After reading an email from my sweet wife about what she is thankful for, I realized that my previous Thanksgiving post was incomplete. I failed to mention the things that I am thankful for.
I’m thankful for having such a wonderful family. Starting with my wife. She is so incredibly kind and loving. Her dedication & loyalty is absolutely impeccable. I am so blessed to have her. Thank you, Suzie!
I’m thankful for my amazing mother and all of her love & support. Thanks, mom! I love you.
I’m thankful for my sisters, and my nieces & nephew. I’m especially thankful for my brother-in-laws and how they treat my sisters and their kids.
Wow! There’s so much to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for my Friends.
I’m thankful for my readers and followers.
I’m thankful for being in The Dog Program.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to blog.
I’m thankful to be alive and to have a release date.
I’m thankful for my Marriage.
I’m thankful for clothes to wear and food to eat.
I’m thankful for JPay.
I’m thankful for football season.
I’m thankful for Influential Books to read.
I’m thankful for my health.
I’m thankful for Stone City Blog.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to take NA classes to earn back good time.
I’m thankful for all my blessings and for all the people who love & support me.
Prison is full of drama, negativity, and hate. But thanks to programs like NA, prison also offers hope, time to reflect, time to heal, and plenty of time for rehabilitation.
Some of the tools I’m finding from within NA are very effective and powerful. They go beyond addiction and can be applied by anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Here are just a few that I cultivated after reading Chapter 9 in the big blue NA book (sixth edition). I’m calling them, “JUST FOR TODAY” tools. I’ve written these down and posted them above my mirror. So now, when I look in the mirror, I look deep into my eyes as I recite my newly found JUST FOR TODAY tools. This is what I tell myself:
JUST FOR TODAY I will live in the spirit of love.
JUST FOR TODAY my thoughts will be on love and understanding as I enjoy my blessings and all the things that bring me happiness.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have faith in my abilities to avoid conflict and maintain a circle of harmony with everyone I encounter.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be impeccable with my words and only say things that are positive and encouraging.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be the best person I can be as I treat everyone with dignity and respect.
After I read these to myself, I give Yahoo a big hug and kiss his nose.
Over the years I have slowly learned how to use my hardships as a pathway to peace. As I reflect back on the many negative incidents I’ve imposed upon myself, I am now able to use them as stepping stones within my pathway to peace.
I understand where I went wrong in the past.
If someone challenged me…I’d beat them down! If I felt disrespected…I’d beat them down. I didn’t know any other way. Fighting was a way for me to be victorious. Today, victory comes with effective problem solving and the ability to co exist with the most challenging of personalities.
Fighting and violence is no longer an option for me. A Pyrrhic victory is an epic failure! That’s why it’s crucial that I find a better way and create effective tools that work for me. That way, if I’m ever in a situation where some fool runs up in my cell wanting to fight, I’ll have the self control and strength to refrain from hurting that man…and ultimately hurting myself and the people who love and support me.
I’ve come a long way…but its evident I still have a long way to go. I’ll continue to work hard as I try my best to always do the right thing.
I went to brunch at 8:30 am. Then layed around and watched football.
Then went to dinner at 5:00 pm. I had: fried chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravey, yams, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie w/whiped cream.
It was actually pretty darn good! I was thankful.
Then I came back, hopped up on my bunk, and watched Chicago beat Green Bay! Who knew???
From 7-7:30pm, there was a live band made up of inmates who played a few songs in the dayroom.
I’ve never seen that before…not in the unit dayroom! It was cool. They were good.
But wait!!! The festive events arn’t over yet…
Today (Friday) was the start of several tournaments. I entered the Dominoe tournament. I won my first match and advanced in the bracket.
Then I subbmitted my name for the Pie Eating Contest. Outta 60 submittions…I got randomly selected. I ate one Chocolate Cream pie in 1:28! That was good enough for 1st place! By 5 seconds!!! I got a big ribbon that says: 2015 PIE EATING CHAMPION
Then the whole unit played BINGO for bags of homemade cookies. I was sitting at a table w/two other guys. We all agreed that if anyone of us win…we’ll split the cookies 3 ways. One of us won!!! The cookies were delicious.
I am so thankful for life.
No matter where we are…life is what we make of it.
The great joy of life comes into my soul, flooding me with love and thanksgiving.
I do not grieve or feel sorry for myself, because nothing is lost or gone from me.
I have friends and family who love me. I have the most sensitive, loving, wife in the world. I have inner peace with a spirit of love and appreciation.
No matter where I am, or where I go, peace, love, and serenity will follow me.
I keep my friends and family in my heart…they are always with me.
I am filled with the joy of living and the great peace that comes to all who believe in the power of love.
Happy Holidays To Everyone!
Enjoy your blessings & love your family.
Good is all around us, at all times. Regardless of our environment.
So why hasn’t my life always been peaceful? Why have I been in numerous prison fights over the past 20 years?
These are the questions I ask myself. I seek and continue to seek answers. Let me share a tiny glimpse into my discovery.
In order to find peace in the world, I must first find peace within myself. As I surrender to peace, love, and harmony, I find that they attract many blessings to my life.
I’m not saying that negativity is gone, or that it doesn’t press against me on a daily basis. Because it does!
I’m not saying that the only way to counteract negativity is to focus on peace. Seek and ye shall find!
I’m so done responding to negativity in a way that gives it life and power, dulling my pleasures, and clouding me with misery and apprehension!
I’m done with all that!
But how can that be? I’m still in prison. An environment that’s notorious for hate, violence, and chaos!
The answer is simple: I recognize the one life principle, working in and through me, as it inspires and motivates me and everyone I come in contact with.
And that one life principle is: The Law of Attraction…peace, love, harmony, understanding, and all things good.
The vibes I put out, come back to me. The way I treat people, comes back to me. The way I view my environment, contributes to my atmosphere within my environment.
This is my reality: I treat everyone with dignity & respect. I’m positive and happy. I smile. I use the power of my words in a direction of truth & love.
As a result, I attract all these beautiful things back into my life, thus creating a peaceful atmosphere. In prison. While serving 43 years.
This concept has taken me years to effectively implement into my life. I will continue to study as I slowly master the concepts of personal freedom and happiness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. Proverbs 19:8
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Proverbs 19:20
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is in the Lords purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Proverbs 19:23
Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge. Proverbs 19:27
As I reflect on my life growing up, I see the Bible warns of destructive behavior. The Bible describes the results of evil and wicked actions. I find so much truth in the scriptures. I used to live a negative dark life full of violence and misconduct. As a result, I have suffered greatly. Just like the Bible says I would have.
I believe in these scriptures 100%. I’ve lived it! Unfortunately it was on the wrong side of the spectrum. The dark side.
But that’s just it, I have seen the truth!
Now I’m ready to live in the light of Christ. I’m ready to open my heart and let Him in. I’m ready to commit to His teachings and incorporate them into my daily living. I’m ready to serve Him the best way I know how: through my actions. By doing so, I know I will receive many beautiful blessings.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. Proverbs 20:3
Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being. Proverbs 20:30
These are verses that speak directly to me. They illustrate the truth of my past. However, my hardships and sufferings have led me to where I am today. I have been able to accept my hardships as a pathway to peace.
Thank you for reading.
THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO STEVEN D. JENNINGS POST TITLED:
He was describing a situation that he got into on the basketball court which almost turned ugly . It was steps from a all out brawl between two people who are known for being aggresive fighters .
I think that it would have been a really good fight , yes there is such a thing as a good fight. It may not have been right or even the mature thing to do, but it might have been epic .
To make a long story short , i am the scott that steven was talking about. That day we both had a decision to make: to act like men and reason, or to act like the animals that the world thinks that we are.
We both had and still do have alot to lose , however…
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Here are seven simple truths from this chapter that I will ponder throughout my day:
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. Proverbs 12:1
A man is praised according to his wisdom, but men with warped minds are despised. Proverbs 12:8
An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble. Proverbs 12:13
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Proverbs 12:15
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace. Proverbs 12:20
Work the Holy Bible scriptures into your life, and watch your blessings increase.
Holidays in prison are bitter sweet.
Bitter for obvious reasons.
Sweet because I like to focus on the positive.
At 9:45am they called brunch. They served:
At 5:45pm they called dinner. Thanksgiving dinner consisted of:
Then I layed in my bunk and watched football.
Today is a day to be thankful. No matter where we are or how heavy our burdens seem, we all have something to be thankful for. First and foremost I want to thank God for allowing me to exist as a human.
I am thankful for my wife, my family, for all my blog supporters, and I am thankful for all the love & positive forces in my life.
I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!