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  • By Johnny Lujan

Love and Connection


Two of the basic, but most wanted human needs are love and connection. There are six basic human needs, but when it comes to self-worth and self-esteem, there are no greater needs than love and connection. From the moment we come out of the womb into our mothers’ arms, we immediately make a connection and feel love. As we progress throughout our lives, we continually seek these human needs we call love and connection. Toddlers are always clinging to their parents for these basic human needs. No matter how far off they venture, they become frantic when mother or father are not in sight for fear of being separated from the love and connection they have with their parents.

As we get older, it becomes a trusting factor that mom and dad will always be there for us. We trust that the connection will always be there and the love will be shared with them unconditionally. As we get into our school years, we start venturing out in a new way, that we can be loved and connected to a teacher, who we should trust to give us the love and connection we received from home. Although not as intimate as our parents’ relationships, there is a bond of trust that is relatable. As we get into junior high school, everything on the inside changes and may be the first experience we have with a total disconnect in society of the love and connection need. Often times overlooked is the young man or lady who is sitting all alone in the cafeteria, or the one staring through a chain link fence at the ball players taking another ground ball. For the first time, they are confused and screaming silently, “I Need Love and Connection!”

Frequently, these sad individuals take those feelings into high school with them. As parents, we continue to do our best to love and connect with them, but as they start maturing, they begin looking for their own way and self-worth. They begin searching for the love and connection they may now or have been missing. And if their home life is filled with ridicule, confusion, stress, alienation, and sometimes divorce, any amount of love and connection they thought they had may be or is ripped away. If the basic human needs are love and connection, we will always search for it, even if it means searching for it in all the wrong places. From experience, I know it can be a long and weary road with many cliffs and valleys as we search for these basic needs. Some go a lifetime searching for this love and connection, only to fall over and over again into the pit of despair. They have lost the realty of what a trusting and loving connection can be. Their weary memories of the past may haunt them into madness, but there is hope.

There is hope because we have a Savior. Jesus fulfills all the basic human needs as He experienced them firsthand. He came to us in the flesh and knows what it’s like to walk alone, to be ridiculed, to lose connection, and not be loved. But the one thing Jesus never did, was lose hope, for He knew the love and connection with the Father could never be lost. Can you imagine what it would be like to be led into the desert to fast for 40 days? I can barely make it a day without food, let alone 40 days. Satan comes and starts to ridicule Jesus, mocking Him to turn stone into bread. Jesus could have said anything and looked up to heaven and yelled to the Father, “Where Is the Love?” But, Jesus did nothing of the sort. He knew the love of the Father was still with Him so He simply answered, “It is written: Man cannot live on bread alone.” (Matthew 4:1-4) As we continue to read in the story, Satan continues to mock and tempt Jesus as he still does to us today. We must believe with everything we’ve got that the Father has us and that He loves us and wants to connect with us more than the world does, more than society does, more than the government does, and most of the time, more than our families do. The love the Father has for us is immeasurable. It is a connection that is everlasting and a security that can be trusted.

How important are these basic human needs of love and connection? We see the recidivism stats to be staggering. These are the stats the US Department of Justice uses to track released inmates that reoffend and end up back in prison. The numbers are staggering as you can imagine. A 2018 study of a 9-year follow-up system from 2005-2014 on 401,288 to track inmates, shows a staggering 83% recidivism rate, meaning 83% of the 401,288 went back into the prison system for a crime within 9 years of being released. The horrific part was that those 83% committed 1,994,000 crimes. (US Justice Special Report May-2018) Wow, staggering to think about. But, the real question and the real answer lay in the other 17%. We want to focus on the 83%, but if we could get into the minds and hearts of the 17%, I bet a lot would say that they reconnected with their families, found forgiveness, and opened their hearts to love again. They were able to fulfill and find the love and connection they were missing.

I recently received a hand-written letter from an inmate in Soledad Prison. I am always amazed at how inmates find my information and how hard they try to get their feelings down on paper. This particular inmate really poured his heart out in the letter explaining that he was lacking self-esteem and was very lonely. He told me he has been asking God for a pen pal that would hopefully soon turn into a real relationship and possibly marriage. I could tell by his words that he was longing for the basic human needs of love and connection. He went on to ask me to pray for him and to ask me if I knew anyone who would write to him and become his pen pal. I took a couple days to respond, thinking of what to write. When I finally wrote back to him, I explained the human needs of Love and Connection and why he was searching for it while in prison. Then I went onto explain that the love and connection he is truly searching for is Christ Jesus. Although the world may tell us different, our loving Father wants to love us and connect with us, and His promise is that if we open our hearts and search for Him, we will find Him. And when we find Him, we will find the love and connection we have always been searching for. The anxiety will leave us, for our hearts will be satisfied with the love only the Father can give. Remember, Jesus came to free us from the slavery of self and the oppressions of the world, and if you are free, you are free indeed!

Jesus opened the scroll and read in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” If that is not the ultimate Love and Connection, I don’t know what is! May the Lord bless you in every way and build in you a confidence in Christ that is unwavering.

I welcome your partnership. I work with people suffering from identity crisis, fighting the satanic grips of addiction and helping folks find the “courage to change the things they can.” I host workshops for teens and adults, one called, “Prepare 4 Impact,” helps teens prepared for life with character, communication, goal setting, and basics of finance skills, as well as a “Possibilities” workshop that teaches people how to become an “Actioneer.” I am an anti-bully advocate and speak corporately and scholastically on the power of identity, unity, and togetherness. I often get invited to guest pastor or speak corporately throughout the region. If you would like more information, please email me at: johnny.lujan@ptlb.com.

Live Courageously,

Pastor Johnny Lujan

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about our motorcycle ministry and Thunder Road Biker's Church, contact me or visit www.ThunderRoadChurch.com.

P.S.S. Get Breakfast with Solomon, a daily wisdom journey through the Proverbs, by signing up HERE!

Pastor Johnny Lujan is PTLB's newest team member and we couldn't be more excited to have him aboard. Johnny’s favorite word in the dictionary is “action.” He has built and led ministries since 2002, and for the past 17 years, has been a motivator of people, churches, businesses, and organizations. His leadership skills are extensive, having led ministries, sales teams, and regions to dynamic growth through team-building strategies, strategic relationship principles, and character-building workshops. Johnny uses his primary gifts of evangelism, leadership, and service to encourage organizations and individuals to develop a new story.

He is the Lead Pastor at Thunder Road Biker Church in Rancho Cordova, CA, and Roseville, CA, and helped launch Brisbane, Australia in 2015. Thunder Road Church is a strategic church reaching a demographic of people that some call the “least of these.” He is also the co-founder of “Unchained Men,” bringing authenticity, vulnerability, and truth through training and workshops to encourage men to break free! For more about Johnny and his services or to support Johnny's ministry, click HERE.

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