A lot has been going on. I do my best to remain positive and stay upbeat. But I must admit, sometimes it’s super hard. Back in August I was on a softball team that was argumentive, disorganized, and dysfunctional. So I quit.
Soon after I quit, I hear a knock on my cell door. It’s the coach. “Why’d you quit?” he demands! Right away I see he’s hostile and emotional.
I tell him, “Because it’s too stressful and I’m not having any fun. Guys are arguing with each other and we’re loosing too many games.”
He says, “Well then f*ck you! I’m done f*cking with you!” Then he slammed my door.
I immediately get an adrenaline rush. I almost open my door and call him back. But I don’t. I accept it and let him walk away. Because the last time I entertained such irrationality, I ended up knocking out the dude. And that cost me my EFV’s for 5 years. (see: How I Lost My EFV’s For 5 Years)
Today I’m a changed man. I’ve learned from my past. I try my best to avoid conflict.
So what could I have done to avoid this entire situation? It’s actually quite simple. I should’ve finished out the softball season with a positive, optimistic attitude. Regardless of our record and all the negativity.
I’m getting pretty good at avoiding physical confrontations. However, I need to work on avoiding confrontational situations all together. This has proven to be very tricky. I can be minding my own business, doing my own thing, and then suddenly find myself in an undesired situation.
So shortly after this whole softball fiasco, the Sergeant calls me in his office. He tells me that my celly, Dicky, is requesting that I be moved out.
Dicky is disabled and bound to a wheelchair, therefore we are in an ADA cell. These cells are bigger and have wider doors for wheelchair access. Which means Dicky always has top priority to live in these spacious ADA cells. So if he wants a celly gone, it’s always the celly who gets the boot, never him.
I’m genuinely surprised by this news the Sergeant it telling me. Dicky and I get along fine. So I ask the sergeant, “Why?”
Basically, Dicky said I’m too clean. I clean the cell too much. And that I organize his area when it gets too messy. Which I do. But Dicky and I have had discussions about this. And he said its all good!
So as the Sergeant is telling me all this, I’m confused. None of this is making any sense. REALLY! I’m getting the boot for being too clean and organized. What’s really going on?
Well it didn’t take long to figure it out. As soon as I moved out, Dicky moved in one of his dope fiend buddies. Dicky is an addict himself. He’s a pharmaceutical junky. He goes to pill line multiple times everyday. He keeps hundreds of pills hoarded in his cell constantly. But I guess the legal drugs aren’t enough.
Since I got kicked out, Dicky has been going downhill fast. Some dude ran up on him and in front of everyone and said, “Listen you punk ass bitch, that sh*t you gave me was bunk and I’m not paying you a f*cking dime!”
Wow! In front of God and everybody. Dicky was now exposed. Shortly after that, someone must’ve went and told. Because they suspended his visits. Tore up his cell. Took apart his wheelchair (looking for drugs). And subjected him to a piss test. Dicky refused the UA because he was dirty. Refusing a UA is a Major Infraction. Dicky is now out of the dog program.
It all makes sense now. Dicky kicked me out of the cell because he wanted to get high and sell drugs. And he knows I’m not down with any of that. So he reverted back to his lying manipulative ways to get what he wants. (see: Living With A Compulsive Liar)
When the Sergeant first told me I was getting kicked out of my cell, I was upset and stressed. But now I’m very thankful. It took me over 6 years to get in The Dog Program. By living with Dicky, he jeopardized my livelihood with his sneaky manipulative misconduct.
In a piece I wrote called, Stone Catchers: I Quit!!!, I talk about overcoming these exact type of challenges.
I know what I need to do. Now it’s all about having the strength, courage, and intelligence to successfully cope with any and all situations that come my way.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I quit softball. I temporarily quit Stone Catchers. And sometimes I feel like giving up and smashing out some of these fools. It’s time I quit quitting. Giving up is NOT an option. Violence Is Never The Answer.
MY PRAYER: Please God, continue to give me the strength to endure and overcome. Guide me, guard me, and protect me as I continue my journey. Amen!
I was in my cell training for my upcoming EFV’s with my wife. I was doing weighted hip thrusters with a 65 pound box on my lap. As I was on my fifth set of fifty, my stomach growled. I finished my set, then looked at my watch to see how much longer until lunch time.
I looked at my digital Ironman TIMEX and quickly realized it was malfunctioning. The entire screen had nothing but 1’s on it. There was nine of them to be exact.
I immediately thought: GREAT, ANOTHER EXPENSE! THIS WATCH IS CRAP!!
Then it happened. The 11 seconds turned to 12, then 13, 14, 15, 16….etc. That’s when I realized it was November 11th at 11:11 am.
There’s nothing wrong with this Ironman TIMEX. It works like a champ. The problem was with me. Within all of one second, my brain had made an assumption and drawn a conclusion: My watch is broke. It’s crap. I need a new one.
Sometimes if we just take a second and let things play out, we’ll realize that there was never an issue to begin with. So many non-issues become issues because we make them issues.
PRAYER: Dear God, please give me the wisdom to remain calm and assertive in the face of adversity. Please give me the ability to be patient before drawing conclusions. Open my eyes to the fact that no matter what the situation is, its as good or as bad as I choose to make it. Give me the strength to remain positive and happy as the events of life unfold. Thank you for using my watch to teach such a valuable lesson. AMEN.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As my wife hikes the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), I pray that she endures throughout the day and night. Please let it be known unto her heart how much I love and appreciate her, and how thankful I am to have her. Anoint her with all the energy she needs to make it through each and every day. Help keep her strong, sharp, and focused. I pray she feels good physically and will have the mental fortitude to appropriately process any situation she encounters.
Bless my wife by giving her sound intuition as she navigates through the wilderness. Lead her to a place of solitude where she may rejuvenate and revive her beautiful soul. Pour out Your peace and love all over her. Please let her see just how much she contributes to our happiness and quality of life together. Reinforce in her heart and mind how valuable she is. Equip her to seek, find, and carry out her purpose in this world.
Please Lord Jesus, be with Suzie on her journey and let her know that she is loved & supported.
~ Steven Jennings
“We make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
(pg. 25-27 in the NA book, sixth edition)
Today we read about step three. This reading gave me valuable food for thought as I interpreted it in a way that works for me. If I am to grow spiritually, I must be honest about everything, including my concept of God.
A lot of people try to force their version of God on me. However, their version makes no sense to me. To simplify my point, I’ll just say this: I don’t believe mythology in a literal sense.
However, I do believe in the fundamental teachings of the Bible and Jesus. I believe in Cause and Effect. I believe in The Law of Attraction. I believe in the power of love. Therefore, Love is my God.
I don’t believe in heaven or hell, or an afterlife, or a divine force that answers prayers and ignores others. I believe that You Reap What You Sow. And if your prayers are aligned with your actions, thoughts, and lifestyle…and if you consistently commit to that Prayer…well then sooner or later it’ll come true.
I am my own God. My moral compass is set by the fundamental teachings of the Bible and Jesus. And that’s where it ends. It picks up again with my actions and commitment level to living a life in accordance to the practical teachings throughout the Bible.
I don’t look to an empty sky for guidance. I look within myself and tap into my spiritual foundation which gives me strength and guidance.
Many people say, “Yes! That is God!”
In which I respond, “Hallelujah!”
So many people turn their lives over to God, yet they continue to struggle and suffer. That’s because God won’t do anything for anyone who does not understand that God has to be created from within them. There is not an outside force that magically works for the good (or the bad) of people. This force comes from within! This is As I Understand It.
If you want it, you can have it. How you come to IT and how you get IT, is up to you. But it must come from within. Don’t expect some outside force to come in and magically change your life.
