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My Story, Part #4

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As I move into part four and beyond of my story, there may be times when things aren’t in the exact order that they happened because my memory isn’t as good with dates and times as it is with other things. I’ve found that the details I remember are truthful but remembering sequence is a little more difficult. Regardless of their order, the stories remain factual and correct. I hope you’re being blessed by the testimonies, as well as enjoying the opportunity to see into my life with Jesus and into my heart a little better. He is my everything and has been my one true love ever since the day He stepped into my life and rescued my heart from complete despair. I’m forever indebted to Him as both the Savior and the Lord over my life.

Okay, back to the story. Well, within the course of the time that my dad was recovering, a lot went on, my mom was filled with the Holy Spirit, my sister was powerfully saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and my dad was touched and healed by the Lord and many other beautiful things were happening within my family. On this one particular day, I remember being at home late one evening, spending time in prayer. God had put a natural love for fellowship with Him in my heart from day one. I knew that He was real, that He deeply cared about us and that by earnestly seeking Him, we’d experience His life changing power in our lives, so I continued in prayer night and day. On this one particular evening as I was before the Lord, I felt a strong impression to pray over my dad to receive the Holy Spirit. I knew he was searching for a relationship with Jesus, especially after the healing of His shoulder but he didn’t quite know how to make that connection. He believed in Him, but he lacked the inner power of the Holy Spirit to bring Him into a deeper relationship. I began to pray in my own understanding but I was soon moved into heavy travail, all I could do was pray in tongues and cry out to God with loud cries and tears. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was nuts, but when you’re in the Spirit like that; you don’t care what anyone thinks. I continued to intercede this way, not sure for how long, until His peace entered my heart and that burden was lifted and I went to bed.

Very early the next morning, around 6am, I was awakened by my phone ringing. When I answered it, it was my dad crying on the phone. I was so scared at first because I didn’t know what was wrong and he could barely speak. When he finally got his composure and told me what happened, I was absolutely blown away. He told me that during the early morning hours, he was in a dream and in the dream he was asking Jesus to fill him with the Holy Spirit, he said when he asked Him, suddenly a wind blew over him and he lifted his hands and began to praise God, something he’s never done before, and when he awakened, he was indeed still lifting his hands and praising God. He was completely changed from that moment on. He completely quit drinking, smoking and cussing all by one touch of the Masters hand. His life took a major turn for the better and he now had a vibrant relationship with Jesus. My dad was a man of great faith and character, you never had to wonder what he believed because he was adamant to share with others about this new life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that he’d found in Christ.

All of his life he searched for something real, knowing it was out there and was unable to find it within the walls of a building because someone told him that it wasn’t for today, but let me tell you, Jesus adamantly preached about the Holy Spirit and His ministry in our lives and the fact that He would be a very present gift within the believer, a gift to be trusted, relied up and sought after, but he also preached that we must ask and we must believe without doubting, but because of false teaching, he didn’t have the faith to ask. My dad allowed a man’s denominational, private interpretation of scripture, to rob him of years of blissful intimacy with the King of Kings. This is why I’m adamant about not approving the teaching of those who remove the Holy Spirit and His gifts from the believers’ life; He is our lifeline, source of power and guide throughout this lifetime; we all desperately need Him in our lives as Jesus revealed Him through the gospels. My dad had been convinced that any real two way communication with God was of the enemy, what a terrifying and ignorant thing to teach others; when Jesus Himself taught that it was truth. His word says that the gift of the Holy Spirit was for as many as the Lord would call and for all generations to come. He was missing the very one, whose ministry would reveal Jesus to him, not through just bible knowledge but through personal revelation, because someone said, it wasn’t for today. Did God change His mind somewhere? The Apostle Paul knew differently; as he went into a city to minister to the believers that were there, he asked them “HAVE YOU received the Holy Spirit SINCE you believed”?   (Acts 19:1-7)   Please read this passage for yourself and begin asking the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit if you’ve not yet received this amazing blessing in your life. You will never regret doing so. When you allow the Word of God and what Jesus said that we can experience to be what you believe for, and not a man’s teaching, this is what you’ll begin to receive; a vibrant, two way relationship with the water of life Himself.

Part #5 coming soon. Be blessed.

My Story, Part #3

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I’m going to begin part three of my story by picking up where I left off in part two, regarding my father’s recovery from open heart surgery and his bad shoulder. Well as you know, just after my father’s surgery I received the Holy Spirit and let me tell you, I was not just a little bit excited. I absolutely loved praying in this new language I’d received, it was everything and so much more than I could’ve ever have hope for. The Father took me into a place of great depth of prayer and revelation of His word through this powerful gift. I found prayer to be a place where everything I’d ever carried on the inside of me was able to be released, every burden, every heartache, and every concern in my heart, could now be laid at the feet of Jesus in a way that I was never able to do so before. Little did I know that this precious gift of God would be my saving grace as I walked into the future with Him. Through the many seasons we go through as believers, the ability for my spirit to effectively pray and petition God, became the strength of my life.

