May 5 Letter from Philip

May 6, 2020

DAY 518

Dear one in Christ,

I praise the Lord for His love and His sovereign working all things together for HIS Glory!  We serve an amazing and awesome Lord, and I never cease to be overwhelmed by His grace, mercy, and love and the way He works everything together for good.

Today was a milestone of sorts. We were very surprised to be suddenly told we could go outside for 1 1/2 hours this morning to the recreation yard. This was the first time in two months most of us were able to breathe fresh, outside air!

Even though it was quite cold (we were thankful to have been told to take coats), it was extremely invigorating and boosted everyone’s spirits. I was glad to be able to walk the entire time, probably at least 5 miles, and work off some of the excess calories from the unbalanced diet and lying around for the past two months. Often, I opt in the chow hall for meatless options, but as long as they’ve been delivering meals to the units with lots more sugars and refined starches, we’ve not had that option. Plus, we are only getting one hot meal a day; the others being cereal and sandwiches.

Another unit was cleared out to make room for Unicor workers, who are basically the long-term government slave laborers, so they could find a way to get them back to work. About 12 from that unit came to our unit, and about eight of them are believers! I am just now meeting them all, although one has started studying the Bible with me, Will and Richard every evening. That means there are now at least 13 true believers in our unit if all of the eight new guys turn out to be genuine. Before we had become confined to our cells, our nightly prayer group had dwindled to about five because of guys going home or to another facility. Nine of us crammed together last night into a 7’x 9’ cell to pray and study.

Thank you everybody who donated to send Will to Teen Challenge. He is so very thrilled and anxious to be going. He has to first have hernia surgery when he is released in July. He is thrilled now he does not need to come up with the intake fee. He continues to grow in the Lord!

My paralegal “jailhouse lawyer” is now working on what, God-willing, is my final response for Judge Arcara, my sentencing judge. The answers from my attorneys and prosecutors in response to the judge’s specific questions have been elusive, misleading and contained outright lies! They have attempted to “muddy the waters” by bringing into the debate peripheral issues, which have nothing to do with my main contentions – that I was never explained or told of the statute 1204(c)(2) affirmative defense allowing Lisa Miller to remove her child from the country if they were fleeing a pattern of abuse and that the jury was denied the opportunity to learn of the alleged abuse, and to determine if the abuse Isabella was enduring was my motive in giving Lisa Miller and her daughter a ride to Buffalo, New York. All other issues are irrelevant!

The Wuhan virus scare has caused everything to be delayed, which, aside from delaying my ultimate release, may be a good thing, as it has delayed the civil trial and discovery.  I have asked for another extension in selecting a new Vermont lawyer. We are all locked in our respective units, so I cannot confer as to the drafting of my response, but I am confident it is in God’s hands. The deadline for this response is now May 21.  Please pray!

I did apply to be released under the CARES Act to home confinement, but it was denied by the warden, H. Allen Beard.  His reasoning was because he claimed the program statement on inmate discipline and special housing units lists International Parental Kidnapping specifically as a crime of violence and “other policies or programs indicate that an inmate COULD (my emphasis) be denied the benefits of such programs.” Therefore, I am a violent offender and for this reason he has chosen to deny me.  I write more about this at www.romanseight28.com.

Yet today, I learned that the largest cocaine trafficking king pen in the United States has been released from this prison because of COVID-19. This is disheartening, but supposedly he paid over $1 million to a DC attorney to “get him out” under the CARES Act. But I know God is ultimately in control, and He may choose to use me here a little while longer. But the worst part of the way things are now is that we are being denied any visits. I haven’t seen Kathie in over two months, and they say it won’t be until later this year when they open back up visitation. So please pray God works on Judge Arcara’s heart to rule in my favor, vacating my sentence, and that the government doesn’t retry me. Thank you again for all of your prayers, letters and support, on behalf of both Kathie and me. This has been especially difficult on my wonderful wife, Kathie, who is so grateful for all you’ve done. She says you all are such a blessing to her.

In HIS service,

Philip Zodhiates

I Peter 5:10: But the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered awhile, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.

