36 | Incarcerationatory Relational Imprisonment Techniques

June 19, 2008
Thursday, 5:00 p.m.
Letter #36: Incarcerationatory Relational Imprisonment Techniques


Dear Family,

Hiya, Folks! Is grace sufficient in our weakness? Is His law perfect? Is He your Good Shepherd? Is His faithfulness GREAT? Is His plan to prosper you? Is His mercy new this morning? Is Heaven your home? Is He your provider, your strength, your firm foundation, your deliverer? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you might be Baptist. If you answered “Glory!” or “Amen!” or “Jesus-Hallelujah!” you might be a Pentecostal. If you answered “Yee-haw!” well then, you might be a redneck. (Can I get an E-Doggie?)

God is great! I’ve been very blessed, kind of settling into a quasi-routine here, finally. The many opportunities to be out of my cell are nice, since it breaks up the monotony of close confinement incarcerationatory relational imprisonment techniques. I don’t know what I just said, but it seemed to flow, so who cares. A simple way of putting it would be, “Cells suck,” I suppose, but that wouldn’t be as intelligent or non-offensive, either.

Basically, I live in a concrete bathroom, in close quarters with another human being who is male. This is not as uniquely interesting nor exciting as it may sound at first, like: I live in a tree, or I live in these shoes, or I live in a van down by the river. However, I believe God graciously prepared me for this, since I lived in our bathroom during my entire teen years. The toilet seat imprint faded late into my 20’s, but the memories of good books remain.

After my first day of playing “21” basketball on the yard, I had two teams trying to draft me, since we just started the playoffs. I went with the first offer; it turns out they wanted me not only because of my skilz, but because of my height—I’m officially the tallest member of my team.

Monday’s game we lost 22­–62. Today’s game, against the only undefeated team, was 22–72. Who won? Well, let’s just say that they are still undefeated. I only made two points, which was a 100% shooting percentage. Because I joined the team so late, I don’t get played much, nor do I get the ball much, though I usually win my games of “21.”

To give you an idea of how mis-matched the game was (besides the score), when I was setting up for one of my teammates to take free throws, I was flanked by two of their players. I was standing upright, and these two were discussing game strategy that was over my head­—literally. I was not impeding their view of each other one bit.

Ever have one of those moments when you know difficulty lies ahead? Imagine Joshua and Caleb, spying out the Promised Land and finding HUGE fruit—a land “flowing with milk and honey.” But there were giants, too; Joshua and Caleb knew they could be handled with God’s help. Let me be clear here: any analogies or similarities between the Promised Land and Salinas Valley ends at the giants. Those we have. They play basketball; in fact four of the giants from the other team can—and do—slam-dunk. Could be disheartening, if you’re actually trying to win. I had a lot of fun, producing a couple crowd-pleasing moves, including calling for a time-out when we got possession of the ball under our basket with six seconds remaining on the clock, as if we had a chance to affect the 22–72 score.

We had on-the-bone chicken tonight, brushed with Bar-B-Que sauce. One guy choked severely and was Heimleched by a guy seated at the table next to him. Not too smart to go behind someone, squeezing and jumping, when a cop with an M-16 rifle is watching from above, 30 feet away. Tonight’s entertainment ended without the need for a body bag for either man, praise God.

The chicken reminded me of the good ol’ KFC or Pioneer Chicken days, eating at the table on Lynfield. Even with four boys, it would get so quiet, all you could hear was Daddy, humming involuntarily as he enjoyed the chicken; then Mommy would join in until Daddy realized what she was doing. This chicken tonight, Daddy, was hummin’ chicken for sure!

So, NO ONE has guessed—or even attempted to guess my CDC-inspired so-called Earliest Possible Release Date. C’mon, people! I have a special prize for the winner, so guess carefully. 🙂

Thank you for all your letters, love, and prayers. I love you all!



QUOTE of the DAY

After I made a comment about hearing so much Scripture being quoted everywhere, my buddy, Trinity, said, “This is a Men’s Bible Study that thinks it’s a PRISON.”  🙂