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

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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

A New Creation

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I thought God told me to get the baptism ready because people are going to get baptized. So I was ready this Sunday for people to say they wanted to. Both services went by and no one said anything. I had asked Rolph, our custodian, to clean it for this very reason. This morning I got a call from Scott and Tanya and they said they had a friend who wanted to get baptized. The water was freezing but it was so encouraging at the same time. Someone became a new creation at the church this morning and God is well pleased.

Submitted by Adam Bower

Feed My Sheep

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I have learned a valuable secret: to love is the most potent of all gifts. Imagine, if you will, standing beside Jesus performing a miracle, and after he is finished he turns to you to find you in total awe. He speaks these words: "Why do you stand here marveling at what you see me do? Do you not know that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you may say to the mountain move and it shall be moved?" This is all the license required to do tremendous acts of love, this is the game change that exceeds all worldly understanding.

My journey of love began with a single proposition. If you love me feed my sheep. People are really hungry, not just for food and shelter but hungry to know love. Many have given up, we do not see them, they reside in the shadows, broken, familiar with rejection, resigned of hope and full with sorrows. Such was the condition of our latest endeavor. She had served her nation but time slows even the greatest of athletes. The light of those days of glory has dimmed, the body now broken, the sacrifices forgotten, here stood the veteran soldier, abandoned and alone for a decade. Trapped in one room of a four bedroom house, helpless and now greatly offended, sorrow begins to depress the spirit sending the mind and the body into dark places. We are sent unto such for the purpose of reconciliation with signs and wonders. We have loved her from the beginning, in all her mess we have loved her. We labor on her behalf where it makes no sense to her we should be so concerned. We shall make change, she shall know it in her heart and give praise and honor to the God that did not abandon her. She shall be made whole. Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.

Submitted by Randy

Saved By Grace

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Adam’s message today slammed the coffin lid down on some old religion stuff that God has been illuminating for me. Lord, just give me Christianity 101 on this side of eternity, please. Thanks so much (Adam/Brian) for being the vessels you are!

I’ve made a decision today about something that God has been working on in me for the past few weeks. I am going to begin existing in my “new creation” status.

As Christians we often say, with a degree of glibness; “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace!”
This is a statement that is ultimately true, with two antithetical perspectives, both true, one past and one present tense. This statement is so frequently used that it has even become a default response for many, in lieu of simply receiving a compliment. Someone might say, “Your ministry/attitude/preaching/ etc. is such an encouragement to me,” and the humble response can be “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace!” This is such a conditioned response that sometimes, oddly, those of us born and raised above the Mason-Dixon line might even say it in a southern dialect! (LOL! …….what in the world is that all about?)

The question is: if both halves of this statement are true, which half are we declaring over ourselves?

This analogy came to me (if you have never undergone an appendectomy, not to worry. It’s just an analogy!): To say, “I’m a sinner saved by Grace” is true…in the same way that it is true to say, “I had appendicitis, and my appendix was removed (not simply medicated….removed) therefore, I no longer have to ever worry about appendicitis.”
I have not lived the “sinner saved by Grace” concept in that way at all, and realize now fully that by constantly affirming this sin nature, we manifest……sin! Conversely, by constantly affirming our “new creation” status, we manifest the fruit of the Spirit. No striving required. (Proverbs 23:7 “….as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”)

I used to think of our paradoxical sinner/beloved child designation as the opposite sides of a coin. Always coexisting, yet mutually exclusive, impossible to behold simultaneously, and incapable of manifesting simultaneously. I now see that this is not true, as it removes the words "you are" from “a new creation”, and inverts our familiar quotation by saying; “You are saved by Grave….but you’re nonetheless a sinner.” The truth is, what we’ll call the “tails” side of the coin (sinful nature) is no longer coexisting with the “heads” side… the tails side is dead! This in no way encourages apathy toward sin, nor should it evoke a false sense of immunity to it, as sin will always “come knocking”. Instead it does the exact opposite by reminding us that we are a new creation, and although sin and Satan are indeed real, they are no more than a snarling dog on an unbreakable chain, incapable of touching those who decide to avoid them. Sin becomes uninteresting. In fact, it requires a willing effort on our part to cross the clear-cut borderline, provided by the Holy Spirit, in order to indulge them.

I’m no longer a “sinner saved by Grace”…………….I’m just “saved by Grace”

Submitted by Kirk Reese

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