Thank you!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As I write this letter my mind is on Christ.  The Scripture that comes to mind is Proverbs 3:5-6 and Matthew 6:31-33.  Being a new believer in Christ has changed my perspective so dramatically when it comes to the purpose of my life.  Before my rebirth, I didn’t feel that I had a purpose and deep down in my heart was a vast emptiness that could never be filled as hard as I tried.  I believe that is why most people use drugs, at least that is why I did.  Through Christ I have the wisdom to understand this and also the power and strength to overcome that which is an ugly thing called addiction.  Through Christ all things are possible.  All the glory goes to God.

I truly feel He has given me a new life and for the first time a purpose which is a desire to serve Him.  As long as I acknowledge Him in all ways, He promises to direct my paths.  So first and foremost, I thank God for the opportunity to serve Him in any way I can.  I don’t know how that is at the moment, but I do love and trust the Lord with all my heart, and I believe He will reveal this to me in time.

Having the chance to attend the Teen Challenge program for recovery is such a blessing and again I thank God.  I also would like to thank Philip and Kathie Zodhiates for being there for me and caring enough about me to help guide me in the right direction.  They are my family, and I love them so much.  Then, there is Janet Stasulli who I would like to thank for helping set up the page that brought in all the donations for the intake fee to the program.  I don’t know where I would have come up with the money for the program, but she provided a solution and even though I have never met her, I hope to be able to thank her in person one day.  Finally, I would like to thank all the people who donated money to get me the help that I need, and to my loving family and friends who have supported me on my journey through transformation into becoming a servant of God!  I hope one day that I can help someone find Christ and their purpose in life through Christ.  All the glory is His!  God bless!

Will

New Fund Opportunity

March 26, 2020

Dear Friend,

I am writing you this letter to specifically introduce you to Will Flournoy. Will is a fellow inmate who lives in my dorm at Ashland Federal Correctional Institute.

Last week, God miraculously, through the Holy Spirit, brought Will to a place of repentance, and he was born again. This change has been remarkable, Jesus Christ has radically changed him, and he has been genuinely redeemed by the blood of Christ.

Will is being released from prison on July 11, after having served a six-year sentence. Because of a lifetime of drug addiction, he would like to immediately enter an Adult Teen Challenge residential rehabilitation program. It is a one year to fifteen-month faith-based program, and he meets all the criteria, but doesn’t have the $3,000 entrance fee.

I would like to encourage you to help Will cover this cost. The 419 Fund will collect the funds and send them directly to Teen Challenge in Will’s city.

I am very enthused about Will’s future, as he is eagerly sharing with everyone what God has done in his life. Your investment in his future in this way will yield immense returns for the kingdom of God. Thank you for prayerfully considering this. Go to https://419fund.com/donations/will-flournoy/

In His Service,

Philip Zodhiates

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My name is William Flournoy, and for most of my life I’ve been missing something. That something is purpose. From so far back as I can remember, I felt the need to fill this void in my life but didn’t know how. Like a lot of young people, I started using drugs to help fit in and, like most people, became a slave to addiction.

It started off with marijuana and soon escalated to harder drugs like cocaine and meth. I thought the drugs would fill that void in my heart and would eventually lead to me finding purpose in what was becoming a chaotic life that I thought at the time was normal. How wrong I was!

The use of drugs eventually led to the distribution of drugs, which finally led to incarceration. Receiving an 84-month sentence was a reality check for me at the age of 31 and caused me to re-evaluate my life. But as much as you would think prison is intended to rehabilitate a person, the harsh reality is that most of the time people don’t learn their lesson and even become worse from their time in prison. I continued to use drugs in prison and kept getting in trouble, all the while thinking that I can stop on my own whenever I want and will eventually quit before I get released. How powerless I was and didn’t even realize it.

I had grown up in a somewhat religious family who made my brother and I go to Sunday school every week, but eventually I lost touch with religion because at the time I was rebellious and just went through the motions. When I’d first entered prison, I started going to the church services with some friends and attended Bible study because I felt that there was some truth to what they were telling me about Christ. I felt the need to seek some type of understanding from the Bible that so many of my friends seemed to have at the time. They would tell me what it took to be born again and with that a transformation would occur, but I was always on the fence with my belief. You can say that I had doubt like Thomas did. I couldn’t see myself giving up certain things that I did in my life that were considered a sin in the Bible – like using drugs and lusting after women.

I eventually left that prison and went to a lower custody prison, where I stopped going to church and continued to use drugs. I also continued to get in trouble because of it and eventually reached a point of desperation and found myself praying to God. I asked for him to help and promised to change my life if He would, which He miraculously did in a matter of hours. Not only did He answer my prayer, but I felt like He gave me the strength to overcome my drug addiction and felt like I knew what it would take to get out and stay out of prison.

I had this overwhelming feeling that I was experiencing that felt better than any drug I’ve ever done, and it wasn’t going away. I started hearing the Lord speak to me in everything around me and felt like He was directing me to something. Then one day, I was led to speak with a man about my new thoughts and how I was feeling. When I told this man that I couldn’t understand why I was feeling like I was high, this man said it sounded like I had the Holy Spirit working in me. This man, whom I believe is a messenger sent from God, is Philip Zodhiates.

Things started making more sense after that, and I started hearing God speak to me in so many ways. I was invited to a church service and immediately decided to go. Something was calling me to that service.

On March 15th, 2020, at the age of 37, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, came to surrender all my burdens at the foot of the cross, and repented of all my sins!

I felt the Holy Spirit pour out into my heart and soul and fill every fiber of my body. I made the decision to live my life for Christ from that day forward, and now I feel conviction in the way I have sinned my whole life. I have started hanging out with my new friend, who is my brother in Christ. He is my guardian angel. Since we’ve started spending time together, we have done lots of praying and studying together, and I feel like he is strengthening my faith through the understanding of the Bible.

He had mentioned there is a program called Teen Challenge that I would probably enjoy going to since I have no place to go when I get out. I called and talked to the intake coordinator about the program, and it sounds so awesome. It’s a 12-15-month faith-based recovery program and I meet all the requirements – except I am going to have some trouble coming up with the $2,500 intake fee that is needed upon arrival. I would be grateful for any help I can get. Thank you!

  • Will Flournoy

April 2, 2020 Letter from Philip

April 2, 2020

Thursday, Day 485

God convicted me this morning about being frustrated because of the turn of events.  You see, I had intended by now to have had my final response to my attorneys and the government replies in regard to my 2255 before Judge Arcara. This is where I asked him to vacate my sentence due to the ineffective council since they failed to inform me that Lisa Miller’s motive (her daughters abuse), and hence my “aiding and abetting“ for which I was convicted, was a legitimate defense for a parent removing a child from the country.

My hope was that by now this final response would be in its finals stages….ready to be sent to the Judge. “D,” my “jailhouse lawyer,” who is a fellow believer, kept telling me we should not rush it, and now, once again, because of the near complete lockdown, I am forced to delay once again. Why would this pandemic (COVID- 19/corona virus) happen now? Even though it arrived at the prison Tuesday, I wasn’t able to acquire the government’s final response until this afternoon, which requires a week or more “D” (mailing it home to be photo-copied and sent to him and back to me). Only at that point can “D” begin to finalize the document, yet he has no means to get it typed while we are under lockdown.

Basically, we are at a standstill at the point I thought God would miraculously be sending me home! Why?

On top of all of this, Kathie has now been sick, running a low-grade fever now for three weeks, and she tells me how desperately she needs me home, and I am able to communicate with her very little. Yet here I sit, stymied by circumstance out of anyone’s control.

But this morning, God spoke to me clearly, and I was forced to repent. Due to the circumstances, “D“ emailed William, my son, with the verbiage and instructions how to file an extension request both in regard to the 2255 matter and the April 15 deadline for me to have selected a new attorney in the civil lawsuit in Vermont. The Lord revealed to me this opportunity to delay both matters is actually a blessing, but without the chaos ensuing, as a result of the pandemic, there would be no legitimate excuse for such a delay. A delay for which there are very good strategic and timing reasons. As difficult as it is to spend additional days away from home and confined to a 7 x 9 cell with another man, there are good reasons for God allowing this to happen, the Lord told me.

First, “D“ may require more time to prepare my final filing allowing less rushed contemplation in attempt to answer each and every doubt the judge may have pertaining to every facet of the legitimate case for vindication we have built. God’s timing is always best, not ours, and we must be patient!

