I’m So Excited to Tell You. . .

I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine that you’ll be hearing more about as the year continues.  His name is Michael, and he’s an anesthesiologist in Fort Worth, TX.  He currently lives in a nice suburb with his beautiful wife and three children.  I’m asking him to tell you a little about himself, and I hope you are as excited to meet and get to know him as I am to introduce him to you!  Make sure you pay close attention to him because he will be the one to tell you my exciting news.


Hello to you all.  My name is Michael, and as you already know I’m an anesthesiologist living in the suburbs with my wonderful family.  I have to admit I love my life.  I love everything about it, and I couldn’t ask for more.  However, it wasn’t always like this, and I want to tell you just a small piece of my story if you’ll allow me.  I’m so excited to tell you the big news you’re here for, but first, I need to tell you about myself.

I grew up in a pretty decent home.  My dad worked hard, and my mom and I were pretty close.  She took me to church often, and because she volunteered so much, our church was my second home with the members being an extension of my family.  I loved every minute of it. 

When I was in high school, I was the guy everyone liked.  I was the athlete who made good grades.  I started leading small groups of middle school students at church, and I was always surrounded by people who loved me.  Everything was perfect, or so that’s what people thought when they saw me.

It didn’t matter what I did, nothing was good enough for my dad.  I made 3 touchdowns at our homecoming football game, and he noticed the one fumble I had in the first quarter.  I hit the homerun to win the baseball game, and he pointed out the strike out in the 5th inning.  I had a 3.8 GPA, and he made sure I knew that it could have been better.  I lived my life trying to be perfect, and I always fell short.  I filled my days with projects just to keep me busy so I could block out the fact that he constantly threw my imperfection and weaknesses in my face.

It was my junior year of high school when everything started falling apart in my life.  My dad lost his job, and his drinking became out of control.  For him, with alcohol came violence.  I stayed away as much as I could and when I was home, I did my best to hide out in my room.  I know we were a happy family once but honestly, I don’t remember what that was like.  It’s still hard for me to remember a home without yelling. 

When he yelled at my mom, I would turn my music up in my room and just pray for God to help us and to change my dad.  I prayed every day, and I prayed so many times a day.  At school, it still appeared as if everything was okay, but it was getting harder for me to keep it hidden.  I even found my small group suffering because of it.  The more intense things got at home, the more distance I placed between God and myself.  I began praying out of anger, not toward my dad but toward God for not answering my prayers.  I questioned if he was even listening to my prayers.  It wasn’t long before I began questioning if God even existed.

My dad got so violent one day and hit my mom so badly, I lost it.  Before that moment, I never understood what rage truly was.  I could feel the blood bubbling inside of me, and I didn’t know what to do with it.  I stormed out of my room and saw my mom on the ground.  Every time she tried to stand up, he kicked her back down.  She was bleeding, crying, and clearly defeated.  I shoved my dad into the wall, breaking the precious China my mom loved so much. 

It was as if I blacked out for a moment and when I came out of it, I felt like I was out of my body watching myself punch my dad uncontrollably in the face over and over again.

The next day, my mom left.  I came home from school to find my dad in a state of mind I had never seen before.  I knew what I saw wasn’t the effect of alcohol only.  His eyes were crazed, and he was like a madman searching through every drawer in the house.  It was later that I learned he was looking for a gun but couldn’t remember where it was.  He blamed me for my mom leaving and wanted me as far away from him as I could get.

I was angry at God for not listening, and after my dad tried to commit suicide in front of me, I was angry at myself for believing God even existed.  I was 17 years old, and I decided to make drastic changes in my life.  I decided God was a fictional character made up by people who wanted me to follow the rules they had set.  It was then that I decided rules no longer mattered.  Adults were the enemy, and rules were their only weapon against me.  I would take no part in either of them.

I’ve seen and done things many people have never even heard of.  I’ve witnessed murder, rape, and severe beatings.  You wouldn’t believe the things I found myself a part of.  Here I am, now, Dr. Michael Johnson.  I’m a husband who loves my wife and a father who loves my children.  What did I ever decide about God?  Well, that story along with the gory details of my life through the teen and young adult years will all be told to you in time.  It will all unfold in A Warrior Wounded written by Misty Gatlin this year.

Keep your eyes opened for more information about the book of my life as it unfolds in a very similar manner as Sarah’s story in A Princess Broken.

Oh, and it’s a great pleasure to meet you.


Big -exciting- news tomorrow!  I can’t wait to tell you, but it has to wait until then.  Come back tomorrow morning to meet Michael, and be among the first to hear what we’re so excited about!

