Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My response to the “all thou holy Christ like Target bloggers”



My response to the “all thou holy Christ like bloggers”.... Subject: Target bathroom policy Sub Subject... The recent policy change... I have seen a couple of blogs written by wives of pastors among others trying to slap us all on the back of the head and trying to make us feel bad for having an opinion that doesn’t fall into line with theirs. I will say this… I agree with them with their points that we are to love every one as Christ would. I also agree that some of the stances being taken are giving the church a black eye. And that is far as I go with agreeing with them. What bothers me is these blogs are getting more shares than the fathers who are standing up for their family. So to address those who want to slap all of us others on the wrist I give you my response. A response from a father who loves his family more than anything on this earth.

Let me preface this in response to a particular blogger who so elegantly stated their qualifications to have the opinion about this particular topic. So here are my elegant qualifications to have an opinion on this topic as well. I TOO am a Bible believing follower of Christ. For a mere ten days of my life I lived in a parsonage. My family heritage is that of ministry and sound biblical values. I will not cast a stone because I am not perfect nor do I have the right to judge anyone. I love everyone without condition. I know there’s a heaven and a hell. I know that Jesus died on the cross for our (yes ALL OF US) sins and rose again three days later. I believe that one day that God will return for those of us who believe in him to live with him for eternity. So with that said…

First point that stuck out to me is. “Most companies are liberal” Probably and most likely true. Anything we own these days is bought from a company that could be considered liberal. My response? I could care less if Target or any other company is a liberal company. Why are they liberal? Because they want to make money and avoid getting sued at all cost. The name of the game for them is making profit. Let’s just say these “liberal companies” identity as “issue neutral”. At the top level they could care less how you or anyone else identifies. They just want your money and they will throw out their net as far and as wide as they can to make a profit.

“Target offers a family restroom”… Last time I checked our local Target did not. But I haven’t been in there for a while, because I hate to shop and there is not much in there that I like. Oh yes I am sure you all are thinking “then why does he care so much about Target changing the policy?” My response? Read on…. My kids are at the age where they need privacy to go use a restroom and do not need me or my wife to make sure they go “pee pee” alright. Yes we can go before we go to Target, but what if it isn’t the first stop or the only stop? So while the family bathroom may solve the safety issue for some, it does not for everyone including the trans-gendered. Surprised? Yes I am concerned about their safety as well and where they will spend eternity. Let’s go one step further on that topic. Ever thought about what got us here in the first place? A big factor is the breakdown of the family and the sky rocketing divorce rate or the rate of families breaking a part. Truly it is alarming. No father figure? No mother figure? It plays a role in all of this, not to mention sin. Food for thought… I am proud to say that my wife and I are part of an organization that is doing its best to reverse these trends.

I love this one… “My kids have never been hurt by trans-gendered people” but then the author goes onto say their kids have been by people in the church. First I do not believe trans-gendered people are bad hard people out there wanting to hurt people. They are not the target of this entry or will they be ever. But back to the point… I give this one a BIG LOL!! Seriously!! The spirit of that particular blog is criticizing the church for being so critical of this issue. Last I checked the church is full of every day real people who are not perfect and have struggles just like everyone else. This blogger should pick up a book and read about Paul in the Bible. Heck Paul had his struggles too. My question to the author is if anyone in the church has physically hurt their children. I believe this is what people in general are fearful of the most when it comes to this policy change.

Let’s get down to it. This "bathroom policy" opens up a can of worms making it much easier for pedophiles to take advantage of their sick desires. For me and I bet for many others it’s not about the trans-gendered that is a threat to my families safety. It is not about tolerance, or loving every one like Christ does as it says in John 13. It is a safety issue because there are already document cases where these pedophiles have taken advantage of this policy and hurt others in public bathrooms. Common sense tells me that if my kid is going to use a public bathroom they are not going alone. They never have, and as long as they need me to protect them, they never will.

Last but certainly not least, the point about being known by the love of Christ. YES we are called to love as Christ would love and yes we are known by that love. But it doesn't mean we sacrifice our values and support un-holy things. We talk about tolerance. We talk about loving without condition. But yet when the church takes a stand and supports biblical values, the other side takes the tolerance stick and beats us to pulp. Please tell me why it is ok to walk away with our tails between our legs to not offend someone with the word of God? What is so offensive about the word of God? EVEN If you don't believe in God, the morals and values taught are good every day principles to live by. Check the news. Our rights like freedom of religion the very basis this country was founded on are being taken away as we speak in the name of tolerance. We can show tolerance by loving as Christ did and does without sacrificing how we are called live in God’s word.

So from a man who is married and has kids this is where I stand. As father and husband it is about keeping my wife and kid’s safe no matter what the situation is (storms, tornado’s hurricanes’ monsters, creepy looking people criminals, zombies, bugs, spiders, etc...) As a father and husband that is my job. God’s word calls me to do this. If I am not then I am not obeying my father in heaven. I will never put them in a situation where their safety is at risk. As long as I have breath my wife kids will always live in the Godly safety I provide them.

So here is what I know. I am a straight conservative father who loves his family with a very deep unconditional love. I am a man of God who longs daily to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus I would be one of those people standing outside the bathroom waiting for not only the trans-gendered people, but those who are broken and hurting and in desperate need of the love of Jesus. But the very word of God that I will defend to the death, I will also use the word of God to love them into the Kingdom of heaven. Steven Curtis Chapman sand a song called More to this life… I leave you with the words.

"More To This Life"
Today I watched in silence as people passed me by,
And I strained to see if there was something hidden in their eyes;
But they all looked back at me as if to say
Life just goes on.

The old familiar story told in different ways,
Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave;
Dream your dreams tomorrow because today
Life must go on.

[Chorus]
But there's more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there's more than this life alone can be.

Tonight he lies in silence staring into space,
And looks for ways to make tomorrow better than today,
But in the morning light it looks the same;
Life just goes on.

He takes care of his family, he takes care of his work,
And every Sunday morning he takes his place at the church;
And somehow he still feels a need to search,
But life just goes on.

[Chorus]

So where do we start to find every part
Of what makes this life complete;
If we turn our eyes to Jesus we'll find
Life's true beginning is there at the cross where He died.

He died to bring us...

Monday, July 20, 2015

You can't have one without the other... Part 1..

Saw a saying the other day. "A husband can love his wife best when he loves God first." Or I could turn it around and say "A wife can love her husband best when she loves God first." I could just say enough said.

The rate of failing marriages these days is breaking my heart. The divorce rate alone is at 50% and I am sure it is climbing. The rate of the wondering eye when a marriage is not fulfilling for the husband or wife is staggering. There is no communication and there is no effort to resolve the break or disconnect which equals in disastrous results. The rate of marriage where God is not the center is even more staggering. These are just a couple of examples of marriage break downs.

I started listing these break downs out based on my experience, and so I will be doing several blogs as I don't want this one to be long. I speak from experience as you all know. If you don't know my journey I encourage you to go back to the beginning of this blog and read my journey. You can click right HERE. God placed this on my heart this past Sunday.

Warning, this is the truth, nothing but the truth. If you cannot stand to hear the truth, then read on. If you can stand to hear the truth, read on. My point is, there are those out there who are simply not ready to take responsibility for the vows they made on their wedding day. Rather they choose to break them and take the easy out. The easy out isn't so easy.

The first one I would like to talk about is going without God.

My story started when I let the enemy put its nose where it didn't belong. One day on my way to work, I heard a sermon on the radio about giving everything to God. Well... I thought I had. I was angry and at this point nothing in my eyes was working out right. The prayers that I was praying were not being answered in MY timing. I simply wasn't seeing any improvement in my marriage. I wasn't seeing any improvement in the other area's of my life either. I failed to claim any responsibility in the conflict that was my marriage or my life. So I told God I was done with him and I would do things my way from here on out. Thus beginning my decent to the bottom.

So my saying would be this... "A husband or wife cannot live their marriage life if they don't have a grounded faith and love for Christ." Trials are going to come. Husbands and wives we are going to be tested. But if we are not grounded in Christ first, we will fail the test with miserable results. For a marriage to work, both husband and wife, must submit to God first and to each other second.

Here is the fix. If you find that you are struggling spiritually or struggling to understand what God is or isn't doing in your marriage. Seek God and pray, pray more and then pray some more. Dig in the word and dig some more. It is ALL right there. Listen for God to speak to you. Ask that God would speak to you in a way that only you can hear or understand. Seek Godly counsel from an experienced counselor. Seek guidance from your pastoral staff. IF you know of a couple who has been down this road seek them out too!! God wants to heal you marriage.