Secondly, God is working here within our unit. This may provide further opportunity to speak into the lives of others. “W” has been sharing his newfound faith in Christ with nearly everyone, and I believe the Holy Spirit is dealing with Sam. The guard on evening shift gave permission for him to come to my cell to study the Bible. How awesome is that? “W” treasures these times of study together, as do I, times we thought we’re going to have to stop completely during these two weeks of quarantine.

And also, Kathie and I must be patient and endure.  Please pray for us.

In His Service,

Philip

HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY, ISABELLA!

When she was 9, her mom fled the United States with her for parts unknown to everyone except the people that helped them escape the judicial tyranny of the Vermont Federal Court.

Let’s hear the story in Isabella’s words:

“You see, my mother (before I was even a thought) had a lesbian relationship with another woman and they went to Vermont to get a civil union because same-sex marriage had not yet been legalized in Virginia. I was born in Virginia in 2002, and my mom, Lisa, is my birth mother. Janet Jenkins was ‘my other mother.’

“Something marvelous happened to my mom – she was gloriously saved and became a committed Christian, leaving the homosexual lifestyle, dissolving the civil union, and that’s when all the trouble began.

“Janet wanted visitation with me. She wasn’t my real mom; she wasn’t even a relative; in fact, given the opportunity twice, she refused to adopt me. So the court battles began – first, in Virginia, then in Vermont, then in Virginia, then in Vermont and on and on.

“Visitation was set up and began erratically and haphazardly – missed visits, miscommunications. Finally, there were unsupervised visitations. As a 7-year old, I started wetting the bed, having nightmares and wanting to commit suicide; I was under terrible emotional distress, which the courts totally ignored.

“My mom stopped the visitation. The judge in Vermont was not happy, and he was going to give me to Janet as a result of my mom’s disregard for the court orders.

“On September 27, 2009, my mom and I fled the country.”

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Donate here

 

Age progression to age 18.

Isabella can return to the U.S. when she is 18 and would need support for school and living expenses. 419 Fund has created a Funding Opportunity to support Isabella when she returns to the United States free from the courts. If you would like to contribute, 419 Fund and Lisa and Isabella would be very grateful.

Easter vs. the World

How the Virus Stole Easter
Author: Kristi Bothur
With a nod to Dr. Seuss…

Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began
Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.
People were sick, hospitals full,
Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.

As winter gave way to the promise of spring,
The virus raged on, touching peasant and king.
People hid in their homes from the enemy unseen.
They YouTubed and Zoomed, social-distanced, and cleaned.

April approached and churches were closed.
“There won’t be an Easter,” the world supposed.
“There won’t be church services, and egg hunts are out.
No reason for new dresses when we can’t go about.”

Holy Week started, as bleak as the rest.
The world was focused on masks and on tests.
“Easter can’t happen this year,” it proclaimed.
“Online and at home, it just won’t be the same.”

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the days came and went.
The virus pressed on; it just would not relent.
The world woke Sunday and nothing had changed.
The virus still menaced, the people, estranged.

“Pooh pooh to the saints,” the world was grumbling.
“They’re finding out now that no Easter is coming.
“They’re just waking up! We know just what they’ll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two,
And then all the saints will all cry boo-hoo.

“That noise,” said the world, “will be something to hear.”
So it paused and the world put a hand to its ear.
And it did hear a sound coming through all the skies.
It started down low, then it started to rise.

But the sound wasn’t depressed.
Why, this sound was triumphant!
It couldn’t be so!
But it grew with abundance!

The world stared around, popping its eyes.
Then it shook! What it saw was a shocking surprise!
Every saint in every nation, the tall and the small,
Was celebrating Jesus in spite of it all!

It hadn’t stopped Easter from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the world with its life quite stuck in quarantine
Stood puzzling and puzzling.
“Just how can it be?”

“It came without bonnets, it came without bunnies,
It came without egg hunts, cantatas, or money.”
Then the world thought of something it hadn’t before.
“Maybe Easter,” it thought, “doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Easter, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
And what happened then?
Well….the story’s not done.
What will YOU do?
Will you share with that one

Or two or more people needing hope in this night?
Will you share the source of your life in this fight?
The churches are empty – but so is the tomb,
And Jesus is victor over death, doom, and gloom.

