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Welcome to our Inside Inspiration Page. The postings below come from our Inside Members as they seek to add value and share of themselves in an effort to bring a smile and comfort to all who may read.

               SUBMITTED BY LEO PAUL CARMONA

                            May 2021


A PLACE TO FORGIVE and to BE FORGIVEN
by Cathy Cartwright-Chow

For those we have hurt in any way, whether through words or deeds or thoughts.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For the excuses we have made, just to be right.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For the blame we have placed on someone else, again and again,
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For the passing up of the opportunity to help because we were afraid.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For hiding the truth from someone.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For working beyond the anger and resentment.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

For the times that I have not felt heard.
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is never easy, whether for yourself or someone else,
Here is a place to forgive and to be forgiven.

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               SUBMITTED BY KEVIN BERRY

                           June 19th,2021

I hope that it touches someone. I have been through a lot being in prison. My fiancée left me, have lost more friends and family to cancer and health issues than I care to admit, and I have to deal with the fact that I could potentially never leave. But, I am able to stay happy. Even with the tears I shed while writing this I have hope for tomorrow. I may not be home, but that doesn't take away my opportunity to help others. Prison has helped me build the foundation of compassion. And on that foundation I have found love for all of you even though I don't know you. I have also learned to love myself. For years I didn't know how to love me. I was doing things to run from the issues that I was having inside myself and was too afraid to look inside myself at who I was. But, after finding this compassion and love, each day in here is not a struggle, but an opportunity. An opportunity to build myself into someone that, even while being on the inside, can become of some use to all of you. I know that there are days that seem like a constant steuggle. Believe me, prison isn't easy. But, on those days that it seems like you can't catch a break, extend a hand to someone in need and show some compassion. But not only for that individual, but for yourself as well. We are all human and everyday won't be sunshine and butterflies. And that's okay. One of my favourite quotes is this, "Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a vision. But a today well spent makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and tomorrow a vision of hope." All of us can have visions of hope by helping each other today towards what we all are striving for; happiness.

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Submitted by Charles Foresi
              June 22nd, 2021

In one way or another, we are all in search of a relationship based on trust; being accepted for who we are; truly loved; and forgiven for our many mistakes.
It has been said that, "The restless soul will find no rest until it rests in God." In fact, our hearts have a God-shaped vacuum that can be filled with a plethora of things while still leaving a yearning that only He can meet the needs of.
Every righteous relational attribute we crave can only be completely satisfied by that vertical relationship with Christ. Once that acknowledgement has been made & that longest journey from the head to the heart has begun, then, as a true vessel for His use, the loving grace of our Lord & Savior can freely flow through us to the horizontal relationships in our lives; impacting and/or leading others to the light of the truth of the love of Christ.
To be truly receptive to the gift of God's forgiveness, we must choose to operate from a spirit of forgiveness towards others. To truly acknowledge the gift of grace, we must not withhold that grace from flowing through us. To truly respect the passionate sacrifice of Christ, we must choose to live sacrificial lives.
Our core mission's mantra of "live love" can also be further reduced to a single word that will always be our faithful focus: "Others".
Without that acknowledgment of the needs of others to be comforted there wouldn't be any need for the Christian ministry of The Comfort Buddy Mission.
We are proud to offer comfort wherever it is needed. For we were once broken & lacking that basic necessity ourselves. But we are stronger now healed than we ever were unbroken, & thus choose to use our deliverance from the experiences in that negative realm as a beacon of hope to those who may not think that any is available for them.
The comfort of love in pain is a universal need to all inside & outside the walls of all religious faiths. And regardless of the faith you follow, you trust in the comfort that your god(s) offers. Whether you think you must earn it to deserve it, or you simply receive it freely by merely believing matters not. The fact is that you know you can count on your god(s). My question to you is, "Can your god(s) count on you.....to extend comfort to others who may not ever receive it otherwise?".
What I'm try to cause you to do is simply focus your attention on your intention. Meaning, choose to locate a need or be deliberate about a Divine deed. The possibilities are literally limitless: From somehow producing the smile of a child, to holding a door open for an elderly person, to paying for the family's meal in the car behind you in the drive thru; or a hundred thousand other acts of random kindness that can cause peace of mind & comfort for another, thus fulfilling The Comfort Buddy Mission.
The goal is to live life lovingly through the lens of The Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". Which causes you to inevitably mature to truly live love by learning that your comfort comes through the compassion of comforting others.

