The Walk Of Faith

Note from Eric:  And last but not least, here are several stories from the days when Jesus walked the earth about the power of faith to change their lives.  Be encouraged that Jesus is still alive and doing miracles.  These are just a few of those recorded in the Bible, as the Apostle John said, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25).  I pray they inspire you to put your faith in Christ for everything in your life, just as they have done for me.

Faith is more than a mind-game, more than a psychological tool.  Faith has very real power to make things happen. As you read, notice that the people in these stories saw miracles happen not because they had faith in themselves, and not even because they had faith in “the power of faith.”  They had faith in Christ. They put their faith in a Man who healed the sick, raised the dead, and walked on water.  A Man who Himself was raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God.

Ask Christ to increase your faith in Him as you read through these stories.  He will; because He is the author and perfecter of our faith.*

*Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

STORIES OF CHANGED LIVES IN JESUS’ DAY
As recorded in the Bible

Two Blind Men See By Faith

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you,” and their sight was restored.

(Matthew 9:27-30)

Soldier’s Servant Healed By Faith

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

(Matthew 8:5-13)

Man Forgiven By Faith

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

(Luke 5:17-26)

Dead Girl Raised To Life By Faith

Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher any more.”

Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”

They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

(Luke 8:41-42, 49-56)

Woman’s Bleeding Healed By Faith

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

(Luke 8:42-48)

Mountains Moved By Faith

Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

(Matthew 21:18-22)

Peter Walks On Water By Faith – And Sinks Without It

During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

(Matthew 14:25-33)

Girl Healed By Mother’s Faith

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

(Matthew 15:21-28)

Woman Saved By Faith

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is– that she is a sinner.”

Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven– for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

(Luke 7:36-50)

RENEW YOUR FAITH

After reading these stories of people who put their faith in Christ, it’s a good time to stop and pray about those things in our life that could be moved by faith as well. If you’d like to pray, here are a few words to help you in praying.

Lord, I see how powerful faith can be.  Forgive me for my lack of faith.   Increase my faith, Lord.  I do believe you have the power to do these things, and I believe you can work in my life just as powerfully.  I renew my faith in you right now.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Know That Your Prayers Are Powerful And Effective

Listen to these words from the Bible recorded in James 5:15:

“And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

If you’d like to spend more time in prayer, or would like someone to pray for you, please visit A Quiet Place To Pray.

More Short Stories

Here are several short excerpts from stories of people whose lives have changed by the power of Christ…

JESUS WAS EVERYTHING I WAS LOOKING FOR
by Ari Hamalainen

At university I became exposed to ideas and philosophies that were new to me. I became interested in Buddhism, Occult, Astral Projection, Meditation, Life After Death, Pyramids and some Greek philosophy. I joined the Ancient Astronaut Society because Daniken’s theory seemed like a good answer to many questions concerning Man’s origin.

Looking at the stars at night I often thought “Where do we come from in this big universe and why are we here?”

I thought the Ancient Astronaut theory was true. I practiced some meditation and fasting, made pyramids and tried to experience Out of Body Experiences. I wanted to cut short my university studies to go and become a Buddhist monk in Tibet (my fellow students thought I was nuts).

These things brought deception and confusion into my life and my relationships. At the end of my freshman year my brother (who was also searching for Truth) shared with me what he had found in the Bible.

I read the Bible and God began to minister His Truth to my heart.  It made more sense than all the other philosophies and theories I had been reading. Later I came to understand that the Bible is not just a book but is the faithful and preserved record of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind (the very Word of God).

I was 20 when I believed the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart; that I was a sinner desperately in need of God’s salvation. I prayed to God asking for the forgiveness and salvation which is available only in Jesus. Then I got baptized at a local church. Jesus, the Son of God, is the Truth. (John 14:6; Colossians 2:3).

Apart from Christ a person is in darkness and you don’t know it until the Light shines in (2 Corinthians 4:4). I was living in spiritual darkness and God shined the Light of His Word into my heart. Jesus was everything I was looking for. This is not surprising in retrospect: Only God can truly satisfy; man cannot. There is only one way to God. God’s way is true and it brings freedom and hope, man’s way is false and it brings bondage, vanity and death.

I STARTED TO RETHINK THE WHOLE CHURCH THING
by Jill Cherni

I guess I’ll start out by saying I have been brought up in the church and never had “bad” parents or any unusual childhood memories that normally turn people away from God.

I grew up and went to college and worked as a young adult with partying as the center of my life. After about the age of 20 I never really thought about going to church anymore because I only went on Christmas and Easter, so what was the use?

