Most read:

Inspiration

Some stuff I found on the net or forwarded to me for inspiration.

Letter from Martin Luther to the Pope – found it interesting, and his sincerity inspiring.
Jesus I love you
A child’s view
Time – value the limited time you have on this planet!

A prayer for guidance – by Mother Teresa

Suriving 9/11 – a true story

Some good Christian reading that I found

 

Some Inspiring Testimonies from Others

I compiled these testimonies while surfing on the internet and I ranked them in
order of how I felt they inspired me. If you would like to add any, please feel free to
email me. Here you can read my testimony.

Table of Contents

Super Natural

Here is a testimony posted by Paul on December 13th [6.5]
Devil’s Signature [3]

Moving

Here is a testimony posted by Ava on December 13th [9]
Here is a testimony posted by Betsy on July 13th [8.5]
Ann, marraige June 27, 1997 [8]
What they didn’t tell me about abortion–and how God changed my life [8]

Inspiration

A Smile [7.5]
Leow , Testimony [4]

Prayer Requests

PEDIPHILIA
Please pray for our seminary, my home now.

Saved Again

Michele, Jesus Always Carried Me [7]
Here is a testimony posted by James on December 1st. [4.5]
James, Put your pride behind you [2]

God’s Grace

Here is a testimony posted by Keith on August 16 [4]

Praise God

The Role of a Lifetime [8.5]
When I heard God speak – by Beth [7]
Here is a testimony posted by Joo on June 22nd. [6.5]
Simeon, Ok.. Here I go. [5.5]
Here is a testimony posted by George on January 20th. [5.5]
Don’t leave home without Jesus! [5]
The Dream God Gave Me [4.5]
Here is a testimony posted by Tina on November 6th. [4.5]
Here is a testimony posted by Margaret on June 27th. [4]
Lloyd Jr., He is on time! [4]
Cheryl, My Own Testimony [4]
Liesl (Free2live), Healing/deliverance [4]
Here is a testimony posted by Mike on June 21st. [3]
Bishop, Subject: His will [3]

Forgiveness

The Death of My Daughter [8]

Saved

Here is a testimony posted by Larry on February 11th. [8]
The Testimony of Scott [5.5]
Lisa, Sexually abused, depression, loneliness, panic attacks, suicidal. [4.5]
Here is a testimony posted by James on December 4th. [4.5]
Here is a testimony posted by David on November 26th. [4.5]
Joe, my testimony [4]
Jamie – Lost and Recently Saved [3]

Miracle

Miracle Baby [8.5]
This is Why I Know God’s Word Is True [6.5]
The POWER of Prayer [6]
This testimony was posted by Steve on June 30th. [5.5]
GOD FIRST, Pamela [5]
From Islam to Jesus – Testimony From A Guinean Diplomat Emprisoned In Spain During Five Months
Underestimating God’s Love, Nathan [2]

Used to be Muslim or other Religion

Here is a testimony posted by Timonthy on December 1st. [7]
Linda – Worshiped the devil, driven to madness, Buddhism, new age, saved by Jesus Christ [5]
They Wanted Our Baby To Die, The Inside Story Of A Former Third Generation Jehovah’s Witness. [4]

Super Natural

Here is a testimony posted by Paul on December 13th [6.5]

My name is Paul. I was born under a different name, to a Pakistani family. From a young age I had a close relationship with the supernatural. At the age of two, in my grandmother’s courtyard in Karachi, I saw a brilliant light in the sky, brighter than the sun. It pierced my soul like a laser beam, and I was helpless before who I now know was God.

Later as I grew to be five, in my room God visited me once again. He asked me a question. “Would you die for somebody?” He asked. I didn’t know the answer, so I turned it around to Him. He told me yes was the right answer.

I accepted His word, and immediately sensed a deep peace and joy. Then He asked me, “Would you die for anyone?” Same thing, I didn’t know, He told me yes.

After a thought, I accepted this advice, and time disappeared as I entered eternity. I could have walked through the wall at that point and never looked back.

As I grew older, I was often sent to the basement for punishment to await my sentence. In these lonely times, I would say to God, “God, if I could be born a second time, I would not be so mean to others.”

In Edmonton, at medical school, I lost all sense of right and wrong, as I plunged into a web of lust, perversion, drunkenness, drugs and pornography. From this I descended into addiction and the occult, as I tried to “find myself”. During this time, many people in Toronto, where I was taking time off from school, offered me answers. From a drug-pusher, to a Buddhist new-age group, to satanists, to hare-krishnas, to my cousin who wanted me to see a mullah.

Finally, at The Glass Buckette on St. Joseph and Younge, the Jazz nightclub/restaurant where I worked, there was a Christian, who told me about Jesus.

Well, I wasn’t going to let anyone preach to me – I had all the answers, at 22.

I refuted his testimony that Jesus had helped to stop smoking and drinking and doing perverted things, and publicly denounced him, the way any hotblooded muslim would do to a simple preachy-type. You’ve been there, I am sure.

But God is merciful, in ways you would only know if you believe what I am about to tell you.

One day, thinking to myself, “well Mohammed had a greater revelation than Jesus, but then came Joseph Smith and Baha’ullah. So the pattern is a new revelation as the situation requires”, I decided to find out what new spiritual message I could offer the world.

After meditating the way I knew all these men did, I sensed a presence at my right shoulder. It asked me permission to use my arm to write down a message.

I thought, “Wow, I really am going to get the latest revelation”, and it came into my arm. This is no lie, as God is my witness.

It began to write, “Believe if you can believe, receive if you can receive…” I paused, and thought about it and let it continue. But soon it degenerated into a message of hate and revenge and violence. This was no message from God!

Scared, I dropped the pen, and immediately sensed the spirit withdraw to a corner of a room. There, it cowered, radiating hate and fear at me. I fell on my knees and prayed:

“God if You are there help me now!”

As I was finishing this prayer, the telephone rang. It was the Christian from work. I let down my guard and asked him what to do. He told me to read the little red new testament he had given to me.

Only the revelation of John interested me, as I dismissed the miraculous answer to my prayer as possible coincidence. But the next one was good.

In revelation, the author talks of the number seven many times. Seven eyes of God, seven spirits of God, seven judgments of wrath, and so on.

Seven is the number of perfection in creation, because in six days God created the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He rested.

You will be as surprised as I was when I sat down to write out the budget for the last month’s spendings:

 

Oct

Bus Pass 67
Rent 290
Phone 90
Food 120
Drugs 180
Misc 30

Total 777
But still, I ran from the message.

 

In August, 1994, I began to read the New Testament for leisure, as one would read the comics. In it I sensed the character of Jesus, as being wholly good. He did so many things for people, and the things He said were true. I decided to follow Him as my teacher, but did not really believe the theology of Christianity.

In September, after two years’ absence from medicine, I resumed studies, but had an insatiable thirst for the Bible. Even old testament books like Leviticus, and Deuteronomy jumped off the page at me and put life into my soul as I digested the character of God.

I had many questions, like how could you prove the Bible was true, and all of the theology, but God bypassed all of that.

In November, I went on a camping weekend with Campus Crusade for Christ. Saturday night, I asked my questions about the Bible and Jesus being God’s Son, but was unsatisfied with the responses, which were faith ones, not intellectual.

But after many hours of singing and talking, the night grew warm and friendly, and I was left alone with my friend Dani, talking until three.

At this time, the whole camp was silent, except for the soft knocks which fell upon the cabin door:
knock-knock-knock-knock-knock-knock-knock.

Seven knocks. My heart pounded as Dani answered the door. In my mind I had the thought, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into him and sup with him and he with me.” Jesus said this in Revelation.

“Is there anyone there?” I asked Dani.

“Nobody is there,” she replied.

It must be one of the students, I thought, and went outside to confirm my suspicions. I searched all around the entrance, but found no one.

Sitting down on a swing to think, I felt a peace come over me and I was a child again. Wanting to see what Dani was doing, I got up and walked to the doorway. She was standing framed in the doorway, and there was a glow shining out of her face – a soft light radiating from her very skin.

This startled me, and I confronted God: “Oh, God help me!”

Dani calmed me down and explained this was a sign from God to help me believe. “Jesus died for your sins,” she said. I believed, but did not want to give up control, because I was stubborn. We sat in silence for many minutes.

Then came a scratching on the windowpane. Dani went outside to see what it was. It was a sphere of light, hovering in the air.

Later, as we stood in the doorway to go back to our sleeping quarters, she saw a figure walking across the field. It must have been God. Everyone else was sound asleep.

Sunday night, back in the city, I lay fearfully in bed. Midnight.

Remembering the words, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”, I humbled myself and asked God to forgive me for ignoring all of His help to believe.

Suddenly a small light, like the sparkly light on birthday cakes of children, came out of thin air, two inches away from my forehead, and entered my brain: “Fizz-pop!” I had a deep peace like such as I had never had.

My restless mind ceased. My doubts were relieved, my questions answered. I KNEW the Bible was true. But I still could not understand the most basic scriptures. I still had to receive my gift.

 

The next day, somebody was brought into my path to open my eyes to the prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus, which were fulfilled hundreds, even thousands of years afterwards, by Jesus.

For example, he showed me that His birthplace had been predicted to be Bethlehem, and His words, spoken in agony on the cross, “My God my God why have You forsaken me?”, were written by David a thousand years before Jesus’ punishment on the cross.

Having had this revelation, I confessed my sins, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which cleansed me of the pain my soul never even knew it had in its numbed state, and replaced it with the holy knowledge of its Creator, and more joy than can be contained in a human. I was born again.

After my conversion, the Lord allowed me to meet many Christians from a variety of fellowships. They are all a blessing.

Also, by His grace, I attended a Bible College for one semester, and am believing for His help to pursue further studies.

He has blessed me by taking care of all my needs, according to His mighty Word – material, social, and spiritual.

He is Lord par excellence. I was baptised in June of 1995, and I am seeing from day to day how he takes care of me. Glory to the Lord.

 

As God is my witness, this is all true. If you don’t believe me, I will still field your questions.

But if you really want to be free, look to the cross, where Jesus was crucified so that all men could have peace with God.

Pride, which God hates, is saying, I know everything I need to know. Humility, which is what every student of truth should practise, is saying, others know more than me.

Humble yourself before God and He will lift you up.

Devil’s Signature [3]

Posted by: Don

(please note, that Kelly before this experience did not believe in a God)

Hi Don

I have to tell you what happened to me last week. Have I ever told you that I didn’t believe in the devil? Well my opinion has been changed, although I still feel his power is so insignificant compared to the Lord’s. Anyway, you know I am always talking to God. Well, many times I just talk and I haven’t been really specific because I didn’t see any reason to be. I forgot that others may consider themselves to be a god. Well it started last week….this automatic writing. It was so weird and it was saying such nice stuff. It even told me that I needed to put the writings in a book and show them to non-believers. Believe me they talked about protecting people from the other evil one and everything. And to my stupidity I thought oh my, God has sent angels to talk to me. Well they were angels alright…fallen angels. The conclusion was Friday night when I was writing things down so frantically and several different spirits appeared in the writing. It was all happening so fast I couldn’t even think. Then they said “we can’t help any more, only one can help.” I said God? and they said “yes”. “One” god got on the pen and gave me a phone number to call and a time to call. Told me to take my kids and go rescue a friend of mine in LA. Then it even concluded by saying that I need to take that person with me to church. It exchanged words like love one another, blah blah blah.

Thank Godness my first impulse, when it stopped, was to call up my girlfriends in San Diego and tell them. First thing they said was….this is too many voices and some of the facts were wrong. Cindy said pray to God, the creator of heaven and earth for guidance. We all prayed. Then I put my hand on the paper to see what would happen. It wrote “game over”. I asked “ was this a lie”. And it said “Demonstration” and went back and underlined …Demon.

Well as you can guess I was freaked. I got back on the phone to my friends. We got out the bible to read Psalms 23 and 91 and I used the same hand and pen (now dedicated to God the creator) to write down these Psalms. Then we laughed as I ceremonially burned the “beasts” book in a fire and dedicated the fire to “the greater good”. Then I asked God to release anyone that may have been affected pshychically.

I am writing this ..not to scare people into fearing devils. But to let them know that NEVER was I alone. I believe that it was God’s watchful guidance that gave me the impulse to call my friends. And when I called upon God for help….help came quickly in an instant. No harm befell my family and I am only the little bit wiser for it. We have no reason to fear devils…if we have the light of God in our hearts. I awoke the next morning feeling better than ever.

***in an aside, it so happens that, unknowingly, my mother happened to be praying for ME when all of this came to an end.

Your friend in Peace and Love,

Kelly

Moving

Here is a testimony posted by Ava on December 13th [9]

My Christian background during my ‘formative’ years was almost zip. My dad was raised Jehovah’s Witness, and we had readers in our home, very sporadically, during my growing up years. My mom said her dad knew the Scriptures by heart; but he died an alcoholic when I was only four or five. Other than that, I went to a Baptist church a few times as a kid.

Though mom and dad weren’t very religious, they did believe, to spare the rod, belt, board, ironing cord, fists, verbal and sexual abuse is to spoil the child. My dad’s favorite saying was; “If I tell you to have a bowel movement, (nice way of putting it) I don’t want you to ask me why, I just want you to squat and ask me what color.”

Even though my mom was the one who would lose her temper, and use her fists, and the ironing cord, I knew she loved us as much as she was capable, and just didn’t have control over her emotions. Even as a child I understood this, and never was angry at her, nor did I hold a grudge later. At an early age it was as if she became the child and I the adult. Her mother ran off with another man when she was six years old, leaving her to be raised by her alcoholic father. To the best of my knowledge her scars never healed.

Though I knew she was incapable of helping herself, and I understood her pain, I still needed and craved the love and nurturing every daughter needs from her mother. There was a hole in my heart that no amount of understanding on my part could fill.

Prior to mom’s death when I was twenty seven, I was not a Christian, so I don’t know where she was spiritually. I do remember she was heavily into reading the bible on her own for about a year or so before she died, so I can only hope she came to a knowledge of the Savior. I also remember we were starting to get really close the last few years before she died.

My dad, on the other hand, I felt was in control of his emotions; therefore, to me, the physical, mental and sexual abuse from him were inexcusable. There was a wall between my father and I that never came down. The last time he tried to physically discipline me I was thirty three years old. I, who had rarely spoken up to him, informed him it was not going to happen, and if it did I would have him arrested. That drove another wedge between us. I wasn’t around him much after I became an adult.

A few years after my mom died my dad married a lady who was a staunch Christian Scientist. He went to church with her, and participated in the readings. She owned a wheat ranch, and this gave my dad a sense of importance he enjoyed.

When I finally found the Lord, or should I say when He finally got me to realize that He could actually love someone like me, I prayed for dad to come to Christ before he died, and while in the hospital dying of cancer he sent for the pastor of the church we were attending, and the pastor said he was okay; but he did not live long enough after that for us to repair our relationship.

During my growing up years I was a servant to my parents and siblings. I lost myself in a haze of make believe. It was always the same: Some man was going to come along, fall madly in love with me, and take me away from all of this. I cooked, cleaned, did dishes etc.etc.etc.. I was the oldest of nine children, seven were boys. Boys don’t do woman’s work, and mom was sick a lot, so I was sort of elected.

I wasn’t allowed to participate in school activities. I had to get home right after school, because the breakfast and lunch dishes were waiting for me. As soon as I had heated water on our wood cook stove and got them done, it was time to start dinner. Then I dished it up and carried it in to my siblings, ate my dinner, and then went into the living room and gathered their plates, and did dishes again. (Cooking and heating water on a wood stove makes these chores take quite a bit longer than they do today) Before bed I made lunches for the next day.

In the morning I was the first one awakened by my father, so I could get up and get his breakfast, then prepare breakfast for my siblings. I got myself and them ready for school. Somewhere in the midst of it all mom would get up and begin drinking her coffee, (trying to wake up) and smoking her cigarettes. (She had asthma so bad she had to sleep sitting up, but she never quit the cigarettes). If I had any spare time there were always diapers to change, babies to feed, or coffee and cigarettes to fetch for my parents. I was even awakened at night quite often to change diapers or make bottles.

I remember I loved to read, and as a young child I was allowed that special treat; but by the time I was eight or nine I was told it was a total waste of time. My father informed me women only need to know how to take care of babies and keep house, and he made sure I got lots of experience.

In grade school I was a straight A student; but couldn’t maintain it in high school. Finally by the time I was sixteen I couldn’t cope with trying to go to school and put in all the hours at home, so I quit. I was thirty years old when I finally got my G.E.D. I didn’t even study for it, just went in and took the tests, and passed it. Maybe I wasn’t illiterate after all.

It gave me a strange sense of worth somehow. Where before I had always felt so dumb because of my lack of education, I felt ALMOST on a par, at least with those who didn’t have a college degree. I remember telling my dad about it (mom was gone by then) and he said; “So what, now I suppose you think you are better than the rest of us.” None of my siblings graduated from high school either, and I was the only one of the nine of us who ever got a G.E.D.. I wanted so badly for dad to, just once, tell me I had done something right.

We were never told if we did something right; but it was driven home with painful force if we erred. I can’t remember hearing my parents tell us they loved us. Correction, they did say if they didn’t love us they wouldn’t waste their time whipping us. If we had company, my dad did not have to say a word if we spoke out of turn, a mere look from him could make you almost wet yourself, because you knew what was coming later.

I remember one lady commenting on what well behaved children we were. She said when she had come up to the door, before knocking, she could hear a minimal amount of noise; but as soon as she knocked all talking ceased until after she left. She said while she was visiting you could have heard a pin drop.

Anyway, I’m sure you get the picture. My thin grasp on sanity was in my daydreams, and the love I gave to, and received from my siblings. I can remember when I would rock them, and I would just sort of soak up the love. Oftentimes many of my “chores” were accomplished with one of my siblings on my hip. One of my brothers told me as an adult he still resents me for leaving him when he was eight, and I got married at eighteen, because it was as if his mother had just walked out and abandoned him.

My brother Rodney was nine when I married, and he was sent often to stay with me, until I actually finished raising him, because after I left he became totally unmanageable for my parents. No matter how much they beat him he wouldn’t conform I have written about my brother Rodney’s conversion from homosexuality at
http://www.skylink.net/~roav
if anyone would like to read it)

Unfortunately, those who are raised in this kind of home may survive; but they don’t often overcome it. Alcohol and/or drugs have claimed the best years of most of my siblings lives. One brother had numerous breakdowns, and was on prescription drugs most of his life.

Another brother was diagnosed as schizoid affective, and when he wasn’t on prescription drugs, or in a mental hospital, alcohol was his drug of choice. My only sister was diagnosed at an early age as manic depressive, and has been on Lithium most of her adult life. I was told she resents me to this day, because I didn’t protect her from our dad. I didn’t realize that everything he was doing to me was likely being done to her as well.

Myself and most of my siblings are or have been subject to panic attacks on a regular basis. You can’t come up in this kind of a background without scars that will very likely haunt you for the rest of your life. Fear is a companion you learn to live with, and the biggest fear of all is that fear will desert you, and you will be left with this big gaping hole inside of you.

One of brothers dove off of the bridge in Lake Chelan at thirty seven years YOUNG and drowned. His alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time. The main artery to his heart was seventy percent blocked, and the rest of his arteries were fifty percent blocked: Probably from the numerous illegal drugs and gallons of alcohol he had consumed over the years. If he hadn’t dove off the bridge first, he was a walking heart attack waiting to happen. He began his dependence on chemicals at the tender age of twelve.

Those of us who didn’t zone out so completely as to warrant psychiatric intervention found other ways to cope; mostly drugs and alcohol. My escape in the early years, when I wasn’t daydreaming, before and during the time I discovered prescription drugs and alcohol, was three husbands between the years of eighteen and thirty two, who were each going to save me from myself, or so I thought. With each day that passed I became more messed up, and closer to the edge of insanity.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that those who have been abused will go on to pick abusive mates, or mates they in turn can abuse. I’m a people pleaser, so I picked the abusive ones. I got a skirt chaser, a woman beater, and a drug addict. All the while wondering when they were going to rescue me.

Fortunately, I wasn’t a total martyr as well, so I didn’t remain in the marriages for too long. I did have a number of “relationships” between marriages too. How many times and ways can it be said?–”I was looking for love in all the wrong places”.

During my first marriage I met a lady who introduced me to the occult. I was associated with her for eleven years prior to my conversion. I learned to do astrology charts, and sat in on some of her séances. She spoke to dead spirits, did numerology, astral traveling etc. etc. I was associated, and participated; but was never able to make a total commitment.

About four years prior to meeting my fourth husband I finally discovered the pain numbing effects of alcohol. I had already found it necessary to depend on prescription drugs periodically. But that made me feel like I needed a crutch. Alcohol was an escape that could be labeled “recreational”.

Though the alcohol actually increased the pain, it also temporarily numbed the pain, and so the vicious cycle began. I also found out later that I’m allergic to alcohol, so after three drinks I would black out. 1 would still function, and those around me didn’t even know I was gone; but I wouldn’t remember a thing.

One time the mental pain was so great I just wanted out. I took a number of Valium, and washed them down with about five mixed drinks. I just said;” God, If I’m supposed to be here I’ll wake up in the morning, and if not I won’t. (Now that I’m a Christian, I pray I would NEVER tempt God like that again.)

Obviously I woke up, and He actually took me for a spiritual healing (though I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time) BEFORE I even became a Christian—right after I had gotten down on my knees and begged Him to somehow change my life, because I couldn’t endure it anymore. I spoke to Him before I knew Him, I wrote poetry about Him before I even knew who He is. Even when we are faithless, He is faithful.

Then I met my fourth husband. I almost didn’t marry him, because I knew I could love him. People who come from my kind of background actually have a tendency (subconsciously) to choose people they can’t love, because then they can’t be hurt as badly when it doesn’t work out. That’s great in theory; but in actuality, the more relationships that fail the more worthless you feel.

Bob wasn’t a Christian; but he was a good person, and at thirty three he had never been married before. After we had been married a year or so, his Baptist brother and his wife came for a visit, and witnessed to me about Jesus. After they left I called a girlfriend I had gone to bars with in my single days, whose father was a pastor, and asked her how you get Jesus in your life. She said you just get down on your knees, admit you are a sinner, and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. So after I hung up, I did.

After that the Bible, which had always been gibberish to me, began to be easier to read. I remember one of the first things the Lord showed me was that astrologers will burn. That scared the heck Out of me. Over the course of the next six months I periodically picked the Bible up, and gained a little more knowledge each time.

Then came the day when the Lord wanted a commitment. He took me into the Scriptures and showed me who He truly is. I remember the first time I learned JESUS IS GOD!!! I couldn’t hardly believe it. I was almost afraid to tell anyone for fear they would think I had finally lost it. Though I was afraid, I embraced the Truth, and accepted it as such. I cautiously approached Bob with my new found knowledge, and to my great relief he said it’s true. Can you imagine, there are still people in America today, who have never heard that Jesus is God???

About that time I read a book called “Pigs In The Parlor” that had been given to me several years before by the pastor who had prayed for me when I had received spiritual healing. (I only saw him that one time, and haven’t seen him since.) Anyway, this book is about demon possession, and how anything that isn’t of God, is of Satan, including such things as astrology and talking to dead spirits. I guess you know I was one scared lady.

I remember asking Jesus to forgive me and deliver me. I told Him I wanted to give myself to Him, mind, body and soul. That’s when Satan attacked, and he has been there to sling his arrows ever since. He has no need to attack those who are his. As my husband likes to say,”if you ever reach a place where Satan isn’t attacking anymore you are either dead or you have walked away from the truth”.

It has been a long weary road; but I have never looked back. I find I must stay in the Word daily or Satan gains ground. I think those who have been in the occult or experienced a childhood like mine prior to conversion may be more vulnerable. More likely it is one of the reasons the Lord tells all Christians to search the Word daily. God’s Word of Truth is our protection against the wiles of the devil.

The Lord has seen to it that I have had therapy, and though I have some very distressing health problems, He has made sure I have always had whatever I need at the time to make it tolerable. When I was first saved He healed me of erythema nodosum, and though I have asked a number of times for further physical healing He always refers me to John 10:10 and John 11:4. And He also reminds me that His grace is sufficient for me.

The Lord has forgiven me sooooo much. He has delivered me from alcohol, prescription drugs, cigarettes, immoral living, suicide, the occult, mental anguish, the list goes on and on. Most important of all, He saved me from myself. Because God forgave me, I can forgive myself. Believe me, there is nothing worse than self hatred. If you can’t love you no one else can either. He showed me, through the washing of His Word and therapy, that no one else can “make” me happy. That has to happen within me through acceptance.

If I serve Him for all eternity, I cannot begin to repay Him. I am so thankful we are saved by grace, because there aren’t enough years in a lifetime to earn my way out of the mess I had made of my past. I am a new creation in Christ who strengthens me. In the seventeen years I have known Him, the old has truly passed away, and within me all things have become new. Perfect love casts out all fear, and there is no empty place, because His Spirit fills it up.

All the days of my life I will praise Him who called me out of the darkness into His marvelous Light. (I Pe.2:9b)

Here is a testimony posted by Betsy on July 13th. [8.5]

I was raised in a Christian home, i was baptised at one week old and have been going to church since then. However, i didn’t really know Jesus as my savoir, i knew all the stories about Him, but I didn’t really know Him. See I was born with a kidney disease. When I was 10, I had a transplant. During my transplant, by heart stopped beating for five minutes. However, because of the grace of God and the power of prayer, it started again. Then about a month later I woke up in the middle of the night with really horrible headache. My parents rushed me to the hospital. My blood pressure was like 220 the low number. The high number was so high that they couldn’t read it. I went into a coma, and the doctor told my parents that if I ever came out of it, I would probably be brain dead. However, again because of the grace of God and the power of prayer, didn’t just come out of it, but i’m currently a 4.0 honor student in high school. Shortly after that, I thought about what could have happened if I did die. That is when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Ann, marriage June 27, 1997 [8]

When I was 18 and unsaved I met a man I thought I loved, we decided to have children, and I got pregnant, then I found out who this man really was…a liar. I was scared I didn’t know who he really was, I didn’t know why he lied, and I didn’t know what to believe, so I fled from the relationship and decided he would have no contact with his child. I became a single mom, God introduced himself to me and I was born again. I was a new women but still held on to bad memories till God asked me to call my child’s father, which of coarse scared me and I tried to deny his request for months, but God nagged me almost, so finally I took a leap of faith and called someone who was before a mutual friend. I learned that my ex was doing some real soul searching, then I called my old roommate to see if he was still calling and harassing. He wasn’t for a long time, so I called him. It was scary but I knew God wouldn’t set me up for failure…We developed a friendship over the phone after 3 years, I invited him to come visit and meet his daughter for her birthday. He claims he nearly fell off his couch in shock at my invitation, but I remained rigid and careful, still doing as I was told. He moved to our city, we became best of friends, we dated and got married, and now we’ve been married for 2 years, and just had another child. And it is a miracle but we have the most healthy family I know and it is only because we are obedient and took shelter under the wings of Christ. We grew up, I learned to forgive and he learned to tell the truth and life has never been so good. God is the most amazing, power giving, loving God. And I thank him for his patience and nurture within our trivial problems.

What they didn’t tell me about abortion–and how God changed my life [8]

Didilyn

The following nine minute testimony was shared in the services of Good Shepherd Community Church January 18 & 19, 1997. Diane shared this in the middle of a message on unborn children given by Randy.

by Diane

When I was 17, I found myself apart from my family, involved in an unhealthy relationship with a man and pregnant-which was something I didn’t want to think about or deal with.

Eventually, though, I did go down to Lovejoy abortion clinic in Portland to make an appointment to have an abortion. I made this decision because I had no desire to be a mother, and quite honestly, because I was terrified of going through the pain of labor. I just didn’t think of it as being wrong.

When I was examined I was found to be 24 weeks, or six months, pregnant. But I was assured that although I couldn’t have a simple clinical abortion, I could still have one done at a nearby hospital. I agreed. I would have done anything to not be pregnant, and I showed up at the hospital on the scheduled day.

I was placed, along with about a dozen other young girls, in a large basement ward which was lined with cots. There, we received a saline injection in our abdomens which was designed to kill our unborn babies and expel their tiny bodies.

I will never be able to forget the sights or sound burned into my mind on that day. After a few hours of labor, we all began to lose our babies.

When the girl on my right lost hers, she began shrieking and screamed for the nurses to “get that away from me!” as she crawled backwards up her bed. The girl on my left cried quietly and asked the nurses if hers was a boy or a girl.

I felt a violent lurching sensation as the baby slid from my body. It is so sad to me that the only memory I have of my child is that of a small, still huddled form covered in blood laying on the white sheet of my cot.

When I left the hospital, I determined to put this horrible episode behind me, never thinking about it, never talking about it.

My relationship with my boyfriend, never strong, was now almost nonexistent. About this time, some friends of mine introduced me to the pastor of their church. His name was Randy. When he saw my precarious living situation, he invited me to come and live with himself, his wife Nanci, and their daughter Karina. While living there, I sensed the extraordinary joy in their existence and I wanted that too. So I accepted Christ as my Savior. Unfortunately, I was already pregnant again. Knowing that I would never go through a late-term abortion, I decided, with the full love and support of Randy and Nanci, to give my baby up for adoption.

But I was completely unprepared for the feelings of awe that overwhelmed me when I give birth to a healthy baby boy. I was, however, content with my decision to give him up to a childless Christian couple.

Afterwards I moved out on my own, eager to begin my life as a new believer at Good Shepherd. I became involved with the college-age group, attended a weekly Bible study and weekly functions, as well as church on Sundays. I met a lot of really neat people, including a guy named Rod, who became my boyfriend.

I wish I could end my story there, but I can’t. Though I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, I hadn’t put my sinful lifestyle behind me. I became deeply involved with Rod and I became pregnant again. If anyone could die of shame, I would be dead. I was so scared everyone would find out and see what a phony Christian and failure I was. I was too scared to tell Rod. I knew he would marry me, but then he would have to tell his parents that I was pregnant. I was so ashamed. My only option seemed to be abortion. So I went down to Lovejoy and had it done, never giving a thought to our baby. I would never tell anyone what I have done. I would go to my grave with this secret.

Time passed and my secret remained deeply buried. Eventually Rod and I married, we had two kids, Josiah and Amy, we bought a house, attended Good Shepherd Church and Growth Groups. But something was wrong.

My hidden sin held God at arms length. I couldn’t grow as a believer because I would never let God close to me, afraid he would see me as I really was, sinful and ugly.

One day when I had been married for eight years, God decided it was time for me to come to know him better. I felt an intense, growing awareness of the Lord. I was totally overwhelmed by the incredible knowledge of His love. I felt chosen, special, humbled and loved, not because of what I had or hadn’t done, but simply because it was His pleasure to do so. For a week I was compelled to immerse myself in scripture and constant prayer. And for the first time in my life I fell in love with my God.

At the end of the week I was praying in my room. I prayed, “Lord, I asked you into my life a long time ago but I never understood about wanting to give something back. I’m willing to die for you.” No sooner had the words left my lips when my horrible sin rose up before me. I fell to my face on the carpet and wept as all the years of deceit and hypocrisy paraded before me. I cried even harder as the truth of having murdered my own children slammed into me.

When I went to Rod, I began by saying how sorry I was, over and over. I just couldn’t say the words that would tell him that I had taken the life of his first child. If you know Rod, you know how he loves babies.

When I finally got the words out, Rod lay his head in his arms at the table. I remember looking at him suffering from this horrible loss, and all I wanted to do was reach out and comfort him. But I couldn’t touch him. I felt so unclean, I was the one who had done this to him.

When he finally looked up, Rod tried to take my hand in his but I pulled away. He caught it and held on. Then he asked me to forgive him.

I was stunned. I couldn’t say anything. He hadn’t responded like I thought he would, like I deserved. Instead he accepted his responsibility in everything and asked me to forgive him. We cried and we asked each other and the Lord to forgive us.

The consequences to what I’ve done are great. I wonder about the children I lost to “choice” and see who they might have looked like in the smiles of Josiah and Amy. Sometimes I think I can almost hear them. But comforting me through it all is the awesome knowledge that Jesus’s blood fully paid for my debt and that He loves me completely.

 

Dear Didilyn,

Thank you for sharing with us Diane’s testimony. As a mother, I am deeply touched by the trauma of aborting a baby, but in sympathy and compassion I am lifted beyond the tragedy by the wonder of Christ’s love. As an intercessor, the Holy Spirit has prompted an agreement for God’s will to redeem the act of injecting saline solutions that kill, by forgiveness and declaring injection of the Blood of Jesus that brings healing. “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain their destined joy, and sorrow and sadness shall be no more..”
Thank the Lord for His mercies that are new every morning; Great is His faithfulness. May be affirmed in His favor by a greater outpouring of His joy and healing of her memories.

In Christ,

Mary Ann

Inspiration

A Smile [7.5]

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree. The last class I had to take was Sociology. The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with. Her last project of the term was called “Smile.”

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reaction. I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say, hello anyway … so, I thought, this would be a piece of cake, literally. Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonalds, one crisp March morning. It was just our way of sharing special play time with our son. We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did. I did not move an inch … an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible “dirty body smell” and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men. As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was “smiling”. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God’s Light as he searched for acceptance. He said, “Good day” as he counted the few coins he had been clutching. The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally deficient and the blue eyed gentle man was his salvation. I held my tears … as I stood there with them. The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. He said, “Coffee is all Miss” because that was all they could afford. To sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something, and they just wanted to be warm.

Then I really felt it … the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me … judging my every action. I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue eyed gentleman’s cold hand. He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, “I did not do this for you … God is here working through me to give you hope.” I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son.

When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, “That is why God gave you to me honey … to give me hope.” We held hands for a moment and at that time we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given that we were able to give. We are not church goers but we are believers. That day showed me the pure Light of God’s sweet love. I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand. I turned in “my project” and the instructor read it … then she looked up at me and said, “Can I share this?” I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we, as human beings and being part of God, share this need to heal people and be healed. In my own way I had touched the people at McDonalds, my husband, son, instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn … UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE.

Much love and compassion sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS – NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.

2J thanks Sandi and gives her a big smile.

Leow, Testimony [4]

July 11, 1997

My name is Leow, a Singaporean of 30 of age. I am the youngest child in a Khek or Hakka family of three children. I graduated Anderson secondary as well as Anderson Junior College from computer science in 1985. In my younger days I was a very active person and I took part in many sport items including Tae Kwon Do and I managed to get a black belt. I faired quite well in my academic work and the National University of Singapore had reserved a place for me after I complete my national service in 1986, At the age of 17, in 1985. I served the National Service in Palau Tekong for my Basic Military Training with brother Wong Shy Meng, and six months later I was posted to Official Cadet School with Wong as my comrade. In 1987 I had a heartstroke while I was having my NS training in Brunei while I was having my training there and the doctor there try to resuscitate me with a lousy respirator resulting in a scar in my windpipe so the doctor of Singapore had hobson choice but to put me in trachy. That mean I have to breath through a hole at my neck instead of through my nose thus I have lost the ability to speak. Now my father has to do the dressing for me everyday and he has to teach me the 1 different exercises . I live in a three rooms HDB flat with my father, mother, uncle and my eldest brother who has a Phd degree in computer science and is now a lecturer in computer science in the National University of Singapore . I felt very sad I can’t get into NUS, as I am now confine to the wheelchair with my motor ability affected. In 1989 I attended a healing crusade in Singapore Indoor Stadium by my former classmate Simon Shun and his wife Eunice`Wong. I saw many people who is sick is heal instantly there is my first time I felt the presence of Jesus Christ . It was a wonderful feeling and after that crusade than I decided to became a Christian . I was introduced to Calvary Christmatic Center by sister Angela Cheong where I could worship the Lord despite of my disability. I feel that the Lord has allowed me to be in this present situation for His purpose but it is well with my soul and I will praise Him. In 1996, I was blessed with a computer from my former classmate Lee Chuan Boon and now I can communicate with my friend especially Joe Tan who is my secondary classmate as well as College mate and fellowship with my deciplers. In 1988, I was blessed with a cycling machine by Joe Tan. The second coming of Jesus Christ will be soon because of what is recoded in the Bible where more than 80% of its prophecies has come true and we are living in the End Time. My prayer needs are that our Lord will : 1 Strength my back muscle and stop my leg from trembling . 2 Enable me to speak . 3 Enable me to write . 4 Enable my right hand to function properly. 5 To recover completely. 6 To be a light and servant to God.

I am inspired to write this testimony down by brother Ronald Ong as we fellowship one Sunday afternoon as well as TC Chua and most of all by the Spirit of Jesus Christ who guided me and strengthen me all along. I want to share this testimony with all of you to encourage those of you who are under going difficulties in your personal life to look to Jesus who loves you and who will heal you when you call upon His Name.

Prayer Requests

PEDIPHILIA

Posted by: John

My name is John and I am a Baptist youth pastor and a Child Advocate. I need the help and prayers of devoted Christians in a fight against Boylove as known as PEDIPHILIA or child sexual abuse. I am currently working and preaching on a message board run by child molesters. I post messages telling them the love of Christ and to quit abusing children. They think I’M THE SICK ONE!!! I am seeking Christian to post messages to help bring Christ to them and protect the innocents. You will be bashed and persucutioned. You’ll be mocked and insulted. But the children need us. The site is:

http://www.ivan.net/bc/boychat.shtml

If you have any questions, please email me and remember to protect the children, and pray for me in this quest for Christ.

Please pray for our seminary, my home now.

Please pray for our seminary, my home now.

Saved Again

Michele, Jesus Always Carried Me [7]

October 07, 1997

1963 was an interesting year in history. The Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove, and Surfin’ U.S.A. were big in popular culture. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech. President Kennedy was assassinated. The Supreme Court decided once and for all to make prayer in public schools a crime. And I was born. I grew up listening for airplanes flying by, always believing that each one was the Russian missile that would nuke me and end life in all parts of the civilized world. When it wasn’t missiles, it was the fear of tornados or lightning, or maybe the Passover Angel of Death from The Ten Commandments. There was always something to be afraid of – accidents, illness, dismemberment. I didn’t know how the end would come, but I was sure of two things – I was bad and God was going to punish me somehow. This was a pretty strange attitude for me to have, considering that I was raised without any organized religion. Well, my folks did drop me off along with my brother and sister at Sunday school at the local Lutheran church for a couple months when I was really young, but that doesn’t count. Perhaps that attitude wasn’t so strange when you think about it. If I had been raised in an organized religion, I might have learned earlier that God is a loving, forgiving Father, not the thrower of lightning bolts that I imagined. Whatever the case, belief in God was never an issue for me. I always believed in God. I just had the mistaken impression that He was out to get me. Despite my family and loving friends, I was always a lonely person inside. I always felt guilty about everyone’s pain and suffering, thinking I must be responsible. Nothing in life satisfied me or filled up the emptiness inside of me. Highschool was rough. My friends and I all got into doing drugs. I started out with pot and drinking, then progressed to tranquilizers, sleeping pills, acid, speed, and trying out unknown medications for my friends. Guess you could say I was a risk taker. It’s only by the grace of God that I’m alive. Even though drugs relieved my anxiety and boredom, I was very depressed through most of high school and just barely made it through. Throughout all that time, I wondered where God was and why He didn’t seem to care that I was suffering. But I had a good friend who was my teacher in eighth grade. She took the time to talk to me on the phone almost every night, and see me most days after school. Knowing that she cared about me gave me the will to go on living. In the Fall of my senior year of high school, I met Larry, the man I would marry. He was attending college, studying to become an electrical engineer. I was impressed with his intelligence and sense of humor and we fell deeply in love almost immediately. At first, we made plans to get married in August 1981 after I graduated, but later we decided to heed his parents’ counsel and wait until he graduated from college. That Spring, my two best friends met a man who was the proprietor of a Christian coffee house called The Rainbow’s End. They were walking down Kingshighway on one side of the street when they heard music coming from a building on the other side of the street, so they crossed the four-lane road and approached the building. This man came outside and met them and invited them inside. My friends had no idea who they were meeting; they were only interested in the music they heard; but they went inside with him. Once inside, this man and the other Christians who were there told them about the love and salvation of Jesus and they accepted the Lord that night. As an interesting sidebar, my friends had a large supply of black beauties (speed) with them, and that night, they flushed it all down the toilet. The next Monday at school, they told me about their experience and I was angered by the whole thing. I was angry that they flushed all their speed. I was angry that they listened to a bunch of Jesus freaks. And I was angry about the prospect of losing my best drugging buddies (they now said they loved only Jesus and would never do drugs again). For the next week, they told me over and over again about Jesus, God’s love, and the Rainbow’s End. That’s all they talked about. At first, I was too angry to listen. Then I was mildly curious. Then I realized that I was dying to have this peace and joy they had! So I agreed to go with them to the Rainbow’s End on March 6, 1981, the next Friday night (one of my usual party nights). That night I heard about the love of Jesus and my great need for His salvation. He had been knocking at my door loudly all week, and that night I opened the door and let Him in. Larry gave his life to Jesus several weeks later, due in small part to my constant witness. We’ve been saved and walking with Jesus ever since (well, sort of) but you know how the world and spiritual powers can get you down. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, but never denied and put away the drugs in my life. I was a drug addict back then and stayed on drugs until I got married in 1984. Larry got a job with IBM and we moved to Kingston, New York and suddenly drugs were nowhere to be found. This was not a problem for Larry who never got into drugs. But it majorly bummed me out. We didn’t know anyone at first, and after a few months, we met a couple who ran a Christian ministry. I started working at their ministry and they invited us to their church. Larry and I got involved and we were happy growing in the Lord and serving Him until I fell into a very deep depression. I went back to St. Louis in June of 1987 for a two week vacation, fell in with some old acquaintances, started doing drugs again, and to make a long story short, lost all of my joy completely. My depression got worse and worse until finally I started seeing a psychiatrist who put me on antidepressants and tranquilizers. I quit the ministry and found a job as a desktop publisher at a service bureau. I was no longer doing illegal drugs, but the prescribed drugs made me so drowsy that it was hard to do my work, so after a year, I quit. During this time, all I wanted was to move back to St. Louis so we could be near our friends and family. I had gotten very close to Larry’s mom and wanted to be able to spend more time with her. After two years of begging and pleading, we finally moved back and I quickly fell back into old habits. I thought moving back to my home town would solve all my problems and I would magically be happy again. WRONG!!! Things got worse. I went to a shrink and ended up in the hospital on more drugs than I can take time to list here. When one thing didn’t work after a few weeks, we’d try another drug, then another. At one point, I was on as many as eight different psychoactive drugs. My depression got steadily worse and I attempted suicide two times, both resulting in getting my stomach pumped and being placed in the lock-up ward. In all, I went in the hospital nine times between 1991 and 1995. I had friends who tried to get me to see that all the drugs were what was messing up my life, but I refused to listen. Drugs were comforting. Drugs were my friends. Besides, my doctor wouldn’t prescribe anything that would hurt me, would he? But he didn’t know that I took a lot of his prescriptions any way I wanted to – sometimes 4 or 6 tranquilizers at a time, just to get a buzz. I wrecked two cars, broke my ankle falling down the stairs, had to appear in court twice for various things I did, and almost drove Larry to divorcing me. Yes kiddies, drugs are fun! Don’t listen to those uncool adults who tell you drugs will ruin your life! To make a long story a little shorter, things were coming to a head in the Spring of 1996. By then, I had begun losing any sense of reality. I was cutting my arms all the time with razor blades. None of my friends could help me, and Larry was about to throw me out of the house. It was very difficult for them to watch what I was going through. They loved me and tried repeatedly to help me, but I was on a destruction course, eyes straight ahead, refusing to see the red flags all around me. I got two dime bags of pot from a friend of a friend, started smoking that every few hours and taking big doses of tranquilizers I’d saved up, and before I knew it, I was totally disconnected from any rational thought. I don’t know how to describe what it was like to be out of my mind, though I was there for several weeks. Much of that time is blacked out and I don’t even remember it. I have some strange entries in my journal which make no sense. I do remember that it was very scary and very painful, and I was in a raw panic much of the time from fear that I would never be able to return to reality. Out of desperation, I began calling a couple of old friends from New York who are Christians. I felt that there was a wall in heaven and that God was blocking out my prayers, refusing to have anything to do with me. I cried out to the Lord and heard nothing. But I had the sense to ask my friends to pray for me. At one point, I called one friend and I was so messed up that I couldn’t even tell her what to pray for. I was sick and weak, and just begged her, “Pray for me. Just pray”; That was all I could say. A day or two after that, I was listening to Alanis Morissette on the stereo – that song, “All I Really Want”; and all of a sudden it occurred to me that all I really wanted was Jesus. It just clicked in my head finally that He could heal me, take away my depression, remove my craving for drugs, and give me my mind back. I didn’t even have to pray – I just made a decision right then and there that all I wanted in life from that point on was Jesus. I got angry at the drugs and how low they had brought me, and I took all the pills in the house, all the pot, even Robitussin LiquiGels, and put them on the dining room table. Then I just opened up bottle after bottle and threw the contents against the dining room wall. All the while, I was screaming the words to Alanis’ song. It felt great and it was very therapeutic. When I was done, I felt better than I had for years, despite the huge mess all around me. There were hundreds of pills and pill fragments everywhere. Larry came home and I explained to him what was going on and he went away for a few days. I cleaned up the mess and ever since then, I’ve been a sane person. Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, but basically, that was the day that God reached out and totally healed me. I haven’t been depressed at all since then, and have never craved or wanted any drugs either. I haven’t used any prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol since then. Only God is able to bring about a change of that magnitude. And when He touches your life like that, you know it was God. My life is a living testimony of His miracle working power! But it’s not just His miraculous powers that I want to tell you about, it’s His loving care for each one of us. I did feel many times that He didn’t care for me, or that He was even out to get me. But despite my feelings for Him, my lack of faith, my total abandonment of Him, He never walked away from me. As I look back, when things were really bad and I felt so alone, locked up in a back hospital ward, or cutting my arms up at 3:00 a.m., He was still there, carrying me. He wept for me and with me. He gave me friends and family who love me. He protected me from myself. And He waited for me to see that I was ruining my life trying to live it my way. He showed me that all I had to do was truly want to live life on His terms. A friend shared this allegory with me. When we fall, we are like a little child who is laying on the ground. Our Father comes along and wants to pick us up, but He can’t help us unless we lifts our arms up to Him, then he has somewhere to hold on to. If you are in the kind of place I was in, hurting, wondering why you feel so abandoned and alone, lift up your arms to the Father. He knows what you’ve been doing. He knows all the things you’ve done wrong. We deserve to be punished for disobeying Him, and continuing to seek our own will rather than His. But despite what we deserve, He didn’t send His Son Jesus into the world to condemn us, but to save us. His peace, His joy, His love, will come to us when we accept His free gift of salvation. All we have to do is believe that Jesus died as a payment for our sins, and ask Him to come in to our hearts and give us a new life. It’s just that simple. Religion will try to complicate things, creating many paths to God, all of which require hard effort on our part to achieve peace with God. But the Bible makes it clear that we can’t do anything to earn God’s approval. All we can do is trust in Jesus. Jesus did all the work for us. I pray you’ve been blessed by my testimony. If it’s touched you in a special way, please email me to let me know. I would love to have the opportunity to hear your story and pray for you! Michele

Here is a testimony posted by James on December 1st. [4.5]

This is a testimony of a “prodigal son” and the truth of God’s everlasting mercy. Having been born again but forsaking the way of righteousness, God’s hand was stretched out still.

In October, 1992, when my wife was staying with our granddaughter in Edmond, OK, while our daughter and her husband were out of town, I decided to visit a small worship fellowship which was meeting in a hotel near our home. The woman, ministering with her husband at the meeting (approximately 40-50 in attendance), singled me out at or near the close of the service saying before the assembly that:

“I had been on the periphery of the kingdom and, although there had been disappointments, that God wanted me to know Him, not in self judgement, but rather to come up higher and not look at anything in the past.”

This brought to my attention the scripture I had “claimed”, but since forgotten, soon after Jesus had baptized me in the Holy Spirit, i.e. “That I might know Him, and the power of His resurrection …” (Philippians3:10 15). At the time of hearing her word, I understood it to mean that God was still working in my life, which gave me hope.

That was the beginning of the most memorable nine months (October,1994-July,1995) of my life. I retraced my steps, studying again the teachings by Cecil duCille (The Pattern), Watchman Nee (Sit, Walk & Stand; The Spiritual Man) and by Merlin Caruthers (More Power to You). Remembering that God had returned to Job double everything He had lost, I asked Jesus to return double the joy of my salvation. What followed was a joy that seemed to be at least five times as great as anything I had ever known. I learned that anything we do not understand in the scriptures, we only need to ask Jesus (not necessarily out loud) and the Holy Ghost within will give us the understanding.

In Jesus final words to the Samaritan woman He met at the well, He ended the idea of a “place of worship”, ( a physical place of God’s inhabitance and meeting place) when He said “But the hour cometh, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:23-24).

As my wife’s Granddad used to take a hot iron and permanently mark the cattle of his herd, so are these things indelibly marked on our souls so that we can say as the apostle Paul said, “for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galations 6:17).

God bless in Christ.

James, Put your pride behind you [2]

October 10, 1997

I would love to share what the Lord did in my life. We think that we are O.K. with Jesus sometimes but I am here to tell you that if you put self in you instead of God you will be searching for him. At a Sunday night service I went to the alter and fell on my face asking God for forgiveness and to remove my pride and replace it with his glory and show me every way to praise him and forgive my sin. Jesus gave me a peace that night like I have never felt before. But he was not done with me ((PRAISE GOD)). He told me to call my wife and children up front. He told me that he has forgiven me but that joined in marriage with my wife, we are as one and right there in his presence I got on my knees and begged my wife for forgiveness for all the ways that I may have hurt her or her feelings. Lives were touched in the church that night and to God be the glory. In the flesh sometimes we are too proud and bold to do what Jesus asks of us. But through my testimony I can say that in the flesh I am weak but through Jesus all things are possible. God Bless You

God’s Grace

Here is a testimony posted by Keith on August 16 [4]

Many thanks for the privilege of giving a Testimony but, because it would take such a long time, I suggest you visit my HomePage at :-

http://dove.mtx.net.au/~rkskilli/

There you will be able to access our Christian autobiography (31 years in India and Bangladesh in leprosy work) on the internet and also get into “Forum on Leprosy”. I say “our” because, were it not for my beloved wife, Ruth, I would not be able to give a testimony. Read our story and you’ll see how I was “Accepted” when I had no right to be. But that is GRACE… “the acceptance of the unacceptable, the loving of the unlovely, the forgiving of the unforgiveable”. This is the way Jesus related to others — in a totally non-judgemental manner and in that attitude, I saw Christ “high and lifted up”.

Praise God

The Role of a Lifetime [8.5]

In 1993, Visual Bible International released “The Gospel According to Mathew,” starring Bruce Marchiano as Jesus and directed by Regardt van den Bergh. The first born-again Christian to portray Jesus in a major production, the young Method actor brought to his task a sense of joy, love and utmost respect for his Lord. Unlike other roles in his career, however, this one changed his life. Now, Bruce tells his own story of this life-altering experience.

 

Now, it’s very important to me that you know a couple of things. First, there’s no doubt in my heart or mind that this Jesus who walked the land of Palestine 2,000 years ago was the Son of the Living God, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. Second, I am in no way a pastor, teacher, scholar, or authority of any kind. As far as incredible testimonies go, I’ve never been an atheist, built a financial empire, spent time in prison, or been raised from the dead. I’ve never seen a vision of Jesus or healed thousands by my touch.

The truth is, I imagine I’m not much different from most folks sitting in the pews every Sunday. My weeks are more or less filled with the same stuff most of our weeks are filled with. I suffer my share of blunders, enjoy my share of victories, and try hard to live and apply all the believing, seeking and trusting I can.

I’m an ordinary guy – an actor by profession – who, a handful of years ago, was simply blown away by the extraordinary experience of portraying Jesus in “The Gospel According to Matthew.” It was a humbling privilege and a breathtaking wonder. Before “Mathew,” I knew Jesus as my Lord and loved Him. But in doing the film – in walking through His life, in speaking His words, in putting my fingers over the eyes of a blind man, and more than anything else, in hanging on a cross – I fell in love with Jesus, the Son of the Living God, who walked the earth 2,000 years ago, living a very real life, and dying on a cross, a very real death.

If there’s a day in my history I can point to and say, “My life will never be the same,” it’s the day I spent on a wooden cross, high atop a barren hill. Other than stepping into salvation, it stands as my life’s most pivotal experience.

Keep in mind that “Mathew” was no Hollywood movie script – this was the gospel of Jesus Christ, as recorded by Matthew under the hand of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t get any bigger than that – the Word of God studied, memorised, and on some tiny level actually “walked though.”

Then to take that ultimate step – the cross. We’re talking about the single moment every letter and comma in the Word turns upon. It’s the single most tremendous release of power and glory in all of history.

As an actor, I had to step back and take a hard look. Why? Jesus could have done anything that day. He could have chose not to hang on the cross. That had never occurred to me before. It became so stunning a revelation, so fundamental. This is the Son of God we’re talking about; if anyone in the world has a choice, it’s Him!

It’s so vital a thing for us all to grasp: Jesus wasn’t forced to the cross – He chose the cross. And on that day, that most awful of days, He wasn’t dragged to the cross; He crawled there. His battered body was giving out on Him; yet He had to make it to the cross.

Before “Mathew,” I hadn’t the slightest idea of what truly happened that day. Like other things, it had become watered down and prettied-up in too much familiarity, art, and sentimental pageantry. There’s a tendency to think, Well, Jesus was God, and He knew He was going to be raised in a few days, so it probably wasn’t a big deal for Him.

But I must tell you, if I learned anything the day I hung on a cross for nine hours, I learned it was a very big deal. It was nothing less than awful – awful beyond your wildest imagination. The Bible clearly says that they beat Jesus so badly you couldn’t even tell He was a human being. His face was “marred beyond human likeness” (Isaiah 52:14). When it came to these scenes, Regardt sat with Colin (the make-up artist), me, and the guiding Scriptures and explained how he wanted me to look.

I have no idea how long I was in Colin’s chair that morning. My mind was far away – 2,000 years away. I prayed, silently begging the Lord to make me a puppet on His strings. Readiness, terror, excitement, awe, reverence, inadequacy – it was all screaming through me.

The first horror was stepping over the crest of the hill, arriving on the set. People I’d come to know walked right by, recoiling in horror. I was drowning in shame and ugliness.

Aloneness – that’s what I remember most about walking through those people. And the aloneness of hanging on that cross – suspended, helpless to move, abandoned, virtually naked, people below just staring and not saying a word, some of them crying. It’s an aloneness that was beyond my imagination.

And I remember hurting all over. My full body weight was hanging from my hands, which were grasping two leather straps. Those straps were necessarily snug, making it difficult for my hands to even fit into them. I’d just leave my hands in those straps between shots. A crew member would hold a ladder steady under my feet, and I would be propped up while everyone worked around me, moving lights, cameras, and reflector boards.

I was up there like that the remainder of the day. I will never forget looking out from that cross over the course of those hours and seeing the people weep. Crew, cast, spectators – all weeping.

There was Kevin Dimitri Smith, the apostle John. The next morning at breakfast, he looked peaked and ill. He rested a hand on my shoulder and spoke, “I’m still suffering the repercussions of yesterday.”

And Joanna Weinberg – mother Mary. I will never forget looking down at her from the cross – she was wailing and sobbing in heaves. This was no acting job I was seeing – it was a human being.

Joanna is a tremendous actress as well as a sophisticated kind of woman. And given that sophistication, one moment with her while filming astounds me as much today as when it happened.

It was late in the afternoon. By this time I was more or less out of it – cold, aching, bruised, and spent; just silently hanging, literally counting the seconds till it would all be over. I felt something on my feet, bent to see what it was and could barely believe my eyes. It was Joanna. She was crying, and her arms were clasped around my feet – then she kissed them. It was the only way she could think to somehow reach out.

But I was still alone. I remember aloneness beyond aloneness while up there.

We would shoot two lines of dialogue from the cross that day, the first being, “Eloi, Eloi, Iama sabachthani” (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). There are different theories about this moment in Jesus’ life, about exactly what was going on when He cried those words. Some feel He was quoting the Messianic Psalm 22 in an effort to call the crowd’s attention to the prophecy being fulfilled before them, reaching to the people, even in His agony. Others feel that Jesus was going through a very real tearing apart from God, His Father – that the Father literally turned His back on Jesus in that moment.

What an incomprehensibly devastating thought – to be abandoned by the Father. Think how dark your own alone times have been, yet God was right there. If that’s how dark it can feel with Him, can you imagine the darkness without Him? That’s horror and agony unfathomable.

I have to stop here for a minute – it’s a little too much for me sometimes. To look down the throat of those realities, to see those worlds, to picture Him like that – it’s just too much. Thank You, Jesus, for what You did that day. It’s all I’ve got to offer – thank You.

Anyway, I remember Regardt was standing alongside the camera on a scaffolding to my left. He told me a shadow would fall across my face, and it was then I was to stir from semiconsciousness and speak the words.

I didn’t know what I would do when the camera rolled. This was a shot that intimidated me. So many things were going on with Jesus on so many levels. How could I come close to playing even the physical realities, completely aside from the emotional and spiritual? And on a purely practical note, Jesus was moments from death and slipping away. It would have been a tremendous struggle for Him to muster enough consciousness to even give the words voice, let alone speak them with any volume. How awful it must have been for Him that day, 2,000 years ago, to feel death start to crawl over Him.

Then, eventually, it cam time to film the death shout. Regardt was on the scaffolding, eye-level to my left. He called action, and I did the scene, my face falling away from him over my right shoulder. After what felt like forever, he softy said, “Cut,” then immediately began to give the crew instruction for a second take. I rolled my head around to hear what he was saying, and he looked across at me; his eyes met mine, and he stopped. His face fell – it just dropped – and he stopped. Then he said, “That’s it. We’re done. Get him down.”

Several weeks later, I asked him why he had stopped it. Regardt suddenly got very serious and looked away for a long moment. Then he looked back at me and said: “I saw a man dying. Jesus.”

From December of 1992 through April 1993 – the most remarkable time of my life – I was forced to set aside everything that I considered to be my life and take a fresh look at Jesus. Someone I assumed I knew well, but in actuality I knew very little. And oh, who I discovered – a Man, the Son of the Living God, who was so much more magnificent, so much more extraordinary, so much more Jesus than I ever dreamed possible.

May we all stop and take a fresh look at Jesus. May we all set our busy worlds aside, stop, and turn our eyes on Him who set His everything aside – His very life – in turning His eyes on us. As I asked in the beginning, why would the Son of the Living God, with all the power of heaven and earth at his fingertips, choose to do a thing like that? The answer is simple, and it’s been said time and again. But may its reality wrap around your heart and find a deep, deep home like it never has before.

Why? Because He loves you. He loves you. Jesus.

When I heard God speak – by Beth [7]

January 11, 1998

Written in 1987 not long after I became a Christian

It was hopeless. My life just wasn’t worth living. Many times I had been so desperate that I had even considered taking my own life. Fortunately, I have never been the type of person who has liked any sort of pain. I couldn’t think of a way to finish myself off. I was confused. I couldn’t find any reason for my being here. I wanted to give up and end all the pain and suffering I was experiencing, but something kept saying to me, “Not yet, wait a while, something will happen, eventually.” I kept hopelessly looking for an answer. I couldn’t find one. Everywhere I looked I saw hatred and cruelty. On television, newspapers, magazines, books, and worst of all, in the world around me.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that there just had to be an answer, a reason for my life. I no longer wanted to give up hope. This didn’t however, mean that my life changed dramatically. The pain of rejection was still there. Sometimes when I was upset, I would go out for a walk. I could be by myself, away from my troubles at home and at school. During these walks alone, I would think, wonder and often cry. Sometimes it really felt as though someone was out there, waiting for me, loving me. The possibility of God had crossed my mind. It always seemed too far from reality. One night, when I was at the height of my depression, I went on one of these walks. I found a place where I could rest. I sat down and started to think. I looked at the beauty of the stars, as I often did, and let my heart cry out for an answer. A little while later, I got up and started walking again. I looked at the stars again. This time, I noticed an unusually bright one. Remembering the story I had once heard of the wise men who followed a star to Jesus’ birth place, I decided to walk in the direction of that star. I, by this time, was very desperate for an answer. I walked for ages. After a while, I stopped and turned around, ready to head for home. As I turned and faced the building now in front of me, my heart almost stopped. At that very moment, my eyes were opened to Jesus Christ. There in front of my eyes was a cross. I had heard the story of Jesus’ death but before that very moment I had never really believed it. I realised at last that God was there, waiting for me, loving me.

I know that being a Christian won’t solve all my problems. I have to work at them by praying and reading the Bible. It’s good to know that I have got the strength to resist the temptations put to me by the devil. I also know that I have eternal life. I know that God loves me. He needs every one of His children to help bring His lost people back to Him, to let God’s love shine through us so that they can see Him too.

Here is a testimony posted by Joo on June 22nd. [6.5]

Dear brothers and sisters, I am Joo from Singapore and I just felt that I should share this testimony with you. About 5 months back, when my wife was about three and a half months pregnant, I was awoken at about 3 a.m. by some mosquito bites. I took a mosquito netting to try to cover the cot of our baby Debra. In the process, I woke my wife (Joo Ee) up and she discovered that the bed was wet. When I turned on the lights, we discovered that the bed was drenched in blood at the spot where my wife was sleeping. My wife felt so wet that she decided to go to the toilet to check out. When she got up from the toilet seat, I was horrified to see that the toilet bowl was just a mess of fresh red blood! Joo felt that she was menstruating. I told her to be calm and we prayed for the foetus. A month before the incident, she was in U.S. for work and had some spotting (some spots of blood) but she was reassured by God. The Quiet Time for that day had the verse 2 Tim 1:12 – “I know whom I have believed and am convinced that HE IS ABLE to KEEP that which I have committed to HIM for that day”

I got into a taxi to send her to the hospital. In the taxi, I just kept claiming the verse because we’ve committed and dedicated the foetus to the Lord. We know that HE IS ABLE to keep that which we’ve committed to Him for that day. I prayed aloud in English and tongues and rebuked the evil one’s work. We had a special calm around us and I felt the Holy Spirit covering the foetus with His arms. When the doctor at the Accidents and Emergency checked my wife, her cervix was completely closed (i.e. she had no miscarriage) and there was no sign of bleeding. Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! The Lord Almighty is Jehovah Ropha – our Healer! My wife remained in hospital a few days then was on medical leave for about a month. She had a bit of bleeding on and off but we knew that the LORD was in control of the situation.

When my wife was about due, the Lord woke her up to remind her of His grace to us. We intended to name the child Rachel but the Lord prompted us to call her Grace. I am proud to announce to you the birth of Grace Tee Hui En on the 23/11/94 our third wedding anniversary. Glory to God! Hallelujah! We prayed that the delivery would be smooth and painless. My wife had only about 1 hour of painless labour – she nearly slept in between contractions. Only the last 5 minutes did she feel a bit of pain – the baby was born after only 2 pushes. Praise the Lord!

P.S. The name En means grace. God’s AMAZING GRACE!!! Thank God!!!

Simeon, Ok.. Here I go. [5.5]

May 29, 1997 at 05:40:13

I’m new to this site.. but after reading so much here tonight (Good greif.. It’s “This morning” already) I feel I know half of you. So i hope none of you will judge me for what I am about to say…

I am about to give a very explicit testimony. I pray that what I say will be a blessing to others, and that it will also bless me to share it. I have shared this one-on-one on IRC with those whom I felt I could trust, but this is the first time that I’ve stated these things publicly for anyone to see.

I was raised in a Christian home, and Please do not relate what I have done to my parents. They did all that God asked of them, and my mistakes are my own. “Raise a child in the way he should go, and when he is older, he will not depart from it”.. Well. That’s me.

At the age of 8 I was introduced (via the kid next-door) to pornography. It was the usual stuff, but it intrigued me. Soon after he moved away, and I forgot about the scenes I had seen. At 13 puberty hit, and I became a lust addict, and by the age of 18, since I was not able to buy porn, and the kid next-door moved, I had collected tons of sketches and drawings that I had made. My mind was rotten to the core. I enjoyed drawing scenes of rape incidents, and child molestation.

At 19, entering College, I was introduced to Porn of a different flavour.. Video. On top of that, I was introduced to 24-hour access to the internet. Although our access was text-only (i.e. no images) it was still quite explicit.

Keep in mind, that all this time, I have been living the perfect lie. All my family and friends thought of me as “the perfect little Christian boy”. I asked Christ into my heart at 9 years old, but the growth was EXTREMELY hindered by my actions. I stayed a 13-year-old Christian.

I became extremely interested in child-sex and stories of such were what I desired. Being as I couldn’t find child-porn videos (now I know that I just wasn’t looking in the right place.. God protected me!!) I was also extremely addicted to any video porn I could find — Mostly borrowed from other guys in the dorm.

In 1991, The World Wide Web was invented, and I immediately saw the potential for visual effects, and I guess so did a few thousand other porn-addicts. It became (and still is) a breeding ground for immorality. I discovered a whole new area of child pornography, the photos.

Lust had now consumed about 45% of my waking thoughts. One day, at the age of 22, I had gone downstairs to rent a VCR from the front desk. I knew almost everyone in the dorm, because I was involved in hall elections. I sat for a while with the gal at the desk and jabbered. Then I just *Happened* to see that a VCR was in and not reserved. I asked her if I could rent it. Of course, she said yes. Then asked “What are you planning on watching?” out of curiosity.

Not wanting to tell her what was REALLY on my shelf waiting to be viewed, I told her “3-stooges. It’s finals week and I need to veg-out.” I gave her my ID, and stepped JUST around the corner to the elevators. Good.. no one was there. As the doors were closing, Someone yelled “Jerry, Hold the Door!!” and shoved their hands between the steel doors. It opened and they pushed the floor just above mine.

In the silence of the ride up they tried to make conversation “So.. you have a VCR.. What are you planning on watching?” Again I was scared.. “The hunt for Red October” was the latest VCR release, so it was the first thing I blurted.

They smiled. The bell rang, and as I stepped off the doors closed behind me. I lived ONE door away from the elevators, so getting home should be simple right??

As I fumbled with my keys, the lock refused to budge, and the guy next door, hearing the noise popped out. I chatted for a second, then it opened. “Hey!” he finally exclaimed, “A VCR. What are you gonna watch?” Knowing he was a mooch, and would ask to come over to watch, I told him “Old Jerry Lewis movies”… I knew he hated Jerry Lewis… He said “oh.. “ and stepped back in his room.

I stepped in mine and closed and locked the door… WHEW!

As I was setting up the VCR, I noticed that my bible was open on my desk. It wasn’t unusual for me to have a bible.. after all, I had convinced myself that I was a good Christian.. I was merely “admiring the human form”.. which i only half-heartedly believed.

It wasn’t uncommon for guys to come into my room unannounced and prowl around. I generally had an open-door policy. If someone needed something, they could help themselves, unless there was a problem. There never was, so I generally didn’t care. I sat down to read it thinking “I wonder what they were looking for?”

As I read it, it was a description of Peter’s betrayals of Christ.. (Thus my nick Simeon Argus.. long story about it.. ask me sometime) Then not with my ears, but in my heart, I heard God plainly “You have denied me 3 times…”

“I have not” I replied.. imagine.. ME.. arguing.. With GOD!! That was stupid. But God loved me anyway. And he recounted each time that I had a chance to set things right by telling the truth, and refused.

I broke down on the floor and wept like a baby. God began to break apart YEARS of decay and crust that I had built up.

Some time later I picked myself off the floor, and returned the VCR and tape.. unviewed.

Shortly after, God brought a woman into my life, who was not a Christian. Long story there, but He used me to lead her to God. My relationship with this woman blossomed and I am happy to say that she is my wife. Our relationship is another EXTREMELY long story, and this is getting too long as it is. Ask me later.

Still to this day, I have been having problems, dreams, and desires that are not of God, but from Satan, and yes, my own thoughts. Please continue to pray that God will lead me into His word on a daily basis so that my past will be exactly that.. past!

To wrap this up, God is capable of doing anything, and no matter WHAT you have done, who you are, or anything you have told God, He loves you and WANTS you to love.

I have never harmed a child, but only by the Grace of God!! He violently yanked me out of my slime before I got to that point. I was not seeking God, instead he found me.. May God be blessed for what he has done for me. I am unworthy of his love, yet he CHOOSES to give it to me anyway!

ALL PRAISE TO JESUS!! WORTHY IS THE LAMB!

Here is a testimony posted by George on January 20th. [5.5]

I was born in Alexandria, Egypt, a few blocks from the Mediterranean Sea. I was raised there for the first 5 years of my life. I lived at an apartment with my mom and older brother. My dad used to work so early before I wake up and he would come real late after I have already gone to bed. He was a workaholic working in 3 different jobs. In 1980, me, my mom and my 9 year old brother came to Rosemead, California. My uncle (mom’s brother) insisted that we come to America because it would be a better life. My brother was having difficulty with his walking but it was unknown why. My dad was working in Kuwait during that time and didn’t come till a year later in 1981. At Rancho Los Amigos Hospital we found out that my brother had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This is a genetic disease that affects the muscles. The person is born looking normal, then by age 7 or 8, the person starts to fall because the muscles are getting weaker. By early teens the person is too weak to walk and has to depend on a wheelchair for mobility.

In 1984, we moved to Torrance, California, near my dad’s job so he wouldn’t have to drive for an hour on the freeway. By that time, my brother was using an electric wheelchair. I was 10 years old but didn’t know that I also had this disease. I was still walking almost normally. I just couldn’t run as fast as other kids my age. It wasn’t till I was 11 years old that I found out.

I had all kinds of emotions from anger to sadness. I asked God why me? I cried so much wishing I was dead. I didn’t want to be confined to a wheelchair. I was always an active person. I loved to do jump rope. I even used to walk all the way to school during 6th and 7th grade which was a mile away. I loved walking the most. I didn’t want to lose it.

By the grace God Almighty, my ability to walk didn’t slow down as fast as most people with MD. I was always small and skinny which didn’t need much muscle to move. I was always active, helping my brother with whatever he wanted like a glass of water or giving him a book to study. He lost his walking when he was 12 years old. He was lazy depending on me and also he was taller than me. That caused him to lose his walking when he could have extended it a few more years.

During my Sophomore year is when I began to use an electric wheelchair. I was 16 years old and still able to walk. But it was becoming dangerous because my arms were too weak to hold the fall. It was like falling with your hands tied behind your back. I was determined to fight back.

Since I didn’t walk at school I started to do some walking around the house. I measured the area where I walk and counted how many laps for each day. Guess what. I still haven’t lost my ability to walk! I’m 22 and still walking. Praise be to GOD!! I don’t walk very well. It take me 5 minutes to walk from my bed to the bathroom but I’m not complaining. As long as God is with me I will not complain. So far I’ve walked over 800 miles in my house!

I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was 17 years old. It was the best thing I ever did. He has helped me accept what I have and make the most out of it. It is through my physical weakness that I’m strengthened spiritually. I know that this life of suffering is short compared to the eternal life of bliss. In heaven, there’s no suffering, crying or disabilities.. We will all (those in Christ) be able to walk through walls the way Jesus did when he was resurrected.

Favourite verse: Psalms 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Don’t leave home without Jesus! [5]

Shannon

June 1, 1996 I parked a rental car behind a hotel I had just registered at for the night. I, the ultra safe nut fanatic, looked over the lay out of the parking area, located secure and unsafe areas, noted the security guard (made eye contact with him)…began to safely execute unloading my luggage, when a man lunged over a 12 foot block barricade. Immediately I knew there was a problem, and yelled “What do you want?” His reply was he wanted my car…he was still about 15 feet away or so, so I threw the keys and my purse at his chest and told him to take a hike. He kept coming toward me, so I began to back away from him, when all at once he lunged at me knocking me to the ground. I remember watching my cell phone fly across the parking lot…..thinking there goes the 911 call! The Lord coached me verbally through the whole ordeal. I sing and do acting in church productions.. and he reminded me to “use the talents” The man kept threatening me that he was going to slit my throat and let me bleed to death if I didn’t get into the car with him…but every time he put the knife up to my neck the Lord thrust his hand down. The man drew the knife against my neck many times, and each time with HIS MUSCLES COMPLETELY FLEXED he’d struggle against Gods mighty arm, keeping him from slitting my throat. The Lord even told me if I died that night, he’d walk me through the gates of heaven…what that man did to me was nothing compared to WHAT GOD DID FOR ME. I ended up being stabbed three times…but the biggest impression left with me was the hunger I have to hear God’s voice like that…there’s nothing like it. I’d like to know how it felt for the attacker to wrestle against the hand of God like that too. The most important message is, do NOT ever go anywhere Jesus can’t go with you. Do not refuse to invite him to go…and do not fear he who can kill the body, fear Him who can kill the body and the soul. Every day our lives are so full of busy activities…so busy we sometimes accuse the Lord of not speaking wisdom and peace into our lives, I think we need to listen a bit better. I thank the Lord that I recognized his voice….the testimony is much longer…the attack lasted about 90 seconds….it could take 13 weeks of teaching to hear all that the Lord spoke to me. Blessings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Dream God Gave Me [4.5]

Posted by: Joey

 

Hello

My name is Joey, the following dream I would like to share with you. This dream ( vision) is something from God, it has changed my life. Please use it or any part of it if you think it will help anyone.

Thanks

 

MY DREAM

I have a testimony I want to give, about a dream God gave me. First let me apologize for my grammar, English was not my best subject. I truly believe God wants me to share this with family & friends whose loved ones have gone on to be with Him in Heaven. My Mother went to be with the Lord several years ago, I knew she believed in Jesus and was saved and was with Him in heaven but I always wondered what our loved ones were doing there. I started searching the Bible for answers to my questions. I had been studying for sometime without much success. I was getting disgusted, but I knew the answers were there I had to keep looking. One night after studying hard I went to bed late, I was real tired and went right to sleep. That’s when I had the most wonderful experience of my life! I know it was from God because during this dream I had the most beautiful feeling of love and peace that was greater than anything I’d ever experienced! This feeling was with me even long after I awakened, I can’t even find the words to explain it! I will describe what I saw that night. My dream started with me walking down a bright white pathway. I saw on both sides of this pathway a real light fog or mist, but there wasn’t any on the pathway with me. What I saw in the mist really scared me at first. I saw people (souls) all around as far as I could see, they were up in the air a couple of feet higher than I was, I couldn’t see their faces or hear any sounds, all I could see was like the back of their heads , and they all had on what I thought was long white coats, they looked like the mist I was seeing except they were much brighter. I was compelled to continue down the pathway, I could see the end far off, at the end I could see a stairway leading upwards into an open doorway with the brightest light I’ve ever seen, it was so bright I couldn’t look at it, but that beautiful feeling of peace & love was even stronger than before, it drew me closer. As I drew closer I could see two other people (souls) standing on the stairway looking up into the light. The one on the left turned and looked at me, she was my Mother. She was as beautiful as I remembered her when I was a child. She had a big smile and her face was white as snow. Then I turned and looked at the one on the right. He was my Grandfather. He looked so young and his face was glowing from the light also. I then turned back to mother. She had her hand stretched out to me, she then said the only words I heard in the dream. She said come on son, it’s alright now. I stretched out my hand to take hers, but before our hands met, I woke up. I didn’t want to wake up. I wanted to take her hand and stay there with her in the presence of almighty God in his peace & love. When I was fully awake, that feeling was still so strong I couldn’t get up. My body wouldn’t move. I was a little scared, I thought I might have had a near death experience or something. I laid there for a while and finally got to where I could move and get up. I went into the living room for a while, all this time I still had that wonderful feeling of peace & love it was wonderful! I finally went back to bed hoping I would continue this dream but I didn’t. As days went by I thought a lot about this dream. I finally realized it was an answer to my prayers. I still had some questions, like where exactly had I been? I watch “Shepherds Chapel” here in B’ham. Pastor Murry has some great teachings. I ordered a tape from him entitled “Where Are The Dead”. The reason I mentioned it is because this tape led me to the answer I was looking for. I started listening to this tape. It said a lot of things I already knew but he quoted a scripture in Revelation 6:9-11. When he read where John could see all the saints under the alter of God I started to think, then he read “all the saints were given white robes and told to rest awhile longer.” Then the Holy Sprit spoke to me. That same feeling that I experienced in the dream came on me again. The white robes did it, this explained what I thought was long coats that the people were wearing. I knew that was where I had been, under the alter of God with all the saints. I had one other question the word slain in Revelation 6:9. Our loved ones weren’t slain, were they? Pastor Murry explained the word slain in Greek had several meanings. As it is used in Revelation 6:9 it means to have walked this earth and held the testimony of Jesus in their heart. This covers every one who has been saved! I want you to know this dream has changed my life! It has answered all my wondering about where our loved ones are and what they are doing. I used to be afraid of death but I no longer am, I long to be in that peace & love I experienced in my dream. The reason God gave me this dream was to help me and for me to share with others who are hurting, and that He may be glorified. The reason I have written it all down is because, when I speak in person, I always leave out some details. I took a lot of time so that I could deliver this message just as God wants. Just one more thing: make sure in your heart that you are saved, and made Jesus the Lord of your life. If you do as stated in John 3:16 & John 8:51 you will never see death, and one day when your work here on earth is done, you too will be under the alter of God where our loved ones now rest. Thank you for your time, I hope this has helped you. If it has please let me know, I would love to hear from you. I have included some scriptures that helped me. Read them if you like and open your mind and let God speak to you.

I Love You All And May God Bless You.

Joey

 

LUKE 23:43
1 CORINTHIANS 15: 35-55
2 CORINTHIANS 5: 7-8
1 THESSALONIANS 4: 13-18
REVELATION 6:9-11

Here is a testimony posted by Tina on November 6th. [4.5]

I was going through a painful divorce. My husband decided he did not want to be married anymore and completely rejected me. This was around Easter time, and I went to church for Easter. I just remember hearing about Jesus and how Peter denied knowing Him, and how all of the people rejected Him and had Him crucified. And a thought struck me… If I am hurting so badly and have only been rejected by ONE person, imagine how Jesus must have felt to be rejected by EVERYONE. The realization hit me of exactly what Jesus had done for me! I no longer felt unimportant and unloved. I realized that I was important to Jesus and He loved me so much that he went through that horrible agony for me. I gave my heart and my life to Jesus. I had an awesome sense of peace come over me. I knew that I would never again have to wonder where I would spend eternity. I did not and still do not deserve what Jesus did for me on that mountain.

I am so thankful that He drew me to Him through that time in my life. Praise Jesus!!

Here is a testimony posted by Margaret on June 27th. [4]

I’m Margaret Lee and I’m 34 years old and work for Teradyne, Inc. I was born again last year, praise the Lord.

I was raised in the Catholic Church, and I recall that about the age of 7 I accepted Jesus into my life. (This is the age when Catholic children receive their first Holy Eucharist.) As time went on, I became the typical rebellious teen and didn’t need God or church anymore because they didn’t do anything for me anyway. Into my twenties I became worldly and cynical and had very liberal views regarding morals & principals.

Into my late twenties I started going back to church because I felt a void in my life; I prayed to God and believed He answered my prayer but something was missing that I just couldn’t pin-point. I was even studying and practicing Hindu philosophy but this only took me so far.

At the age of 30 my husband and I had a beautiful daughter after having 3 miscarriages, praise the Lord. As time went on I was yet unfulfilled; trying to figure out what was missing. I decided I’d like to study the Bible (as a purely intellectual pursuit) but didn’t know anybody I could study with. I also decided to try a new church.

One Sunday I attended service at a Baptist church in my town and I really prayed hard to God to help me and show me the way – show me the path I should be on. At the close of that church service the Holy Spirit pierced my heart, and my life from that moment forward would never be the same.

I repeatedly through prayer surrendered myself to God, but there was still a tiny piece missing. The Lord revealed to me that I must fully submit myself totally to Him and Jesus His Son. That was the key! I was so frightened. My life not my own anymore? Let God rule my life? I knew I had to take that leap of faith. I did. I became so filled with the Spirit. The Bible to me now is the one and only Truth and my “liberal” views took a drastic turn due to studying the Word.

On July 7, 1996 I am going to be baptized. My prayers about this revealed a lot also. My baptism wasn’t for me alone. It would glorify God and I will be His witness to others, and my new covenant with Jesus would be sealed. PRAISE HIM!

Lloyd, He is on time! [4]

August 09, 1997

I was unemployed for six months! I always thought that my success was due to my skills! The Lord took my job, friends, and possessions away from me. He humbled me like JOB! Then after fasting, reading, and obeying, the Lord came through with a job paying more than I was making financially and socially. My testimony is the Lord will take everything away from you in order for you to focus on him! Without him there is no comfort! When fasting, do not manipulate God by your single request; yet, let the Lord take you where he wants to! I LOVE the LORD with all my soul! Romans 8:31 says: “If God is for us, who can stand against us!” In Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth.: Now that is the only power that I can count on. The One whom can create Heaven and Earth! I am not asking one, I am telling one, that GOD is the only way to success by his standards! I now can pray Jonah’s great prayer for forgiveness and understand it! May the Lord’s grace be with you!


Cheryl, My Own Testimony [4]

July 02, 1997

I was born on October of 1961, but my testimony began when I was 2-1/2 or 3 years old. Since then, I was diagnosed with autism; so my parents took me to a psychologist in Omaha and he said that I can never make it to the world on my own. In the fall of 1968 I started attending a school for exceptionally handicapped children which was located in the community building. I went there until May 21, 1971 where I graduated; then, in the fall of 1971, I began the third grade in public school. I did not take drivers’ education when I was in high school; neither have I begun dating nicer guys since then. I was teased by mean guys since I was in school and that really hurt me badly; therefore, I was helpless. I also have an emotional problem which prevents me from finding the right man first, learning how to drive a car, and dealing with the people in the public. I cried myself about it; but then I finally turned to God, who is the one person who taught me about Jesus, who died for my sins on the cross; but three days later He broke free from death and promises us eternal life. Someday when my emotional scars come to an end, we will be together in the Kingdom of God.


Liesl (Free2live), Healing/deliverance [4]

July 22, 1997

I am the author of the Book. Video, Audio Free To Live, a true story of how God set me free from life committed into a high security wing of a psychiatric hospital. Life in a padded cell! An atheist, violent, drug addict, suicidal, a danger to myself and society, after several years a patient escaped and on the way to kill myself, I heard a man say “God can do anything, absolutely anything. He can heal the sick, heal the mentally sick, and set the drug addict free.” Some Christians prayed for me and Jesus touched my mind and made me whole. I committed my life to Jesus and knew that His love and forgiveness, his protection and Grace was with me I was saved. I praise God for all He did for me and is still doing as I go out in His name to give my testimony and pray for the sick and the bound. Jesus is at work today healing, and setting people free, bringing them into His Kingdom, “Go out into all the world, and preach the Gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons.” How grateful I am for the obedience of two people who prayed for me “Lord Jesus please heal this girl’s mind” Praise God.


Here is a testimony posted by Mike on June 21st. [3]

I am almost 17 years old now. When I was 11-13 I was not a very good kid. Sure, I would go to church, sometimes, but I thought that all you had to do was be good and you would get into heaven. Then when I was out riding my bicycle I wrecked and was inches away from smashing my head. I really don’t know why Jesus spared me, but I figured I ought to pay him back. Next month I will have been a Christian for about 3 years now . praise HIM!!!


Bishop, Subject: His will [3]

May 29, 1997

As much as I pray for God to use me, I’m still amazed when he does.

I came to this section of In-Christ Ministries and read about Nycki’s deliverance and how she even thanked me! I thank her for that recognition…but God worked through me!

I was brought to tears because I still can’t believe that God would use me in such a mighty way. I constantly pray for saints to be delivered and when it actually happens I can’t believe it!

But, I thank God for Nycki and how she has encouraged me to continue to be a contender for the faith.

Grace and Peace!

Forgiveness

The Death of My Daughter [8]

Posted by: Lucia

I was raised catholic. Then my parents became Mormons. In my teenager years I was very confused. At that time New Age was very popular (well, still is!). God’s name was changed to High Power, and I got in it too. I used to believe in reincarnation and karma. I went to tarot readings, psychics and astrologists. I was looking for GOD but I was not finding Him in any of these places or religions. At age of 25 I remember I was watching an evangelist on TV and He was talking about Jesus Christ and His gift of eternal life. That day the Holy Spirit convicted me and I asked Jesus in my life with all my heart. Nothing change in the days ahead for I didn’t have anyone to feed my spirit so hungry for God. I had never opened a Bible. Many years passed since then… In 1994 my oldest daughter, 15 years old at the time, was killed. It was the most devastating event in my life. I remember her going to an evangelical church with friends. I am so thankful now! When Luciana died I called upon the name of the Lord. I remember going to the hospital after the phone call from the police, and asking GOD to hold me tight. He did and still does…

Since then I rededicated my life to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit came to dwell in me. I began to go to church and study deeply the word of God. That’s when my life changed. I am a new person, I was born again into the kingdom of God. My faith grows stronger each day as I worship and praise the Lord Jesus Christ. I know for sure that when I die I will go to heaven and there I will see my daughter again and we will be together for eternity in the presence of Almighty God and His angels and all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I believe Christianity is a relationship with Christ. I believe walking in faith is when we listen to the small voice of God to guide us in our daily living. I believe God will never speak to us anything that is not according with His word. I live by faith and not by sight. I believe the way I know when God is speaking to me is when I have my quiet time alone with Him. He speaks to me thru His word but also in may other ways. I can see Him thru a butterfly, a rainbow or a shooting star. He can give me a message thru a preacher, a Christian friend or something I read, sometimes even in a song that I listen, but it will always be according to His word. I believe in the God of love, He loves me and you so much that He sent His son to die on the cross for all of us. God will never impose Himself to us. He gave us the free will. Some follow Him and some think they do but they don’t. Only God knows our hearts. God doesn’t want any of us to be separated from Him, but many will not choose His ways and consequences will come. I lost my daughter for a while here on this earth, but I gained eternal life and the assurance that I will be reunited with her again. I firmly believe that God did not take my child but He allowed what happened. And from that circumstance He restored me to a relationship with Him. I thank Him for the 15 years He gave me with Luciana. And as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. My son is now almost 7 years old and he gave his life to Jesus a year ago. My daughter is 8 and she made her commitment to Jesus a few months ago.

GOD IS SO GOOD! We will be together for eternity! Now, let me tell you about my testimony of forgiveness.

In Loving Remembrance of Luciana January 20, 1979 – April 30, 1994 –shot by friend playing with gun

I want to write about forgiveness because it is not something easy to do, especially to forgive someone that has taken a child’s life. Luciana was a very pretty and popular teenager, always smiling, never mad or with a frown on her face. She was a happy girl and my best friend too. We used to go shopping and eat out together very often. She was also my big helper around the house and with the younger kids, who were at that time 4 and 5 years old. Luciana loved to talk on the phone, loved to dance, had many friends, was very popular at school and she had a boyfriend she loved, or at least she thought she loved him… That night Luciana was grounded because she got home late from school. I told her not to go out. I went to work but she disobeyed me and went out. I believe she made a wrong choice. Then she went to a friend’s house with six other teenagers, which I believe was another wrong choice. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The boy had a gun and began to play with it. It was unloaded, but after a few minutes he decided to put bullets in it and pulled the trigger at random. Among seven kids, it happened to hit Luciana. The shot hit her heart, lungs, liver and one kidney. By the time 911 got there she was already dead. She died in less than five minutes. When I was notified she had died already. No time for good-byes, no time to say, “I love you” for the last time. I was devastated and very angry. Angry at Luciana for disobeying me and being at that place, angry at the boy that killed her and angry at God. How could He let this happen to my girl??? Where was He? For three months I had a miserable life, not eating, sleeping or talking with anyone. Just crying day and night. I was destroying my relationship with my husband and my little ones, but I didn’t care!

One day someone brought me a book “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” by Dr. James Dobson and another book “Gift of Forgiveness” by Dr. Charles Stanley. I read them in less than a week and realized that I was the only one who could change my thinking. That day I made a decision. I was not going to have a miserable life any longer. I decided to give all my burdens to the Lord Jesus Christ. First of all I began to ask God to change my heart, to help me find peace in the midst of my circumstances and to heal my broken heart. I had friends praying for me and with me constantly and it helped a lot. Prayers really make a difference! We prayed the most for the boy and eight months later I received a beautiful letter from Tyler that made me cry. He was asking me to forgive him!

At that moment I realized that I didn’t hate him anymore. God had worked in my heart. Today I say with all my honesty, I could not forgive him by my own strength (it is impossible for a mother to forgive someone that killed her child), but through my heavenly Father it was possible and I forgave him. I trusted God would take care of the situation and He did.

On the day of the trial the judge asked me what penalty would satisfy me. Tyler could be sentenced for maybe nine years in prison but I told the judge I didn’t want for him to be in jail for longer than one year because he is not a criminal, so jail wouldn’t do any good for him and neither would it bring my daughter back. But I agreed he needed to be accountable for his actions and have some consequences for what had happened.

God forgives us for our sins but when we do sin against Him, we have to bear the consequences. So I was trying to apply what I learned from God’s Word.

The Bible also teaches us that when God forgives us, He remembers no more. So, I made a decision to forgive Tyler and remember the accident no more. I don’t allow my mind to dwell on the circumstances of that day. I forgot that day. I died also that day.

I am a new person, totally different from the old Lucia I was before and I treasure all the wonderful memories I have from Luciana. I understood that FORGIVENESS IS NOT BASED ON FEELINGS, FORGIVENESS IS A DECISION WE HAVE TO MAKE.

At the end of the trial, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to talk with Tyler. I didn’t want to. But that small voice of God told me again to go. Without time to think about it I found myself sitting next to him with my arms around his shoulders. He was looking down at the floor and didn’t face me. I told him my daughter is in heaven and we will see her again. I told him I forgave him deep in my heart, because the love of Christ in me allowed me to do so. I told him “Jesus loves you and He is just waiting for you to come and accept His forgiveness.” I promised him I’d pray for him every day the entire time he would be in jail and I did. He got out in seven months for excellent behavior and also was elected the valedictorian in his class in a program that helps youth to overcome behavior problems and drug and alcohol abuse. He stood in front of hundreds of teenagers struggling to overcome mistakes they made in their lives and said; “I am here to talk about hope and second chance.” He was referring to my forgiveness towards him.

Yes, I agree with that statement. We all fall short of the glory of God. I am a sinner and I need forgiveness from God every day of my life. Why not give this boy the hope and the second chance he is asking for? Who am I to hold the forgiveness he is asking for? No, I couldn’t keep the anger in my heart any more… I can just thank God for the transformation He did in my heart. Today, three years later, I see how much God has blessed me because I was faithful to His commandment, gave Him my burdens and He worked it His way and in His time. My heart is healed. I do have peace in my mind and joy in my heart because I made the right choice to forgive someone that has wronged me and God honored my prayers.

The last time I heard from Tyler, he was doing good, working, going to college. He plans to be a youth counselor and I praise the Lord for that. I can honestly say that my daughter did not die in vain. Something good came out of this tragedy and I give all the glory to the Lord. I still struggle with my loss, I miss Luciana very much, more than ever. But I don’t grieve like the ones that have no hope because I know I will see Luciana again. It is just a matter of time and we will be together for eternity.

Meanwhile, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. He is worthy to be praised!

My favorite scripture in the Bible is Prov.3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Lucia Bayne (Luciana’s mom)

Saved

Here is a testimony posted by Larry on February 11th. [8]

Driven constantly by the desire to be admired by my peers, I worshipped my Hog (Harley Davidson motorcycle), spending countless hours building & beautifying a machine that only took me further & further into the emptiness that continued to weigh down my heart & soul. This “Hog-tied” condition robbed my wife & children of the husband & father they so desperately needed & wanted.

But more than that, I was hopelessly lost in my search for fulfilment & peace, & ridden with guilt for the way I was living. I now know that I was actually sinning against God as well as my wife & three children. During this time I led a double life as a successful engineer by day & a “Hog-riding” wild man by night. The drugs & alcohol I consumed, along with the wretched lifestyle I experienced with the Hog-riders, who were also in the same wretched condition, began to wear me down. Thoughts of suicide came into my mind. I thought to myself, “You have tried it all – rock music, race cars, motorcycles, alcohol, drugs, and more – but nothing filled the void in my soul. I lived like an animal; the “Wolfeman” was a true reality.

There were no answers, no peace, no purpose in my life. Suicide seemed more & more like the answer. After years of Godless, full-tilt rebellion against all authority, living the life of a selfish “me-centered” individual, consuming all the known “feel-good” solutions, I was at the end of my rope.- a desperate, drunken, defiant hell-bound, mound of human flesh without the will to live.

My wife had become a born-again Christian ten years earlier. She saw that the trouble I was going through was following a previous pattern that had ended by two very brief stays in “mental institutions”. The world’s remedies for treating mental/emotional problems (which in reality are sin-caused spiritual problems) did not provide a cure for my sin-sick soul. God’s condemnation of sin is not limited to “bikers” & “down-and-outers”. Even “good”, moral, respected people are lost without Christ. My wife knew my only hope was the Lord Jesus Christ, & with my agreement, she began putting Scripture verses in my lunch box to try to give me some stability in my mind.

It was during this final crises period that I noticed some “religious literature” about a Bible seminar on the desk of a former friend at work who had “gotten religious” a few years earlier. I picked it up & took it home to show my wife, thinking, maybe this could be what I need to straighten out my life. [Looking back now, a very sad sidenote to this was the fact (as I learned years later) that the Christians at my workplace were afraid to witness to me. They had decided that I was one person who would never get saved, so they never tried.]

It was at this Bible seminar that the Lord used His word to show me that I needed to repent of my sin & put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who came to earth to pay the penalty for my sin by shedding His Blood on the cross. When I received Him by faith, He entered my life & my heart & gave me eternal life along with the desire to serve Him as my Lord & Savior.

He miraculously gave me a hunger for His Word, & a true love for His people. He transformed my life & my family. We later sold our business, I left my job, & we moved from our home to spend five years studying for the ministry. His great faithfulness to us has been marvellous during these years of growing as we serve Him. He is able to save from hell, provide peace, blessing, & most of all, eternal life if we will only trust in Him.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17)

If God has touched your heart through my testimony, & if you need to be saved from your sin, His plan is simple: If you will acknowledge that you are a sinner & are willing to repent of your sin, & by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ, He will save you!!

“For ALL have sinned, & come short of the glory of God;” Rom. 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, & shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; & with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:9-10

The Testimony of Kevin [5.5]

I lay in the darkness of my boyhood room, hoping to find refuge in sleep. But the grief and despair I was feeling would not let me escape so easily. Kevin and Scott were dead, their lives snuffed out by a head-on collision some 72 hours before. They had been more than just friends, I had grown up with them. Our families had formed a friendship that spanned three generations. They had been closer than brothers. I had never considered life without them.

As a man in my mid-twenties, the notion of mortality had only been a vague impersonal fact. There is no room in the imagination of vigorous youth for such concepts. I was not prepared to wrestle with these ideas. What I wanted, was to run away from them. The best mechanism I had been able to arrive at for dealing with life was avoidance. I would often jest with my friends that “there is no problem too big that can’t be run away from.” This always produced a good laugh, but it was a manifestation of a very real and sad characteristic of my life.

I had flown down from Oregon to attend the funeral. I was to be one of the pall bearers. I didn’t think it was likely that things would improve over the next few days. Being back home didn’t help things. I felt like just being in my Christian Mother’s home was a sort of defilement; like carrying pornographic pictures between the leaves of a Bible. It was late, and I needed my sleep, but it would not come.

Mom had gone up to the Briscoe’s to help with the preparation of food for the next day. I got up and rummaged through my suitcase for the small plastic bag, lighter, and papers I had placed there. I stepped outside, glad for the solitude, to seek the relief of a couple of joints. Looking up at the stars that shown so brightly in the Texas sky, I pulled deeply on the marijuana cigarette. I was eager to feel the mildly euphoric high sweep over my senses. I knew that the Colombian Gold would deal with my grief, depression, and guilt. It was so much easier than dealing with those things myself.

I went back into the house, hiding my stash under clothing in my suitcase. As I settled back into bed, I was disappointed that the dope was letting me down. I didn’t even feel high. Normally, I would have felt more relaxed and calm. But my feelings were too strong. The introspection would not be put away so easily.

I thought back over the years. I remembered the little hand puppets that had presented the Gospel at a Christian summer camp I had attended when I was eight. The message of my need for forgiveness had struck a cord in my young mind. I had walked the aisle at the invitation, but I couldn’t really recall much more about that night. Nevertheless, from that point on, I attended church with a renewed spirit.

It wasn’t long before I discovered the key to the acceptance and admiration that I craved for: act spiritual. Adults would laud me with attention and praise. Several times I recall parents encouraging their own children to “Be more like Scott!” As a teen-ager some parents would actually try to talk me into dating their daughters.

It also worked well at home. Mom and Dad had separated by the time I was twelve and Mom had retained custody. I discovered early on that if I did what my mother wanted — even when she wasn’t around — that she would grant me greater latitudes of freedom. Normally, in a child, such behavior would be an indication of maturity. In my case, however, it was a tool that let me avoid the issues of maturity while giving me the free reign that I wanted. I suppose it made life easier for Mom, but I know that she sensed that something was amiss. When I moved away from home, I remember her warning: “Son, there’s sin in the camp! Tend to that or it will be your undoing.”

I rolled over in the bed, straightening the blankets. It was the memory of that admonition that had forced an earnest prayer from my lips only two weeks before. That night, I had “partied” more furiously than usual. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and hashish had all been involved in the entertainment of the evening. My pregnant wife and I had gone to bed. Although she had not been using since her pregnancy, she had fallen asleep before I had.

I lay there and suddenly realized that I had been taken captive. In my earnest search for freedom, I had been imprisoned by the accoutrements of that freedom. From my Bible study, I knew that God alone could free me. But I was afraid of Him. He could allow anything to happen to me, and I feared what He might do if I submitted to His authority. (It didn’t occur to me until later that God always has this power over us whether we submit or not, but at the time I had the curious notion that I was beyond His reach so long as I did not call upon His Name.) Nevertheless, I knew that drugs would eventually destroy me. I had already had several close calls with other criminals and also with the law. I had also come close to killing myself through “recreational” drug use. This couldn’t go on. So I looked up at the ceiling.

“God,” I prayed. “I am far from You. I am a captive to my own sins. I know that You care about me and that You don’t like me in this condition. So I’m asking You to rescue me before its too late. But don’t hurt my wife, my new child, my job, my health, or my possessions. Amen.”

I figured I had hedged my bets. I had asked for help, but I had carefully crafted the contract to protect me from any kind of hurt. At least, that is what I thought. Only two weeks later I was back in Texas waiting for a ceremony that I didn’t want to attend. I wondered if God had engineered these events. Could this be the situation that He had chosen to respond to my prayer? I needed more evidence. What should I do?

I sighed as I found myself addressing the Creator again, “All right, Lord… if You’re using this situation to deal with me, I’m going to need more proof. If You’re hearing me, send my Mom right in here to talk to me when she gets home. If you do that, I’ll tell her that I need to get right with You.” There. That’ll do it. I was safe. My Mother is so careful about privacy that there was no way she would just walk into my bedroom.

I heard a car pull up, the front door open, and footsteps down the hall. My Mother opened the door and came into my room. So much for my final contingency. “Okay, Lord… I get the point.”

Mom was asking me how I was doing, so I began to tell her about my some of my feelings and concerns. If God had gone to the trouble of demonstrating so clearly that He was dealing with me, then I was stuck. I had run out of exception clauses in the contracts I had been making with God. Mom came over and sat on the edge of my bed and listened.

It hadn’t been that many years before that my Mother had been faced with a different set of circumstances but with the same options. She had spent the last few years struggling to relinquish her own control of her life to God. In her own way she had been avoiding issues like I had been doing. She knew that her divorce was not God’s will, but she had found ways to rationalize all that she had done. But God had dealt with her and now she was living for Him alone.

Haltingly, I explained that my life was in a shambles and that I was enslaved by drugs. Of course, she knew all of this and had been praying for me for years. Nevertheless, she thanked me for confiding with her and told me that I needed to submit my life wholly unto God. He needed to be the final authority for how I lived my life. Not only is He the only Being in the Universe to fully deserve such submission, but He is completely trustworthy to do what is right and good as He takes charge of a life. He is too intelligent to make a mistake, too powerful to be thwarted, and too loving to be unkind. His omniscience and omnipresence make Him the only logical choice as Lord. Besides all of this, it is His heart’s desire to demonstrate His love to men on a one-by-one basis.

I agreed to pray with her. I might have been more hesitant if I had known what would ensue. As I tried to pray, my throat was constricted. It was as though a large pair of hands had gripped me around the neck. Every time I began to utter the first word of my prayer, the grip would tighten, choking off the first word. Repeated attempts to pray only worsened the sensation. Finally, my Mother had to pray for me.

What an awful sensation! As she began to pray it was as if my body was nothing more than skin stuffed with living snakes. They squirmed and slithered under my chest. As Mom continued to pray, the snakes — one-by-one — began to loose their grip and vanish. This was a long and laborious process, but when we were done praying, they were gone! I felt clean! I was no longer a slave to my own sin.

I could go on and on, as this was only the beginning. God has continued to lead me and provide for me. He has transformed the deepest part of my character. That is the greatest evidence I can offer for the reality of this story: my changed life. Certainly I have made mistakes since then. I have sinned more often than I care to admit. The big difference is that I am a better man now than I was a month ago. That trend has continued since that night seventeen years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I’d love to introduce you to my Creator. If you’d like to know more, we can tell you how. It is the easiest and most difficult thing you will do in your life, but it will also be the greatest single decision you will ever make.

Drop us a line and let us know how we can help you: Andrew.

Scott

Lisa, Sexually abused, depression, loneliness, panic attacks, suicidal. [4.5]

I was raised in a Roman Catholic family. I went to church and religion class every week. I thought of God as someone who could only be contacted at church. I thought the Bible was just a bunch of stories. I felt that neither one really had much to offer me in the here and now. But I deep down inside, I knew there had to be more. I just didn’t know where to start looking to find it. In my family, we never read the Bible or prayed together as a family. The only prayers we did say were prayers we had been taught at church. The same thing day after day. I felt like a computer. The prayers were very impersonal and were more of a recitation than a conversation with the Lord. But little did I know, that the Lord was going to show me the way. My name is Lisa and I am a born again Christian. I was raised Catholic but I wasn’t saved. Then when I started 7th grade I met these two Christians (They were twins.) I didn’t know they were Christians but I knew that they were different from me. I remember that it seemed like all they ever talked about was God. I was starting to get really tired of it. Then they had the courage to start a prayer group during our lunch hour. They asked me to join and very reluctantly I did. But I didn’t pray. Instead I used it mainly as a social hour. The adult coordinator of our group was the leader of their youth group at church named John. The twins then started pestering me about going to their youth group with them. I couldn’t for awhile but one day in the summer I did go and it changed my life forever.

They arranged for John to pick me up at my house. On the way to the church he started asking me all these questions about religion. Then he had me pray. I will never forget what happened next. He said to me “Lisa, if you were sincere you just accepted Christ as your Savior.” I felt like saying, “Yeah so what?” Then we got to church and he announced to the whole youth group that I had just accepted Christ as my Savior. The kids started cheering and clapping while I was thinking “Okay what’s the big deal? This happened in the summer after my freshman year. My freshman year really broke me. It was one thing after another. I was fighting with my parents all the time. My grades were awful and I was severely depressed and suicidal for the entire school year. Also I was sexually abused and harrassed by a man who was 67 when I first became friends with him. I was 16. He forced me to kiss him on the lips everyday for 2 weeks straight. Even before that though the things he did were inappropriate. He used to called me honey which made me feel really uncomfortable but I never told him. Once I did. I heard my voice say “Don’t call me that.” Then he says “Well, I didn’t know you were going to be so stuck up about it.”

After he abused me I felt angry, guilty, hurt, betrayed and many other things. I later told my mom after she came into my room and asked me what was wrong. I told her nothing at first but then she asked “Did Bill do something to you?” I started crying and told her. She went down to his house which is on the same street as where I live and talked to him.

I never did get counseling for my depression or this that year. I started to grow in my faith in my sophmore year of highschool. But I lived in constant fear of Bill. As a result, I started having panic attacks. At one time I was having as many as 10 a day. Then on August 29th of my Junior year he died. I had been praying that he would leave me alone. I felt relieved but also a little guilty for feeling that relief.

Then in February I discovered Dawson McAllister Live a Christian nationwide call in show. There is a topic every Sunday and the first time I listened to it the topic was sexual abuse. But I didn’t call in.

By my senior year, My panic attacks had stopped completely. But the feelings did not go away. I talked about the abuse itself but never about how it made me feel. I also grew alot spiritually during my senior year. I graduated in June of 1995 and started attending Fox Valley Technical College which I hated. There were no Christian activities at all. Then in October I got sick of everything. The constant put downs from my mom and all the pain. I was also very lonely. So I got depressed again and also got suicidial again. I decided I was going to try it one Sunday night but I hadn’t decided how thankfully.

I called Dawson McAllister Live and they said I might not get on the air. So I prayed. And they called me back saying they were going to put me on the air. The topic that night was suicide. After talking to Dawson I called the Hopeline. The man I talked to literally talked me out of killing myself. >. A few weeks later I started counseling and things started to change. I was finally talking about everything I’d been feeling for the past 4 years. A few weeks later I got down and my knees and I prayed. I told God I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t remember what all I prayed but after I was done I felt this incredible peace. But I felt like I was on a roller coaster. Things would be great one day and awful the next and the emotional pain was constant. Things got so bad that I would start crying every time I talked about the sexual abuse. I called myself stupid and told myself that Bill had only done what I had asked for. After all, I reasoned, I willingly went into his house didn’t I? So in my eyes that made it my fault. I also started to hate myself with frightening intensity. I resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to find healing. I wanted to be healed from this in the worst way. But I thought that it would never really happen. The beginning of my healing process came in July of 1996 when I became friends with an 32 year old woman who had been sexually abused herself as a child. Susan (not her real name) became a very important person to me and someone that I could really talk me about the emotional effects of being sexually abused. She was the one person who I could not lie to. She had felt many of the same things that I was feeling. It was nice to finally find a friend who could understand what I was going through. She understood exactly what I was feeling and really helped me through a lot. That was the beginning of healing for me. But things were still hard. But real healing finally came in May of 1997. I forced myself to listen to Dawson’s show that week. The topic was sexual abuse. I almost didn’t listen to it but I had a strong feeling that I should. Boy am I glad I did! I heard people talk about how they had found healing. I remember thinking that would never happen to me. But the Lord proved me wrong. I tried getting on the air that night but wasn’t able to. So once again I turned to the Hopeline.A wonderful caring man took my call. He was very sympathetic and really listened to me. Then he told me “You have to forgive the man who did this to you. It’s not your fault but you do have to forgive him.” I said “I know. But how am I supposed to do that? Everyone I ask tells me they don’t know.” So he gave me eleven easy steps on how to forgive someone. I didn’t think they would really work but I wrote them down anyway. He told me “I know how hard it is to forgive someone who has sexually abused me. My father molested my daughter and it took me a year and a half to forgive him. Then I told him something I had never spoken out loud before. I said “Well the abuse was my fault. I went into his house and so that makes it at least partially my fault.” This man told me something that brought real healing into my life. I could hear the emotion and compassion in his voice as he told me something I had always known deep down. “It was not your fault. Even if you hadn’t gone into his house if you were the one he targeted it would have happened anyway. Even if you didn’t go into his house. Sure you made it a little easier for him but that doesn’t make it your fault. It is his fault not yours.” God really used this man to speak to me. After I did the activities he gave me to do. I couldn’t believe the difference. The emotions had faded and the pain was no longer there. Things changed so much that now when I talk about my abuse it’s almost like I’m talking about something that happened to someone else. And I have finally forgiven him. It took me over 5 years to do it but I finally did. But even better than that, I was finally able to forgive myself and I finally let myself off the hook. Then in 1997 I started my freshman year in college. I was so excited about leaving home. But I found myself unprepared for the spiritual attack I would face as a Christian in a state university. I also unwisely became friends with this girl Linda who lived on the floor under me. Linda claimed to have “premonitions” I told her they were demonic but she insisted that they were of God and foolishly took her word for it. But I still didn’t really know what to think when she made a prediction regarding MY future. I thought about it a lot and decided to see what one of my close strong Christian friends thought about the situation. I told her what had happened and how Linda claimed to be a prophet. My friend told me that she had done and Bible study and told what what she had found. She also warned me to be extremely careful and not to let Linda do anymore more prophesying for me. I didn’t listen to her advice. She also told me that there is a very fine line between prophesy and Satan’s gift of ESP. But I was too foolish to listen. I thought that my faith was strong enough that I would never get sucked in. I was so wrong! Through Linda I became friends with this girl Amy. She and I became roommates in the Spring 98 semester. I wasn’t getting along with my roomate from first semester and thought Amy’s offer to move in with her was an answer to prayer. Amy, Linda and I became very fast friends. I found out that Amy also had the same “ablilities” that Linda had. She was also very stubborn and very prideful. But she was a very nice person so I didn’t think too much of it. Until the night of February 12, 1998 when I discovered that I too had the ability to see into the future. It scared me. I would close my eyes and I could “see” pictures in my mind’s eye. They were very clear and were about many different people. Including myself. Linda and Amy saw the same images. I was afraid and voiced my fears to Linda. She reassured me that they were of God. So I didn’t think anything more about it. Until I realized I had turned into someone I didn’t know. My whole personality changed. I became very cold and unfeeling. My face became as hard as stone and my heart was just as hard. I started to have terrible thoughts. I became to want to hurt people. I wanted to scar them so bad emotionally that they would never be the same. And the sad part is I didn’t even care. I got more and more prideful and cold with each passing day and God felt farther and farther away from me. Soon it was almost as if there was a chasm separating God and I. It scared me but I didn’t really worry about it. My faith was being unwoven bit by bit. It happened so gradually I didn’t even realize it until it was almost too late. One day I was in Linda’s room. (we now lived just down the hall from one another.” I started gloating how I wanted to emotionally destroy the guy I was dating at the time. My face hardened. I didn’t even have to look in a mirror to know. I could feel it. Linda saw how hard my face was and looked like she was about to cry. She kept trying to reason with me but I wouldn’t listen. Finally she said something I couldn’t ignore. She said “I never thought I would see the day when Satan got you. You’re faith was so strong. He tried to get to Amy and he tried to get to me but I never thought he would get you. But he has. Lisa, you’ve got to get him out of your heart.” That really got to me. I began to cry. I felt so empty and like my faith was totally gone. I said “How do I do that?” She said “You’ve got to pray.” At that point, I said something I never thought I would. “I don’t even know how anymore.” So she prayed for me and after the short prayer I had to go to my 3 o clock class. As I was walking to my class the Lord gave me the words I need. I spoke them out loud in a voice that let Satan know I meant business. I said “Satan, In the name of Jesus I bind you and cast you out. Take your pride and your fear and get out!” Then I saw something that I now believe came from the Lord. I saw Satan fall to the ground at my feet. He looked up at me and glared at me with a look of pure hatred. Then he disappeared.” And I could feel the difference inside me. The pride and the coldness were gone. But I was still having these demonic visions. I didn’t know how to get rid of them. I asked the Lord to take them away. I woke up the next morning and they were gone. Then I saw what I had done. I had let Satan completely deceive and and then lied to me and told me what I was experiencing was part of God’s plan for my life. I have asked the Lord for forgiveness and I know that he has given me yet another second chance. I have also learned a very valuable lesson from this. I have learned that Satan is much more crafty and deceptive than I ever knew. He is also much more powerful. I underestimated Satan’s power. But I have also learned that while Satan is powerful he is not equal to God. God will always be more powerful than Satan. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. But a lot of good has come out of this situation and everything else that has happened in my life. I am living proof that God can take the most impossible situation and use it for His Glory. Feel free to write me if I can be of any help. In Christ Jesus

Here is a testimony posted by James on December 4th. [4.5]

Jesus appeared to me at the age of 17 and manifested himself to me through my high school friends.

What do I mean by “manifested himself”? I mean that he made His presence real to my conscious thought patterns in a series of events in my life as a teenager.

I was raised in a non Christian home with a mother who was a non practicing Catholic and a father who never walked through a church door since I can remember.

My parents told me that they believed in the freedom of religion and that as long as I was GOOD I would be allowed to go into Heaven. To make a long story short I had a very strict upbringing. My father was in the Army for several years as a drill instructor. My mother was from European descent and a very strict disciplinarian.

In short I rebelled and stayed in constant turmoil with my parents. The Lord used several friends of mine as instruments to draw me into His kingdom. Ida Colombrito and Tracy and Donald Dewitt are the three people in my life at that time that drew me to Jesus Christ. They were always there to listen to me when I had a problem.

I began spending time at Ida’s house and began to talk to her father who happened to be the chaplain for the volunteer fire dept back home. He led me in the sinners prayer by a chopping block in the woods one day. I came to a point in my life where I realized that I was a sinner lost and going to hell and that the only way I would be allowed into the Kingdom of God was by doing several things.

1. Confess my sins to Jesus Christ
2. Repent of my wicked ways. That means to turn away from them
3. Accept the gift of Grace at Calvary where Christ gave his life for the sins of the world.

At that point in my life I did not understand all the theological ramifications or the type of commitment that I had just made, but I knew that He resided in my heart and that the awful burden that was on my shoulders was instantly removed. I ran all the way home full of joy!

I was 17 at that time of my life and when I told my parents that I was saved they said , “Saved from what? Drowning?”. My parents had no clue what had happened in my life at that point and were very angry that I had continued to talk with those religious fanatics against their wishes.

I visited some churches sporadically from time to time for the next year and through a series of events moved from Quinlan Texas to Houston Texas trying to find a new beginning. This is where I learned about the commitment that I had made to Christ. This is where I learned about the difference between a “salvation” relationship and a “Lordship” relationship.

