Addict’s Hope

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I’ve been attending a 12 Step group in the area, not so much to "Work the Steps" but to give hope to people who are in the group. I had been in 12 Step groups before and since receiving my identity in Christ, I’ve had a much different view of the whole program. When I attend now, I’ll hang back after the meeting and usually one or two people will come and talk with me. I give them the hope that is found in understanding their identity and knowing that they are not addicts – contrary to what is taught in the meeting. Each week I see the lights go on as people begin to understand the power of what Jesus came to do inside of them – dying to self and taking on his nature. I’ve also laid hands on people and seen various aches and pains go in Jesus’ name. It’s a lot of fun and very encouraging for me. A few weeks ago a young man in the group expressed a lot of discouragement and hurt and seemed to be at the end of his rope and close to death because of his addiction. He had experienced a lot of rejection and judgment and didn’t have much hope for the future. I wanted to talk to him and give him the hope I had, but at the same time I was respecting the group and not forcing my views on them or trying to "fix" anyone. Typically I’ll share what God is doing with me in the current week and the hope that I have. I have asked God to lead people back to me when they want to talk about this. The young man I mentioned did not come back after the meeting and I was tempted to go and track him down anyway. Instead I got engaged with talking with someone else and forgot about him. While I was talking he showed up. I was thrilled. God gave me the words to speak and I encouraged him with that, mostly prophesying his future as a new creature in Christ. Again I could see the lights going on. As we were going out together I asked him how he was doing. He said he felt a lot lighter, he seemed very hopeful. His mother also attends the meetings for her own issues and I found out we’d been attending the same church (Other than PCC). She was excited when I told her about the talk I had with her son. Just this past week we were at that church in a service when she came up to me (I didn’t recognize her at first and was a little startled as she made a bee-line for me during worship), She had tears in her eyes and she told me that her son had been clean in the weeks since I had seen him last, and was doing very well. I couldn’t have been more happy if he had been my own son. This totally caught me off guard as I had lost track of him and was busy with so many other things. In addition I was having a hard time getting into the worship in the service, This came up during worship time and needless to say it got a lot better after that! Thank you Jesus!

Submitted by Anonymous

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To See Her Smile

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Sunday night we had the awesome chance to meet with Brittany’s grandmother, who is a Christian but has been slightly depressed due to circumstances. We met with her and prayed with her for the pains she was experiencing, and just to see her smile and know that someone cares is enough to make my week. I love how God prompts the mind and heart to love.

Submitted by Zach & Brittany Bear

Encounter at the Cemetery

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I am not a member of Praise Community Church, as I live 3 hours away, But I will be visiting about once a month. SO I hope it is ok to post a testimony on your site. I posted this on a ‘Pursuit Alumni FB Group’ where we are dong much the same thing: sharing testimonies to encourage each other to go out and share the love of God with those outside the 4 walls of the church. I then felt to share it on my own Facebook page, and the interesting thing is that I have non-Christian Facebook friends “liking” it…I hope it is ok to share it here…original post – Saturday March 2, 2013.

The 26-year-old daughter of a co-worker passed away this week, and the funeral was today. As I got in my car to drive away from the cemetery, I noticed someone sitting on the cold wet ground at a grave site. I heard The Lord tell me to stop and go talk to her and pray for her. I kept going, but the closer I got to the exit, the more intense the pull was to go back. Instead of exiting, I followed the roads around the cemetery back to where she was. I parked and quietly approached her. I squatted down, and introduced myself, and told her that I was there for a funeral and as I left, The Lord had me turn around and come back to her. I asked her if I could pray for her. She looked shocked and said,’I would like that.’ The prayer started out general (not hard to figure out how to start off when you are praying for someone at a cemetery), but then The Lord started giving me details, not only of her mother, whose grave we were at, but about her, and some things she was feeling, and going through…. Turned out that our lives, in relation to our moms, were very similar. This woman I was praying for was a Christian, but this kind of encounter still freaked her out a little. She told me she was just sitting here, talking to The Lord about some of the very things I mentioned and was asking Him questions that I came along and addressed…

We hugged for so long…she thanked me for obeying The Lord, as she needed to hear some of those things…and needed to know God was intimately interested with even the smallest of daily events or thoughts in her life!

Friends, all it takes is a few moments to love on people…and tell them God loves them and cares about them…As you go, and step out, He will give you the rest…you will bless others but be so much more greatly blessed than the ones you are praying for….

