Last night on TV, Glenn interviewed two awful people. Actually, they used to be awful people but have since had pivot points and turned their lives completely around. These two men went from dealing drugs, gang violence, abusing women as pimps -- to upstanding, amazing men. How did they do it?
Well, it all starts with a pivot point. A moment in life where you decide to turn things around, to go from the darkness to the light.
"We have to find our first pivot point or a next pivot point. It’s really important, and believe me, the longer you deny it, the heavier your pivot point will be," Glenn said.
"I was just sitting in church a couple weeks ago, and I’m like I’m making the same mistakes with my younger children that I made with my older children. Help me. And then I’m starting to recount all the things that I’ve done wrong, and that’s what bogs us down. You’re like I can’t get there from here. Where I’m at, I can’t get to where you want me to be."
"That’s a lie, and I’m going to show you tonight. I’m going to demonstrate. I’m going to bring a couple of people on who will show you that if they got from where they were to where they are now, you certainly can do it. I certainly can do it. You’re going to meet two of the worst people on the planet," Glenn said.
After interviewing Chef Jesse Schenker, Glenn brought out John Turnipseed, a former gang leader, a drug dealer, and pimp. What was his pivot point?
"We would rob just about anything," John said of his criminal past. "Nursing homes were popular because they would have high levels of very strong drugs in them and family heirlooms, you know, jewelry and things that, you know, the nursing home residents would put up. You know, we had no conscience about where we got money from."
"Wow. So, what was your low? What was your pivot point? What was the lowest point for you?" Glenn asked.
"There was a couple of them. One was my first prostitute, my wife, ran off with another pimp, and I had a three-year-old son, and he killed my son, beat him to death," John said. "I was in jail, nothing I could do about it, didn’t know what I ever could have done about it. And another time I was involved with a robbery that went terribly wrong, and someone lost their life in it. So those were very low points for me. You know, those are the two things that I have a hard time wrestling with."
"Tell me the moment that you were on the ground where you’re like that’s it, I can’t do this anymore," Glenn pressed.
"That happened when I was 40 years of age. I’m 60 now. A news reporter was outside of the place that I found employment so that my probation officer wouldn’t put me back in prison, and I became a teacher. And he had found out about that I was working there and who I was, and I had eight felonies at the time and just an awful human being," he said. " He was going to expose me. He did expose me to the school and everything. And that’s that moment. That point in time for the first time in my life I actually felt ashamed. Got on the floor and started crying, barricaded myself in an office, wouldn’t come out, wouldn’t face them, didn’t know what to do, just started crying and crying. I cried and cried."
So what did he do?
"My grandmother had told me a long time ago, and I had lost faith in it when I was like six or seven years old that if I ever got into a place and ever was in so much trouble I didn’t know what to do to call out to Jesus. And I didn’t have anything else to do. Suicide was the only other option I had, but I didn’t have anything to do it with. And that’s what I remembered, and that’s what I did."
"That was 20 years ago, 21 years ago, and I’m helping people now. I have not committed a crime since then. I’m a minister. I’m proud of that. My grandmother wanted me to be one, and I became one. But I help men a lot like myself. I go out and talk to prostitutes and pimps about changing their life, and a lot of them have changed their life," John continued.
"I go out and talk to kids that have gotten in trouble for the first time. That’s my favorite type of work is to find kids that are on the edge and start working with them. I’m working with about eight young men right now, and you know, it takes a lot of energy, but it’s well worth it to see those young men start to turn their life around before they get to the point that I was at."