I went on like that until age 24 when I made a major move away from my hometown and family where the partying became a more intense thing and more kinds of them. I met a man that I eventually married and had 2 children with and started to rethink the whole church thing.

I was brought up in church and knew the “right” thing to do. I began taking the children to church. We went, without my husband for 6 years (we were still partying without a thought), till I began waking up on Sundays and wondering if we should go at all. Nothing was happening and again, what was the use?

My neighbor and I were talking and she invited me to her church.  I went and was completely blown away by the presence of God! It took me about 3 months of sitting there trying to figure out if it was real. Well, to make a long story short, that was 2 years ago and since then the Lord Jesus has cleaned my closets and has set up His Kingdom in every area of my heart and life, my husband is saved, and we are just praising God for His mighty hand in our lives!

I’M STILL HOLDING ONTO THAT ROCK
by Jack Butler

In 1973, as I was floating down some lazy rapids, I reached out and held tightly onto a rock when I heard the thunder of a waterfall up ahead. To my surprise, all the things that were floating with me in that river began to bump into me and hit me and cause me to almost lose my grip on that rock.

That rock has a name. And the name of that Rock is Jesus, the Christ, the rock of my salvation. I had been floating along with the world, unaware of the danger I was in.

I had been notified about this “Rock” many times and either I didn’t listen, or I took the message lightly or I just blew it off. Fortunately, during my life, many messengers were sent to me at different times, to inform me of my peril.

That messenger in 1973 was an old navy friend, who had turned Christian. His former life and mine were anything but “Christian!” That’s probably why his words and messages to me were so effective. He was just a man like me, not a paid professional trying to sell me “his religion”. He was introducing me to “The Rock”. Twenty four years later I am still holding onto that “Rock.”

WE ALL SCREW UP AND DO STUPID THINGS
by Liz O’Conner

My name is Liz O’Connor, and I was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ last September (written in Nov. 1997). Until then, the only thing I used Sunday for was work and sleep.

I got into Phantom of the Opera when I was in 8th grade, and that was helped lead me closer to Satan. In January of last year, my friends and I almost committed suicide over a friend’s depression, and our own non-communication with each other.

By last September, I’d read the Satanic Bible, dressed in black and wore charms to protect myself from the evil presence that hung around my friends and I. To say I was scared and frightened and all words related to that is an understatement. I felt as if I were playing a game for my life, but I’d never asked to play, and I never learned the rules.

I began talking to my friend, Mary, on the way to Marching Band trips last September, and she introduced me to Jesus. A few weeks later, after overcoming the block inside of me, I accepted Jesus, and my life has been wonderful since.

If you’re not saved, and you want the greatest life has to offer, while gaining your ticket to be with God, admit you are a sinner, you can’t earn you way into God’s graces, and that you need the sacrifice of Jesus to clean you of your sins. You are not alone, we all screw up and do stupid things, and we can all be forgiven if we accept Jesus. God bless you all!

MY FINGER COULD NOT MOVE
by AWA

My way to Jesus has been a long road. I was sent to church at a young age with my grandmother.  My parents didn’t go to church themselves. My father didn’t believe in church or God. As I grew a little older my mother became addicted to alcohol and drugs. My father went to work out of state.

That left me and my sister alone with her. Abuse followed.  We would have to sleep in shifts because she came after us while we slept. We woke up one night to find her standing over us with a knife. I was 9 my sister was 8. After about 2 years my younger sister was already doing drugs, hanging out with much older people and not coming home for days at a time. Finally, our older sister came to our rescue.

To me she was perfect and anything she wanted from me was ok. I was so glad to be where someone wanted me. She was very beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. The time came when she did ask something of me. My sister told me there were friends of hers that liked me and it would make her happy if I would spend time with them and do what they told me to.  Well her friends were involved in the occult I didn’t know what that was but for the next couple of years

I found out. I was 11 then and I was told this is what I was supposed to do. So I was used for special services for sex, with anyone I was told to. After about 3 years I was no longer used. Then I found out there were others my sister knew who liked me.

I continued on doing the same things, only not in occult ways. This continued and actually I thought this was how it was supposed to be. I went to school but was told not to ever say anything because she wasn’t supposed to take me from my mom. I never said anything and grew to like what I did. I thought this was the way people showed how they liked you. I could go to bed with anyone but I couldn’t talk to them or even eat in front of them because that was something I never did.

