By Ashley Stevens

Happy New Year to everyone! It is hard to believe that 2012 is already in the record books. I can assume that if you are reading this that the world did not come to an end as many predicted for 12/12/2012 being the last day on the Mayan calendar. It is really sad what some people believe and actually get caught up in. This does however bring out the philosophy that we should live everyday of our lives as if it were our last. If we did this we would definitely spend more time with loved ones, correct the mistakes that we made along the way, and we would put God in His rightful place in our lives.
Since I have been writing this column I have received comments from family members, of loved ones that have given one of my articles to a relative, or from an inmate in prison that has desired to change their relationship with their children. I have often thought about how difficult it must be on both an inmate and his children on the outside. I was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home. Some of you may not have been. We cannot change the past. We can only move forward. This year can be the beginning of a fresh start. I would encourage that family members take the first step and correct that relationship with a son or daughter. If you have a loved one that is incarcerated, take the time to reach out to them and let them know that you still care. We all make mistakes and God tells us to forgive. It is not necessarily where you have been, but where you are going that is most important. You can live with hatred and resentment in your heart and never let go of the past, or you can turn it over to God and move forward with your life and your relationship with Him and those He brings into your life. If you do not know Him as your Lord and Saviour, today I trust that you will.
Wishing you the best in 2013.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens