Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Power of the Gospel!

We had an AMAZING weekend teaching the Word and praising God! God was with us. 2 of my best girlfriends (Jennie and Mellette) and I talked until we had absolutely nothing left in our brains to share. The girls were hungry for God's Word. So, the doors opened at 5 pm on Friday night and about 70 people were there. We studied together, ate together, sang together, cried together, laughed together, prayed together, etc... It was delightful. We were filled with His goodness and LOST in His love.  I joke that ministry crack is THE GOOD STUFF. There is nothing better than serving a risen Savior and watching His power change lives. The conference ended Saturday night at 9 pm when I had to end it because I was really hungry and starting to wonder what day it was.  It reminded me of the story in the Bible when Paul was preaching and dude falls out the window and dies. Paul stops teaching, resurrects him, and THEN KEEPS TEACHING!!! LOL.
"Paul was preaching to them, and since he was leaving the next day, he kept talking until midnight.  The upstairs room where we met was lighted with many flickering lamps.  As Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, became very drowsy. Finally, he fell sound asleep and dropped three stories to his death below.  Paul went down, bent over him, and took him into his arms. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he’s alive!”  Then they all went back upstairs, shared in the Lord’s Supper, and ate together. Paul continued talking to them until dawn, and then he left. Meanwhile, the young man was taken home unhurt, and everyone was greatly relieved."
Acts 20:7-12

I have so much to write but I am exhausted. I will share this...
God's Word was exalted.
Girls heard truth and it set them free.
I love sharing God's Word.
I give Him all the glory for the great things He has done.
This message I received today is why I can't NOT do this ministry no matter how hard it is-

"I wanted to thank you sooo much for the conference this weekend. It has meant more to me than you could ever possibly know. In order for me to tell you HOW MUCH you have helped me I feel a deep need to tell you about my wretched past... it holds quite an impact in my life.

When I was 2 years old my mom was diagnosed with an aplastic astrocytoma (really big brain tumor). Doctors told my mom and dad she would be extremely lucky to live 2 or 3 more years. So from the time I could remember my mother was always sick. I grew up very angry with God for making my mother sick and for not healing her. It was a very deep pain for me. I saw no real worth in my life. I grew up in a deep depression and was self abusive and suicidal. I tried to strangle myself in my room when I was 8 years old because I wanted to die. I wanted to stop hurting. My mom although still alive was very sick. She was constantly in and out of the hospital. I grew up with the idea of a very angry judgmental God. I never saw that God loved me. I only saw that I was bad and he was angry with me. My self abuse only got worse I would hit myself so I couldn't feel anymore pain. At the first sign that I was starting to feel sad or upset I would punch or hit myself with something so I wouldn't have to feel anything, any emotion. I constantly had bruises but my family always believed that I was clumsy and I just bruised easily. Although at the time I didn't see it as a miracle, my mom lived almost a decade with a tumor she was told would take her live within 2 years. After my mom's death my anger towards God only got worse. I became so closed off from everyone I was starting to be labeled and treated as a lost cause. I had bad hygiene so people wouldn't get close to me because I thought they would see what was really going on inside me. Six months after my mother died my brother was diagnosed with leukemia. I began to deeply and earnestly pray for God to kill me to just put me out of my misery and end my life. I prayed this type of prayer almost everyday. Yet at the same time I was so afraid God would kill me because I was a bad person. Looking back now I can see how deeply confused I was yet back then I couldn't see past the pain I felt. My brother's faith became a hope for me thru his illness. He became a strong man of God who really wanted to help people even though he was sick. His faith was inspiring and I began to believed that since his faith was so strong and he was a good godly man that God would let him live. I was still struggling with my demons and self worth. One of the last days my brother was alive he was in his hospital bed begging me and pleading with me to get saved. I kept telling him I was saved and he kept begging and pleading. My brother was on his death bed pleading for me to live. My brother died when I was 16. When my brother died I saw no point in anything. I became numb. I wouldn't let anyone inside. I gave up on myself. I grew up in church I knew all the answers to all the questions the pastors and youth pastors would ask. I knew them in my head but not my heart. I had friends but I wouldn't let them in. I kept everyone at arms distance still thinking myself unworthy of anything especially love. I was determined that I would never marry or have children.. Why pass all my bad cancer genes onto an innocent child or worse put my spouse thru what my dad had to go thru with my mom. When I was a senior in high school dad moved my sister and I to Chattanooga. We moved about 10 years ago and over the last ten years the self abuse stopped but the suicidal thoughts only grew worse. The whole time I was still going to church. I was still very afraid God would kill me for being a bad person. I was still very confused. One day I was driving on the highway when I felt the strongest urge to just cut the wheel to a hard right and drive off the overpass bridge. I found myself speeding up and getting ready to cut the wheel. Nothing. I couldn't move. I could feel something holding me back, keeping me from moving my steering wheel. I was literally frozen. I know now that it was the hand of God on me. It was only after I had passed over the overpass bridge that I realized the car had slowed back down and I could once again move. I began to cry. I was scared and I knew massively significant just happened. I realized I wasn't saved. I finally accepted Christ into my heart at a 5th Sunday singing. I was tired of fighting God and the bridge incident proved to me there was something more for me. I still struggled with the thought of a loving God. I read my bible occasionally but I never really understood it. I started attending Calvary Chapel about a year ago. If I'm honest yes it was because of a boy but I told God it was only temporary until he showed me where he wanted me to go to church. God made it quite clear to me this is where I am suppose to be attending. I was very reluctant to go to the whole single ladies thing. I have never related to anyone at one of these things before, I had always found it condescending. I must tell you with all sincerity I NEEDED THIS. You have shown me that I am loved. I am constantly being pursued. For the first time in a long time I feel refreshed and loved. I can not tell you how much your conference has changed me. I am loved. For the first time in my life I feel God's love. Thank you sooo much for this conference for you and the other ladies. I cannot type fast enough. I couldn't think to type fast enough. You have made a wretch feel like a person for the first time."

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness."
Psalm 115:1


Erin Southwell said...


Rob and Jordan said...

Oh my word! The tears and chills I have! His Word WILL NOT and DID NOT return void. What a gracious and mighty Redeemer.

Stephanie said...

Amazing, God is doing so many wonderful things in so many different lives. Thank you for answering to His calling!

Anonymous said...

Tears in my eyes! Thanks for sharing.