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

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

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

The Jewish Salesman

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I was in need of a new mobile. I stopped in to the Sprint store, and the Jewish salesman sold me a wonderful phone. He also did all the paperwork, which I was suppose to do myself for a discount, etc. What favor!

We were chatting all the while the transaction was happening about various topics. He was rather philosophical, talking about sowing and reaping. This led me to say that this is stated in the Bible. And we spoke of food, and I mentioned that our body is the temple of God—which we need to take care of. And I asked whether he believed that the Messiah has come? He answered, "no." I said, “Well, He has and His Spirit lives in us, and we are waiting for His second coming.” Meanwhile, the Jewish man was telling me about his grandparents pre-arranged marriage, in Israel, at the age of 14 — who are still married today! He said that at one time he spoke Hebrew, but lost it along the way.

He also was saying how business was slow and he was a bit frustrated with this. I then offered to pray for him, if he would like. He said, “Yes." Then I said maybe the Holy Spirit will show Himself. So as we were holding hands, wouldn’t you know, Holy Spirit prayed in His God language, quite lengthy — I might add. After His prayer was finished the Jewish man said, "I didn’t know you could speak German." I said, I don’t–that was the Holy Spirit! You need to ask the Messiah into your life to be saved and have a personal relationship with Him — for He is Alive!

The other day I went to pickup my mail at the post office and there was a letter – you guessed it — from the Jewish man. Here’s his letter…

This is Dan from the Sprint store. I wanted to tell you all the good news since you shared with me when you came into the store. Since August I have given up on the temptation of processed foods and have only eaten natural foods like fruit, veggies, meat and mushrooms. The meat is free range. In addition I exercise 1 hour a day and the net result in just 6 months is loss of over 1/3 of my body weight! I am not as amazed with the weight loss as I am with the amazing feeling inside me. I am working a night time job as well as the store with less hours now. However, I am full of energy. I buy seeds and nuts at http://www.nutsinbulk.com and really do enjoy the quality and prices.
I have a few reasons for this transformation, however your prayer was the tipping point and in appreciation I have shared with others and have another friend who also lost 100 pounds in 6 months following my lead. On Facebook I have a group titled "caveman Dan diet group" in which everybody is sharing ideas, recipes and motivations to take control of our lives and go back in time to when we felt younger and better!
Again, thank you so much for the energy and prayer that did in fact save my life and others and look for great things to happen to you and your life as we do reap what we sow.
May Peace and GOD be forever with you!
Dan

…………I’d say the Holy Spirit spoke into this gentlemen’s heart! Holy Spirit already has put it on my heart to write back to Dan, after all we can’t lose this sheep! Shalom

Submitted by Kassie

The Body of Christ

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There is a testimony I’ve been wanting to share for quite some time at our church, and I finally have a computer, so I can (another testimony in and of itself)! I had been praying and believing for my husband’s salvation from the time I was born again. At times it seemed like it would never happen, but I kept holding onto the words God had given to me one day when I was praying in the Spirit on my way to work: "Jesus has my Jason." One day, following a marriage ceremony at our church, the couple invited people to share with them words of encouragement, etc. I told them how their marriage had encouraged me to continue standing in faith for my husband’s salvation, and that one day that would be me and my husband. On July 8, 2012, as my mother was being baptized, my husband accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior. After two-plus years of prayer and and believing, God proved His faithfulness as my husband was welcomed into the Body of Christ! Nothing has been more monumental in growing my faith than that. For anyone who is praying for a loved one to be born again, I hope that this testimony is an encouragement to stand on the Word of God which says that "you and your household will be saved"–not can be saved, but WILL be saved. God is FAITHFUL to bring about all of His promises in our lives. I haven’t found one that He hasn’t kept yet! Nothing is more telling of God’s love and power for us than another one of His children entering in to the kingdom of Heaven. Praise the Lord–He is good!

Submitted by Sarah Torrez

Boldness

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On Friday nights, teens and young adults who are hungry to know more of God get together. Zach usually preaches (bless his heart, he is amazing and passionate) and then we play some worship music and pray for one another and just soak in the presence. This past Friday, one of the guys who comes brought 3 new friends and as soon as they walked in the room they were like, "Dude I can just feel something in this place, it is historic." I just smiled because I know the feeling. It is God’s presence in His simple beauty. As I was sitting listening to Zach speak, God started talking to me about one of the guys there. He was telling me that something was wrong with this young man’s dad. I said to God, "Tell me more,,," So He did. God continued to tell me that his dad was sick. I kept asking God for more information until I had gathered that his dad was sick, something serious, and something is wrong with his lungs. I was excited and nervous all at the same time to get this word. I often see or hear things for people and I am tired of keeping it to myself. So I wanted to tell the guy this word but then I stopped one more time to say to my Father, "What else should I say? I mean there is no hope in me just telling him that God knows his dad is sick…" Of course our Father, who is most faithful told me to tell the guy to pray for his dad everyday until he believes that he will be healed and then he will be healed, simple. After worship I just had to share, I couldn’t wait to say something. I was a little reluctant to be so specific but I wasn’t wasting my whole detailed conversation with God! I just started telling him what the Father was telling me in front of everyone and before I could even finish he had dropped to his knees, praying and praising God. He was in awe as he told us that his dad has been in the hospital for 2 weeks with pneumonia. Right then and there he just thanked God and recommitted to Him and getting to know him on a deeper level than ever before. He was spiritually awakened! Two of his friends just dropped to their knees, humbly praising God. It was such a beautiful moment. I also continued to speak what God had told me about someone’s mother and someone going to Saudi Arabia. At the end of the night I just felt so encouraged to tell others what God wants to say to them through prophecies and words of knowledge and I pray that I have more boldness to take this outside of the church walls!

Submitted by Brittany Bear

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