So this year at Easter, let this be our prayer,
As the virus still rages all around, everywhere.
May the world see hope when it looks at God’s people.
May the world see the church is not a building or steeple.

May the world find Faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection,
May the world find Joy in a time of dejection.
May 2020 be known as the year of survival,
But not only that –
Let it start a revival.

Are you struggling?

Patience, diligence and faithfulness

Let’s be patient, diligent and faithful to the work the Lord has called to!

(Received from Philip February 1, 2020)

I just came in from outside.  There were just four of us today.  It was quite nippy.  I need to thaw out.

Anyway, I was blessed in what Richard told me.  He is a real student of the Bible.  But he told me today, “You know, I have never studied the Bible this way, or been part of a Bible study like this, where you just go verse by verse.”  He then told me after I walked back to the unit and I said maybe he could take over for me when I leave if he’s still here he said, “I have a feeling that you have had a very unique ministry here, and that nobody could take your place.”  How comforting and reassuring is that!

I just got an email from Carl and he told me he is hoping to get a call from you to come again to see me.  So, I suppose he is awaiting an invitation!

Thank you for the encouraging words about George Mueller.  I am praying in faith, that God will indeed move on Judge Arcara’s heart and the slate will be wiped clean and God alone will get all the glory.  His name alone will be praised.  And then I can tell people that they need to follow Christ with their whole heart, with every ounce of their being.  That when choices need to be made where we are confronted with doing the right thing, we are to just do it!  We are not to find excuses or justify ourselves in not helping someone.  We are not to tell ourselves, “Well, let me pray about it” when in fact it is the only right option.  These choices are put in front of us to test us, and we mustn’t fail in our following in Christ’s footsteps of personal sacrifice.  No matter the outcome for us!  The times will continue to get much worse for us Christians, and I hope I can be of use in convincing believers not to flinch when it comes to giving our lives for Him and for others.  That is all that matters.

Anyway, I am preaching to the choir.  But I pray I will have opportunities to share this word with many people, for we know from experience the blessings of God through obedience in the midst of persecution.  Thank you for standing with me, my love, in persevering till the end!  We shall see Christ in all His glory!  I praise the name of my Heavenly Father!

In His Service,

Philip

January 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

Friday, Day 416

Dear Friends,

Thank you once again for your prayers, and the financial support from so many of you. Both are especially critical right now.

Since I do not have a copy of my previous letters, I do not know or remember all that I’ve already told you. However, yesterday I mailed the response to my attorneys’ answers to Judge Arcara’s specific questions. The answers the lawyers gave were pretty much what I expected from them.

D., the Christian brother here in prison helping me draft all this pro se legal stuff, in consultation with me, has been working for weeks on my response to their answers and the final plea to Judge Arcara to vacate my sentence. We have attempted to anticipate every final thing the government will say in their final amended objection to my petition to vacate my sentence and include answers to those arguments in advance. With Gods help, no stone will be left unturned. I truly believe that even if I had the highest paid attorney in the United States, I would not have found anybody more diligent and capable than D. And he truly loves the Lord and believes that God will ultimately vindicate me.

As far as the civil case goes, it has been delayed several times since December, and I am trying to get it delayed again. Because of my motion to Judge Arcara to vacate my criminal sentence, my attorney, I have had for the past nearly 8 years, has withdrawn from my case without notice. His withdrawal was excepted by Judge Sessions in early January.

Judge Sessions gave us, (me, Response Unlimited, and my daughter Victoria) less than a month to find a new attorney which is a ridiculous and unreasonable deadline. Within a week, D helped me to file a pro se Motion to delay the deadline until March 31. The good news is that the new trial ready date, I believe, is now August 15. If Judge Sessions grants my request for delay in selecting a new attorney or even if he doesn’t, we are hoping and praying to push the trial off until early next year, 2021.

In the meanwhile, I am wondering how in the world we are going to pay a new attorney! But I know my God is able to provide and I know we must continue to trust in HIM.

Some days I can get quite discouraged, and yesterday was one of those days. I was told by the unit team that I was ineligible for early release based on good time credits under the First Step Act. This really threw me for a loop, and I was very down. It kept me awake last night and finally I began to pray and gave it all to the Lord. Instead of wrestling with the disappointment I should have remembered what I had read in Psalm 40 the previous morning. “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry, He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm… Since I am afflicted and needy, let the Lord be mindful of me; Thou art my help and my deliver; do not delay, oh my God.” Then this morning, when I woke up, the Lord took me to Isaiah 46:4 which says, “even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you, and I shall deliver you.” What promises! And just when I needed them most.