Because of this new gift of God I’d received, my parents were just a little bit concerned, because after all, the denominations that they had attended had reassured their followers that this gift was no longer given nor necessary for believers and some would even go to the extreme, saying it was from the devil. These types of teachings place great doubt into people’s hearts and although it didn’t hinder me from receiving it because of the powerful truths I was being taught, it did adversely affect my parents’ ability to believe that what had happened to me at that meeting was a good thing. They could not have been more wrong in their teachings about the value of the Holy Spirit and his gifts in our lives. It’s a great injustice for these kinds of doctrines to continue to be put into the heart of those who are sincerely seeking God. I honestly don’t believe that I would have made it through the many trials, temptations, and tribulations that have taken place in my life had it not been for the precious Holy Spirit.

This is actually going to be a twofold testimony including both my mother and my father, so that I can keep things going in the order in which they had taken place.

One day I was over my parents’ home for a barbeque and I was so excited because of all that Jesus had done and was doing in my life. I was alive in Him and wanted everyone I knew to have the same gift that I had received from the Lord. I told my mom about it and I remember her and I going out to their back patio, my dad was sitting out there as well, my mom asked me to speak in tongues for my dad to hear, so I began praying in the Spirit in front of them. I was reluctant at first because of my dads upbringing but I wanted to show them both what God had given to me and what a blessing it was. It’s amazing how the Bible says that tongues are a sign for unbelievers because that’s exactly what God used to bring my family out of religion and into the Kingdom of God. My mom knew that this gift was not something that I’d ever had nor did I learn it, she  knew it must be coming from above. Needless to say, she came to church with me to check out what I was getting myself into, but she left there that day, having experienced the Presence and power of God, a new believer and follower of Jesus. Soon after that, my sister also came to church with us and could do nothing but cry because of the tangible Presence of a living God in our midst. She was radically saved and filled with the Holy Spirit as well, because Jesus was a reality among us, not just a story.  I give God thanks for answering the cry of my heart and saving my family. 

I had mentioned in an earlier part that I carried a heavy burden for the well-being of my family and from the time I had gotten saved, it only increased and became more intense. I wanted my family well, blessed, and experiencing the same joy that I was experiencing in my newly found relationship with Jesus. As I said earlier, my dad had a bad shoulder that was going to require surgery if there was to be any improvement at all. He was unable to lift his arm above his shoulder because the pain was too excruciating, as well as he had no movement above that point. He was in so much pain that I could barely stand to see him that way; it hurt my heart way too much to see him in so much misery with no comfort. He had said that his heart attack, operation and recovery were easy compared to the pain that he was in. Although I knew God had raised him from the dead, I also knew that he was still lost and unbelieving, so my heart was extremely broken for my dad and the suffering he was experiencing.

On this one particular day, we were to have dinner at my parents’ home after my husband got off of work but before going, I was at home in prayer, crying my heart out to God and praying in tongues for the salvation of my family and for my dad’s healing, when suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and I knew I was to get up and go over to my parents home. When we arrived, I walked into the living room where my dad was laying on the couch and I said to him “dad, the Lord is going to heal you”. I then asked him to stand up and my mom and I proceeded to pray for him. There was such a powerful presence of God that began to manifest in that room, it was incredible. As we prayed, I raised my dads arm up, well beyond his comfort or ability according to the look on his face, but at that very point is when Jesus touched him with His power. He threw his arm up in the air (he was unable to do this before), and was completely and totally healed, with medical proof. He became a believer in the power of the Holy Spirit that day, something He was taught was not of God. Isn’t Jesus just amazing! God showed me through this experience that it is by effective, fervent prayer, love in our hearts and intimacy with Jesus, where we can clearly hear His heart, obey His voice and see Him perform miracles. I hope you’re enjoying these small glimpses into my life and walk with God. There’s a reason why i’m so passionate about teaching truth! 

Part #4 to come soon.. Be blessed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Story, part #2

Okay, here we go with part two of My Story, but remember that there’s just no possible way that I can add every single detail nor include every person that’s impacted my life or been a part of it over the years, simply because of the time it would take to write it all down, so if you’ve been left out or not included for some reason, as I share my testimonies, please know that it’s only due to wanting to keep it short and readable. I love you all. ❤️ I’m just going to be highlighting certain parts of my calling and walk with God that I believe will have a positive impact on somebody else’s life. There may be a time when I go back and redo this and am able to include more details, but for now I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible. God bless you as we move forward with my journey in Jesus.