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Submitted by Bob Henshaw - July 5th, 2021



                         My name is Robert E. Henshaw (please just call me Bob) and as you know I'm incarcerated in the M.D.O.C.
                         I've known Corey (founder of TCBM) for more than 11 years and have joined in working with him and TCBM for the past 2                                   years, to reach out to the general public to show the changed hearts of many who are incarcerated due to really bad decisions. My hopes through this ministry and through God's Mercy and Grace is that citizens in free society see us as more than the horrible decisions that lead to our incarceration. We need the free world to understand that we indeed are more than our worst decisions. I pray that nobody ever has to be known by only the negatives of their past... I'm not trying to convince anyone that people who commit a crime should not be reprimanded or punished... but for those who truly live everyday as a testament to change and betterment in their lives as well as those who lead others into a life of serving others before self, being less self-centered and more Christ-Centered, truly doing to others as they would have done to them, be given a chance, whether they are blessed by freedom out in the world or practicing being free on the inside by serving God and others, we all need to be forgiven and to forgive in order to move on to new lives, lives that help others understand that we, together, can rise above our past bad behaviour, overcome the obstacles of incarceration and whether free or inside, still share our passions and love by helping and contributing to those who are in need or just need to be comforted. I believe that through The Comfort Buddy Mission, Hannah House, all the volunteers, donations, members and followers, we can make a difference. Change is inevitable, let's all work together to make the changes for the betterment of the world we live in!

Thank you for making a difference, thank you for taking the time to read this, thank you for taking a chance to understand that no one is without mistakes or sin, and thank you for not seeing me as only the worst decision I allowed in my life, I will certainly not see you as yours.

Your friend in Christ Jesus and a member of the Comfort Buddy Mission,
Bob H. #504350

John 3:16 & 17
(16)For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

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Submitted by Osceola Foster 
July 25th, 2021


QUESTION
Would you like to go on a shopping trip to the mall with Osceola?

INTRODUCTION
Come on, let's go turn this experience into ''a forever magical time...'' The only catch is that you have to purchase ''a whole outfit'' in order to relish in the joys of our destination.

Most mall experiences are/were good, although there's been times when going to the mall is/has been intimidating. Assuredly though, once we get to our destination, it'll be ''gratifyingly wonderful!''

NO WORRYING
* You won't have to worry about transportation.

* You won't have to worry about methods of payments. You'll have the best layaway plan ever.

* You won't have to worry about being thirsty.

* You won't have to worry about being hungry... The finest foods are available.

* You won't have to worry about other's attitudes. The atmosphere will be like ''no other ever seen.

* On the way there we can openly or privately pray, we can share testimonies, hold one another accountable, and fellowship...

A BELT
We all took pride in the purchase of a fine leather belt, whether it was Gucci, L.V., snake skinned or a plain brown or black leather belt.

A SHIRT
Of course we're searching the racks for a ncensatin shirt, Coogi Sweater, Polo Shirt, or one other monogrammed type of shirt, right?

SHOES/BOOTS
I know many of you recall going shoe shopping at places like a grocery store, SS KRESGE'S, WOOLWORTH'S, K-MART, SIBLEY'S, KINNEY'S, CANCELATIONS, PHILLIP'S, HERMAN'S, DUNHAM'S, PICKWAY'S, PAYLESS, LADIES & MEN FOOTLOCKER'S. The shoe obviously varied in brands and style, whether they were Pony's, Pumas, Nike's, Filas, Adidas, Converse, Pro-Keds, Pro-Wings, Etonics, Kresge Brand's, Ascics, LA Gears, Lotto's and many others.

A JACKET
A jacket is very necessary in order to keep us warm in colder weather. And also to keep our clothing protected. So a full length Bomber Jacket, Tweed Coat, Trench Coat, Members-Only will suffice.

A HAT
Its hard to conceive the thought of an American not owning her or his ''favorite team sports cap'', whether its a ball cap or knit cap. For those that like stylish dress hats; a Dobb, Kango, Bee-Bop, Panama, or a Stetson its fun matching hats to clothes.

