Journal Entry: Robert Jesenik-03/24/2024-Journal #12

Journal Entry

Sunday 3/24

Today was a great morning with my little granddaughter visiting! She’s so happy go lucky almost no matter where she is. Just under 2 years old now, she’s definitely starting to get a mind of her own going, and the NO word is also starting to crop up. Poor Mom and Dad!

Had a good church session afterward, kind of awkward when the Jewish group has an activity at same time, they can’t understand why I choose church over that:) Feels like the New Testament all over again! But I am set up for early dinner now on Friday’s so I can go at 6 for the sunset ritual(I already forget the name:). The rabbi only comes first Monday a month, which is next Monday, so look forward to meeting him.

Rest of Sunday was pretty much that, rest. Finished my first Mitch Rapp book, in 48 hours, and had a good chance to spend the evening chatting with my friend Derek on a host of things, both on our legal fronts, as well as our book we will be teaming on, and that we’re starting Spanish lessons with a tutor Monday!

Monday 3/25 & Tuesday 3/26

After a great weekend, Monday and Tuesday were quite productive. Pretty Intense Email/legal writing till 11, library 12-3, lockdown, and outside 6:15-7:30 both days. No Spanish as Derek didn’t feel well.

Wednesday 3/27

Every few days it seem, I feel the need to reflect deeper for my daily journal entry than just highlighting a diary of events. Sometimes its a result of time availability(believe it or not:)),or what I read that morning, and sometimes I just want to. Guess this is one of those days!!

Besides jamming through 2 Mitch Rapp books, my now favorite CIA assassin, in less than one week(400 pages each), I also finished the Book of ACTS, which is ,mainly focused on Apostle Paul’s life and teachings post Jesus’ death. Each morning during 8 am count, I start with a devotional, then read part of a Book in the Bible(2-4 chapters) and finish with one chapter/day in Purpose Driven Life. I actually think I will keep doing all 40 days forever, its so useful and practical.

The Book of Acts is maybe 2000 years old, and basically describes today’s Middle East in a lot of ways. Paul, a devout Jew, and Roman citizen, preaches Jesus from Nazarene theology wherever he goes, to both Jews and Gentiles. Many Jews become believers,as do many Gentiles. But the Jewish Synagogue Leadership can’t stand(said another way are threatened) or tolerate Paul’s preaching’s,and constantly seek his imprisonment throughout the book. They cite “Breaking Jewish Laws”, but the Roman judges can’t understand the issue or which laws, and they control the courts and executions. So Paul is constantly jailed and released, threatened to death by the Jewish leaders, all for his beliefs. Some of the miracles Paul performs are fascinating, as are the many problems which occur to him at sea and his other journey’s. Basically there is constant conflict throughout the “then” Middle East in this Book.

Reading the Book from prison brings me a different perspective than normally. On one hand the Middle East and all of its infighting over religion, then even today, is depressing and seems truly impossible to fix. Seems even more today than ever. To me, prison is a microcosm of the Middle East, as maybe 50% of the inmates here really don’t support or want to contribute to the Western World. They see it as corrupt, unfair,evil, with no benefit for them. Same I would argue with ISIS, Al Qaeda, Palestinians and all the others. They are bent on trying to damage the Western World as well for many of the same reasons, and all based on a religious ideology just like back in Paul’s day.

On the flip side of reading ACTS in prison,is it reminds one that if even Paul and Jesus can survive persecution,judgment,name calling, so can anyone. Especially if you have faith in god’s plan and HIS timing and commitment to each of us. Day 25 of Purpose Driven Life is on “trouble in Life”, and I intend to blog on that one. I’ve had several people who love me ask, IF there is a GOD, how could HE allow you to go to prison? Its a lot to write about, but if an Apostle Paul, with all his spiritual gifts was constantly in prison, why did God allow that as well?

Thursday 3/28

Well for once we heard ahead of time (thru the grapevine) that our water would be turned off today due to the water project in the yard, so I decided to flip my schedule around and go to the library first(it has a toilet:)) from 7:30-10:30, and then stay in the unit from 12-3:30 and work on the PC/write legal stuff. Water was back at noon so my little plan worked well for once!

Nothing major otherwise- skipped working out as a storm is coming and its cold out, so saw Willy Wonka, what a waste. Also bet my 2 first Sweet 16 games, that was a bust as well:)

Friday 3/29

There’s something about Good Friday that is so sobering yet uplifting. To think of the pain and suffering Jesus went thru for us, really think of spikes thru our hands and feet, seems over the top painful. But as Christians we celebrate this, as we know He did this for us so that our sins will be forever forgiven. Its such a symbol of sacrifice that it just makes me stop and think about it first thing in the morning each Good Friday. It also is a useful guide for me during the year whenever I feel pain or injustice to remember someone had it worse than me,and if the Son of God can have that kind of suffering, why should we feel entitled to having so much less than Him?

6-11 I’m writing and on the PC, today finally finishing my book report on Born Again. After reading it twice in 2 weeks, I started the report last week, got 2/3 done, but just got writers cramp each time I tried to finish, until today. There’s this old saying about God’s timing, and that certainly was the issue. This past week Derek and I had been writing out a framework for our book to help inmates with post release plan for success tied with education, but yesterday we actually made progress laying out a 4 step approach for the book covering personals goals, assessment of skills and financial position, selection of training and college courses, and finally post release implementation around income, living accommodations, transportation and medial care. All wrapped around faith based and accountability during the process. It really crystallized for us which is exciting! Well, in finishing the book report, I read the epilogue for the third time, and there it was- a lot of what we are trying to do in Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministry, I just hadn’t comprehended it till now!Guess thats how God speaks sometimes:) I’m excited to see how we can use them as part of our solution-stay tuned!

Rest of the day pretty normal, though we got some Mexican food at 2 which was pretty good:) Also had a great dinner for once, meat lasagna, salad, and hot dog bun. first time i finished everything in a long time!

Saturday 3/30

Big storm last night, cold as heck in our unit with a 20 mph wind blowing thru the windows all night! Good 6-9 am productivity on my legal stuff, followed by lockdown 9:30-11. Came out to cheese and sausage quesadillas for lunch from the guys, incredibly good and hot! Skipped grits and gravy lunch…ugh

Catching up on emails to friends today and wishing them Happy Easter. Trying to garner enough discipline to go outside at 2-3 in this 20 mph wind, though it really hasn’t rained since 7 am this morning. Bummed I’m missing a big birthday at my girl friend’s house for her daughter in law(she almost feels like mine as well!), will be 60 folks over, even with the rain and wind. Hopefully it stops down there as well this afternoon!

Ended up having a nice relaxing afternoon/evening, lots of reading, emails, and even a nap!

Praying for Liberty and freedom and to see my Family and friends soon! BJ