Letter #7 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #7. In the Bible, the number 7 represents completion or perfection. Today’s topic is about quite the opposite: sin.

10-shocking-facts-about-females-in-prison

Dear ______,

Do you know the definition of sin? The dictionary says it is: “an immoral act considered to be a transgression of God’s law.”

I have a definition I came up with a few years ago. I think of sin as: “anything that hurts my relationship with God, with others, or with myself.” I base my definition on The 10 Commandments, found in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall make no idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

The first four Commandments are about our relationship with God. The next five Commandments are about our relationships with other people. And the last Commandment is about our relationship with ourself.

The last Commandment concerns a sin I know well: covetousness. To covet is to want something that I don’t have. When I begin to covet something or someone, I begin to create internal dissatisfaction and long for something other than what I have.

When I covet, I prevent thankfulness and contentment. I create depression. I create restlessness. I create a state of mind that makes me vulnerable to hurt, pain, and disappointment.

Philippians 4:9 tells us that God supplies ALL of our needs. Do you believe God has a provision for your needs? He does. He loves you and wants the best for you.

Today I pray you will find rest in God, contentment in His provision, and obedience to His Word.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,
Rachael Hartman

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

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Letter #6 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #6 of 30. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a hand-written letter from each volunteer. Please pray for our ministry team meeting.
woman-in-Jail
Dear ______,

My heart is screaming for my attention. I can choose to listen, or choose to silence the cries.

If I listen, I can comfort and console my heart. I can learn the problem and find a remedy. I can learn to trust myself, building full assurance that I will not abandon my heart.

If I choose to ignore the cries of my heart, I will cause neglectful damage. When a problem goes untended to, the situation often gets worse.

If a child or a pet were to cry out in need, would I ignore the cry? Would I scream at the innocent one who is begging for my help? Slap them, and push them to the side? Would I teach them not to come to me?

Or would I respond with love, gentleness, and listening ears? Would I reach out a hand to comfort, and provide nourishment? Would I teach them to come to me?

When my heart cries, sometimes I don’t feel like dealing with the problem. But my heart is my responsibility. I’m learning to listen, to respond with love, and to bring encouragement.

I’m learning that my heart cry is not just asking for my attention. It’s asking me to bring my needs to the Lord. Instead of doing things my own way, or trying to control an outside situation, the best thing I can do is bring my heart and all of its needs to God.

When I don’t understand a situation, when I feel like responding with anger or fear, when I need love . . . It’s time to take my heart to God. He is the only One that is the ultimate answer. He provides direction, strength, peace, and comfort. All we have to do is listen to our heart cries, and bring them to God.

A heart cry is simply this: a call to prayer.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,
Rachael Hartman

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #5 to a Woman in Prison

Letter #5 of 30. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a hand-written letter from each volunteer. Please pray for our ministry team meeting.

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Dear ______,

Broken dreams and disappointments haunt me like eerie ghosts that can’t let go of their unfinished business. The spirit of discontentment fights for my heart as I press toward fulfilling my responsibilities. The work before me fills my days, and I long for a new season.

I don’t have to ask if you feel trapped. I can only imagine you do. My little brother is in prison. Ten years. A mandatory minimum. He’s done four and a half. No chance for parole.

I feel trapped. I feel trapped with my brother’s sentence, my family’s pain, loneliness, lack of various securities my heart longs for. It hurts me and it hurts our family what happened with my brother. It doesn’t feel fair. It isn’t fair. But were we promised fair? No.

We weren’t promised our dreams or anything really. It’s easy to stop dreaming when you know there is no promise. It’s vulnerable to dream of a different season when the reality is so in your face.

Discontentment is a prison. It traps us in a cell of depression and bitterness. My life hasn’t gone the way I thought it would. I find myself struggling with resentment over it. I look at all the twists and turns, all the unexpected, all of the disappointments.

Does God make mistakes? My head says, “No.” Then why can’t I trust Him in my circumstance? It’s a battle we all face. Our trust in God isn’t going to be perfect. But as we humbly seek Him, step back and stop trying to change or fight our situation, we find God’s presence.

He’s right there with us. The Bible says even if we chose to make our beds in hell, that God is with us (Psalm 139:8). We can’t escape His amazing love for us. His love is greater and deeper than any situation. It surpasses our understanding, our disappointments, and our brokenness.

He loves you. He is with you. Seek Him in your times of discontent.

Praying for you in Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman
Isaiah 43:1-2

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #4 to a Woman in Prison

Today is a day for writing. I wrote a letter this morning but found myself with a need to write another not one, but TWO, this afternoon. Letter #4 is below. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a hand-written letter from each volunteer.

Dear _____,

Have you ever been angry? I have. To be honest, I’m angry right now–not at you. I’m angry because life isn’t easy and people lie and scam and are abusive.

I get angry when other people do me wrong. I get angry when things don’t go as planned. I get angry when other people nit-pick stupid stuff and try to use their “control” over me as a way to feel powerful.

Sadly, I just did that. I just was angry and yelled at someone I love. Probably because I wanted to make someone else feel what I was feeling. Misery loves company. What I did was wrong and I will apologize for yelling.

But I won’t apologize for being angry. Anger is an emotion. It’s not an “attitude problem.” Anger is a real emotion, just like fear, love, and happiness.

