Category: Religion

As I Understand It

 

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The spirit within me is God. Therefore, I am my own God. I decide if I want to create an Almighty Living Spirit within my being. There is no outside divine nature that dictates anything. Everything comes from within.

The Spirit within me, which I have cultivated and created, represents Wholeness. It is peace, love, and harmony. I created it within my soul so that I may seek Divine Guidance from IT.

This Spirit governs every act of my life. If I let it. And I do! It surrounds me with Light in an environment that’s supposed to be dark, gloomy, and heavy with fear. Prison!

In this Light, I elevate to a higher level of consciousness. I am able to rise up and observe my Being. I now have the power to cast out all darkness and all fears.

I observe my transformation and it inspires me to GO HARDER, TO DO MORE, and to ACHIEVE GREATESS!

This Divine Wisdom within me guides all my actions. It pushes everything in my life towards happiness, peace, love, and joy.

I have discovered the most powerful Spirit I have ever known: THE SPIRIT OF LOVE!

I am in prison, yet LOVE surrounds me with beauty, friendship, and joy.

Some of you may remember my post: Please God…Are You Real? For years I struggled with my belief system. Is God real? Or is he Mythology created by man? I wanted to believe God is real. But for some reason, I had my doubts. All I knew about God was what I learned from the Bible. That made me extremely skeptical. Because most Christians believe in the Bible 100% as they take every word literally.

I couldn’t do that. I tried. But I can’t fool myself. Deep down I knew I didn’t believe 100% of the Bible in a literal sense.

I believe the Bible is full of metaphors that teach about the brief, temporary, transient nature of life on earth.

That’s it! The rest is up to ME! And not some divine force that comes from the sky and intervenes with the environment, conditions, and life. I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THAT!

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And I am doing so by creating Divine Wisdom within myself through the teachings of Jesus.

This works for me. Because it is entirely individual, personal, and unique. I am the expression of my own complete self. There is NO LIMIT to this SELF-EXPRESSION. I am the Spirit of substance. That Spirit within me is the Father of Supply. It brings me everything I need to gain wisdom and understanding. As I unfold and evolve, this Spirit keeps me in a world of love & compassion as It governs me, NOW & FOREVER!

 

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Steven Jennings

Please Keep Us In Your Prayers

 

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I have seen the power in prayer.

Through this blog, I’ve seen real fellowship and the cultivating of a loving community.

This blog and the people who follow, have really helped change my life. The inspiration, encouragement, and prayers have been an undeniable force in my life. I embrace all contributing factors with all my strength.

That’s why I’m coming to you with a prayer request. Please pray for my wife & I.

We get along great and love each other deeply. That is not the issue.

The issue is 15 years until my release, and the 900 miles between us.
The issue is several months between visits.
The issue is we get tears in our eyes, caused by distance.

Our hearts ache to be with one another. There are days when the reality of the distance between us is harder than other days.

I pray for extra strength and the wisdom for us to effectively comfort one another. I pray that the words in my heart are voiced tenderly for her to hear how much I love her & miss her.

And now I’m reaching out to you, asking that you please pray for us & our situation.

Thank you so much for all your kindness, love, support, and prayers.

 

Sincerely,
Steven Jennings

Commit, Obey, Sacrifice…It’s Worth It!

 

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There has always been only one spiritual teaching. How you choose to receive it is up to you. I choose Jesus. I commit my heart & soul to His fundamental teachings.

On 11-23-14 I committed to the teachings of Jesus. From that day on, His teachings have healed me. My soul and spirit has never been better. I said NEVER! And I’m in PRISON!

The blessings in my life are abundant. I’m so appreciative and humbled.

All of this has come at a cost. I had to stop Gambling & Hustling. Something I’ve been doing for years.

 

The results of gambling & hustling.

The results of gambling & hustling.

 

Look at all the things I had stocked in my cell. For being in prison, I was rich. Wanna know what I have in my cell right now? 1 bag of beans, half bag of rice, 2 pickles, 1 tuna, and a half bag of chips.

I’m leaking!

But my spiritual life is super rich. Because I have committed to the fundamental teachings of Jesus. I take into consideration EVERY moral situation.

So when my wife and I read verses from 1 Peter…I read 1 Peter 2:13-14 … and I knew I had to obey every rule known to man.

DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS?

There goes hustling up 50 stamped envelopes at $0.13 a pop! I’m now paying $0.49 a piece for those bad boys!

I quite my fantasy football leagues. And I had been playing them for years. I love it! But it’s wrong. Unless I play for free.

My point is, I’ve made many sacrifices. Gambling & hustling are just two more I’ve added to the list. It’s not really easy to give up free money. But in the light of my spiritual awakening, it’s necessary.

The sacrifices have been so worth it. I’ve found that the more sacrifices I make, the more blessings I receive. AND, the fear of repercussion for misconduct is totally gone. Unless of course I pick and choose which rules and laws to break. Spiritual or man-made.

That’s why it’s so important to commit and obey with the lessons (all of them!) of my spiritual teacher.

Easier said than done, I know!

I focus on ONE DAY AT A TIME. If I can be 100% obedient for just 24 hours, then I have won the day! As the day goes by, and my focus remains the same, it gets easier.

I am learning to watch my mind. Crazy, right? Who knew there was such a thing? By doing so, I activate a higher level of consciousness. In the past, so many of my thoughts were involuntary. A situation would occur and here comes a flood of Compulsive Thoughts.  NOT GOOD!

Why? NO SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE! That’s why.

Through the power and wisdom of the scriptures, I am learning to stop my mind, reset, and re-focus.

OMG! What a blessing!

Just a few minutes ago I was asked if I wanted to play Pinochle. That’s free money! Of course I wanted to. I’ve been playing it for years, and I’m good at the game. My impulsive thought was, “Let’s play!”

But I didn’t. Because today I am committed to the Lord. Today I will obey His teachings. I will continue to focus on one day at a time.

 

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Steven Jennings

Putting The Scriptures Into Action

 

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Today I went outta my way to put the scriptures into action.

Mark Till is the man with the art. I met Mark on the handball court about a year ago. I asked him, “Can I play?”

He said, “No.”

I didn’t like that answer. Years ago, that answer from someone could’ve led to a fight. I mean, that’s just how I was. That day it was so easy to just walk away. Simple. But I walked away not liking Mark. In fact, I down right dis-liked him.

At lunch I sat with him. I never do that! For lunch we had a baked potato with shredded cheese, I ask him, “Are you eating that cheese?”

He looks at me like I’m stupid and says, “Yeaaaah!” His tone spewed, “That was a dumb question” as his head kinda swiveled from side to side and he prolonged his jaw. Even one side of his cheek was raised up and I could see the whole top of half of his upper teeth.

“Would you like mine?” I asked.

He didn’t look at me. He just grunted, “Yeah right,” as he continued to chop at his potato.

I lifted my tray which has five compartments. The cheese was in the upper right corner, so I lined it up next to his cheese. He stops. Looks at me. And asks, “You don’t want it?”

“Take it,” I say.

He takes it and says, “Thanks man?”

“You’re welcome,” I respond with a smile.

He looks at me in puzzlement to my kindness. In my mind I’m thinking, “What is going on?” I almost wanna laugh. But I just ride it out.

***

The day goes on, and soon I’m in the chow hall finishing dinner.

I was walking to the garbage to dump my tray. The entire left two compartments held spaghetti noodles. I quickly observed a weirdo (see: Prison Glossary) eyeballing my tray. He’s sitting just one table from the trash can. He knows these noodles are fixing to get dumped.

To my surprise, he doesn’t pull his eyes away. He’s going to watch these perfectly good noodles get thrown away. I get the feeling he wants them.