Part 2 next week. One of two of the break downs that all but destroyed me destroyed me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A number significant to you...

Today as I am reminded of those who have gone before me.. I am thankful for the heritage that was left for me. I think about when we get married, then some of us become parents... What if a person handed you a number at the moment of your first married kiss or when your first child is born? Your look at the number and turn around only to find that person no where in sight. Precisely that number had two digits. At first you don't know what that number means... On either one of these days, the "I do" or the first time you see your child you don't really think of the significance of that number handed to you. You fold up that number, tuck it a way in your coat pocket and live life.

Fast forward some time, years perhaps... Your kids are older. It is a cold day and you go outside to spend time with you wife and kids. You have put on that same coat that you have had for years. You reach in the pocket to find a folded up piece of paper. You open to see what it is, there is that number that was given to you by a stranger who seemed to just disappear. You briefly stop and think about it and you fold it back up put into the pocket keeping it as there is no where to throw it away.

Fast forward a few more years. Your kids are grown, your marriage has had the typical challenges that all do, maybe more. You have a doctors appointment, you put on the same coat which you have had for years. The doctors appointment reveals news of your health that shows your days may not be long. You go right into treatments only to find nothing is working. Your time here on earth is significant now. It means something, and while you still can, you want to check off the things on the bucket list while you still have quality of life.

You are getting ready for an event that wasn't on your bucket list, but your family has planned for you. You put on the coat, reach into the pocket to find the piece of paper you never got rid of. This time the number is significant from the day you received it. It means something... As you begin to do the math, you realize that there isn't much time left. As you begin to scan the years of your life, memories come flooding back. As those memories come, you begin to think how you lived your life, the mistakes made, the times that were great and times that were not so great. You look at the storms and the times of peace. You suddenly realize that God was the person who handed you that number years back. You also realize that God was in all things. You take a moment to thank him for all his grace and goodness to you.

I wonder how does this story end in your mind? We all know that God is not going to hand us a number. But what we do know is that God numbered our days. It says in Psalm 90:12 - "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Have you used your days wisely? Have you used your days to serve God, serve your kids, and serve your spouse? In the storms when God was in it with you, did you depend on him to see you through? Did you act wisely in those times? Did you honor your husband or wife? Did you raise your kids according to what God asked of you?

Friends, I don't want to know what my number is. I want to live my life with all of it struggles, the good, the bad, and the ugly honoring God wisely all the way through. When the storms come, I will cling to my savior knowing he is always in that storm with me. I long to hear the words when I walk into heaven some day... Well done good and faithful servant.

I end the story...

You set the number aside as you realize your days were God's days. Your timing was not your timing, but God's timing. As you are surrounded by your family, you start to see a glimpse here and there of heaven. Maybe God is showing you the loved ones that have gone before you. You close your eyes one last time, one last early breath... As those on earth hand you off to heaven, you see your Lord and Savior and here the words well done my good and faithful servant. Your legacy that you left behind will surpass any number because it was a legacy of Christ.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We still have moments...

My wife and I celebrated seventeen years of marriage in October. Some people ask how long we have been married and when I tell them seventeen years they almost seemed shocked. Truly their reaction makes me sad. The number of marriages that have lasted for years on end are low. That is happening for a few reasons. Mainly the people who have been married for so long, have passed to their heavenly home. We can also attribute the number of lasting marriages these days to the divorce rate of 50%. Years ago the attitude about being married and is you did anything to keep it going. If it broke you fixed it. Now the attitude is that if it is broke, it is easier to go get a new one. That might be true for things that we buy in life, but not so in marriage. If you can't fix the first one, then you can't fix the next one or the one after either. Now keep in mind, that I have always maintained, that some marriage's cannot be fixed because of extreme circumstances. But to me those types of marriages are the exception to the rule. God created marriage to be a forever covenant between a man and a woman. The world would like us think different and accept their ways of doing things. But we as followers of Christ know better and will defend the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

I could go on forever about what marriage means to me. But I say all of that to say this. I am moved to write about a season we are going through. After seventeen years of marriage I find myself still having those ah ha moments with my wife. The strength that she shows in the moments of my irrational thinking have shown my wife in a new light. It has opened up yet another door of growing closer to her. Our marriage has taken another step forward in God showing his will for us. This moment of my wife showing Christ in her to me, was a moment made for worshiping. Really... moments of praise and worship are just some of the things God intended for marriage right?

