Courage in the face of adversity (From the One7 Ministries blog)


2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (NIV)

Picture the scenario. It’s the semi-final game in a soccer tournament. You are trailing by one goal with less than five minutes left in the match. You’re tired. You’re hurting. You have fought every step of the way, but just can’t score the equalizer. You leave nothing on the field, but the final whistle blows, and you can’t secure a win that would send you to the final. As the opposing team celebrates a hard fought victory, you sit in the grass, head down, while the brilliant rays of a golden sun slowly fade into twilight.

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Dropping Stones


One of my favorite stories from the entire Bible is about the woman who was caught in adultery. (John 8:1-11) The Pharisees were chomping at the bit to have her stoned. I can only imagine their frenzy as they dragged the woman to the temple courts where a certain celebrity was teaching. The Bible doesn’t say, but I wonder if they made a huge spectacle on their way to see Jesus. What were they saying to the woman as they neared the temple? Were they calling for other people to join them as they rushed to carry out what would surely be the Godly thing to do? End her life. Seal her fate. Write her off.

I can only imagine the condemnation being poured out from their self-righteous mouths, pushing her further down into the mire of her guilt and shame. Without even knowing who she was, or anything about her story, I bet others joined right in with their judgmental bashing. The Pharisees, after all, were the “holy ones” of the era. They were the religious leaders who followed God’s law without fail. They never got it wrong. No one dared argue with their wisdom and knowledge of the ancient scriptures.

What a surprise it must have been when they placed her in front of Jesus and explained the situation. Instead of immediately answering them with a command to stone her, Jesus ignores the most religious men in all the land, bends down, and begins to scribble in the dirt. There have been many views on what exactly He was writing. I tend to believe that He might have been writing out their own sins. Of course He knew them all, He’s Jesus. When the Pharisees realized what it was, they still repeated their question.

Jesus finally answers by saying that whomever has no sin can throw the first stone. There was no other option than for them to unclinch their tightened fists and drop the stones they were so eager to throw. What else could they have possibly done? I’m sure the crowd had pressed in to see what the great teacher had written. The Pharisees were busted. Here they were trying to trap Jesus, and He completely turned the tables on them.

If anyone standing there had the right to accuse the woman of sinning, it was Jesus Himself. The One with no sin. The One who led a perfect life. He chose forgiveness over her failure.

How often are we quick to judge others? Do we rush around to all of our “Christian” friends eager to bash another imperfect human because of something they’ve said or done? Do we turn our nose up at someone who is marrying a person of the same sex? Do we turn our backs on the fifteen year old pregnant girl who made a mistake? These are the people we should be running to with open arms.

Why would anyone want to follow Christ if all they receive is judgement and condemnation from those who claim to know Him?

Just as the Pharisees, who stood before Jesus thinking they were God’s gift to the unwashed masses, assumed it was their duty to judge, so do we. It’s not at all. We need to realize that just because we have Jesus, we’re not elevated onto some untouchable platform, and all the sinners are wandering around in circles below us. We are all broken. We all hurt. We all struggle. We all desire a relationship with someone who gets it.

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It’s hard to open up your arms to someone in love if you’re carrying a bag of rocks.

Behind the Smile


A gentle rain descends from a darkened sky as I lie awake in my bed. The steady sound of water, pattering on the window sill, should lull me to sleep, but I am troubled. While I am nestled warmly under the comfort of blankets, there are children somewhere tonight who have no bed. As they lay on dirty carpet with no pillows, their stomachs growl with hunger that is relentlessly familiar.

I close my eyes and find myself standing outside the window looking in at a scene of immense heartbreak. A young girl, no older than twelve, on her knees in the middle of the living room. She slowly folds her hands together and bows her head. Her father walked out on them a long time ago. Her mother works during the night, leaving the girl to care for her younger brother.

Rain mixes with tears on my face as I listen to her pray. She doesn’t ask for the newest game console, or clothes from Old Navy. She quietly whispers for her brother to get better. He’s been sick with a sinus infection, and they don’t have the money to take him to a doctor. She asks God to give her mother strength as she works through the night. She prays for her safety as she rides the bus home in the hours just before day break. She pleads with God to provide them with food and another bed so she won’t have to sleep on the floor anymore.

At the very end, with tears streaming down her face, the little girl prays for her daddy. She knows he left and most likely will never come back, but still she intercedes on his behalf. She longs for someone to tuck her into bed at night. She cries when she sees other children playing with their dads at the park. She misses the simple things like kicking a soccer ball together. She admits to God that she gets angry at her father for leaving, but she also seeks forgiveness for those feelings.

