This is long overdue. Back in May I found a site I liked a site so much I wanted to do something more than follow it. I decided to feature it on my sidebar that month, and write a post about them.
May’s choice was Chick Lit Girls.
I decided to break my wrist and fall behind schedule in June.
And, I’m late for July.
My goal is to find a blog, website, organization, or ministry that does something positive and offers different ways to engage with them. It might be subscribing to their blog, joining them with their cause, following on Twitter, who knows. I’m kind of making this up as I go along.
By the way, if you would like to be considered, I can’t promise anything, but you can let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, tell me what site/blog/organization/ministry you are nominating, why, and appropriate links. If I choose your recommendation I’ll place the badge/button on my sidebar for at least a month and write a post about it.
This month I’m choosing Glass House Ministries. I first met Cheri through our affiliation with FaithWriters. She reached out and mentored me both with writing and life as a then mother of a preschooler. I got to know her and her testimony. What I learned about her and her husband, Wayne, was that having a testimony wasn’t all God purposed them for. He also called them to minister to families who need love, encouragement, and hope only Christ can give.
From their website, here is a bit about Glass House Ministries:
The heart of Glass House Ministries was born during a painful season in our family, when both our sons succumbed to the temptation to use drugs and consequently battled with the force of addiction in their lives. As Christians, Wayne and I raised our four children to honor and respect the Lord, doing our best to train and disciple them to live a lifestyle of integrity. The problems we faced with our boys left us wrestling with anger, hurt, and confusion, as we tried to figure out where we’d gone wrong as parents.
We experienced two types of attitudes within the Christian community as we trod this desert. Some came alongside with words of comfort and support, joining us in prayer, as we trudged through the fear and the darkness. Others were less gracious; they prayed for our family, but their looks alone made it clear that they suspected what we feared: that we were failures. We knew we weren’t perfect parents, and the sting of judgment reinforced the shame we already carried.
For a short time we pretended everything was fine, but we soon grew to hate the charade. We decided instead to just be real about our lives and to deal with the problems head-on. As we submitted our hearts to the Spirit’s tender care, we began to see healing and restoration take place in our family. One day we found ourselves coming alongside another family in distress, just as they’d come alongside us during our trial, and soon thereafter Glass House Ministries became more than just a dream in our heart.
For our family it happened to be drug abuse. We could just as easily have been the victims of unwed pregnancy . . . abortion . . . divorce . . . alcoholism . . . pornography . . . eating disorders . . . sexual abuse or addictions . . . depression . . . or a host of other harmful realities we see prevalent in today’s society. The truth is that people make choices that are less than healthy because they are driven by needs they do not know how to satisfy . . . the need for approval, the need for love, the need for acceptance, the need for respect, the need for security, the need for purpose . . . the list goes on.
In our modern-day world, broken homes and blended families are the norm. As many as one in four people will deal with cancer in their lifetime. People live under the constant threat of terrorism. Everyone wants to feel safe, wants to be able to trust in someone or something. But people will let us down, things will not fulfill as we expect, and when our confidence is violated, we easily grow bitter and unforgiving, angry and crippled in our ability to love and relate well. We demand perfection from ourselves and others, so that we do not have to deal with disappointment ever again, and life becomes impossible.
Is your life impossible? Have you finally come to understand that neither you nor anyone else can be perfect? Are you ready to be real? That’s where we found ourselves not so long ago, and we know we aren’t alone. We all live in glass houses. Throwing stones of bitterness and judgment at one another will only result in shattered houses and shattered lives. Misunderstandings, shame, fear, guilt, confusion . . . all these work to keep those hurt by life’s disappointments trapped and silent, isolated and alone; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Real people have real problems and they need a place to go, so we founded Glass House Ministries, a safe place to be real.
Through Glass House Ministries, Wayne and I pray God will use us as a source of comfort, encouragement, prayer, and support, to come alongside others in whatever challenge they face, just as God used fellow-Christians to minister to us in our time of need. We want Glass House Ministries to be a safe haven, a place to freely share and find hope. And no, your life doesn’t have to be in a shambles to participate here. If you are an encourager, and you have a heart to pray for people, you are welcome here. Basically, if you want to be here, you are welcome here!
Wayne and I are not counselors, therapists, or attorneys. We do not claim to have “all the answers.” We do care. We can listen. We will pray. And we will share our own story. Ultimately, it is God Who has all the answers . . . to every imaginable situation we can encounter in this world. We will point people to Him without apology, for it is only through His mercy and grace that our family was made whole again, and it is our heart to see the same thing happen to the people who come to Glass House Ministries.
In addition, Cheri wrote a book to encourage others who are going through a storm. Worth Every Tear is for any parent who is anguished by their child’s choices when as the parent, they strived to do all the right things.
I recommend you buy the book, and follow their blog.