I was home on a Mon. and was looking for Jerry Springer on TV. I clicked over channels looking and came across a station that was giving an altar call and singing Just As I Am. I had never thought about being a Christian, didn’t know God, I liked my new age life BUT MY FINGER COULD NOT MOVE.  This is true, it would not. I saw everything going on and it was a man named Benny Hinn, I had never heard of him.

Listening to him, seeing the people, I started to cry and then I got on my knees and asked Jesus to come into my life. I didn’t really know what I had done so I called the lady I had worked with. We had become friends by then and I knew she prayed for me daily. I told her what had happened and she prayed with me on the phone. That week I started going to Bible study

A scripture that I stood on is in Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to

the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. That was certainly me in the beginning. Then God gave me this scripture Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord.  That is how I am living today: trusting In Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. He is my best friend, and I am learning everyday to let Him have control of all parts of my life.

I GOT A GLIMPSE OF GOD’S GRACE TO US
by Jill

I came from a broken home. Broken is a good description, that’s exactly how I felt. I remember crying myself to sleep at night. I would have given anything for my parents to get back together, but it never happened.

I had asked Jesus into my heart when I was little, but there were many weeds in the garden & growth was stunted. I started doing drugs when I was 11 & a few years later my only brother was killed. I felt like everyone I had ever loved had left me.

Then, I met my husband, my Knight in Shining Armour, and I thought he could take me away from all my problems. At first, things were great. I even stopped doing drugs….for a while, but when the pressures of every day life came rushing in, I found myself rushing out to get high. I eventually ended up prostituting myself to support my habit over the first 10 years of our marriage.

In 1984, I had been gone on a binge for two weeks. My husband had every right to divorce me according to Biblical law, but someone suggested he read the book of Hosea first. In chapter 2, God promises to make Gomer a faithful wife to Hosea after she had been a prostitute, so my husband decided to give me one last chance.

On the other side of town, God was working on me. I heard Him say, “Jill, you’ve gone far enough! If you don’t leave this place right now, your heart will become to hard and you won’t be able to hear My voice any more.” I immediately sobered and went home.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do is look into my husband’s tear filled eyes & tell him what I had been doing & ask for his forgiveness. He loved me so much he forgave me, and at that moment, I got a glimpse of God’s grace to us and His faithful endurance.

It has not been an easy road, we really do reap what we sow. I have a mind cluttered with dark memories that surface at just the wrong time. Whenever I am tempted to sin in any way, I look up and see those tear filled eyes again, but they’re not my husband’s, they’re my Savior’s, Jesus Christ. There’s no way I want to hurt anyone like that again.

Those verses in Hosea have become very special to me. Over the years God has allowed me to minister to many different people through them. We all at some time or other commit adultery against God by the things we place preeminent in our lives that should only be occupied by Him. But God is faithful to finish the work He has started in us and see it through to completion.

I FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO TAKE MY BIBLE WITH ME
by Erin Butler

When I was 16, my Academic Decathlon team made it to the state competition in Clarksville, Tennessee. I was packing, when all of the sudden, I felt like I needed to take my Bible with me. I didn’t know why, but I felt like it would come in handy.

So, one night, in our hotel room, I pulled out the Bible and began to read, first to myself.

My best friend, Casey, who doesn’t normally go to church, came over to my bed and asked if she could read with me! I was like, SURE! That was great! My first opportunity to witness!

Then I thought, “There is so much I wanted to tell her! Where do I start!?” So, I pulled up my favorite verse, Psalms 105. I just really like it!

Then, the other girls in our room wanted to read too! I was just amazed! So, I thanked God, and we had our own little bible study. It was just really cool, to be able to witness to people like that.

It actually inspired me to go to Mexico that summer and do door to door evangelism and build houses and have vacation bible school for the “ninos and ninas” of the colonia. It was a life changing experience. Thanks for listening!

IT WAS LIKE I HAD NEVER BEEN IN A CHURCH BEFORE
by Brian Neal

When I was growing up, my family wasn’t Christian.

We didn’t talk about God and I didn’t know anything about Him. My family was not church-going at all. I went to church sometimes with my grandfather, or my my other grandparents. God and religion were never talked about, not even at Christmas or Easter. We never knew the real reasons behind those holidays when we were growing up, and I remember going to church and not knowing anything about what was being said in the sermons I was hearing.