Her mother is doing everything she can to keep them from falling through the cracks of a society that so often looks the other way. The little girl pleads for help and a miracle to remove them from their dire situation. Roaches are everywhere, scavenging what they can in such bare conditions. The kitchen is practically empty except for a bag of rice and a carton of spoiled milk. 

I open my eyes and wipe the away the tears. The rain continues to fall as I climb out of bed and get down on my knees. I have so much to be thankful for, but I don’t know where to begin. I still see the little girl on the floor of her apartment pouring out her heart to God. She is a face without a name, a lonely heart in a sea of hopelessness. There must be an answer. There just has to be. 

These are the kinds of kids we see on a daily basis at One7. They laugh and play like all the other children, but deep inside, they are hurting. They come from broken homes, many with no fathers. Some have survived horrific ordeals just to make it into this country, thinking a better life awaited. Sadly, many continuously struggle to find food, clothing, and shelter. 

We need your help and support as we start a new year being the hands and feet of Jesus. Please check out the One7 website HERE If you would like to mail in a donation, or simply send a donation through PayPal, please visit the donate page HERE 

Thank you so much for your support.

We’ve learned that behind every smile, there lies a need.

 

Chris Martin

Reflections From a Broken Mirror (repost)


At some point in our life, I believe we have all been there. Unsatisfied with how we look, act, or fit in. It’s human nature to never be happy with how we are. In some cases, that can actually be a good thing, but for now, I’m talking mainly about our appearance and how we feel about life in general. In a world where we are bombarded with millions of different looks, fads, opinions, and opportunities, it’s a miracle we even know who we are as individuals.

It’s everywhere. TV. Movies. Books. Magazines. Billboards. Newspapers. Daily, we are subjected to what the world, society, thinks we should be. What we should wear. What we should eat. What we should not eat. What is healthy. What is not healthy. The list stretches beyond eternity where no one can see an end to the madness. People are looked down upon if they don’t keep up with their neighbors. Men are degraded constantly in TV commercials. No matter where we look, sin is shown as friendly and fun.

There are lost and hurting people all around us, but sadly, most of the world turns round and round with an air of indifference. We are taught to look out for ourselves, move up the ladder of success, get the newest car, buy the largest house on the block, etc. We’re so busy chasing after the American Dream, we forget about the least of these. We forget that if we help the homeless man on the street corner, we’re helping Jesus. (Matthew 25:40) If we feed the woman standing outside McDonald’s with no money, we are feeding Jesus.

As I usually say when I publish blog posts, I am not throwing any stones. We are all broken. Your reason may be scars caused from past abuse. Maybe it’s an addiction. Or maybe we’ve been through such horrible things in our life, it’s sometimes difficult to even express in words. In my own broken mirror, the reflection I see looking back is one of heartbreak, loss, failure, hope, happiness, faith, and redemption.

In my opinion, one of the most powerful moments written about in the New Testament is the story of the woman caught in adultery. (John 8:7) The religious leaders of that time brought her before Jesus and declared that according to the Law of Moses, they should immediately stone her to death. I get chills every time I watch that scene in Passion of the Christ when Jesus draws the line in the sand and, one by one, the stones drop from their clutched fists.

None of us have the right to judge anyone else for who they are, or more importantly, for what they have or have not done.

There is only One who can repair the cracks in our mirrors. When we see broken glass, we assume it’s worthless, and toss it into the trash. When God looks at our broken lives, he sees opportunity. He sees pain that only His perfect healing can replace. He sees beauty that only His perfect love can reveal to us. He sees worth that no amount of money, clothing, popularity, or status could ever appreciate. One by one, He replaces the broken pieces with His love. When He’s finished, we can finally step in front of that mirror and realize the greatness of our God and look at ourselves through His lens to see what we look like in His eyes.

We are His children. We are His family. We are His beloved.

 

Chris Martin

Living the Gospel (From One7 Ministries)


Check out the latest blog post from One7 Ministries.

As we go through life, we often miss the everyday needs of people all around us. We see desperation the most when we deliver food or clothing to apartments, where so many families are in need.

Click HERE to visit the One7 Blog and read the rest of this post.

 

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Have a blessed day.

