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December 29, 2016

Korrey Mahone #AA0018
Pelican Bay State Prison
P.O. Box 7500 A2-116
Crescent City, CA 95532

To my hoped-for brother in Christ, Korrey Mahone:

Thanks be to God and the good people at Matthew 25:36 Ministries that I am in
receipt of your contact information, and that I have been made aware of your desire to
reconnect with the Spirit, having over the course of an extended number of years
experienced a diminishing in your belief, which is no doubt attributable to your past
gang affiliation and your present incarceration.
I describe myself as a hopeful brother in Christ not only because I hope to make new
brothers, but because I want the opportunity to be a better one [1 John 3:14].
Considering the many graces God has given me to share, I have fallen woefully short
in this regard [Romans 3:23], the lateness of my first letter to you, notwithstanding;
nevertheless, it is the goal I strive to achieve [Philippians 3:14], this letter being a
means to that end [Mark 3:35].
Like you, I am in dire straits, spiritually. For nearly a year, I allowed the demands of life
to take precedent over my calling, giving the best of what I had and could give to
anything and anyone who would receive it, just to get through another day as easily
and painlessly as possible. That led to the sin I had once shed, and that to an expected
hardening of the heart. Consequently, I neglected my most important relationship,
that being with God, which, in turn, is tantamount to denying Christ [2 Timothy 2:12].
Insodoing, there remains nothing to credit the work of my hands, their labor all but
vapor, and bearing little fruit. I take no solace in any of my meager profits; a pall of
loneliness is cast over them all, and shame over the portion ill-gotten. [John 15:5]
Given my circumstances (poverty, unemployment), it was (and is) an expectation
shared by many that I would follow the path of destruction as I struggled to survive,

1 2 2 1 E A ST S A N TA C L A R A STR E ET # 4 SA N J O S E, CA LI FO R N I A

(408) 685-4049

that I would succumb to the temptations placed before me, and that I would forget
God; however, in this regard, they score only two out of three.
Last night, as I lay on the floor in a virtual stranger's apartment, dying, I realized that I
wanted nothing more than to have again that which I used to have not long agothat
which I credited for my strength and purpose, my success and my growth: a
connection to God that was tangible, qualifiable, verifiable and profitable.
That's not unrealistic, but attainableeven if the work is hard. Waking up alive this
morning proves that I have Gods mercy on my side, as does my survival over the past
decade of inexorable trials and tribulations, during which God has literally been my
shield and sword against my otherwise indomitable foe, and has consistently and
repeatedly and evidently proved himself the only foundation I can trust for
establishing works of consequence. Death was due me, but through Him, my day is
not over. Wherever I saw an end, He saw the Way.
It is clear that God expended great effort to encourage a man to place his confidence
in Himthat is, confidence that He can make any man whole so long as the man
resolves to do so. He built a stable place for man out of chaos [Genesis 1:1-3]; He built
the oldest (and only) surviving ancient civilization out of a pack of ignorant and
undisciplined slaves, having several times restored them after they were destroyed;
He gave His Son's life so that we would have a Way to be perfected, as God is
perfecteda way to turn our chaos into order, a way to keep us alive, and revive us
from self-destruction. In other words, if He is able to do these things, there is nothing
that can stop Him from transforming you into the new creature He desires you to be.
Those who are called invariably want this over anything else: even food or money, and
in lieu of whatever gratifies your appetites. I bear my soul every time I face death, and
can say with utmost assurance that I have been called, my actions notwithstanding.
Thereby I properly value my relationship with God as the most important investment I
could make. Christ says the Way is through Him, and that by good works.
Hence, this letter, which comes with a guarantee that I am here for you in every way
that counts, and that I will do whatever it takes to bring you to the place you want to
be. Although I have four other persons in my charge, each of you will get the benefit
of my best effort. Your salvation is my number one priority, just as you are Gods
number one priority, and I will not divert my attention from it for anyone, for any
This is what I want from a Savior, so it must be what I give. AAThis letter also pleads for
the same on my behalf. I need every bit of what I offer. I am not ahead of anyone in ne

With all my strength, I will endeavor to be your brother-in-arms in the fight against evil
that would deny you your calling, and that just as if my salvation depended on it
(because it does). Thats only realistic if both us express our hope of victory to God
through consistent, righteous living everyday, and until that Day.
Please write me (when you can, and whenever) with more about you and with any
questions you may have. Like the Apostle Paul said of himself once, I am the chief of
sinners [1 Timothy 1:15], so hold nothing back, neither being afraid of sending the
wrong message nor of saying the wrong thing when you write.
It is written that the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for
we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the
Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable
yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. [Romans 8:26]
When you wrote, Over the years Ive lost touch with my faith and Im starting to
question my beliefs. I want to get back to my spiritual foundation while furthering my
education of the Lord, your intercessor, the Holy Spirit, prayed this for you:
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psalms 51:11 KJV
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psalms 51:12 KJV
That prayer was heard, and is now being acted upon by a God who knows you now,
and knew you before, and commits to being there with you all along The Way:
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I take the
wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy
hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psalms 139:7, 9-10 KJV
Accepting this as fact is key to the restoration of your faith, and faith is the victory. It is
well within your reach, now that you have prayed for it, and now that the Holy Spirit
has pled likewise on your behalf, as, in part, evidenced by your receipt of this letter,
and the brother-in-the-making thereby.
Just keep in mind that belief is preceded by faith, and faith is preceded by
understanding. As to the latter, there should be no lack of confidence given your early

background in the church; rather, it should be the basis for it. The goal of our
interaction, then, is the eventual and gradual turning of belief into knowledge.
Although I, too, feel like I have lost my connection lately, my believing is unwavering
because most of it is actually knowing. I give credit to the prodigious use of my time
studying the Word when I was in custody. I devoted those four of the past seven years
of my life to near round-the-clock prayer and study. I read and re-read everything, and
prayed for a deep understanding of what I was reading. I received it in abundance,
and now know my way back to a life of faith, and that with the confidence that I will get
Finally, be confident also in this: whereas most in your position would place sole
emphasis on their safety, sanity, health and strength at the expense of morality and
good, you have declared your faith as your primary concern. Clearly, you do better
than most because you know better than most, the sufficiency of your religious
upbringing notwithstanding (which, by the way, deserves some praise considering the
righteousness of your priorities).
I received your request quite a long time ago; I hope my next letter will be more
timely, even though there appears to be no apparent end to a life that has become
unusually difficult, which became much more so as I began writing letters to fellowChristian inmates (and two other, similar things that advance the cause of Christ).
Regardless, dont lose confidence in Christ; it is His will that believers support one
another, and it is mine, also. I am confident that, in spite of my circumstances, I can do
all things through Christ which strengtheneth me [Philippians 4:13], and, for by [God] I
can run through a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall [Psalm 18:29].
That being said, I will write you sooner after I hear from you. Please pray on my behalf
to that end. And, when you write, please advise as to your prospects for assembling
and leading your own group of individuals who want to make a commitment to Christ,
the materials and guidance for which I will gladly provide.
Yours in Christ,

James Alan Bush