I’m Perfect — How About You?

Copyright 2011 Artspeak Images

I’m still amazed at how the enemy reaches the majority of us by pointing out our imperfections even after knowing what the truth really says about us.  It’s been on my mind a lot lately, so I want to take a passage from my book, Perfect You: Realizing Your Perfection in an Imperfect World. 

How you view yourself affects more than you realize.  It can affect your success, happiness, and believe it or not it can affect how other people view you.  God wants you to be confident in the perfect creation you are.  He placed a lot of time and thought into how to create you.  What is it that makes you think he just threw you together without even a thought or that he messed up or forgot something?

You are a Masterpiece

What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!”
Does the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be?”
How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, “Why was I born?”
or if it said to its mother, “Why did you make me this way?”
This is what the Lord says—the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?”
Isaiah 45:9-11 NLT

As girls, we look at ourselves in the mirror to determine whether we are beautiful or not.  How often do we stand in front of the mirror figuring out what we need to change?  We look at what parts of our bodies need to be more developed and what parts we need to lose.  My nose is too big.  My hair is too dark.  My waist isn’t small enough.  In whose eyes are all these things true? 

Media is often blamed for this way of thinking.  Certain magazines, TV shows, and movies confirm these thoughts.  But the media shouldn’t take all the blame for our poor self-image.  Who chose media as the voice of the world?

The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  Do not be deceived by him.  Your Daddy God will never speak those lies to you.  Satan has been called “the god of the world.”  Our world is becoming more corrupt by the minute.  The enemy uses many tools to guide us away from God’s teaching, and media is one of the easiest and strongest ways to take our focus away from God’s truth.  It often sucks us in without our realizing it.  God tells us to guard our hearts and take every thought captive that goes against his teaching (2 Cor. 10:5).  Satan is smart.  Don’t underestimate what he can do.  If he wraps those thoughts and images in a cute little package, we are likely to get pulled in toward him and away from God.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Philippians 4:8 NLT

So many times I’ve heard this Scripture, and I’ve not given it a second thought because I’d heard it so often and felt I knew it well.  Recently, I stopped and really absorbed what it was telling me.  God says to fix our thoughts on him.  Don’t fix your thoughts on things that are not true.  All those negative thoughts you have about your appearance are nothing but lies.  They are not things to fix your thoughts on.  When you do that, you will find yourself falling into a trap.

The only weapon the enemy has against you is the ability to lie.  He lies to break down your confidence, and he uses whatever he can to convince you that his lies are truth.  Media is all around you, so it’s the easiest way to get his word out, but it’s not all bad.  You just need to have an awareness of the things you’re allowing in.

Does that mean you can’t watch movies, listen to music, or read your favorite magazines anymore?  Absolutely not.  

I used to enjoy reading a particular popular magazine, and I never understood why some Christians thought it was so bad.  But as I spent more time with God, I noticed that his desires were becoming my own.  My desire to look at that magazine or watch certain movies started fading.  Before I knew it, I was repulsed by some of the same movies I had been watching for years.  Those “fun” things weren’t as much fun as my relationship with God grew stronger.

I picked up my favorite magazine at a bookstore one day and sat down to read through it.  Everything in there was about sex or how to fix physical imperfections.  No wonder I had always had a horrible self-image.  Reading that one magazine, I began feeling my self-image issues come back.  All the attributes required to have a “perfect” body, according to that magazine, were things I lacked.  According to that magazine, everything about my body was imperfect.  My old thoughts, again, became louder than the voice of truth.  It’s amazing how quickly Satan can work.  It is easy to fall into Satan’s trap without even realizing it. 

I challenge you to follow Philippians 4:8 and fix your thoughts on the truth God has laid out for you.  Before reading, listening to, or watching anything, consider if it follows God’s Word.  If it doesn’t, change the station or choose a different movie or forego the magazine.  See if you begin to view yourself differently than you did before.

Almost every girl I’ve worked with as a teacher and youth leader over the years has struggled with self-esteem in one way or another.  The images surrounding you daily of what perfection looks like are skewed.  We look at models to show us what perfection looks like, but pictures of models are airbrushed and touched up.  How can you strive to be perfect when perfect doesn’t exist?  It’s unattainable.  Yet girls literally kill themselves trying to reach this type of perfection. 

Today, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and answer this question, “What makes you perfect?”  Go ahead and write down your answers.  Ask God to help you answer that question.

Related Links:
Lies You Tell Yourself