I know this dude is in prison for some weirdo cyber child sex crime. I’m gonna dump these noodles right infront of his face!

But wait! Today I am serving the Lord.

So I ask Facebook (that is what the prison hierarchy nicknamed this weirdo), “Do you want these?”

He quickly says, “Yes please,” as he looks at me with wonder in his eye.

He did not expect that! I can almost see the excitement in his face. It reminded me of a dog about to get a treat.

I extended my tray towards his. He quickly stood up, leaned over, and bare handed the large pile of noodles from my try!

“Thank you,” he said.

“You’re welcome.”

He does a double take. Slight pause. And looks around the room. He’s baffled as to why I am being nice.

This is too much. I actually bust out with a laugh.

What is going on?! Is this God working in my life? Or is all this the result of simply following the fundamental teachings in the scriptures?

I have to be honest with you, I’m conflicted. There’s a large portion in my mind that is skeptical. Is there really a God? I pray about this all the time. I wish my mind didn’t have any doubt. But it does. It’s beyond my control. I can’t just switch it on and off. It is what it is.

But I’m not going to let that stop me from living a life according to the Bible. The Holy Bible is my God. I believe in its philosophies and decrees with all my heart. I will commit to God everything I do. I will continue to pray for wisdom and understanding.

I will continue to go out of my way to put the scriptures of God into my life.

 

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Steven Jennings

Prayer

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Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

Why is the prayer of a righteous man so powerful and effective? Is it because God loves the righteous more than others, therefore, He responds to their prayers on a more consistent basis?

That’s what a lot of people think. They just don’t come out and say it. They’d rather say, “God loves everyone the same. I don’t know why some prayers go unanswered.”

So I ask you, “Why do some people get their prayers answered more than others?”

Here’s my take on the subject:

When I pray, I voice a conscious recognition. This allows me to animate desired blessings with the life of thought.

Whether I pray alone or with others, I am inducing within the mind: concepts, acceptance, peace, poise, power, plenty, health, healing, happiness, success, or whatever the prayer is about.

These thoughts swirl in my head long before I put them into prayer. And they remain swirling long after the end of prayer. So what’s the difference between prayer and thought? I don’t know. I just feel better after I formally get it out in prayer.

I feel like prayer is a formal demonstration to set the concept in motion. Then from there, The Law of Subjectivity will allow the manifestation of my prayers. AKA…my thoughts.

My prayers are basically the same thing over and over. Some of my prayers will never change. Other prayers I’ll stick with until they become a tangible reality. As a result, I feel like a lot of my prayers get answered.

For the people who just “believe in God” but their mind is all over the place, uncontrolled and without direction…they are the ones who might toss out the occasional prayer when misfortune strikes. And chances are, those prayers go unanswered.

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For me, I live in Mind. And it can only return to me what I think into it. No matter what I do or say, this law will always be absolute. The mind has no choice but to return what we have thought into it.

Perhaps that is why some people get their prayers answered more than others…because they are persistent and they pray with a clear, focused mind. Opposed to the occasional prayer, performed by confused minds, in times of misfortune.

Thought must be organized to fit the premise of prayer. Consistently. Daily. Not just in times of need. Everyday actions should be consistent with all things good. That’s righteous!

I know Faith has a lot to do with it as well. Most people associate faith with their religion. But it goes beyond that. Especially for me.

My highest expression of faith is in myself, not in my religious experience. I have great faith in my abilities. I have great faith in the laws of the Universe. A lot of people call these laws God.

Through my studies, I realize a lot of people have similar spiritual beliefs…but they widely differ on how to articulate and explain God. People actually argue and fight, and get hostile when they disagree about God. I’ve seen it!

For me, I pay no mind to the things that don’t serve me well. If people want to debate trivial matters….let them.