BEING PRAYERFUL
We must keep asking and praying to God For Things! Oh God Please Help Me, Help Me, Help Me!!! ''I want this, I want that!'' God, I want The Largest Home, The Most Expensive Cars, A Yacht, A Plane.
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Now that we've held our end of the bargain by purchasing the whole outfit. Admirers are anxious to know where we've received our outfits? They want to know how is it that our outfits make us look like we're shining? They want to know how we received so much at such a great deal? They want to know how we had such a pleasant trip with no drama? We won't elude answering their questions... We will explain to them where, how, and why its so. We'll also explain to them how they've had and have the same opportunities as us. We'll explain to them how there's a great deal of sacrifice associated with receiving the ''Deal of Our Life.''

There's also people that are lost, not knowing how to get to the mall. GPS won't guide them. Its our duty to guide them and keep reminding them of what's in store for them if they remain '' loyal in heart'' to the missions. There's also those that are undeveloped in their minds (babes) that we must help at navigating to understanding to where there'll able to guide themselves and others to the mall for their outfit. There will be those that does not do believe in the mall, that particular journey, nor what's promised.


OUR EARTHLY JOURNEY
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts of Ephesians 6:10-20. Since becoming saved when this scripture is thought of I've immediately thought of a glorious trip to the mall in two aspects.. One being from my pre-saved days. In those days my focus was for impressionable appearance to say the least. My understanding then was, ''the only thing I was destined to lose'' if not outfitted properly was popularity or some of my personality. I often wonder how many others can relate? Of course the other aspect being, ''the Will of our Father'' to become equipped with necessities to defend against Satan. Although Ephesians 6:10-20 never discussed how battered our armor will be nor that you'll have to renew pieces (your Spiritual Armor) to protect yourself.

Now that we have a ''whole outfit'' let's look at our entire shopping trip to the mall. The desired destination and unfathomable peace required a commitment to first join the expedition and take up the ''Whole Armor Of God..''

Relax and consider your lives today as that journey to the mall. As Christians we are charged with sharing testimonies, being in constant prayer, fellowshipping with others, and holding one another (Christians) accountable. Through our journeys we've been constantly suiting ourselves piece by piece as instructed in the ''Whole Armor Of God''. Let's take a closer look at the articles of clothing selected. In our earthly human way of thinking, we immediately correlated all these articles of clothing with some sort of fashion, impressionable persona, prestige, status, and even stature. Below as we outline the intended purposes of these garments you'll be able to take a closer look at (Ephesians 6:10-20) and re-examine yourself.

BELT
In Ephesians 6:14, Paul was not talking about any of those earthly fashionable belts on the rack and counters of shopping outlets. He was speaking of the belt of truthfulness and integrity. The words/phrases that describe integrity such as; an unimpaired condition, soundness, the quality of state of being complete or undivided, a firm adherence to a code, moral or artistic values, incorrupt, completeness, honesty are all synonymous to truthfulness.

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Paul also urged us in Ephesians 6:14(b) to ''put on the Breastplate Of Righteousness.'' The word righteousness derives from righteous which is defined as genuine, morally right, acting in accord with divine or moral law. Paul says that, ''The Breastplate Of Righteousness is not the righteousness of Christ.'' Its the righteous character and deeds of believers.

SHOES/ARMORED BOOTS
When Paul spoke of shodding your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace, as in Ephesians 6:15, I'm sure he was not talking about any of the before mentioned brands of shoes either.

Christians are expected to stand firm in the foundation of the Gospel, and once your standing firm in the Gospel Of Christ we should be spreading the Gospel.

SHIELD OF FAITH
Believers with FAITH IN GOD will have the entire armor protected from the fiery onslaughts of rapid fire by their Shields Of Faith. (Ephesians 6:16)

HELMET OF SALVATION & SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
The helmet is implicative of the brain and heart. From the brain and heart your Bible Knowledge and Attentiveness will provide you weapons/words, as your words will be used for the specificities of the circumstances. Fear not if you feel unqualified or inept in Bible knowledge, for god will provide but you'll need to stay diligent in your studies of the Bible and not turn from the use of sheer common sense in times where that applies. You possess the ability to discern from ''right or wrong'', ''left or right'', and ''day or night''!

