What's YOUR Testimony?????

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

#2 Pray that our past be used by God...

What a hard topic, hu? Our past. Something so many want to sweep under the rug and never talk about. But have you allowed God the opportunity to use your past?

I just met a friend who has had a real tough life. A divorce, a diagnosis of an incurable condition, questions from family about her unwavering believe in God- yet she is allowing God to use her past. She told me that she really feels that God has a 'motivational speaker' ministry upon her life. WOW! How many of us would openly share all we've been through~ our faults as well as the faults against~ to the world?

Not many would step up to the challenge, but lets thing about it!

Saul (Paul, before he was Paul he was Saul- did I lose ya?) Anyway- before he was a sold out believe and messenger of Jesus Christ, he was a persecutor of the church. He openly persecuted Christ's followers. In Act 9:1 it says he breathed out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. Act 8:1 says that Saul gave approval to Stephen's stoning.

Now on his way to prosecute more of Christ's followers (Acts 9:1-18) Jesus appeared to Saul, blinded him and then told him to go into the city and he would be told what to do. Jesus sent Ananias to pray for Saul. The 'scales' were lifted from his eyes and he was baptized and become a follower. He spend several days with Ananias and many began to talk, asking 'Isn't that Saul, the one who persecuted the followers of Christ?' The wanted to kill him, but he stood firm to show Christ is Lord.

Yet- though Saul had a horrible past, one that we might feel didn't deserve a second chance, went on to be a great follower of Christ, helping plant many churches and being lead my God's Holy Spirit to write books in the Bible.

Well- we like Saul can make our mark in this world. Maybe God won't inspire you to write a book, or to plan a church, but God has planted you right where you are and wants to use your past to change the future.

I didn't grow up in church. I didn't start attending until I was 11 years old. (Went occasionally with Grandma as a young child, but nothing serious came of it at that point- I was not a 'believer'.) Even after becoming a Christian at age 11, I still never fully followed the way God wanted me to. I felt ok going to church on Sunday, participating in Youth Group activities and was ok, I was just 'getting by'. But I had many down falls. I became suicidal at age 13, I felt worthless being teased at school I had problems with the local gangs because I didn't ant to 'join' them and I had only a small circle of friends who talked bad about me behind my back (we were in middle school- what can you expect!) but I felt all alone. In high school I became what is know as a 'cutter.' I would cut and burn myself when things got hard.

To understand some of why we have to go back to when I was little.... I was sexually abused as a little girl, by someone very close to our immediate family and who we trusted very much. This went on for about 3 years before I got up enough nerve, at age 12 to tell my parents it was happening. It caused great pain to my immediate family and well as our extended family, as this person was very close to all of us and we felt he need to share and protect the others. It was about this point in life I felt horrible and didn't want to live any longer.

So, as I grew up with this baggage- feeling dirty, worthless, useless, and like I chad nobody I could trust, I began to get in trouble. I fought in school. I skipped class. I got bad grades. I got involved in relationships that were bad for me. I became addicting to needing 'someone' by my side so I felt worth something.

It never worked. I always felt lonely, until I finally gave it all up to God!

I stand here today- free! Free from guilt (though the abuse wasn't my fault, I always felt it was), free from sin (and my list was pretty long), and free from chains of my past! God has allowed me countess times to share my story with girls and women who have been through things just like me. Abuse, neglect, suicidal thoughts, relationship after relationship looking for someone to 'love' her. And God has allowed me to know that my past has been thrown into the sea never to be thrown in my face by Him. And I can know that though I was a sinner then, I am forgiven now!

So what's your story?
Allow God to use it.
God uses our past to change the future!

Think if Paul would have been ashamed of where he had come from. Afraid of what others would think? Imagine if he would have stayed quiet. What would have happened to the church?

Who have you denied freedom from by holding back your testimony?

Maybe your testimony is that you were born and raised in the church, shelter by God from harm, drugs, sex... maybe you have served God all your life... PRAISE GOD! What a testimony! That too can touch peoples hearts and change lives.

Though I got involved in many things I can stand a say that God did keep me! I never did get involved in drugs or alcohol or gave into the temptation of premartial sex or the gangs that threatened me if I would not. God allowed me to save myself and be pure for my wedding night though I had countless relationships. Though my friends did drug and drank and it was all available to me, God protected me from those addictions and experiments. PRAISE GOD!

