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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Written Words

This past Spring when my husband Gene had back surgery our son Aaron stayed with his friend John Harris Jr. and his family. He loves it over there. Calls John's mother "his other mother" and refers to John as his "brother from another mother". These are pictures from last Friday to their first high school Homecoming dance.




While staying over at their home he went to church with them and talked about what he learned for a week. It was so cool. Then he went to youth group with John a few times. He attended youth group at our church, but we've never heard him talk about what he learned or beg us to go back the following week the way he did with this group.




I asked Gene to pray about letting him go where he was feeling connected. This was tough because Gene is a youth leader in our church, but he listened to what God told him and decided two weeks ago to let Aaron attend John's youth group.


This is the leader of the youth group. His name is Justin.


Justin's dad is the pastor of John's church.
Justin's passion is Jesus.
Tattooed.
Loves rap music.
Once a prisoner.
Now visits prisoners to share Jesus.
Lost 6 month old son at the hands of a man.
Wanted to once kill that man, but has forgiven him.
This is who my son spends Wednesday nights with.
Aaron loves the middle of the week.
He comes home with cd's that Justin gives him...rap music about Jesus not women and sex.
Last night he came home with a Bible...a gift from Justin.
Here is a look inside of Justin's home...







The door of this little fridge says:
TELL ME WHERE WILL U STAND
WHEN THE ONE SOUGHT AS A LAMB...
SHOWS HE'S A LION AND WORSHIP
IS ALL THAT HE DEMANDS!
HIS LOVE SURPASSES ALL
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING!



The cupboard doors are covered...

Every wall and even the woodwork is covered...


No magnets here...
I think I could do the dishes with this view...
This one is my favorite...


Justin knows his past and how Satan had a hold of him at one point so he surrounds himself with words from Jesus and about Jesus.
Everywhere you see Scripture, even on the doors. It's amazing. The outside of the house is even plastered with writing on the side that faces the busiest street in our city with the words painted in red:
JUST LIKE THE RIMS STILL SPIN AFTER THE CAR STOPS
WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY WHEN YOUR HEART STOPS?


What is written on the walls of your heart?

If it's not about Jesus or from the Word of God we need to get the markers out and allow Jesus to do some re-writing.



God is good ladies. He is so good.
I am so thankful for the influence Justin is having in my son's life.
When I thanked him for that last night he humbly responded:
"It's not me, it's all God."
Not a surprising answer from someone who has that God must be more and I must be less written on his living room wall.
God is really working here.


~Many Blessings~


19 comments:

Leebird said...

Wow.....that is just incredible, Lelia! I would love for my boys to have a guy completely on fire for God with whom to connect. Our youth leader is extremely reserved and careful. My boys need to be shaken up.

HisPrincess said...

What a fantastic person to have influencing young people.

What a blessing....

nothingcanseparateme said...

LOVE IT!!! With that much fire for the Lord, no wonder Aaron is drawn to him!! Just so cool!!

Naomi said...

I'm praising the Lord right along with you... how`wonderful!

Amy said...

WOW! I am all covered in goose pimples. What a testimony and an example!

I love, love, love that God uses and picks the people to do His work, that most of "society" would have never chosen.....

Sometimes, I can picture the church saying, "Oh, this boy would be nice...look how good he is and how nice he dresses, and he's never even been in trouble, etc. Let's pick him to lead our young people to Christ."

But God looks at the same boy and says, "No....he's not right for the part....(then looks over at a young man like Justin and says) I want this one. Look how far he's come! That is my son, in whom I am well pleased. I will pick him to lead my young people."

Amen!

God Bless,
Amy:)

Runner Mom said...

Wow! Prise the Lord for Justin! We have a Mookie (actually, Mike!) that is reviving our youth. He is a gift from the Lord as well.

I wonder if I wrote scripture on our fridge would my boys notice? Hmmm....maybe a challenge!!

Keep encouraging Aaron and lifting up Justin in prayer!

Love ya!
Susan

StitchinByTheLake said...

What a gift God has given to your son to have this man leading him. And what a gift God has given this man. Wow. blessings, marlene

Sharon said...

Praise God for Justin! If only we had more Justin's out there, the teens are really craving this. We do Have a Teen church here, and let me tell you it stays packed.
What a Blessing that your Son has Justin in his life, and it is a blessing that Justin has a friend like your son too.
Praise God for he deserves all the Glory!

