Are you struggling with your faith, feeling lost, and unwanted? From Ellis Lucas, author of the highly acclaimed The Potter and the Clay, comes the new book, Wanted. We are all prone to pride and hard-heartedness and Wanted will teach you that nobody is without hope, whether though addiction, abuse, abandonment or disillusionment in life.
Born in Cameron, Missouri, Ellis Lucas lives in Pueblo, Colorado, with his adorable wife Peggi Sue, the real inspiration behind Lucas becoming an author and co-founder of His Heart United Network of Christian Ministries. For more information about Lucas, visit www.HisHeartUnited.org or www.ellislucas.com.
Q: Thank you, Ellis, for doing this interview with us. You are an author and the co-founder of His Heart United Network of Christian Ministries. Tell us a little about His Heart United Network of Christian Ministries.
A: Thank you also, so much for this gracious opportunity. I am very humbled by your invitation. His Heart United, the parent ministry of His Song Evangelism, is a not-for-profit evangelical outreach organization committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in response to the "Great Commission" outlined at the end of Matthew 28. There is a moral and spiritual collapse here and abroad, and the voice of the would-be martyrs of years past is gone. The consequences for this egregious neglect are a latter-day world inebriated from drinking from the poisoned waters and broken cisterns of a severely misled postmodern society. The suffering is now a catastrophic pandemic size disaster of biblical proportions, and widespread.
Our mission is to bring His Heart where it still remains together...one Body, one Spirit, and one Hope...To bring the healing Heart of Jesus Christ to a world of broken lives in a world that still needs to hear it. And when possible - spread that good news to all the earth. We believe this is God's will for us as an organization that bears His name, and we consider it our highest honor.
Q: Congratulations on your new book WANTED. Tell us briefly what the book is about.
A: Thank you, so much, that sincerely means a lot to me. Wanted reflects those profound learning lessons that many people struggle with regarding how deferring to Jesus Christ will serve as our one real-life preserver when sinking in the murky waters of hopelessness, and the healing and overcoming we can experience when we put our trust in Him - who suffered for us ALL and sincerely from the heart. In this empowerment, we are enabled to overcome impossible situations, pain, sins, and failures. It is a beautiful testimonial related through a constant flow of Scripture. Like a mighty river filling the hearts of its readers, they will be refreshed and encouraged to step deeper into the stream of God's amazing love and the truth of his Word.
We are all prone to pride and hard-heartedness and Wanted will teach you that nobody is without hope, whether through addiction, abuse, abandonment, or disillusionment in life. It will also challenge all Christians to do everything they can to reach out to those who are considered by many to be unreachable. We are all WANTED.
This book will invite the reader to come home to Jesus Christ and to enter that secret place of the humbled Heart, where Jesus waits for each of us. Wanted provides solid, scriptural reasons to follow in Jesus' footsteps with true-life stories to inspire the reader to seek out God while He can still be found, make healthy choices, and discover the men and women we were all created to be.
Q: One person who was very important in bringing you to faith is your late mother. Can you tell us how she influenced your life?
A: Growing up the youngest of four children and my parents' only son, I saw a real example in my mother of someone who put others before herself, a remarkable lady who was transformed through an authentic personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In what's a pivotal moment in every believer's life, however, the faith of my family, eventually needed to become my own. Sadly, it wasn't until after my beloved mother, Mary Jeanette, passed away that I became a true transformed believer in, and follower of, Jesus Christ.
Undoubtedly. my mother's consistent devotion left an eternal impression upon my Heart that ultimately prevailed, leading me straight into the safe and loving arms of Jesus at age thirty-five, and I'm forever grateful to her for it! It was the memory of that persistent Christ-centered love lived out in her daily life that remained deeply embedded in my subconscious long after she was gone that somehow managed to transcend life and death, seasons of joy and pain, countless trials and difficult circumstances, including years of drug and alcohol abuse, depression, divorce, etc...
Q: At one time, you were heavily involved in drugs, how did all of that happen? And how did all of that lead your imprisonment?
A: It started as a normal little boy who simply lost his way, got entangled in an addictive vice and are either too afraid, or too ashamed to ask for help. My life had been so completely destroyed that I'd come to believe there was absolutely no hope of ever-changing, and all I had to look forward to was whatever awaited me beyond the grave-most likely judgment. Then when facing what would have been a lengthy imprisonment after an intense drug raid on March 6, 1997, while staying at my temporary residence in Kansas City, complete and utter hopelessness! It was a devastating culmination to a twenty-four yearlong drug and alcohol addiction and an egregious misconception of reality.