My focus is on knowledge and understanding of the laws that will bring all things good into my life. My focus is on how to be righteous so that my prayers may be powerful and effective! I’ll conclude with this prayer……

 

“Dear Lord Heavenly Father, Please grant me the strength to impose my own goodwill within this hostile environment. Please help me gain knowledge and understanding so that I may become the best person I can be. Please allow me to inspire others and offer hope. Please teach me the ways of Jesus and give me the courage to always follow His examples. Please help me keep my mind focused on love and compassion towards everyone. Thank you. AMEN.”

 

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Steven Jennings

A Different Brand of Religion

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Just yesterday someone asked me, “How can you serve God when you don’t even believe in God?”

My answer was quick and simple, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Then I went and prayed to a God who I don’t even know exists. I prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, please remove all doubt from my mind. Why do I think this way? Why do I question if you’re real? Please Lord, show me beyond a shadow of doubt that you are real. Please forgive me of having thoughts of doubts. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

I’ve been praying these type of prayers for years.

I stayed away from God and religion because I didn’t know if God was real. I still don’t know. But I will no longer use that as an excuse to stay away from God.

Despite my beliefs, I will continue to pray to God. I will continue to read my Bible. I will continue to live by the scriptures. And I will continue to seek guidance.

Some things are hard for me to explain. There’s so much I don’t understand. But this much I do know: My life is so much better now that I’ve committed to the Lord, and based my life upon biblical principles.

Who knows what the future holds. But today, on this set of 24 hours, I will obey the fundamental teachings of the Bible.

PRAYER REQUEST: Please ask God to erase any and all doubt.

Thank you.

 

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Steven Jennings

Please God…Are You Real?

 

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At some point almost everyone ponders the question, “Is there really a God?”

For years I kept that thought to myself. Even when I was on fire for the Lord. I wondered in the back of my mind if He was real.

I prayed thousands of prayers asking for clarity. I was conflicted. I still am conflicted. Is God real?

One thing that I am NOT conflicted on is the fact that if you live by the laws of the Bible, you’ll live a righteous life.

Early on in my incarceration, I turned away from religion. However, I continued to pray to a God that I didn’t know for sure even existed. I want to believe in God. But for some reason, my mind questions Him.

So for 15+ years I lived without God. I attempted to rehabilitate myself and to live a righteous life without Him. I attempted to do all the right things without God.

How’d that work out for me?

Not good! I continued to get in fights. I still had excess turmoil and conflict in my life. There was a key element I couldn’t figure out. There was something I didn’t quite understand. As a result, I continued to suffer.

For example: On 8/13/12, I went to the hole for no reason. They placed me on “Administrative Segregation”. (also known as: Ad Seg.) The Ad Seg Referral looked like this:

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I couldn’t believe it! It all was a lie! At my Ad Seg hearing, they read me the entire referral then asked, “Do you understand why you’re in Seg?”

I said, “No.”

“What don’t you understand?” he said in a curt voice.

I said, “Everything in that statement is a lie.”

He responded, “The investigation will determine that.”

Then a lady on the committee asks, “Did they take $400 in your commissary from you?”

“No. They took about $195 in commissary. And I have a receipt for everything. My receipts are in a green folder marked “RECEIPTS.”

At this point a coupe committee people look at each other then shuffle through a few papers. The statement I just gave them is either true or false. There’s no gray area. There’s no debate. I have their full attention.

I break the silence by saying, “Some inmates are just mad at me, so they told you guys lies to get me in trouble. I’ve never strongarmed anyone. And I surely don’t need any protection.”

The lady quickly asks, “Why would inmates be mad at you?”

I pause for a moment of thought then say, “I’m not exactly sure. The only thing that comes to mind is something that happened last week.”

“What happened last week?”

I told her, “Some weirdo (see: Prison Glossary)  kept on trying to talk to me. At first I was polite. But then he started to make a habit of it. So I told him to “get the f**k away from me and don’t ever talk to me unless I talk to you first.” Then I turned to his little weirdo crew and said, “That goes for all of you.’”

