I was not raised in Christian home. Both of my parents were raised in Godly homes, both were taught the Bible when they were very young. My Father could quote scriptures and won many Bible contests when he was a boy. I only have a few details as to why my parents left the faith they had been raised in, but it boils down to this, they were "over churched" Too much Church (religion) and not enough Christ. Hellfire and brimstone is what was preached back then, not forgiveness.
God knew that my parents would not teach me his word in the home so he sent several people into my life when I was growing up to plant seeds. I had friends who would take me to Sunday school, and Vacation Bible School, and revivals. These friends were from Christian homes and they, and I am sure their parents, had a real burden for me. He also sent my grandparents, and other relatives, who also planted seeds along the way. I rebelled against most of this but I enjoyed the VBS's and Sunday Schools and the church softball team and church choir, so I continued to attend and the Lord continued to work. Another witness that the Lord sent into my life was answered prayer, you see I didn't understand the fullness of what Christ did for me on the cross, but I did believe it was a possibility that there was a God, and if He was up there, maybe he would help me out. So I would pray, every night before I went to bed.
I guess you could say that my prayer life started early. I was having trouble with bad dreams, I was probably 8 or 9 maybe younger. I mentioned this to a next door neighbor friend and she told me to pray before I went to sleep and I wouldn't have bad dreams. I tried it and it worked, so I continued. In my teenage years I began to pray for more specific things and time and time again God showed himself real to me by answering my trivial needs (they seemed so important at the time).
I went though a period of time when I was 12 and 13 when I began to rebel against my parents. I will not go into exactly what I did, but I will tell you that I was no Angel. But through the entire time I continued to pray, I felt if there was a God I had better be talking to him.
I feared Hell most of all. I tried different logic to convince myself that I would not go to Hell if I died. I said, "maybe there is no Hell, only Heaven" and "I haven't done anything bad enough to go to jail, and Hell is much worse than jail, so I must be safe". I prayed for God to show me the "secret formula" for getting to Heaven. I thought maybe there was a list of things I could do to be sure I would go to heaven. I had no idea that such a "formula" really existed and that it would be so easy.
When I was 16, I was working as a telephone solicitor selling portraits. I made a call to a women, she purchased the portrait package, I was just about to end the conversation when she said "Do you mind if I ask you one question"? I said "no" and I thought "oh no! I have a religious fanatic on the phone and I can't hang up on her because I'll loose the sale and she has my name and I might get in trouble, so the only thing I can do is to hear her out". She asked "If you were to die today, do you know if you would go to Heaven or Hell?" I said “I know I would go to Heaven“, she said "how do you know that" I told her my "jail" excuse. She then told me about how Jesus came to the earth, died on the cross, took my punishment for my sins and I could be forgiven and KNOW that I would go to heaven when I die. I talked to her for one hour (which is a big no!no! in the telephone soliciting business), and she lead me to the Lord right there on the phone. I never saw her face, and I don't know her name. I can't wait to meet her in Heaven!
I understood from our conversation that I am a Sinner. I deserve punishment for my sins, My sins separate me from God and I cannot build a bridge to God no matter how many good deeds I do. But God sent his Son, Jesus, who took my punishment on the cross. All I have to do is accept this, believe it and I will live with God for eternity.
In the middle of that conversation I realized that God had given me the "secret formula" and it was as if a burden had been lifted from my shoulders, a light was turned on and I finally understood.
The Lord then sent a women into my life through the same job who began to teach me what I needed to do now that I was saved. I began to attend church with her and was baptized.
The next step was for my life to be straitened out. I was still behaving badly and seeing a boy who was no good for me. I tried to witness to him, but he was not responsive. The Lord led me through the next few weeks, and I can say, looking back, that I had nothing to do with it. But the Holy Spirit cleaned up my life, and it was painless.
The Lord has blessed my life abundantly and I can only look back at the point which I accepted him and see that as a crossroads in my life. I had a choice of which road to travel, I praise God that through the Holy Spirit I was able to choose the right road.
Here’s the “not-so-secret” formula
Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“ In other words- We are all sinners and cannot measure up to what God is.
