April 30, 2014
I can’t even begin to tell you the people God has placed in my life over the past few years. (And no, I don’t mean all the other people in my life prior to three years ago didn’t play a vital role…) When you really allow God to work in your life, when you decide to truly surrender, His hand print becomes so clear. Knowing Him in such an intimate way helps me to recognize Him and His work in the most minute of details.
Sometimes, I will just stop and think about how each have been so strategically placed and connected. Each seeming to thread through my life with such purpose and intent. If just for a moment I could take in the vastness of His plan. You know, see the big picture. But, I am certain our minds could not even perceive all that He has in store. I do not believe we could even fathom how He connects the dots; divinely appointing this meeting or that encounter. Oh, how the One that placed the stars in the sky cares so deeply for me; placing those in my life that seem to always point to Him.
All three of these men who have graciously shared with me and sharing with you today, have been such an encouragement in my life. In some way or another, whether a lifetime of connecting or just a few moments together. Through these men I have seen the love of Jesus and His powerful hand at work. It is exciting you know! Redemption stories, great faith, purpose and peace. I pray their words are like a gust of wind, igniting the embers that lay buried under the heap of wood and debris.
God has enabled me to have the gift of evangelism. That is why I enjoy Special Ops each Monday. It allows me to be my Savior’s witness. He does tell us to Go. So I obey and get such a Blessing for doing so. || Larry Gamble
I love this man. His zeal and love for our Lord are infectious. I treasure him. I do. His heart holds a passion for the lost and HIS little black book holds Hope and Freedom for the broken. He plants seeds for the Kingdom like a farmer sows for a harvest.
Grateful that His word tells us, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
First off I would like to say how much of a blessing it has been thinking and praying about what I should say for my testimony. It reminds me of how blessed I am, and how much I owe to My God. Sometimes a testimony is as much for you as it is for someone else! The past year I have grown so much with My God. But even when I was afraid that I could not do what My God was asking, I was reminded again and again that… My God Is Faithful. Nothing sums up so well this new life with My God as that. It is perfect. A couple of times He has brought me to the edge of a cliff and said, “Jump I’ll catch you!” And He has NEVER disappointed me. I remember the very first time I was preparing for Wednesday night with the youth. I was so nervous. Not even the normal kind of nervous! Some extreme I-feel-like-I’m-going-to-pass-out kind of nervous! What if they didn’t listen? What if I say something wrong? These parents are bringing me the most important thing in the world to them and entrusting me with the most important part of their lives; their Salvation!!! The realization of that was almost too much to bare! But slowly My God taught me that He didn’t call me because I had great wisdom that these kids had to hear (go figure…). He called me to be His mouthpiece. To humble myself and say what He wanted me to say and nothing else. I worry a lot less now that I have faith in what I say because of My God. Please, do not mistake me saying all this as bragging that I have some great faith to trust Him! Praise My God that His faithfulness is not dependent on my little faith!!! Who knows where I would be if I had to depend on myself. Faith is not something that you can create yourself. It is not a credit to you as if you are greater the more of it you have. It is a decision. It is an indictment on yourself that you are not strong enough to do ANYTHING! When you give up believing that you have any abilities to help yourself, or that you are somehow helping God accomplish His goal like it would not happen if not for you, then you can have true faith. Then you can give up worrying whether things will turn out ok, because you have placed everything at the feet of the Master and let it go. Try Him, and see that He is good.
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and Faithful in ALL he does.” Psalms 145:17 Great Is Thy Faithfulness! || Shaffer Penny
This one is precious. I love him. I love his heart. Let me tell you, he comes from good people. I know. Kindhearted, strong, God-loving and God-fearing people. With such solid groundwork put in place long before he knew he would be called; he has chosen to have great faith and build upon the foundation of Christ. Shaffer bravely pastors our youth with a convicting heart; burdened with the desire for teenagers to seek and find Christ in a real and personal way. He and his precious wife Brittany continue to serve in the very same church Shaffer and I grew up in, what a testament to our christian heritage. Believing through his faith in Christ, Shaffer will do mighty things for the Kingdom by investing his life in our young adults.
There’s not an area in my life that God has not turned right side up. People always say God turns your life upside down. To me that means not right, not how it’s supposed to be. He turned my life right side up and into His life which is how it’s supposed to be. He has delivered me from drug addiction, addiction to pornography, addiction to nicotine, pride, He is renewing my mind. He is teaching me to love the way He loves and teaching me to look through His eyes. He has poured out an uncontainable amount of His grace so I could overcome through Him. So you really can’t out do God. He is always there. Always faithful. Loves me no matter what I do. Not like I would ever wanna go the opposite way of where He goes, but still then He would love me just the same. And enables me to pour the love out on Him that He pours into me. He is just wow wow wow all the time forever and ever and ever no end. || Bentley Cox
Bentley. He has a smile that is SCREAMING Jesus and I know he must have been given an awesome redemption song. Walking alongside him on the streets of Birmingham I have seen he has a heart for the broken and a passion to serve. His kindness flows from Christ and are seeds scattered into the broken. No doubt he knows the One who offers Living Water. And, has the best “before and after” I have ever seen! Christ is TRANSFORMING!
Nothing like a man of God speaking out on the cause for Christ. So thankful for the stories. So thankful for the words. I hope you are encouraged and renewed by the Firsthand Faith stories of these amazing men. Truly, I am so thankful for the willing heart… to share for the sake of The Kingdom. Heavenly Father, may your Kingdom come through the words of these mighty broken men of God. May they be an encouragement to others to rise up and have great faith to go and speak your truth.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11
Thank you Laura Snyder for letting me share the breathtaking photograph you beautifully captured while in Israel. You rendered this waterfall with “Streams of living water”. How fitting for our “sower of seeds”.