I’ll begin this part of my story sharing with you how I actually came to know the Lord. As I said in my previous writing, my parents had a slightly religious and somewhat shallow concept of God, but nonetheless, even though I wasn’t really walking with the Lord, I had a very active conscience about what was right and wrong because of the word of God they had instilled in me. There was a point in my life as a young mother and wife, I was about 21 years old, that I suddenly began to have a very conscious awareness that my life was completely undone and I was not in a good place with the Lord. I had an incredible fear of God come over me and I knew that I was not going to make it to heaven. I would pray often and ask God for protection over my whole family, as I carried a heavy burden in my heart for their well being , as well as praying before bed to cover and protect my children and myself. All the while basing my faith strictly upon my knowledge that there was a God, but not upon any personal experience I had with Him. I prayed often, but never repented and gave Him my life. I would say what many would call the sinners prayer with a passing Baptist going door to door but there was never any sincerity in it, thus the reason why there was never any change within my heart. I didn’t ever say anything to anyone about the level of torment I was going through, I just did the best I could to ignore the knocking of the Holy Spirit that was going on within my soul and just tried to be the best mom that I could and a loving wife, but something strange was definitely happening to me.

During the time frame that this strange thing was happening to me, out of the blue, my husband began to go to church regularly, it seemed like he was there all of the time. He would go on Sunday morning and Sunday night and then again on Wednesday nights. This was such an unusual thing for him, although I knew that as a younger man (him being five years older than I) he had given his life to the Lord, but when we met, he was living the party life and that was okay with me at the time, because I was doing some of the same things. Because of my experience with going to church, I knew that there was no possible way that he was just going to church to be at church. There had to be another reason why he wanted to be there all the time. I didn’t know if there was another woman or if he simply had lost his mind. Why in the world would anyone want to spend so much time in such a boring building? I can’t really recollect the exact order of some of the events that have taken place, but I will do my best to be as honest as I can with what I know and remember. At this point in my life, I honestly only had a religious view of God. I had no life change, no change of desire, nor did I have any passion to know Jesus any deeper than what I knew him. You need the Holy Spirit for that kind of hunger. I prayed because I knew there was a God but I can’t say that I believed He’d ever answer me.

One day I was over at my Mom and Dad’s house, as we would frequently gather there and have a meal together and just hang out, watch movies or whatever. My parents were always very family oriented people, so I was also very family oriented. On this particular day my dad began to have some physical problems. I remember the day so clearly just like it was yesterday. He walked into the kitchen and said he needed to go lay down for a while but his face was gray and ashen and I knew something was horribly wrong. We begged him to go to the hospital and not go lay down; he reluctantly agreed and was driven to the hospital had he not, he would not have made it. That was the day that changed my life forever and in a good way. My dad was suffering a massive heart attack and was scheduled to have emergency open heart surgery as soon as possible. Wow, I just couldn’t believe what was happening, he was my rock and I loved him so much. He helped me see life through a different lens and was always there to lend a helping hand or a word of wisdom to me. The thought of losing him was more than what I could mentally comprehend at the time, but I was determined to be strong for him.

I can’t exactly remember if it was that day or the next when they scheduled him for surgery but he was in critical condition and waiting wasn’t an option. He was scheduled to have a triple bypass, but we were assured by the medical staff that it was a typical surgery, but as with any surgery, has a measure of risk involved. We all told my dad we loved him and sent him off into the operating room. My family and I were all gathered anxiously in the hospital waiting room for news concerning his well being, which seemed like the longest wait of my life. Finally some doctors came out to speak to the family and the news they brought to us was not good news. I was there trying to be strong for everyone, even though I felt incredibly weak inside and broken, but nothing could have prepared me to hear the words the doctors were going to tell us. They said that the operation went well but the problem they were having was that when they brought him off the heart/lung bypass machine, they couldn’t get my dad’s heart to beat on its own again, it just wouldn’t start, so they were there preparing us for the worse; we were more than likely going to lose him. At that moment I don’t know what came over me, all I knew was that I had to leave the hospital, not even thinking how that would look or appear to others but I didn’t care.

I drove home to my apartment by myself and walked up to the door, I don’t even remember how I got there to be honest, I was in shock. I remember the apartment was dark and cold inside and felt so lonely. Just as soon as I was on the inside of the door and closed it behind me, I dropped to my knees and cried out to God in a way that I’d never cried out to Him before and I said to Him “Lord, if you raise my dad up, I will serve you for the rest of my life”. At that moment, at that very moment, I was hit with nothing less than what seemed like a lightning bolt from heaven and I came off that floor a different person, my heart was changed and my God had heard the cry of my heart. I went back to the hospital and was told that my dad’s heart had just began to beat again all on its own and he was home where he should be, within just a couple of days. I knew what salvation was on that day that I cried out to God and I also knew that I had entered into a promise with my Heavenly Father that my life was now His and no longer my own, which didn’t seem at all like a negative thing, because now Jesus had His rightful place within my heart and He became the treasure and love of my life from that day on.

