When We Serve Him, We Serve Ourselves

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One of the hardest aspects of the Christian life is to learn to submit to God in all things.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light, yes, but remembering to actually take His yoke upon us is difficult.  We worship Him, we thank Him for His love and goodness, we ask for wisdom and direction, but all the while we stumble profusely at following and listening to that small, still voice.  When it comes to making decisions, we still like our independence.
What is it about our independence that so intrigues us?  Why are we so obsessed with making our own decisions?  It’s exactly what Satan wants us to do.  It’s the very root cause of our sin.
That’s what the fall of man was all about, mistrusting God and seeking our own interests and that is still what sin is all about.  When we choose our own will over God’s, we’re not trusting Him, but trusting ourselves.  When you think about it, it is just absurd!  It’s the basics behind all Biblical teaching.  God’s will!  God’s will be done – we pray it all the time.
Are you and I totally convinced that “…thy will be done…”?  We have to know deep down in our hearts that His will and commands are for our best interests.  Instead of seeking our own self-centered interests, we need to be totally God-centered, or as Jesus said in Luke 17:33, “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it.”  When we forsake our own wills and submit to His, that’s when fulfillment comes.  When we serve Him, we serve ourselves.
Believe it and apply it and see what happens.  His word is true and we can trust it when it says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”
In His Service,
Chaplain Steve Malek

Rest Giver

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Where do you go when trouble hits?  You know that it does for all of us at one time or another.  It could be a sudden death, an unexpected divorce, a child’s declaration of atheism…there are a ton of things that can rock our worlds.  I often wonder where I would go for strength to continue if I didn’t believe. 

Some of us have gone to drugs or alcohol to deaden the pain, as I did at one time. Problem was drugs and alcohol wear off.  I had to “come down” at some point and when I did, the problem was still there, but because it wasn’t taken care of, it was worse. Others go to tv, computers, food, gaming, etc.  They are all ways to get away for a moment, but they don’t handle the problem or help us to cope with what has come our way.

Trouble hit our home this past weekend.  Our world was rocked.  But Jesus...  As I write this Chaplain’s report at 5:05am (after another sleepless night) Today, I am assured that God has it all under control. This doesn’t mean sleep comes easier nor does it mean I “feel” better, but it does mean I know this issue didn’t take Jesus by surprise.  I know He is trustworthy and all sufficient.  I know He is God Almighty and He can do anything.  He is my rock.  The One I can hold on to when all of life seems topsy turvy and out of control.  He is stability.  My Bible holds the words and wisdom that serve to strengthen me, comfort me and hold me still while the battle rages on. 

As the founders of Gateway To Glory and chaplains of the Macomb County Jail, we hear the stories from men and women who have had the bottom of their worlds drop out.  They have tried using “things” (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, etc) to help them cope with what the world throws at them, to no avail.  Quite often they have gotten hooked on substances, causing them to lose everything.  Others have ended up incarcerated. They are crying out for something to hold them together.

Faith and reliance on Jesus is the answer! As believers, we get to share our hope with men and women who have come up empty after trying to cope using the world’s methods.  When they hear that there is a God who sees, cares and knows their hurts, one who is able to give hope and strength to continue, a spark ignites in their heart.  We see countenances light up with hope for a new life and, as they begin to grow through mentoring, local church attendance, making new friends and linking arms in ministry, we hear praise reports!

If you know Jesus, the storm calmer, you have something to share with the rest of the world.  Share Him.  Help others come to know the One who holds you through the times of crisis.  Now, I’m going back to bed, and I will have peaceful sleep, because I know the Rest Giver.   "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." ~Matthew 11:28 & 29
In the shelter of His arms,
Chaplain Robin Malek


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In the Bible, from start to finish, we see a God who pursues the outsider – foreigner, the helpless, the stranger, the outcast.

Adam and Eve who were outside the Garden of Eden, Hagar outside the camp of Abraham,  Lazarus outside the gate of the rich man –prostitutes, lepers, thieves, the down and out and demon possessed – the Bible is filled with outsiders pursued and transformed by God’s relentless love.

What an awesome privilege and honor it is to be a part of what God is doing in the Macomb County Jail and the aftercare of Gateway.  We are able to watch God pursue the outsider, the down and outers with His unfailing love shown through the volunteers (who consist of Pastors, lay clergy, and even a couple of ex-offenders!)

God has organized one body of fellow workers to accomplish three things:  1) to share the love of Jesus, 2) to water, plant and win souls for Him, and 3) to disciple the men and women upon their release to society.  To help them become productive citizens and restored to their families.  Essentially to be the men and women of God they were called to be!

