Monday, February 21, 2011

JOE WOLFE: From Prisoner To Prison Ministry

The following is an edited account of Joe Wolfe’s transformation from criminal to prison ministry founder. Joe gave me permission to edit and reprint it, and if you'd like to find out more about Joe and his book The Five Signs, you can go to the website below.

Joe sends books related to A Course in Miracles to prisons, and his ministry has grown beyond his expectations. The requests are overwhelming, so donations for mailings are greatly appreciated. You can donate at

It was 1974 and I was twenty-four years of age at the time. My own history up to that point was one like so many stories of a young street thug, growing up in a working class Chicago neighborhood, discouraged and disillusioned by the mediocrity and grind of what life had to offer.  

That there had to be something better was always a predominating thought. So 'better' for me, was the excitement and the radical comradity of our little clique of thugs, always plotting, always stealing, always looking for that thrill. So when those activities resulted in my first arrests, confinement in juvenile punishment facilities and finally in a ten year prison sentence (the big time), I was brought to a juncture. The underlying conviction that there had to be something better still remained but now (after the experience I'll describe below) that something would take on an entirely new and remarkable definition.  

So at twenty-four and while wallowing in the misery of prison life this is what occurred that would lead to forever changing the way I would perceive the world:
The real Me...The I...The Essence of Who and Where I AM emerged for just a few short minutes one summer afternoon after an entire sleepless night of worry and immense fear over the possibility that I might be killed the following day.  For the first time in many years I turned to the God I perceived and I prayed for deliverance. I begged and prayed for many hours with fever and intensity never before offered. 'He' answered...'He' delivered me. And for a few brief moments 'He' lifted Me from the body and embraced Me as a loving Father does His Son and assured Me once again, that I would be alright.  
While the body lay on the prison cell cot below, the awareness of "I" expanded to include every molecule of air around Me... every feature, the sunlight that streamed through the barred window, the trees and grass outside, the room itself...everything was Me.

Now, many years later, and after much search, many books, and after the message of Forgiveness as gently prescribed in A Course in Miracles, I came to realize that the 'person' who searched would never find the answers. That person, a product of the same thought system that created him, would seek and never find because he was simply in the way. His beliefs, his concepts and ascribed personage blocked the very awareness of that which he sought. He had to get out of his own way first. He had to surrender his own image of who he thought he was before any Real knowledge could enter. The little self had to be first seen for what it really was, then sacrificed (for lack of a better word) to make room for something much bigger.  

Today, almost every day this writer visits the local post office to deliver copies of the original edition of A Course in Miracles [donated by Course in Miracles Society] along with an easy to comprehend introduction to The Course, as made available through the text version of Gary R. Renard’s The End of Reincarnation, to lists of prisoners who have expressed the desire to learn more about the Course. With the text version is a brief essay describing what is referred to as The Five Signs, five mystical experiences during this life which began at the age of three and culminated with the experience described above. This experience led to adopting a practical application of the spiritual discipline taught in A Course in Miracles.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Living in the Bahamas

I wrote the following post two years ago while working in the Bahamas. Today in Michigan it was two degrees when I got up in the morning. But it was sunny all day and as I basked in my sunroom I could not have been happier had I been in a warm clime. From the Bahamas I learned that I'd rather be surrounded by loving friends and family in the cold, than be surrounded by physical beauty and unhappy people.

Have you ever longed to live on the ocean or in the mountains? I always dreamed of living on the ocean, and now am working in the Bahamas, with a house on the water. When I got this job I had a strong feeling that my spiritual growth would be accelerated by meditating on the beach for hours and being awestruck by splendor and beauty.

Well, I’m growing all right, but exactly opposite from what I thought. I’m working at a substance abuse treatment resort, and the staff and client tensions have been enormous. The first week was a honeymoon. I was ecstatic and basked in the phenomenal views. From the second week on, it’s been tough. I can’t stand group dynamics because everyone’s petty egos, including mine, roar with a vengeance. Combine that with addicts just coming off years of being strung out, and it’s not pretty.

And, I’m getting exactly what Spirit knew I needed. Another goal of mine has been to be happy no matter what my circumstances are, and this is the perfect opportunity. I haven’t been able to enjoy the ocean as much as I’d like because I’m so upset with problems.

The other day I decided to be the joy that I AM, no matter what is going on around me. A Course in Miracles says that as the Son of God, we are love, joy and peace itself. Ok, time to step up to the plate. I asked the Holy Spirit for help with a decision, and the Michael Jackson song “Man in the Mirror” popped in my head: “I’m talking ‘bout the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways. No message could have been any clearer: if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make that change.”

Since I decided to be joy, I’m once again enjoying the panoramic vistas of aquamarine water and pink sand beaches. But the ego rears its head daily, and Lorri, small ego self, can’t change. She’s moody, irritable, and a complainer. But my True Self, the Christ Self, is what I AM, and identifying with that is the only thing I need to do. The Course says that “I need do nothing” is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation (T-18.VII.6:7-8). We need do nothing because what we already are is whole, complete and perfect. I AM the joy that I thought I would find outside myself, in my longing to be near the ocean. The ocean cannot give it to me; I have to bring my joy to the ocean.

Being in the Bahamas has taught me this important lesson: that I will only enjoy the “perfect environment” if my heart and mind are at peace. ACIM reads, "A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God. That is the only environment in which he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs." (T-7.XI.2:6-7).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Personal Growth from

Dear Readers, is the most complete guide to information about Self -Improvement, Personal Growth and Self Help on the Internet. It is designed to be an organized directory, with articles and references to thousands of other Web Sites on the World Wide Web.

I just love the internet! Lorri

Jon Mundy's New Book: Living A Course in Miracles

Jon Mundy was my first Course in Miracles teacher and I've been blessed that he has since become a wonderful personal friend. When I first heard Jon speak about ACIM, I thought, "The Course must really work, because he is one of the most peaceful men I've ever seen." Some time after that, Jon came to our home and sat on our deck. Two bluebirds perched on the railing, within one foot of him. We had St. Francis of Assisi there! Normally the bluebirds, pretty as they were, were always fussing and fighting.

I helped Jon edit his new book, and here is my review for it:

Jon Mundy knows A Course in Miracles backwards and forwards, and was in on its inception, having been friends with scribe Helen Schucman. Jon's writing style is clear and concise and he brings the Course to life with easy-to-relate-to examples. He simplifies tough topics so anyone can comprehend them. Jon is down to earth and you can feel his peaceful, joyous approach to life through his straightforward writing. Newcomers to A Course in Miracles should definitely read Jon's book, as it will save them much time in grasping and applying the Course to their lives. People who have studied the Course for years will also gain many insights and ways to live the Course.

Here is where you can purchase Jon's book: