Beauty from Ashes

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Recently I have been struggling with jealously, anger, and loving myself. I was consumed and controlled by the enemy. I was living for male attention, selling myself when necessary to feel loved. I was heartbroken and gave a year of my life to a guy even though he didn’t care whether I breathed or not. (We were only friends with benefits for a few weeks) Everything I did was with him in the back of my mind. Then, I dated a guy to try to get over the first guy. That just brought me down further as I hated myself for hurting my boyfriend, now ex. About a month ago, a different guy started talking to me. We ended up hooking up for an afternoon, and I happened to catch feelings for him. We hooked up again then, however he got back with his ex-girlfriend which tore me apart. In the midst of that, another guy came along who was a friend with the first. We only made out but then he stopped talking to me. I’’ve had sex with 2 guys. All this just took me down. I don’’t regret doing it though, but how I got to that point and how I gave everything I had were hard realities. Just the other week I thought about cutting myself while doing the dishes and make it look like an accident if my parents asked because of these guys always leaving me. I felt alone. My friends were never supportive and they didn’’t care about me. I never contemplated killing myself but that little dishes incident crossed my mind. Thankfully I didn’’t. I couldn’’t remember the last time I was happy. Life was rough and I wanted to get more Jesus but knew there was things I wasn’’t ready to surrender and that it wouldn’’t be genuine.

Then, Sunday happened.

My life is now His. I cried the entire service. Brian had us stand up and he started to pray. I couldn’’t stand and I just wept. I confessed my heart to God, and then I managed to go up front. I again met the floor because He is so good and just took me in His love and mercy. I lay in a ball and cried while the only thing in my mind was “Father”. After a while of that I smiled because my friend had said she had a vision of me in that position wrapped in His love or something and finally, after months of hell, I had peace. Eventually I managed to sit up which made me feel light headed and like I was going to puke. While balled up, my left hand tingled then went numb. After getting off the floor, Mr. Yost prayed for me, and without telling him what was going on I felt like he knew anyways because of what he said. And yet another time, I met the floor. It was soooo good, God is so good and He came when I was bankrupt. Mr. Yost gave me the advice I was always looking for–how to deal with the voice of the enemy. Sing and praise God. That’’s paraphrased but true. Time and time again the enemy has stolen the seeds I was given but this time I REFUSE to let him have it. This one is forever mine. I’’ve seen what it’’s like without God in my life and it is a place I never want to be again. By the grace of God I made it out alive. I feel so free now and happy. Emotions no longer will control my life. This is where I take a stand! #TeamJesus

Submitted by Cayla

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

Jesus in Jail

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I am so in love with GOD and it’s so amazing the things He is doing in my life. The favor He shows me, along with how much He loves me has been most amazing to me lately. I see and feel this more and more most recently in my life. I had the most ugly but amazing thing happen to me recently. I’ve been battling constant relapsing with my addiction lately and I just experienced a blessing in disguise this last week in my life. I actually had to go to jail for 6 days because my P.O. wanted to wake me up, and get me detoxed. While in jail for 6 days, the glory I experienced was just amazing.!!! I cannot believe all the FAVOR the Lord shows me. All the correctional officers that I was around spoke to me about GOD, and encouraged me not to give up. The nurse kept telling me in front of four Captains, “Pray Denise, Keep praying!!” I had many of them share with me the addictions they have beaten, and they were extra loving and caring with me. THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN IN JAIL!! All of these supportive and loving Captains and correctional officers were around me, and a lot of them giving me their testimonies and telling me things about GOD!!!! WOW!!!! I felt the Lord’s presence around me constantly. I spent most of my time alone and praying most of the day. Spoke in tongues most of the day, and got stronger each day and better. I also got to talk to a few young girls about GOD. I have been earnestly seeking the Lord for a while now and building my OWN relationship with JESUS. Just Jesus and me and I love it. It helped me in this situation and only blessings have come from it. At this moment in my life I could of crumbled. I didn’t need to fall on a friend or run to someone for help. I ran to JESUS, my Lord and friend, and He protected me and I rose above this situation. The next best part of this testimony is that satan thinks he’s winning when he’s only driving me closer to Jesus. That’s the first time I’ve been able to say that in years and have it be real and sooo true. My probation officer said she’s not violating me, and her supervisor spoke to me and they said they want to help me. I’m getting more counseling and possibly free doctor visits to get off the medication that keeps triggering my relapses due to my severe scoliosis (and getting me better non-addictive meds)!!! Yes more help and more people who believe in me!!!I don’t deserve the favor God has given me, but I’m so glad he has. He loves me and He is fighting for me. That means I must be pretty special to Him and His kingdom. I am important and He wants me around for something special. After that horrible, but necessary (short) jail stay I feel so amazing, so much more motivated and on fire for God. I want to help these people I met in jail. THEY NEED JESUS SOOO BAD!!! Any way, thanks for letting me share. There were sooo many more amazing things that happened while I was in there, but too much to type. I love you Jesus, and I now am seeing and feeling how much You love me.!! God bless.