My dad began the process of his recovery from open heart surgery but he was doing well and I was so thankful to God for His mighty hand being revealed to me and giving me back my dad, raising him from the dead. I wasn’t ready to lose him and rather than losing him, I gained him in this life for many years more, as well as in the life to come. At the time this happened to my dad he was working full-time for a beer distributor as a warehouse manager. Prior to his employment with this company he was never a drinker but after being exposed to so much alcohol, as well as other people who were drinking alcohol, even on the job at times, my dad slowly had become a functioning alcoholic. As he was recovering from his surgery he was also going out into the garage and drinking warm beer, even though he knew he wasn’t supposed to be drinking it. I know he was ashamed of his problem, although he was very good at hiding it. He could drink a six pack of beer and you’d never know that he had anything to drink at all. But God was good to him in spite of himself. So, right at this time during his recovery, my dad also developed a problem in his shoulder out of the blue and was in excruciating pain, unbearable pain that can make you nutty. After having x-rays, the doctor told him that he needed to have another surgery to repair the shoulder, as he was bone on bone inside the cuff and the pain would not stop without surgical intervention. To be continued.

So after I had this experience I began attending church with my (now-ex) husband. I finally figured out why he was going to church so much, because that’s also what I wanted to do now that I had found this new life in Christ and seen the goodness of God work a miracle in our life. When I began attending this church, I also was plugged into a powerful women’s group of God chasers, taught by a very anointed woman of God, named Miss Betty Barker. That lady was such a powerful mentor in the Word of God, with a pastor’s heart and a gift for discipleship. She was a true woman of faith and I’m sure now, she is dancing on streets of Gold with the one that she loved. I miss her ability to teach and lay such a solid foundation into the hearts of those who she discipled. She blessed me so much and taught me more about Jesus than anyone else ever has. I know that I was set at her feet by the Lord Himself, to be taught and grounded in the foundational truths of His Word and for that I am and will always be, eternally grateful. During this time I was exposed to the Holy Spirit in tangible ways, that I could see with my eyes, as He worked and manifested Himself through the various gifts of the spirit that were working through others who were a part of this group. I was so hungry for that same experience in my life. I saw people speaking in tongues in worship, messages given in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, laying hands on the sick, casting out devils, giving words of knowledge, words of wisdom and prophetic words that came, not with just mere human words, but that came with the power of the Holy Spirit. I was so hungry for this baptism of the Holy Spirit that I was being taught about and seeing with my own eyes. I would ask the Lord over and over, to fill me with the Holy Spirit and release His gifts inside of me. I longed for the working of His power in my life like I had tasted the day my dad was raised from the dead.

I was asked to go to a meeting down in Yuba City, where an evangelist was going to be speaking at some special meetings being held in a little church. I whole heartedly agreed to go with them. I was a passenger in one of the many vehicles that were going to this meeting and I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get there and see what God was going to do. I was mesmerized by Jesus and His Glory. I had a Holy anticipation going on in my young heart and I was sitting there in the car as we drove down the highway, I laid my head back on the headrest and all of a sudden, I began to hear a choir that was greater than anything I’d ever heard before. I heard voices by the multitudes and they sang a song that is now a familiar worship song but for me it was not familiar. I heard them singing ”Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With Thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you”. Little did I know that I was being prepared by the Lord to receive the most precious gift that anyone could ever ask for. I told the people I was riding with in the car what I had just experienced and the Presence of God filled the car and we were all filled with joy.

When we got to the meeting it came to the point in the service where this lady evangelist, who happens to be of color, was going to pray for people who wanted the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It didn’t take me long to get up and to move forward toward her. When she came over to me and it was my time for prayer, I told her that I wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. She began to pray for me and told me to lift my hands and begin to worship Jesus. I was super shy but I just began to open my mouth and give Him praise and tell Him how much I loved Him. She said “there it is honey, there it is”. I didn’t know what she was talking about but as I began to say “I can’t do it”, not understanding that it was Him that was going to do it through me, she held the microphone up to my mouth and I heard myself fluently speaking in the most beautiful heavenly language that I’d ever heard, all I could do was cry and remember the angels singing. This day was the start of the most incredible spiritual journey for me; I don’t even know if I’ll be able to put it all into words and do it justice, but I’m going to do my best to share my experiences with you. I pray you are blessed and looking forward to part #3.