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WHATS IN THIS BLOG: • What is a felony? • Do people with felonies deserve a second chance in the workforce? • The felon in Les Miserable.

First of all, this article is dedicated to Don and Lola Compton, who have led Shalom Ministries for over 45 years. The ministry began for hippies living in the mountains behind Santa Fe, and broadened to include inmates in penitentiaries in New Mexico. Part of the mission is to provide training for jobs and mentors when inmates are released, and to connect them with halfway houses. Please pray for Don’s recovery as he is in rehab for another month or so, after a debilitating health breakdown.… More

When I was a young man, I kept recalling a story about a priest giving away expensive silver candlesticks to a felon, but for over 15 years could not recall where I read it. The silver candlesticks never left me, and I think now that God lodged the story in my soul to shape my future.

I came into a deeper relationship with Christ years later, at the age of 26. Later still, when I first saw Les Miserables in the theater, I realized the candlesticks originated from Victor Hugo’s book which I had read during my final year of high school.… More

As I drove into the gas station, I saw her squatting on the curb with her head down and covered by a gray hood. My first thought was that she was crying, and a tiny voice said maybe she was homeless and despairing on New Year’s Eve. While I was filling up my tank, I glanced back and saw that this small-framed girl was fingering her cellphone, and I assumed she must have been a high-schooler. Satisfied, I turned back to the gas tank.… More

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