Out of this recent moment has been a renewed burden for family. This blog has always been about my journey. From the very get go I have been very honest about every thing. There was some fall out from everything that had happened in the past. I lost friendships, I hurt friends and family, and lost time with those who I had hurt. Some of those I hurt the most were family members. I was angry, I was lost, and out of that I did and said things that I had no business doing or saying. My wife pointed out to me the other day that it was time to start moving forward and fixing some of these family dynamics that were broken or not 100%. My wife made these points to me. I have also noted my thoughts.

1. We never know how someone is feeling after time has passed if we don't seek them out. - This is so true. In both situations we were both surprised by what we heard and the responses we received. God had worked and is still working. 

2. Our kids are watching everything we do. What are they learning by watching us hold onto the past? - So true. If we constantly walk looking behind us, we will never successfully go down the path that Christ wants for us. If we let go of ourselves, loosen our white knuckes and keep our eyes planted on God, then the grace and joy is unlimited. Our kids can then see healing go hand and hand with forgiveness.

3. There are other seasons of storms that will come our way and this is one that we need to finish. - When God speaks we need to listen. God can help us navigate storms, but if we are the anchor holding the boat from getting out the storm. We will continue to miss out on the peace after the storm. 

4. God can't work if we don't allow him to do what he needs to do. - Seriously. When God moves us to do something, we need to do it. I know from experience on this. I didn't have much time with my mom before she went into a coma and the went to her heavenly home. I had all of a couple of hours to speak to my mom and settle things that needed to be buried. Had I stepped aside and let God have control, my time with my mom would have been so much longer. I was so stuck on the hurt, that I refused to let it go. I used the hurt as fuel to make the tiny flame into a roaring fire. Had I been where I needed to be spiritually, that flame would have been snuffed out like it needed to be. I will say it again. Let God step in and let him do his thing.

  5. This one was pointed at me. Accept the things of which you cannot change. Let go and let God. -  We need to spend more time letting God have our hurts and griefs. As humans we have this need to control things around us. Sometimes we try desperately to control the things in our life that cannot be controlled. We all have tried to do it only to fail miserably. We cannot move a mountain or calm a storm like Jesus did on the boat with the disciples. But seeking or speaking the name of Jesus can change anything. So why not let it go and let God? It should be so simple and it is. There have been many times in the past where things have haunted me or made me angry. I have talked about this before, but I will say it again. One of the biblical applications that I use during these times is I envision God with his hand coming down out of the sky right next to me. I lay down my "things" on his hand and I let God take it back to heaven. It says in the Bible that it will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God knows the desires of our hearts. We do not have because we do not ask. But God also knows what is best and how each answer is the perfect solution to the problem in his timing.

All five of the above points spoken through my wife from the Holy Spirit are very applicable to marriage, family, and any other storm that we may be facing. This is the ah ha moment that I am talking about. We still have those moments where my wife and I are the hands and feet of Jesus to each other.

Friday, September 12, 2014

David did what?

1 Samuel 17:32-37The Message (MSG)

32 “Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.”

33 Saul answered David, “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.”

34-37 David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”

This was my scripture this morning for my devotions. As I was reading this, I keyed in on a couple of things and my mind has been blown ever since. David killed a lion and a bear to protect the sheep his father had entrusted to him. It wasn't something David did once or twice it was something he probably had to do often. As I was reading this scripture, I thought to myself no way can a man kill a lion or bear with his bare hands. How is that even possible? On top of that David had decided to take on the bully named Goliath and take him down as well. I am floored at David's faith in God's ability to protect him from harm. 

My lack of faith in the big things sometimes stops my ability to trust God in all situations. As I am sure with many of you, it is easier to trust God with the small not so concerning situations that arise where the consequences are bearable. But what about the BIG things that come our way where the consequences are less than desirable? Sometimes we stand there facing Goliath, a bear, or a lion. Our doubts seem to take over about what God can really do to help. 

