Lisa Miller – update 9/19/21

September 19, 2021

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings in the name of the Father Who is the Word.  Thank You to ALL who sent me birthday prayers, encouragement and good will.  You blessed me tremendously.

Many of you have expressed a desire to know more about my daily life in jail. It’s really quite normal.  I try to keep to a schedule as much as possible.  Monday through Friday mornings typically find me folding, sorting and organizing the jail’s uniforms, linens and shoes.  On Wednesdays and Saturdays, we have linen exchange, and for last Saturday’s exchange, I made 208 setups (1 sheet, 1 pillowcase, 1 towel, 1 washcloth rolled up in another sheet) and 12 bedrolls (roll the sheets, towel and washcloth in a blanket and place the roll in a pillowcase).  The Wednesday count varies from 100-125 and is for completely different units.

After lunch, if need be, I return to laundry, otherwise, I write letters.  After “lock-in” for shift change (2:30 pm – 3:15 pm), I keep occupied with talking to the girls, making phone calls, reading and or writing letters until around 6:00 pm when I usually put away my writing implements to stretch out on my bunk (bed) with a good read.  You all have blessed me tremendously in keeping my eyegate pure.  I read typed sermons, magazines (thank you to the “anonymous to me” sender of Bliss Victoria) and books.  The girls say I sure do read a lot of different types of books. =) They also teasingly claim I have 7 Bibles in my room when in reality I have two, one English and one Spanish.  Currently, I am reading Under God’s Arrest (Ida B. Bontrager), a biographical book on a “wrenching personal expression… to clear his head [author’s] of madness and alcohol.”  For personal study, I’m reading From the Garden to the City, The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology (John Dyer), a thin book espousing a Biblical viewpoint to the heavily research-based application to technology, which is a complement to The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains (Nicholas Carr), which I just finished reading and reviewing line upon line, again and again.

For Bible Study (with others), I’m reading Lies Woman Believe (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth).  Also, I am perusing The New Testament Documents (F.F. Bruce) in order to help me “to be ready to give an answer” during the expository cell block Study of the Gospel of John.  These Bible Studies (3 times/week) are the highlight of my week.

For personal devotions, I am reading The Kingdom of the Cults (Walter Martin), a formidable dissertation of various cults we may encounter; Correcting the Cults: Expert Responses to their Scripture Twisting (Norman L. Geisler & Ron Rhodes), a verse-by-verse “Q&A” enlisting the majority books of the Bible; and Gripped by a Dark Hand (Paul Weaver), a book detailing the varying occult and witchcraft practices prevalent today.  When I’m done with Gripped…, I will read How to Protect Your Child from the New Age and Spiritual Deception (Berit Kjos), a book detailing how “media” is saturated with spiritualism.  Remember “media” includes printed materials.  Spiritualism and/or an eclectic religious view seems to be prevalent in today’s society. Consequently,  I want to study it in depth so I can better “give an answer” for my hope which I find in Jesus.

Yes, I still read straight from God’s Word:  currently John, Proverbs and Exodus and all the written verses (I look up your references too =), which you send me.  =)

Saturdays and Sundays I devote to reading and letter writing and occasionally napping.

I read for pleasure and for me there is no greater pleasure in reading than learning something new for the purpose of strengthening and protecting my relationship with Christ, helping others in various ways (some of you have been recipients of my excitement of certain topics which I thought you’d enjoy knowing about =) and in learning information which helps me to “give an answer for the hope which lies within with all gentleness and meekness.”  I’ve always read like this; however, I’ll admit that being in jail does afford me more opportunity to learn.  It’s bittersweet though because I’d rather be spending time with my daughter.  Even so, I have a choice on how to spend my time.  I’ve always said, “You make time for what’s important to you.” And, “There’s a silver lining in every situation.”

Thank you all for your prayers for me and especially for Isabella.

There will be grace, grace to make it through this trial, 

There will be strength, strength to walk another mile, 

There will be hope when I’ve done all I can, 

I’m glad to know it’s in the Saviors hands….

 Serving Him,

Lisa Miller #149005A

Niagara County Jail

PO Box 496

Lockport, NY  14095

P.S.  I can receive photos now (not on cardboard but real photos =).  I would really enjoy receiving family photos with your names and address on the back.  It helps me with prayer times and to put a face to your name.  Just the other night I woke up with one of you on my mind, staying up to pray for you.  When I awoke in the morning, I pulled your picture out of my photo envelope and prayed more as well as penned a letter to you, mailing it by using your address on the back of the photo.  I may not have had your address readily available because I mail out my opened mail every 6 weeks or so.  This means if you didn’t just recently write me, I wouldn’t have your address with me.  Thank you in advance if you are able to send a photo.