Again, the Ad Seg committee all looked at each other.

I offered one last statement, “I was telling people to leave me alone…not strongarming them.”

Three days later I was cleared of all charges. No infraction was written. They put me back in the same unit, and in the same cell. They apologized and gave me back all my commissary. I had to show receipts…but they gave it all back.

***

These type of things littered my life. I was not in harmony with the word of God. I did not live by the scripture. I would pray every now and then, but that was it.

Proverbs 18:7 says, A fools mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul.

Ain’t that the truth!

Today I use the Bible to guide me. I believe in the fundamental teachings. I apply the scripture to my daily living.

Does God exist? I don’t know. I can’t lie to myself. And I won’t lie to you. I am still conflicted.

But one thing I know without a doubt: When I live according to the Bible, my life is so much better. I truly feel blessed.

1 Peter 3:8

 

My humble prayer request: “Please God, show me the way.”

 

 

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Steven Jennings

 

Saved Sinners

 

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Sometimes it’s so hard to do what’s right,
We get deceived like Eve when she first took the bite.

Adam knew it was wrong but chose to follow his girl,
Together they brought sin into this world.

Sin kept growing and was getting worse,
So God filled the clouds with water until one day they burst.

The clouds were grey, the sky was dark,
It rained till everyone died except for those in the Ark.

It was an event to let man know,
God does not like sin and He’s in control.

It didn’t take long for it to come around again,
The second we’re born our blood contains sin.

So what can we do? God has His plan,
And this time it differed from flooding the land.

He came to this world in the flesh and blood,
He lived a sinless life to show how it’s done.

Jesus never once sinned, not even at the end,
He loved all of the people, even the wicked men.

As He was up on the cross facing death,
He asked for forgiveness of the men who were taking his breath.

The love that lives in Jesus can live in us too,
If only we dedicate our lives and serve Him with a heart that’s true.

He’ll forgive us of our sins time and time again,
And when it’s time to go to heaven, He’ll gladly let us in.

 

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Steven Jennings

Serving The Lord By Serving Others

 

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Ronald Shaw is an old timer. He’s been in prison since November 16, 1974. He’ll be 60 this year.

During Ronald’s lengthy incarceration he enjoyed shooting heroin, shooting coke, popping pills, smoking cigarettes, drinking pruno, smoking weed, and doing any other kind of drug he could find. Well 6 months ago, his lifestyle caught up with him. He had a massive stroke. Then 3 months later he had brain surgery. Now he can barely walk. He’s confined to a wheelchair.

***

Just last week as I was doing my unit job, an officer called me to his station. He said, “Jennings, we need you to go to medical.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because Mr. Shaw is done with his appointment and he needs someone to push him back to the unit.”

I paused for a few seconds, “Can’t you find someone else to get him?”

The officer scans the dayroom real quick then says, “Nope. You’re on the clock and I’m asking you to do it.”

“Okay” I say. And off I go.

Medical is about one block from my unit. When I get there I see an old man in a wheelchair. I ask him, “What are you doing?”

He says, “I guess I’m waiting for someone to come get me.”

I say, “Yep! That’s me. Let’s go.” And we’re off.

As I’m pushing him he says, “Are you my new pusher?”

I say, “Nope, this is a one-time deal.”

He says, “Well I just need someone to push me to chow, pill line, and to call outs. If you wanna be my pusher, I’ll give you stamps.” (stamps are pre-franked envelopes)

I tell him, “Thanks but no thanks. I’m too busy for all that.”

As I roll him into the unit I’m greeted by two officers. One of them tells me that I’m responsible for getting Mr. Shaw to chow, pill line, and to call outs.

“Really!?” I say. I’m not happy. I protest, “I’m a foyer porter, not a wheelchair pusher.”

They say, “From 7am-2pm you are expected to perform and all job assignments as directed.” They’re right. I can’t win. It’s either do it, or get fired. I do it.

