I had a different post here this morning, and word press ate it when I hit the publish button. I was angry at first, and then I realized, maybe my original post was crap. Maybe I needed to re-write it. That happens, even to me.
Some times I choose the safe route to protect my heart. After all what kind of mother admits to wanting their 16 year old son to meet a convicted drug dealer and murderer and hopes his listens to him, because he won’t listen to her any more. My first post was safe – just a nice report on a guest speaker. I’m not sure why, but right now – I feel the need to be real with you, rather than safe. Just because we are leaders in our church, it does not mean we lead perfect lives. Our lives are messy too, just like everyone elses.
Tony McMullen of Free In Christ Ministries, came to speak at our mission start, Ablaze Church, in Broken Arrow on Saturday night. Tony is an ex-con.
I’ve met Tony before at Our Savior several years ago. He is a former drug user/dealer and a murderer. Tony is also the first man I’ve seen my 16 year seem intimidated by in a long time. Tony’s message and testimony struck a chord in my son. A chord that needed to be hit. Tony spoke to his heart in a way that a mother cannot. Tony has met the devil face to face – in very real ways. Sometimes only a man who hasmet the devil can speak to a boy who wants to dance with him.
Tony’s testimony struck a chord in all of us – don’t give the devil a foothold, and nothing absolutely nothing is beyond the redemptive will of God – and nothing can seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
That is a great message for anyone, no matter where you are on your Christian walk. It’s hopefilled and redemptive.
Tony grew up in North Tulsa. He came from a church going family and a strict father. He was taught about Christ, but believed a lie. You know the one – that nagging thought that it’s true for you, but not for me. I’m different. God left something out of me. I can’t be redeemed, I’m too bad, too horrible, too low for Christ. Tony lived most of his life believing those lies and running away from God. He didn’t run out of hatred for God, but out of fear.
A man – feared by many in the community and in the prisons of Oklahoma is also a man who was filled with fear himself.
If you believe that God does not listen to the prayers of a sinful man, than you are mistaken. He answers my prayers, and he answer’s yours. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That includes you, and that includes me.
God even answers the prayers of a convicted drug dealer and murderer. God speaks behind the prison walls – whether they be of steal and concrete – or less obvious walls that we build ourselves.
God speaks on death row to the hearts of thousands every year.
Paul was in prison because of his faith.
Tony was in prison because of his choices.
“Own your choices, don’t let others make them for you. The wrong things might look good at first, but then Satan never shows you the consequences.” – Tony McMullen
Tony and his wife Candy travel all over the United States sharing their story of hope and redemption. If you would like more information about their ministry and their story see, Free In Christ Ministries.