Happy Birthday, 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)
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.”
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