God Transforms Us

“I have a reputation around here, and it’s not good,” Donna said. “I’ve been in at least six different jails, and this is my fifth time in prison. I’m not afraid of anyone, and in the past, if somebody said the wrong thing or made any threats about fighting me, there would be a fight right then, and they were going to get bloody.”     

   Then Donna paused, and her tone softened. “But something is changing in me. I don’t really understand it. I’ve been hit three times in the past five days, and I didn’t hit back. In fact, I didn’t even get angry or raise my voice. I just let it go. One of them even hit me with a chair. I didn’t retaliate, and I didn’t want to retaliate.” 

   While Donna was talking, another lady in the class sitting next to me leaned closer and whispered, “I’ve known her a long time. She’s always been very mean.”

   Donna looked my way, and then continued. “I’ve been thinking a lot about that lesson from last week where you talked about getting on your face before God and getting honest with Him and telling Him you wanted to know Him better. I did that last night. I laid down on the floor in my cell and started talking to God, and I began to cry. I haven’t cried for years. I’m not the same person. God is changing me.”

   One of the things we stress in the Lessons for Life classes is that we are not here to fix or change you. We are here to encourage and come alongside you as you are on your journey with God. Only the Holy Spirit can change any of us.

Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

   Changing from the inside out is the key. It requires honesty, humility, and surrender. And I believe it starts when we decide to turn to God. 

Isaiah 45:22 (ESV)

Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

   How many of us have made the concept of being transformed difficult to understand? I know I have, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s simple. Turn to Him. Let Him change the way you think. 

   Has Donna experienced complete transformation? No. Neither have I, and neither has anyone else. But as long as we keep facing God and keep learning how to let Him do the changing, we will continue to be transformed into that “new person” described in Romans 12:2.

Gifts to Lessons for Life Ministries are tax deductible as provided in Section 170 of the IRS Code


1.   We have changed a few things on our website.

Prisontalk.org is now the communication and media arm of Lessons for Life Ministries. Many of the things we’ve presented in printed form will soon be available in audio and video format. 

2. Beginning Sunday Evening, April 7th  

Ministry Training Academy

   The purpose of this training is to equip and empower those who want to be more involved in ministry opportunities. There are three concerns I have noticed when it comes to getting involved in ministry. 

1.  The requirements are too restrictive. 

2.  Fear of failure.

3.  Fear of not being qualified.

   Twenty-six years ago, I had just been released from prison. I didn’t think I was good enough to be involved in ministry. I worried I would fail. I didn’t have the time or money to go to college and take the necessary courses to become “qualified.”  

What I learned over the next few years was that the only requirement I needed to offer was “Lord, here am I. Send me.” My fear of failing disappeared when I realized all I needed to do was show up and care about others. The “not qualified” concern went away when I realized that nobody is really qualified, but God uses us anyway. 

The goal of these Sunday evening Ministry Training meetings is that what is taught on Sunday can be put into action on Monday. 

Sunday April 7th  6:00pm – 8:00pm

Shiloh Chapel 

1724 E. Pikes Peak Ave.

Colorado Springs, CO  80909

The Ministry Training Academy classes are free. For more information contact Gary Skinner at gary@garyskinner.com

3. Life Coach Training Seminar

Saturday April 13th 10:00am – 4:00pm 

There is no charge for the training. $5.00 suggested donation for lunch.

Please register by going to prisontalk.org and clicking on Event Registration.

Gary Skinner