The words of the prophet

PrayingwithMatt
Praying before a church service in which I preached.

Dear Friends,

About two weeks ago I had a minor accident. No serious injuries, but it shook me up a bit. Most of you know that I’m confined to a wheelchair these days, due to a neuromuscular disorder, “Inclusion Body Myositis.” Well, I have a motorized wheelchair, and it can go pretty fast. I failed to negotiate a steep, sudden upgrade right by our apartment building. I was thrown out of the wheelchair, landing face first on the pavement. An ambulance came. I was taken to the emergency room.and I was checked out thoroughly. I had a concussion, and some big scabs on my face, but nothing serious. But it made me think, and pray. My accident was the day before my 69th birthday, I’m much better now, and I plan to get back to my ministry at the Rockingham County Jail this week, But I’ve had a little time now to think things over, and to pray. Please pray with me, that I may be able to continue this ministry I love so much for years to come.

My gifts, my calling, my  training, my 36 years of experience, and even my struggles with addiction before I found Christ, have all prepared me for this very focused ministry: To teach evangelistic Bible studies to men in the jail, to counsel them from scripture, to pray with them and  to keep praying for them, to make sure they have good Study Bibles and Christian books suited to their particular spiritual needs, to stay in touch with them and encourage them when they leave the jail, and just to “make a friend, be a friend, and lead a friend to Christ.” As I tell them, I’m just “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

But I’m 69 years old, and I’m disabled. My mind is not affected. I still can teach and counsel. About 8 years ago, The Lord showed me something in scripture. I had been pastoring a local church at the time, but after four years i had reached the conclusion that I wasn’t very good at it. I was 61 or 62 at the time, unsure of what to do next, afraid that my days in ministry might be over, I prayed, and I found this story in Isaiah:

Isaiah 38:1-6: In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.”  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah:  “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.  I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.”

Now God has not promised me that he will answer my prayers in exactly the way he did for Hezekiah. But I believe the principle revealed here is that God is able to keep us going, and even prolong the work he has given us in this world. God answered Hezekiah’s prayers, not just for the King himself, but for the people he ruled.The royal city of Jerusalem was spared. My prayer is that I would be able to continue my work in the jail and that men there would be spared and delivered, and that they would inherit the Kingdom of God. Please join me in these prayers

Please pray for some of the men I got to know, as their Pastor and Chaplain, in Maine State Prison, 1987-2006. Some have already passed on, but I know I will see them in Heaven.

In the eyes of the world, these men were criminals. The State saw fit to punish them by locking them in prison, some for the rest of their lives.. But I was privileged to see them as miracles of God’s grace.As Paul writes,,”Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor bigots  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor hypocrites, nor liars, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.“(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Some of them have passed on. Some are still in prison. Some have been released, having served 20, 30 years or more. Those who have been released are doing fairly well.They have found good churches, AA or NA meetings that they are comfortable with, and other support groups. The volunteers from Kairos do a wonderful work, helping these men. But they need our prayers. Locked up at the age of 20 or 25, released as they turn 50, many of them have had no chance to develop “social skills” that most of us take for granted. Drugs and alcohol are always a temptation.But many of them that I know just isolate themselves in city apartments, maybe working part time washing dishes. Some seem to feel their lives are already over. Too late to marry, too late to raise a family. Please pray for such men. If they could find a good church, with friendly people that can put them at ease, the Lord could change things for them. I suspect that they feel “everybody knows” sometimes, that it’s written on their forehead that they just got out of prison.

On the other hand, there are those who get out and go quickly back to their old “lifestyle.” It breaks my heart when I see young men who seemed “on fire” for the Lord when I talked to them in jail revert so quickly to the very things that got them in trouble in the first place. (I’m talking more about the young men I see in the county jail now.) Please pray for these men as well.Please pray for the men who come to our Bible Studies (Every Wednesday, 7-8 pm) Pray that the scriptures we teach on will really hit home to them, to the point that they want to look them up and read them again when they get back to their cells afterward. Lord, make them hungry and thirsty for righteousness.Please join me in praying for these men, the same way St. Paul prayed for the Saints in Ephesus:

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for those who believe,”(Ephesians 1:14-19)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-20.)

Please keep “C” and “D” in your prayers. Both men are regulars in our Wednesday night Bible Study in the jail. Both have come to see me in Clergy visits many times. Both seem bright, reasonable young men. But both are “hold outs,” somehow not ready to accept Jesus as their Savior.

Please pray for “J’.” I have gotten to know him pretty well, as this is the second time he has been through the system. He has a stronger commitment to God now, and when he is released in January, he might go to His Mansion Christian Recovery Center. I think this would be great for him. Please pray that he follows through with his application.