 

Choices

  June 13, 2021

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings to you all in the name of our Father the One whom I hang my hope on for “Our hope is in His unfailing love” (read the Psalms).

Life in jail is never dull.  In fact, jail, as with any situation in life, is what one makes of it.  My motto for anything “going on” in here is:

“The only thing I can change is my attitude.”

What are some things I’d like to “change?”  Hmm …

  • To not have to ask for the fingernail clippers or a razor
  • That the noise level (including the TV) in here would decrease
  • Being able to go outside in the cool of the evening
  • A chair in my cell would be nice 😊
  • To be served “better” food
  • To turn off the light in my cell (it’s on 24/7)

Oh . . . and selfishly the list can go on.  ☹ I say selfishly because my “changes” are only changes for my benefit.  In other words, my changes are not sacrificial or looking out for the good of others or for the sake of unity (with the jail rules).

So let me now share with you what might happen if my changes were implemented.

  • Fingernail clippers and razors can be used as weapons as well as to execute self-harming behaviors.

Attitude Change:  I should be grateful that I need to ask for those items as well as being grateful that they are not available to use after the designated time allotted to use them because having these rules enables the C.O.s to better keep track of these items as well as helps keep all of us safe.

  • Yes, the noise level is high at times.

Attitude Change:  Nevertheless, I should be grateful (as someone wrote me 😊 ) that the noise level helps me to practice concentrating more (if you’ve ever studied in a college library or tried to put together a topic amidst the noise level and interruptions of your own children or family members you know what I’m talking about 😊 ).  It also helps me to practice my Christian virtues of patience, love, gentleness, self-control . . . and above all else loving my neighbor as myself.

  • We need to have set times to go outside; otherwise, all the units wouldn’t be offered the opportunity for outside time.

Attitude Change:  I should be grateful that we All are offered outside time because it is a benefit (health and physical) to the inmates.

  • Even though I had my own chair in the dorms (all we women are now back in the cells), in this block (cell) setting it can be used as a weapon (only the microwave is not bolted down).

Attitude Change:  I should be grateful that the number of potential weapons is reduced for those who have not yet learned the truth of “a soft answer turns away wrath.”

  • We’re fed a diet of heavy carbs. One inmate even went as far as defining the word “heavy” as something like the following:

“If we scraped all our food off our trays (there were only 8 trays at that time — on        my side of the block there are 11 now) and put it    in a boat, the boat would sink!”

Attitude Change:  I should be grateful that this jail serves the heavy carbs because the majority of inmates need the sweet juice and carbs in order to detox properly and to gain back their body mass (some arrive like skeletons due to their addictions).

  • It seems as if I’m in a Motel 6 where they leave the light on for you. 😊

Attitude Change:  I should be grateful that the lights ARE left on 24/7 because it offers a measure of safety for all involved:  the C.O.s and the inmates.

God is good.  He doesn’t give me any more than I can handle (Romans 8:28).  I’ll close with the two truths that lately I have been holding close to my heart:

“. . . in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

“BE STILL and KNOW that I AM God . . . ” (Psalm 46:10)

Serving Him,

Lisa

Lisa Miller #149005A

Niagara County Jail

PO Box 496 [do not include street address]

Lockport, NY  14095

**All mail is being photocopied at this time.  Please be careful to allow plenty of blank margin on your letters and include your address on your letter itself as well.  Do not send photos or cards at this time.

How you can pray:

  1. Please pray for joy in Christ even when experiencing hate and scorn.
  2. Please pray for physical safety and health for Lisa.
  3. Pray for spiritual encouragement for her.
  4. Pray that God would keep her courage up, keep her strong and faithful and true for this race that she must run.
  5. Pray that she could see rewards for her Christ-like living . . . of not retaliating, going the second mile, turning the other cheek.
  6. Pray that God would give her opportunities to plant seeds for Christ, and that she could see even a little fruit for her efforts in sharing Jesus.
  7. Pray for wisdom for difficult questions she may be asked about what following Jesus really means.

Praise the Lord that He kept Isabella hidden until she was of age.  Praise the Lord that Isabella has made the choice herself to love the Lord and follow in His ways.  Thank God that He is a faithful Father to Isabella, Who is providing for her now.

Pray for the mother and daughter, each of them, as they are far apart from one another, that God would comfort them and strengthen them during this difficult time.

