"We have found the opportunity through Inspiration Ministries to express not just our feelings but also the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts to share with others. I see I.M. as a channel of communication between the church...read more
December, Issue 12
Letter from the Editor
It was only a couple years ago when I received my Christmas gifts under the name W36706. That’s right, I was right where you are until December 18, 2011, when I got to spend my first Christmas on the outside in five years. Until I gave my life to Jesus Christ, Christmas was nothing different than any other holiday which was usually defined by my circumstances or mood that day. It is a devastating way to live, not allowing anything or anybody to inspire you daily.
I am so thankful that the Lord has created Inspiration Ministries to enable me and others to share with you the love of Jesus Christ, and the inspiration which has come from His birth, death, and resurrection. I pray that my journey will inspire you towards the saving and satisfying love of Christ.
My mother once told me that God was digging deep into my life to pour the foundation because He was preparing to build upon it something big to be used for His glorious splendor. When she told me that before my release from prison, it had special meaning because I had an understanding of the direction the Lord wanted to take my life. However, telling me that in 2007 would have been futile while I was in solitary confinement in jail with felony charges and facing a ton of time in prison. I did not understand why my life was being ripped apart, and I surely would not listen to someone tell me how this was for my betterment.
In October I met Chaplain Milo Trkuljafor the first time, and the minute he walked in, the Holy Spirit enveloped me so heavily that I started sobbing before Turk could even say a word. I was not crying because of guilt, my crime, or regret. I was weeping because I was not where I needed to be with the Lord. God used Turk to explain to me the inexhaustible love of Jesus, and I rededicated my life to Christ. That moment will be etched into my heart forever.
Christmas had new meaning. Not only was I learning about God’s gift to the world in Baby Jesus, but I was starting to understand the new birth in my own life. My joy was not dictated by my circumstances or lack of family around me, but by who I realized I am in Christ – A Redeemed Child of God!
Nonetheless, I still struggled when I went to prison with a five year sentence. Where did my joy go? Why was I not celebrating Christmas everyday as I was before? I again reached a breaking point in April 2009. I was sitting in the dayroom at 5:30 in the morning one day at Quincy Annex Correctional Institution, Florida crying my eyes out. I finally looked up at the ceiling, as if God was right there, and said, “I cannot keep feeling like this. What do you want me to do?” Immediately, a whisper was upon me that said, “Trust Me.” It might not seem like much, but I understood exactly what God meant: “Trust in Who My Word says that I am.” It started with the Bible. If I believed the Bible was more than a fairy tale, then I would trust in His Word and do what it says. That day a new chapter was born in my life. That was the day I emptied my life of all the baggage and let Jesus sit on the throne of my life.
Before Easter 2010, some brothers and I decided to fast for 40 days. It was a fast following Daniel’s example of vegetables and water because he did not want to defile himself with the king’s choice food (Daniel 1:8-16). The last three days, a couple of us chose to go without food. The first day was fine, but the second day I was in agony. I was crying throughout the day, and as I reflected on the pain, all I could think of was “this much, this much…Jesus loved us this much.” It melted my heart all over again to realize that Jesus paid the ultimate price for us even while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).
I certainly do not have all the answers, but I serve the God that does. I die daily knowing that I do not want to be caught up in the world, but dedicated to the great commission given to us by Jesus Christ. Inspiration Ministries is a part of the winning team. We are dedicated to leading others into the Kingdom. Everyday brings new opportunities and experiences, so we are trusting God to build this ministry. We desire to have you on the team. Inspiration is simply a vehicle, and the flag that is raised in our camp does not represent the great things we do, but only the glory of our Heavenly Father. The flag we raise does not say Inspiration; it says the only name worthy to be praised, Jesus Christ.
As I draw my inspiration from Jesus, this Christmas I encourage you to receive Christ’s perfect gift of salvation. Instead of letting the world around you define the meaning of Christmas, this year be the living testimony as to why Jesus came in the flesh to us in the first place. Jesus has made it clear that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. We are in this together; He not only had given us Himself, but also one another.
In the 23 months I have been released, I can be over-run with emotion as I worship because Jesus Christ has so satisfied my heart. He has saved me from sin and death and set my feet on solid ground. It took me back to my days of praise and worship in prison at Quincy Annex, Liberty, and Franklin when I would be trying to sing, dance, jump around, and cry all at the same time. I was a real mess, but so invigorated by the Spirit of God. The Lord has filled me with a joy that is truly unspeakable.
Let me encourage you to look solely into the eyes of Jesus for the strength you need when your back is up against the wall. We never know how strong we actually are until being strong is the only option we have left. Be assured that when it seems like you are on the edge, I love you, the folks with Inspiration love you, and, most importantly, Jesus Christ loves you unconditionally.
Inspired by His birth!
Andrew L. Foster
Inspiration Ministries INC, Director
The Cupbearer Café, Owner
- Letter from the Editor, by Andrew Foster
- Living the Christmas Story, by Dan Evans
- A Farmer’s Christmas Letter, by Don Chaffin
- Time to Heal, by Sue C.
- A True Christmas Story, by John Kuhle
- Free Indeed, by James Summers
- What are We Doing with Our Hands, by James Rogers
- There is no Way Out, by Anthony Ponds
- La Sierva Obediente Y Trabajadora, by Wilson Gonzalez
- Changed…By Love, by Christopher Bachmann