When I was twelve, my parents divorced. It was not a good time in my house, and it was not an amicable split between my parents. To this day I am still struggling with the decisions my father made and ultimately, the separation and distance that I still feel towards him today. So we moved in with my father’s “girlfriend.” She’s my step-mom now and I love her very much. She is a very godly woman whose faith is evident in her life from the moment you talk to her. But growing up, it was not always the case. Shirley and her son and daughter went to church sometimes, but not regularly. We attended the occasional youth class and then Church service, but I never saw it more than anything as a chance to goof off with friends. I remember chewing Copenhagen and drinking Dr. Peppers in the back pew most of the time.

After I started High School, Church was never a thought. I played football, and there was prayer before and after games in the locker room, but God was never something that ever mattered to me. I wasn’t interested in it and I was doing fine. My junior year I dropped football, rather it dropped me. My grades were so bad, I could not keep playing. And eventually I got in with the drug and alcohol crowd. Eventually school didn’t matter, I had a job to go to and so I decided to quit. I remember standing in the attendance office at school. I asked for the forms to fill out to quit. The lady behind the counter wanted to call my dad first to make sure it was ok, and I remember the lady talking to him on the phone. He never asked to talk to me at all. She hung up and I quit school. From then on it was sex, drugs and rock and roll! I never looked back.

My life was not bad, but it wasn’t anything like it could have been, and certainly nothing that I was proud of. There is not a drug that you can name, that I haven’t at least seen…. and very few that I have not put into my body. You name it, I’ve been around it, or sold it, or knew people who did. It is a wonder, and I know now, it was by God’s Grace alone, that I didn’t end up in prison, or dead.

Fast forward to age 28. I was working for Ozarka in Ft. Worth. My supervisor was beautiful, and I’m sure still is to this day. She is a very devout Christian woman, with a great husband and two beautiful kids. Every day I would hear her radio in the warehouse office, tuned to Dr. Charles Stanley. Eventually that led her to sharing her faith in Jesus Christ with me and I became more interested. She was a great influence and really helped me to understand how far of course I had gotten.

Seven years later, while still at Ozarka, I began to date a girl. She was also a Christian, but led a very open lifestyle. She went to church occasionally, but she didn’t really live it. She was caring, and friendly, and really a great person. But I know now that she was not where we should all be in our faith. The drugs continued, although on a very, very low occurrence rate. But we weren’t hurting anyone. We had our small circle of friends that we hung out with. The whole time, I continued to date other girls. Traci and I had never lived together, we often did our own thing, and we would go for a week or ten days or two weeks without seeing each other. We understood that we still had our own separate lives. But occasionally, I would go to Church with her and her folks.

Eventually, she gave me something that I still have to this day, my very own Bible. It even had my name on it, and I knew then that I had to make a change to start on a different path in my life. I started reading it sometimes, carrying it with me. But I never actually made any great changes I was still living the same lifestyle, although it wasn’t nearly like it was, it was still not the way it was supposed to be, and I was just going through the motions.

Then I met another girl while at Ozarka. I still talk to her often, and she was someone I liked to hang out with. I never knew how God would use her in my life. Eventually she moved to Houston. Houston was originally home for her, and after being offered a job back home, she went. Over the year or two after she left, we stayed in touch. E-mailed back and forth all the time and kept up with each other. As it turned out, she was very involved with the Pasadena Rodeo, and the Pasadena Strawberry festival. She volunteered out there on the beverage committee and in 2001 she invited me to come down to the festival. I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to introduce her to a friend of mine. So, I picked up my friend and went to the festival. As I introduced him, she introduced her friend…. Jeannie. I thought she was really cute, and we talked some and had a nice time at the festival, but I didn’t think really about it more than that. But something happened. We stayed in touch.

After several months of e-mails and phone calls, I decided to go back to Houston for a visit. And this time when I saw her, I knew, I was in love. Visits became more regular, and I met her parents and I also visited her Church. It was like I had never been in a church before. The people there made me feel welcome, and I actually listened to a sermon, I think for the first time. At the end of the sermon was the time of invitation. I didn’t go that first time there, but eventually I felt God tugging at my heart, and I knew that this series of events was meant to be. It was part of a bigger plan than I could ever imagine. So, one Sunday after service, I decided to give my life to Christ. I made a public profession of faith in Baptism. And it was in Jennie’s parents’ pool that I was raised to walk in the light of His glory.

Since that time, God has graced me with Jeannie becoming my wife. Her daughter Kimberly is now my beautiful stepdaughter, of whom I am so proud, and also he has blessed me with a son, Jacob.

