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July 2015

butterflyWelcome! My prayer is for you to experience God's healing power while on That your heart will be open to God's love and grace, realizing that if He can forgive me, there is hope for you, too. I believe something new and exciting is about to take place in your life.

Change Is Possible...

"I recently looked at your new website and really love the new look. It is truly a beautiful website and as always, the monthly views are inspiring. I can honestly say that I always take something from what you have to say. It always makes me happy to see so many people write with so many positive words for you. People look beyond what brought you to prison and see the new man inside.

Since you and I began corresponding, I have gone through several different stages. I began walking down the road of faith, prayed and 'expected' change. Over the course of time, I realize that I couldn't 'expect' change, and instead, I just let change happen. For the past year or so, my heart and mind miraculously opened and a terrific weight was removed from my shoulders! I feel truly capable of love and can honestly say I have never been so happy in my life.

Here is the greatest miracle! I've been able to forgive my parents. If it wasn't for you, I would have never gotten to that point. You are one of the greatest people I have ever known, and I thank God for what you brought into my life. You had patience with me while I asked many questions, which I am thankful for. I hope you realize that I am just an analytical person, and I question until I am satisfied. I guess that is why I'm so good at my analytical job. Your friend, Matt,” San Diego.

Let Change Happen...

It's always a blessing to hear from friends like Matt. He said, "I just let change happen." God made it possible for Matt to experience His love, grace, righteousness, forgiveness, peace and joy, but he had to cooperate. As he responded to the finished work of Christ, change happened. I only shared the truth of God's Word with Matt, and it began to work mightily in him.

It was almost six years after the murders that I really heard God's Word. My friends told me that God loved me, that heaven was a free gift and that it's not earned or deserved after what I had done. I knew I was hell bound. I was reminded that I was a center because of Adam send them a call in that I couldn't save myself. The Apostle Paul wrote:

"God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." 1

I only needed to respond by believing in God's grace. He is merciful, full of love and does not want to punish us, but He is just and will surely punish sin. The good news is that God sent His Son in human form to take on our sin and punishment for sin upon himself.

"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." 2

The Power To Change...

I knew I needed to change, but I had no idea how until it happened by responding through faith in God's Word. When I heard His Word, it sparked a fire in my heart. It happened over a period of time until that night in 1975, when I went forward to the altar and in aflame was born again. Titus wrote:

"When God our Savior revealed His kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out His Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of His grace He declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life." 3

Change happens from the inside out when the power of the Holy Spirit regenerates our dead spirit. This takes place when we trust in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. A miracle takes place as we come alive with a new zeal for life as a new creation. It's the power of God living in us to change our thoughts, feelings, choices and behaviors.

Repentance is simply a change of mind, heart and will. The spirit of humility comes alive in us. Humility is the willingness to surrender our will, our opinions and our views to the view and will of God. The Apostle Peter wrote:

"So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor." 4

A Changed Life...

The Lord empowers us to live a changed the life. The word "change" is the same as "transform," which is the Greek word "metamorphoo," meaning to change form. In English, "metamorphosis" describes how a caterpillar makes a cocoon then changes to a beautiful butterfly.

As Christians, it describes an inward renewal of our mind through which our inward man [heart] is changed into the likeness of Christ, reflecting His glory. Paul told the Roman believers: "be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Rom. 12:2).  As our Christian life progresses, we should gradually notice that our thought life is being changed from Christlessness to Christlikeness.

Transformation does not happen overnight. Our regeneration is instantaneous, but our transformation is continuous. We are conformed to Christ's image gradually as we spend time in intimate relationship with Him.

"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord, and the Lord - who is the Spirit - makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into his glorious image." 5

A Prayer For You...

God, I need to change! I've tried in my own strength, but to no avail. Charles tells me that You provided the power to change him. I need your help! I believe You sent Christ in human form to take my sin upon Himself and give me right standing with You. I believe Jesus rose from the dead to provide me eternal life. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I receive Your power to change, be safe, rescued and delivered out of my destructive lifestyle. Come into my life Lord Jesus, set my heart ablaze, burning out all that is not of You. Thank You Jesus for changing me into a new creation I commit my life to You wholeheartedly from this day forward. Amen!

Scripture references (NLT):

1) Eph 2:8-9
2) 2 Cor 5:17
3) Tit. 3:4-7
4) 1 Pet. 5:6
5) 2 Cor. 3:18