Hi there, my name is Marco Paz Galusha-Luna, which is truly a mouthful, please call me Paz.
I was born and raised in Arizona, went to college here, met and married my wife, and now work and live here. We have two daughters, a beautiful goofball named Ellie (almost 3) and a gorgeous giggler named Sophie (4 months) . After spending a brief hiatus going to and dropping out of seminary in Texas, I eventually made my way back to the desert I call home.
The angst, convictions, and thoughts communicated on this blog are not in any way associated with or reflections of my family, my friends, the church or Jesus himself. They all come from the heart, mind, and experiences of a rescued, redeemed, relapsing child of God who follows Jesus, because Jesus first loved him. This blog is about my life and faith colliding.
Pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage, let’s share our stories.
More of my story:
When I was seven years old, I found a baby name book and found out that I was a contradiction. I asked my mother why I was named war-like or warrior (Marco) and peace (Paz). She replied that since the day I was born, and for as long as she lives, it is her prayer that I would become a mighty warrior for the Prince of Peace. Looking back at my life, my mother’s words have been very prophetic through life’s valleys and mountains.
A few days after I was born, I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, which is very puzzling to me, considering that none of my immediate family hold to their views. My father is an agnostic with eastern mysticism sprinkled in, which meant watching a lot of reruns of Kung Fu The Legend Continues and Doctor Who. My mother on the other hand was converted to Christianity through Campus Crusade for Christ and holds to very traditional Evangelical views, which meant no listening to rock and roll, swearing, or getting tattoos. It was my mother who brought my older sister and me to church at a very young age. There wasn’t a time we were not at church; we went to Sunday School, choir productions, Bible quizzing, Christian camps, evangelism, etc. All of these activities led me to believe that being good or other religious activities would help me achieve salvation and the lasting love of God. As early as an elementary school student, I became very astute of biblical knowledge and stories, which gained me a reputation among my peers and the nickname from pastors as the “Bible Scholar,” yet I still didn’t understand what salvation meant.
When I turned 13, because my mom didn’t believe in us attending youth groups, we became “Church Gypsies” for five years. We went to a wide variety of Christian denominations, ranging from ultra-conservative to super charismatic. I can truthfully relate to any church background because we experienced it firsthand. During this time on the road, I started to have my first crisis of faith. In High School, I couldn’t understand why if I kept doing or saying the right things that I was still struggling with sin, or why there was still brokenness in my life. I finally realized that I could not simply call myself a Christian because of my words or actions, or even the faith of my family. Instead, in the time between my sophomore and junior year, I was able to see what it meant to be a Christian: being a Christian meant that salvation only came through Jesus’ work and love for me. This led me to read theology for the first time, and I started to see that Christianity was not about me; it is the good news of the full redemptive narrative that God has been writing from creation to consummation, which finds its fulfillment in the arrival of Jesus, in his life, death, resurrection, and final return.
As time went on, many experiences came into my life to cause me to become more tenderhearted and tough-skinned, like a family member attempting suicide, being at my grandmother’s side as she died, helping out those who lost it all after Hurricane Katrina and Rita in New Orleans, my struggles with depression, grieving the miscarriage of our first child. There have been many collisions of my life and faith, but my faith has grown through fire and famine, feast and plenty.
By no means do I have it all figured out. Honestly, it is very hard to do what Jesus said was the greatest commandments: to love him with my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself. This means I am to love him first and foremost in my life but out of my love for him and the love he has for me, I am to love all of those I come in contact with. I am to love others no matter what their background or viewpoints, the ones that are easy to love and the ones that are not so easy to love, be it church people or those who want nothing to do with faith. The doubters and believers. All of us are in need of the love of Jesus, right where we are in life, even those of us who experience ongoing collisions of life and faith.