Clean Clear Through

by Lynn Sitton

Read: I Corinthians 6:9-11

CLEAN CLEAR THROUGH

“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2

 Yuk! Maria shivered as the disgusting smell of the dark cell hit her nose. Black mildew and slime on the toilet rim, human waste and graffiti on the cinder block walls greeted her. This wasn’t “Welcome Home!” Could she really live in this pit? Placing her pile of linen on the hard cot, Maria found her washcloth. She wet her bar of soap at the dirty sink and dropped to her knees. Inch by inch, hour by hour, she attacked the dirt. If she had to call this cell “home,” at least it would be clean!

Our sin disgusts God more than the worst filth on earth! Because He is holy, the only way He can stand to look at us and love us is to see us washed in the sin-free blood of His Son. We must realize how dirty we are and ask for a bath! The Bible tells us in Titus 3:3-7 that Jesus saved us by “the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” Jesus did this by His love for us, not because of good things we have done. He gave His blood as the spiritual soap that cleans us up, inch by inch, hour by hour, year by year . . . inside and out.

Prisoner’s Prayer

Lord God, I know I’m a sinner and I need to be washed in Jesus’ blood. Remind me that You always see me clean, because of His awful death for me. And help me to become more and more like Him. Thank you, Lord. Amen

Prayer for the Prisoner

Lord God, Help me know that the blood of Jesus washes away ALL sin. No matter what ________________ has done, You forgive everything because of Jesus. Wash us in Your Word and in Your Spirit today. Thank you, Lord. Amen

When you invite Jesus into your life, He cleans house.

June 3rd – Lisa Miller

June 3, 2021

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings in the name of Jesus the One who is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).  This verse is a very special truth to me, especially because it is the truth that returned to me in the moment when I realized in 2003 that I was being taken to court.  Thankfully, God is the same God now as He was then!!

Can you believe that it has been 4 ½ months since I have been in jail?  Primarily, the most difficult part of my experience has been my separation from my daughter.  Another difficulty has been the decline of my health.  My main health challenge has been in the area of my Hashimoto’s disease.  As a result of the jail (including FDC “throwing out” the meds I brought with me) refusing to grant me my usual medication and treatment plan, my overall health has rapidly declined creating other flare-ups and conditions, which were previously under “remission” prior to entering the penal system.  As a result, I am extremely fatigued, brain-fogged, and my pain level has risen significantly, which in turn precipitates a need to rest throughout the day and increase my intake of ibuprofen.

In addition to compensate for my brain fog and fatigue, I have switched my quiet time (devotions) from my usual lifelong morning time to night time in hopes to be able to obtain more sleep but more importantly to be able to be more focused on my Q.T. (my pain level is higher in the mornings) for another inmate commented that she has noticed that I am distracted in the mornings and therefore am not doing my devotions as I have previously been doing.  =(  Since I am living in a dorm my every move can potentially be watched by others, which means I have basically a built-in accountability system!  I am grateful though that she felt the need to bring my remissness to my attention!  =)

At this time in my life due to both my declining health and increased need to concentrate on my legal case by reading page after page of legal documents, I am unable to respond to each of you personally as I have done before.  These last weeks I have been resting/sleeping more and have fallen very behind on my correspondences.  Even though I read and cherish each and every one of your letters, even jotting down the verses and chapters (and quotes) you encourage me with for purposes of having a handy list of God’s truths to peruse later, please do not be offended should you not receive a return letter at this time.

Life in jail continues to be a blessing for I am daily reminded of Jesus’ love for me and am daily reminded of my shortcomings so that I may be refined in the fire.

God has been good to me in many ways, including but not limited to:

  • Permitting me to watch during rec. time a mama robin tend to her two babies from their “infancy” to when they were big enough to sit on the side of their nest to puff up and preen.
  • Be asked to work in laundry – folding, organizing, preparing linen for linen exchange and performing other various and sundry duties (I work with another lady).
  • Receiving mail from many brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage me and who offer me a glimpse into their lives (which by the way blesses me beyond words)
  • Even though I do not feel worthy and at times feel like an utter failure while doing so, speak with others about Christ.

I’ll close by sharing with you a sample of the quotes that I have been gracing my bunk in hopes that you too are encouraged to trust God more and to be spurred on to be “zealous for good works:”

  • “And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:11
  • All I have seen teaches me to trust God for all I have not
  • Our hope is in His unfailing love. Psalm 147
  • Be still and know that I AM God. Psalm 46:10
  • There is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes

Thank you again for your prayers, cards and letters, gifts, and money on my commissary (by the way I have no way of knowing who puts money on so I am putting the “thank you” in here =) ).  I appreciate your generosity and am so blessed and encouraged by our unity in Christ.

Serving Him,

Lisa Miller

“…in this place will I give peace saith the LORD of hosts.”  Haggai 2:9

 

Lisa asks that we please remind you:  NO stamps, glitter, paint or crayon drawings on her letters.

