47 | The Ice Cream Test

July 29, 2008
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.
Letter #47: The Ice Cream Test


Dear Family,

God is at work in my life! I’m excited to be so abundantly loved and cared for!

Today was interesting, in a God kind of way! I fasted 24 hours yesterday for a specific prayer need. I started on another fast today, for the same reason. I feel great, and I’m excited about the discipline of fasting benefiting my walk with God.

The longest fast I did was for seven days, just before being bailed out of county jail last year. In the sixth day of that fast, I beat five other guys playing “21-style” basketball. Again, God is sustaining me!

At 11:00 a.m., I went over to the canteen to pick up items I’d ordered. (I can spend up to $90.00 each month on additional foods, snacks, supplies, and photo “ducats”—tickets to get my picture taken with people who come to visit me. I spend money that is on my “books”—my account here.)

My body was already telling me that it was hungry, since I’d skipped breakfast. Standing outside, the guy in line next to me told me he’d ordered a pint of ice cream. Ahh! That sounded so good!

My turn came at the canteen window. I bought the last three photo ducats, but they didn’t have the other three I had ordered. What to do with the extra money left over? I didn’t hesitate to ask for a pint of Cookie Dough ice cream. I couldn’t wait to get back to my cell and polish it off.

I tried to rationalize in my mind, telling God I’d prayed enough … that one ice cream would be refreshing. However, the very moment I was walking through the gate with my loot, headed back to my house, the main intercom system lit up, calling my name to report to medical.

I walked over to medical, all the while dreaming of the ice cream. I was handed a jug (one gallon) and the instructions to drink 8 oz. of water/electrolyte solution every 10 minutes—in essence water boarding myself!—to prepare for a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow morning. Praise God! The major catch is, of course, that I’m not to eat until after the procedure is completed. Meanwhile, it flushes me out. (The reason that I asked for a colonoscopy is because Daddy had colon cancer when he was 45. Since I’m considered genetically at risk, they can test me every year, beginning 10 years prior to the time of life his cancer occurred.) I’ll spend the night tonight at the prison hospital.

Well, needless to say, I couldn’t eat the ice cream, thanks to God’s ability to help me with my fast in His remarkable timing: I’d put in the request for a colonoscopy five weeks ago! Walking back to my building, God prompted me to give my ice cream to the group of Pentecostal guys who preach on the yard every day. They prayed for me too. Praise God.

Next time, I’m hoping to be found faithful, not giving into the fleshly desires that can overtake me. Hopefully, God won’t have to make it so obvious that He was compelled to intervene in my life, in order that I might obey Him!

This Sunday, I will be playing a piano-flute duet. Originally meant for solo piano, I arranged the piece to be able to feature a flute. Jim, the flautist, has played flute professionally for decades in concerts, Broadway shows, and church. We’ll be playing “America the Beautiful.”

Additionally, my choir will be singing the song I recently wrote for Mommy, titled, “I Will.” The guys love it, and one told me today that another brother was singing “I Will” on the famously boring walk to chow. It is a true blessing to be used of the Lord to lead in worship with men who love God wholeheartedly! Now that I get to have a big say in what songs are sung by the choir, I’m really praying that I’m able to infuse energy and life into the music, while playing and singing songs that are worshipful, beautiful expressions of our lives in praise to Him! Thank you for your prayers + support!