level, with a basement for my younger son that he wanted as his own. It’s in a great location and everything was move in ready. It even had a room that I now officially call my home office. We’ve changed a lot since all of this has happened. We’ve changed how we allow others into our lives and our home. We also have security on the entire property that alerts us to anything or anyone that doesn’t belong. It doesn’t hurt having 2 Rottweilers that will bark even if a cat crosses the yard. (Poor Kitty, I think it had a small heart attack the other day). We even have a mischievous squirrel that’s come stopped by a few times. We know it’s the same one because his markings are different. He decided yesterday to run around the outside deck area and knocked down a wooden fish that my husband put under the outside kitchen area. Broke it! Who would have thought that would happen? I thought at first about starting to put nuts outside for him, but after that escapade I’m not sure I want him to be returning on a constant basis. I don’t leave the house much to be honest. I work all day, by the time I cook dinner and clean up, I’m tired. I just want to relax, or I have classes that I need to study. I’ve also started hosting a bi-weekly Bible study online. My twin nieces have joined us and that warms my heart tremendously. My younger son tells me that he’ll join us this next time. I’m praying that is true. I love sharing my knowledge of the Bible with others and most of all, I like seeing others expanding their knowledge as well. I mean, you don’t want to get to Heaven and run into someone and not know who they are!

Home Sweet Home Welcome Mat On Wood Floor.
Journey of Faith

So close, yet so far

It was frustrating living at my aunt’s home in the sense that every single store you could imagine was only 5-10 miles down the road. Why’s that frustrating? Because they are located in the county that I was told I can’t go to. The county that I’m from is huge in comparison to many other counties in my area. The insanity of it is that I was over an hour away from the folks that I needed to stay away from. However, I could easily have moved to the opposite county to a town that would have put me closer to them. I’m not vengeful like that though. I’m just merely pointing out a ridiculous fact. So, every time that I want to shop or do anything, I would have to drive at least a half hour in another direction. I do a lot of online shopping. I always have, so I figured out pretty quick that it was easier for me to order something online and have it delivered from one of the stores I physically couldn’t go to. This just amazed my aunt. I like learning and seeing new places, so me driving to other areas gave me a chance to see things I never had before. Yet, I spent a lot of time at the local McDonald’s. I didn’t spend it there to sit and eat, there was a few occasions that I needed to bum their WIFI. I had internet that I purchased at my aunt’s house, however there were a few times when it would act up and it was easier to just go up there until the problem resolved itself. (Thank the Lord I have better service now). Speaking of the Lord, this McDonald’s gave me a chance to meet some of the locals. There is an elderly man that works at the one I would frequent. He loves his job, and he just puts a smile on everyone’s face that he encounters. I had gotten to know him from going up and spending a lot of time there. Later, I discovered that he and my aunt were friends. It was so adorable, because her one friend would call her and see if she was coming to McDonald’s on Saturday evening to meet them. A group of her and these folks would meet there every week to catch up. I think in a way, it was the local watering hole for them, minus the booze. They were just a group of good Christian locals chewing the fat and gossiping about this or that. This older gentleman that works there, he has a girlfriend. She would sit there and converse with the others while he worked, waiting for him to get off. So, the things we do as a teen we end up doing later in life? It was just so freaking cute. During one of my last few visits to this McDonald’s, a new person had started. I don’t know if the gentleman switched his hours, if he decided that he was old enough and no longer needed the job. I missed seeing him. His replacement, whether temporary or not was just as delightful. My final visit there, I spoke to the Manager, and he said that he hired this young lady. I told him that she was definitely a keeper. She would come and check on me, knew my name by the end of the first day and remembered it when I returned the next day. She was helpful to anyone who came in, and you couldn’t help but to smile watching her interact with everyone. During these times of visiting this establishment, I felt very depressed. The Lord knew that I needed someone with this bubbly personality to help me shine again. I ended up having to return to going there multiple days because a storm came through the area and knocked out the internet and phones near my aunts. I had to complete some online paperwork relevant to our move. It was then that the Lord wanted to remind me that even though my sparkle was dull, his light still could shine through others to brighten my day. Be kinder than necessary, because you just never know how you can affect someone elses day without realizing it.

Photo by Brett Jordan:
Journey of Faith

Release Day!