Also please remember to use the PO BOX address and NOT the street address . . . some people are putting both on the envelopes.

 

Lisa Miller #149005A

Niagara County Jail

PO BOX 496

Lockport, NY  14905

June 7, 2021 message from Lisa Miller

June 7

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings to you all in the name of our Father who gives us strength to do all things (Phil. 4:13).   This is just a short update to let you know I’ve moved from the dorms back to a cell block.  Jail life is more fluid than “outside” life.

On Monday morning (June 7) as I was just floating off into dream land I heard, “OK Ladies.  Pack up.  You’re moving to the dorms!”  I rose up out of bed, looked to my neighbor and asked, “Seriously?  (There went my rest time between work shifts.)  Did I hear right?”  One of the reasons we were moving was because it was becoming increasingly more difficult to find shift coverage for 2 units of women when in reality, we all could live in one unit. The dorms are considered “privileged” status.  Even so, since our numbers were dwindling it was considered to be a perfect time to consolidate all women inmates in the cell block where 32 women can be housed in cells.  Thankfully, I was moved to the quieter of the 2 sides.

After the cell was cleaned (it was filthy), I started to unpack, only to be called out for laundry duty again, a job I’ve had (and enjoy!) for about a month now.  I finished unpacking by night’s end and then took stock of my surroundings.  I realized that I once again had cell 11 with this time being on M block instead of N as I was when I was in quarantine.  I was pleased to see that my walls were peppered with godly sayings such as “Have Faith in God,” “In Jesus name,” and “I beg for mercy in Jesus name… AMEN.”

I also have warnings on my wall of the “Who’s Who” of those who work for the Feds (“snitches” is the jail lingo).  Thankfully, there are only 2 curse words on my wall, whereas my neighbor unfortunately has more than two.  =(

I pretty much stay to my cell because the table outside my cell is sticky (due to the humidity level in the Block) and furthermore my cell has everything I basically need – sink, toilet and bed.  The setup over here is the same as the setup for quarantine; so, I won’t bore you with the details.  The routine though is a bit different than quarantine because we’re not locked in 23/24. Rather, our cells are open from 7:30 a.m. – 10:15 p.m. with the exception of “lock-in” for CO’s breaks and shift change (2:30 – 3:15 p.m.).  Showers are open for use during morning and evening blocks of time.  There is a microwave (the only item not bolted down over here =) ) for use and the TV instead of being set upon a cart at eye level is bolted to the wall at a level where one has to tilt her head to see it properly (fully).  In fact, I can only see it when I heat my water for coffee in the microwave at 7:15 am and whenever I go to the shower or exit the cell for work.  Unfortunately, I can hear it from my cell and nevertheless, I am grateful that at the moment the fans (we have no A/C) – industrial size and strength – drown out the majority of the exact words (I’m hard of hearing as it is, which is a blessing in here =) ).

I feel blessed to be in a cell, especially because I have semi-privacy now for my devotions and back exercise time.  Hmm . . .  just as I wrote this I heard, “Male on the block!” and within seconds of the announcement saw a male C.O., head turned toward the cells, amble by.  Semi-privacy as I said. =)  We have 15 minute checks here, even during “lock-in” times (which is currently in session).

Please do continue to pray for me and for ALL those involved in my legal case.  Thank you specifically to those who are currently praying and for those who write me.  You ARE an encouragement to me and I make remembrance of you to my God, giving thanks in joy for your “partnership in the gospel” (from Phil. 1: 3-5).

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:2),

Lisa

Latest Message from Lisa Miller

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of the Father who “does not give us a spirit of fear but of love, power and sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).  This truth has long been my motto for the last 15 years.  I even quoted it years ago to a reporter when she asked me how I had persevered thus far (I had just come out of watching my VA Supreme court hearing).  Now, years later, God is bringing through people’s letters, a prayer request, and through my daily reading the topic of “power” – His power – to my thoughts.

Just this morning through Utmost Classic Reading and Prayers once again the word “power” surfaced:

“Are you drawing your life from any source other than God Himself?  If you are depending on something else as your source of freshness and strength, you will not realize when His power is gone” (Oswald Chambers, Day 6, p. 16).

Of course, in the past, I’ve done a word search in God’s Word regarding “power” and specifically the “power of His resurrection.” Nevertheless, I believe I’m missing something – what, I don’t know.

“Seek and ye shall find.”  “God will always give us the answers we need to live the life we are meant to live” (written in a card I received recently – one which did not have a full return address – so I thank you here for sending me just what I needed to hear 😊).  Hmm, good idea.  So now, I’m going to seek your input about this topic, my brothers and sisters in Christ, praying that our Lord will work through you to increase my heart knowledge about “power.”  Consequently, if you feel led to comment on the topic of “power,” I welcome your sharing.

