Here is a letter we recently received from a prisoner. He is studying to get a seminary degree.
Dear Ms. Laurie,
Hello to you and Mr. Harvey! Thank you very much for the logic textbook. I received it Thursday and I began work on it immediately. It appears I have my work cut out for me. Thank you for The Thinking Toolbox and The Fallacy Detective as well. I’ve already given my set away and I have the other waiting on a young brother in the Lord whom I think will benefit greatly from it.
I feel led to share a little about myself with you. I am currently serving a life sentence for murder. Alcohol, anger and an altercation can have a deadly outcome. I’ve been in prison for five years now reaping the consequences of my sins. I grew up in ___ where I graduated high school in 2000. I served in the [one of the armed forces] out of high school until I was honorably discharged in 2004. I did odd jobs like security work until I was hired in 2006 by ___. I was doing the job in ___ when my crime happened.
Because of my worldly success I was a cocky, arrogant, self-righteous guy. I was so far away from God. I went out to a club on ___ and I woke up the next day in jail charged with murder. The guilt and shame of my actions was an unbearable weight on my shoulders. I was crushed under my sin. I didn’t eat for weeks. I only wanted to die to escape myself. I cursed God, blasphemed God, and blamed God. But God didn’t give up on me. One day, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I cried out to God and He saved me from myself.
I want you and Mr. Harvey to know that you are helping one of the least in God’s kingdom. My sin is still often before me, but because of my great forgiveness, I have a great love for Jesus. I have a long way to go and I thank you for helping me to get there. Pleas let me know if there is anything I can do to bless you. God bless.
Love in Christ,
Over the past three years we’ve received about 40 letters from prisoners (two different prisons) asking for books. Some of the prisoners we correspond with regularly. One prison offers some kind of seminary degree and the other prison has classes for the prisoners. Below are excerpts from various letters:
“In nine months I have been asked to have curriculum ready for introduction to logic, introduction to rhetoric, and Bible doctrine classes. Currently I am studying: Logic by Issac Watts, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by Craig and Moreland, Critical Reasoning by Cederblom and Paulsen, Workbook for Arguments by Morrow and Weston, An Introduction to Policy Debate by Shipe, Jeub’s Guide to Speech and Debate by Jeub, The Fallacy Detective, The Thinking Toolbox, and A Greek Alphabetarion. If you have any curriculum materials it would be very helpful. I do not know how to develop a curriculum. Perhaps it would be best if I learn that by experience, maybe not.” Eric
“Thank you for sending me the great books The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox, along with all the other pamphlets. I really enjoy reading great theologians of the past, especially reformed, at least to some degree. I have passed the pamphlets on to the hungry multitude that is forced to feed upon the tons of charismatic material that floods the Texas prison system. Your help is greatly received and I pray that the Lord will continue to use you to be a blessing to many others. I’ve even had to promise an older gentleman that if I get rid of my Fallacy Detective, he is the first to get it. Even in his old age he is hungry to learn. Sometimes we never know what a blessing we are to people. You may never see the men you bless, but just know that it is very appreciated.” Jason
“I wanted to write to say thank you very much for the materials that you sent. I’ve been studying and meditating hard on this Reformed Theology. The more I come to grips with the sovereignty of God the less I can get away from it….” JL
“I’ve already thanked the Lord for blessing me with all those books,but I’m writing in order to thank the vessels He used as well. It is strange just how much more you learn when you have your own books to write in and interact with the author. You can check out the program you are indirectly supporting at www.heartoftexasfoundation.org.” Jeff
If you have any books we can send the prisoners, please send them to us and we’ll forward them on (Harvey Bluedorn, 525 120th Ave, New Boston, IL 61272). Our email address is bluedorn @ triviumpursuit.com.
They need any kind of educational materials (5th grade and up) or devotional materials. The devotional materials need to be from a doctrines of grace/reformed perspective. The materials can be used or new. No CDs or DVDs or anything made of glass or metal. The prison also rejects flash cards, for some reason.
Thank you, Laurie and Harvey, for being the body of Christ to these people. I am profoundly inspired and grateful.
wat an awsum ministry! they have very little to do in there but get more hardened and criminally-oriented. they’d probably never do this studying outside of jail but they’re so bored…
God will use ANYthing, amen?