Romans 6:23: “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words-We deserve death for our sins, but God gives us the gift of life with him in heaven because of what his Son Jesus did for us on the cross.
Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words-God loved us so much that even though we were sinners and did not deserve his love he sent his Son to die and pay the price for our sin.
Romans 10:9: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. In other words-speak the words, and believe them in your heart that Jesus IS God’s son, and He died and was raised again, to pay for your sins.
Romans 10:13: “for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. This speaks for itself. The key word is Everyone, it does not matter the extent of your sin if you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved.
I pray that everyone who reads this will find the peace in their life that I have found, through Jesus Christ.
Last night I went to see The Passion of the Christ with my Son. Thanks Allen for going AGAIN just so I wouldn’t be watching it alone. Let me first say that, yes, this movie is brutal, but so was the reality. I have not, for years, had any kind of sanitized view of the cross. I have understood that Jesus SUFFERED when he died. That the Cross was brutal torture, and have had mixed feelings about wearing nice shiny gold crosses with diamonds in the middle as a symbol of my faith. BUT, to actually see the brutality, has been a real eye opener. Upon leaving the theatre my most overwhelming feelings were that I am a whiner. If I’m uncomfortable either with emotional problems or physical problems, or if I’m tired or lazy, I feel that the need must be met. Sleep, eat, soft bed, headache pill, etc, I must be kept comfortable, I think we are all that way. Jesus cast aside all desire of comfort, became as uncomfortable as you can get, to free me of my sin.
During the beating portion of the movie, which is the hardest to watch, I kept thinking to myself “Why did you choose such a brutal way to die?” and let me tell you HE DID CHOOSE IT. And my answer came a little later, “because that is what it takes to forgive your sin“. You see, we as Christians, don’t understand how serious Sin really is. It is so serious that an innocent man, not just a man but GOD himself, had to die a brutal death for us to be forgiven. He could have chosen to be killed in many different ways, burned at the stake, beheaded, shot, etc, any of them more humane than crucifixion (with the added pain of beating). But he chose crucifixion because that is what it took.
As I looked upon Jesus, hanging from a cross, with his skin looking like hamburger and his Mother and friends looking on, I couldn’t help but be appreciative. Don’t get me wrong I was also appalled that humans would even come up with such a brutal way of execution, But I was appreciative like I’ve not been before at the true sacrifice He made for me...and you.
One of the most profound moments in the movie is when Simon, who is told to carry the cross for Jesus, accepts the job (he didn't have much choice). He states "I'll do it but don't forget, I'm an innocent man carrying the cross for the condemned man". What a profound statement, because Jesus was truly the innocent man carrying the cross for all the condemned men/women of this world.
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I think you know your site is one of my faves, but I had never scrolled all the way down to see you had included testimony. What an awesome way to witness to people! Thanks for all you do Bec4
I just finished reading your webpage(s); what a delight they were! I too am an avid "Junker", collector, decorator, etc. ......and I was SO happy to read that you are a committed Christian as am I, isn't Jesus the greatest? He's changed my life so much, and helps me through so much, delighted to see other's feel the same. Good-luck to you in all that you do, and God-Bless you and your's through the holidays and New Year's.