Wrecked


Have you ever had a moment come along during your life when you were completely and utterly broken? A moment that wrecked you to the very core of your being, and reduced you to nothing but a pile of smoldering ashes? Something that didn’t just gently tug at your heart strings, but ripped them from the shell of human dust you were created from? These moments can be devastating but life altering in the same breath. I believe these are moments that God uses to show us things in life we may either be ignoring, or just innocently unaware of.

I experienced one such moment about three years ago.

We had just recently moved to Charlotte to volunteer with the inner city youth ministry called One7 that I frequently write about on this blog. I won’t go into all the details about the ministry here in this post. Check out the One7 link at the top of the page. I was asked if I wanted to visit a handful of apartments where some of our younger soccer players lived. We would go there and see if they needed anything like food, furniture, etc. I am a completely different person now than I was back then. Now, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Heck, I would even drive the van to get there. Back then, I was a little hesitant, but I agreed to go.

There were five of us that went. I can’t remember what my wife was doing, but she wasn’t there with us. I really had no idea what to expect once we started knocking on doors. It was nearly dark, twilight had begun to overtake the skyline of Charlotte. Long shadows cast curious, and somewhat frightening shapes on the streets and neighboring buildings as we stepped out into the cool air. I had just moved from Johnson City, TN where the closest thing to gang violence was a group of preschoolers jumping on a teacher. I had no experience whatsoever with an inner city area like what we were stepping into. We had been helping out at One7, but just at the main meeting place, and that was only twice a week.

I had yet to truly step out of my comfort zone and open my eyes to a hurting community all around me.

When we arrived at the apartment complex and climbed out of the vehicle, I immediately felt as if I was in a third world country. The people we passed on the stairwells and the sidewalks were all from other parts of the world. I didn’t see one Caucasian anywhere in the vicinity. I began to wonder how we would communicate with the people if they didn’t speak English. I knew the kids that came to One7 could speak the language, but what if their parents couldn’t? How would we truly know what their needs were?

It didn’t take long to realize words wouldn’t have to be spoken to see what these families lacked. We entered the first apartment, after taking off our shoes in respect for their culture, and I looked around, shocked. At One7, I had witnessed smiling faces of kids who laughed and played with everyone else as if they had no cares in the world. Now, standing inside an apartment with the family, I wondered how they could act like that. Roaches were everywhere, not only in the kitchen. There was barely any furniture. Makeshift beds were scattered in different rooms on the floor. Younger siblings were walking around barely clothed.

My first thought was how could anyone be living like this in America. Sure, I had watched enough TV to know people suffered all around the world in these conditions, but right here? In my own backyard? I couldn’t comprehend that. I had heard stories of people in suffering, but I was experiencing it first hand, and it started to hurt. With every minute we spent looking around the apartment, checking the kitchen for food, and visiting with the families, a little more of my heart began to break. Every place we visited had barely any food in the kitchen, if any at all. We discovered mostly scavenging roaches, and even they were finding it difficult to come up with anything.

After leaving each apartment, it took more and more self control not to start crying. Each living situation told the same story. When we were finished, I returned to my car and started home. I couldn’t hold back any longer. I wept all the way back to our house. There were several emotions that formed the root cause of my tears. Empathy. Shock. Despair. Guilt. Those are a few. I say guilt because I started thinking about all the things I complained about, and I nearly vomited. These kids have lived through, and are still enduring, hardships in their young lives that I will never have to face in my entire lifespan.

That was a moment in my life I will never forget. We went back the next day and delivered food to all the families. It was such an amazing feeling being able to do that. God continues to bring people to our doorstep who are in desperate need of help. The broken. The hurting. The lost. The homeless. The fatherless. He uses us in small ways to slowly start the seeding process of Christ in these young lives. We are called to go into the world and make disciples. It’s not a responsibility we take lightly or for granted. God puts people in our lives for a reason.

The moment we forget there are others all around us who are suffering, is the moment we turn our backs on love. 

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Pictures Have a Voice (Re-blog)


This is a re-blog of a post on the One7 Ministries blog.

Pictures can be a very powerful thing. They are inanimate objects, therefore unable to talk or speak aloud. However, their silent voices can move people in ways that sometimes spoken words are unable to.

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Soccer Time!


It was an insane weekend to say the least. Five teams, twenty games, two days. Yeah, we are all pretty exhausted, but God was glorified on and off the field. This is the latest post from One7 Ministries. Check it out.

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Wow, what a weekend. We entered five of our One7 teams into the Charlotte United Under Armour Cup. Five teams, twenty games. It’s stressful and chaotic enough when we have one team in a tournament, much less five. Paperwork, player cards, socks, balls, and whatever else were finally secured at some point in the wee morning hours on Saturday. First game was at 8am. We utilized our three 15 passenger vans, one 12 passenger, one Nissan Altima, and one Doge minivan for transportation. It was pretty crazy.

We don’t just enter these tournaments to win games. Yes, to bring back a trophy for each team would have been nice, but we play for a much higher purpose. These events give us the opportunity to share Jesus with people we wouldn’t normally meet. After each game, one of our players shares with the other team about One7, God, and gives a…

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I Want To Die


Galatians 5:24 says “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

As a Christian, I know there is a war inside me that wages on a daily basis. My flesh has no desire to follow the Holy Spirit. Why would it want to? No one wants to live a life of sacrifice and discomfort. Let’s face it, we as humans are selfish. No one can argue that. It’s natural to be concerned with our own well being. It’s in our DNA. We were born with that instinct. There is only One throughout all of history who wasn’t born that way, and He proved it with the scars in His hands and feet.

In September of 2010, my wife and two children moved to Charlotte NC to volunteer with an inner city youth ministry called One7. For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you probably already know about it. We came here to make a difference, to change lives and further the Kingdom of God. What has happened is the complete opposite. We are the ones who have been radically changed. God has used the people and youth involved with this ministry to teach us all about dying to ourselves, and living for others.

You all know that writing is my passion. I love to write fiction more than anything else. I have three novellas on Amazon which you can learn about on my Bookshelf page. A lot of my blog posts are fiction. It’s what I do best, or at least that’s how I feel. The more we began to get involved with One7, the more satan tried to distract me with writing. I started to stay home nearly every night and write instead of heading over to the one reason we had been called to Charlotte.

At this present time, I don’t work on my fiction novels like I used to, actually, I haven’t worked on one in quite a while. I do have time for a blog post every now and then, but that’s about it. And unlike a few months ago, I’m okay with that. I’ve learned that Jesus needs to be at the top of my priority list. The number one spot. Everything else falls below that. Family. Job. Ministry. Passion. Hobbies. TV shows. You see where I’m going with this.

I believe that in order to truly know Christ and follow His example, we have to die. We have to die to everything we want. We have to die to everything that other people want for us. We have to die to the part of us that continuously fights against the Spirit. Is that easy? Um, not even close. And it’s not supposed to be easy. Following Christ is hard, and not usually very fun at all. The Bible is riddled with examples of men who followed God and gave up everything for the Gospel.

My wife and I have talked about our life before moving to Charlotte. We were doing absolutely nothing that had purpose when it comes to following Christ. I would work. My wife would home-school the girls. I would get off work. We would eat dinner and then watch TV all night. That was it. All I can do is shake my head when I think back to those days. We even sponsored a child from Honduras for awhile thinking we were making a huge difference. I think we actually believed doing that was somehow making God smile. Maybe it was, but that wasn’t truly giving everything for the Gospel.

I’ve met a lot of people through One7. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. I’ve been asked so many times what One7 is all about. It’s so hard to explain. I always tell people they just need to come out there and see for themselves. It’s the closest thing to the early church in Acts that I’ve ever been a part of. There is no model. There is no five year plan. It is completely led by the Holy Spirit. We live in community. We eat together. We worship together. We seek God together. We help each other in times of need.

It hurts me when I see people, who give everything they have for the Gospel and ask for nothing in return, struggle to have food or pay bills. Yet, they do it with joy. Three years ago, I would have merely said a prayer and told them that God would provide. Now, we do anything and everything we can to help. We don’t always have the monetary means to assist, but we can usually find someone who does and is willing. I like giving especially when we get hit with an unexpected bill for hundreds of dollars. While our natural instinct is to close our wallet and save that money for our own bills, I believe that giving it away kicks the devil right in his face with faith that he can’t compete with.

I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I fail. And that’s okay. Through all of my weaknesses, God’s strength and power is made known. I can’t do anything without Him. It’s got to be either all or nothing. There is no grey area when it comes to serving Christ. I used to be a person who went to church, sponsored a child overseas, and felt bad when I saw someone in need. I don’t ever want to be that person again. I don’t want to sit there listening to pastors, leaders, and speakers who talk about living in faith, and then drive back to their million dollar homes in their BMW’s. I want to be on the front lines of the battle. I want to be uncomfortable. I want to be stretched so thin that only God can provide a way out, not me.

How about you? Are you ready to die?

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Finally Home (Chapter One)


Over the last couple of years, I have been working on a book entitled Finally Home. It is an attempt to describe the ministry my family is a part of called One7. To be honest, I don’t know when I’ll ever finish this story. I’m not even sure one book is enough for everything we’ve experienced over these past three years. Our main website is under construction at the moment, but you can find out more at the One7 Blog.

Finally Home (Chapter One) Copyright 2013 Chris Martin

She wanted to die.

Warm candlelight glinted from the razor-sharp blade pressed against her wrist. She possessed no reason to live. Loneliness and despair draped the girl with darkness no ordinary light could penetrate. Hope remained an illusion, a shimmering mirage across the wasteland of her defeated heart. It appeared for an instant, hovering within reach, but slipped through her fingers uncaptured.

Deep within the hidden chambers of a desperate soul, the awakened voice cried out. Invisible to the human eye, a spark flared, and then brightened.

A tear drop dangled from one eyelash, slowly traced the softness of her cheek, and fell into her open palm. More followed. Each one carried with it a glimpse of the life she never asked for. Paralyzing clutches of low self-esteem. Unyielding peer pressure at school. Parents incapable of demonstrating love.

The knife flirted with her skin as it tickled the surface. With a growing sense of urgency, the voice gained strength and momentum.

Tuyen suffered through more adversity during her fifteen years than most would face in a lifetime. Religious persecution in Vietnam forced her family to escape for the promise of freedom in America. They fled without looking back, nearly losing everything. She prayed the worst parts of her life would fade into distant memories.

The voice fought through one layer after another of her subconscious, ripping through the tangled mesh of past insecurities and failures.

While her friends sought after material things in life, Tuyen simply craved unconditional love. She longed for assurance that past mistakes would never compromise her worth. Boyfriends drifted through her world, leaving her delicate heart bruised and wilted like a trampled flower. Desire for unreachable happiness burned inside with desperate fervor.

A cruel, unimaginable life mocked her very existence. Breaking down resolve, it pierced the center of her being with barbed talons. Silent emptiness replaced the tender, innocent heart of a child with hardened resistance.

Fate’s most painful reminder proved to be her own reflection in the mirror. As time passed, Tuyen recognized the stranger staring back even less. Makeup failed to transform her features into a desirable appearance that demanded attention. Well aware of her limited beauty, Tuyen feared she would never fit in. Pretty girls walked the halls of her school every day, but none of them offered friendship. Their glances declared feelings that rendered words useless. She was unpopular. An outcast. Alien.

Tuyen cursed herself for not doing more to gain their approval. Changing her style and hanging out with the wrong boys had done nothing but attract more pain to her life. She often asked God why He didn’t make her more popular. Why didn’t He give her more talents, something to make her stand out from the normal crowd? Like impending storm clouds on the horizon, the unanswered questions continued to build.

Tuyen applied pressure and a small dot of crimson appeared. No longer merely a whisper, the voice sliced through the resistance, casting aside all thoughts of rejection and doubt.

She stopped and glanced around the darkened room as if awakened from a deep slumber. She frowned, having no memory of lighting the candle sitting on the bedside table. Across the walls of her room, ghostly shapes danced in rhythm with the hypnotic flame. The knife in her hand appeared like a viper that slithered onto her wrist unnoticed.

Tuyen shuddered. The cold, serrated edge chilled her to the core. Pulled by invisible strings, every hair on the back of her neck stood at attention. She balanced on the brink of uncertainty where the reality of life collided with the grandeur of fantasy.

Sweat beaded her brow. Shock tingled through her veins. Her pulse quickened. The possibility of merely existing in a dream entered her mind, but Tuyen dismissed the thought. The hardened steel kissing her skin anchored all perception to the realm of the living.

Unseen tears stung both eyes and she blinked them away. Panic fluttered inside her chest, but she refused to surrender. Tuyen wiped a clammy palm across her blue jeans and took deep breaths. She looked at her arm.

A small drop of blood revealed the evidence of her attempt. Invisible to her parents and friends, well hidden scars covered her legs from past moments of weakness. Defenses like a ready smile and forced laughter veiled the pain burning under the surface.

No one possessed the key that unlocked the inner chamber door. Certain the end result would only bring more pain, Tuyen built walls to keep everyone away. She didn’t want the pain. She couldn’t handle it.

Trembling, Tuyen placed the knife on a dust-covered Bible that lay unopened by her bed. A birthday present from someone at church, the book remained untouched. With so much homework and everything else life forced upon her, she had no free time. The weak explanation for not reading reminded her of the very people she almost left behind in the first place. The ones hurting her most created excuses for their actions.

On the rare occasion her father apologized for slapping her, he would argue that blind anger clouded his judgment. When Mom missed a parent-teacher meeting or forgot to help with homework as promised, she would blame a situation that came up at work. They always justified their failure to be the parents she needed them to be.

Abandonment morphed into guilt as Tuyen struggled to understand why nothing was ever good enough for them. She fell short of the unspoken mark apparently set for her. She would strive even harder to meet their expectations if she only knew what those were. Lacking her parents approval and living with the constant rejection in their eyes hurt the most.

After blowing out the candle, Tuyen flipped onto her back and gazed up at the ceiling. When she was younger, her father painted a galaxy mural complete with stars and a handful of planets. Two strategically mounted spotlights illuminated the scene. She longed to fly away, across the jewel-speckled canvas of night into the far reaches of outer space.

The idea of having her own planet thrilled Tuyen. She would abolish hate and declare love the master of everyone. No more pain. No more tears. Untouchable by the hurt she endured her entire life, Tuyen could finally move in a more positive direction. Happiness sounded so foreign to her, she found it hard to comprehend.

People just didn’t understand. They didn’t get it. Kind words meant empty promises unless reinforced with actions. She desired true, genuine love, not pity or wasted charity.

Tuyen glanced at the knife. The urge to use it moved on leaving her tired and very confused. She despised the thoughts that constantly jumbled her mind. They prevented her from cultivating meaningful relationships with other people. For anyone to see through her happy exterior and discover the aching, little girl inside frightened Tuyen.

Every day became a battle to survive her existence. She often wondered if staying in Vietnam would have been a better choice. At least there, she could be herself and feel accepted. Some family stayed behind and would have allowed Tuyen to live with them.

As comforting a thought as it was, she knew it would have been a mistake to remain in their country. Too many were being thrown into jail or even worse, murdered for no reason. The Vietnam soldiers hated Montagnard people and would do anything to make life unbearable.

Tuyen wished the answer would appear and she could stop trying so hard to figure everything out. Her life had been a journey through years of searching for acceptance and approval like an ancient quest to locate a brave new world. Just when the promise of discovery loomed on the horizon, darkness swept it away.

Not giving up was about the only thing she was sure of anymore. She would will herself to continue forward. Take each day one step at a time. Start slowly, and build momentum. That was the key. Baby steps. She could do it.

Tuyen wanted people to make an investment into her life and truly get to know her. As frightening as that sounded, she believed it was necessary. Physical and mental abuse took its toll over the years, forging walls around her emotions and feelings.

The day to tear down those walls and become open and transparent approached quickly.

That day would arrive much sooner than she anticipated.

******

While Tuyen is fictional, her story is not. She is a combination of many girls from One7 whom I have talked with. They all face the same struggles, heartaches, rejections, insecurities, and failures as Tuyen. Many have contemplated suicide. Most all have engaged in some form of cutting. They wear long sleeves and a smile to hide the unspeakable horror that lies just below the surface. They wake up each morning thankful to have survived yet another day in a life riddled with despair and often times, hopelessness. Tuyen’s life and story will be the thread that binds the pages of this book together.

One7 is a place for the broken to find healing, the lost to find hope, and the homeless to find shelter. The name comes from a verse in the Bible. Jeremiah 1:7.

The story starts with God telling a teenager that He knew him, and loved him, before he was ever conceived. Can you imagine how special we are to God that we would be on his mind before we are created? God then tells him that he was created for something important. Not to just settle for an average life, but to seek this awesome adventure that was waiting for him. We believe that all youth are called by God before they are born to do incredible things for the Kingdom. We also know that once a young person understands that God is calling them at a young age to make a difference in their world, there will be two major fears. The same two that Jeremiah faced. The fear that they don’t know what to say, and that no one would listen because they are too young. It is our job as leaders to equip youth to embrace and understand what God’s Word says to young people. Jeremiah, and many others, were young when God called them to make a stand for the Lord.

God is still calling our youth today, if they will accept His call and step out in faith, He will give them strength to embrace their destiny.

 

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Have a blessed day