In closing, I want to thank you for all your letters – not only are you “visiting” me in prison (and welcoming me as a stranger, and giving me a cup of cold water” (Matt. 25:31-46), YOU ALL are a witness to those around me thereby permitting me to “…always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you [me] to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you [me], …” (1 Peter 3:15a, Amplified).  Thank You!

Serving Him,

Lisa

I want to do my best to honor the jail’s request regarding inmate mail; therefore, please be sure to use the following address when writing me:

Lisa Miller #149005A

Niagara County Jail

PO Box 496

Lockport, NY  14095

 

Home Confinement May 24, 2021!

May 14, 2021, Friday, Day 893

A believer who has embraced Christ’s redemption for his sins as the basis of his salvation gladly must be willing to suffer for Him if he is a true disciple.  Is this not what Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:24-26 say?  That if I am unwilling to lay down my life for the Master, I will forfeit my soul?  But, if I lose my life for His sake, I will find it!  This is the ultimate cost of denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Him.  And when we take up our cross, we willingly take on Christlikeness and a desire to please Him by doing what He desires, even if it means suffering for Him.

I have had so many of those who confess Christ and who I felt were strong Christians express amazement that I would willingly go to prison for helping a desperate mother and her child whom I did not even know as Scripture dictates (Proverbs 3:27-28).  Yet, according to Jesus’ words in Matthew 16, one’s willingness not only to suffer by going to prison, but to die for Him is indicative of our being a true disciple.  Becoming a follower of Christ means surrendering all to Him, even our freedom or lives.  This includes all of our resources and wealth, as Jesus just a few chapters later indicates to the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22).

Philippians 1:29-30, Matthew 24:9-10, and 2 Timothy 3:12 also indicate that those who thus surrender everything to Christ, or take up their own cross, will suffer persecution.  But with this comes many blessings and promises (Matthew 5:10-12, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 3:13-17, 4:12-14, 5:6-10; Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4, 12), if we endure.  Most of these blessings are eternal, but I can testify that even in this present life suffering for Christ comes with many blessings.  Suffering is a major theme of the New Testament and is promised for all believers as you find in the passages I’ve cited.  We are to rejoice in it and this persecution of believers will intensify in the last days before Christ’s return especially as many in the church are deceived by false prophets and false teachings.  I believe such deception has begun because too many in the church who believe they are true followers of Christ are being deceived by believing there will be a great revival before Christ returns.  But the Bible teaches just the opposite, that there will be a great deception, a great falling away, and immense persecution will come upon those who are faithful to the Word of God.  If you doubt me, I challenge you to read through the New Testament again and search specifically these things, something I have been blessed to do many times while in prison.

Promises of prosperity are nice, and we do see those blessings sometimes, but we must place them all on the altar and take up our cross and follow Christ, surrendering everything to Him.  We must test every teaching and every so-called revival with the Scriptures, as did the Bereans, and be willing to go against the crowd – even those who profess to be believers.  Suffering and persecution, we are told, may come thenceforth from those we least expect, even our own families.  But no matter what, we must be true to God’s Word, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.  Even if it be to prison or perhaps death.  That my friend, is merely a steppingstone to a glorious eternal life ahead!

I am pleased to report that on Monday, May 24, the day before Kathie and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, I will be on home detention for one month, and then on June 24, I will be free, albeit on “probation” for one year.

There is still no word from Judge Arcara as per my motion for him to vacate my sentence due to ineffective council.  It has now been 10 months that I have answered all of his questions and responded to the attorneys’ and government’s responses to the motion.  Please keep praying that he will vindicate me.

Praise the Lord, the civil trial has been stayed once again, this time pending Lisa Miller’s criminal trial.  Please also pray for her acquittal, as according to the statute under which we were charged we broke no law since she and Isabella were fleeing what was believed to be sexual, mental, verbal and perhaps even physical abuse.

As of June 24, Kathie and I should be able to come to your church or small group and share if you’d like.  Thank you once again for your prayers, letters, calls and notes of encouragement, and help with our vast legal expenses.  May God restore what you have blessed us with abundantly!

In His service,

Philip Zodhiates

 

Editorial note: As Paul says in Philippians 4:18, “But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Apaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”

You have generously given to help Philip and Kathie with their ever-mounting attorney’s fees over these past 4 years; many have sacrificed to give. Paul in verse 19, assures us that “God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

May God richly bless you for your faithfulness to a godly couple – you have helped them reach many for Christ!