During those twenty-hours spent locked up for a day in the Clay County Missouri Jail, and at the end of life as I knew it, Jesus Christ stretched out His mighty hand of grace made Himself known to me along with an astonishing revelation. God loved me and had a fantastic plan for my life if I would open my heart, trust Him, and receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior that day. I did, and what I've learned since is that our greatest failures can also effectuate the undisclosed catalyst that empowers some of life's most unlikely, unsuspecting people to accomplish some of life's most extraordinary things. And what happened since is a message I want the whole World to hear.
Q: How did you find Christ during your imprisonment?
A: The truth is, I never did find Christ, instead He found me. I spent over two decades convinced that God didn't love me, and that there was no possible way I could ever be saved or avoid what I had always been terrified would turn out to be, an eternal conscious existence in hell, with no hope for Heaven or absolution.
Be that as it may, the first words I ever heard Jesus say to me was, "Ellis, I love you, I've always loved you, and Ellis, I am concerned for you! I'm here for you. I have always been here, but Ellis, you've been running all your life. If you trust me, I have a plan for your life, but the one thing I can't do for you or anyone else is choosing. Ellis, choose Me! I have so much life I want to live through you, and so much life I want to give to you, but Ellis, only you can decide how the story ends!
Q: How has your life been changed since you surrendered to Jesus?
I could have never imagined being married to my wife Peggi Sue and living this privileged life in Christ Jesus that I am living today as president of His Heart United. It's even more remarkable to me knowing the history surrounding this organization, how it all began, and what has now become, a beautiful life, the sweet-smelling fragrance of an invisible world, the essence of true redemption in the actual, but the hidden World for which I was created and gifted for but never knew existed.
A journey that started with an invitation to share my testimony at a small Baptist church in Bedford, IA., has since been heard by millions of people worldwide as a guest on the Herman and Sharron Show on the Christian Television Network, The Harvest Show on Lesea Broadcasting, Real Life, Cornerstone Television Network, Devin Thorpe, Your Mark on the World, Messiah Community Talk Radio with Michael Lorin, and recently did a two-hour phone interview with Michael Rasnick of the 700 Club. Deidre Regel, Hope & Healing Radio Show.
Peggi and I have been interviewed by local television and news shows, newspapers, and radio broadcasts, both Christian and secular shows in Missouri, Colorado, and South Dakota. Interviews regarding His Heart United live outreach events that took place at the Black Hills State University in South Dakota, and prestigious venues in Missouri and Colorado including the Douglas County Fair Grounds in Castle Rock, Colorado. My story was also featured on "Unshackled," an outreach ministry of Moody Radio and Pacific Garden Missions located in Chicago, Illinois, and was heard all over the World in fourteen different languages.
We have traveled the country speaking at churches, prisons and jails, rescue missions, and special outreach events. Additionally, I have spent the past several years organizing evangelistic outreach events for churches as well as two- and three-day His Heart United city-wide evangelistic events which have featured nationally known recording artist such as Lincoln Brewster, Jeremy Riddle, Jared Anderson, John and Dino Elefante, John Schlitt, Bread of Stone, and numerous nationally recognized speakers, including Pastor Raul Ries, Dr. George Westlake Jr., South Dakota's Family Heritage Alliance Executive Director, Dale Barstcher, Ryan Dobson, Wes Bentley and many more.
Q: For our readers who feel abandoned by God even at this moment, what do you have to say to them?
A: Sadly, shame often arises from a very painful emotional message implied in abandonment: "You're not important, you're of no value, and sadly, you're not wanted!" People begin to wrestle with the question, "Is life worth living?" It's a serious problem of epidemic proportions and a frightening reality from which countless people of all ages and every culture around this World need to heal.
Studies have shown that when people do experience an unnatural or sudden degree of loss, the natural reaction is to internalize an abnormal degree of fear and anxiety. When people do experience trauma or severe life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. The question is, what do you do when it does; lose hope, drugs, alcohol, or violence? NO! And Heaven forbid, definitely not suicide!
Yet, people are bound by so many things, but nothing more gripping than fear and confusion. It can leave us mentally exhausted, alone and lonely, and severely affect the way we relate to other people. We shrink back and hold back instead of growing, conquering, and letting go, and letting God be God.
The more we struggle with negative emotions, the more we allow our insecurities to control our lives. We are robbing the World of something beautiful; the men and women God created us to be, and the men and women this world desperately needs us to be. Howbeit, no one is ever without hope in this life. You are loved, you are an invaluable person created for a present, and eternal purpose. You are important, you belong, and you are WANTED!
My story is one of great pain, and also great healing. My strong belief is that suffering has been my greatest teacher through the eyes of perspective and was undoubtedly the gateway that led to the transformation that occurred in my life, and can be for others as well - as God's gift not only to us as individuals, but to inspire us to INSPIRE OTHERS and when possible, inspire the World! If you feel abandoned, consumed by fear, and don't know what to do, Wanted was written for you! Please find my website at ellislucas.com and let me know, I want to talk to you!