 
HUGS!
Doreen from NJ

Entertaining Strangers

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This past Thursday I had a doctor appointment in York that required my husband, Matt, to go with me. He normally would not be awake at this time because he works 3rd shift. After the appointment, Matt took me out to lunch and then we had to stop in Shrewsbury to pick up his wallet that he had left in his car which our daughter Karah had taken to work that morning. Anyway, on our way home we passed an older gentleman walking along the busy road. He was trying to hitch a ride. I looked at him and our eyes connected but I drove on by. I really was not in the mood to pick anyone up. I was in a lot of pain from the doctors appointment, was irritable and feeling sick, and just wanted to get home. But I only got a few seconds away before Holy Spirit prompted me to ask Matt a question. I asked Matt if he would have picked him up had he been driving by himself. His answer was yes. Matt has done this quite a lot in the past when the Holy Spirit has prompted him to and has even entertained an angel along the way on one of those many adventures. 🙂 So, I drove just a little further because I really didn’t want to stop but once again Holy Spirit would not let up. So I asked Matt, do you want me to turn around and pick him up? I ordinarily would have not even thought about asking him that, but Something within just couldn’t drive on by. This man needed to know that someone cared for him. Matt again said yes. So, as soon as I could make a U turn, I did. We came on by him and I pulled over. Matt told him to hop on in and asked where he was headed. He said Red Lion. Of course we were already heading into Red Lion! Love how God does that. We asked him what his name was and he said Jack. Well, Jack proceeded to tell us a little bit about himself and how sad he was that he couldn’t find a job and how sad it is that he could not rely on his family but had to rely on the kindness of strangers. He told us how someone prior to us passing by had stopped only to cuss him out and say mean things to him. (So that is one of the many reasons you had us stop, huh, God??) Meanwhile, Matt is asking him all sorts of questions, because of course he is the pro at this. I was just praying and asking God what He wanted Jack to know. I kept hearing lungs…he has something wrong with his lungs. I was like okay God, I will ask him. But before I could, Matt asked him if he had anything he wanted us to pray for and Jack said he just needed a job. So Matt turned in his seat and grabbed Jack’s hand and began to pray. Then when he was finished, I asked Jack if he had anything wrong with his lungs. Jack looked at me kind of strangely and said, yes he had COPD. (Of course Jack had something wrong with his lungs… another reason to stop) I said well, God told me that you had issues with your lungs and I believe He wants to heal them so could I pray for you. Jack said yes. I finished my prayer and just told him how much God loved him. He said he believed God did love him. By this time we were almost to where we were dropping him off. I pulled the car over and Matt gave him all of our leftover food. (Funny how when we ordered lunch they gave us way too much food, most of which we hadn’t even touched.) And God told Matt to give him the money he had in his wallet. (Matt hardly ever has money in his wallet long because God is always asking him to give it away.) So he gave Jack what he had and Jack grabbed a hold of Matt and began to hug him tightly. He said, “Now look what you’ve gone and done…you have made me cry!” Such a beautiful sight. Matt told him once again how much God loved him and how he sees him…he was not forgotten. Jack walked away that day knowing that He had a Father in heaven who loved him and would provide for him always. He felt the love of the Father when we picked him up, when we listened to him, when we prayed for him, when we provided food and money for him, and in Matt’s embrace. I cried. All of this on a day (Valentine’s Day) that we never celebrate, but God knew Jack needed to know how much he was loved. And we were the ones he chose to use. I am sure glad God knows what He is doing. I am glad that Matt came with me that morning, that he decided to take me out to lunch, that he forgot his wallet so we had to go out of our way to get it, that I didn’t ignore the prompting and just continue on my way. I am glad that Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me. God is so amazingly good. I just want to encourage you all to not ignore the Holy Spirit. Be obedient even when you don’t feel like it. It will be so worth the while.

Submitted by Michelle Richardson

Jesus Freak

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I have fought for some time with how to walk as a Christian at work so others see my life and just know Jesus walks with me. I don’t believe I need to be a Jesus-Freak, just a light. I have asked God for many years and through many jobs to show me how.
This week I had an awesome opportunity to walk as Jesus-through-David at work. There is a manager who I believe might be a Christian. I came home for lunch and felt led to write a note of encouragement. I believed God told me to tell him to walk with integrity, mercy and compassion, that the Father saw him and was proud of him, and to not get discouraged because things looked bad.

I wrote the note and stuck it in my pocket. Several times I went on walks to try and find him in the warehouse, but always others were around. Once I took the letter down to his office but he was talking to another supervisor and there were some f-bombs going off. Now I paused—this man is not showing fruit. I could get in trouble giving God-notes to managers.

Finally right before leaving, he was outside the bathroom and I told him I felt led to write something at lunch and not to get weirded out, just take it with a grain of salt. (What does that mean?) He read it and I ran off. But as I was leaving he was reading the note, and while walking with two others, he waved and said thanks.

As I was driving home, God reminded me that Jesus was not a freak. He was simply Jesus-walking-as-Jesus on this earth. The only identity I have to take on is David-walking-as-Jesus on this earth. I don’t have to be afraid. I just have to love people however the Father shows. I plant or water and God causes the increase. I have no clue what the note did to that man that day. But someone knows God loves them enough to ask another guy to pass him God-notes at work.

Submitted by David

Not Another Passerby

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I prayed for a cashier at the grocery store who had a brace on her wrist. She was clearly struggling to scan and bag groceries with one hand. I didn’t see an instant healing but I know God’s love was passed along to her that day. I just didn’t want to be another shopper who just passed her by.

Submitted by Jess Dixon

“living on the inside, roaring like a lion…”

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After church my kids were singing "My God’s not dead He is surely alive, living on the inside roaring like a lion", then they roared. All day and night, sounds like heaven on earth. Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!! Then we talked about what religion was and why God was taken out of schools and everything else, but it could never be taken out of us. Choose to live what you already are and what you have received in the name of Jesus! Then we prayed for someone in school, and my daughter’s prayer was: "Jesus please help (so and so) to know he is a good boy and that you love him and that he will change." Wow! Praise God!

Submitted by Carlos Zapata

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