“A”, from Maine State Prison and ” R” from Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin, NH have both written me this week requesting Study Bibles. I was able to send them both good study Bibles and some other books to help them grow in Christ. The New Hampshire Bible Society reimburses me for any Bibles or Christian books that I send to men in prison. What a blessing that has been! Please pray that these two men, and all the men I have sent such Bibles to, would “Study to show themselves approved before God, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.”

Thank you for your prayers.
In Christ,
Matt
***

matt-and-chris
I raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and me. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
PO Box 461
Goffstown, NH 03045

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com.

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Prayer Warriors newsletter, chapter 3

Please pray for J.G. He told me Thursday, (Jan 18) that he thinks he will be released Friday, Jan.26. He has no plans, and nowhere to go. He says he will go to Manchester, although he doesn’t know anyone there, and he has no place to live there.I sent him some information about Christian programs in Manchester that might take him in until he gets on his feet. J. B. and I have had several long talks. I’ve shared a lot of scripture with him and I believe he has faith, but there’s still so much he doesn’t understand. Please keep him in your prayers.

Please pray for S.C. I mentioned him in an earlier Prayer Warriors Newsletter.He recently began serving 6-10 year sentence at New Hampshire State Prison. He was held at Rockingham County Jail while he was awaiting sentencing.  S.C. and I had many good talks while he was at the jail. I believe he has made a genuine commitment to the Lord. But the State Prison is a much harder place than the County Jail. It is easy for men to get discouraged there.I’ve written S.C,and sent him a Study Bible and some good Christian books. but I have not heard back from him yet.

I”ve also asked for prayer for M.B. before. He was in Maine State Prison when I was Chaplain there. He was a regular part of all our Bible studies, fellowship groups, and worship services. Since his release, He has slipped back into heroin addiction M.B. and his girlfriend told me they had applied to His Mansion, the Christian Recovery Program where my wife and I served on staff  But when I called the program, they said they had not seen their applications.They have left another Christian program in Maine. I don’t know where they are now, or what they are doing, but I fear the worst. Please pray for the Lord’s protection over them.

Please pray for J .F. We had some great talks in the County Jail. He was reading the Bible diligently, and he enjoyed our Bible Studies He told me he was being sentenced, and he was expecting to be spending the next year or two in the State Prison. He reminded me that I had promised to order a Life Application Study Bible and have it sent to him there. Please pray that I will be able to get that Bible to him soon, along with other Christian Books. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be with him in his new surroundings,despite the negative environment.Pray that he will continue to search the scriptures, going deeper and getting stronger in his faith.

Please pray for M. G. He seems very interested in the gospel, but he has a lot of questions. He knows about the 12 Steps of AA, but he thinks it would be too hard  to “turn his will and his life over to God.”(Step 3) He feels he would have to be perfect. I showed him.1 John 1:8-2:2: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Honestly, humbly confessing our sins in prayer is a far cry from trying to be perfect.Please pray for M.G. to turn his will and his life over to Jesus, fully understanding that he will forgive us and purify us because of all he has already done for us on the cross.

Almost all the men I see in the County Jail are addicts. Mostly Heroin, but Meth, Crack, and Alcohol as well. They really want to get “clean and sober,” but the pull of their addictions is also very strong. In jail, without access to drugs and alcohol, many men start reading the Bible, attending chapel services, and participating in Bible studies. Like the Prodigal Son, they “come to their senses.” This is our chance! They are really paying attention now! Please pray for all the Chaplains and Christian volunteers in all our prisons and jails, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to preach and teach the gospel in such a way that men will hear it and let Jesus come and turn their lives around.

Many of the men in the jail are familiar with The Twelve Steps. In my opinion, they are a thinly veiled paraphrase of traditional Christian teaching about redemption, salvation, and sanctification as a process. And there are wonderful books available to us about working the Twelve Steps with Jesus as your higher power. Here are just a few. Please pray that men in jail can get “clean and sober” with Jesus as their “higher power.” And may that just be the beginning of a whole new life, abundant life, for them all.

***
mattchrisI raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and me. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
PO Box 461
Goffstown, NH 03045

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com.

