Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm a Christian, Not a Wimp.

"You are honestly so ugly....."

Those are the hateful words I read that someone posted on another person's Twitter page today. They both are strangers to me, but it felt personal. What followed those words does not even really matter because I couldn't get past the initial weight of those words. 

Some of the responses surrounding the post left my soul raging with one thought...."When did being a Christian mean that I must be a wimp?"

I fear that in our call (as Christians) to live a life of love, grace and peace, we have lost the call to truth and justice. We can so easily wear "turning the other cheek" as a badge of honor forgetting that Jesus drew a line in the sand. He stood between the prostitute and those who wanted to cast stones. 

I refuse to believe that God gave me passion and a voice to be silent. I do not believe that when a person hurts another person, I should turn a blind eye. I do not believe that when harsh words are spoken I mumble "I'm the rubber, you're the glue, what bounces off of me sticks to you," and pretend it doesn't hurt.  As a Christian, heck, as a human, injustice hurts my heart and there is something ignited in me to respond.

There is a place for truth and grace. 

I personally feel like we are in a time where the words: Act, Go, Speak and Defend, are the words that are resonating within the hearts of God's people. We are seeing people go into uncharted territories, taking risks and facing the opposition with boldness.

I choose to believe that my God would step in front of me with a "Oh no you didn't" and set straight (with perfect truth and grace) the person that ever called me ugly in his presence.

My cheeks (and yours)  can be hit with punches that bruise well beneath the surface of our skin. Even a skin that can become thick and calloused from years of turning our cheek. Unfortunately, those words don't stop at the surface and can sink deep into souls. Some of us spend years trying to find the permission or courage to speak what we feel because somewhere along the way we got this warped understanding of what turning the other cheek really means.

Hurt people, hurt people.
The wounded will wound others.
Truth can bring light.
Light can bring life.

Don't pack a punch of truth without grace.
Don't be so graceful that you shrink to the floor.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I'm Married to Royalty..

As of Midnight, January is my husbands Birthday. I don't really have a gift or a card. Things have been a little hectic lately, but what I do have are words.

Glenn has a ministry called "Pimp to Pastor" based on his testimony which you can read here. But as I have been reflecting on him, our relationship, all that God has done and is doing, there is one word that keeps coming to mind: Prince. And the verse that keeps landing on my heart is 1 Peter 2:9, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." When I first heard his story, like so many, I was caught up in what he used to be. In fact, the first year of our marriage was me trying to reconcile the past to the present. I can't tell you how many times he said, "Morgan, I'm not that guy anymore." It was not him. It was my own insecurities that God had to deal with ME on. When he shares his story, I love watching the facial expressions of those who listen. He always has a captive audience. Lately he has condensed it, quite humorously into, "yeah, I managed strip clubs, sold drugs, sold guns, sold women, for the better part of 18 years." That is either a conversation starter or leaves a person speechless. Regardless, every time.....God is glorified. Redemption is a central theme, and The King of Kings smiles down on one of his treasured children...a prince.

I have never met a more humble and sincere man. He points to Jesus with his life and I count it an incredible blessing that he asked me to journey with him. He strives to make me feel like a princess and remind me everyday (even on the days when I make it difficult). This whole idea got me to thinking: What would our lives look like, if we lived like the prince or princess we are?  How would we handle situations if we acknowledge that our Father is a King...not just any King...the KING OF KINGS? What if we lived not as who we once were but who we are now? What if we treated others or chose to see others the way Christ sees them? It changed my marriage. It changes how we do things every day.

There are so many of us that could walk around with the weight of regret or shame because of decisions we've made or detours we have taken, but that is not the road that we are intended to walk. One of my favorite lines of Glenn's retelling of his testimony (which I pretty much have down verbatim, hand motions and all) is..."before Christ...I didn't know what love was. I didn't know Joy or Peace. And now...I have all of that and more." 

My heart is really full tonight, because he is ringing in his birthday, sitting downstairs with two young men that he mentors. They have done everything from grill together to talk about navigating life without being in a gang. God has put these young men in his life for a reason and Glenn has not only a passion but a platform. He has lived the life that so many of them are trying to attain and he knows where it leads. He has a passion and a desire to keep these young men from walking that same path.

God has presented us with an opportunity for him to becoming a nationally certified gang intervention specialist with a special certification for gang intervention/prevention in K-12 schools. This is something that we both have prayed about for the past 4 months and we know that this is the course set before my prince. He is trying to lead young men to the King so they too may live as a prince. Being missionaries, we have to raise the money to do it. I set an initial goal of $1,000 which would cover the registration and some of the travel. We are almost there, but we know full well that when all is said and done this opportunity will cost more like $2000-$2500. It is in Chicago in August and we know the Lord will provide (He has done so already). Who am I to limit God and his people? Glenn has been so blessed and humbled by your generosity thus far! If Glenn or his story has impacted your life and you are in a position to bless him by making a donation to his cause, please visit the link here: ). If you are not in a position or do not feel called to support in that way......Prayers are always the number one thing on our wish list :) We covet your continued prayers and your friendship more than you know!!!!!

I just ran downstairs at the clock hit midnight to give Glenn a kiss (it always makes the boys squirm lol) and as I came up the stairs, I listened to laughter as they "Attempted" to give Glenn 43 licks on the arm. 

Happy Birthday, Glenn. You are my prince. I am so blessed.
All my love,