4-Corners Blog

Why Can’t We Talk with Each Other Anymore?

Gee I miss talking with people, especially those who disagree with me. In recent years the number of people I can disagree with and still remain friends has been reduced to one. Thank you, Jon! This is a slippery slope that leads nowhere, at least nowhere good. Allow...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (13)

Upheaval in prison is normal, a new normal for Andrew. “The mail here gets messed up. Mrs. Marston was very nice to send the money order but they sent it back because it may not have been filled out right. No biggie. My property is not with me and they are moving me...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (12)

Andrew entered prison from the streets with very few possessions and even those were taken away. He was left with his name and an assigned inmate number. It’s a given that you exit the world and leave your freedom behind, but they can’t take away your name and your...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (11)

It’s human to live with purpose, to have meaning in every day and to make a difference in the lives of others. Prison strips away all of this. What we call “prison reform” is the job of government and do-good organizations. The job of prisoners is to do their time and...

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3 Simple Ways Breathing can Un-Crazy Your Life

If you’re like me life can get a little crazy. What if I told you that the best way out is by breathing? Most holidays are an excuse to relax, get away from work and just take a breath. In addition to the wonderful history of Independence Day, it is also the official...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (10)

For all of us there are times where the sun shines through the clouds. One glimpse of the sun reminds us that there is light behind the darkness, even the deepest darkness of life. Andrew’s next letter begins, “The sun is bright in my life today like my Heavenly...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (9)

As the consequences of Andrew’s actions were translated into time and place the prison waiting game began. His dust up with the officers landed him in the CCU (Closed Custody Unit) for ninety days and cut him off from his short-lived income stream. “I don’t have a job...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (8)

Whoever first said, “Hope springs eternal,” was stating an opinion, not a fact. Those who have hope face changing circumstances and the constant threat of discouragement and worse. In prison, the odds favor the worse. Andrew’s lawyer thought he might face one to two...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (7)

Some things can’t be fixed. You can’t take back your words, but you may be able to earn back trust over time. Actions have consequences but they might be reversed by good behavior. Bad decisions can be lessons for future decisions. Death is final. Before Thanksgiving...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (6)

They say, "You can't choose your family." That isn't quite true for Andrew who, because of his brokenness and family history, has had to choose surrogates for years - brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. His family ties run deep in our church.  Joan is one of his...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (5)

As the winter cold settled in, Andrew began adjusting to the new normal that was prison life, thankful nevertheless for a warm place off the streets. The uncertainty of his sentence gave way to this report in his next letter: “Bad news, I will be locked up for a...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (4)

The holidays can be a complicated time. For some they are straightforward enjoyment, time off, fun, food and family. For others they are a twisted path that weaves through memories, some sad and some happy. I think this is the case for Andrew The bulletin board at our...

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The Lost Memory of Memorial Day

As one man came to symbolize the price of the Civil War, so one man, Jesus, and his cross, symbolizes for us the price paid for the forgiveness of sins. He was just one man, God, but the first of many who would profit from his sacrifice.

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (3)

There is a saying in churches that is almost cliche: “God is good.” I cringe sometimes hearing it, not because it isn’t true, but because it is often linked only with events in our lives that are pleasant. I credit Wes McAdmas for pointing this out. “Getting to spend...

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Andrew: Letters from Prison (2)

Andrew had started to put his life together in Portsmouth. His first job was for a property manager who hired him out on a day laborer. He started to attend our church, sing in the little choir and make healthy friendships. We would meet for coffee before work and...

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