I especially appreciated reading your testimony page. I am sure it has touched many from the Message board. The Lord has done amazing things in my own life since my conversion many years ago. He is truly awesome! Thanks again for sharing. In Him, Jane
I just read your testimony and it made me feel better to know that other people love the Lord like I do.I've often thought I waist too much time on this message board but tonight I found out why.In todays culture it's good to know a christian who is truly a christian and proud to share her faith.I always think reliegon gets in the way of being a christian. You have a beautiful home and a nice family and a great Testimony.Thanks.Lavada
Hello,, I just started reading your testimonial and I didn't even finish it cause I have to be at work at & am tomorrow but I NEED to tell you that I was getting tears in my eyes and feel as if God led me to your page! I was looking at the message boards and was looking at some decorating ideas and one page led me to another and finally to your testimonial. I can't wait for tomorrow to read more. I feel blessed to have "met" you already and I don't even know you! Your sister in Christ.... Christiann
Hi there!! I just wanted to say hi to a sister in Christ. Smile What originally drew me to your website was the link on a message on one of the boards to your remodeling. (WOW! What a huge undertaking!... ) That then led me to your main page and then to your Testimony. Thanks so much for being so candid and for being such an awesome witness to all! It is SO awesome to see true followers - especially in these 'dark times' in our culture. Love in Christ, Rachel
I truly enjoyed reading your testimony on how you met Christ. Wonderful interesting reading. I too was taken to church by family friends. I grew up and married a minister. It's a wonderful life to know the Lord. Judy
I just had to tell you: I used your testimony in Sunday School yesterday. We were talking about Colossians 4 and how we are supposed to make the most of every opportunity. Our teacher explained that it doesn't mean we evangelize perfect strangers, and that we should work to make relationships with people first. I said that it could refer to perfect strangers and shared the story about the lady you sold pictures to over the phone and how she turned around and led you to the Lord. (I hope I got it right!) Anyway, my point was that while we should certainly establish relationships with people in order to share our faith with them, we should also be ready to make the most of an opportunity that God gives us with a stranger. My teacher added that the woman did create a relationship with you when she bought the pictures, so the class agreed that we should now buy from every telemarketer in order to share our faith with them. (LOL) Anyway, I wanted to share that with you. I hope you are well and enjoying the gorgeous weather we're having! In His Spirit! Marji, (This is one of the friends who "drug" me to church when I was a kid)
I had never noticed you had a home page before, so went exploring. You have a lovely family. I was very impressed with your testimony, that was nice you put it on the web to share. The verses you mentioned as a witness, my Pastor refers to that sequence of verses as “The Roman Road to Salvation” My testimony is not as dramatic as yours, I attended church most of my life and lived in a Christian family, but one day like you I realized I needed to make that decision myself at age 11. My mother’s testimony and the reason I began attending church at 3 was the impact on my life. A church in Pasadena, Ca. where I was born use to contact families through the birth announcements in the Newspaper. They did so when my older brother was born, myself and my younger brother David. For some reason my mother had something against church, perhaps from her childhood and would not go. When David was three and a half months old he became very ill spiking fever higher than the thermometer would read and died a week later from Spinal Meningitis. My mother not knowing what to do, but knowing the baby needed a funeral, contacted the only church that had showed interest in her. Mother said caring people she did not even know came to David’s funeral. The people loved her and cared about her and the next thing you knew, our whole family was in church. In the successive months, my mother became a Christian and the story moves on to today. I have heard people say, why would God take the life of a child? I do not believe He does, we live in a world with physical laws and people get sick. But I do believe He uses these sad situations, because He now has 3 generations of Christians thanks to the life of my 3 month old brother. Judy
I don't know what led me to your webpage, but here I am. I'm in tears reading yours, along with Judy's, the last one. I'm just coming to Christ recently. And I'm learning so much... It's very inspiring the read and learn from others. I have written down the verses you quoted. I'll need them later I'm sure. Kathy
I followed your link to your home page...what an awesome testimony! So many things that you tell ring so true for me. It's heartbreaking that there are so many people who are misled & burnt out on religion, man-made rules. There are too many churches still teaching religion and not a true Christian relationship and walk. I grew up kinda with kinda what your parents experienced & had a lot of trouble with feeling like I was never measuring up to the "standards" that church members were setting...and like you, the Lord planted seeds from several different people who guided me to Him instead of following after religious nonsense. I'm glad that one of the biggest things that I learned is that none of us are going to walk a perfect road. Jan
I looked at all of your remodeling ... THEN I read the plan of salvation ( I checked it closely to see if you were quoting the scripture like I read and understand and you did) and THEN I read your testimony and I continued to melt inside and I began to thank God that I accidently????? found you and your site. I was also touched by reading how you felt as you watched the Passion of Christ movie. I have never seen anything this positive by just scrolling around on the web and I had to tell you Thank You for sharing your faith with me. I will send others to your site -- it is such a powerful witnessing tool for you and me and many others. Winky
I found your site through gardenweb .... I also am a Christian and I think it's lovely and very important that you shared your faith as you did. You aren't slapping anyone in the face with it and you have it so clearly laid out. It's making me think about something similar on my site... Happy thrifting and I'm glad I came across you on the www. Joyce