SALVATION - One definition is Deliverance from the power and effects of sin. Another one is Liberation (To Be Free) from ignorance or illusion. Wow most of us can reflect back to the stranglehold sin had on us. And especially the feeling of gratifying exuberance when we became free from ignorance in our minds that helped us maintain such illusionary perspectives..

PRAYER
No matter the circumstance(s) none are ''too big'' and none are ''too small'' for prayer! God wants and expects us to have a healthy and hefty prayer life.

We should always be recognized as Ambassadors Of Christ. Being as though we may be subjected to means not comfortable, relatable, nor appreciative by/of us, we ''must have faith in him (God)'' in Prayer and seek understanding, deliverance, liberation, peace, health, fortune, life, and strength in his name through our prayer. Prayer is not a negotiation with God either. Go to him completely humble. Go to him knowing that he's told you that he'll ''NEVER FORSAKE YOU.'' Prayer is the backbone of all. Its the most powerful tool/ weapon we have to protect ourselves and to call upon our ''HEAVENLY FATHER'' in times of uncertainty, despair, anguish, confusion, need, hunger, thirst, glory, joy, bondage to things, fellowship, mentorship, elation, and any other time your humbled soul cries out to him.

* There's usually times where we consider ourselves '' all prayed up'' with a matter and become discouraged for not being able to see or maybe hear what we've asked for. Don't be discouraged my sister & brothers and don't be pushy with God because God does things at his own speed!!

AMBASSADOR - An ambassador is a authorized representative or messenger.

1) If you're authorized then you're authorized by God.

2) If you're a messenger then you're delivering a or messages from someone (God).

* You're an authorized messenger equipped and sent to deliver his messages. Take charge and do the Will of our Heavenly Father!
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Submitted by Kevin Perry
Hey Guys,




So, I was sitting at a picnic table by myself playing guitar when a guy approched me about learning how to play. He asked me if someone like him would be able to learn. I simply told him that he could learn anything as long as he took the time and effort to learn how to do it. I told him that with guitar you need to be patient with yourself and understand that you won't be good at it overnight. It takes time.
What I am getting at is that after having the conversation with him he told me that I inspire him. Me. A convict. I inspired someone. Even though we maybe on the inside that doesn't take away our humanity. That doesn't take our compassion. That doesn't take away our decency. So, please, don't think that I have none. Because I do. And I will share it with you if you let me.
<3 Thank you.
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This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch the memorial of a local sheriff's deputy who gave his life in the line of duty. A needless and senseless death nonetheless. Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Deputy, Sgt. Ryan Proxmire, was fatally shot while in pursuit of a criminal suspect on August 14, 2021. He served his community for over 9 years, was married, and has four children. As an Inside Member of TCBM and a human being, my heart mourns for the loss that all who knew Sgt. Proxmire must be feeling. I simply wish to share that my prayers and thoughts are with you moving forward.

Submitted by Cory Souders - August 22nd, 2021

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Rest In Peace to Sgt. Ryan Proxmire, of the Kalamazoo Sheriff's Department, whose life was callously and tragically taken, while on the job. My heart goes out to the Proxmire children and family, as well as all the staff at the Kalamazoo Sheriff's Department, while they mourn and grieve this terrible loss that they've all sustained. I realize that words, thoughts, and prayers will not lessen their burden, nor take away any of the overwhelming pain and despair that they're undoubtedly feeling at this time. I would just like them to know that there are strangers whom they've never met, and yes, even prison inmates, who genuinely care about them and this awful tragedy that they're living through. Thank You Sgt. Proxmire, for 9 years of Dedicated, Selfless and Heroic service, in doing your absolute best, to keep Kalamazoo and its surrounding communities as safe as possible. Today, I say a prayer for The Proxmires, The Kalamazoo Law Enforcement Community, and any and all citizens of Kalamazoo County, who were connected to, or ever assisted by Ryan J. Proxmire.

