At the age of 86, Ken Deal concluded more than 3 decades of voluntary prison ministry with a final Sunday sermon. His message to the inmates was about serving the Lord while imprisoned. Many of the examples he used came from prisoners, some serving life sentences. In a place everyone wants to leave, he encouraged them to grow and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.

After the people of Judah were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar and deported to Babylon because of their disobedience to God, the prophet Jeremiah sent them this message from the Lord: “Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands . . . that you may be increased there, and not diminished” (Jer. 29:5-6).

We may face some limiting circumstance today. Whether it is the result of our failure, or through no fault of our own, we can ‘go’ through it or seek God’s strength to ‘grow’ through it. The challenge of every confinement is to increase rather than decrease; to grow and not fade. The Lord’s goal is to give us “a future and a hope” (v.11).

A limited situation may give us a chance to grow.


David C. McCasland


Our Daily Bread