Submitted by Denise Kuhn

Seeing to Believing

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I recently returned home from Guatemala, where God did amazing things!!! We saw the lame walk, a mute man speak praises to Jesus, and an "immobile," damaged arm move. We saw a man who once couldn’t hear out of one ear, receive the Gospel in that same ear. We saw the sick recover: sore throats, stomach aches, and headaches leave in Jesus’ Name. We saw the oppressed set free, and the once-alcoholic, now born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, lead another man to Jesus. We saw people born again into the kingdom of God, and reconciliation where there was once no home. We saw those who were once unsure of their salvation, become sure, and the power of the Holy Spirit move. We saw people filled with the Holy Ghost immediately speak in tongues, and the lost, hurt, and abandoned orphan receive the love, joy and peace of the Lord. Praise God! Queen Sheba said to king Solomon that she did not believe the report she had heard of him in her own land, until she saw it for herself, and that when she did see it, it was even more than what she had heard (1 Kings 10). The same was true for me–it took seeing God use me, to believe that He wanted to, and when He did, it was beyond any expectation I could have had! He is SO good, and He wants to use YOU to show it! He’s not waiting until you go on a mission trip to use you, either. He loves those of us in the States as much as anyone else. You already have a mission field. He’s calling you to advance His kingdom. If you don’t, who will? I am no different than anyone else… You can believe that He will use YOU. He promises that His Word NEVER returns void–NEVER!!! There’s always a harvest of some sort. Take Him at His Word that "these signs shall follow those that believe…" because they will. His Word is Truth, and the world (even our neighbors) need to hear it. What if you could be the one God uses to change their eternal destiny? You’ll never know, if you never try. Step out in faith, and let Him use you to shine His light before men, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father in heaven. Amen!

Submitted by Sarah Torrez

Roaring Like A Lion

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So I had this dream where my husband and I were praying for people on the street and I saw demons in this one lady. I could see them in her eyes. I began praying them out and I started roaring like a lion in her face until my roar literally sounded like a lion’s. There was fear in her eyes. The demons were scared.

I never got to finish the dream to see if they left her or not but I do know that we have authority in us through Christ. Instead of being scared of the demonic realm, realize that Christ lives in us, and demons fear us if we understand that, because they fear Him who has overcome the world! Be the lion, not a timid mouse. Hallelujah!

This dream just so happens to go with the conviction on my heart to pray for the demonically possessed, it is just something I feel that I need to grow in more.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” — Colossians 2:9-10

Submitted by Brittany Bear

Mental Afflictions Will Vanish

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Mike Hutchings word regarding bipolar disorder & schizophrenia being healed as soon as those afflicted walk through the doors at Praise reminded me that I had a testimony I hadn’t even thought to share before. Beginning at age 19, I had been diagnosed with multiple mental disorders, particularly bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. I had been on medication most of my adult life off and on. Per the suggestion of my primary doctor, I went to see a psychiatrist again last year. I happened to find the same psychiatrist I had seen who had diagnosed me with the above conditions. After my evaluation, he told me that I no longer exhibited the symptoms of bipolar disorder! The same doctor who told me I had bipolar disorder, was now telling me that I didn’t have it! What was the difference? JESUS!!! Between the first evaluation and the second, I had accepted Jesus as my Savior. I hadn’t done anything differently with my medication. In fact, most of those years, I hadn’t even taken it! The only difference was Jesus in my life, literally renewing my mind! Praise God!! About that same time, I made the decision to quit my job, and attend Bible school. Toward the end of my time at the unemployment office where I worked, I had been taking medication for my anxiety disorder almost daily. Within a month, I stopped talking it all together! I had no need for it anymore. Jesus had brought healing and deliverance once again! Now, 6 months later, I still haven’t taken any medication, and I have no symptoms! Praise Jesus, I’m healed!!!

Submitted by Sarah Torrez

Never the Same

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Over the past week I have been struggling with temptation and desire for male attention. I did almost anything to get it. I began to hate myself, but I felt like I couldn’t stop. Then, in the midst of it all, God called out to me in a dream. It was about baptism of the Holy Spirit. When Sunday came around and people were falling down & screaming, I cried because it was just like my dream and I realized that’s what I needed for me. We have "Jesus meetings" at my school and Brian came and talked and I felt God telling me to go to the church. (Tuesday night) I went. As soon as I walked in I started crying and felt God’s love on me. I cried the entire time (3 hours). Everything Brian said was clear & when he started praying for the Spirit to come down I started to shake violently and couldn’t stop. Eventually I could stand no longer. I cried through it all, sometimes so hard I knew people could hear & it was almost a scream. Other times it was soft & tears of joy. I know I will never be the same & I’m excited to spread His love!!! God is truly amazing.

Submitted by Cayla

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