Lunch time comes. I push him. I’m getting all kinds of looks and comments from every direction. I simply reply, “I’m serving the Lord by serving others.” It’s a smart ass comment. Everyone knows I’m doing this against my will. But my comment does bring a little comedy to the situation.

A little later it’s off to pill line. This is the WORST! The line is 20 minutes long. So I start up a conversation with ol Ronald Shaw. He tells me how he used to collect drug debts for biker gangs, and how he attacked a guy on the panel at his parole hearing. And how he stabbed this guy and smashed that guy. It was one war story after another.

That’s when I realized I wasn’t pushing around a timid frail old man. I was pushing around an old battled tested convict who survived the killing days and most violent era at Walla Walla.

On the way back from pill line I asked him, “Hey Ronald, you ever been to Disneyland?”

“Fuck no! I’ve been locked up my entire life.”

“Well today is your lucky day. This is just like Disneyland.” And with that, I popped a wheelie and sped up. I swerved side to side. I looked back and no guards were watching. So I ran as I pushed him in the wheelchair. Up ahead there’s a section of gravel on the side of the walkway. I slow down to a fast walk. I take him off the road into the gravel. As I sharply swerve back onto the walkway, the foot rest catches the edge of the cement.

The wheelchair stops dead in its tracks. Ronald goes flying out head first. He hits the wet pavement. His arms are pinned under his body and his ass is in the air. He’s cussing up a storm and I can’t stop laughing.

“It’s not funny goddamn it!” he barks.

I look around. There’s not a guard in sight. I’m still laughing. “Hurry up Ronald, get back in the chair before we get in trouble.”

Ronald is still laying there, ass up in the air, “Fuck you, you son of a bitch! I can’t get up!”

I can’t stop laughing, but I manage to say, “You’re not even trying. Try!”

“I can’t move!” he yells.

I laugh harder. It’s uncontrollable. My eyes are watering. I’m still behind the wheelchair as Ronald is layed out on the cement.

He yells, “Get me the fuck up you asshole!”

I laugh harder. I am border-line hysterical. Ronald is cussing up a storm…hotter than fish grease.

Finally I walk over to him and roll him on his side. I grip the front of his jacket like a burlap sack of potatoes and pick him up. He’s still cussing, “You stupid mother fucker, I knew you were gonna wreck me!”

I’m still laughing.

“That shit ain’t funny, you could’ve killed me!”

I set him in the wheelchair and off we go! I pop a small wheelie and he freaks out!

“Motherfucker…knock it off!”

I say, “What? I thought you’d like Disneyland.”

“Fuck you! Just take me inside,” he demands.

I’m still laughing!

Before we go inside, I stop. I walk around to face him. We make eye contact. I can’t control myself. I bust out laughing again. I finally compose myself enough to speak, although my speech is full of laughter. I apologize to Ronald. I put my hand on his shoulder and say, “You know I didn’t mean to do that, right?”

He says, “Yeah, I know.”

Then I say, “You have to admit, that shit was funny.”

“NO! No it wasn’t.”

“Come on Ronald, not even a little bit?”

To my surprise, he smiled and said, “Maybe a little bit.”

I fixed his hair and straightened his glasses. Then said, “Alright buddy, lets go inside.”

The next day as everyone is waiting for breakfast, I see Ronald in his wheelchair. He has a new pusher behind him. Ronald doesn’t see me approaching. I whisper, “Let me push him.” The new guy steps aside and I grab the helm. Chow is called and off we go. He has no idea that I’m pushing him. The second we get outside I speed up. Then I pop a wheelie.

Ronald tries to look back, but I lean the opposite way. Then I do a sharp swerve. He knows it’s me!

He yells, “Fuck NO! Fuck NO! STOP! STOP!”

I let go. About 20 guys all start laughing. By now, everyone heard of the incident. Ronald laughs too. He loves the attention. I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “See! I told you that shit was funny!”

 

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Steven Jennings