Create your own God within your soul with love, understanding, and compassion. Then serve that God with all your might and strength. If you do that, then your life will truly transform for the better.
So again, STEP THREE says: “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
How do you understand God? And how is THAT working for you?
Good day to all! Thank you for taking the time to follow my blog.
For those of you who enjoy a deeper level of consciousness and a more focused life, this post is for you. And those who lack in this concept, this post is especially for you.
It is my prayer that this post will help assist in a great awakening to those in need.
What if I told you there was a harmless pill that would give you psychic abilities? Would you take it? I assume most would. For in doing so, you would be able to accurately predict future events in your life and in the lives of those around you. How awesome would that be?!
The pill doesn’t exist. However, the psychic ability within you does exist. It’s in everybody. But in order to activate it, you must know what to look for. And that is: “mental tendencies” within yourself and those around you.
Who knew such a complex issue could be so simple?
PAY ATTENTION TO MENTAL TENDENCIES!!!
Mental tendencies that have been set in motion will cast a huge shadow. And now, after reading this post, YOU will be able to see the manifestation within that shadow before it materializes.
Mental tendencies are both good & bad. Some need correcting while others need support and encouragement.
As I reflect on my life, I can recall numerous “mental tendencies” that needed serious correction. Correction never came and I ended up in prison.
In the 3rd grade I had a principal named Gaylord Shank. This man had a spirit prophecy simply by observing mental tendencies. He told my mom that I’d end up in prison if something didn’t change within me.
He was right!
He was able to draw a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
And now you can, too.
Have you ever heard an adult say this to a child: “Wait until their teenage years…he/she is going to be a handful…”
Again, this is a prime example of someone drawing a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
The problem is, all too often, that the parents/adults don’t do what it takes to resolve issues or to correct behavioral problems within themselves, much less their children.
But with a little focus, effort, and understanding…all that can change.
Understand “mental tendencies” and what they lead to.
Replace bad mental tendencies with good ones.
Take the time and effort to have a positive impact on the lives you come in contact with. Especially yours, your family’s, and your loved ones.
YOU CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE simply by:
- Paying attention to mental tendencies.
- Drawing a logical conclusion from an already established premise.
Now that you understand, the question is: What are you going to do about it?
If you are facing some challenging issues with yourself or your children and want some advise on how to overcome, perhaps I can help. Feel free to Contact me.
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.
I moved to this unit because I wanted to get away from all the hate, disrespect, politics, and negativity.
When I read the flyer that described the honor unit, it said things like: honor, respect, dignity, positive living, mentoring, etc.
Yes, there are a handful of men in this unit who respect those values. But I am extremely surprised at the large number of men who make ZERO effort.
Since I have been in this unit I have seen inmates cuss at and disrespect staff. I see guys stealing from the chow hall. I see guys gambling left and right. The bathrooms are worse than other units. The floors are constantly covered with piss. Then I see several guys with their feet up on the stools we sit on. NO RESPECT!
The sinks have hair, whiskers, and food left in them. I am constantly cleaning up after those who don’t.
I do it because I honor the rules and expectations in this unit. I look for ways to go above and beyond.
Just the other day some guy came up to me and said, “You have too many sex offenders on your team. Take me off the roster.”
I said, “No problem…done.”
Then he felt the need to continue by saying, “Your entire outfield is sex offenders. I could maybe deal with one, but damn, I’m not trying to play with a bunch of sex offenders.”
A couple guys at a nearby table found his comment funny as they laughed.
I started to feel attacked. My adrenalin gave me a quick jolt! I felt an old familiar sensation. The same sensation I use to feel before I would lash out.
I almost said something crazy. Like, F#*k you! I’m not a sex offender! You weak mother-fu#*ers…go say something to their faces.”
But I didn’t. I have learned from my past. That type of behavior doesn’t serve me well. It’s not who I am & it’s not who I want to be.
So I ignored them the best I could. I said, “I understand your decision.” And I walked away.