After being in Houston Texas for about 8 months, I lost my job, place to live and my car. I wound up on the streets of Houston and then eventually in a street rescue mission called the Star of Hope Mission. At this time of my life God impressed on my heart in a very real way that I was no different and no more worthy of His grace than any other human on this planet. At this point in my life I was a very materialistic , loud mouthed and not very heavenly minded young man.

While at the street rescue mission, I had the opportunity of listening to the Gospel being preached three times a day before I was allowed to eat. I remember asking this question. “ Why ME Lord, what have I done to deserve this?” After 45 days of being at the Star of Hope Mission, listening to the Gospel, praying, crying and counseling sessions I was in a position where the Lord could speak to me.

Through the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart I was told, “It is not what you have done James, it is what you have not done”. I was devastated! Who me Lord? I yanked out my wallet and showed him my fire insurance card and said “I have accepted you as my Saviour according to what the scripture has said”. The Lord impressed on my heart that being a Christian has some very solemn responsibilities attached to it. The Lord impressed on my heart that my life was purchased with an awesome price.

The blood of Jesus at Calvary was that price and I was not to take it very lightly. I went from being a “fire insurance card” Christian to a person that to this very day is learning what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus Christ my Lord. Having a Lordship relationship is a one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time ordeal. It is one thing to confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord. The devil and his fallen angels confess that and tremble. Having faith in the Lord and being obedient to His word is where faith comes in.

Do I think that I am perfect because of my relationship with Christ? No, far from it I would say. The only difference in me and a person that has not accepted Christ as their saviour is when I fall face down in sin I have a Lord and Saviour that will forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

My testimony may not be as dramatic as some. I have not been delivered from any type of addiction or abusive situation. I am not a pimp or prostitute or murderer. What did happen one day at the age of 17 is that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and manifested the Love of God and the mercy and grace of God to my life. I thank Him that I was able to receive the invitation of God and accepted it.

Life is not easy folks. It is full of its ups and downs. It is full of disappointments. I can say with all my heart that without Jesus Christ in your heart, you do not stand a chance. Through the hard times in my life, I have been able to turn to Christ when no one else had been there for me. I have been on the streets with three bags of belongings, in a street mission, in jail. I have been homeless and have gone through a very bloody, emotionally tragic divorce. I am no stranger to pain. Through it all, when I turned to the Lord He was faithful and just to be there.

I challenge you today to find a place of quiteness – a place where you are not interrupted by life in general. Jesus Christ is preparing a place for his children, the bride of Christ. He died on that cruel Roman cross for you just as for me and the rest of the world. I want to encourage you to seek out the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is a gentleman and will not force himself upon you. You have to seek Him out and when you do, He will come into your heart and take up residency. He will fill your heart with a joy that you will not be able to fathom. He will give you strength to overcome any trial or pain that this world can throw at you.

He is waiting for your commitment to Him. He has done it all for you. You do not have to do anything to prepare. The table has been prepared. All you have to do is be quiet and be honest with Him in your heart and ask Him to reveal himself to you in a way that only you will understand. He will and when He does you will not be sorry.

What will you do with Jesus Christ today ?

Here is a testimony posted by David on November 26th. [4.5]

Hi all, my name’s David and I’m 17. Please feel free to E-mail me at s@.au, I reply to all Mail 🙂

I’d been going to church for all my life with my parents, but I wasn’t really a Christian. I hated church, it was exceptionally boring.

When my parent split up (I was 12) I stopped going to church altogether, and my life continued to go downwards. I chose my friends poorly and life was really starting to freak me out. In 1992, I took part in a School Musical “Pirates of Penzance” and made some new friends through it. One of them, Peter, convinced me to start going to Christian Fellowship at school on Wednesday lunchtimes.

Consequently I ended up going on a Christian Fellowship Camp, and this was when I finally turned to God with my heart wide-open. I had a lot of fun there, but I also discovered so much that I had been missing. The song “Refresh my Heart” made me decide to make my commitment to God.

Anyway, since then God’s really been helping me back on my feet. Most of my unpleasant past has been fixed up, I have many wonderful friends at school who are also Christians. I don’t go to church, and I think it will be a long time before I do, but I do go to a fellowship group on Sunday nights which does have a sermon.

I’m also a leader on the Gunnedah Summer Mission this Christmas. My life has been turned upside down, and greatly for the better – and I had nothing to do with it. I asked God to take control, and he did, and he helped me clean up my mess.

Of course, I still have troubles, but at least I know who to give them to.

Joe, my testimony [4]

October 09, 1997

Hi all you saints out there! While I was in college, there were many who were sent by God to try to help save my soul, and some of them were called ‘Campus Crusaders For Christ.’ And they almost converted me too, but I guess that I had WAY too much childhood abuse to recover from until I could feel comfortable amongst all of those ‘bubbly’ Christians that I had met. (BTW: All you ‘Campus Crusader’s For Christ’ keep up the good work, you DID plant the seed in me…it just fell on a rock.) So I went off on my own and tried to solve my problems with drugs, got into a bad marriage, etc.; but, then I met my current wife…my gift from God and a truly wonderful woman, who helped me to heal. And although I didn’t know it, God was right there all along watching over me, so that I didn’t get into any more trouble that what I already had gotten into. As I had drifted for my whole life, I had tried to trust in my feelings for spiritual fullfillment, but that never ever got me very far. Then, members of a cult called ‘Heaven’s Gate’ killed themselves, my son was about to be born, and I asked myself: “what was my purpose in this life anyway?” I could not understand how so-called ‘Christians’ could kill themselves, and if my son had ever asked me why it was wrong to hurt people, I would have been unable to answer him. I also had this INCREDIBLY empty feeling deep inside my heart, and I knew that I needed spiritual fulfilment.. AND PRONTO! (Later on, I realized that the Heaven’s Gate cult members were not Christians after all.) So I was compelled to read God’s Holy Bible on March 31, 1997, and God reached down to me. Every word I read from the Bible that night EXPLODED off the page deep into my heart, and as I gave my life over to Jesus, I began a process of repentance, forgiveness and purifying my soul that has not stopped to this day!! AND I pray that it NEVER will and that I will ALWAYS feel the zeal of God’s Love in my heart, now and forever! Amen! Thank you Jesus! I love you so, Jesus!! God bless you all in this forum, and may His light shine down upon each and every one of you and keep you safe from harm…especially you younguns. Keep the fire of Jesus burning brightly in your heart for others to see, OK!? Take it from one who has MADE the mistakes: you don’t need to experiment with the dark side of life AT ALL, because Jesus can save you from ALL of the suffering that sinning can cause. And for those of you who like to witness to non-believers: if I can be born-again at age 40, then ANYONE can! It’s NEVER too late! Good luck in all of your ministering the Word of God to everyone that we meet every day. God bless…. Because of the cross I am saved, Joe “feel the zeal”


Jamie – Lost and Recently Saved [3]

This is my story in a short form. I am a growing Christian. I am not a strong Christian, but a growing one. I was lost in a world of sin. I was a non-believer, Thought Jesus was not of God, just a magic user who fooled most of the world. But that has changed.

Let me start as a child. I was raped by a number of boys in my neighbourhood from the time I was 4 till I was 14. I started hearing voices and seeing things at age 6. I started church at age 8 but It was just to have a place to get away from home. I was lost. At the age of 15 I was so lost I was an atheist and proud of it. By age 16, I’d been in a mental hospital, and was abusive toward my parents. I ran away from home and lived on the streets for a while. Between the ages of 16 and 20 I was married twice, had sex with a large number of women and some men, I practiced magic white & black, I got involved in AD&D, and spent time in a few mental hospitals.

I had totally rebelled against God, Jesus & anything to do with Christianity. My life was terrible. But to make an even longer story short, In Sept.. of 1995 I decided out of the blue that I needed Christ in my life. i told this to my wife of present and she was very supportive. So We started looking for a church to attend. After A few tries we found a Church, but I still felt lost. So i went to a prayer chapel. I had a long talk with Jesus asking him why we had deserted me. I yelled, cried, and prayed. After a while I felt an overwhelming presence I’d never felt before. I looked up to heaven and said to Jesus that here I am. I’m not a good person, or even a nice person, but if he’d take a chance on me I’d try to live for him. And on that night oct. 10th of 1995 I became saved. It’s not been easy, but as the days go by I continue to grow in his grace. And one day I hope to be with Jesus in the sweet by and by.

Miracle

Miracle Baby [8.5]

Posted by: Rose

Praise the Lord!! In 1995 I found myself pregnant (unwanted) with my second child. Going into my fifth month of pregnancy, I experienced degenerative fibroids, I literally rolled on the floor with pain, experienced unbearable stress from my job and my sister passed away. Still I did not seek God. My Alpha Fetal Protein test came back unusually high 3 times. Something was wrong with the baby! The doctors, after many sonograms and a amnio, concluded that our baby would be born deformed. Still I did not seek God. The next month my father passed away. On the trip home, we were ran off the interstate in the middle of the night by a tractor trailer, our jeep rolled/flipped into a swap and landed upright, it was pitch black down the embankment and traffic was almost none existent. We all should have died, we were not wearing seat belts, but God is merciful and we walked away only shaken up. God had some of my attention! My husband could not work for months because the accident had aggravated an old football injury in his back, all of our bills were paid up and on time for 4 months. We did not have a dime saved!! God was getting a little of my attention! In July 1996 I gave birth to a baby girl, that had been through a lot inside of the womb. At 11 weeks old, she woke up and could not see, her eyes had rolled down into her eye socket!! my sister and I rushed her to the doctors, then to the hospital, then to another hospital to be told that she was hydrocephalic (fluid on the brain) and may already have sustained brain damage and would not function normally. I cried until I had no more tears!! I wailed from the depth of my belly and still, instead of turning to God, I called my mother and everyone else hoping that they would “pray” and “fix” this problem. Well, guess what! I found my self in the ICU for infants at 4 a.m. alone, stripped, afraid and lost standing over my daughters bed, I had no more tears to shed, I sat in the rocker and told God that I would serve him, turn from my sinful ways and live a life pleasing to him if he would save my baby!

I was instantly lifted and deep inside I knew God had heard my prayers. My baby went into surgery at 7 a.m. and was shunted. My daughter is 15 months old and the joy of our life and household, her 5 year hold sister and 21 year old brother dots on her. She is walking, talking and defying her pediatrician and her neurosurgeon! God gave us doctors, but is Supreme and has the “FINAL SAY” in all matters! I continue to walk with the Lord and read his holy word!

This is Why I Know God’s Word Is True [6.5]

by: Ferd

My name is Ferd, I am 65 years old. I’ve wasted most of my life fighting the world, trying to get ahead. Ten Years ago, I found I was not Superman. There was always someone faster, meaner, or uglier to aggravate my life. After pounding my body to the breaking point I was brought to my knees. My heart was clogged up from stress and improper eating. I needed open heart surgery! But I wasn’t whipped yet. I had money. So I told my Doctor to get the best surgeon, which he did and my operation was a success. However after six months my bypasses started stopping up. I got the bad news. I was down for the count. The doctors said my best chance would be if they blocked off or killed half of my heart. I would be severally restricted in my activity but that if I didn’t do it I was sure to have a massive heart attack which would probably kill me. I told them I would let them know my decision and left.

I was a film producer living in Los Angeles at that time, so dejectedly I went to the studio. However Jesus jolted me. A thought came as clear as day. Ferd, you can’t handle this. There is nothing you or your money can do. You need help.. Somehow, thank God, I knew Jesus was the answer. I asked my son if he would pray with me and we went out to a vacant stage. As we were walking out to the stage, I remembered something my father told me as a child. That Jesus made promises to his followers. One of them being answering prayers. I was 56 years old at the time of my heart problems, and I hadn’t been to church or picked up a Bible in probably 40 years. But I wanted to claim Jesus promise. So we prayed to Jesus to heal me. I told Jesus I didn’t know where it said this in the Bible but I had faith that he could and would heal me. I felt a small snap in my chest. Jesus reached down and picked me up and said. “Why didn’t you call on me sooner? I’ve been with you all the time, but you wouldn’t listen.” So He healed my body, renewed my mind, and filled me with His Spirit and love.

From that day on I got stronger. I told the doctors, Jesus had healed me. They didn’t believe me. They gave me a test where they put a radio active solution in my veins and photographed my heart. It was healed. I had full circulation. They told me that something else must have happened, but I knew Jesus was a man of his word, even if I didn’t know where the word was. That was the start of waking me up to Jesus. I had not been putting Jesus first in my life. Jesus was lucky to be in fifth place after work, money, family and play. In other words I though of Him very seldom. But he had not forgotten me. He gave me the chance to live and I thank Him with every breath I take.

I wanted to help other people so I started to talk to heart patients as my main ministry as I could relate to how they felt. At that time I didn’t know why my prayer worked. I started reading the Bible and asking God to make His word clear to me. It became interesting to me and I started reading it like a novel. It never made much sense to me before but now it did. From a Minister in California, I learned that the Bible was God talking to me. I also found that every time I read the Bible I learned something new. I will read a particular book, say John, that I have read many times before and find something that I wonder how did that get there. How could I have missed that. The only thing I can think of is God keeps opening my mind and revealing new things to me. Thank God for His teaching, now I can better serve other people by going over with them passages in the Bible.

In 1996, my Doctor told me my lab reports indicated that I had prostate cancer. What did I want to do about it? I told him I would be back in a month and take another test. I went home and prayed to Jesus to heal me. After 30 days I went back to the Doctor to take another test. The test was NEGATIVE. Praise The Lord!

When I was 64 years old, I had a stroke. My left side was paralyzed with no feeling. You could drive a nail thorough my arm and leg and I would not feel it. My wife called 911 for an ambulance to take me to the hospital. While we were waiting we called our son long distance and with the phone to my ear, we all prayed together for Jesus to heal me. Before we were through with the prayer my left arm started tingling and I could move it. By the time the ambulance arrived I could walk and I had all my feelings back. PRAISE GOD, I LOVE JESUS SO MUCH. HE HAS BEEN SO GOOD TO ME!

They took me to the hospital and gave me a CAT scan, they were looking for the clot. I told them they would not find it. Jesus took it away. They didn’t find it, but this time, I think one of the nurses believed me. They kept me in the hospital three days for observation, everything was OK. My wife picked me up to go home and on the way we decided to stop for lunch. The owner of the small cafe was a friend of mine and was concerned about my being in the hospital. I told him not to worry Jesus healed me. He asked would I talk to his cook. His father had just had a stroke and the boy was terribly worried about him. I turned to my wife and said “Now I know that having my stroke like my other two illness was a blessing. I’ve got a whole new group to minister to. If you are a Christian, God can always turn your misfortune into blessing. Use your misfortune. God is instructing you so pay attention and use these lessons in life to glorify God.

You have the POWER to help other people!
(John 14:12-14), Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son will bring glory to the Father. You may ask anything in My name, and I will do it.”

I’m not trying to claim that anything I do is Christ like. Far from it. However, I do have FAITH and TRUST in JESUS. Thank God that when He looks at me, He doesn’t see this faulty person I am. All He sees is the Christ that lives inside of me and to Him that makes me perfect.

“PRAISE GOD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO SAVE US. THANK YOU JESUS FOR COMING!

Why did I get all of these ailments? God certainly didn’t give them to me. No, that would be counter productive, and that isn’t how God operates. God doesn’t make you sick, just so He could heal you. I got all of these illness because I am 65 years old and live a normal American lifestyle. By the time you are 65, you will probably have one or more of these illness also. Will you let them kill you? Or do you want to live? Don’t wait as long as I did to find the key to health and happiness in this lifetime. COME 2 JESUS!

The POWER of Prayer [6]

February 12th, 1998

This was passed on to me and I just HAD to share it with you all. If you ever receive an inspiring email that you feel would bless the subscribers of Soulfood please email it to me at kelly@.org As the following true story clearly illustrates, “with God all things are possible” and more importantly, how God hears and answers the prayers of the faithful…after you read this, please pause and give God thanks for the beautiful gift of your faith, for the powerful gift of prayer, and for the many miracles He works in your own daily life… and then pass it on… A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan… While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital. Upon arrival in the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time witnessed to him of the Lord Jesus Christ. I then traveled two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident. Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards.” At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said, “No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone.” At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story: “On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?” The men who had met together to pray that day stood up. The missionary wasn’t concerned with who they were-he was too busy counting how many men he saw. There were 26.

**This story is an incredible example of how the Spirit of the Lord moves in mysterious ways. If you ever hear such prodding, go along with it. Nothing is ever hurt by prayer except the gates of hell.**

Peace & God Bless you all, Kelly


This testimony was posted by Steve on June 30th. [5.5]

I was hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail the most recent Memorial Day weekend. The trail was covered with 10-15 foot snow drifts, and I eventually got lost, unable to find the trail. I began to get somewhat worried because I had been dropped off at a remote trailhead, 5 miles behind me, and my only ride home was 4 days of hard hiking ahead of me.

I prayed, “God, please give me some sign or indication of where the trail is!” I looked down, and a few feet in front of me, laying ON TOP of the snow, was rusted wire running diagonally down the hill. I followed it for 25 feet and it led directly to the trail…and it was free of snow!

I’ve learned many times that God does listen to prayers. Praise Him!

GOD FIRST, Pamela [5]

The Lord has blessed me to work at a Children’s hospital for the last two years. But when I first started, most if not all of my co-workers used profane language in the presence of the Boss, believe it or not. But, since I know the greater one is in me than he that is in the world, I prayed to the Lord and asked him to remove the filthy language from my and HIS presence, and guess what, the LORD DID IT AGAIN. My co-workers do not use profanity. The reason why I am sharing this testimony, and there are many more in which the LORD has answered, is I want to encourage all my sisters in the Body of Christ that the Lord is our strength and refuge. We must operate in faith in order to be MORE THAN A CONQUEROR in this life. If you would like for me to pray for you or send you an encouraging word from the Lord, just leave me a message using my e-mail address. May the Lord bless you abundantly !!

From Islam to Jesus – Testimony From A Guinean Diplomat Emprisoned In Spain During Five Months

Posted by: chantal

I am French and I have been working for the United Nations for quite a number of years. In 1991, I have been detailed to Laayoune (Western Sahara) with MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara). Born in a catholic family, I became a born-again Christian 7 years ago.

In 1993, I met a Moslem Guinean diplomat who was also working for this mission. With him, I could share my faith and speak of Jesus. I had several Christian videos from TVP (Yonggi SHo, Pierre Truschel, Nicky Cruz, etc.) as well as many Christian books. Of course, he recognized Jesus as a prophet but could not admit that Jesus was the son of God. During months, we discussed the topic. He would watch videos, listen to cassettes and read books. Sometimes, he would become aggressive, some other times, he would not know anything any more and was confused. I had the feeling that God was leading his heart more and more. He had grown up in a Moslem family but himself did not practice this religion. His family is living in Conakry.

One day, he received a telephone call from his wife saying she was coming to Las Palmas (a 30-minute flight from Laayoune). She asked him to meet her there to spend a few days together. Francois had been working here at the mission for nine months.

All these events took place in February 1994. So he went to Las Palmas airport to meet his wife. After waiting for more than one hour, a policeman came to him and asked: “Who is Mr Fall?”.

He came forward and they took him to where his wife was. Her suitcases were opened and 3 kg of drugs had been found in them. He thought he was going to collapse. He could not believe his eyes. Both were immediately taken to jail.

His wife explained that she had an ailing mother and that she had wanted to help her financially, so one day she went to her hairdresser and told all her problems to the hairdresser and the latter said she knew someone who could help her out. So she introduced her to another lady who asked her to carry a parcel to Las Palmas against a sum of 15,000 dollars, informing her about the content. This lady said that as she was holding a diplomatic passport, her luggage would not be searched. She had to hand in this parcel to someone waiting for her in Las Palmas. The person in question was also arrested and jailed.

François is a brilliant diplomat, highly considered by everybody and well-known among the diplomatic circles. He owns several houses and has servants to take care of his four children. He had no financial problems. There is a proverb that says: “Idleness is the core of all vices”. His wife was getting bored at home.

In Las Palmas, he remained five months in this jail located on the top of a hill where it was always cold. During this period, I practically visited him each week-end. Those visits were very upsetting. You had sometimes to wait for two hours before reaching the parlour where you could hardly understand each other because of the children making noise. We were separated by big iron bars and a glass pane.

The first thing I brought to him was a Bible. Later on, I got to know the prison chaplain, and with his help, I could manage to send Francois Christian magazines, cassettes, etc.

One day, two friends and colleagues of Francois planned to visit him. They sent a letter requesting permission to the director of the penitentiary. The latter immediately refused stating that those persons could not avail themselves of family ties. I prayed and took my Bible. I came across the passage were Jesus, before Lazarus’s tomb says: “I thank you, Father, for you always fulfill my prayers”. Those words became alive into me. I did an act of faith and said to the two persons that they could go ahead and visit François, that everything was alright. Once they arrived at the prison, they were told that :”No, you cannot see your friend”. Then, after numerous phone calls, the authorization was granted. THE THINGS WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAN ARE POSSIBLE TO GOD.

The first three months of imprisonment were very difficult. He first tried to commit suicide in his cell, but God was watching. It was a period of revolt but slowly things changed. God knows our lives from the beginning till the end, and through me, He had prepared him for this ordeal. God says to us (Luke 16:15): “Go throughout the world and preach the good news to the whole mankind”. It is very important that Christians shall testify”.

Then, there was the phase of forgiveness to his wife. Without forgiveness there is no peace. But how could he forgive a wife, who had everything, but who had done a lot of harm to him? She had wrecked his career, his life, she had separated him from his children and family. For him, this was not possible but there again God intervened and he could write a letter to his wife saying he had forgiven her. :”If you forgive men your Father in Heaven shall also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men, your Father shall not forgive you either” (Matthews 6:14). From this very moment, we have seen miracles. Things started to move on. Forgiveness eases up all situations.

On my side, I had sent two letters to the judge in which I was saying that François was not guilty and that sentencing an innocent person was a serious offence against human rights. I also spoke about Jesus, of his sacrifice to save us all, saying that he, the judge, would also be judged for his deeds. Of course, I had prayed for God to cast his blessing onto my writings so that the judge would be touched. Upon receipt of the letters, he called François over to ask him who I was and to inform him that the same day he would send his file to the President of the Court. This judge was very young, without any experience, and he would not take any initiative. Of course, the enemy fought back and I almost lost my job, but God is more powerful than our enemy. Not only I did not lose my job but also I was promoted.

François became a Christian. In jail he gave his life to Jesus. Several times he prayed Jesus and Jesus answered. One day, while suffering a lot from a pain in his foot, he asked the pain to leave his foot in the name of Jesus and he was cured immediately. In jail, he preached the Gospels to everyone, witnessing on all what Jesus had done for him and saying that he would soon be free. All other convicts thought he was joking because in this jail, you have to wait two years before being processed, so this was not at all possible (according to the chaplain 70% of the convicted are innocent).

Here in Laayoune, we are a small group of Christians who had been praying for François. We asked the Church of Yonggi Sho in Korea (the most important church in the world) to intervene as well. We were sure of his innocence.