Prayer warrior newsletter

I once asked a man in the Rockingham County Jail if he had ever read the Bible. _Yeah,_ he said. _I've been in jail before._(1)Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am hoping to form a group of Prayer Warriors through e-mail to pray for the men I am working with in Rockingham County Jail, as well as those I correspond with in Maine State Prison and New Hampshire State Prison, and those who have been released that I still stay in touch with.If you would like to keep these men in your prayers, as well as supporting and encouraging me in my ministry by praying for them, please let me know at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com. I will send you an e-mail each week with several prayer requests. Not too lengthy, but giving some specific requests. For example:

“S” spent 13 years in Maine State Prison, where he worked with me as a Chaplain’s Clerk. He has a strong faith, but he is struggling. His fiance, “H”, is a believer, but she feels God is angry with her, and she has “Lost her salvation.” She is profoundly deaf. I was able to find a church near them with sign language interpreters, but they have been unable to go yet. Please pray for them to get involved with this church, for “H” to find sisters in Christ that she can converse with in sign language, and for them to grow in Christ.

“M” also served a long sentence in Maine State Prison, where he was baptized and was a regular part of all our Bible studies, fellowship groups, and worship services. Since his release, “M” has slipped back into heroin addiction. He is “clean and sober ” now, I believe, and is living and working at a Christian homeless shelter in Maine. It’s a good place for him right now, but probably not a permanent placement. He says he is back on track with his walk with the Lord. Please pray for complete healing and deliverance from his addiction, and a deeper, stronger relationship with God.

“E” served 20 years in Maine State Prison. Like M and S, E was active in all our Christian Programs. He was particularly  fond of Kairos Ministry. When he was released, E went to stay with his brother. But they didn’t get along, and this family connection that E had counted on was a great disappointment to him. E has moved to another town in Maine, where one of the Kairos Ministry volunteers has befriended him. He has found a good church, but I worry about him. He is a friendly, outgoing man, and he needs friends he can talk to and fellowship with. Please pray that he can find many strong Christian friends at his new church.

“A” has just started a 6-10 year sentence at New Hampshire State Prison. He was held at Rockingham County Jail while he was awaiting sentencing. (I often see men at the jail who are headed to the prison. They are held in the jail until) they are sentenced.) A and I had many good talks while he was at the jail. I believe he has made a genuine commitment to the Lord. But the State Prison is a much harder place than the County Jail. It is easy for men to get discouraged, depressed, and angry there. Men sometimes feel that God has abandoned them there. Please pray for A to keep his faith, or even grow stronger. Pray that my letters to him, and the Study Bible and Christian Books I have sent him will give him hope and encouragement.

“J” also was sent to the prison from the jail, but he says he is being released in January. I have put him in touch with His Mansion, the Christian Rehab where my wife and I worked. J has applied there, but we don’t know if they will accept him, because he still may have a case pending in the courts. When he was in the jail, we had many good talks, and he was expressing a strong faith, but since he went to prison in August, I fear he has lost some of his “first love.” Please pray he will be accepted to His Mansion, and that the program there can rekindle his faith.

All these men, and many others, have received Study Bibles and Christian books, thanks to a wonderful open grant I have with the New Hampshire Bible Society. They have agreed to reimburse me for all the expenses from ordering these books from Christian Book Distributors and having them sent in to the men. Please pray that they will “read and heed” their books and Bibles.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!

Please let me know if you would like to pray for people like these!

In Christ,
Matt

Second prayer letter:

In my last newsletter, I asked for prayer for “M”.  He served a long sentence in Maine State Prison, where he was baptized and was a regular part of all our Bible studies, fellowship groups, and worship services. As sometimes happens, he fell back into addiction upon release. I wrote that “He is “clean and sober ” now, and is living and working at a Christian homeless shelter in Maine.” But now news has come that M has left the shelter, angry at the staff there. He really has nowhere to go. It’s awful cold in Northern Maine these days. Please pray for M to “come to his senses,” like the Prodigal Son, and return to the place God has provided for him, where he can be safe and warm and hear daily encouragement in the word. Pray for him to stay away from the drugs out there. And pray for his girlfriend who is worried sick about him.

 

In Rockingham County Jail, I’ve been talking to “A” who is searching. He wants to know more about Islam, as well as Christianity. I was able to find him some good literature from a Christian perspective, comparing the two religions.I also sent a good book, “Who is Jesus?’ in for him. I told him that the most important difference between the two religions was our faith in Jesus as God Incarnate, the Word made flesh. Please pray that he will make the right choice.

Another man in the jail, “U”, confided in me that he had been sexually abused as a child. I was able to pray with him for healing from the damage done to him and the trauma and shame he still lives with, I sent him some good books on men finding healing from the Lord for this kind of thing, as well as some literature on giving his life to Jesus. Please pray for U to understand that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.”

“I’m allergic to alcohol; I break out in handcuffs!”