In the last three months, we’ve taken in 7 new men at the aftercare homes. They have all been enrolled in our new “Rooted” class at church.  This class gets then rooted and grounded in the Word of God.  They will be instructed and participate in God’s sacraments of baptism, holy communion, foot washing, holy matrimony, laying on of hands with the anointing of oil, and confirmation.

Thank you to all our volunteers, prayer team, jail ministers, mentors, aftercare Bible study teachers and Board of Directors.
All for Jesus,
Chaplain Steve Malek

In Memory of Raymond Ralph Accorsi

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His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ ~Matthew 25:21
It was my distinct pleasure to give honor to a man of God who exhibited faith, sacrifice and humility at his home going at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Clarkston, MI on Monday, September 10th.
It has been said that true humility is not thinking less of yourself, but rather, thinking of yourself less, and that was Ralph Accorsi.  Ralph knew the love of Jesus, so he had to share his heart.  When you truly know that love, first hand, it’s hard to shut up about it!
Ralph would drive great distances through snow storms, and all kinds of inclement weather (and in his wheelchair, no less) to share the love of Jesus to the inmates at the Macomb County Jail. Ralph truly answered the call the Lord laid upon his heart to preach the Gospel to the least of these.
The Macomb County Jail is a very unpleasant place.  It’s ugly, it’s dirty, and it’s smelly.  Evil and darkness live there!  It’s a place where men and women have lost their way and have lost their hope. It’s a place where people are oppressed and depressed.  They can’t see their way out of the nightmare, and for some, despair sets in.
There is more uncertainty there, than you will find anywhere.
Oh!  But out of all the craziness and madness, out of all the commotion, confusion, violence and utter mayhem, comes a cry.  An honest to goodness bonafide cry from those society seems to have forgotten!  It’s a cry that’s heard by our Savior, and He shows up through people like Ralph Accorsi to give them hope through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said the greatest in the kingdom was the servant.  Ralph Accorsi, indeed, was a faithful servant with a heart for the lost.
Ralph was sure to have heard, when he entered heaven: “Welcome Ralph.  Well done good and faithful servant…”  He will be missed at the Macomb County Jail by the ministry team and, especially, the inmates!  Our sincere condolences to the family.
Please see the newsletter for updates on the jail ministry and aftercare.
In His Service,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek

Are You Trying To Make Me Feel Guilty?

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John 8:3; Then the Scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.
In John 8 we read about the woman, not caught before or after the act of adultery, but right smack dab in the very act! (I have to wonder, what were the Scribes and Pharisees doing to have “caught” her…and where was the man she was with?  Why wasn’t he brought before Jesus too?)  But, I digress…
The wrath of God’s law brought the woman, caught in adultery, to the feet of the Savior.  That’s the function of the law, to condemn.  That’s what it does, it reveals to the sinner that he is already condemned. He who does not believe in Jesus is condemned already (John 3:18).
Ask a person which one of the Ten Commandments makes him feel guilty?  When the Bible says, “You shall not steal”, do you feel guilty? If so, why do you think that is?  Could it be because you are guilty?  God gave us our conscience so we would know when we break His law.  The guilt we feel when we do something wrong tells us we need to repent.
The law is God’s mercy because it shows us there is danger, and we are in desperate need of a Savior.  Unfortunately for them, the Scribes and the Pharisees messed up.  They brought this woman to the wrong man.  You see, this man – the God Man – not only came to fulfill the law, but He also came to save sinners!   Jesus then makes a statement that stands as one of the most convicting statements of Scripture:  “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”  Of course, we know the men saw the error of their ways and walked away and the woman was saved from death and saved from eternal separation from God.
At the Macomb County Jail, we preach the law of God, not to judge, but to simply tell the inmates of God’s judgment on sin.  The most beautiful thing the volunteer ministers find is that you don’t have to convince an inmate that they have transgressed the law.  They know it and, especially after sentencing, they accept it.  That’s why jail and prison ministry is so effective.  Ministers don’t have to get over the hurdle of, “I’m a good person…” because the community knows they are in jail, their friends know they are in jail, their brothers and sisters know they are in jail, and even their mama knows they are in jail!  Luckily at that realization, the cross becomes a glorious sight!
At the aftercare, the newsletter tells of two men who have graduated the one year program (completed a six month foundational class, have been meeting regularly with their mentor, have been gainfully employed, and are showing growth spiritually) and are being reestablished in the community.  We are super proud of these two men!
We would be remiss if we were to close this Chaplain’s report without mentioning something that will be taking place on Thursday, August 23rd, 2018.  Being in the jail, the chaplains and volunteers see how drug addiction takes over people’s lives, destroying the addict and wrecking their families.  On Thursday, August 23rd, Bethesda Christian Church has graciously offered their church as a venue for a prayer gathering to combat this drug and opioid epidemic plaguing our communities.  We invite all to attend.  Forty to fifty churches from all over Southeastern Michigan are making the time to come and pray that the Lord of Hosts would do battle and end this scourge once and for all. Please plan to come and join us!  Bethesda Christian Church, 14000 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights, MI 48312 at 7pm.  Doors open at 6:00pm.
Guilty no more,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek

In Honor of Father's Day

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“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” ~I John 3:1a.
A little over a year ago, I received a jpay (electronic correspondence for the prison population) from an inmate who was a guest of the state residing at the Gus Harrison Facility in Adrian Michigan.  He informed me that he had met a man (Tom) on the yard who was finishing up a 17 year bit, and had nowhere to go, so he told him about Gateway. 
Tom came to us broken, hurt, tired, and angry…and unsaved.  Fortunately, this is right where Jesus meets us!  Here is what Tom wrote just a few days ago:
“Hello, my name is Tom S.,  and currently a resident at Gateway to Glory home, since late July 2017, following my release from doing 17 ½ years in prison.  I was not really feeling the love of the Lord in my heart.
Many things in my life occurred that left a lot of unresolved anger, the most important being the loss of my son to cancer at the age of 10.  But, as this past year has moved along, I realized I had every right to question Jesus about my son’s death.  For it in turn opened me up to God’s direction, guidance and love Jesus actually had for me.
So, in honor of my son and the love Jesus has for him, it be only fitting that on June 17th, 2018, Father’s Day, I choose the gift of salvation for myself, by placing my faith, trust and love in our Lord, Jesus Christ…”
What better gift to our Heavenly Father on Father’s Day to rejoice with all the angels over one lost sinner who came to repentance!  Glory be to God!
Praising the Father,
Chaplain Steve Malek

The Legacy

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There is a saying: “When EF Hutton talks, people listen.”  Another saying goes like this:  “When mothers pray, all of heaven gets quiet.”
As a child I went to a Lutheran church with my mother, where seeds were planted through the word of God.  But, we were never admonished to seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to invite Him to be Lord of our lives, to be born again, or filled with the Holy Spirit.  There was no emphasis on these wonderful gifts and truths.

But one day at the age of 15, while I was at school, my mother sat in our living room reading the Bible.  She came to a passage of Scripture that radically changed her life and is now leaving a legacy because of her faithful prayers.

While sitting and reading her Bible, her eyes and heart were fastened on John 17:23; “ I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”  She then laid the Bible down in her lap, looked towards heaven and asked God to please reveal to her what this passage meant.  Right there in our living room, sitting in her favorite chair, my mom was baptized with the Holy Spirit.  She described it as a physical manifestation.  She said a warm feeling started at the top of her head, worked its way down to her fingertips and then down to the soles of her feet.
I came home from school that day to meet a transformed, new mother.  She became a devout follower of Jesus Christ, a committed studier of the Word and a prayer warrior.  I was a regular part of her prayer time and she had me on numerous prayer lists.
There came a time in my life that my mother had to pray a very hard prayer.  This prayer is specifically hard for a mother to make for her son, but she did it nevertheless.  Her knowledge of my drug dependency caused her to rely on the Holy Spirit to give her the strength to pray, “Lord, whatever it takes!”  Three days after that prayer, I was arrested and had to serve time in a Southern California prison.  This is how the ministry of Gateway To Glory was birthed.  Glory to God!

My mom was very instrumental in the startup of Gateway to Glory Ministries (GtG).  She helped us obtain a 501(c)3 and helped us remodel and refurnish the first aftercare home.  Now GtG governs the ministry to the incarcerated at the Macomb County Jail, which involves the coordination of 80+ volunteers, as well as 2 aftercare homes for men and one for women.
Thank you, Helen Malek, my mom.  Hats off for your diligence, perseverance, steadfastness and your prayers!
Continuing the Legacy,
Chaplain Steve Malek

