September 9th, 2005


New Member
Jesus said, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

-Mark 8:34 (KJV)

AFTER 18 years of living for myself, I've finally realized I can really live only by following Christ. During years of stealing, prostitution, and drug abuse, I thought I was really living. In reality, I was in a self-made prison, locked up by my evil thoughts and actions.

Now I am in a prison of stone and steel. But God has set me free by locking me up in this institution. Of course, I actually caused myself to be locked up, but God saved my life by allowing it to happen before I utterly destroyed myself. During my time here, I am learning what it means to live for God - in other words, to really live. Through my daily readings, Bible studies, prayers, meditations, and fellowship, I have finally come to see that by living as I did in the past I was losing my life to sin.

Although I have lost physical freedom for a time, in turning to Christ I am saving my life, as Christ himself said, "Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it" (Matt. 10:39, NRSV). I have given my life to Christ so that I may be saved from my sinful nature. Now, I have peace beyond comprehension. God has given me a will to live, and this life I give back to God.

Lisa Michell Granum (South Carolina, U.S.A.)
Lord Jesus Christ, help us every day to show those around us how to live for you. Amen.