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Submitted by Leo Paul Carmona - August 22nd, 2021

The Comfort Buddy Mission created an extension of 'Project Thin Blue Line', & periodically participates collectively on the focus of a single event, as opposed to generalizing a respectful outlook on all women & men who choose to wear the blue uniforms that symbolize their dedication to protect & serve the communities they're assigned to.
This message is solely focused on the heartfelt condolences directed towards the family, loved ones, friends & colleagues of the Kalamazoo Sheriff's Deputy, Sgt. Ryan Proxmire, who unfortunately gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life, being killed in the line of his sworn duty to shield the public from meeting the fate which ironically befell him.
Although it is impossible for me to truly know the complete details of his day to day routine, I do know that Sgt. Proxmire was a 9 year veteran on the police force. I do know that he was a loving husband, & I do know that he proudly left behind a legacy, which I pray, ceaselessly leads his children that he undoubtedly loved as he lived everyday in due diligence to mould society into a more civilized & safer place for them; indeed, a more civilized & safer place for all of our beloved children.
I try daily to be a positive influence through being compliant to the principle of the ''3 L's''. To Live, to Laugh, & to Love. But, Sgt. Ryan Proxmire added another 'L' to his everyday existence. That 'L' he managed to prioritize, which allowed the other three to manifest naturally & almost effortlessly it seems. The 'L' that Sgt. Proxmire chose to place above the other three, yet without making the others any less significant, was...to ''LEAD''!
May all who read this acknowledge that importance, & do their best to follow the righteous example that Sgt. Ryan Proxmire gave his life for. In doing so we refuse to allow his death to be in vain, which is the ultimate honor & respect towards the following individuals who have sacrificed so immensely, YET STILL LIVE:
His Children, his Wife, the rest of his Loved Ones & True Friends; and lastly, but definitely not least, all of his Sisters & Brothers in Blue from the Sheriff's Department of Kalamazoo.
Thank You, & May God Bless, Protect & Guide All Of Your Lives!

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Submitted by Tyler Lowis - August 23rd, 2021

There is much to say about how we spend our gap, the time in between the beginning and the end. That time at the moment it is created, when we enter this world seems magical and precious. The fragility of life is a constant that seems to become more liquid over time. As we move through life and live day in an day out we forget that life is fragile, we forget our vulnerabilities to this world. We begin to take life for granted and paint ourselves as Gods in this picture of life.
However, life has a way of slapping us humans back into reality and reminding us that we are not immortal. Sometimes we see these slaps on a massive scale like Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Or the Holocaust. Great tragedies that will forever leave an imprint on society. other times these slaps of reality are smaller and only effect few like the death of a loved one, especially when that loved one passes in a tragic unforeseen way. This type of tragedy might seem small to the masses but they are just as big to the families and the communities they happen to.
Sadly, tragedy struck Deputy Ryan Proxmire , his family, and his community when he was killed in the line of duty. Deputy Proxmire gave his life for his work and to keep his community and his loved ones safe. He was willing to stand in harms way for the safety of others. His sacrifice is a honorable one and, one that should be recognized by many. Including those you think wouldn't care.
As a felon there is a stigma that is placed on you that says you are emotionally numb and incapable of showing any feelings outside of anger. However, I find myself deeply moved by the death of Deputy Proxmire. Even though we never met I know his loss will be felt by the lives he touched. His death is a hole that can never be filled. Today as you are reading this there is one less husband in this world, one less father, one less child, one less brother, one less Protector, one less. The gravity of everything this man was and can now never be weighs on you and fills your heart with sorrow. Deputy Proxmire was a plethora of possibilities. Unfortunately those possibilities must now never be realized.
But, Deputy Proxmire still has an important role to play for all of us he left behind. Deputy Proxmire is now the inspiration for countless people to live life to the fullest. He is now the catalyst to motivation and determination. Let his memory be the fire that burns in side of you and drives you forward. When you think of him think of all the possibilities you still haven't achieved and, then try to make them a reality. The tinniest dream you try to make happen is worth more then the biggest dream you never attempt. Deputy Proxmire's legacy is the message of life. Live while you have the time and spend every second becoming beautiful human beings.
For now the community he left behind shall morn his lost. A life taken to soon. But hopefully for those who knew him, tears will eventually give way to laughter as you remember times of happiness you shared with him. Eventually, I hope everyone that this tragic loss has effected can come to peace with the new realities that they now face. As time passes let empathy and understanding give way to forgiveness. As humans we are all still learning. everyday we must work to be better then we were the day before.
Finally I want to speak directly to Deputy Proxmire. Thank you. Thank you for, your sacrifice and for spending a part of your gap trying to make the world a less chaotic safer place. Thank you for, the lovely life that you lived and for reminding us to cherish every moment we are bless with. You now get to rest easy. So rest in peace.

Tyler Lowis.

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Submitted by Charles Foresi - August 22nd, 2021

Submitted by Bob Henshaw - August 26th, 2021
 

Good day to all,

So, it's been awhile since the last time I sent a hello or an update to what's happening in my life. I thought i'd write about what's been on my mind and probably, even if it's just a lil', on everybody's mind....
My thoughts throughout the day seem to lean on what is God thinking? please note that I understand that God has a plan, His ways are higher as His thoughts are higher, He has it all planned out and therefore the end result is for his glory, but sometimes it seems that nothing makes sense. As we look to our southern U.S. border and the crisis there, or if we look at shutting down our energy independence as we now again look to OPEC for oil at elevated prices, then there's the total failure in Afghanistan just to name a few blunders in the U.S. today.
So as I have said in the past, I read and study scripture daily... Today as part of my studies I read Genesis (39) which reminded me that no matter how we look at our current circumstances, God has a plan... After reading this chapter, and considering my own circumstances it's easy to see that God watches over those who know Him and serve His will.
Joseph experienced so many hardships after being taken from his homeland and sold into slavery. So when life seems unfair, think of Joseph. When false accusations come, think of Joseph. When life seems to be spinning out of control, remember that God is in control. Joseph's hope seemed to be consumed by the evil of others. Time and again he appeared to be the helpless victim of people and circumstances. But chance wasn't ruling Joseph's life; God was.
When things finally changed, the cause wasn't the "fickle finger of fate" but the gracious hand of a good and sovereign God. In one of the great statements of scripture, Joseph later told his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" {Genesis 50:20}. Joseph's story is not intended to stand alone, simply to acquaint us with a worthy character whom God enabled to rise above terrible circumstances. It comes as part of a larger story of God's plan that ultimately includes us, through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is the hero of Joseph's story. It's theme is the gracious care of a loving God who carries out His purposes and fulfills His promises to His people. God worked not only through the faithfulness of Joseph but also through the sins of his brothers, the seduction of an immoral woman, and the schemes of a pagan king.
The same is true for us because our lives are a part of God's plan in history. Our almighty God has a purpose for each of His children, and no part of our lives is outside of that purpose, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of all those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" {Romans 8:28}. The truth is that we do matter to God, not because of our merit or achievement but because of His marvelous grace that calls us to salvation through faith in Jesus the Christ.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoy sharing, God bless you and keep you safe.
Bob H. # 504350

"All things work together for good, when God's love is understood" {Robert D. Toews}
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Submitted by Osceoa - August 26th, 2021

''LET'S CELEBRATE THE DEDICATION AND COURAGE OF SERGEANT PROXMIRE''

On behalf of the Inside Members of the Comfort Buddy Mission, we send our prayers and condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of ''our fallen, but not forgotten brother, Sgt. Proxmire...''
As we celebrate his life and say goodbye, please understand that God receives and embraces his arrival. We weren't ready for his departure, nor in this way... However, let's focus on the celebration of his life as a loving spouse, child, parent, friend, colleague, and guardian of the 'Oath of Protection' for the County of Kalamazoo and State of Michigan.
Sgt. Proxmire you stood for us and never waivered in your ''earthly service'' so we're going to continue in honor of you to fight harder to support those like you and do more to teach those we're in contact with that oppose...
In closing my brother I'd like to say. ''You may of fallen here on earth but you're ascending with our 'Heavenly Father' and in our hearts forever!''
Thank You For Your Time!
Sincerely,
Osceola

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Submitted by Kevin Perry - August 26th, 2021


This is being written for the memorial of Sheriffs Deputy Ryan Proxmire who was killed in the line of duty in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Even though I am an inmate, I don't want there to be any judgement placed on inmates as a whole on the way that we view law enforcement. I want you all to know that I grew up around police and corrections officers. My family had them over for dinner and we were around them all in friendly situations, often. I want to thank Deputy Proxmire for the service he did because I know that being an officer is not an easy job to take on and it is a horrendous thing that he had to be taken from us all so soon. My father is actually a paramedic and firefighter out of Ingham County and has worked for numerous others for many years, so I know how difficult these jobs are. I send my condolences out to his family, his loved ones, his friends, the Police station, and to anyone else that is going through a hard time because of this tragic loss of Deputy Proxmire. If there is anything that I can do to help, even though I am incarcerated, please, reach out to The Comfort Buddy Mission and I will do the best that I can to make this any easier for you. I will personally see to it that something be done for you guys.