Janet Stasulli

Co-Founder and President

419 Fund

April 5, 2021 Update from Lisa

Update 4/5/21

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings in the name of the Lord, the One Who says to count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds because the testing of our faith produces steadfastness so that in its full effect, we may be perfect and complete lacking nothing (paraphrase of James 1:2-3).  Trials.  We all have them.  I have them – yes, even in jail.  In fact, as I write this, the dorm TV, which just happens to be only approximately 4 feet from the foot of my bunk is blaring loudly (#65 on loudness) on a popular music game show (3 hours long!) whose messages are of . . . well, let’s just say the songs speak of things and situations which break all Ten Commandments including Jesus’ expansions of those commandments (Matthew 5:27-28 and I John 3:15 for example).  Since I’m bunked due to the break time of our C.O., I am stuck sitting at the head of my bunk, eyes averted downward.

I asked one of the girls what the purpose of the show is.  Her comment?  FUN!  Well, it’s not my kind of “fun.”  Instead, I prefer carafes full of milk coffee with scones of any kind or fresh grated ginger bars or a slice of any of Isabella’s single layer cakes or almond joy cookies or Nana’s fudge or . . . well, you get the flavor picture) paired with rocking chairs and friends with the beautiful, sweet sound of their chatter.  (I particularly miss my red carafe coffee times!)  Now we’re unbunked and the girls have pulled up their chairs in front of the TV, clapping, laughing; cheering and shouting comments – all at the foot of my bed.  Out of 15 girls only 3 are not watching it (2 are coloring and I am writing you all).   “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”   I Cor 10:13

Maybe you’re wondering as to why the TV is at the foot of my bed in the first place?  You see, I’m living in a county jail that houses Federal prisoners, and county jails are different than Federal jails.  HOW?  I can speak of this one only, of course, and compare it to the Florida Detention Center.

One of the differences is that here I have to ask to use one pair of unit nail clippers (yes, they do disinfect them); whereas; in Federal we buy our own and are able to keep it in our room.  In county, razors must be requested and are handed out only at specific times then are blade-checked upon return as they are not communal razors; whereas, in Federal, we can keep as many as we want in our room.   In county, all medicine including my thyroid medicine is given via a nurse, and upon med call, those taking meds line up to wait our turn to approach the medicine cart so we can tip our pill, which is housed in a small paper cup into our mouth, chase it down with water, making sure we then show the C.O. who is guarding us our empty cup, our water cup, our open mouth, and under our tongue to prove we took our medicine.  However, in Federal I can keep a 2-week supply of my medicine in my room.  One more example is that in county, inmates can move around only in an enclosed area such as a dorm or a cell area with the door to the “outside” locked at all times, not necessarily the outside-outside, but rather any area outside that locked door, where in the Fed we can move around from our cells to various areas such as the recreation area, the computer room, or the cafeteria (in county we are served the food in our designated living area such as here in the dorm where I am living.  Oh, the TV difference is that in county there is one TV per designated area (on my side of the dorm up to 16 women can live in an area the size of a 55 x 22 1/2 tile space with a tile being the size of a size 10 shoe with 1 TV housed on a 4 foot TV shelf) where in Fed, the TV is either in a separate closed room or mounted high and silent in the main room where it can be heard only through purchased headphones.

Many of you have asked me about being able to wear a head covering.  At this present time, I still have not been granted the wearing of a head covering (according to 1 Corinthians 11).  I have formally requested twice (and spoken to several persons in charge) to wear the veiling here at Niagara County Jail and twice (formally) at FDC to no avail.  I am still hopeful especially because a sister in Christ has been instrumental in contacting the appropriate people here to help in the education process of the 5 W’s (5 W’s being:  Who, What, Where, When and Why) of a head covering because the Anabaptist/Mennonite faith is not listed in the corporate handbook.  Please continue to pray with me on this situation.

Last but in no way least I want to thank all of you for ALL that you have send me.  If I have not sent you a thank you note it is because of one of the following reasons:  I don’t know who the sender is because the jail rips off the return address (sometimes this happens even if the return address is handwritten); the package doesn’t contain the name of the one who sent the item (consequently, please write me separately to let me know that you sent me something); as I recently discovered I’m not putting enough stamps on the letters going out of the country, or my writing supplies were too few (however, for the month of April God through some of you who are anonymous to me has supplied that need – thank you so much!).  May I say that letter writing is a ministry (especially during COVID when one cannot have visitors – oh, how I feel for those in nursing homes!) and I appreciate all of you writing to encourage me and uplift me in the Lord.  Thank You!  Thank You!  And Thank You!