A man wonders what he will become, what his own family will be like, his kids and his wife. If I could have seen into the future so long ago, I would have never believed the blessings and joy that he has given me. I know now that I am so unworthy of the gifts he has given me, and I pray every day now, to be a man that can live up to those gifts. I strive to be worthy of the things he has given me. I strive to be a good father and husband, role model for my kids, teacher and youth leader. Most of all, I strive to have the firmness in my faith to proclaim to not only the world, but to my Mother and Father and brother and sisters, that Jesus Christ, is truly…my Lord and Savior. He is my salvation. He is my constant cheering section. He is the one who loves me with an unimaginable grace and glory. And I know that I will never be able to repay him for the price he paid.

Thank you God almighty. Thank you for being in me. Thank you for your love and blessings. My faith in You will forever be my guidance and my life. Amen.

KEEP GOD IN THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE
by Brandy

I found your website on Mr. Billy Graham’s website. You’ve done an excellent job. I am so glad God put it in your heart to create the site.

For about a week now, I’ve had an urge to tell someone what has happened to me in the past 6 weeks that has brought me much closer to God than anything ever has before. The story isn’t really finished yet, because I don’t know what the final outcome will be; but this is just to encourage anyone, if you want to post it, to keep God in the center of your life and to lean on HIS understanding, not our own.

I was fired from my job as a bank teller in May. I was fired for theft. How on earth I ever found myself in this kind of a situation, I still can’t comprehend. By looking at me, you’d never think I am the type of person to commit any sort of crime at all. Married, mom of 3 kids, hard worker, will help any one who needs any help. Always with a smile on my face and always laughing about something. But here I am today, with no job and probably no professional reputation left to even attempt re-entering the work force.

The devil is sneakier than you would ever think he is. We all say, oh, I will know it when the devil is trying to lead me to do something wrong. Sorry, but I’ll be the first to tell you, if you don’t keep close to God, you’ll never have the first clue when the devil decides to use to bring us down to his level. And temptation isn’t the only tool Satan has. There’s fear, pride, and desperation. And he uses these things to his fullest ability. These three tools of Satan are what drove me to make the choices I made. Desperation and fear put thoughts in my head: “How am I going to buy groceries? How am I going to be able to put gas in my car to get to work? How am I going to be able to pay for [my oldest son’s and my husband’s] dental bills? How?” And it was the fear of having to have these things, but not making enough money to afford them, that made me go a little nuts. Pride kept me from asking people in my family for help, even though they’ve offered it…and desperation drove me to just take a little, here and there, out of my working cash to deposit in the bank account to cover checks for bills, gas, and groceries.

Over the course of about six, seven months, I had taken over $5,000. For that length of time, I was constantly sick at my stomach, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t think. Satan just loves it when we have such severe anxiety that we can’t eat or sleep. He probably dances a jig and laughs.

It was during an audit when my “shortage” was discovered. The next day, I was fired, and restitution was ordered. I thank God every day for having the earthly father He gave me. My dad was there with me that whole next day. He went and made a loan to repay the amount I was out. At the end of that week, a detective called me to “talk” as he said. I met with him that following Monday, and was arrested – I had no idea that any of this was going to happen — but again, I give thanks to our Father that I have the family I have. A cousin works in law enforcement, and quickly set about getting me out of there, without having to post bail or do a property bond. My mother came and paid the small processing fee and picked me up.

The following Sunday, I attended church at a small church close by to my home. I had visited that church before, but was technically a member of another church in a larger town about 20 miles away. I had not attended any services in quite a while, although I had been baptized about a year and a half before. But during that week before the service, I prayed, more than I ever have in my life. I asked God to sustain me through this ordeal, to direct me to the place He wanted me to be, not where I wanted to be. And He used my neighbor to remind me of that little church.

When I went to that Sunday morning service, the message was about keeping God at the center of our lives. I listened and I listened hard. The more I listened, the more I realized that I had never made a true commitment to our Lord. I had not kept Him at the center of my life. Because I had not done this, I found myself at the lowest point of my life, ever. Even when I threw my first husband out because of his drug abuse, I wasn’t this low — because these circumstances I brought on myself entirely. That sermon I feel is what saved me.

I want people to know, that even when you think you won’t be able to keep a roof over your head, when you’re worried about feeding your family and keeping electricity on and gas in your car, keep God at the center of your life. He will take care of you! Like Jesus said, our Father cares for the sparrow — how much more will he care for us? Don’t let stupid pride keep you from asking for help. Don’t let the fear of worst-scenario circumstances cause anxiety to eat you up inside. Don’t let desperation drive you to do things that are illegal, because no amount of justification will make it “all right”. I am so thankful that God saw what I was doing and that He brought it to an end because He knew that I was just going to keep digging a hole that I wouldn’t be able to ever get out of, no matter how intent I was on replacing the money.