Thank you all and God bless.
- Kevin Berry
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Submitted by Damon Jackson - August 26th, 2021

                              Amid societies dissatisfaction with policing, we were recently reminded of the inherent danger police                                    face while on the job. Sgt. Ryan Proxmire of the Kalamazoo Sheriffs Department was killed in the line of                                duty. He had served for nine years and leaves behind a wife and four children.
                              This tragedy should serve to remind us all that not only are police officers still needed, they are worthy of our support and admiration. Sgt. Proxmire died doing a job that is dangerous on most days and deadly on the rest. Rather than allowing this tragedy to further divide us, take a moment to remember those who serve our communities and their loved ones. Today a wife is a widow and four children are fatherless. No matter what your feelings are concerning police this should disturb you. I hope it disturbs you into action and motivates you to reach out in love to those across the aisle. Remember, we all are human and we are in this together. #Sgt.Proxmire #UNITY
Sincerely,
Damon A. Jackson
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Submitted by James Hughes - August 26th, 2021

I grew up looking up to police officers. Uncle Bob was a police officer. Though my childhood was turbulent, I kept my nose clean enough to join the police academy. I might not have been perfect, but that's because I'm a human being and whether we recognize it or not, we're ALL flawed in some ways. Maybe in ways I may not think I'm flawed, someone else might think I am? That's the world I live in. Nothing is ever good enough. No matter how hard I try, I'll always have critics.
I joined the police force and looked forward to the job and obstacles I had before me. Not for the pay. EVERYONE knows the amount of sacrifice the job requires could never be properly compensated. But I'm different from most people. Though I never thought it'd happen to me, I knew the possibility was there. I knew every time I put my uniform on that today could be the day I meet my fate. I could pull over that guy who thought shooting me would keep him from doing prison time. Or maybe the guy who had a family member done wrong by someone wearing the same uniform I wear. Maybe he thinks we're ALL bad? People are raised to believe that people wearing the same uniform I wear only want to do them harm? That's the perception these days. The days of people loving police like they did in Mayberry are LONG gone. Despite the perception, I know what my intentions are when I put this on uniform.
So every day I put this uniform on, ready to face this next shift. Never knowing whether it'll be my last. Maybe I kiss my kids goodbye? That's if they're home when I leave. Maybe I pet my dog? Maybe I kiss my wife? Maybe I don't? Maybe we had an argument last night? Maybe I SHOULD have kissed her and didn't? It happens to other people. Not me. I'll call her at some point today. Maybe on my lunch. Its ALWAYS in the back of my mind though. Today it COULD happen. Cause that's the very first requirement of the job. And the pay ain't why I do it. There is just something different about me. Something that I have that most people don't.
As I head to work I'm just another guy on the road. Hell, someone I work with could pull me over. Who knows how his day is going? Cause he's human too. And regardless of what's going on in his life, there's something different about him too. That something is what we have in common. Its what makes us brothers.
I stop at a red light. Look to my right. I see a mom with 3 kids in the car. I'm reminded of why I have this job. Its to protect people like them. They may not be MY family like my wife and kids are, but they are a part of my community. And I love my community. Even if I'm not perfect, I do this job to protect other people who aren't perfect. And even the criminals I encounter... they're human too. As much as I wish they didn't give me work to do, SOMEONE has to do this job.
The light turns green. I should have told my wife I love her. She means more to me than what we argued about. I feel like crap now. She deserved for me to apologize. But I'll make it up to her when I get home. For now I have to get to work. These bills are piling up. Kids are starting school soon and they need clothes. And I have to pay for their school supplies. My boy... he's a lot different than I am. But his football uniform needs to be paid for. I wish he knew how proud he makes me. My baby girl, my pride and joy. Honor roll student. I WISH I could take credit for THAT. But she gets those brains from her mom. I'm so proud of her too.
Here we go... pulling into the garage of the precinct. Another 8. Hope the day goes smooth. Maybe I'll be able to help someone today?
Roll call... I greet people with a smile. Some I don't even like. But like me, they're here to do a job. And, like me, whatever is going on in their lives has to be put on the back burner for my community. So we at least have THAT in common.
I get into my squad car. I turn my computer on. I check my sirens. Last shift left some skittles in here. Cool. I didn't have time to grab lunch. I'll do that later. All is in good condition.
When I pull away from the precinct I have this feeling of responsibility... time to have to step up in my thinking process. I want to do my job. Some days I can't get what's happening at home off my mind. As hard as I try to block it out I can't stop thinking about this argument with my wife. DAMN! I SHOULD have apologized! All the things that women has put up with from me. Would I have done the same for her? I should have apologized! Should have kissed her too. I gotta stop being so hardheaded and selfish. I'll make it up to her tonight, for sure. I know what she likes. I'll buy her flowers. She loves lilacs! Maybe take her to Macaroni Grill? That's her favorite restaurant. Yeah, I'll take her to dinner. When I get her home tonight... I'll make love to her. Not like the usual... tonight's gonna be all about her. She deserves it. Couldn't ask for a better mother for my angels. We might not be perfect, but we've done a damn good job on raising those kids.
Ooh... my favorite song just came on the radio... Travelin' Soldier by the Dixie Chicks. GREAT SONG! Sad, but beautiful!
I take a right onto Prospect. The South Side. Man... the South Side. I used to have friends that lived in this neighborhood. Even dated a girl that lived in this area. When I was a kid I would come through here. I did it for the adrenaline rush. A kid like me didn't belong here. People looked at me sideways wondering what I was doing here. That was part of the rush. Little do they know... I live a neighborhood just like this. I just got lucky and never got caught doing the stuff I did. And at some point I decided prison wasn't very appealing. Big Mike told me about prison. And he's way tougher than I am. Doesn't sound like somewhere I wan to go. If not for Big Mike... I might be doing the same old stuff I did growing up.
I take a right on First St.. I remember driving through here with mom and step dad...