In June of 1994, the President of the Court finally communicated the date of the hearing. It was to take place on 14 July but finally it was rescheduled for 19 July. We could see some of the hearings on TV. On 19 July in the evening, I called his lawyer who said “We must wait another ten days to know the outcome of the trial”. On 20 July (I work normally at 15.30), I felt compelled to go back to my office at 14.30 instead of 15.30. As soon as I arrived, my telephone rang and I heard :

“I AM FREE”. François was calling me from the airport. God is really the God of all miracles and we are grateful to Him thoroughly. All the Spanish newspapers published François’s picture and spoke of his innocence. God has cleared him completely. His wife and her accomplice have been sentenced to a 10 year-term in jail.

Today, François is back to his country awaiting a contract with the United nations. He preaches to intellectual Moslems. Glory to God.

ABSTRACTS FROM A LETTER WRITTEN BY FRANCOIS
ON 7 JULY 1994.

“Unless I hear to the contrary, Thursday 14 remains the date retained. On the eve of such a determining event for my life, I would like to express some thoughts to you. Presently all my thoughts are for my dearest people, my mother and children. I will appear before the Court completely sedate. Not a single moment do I doubt that I am innocent but the justice of men is so imperfect. But beyond this consideration, I am full of optimism. All my hopes rest in God to inspire the judges and give them equity and earnest.

As you could see, I feel positive changes in my life since some time. Jail is a special surrounding where man is always confronted with the ordeal of faith. All who crossed the prison’s doors for the first time are overwhelmed with lots of thoughts and this state is all the more strong as you are there without having committed any wrong. This universe is marked by a “crowed loneliness” (one reruns the film of his life). I have learnt, through this ordeal, to be patient in moments of distress and perseverant in praying. The result is this immense feeling of inner peace which overwhelms me since some time. Those five months of imprisonment, for me, have represented a period of sorrow for dead achievements. Now, a new phase is opening up, that of the implantation of my faith in God. Here, I have learnt to know myself, I now know my weak points and my qualities and I am sure that when I leave, I will be better.

Jail is indeed a terrible place, but the good thing of it is that it can come to terms with God. We live among the greatest criminals, thieves, drug-addicts destroyed by the scourge of drugs, but there they are different: without power and resigned to their fate, like wild beasts that would have been tamed and to which teeth and claws have been removed. It is a pity than men do not encounter the truth and come nearer to God but only in special situations.

I hope I shall be able to testify one day. I am convinced that more than one would be edified and moved as I went through all the painful phases of life along this ordeal: despair, hatred, fear, laments, discouragement, resentment, deprivations, humiliation, etc. But step by step, with patience and through reading, repeating and nourishing me with the word of God, I overcame all this state of mind and I even, as a great achievement, succeeded to overcome this and reach at last a state of inner peace and bliss, which I now know. I would never have thought this transformation was possible in March and April, the most desperate periods of my time in prison. It is already a gift from Heaven to be able to turn to God in time. You can consider yourself as already saved. I was born in an Islamic family but I have to confess that I followed Islam without really understanding it. The life of Jesus and the word of God have opened new horizons to me and today I am in communion with God in an active manner. For me it took all this so as to be reconciled with God.

I shall end by thanking God to have freed me from refusing forgiveness to my wife. This prayer is sincere.

As far as the hearing of 14 July is concerned, I am in peace, very much in peace, and I shall face it in very good spirits. I have no fear and as long as you keep confidence in God, there is no need for fear for God is mightier than our fears.

I should like at last to thank you for the energetic backup you have been bringing me since the beginning of this ordeal. You have faced everything for me, you have believed in my innocence and you have defended me, you have resisted all the discriminating campaigns without getting discouraged, you have fought for me in the name of faith, and the most marvellous thing is that you have succeeded in bringing me back on the right track, that of God. May God fulfill you with never ending happiness…”


Underestimating God’s Love, Nathan [2]

I have a testimony here to share so read on, have a look to help u review on God’s works and avoid Satan’s snares.

I was attending a 10-day camp. In fact I was enjoying it as God blessed those days. On the 8th day, I fell terribly ill. I had diarrhoea and serious stomach pains. As I laid there on the mat, asking God to relieve the pain. Each time, my stomach gave a fierce growl followed by an excruciating pain. I would cry to the Lord to relieve the pain, and the pain would pass, followed by another one a few minutes later. Then I would just ask the Lord to RELIEVE it. All of a sudden, I realized my mistake. Why not just ask Jesus to heal me completely instead of just expecting Him to relieve the pain? Instantaneously, in my heart I prayed, ‘In the precious name of Jesus, Lord, heal me from this illness,’ and praise the Lord, Hallelujah!! The stomach pains disappeared with the diarrhoea. What I meant to convey is, that we should never underestimate God’s infinite love for us and He’ll help us if we called on His name. And as we call, let’s not forget that our God is Almighty and he can take your burden entirely away – not bits by bits as we always imagine. Jesus didn’t die for us bit by bit. He carried the whole world’s burden as He breathed His last breath. A BROTHER IN CHRIST.

Used to be Muslim or other Religion

Here is a testimony posted by Timonthy on December 1st. [7]

Timothy Abraham’s Testimony. Some introductory remarks: Timothy’s testimony comes in very strong words, and might be offensive to some of you, but bear in mind when you read some of his sentences that he has experienced much torture and hatred for his faith. It is taken from an article written about him, so that it is in the 3rd person instead of first person. At the end you will find a speech by himself, given relatively recently, while the testimony itself is a few years old.

The Gift of Freedom Egypt. Visions of the luxurious Nile, pyramids, the Sphinx. The land to which Mary and Joseph escaped with their precious son. Egypt. “The very areas that Jesus lived and worked in have become the home-place of horror and hysteria,” sa id Egyptian national, “Timothy,” a converted Christian who came to this country to study, fleeing Muslim persecution.

The young man was born in a small northern village in Egypt to Muslim parents. His ancestry for hundreds of years is Muslim, he said, and he was devoted to his religion. At the age of 14 he joined the fanatical Muslim brotherhood. He preached in the local mosque, and forced his 12-year-old sister to wear the full veil of the fundamentalist Muslims: “I was trying to perpetuate Islam everywhere,” he said of that period. A magazine came into his hands which had pen pal addresses from the United States. He ch ose one at random and wrote, hoping to convert the man to Islam, he said. He didn’t know the magazine was published by Christians, and the addresses were of those who were willing to write to Arabs to convert them. Abraham got a guy named John from Pennsy lvania.

They wrote back and forth for two years, each trying to convert the other. Then John surprised Timothy by coming to visit him in his village. “That was the first time I saw a real Christian,” Timothy said. “John’s sincerity, frankness, openness … he ne ver lies. People in the Middle East often lie. It’s part of the culture, the influence of Islam. They are so considerate, they want to protect your feelings. That’s part of it.” John stayed with Timothy for two months. “He had an amazing prayer life. He p rays more than he talks,” Timothy said of his mentor. John would get up every morning and pray, speaking the words of the Bible, Timothy said. “I imitated his Christian prayer using the Koran, but when I heard the Koran, I was depressed,” said the life-lo ng Muslim. “The Koran teaches torture, and Allah is on the lookout for ways of tormenting his servants. And Allah is a racist god. He hates the Jews.” “God in the Bible is both just and merciful. His justice requires that everyone be punished in Hell, for He is perfect 100 percent. No matter how hard we try to please God, we always fall short of His perfection. Our good works will not bring us closer to God. God saw our insufficiency, and decided to pay the penalty Himself. He sent His word Is a Al Masuh (Jesus Christ), who is absolutely sinless and faultless to carry the punishment of our sins on the cross. What can you say to the Judge when He chooses to pay the penalty for you?

The Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” It is because God loves us that He sent His word Jesus Christ to die for us. Islam never grant s us the assurance of going to Heaven, but Christ absolutely does! Praise God! After John left, Timothy said, his influence stayed. The Egyptian Arab sent a missal to his pen pal stating, John, your visit made me a stronger Muslim. “I was trying to depress him,” Timothy grinned, “but he prevailed in his prayers. I began to ask questions.” Those questions started getting him in trouble, he said. “I began examining everything I’d ever been taught. I began thinking for myself for the first time. In Islam, they want to lead you by the nose – or the ear. It’s very authoritarian. Questions, they say, fly in the face of Allah. Obey. That’s all. It is not easy to utter these things about Islam, he added.

When I talk about Christianity, I don’t want to hurt my Muslim brothers.” Muslim leaders noticed the change in Timothy when he began asking why God would hate the Jews. Why shouldn’t God love His creation. His handiwork, equally? Then he noted through his archaeological studies that the Bible is substantiated historically. That irritated his Muslim friends. In the meantime, John and Christian friends sent tapes and books translated into Arabic. “After years of study, I came to two logical conclusions: The Bible is the infallible Word of God, and Jesus is the Word of God, but He can be God.” But that was an intellectual decision, he said. “Then I said, Lord, please show me the truth and I will serve you for the rest of my life, whatever the cost may be. “After a week of that prayer, Jesus appeared to me. I love you, I know you, and you are eternal, the vision said. I couldn’t help crying because of how many years I wasted away from Jesus. I was deceived before!”

Excitedly, Abraham wrote of his conversion to John. John sent a congratulatory letter, which Timothy placed in his prayer journal. A childhood friend came in the house one day and asked Timothy for a drink of water. While he was in the kitchen, the friend found the letter and the journal and pocketed them. Later that morning everyone in the small village had a copy of that letter. When Timothy discovered the journal missing, he had a sinking feeling. He went to the mosque. “Every Muslim felt insulted, like I was slapping him in the face. They had to retaliate. They beat me up – tried to kill me.” Timothy’s little brother was watching and crying. “I was more hurt by that, and by the fact it was a friend from when I was five years old who did that to me. I know how Jesus felt when His friend betrayed Him.” His mother told him she disowned him until the Judgement Day. “I don’t need to look up the definition of the word ostracized,” Timothy quipped.

Timothy escaped the mob by running through fields and renting a car for Cairo. “You shall call on me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you and thou shalt glorify me. When you experience these things, you see the real glory in the Bible.” But Timothy’s delivery was short-lived. While a Christian connection in Cairo received him warmly, he only let him stay three days before he sent the young man home. “He told me I would get his family in trouble.” Now he was rejected by both the Christians and the Muslims, he said. When he got home, the entire village of about 500 people met him at his front door. “Are you a Muslim?” the mosque officials demanded. Timothy was ready, thanks to the advice of an underground pastor who said the definition of the word Muslim is a person who is submitted unto God. “So I could truthfully answer yes.” Then they asked if Mohammed was a prophet. “I said he was a prophet of the god who sent him. That was true.” Though that got him off the hook then, his continued activities landed him in prison about five times on charges of high treason. Like St. Paul, Timothy turned his devotion to former religion into even stronger devotion “to the real God of love.”

He helped organize an underground congregation, and used his skills in English to translate Christian books into Arabic – in a country which has outlawed possession or distribution of any kind of Christian literature. His phone was tapped. His letters we re opened. Then he discovered Shorrosh’s book and wrote an 18-page letter to Daphne in response. Shorrosh allowed Timothy to call him collect from Egypt, as Timothy had to change from house to house in order to talk. And things were getting scarier. Three friends were imprisoned last year, he said, “because they were more courageous than I was about spreading the Gospel.” Jailers heated iron bars “then placed them on their genitalia and other sensitive areas of the body,” Timothy said. “I saw the scars from the marks of cigarette ends after they got out of prison after 10 months.” Then Timothy was arrested for the fifth time. After the routine physical and psychological torture, prison officials told him if they saw him again, the sentence would be capita l punishment. All this, he said, for spreading the Gospel. In desperation, he called Shorrosh. “Can you get me out of here?” he asked.

Shorrosh arranged for Timothy to leave on a student visa to attend seminary. The under-ground church pooled their resources to come up with the $1,000 for the plane ticket. And Timothy landed in America – in Brooklyn, N.Y. “With the violence there, I thought I was back in Egypt,” he laughed. But Shorrosh met him at the airport, brought him home to relatively- tame Alabama, and he was ecstatic. The first thing Shorrosh advised the young man to do was change his name – at least temporarily until things cool off. Timothy was interviewed just 10 days after he arrived in the U.S. “It is a real privilege to me to be able to talk with you on this phone with such liberty!” he said. “I still can’t get over it.” Timothy said he still has nightmares about his prison experiences, but mostly grieves over the shame and humiliation his conversion brought to his family.

“I took my mother a present for Mother’s Day, and she said, `This is not from my son. My son died a long time ago.’“ But he hopes to find a new family like those he’s seen in his Christian friends. “I pray the Lord will give me a real family I feel I belong to. There are very few people in Egypt who are helpful and caring. I want a loving family, warm and sincere.” His immediate prayer, however, is to overcome feeling like he has betrayed his heritage and identity by converting. “It is sad, lonely, and I spend many nights crying. But Jesus is worth it.”

Risk on the Journey
(a speech given June 26, 1995)

Today I consider myself privileged and honoured to stand before you and share about my journey with Christ in Egypt. I have to admit, first and foremost, that I am grateful to God’s saints in the WMU for their labour of love to get the Gospel proclaimed to Muslims. In fact, I am indebted to each member of the WMU, exactly as the apostle Paul felt when he said in Romans 1:14, “I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise.”

It was a young man from Pennsylvania who shared Christ with me while I tried to convert him into Islam. Right after my conversion I was baptized secretly in Cairo. Filled with the joy of salvation I could not hide or deny Christ anymore. Therefore, when my childhood friend asked me if Christ was crucified, I answered, “Yes!” and explained why. He prayed with me, for the first time, to receive Christ. He was shaking vehemently and perspiring profusely every time he prayed with me. He could see how mighty the name of our Lord Jesus was. My former leaders in the Islamic fanatical group, desiring to know who the spearhead was, threatened to kill him if he would not tell them everything about my evangelism. Sadly, he betrayed me and I was beaten up in front of the mosque where I had formerly preached Islam zealously. In their sight I was a blasphemous infidel who deserved to be killed unless I would recant. They regarded my conversion as the most horrendous form of desecrating Islam and the Quran.

Since my secret conversion was now made to the public and Muslims plotted to kill me, I had to flee. I was hunted by Muslims from my village in the Delta, to Ismalia until I arrived in Cairo where my Christian friends lived. Yet Christians were not willing to shelter me and I had to go back to the village, seeking refuge in His protective hands. I came back from Cairo and found an angry mob of Muslims filling up our house. My mother was wearing the garment of mourning, dressed in black as is the custom in Egypt. Muslim women yelled at me, “Your mother doesn’t deserve all this from you. Why cause her all this grief7” Another woman lamented, “Poor mother! Her son left her for the Christian infidels. If I were her, I would kill my son for running after the infidels like a dog.” I received a letter from a friend in Jordan who reported that my father was walking down the streets in Jordan weeping bitterly as Muslim laborers there reproached him severely. He stayed sick in bed for a month because of this until he and I talked on the phone.

It is absolutely unforgettable that outraged Muslims broke into our house barbarically. My mother knelt down at the feet of our neighbour “Sayed” begging him to spare my life and kill her instead. In such indescribable agony, my mother disowned and disinherited me before all people in my village. I love my mother more dearly than any person in this world, but no human power, regardless of how gigantic it is, can separate me from the love of Christ. I will always live for Jesus.

For the first time in my life, my Bible, all my Christian books, and music tapes were confiscated and burnt. I decided to flee from the Delta region to Cairo. Even though the police were tracking me down, the Lord blinded their eyes and protected me. In Cairo, I was hiding at Mounir’s, an Egyptian Baptist friend who was comforting me all the time. I broke down when he read,

“So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).

I am grateful to God for providing this Baptist friend who discipled me, teaching me to live a victorious life affluent in worship and thanksgiving. He gave me a pocket Arabic New Testament and told me frankly that his parents were afraid that if they continued to hide me they would be in jail forever. I had nowhere to go. So, upon the advice of my secret pastor, I went back to the village, hiding the Arabic New Testament in my socks, praying that it would not fall. I was eventually arrested and released repeatedly. I learned what it means to have God as my only Hiding Place. In prison, my Saviour knows I have come to experience true peace. I was not shaken because I saw Christ in prison, not myself. I sang songs of joy in the midst of tears, anticipating the shining Morning Star to come and deliver me. I decided to hide the Bible in a place where the police cannot confiscate it—in my heart by memorising it. I have since made it a habit to sleep with my Bible by my side. Five years later, I managed to flee Muslims’ attempt to kill me just to find that there are some professing Christians in America who attack the inerrancy of the Bible for which I was willing to die. What a scandalous thing!

When I went to give my mother a Mother’s Day gift, she asked me rhetorically, “Mother’s Day gift?” I answered, “Yes” every time she repeated the question. She looked at me with such crushing grief and said, “My son, whom I waited 15 years to have and finally was born is now dead. I disown you till the day of judgement, Ibrahim.” I cried but Christ touched my heart and said, “I am your family now! I am your father, brother, mother, sister, friend, and everything to you, Timothy, now.” I cannot forget those days when my mother would call the police to arrest me. She even went to a witch to put a curse on me and bring me back to the fold of Islam. The witch said, “Your son is following a path which he will never forsake and he will be victorious all his life as long as he walks in it.” These words, from the mouth of a witch, brought my younger brother to know Christ. The testimony of demons about our victorious Lord renders scepticism and unbelief absurd.

I decided to move to Cairo which was not any safer. The last time the police had arrested me they said, “According to us, you are an infidel who has committed high treason. Next time we arrest you, it will be capital punishment.” To make it worse, the “Christian” landlord told me he could not shelter a fugitive criminal anymore. I was not welcome in my own country anymore. Nevertheless, the Lord intervened, and a Palestinian evangelist, Anis Sharrosh, introduced me to Dr. Paige Patterson. At first, I was denied the visa, but Dr. Patterson did not give up. Finally, I was granted an entry visa, and I was supernaturally able to leave Egypt.

If it had not been for Dr. Patterson, I would have been history today. I was scheduled to be executed, and God saw that He had more work for me to do. So, he used Dr. Patterson in supernaturally rescuing my life. I was scared of coming to the seminary when I was in Egypt because I did not want to begin in the Spirit and be made perfect by the flesh. My heart was finally reassured when I saw the burning embers of revival being kindled. My own family disowned me, but Dr. Patterson has become my father and Dr. Mrs. Patterson my mother. I am grateful to God for my new family. Please pray for our seminary, my home now.

My friends, please feel free to contact me through email at the address: Abu@aol.com. Or you may call me at (919)554-3240. Just remember that the Sovereign God in all His majesty is my “Daddy” and I am secure in Him!!! Halellujah!!! Praise Jesus the Son!!

Linda – Worshiped the devil, driven to madness, Buddhism, new age, saved by Jesus Christ [5]

The home I grew up in was often chaotic. All my life I just wanted a family. A safe place to be loved. My chronic alcoholic dad often abandoned the family leaving my mom to raise three daughters. When he was home I was constantly being abused mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually. I tried very hard to be good but I was never good enough.

Our religion was Buddhism and the church was a very big part of our lives. This religion was all I knew growing up. They were raising me to be a leader in the church. I was taught that Jesus was just a man who died too young and that Christians were lost people living by a lot of rules.

When I was around 14 years old I became intrigued with the occult. I started reading books and buying ingredients to cast spells. I found power in the occult, and most importantly, I found a place to belong. For the first time in my life I was in control. Then at age 15 I made a decision to give my life to Satan. From that moment my life began to make a downward spiral. Satan fed my ego and gave me strength, all the while, he was sucking the life out of me. See, Satan doesn’t care about you… all he cares about is keeping you from God. Satan will use you up and spit you out and leave you for dead. I forfeited everything good about me… all morals, values and beliefs. While still participating in Buddhist activities, I secretly worshipped the demons.

I practiced black magic and later white magic (I thought it was good). I would like to add, for the benefit of those who just dabble, that when you open the door to the occult you open the door to an evil that only Jesus can shut. When I became an adult I received my own Buddhist altar and became heavily involved with the new age movement. I was even teaching my daughter about these things. During this whole time no one ever shared the message of Christ with me. (Oh, I did have a neighbor once that kept telling my daughter that we were going to hell and they treated us like we had the plague) and I know this may seem hard to believe but I bare witness to this fact and hope that anyone that reads this will become a little more aware of how their witnessing does make a difference. Just because you are born in America does not mean you have heard the message. I remember one time, when I was living in Hollywood I was walking down the street and a young man, carrying a bag, walked down the street passing out miniature bibles and saying, “Jesus loves you.” I never forgot that young man. He didn’t talk to me, but he planed a seed.

My life reached a very depressed state. I was suicidal and was hospitalized twice for severe depression. The group of people I called friends were users and being around them would suck the life out of you. My life had become so dark and depressed. It was like being sucked into a black cloud and you don’t have the energy or will to even care if you get out or get help. I reached a point where I refused anymore counseling or medication because I didn’t care if I got better. I finally reached a point of becoming fully convinced that I had already lived my life, died and was in hell. Suicide attempts failed and reinforced my beliefs. I could not die because I was already dead. I would think of myself and others as the walking dead.

One morning, at work, an Army Colonel, named Murph, approached me and said that he had thought about Sara (my daughter) and me over the weekend. I said, “Oh?” He replied, “Yes, I was in church and the two of you came to my mind and I just want you to know that the Lord has put a burden in my heart for both of you and I want you to know that I am praying for both of you.” I was rather stunned at first and didn’t know how to respond. I then just let it go because it really didn’t mean anything to me nor did I understand what he meant.

I was on my second marriage that was on-again off-again, finally ending with the death of my father-in-law. His name was Chuck and he was dying of cancer. We loved each other and needed each other in our own ways. My husband and I reconciled during this time of crisis and we all moved into my house. Chuck became so special to me and I shared a tenderness with him that I never knew with my own father. He loved me as if I was his own daughter. One night I was talking to him about dying and he said he wasn’t afraid because he was going to heaven. We held hands and as he dozed off I cried and for the first time I prayed to the God of the Bible. I did not pray as a “believer”. It was more like a conversation with Chuck’s God. I said, “God, I don’t know if you can hear me from hell, but if you can, please answer my prayer. I know I deserve to be here but Chuck doesn’t belong here. Please heal him or bring him home to You. I know I don’t deserve Your ear but I hope you hear me and answer my prayer. No one should ever suffer like this.” Two days later Chuck died in my home. After they removed his body my husband expressed his appreciation for my help and then informed me that he was ready to finalize our divorce. He left and our divorce was finalized.

My whole world fell apart. I would just sit in a dark corner of my bathroom, curled up in a fetal position, holding my head, pulling my hair and crying out in agony. The torment was beyond anything imaginable. I would walk through the house screaming at Chuck’s God, “God, get me out of here! I don’t want to be here anymore! You took Chuck when I asked so I know You hear me! Now, get me out of here!” My daughter would just watch me in numbness. She would try to comfort me and I would yell, “Don’t you understand? I just don’t care! I don’t care about you, I don’t care about work, I don’t care about this house, I just don’t care! Your mother doesn’t want to be here anymore!” Her face became like a stone and she walked with her head down burying her emotions deep within her.