Thank you for allowing me to tell you this story. I think God’s been wanting me to tell someone because there’s probably somebody out there who might be getting to that point of desperation, and I don’t want them to listen to Satan’s lies like I did. Bless you and your family.

You Mean…I Can Still Be Happy?

Note from Eric: Dara has been a Christian for some time, but she couldn’t believe it when one day she felt God was saying that she could still be happy even after all she had been through. She was soon flooded with a joy she had never felt before. 

YOU MEAN…I CAN STILL BE HAPPY?
by Dara

Hi. My name is Dara, and I live in Georgia. I felt I needed to share this testimony. I’ve been saved for a while now, but for a long time I’ve had trouble trusting God totally. I knew God loved me and that’s why He saved my soul, but I wanted to do everything on my own. I suppose it’s a mix of pride and fear – I was proud of my own perceived strength and believed I could make it on my own, but at the same time I was afraid to trust God. What if He asks me to do something I don’t want to do? What if I need something and He doesn’t come through?

Then, on a day that I thought was just like any other day, I woke up and started getting ready for work. The last six months, it seemed as though the devil had been attacking me from every side. First my grandfather died of cancer, then my uncle died of a heart attack, my mom got divorced from my stepfather, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer, and my sister moved to Japan. I had been down for a long time, and I was so very lonely. I felt like no one in the world cared about my pain, and I was so alone. In my mind I cried out to God in despair, “God, why am I so alone?” I didn’t really expect an answer.

I was completely stunned when the next moment God spoke to me, saying simply, “Trust me.” I’m not saying I heard voices, but it was so clear in my mind, there was no doubt who it was. I wasn’t sure what to do, but I just prayed, “Okay, God. Just help me.” Later, while I was driving to work, I turned the radio on. On what I thought was a whim I turned it to a popular Christian station in my area. I don’t know the name of the song, but the first words I heard were, “Life is precious, life is sweet…” I laughed to myself, feeling the irony of the words. Does that guy live on the same planet I live on? Doesn’t he know life is full of loneliness and pain? Then, God spoke to me again. This time His words struck home with such relevance that I could not ignore them – He said, “I didn’t save you so that you would be miserable.” I thought, You mean that after everything I’ve been through I can still be happy? Then I realized that if God loved me, as I believed He did, of course He wanted me to be happy.

The next Sunday at church, though, was what really changed my attitude. At the end of the service that pastor gave an altar call, and I felt this tremendous conviction burning in my chest. I felt the tears welling in my eyes before I even reached the altar. All I wanted was to lean on someone else for a little while, so I stood at the altar and I cried and I prayed, “God just touch me. God I need you.” Then one of the elders of our church came up to me and said that shortly after waking one morning the past week, during his prayer time, God had made him think of me, and he had prayed for me. He said, “God hasn’t forgotten you. He knows you miss that grandpa.” After he said that God had caused him to pray for me, something inside of me seemed to crumble, and this joy and peace came over me. I’ve never felt joy like that before.

In the moment of my despair, when I thought I was all alone in the world, God caused someone across town to pray for me. I will never forget the moment when I realized that God cared about my feelings. Emotionally I’ve been on my own my whole life, but He promised me that day that I would never be alone as long as I trusted in Him. Psalms 9:10 says, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.” I guess the bottom line is, God cares about the entire you – not just your soul, but also your body, your mind, and your heart. He doesn’t want you to suffer unnecessarily. Trusting in God is no guarantee that you will never experience pain, but you will never be alone. Even when you fall, and you and I both will, as long as you keep getting back up, you cannot fail. Since I’ve started trusting God my walk has grown so much stronger, and continues to grow. Mankind may let you down, but God never will.

My Son, There Is A Jesus

Note from Eric: Paul could literally feel the forces of good and evil pulling him as he battled to stay alive.  But God answered his prayers when the Spirit of God zapped him with what felt like an electric shock that saved both him and his mother on the same night, causing his mom to declare, “My Son, there is a Jesus.”

MY SON, THERE IS A JESUS
by Paul Albrecht

During most of my teenage years I did not care much about Jesus and considered people who did rather boring. I didn’t realize how wrong I was.

My parents were very unhappy people and my step-father was always drunk. My mother was a good and hardworking woman but the financial burdens of our seven member household really got to her, perhaps even more than constantly having to manage a drunk husband who was always confronting her, trying very hard to cause a row.