The Father's Embrace

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If you could solve one problem on the planet, what would it be?  I’m sure, if you asked a room full of people that question, you would get a myriad of answers:  “I would do away with terrorism,”  “Reverse Roe vs. Wade,” “Do away with racism, homelessness, hunger”, “I would want world peace,” the list goes on and on.  But the thing I see plaguing this planet is fatherlessness.  Not only is the father figure weakened and disparaged in the media and Hollywood, which makes the mom in most homes play both roles (father and mother), but also the addition of same sex “marriage”…the first thing that comes to mind is “Come quickly Lord Jesus”!
At the Macomb County Jail, 85% of all inmates (male and female) had no father figure growing up.  There are, also, a large percentage that we talk to that have never even met their father.  I believe if we could address the fatherlessness issue, we would see many of the world’s social issues eradicated.  Ephesians 6:4 says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
So, what do we do?  It’s too late for Ephesians 6:4 to be put into play.  The men and women at the Macomb County Jail are adults and well set in their ways.  Is it too late?  Of course not!  Our Heavenly Father has already made a provision.  He doesn’t redeem in days, months, or years, He redeems in lifetimes!  The provision our Heavenly Father has made, knowing there would be a fatherlessness crisis, is found in Romans 8:14-17;   “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”.
This bondage of fear is a real issue for these inmates.  The fear of abandonment, the fear of not being loved, the fear of failure – and, for drug addicts and alcoholics is the fear of their lives becoming unmanageable.  That’s why these men and women must embrace this business of adoption instituted by our Heavenly Father Himself.  This adoption process takes place when a person responds to the invitation to make Jesus Savior and Lord of their lives.  We not only have to accept it in our heart, but we need to profess it with our mouths.
John 6:44; “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” When you sense that tug on your heart don’t shrink away.  Respond to the Father’s embrace.  Allow Him to adopt you into His family, He will remove all fear.  We become legitimate children of God, living and dwelling with our Abba Father who loves us with an unconditional, everlasting love!
At the beginning of April, Easter was celebrated around the world.  Many folks celebrate with Easter bunnies, chocolates and Peeps, but Christians know the real celebration of Easter is about the promise of new life through the shed blood of Jesus.  We celebrate our risen Lord on that day, and it was our pleasure to gather a group of Bible Study teachers to share that good news at the Macomb County Jail with a service on every floor.  We heard, from the volunteers, what a move of God was sensed throughout the jail due to the inmates attendance and attentiveness!
At the end of the month, the men and women of the aftercare ministry were treated to a Michael W. Smith worship concert at Bethesda Christian Church.  Though some had never heard him sing before, they all responded positively to his music and style of Christian music. 
Being able to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the jail and then discipling those in the aftercare, allows us to advance our mission to “restore lives and families”.  By restoring lives through creating an atmosphere where men and women can become Godly men and women, we pray the local families of our counties will be touched and restored to their rightful place of adoption in the Father’s house.
Orphans no longer,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek

Abundant Life

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Jesus says in John 10:10;  “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  The testimony you are about to read brings this scripture into the light, sadly and beautifully.
“῾Your brother is dead. I'm sorry. Do you have plans for his body?’ That's what the cop said when he informed my family of Michael's passing. I was 21 years old. This was the beginning of a journey down a very dark and destructive path, a journey fueled by isolation, self-pity and drug addiction. My logic was simple, however defective: if Michael wasn't given another chance to live, then why should I live? It was textbook survivor's guilt. I became a slave to my sin in the most extreme ways in a desperate attempt to fill the giant hole in my heart, which only got bigger as the years passed. I was truly dead in my transgressions, in every sense: physically dead (overdose), mentally dead (obsessed with my sin), and spiritually dead (totally self-centered and drowning in self-pity). On June 5, 2017, I was prepared to end my life. On that day I made one last cry out to God and He responded in a miraculous way! He sent an angel to stop my suicide and be the vehicle that delivered me right into His loving arms. I found myself on the other side of the state in the Teen Challenge program and this is where God opened my eyes and my life was forever changed. During that season, God did a work in my heart that I cannot explain. The logic still eludes me. My mind runs wild to comprehend what no mind on earth could understand: GRACE! I got out of Teen Challenge and was able to get into the Gateway to Glory program, which has been incredible. Since then, God has been teaching me and blessing me as I continue to walk with Him every day. I have a full-time job and was promoted to manager. I have plans to finish my Psychology degree and become a Christian counselor. I am building good, strong friendships with godly people at Bethesda Christian Church. And I have a foundation that will never fail, even if all else does! That foundation is Jesus Christ. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lamb of God took my place. His blood was poured out and my sin was erased. It was MY death He died and I was raised to life!  Today there is no hole in my heart.  Rather, there is a whole in my heart.  Hallelujah!  Thank you, Lord!”
It is such an honor and privilege to be in partnership and linking arms with Life Challenge and Teen Challenge as one of their aftercare programs to help men and women remain in a discipleship program as they reintegrate back into society.
This month began with a time of fellowship and appreciation for the volunteers of the Macomb County Jail.  Every two years the volunteers are required to update their credentials by filling out paperwork, and we combined an appreciation meal for them.  We always find this meeting to be beneficial to each volunteer because of the live testimonies from former inmates.  This year we had two former “guests of the county” give testimony as to how the volunteer religious services impacted their stay at the jail.  For many volunteers, this was a “shot in the arm” that their ministry is not in vain!  Additionally, we showed our appreciation by giving certificates (suitable for framing) to each volunteer testifying to their selfless service, care and compassion.  At the end of the night many volunteers remarked that they were refreshed and reinvigorated and ready to get back in to minister! 
Near the end of the month we had the distinct pleasure and joy of witnessing 4 residents of Gateway (and one former resident) get confirmed in Christ.  They all made a 6 month commitment to a foundational class called “Knowledge, Relationship and Destiny” where the attendees learn and participate in the sacraments.  The final sacrament is the sacrament of confirmation with the laying on of hands to seal the things they learned.  This is a great time of celebration, additionally for the residents, it is even more significant because these men made a commitment to finish and they accomplished that goal!
Since Easter was on April 1st this year, we decided to pack and pass out the Easter bags on March 26th (pack) and 27th (pass).  With Judy R (the official bag lady) leading the charge and the helping hands of 42 folks from various churches, we packed 1200 bags in the space of 33 minutes – a new record!  It’s such a sweet time of fellowship, joking around and some light competition during these bag packs, it is not considered work, but a joyful time.  Afterwards, prayer was offered up for each bag that the inmates (and staff who also receive bags) would recognize they are valuable and loved by a Savior called Jesus.   Thank you to all of you who came out to help, and thank you to the churches who regularly help us out with purchasing the items needed for these bags.  (Throughout the year we ask for gift cards to Sam’s Club to fill Christmas and Easter bags).  They make a huge impact on the inmates and officers!
We ended the month with the reminder of Jesus’s death on the cross that ransomed us from our sin on the day we call Good Friday.  Chaplain Steve reported that the service he regularly conducts on Friday mornings was exceptional, perhaps due to the weight of sin that Jesus’ sacrifice brings to our minds.  Praise God, He allowed the Father’s will to be done so we could be free from sin!
Abundantly thankful,
Chaplains Steve and Robin Malek'

The Power Of The Cross

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When the Apostle Paul went to the great, intellectual, Grecian city of Corinth, he said, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  (I Corinthians 2:2).  When Paul did his best to describe what his message was, he said, “…we preach Christ crucified…”
To the people of Corinth, the preaching of the cross was foolishness, nonsense.  But Paul said, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  In that great intellectual city the cross of Christ was a stumbling block to the Jews and sheer stupidity to the Gentiles.
This gospel of Christ and Him crucified is still foolishness to millions who are perishing all over the world.  I believe that the answer to all the world’s problems can be found at the foot of the cross!  It’s where we find healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, salvation, eternal life for all who believe, and it’s all wrapped up in the greatest act of love mankind will ever know.
At the Macomb County Jail, we adhere and align ourselves to Romans 1:16:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…” (and puts their trust and faith in Him). 
Former President Andrew Johnson once said, “We look forward to the day we can nail our flag below the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  As Chaplain I will dedicate myself to always stand behind the cross, kneel beside it, and lay prostrate before it, continually being reminded that it is where my Savior suffered, bled and died for me!
The Gateway residents had a fantastic time at the Wild Game Dinner put on by Lakeside Assembly of God Church.  The fundraiser proceeds raises money for 7 local missions (Gateway is one of them) through the selling of the dinner, silent auctions and a live auction.  This year, Lakeside had a keynote speaker, Jimmy Gretzinger from Michigan Out of Doors.   He spoke about a trial he endured last year, and how he and his family were able to get through it.  He said that only through having a firm foundation in Christ did he and his family overcome, and he admonished everyone in attendance to stand firm with Christ, because trials will come and it is Christ who holds you during the storms of life.  It was a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to our loving Lord.  All of the residents of Gateway (and some of their mentors) were in attendance.  Several remarked about how timely the message was and were really blessed by Jimmy’s ability to share so frankly about his personal life. 
The Apostle Paul had a firm foundation which was not shaken through the many trials he endured.  We, too, will continue preaching Christ, Him crucified and Him raised from the dead.  He is our solid foundation.  We serve a Living God!  “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.” (Romans 6:9)
Glory be to God!
Chaplain Steve Malek