One night I was channel surfing in my room. I ran across a Christian station and for some reason I could not change it. I didn’t want to change it. I would leave it on when I would sit in my corner. I didn’t hear much because of the loud noise in my head. Gradually, I began to sit in front of the TV. I had no idea of what they were talking about since I had never been around Christianity but I began to want to know this Jesus they kept talking about.

Murph called me into his office during this dark time in my life. I thought I was in trouble or something. It had been about three years since he talked to me about Jesus. I walked into his office and he shut the door. He walked back to his desk, sat down and began sobbing. I remember him telling me, “Linda, Jesus loves you so much. I have not stopped praying for you and little Sara. I have prayed for both of you everyday since the time I told you that the Lord had placed a burden in my heart for you two. The Lord loves you so much and I wish you could know just how much He loves you. He has such a good life planned for you and wants so much for you to just believe in Him. Please, please trust Him.” I was shocked. No one ever told me anything like this before. I think I was more moved by his tears and sincerity than anything else. No one ever cried for me before. He mentioned Christian television and asked if I would maybe just watch. I, very arrogantly, told him I already was watching. Very soon afterward Murph moved to Alabama.

I just want to add here… if the Lord has put it in your heart to pray for someone, PLEASE don’t stop. Their very life and eternal life may depend on it. Your prayers will not be in vain. We all need intercessors. Someone to stand in the gap when we can’t.

I continued to watch these Christian programs and all I really remember is that they kept talking about Jesus and the wonderful things He has done and still does. I left this station on all the time, even while I slept. I wanted so much to have this “faith” that they had and kept talking about. Faith that Jesus could heal my mind. They kept saying it was by faith and I wanted so badly to know what this faith was. Every time anyone would say the sinner’s prayer I would cry and pray. I just wanted to know this Jesus. I said this prayer every day for about three months and it seemed as though nothing was happening. One night I stood in front of the TV and saw a joy and peace I thought I would never have. Satan said to me, “That’s not real. I put that on to taunt you, to show you the other side and what you could of had but instead you gave your life to me. You’re in hell and you’re mine forever.” Ice went through my body and tears ran down my face. I thought, “I can’t get out of here. I have no where to go. I can’t die, I can’t live, I’m stuck.” As I walked to my living room I said to Satan, “I know I’m yours, I know I’m in hell, but I’m not going to be a willing participant anymore! Iknow this is your territory but I will defy you all the way and forever more. And if you want to cast me out of hell and into an eternal nothingness I will gladly go.”

Then, out of total broken desperation, I stood up in the middle of my living room, looked up and raised my hands to heaven and cried out louder than I’ve ever cried or screamed, “Jesus, get me out of here! I don’t want to be here anymore. I’m sorry for whatever it is that I’ve done to make you send me to hell. I am so sorry, please forgive me. Jesus, they said if I call on You, You would save me. They said that if I confess You as my Lord and Savior that You would come into my life. Jesus, get me out of here, I believe You are the only one that can save me. I believe that You are the Son of God. I believe You died for me and was raised up. I confess with my mouth that You are the Lord and I believe with my whole heart that You are the only One who can reach down into the depths of hell and save me. Please forgive me, please save me. Please Jesus, come into my life and fill me with Your Spirit.” By this time I was down on my knees with my face to the floor. Suddenly, I stopped crying, got up and sat down in a chair. I noticed something was very different. I wasn’t laughing or gushing with joy at that moment but what I noticed was that for the very first time in my life — the noise in my head stopped. All of the confusion was gone. I heard quiet for the first time. My Lord Jesus restored me to my right mind.

Suddenly, I heard a different voice than the one I had been hearing. He said to me, “He’s a liar.” This voice surprised me and I sat up and answered back, “What?” and He said again, “He’s a liar, everything he has told you is a lie.” I thought about this for a moment and then replied, “Wait a minute, if he is a liar, then I’m not in hell. If he is a lie, then I’m not already dead. If he is a lie, then my life isn’t over, it’s just beginning.” I stood up, angrier than I’ve ever been and yelled, “Satan! You are a liar, everything you have taught me is a lie. I gave you my life as a child and it wasn’t my life to give you. I’m taking it back and it belongs to Jesus. I want you out of my life now. You are no longer honored here or welcomed. Out!”

I spent the whole next morning standing in the kitchen, looking out the window to the sky, singing and crying. My daughter finally returned home from an overnight stay at a friend’s house. She asked if I needed anything. I called her to me and cried, “He’s alive! He’s alive!” She asked, “Who’s alive?” I said, “Jesus, Jesus is alive — He’s not dead, He’s not just a story or someone in history. He is really alive!” Looking at me like I had really lost my mind now she said, “Sure mom, whatever…” I gently placed my hands on her shoulders and said, “Listen to me. If you never listen to anything else I say, listen and believe this… everything I have taught you is a lie, everything. I was so wrong and have lied to you all of your life. What I said about Christians was wrong. What I taught you about the occult is a lie. The only truth is Jesus.”

I was in complete awe. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. I immediately took some vacation time from work. I had no idea of what happened to me — all I knew was that I wasn’t the same. I knew so little about Christianity that it wasn’t until about a month later that I realized that I was born again. I spent all of my time reading my Bible. The very Bible purchased to use against God was now being used to His glory. Every word was exciting and alive. The Lord ministered to me in such a marvellous way as only He could. See, you are either for God or against God. Everything, absolutely everything from the occult to other religions is in the Bible. It has just been taken and twisted by Satan. Again, I say, Satan doesn’t care about you or what you believe just so long as you don’t believe in God – in Jesus.

My daughter was still sceptical. She watched me very, very carefully. What she discovered was a very real, very new mom. She watched me grow in Christ. She saw a new strength and life in me. She had a mom that laughed. She had a mom that could hug her and love her. She saw a very, very different person. She decided she wanted to follow Jesus too and together we were baptized.

A couple of months later I had an opportunity to talk to Murph. I told him what happened and he truly rejoiced with his whole heart. He cried and just kept saying, “Praise the Lord, thank You Jesus.” Soon afterward, Murph went home to be with the Lord.

One more thing, about my Buddhist altar… One day I was cleaning out all my “junk” which included digging up the crystals I had buried around my house. We went through and threw out everything, crystals, tarot cards, wands, books, stones, chimes, bells, candles, and everything else. I got to my altar in the closet and the Lord told me to leave it. I questioned Him thinking it wasn’t Him but there was no doubt… it was Him. So I left it alone. About three months later for days I kept hearing, “Not by power, not by might, but by My spirit.” I didn’t understand what He meant. Then one day I was in my kitchen and the Lord said to me, “Recall the altar.” I said, somewhat startled, “What?” He said, “Recall the altar. Give it back.” I told Him I would throw it away but He said to give it back. I told Him I would send it to my mom’s and again He said give it back. I told Him I didn’t know where to take it. He just said, “Take it back to where you received it!” To make a long story short, I found the church in Dallas.

I called to find out when I could come and entered into a conversation with a man. After much debate I told him to tell me where to bring it or I’ll just throw it in the dumpster. He asked my name, I told him, and he told me his name. He just happened to be the man that was the head of the church in San Francisco, where I grew up, that taught me there was no Jesus Christ.

He had been transferred to the Dallas headquarters. Well, bless God, I about fell out my chair. I knew it was the Lord.

I took the altar to him. As I started to park next to the only car in the parking lot, the Lord said, “No, not here.” So I went all the way around and ended up parking nose to nose with this car. I got out of the car and as I approached the building I recognized him immediately. He was talking to three other people who were evidently going to lunch. As they walked off, I introduced myself to him and he then tried to stop the other three people. I headed to my car and was at my trunk while the three people were getting in to their car in front of me. He yelled to them, “Wait, don’t go. This is the lady I told you about.” They smiled and waved at me and proceeded to get in their car. He yelled, “No. Wait. She is the one that wants to return her gohonzon. This is the lady I wanted you see.” They stood at their doors smiling, waving and congratulating me. They said they are so happy for me and hope to get a chance to talk to me sometime. He then stomped his feet, waved his arms and said, “Don’t you hear me? Don’t you understand me? She’s bringing it BACK.” They smiled, waved again, got in their car and drove away. We both just stood there. He as completely baffled and I was awe struck. We went inside and he asked many questions. He asked me if people came to my house and left literature. I said no. He asked if I had friends that were talking to me about Christianity. I said, “You don’t understand, when I became a Christian, I lost every single one of my friends.” He asked if I had a husband or boyfriend that converted me. I said no. I finally told him, “You don’t understand, Jesus Christ Himself came into my living room in Grand Prairie, Texas and touched me.” I was right, he didn’t understand.

Then he asked me what religion I was. I told him I didn’t understand the question because I didn’t know what the religions were or what they meant. He asked if I was Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, etc. I kept answering no to all my choices. He asked, “OK, then tell me what kind of church you attend.” I said, “The kind that loves Jesus.” I apologized for being so difficult but explained that I just didn’t understand the question. He said I must belong to something. I said, “Well, all I know is He’s alive and He came in to my living room and saved my life. I have read my Bible and the only religion I found was the body of Christ and if I must belong to something I guess you could say I am a member of the body of Christ.” Right at that moment the Lord said to me, “Not by power, not by might, but by My Spirit you were saved. Let this be your testimony.”

My life has never been the same!!! Praise God!!! I thank the Lord Jesus for never forgetting me. I really was a horrible sinner yet He didn’t forget me or leave me behind. In spite of everything I have done, He has forgiven me. I’m still amazed and there isnt a day that goes by that I don’t give thanks that He remembered me and saved me. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don t share my testimony with someone. Jesus truly is the most precious thing I have. Without him I know that I am dead. It’s only because of Him that I have life and truly do have it more abundantly.

They Wanted Our Baby To Die, The Inside Story Of A Former Third Generation Jehovah’s Witness. [4]

Paul

To the average Christian, the name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” brings to mind a group of neatly dressed people going from door to door in the neighborhood, selling the Watchtower magazine, or perhaps a book. However, when I think of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I recall a lifetime of bondage to a cult which I served for the first 28 years of my life. My grandfather became a part of the Watchtower Society in the early 1900s. My parents are active Jehovah’s Witnesses. My father still is presiding elder at his local Kingdom Hall.

I was taught that Jehovah’s Witnesses had the only true religion, a religion governed from Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y. The governing body controls over 4 million people. I use the word control is because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that everything written by the Watchtower is from God and is not to be questioned. They believe that the governing body receives “new light” from angels that explains what the Bible is all about. They believe the Watchtower is the sole agency that God is using. So, they believe that apart from the Watchtower organization, people have no hope. They believe that they alone have the truth, that they alone are true Christians, that they alone will be saved and that all others will be destroyed by Jehovah God at the battle of Armageddon.

I began full-time Watchtower service in 1971 after dropping out of High School at the encouragement of Watchtower leaders because of the end of the world they predicted for 1975. Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses cashed in insurance policies, abandoned careers, and sold their possessions to spend the “short time remaining” in the ministry work before the end of the world. As a missionary worker or “Pioneer,”

I went from door to door trying to convince people that they must become Jehovah’s Witnesses to please God and perhaps receive salvation.

I use the word “perhaps” because all Jehovah’s Witnesses are not sure of their salvation. The Watchtower’s way of salvation is based upon works, and not the saving grace of Jesus Christ’s blood, which through faith we freely receive.

This works system of selling Watchtower books from door to door puts the Jehovah’s Witness in a position to be saved if he is faithful to the organization and does all he is told to. Faithfulness to the organization involves adhering to a host of rules and regulations, which Watchtower elders enforce with great zeal.

Violation of any rules as set forth by the Watchtower Society’s governing body could result in punishment and restrictions, depending upon the offence. Elders have the power to take away salvation, restrict prayer life, to interrupt family communication or anything else they believe will bring a wayward Witness to repentance.

Jehovah’s Witnesses must report the time they spend doing Society work to the elders, who put the information into a file. There is a file on each member of the congregation. This file also contains information on any major sins. All information related to a Witness’ private life is kept in master files in New York. They are never destroyed.

Since I had been living in this system all my life, I knew what was expected of me. I had to follow the rules and laws to gain salvation. I had been going from door to door since I was a small child, so I adapted to full-time service easily.

I continued such service for a number of years, but with little satisfaction. The burden of keeping up with the monthly quotas of 100 hours of time, as well as sales of a minimum of 100 magazines and 40 books, started to discourage me. All of this work is voluntary and there are no salaries paid. Witnesses must find employment that will support this work.

In 1973, I was accepted to go to the World Headquarters in Brooklyn to be part of the vast staff of workers who produce the literature. In a personal letter from the president of The Watchtower Society, Nathan H. Knorr, he stated: “Additionally, you are going to get a wonderful four-year advanced theocratic training which is far better than any secular education you can get.”

With much anticipation I boarded a plane for New York City. While on the plane I recalled all my friends’ envy, in that I was going to be living with the governing body members, and how grand it would be to be at the hub of all the activity of the work around the world. My friends gave me going-away parties and gifts, commending my proud parents on raising me in the organization so well that they could see their son go to such a place.

Soon after arriving in New York, the illusion wore off as I was assigned to work in the factory. Hard labor and learning the ways of the organization from the inside out was the “education” I obtained at Watchtower headquarters.

Space does not permit details of what I experienced while spending long hours working in the book bindery. There I fed machines for “God’s organization.” I recall the mental stress of a profusion of rules and regulations. The master plan of the Watchtower leaders controlled where I went, what I did, and how I did it.

After spending three years at headquarters, with no money to start out in the world (our pay was $14.00 per month), I learned the harsh reality of trying to make a living with no training or skills. Jehovah’s Witnesses are strongly discouraged from attending college.

I married a good Jehovah’s Witness girl, and we set out together trying to please God the best way we knew how. That is, we were good Jehovah’s Witnesses and followed all the rules and laws. My wife had been a missionary for eight years. She had been sent to different parts of the United States in her work, under the direction of the Watchtower Society.

After I returned home with a fairly “clean file” from the New York office, the local elders were using me quite extensively in teaching from the platform. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that anyone who has spent any time at headquarters is special and worthy of greater responsibilities in the local congregation.

As I gained status in the congregation, I was being exposed to and trained in some of the undercover work of the elders. It was exciting going around at night, following members of the congregation who were suspected of wrongdoing. I also was given access to the congregation files, which revealed the inside information of all in the congregation. I was being used in the same kind of covert operations I had seen control the workers at headquarters.

Through all this I could not receive any satisfaction and peace. The pressure of trying to serve a God who is vengeful and full of wrath is more than I can describe. The organization always painted a picture of Jehovah as a God ready to “pour out vengeance.” All I knew of God was what I read in the Watchtower. Yes, we did read the Bible, but were told that if we did so apart from the Watchtower books to interpret it, we were destined to fall into error and apostasy.

A friend introduced me to a book that was written by a former Jehovah’s Witness called “Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave.” I knew that my duty as a good Witness was to turn in my friend to the elders, for we were forbidden to read any anti-Witness material.

But in defiance, I read the book. It disturbed me very much, for the author was a former worker at headquarters, and I could relate to many of the things he was saying. Many things that I had tried to erase from my memory were surfacing again, and questions of the Watchtower’s authority left me very unsettled. The author mentioned that he had found spiritually truth by studying the Bible apart from Watchtower publications.

All this time the Holy Spirit was calling me to study the Word of God. Even though we had our own New World Translation of the Bible (translated by the Watchtower Society and refuted by Hebrew and Greek scholars as being a biased, twisted version of the Bible), I bought a New American Standard Bible.

My wife and I secretly studied our new Bible long hours into the night, discovering that many of the major doctrines that we had been willing to die for were false. I confronted my father about some of these issues. Being an elder, my father saw that I was questioning some of the main teachings, and he reported my wife and I to the elders, to stand trial for apostasy.

After a lengthy, tearful hearing, we repented of doubting the Watchtower Society and were allowed to remain as Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I was stripped of all my responsibilities in the congregation. I was to be watched for a period of time before serving in any capacity in the congregation again.

A job transfer to another town was a welcome relief. I looked forward to entering another congregation and getting a fresh start. But soon the disappointment came when I remembered that the hearing was still in my file and would follow me wherever I went for the rest of my life.

Of course, the elders in the new congregation had my file soon after I started to attend the meetings. They told me they would be watching me for a while to see if these apostate ideas of mine would resurface. They warned me that they would excommunicate me if I tried to share such ideas with anyone in the congregation. I vowed loyalty to the organization, and said I would not read or speak about anything that would be different from the Watchtower’s position on Scripture.

Two years passed. Being under the elders’ scrutiny left me very empty. Nothing, not even my children who had brought me so much joy, made my life fulfilling. I had a need for something, but what it was I did not know. My wife and I would drink to excess often, searching for some kind of joy, but only emptiness resulted.

Having two boys, we longed for a girl to be born and hoped that having a little girl would complete the happiness missing from our family. On Aug. 10, 1980, Jenny was born. We were so excited. But tragedy struck. At five weeks old, Jenny was found to have a rare blood problem. It was not clotting.

Local doctors sent us to San Antonio, Texas, for treatment of Jenny’s condition. We took her to the doctors at Santa Rosa Medical Center’s special care nursery, looking for the treatment that would make Jenny well. Why was Jenny bleeding internally? Why wouldn’t her blood clot? The doctors spent days trying to come to a conclusion.

Finally, a team of doctors informed us that Jenny needed an emergency blood transfusion to save her life. This was a difficult problem for us because Watchtower law does not permit any Jehovah’s Witness to take blood in any form. Jehovah’s Witnesses carry cards stating that under no circumstances will they take a blood transfusion, even if it means death.

We sent the doctors out of the room and told them that we would give them our answer soon. My wife and I prayed and cried out to God for answers. I remember thinking; “Oh Jehovah, how can you ask me to make such a decision – a yes or no whether Jenny lives or dies! What kind of God are you!” Finally my wife and I called the doctors back into the room, and we informed them that we had to obey God’s law and we would have to let Jenny die.

The hospital officials contacted the Texas Child Welfare Dept. and a suit was filed against us for child abuse and neglect. A court order was issued to ensure that Jenny would receive the blood she needed to save her life. The Sheriff’s Department of Bexar County gave me and my wife citations and warned the hospital staff not to allow us to remove Jenny from the hospital. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a long history of sneaking patients out of hospitals to avoid blood transfusions at all costs.

My wife and I were secretly relieved that Jenny would get the care she needed in getting the blood. I felt that I had done all I could in trying to stop her from getting blood, not realizing that the courts would step in.

Reporters of two San Antonio newspapers, “The San Antonio Express/News” and “The San Antonio Light,” learned about Jenny and exposed the story, though we refused to talk to the reporters. In retrospect, I commend their work.

In the meantime, friends contacted the local elders, who promptly came to visit us. They were relieved to find out that there was still time to plan a way to get Jenny out of the hospital before the blood could be administered.

I explained to them that the matter was out of my hands and that I was under court order not to remove Jenny. That did not seem to matter to them. Their main concern was to get her out.

I knew that Jenny would shortly die if I removed her from the machines that were keeping her alive, and I would be charged with murder. I explained this to the elders. They replied, “That’s the chance you have to take! You cannot allow them to give your child blood!”

Without further discussion, I asked them to leave, stating that we could not allow our child to die in this way. “If this is the God I serve, I am through with Him.”

The elders left the hospital upset with me that I would not submit to them. “I hope,” one elder even said, “she gets hepatitis from that blood, just to prove that it’s bad!”

When we finally returned home with Jenny, the Witnesses had received word that even though we had protested the blood transfusion, We allowed her to take it. This made us outcasts in the eyes of the Witnesses, but they would not be taking action to excommunicate us. The law calling for excommunication would have applied only if I had freely given permission for the transfusion.

This is when God stepped in. Christians came to our home and helped us out with food and money and whatever they could do. The living testimony of these people affected my wife and I so much that we decided to start again studying the Bible.

Those months of intense secret study of the Bible led us to conclude we had lived a lie. We had been in bondage to a system of interpretation of scripture that squelched any free thinking of ours. On the issues and doctrinal points that I had so much trouble with, the Bible was clear. I read the whole Bible in context, without the aid of a book or magazine to instruct me.

The result of this study was that we found that all we needed for Salvation was the Lord Jesus Christ. We found that God is a God of love and not a God of wrath.

One night, my wife and I held hands and gave our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Suddenly, we felt a release in our spirit, a release that brought freedom, liberty, and salvation. We were “born again.” I had never had a feeling like it in all the thousands of hours I had spent striving to please God as a good Jehovah’s Witness. We knew that we were changed. We were a “new creation.” As the Apostle John said: “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”(I John 5:13)

Of course, we were promptly disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Under the rules of our excommunication, we cannot have any contact with our family and former friends in the organization. Our own parents will not be allowed to go to our funeral. According to the Watchtower law, we are to be regarded as dead. Any Witnesses caught talking to us are subject to judicial action, including disfellowshipping.

In conclusion, I must say that we are not dead, but very much alive. Yes, we are dead to a former way of life, but alive in Jesus Christ, full of the Holy Spirit and power, saved by the blood of the Lamb.

In conclusion Jenny’s condition was more serious than what a blood transfusion could permanently correct. The transfusions given to her as an infant did prolong her life, but on March 3, 1987, our 6- year-old Jenny went home to be with the Lord.

On Jenny’s memorial stone it is inscribed: “God’s special messenger.” We believe she truly was. Through her illness and brief life, we came to recognize the deception of the Watchtower Society, profess and receive Jesus Christ as savior and Lord and share this redemptive knowledge of the Savior with Jehovah’s Witnesses across the country.

In addition, during the final 39 days of Jenny’s life, in Dallas’ Children’s Medical Center, My wife and I spent much of our time praying and testifying for Christ with families of other serious and terminally ill children at the hospital.

Finally, some details of Jenny’s funeral attest to the nature of the Watchtower Society and the control it holds over its members.

At Jenny’s funeral, the first four pews were reserved for family members. The remaining rows of pews were open to church family and local townspeople. The latter were packed. People from all over came to share in the grief of the loss of this small child. However, the pews set aside for Jenny’s family were occupied by only four people — Myself, my wife Pat, and Jenny’s two brothers. No other family members attended the funeral. They were ordered not to by Watchtower leaders. The callousness shown by the Watchtower Society in forbidding relatives from attending the service is incredible. We can only pray that through our testimony those caught in bondage will wake up to the freedom found only in Christ Jesus.

 

Paul is now Senior Pastor of the Reidland Baptist Church, Paducah, KY Since his conversion he has been called into full time ministry. Paul has earned degrees from Howard Payne University, Brownwood, TX (BA) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY (M.Div.). Paul is currently pursuing his D.Min. degree at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.

Paul, Reidland Baptist Church, Paducah, KY 42003

Our personal testimony: “They Wanted Our Baby To Die!The inside story of a former third generation Jehovah’s Witness,” and other revealing information on the religion known as: Jehovah’s Witnesses is available on internet World Wide Web.

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