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Run Baby Run by Nicky Cruz - True Tale of Teenage Hell and Redemption - A Gang Banger's Wake Up Call

Updated on July 23, 2014

Follow a journey through gangs to Glory.

I just finished reading this gritty, urban, action packed, true story by Nicky Cruz. It wasn't my first time reading it. While I can't say it changed my life the first time around, it was a wake up call.

This lens will provide some background on the book and author. It will further detail why I believe this to be one of the single best books for troubled teens and young adults.

Many books attempt to steer young people in a constructive direction, away from violence and gang activities but very few are done so in such a way as to scream "been there."

No muss, no fuss, no fluff.

Nicky's account of what his life in the gang was like is so vividly real as to leave no doubt in the mind of the reader that this is not a work of fiction. No. The honesty of this straight forward account of the miracle that occurred in Nicky's life is gripping.

I was in high school the first time I read this.

Typical me had found myself in trouble for fighting, again. I was a rather angry teen. As is the case with so many, I did not see myself as such at the time.

Anyhow, I'm siting in SAC, in school detention, bored out of my mind one day. The rules were you must do all of your work and then work some more or read a book. That sounded good but after only being there an hour and a half, I had finished all of the work.

Hey, I was an angry kid but I still made stellar grades.

I brought a book with me, but found out that wasn't allowed. Nope. One had to select a book from the staff shelf. That sounded good in theory but they only had one shelf. Please!

"Run Baby Run" was the only thing on the shelf that caught my attention.

I grabbed it grudgingly, took my seat and began what I thought would be a boring read, but better than more algebra.

I had flipped but a few pages and was hooked, totally and completely.

I sucked up the entire story that day. The next day, I read it again. Had I been as smart as I thought I was, I would have let it be a spring board for some serious behavioral changes in my life choices. I wasn't that smart or maybe I was just too stubborn at the time.

Regardless, it stuck with me.

The message of redemption and hope was one I struggled with for some years. Perhaps that is the nature of youth. I don't know. I do know the idea that one can turn back, really change one's life was shown to me to be truly possible within those pages. Many a night for the next few years I fell asleep thinking about Nicky's courage.

The first time reading the book, I thought Nicky was one bad ass mother early on in the pages. He sounded like the ultimate bad boy archetype. He made sure no one messed with him. He was fearless. He went on the offensive. He made things happen.

I was in love. How messed up was I? I was thrown a serious curve as the book went on. Nicky gave his life to Christ and then ministered to the same bad ass gang bangers he used to run with.

Over many, many nights spent contemplating what he had done, it occurred to me that the real courage wasn't the fighting, the dealing, the banging lifestyle. No. It was standing up to those same friends with love and giving them a message of hope. Now, that's courage!

His journey through the forest of violence, sin and degradation to the joy of light and love is one I will never forget.

Nicky Cruz still ministers to this day.

He has devoted his life to showing others the way to a better life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. By means of books, lectures, touring, and his official website, the sharing of his own experience has helped thousands turn their lives around.

The original book was so powerful it was even made into a movie. Check out the videos below to find out more about this remarkable man, his literary works and his message.

Videos are so much better than print.  

Listen to Nicky tell it in his own words.  Moving doesn't do it justice.

In this first video, Nicky describes his inspiring, true tale of growing up in hell, being saved and turning his life into an inspiration for a gang banging generation.

The next two videos are in depth accounts of Nicky's life.

Having seen life from both sides, Nicky breaks it down with no candy coating.

His down home, honest approach makes his writing very powerful when read by teens and young adults.

Check out some of these personal accounts of how God worked miracles in the life of a living author, things no one would have thought possible.

Labeled a statistic early on, no one would have thought Nicky to have a chance at anything more than prison or more likely a early grave. His writings attest to the fact that lives can turn around, no one knows what's to come and through Christ anyone can go from the gang to Glory.

Background image credit; Poetvix

The Devil Has No Mother: Why He's Worse Than You Think- But God is Greater
The Devil Has No Mother: Why He's Worse Than You Think- But God is Greater

The world has become so surrounded in evil, we don't see the forest for the trees.

 

Do you believe it's possible for a book to be so inspirational as to turn lives around?

See results

What books have influenced your life or the lives of people you know in a positive way?

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @WriterJanis2: I'm really glad I came across this book when I did even if it did take years to sink in. God bless and most happy squidding.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      4 years ago

      Glad you were helped so much by this.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Dhookraj Singh: I think you will like it. God bless.

    • Dhookraj Singh profile image

      Dhookraj Singh 

      4 years ago

      Interesting! I need to read that.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Lynda Makara: I have yet to read that. Thanks for the intro! I love a good read.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 

      4 years ago from California

      There have been a few but Keeping Secrets by Suzanne Somers really spoke to me.

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