Blessings to you and your family

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Lelia,
This is just AWESOME. First, I am in love with Justin's testimony. Oh my, to be in prison, son's death, forgiveness, tatoos, rap music, etc. Wow, wow, wow. It's the wild life gone wonderful. This is exactly what our teens need. They don't need a preacher's boy with a shirt a tie. They need someone who's lived the hard life...looks like the hard life has hit him...THEN, he will have the ability through God to reach them. This is just so great and I'm thankful Aaron has been touched by him and continue to grow through and with him.

Do you know if Justin did all the writing on his walls or was it part of his youth group kids?

That is a really neat testimony for anyone entering his home. I wish I could let go and be free like that but my anal perfectionism would have to use a stencil and ruler to make sure all the words/letters were symmetrical and level. Ha. I'd have to use different colors than just black because I am SO a color girl. Love, love, love me some color...I have NO white walls in my house. None, zip, zero.

Okay, I've really gone off the subject here. You've presented a very serious subject and I don't want to make light of it.

I am still relishing in hearing this most beautiful story. Can you imagine the effect this one man has had on and will have on so many to come. Praise Jesus.

Lord, You are TOO good to us, really.

Much love, sweet one.
Paula

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Lelia,
This is just AWESOME. First, I am in love with Justin's testimony. Oh my, to be in prison, son's death, forgiveness, tatoos, rap music, etc. Wow, wow, wow. It's the wild life gone wonderful. This is exactly what our teens need. They don't need a preacher's boy with a shirt a tie. They need someone who's lived the hard life...looks like the hard life has hit him...THEN, he will have the ability through God to reach them. This is just so great and I'm thankful Aaron has been touched by him and continue to grow through and with him.

Do you know if Justin did all the writing on his walls or was it part of his youth group kids?

That is a really neat testimony for anyone entering his home. I wish I could let go and be free like that but my anal perfectionism would have to use a stencil and ruler to make sure all the words/letters were symmetrical and level. Ha. I'd have to use different colors than just black because I am SO a color girl. Love, love, love me some color...I have NO white walls in my house. None, zip, zero.

Okay, I've really gone off the subject here. You've presented a very serious subject and I don't want to make light of it.

I am still relishing in hearing this most beautiful story. Can you imagine the effect this one man has had on and will have on so many to come. Praise Jesus.

Lord, You are TOO good to us, really.

Much love, sweet one.
Paula

Mia said...

Praise God!!!!
The testimony of those who have "been there" down in the trenches of sin and then come back and give God the glory and victory!! OH MY!! what an impact that makes!
Your son is so blessed to have Justin in his life. How I pray for someone who would impact our youth that way!!

Carol said...

Lelia, that is so awesome. I love how Justin surrounds himself in the word, just awesome. I'm so glad that Aaron has someone he can connect with and sounds like he's got a great best friend too.

I've meet a lot of people like Justin, in Recovery Ministy programs with Brett, and their love and openess of how God has changed them is infectious. You just want to be around them.

Praise God for Justin, and his ministry to the youth. It's a good reminder that God has power over all, and truly does take our old sinful past and use it for his glory.

Love ya,
Carol

Jenny said...

Now that is cool!

Jen

Laurie Ann said...

What an awesome influence he is! I love his decorating style, too. :)

On Purpose said...

Everytime I come to your blog I meet God here...isn't is so great He hangs out at your blog!>!?!? I love you my friend...thank you so much for introducing us to Justin!

May we all be challenged to live in the same freedom and grace that has been offered to all of us and then share it with those around us!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

How incredibly awesome! Totally surrounded by His Word!! I love it! What better way to keep Satan away!

Julie said...

Lelia,
That is amazing! I love it when Papa God opens a door for our kids like that. Our youth pastors are amazing! I am so thankful for them.

Hugs,
Julie

Kimberly said...

WOW! WOW! WOW!
How awesome that God has provided an on fire man of God that your son connects with AND how awesome that your sweet husband released him to go!

Aren't you just so glad we CAN totally trust God with our children?

Love ya, girlie!
K :)

God's girl said...

Wow, what an amazing God we have! My son would love someone like Justin in his life. I just love, love, love real people & now I want to find a wall in my house that I can write scripture all over. so cool.