In our house, it has been an interesting couple of months. The enemy has tried once again to infiltrate our house and divide. Going through this once before, we were more aware of the signs and battled back on our knees and many people supporting us in prayer. When school starts, fall sports, and other commitments, there is an adjustment period. Our oldest son has experienced an unprecedented amount of anxiety on top of still grieving the loss of his grandmother one year later. The side affects of this has caused a stressful situation for us that has been exhausting. This situation we are facing and going through has been the David story for us. The enemy(lion or bear) if you will has tried it's best to snatch our son away from us in its jaw. We have jumped on and prayed away the lion and bears. It seemed when we would pray over him, the enemy would attack even stronger every time trying to one up us. Again we would go back to praying. While we are still in this process, we have put all of our faith and trust in God. That in itself is not easy. 

I posted this on Facebook just the other day. "Sometimes the stresses in life cause me to rush God to answer prayer according my timing and not his. But what is really happening, is those things that are stressing me, are blocking my ability to see what God is doing. I want so bad right now for God to flip the switch for healing. But I know that God is teaching and loving me through this season." It was this day that I realized I had to give all my worries to God. This whole thing we have been going through was now out of my control. My only defense was to pray, let go, and let God. This is a minute, hourly, and daily battle to let God have it, but the more we do it, the easier it becomes. The beauty of this is that God has started to open our eyes to what is happening and given us some patience and peace that we so desperately needed. People have surrounded us, counseled us, and been Christ to us.

After reading this scripture today, I realized that my wife and I aren't alone. That when we face the lions, bears, Goliaths, we need to do it with same faith and confidence that David had in God. We serve a God who is not going to leave us, we serve a God that has our best interest at heart. I know through this time, that we will see God move in a mighty way. This week God has started to answered prayer for us. We know the road is long, but we also know that we can persevere knowing that God will deliver us.  If God is for us, who can be against. I love this song. When I think about the Lord.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A promise to keep...

The vows that we say to each other when we get married are for life. Virtually a promise to each other to follow it to the "T". A contract if you will and promise made in front of family, friends, and God. One of the lines in there is "in sickness and in health". I often wonder how many of us actually knew the true meaning of "in sickness and in health". Did we take that phrase at face value? I will admit, I sure did. I had no idea all the meanings that were encompassed in that phrase. Many times in counseling while trying to put my life back together as well as our marriage, our counselor would remind both of us that we made the promise to each and to God. I am convinced that married couples often lose site of this promise. 

To me the promise of "in sickness and in health" means loving your spouse, supporting your spouse, and being a part of the healing process with your spouse. It means loving your husband or wife in the the best of times, or worst of times. Sickness means physical, mental, and spiritually.

Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

To me the above scripture is a good reminder of what it takes to have a marriage. In talking with men, couples, and individuals that I know who are facing hard times either in relationships, or personal struggles, I remind them that healing takes time, it takes patience and understanding. Most of all having compassion and walking with them through this journey.

I am an avid Chicago Bears fan. I have suffered through some terrible seasons and celebrated through some fantastic seasons. I have see seasons of rebuilding and it has taken patience through that rebuilding process. Through my experience in rebuilding my marriage, both my wife and I had to have the expectation that neither one of us were going to be perfect through the rebuilding process. We had mis-steps and many times we went back to the drawing board to figure out what we did wrong. Many times spending time with our counselor and in prayer looking for guidance. The rebuilding process saw many defeats, but many times of celebration as something monumental had been accomplished. More and more we celebrated as the journey went on. Colossians 3:12-14 mentions many attributes of being a child of God, but also those same attributes are part of the promise we made when we got married. 

I wish more couples would spend more time on what the promise of "in sickness and in health" means. I can still see the smug look on our counselors face as she nailed me to the wall with that reminder every time. There was no excuse to walk away from my marriage. I made that promise and I needed to stick to it. I am so glad I listened to God use her words to penetrate my life. The pay off has been amazing. My wife loved me through my sickness, and any excuse or justification that I had for walking couldn't stand up to the promise I made when I said in sickness and in health. 

Ready to give up? Ready to walk? Refer the Colossians 3:12-14. Have you displayed and been all those attributes to your wife or husband who may be struggling? Does your excuse or justification really stand up to the above scripture or promise you made? Are you praying for your wife or husband that God would change them? Are you asking God for guidance? What is God's will for your marriage? Are you in line with what God wants for your marriage? Are you ready for any and all consequences good or bad of your decisions? 