And having a feeling isn’t wrong, even if others tell you not to feel that way. You have a God-given capacity to feel angry. God gave you your anger. Wow. Yes, I just said that. And it is true. We are created in God’s image, and He feels angry too.

What matters is what do we do with our anger? Its good (and healthy) to feel our anger, to identify it, and find out what is causing it.

It’s not ok to take it out on others or dump on them in small ways just because we are having a bad day. We have to find healthy ways to deal with our emotions and focus on helping ourselves. For me, it helps me to write – to journal – and to read books that help me learn to manage my emotions.

Praying for you and me.

In Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman

Ephesians 4:26

 

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #3 to a Woman in Prison

Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a hand-written letter from each volunteer. I wrote a letter this morning but found myself with a need to write another one this afternoon. Letter #3.

Dear _____,

They say, “When it rains, it pours.” That’s what my life feels like for a while. How about you?

Life is full of pressure. Sometimes it feels unbearable. Actually, it is unbearable. When the heat is turned up, it changes us.

I’ve heard the old example: Will you be the egg or coffee in the boiling water of life? Meaning, will life’s pressure make you hard, or will it bring out a good smell and well-loved drink?

I don’t think it’s bad to be the “egg” though. So what if we harden a bit with life? It may help us survive.

I used to be afraid of becoming too hard emotionally. I guarded against it and tried to stay kind-hearted. I guess that’s a good thing, but my kind-heart keeps getting run-over and it hurts.

How can we find that balance of protecting ourselves and still being a compassionate person who has a soul? There has to be a way. I think it must be impossible in our own strength.

But the Bible says where we are weak, Jesus is strong. We have to run to Him. We have to hide in Him. To allow Him to be our protector and our compassion.

I’ve not conquered the challenge, so let’s pray for each other to be willing to trust God enough each day to let Him be in charge of our hearts.

In Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Matthew 19:26

 

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #2 to a Woman in Prison

This week I started the process of writing 30 unique letters of encouragement. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a letter. Welcome to Letter #2.

Dear _____,

Did you ever have the feeling that you are different? That somehow you don’t belong, or will never fit in?

I feel that way every day.

Yesterday I was walking outside when I heard the gentle voice of God whisper to my heart a question that resonated in my life.

He said, “What if you are always different? What if you never fit in? Will you be okay with that?”

I thought about it for a moment and replied, “Yes.” It was the first time in my life I felt like I could accept being different and be at peace with it.

I can’t shake that question and I’m glad. God is OK with me being different. In fact, He made me different on purpose and for a purpose.

Today, I’m praying that you would embrace and love you for being different. Different is good. A diamond is different from other rocks; it’s much more rare. It’s also worth more because of that.

You are a diamond. Worthy. Rare. Unique. And God created you that way.

I’m praying you would find peace in being different and find God’s purpose in your life.

In Jesus’ Name,

Rachael Hartman
2 Corinthians 16:17

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.

Letter #1 to a Woman in Prison

Today I started the process of writing 30 unique letters of encouragement. Each woman who attends the prison ministry weekend I’m volunteering at will receive a letter. I’ve decided to share a letter with you. Maybe I’ll share more letters as I write them.

Dear ______,
Today was one of those days where I was around someone who put me down and said several things that made me uncomfortable. I knew in my head that she was the one with the problem. She was using words to create a skewed and fearful reality.
I kept telling myself she was the one with the issue, but my heart still struggled and I never quite felt comfortable. Later in the day, I sat outside and prayed for that woman. I prayed God would help her not to be so stressed out, and that He would give her confidence so she wouldn’t feel insecure or fearful around me.
A lot of times people take out their issues on us. And sometimes we take out our issues on them. Today, I’m praying for you that your mind and heart would be secure in who God says you are, no matter how others may try to make you feel, even unknowingly.
I also pray you wouldn’t take out your problems on other people. It’s not easy to stop taking your problems out on other people, but when we see ourselves doing it, we can have more grace and empathy when other people take their issues out on us.
I’m praying God would sustain you with His Word!
Blessings in Jesus’ Name!

Rachael Kathleen Hartman

Romans 15:7

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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I’m raising $150 to pay for one female inmate to attend the Kiaros prison ministry I’m volunteering at. It may not seem like a lot of money, and you may think I should just pay it myself, but I can’t pass up this opportunity to share the blessing of having you join with me in prayer and support for this weekend. As well, if you understood the time, energy, and travel commitments of each of us volunteers, you would understand why I’m asking for help in raising the financial piece.

If you would like to donate to the prison ministry, it needs to be in the form of a check made out to: KPMI (which stands for Kairos Prison Ministry International). In the memo put: Pulaski, GA. You can mail it to me, Rachael Hartman, at: PO Box 501, Bloomingdale, GA 31302. If you want a tax credit, include your full name and address on a note and they will mail you a tax receipt.

Thank you so much for your support and prayers! Every $5 goes to pay for a meal for one of the inmates that weekend. The meal will have a tag with your name on it. And we will have a paper chain link that will also have your names on a link to show that you have prayed for and invested into the weekend. Praise God for what He will do! Please keep me in your prayers as I will be speaking on Obstacles to Accepting God’s Grace, and sharing part of my own testimony in the process.

To add your name to the prayer chain (which will be visualized with a paper link chain – your name will be on one link) please leave a comment below. And please pray for Kairos #40 ~ Pulaski Women’s State Prison in Georgia. Kairos weekend happening August 25-28, 2016.