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VOLUME JANUARY 2006

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Jazzman's Advice 

NO MORE SATAN!

And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new

Revelation 21:5a

It’s now almost eight o’clock in the evening. Soon I plan to get in line for a shower and then return to my cell for the night.

A few hours ago, however, as I was walking in my pain (I have now begun to suffer from "Osteoarthritis"), the Holy Spirit seemed to quicken a word in my heart that one day I am going to be done with this decaying body; I will be done with the devil, too.

The fact is, my body is wearing down. Like an old car, one part at a time stops working properly. But very soon I will have a whole new body. It will not be subject to aches, pains, and sorrows. It will only know endless joy. Furthermore, there will be no more Satan!

One day, by the mercy of Jesus, I will be going into a realm where no disease and no demon will be able to touch me. I will be living with Jesus, forever.

Knowing all this keeps me going forward in faith and hope, never quitting.

David Berkowitz

January 18, 2006

2006 David Berkowitz

 Cranberry Juice

For the past several months I have been experiencing a degree of physical agony because of osteoarthritis. Walking has been difficult with sharp pains going up and down my right leg and originating from my lower back. Sitting has been just as difficult.

Interestingly, however, last week I had gotten into a discussion about my ailment with another prisoner. He had queried me as to why I was limping, and I then explained to him what I have been going through.

He in turn told me that he too had suffered from the same thing, and that his battle with arthritis and sciatica lasted for about a year. He also said that at times his condition was so bad that he needed to use a walker. I had a hard time picturing him like this since he is a muscular black man, built like a football player, and he’s only about forty years old.

Jazzman* said to me, "Dave, get yourself some cranberry juice." I laughed because it sounded silly that cranberry juice was supposed to do something for my crippling pain.

Only yesterday I had been in the doctor’s office, and he basically said there was nothing I could do for osteoarthritis other than taking pain medication. I don’t like taking pills, however, and I know the long term effects of continued use of pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs could be negative and do irreversible damage to my stomach, liver and kidneys. So I told the doctor, "No thanks!"

But then I remembered what Jazzman said about cranberry juice. So out of curiosity I ordered two ounce cans of juice, which is the only cranberry product my commissary offers. I figured that even if the juice did not work on my pain, I would still get some nutritional benefits. Each can claims on its label to have 100% of Vitamin C.

Then, yesterday evening, I drank my first can before I went to sleep. I didn’t expect anything to happen. But, amazingly, this morning when I opened my eyes and began to get off my bunk, there was almost no pain in my lower back or in my right leg.

Prior to this, for the past three plus months, whenever I awoke it felt as if a shark had sunk its teeth into my leg. I hobbled in pain with every step I took. And now I found myself standing on the concrete floor in the middle of my cell with nothing more than a slight residual tingle of pain that was manageable.

I even felt so good that at 10 o’clock this morning when the recreation yard opened I went outdoors to walk in the fresh air. I walked for approximately sixty of the ninety minutes I was allotted in the yard.

Then, later this afternoon, I went to the chapel for our Saturday worship service with the men who visit us from Times Square Church in New York City.

Tonight I plan to drink my second can. I’m not sure if it was the juice that made me better. I know, of course, that God can use ordinary things to do His work. But if it is the cranberry juice, then I am grateful to the Lord for creating cranberries!

I’ll see what happens as time goes on.

David Berkowitz

January 28, 2006

*Jazzman is his nickname.

2006 David Berkowitz

Prayers and Juice

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me. Psalm 120:1

Sundays are always busy for me. This morning I was in the chapel for the main worship service of the week. The volunteer minister who came in to encourage us, "Brother Alan," is an ex-con. He did a handful of years in prison, but he’s been out for a long time.

Presently Alan works in the garment industry and he is active in his church. He’s also raising a teenage son. Brother Alan always inspires me because he’s a success story, and he has walked in my shoes. He understands the struggles prisoners have.

At my chaplain’s direction, and after another man finished making the weekly announcements to the congregation, I began the service by getting the men to worship and praise the Lord.

I was also able to share with the men about my situation concerning my lower back and right leg, and how I began drinking cranberry juice before bedtime. The guys had a laugh with this, yet the juice seems to be having an effect.

Last night I drank my second and final can. This morning, thankfully, for the second day in a row my pain has been minimal. I have been able to walk easily, and I was on my feet all morning without any problems.

I believe the Lord has heard and responded to my cries of distress. I also have the feeling these guys are going to be buying a lot of cranberry juice from the prison’s commissary.

David Berkowitz

January 29, 2006

2006 David Berkowitz

Distress

It is written, for Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Romans 8:36

I continue to live in a season of testings where my simple faith in the Lord Jesus is being tried by fiery trials. Yet somehow the Spirit of my God is giving me the grace and divine strength to hold on.

I am learning, too, what it means to be "killed" all the day long, to be required to die to my flesh and my own desires. I am realizing that nothing in the world is my own. I have nothing but Jesus, and when it is time for me to leave this world, I will be taking nothing with me but Jesus.

For instance, one particular "fiery trial" I am going through at present concerns some litigation that is before the New York Supreme Court. I haven’t spoken about this very much in my journal, as it is a very complex matter and much to burdensome to explain.

But for the past year or thereabouts I have been seeking to do what is right, just and fair. And I am observing, too, that even though I am a child of God and belong to Jesus, I can still experience loss. Being a Christian is no assurance that the judicial system will go in my favor or that anyone would even care about my pain.

All said, I only have the Lord Jesus to turn to. I can pour out my heart to Him and athe Messiah of Israel will listen. He will wipe the tears from my eyes and soothe my hurt with His love.

I have a Comforter the world knows nothing about.

David Berkowitz

January 31, 2006

2006 David Berkowitz

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