Prayers for a friend and his family

Whether the need is great or small, there is power in prayer, especially when God's people raise their voices together.

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The Annoyed Man
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Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby The Annoyed Man » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:02 pm

My first friend in Texas was arrested last October by the FBI on federal charges. He appeared before the judge for sentencing this morning. He got 85 months plus 5 years probation, about $6100 in fines, and will have to pay restitution. The restitution issue was bifurcated into a separate hearing, but it could be as high as $42,000......the amount remains to be negotiated. He has a wife and three children. They've lost their home, his business, their savings (there's no money to pay the restitution), half of his relatives have dropped him like a hot potato, and most of their friends have too. They are treating him like a leper. He was remanded into custody in February, and will be given credit for time served. He also has been given the chance to participate in several addiction recovery programs while incarcerated, and it is possible that he'll be paroled in 4.5 years (if I remember correctly) into a halfway house for 6 months, before he can reenter society and begin his probation. He'll have to register as a sex offender. Whether or not he'll be able to live with his wife and sons again will depend on his probation officer's permission. He's no threat to them, and while he was under house arrest prior to being remanded into custody, his probation officer allowed him to live with his family, so we are optimistic on that front.

This is devastating news, as we had hoped for more mercy than that from the court. Apparently, this judge has a reputation for being very hard-nosed. The good news is that this sentence is midway between the lower and upper guidelines for his charges, and his attorney told us this is the first time she's ever see this judge give someone less than the maximum allowable sentence, so she thinks that even the judge questioned whether or not his usual practice was appropriate in this case.

My friend first confessed his crimes to me shortly after his arrest. I'm the first person outside of his immediate family that he told. Out of respect for his confidentiality, I will not give additional details or his name. He decided right away that he's almost glad that he got caught because he was in slavery to an addiction he could not stop, and he decided he would not contest anything and accept whatever the court does to him. It was his idea to ask the court to help him with his addiction by giving him access to addiction recovery programs while incarcerated. He has been using the intervening time wisely, growing very close to Christ, spending his time in the Word, taking part in prison Bible studies, and even evangelizing to some of the prisoners he comes in contact with.

My wife, son, and I have pledged to be there to help his wife whenever she needs it, and our Life Group is on board with that, so she'll never have to worry about getting the washing machine fixed or the car maintained, stuff like that. She has a good job as a medical assistant and her boss has been VERY supportive. Myself and the men in our Life Group are going to be stepping up to be older male figures in their sons' lives until he gets out. My friend and his wife attended our church, and she still does, and she is surrounded by people who are loving on her. Even so, it has been very tough on her and the kids. The elder of his three sons is beginning to have behavioral trouble at school - which he never did before - etc., etc.

It's all just too much....or at least it seems so right now. I would ask all of you to pray for this precious family that is being really tested. She is sticking by him, and has forgiven him. We know that our Lord has forgiven him. We also know that justice must be served, and we would not ask for it to NOT be served. But this family desperately needs the prayers of the saints, so yours would be very much appreciated.
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"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby BeanCounter » Fri Jun 17, 2016 5:29 pm

Praying for your friend and his family. I will also be praying for you TAM.
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RPBrown
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby RPBrown » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:58 pm

Prayers sent for your friend and his family but also to all of those in the support group
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby carlson1 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:06 am

Prayers from us.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby oljames3 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:53 am

On the way.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby Excaliber » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:21 am

As you've detailed, the consequences of major mistakes can go far beyond the individual who makes them.

Prayers sent for both him and his family for strength in the Lord and for keeping the family intact and waiting for him upon his release.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby Jusme » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:00 am

Prayers for recovery for your friend, and prayers of Thanksgiving for having friends and a church family to help his family during these trying times.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby mbschne » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:09 am

Prayers sent.

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The Annoyed Man
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby The Annoyed Man » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:21 pm

An update....... I received this message from him today through the CorrLinks system:
Friday, Sat, and Sundays are the only days we can really do a large group bible study, but today I wasn't feeling up to it. Frankly, I had read James 1:2-4 and 12 before sentencing yesterday and planned on writing a little about it and discussing it tomorrow. However, I was about to take a nap first today (because I have not slept well in the past 3 nights) when a friend came in and said he has about 10 people that want to do a Bible Study. I thought...ok...we will see where this goes..completely unprepared.

So, James 1:2-4 and 12 talks about enduring suffering with faith,
“considering yourself fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way for you know that when you succeed in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.”
It goes on to say…
"Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such test, they will receive their reward the life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

So, that was the basis of what I wanted to talk about today and that was where we started. I tied it in with what happened yesterday at court and how I thought I was going to get about 1/2 of what I actually received, but that my faith and the faith of my wife, family, and friends will carry me through and help me endure.

Another gentleman that is a young Christian spoke up. After we had sidetracked into the Holy Spirit and how he will help guide you to what you are to get out of your reading that day, we looked into Ecclesiastes 3, “A time for everything” and kind of tied that in. Low and behold, I was slapped in the face. Apparently, back in March, I had read Ecc 2:11 and highlighted it.

I was immediately reminded of what my attorneys had talked about yesterday, about how I had worked hard since 6th grade, etc., and the complete irony that it had no use at all.
"Then I thought about all that I had done and how hard I had worked doing it, and I realized that it didn't mean a thing. It was like chasing the wind - of no use at all!" (Ecc 2:11)

My life use to be full of “me” statements and pride in how hard I had worked most of my life. Ultimately, not meaning anything because I did not have Christ first.

I just thought some of you would appreciate that. It served as a reminder to me of who I need to put first in my life and that ultimately God has a plan, and through these reminders, he will show me his plan, one layer at a time.

God Bless....Love you all....

This is an encouragement to me and everyone else who cares about my friend, because yesterday had kind of taken the wind out of our sails......him too. But he is actively seeking the face of God in this ordeal, and responding to the promptings of the Spirit. If he can, so can we all.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby chuck j » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:31 pm

I'm sorry I'm so late to reply to this post . Don't come here often anymore .
Forgiveness is hard to come by . One of the most problematic situations to be put on you as a Christian . You must lay down your hate , prejudice and personal feelings . The example we follow is Jesus Christ , he said to the woman .......Go and sin no more .

I will pray for your friend and his family also for all those that are trying to follow his way in their words and acts .
Thank you for holding them up .

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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:30 pm

Your friend and his family are in my prayers. Thanks for what you and your group are doing; all of them need your support.

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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby Skiprr » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:36 pm

TAM, I pray for your protection and safekeeping, and for all those close to you.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby RPBrown » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:12 am

TAM, remind your friend of all of the followers in the Bible that have been imprisoned. That their faith got them through the trying times. Use his (and your) faith to minister to others.

If you can let me know (PM) where he finally lands, I will try to get our Prison Ministry team to make a visit some weekend.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby bulinm » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:15 am

Prayers up, TAM, for your friend, his family, and for you and others who are supporting
this family.
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Re: Prayers for a friend and his family

Postby Dan20703 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:19 am

Prayers for the family.
TAM, you are a good man to help them when others have left them behind.
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