Those are awesome things I am able to share with others.

Why not pray and ask God to show you who needs to hear your testimony? Who can be set free by hearing how you came to know Christ and what he saved you out of?

Lord, I thank you first of all that you have taken my past sin and thrown into the deepest sea never to remember again. Lord, remind me that there are things in my past that you can use to minister, touch and heal others with. You can use my past to set others free and I ask that you show me how I can use my testimony to help others. I have a story Lord, and it may not be the prettiest or the most fun to share, but I know that you want to use me to bring others to the saving knowledge of your grace and I say YES! Yes, Lord, use me! Use my past. I surrender to You. Be my Savior and my shelter and allow my life to be pleasing to You! I love you Lord and desire to be a vessel you can use. Use me!
In Jesus name, Amen

Be encouraged!
Praying Mom

P.S- Thanks "Friend", you know who are, for the encouragement. That is why we were able to chat the other night and you know- though I went to bed a 3:30 AM- I woke up refreshed and energized this morning and have had a great day with God! THANKS AGAIN! Keep on keeping on and keep sharing your testimony! -Your praying friend

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A mother who prays... has kids who pray!

I have found that through the last couple days that I have been sick, my kids have prayed for me. They might be simple 6yr old prayers; "God, bless help Mommy to feel better so she can play with us." But they are still prayers and God hears them!

I have been down with a really bad head cold for about three days now. I am feeling lots better today and hoping that I can get some good rest tonight.

I just want to encourage you to let your kids see you pray. Make a sign to put on your bedroom door MIP- Mom in Prayer and let the family know know that you can not be disrupted except for emergencies. Maybe your one-on-one prayer time has to be 15, 20, 30 minutes before the kids get up... this is areal hard one for me... I am NOT a morning person. Maybe you are like me and once everyone has gone to bed, you quietly walk in each room and prayer over each member of your family I do this and then when I lay down in bed, my hubby normally rolls over to hug me, so I start praying for him.

My kids see and hear me pray often. Sometime when my day is going bad- or good for that matter- sometime when a friend calls for prayer or when I get a new prayer request from a local prayer chain I belong to. My kids know I am a praying women and I know that they know I believe in the power of prayer. There is no better way to teach than by example!

Good Bless and Keep Praying!
-Praying Mom

Saturday, August 23, 2008

#1~Prayer for Good Health

Right now in my household we are playing 'pass the cold to the next person'. I am sure everyone has played this horrible game before in there family It doesn't matter that you use Clorex wipes and Lysol on everything, or that you seclude the sick person from everyone else and give everyone 100 glasses of Orange Juice eachday... they share the germs!

Well, it brings me to my first prayer topic:
Prayer for Good Health

Let's prayer for the health of our family, whether you are all well all the time (Praise God if that is you!) or you have someone who is always sick. God is a God of healing. His word says that 'By His strips we are healed.' (Is 53:5) So let's claim it in our families!

Lord Jesus, Your word is true! It has stood the test of time and has been dug through by so many scholars and it still stands whole today. Your promises are the truth and we stand on them today. We pray life, health and wholenss into our kids, our husbands and ourselves today.
We speak to the sickness that is in bosied right now to be gone. We speak to sickness that wants to creep in to lose it's effect and be gone in Jesus Name.
Lord, I thank you because cancer, colds, migranes, insomnia, MS, diabetes, Lupus--- you are bigger than each and every one of these and you are the ultimate Physican!
Jesus, take our bodies and make them whole in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen

I encourage you to uplift each family member by name right now- maybe you have a daughter who constantly gets headaches....maybe your son deals with catching every little cold/bug that goes around....maybe your husband has a bas back... God is bigger tahn all of it... lif toyur family up to Him and TRUST and BELIEVE that He can and WILL heal them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why I Pray

I pray
because He tells me
to bring my requests to Him!
"If any one of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. " (James 1:5)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Phil 4:6)
"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened." (Matt. 7:7-8)
I pray
because He is my source
of life and strength!
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He wil not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youth gro tired and weary, adn young men stumble and fall; but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. (Is. 40:28-31)
I pray
because prayer changes things!
"The prayers of the Christian are secret, but their effects can not be hidden." (Howard Robbins)
"The prayers a righteous (wo)man are powerful and effective." (Jame 5:16)
"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." -Jesus (John 14:14)