When the day finally comes that you are being released from prison, a lot of different feelings overtake you. Fear, excitement, hesitation. All of it seems to hit at one time. You also don’t want to be too overly excited because there are still a lot of folks who will never go home. There are a lot waiting a while for their day to come. I met many people though who shared my sentiments that everyone’s day will come. I truly believe that changes are being made to end mass incarceration. There has to be a better way. Other countries have seemed to crack the code. As the days progressed closing to my actual release date, the paperwork needing to be processed was done quickly. Prior to leaving you also have to do a drug urine sample. All of that was done. I mentioned before that when you leave, it’s customary to give your things to those staying behind. I had already decided that all of my commissary was going to my friend Heather. She was my rock during this time and my roommate. She helped me so many times to carry my tray. I walk with a cane sometimes and therefore it was difficult to carry my tray back from the chow hall to our room. She helped me so much and it was only right for me to bless her any way I could. I left my crochet items to my friend Becky. Everything else HAD to go with me to pack out. Yes, when you leave to go home you still have to go through the pack out process. The night before I was leaving, I had to take everything I owned down to property. All of the state clothing was returned to them. Any personal clothing or property that I bought had to either be trashed or taken home. I was leaving with my gray footlocker and my TV. The night prior to leaving was nerve wracking. I was so anxious and nervous to go home. Yet I wasn’t going “home”. I was giong to my Great Aunt’s home. This was just another temporary move that the Lord was having me complete. Each time that I had to move in prison and even the temporary situation of staying with my aunt and not going back to our house was an assignment. When Jesus sent out the 12 in Matthew Chapter 10:40, I often had to remember the words he gave them. These were Jesus’ directions to them as they were being sent out now on assignment to spread the gospel. (“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.“) I woke up that morning super excited and ready to go. There was 2 of us from my unit leaving. When you got down to the property/medical building you had to go to medical first. There, they gave you a month worth of refills for your prescriptions. You then signed your medical release forms. Next, we had to go to property. Even though we were leaving to go home, they still had to strip us out. Why not, one last squat and cough for the road. They gave us the clothing that our loved ones sent in for us, or you could wear out one of your personal items you purchased off of commissary. No thank you, I was not wearing anything brown outside the building! The final stop was to cash out. They returned all money to us on a Jpay debit card. That’s it, the time had come. Pretty much like you see on tv, I was allowed to open the front door and walk out. I was officially a free woman.

Photo by Daniel Reche:
Journey of Faith

Where am I going to live?

I had a dream while I was in jail. My husband and I were driving down this twisting and windy road. We ended up going off the main road and drove into this construction site. We were driving over rocks and debris. It was definately not a place you should be driving. I kept telling him that this wasn’t the right way. We had no choice but to press on and “proceed to the route” as the gps would say. We, ended up back on a regular paved road. The car and us sustained no damage. I had no idea at the time what this all meant. I believe now that it was the Lord telling me, “The road is going to rough and bumpy for a while, but you will be ok and come out on the other side.” After receiving the upsetting news that I wasn’t allowed to return to my home county, everything had to shift to a different focus. We owned a home there, my youngest son still attended school there, but most of all we had friends and family there. Everyone was upset, going into panic mode. They wanted to do whatever they could to get me home as soon as possible. The prison was working quickly to get me out too. If that meant sending me to one of their centers, then that’s what would happen. Everyone who had been to a center, tried to reassure me they weren’t that bad. Obtaining an apartment quickly wasn’t easy either. Did they rent one for just me, would my older son rent it and I live with him? Where would we get this apartment, as there were several surrounding counties to consider. I had a possible job prospect upon leaving, but it wasn’t 100% set in stone. I shifted my focus on friends and family that I had. I didn’t really want to consider moving to Maryland with family/friends there because the process to do that is lengthy. Plus, it costs $125 with no guarantee. My mom suggested that we call my Great Aunt and my 2nd cousins. Bingo! I have always loved my mom’s side of the family. I’ve been close to them since I was little, after going to family reunions for years. These people were no strangers to me. My husband arranged everything with my one cousin after discussing things with his sister and their mom. I had a place to live. I turned in my revised paperwork and everything progressed from there. I was officially paroled and heading to my new temporary home. We had a lot to do in the next several weeks as I awaited my official release date. The road was going to be bumpy, but together we were going to make it.