I have and always will be a Bears fan. I always will be a fan of my wife. I know of very few people like my spouse who loved with the love of Christ and stayed true to that promise. In the world today, that promise is so over looked. Husbands and wives put their needs and happiness opposite of the promise they made. A promise is a promise is a promise especially before God. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Testimony after a long fight...

As most of you know I am very involved with my churches music ministry. I don't know of many churches that have the music quite the way we do. We all just click because God is the center of it all. But that is not what I am writing about today. A few weeks back I gave my testimony before singing a song, OK well I stopped in the first verse and said I had to testify. We were singing the song "I'm Amazed". I love this song because I truly am amazed at what God did for me.

A couple of weeks before that it was on the worship order to sing, however it got bumped to the next week. I knew this song was coming, I also new that I would be singing the verses and lead part for this song. God had been nudging me for weeks to tell my story, but I wasn't sure when or where that would happen. I fought God and said my story is very personal and I will use it when needed. I have in the past shared my stories with others who were struggling in their marriages. I thought ultimately that is how God would want me to use it. But I never dreamed of standing in front of the whole church to share it with everyone. I was afraid I guess of what people would think of me. I had been up there singing a few years ago, but for all the wrong reasons. Pride, arrogance, and a since of entitlement were my motives. My reasons I thought were valid. Here are a few...

"I waited for my turn to sing on worship team, I deserve this." 

"This is the only time that God and I are on the same page."  Yeah OK, because God is like that? Really only one day a week? wow what was I thinking.. 

"The platform was my refuge from all the guilt I was feeling." 

"If I sing up here than no one will really know what kind of life I live during the week. After all I am wearing a suit and singing with expression." 

And the list goes on. All of those excuses and more were completely wrong. I was even confronted by a church member who was trying to help my wife through this. This lady in a very direct way pointed out my reasoning was wrong. I quickly left the room and went home. I was mad, angry, and upset that she would say such things to me. But.. she was right and if she was seeing right through me, than probably every one else was too. I am here to tell you that God cannot and will not use you, if you are broken and refuse to let God mend and heal your wounds. God will not use you if you are not living according to his purpose in your life. God cannot and will not use you if you are saturated with sin. So if you think that you can fool others, you are completely wrong. God exposes your sinful life to others whether you think you have it covered or not. Don't let the enemy fool you into thinking you can live a double life. By that I mean, a perfect Christian on Sunday and a horrible human being during the week. The math doesn't add up. One day acting perfect and six days living in sin. You have yourself fooled if you think that is a good ratio of living. Now I sing only because God allows me too. I sing because I want to be used by God. I sing because I want to be transparent and let others see Jesus in me. I sing because I want to help lead others in worship of a God who is amazing and deserves our praise. I sing because I want to minister to the broken, the lost, the sick and those who need to feel God's presence in their life. 

Moving on... 

The Sunday that I shared my testimony God was not to be denied. Many times a testimony service has broken out in our church. I have gotten the "TSAS" (Testimony shakes and sweats). I chickened out and denied God his purpose of working through me. But this time I was almost in tears before singing, over come with the Holy Spirit in me, the words to the song were denied until I let God's words come out. So I stopped the song and let God do his thing through me. I then sang the song. It wasn't my best but God was working and moving. All this time there was a small part of me that felt like I was being judged for my past. But when I testified I had no idea what it meant to others. I had no idea how God would use that to impact others. The response that I have received has been overwhelming. Truly God healed me completely of my doubts and fears. 

This is what I have taken from this. There are others struggling or have struggled in the past. Marriages are being attacked by the enemy and if we are not transparent of what God can do, than others will continue to struggle. These struggling people need encouragement, but most of all they need hope. Hope in God of his power to make all things right and new. If we have been tried, but haven't testified, than how can God use us to help others? If we don't expose our scars, than how can others see God's ability to heal? Remember the scars that Jesus has reminds of his ultimate sacrifice so we can be free in him. Why not share that freedom with others? I am here to tell you, that God can do anything. God can use ashes and make something beautiful. If you have a story of how God redeemed you, please let God use your story to give others hope!! There as so many who feel alone and feel like that they are the only ones struggling. I leave you with the song that I sang on that Sunday. I'm Amazed sung by Jason Crabb and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.