Later this morning, on my way back from lunch. I poked my head into the team managers office to inquire about the form I needed to file. I asked whether or not being ineligible for the First Step Act would make me ineligible for the Senior Offender Release Program and she said “Oh no, that’s an entirely different separate thing, you are eligible for that!”  What a relief that was!

Please pray though, especially during the next couple of weeks, that God would indeed move on Judge Arcara’s heart to vacate my sentence. The fact that he had sent the very detailed and thoughtful questions to the attorneys requiring an explanation means he believes my request has merit. Please believe and pray with us for a miracle!  We serve a mighty God! Hallelujah and amen!

In HIS service,

Philip

 

January 3

Radio Interview with E.W. Jackson: https://tinyurl.com/ub47w3n

January 3, 2020

Friday, Day 395

I call the first chapter of II Corinthians the “comfort chapter,” for it will bring tears of joy in the Lord, as it did for me, to anyone who is suffering affliction and studies it closely. For our God is the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort! It is He who comforts us in all our afflictions (vs. 3-4). Note that the word “all” appears twice, once as a declaration that all comfort comes from God, and secondly, that there is no affliction that is too great for God to bring comfort – He comforts us in ALL our affliction!

There is no limit as to the severity of our affliction and to which God can bring comfort.  Look at Paul’s own description of his suffering:  “We were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves” (vs. 8-9).

But Paul does not end it there, he tells us why God allows us to be brought to this point of desperation, “in order that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and WILL deliver us, on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us” (vs. 9-10).

Here then is where the community of believers comes in, for Paul continues, “… You are also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many” (v.11).

Every time I read this passage in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, I break down with praise, adoration and thanksgiving to the God of mercy and comfort, for I know how true these words have been for me. My despair at times has been excessive, beyond my strength, to the point where I recognized God as my only hope. Indeed He is! This is the point where God desires me to be. Nothing I can do can rescue me from my affliction. I am hopeless in myself and in human endeavor. God alone is my refuge! The fear and trepidation walking through the prison doors on December 5, 2018, being handcuffed and tossed into an isolated cell, contemplating that this would be my life for the next three years, brought me to that point of complete dependence on the Lord. Then, two months later, when Kathie, my wife, was afflicted with pneumonia and I was so fearful and broken that I’d never see her again in this life, I cried out to the Lord in desperation. But many people were praying for us, and just as with Paul, those prayers of many made the remarkable difference.

I think back now, as the days and weeks plod slowly along, how long 36 months is. How can these men be here for 10, 20 or 30 years survive without the mercy and comfort of the Father?  It became obvious that unless they know the Lord they cling to bitterness and to themselves. But I must cling to the Lord, the God of mercy, and put my hope completely in Him, encouraging those around me to do the same. This is part of my purpose for being here. Over time I have seen how that hope in spite of desperation is permeating to the spirits of others, and lives around me begin to change for which I praise God.

So many, both within this prison, and without, are telling me that my time here would be shortened and that I would be completely vindicated. Yet, from a human standpoint, this seemed impossible and I still believe from a human standpoint there is no hope. Yet we serve a mighty God. It is here where God’s comfort comes into play when we put our hope and confidence in Him. As we, like Paul, can say from experience, “indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves, in order that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises from the dead, who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us” (vs. 9-10). God has delivered me from death— spiritual and physical death. The many miracles he has already performed against all odds in our lives demonstrate that nothing is too great for God to overcome; as long as I trust and obey. God will rescue, God will vindicate. He promises this over and over again throughout Scripture as long as we heed the word of God in our affliction. As Paul says, “but if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation, or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort” (vs. 6-7).

And so today, I pray for you, that whatever suffering and affliction you are going through that our God of miracles and mercy will comfort your heart as He has mine. Nothing is too great for God. He will get us both through this. He promises, as long as we put our trust completely in Him. Thank you, for your joining and helping us through your prayers!

In His service,

Philip