Photo by Git Stephen Gitau from Pexels
Journey of Faith

Learning to live with nothing

One of the things you realize immediately when you go to jail or prison is that you now own nothing. They take the clothing off your back. You have two choices, throw it away or mail it home. I wasn’t going to mail it home because I knew this going in and wore something I could throw away without concern. Once you get to state prison you are issued the following: 3 pairs of pants, 2 short sleeve shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, 3 t-shirts, 1 pair of pajamas, 3 bras, 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, state shoes, a spring jacket and a winter coat. They then give you 2 sets of sheets, 2 blankets, 2 towels, 2 washcloths, and trial sized toiletries. You get 2 rolls of toilet paper. This is the only items you now technically “own”. I used that word loosely because, you still don’t really own them, even though your name is now ironed on them. Your name and inmate number ironed on every piece of state clothing you own. Also, don’t get caught wearing someone else’s clothes because then you both lose it and you could get in trouble for having someone else’s items in your possession. You were allowed to get new items once a year, or if they were too big/small or tore. Normally you just talked to your Unit Manager, and it wasn’t a big deal. You weren’t allowed to alter your clothes; they would make you go and take out the alterations. Some of girls wanted their pants to be so tight, I don’t know how they breathed. You really, didn’t get to “own” anything until you started to go to commissary to buy snacks, toiletries, paper, and whatever else they sold. You could also “own” books that were sent in by your family and friends. There were limits on the number of items you could “own”. We found ways to get around those numbers. Sometimes, it could have been by just moving a bottle of Tylenol to your roommate’s shelf. There were things you wanted to stock up on, especially during cold/flu season. They sold out quickly on commissary and who wanted to wait 2 weeks to be able to get what you needed or to find out it was out of stock. We were all good though about helping each other out if you needed something. You knew who you could ask. I keep putting the word “own” in parentheses because even though we purchased these items, they were all subject to search. At any given time, the search team could show up at your door to do a search of your cell. We knew that once we got searched, we would be good for another 3 months until they showed up again. We could also tell, because they would start searching our hallway, so we knew we’d be coming up soon. Our room never had anything to worry about. We didn’t keep contraband and didn’t do things we weren’t supposed to do. I was always lucky in that regard, that I had great roommates. How they searched things just sucked though. Especially when they would show up right after morning count at 6:30 am! You’d climb back into bed and try to go back to sleep, and they’d come and flick the lights on, “Search!”. You had to get up, put on your shoes, they would pat you down to make sure you didn’t have anything hiding on your person, then we were made to stand in the hallway while they ransacked our room. Sometimes, they would leave, and it would look like a hurricane went through. Luckily, because the rooms, I was usually in, they didn’t do this to us. They’d leave and it was a little messy but not ransacked so much. They would methodically go from area to area and look through your stuff. They would unmake your bedding, go through all of your cabinets, go through your boxes, open containers and sniff them. We weren’t allowed to keep empty boxes to organize things in, that was considered contraband because it was now not used for its intended purpose. We didn’t get in trouble; they would just dump whatever was in it out and throw the box away. So, we got smart! If the box held crackers, we would keep a sleeve of crackers in the box. We then, could put other items in the box to organize. Problem solved! It was a game. There were really no rules to this game. You could have items that you “owned” for years, been through several searches and then suddenly they decide that you shouldn’t have it anymore. You could write a dispute about it, but at the end of the day they make the rules. I often thought that this was something that should have some consistency across institutions. This shouldn’t be something that an employee who’s thinks that just because they think you shouldn’t have it, they’ll take it. I’m not talking about oddities. Anything that we “owned”, could only be acquired through certain channels. They’d look at us and ask, “where did you get this?” Let me see, “I drove down to Walmart and picked it up!” Duh! Ask a dumb question, you should get a dumb answer. All of this is very demoralizing and even the items that you have at home don’t really belong to you anymore either. You’ve entrusted them to others and can only hope they’ll be there when you return. Since, I know that my journey here was for the Lord I needed to remember what he told the Disciples when he called them to follow him. In Luke 12:22-34 it reads:

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?27 “Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Our heart needs to be centered on God and not the items we possess. Jesus was telling them what we all need to remember, we are to rely on God. He provides all of our needs. He is the bread of life, the living water, the light onto our path, our rock and fortress. We need to take our needs to the Lord and ask for his provision.

Photo by Hernan Pauccara: