Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Marriage Seminar Update

"This seminar gave me and my husband hope and brought us closer together. This seminar was a life changing event."

"I want to thank you personally. It was a real blessing to have someone there and take pictures that we can cherish. It's wonderful to know that there are people that actually care for our husbands. You and Danielle were great. Y'all were an inspiration to the "YOUNG" couples."

"Thank you very much for being able to make all this possible. You have no idea what this seminar has done for our marriage. May God bless you and your wife!!!!"

"A little quality time with my wife has changed my outlook and growth as a man. We accepted Jesus Christ together and recommitted ourselves to each other. God Bless the individuals who made this special event possible"

This is just a small portion of the feedback we received in connection to our Involvement in the Marriage Seminar at the Telford Prison in February. I was totally blown away by the awesome presence of God, and how He showed us a new way to serve. There is no doubt in My mind, after spending three days in Prison, that God has a unique plan for each of our lives. I feel confident that Danielle and I are in the right place and in the right time to be used by God. This seminar not only opened my eyes it opened my heart.

The participating couples came from all walks of life. Some have been Christians their whole lives, some became addicted to drugs in childhood, some are musicians, some have traveled the world, and some had never even stepped foot in a prison until this Seminar, and that's just the Volunteers. The inmate couples who participated also have pretty varied backgrounds. They are young professionals, they are parents, they are newlyweds, they are different races, and all have different personalities. Some of them met in youth group, some met through relatives, and some met right at the prison.

The one unifying characteristic of the Group is we all care about our spouse and we want our relationships to not only survive our circumstances but to thrive in spite of the world we live in.

It is interesting to see the dynamic that is created when 75 people come together in a single room with a single desire. A Strong Marriage. The lines of communication seem to be more open than closed. The preconceptions, and misconceptions go out the door, and there is a comfort level that usually only comes after years of practice. No one cares where you came from, or what background you have. We are all looking for the way into our spouses' mind and heart and desire the best for them.

On a weekend in February, 37 couples met together, had meals together, laughed and even cried together. Take out of the equation that 27 men in the group are convicted inmates; you begin to realize we could be talking about couples anywhere in the world. Couples all around the world want stronger marriages. Couples all around the world desire the opportunity to meet and talk about their kids, or what their boss is like, or what they like to do on a Saturday night. It's just that on this Saturday night in February, 27 of the 37 men go to sleep in a 6 foot by 8 foot cell

I am not naïve enough to think that these 27 men don't deserve to be in prison under the supervision of the State. I just know that I serve a God who is consumed with finding the lost no matter where they are at. God wants us to have life and life more abundantly. God wants their marriages to work, He wants their eyes and hearts open to one another, He wants to pour out His love, and He wants to give them a reason to live and not die without knowing the truth. Why not these 27 men??? Why not their wives??? Why not Me???

God gave us all a chance to see His grace and His Love in ways some of us have never seen love and grace from anyone. That is what I love. That is what makes my heart beat. I love To know that God will find me and never stop pursuing me, even if I lose my way and make wrong choices. God will come to my rescue and be exactly what I need, when I need.

I am happy to have been a part of this powerful weekend. I am not ashamed to have spent my weekend in the company of convicts, because we are all convicts. We are all convicted of sin and have all fallen short. It does not matter who I think I am or who the State of Texas says I am or even who the world says I am, I have been cleansed of my sins by the Blood Of Jesus, and God says; I am a Son of The King.

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