I also talked to “K” who told me, “I’m allergic to alcohol; I break out in handcuffs!” It’s a funny line, but the sad truth behind it is that men in jail have done things drunk, or on drugs, that they never would have done sober. And now they are paying the price for it K, like other alcoholics I’ve talked to, was convinced he was “not as bad” as those using Heroin, Crack Cocaine, or Meth. I offered to send him in some literature about working the 12 Steps of AA with Jesus as your “Higher Power.” He said, “Yeah, okay,” but without much enthusiasm. Please pray for K to read the book about the 12 steps and the Bible I sent in to him, as well as a couple of books about prayer. Pray for him to see he really has an addiction, even if it’s “only” alcohol. And pray for him to see that he can be healed, delivered, and transformed If he gives his life to the Lord.

I am so very grateful to the New Hampshire Bible Society. They have offered to reimburse me for all the Study Bibles and Christian books I send into the men I see at the Bible Studies and “Clergy Visits” in the Jail. I’m also in touch with men in the New Hampshire State Prison and the Maine State Prison, and the Bible Society helps me to send Bibles and Christian books to those men, as well.Reading the Bible is an accepted part of prison life. I once asked a man in the Rockingham County Jail if he had ever read the Bible. “Yeah,” he said. “I’ve been in jail before.” Please pray that men reading the Bible in our prisons and jails may receive it as the true word of God, that may accomplish in them all that the Lord intends, as he has promised:


“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me void,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:9-11

 

Please pray that all the men in our prisons and jails would not just browse through the Bible, but read it in a serious, disciplined manner, expecting God to speak to them through the scriptures.Pray for the Holy Spirit to give then understanding,

“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant them to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in their inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith—that they, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that they may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:15-19

In Christ,
Matt

***

mattchrisI raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and me. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
PO Box 461
Goffstown, NH 03045

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com.

Christmas newsletter

 

Matt preaching“…To preach good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to  proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Is. 61:1 

Dear Friends, 

 In this Advent season, watching and waiting for our Savior’s birth, but also for his return, we are reminded once again  of how many Old Testament Prophecies were fulfilled at Jesus’ birth. To be sure, there are still quite a few that will not be completely fulfilled until he returns. But remembering each Christmas all he has already done for us gives us hope that the best is yet to come.

 

“To us a child is born, to us a son is given,  and the government will be on his shoulders.               

And he will be called  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace  there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.         

The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 

Isaiah 7:14: The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (“God is with us.”) 

 Isaiah 40:9-11; You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 42:1-7; “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

 Isaiah 49:5,6; And now the Lord says—  he who formed me in the womb to be his servant—
“It is too small a thing for you to  to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the men of Israel.   

I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, so my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” 

 Isaiah 55:3-5: Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor
. 

Isaiah 61:1-3: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners,
      to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and to comfort all who mourn .    

These prophecies of the coming Messiah make us grateful that he has already come:  But  the prophecies also remind us that Jesus is coming back in Power and Glory. The Christ Child in the manger grew up to be “Despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,  familiar with suffering.”(Isaiah 53:3)   

Isaiah 53:4-6:Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He humbled himself, and laid down his life for us. He came as our Suffering Servant, to atone for our sins. But when he returns, he will be our Conquering King:  Revelation 19:11_16:  I saw heaven standing open and  I saw a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. On his robe is written: king of kings and lord of lords.

Luke tells us how John the Baptist ” “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb when Mary, newly pregnant, walked in. Filled with the Spirit, John knew he was in the presence of the Lord. When we come to Jesus, he  give us the Spirit within us. We, too, know  Jesus is with us. He said, ” I will be with you always.” Please pray for the men in the jail that I work with to come to Jesus and receive the Spirit within them. And pray that  they too will “leap for joy” as the Spirit reveals to them that Jesus is always with them.

Luke 1:13-15:The angel said:”Zechariah, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.  He will be a joy and delight to you He will be great in the sight of the Lord He will be filled with The Holy Spirit even before he is born.”

Luke 1:30-37:The angel said, ” Mary; you have found favor with God. You will  give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be called the Son of God. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign forever; his kingdom will never end.”                                                        

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”                                                             

The angel said, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”                                                                                                        

Luke 1:39-44: At that time, Mary hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,  where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!   As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

The  Bible studies and “Clergy Visits” (Individual Biblical Counseling) I do at the Rockingham County Jail   are my greatest  joy and blessing . The men who come to our Bible studies seem to be genuinely searching for something. Maybe, I tell them, what they are searching for  is Jesus. When we seek him, we find that he in turn, is seeking us. Jesus said he came” To seek and save the lost.”(Luke 19:10) I love to teach about salvation, about how to grow as a Christian, what Jesus offers in a covenant relationship with him, and how he can change them, transform them, heal them, and sanctify them. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”( 2 Corinthians 5:17) Almost all the men I see are Heroin addicts. They all want to get “clean and sober.” But Jesus offers so much more. They have tried to fill that empty place inside with drugs..But maybe that craving is really a “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Please pray for them to give their lives to Jesus, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to leap for joy whenever they are in his presence.