My mother and stepfather never went to church at that time (may I gratefully and speedily add that today they are both saved and are very involved in their local church – PRAISE JESUS!!!)

At that time my mother believed that people die like plants. That there is no here-after and that life on earth is the sum-total of it all.

I was an unhappy child too. I didn’t socialize much with other kids my own age. On several occasions older people enticed me to smoke marijuana with them (dagga – as it is called in South Africa.)

On the very first occasion the man I had smoked it with started dancing in front of me and said: “Now you are one of us.” His dance movements seemed very evil and I became very aware of evil around me. I began to pray for the first time in a very, very long time.

I felt awful and while praying it was like the Lord turned away from me in anger and would not listen to me. I kept on praying in my mind while this man danced in front of me and then, after hours had passed (or so it seemed) suddenly my prayers were answered and the “spaced out” feeling this drug caused in my mind passed away.

I felt great and as I looked at this man and said: “you can stop now – I have sobered up – I am not one of you – now please leave this room!” I noticed extreme anger in him. His wife walked into the room and requested that he left me alone. He reluctantly did, leaving me very aware of my first encounter with a visible manifestation of demonic activity through the use of drugs.

As the years passed by I often spoke of this incident and vowed never to use drugs again. Then, when I finished the compulsory military service for my country, my old school-friend, James, invited me to an athletic meeting in a nearby town. James played the drums in their church band and I remember how often during our school years I tried to persuade him to abandon these “dumb” beliefs in Jesus Christ.

After the sports function I suggested we go to a nearby hotel for a few drinks. I really felt challenged to prove to this “boring Christian” how nice being a “normal person” can be.

We soon had two drinks each after which James suggested we “have a joint”. Well, I was stunned! If Christians could smoke this stuff then surely it must be ok! I thought that perhaps my evil experience with the stuff could have been hallucinations.

We had the “joints” – and I ran into the same demonic manifestations again. James’ face changed into an evil face and his laugh was not normal. Despite the fact that at school I had always been the leader, I felt very afraid of him and did what he told me to do.

After riding around with me in his car, his music blaring away and my hands running uncontrollably all over my own body, he took me home. Once there he shouted at me that their pastor supplied the youth with marijuana and that I could join them at the church to partake in their activities. (This pastor he spoke of once came to our house when I was ill, to pray for me and actually touched my genitals while I was lying in bed!) My mother thought it was funny when I told her of this afterwards. I was about fifteen years old then.

Once James had finally left our house, I had a very strong urge to commit suicide. I was convinced, and actually sensed that the grace of God had left me because I was disobedient to our past agreement. I went out of the house, intending to go to the nearby lake and drown myself.

It was late at night and as I got outside my parents arrived home from their night out. They walked into the house. I felt a very strong urge to get to my mother and yet something else forced me to the lake. Then, with great difficulty I reached the front door and called out : “Mother!”

I knew I would probably be in trouble again for my stepfather hated me and my mother would also be angry if I upset my stepdad. Yet she came to the door and immediately led me by my hand to the bedroom I shared with my little brother. She made me tell her exactly what happened during the course of the evening.

While I was busy doing this her eyes suddenly rolled back in her head and in a deep mans’ voice she started saying: “In the name of Jesus I command you to get out – get out – get out”. She kept on and on repeating these words and while this was happening, her hands clasped so firmly around mine that I could not free my hands from her grip at all.

I was taller and bigger than her at this age (19) yet could not free myself. It was painful as I felt something like an electric shock coming from her hands, almost like the normal 220-volt wall plug supplies.

This power ran through my hands down to my feet and began filling up my entire body. It felt like all my insides were being pushed out my mouth. My brother told me later that it looked like I was going to explode the way my veins swelled up and I began making animal sounds, screaming in between that I would not get out.

During this ordeal I cursed her, then begged her and wished I could hit her. Then, after this whole process repeated itself six times, I began to calm down while my mother returned to normal saying: “Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus” on and on.

We both started crying and my mother said: “My son, there is a Jesus!” I felt completely sober and calm while we had coffee in absolute silence in the kitchen with tears running over our cheeks.

I knew I was loved by a force greater than any man could ever describe! I knew Jesus is alive and that he loved us! I wanted to shout it out – leave my past ways and focus only on him.

Yet I did not. Only three years after that I really became saved when I was down and out, after having lost my job and had to move out the house I was renting. I prayed very hard and asked the Lord to speak to me through His word. I randomly opened the Bible and my eyes fell upon the words: “take off your shoes because the ground you are standing on is Holy ground.”