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”  Numbers 6:24-26

Serving Him,

Lisa

P.S. Just a reminder:  MAILED ITEMS NOT ALLOWED

 

If your inmate is mailed anything other than a letter, postcard or greeting card it won’t get through.

However as stated above, because of the increased smuggling of drugs, more and more jails are only allowing pre-stamped or metered, solid color or white postcards to be received by inmates.

Examples of prohibited items include:

Stamps and stickers.

Musical greeting cards.

Altered mail such as perfumed or lipstick covered.

Paper with any type of stains such as grease.

News clippings.

Crayon, felt tip or hand painted drawings.

 

Easter Update – Lisa Miller

FIRST APPEARED IN WASLALA LIFE 4/21/21

 

Easter Update 4-4-21

Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings in the name of the Lord who is RISEN and who is looking down upon us from His throne in heaven.  Today is the day that most Christ-followers here in the U.S celebrate Easter as Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.  If you are one of those and were in church this morning, I hope that you went home encouraged to persevere in your walk with our Lord.  If you are not a follower of Christ, I pray that you will soon (if not today!) change your allegiance from whatever or whomever you are serving (for we all serve something or someone) to Christ, the only One who can fill our every longing (and yes, I speak from experience).

Well, I attended church in Lockport, NY County Jail this morning with three other ladies (two on one side of the dorm’s floor to ceiling chain-linked fence and two, including myself, on the other side) dressed not in the usual finery of a new spring dress but dressed rather in gray sweatpants and an orange t-shirt overlaid with an orange sweatshirt.  Since we don’t have jail-sponsored religious activities (due to COVID) another inmate asked me to help her organize an Easter service.  I responded with a “Sure.”  We sang, “This is the Day That the Lord Hath Made,” had a topic while reading portions of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection from Scripture, had a sharing time of what Easter means to us and of course we had prayer.

Since I was asked to give the topic, I chose to share about Jesus’ life from the Garden of Gethsemane to His crucifixion.  Lest you think I’m preaching to you, I’ll share with you just my closing comments, which reiterate the main parts of my topic.

1)     Even tho’ Jesus was betrayed,

He showed no bitterness.

2)     Even tho’ Jesus was accused falsely,

He remained quiet.

3)     Even tho’ Jesus’ closest friends deserted Him at His time of need,

He showed no anger toward them.

4)     Even tho’ Jesus was mocked, spit on, struck and flayed open,

He did not retaliate.

5)     Even tho’ Jesus suffered at the hands of people, dying an agonizing death,

He still says, “behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

I felt so inadequate and was humbled to tears while sharing these TRUTHS with these ladies.  Even so, I am thankful that the Holy Spirit lives within me, enabling me to share with them what true love really looks like.

I’d like to close this letter with the reading that closed (before prayer) the service.  I hope that you are as blessed by the reading as I was (and still am):

The Cross is the Test of Love

Everything Jesus did in His life of obedience to the Father here in our world found its climax on the Cross.  There, finally He proved to the world of men how far He was prepared to go to rescue them.  There He showed, once and for all, what love really means.  There is no such thing as love that does not embrace suffering and self-sacrifice.

If we think we love someone, let us test that love by asking how far we are prepared to go for that person’s sake!

If we imagine we love the Lord Christ, let us look at His broken and bleeding body hung up with nails and ask if what we call “love” has any of that quality in it.  How much?  How far will we go?  What price will we pay?  “Obedient unto death” – is that what we mean by love?  It is what He meant.  “Love one another as I have loved you,” was His command (John 15:12). (Elisabeth Elliot, the Music of His Promises, pg. 98)

Please pray for us:  that God gives the growth of His Word (1 Corinthians 3:5-15).

Serving Him where I am planted,

Lisa

Want to write Lisa:

Lisa Miller #149005A

P.O. Box 496

Lockport, NY 14095

Rules for writing: https://tinyurl.com/yrn3m3v5

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

 

 

 

 

ISABELLA

She is 19 today!

Isabella is still in Nicaragua, while Lisa is in the Niagara County Jail in Lockport, NY. We are sure Isabella is missing her mother because they have not been apart prior to January 20, 2021, when Lisa turned herself into the US embassy in Nicaragua.

*******************

[THIS POST FIRST APPEARED IN WASLALA LIFE.]

 Dear Brethren and Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus, the only One who can meet our every need.  Need:  my Webster’s New Pocket Dictionary that I bought on commissary defines “need” (n) as “1. A state in which something necessary is required.  2. Something required or wanted.  3. Poverty.  4. Necessity; obligation.”

