by Shane Hall – TRCI inmate

Forward by Dale Russell

We probably have no idea how hard it can be to be incarcerated.  No idea of the simple things that become overwhelming challenges.  Sometimes we can be blessed with glimpses of overcoming such. A story came up this week.  Shane is an inmate and chapel worship band leader at TRCI.  We have appreciated his musical talents and love of God for a number of years.  With Facebook help from his mom, he writes great stories from behind those walls of how God’s power always prevails.

You really should follow Shane on Facebook – “Reins of Grace”


A perspective from the inside – Overcoming prison barriers

In (Jeremiah 20: 9-10), he writes of how the pressure, the ridicule, and the fight had taken a toll, and therefore Jeremiah is at a point of throwing in the towel. I’m quite sure those overwhelming feelings of desperation have taken hold of your spirit at some point in time as well.

inmate uniform

Over the time I’ve spent here, I’ve met an unexpected barriers of resistance which leaves me at odds, and thinking to myself… how is it when you are trying to do a good thing, or in this case, “Kingdom” work, the ones who should be at your side fighting the fight of faith are instead, the very ones fighting against the cause?

I will stop!

You’re left feeling perplexed, possibly like Samson did in the book of Judges when the people tied his hands and gave him over to the enemy. So, in my confusion, like Jeremiah, I said, “I will stop!” But then God placed on my heart His will for Christmas…to call on my fellow brothers and have them play the parts of the old testament prophets, who were given prophecy of the miraculous birth of our Savior.



God is so good! He not only chose the perfect cast, but orchestrated a story line that is alive, funny, yet filled with conviction, blessing, and a remarkable way of showing this story of the Messiah in a new way. Once again, this will be a first at TRCI.

prison Christmas


I refused to have the part of Mary played by a man, so I asked Elana, a Daysprings volunteer, and Just as God always succeeds, she said yes! Mike Snyder, another volunteer also wanted to be part of the drama, so I believed all was in order! I wrote out all that God had given me, and assigned parts along with a script for each player. Due to a medical issue, Mike Snyder had to gracefully back out. Miss Peggy brought me the news which left the question of who would now play the part of Moses? I said, “Peggy, I don’t know, but just as God has chosen these men, He will bring our Moses to us.” Peggy suggested a name, but I knew it wasn’t him. I even had two in mind, but I too was overruled.


God, don’t let Shane ask me about the Christmas play

During that night of worship, Mike Dodge came in late. He is a faithful member of Thursday night’s service. He and I are very close, and have studied God’s word together. I had forgotten he had told me he was going to come on Tuesday. I finished worship, sat down, turned, and at that moment, I knew God chose Mike Dodge. I said, “I need to talk to you.” He looked at me and said, “I know!” He went on to tell me he wasn’t going to come, but said it was like God was prodding his heart saying Shane needs to ask you something. He said, “God, don’t let Shane ask me about the Christmas play,” and then he relented and said, “Whatever you choose God.”

Mike could be in the most popular category if there was one in prison. I was so happy he said yes, and he has shinned like a star in the first two practices.

If this Christmas program was only for Mike Dodge…

Back to the decision in which I chose not to do anymore special events, I, like Jeremiah, couldn’t say no to God. If this Christmas program was only for Mike Dodge, it would be awesome, but with God, there is always much more!

~Shane Hall, Reins of Grace (Facebook)

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