I fell on my face and felt my skin crawl as the Holy presence of the Lord overcame me, and touched me again. Since then I have never been the same again.

I make a point of remembering the incident with my mother, how real it was and because my mother does not drink or smoke, I know that it was impossible for BOTH of us to have hallucinated. No sir, that was real and everyone saw it. Jesus is alive and at work in our lives. He decided that night to call both of us to Him, and He used a woman who did not even believe in Him at the time.

I have made peace with my stepfather in this time and we have very pleasant conversations now. My mother goes to bible-study groups to learn more and my stepfather also attends church very regularly. He has given up drinking AND smoking.

My brother became saved and two of my sisters gave their hearts to Jesus. Only one sister still has a drinking problem. She is the only child my stepfather had with my mother. I know that at the right time the Lord will call her too.

I praise Him and glorify Him. I want all those people who are bound the empty and temporary pleasures of this world to know that Jesus can overcome every moment of loneliness, hate, sadness, depression, rejection and turn it into victory, joy, achievement, strength and goodness.

If you are sad for some reason, take it to the Lord in prayer. But not only this, study His word, the Bible, where He will speak to you individually and give you the answers to your life. Just let Him in, He is trying to. He will not force his way. He is giving LIFE free, all you need to do is TAKE IT. You will never be sorry you did!!!

The Bridge Went Down

Note from Eric: Shannon was a teenager with little church background when she heard a story about a man who worked at a railway bridge.  When she realized the story was about what God did for her through Jesus, and she put her faith in him that night.

THE BRIDGE WENT DOWN
by Shannon Blacklock

I didn’t believe I was a child of god in the beginning. Sure, I had read the bible stories book in the doctor’s offices growing up. I even had a few friends that didn’t swear.

When I started going to a youth group at church, it was only because my friends went. One night our youth group went to a concert.  It started off as a music concert. They sang, we sang, I sang. But I didn’t believe anything I was singing.

Then a man came on the stage. As he talked, I realized how wrong I was. He was talking and laughing and joking. And he told us a story.

This is the story in my words:

Once there was a man who had a son and no wife. He worked at a bridge. Everyday he would push a button to make the bridge go down so the train could come over it. He did this every afternoon.

One day the boy’s school had a free day and the boy decided to come down to his dad’s work and kick a football around at the foot of the bridge. While he was playing his dad was looking down on him.

“That’s my boy” he was saying “I love that kid. He’s a part of me and I love him so much.”

At 2:45 p.m. he started to prepare for the train to come. He looked down for his son. His son wasn’t at the foot of the tower. He looked around and couldn’t see him. He opened the window and called out “Son, where are you?” But his son didn’t answer him.

The train was nearly there. He could hear it puffing in the distance. He looked out the window and saw his son, stuck under the bridge.

“Dad. Help me! I can’t get out!” The boy was screaming.

The man thought hard. He didn’t have enough time to come down from the tower and free the boy. He didn’t have time to do that and come back and let the bridge back.

The train was nearly here. If the bridge stayed up all the people would fall into the river and drown. There were over 300 people on that train. He was biting his nails and his son was calling Dad! Help me! and the train was coming closer.

The man got frantic. He pulled at his hair and scratched his chest and knew what he had to do. He pushed the button. The bridge went down and killed his son.

The man stood in the tower and screamed. He cried and sobbed because he had killed his son. The train rushed past.

A few people waved. A few people looked worried because the man was crying. A few people came back later. But most just kept going. The man had killed his son, his own son who he cherished, to save some people he didn’t know, and most who didn’t care.

This is what God did for us. He sacrificed his son for us.  People who didn’t even know him.  We must be the ones that help the train man over his sorrow. We must go back to our God. Our God who saved us all.

At the end of this story I was crying. I walked out to the front and screamed out: “GOD! ARE YOU LISTENING! I WANT TO COME FOR YOU! I LIVE ONLY FOR YOU! I LOVE YOU GOD! PLEASE ACCEPT ME! I BELIEVE I BELIEVE.”

Here I just broke down and started crying and then we all went off and the pastors gave us a free bible and told us about how we could help our Lord.

Since then my life has changed. For the better. I want to get into heaven and I know that want will never change my mind, even if people kill me for my beliefs. I believe in our Lord, Our God, our Savior, Jesus Christ and I never want to look back.

If you want to live.  If you want to see the ultimate light. Turn to God. And he will show you the way.