I’m in jail, so what do I really need?  Food, clothing and shelter.  I’m provided all three.  Fellowship with other believers.  God provides for that by putting on the hearts and minds of my brothers and sisters in Christ to give me a cup of cold water (“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Prov. 25:25), and to “visit me.” (Matthew 25:35,36) Sometimes though, I ask myself, “What about certain foods and clothing?”  In here I am eating what I am served, which sometimes when I ask, “What is this?” the inmates jokingly respond, “cat food.” (Yes, sometimes it really does look like cat food!)  I’m wearing what they give me – whether I want to or not, whether it fits or not, whether (oh no!) I “look good” in it or not (orange, though, is my favorite color).

How about my material possessions?  What do I really need?  Do I need the bean Thai noodles that my neighbor gets sent in? (after all, ethnic food is my favorite after tater tots 😊).  Do I need another pair of sweats (so I don’t have to wear the same one day after day)?  Do I need chocolate? (Don’t I deserve some pleasure?)  Hmm . . . when I really think about my needs, I see that ALL I really need is what will help me advance God’s kingdom and what will help me fulfill God’s Great Commission.  For each of us, of course, those needs will vary.  “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of this world.  But if we have food and clothing with these, we will be content. Bu those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction (I Tim. 6:6-10).

The richness of my wanting more interferes with my focus on being content with what I do have right now in my clear under-the-bed plastic velcroed “bag” (dehydrated beans, 1.6 oz summer sausage, sardines, tuna, coffee, creamer, 1 pack of peanuts, several jolly rancher candies, saltines, popcorn, salt, 2 oz pack peanut butter, various hygiene products, and numerous manila envelopes full of your mail and various receipts and such).  On top of my bunk (my Bible, godly books, writing supplies, clothes, soap, shampoo, lotion) and under my mattress (writing paper, 1 word find, and 1 crossword puzzle book).

I am rich.  Richer than many who have more because it’s my brothers and sisters in Christ whom God is working through to provide all my needs.  As long as I “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness (and) fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you (I am) were called and about which you (I) made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (I Tim. 6:11b-12) God will “provide all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)

How am I pursuing, fighting and taking hold in jail?  One way is by being focused on being “ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.” (Amplified version) By what practical means?  Well, on Wednesdays we have a Bible Study using John Coblentz’s Journey into God.  In addition, I am privileged to answer questions about topics related to the difference between war and murder, the reasons for the absence of sacrifices for today’s Christ followers, the antiquity and validity of Scripture, the differences between world religions (and religions closer to home) and “Christianity,” and the fallacy of the “all we need is to believe and you’ll enter into the kingdom of heaven,” just to name a few. =).

I’ll close this letter with an example of a way of “pursuing, fighting and taking hold. “ The other day a question arose (related to a TV movie which was playing) about tarot cards.  Someone asked, “What are they?”  One lady explained and then proclaimed that there was nothing wrong with using them.  Meanwhile, the questioner continued to determine if they were “of God.”  I listened, without speaking, for a while and then interjected with, “I’ve used them in the past and know that they are wrong . . .  not of God.”  What a powerful 3-way dialogue followed!  The conclusion?  The questioner who was trying to determine the “what” and “why” of tarot cards concluded with the statement, “How can you say you know God and do tarot cards?!” (Now both of us are known as the one who “peaches.” 😊)

Brothers and sisters and friends, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.  And the peace of God which passeth all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)

Serving Him,

Lisa

NOTE: The jail is requesting that all mail be sent to the following address:

Lisa Miller #149005A

Niagara County Jail

PO Box 496

Lockport, NY  14095

 **Please only use this address so that I can obey the jail’s rules.  Thank you. **

*****************************

UPDATE ON PHILIP ZODHIATES

Philip was released from Ashland Correctional Institution on March 26, 2021 to a halfway house in Lebanon, VA.  He has been approved for home confinement, but it must be approved through the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) first.  He has had 2–48-hour visits to home so far.

The Lord greatly used him during his time at Ashland with two inmates saying, “God send you here for me!” He has held nightly prayer meetings and weekly Bible studies. Many have come to the Lord.

Besides bringing others into the Kingdom, Philip has been able to enrich his own life by reading hundreds of books.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for him and Kathie during the past 2 and ½ years.

The civil suit is still progressing although Isabella is now 19 years of age. Janet Jenkins is suing everyone involved – Lisa, Philip, Ken Miller (has served his sentence), Timo Miller (has served his sentence), Liberty Counsel (law firm which represented Lisa), Rena Lindevaldsen (the attorney with Liberty Counsel) and Linda Wall (a close friend) for alienation of affection. Donations are still needed to cover on-going attorney’s fees for this suit.

Love in Christ,

 

 

Janet F. Stasulli

Co-Founder and President

Philippians 4:19:         “But my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”