... Alright. Broken tail light. 4 occupants. Hopefully I can just give this guy a warning and go about my day. Not really in the mood to do any paperwork.

I flick my lights on. I have a passing thought of my beautiful wife. I'm such an ass. I SHOULD have apologized to her. After tonight she'll forgive me. For now...
... As I walk up to the car... they're moving around. Not typical of the traffic stops I've made in the past.

Everything I've thought about today flashes through my brain in a split second... but it seems like eternity...

HE'S GOT A GUN! WHY ME? WHY TODAY? WHY? I should have apologized! Why TODAY?!

Because I'm different. I could have gotten a job welding. I LOVE welding. I'm good at it. Could have done that. Instead I decided to join the academy. Why? Because who better to serve my community than me? Who do I trust to protect my community more than myself? THAT'S why I got this job! I could have followed the easy path and got a job at Ford or GM welding. It pays WAY better. Better benefits. More time off. They have profit sharing bonuses. And Christmas bonuses. Lord KNOWS I could use those. I wouldn't have to work my days off to pay for my son's football uniform. But if not me, then who?

Oh GOD! Lord protect me! They're running! And shooting! I SHOULD HAVE APOLOGIZED!

"I LOVE YOU, GIRL!"

Doesn't matter what we think of others. They're humans too. They have families that love them. They have their own issues. They have their own difficulties. Just because they're different doesn't mean they're any more or any less valuable to this world than we are. Maybe if we would step outside of ourselves and stop being so selfish we could learn to empathize with the people around us. No matter how different we THINK they are... they share the single most important quality that we do...

They are human. And EVERY HUMAN is valuable to this world. Otherwise the Creator wouldn't have given them life. Who is ANYONE to take what the creator has given life to?

God bless Sergeant Ryan Proxmire , his family, friends, colleagues, and community for making such an amazing sacrifice.

"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.'' John 15:13.