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

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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

Confirmation

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What a great word about open doors! The night before Brian sent the church his word about open doors I was praying with a fellow brother – he for my situation and I for his – and the words “open doors” came up and we were both excited about it and stopped what we were praying for and began declaring the words "open doors" and quoting the scripture about God opening doors that no one could shut and closing doors that no one could open. We prayed the words over and over with command and praise knowing that we were having an effect on more than just our situations! There was something incredible about it and we were both laughing and excited. When I read Brian’s word the next day, I was very excited because where we were praying when we heard the words “open doors” was a type of church off of Philadelphia Street. A little nod from God I think! Anyway, the prophecy blew me away with the hope for something I have been believing God for, for a long time. Needless to say it was and is very encouraging. That was one confirmation of the word.

The next confirmation came along the next night in a different way.
After hanging out at Rapha, some friends and I went over to McDonald’s to continue chatting\debating things about God and to get something to eat. I was at the counter and I turned to ask my friends if they wanted apple pies and I heard a voice behind me say he wanted an apple pie. I turned to see someone who looked a little rough, in a gangster sort of way, and the fact the he even engaged me seemed a little strange, almost like he wanted to start a fight. In a short span of time I sensed evil, I went to God and was reminded to not turn away but to give love, so I said, “Sure, I’ll get you one.” When I went back to give him one, I said “the love of Jesus to you” and handed him, and his female friend, apple pies. I think he said something like “Christian huh?!” I said yes and he began to tell me how he had a better way and that he worshiped the pentagram – or words to that effect. He began to talk about how this had helped him more than Jesus. He was starting to get into his beliefs more and I listened and responded for a bit and could see that we were headed for a much longer discussion. I told him I had to get back to my friends who were waiting for the food. So I left.

As we were starting to eat, the man came over and I think he could tell we all were Christians and he began mocking our faith and pointing to his beliefs as the real power in this world. He said his name was Dollars and he said that he had tried all of that Christian stuff but it didn’t work for him. He said that he had found something better. He went into what he thought really rules this world. He claimed it was money and that he had found more power by worshiping the pentagram. My friends and I engaged him a bit about Jesus and what He had done. This just led to more arguing and debate about who was really in charge in this world. He didn’t seem fazed by anything we said. He even asked one of my friends to read some scripture which he turned into trying to show his evil was more powerful. At one point he grabbed the Bible to show that he wasn’t intimidated by it and proceeded to read the words backwards. We knew he was trying to rattle us. I sensed that he was sincere about what he was saying and I was a bit wary of him, mostly because I didn’t know how far gone he was and if he had some type of weapon on him or not. I was also a little uncomfortable because in my normally safe world I don’t encounter raw evil like this every day. I was encouraged as I saw my friends take him on and as I remembered that God is inside me and that we were having an effect on him too!

After we sort of came to a stalemate he went back to his side of the McDonald’s. We prayed for the Father to draw him to Him and prayed love over him. I was talking with the brother I had been praying the open doors with the other night and I told him I wanted to read him the word that Brian had sent out. I grabbed my phone and started to read it aloud, and when I did, Dollars came very quickly from across the room and said “Someone make him stop!” “You can’t read that!“ “It’s against my religion!” I told him he could go back where he came from and didn’t have to hear it. (He was simply trying to stop the word from being read) He got visibly upset and threw a tantrum, throwing my friend’s coffee cup up against the wall. My friend said, “Keep reading!” I kept reading while Dollars carried on. If you’ve read the prophecy you know it takes a long time to read. I read it all the while he carried on until his friend, and I believe some of the McDonald’s workers, got him to go outside.

There are more than a couple of things interesting about this, but here are a couple. First the group of Christians I was with were very diverse in beliefs and we usually spend more time in debate than anything else, sharpening each other, and yet there is a great love between all of us. I didn’t see it but after all the show was done one of my friends went up to Dollars and talked about the “debate” we just had and he expressed love to him, just like we do with each other when we debate. He said Dollars appeared visibly moved that we would love him after the conflict we just had.

The second thing that was interesting to me was the effect of the prophecy being read aloud. The person we were dealing with was distorting scripture, he was trying to use it to intimidate us, he tried to desecrate it by reading the words backwards and showing that he was not intimidated by scripture. Yet he was livid when the prophecy was read. The now word, the spoken word, the exciting word of God based on the partnership we have with Him really seemed to disturb Dollars more so than the scriptures we read out earlier. He did not like that the doors were being opened. I’m sure the awareness of what God is doing and His control in this situation set him off. I think there is great power when God brings His words alive in us and we speak the living words out. If making the enemy angry with your words is confirmation, then this was confirmation in a big obvious way!

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

Hiccups No More

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Two nights ago, right before bed, my wife got the hiccups. Now when she gets the hiccups, they often last for over an hour, and often times several hours. After 2 or 3 hiccups, I prayed hiccups no more in Jesus’ name. The hiccups left and were gone; we were excited and thankful. Pretty cool. Thank you Jesus!! (Sometimes when I pray, I wonder if I have enough faith. However that night as I prayed, I wasn’t wondering if I had enough faith, I was seeing Jesus in His grace and I put my faith in His grace, and of course, that was enough!) Thanks God for no more hiccups and therefore the ability to go to sleep quickly and get a good night of sleep!!

Submitted by Anonymous

Changed Life

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I was sitting here on my computer, checking Facebook an just reading through the news feed when I received a message on Facebook. The message said "Two months ago on this day ya’ll changed my life!!!!! Thanks for everything you have done and what you will do Zach and Brittany!!!!!" Blew me away. This person wrote this because they remembered that two months ago today was the first time they ever came to teen lite and they have never been the same since. Its amazing how God changes lives with such quickness and accuracy. The part about this testimony that hit me the most is the fact that God had it planed for the perfect day just when he knew I was doubting teen lite and the outreaches that I do. I thank you God for words of encouragement. May your love flow freely from all who have been changed by your love. Amen

Submitted by Zach & Brittany Bear

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