In Christ,
Matt

***

I raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and me. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
C/O The Church at Prison, Inc.
Box 8318, Essex Junction, VT 05452

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com. All donations are tax deductible.

Kantrowitz Pinkham
Christmas greetings from my family to yours! (From left: My son, David, my daughter, Jessica, me, my wife, Chris, and David’s girlfriend, Tina)

Where to find bread

I made this video for the New Hampshire Bible Society about two years ago. Some of the details have changed: I now minister in only one county jail in New Hampshire, but I spend a good amount of time there, teaching Bible studies and visiting inmates one-on-one. I still give out a lot of Life Recovery Bibles and other Christian literature. What a blessing it is to get to know these men, to hear their stories, to relate to them as someone who cares and understands, and to share with them good news of the hope and healing they can find in Christ.

*****

matt-and-chrisI raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and I. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
C/O The Church at Prison, Inc.
Box 8318, Essex Junction, VT 05452

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com. All donations are tax deductible.

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Give yourself to love

I was Protestant Chaplain in Maine State Prison for 18 years. Many of the men shown here involved in Hospice were good friends of mine.They were part of the Christian Fellowship I had the privilege to serve behind the walls. And yes, some men I was close to have died in prison. It’s a comfort and a blessing to know they did not die alone.

Like the Hospice Program, the K-9 program in Maine State Program is a great way for “hardened criminals” in Maine State Prison to use their prison time to do something positive, constructive, and even loving. God spoke though the Prophet Ezekiel about a time to come when he would take away our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:24-27) It’s a great blessing to know that this is happening through these programs at Maine State Prison.

Watch a news story about the K9 Corrections program here.

*****

matt-and-chrisI raise my own financial support for my ministry, and it is the primary income for my wife and I. If you are interested in contributing you can send checks to:

Rev. Matt Kantrowitz
Isaiah 61 Ministries
C/O The Church at Prison, Inc.
Box 8318, Essex Junction, VT 05452

You can email me for more information at mmkantrowitz@gmail.com. All donations are tax deductible.

Dreams of my father

My father graduated from Brown University just 90 years this week. My nephew Alex will graduate from Brown Sunday. By my count he will be the ninth in our family to graduate since my father paved the way. (I include Alex and his Aunt Diane, although their connection is mostly through me.)

Recently we had a wonderful visit with my sister Deb. She reminded me of some warm, loving things my dad used to do for Jonathan, Deborah, and me. He used to make up stories like “Sinbad the Sailor” to tell us at bedtime. He would take us for rides in the car, and we would take turns choosing the route. We called this “Getting Lost.” He would take us into New York to see the Yankees.

A few years ago, my cousin Bonnie shared with me a note my dad sent to her when she was young. Bonnie had found the Aficomin, (This is the middle piece of the three matzoh on the table as part of the Passover Seder. It is hidden after the ceremony, and the little children search for it. The one who finds it is rewarded with a small gift.)

These reminders of my Dad have been very healing to me. There was a time when things I had done hurt him and disappointed him. I wish I had humbled myself and begged him to forgive me before he passed away. But since I didn’t, my own guilt and shame had kept me from appreciating what a good father, and a good man he really was.

Maybe because I’ve been thinking more about him lately, I had a dream about him last night. In my dream, I overheard someone use the term “gelt” in a conversation. “Gelt” is Yiddish for “money.” The most common usage nowadays is “Hanukah gelt,” chocolate coins given to the children when the Hanukah Menorah candles are lit.

So the term usually has a gentle, positive, loving connotation. but not for the man in my dream. He spoke the word bitterly, sarcastically, and hatefully. He was perpetrating an old anti-semitic slur: The idea that successful Jews were “shysters” who came by their “gelt” dishonestly.

So I challenged the man in my dream. I said, “My father was a Jewish man who had some material success in life. But he was a man of integrity, and he earned every penny honestly. He is remembered today not for his material success, but for his outstanding achievements as a husband and father.” And for some reason, the one example of this I gave in my dream was inspiring so many in his family to go to Brown.

So this is more than forty years late, but thank you, Dad. I’m sorry for the things I did that hurt you back then, and for not recognizing what a good father you really were to me.

In love, gratitude, and respect,

Matthew

My parents Beatrice and Ralph with my sister Deb, brother Jonathan, and me on my dad’s lap