Friday, March 29, 2013

A Changed Life By August Burley

I came from a broken home and a broken family. My mother was addicted to drugs and my father passed away when I was two years old. My mother had five children from four different men.  I started taking a lot of drugs at a very young age. It seemed that I was always in trouble at school. I fought with other students a lot,  and  even told teachers that I  was going to kill them.  Eventually, I dropped out of high school in my junior year at the age of 19. This broken lifestyle of mine continued until I ended up in prison.

In June of 2003, I was arrested and taken to prison to serve a lengthy sentence. This is when I realized how worthless my life had really become. My family would not talk to me anymore and I lost all contact with the outside world. It hurt because I never received any pictures of my daughter or anyone else for that matter. This is when I decided that I was going to kill myself. I felt that I had nothing to live  for anymore. I was really set on going through with it. However, I was scared because, I had herd about Jesus Christ and that you couldn’t go to heaven if you committed suicide. I was encouraged by a few lifers(guys who aren’t getting out) to go to some of the religious activities at the prison. So I started attending Cornerstone Prison church services and Bible studies along with other ministries activities. I  gave my life over to God and because I was involved with the church, it changed my life forever. As the church grew, my faith grew along with it.

I decided to make this time in prison a positive aspect in my life. I was going to make real changes to my life. I was no longer alone in this prison. This church made me feel very welcome. I started to belong to a family that cared about me and really loved me. I had become a part of the Cornerstone family and I was very happy. You don’t need to have any one on the outside (even though it would be nice); you only need the family of God. I have now obtained my GED and have learned how to use a computer. I have also learned a trade in custom cabinetry. I am happier now than I have ever been in my entire life even though I am incarcerated in the South Dakota State Penitentiary. I just want to say thank you to God, the Cornerstone Prison Church and the inmates who cared about me and saved me from suicide

If my family could only see the grown man that I have become; they would not even recognize me. I think about it often, and wonder what they would say.

God’s Gift
By Charles Long 2007

To destroy a gift
Given from Christ
Corrupting the temple
At pleasures price

Why me oh God?
So many cry
Failing to see
Caught in a lie!

Freedom of choice
To take or give?
To love or desire
For whom do you live?

Forgiveness is given
When learning to love
With trust and faith
In God above

Then through Christ
Might we rejoice
Giving to God
Our freedom of choice

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