Saving Grace - Matt

"And it's hard to say who you are these days-but you run on anyway

You keep running for another place to find that saving grace..."

                                                                        Tom Petty, "Saving Grace"

Even though an American rock and roll star wrote this song in 2005, it describes me perfectly in 1982.  I was in high school then in Kansas City.  My life was what every teenager of the 80s desired: I had my drinking buddies, a girlfriend, and I was even captain of the track team. The gods of high school smiled upon me. 

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No Turning Back - Grant

 As I nervously peered down at the ground 100 feet below, my balance shifted. In a brief moment of blind panic, I realized I was going over the cliff's edge.
     There was no turning back. That's how I felt when a group of friends took me rock climbing a few years ago. The idea sounded like fun - until we arrived at the rock face and put on climbing gear to rappel down. I've never been fond of heights and didn't take much comfort in my only lifeline being a climbing rope thinner than my index finger.

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Life is Boring - Luiza

At 16 I had two clear conclusions: Life is boring and life is unfair. Someday I graduate, go to work, get married, have children, get old, and die. LIFE IS BORING. But my situation was better than most. I had a good family, good grades, and the opportunity to study at university. I realized most of my friends will be simple factory workers, hence my 2nd conclusion: LIFE IS UNFAIR.

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Bio-chemistry - Jim

"Jim, what is the matter with us?  We say we are Christians,  but our lives are no different than someone who doesn't claim to be one."

I grew up in a religious home.  However, God was not real in my daily life.  I was troubled by doubts.  Religion for me was more of a tradition and following a list of dos and don'ts.  God seemed far off.

During university, I was tempted to reject God but I couldn't honestly do so because of the exemplary life of my father.  He was a biochemistry professor and also a true follower of Jesus Christ.

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Never Satisfied - Sandy

I always seemed to have everything I wanted, BUT was never satisfied! In High School I was an officer in my sorority, on the Homecoming Queen's Court and enjoying life, but something was missing. I was heavily involved in my church yet, again, felt something lacking! I went on to Michigan State University and found myself with thousands of students from different backgrounds and religions. Which was right? During my junior year I was contacted by an acquaintance of a friend.

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The Power of a Book - Gina

In Romania the beginning of the second half of the 20th century meant the instauration of Communism and its entry into the longest spiritual night. Personally, this period brought me many painful experiences because of the hardships my parents encountered. First of all, there were the large agricultural and animal allotments that were loaded in the railway cars and headed to the Soviet Union as war indemnities. Then the collectivization followed and that meant expropriation. That led my family to dire poverty.

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Special because of His Love - Danny

I grew up feeling insecure and afraid. My father was either away from home or drunk.  My mother was also usually gone. She had to work long hours to make enough money to take care of four children and pay the rent. I often feared that something horrible might happen to my parents and that I would be left alone. I wanted to be sure that I was a good child so that they would not leave me. I wanted everyone to think that I was a good boy and worth loving. 

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