I went to my cell and prayed for guidance & strength. I meditated. I calmed myself. I focused on my priorities and goals.
I concluded that I don’t care about what people are in here for. My goal is to treat all people with dignity and respect. I do that so I may have inner peace. Love and compassion serves me well. Hate and turmoil has never served me well.
I know who the guys are that now look at me funny because there just so happens to be a few sex offenders on my team. I now go out of my way to say kind words to them. I treat them with dignity and respect. Not because they deserve it, but because I deserve it.
Even here in the Honor Unit, prison politics run deep. Heck I was even told by a few inmates that I couldn’t sit at certain tables in the dayroom. Because those are THEIR tables! Ten years ago I would’ve smashed their faces and sit anywhere I want. I’ve gone to the hole for assaulting sex offenders.
Today I use all these encounters to strengthen my faith in LOVE and COMPASSION. If I live a life based on love & compassion, then even my enemies will be at peace with me. It’s only a matter of time before the universe responds.
This is equally true with the good and the bad. I’m done being the one that responds to negativity with negativity. Those guys will get theirs.
And I’ll get mine…in the form of LOVE…beautiful, sweet LOVE!!!
What is the difference between knowledge & wisdom? I say wisdom comes from applying knowledge.
I’m learning all this knowledge from reading potent and influential books. Books that teach the Laws of the Universe and that inspire great change. Books that contain the distilled wisdom of many eras, cultures, and one great soul.
I’m learning about Faith, Prayer, The Law of Attraction, The Universal Subjective Mind, and I’m learning all about the Science of Mind. All this is great knowledge. Now it’s time to apply this knowledge and convert it into wisdom.
I want to specifically focus on getting into the Honor Pod, or the Dog Program. I want to specifically apply all that I’ve learned to these goals. Because these are two programs I’ve been trying to achieve for almost 6 years!
In the past, I mentally gave up on these programs. But in light of my new journey and new-found knowledge, I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to apply the power of prayer. I’m going to apply the principals of “Cause and Condition”. I’m going to stick with these goals until I get accepted.
Three weeks ago I wrote Mr. Grubb a letter (see: Going Above & Beyond). He hasn’t responded yet. So today I wrote him another letter:
“Mr. Grubb, A few weeks ago I sent you a letter expressing my interest in the Honor Pod. What is your honest view regarding me getting accepted into the honor pod? Will I ever receive a fair opportunity to thrive in your program? I appreciate the feedback.”
I kept this letter short and concise. I’m not trying to bug him. I’m just trying to be persistent. I also wrote another letter to Mr. Cherry (the dog program supervisor):
“Mr. Cherry, On 7-26-12, you responded to my kite. You said, “Stay infraction free for a while and I’ll look at giving you an interview down the road. You have time and so do I.” Well sir, I’m going on 4 years infraction free. May I please have an interview for the dog program? I won’t let you down. Thank you.”
I share this with you because I want to make a point and illustrate how the Laws of the Universe work.
Not too long ago I told myself, “These people are not going to let you in these programs.” I gave up all hope. I lost faith. Today my hope & faith is restored. I now understand that The Universal Subjective Mind is entirely receptive to my thoughts. Therefore, I must ALWAYS think and believe that I will get accepted into these programs.
I now realize that I’m dealing with an Infinite Power that can only objectify that which is impressed upon It. So I’m going to keep pressing until I reach my goals….no matter how long it takes.
Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you. I absolutely love this blog and all the inspiration it brings me.
PS – I just got a reply from Mr. Cherry. He said for me to submit another application. Okay. Will do
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.”
All of my poems are a reflection of how I was feeling at that time. Certain feelings inspire certain words. On 10-29-13, I was inspired by my amazing wife and our beautiful love (see: The Power of Love). So I grabbed my pen and paper and wrote this poem:
FOCUS ON LOVE
Life is a mixture of joy and pain,
blue skies, dark clouds, sunshine and rain.
All days can’t be bright, this we know is true,
what you choose to focus on is always up to you.
Seek out the positive in your life and cherish every day,
focus on the things you love and your blues will fade away.
Show a smile instead of a frown,
look up instead of down.
Shine your light a little brighter,
and watch your burdens get so much lighter.
Life is good life is great,
focus on love ignore the hate.
If you live in love with a heart that’s true,
then love will reflect in all you do.
And when love reflects in all you do,
it takes from the time of feeling blue.
* * *
If I knew back then what I know now…I wouldn’t be in prison. Early on in life I was on a dark path that lead to destructive behavior. Violence, suffering, hate, turmoil, conflict…they were all a constant theme in my life. As a result, my writing reflected that.
This next poem was written during my middle school years. There is no title. It says:
Now I lay myself to sleep,
I pray to hell my soul will keep.
No one knows what I plan to do,
but you’ll find out when life is through.
Through for who is what I wonder,
but you’ll find out 6 feet under.
As I read this today I shake my head in disbelief. I was around 12 years old when I wrote that! I could easily shed a tear right now. Left to my own demise, I didn’t stand a chance.
As I reflect back to my childhood, I can remember a re-occurring statement that teachers, principals, coaches, and other adults would say. They’d say that I was going to end up dead or in prison.
The first time I heard the “prison” version, I was in the 3rd grade.
The first time I heard the “dead” version, I was in the 9th grade.
Sure enough, I escaped death only to land in prison. Considering my options, I got lucky.
Even after I got locked up, my mindset didn’t change very much.
Here is a poem I wrote back in 1994, just 6 months after I arrived at the Snohomish County Jail. It’s called “Who’s Lucky” because that’s what I used to ask myself every time someone pissed me off in the jail. Am I lucky because I have a release date? Or is he lucky that I have a release date? The poem goes like this:
People are lucky I have a release date,
or taking a life I wouldn’t even hesitate.
I’m already in jail paying a price,
I often times wonder why am I so nice?
Hatred and violence run through my veins,
murderous thoughts invades through my brain.
I use to think my thoughts were something I’d inflict,
now I see without thinking my thoughts come out sick.
I feel like killing for little or no reason,
look at me wrong and your death would be pleasen.
And for all you punks who talk too loud,
I like watching your blood drip like drops from a cloud….
with a big fat shank piercing through your gut,
dying slowly, you deserve what you got.
By all means don’t cross my path,
if you’re a punk ass bitch who won’t take a bath.
You’re better off staying in your cell,
because your life will expire if I get one smell.
When I was drinking these thoughts I’d be thinking,
but now that I’m sober it’s starting to sink in……
That maybe I was born with blood to kill,
because every thought that I get is way too real.
Today I wouldn’t have the slightest desire to write such non sense.
Behind all the mental madness, there was a little place of peace and love. Here’s a poem that shows a glimpse of sunshine in the midst of a storm. It was written in August 1996:
LOOK FOR HAPPY THINGS
Look for happy things in life if you desire peace,
appreciate all that’s done for you and watch your love increase.
Things like a loving gentle smile or sincere words of cheer,
a sunrise or the precious time when twinkling stars appear.
Seek out the good in people and cast errors to the side,
fill your heart with love because that’s where good resides.
Drink in soul deep pleasure that nature gives to all,
enjoy the beauty of a rock bound shore or a cascading waterfall.
And do not forget the value of just a humble prayer,
it doesn’t matter where you are because God is everywhere.
Open your heart to children they fill this life with bliss,
who can deny the love of a baby’s tender kiss?
I hope you see just what I mean, look for happy things,
If you do that, then you’ll have love within a heart that sings.
PS – Dear Readers, I thought twice about sharing these violent poems with you. I wish to be transparent about my transformation and my journey. Would you rather I didn’t share violent poems on my blog? Let me know. Thank you.